fiction

PET NAMES

chris-r-0694 Image by Christine Renney

The boy’s dad took to calling the boy’s mum a shit-faced whore. He bandied these words without malice, it was just a nickname, a term of endearment and one of many but this was the one he had settled on, that had won out over the others.

‘Where is she? What’s she doing, the shit-faced whore?’ ‘Fetch my keys and make some tea, you shit-faced whore?’
‘Go and get me this and then do that, you shit-faced whore’
‘Oh, look at her, look at her face, the shit-faced whore’

The words tripped so lightly from his dad’s mouth that the boy didn’t really hear them, they hardly registered. But when his girlfriend heard his dad talking like this she had been stunned. The boy was shocked at the level of her anger, by just how indignant she became, although later his dad made her laugh and she began not to accept but to tolerate it. She even told him off ‘You shouldn’t call her that,’ she told him, ‘you really shouldn’t.’
And eventually he did stop, it had run its course and he started to call her by a different name.

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