Cigarettes, Milk & Toilet Paper

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The treacherous sun poured in through the filthy window of Craig's bedroom. "Fuck off," he stirred about trying to shoo away the light with his forearm. Defeated he arose from the hardened mattress and sat in front of the bedside fan for a few moments while he gathered his thoughts to start the day. Craig dug through the pile of clothes nearest to his cupboard and found a pair of suit pants. He sniffed them, shrugged, and began pulling them over his legs.

            Craig opened his cupboard to another mess of clothes and movies; he reached up and grabbed hold of a can of deodorant giving it a shake before spraying his body. He made his way to the kitchen rubbing his exposed beer belly and let out a yawn – plates and rubbish lay scattered about as if it were meant to be there. Craig looked at the clear plastic bottle he converted into a flytrap and smirked – there appeared to be hundreds of dead flies floating in the water. He grabbed a hold of the kettle and walked out the door and onto the front patio.

Craig looked left and right making sure no one was around before jumping the small fence between his and the neighbors to the rights houses. He scooped up the newspaper old Hank had delivered daily, and filled up his jug with the outside tap.

            Craig set the kettle down inside and flicked it on letting it boil slowly. He opened the cutlery draw and pulled out the last cigarette from the packet along with a teaspoon. He rinsed a dirty coffee mug and opened the fridge finding the last remnants of milk in a bottle, it was barely a teaspoon full but it would suffice.

            The morning was a good start plain toast and shit coffee out on the patio. Craig opened the doors beneath his barbeque and turned the gas on, before lifting the top compartment and lighting the small flame to light his cigarette on. He kicked back on the rocking chair reading the paper, sipping his drink, and smoking his last cigarette in his fine suit pants.

            "Howdy Craig!" Hank called over the fence. He had a full head of white hair and his trademark sweater and slacks on despite it being a muggy morning.

            "Morning Hank," Craig raised his mug to cheers the man who held one of his own.

            "Believe it...some fuckers stole my paper again!" Hank shook his head annoyed.

            "Fucking degenerates," Craig said.

            "Now I got to go buy it to see which horses are racing today," Hank grumbled.

            "Don't worry Hank, you can take mine when I'm finished if you want," Craig said, shaking his paper in the air to Hank.

            "Thanks mate, how's the job search going?" Hank asked.

            "Not too bad...getting there, maybe should try out for the police force and find out who's nicking your paper," Craig laughed.

            Hank shook his head, "I already know who it is."

            Craig tried to hide his face behind his coffee mug. "Who?"

            "That fucking old bitch across the road, Elspeth the dirty gypsy," Hank said.

            "Sure it's her?" Craig asked. Elspeth was in her front yard meeting with members of her prayer group.

            "Last week she was complaining about me watering the yard too much, that old crow's trouble," Hank said, pointing a warning finger in Elspeth's direction.

            "Maybe. I don't know," Craig said, shrugging.

            "Alright I got to get back to the garage and work on some shit, let me know if you need anything."

            "Maybe just a pen?" Craig asked.

            "A pen?"

            "Yeah, so I can circle jobs and make notes as I call them," Craig said, holding up the employment section of the paper.

            "Smart man Craig, now that's motivation," Hank said, clicking his fingers.

            After finally deciding on a job to apply for Craig began dialing the number into his phone and sat ready armed with his new pen. "You have insufficient funds to make this call."

            Craig went back inside and found a small piggy bank and emptied the contents onto the kitchen table along with all the money from his wallet. He added it all up and minus the overseas currency there was exactly fifty-one dollars and forty-five cents. Craig took the pen and began making a list for his survival shopping.

Things from the shop:



Toilet paper,








Bottle of wine.

Craig re-read the list and looked at his pile of change, "I got to sacrifice some of these things." He buried his head in hands, while tapping the pen on the table trying to think of what was most important.

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