Retrospective Downer – Dan Brotzel

Great sesh, me old mates.
Sweet-talk the fans.
Cool pad, Tom.
Speaking of Cougars, Julia
The old man with cancer
The fans and the curious (5% discount)

The old man with cancer was pretty cool.
Chuck it all in? We’re here for you. Darling
No need to worry about briefing the tradespeople! We do feel your pain, darling
We all do, darling (5% off) (cancer is cool)
Thinly disguised mature sex goddess
(not my words, darling)

Terrible pain, darling.
Collective shock, a feeling of inadequacy (pilates! the pool!)
An abyss of anxiety beneath your mask of self-control
(But let’s not beat ourselves up) (cheap cancer for the fans)

Just wanted to get that off my chest.
Your incredibly brave, flat-screen TV
Oak-effect laminate flooring transubstantiates pain into art
None of the trauma diminished, I’m sure (darling)

You are our friend (I am an actor)
Badger reset: liberal blinkers off please!

With our pilates and our real ale (and our erotic prints)
We will slay the demons that stain our memories.
Were you a bird then, mate? (I don’t want to pry) (I am an actor)
We all have issues, genderfluid

You seemed bored, and frankly so was I.
Eternal gnosis ffs! I was only looking for the loo.
We feel your pain. (Though I was a teensy bit peeved)
Cancer is 5% off.

Okay, gotta go.

Please note: to be the intended recipient of this message is prohibited.


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Dan’s short stories have been recognised in several competitions and anthologies. He was runner-up in the Flash500 short story competition 2017, and was also shortlisted for the Sunderland University/Waterstones Short Story Award 2016, the Wimbledon BookFest prize 2016, and the 2017 Fish short story and Retreat West flash competitions. He wrote sketches for Dead Ringers (BBC Radio 4), won Carillon Press’ Absurd Writing competition (2014), and has also made two appearances in Christopher Fielden’s To Hull and Back comic-writing anthology (2015, 2016).
A journalist and former slush-pile reader, he is also a book reviewer for the Press Association.


Image: Andrew Neel on Unsplash

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