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Joiner Bay and other stories – ‘M’ by Belinda McCormick

Published 1st June, 2017 in Behind the Book


I had this deal with a guy who owned a noodle joint. Sundays and Wednesdays I sucked his cock; he fed me and Gus. It was solid. Meant I didn’t have to beg all day, scrounge slops half the night just to get by. He caught us one night trawling for scraps in
the alley out back of his shop. I pulled my head out of a bin and found Kung Fu fucking Panda leaning against a hopper, blocking our path. I tried scoping a way past. I’m quick, but that alley was tighter than a Suit’s wallet. No way I’d get by.

Top lip twitching, Gus slunk forward, dropped to his belly. He had this way of sifting people, sorting the rotten. Watched him go a guy once. Behind a block of commission flats, we spotted this whack job. He had a fox strung up with barbed wire. Was so busy getting off on its struggles, Gus was ripping chunks off his arse before he even clocked us coming. Gave me a full-on laughing fit,
but we were too late for Foxy. Dumb shit cut its own throat.

If Gus finds you whiffy, you’d best leg it early.

Noodle Boy just leaned and watched. When Gus rolled his weight onto one hip, the guy smiled so hard his cheeks swallowed his eyes. ‘Hungry?’ he said. Last time we ate proper we’d lucked across a dero nursing half a leg of donated ham. Guts were so gone he couldn’t hardly eat. Gave most of it to us. For two whole days my stomach didn’t feel like it was eating itself. Course we were hungry. We were always fucking hungry. One wave of a meaty hand and Gus got up to follow.

At the back door Noodles told us to wait. Fine by me. Gus or no Gus, I wasn’t going inside. Too easy to get done over. Besides, cold metal benches, sparkling white tiles. We’d have made it filthy. Coupla minutes later, he came back with leftovers. Seeing as how I shared everything with Gus, it wasn’t long before we were scoffing down seconds.

While we gutsed ourselves I thought about the guy’s eyes. How shiny they went when he first looked me over. A price was coming but he waited till we finished before naming it.

‘You lick it,’ he said, rubbing his crotch, ‘I’ll feed you again.’
If he’d tried anything else I’d have skipped out right then, not gone back. Maybe he knew it, maybe not. Didn’t stop us leaving. Just stepped aside, waved us off. ‘Three days,’ he said.

He was back inside locking up before we were out the gate.

Belinda McCormick is a Melbourne based writer of contemporary short fiction. When not delving the difficult emotional territory of broken things, she dabbles in the comedic world of her real life adventure. Her random blurts about writing can be found at, while she tweets occasionally @beejaymacs. ‘M’, published in Joiner Bay and other stories, is her first print published piece.

We publish high-end literary fiction, crime and the best short stories currently being written in Australia.

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