Money’s all gone by Stephen Hastings-King


I write you because I feel the need to tell you about my life. But each letter falls like lint into a pocket of routine self-recrimination that I endure until I feel right and forget again. And later, when I find it, I no longer recognize who was writing. So I throw it away.
Then I start again.

It is winter and the electricity is off. We pirate from the line over the street. Our cable runs through a window in the kitchen. Sometimes I look at the splices partly wrapped in electrical tape and think: Nobody knows what they’re doing.

Over the weekend we broke into the rent. It may be gone now.
This morning, my eyes feel like marbles filled with something molten.

Across the room there’s a guy passed out in a chair. I don’t really know him. He says he likes the smell of paint and varnish. He tells strange circular stories about being a kid and sneaking pieces of raw meat from the road-kill that his father would butcher in the basement.

In between sentences I’ve been smoking ducks. I pull them from ashtrays and paper plates among the beer bottles and scraps of tin foil that cover the table. They taste like shit.


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Filed under Stephen Hastings-King

7 responses to “Money’s all gone by Stephen Hastings-King

  1. randalhoule

    Lots of downtrodden images. Love the last line.

  2. I love the concept there that if the reader is quick enough, we will get to see one of those letters before it is again destroyed. Nice.

    • guy

      I agree, Susan. I think it’s a really interesting way to work in a narrative. The narrative is there on an abstract, 2nd level where the existence of the piece itself is the story. Cool!

  3. really sharp. i think this is my favorite piece of yours.

  4. stephen

    nice. thanks very much for the reads and lovely comments. i’m pleased you like the piece. it took quite a while to make, taking things out, taking more things out, looking at it, taking more things out. something about the theme seemed to encourage that.

  5. Pingback: Week #40 – The money’s gone | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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