After the Party
by Fran Piper
We leave together in an alcohol haze.
Alex looks up. "Full moon." He grabs Carrie and pretends to bite her neck.
"Stop it!" Carrie beats at him with her fists, and Alex swats her.
Carrie screams. "You hit me!"
"Because you hit me."
"Come on, Alice." Carrie drags me away down the sidewalk.
Tony starts to follow. "Where are you going?"
"Home," Carrie says over her shoulder.
The walls of the alley are stained cement, and utility cables hang here and there. Darkness looks out through cobwebbed windows.
It doesn't stop Carrie. "Short cut," she says.
Tony stops at the alley’s mouth. "Hey!"
Carrie turns. "Fuck off!"
"Don’t go that way. It’s not safe at night."
Alex doesn't stop. "Silly bitch. Man, let’s go home."
"Pig." Carrie’s crying now.
"Carrie," I say. "Maybe..."
Without warning, she swings her purse violently at one of the windows. The impact echoes through the alley. She curses, swinging again and again, and the window shatters.
Footsteps pound down the alley and Alex flies past me. He grabs Carrie’s purse, then her arm, then restrains her in something that’s part hug, part wrestling hold. She fights him, then collapses against him, sobbing.
Sirens doppler in the distance. An alarm is ringing deep inside the building. Suddenly no-one is breathing.
"Oh, shit," Alex says.
Tony pulls at my hand. Alex grabs Carrie, and together we run to the end of the alley and down the street, laughing.