Waste Distribution

Waste Distribution

A Story by Sam-Stafford

Despite her best efforts, Esme's flowers continue to die. (Includes references to domestic abuse)


Waste Distribution

By Sam Stafford


“My flowers are dying,” says Esmerelda, her eyes heavy with tears. 

I remove my feet from the glass coffee table, set the remote on the arm of the sofa and pat the seat beside me. “Shame. I saw they were struggling,” I reply.

Those flowers fill the balcony of our little, white and glass apartment. I often watch Esme working on them, a little edge of tongue poking through her lips as she decides which leaves to prune. She stands out there sometimes, pen in hand, making notes. Of what, I don’t know, but it takes some thought; much of the time she just stares, tapping her lip with the pen. 

Sometimes, she can’t bear to look at the flowers. Other times, her breathy voice fills the apartment while she sings Iris DeMent songs to them. It depends how they're doing. But I’ve never seen her cry over them before. Either way, I’m not sure why she’s telling me, as if I can reach into the pots and perform a miracle.

Esme huffs like she has a fly on her nose, but sits anyway.  “Why do you have to be like that?”

            “Like what?” I ask.

She sniffs and wipes her eyes clear. “Act like they don’t matter.”
            “Jesus, Esme,” I say, more tired than angry. “They’re flowers. What do you want me to do? Cry over them?”


            “You’re upset. It’s not as easy as you thought to have a garden and now, you’re taking it out on me.” 

I study her eyes to see if she might apologise. When she’s preparing an apology, her brown eyes glisten. But they’re not glistening now. It’s as though she’s forgotten I’m there, the way she stares forward. It makes me want to swat her - or hit her, if only to wake her up. Then she’d know what bad times are, and they aren’t some knock-off flowers wilting. 

I take a deep breath and put my hands on her shoulders. My fingertips work in small circles, twisting the soft fabric of her shirt collar. I delve under the fabric. My fingertips seem to melt into her smooth skin, and she sinks, sinks, sinks against me. She breathes out and I take the opportunity to slip my hands further down until I meet the taut but malleable flesh of her upper breasts. When I kiss her neck, her perfume fills my nose and I inhale deeply. It’s like white wine and flowers.

“You’re right,” I say, my lips tickling her earlobes. “I’ll buy you some more. How about that? Chrysanthemums or sunflowers. Whatever you want.”

Her body grows stiff. It wasn’t comfort she wanted. No, I realise too late, she wanted to forget about those flowers altogether. Her eyes light up and she’s aware. Suspicion fills her eyes as she pulls away from me.

“What’s the point anyway?” 

“What’s the point? Jesus, Esme. You just said these ones are dying.”

            She scowls at me. “Do you always have to say that?”

            “Say what?”

            Jesus. Like it's such an effort to speak to me.”

            I remove my hand from where it rests on her shoulder. That teaches me to try. I decide I’m done talking and that what I really want is a Budweiser. I stand up and go to the kitchen. I know it’ll piss her off too, drinking in the day. I tap the bottle on the table just loud enough for her to hear and then uncap it. 

She’s crying when I re-enter the lounge. Good, I think, as I strut past her. I enter the bedroom and sit on the end of the bed. After three seconds, which I count on my fingers, her whimpers amplify, and she bursts into the bedroom.

            “Is it you?” 

            I look at her blankly. “What? Jesus, can I get no peace?”

            Esme catches her breath with panicked inhales. “Is it?”

            I frown. “Is what me?”

            Her shaky finger implicates me. Little black streams run from her eyes and she looks completely mad. Her eyes study me and grow in suspicion. They suck me in like two blackholes and I begin to panic. I’m suddenly aware of my own face. It’s better to be a liar - innocent people can’t act it for s**t. 

“Are you killing them?”


            “Is it you killing them?” 

            “The flowers? Oh, f**k off.”

            “You’re killing them, aren’t you?” She pauses and repeats more forcibly, “Aren’t you?”

            My cheeks are burning up. “You’re f*****g losing it,” I say as I barge past her. “Here’s a thought. Maybe I don’t give two f***s about your flowers.”

            She shoves me square in the back as I go past. Sometimes, I wonder if she wants me to hit her. Amazing, really, that she doesn’t feel the danger. I don’t condone that kind of thing. Still, when she says certain things and gets in my space, she’s asking for something to happen. I mean, Jesus, there’s a hierarchy to these things. I wouldn’t square up to Tyson Fury.

Great example, we were once lay in bed, speaking about partners gone by, and she says her ex-boyfriend had a bigger dick, but didn’t use it as well. Out of the blue. No warning. And what the f**k did she want me to do with that information? But that’s how she operates. Negging me. Looking for some kind of reaction.

As if to punctuate this, she follows the push with a club on my upper back. She might have little hands, but she catches me funny and I wince.

“I work hard on those flowers,” she cries. “They’re all I have.”

            I whip around, ignoring the aching pain which is already burning. I’m already grinning; I’ve got her now. “Oh, that’s nice. That’s really nice.”

            “I didn’t mean it like that.”

            “Just imagine if I said, ‘I work hard supporting Charlton, they’re all I have.’ Jesus… what would you say? It might be a blessing anyway. You spend all your time on that balcony.”

            “I like flowers.” Her face scrunches up in apology. Now, there’s that glint. But she won’t actually apologise. Not yet. “Maybe if we had a baby…”

            Her ex had wanted children, that was another thing she’d told me. They almost bit the bullet too. S**t. I can’t help myself. “A baby?” I pause. “You can’t even keep the flowers alive.”

             “You b*****d,” she says, swinging her hand to slap me.

            I pluck her hand from the air, grabbing her bony wrist, which I wrap my fingers around easily, “Actually, say that again. Work hard? On flowers?”

            “Stop it.”

            She’s twisting and jerking, trying to pull her hand free. Thing is, she’s pulling so hard if I let go now, she’d topple over. I consider letting her and dismiss it almost as quick. The image will do.

            “You want to know about hard work? Come with me to the sewage plant. Paying for you to have a bunch of f*****g plants you can’t look after.”

            “Stop it,” she says, trying to prise my grip away with her free hand. Her nails sear where she digs them in. I hold her wrist high above her head to release the prising hand. Her wrist is lubricated with sweat and any minute now she’ll be able to pull free. But she’s already getting tired. She’s like a decapitated bird I’m holding by the legs, once its lost most of its blood, only managing the odd, defeated struggle.

Beyond her pained face, the balcony lays itself bare. The stems of Esme’s plants are brown and dry. Their buds hang limp. Petals litter the floor. I know she worked hard on them, in her own way. I look back at Esme, ever so slowly release my grip from her wrist, and scoop her in by the waist. She wilts in my arms until I’m holding most of her weight. I turn her towards the balcony and rest my chin on her shoulder. “I’m sorry. We’ll get you more plants tomorrow.”

            “So, they can die too? I don’t understand. I give them food and water. They get enough sunlight, don’t they?”

            Beyond the balcony, and rows of white houses, the waves break lightly on the banana-coloured beach. “It’s probably nothing to do with you. It’ll be the salt air. I bet if we buy some local ones, they’ll grow just great.”

            She locks her eyes on mine. “Do you really think so?”

            “Worth a try.”

            She plants a surprise kiss on my mouth. Her lips are like hot pillows against mine. Her cupid's bow is a well of spent tears and my denim trousers tighten around my thighs. It’s a closed one, but then she opens her mouth and we really kiss. She moans, pushing her pelvis against my crotch. It feels good, in a pent-up kind of way. I wonder how it feels for her; that rod of potential pleasure straining to get at her. Maybe she sees him as a plucky underdog type. Or she’s thinking about someone else? Prodding that bit deeper. Reaching places that… I pull from her and smile. 

            “Get into bed, I’ll be through in a minute.”

            She giggles and runs into the bedroom. What a nympho; she can’t help herself. I reclaim the Heineken bottle and neck it as I slide the balcony doors open. Back to work tomorrow. I’d do well to enjoy this time to myself.

I squint at the baking horizon where the sky and sea blend together. That’s where the sewage ends up, and people swim out there. I watch them sometimes, the tourists, and wonder if they know they’re swimming in filth.

You see, the sludge s**t is processed in a vat, and if a seed gets in, wow - it grows so quick I thought it was magic at first. But the other stuff, the water mixed with urea, rushes away to the sea. Along the banks of piss-river, there is not a green shoot in sight. The urea concentrates in the plants, killing them. That’s where I got my idea. That is, when I suspected she’d been up to no good with that big-dicked ex-boyfriend. 

 I look away from the horizon and admire the plant pots. Poor Esme really did work hard on those flowers. But the beer has done a number on me and I never could shag on a full bladder. I unzip my fly and widen my stance. One last time won’t hurt.

I grip the base of my penis and smile as urine spouts from the end. A gentle rotation ensures each plant gets a good dose. 


© 2020 Sam-Stafford

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Added on December 20, 2020
Last Updated on December 21, 2020
Tags: Short, Story, Relationships, Flowers, Adult



Ormskirk, West Lancashire, United Kingdom

Been writing since I was a child. Still finding my feet in terms of my style so enjoy writing a broad range. Mainly doing short stories for this reason, but I have finished a novel which simply isn't .. more..