“We’re seeing other people,” he says. “We just don’t talk about it much.”
I’m lying in the crook of his arm, dismantling and rebuilding the events of the afternoon. I say nothing. There’s a sharpness to his smell that reminds me of tomato plants, or pesticides.
“It works out better this way,” he says. “I mean, it’s the details, right? Would you want to hear the details of what goes on?”
Maybe. I know that if this man started to tell me about his wife fucking another man, I would listen. I would ask all the right questions, like: did she enjoy it? Did she put her underwear on again afterwards, or did she stand naked—did she walk, naked, around the room? When she poured the dregs of the champagne into the toothbrush mug, could she taste the minty shadow of everyone who’d been through the hotel before? Or was it just bubbles? Did she smile?
I pull the duvet between my legs and straddle it like a dolphin. “No,” I say. “I wouldn’t want to hear a thing.”
Neil Bristow – The Inheritance
Runners Up (in no order)
Johanna Da Rocha Abreu – May 1st
A Guide to Shoplifting in Berlin – Brittani Sonnenberg
A Slightly Sexually Provocative Short Story – Ambika Thompson
Train – Pippa Anais Gaubert
Shortlist (in no order)
James Harris – Monogamy
Sara Zaske – Green
Marcus Speh – The Preparation
Nick Modrzewski – The Nuns
Ruth Bennett – The Jew of Maltestrasse
Arne Hordvik – Pain
Charles McDaniel – Cat’s Paw
Anna Byrne – Don’t Worry, It’s Just Regret
Thanks to all who came last night….more soon (once the hangover has departed!) Don’t forget you can read Neil Bristow’s ‘The Inheritance’ in this month’s EXBERLINER! Further winning stories from the competition will be available to read in our Showcase very soon.
The Reader Berlin