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Jimmy normally didn’t give a fuck about anything, but today he punched the windscreen until his hand busted open and blood smeared across the glass. ‘Jesus Christ, will you listen to yourself?’ he screamed.

The car stereo hummed.

The manager’s tiny voice through the hands-free: ‘You need to calm down, Jim. And whatever you’re punching, stop punching it. Remember Glasgow? Where are you?’

Jimmy buried his hand in his shirt and groaned.


‘How the fuck should I know? I’m in…the car park of a McDonalds about an hour out of town. North, I think. I was heading up…oh God, I don’t know, just north okay.’

‘We’ll send someone. Look at the GPS for me will you?’

He did it.

‘Okay. We’ll sort this out,’ said the manager. ‘It’s nothing, it’s just another part of—’


The sun was coming up over the McDonalds. Jimmy went over, the doors sliding open as he got closer. It was another eerily still version of the restaurant, convenience at the end of days. A tall kid stood behind the counter.

Jimmy ordered a coffee and the kid made it. The kid didn’t recognise him, didn’t say anything, didn’t even really see him.

Jimmy slid himself into a plastic booth and took it all in.

An office guy in slacks and a collared shirt came in and used the bathroom.

Two orders served through the drive-thru window.

Still slow.

A girl came round and mopped the floor. Without looking up she said, ‘You okay?’

He looked at his hand. ‘Been better. You?’

She stopped mopping. ‘What do you think?’

‘Do you get a break?’ he said.

‘I just take them.’


He was down to his last cigarette, so they shared it. She looked about eighteen or nineteen and not super pretty: dyed hair, no eye contact. They sat on the bonnet of the hire car and smoked.

‘What are you doing out here?’ she said.

‘Just waiting on someone.’

‘Can I get a selfie?’


She took it and it turned out okay, like it was from another timeline where both of them were different versions. Two smiling faces in the dawn light.

‘Can you wait a while to post it?’


‘I don’t want people to know I’m here.’

She couldn’t take her eyes off the phone. ‘Oh yeah, sure, no worries.’ But then she started back towards the restaurant.

‘Where you going?’

The girl spun around, walked backwards, and flicked the cigarette butt his way. ‘Break’s over, dude.’

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