top of page


By Dominik Slusarczyk



I grab a new can of coke out of the bucket filled with ice. As I am sitting back down you ask me why I didn’t get you a drink. I give you the can of cake I am holding then I go back to get another one for myself.

We BBQ burgers, sausages, chicken. The BBQ is burning for almost two hours. We both eat so much during that time we won’t need to eat for the rest of the day.

After the BBQ is finished we move on from coke to beer. We get drunk. We talk about our lives as the sun sets on the horizon.

I say I am going to propose. You tell me not to do it. You say everything changed when you got married. Your girlfriend and your wife are two totally different people.

I tell you I am in love.

You don’t leave until the early hours of the morning. I crawl into bed next to my girlfriend. She does not wake up. I close my eyes and picture her perfect face in my mind. I’m definitely going to propose: she makes me happy.




You pass me the ring. It has a small diamond in it. I had to pay double what I could really afford to get one with a diamond in.

I slide it onto my fiancé’s finger. She smiles widely. Ten minutes ago she was crying happy tears but she seems to have calmed down a little. I return her smile.

Everyone gets drunk at the reception. There are many people there I haven’t seen for years. I try to chat to everyone but there are way too many people so some people get ignored all night.

We go to Australia for our honeymoon. The flight takes so long that I am bored to death before we are halfway there.

She says she wants to have a baby.

I remember what you said. You told me I should never have kids. Babies change everything, you said. You don’t get to do anything anymore. You don’t get to have fun anymore.

Her smile is so wide, so beautiful. I want to make another person with that smile.

I decide to ignore all your advice. You were wrong about the wedding and you are wrong about the baby too.




He will not stop crying. It’s been over an hour since he woke us up. I’ve been holding him for most of that hour. I shake him gently, rock him gently, sing him soothing songs, but nothing I do works. All this baby does is cry.

I will be tired at work again. I am tired at work a lot nowadays.

The baby books say the crying stops after a couple of months. I grit my teeth and tell myself that this will all be over soon.

I fall asleep in the armchair with the baby in my arms. My wife shakes me awake when it is time to get up. She asks me why I’m sleeping down here when we’ve got a perfectly good bed upstairs. 

I tell her I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in months.

I am terrible at work. I am so tired I can barely focus on the spreadsheets. I stumble through the day half-dazed then I head home as soon as the clock hits five. When I get home I go straight to sleep. 

Ten minutes later I am woken by crying.

You said babies were bad news. You said they changed your life. You said once you’re a parent you don’t get to have fun anymore.

I rock the baby gently back and forth but he will not fall asleep.




The next day he is a toddler. He breaks everything he touches. The next day he is a teenager. Every time I try to interact with him he is rude. The next day he has gone to university.

Suddenly my life is almost over.

Time keeps moving even when you are asleep. If you are not careful you will miss your whole life.

You must try to act now while you are still awake.

There is so much to do. People expect us to do things. They want us to do things for them, with them. Every second spent on them is a second you don’t get to spend on other things.

We have to choose what to commit to. Most people commit to one person. They spend their lives with that person. They bury those people next to each other so they are bound together for all of eternity.

We have to pick someone to waste time with. We know we will waste time. When we are alone we waste time alone so we might as well waste time with other people.

Everybody just picks someone they find attractive. It is an odd system but it is effective because it leads to more babies than any other system.

The boy is at university now. Suddenly me and my wife have all of our time to ourselves. We sleep all day every day. We are so close to each other we could reach out and touch the other person but we dream separate dreams so in our minds we aren’t even in the same city.

Dominik Slusarczyk is an artist who makes everything from music to painting. He was educated at The University of Nottingham where he got a degree in biochemistry. His fiction has been published in various literary magazines including moonShine Review and SHiFT – A Journal of Literary Oddities. His fiction was selected in The Fictionette Monthly Flash Fiction Contest and was long-listed in The Cranked Anvil Short Story Competition.

bottom of page