Literature & Stories

Barry and the Baliff

It was early Sunday morning when he snuck back into bed, squeezing in beside his wife, arms wrapped around their child, it seemed she had not moved since he had and never noticed his departure. He smiled to himself as he closed his eyes, confident that today, she would not bicker. But she could smell the potency of his breath, saturated with alcohol, and she had risen.

Often she thought of leaving him, many men had made offers, rich men who did not care she had a child, she grew weary of the hunger pains, and her son was ill. They could hardly afford to feed and medicate him, yet her husband continued to drink like they could. He rationalised it; the only means of relief, he had trouble with anxiety, but she knew better, and she resented the lie.

They were lucky, they had managed thus far to live off the land but these days the crops had grown weaker, the rain had not come in weeks and they could not harvest enough. Then there were the women, these random whores would show up at their gate claiming Barry had fathered their bastard children and demanding child support, whenever this had happened Barry (always spotting them before they did him), would hide out in the shed until they got sick of screaming obscenities at the gate.

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