Flash Dresser by John P Brady

Hay harvest

Hay Season

Photo by Susie Sweetland

‘Flash Dresser’ by John P Brady


Jen wasn’t aware that ‘Nike,’ her live-in boyfriend of two years, was a lying, philandering, piece of garbage, at least not until she got a call from one of her girlfriends that morning.

He had been seen the night before in the arms of another, at The Venue, a cheesy club that he always refused to bring her to.  It was conclusive evidence, Jen thought to herself, because it came from Sherry, and she had always been a good friend, never a bitch.  She had no reason to stir trouble and anyway the way she told it, it had sounded plausible.

He was bent over the bar drinking his usual Jack and Coke, with his arm around that slapper, a cheap tart from the north side.  Since Jen left the north side she never discussed it, it was almost as if she had never been there, let alone lived there half her life.

The cheap tart had been whispering in his ear and pulling at his shirt, she probably brought home a new one every weekend, the tramp.  Then when she brought him out on the dance floor he just stood there and did his one hand punch in the air, which was as close as he ever got to grooving.

The tart was rubbing herself all over him and then dragging him off the dance floor again, to make out with him on one of the sofas.  She had danced for him like a stripper, maybe she was a stripper, maybe she had done lap dances before.  Maybe she even…  No.  Jen couldn’t think of it anymore.

They had left together.  They probably had sex in the car.  She had found that packet of condoms there that time.  He said he’d forgotten to bring them in.  She had believed him.  Oh it was too much.

Jen drained her second glass of vodka and coke, although she’d had so little coke left that it was mostly vodka.  Her head began to spin just a little, but she was fine, she told herself.  That bastard!  How could he go with someone else?  And how come he picked such a tramp?  That was the real insult.  She was much better than that, her, Jen, she was a good woman, she told herself.

She went back into the kitchen and looked for the vodka.  It was hidden at the back of the press, although when she had put it back there, she knew she’d be back to root it out soon after.  She poured another double, or was it a triple, she didn’t care.  She even tried drinking some of it straight, to get a more immediate effect.  It just made her wretch.  She poured some coke on top, to at least give it a colour.

She thought of Nike, that bastard, how he used to stand looking at himself in her long mirror before going to the pub.  Her mirror!  Then obviously, he was going out and meeting tarts.  She’d cut his balls off.

But wait, there were better things to do, things that would really annoy him.  His friends called him ‘Nike’ because of his obsession with brand names.  He bought new clothes every week.  He was worse than her, but at least she needed new dresses to wear to all the weddings that were coming up this year.  He just went to the pub, and then got off with slappers!

She began to cry.  Her eyes had been holding it back for a while but now it was no use.  She sat on the ground, with the big box of tissues beside her.  ‘Man-size’ the box said.  She’d make him cry alright.

She drank more.  The glass was now almost empty but she was too upset to get up and refill it.  The tears slowly subsided.  He would pay!  Him and all his flashy clothes!  She staggered to her feet and crashed into the door on her way to the bedroom.  That bastard!  She opened the wardrobe and looked at all his branded shirts, fancy jeans that each cost twice what she paid for hers.  Seven pairs of trainers, three of them never even worn, he would never get the chance!

She, in a fit of rage, threw his clothes on the ground and stamped on them.   Then seeing all those smart shirts lying there, thought of him sucking up to slappers in them.  She opened the window of their rented house which was just off the main road, and flung out a few shirts.  That was better, she thought.  Picking up trainers, she flung them out too.  Then the jeans went.  She even threw his pants out, the ones with the Pinocchio on the front.  She used to think they were funny.

Just at that moment Joe the Junkie happened to be walking by.  Joe was wondering where he’d get some gear; he hadn’t had a hit since that morning.  His head ached, his stomach groaned as he looked in car windows hoping someone might have left their bag or their wallet in view.  All he had was a bit of hash he’d gotten down by the port but it had almost no effect anymore.

He stopped in his tracks when he saw a tennis shoe come flying onto the road in front of him.  No one else seemed to notice.  He picked it up and examining it, was sure it was new.  If he just had the other one he might be able to sell them and get some cash.  He then noticed the pile of clothes strewn across Jen’s lawn.  There were shirts, jeans, a whole wardrobe.  It was junkie’s Christmas!

Joe stole into the lawn, looking around him as he went and gathered as much stuff as he could carry.  He picked up fancy T shirts, various odd shoes, maybe managing to get a matching pair, before leaving in a dash.

Upstairs Jen felt a bit sick.  Her head was spinning again.  She knew just before it came but it was too late.  She vomited on the bedroom floor.  Crawling towards the en suite bathroom she reached for the toilet bowl.  She clung on to that bowl as the world spun around her.  All she could do was hold on.

Nike had been working all day and when he parked his painter’s van in front of the house, he was surprised to see several familiar looking garments lying on the lawn.  In a state of distress, he got out and hurriedly began picking up his precious clothes.  When he got inside he saw the vodka bottle, the vomit and Jen’s face.

‘You bastard,’ she screamed and threw a clothes hanger at him.

‘What d’ya think ya doing?  Have you lost your mind?’

He placed his branded clothes on the floor, shoes, jeans and soiled shirts.  He investigated the wardrobe and found that more items were missing.

‘What were ya doin’ with my clothes?’

’You dirty cheating bastard!’ she screamed.

So she knew.  Now his fears were confirmed.  It became apparent that half his clothes were missing but he couldn’t talk to her about it now.  It was better they stay away from each other for a while to calm down.

Nike quickly changed into whatever flashy clothes were left and made for the pub.   He needed a drink.  He was still hung-over and tired from last night’s escapade.  He had spent most of the day thinking about those breasts.  Man they were great!  But she was so stupid.  He doubted he could endure her again tonight if she called.

He got to the Fog and Anchor and had his usual few pints of lager before taking on the inevitable Jack and Coke.  He needed to tell someone what had happened.  Most of them knew about his deeds the night before and had expected him to spend the night bragging.

Instead he had a drawn look on his face and began to relate an entirely different story.

‘I was just pullin’ in me van, right, and I saw all these clothes on the lawn.  Shirts, jeans, the lot!  I bloody flipped, mate!’

Nike finished his pint and continued the story: ‘My missus has lost it lads!  I mean like what ya doin’ with my clothes like?’

As he was talking, in walked Joe the Junkie with a plastic bag in either hand.

‘Alright lads?’ said Joe walking up to one of Nike’s friends.  ‘Would you be interested in some flash clothes?’

‘Where’d you get’im?’

‘I got nice shirts here, looka dat!’  Joe the Junkie took out some expensive, slightly soiled shirts out of a bag.  He then presented the lads with a pair of Nike’s trainers.

‘There’re lovely, aren’t they?’

Nike’s eyes widened as blood ran to his muscles.  He looked at the junkie and screamed.

‘I am gonna break your fucking neck, you junkie bastard!’  Nike got up from his barstool and grabbed Joe the Junkie by the throat.

‘You robbed them from my place didn’t you?  You picked them up on my garden, you slimy bastard!’

Nike had plenty of support in the bar, but being big and angry he didn’t need it.  Joe the Junkie wasn’t looking for a fight; he just wanted to get high.  He watched fearfully as Nike straightened up to hit him.  He gave it up.

‘Ok, alright, I took them from a garden.  I didn’t know who owned them…they were just thrown out, like.’

Nike took a closer look at the junkie.  Not only was he trying to sell Nike’s clothes, he was also decked out head to toe in them.

‘Right you know what you’re gonna do?  You’re gonna strip!  Right here, right now, you cheeky fecker.’

‘What?  Here in the pub?’ pleaded Joe.  Nike clenched his fist and raised it slowly.

In fear of his life, Joe the Junkie took off the stolen jeans, runners, hoodie and t-shirt while the whole pub looked on, mouths open.  Joe was down to his underpants.  ‘They’re mine,’ he protested.

Nike’s mates were in raptures.

‘Get them off ya!’ said one.  Nike considered it but decided to let him go at that.

Joe the Junkie retrieved the belt, claiming it was his.

‘Put it on then!’ said Nike.

Joe the Junkie stood in the bar, still in fear of his life and put the belt on around his boxers.

‘Now get the hell outta here,’ shouted Nike, ‘and don’t rob anymore from me!’

Joe the Junkie stepped out into the cold November air in just his underpants.  Another junkie passed and was surprised to see Joe in such attire.

‘Joe, why are you wearing a belt around your boxers?’

Joe the Junkie shivered and looking at the ground, he mumbled, ‘It’s a long story.’


Did you like the story? Opinions? Praise? Please leave a comment below

Irish writer


John P Brady writes fiction, articles and a blog about life in Italy, where he has chosen to make his home. His first collection of stories, Back to the Gaff, has been published by Roadside Fiction. It concerns the wild happenings in Dublin by night and documents the attitudes of the youth in modern Irish society. Further info on his website.

Website: http://johnpbrady.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/johnpbradywriter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnPBradyIRL


Subscribe to Roadside Fiction



Dublin, Ireland, Irish writing, short stories

Back to the Gaff by John P Brady – Roadside Fiction


Back to the Gaff

Scandalous Narratives of Contemporary Ireland

The first book to be published by Roadside Fiction.  It describes the excessive and outrageous nature of Irish night life.

Meet an array of eccentric individuals who populate the bars of Dublin, living lives of decadence and abandon.

In Dublin the word “gaff” means “house” in local slang, therefore the expression has come to mean various things depending on context.

Find out more about Back to the Gaff


Contents                                                           Next Page

Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

3 Responses to Flash Dresser by John P Brady

  1. Now, that’s just a bad time for all concerned, except maybe the tart who started it all. I don’t feel a bit bad for Nike, but poor Joe…. A fine story, John. Congrats on your book. Here’s wishing you great success!

  2. Nike is supposed to be arrogant, ignorant and overall despicable. Poor Joe is just the sort of guy who never gets a break. I really enjoyed Frank’s Bad Day, Jeff. Well done you and thanks for commenting!

  3. You nailed him, John. Nasty bastard. I’m glad you liked “Frank’s Bad Day.” Many thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>