tagNovels and NovellasNo Future Ch. 25

No Future Ch. 25


The Pursuit of Happiness

"Where the fuck am I?" Zoe asked.

She raised her head from the down-filled cushion on the leather sofa and looked around her at the posters on the wall that depicted a random selection of teenage obsessions. About her feet was a scattering of discarded beer cans, cigarette papers and glossy magazines. A mirror lay flat on the table beside a half-empty glass of white wine.

"You've woken up, have you?" said Tom, who was sitting cross-legged in only his boxer shorts and thumbing with no apparent interest through the pages of a women's fashion magazine. "We thought you'd be out for hours."

"She has been," said Eve, who was also wearing only a pair of boxer shorts that were probably not her own. "It's been fucking forever since Zoe dropped off."

"It's the fucking dope," said Zoe who lowered her feet off the sofa onto the floor. All she was wearing was a tee-shirt that had the Arsenal FC logo which she'd bought once when she was briefly into women's football. But that was ages ago. "I'll ask again. Where the fuck am I?"

"You're at Al's," said Tom. "He got the munchies so he went off to get a pizza or something."

"When'd he do that?"

"Fucking hours ago," said Eve. "Or maybe it was ten minutes ago. I dunno."

"Shit. I need some charlie or whizz or something to wake me up," said Zoe. "The E's worn off and I feel like shit. Anyone got any coke?"

"Al's got some smack," volunteered Tom.

"That'll do the trick," said Zoe.

"Scarcely a pick-me-up," said Eve.

"It'll do."

Zoe glanced down at her crotch which she noticed was still slightly sticky. She ran her fingers through the pubic hairs. "Have we been fucking?" she asked.

"Yeah," said Tom. "Don't you remember?"

"Not at all," Zoe admitted. "Did I fuck you as well, Eve?"

"Of course," said Eve. "And Al fucked Tom right up the arse. It was fucking hilarious! Tom didn't know if he liked it or hated it."

"I fucking hated it!" said Tom indignantly.

"I dunno," said Eve. "You looked like you were enjoying it. No one else was fucking your arse at the time."

"I got a fucking strap-on fucking dildo thing at home," said Zoe.

"Yeah," said Eve. "But you didn't bring it with you, did you?"

"Do you seriously not remember fucking?" asked Tom. "I mean you were really fucking into it: the fucking and everything."

"Did you fuck me up the arse again?"

"No. Not after last time. All that shit was fucking awful. My prick smelt bad for days."

"That was fucking hilarious!" said Eve. "That'll teach you to bugger someone without asking them first."

"You never seem to mind much."

"Shut up, you cunt," said Eve who threw a pillow at Tom which he only just about managed to dodge.

"I'm fucking bombed," Zoe slurred. "What the fuck have I been taking?"

"Fucking everything," said Tom. "There's fucking nothing you've not had..."

"'Cept the smack that Al's got coming," said Eve. "We're all fucking bombed, girl. I'm as fucked as the fucking 'Stanis."

"Which fucking 'Stanis would that be, Eve?" asked Tom. "Would that be the Uzbekistanis, the Turkmenistanis or the Kazakhstanis?"

"Maybe the other ones," said Eve. "I don't fucking know, do I? They're all the fucking same. Pakistan first..."

"...and India as well," added Tom.

"Then it was every fucking country with Stan in its name. Kurdistan wasn't even like six years old and it got fucked," said Eve. "And I'm as fucked as all the fucking 'Stans. I'm one fucked bitch."

"I know that for sure," said Tom. "It's just that Zoe can't remember a fucking thing."

"Did I fuck you, Eve?" wondered Zoe. "Are you sure I didn't bring my strap-on thingy here?"

"Don't worry, Zoe," said Eve. "You did what you could without it."

"You might be bombed," said Zoe. "But I'm fucking nuked."

"Nuked, eh?" said Al who came into the room carrying a stack of two large pizzas and an eight-pack of lagers. "Like fucking Afghanistan?"

"As nuked as Tashkent," said Zoe.

"That's not in fucking Afghanistan," said Tom. "It's in one of the other ones I think."

"Who fucking cares?" said Al, who sat down and opened the boxes of pizza for everyone to dip into. "They're all the same. At least they are now. One stinking heap of Islamic radioactive shit. No one would want to live there now."

"'Cept the people who just happened to be living there," said Eve.

"People?" Tom laughed callously. "Fucking mutants. All that radiation shit. Eyes sliding down the face. Scabs and cancers and radioactive scars. Skin fused like plastic. You've seen the film footage."

"You've no right to be so... to be so... fucking..." said Zoe incoherently. "Those Arabs or Turks or whatever the fuck they were... They were human beings like us. It's not right to be so fucking..."

"You need a hit on this, girl," said Eve passing over the joint she'd been holding onto for rather longer than Tom was happy with. "But you're right. The 'Stanis didn't deserve the shit they got."

"They asked for it, though, didn't they?" said Tom. "They didn't have to nuke the shit out of each other. There's no law that says that when the water runs dry, the crops fail and all you've got to live on is the poppy harvest, then you've got to nuke yourself to buggery."

"Talking about poppies..." said Zoe.

Al took the hint. "I know what you want, Zoe," he said. "I'll bring the wraps in later. That's one thing the war did. Price of fucking H dropped like the proverbial. So did quality resin."

"You got any of that?" Zoe pleaded.

"I've got fucking everything," said Al.

"Still, you've gotta feel for the buggers," said Eve. "You've seen the films..."

"It was beautiful!" said Tom. "What a trip. Did you see the colours and everything on those mushroom clouds?"

"Don't be a cunt, Tom," said Al who held a pizza slice in one hand and a joint in the other. "Those were fucking people being blown up by those nukes."

"Well, you can feel as fucking sorry as you like for those buggers," said Tom. "They're thousands of miles away and they don't even speak English. What about the shit in this country?"

"What do you mean, Tom?" asked Zoe who was really really enjoying her pizza slice. "No one's dropped any nukes on Clapham last time I looked."

"The flooding's a problem, isn't it?" said Tom. "And you saw that shit on telly about people fucking starving, literally fucking starving, in this country. Food's too expensive. Social Security's virtually dead, thanks to all the cutbacks and disincentive programs. It's all gone to fucking pot in this country."

"Talking of which," said Eve. "Toss us that plastic bag, Al?"

"Which one?"

"The one with the Afghani Black, you wally."

"Yeah," said Al who handed it over to her. "It's good shit."

"Did you fuck me, Al?" asked Zoe in a tone of vague interest.

Al had to think.

"Yeah, I think I might have done. I certainly remember fucking Eve and I can't forget fucking Tom."

"You cunt!" said Tom bitterly. "You know I don't like it!"

"Calm it, girls!" said Eve. "Who cares who fucked who?"

"I might if I get pregnant," said Zoe.

"You take the pill, don't you?" asked Tom, clearly alarmed.

"Or clap. Or Chlamydia. Or even fucking AIDS."

"You can get a cure for AIDS on the NHS nowadays you know," said Tom.

"Don't be fucking soft," said Eve. "When's the last time the NHS ever gave anything away. It's the fucking Twenty Forties. It's because people like Zoe's dad fucked up the NHS that nobody gets nothing from them now."

"My dad?" wondered Zoe.

"He pumps money into all those right wing campaigns, doesn't he?" said Eve. "Kick out the immigrants. Cut taxes. Cut public spending. Get out of what's left of the fucking EU..."

"It's split into two now," corrected Al.

"Whatever," said Eve. "It's your dad who's fucking the poor and feeding the rich. A fucking Robin Hood in reverse."

"He's no fucking worse than your dad, Eve," Al said calmly. "In fact, all our dads are shit. They're all fucking up the world."

"You're all fucking dimwits," said Tom. "It's 'cause our parents are so fucking wealthy we can sit here and treat ourselves to as much shit as we like. And they wouldn't be so fucking rich if it weren't for low taxes and all that. And why do they do it? They do it for us. That's what they say."

"My dad fucking hates me," sniffed Zoe.

"What'd you say?" asked Eve who wandered over to the couch where Zoe was lying with her newly rolled five-skinner between her forefingers.

"My fucking dad fucking hates me."

"Poor diddums," said Tom unsympathetically. "I don't think my dad likes me much either. But he still gives me enough folding stuff to live in a shit hot flat out in St John's Wood. And what about your pad, Zoe? You can't sniff at Hampstead Heath, can you? If he didn't like you just a little bit, why's he been so fucking generous?"

"Don't be so mean, Tom," said Eve who lay Zoe's head on her bare bosom. "You know Zoe's dad's a real cunt."

"Come on, Eve. When it comes down to it, what about your dad?"

"Hey, Tom," said Al. "This is getting a bit out of fucking hand, you know. Just cool it. Zoe's coming out from a fuck of a heavy trip. The E's making her feel real shitty. You don't have to make her feel shittier."

"I know. I know," said Tom. "You're right. Shit, shall I roll the next one?"

"I think this'll be the last joint for a while, Tom," said Al. "We wanna get into a different mood if we're partying."

"Partying?" asked Zoe, who'd hardly ever felt less like it in her life.

"You know. At Age of Love. They've got a good night tonight. Great DJs and a whole lot of other good stuff. I got tickets ages ago."

"We don't have to go, you know," said Zoe.

"'Course we fucking do," said Al. "I've got some sulphate, some more E and some good quality H. If we get the mix right we'll be up till fucking Thursday."

"What day's it today?" Zoe wondered.

"Tuesday," said Eve glancing at the calendar.

Zoe pondered over this question. She took a long drag of the joint and looked longingly at the pile of wraps mixed amongst the plastic bags at Al's feet.

"Yeah," she said. "Why not? You're on."

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