Gulls, flash fiction by LJ Jacobs at
Jason Dent



written by: LJ Jacobs


Lying in bed, I can hear the gulls.

They squawk like they do at the seaside.

The sea is a dot on the horizon from here, on cloudy days you can’t see it at all, but the gulls are not far from my window.

There must be a storm out at sea today, to bring them so far inland.

Or maybe family members want revenge for my atrocities.

It is four in the afternoon and I am not only in bed, but still in the clothes I’ve been in all week.

There is a lot of growth on my face.

I smell putrid and I am depressed.

Why else would I be in bed at four in the afternoon?

Yes, I am so so depressed.

The gulls sound happy, though. I think they’ve found food. It may be scavenged food, or it may be stolen. They are lazy animals and don’t like to work for their supper.

They live on the fruits of trash bins and thievery.

I hate them. I hate them for not finding their own food.

When I was four, a giant snake-eyed gull stole my ice cream. It nearly took my head off with its outstretched wings as it came at me from behind and grabbed my favourite flavour of cold sweet confectionery.

I cried for hours after.

Did I mention I hate them? More than anything?

They made my grip on the things I love tighter.

Now, I can’t let go of anything.

I visit the seaside on rainy afternoons and throw bits of bread to the gulls. This is on my good days.

This is not an act of kindness.

I roll the bread into dough balls and put baking soda in the centre. A big portion of baking soda. Gulls can’t belch air from their lungs or digestive track – the baking soda pops their insides.

Good. I hope it hurts like hell.

I hate gulls. Did I mention that?

I do this on weekends, too, because I have nothing to do on these days.

My wife left me, you see.

For another.

A handsome fella she works with.

He swooped in and stole her from me.

I cried for weeks after that.

I’m still crying now, truth be told.

I plan to get her back, though.

By poisoning the handsome fella with something that’ll hopefully hurt like hell…

I can’t let anything go.

Thanks to the gulls…

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