The Beast with Three Breasts
“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”
Hunter/ Steadman by Kevin Mallon – painted on pages from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
By the time he had finished the story I had finished rolling the joint and we stood outside in the back garden and shared it together, watching the moon as dark clouds passed around it. “So you coming out tonight, for one?” he asked me. And in that moment I knew I would.
My breath steamed out in front of me in the bitter night air as we crossed the car park behind the Foxes Pub, a spacious enough dive located somewhere between the arsehole of Tallaght and the armpits of Jobstown.
Entering through the old flaky doors we searched the back lounge for his band of droogs, but as suspected they had dispersed into the night. We didn’t bother to check the smaller front bar, which would be full of sour-faced locals. A completely different vibe than our sort of crowd, we wouldn’t last long in their company as they would become wise to our highly strung condition and rip us to shreds.
“Ah for fuck’s sake,” Gunga moaned in my direction as he fumbled his phone from his pocket, simultaneously placing a cigarette in his mouth from the box. I sat down at the bar and ordered two drinks, a Guinness and a whiskey, neat.
Gunga Din disappeared into the smoking area with his phone plastered to his ear. I drank the whiskey down as I waited for the settle and second pour of the stout. There was paranoia thick in my mind and dense throughout the bar in my sight. Every time I looked around either the bartenders or one of the local drunks, at the opposite side of the bar, would give me bemused looks or funny glances.
But the hard liquor was good and was helping me narrow out. I spaced out my hands and grabbed the marble slab counter in front of me on either side and rested my head on the cold, soothing gloss in between my empty glass and the new, freshly poured drink. I counted the bad vibes away. One. Two. Three. . .
“Are you alright, you gobshite!?” Gunga Din bellowed somewhere deep within the fading patterns of my brain. He was back beside me. I lift my head from the counter in a daze and look through a milky fog.
How long have I been asleep? This certainly wouldn’t look good to the bar staff, I better straighten myself up or they’ll be asking me to leave. Suddenly there would be a thick-shouldered bouncer at my heel, a hand on my shoulder. Dragging me out the door as I searched around myself in a frantic plea for help.
At this point, Gunga Din would disown any involvement. “What? That guy!?” he would exclaim. “He walked in beside me from the car park, never saw him before. He was raving all sorts of shite. You know, I would be surprised if he was on something!”
I turned back and focused on him. He was saying something to me. “I don’t know where those miserable bastards disappeared off to!” he explained. As he spoke, he extended his hand towards me in the shape of a fist, his fingers faced towards the dirty floor.
And as he jabbered on I instinctively lowered my open palm underneath his and the small pouch of blow dropped, like a snowflake, into the cradle of my hand. Then he turned his shoulders away and directed his rabble towards a small television behind the bar.
I found myself in the loo shortly after. Locking myself in the cleanest cubicle, which was still disgusting, I fished out the small bag and flipped down the toilet lip, in case an accident was to occur.
I rested my right foot on the toilet handle and dug a mounted heap of coke out of the bag onto a twenty cent coin. Bringing it to my nostrils, I took in a deep, long sniff, flipping my foot down on the handle to cover the inhale underneath a torrent of toilet water.
I emerged back into the lounge with the numbing, icy effect flowing over my body. My drink still lying on the counter, I picked it up and let it fall back though my translucent gums.
Gunga Din wasn’t around, but there was no fear that he might have done a runner; I had his stash still on me. I calmly rolled myself a cigarette and found him in the smoking area.
And, sure enough, there he was, feverishly smoking one cigarette after another as he raved and laughed with three complete strangers. Three women, of course, all of whom seemed to be just as jacked up as we were.
The first of which, and who caught my eye, was sitting with her back to the corner, an arm draped over another woman’s shoulder. Her deep-set eyes were scanning the room from under a bright purple fringe.
The other woman, who appeared to be in her possession, had soft, smooth features, and was non-pulsed with the rambling of her or anyone else in the establishment.
The final woman, whom Gunga Din was locked in conversation with, was in her fifties, short and stout with a tacky crop haircut that matched the curvature of her bulbous figure. His eyes were deeply distracted as they frequently peered down into the bosom of her breasts; a display he must have believed was made just for enjoyment.
I followed his eyeline across and down to the chasm of her breasts and I was met with two deep and plunging channels of cleavage. I blinked, looked away, then shook my head and glanced back.
But there it was as before. Two lines of cleavage, separated by one breast in the middle and flanked either side by a breast apiece. Three breasts.
The three-breasted woman living, walking and talking amongst us mere mortals, occasionally calling to her daughter, the purple-headed woman, “A little sniff for Mummy, a little sniff for Mummy…” at which her daughter would supply a line of coke from a key in front of her nose to keep her fed.
I woke up the next morning in a state of shivers, empty wine bottles littering my room and a message from Gunga Din saying, “I had to leave early, my phone was broke, and so I headed over to the shopping centre to get it fixed.”
G.W. Bollard is a graduate of the Institute of Technology, Tallaght and NUI Galway respectively. Born in Dublin, where he grew up under the supervision of his beloved mother and aunty (having never known his true father), he currently resides in Galway City, on the west coast of Ireland.
Kevin Mallon is a visual artist from Co. Monaghan, Ireland. He likes to create pieces of a psychedelic nature, and mainly works with acrylic, spray paint and digital twists. His work can be found on Facebook at Kevin Mallon Art.