John's Bride by Alice Ash

I am Toni. I am a good wife and woman with skills in cooking and cleaning and in sensuality. This is my story of the broken heart.

We were married on a Tuesday, when John was in full health and the sky was murky, white and pink, like the soft belly of a speckled rodent.

John said, “Toni, we will be very happy, I can tell,” and then he held onto me and his hands were all around my body. John licked his nice soft lips for me to kiss.

The guests were watching us, at The Castle Pub, and even though I didn’t have very much English and I did not know these faces, I repeated, “Very happy,” and John held up my arm, like I had just won at a football match.

John said, “Will ya listen to that than, she says she’s very happy!” and all of the people sprang out of their chairs clapping. Those were the words that the people had been waiting to hear.

There was no sadness on this treasured day, except when we left The Castle Pub and John fell down onto the floor and ripped a small part of my white dress.

John was spluttering, “Pim, fuckin’ ‘ell, help me up, Pim,” and I looked down on him in amongst the bits of glass that shimmered like romantic stars in the sky, and I said, proudly, “That is no longer my name, babylove. My name is Toni, Toni Dodd.”

But John, my babylove, was laughing strangely, and saying, “Pim, Pim-Pim, very dim, ha-ha-ha,” and even though I had not seen John light a cigarette, he suddenly blew out some smoke, which quickly disappeared, or was sucked back in, like silk, or a lizard tongue.

John said, “I’ve got ya now, Pim-Pim.”


John had a very good job as a caretaker in Paradise Block, the same building that we lived in. But John told me that he had a big pressure with having to fix up the whole of the block because the building was built very cheaply, with windows that will fall out all by themselves, and damp and mould as thick as fur, like a ghostly cat that will slink into each and every flat.

I was so soothing and I asked John, “Why don’t you get a different job, or you could retire and get a state pension?”

But John said, “I’ve got to keep you now. I’ll be workin’ ‘til I die, just to keep you happy,” and then he got very angry, picking up a heeled shoe and throwing it across the room, saying about burdens and how things were different in the United Kingdom. John said that he was married to Paradise Block as well as being married to me.

It seems so soon in our childish marriage, but this was the time that John began to tell me about the big pain that he would be getting in his chest, like a knife stabbing, over and over, and about how this added to the pressure on his mind. John didn’t want me to be worrying, so when I wanted to help, he would be telling me to be quiet, “Shut up! Shut up!” he would yell.

I could see that John didn’t want to put a strain on me.

All the same, it was only a few years in the past, when I was still Pim living in my little white room, that my own dear mother had watched my father die slowly. He was ill for a long time, turning first red, cracked and sore looking, like a stubbed toe, then seaweed-green, shuddering in the corner where my mother kept him, until finally he was blue, dead. I was frightened for my John—what if the same were to happen to him?

“John!” I would say, “Please, won’t you stay with me, where I can preserve your precious health?”

But John couldn’t stay right by my side, because he had to work; every single day, and then he had to go and visit The Castle Pub again, to take away the stress of his existence.

Of course, in my mind I wasn’t making a problem but John said that I was a problem without even trying because when he would come home, I would be sitting on a chair in the front room with the lights off, like a fucking ghost, sitting there and giving the creeps. But, and I didn’t even tell my John this: when I had not been out all day long and not ever spoken to anybody except a man who had rung to tell me to buy an insurance package, I just wanted to see my babylove. (It is a secret that I spoke to the insurance man about John’s chest and all of my worries. I spoke to him for such a long time that I ended up giving him the long number across John’s credit card). I was so frightened because I was thinking all about John’s precious health. I was thinking of the horror of being alone and free.

Oh, how afraid!

Anyhow, it was late and dark and I didn’t want to worry John, so I just said, “I thought you might like me to wait up for you, to have a love-fuck.”

I showed John my breasts by pulling down my pretty nightgown that my mother had bought for me, for my wedding night. The nightgown was especially for sensual purposes.

That was when John said to me, “What is wrong with you, woman?”

And then John fell onto the sofa, wheezing and clutching his chest, and I saw that now even my sensuality could cause a risk to John’s health and I immediately packed away my love-fuck gown in a trunk. I decided that I would put everything that could kill John into the trunk. John did not like me to have secrets but I knew that this was for his own good and I kept the key on a little chain around my wrist. For now, it was just the love-fuck gown; so delicate and pink in the darkness, like a deadly jellyfish, floating in a black sea.


I held his hand during the examination and I could see that he was frightened, that he was scared of his death, just as my father had been.

The doctor was a woman and she had soft plastic gloves and constantly wrote things on her computer. She wore trousers and socks, like a man, and a little white jacket with three pens, red, green and blue, in her top pocket.

The doctor said, “This is very serious, John. If you don’t make changes to your lifestyle, you'll be in serious trouble within six weeks.”

I gasped in horror and repeated what the doctor had said: “Six weeks!”

John turned to me and he said, “Shut it,” and then he turned to the doctor and said, “I’m not even ill. I’m just stressed. My boss chucked all the other lads, and its jus’ me, fixin’ up the whole building.”

John was pulling at his shirt collar as if it was too tight, “Fifty-seven flats, I’ve got,” he carried on, “and all of tham got their plumbin’ goin’, goin’, gan, they bustin’ their own plaster, I don’t even know how they’re doin’ it. Every day, I bin getting’ a call from someone, “My ceilin’s comin’ dan on my babby’s head, my water pipe done burst on all my best clothes…”

“I’m sure I couldn’t do it,” said the doctor, very respectfully, but John just scowled at her, “I’m sure you could nat,” he said, bitterly, “it’s all very well wan yer safe in yer nice, fancy office, you know,” he was pulling his collar again, “is it fuckin’ hot in here or what? You not savin’ on yer heating bill, that’s fur sure.”

John kept talking over this woman doctor’s head, to the wall with the poster that showed a healthy heart next to an unhealthy heart.

“I’m not ill,” John repeated, he looked at the doctor now, “my heart looks like that one, not that one.” John gestured at the wall. “You’re usin’ fear tactics,” he added.

The doctor looked surprised. “I know this must be a strain on you, John,” she said, “But I have to tell you, being ill doesn’t mean that you’re a weak person.” The doctor smiled with encouragement. “And you’ve got a lovely wife to look after you.”

I said, “Yes, John,” very quickly, trying to hide the fact that I had been staring at the doctor’s pens in her top pocket. Red, green, blue. I had been thinking about my nightgown in the darkness of the trunk. And then I looked at John’s face, which was turning pink around the edges, although the middle part was still very white and mottled except for his poor nose, which was covered in little crosshatched veins.

“We can start by implementing a few changes to your lifestyle,” the doctor said.

The doctor got up and started to look through some leaflets that were displayed next to the good vs. bad heart on her wall. John looked small and so sad, like a little boy in his smart shirt that he had put on especially for the visit to the doctor. At home, John had been standing over me, saying to me while I ironed the shirt, “Make sure you get the creases.” I didn’t know why he needed to be looking so smart for this little health visit, but then, when we got onto the bus, I saw that John had even done up his top button and that he was combing his hair behind his ears with his big hands. I realised that my John wanted to impress the doctor.

But then, when the doctor began to talk about diets and vegetables John started shouting straight away, “What do you fuckin’ know?” John yelled, “My ma smoked ‘til she was eighty-five and ate whatever the fuck she wanted. She didn’t get any problems! I can’t be doin’ with this, I want a proper doctor!”

The doctor’s surgery door was on special hinges so it didn’t slam like the doors do at home.

We watched the door close slowly together and then I sat with the doctor for a few moments, feeling very uncomfortable. How could John only have six weeks left? I was trying to calm myself down; there was no need to get too excited and fraught; maybe this really wasn’t a proper doctor, but a fake, assisting doctor. She must know that surely John couldn’t die this easily? John was solid and strong, like a lovely safe enclosure that I was to live inside of forever.

In my head, I was standing inside of the death trunk, wearing the deadly jellyfish gown.

“Listen,” said this doctor, I must have been looking very upset because she put her plastic hand on mine, “maybe you could make some changes for John. It’s not too difficult. Do you cook?”

“Cooking is one of my special interests. I cook and clean,” I said, nodding.

I didn’t tell her what else I did as it was inappropriate and I was thinking fondly of the little kitchen where I was making good cooking all of the time. Mother would be working to train me to make foods when she heard that I was to be married to a man named John Dodd who lived in England, in a magical place called Paradise Block. She would show me the plate, “You think this is good enough for Mr. Dodd? The English gentleman?”

Then mother would laugh cruelly and make me start again and even again until the dish was looking perfect. It was a shame that John only wanted to be eating takeaway meals and things from the microwave.

“Well, what John really needs is less fat, less red meat, less salt, and no sweets or crisps, desserts etc. Do you see?” The doctor handed me a little leaflet with all of the foods that John wasn’t to be allowed. All of the foods were looking delicious for John.

“I see,” I said, studying the foods and trying to memorise them, these were the foods that would make John die. I would have to be so careful!

“You can take these leaflets away with you,” said the doctor, reading my mind somehow, “And we really want to reduce John’s alcohol intake, so if you could encourage him to stay at home, maybe have a weaker lager if he does have to drink.”

“The alcohol intake could kill John,” I repeated.

“And any stress you can remove, if John can get away with doing less overtime, that would be a really good idea,” said the doctor, her face was sincere. “He says that he’s maintaining a whole block of flats?”

My phone started ringing in my bag and I knew that it would be John, feeling angry in the car park.

I said very quickly, to confirm, “Are you a doctor?”

“Yes, I am a doctor,” said the doctor, looking as if something was a bit funny. The doctor took off her plastic gloves and made herself busy to hide her smiling. I saw that she had very nice manicured nails and no wedding ring.

“And you’re sure all of these things will make John more sick? You have forgotten nothing?”

I fanned out the little leaflets that she had given me to make sure she could see them all.

“That’s right,” said the doctor, and now she put her naked hand on mine, “I’m sure that with the right support at home, John can fight this.”

“Thank you,” I said, smiling brightly at the doctor, but then my smile went away because the doctor was watching me and it was then that I realised there was something really wrong with my John, and every part of my body cried out, oh no! Would John be taken from me? Where could I go to live then? And whom could I love with all of my heart?

I got up to leave and put on my jacket. Outside, it had started to rain very suddenly and the room got dark. I watched the raindrops on the glass for a moment with the doctor, both of us standing up, almost side-by-side. There was a tree and already the water was dripping from the leaves. I saw that the tree was dark black, holding out its arms.

“Look after yourself,” said the doctor, very softly, “you’ll get wet.”

The doctor smiled at me in a strange way and then the smile fell down and she sat in her chair and got close to her screen, typing words very fast. When she looked up again she was surprised that I was still there.

I tried to stop John from going to the pub that evening, but he just said, “No woman will ever control me,” and then he was off again, running through the silver rain.

When John was gone, I did some searching on his computer about heart problems and the things that could kill him, and some other things about marriage to be practical; and then, just for myself, I searched, “What does heartbreak feel like?” because I wanted to know, just in case the worst thing imaginable was going to happen and I would have to be the grieving widow.

I hid the leaflets very carefully in the trunk and went to look in the kitchen cupboards for all the things that might kill John.

There was a gas leak in the building and John was out every day for so long. He said that lives depended on him and I told him, but John, what about your life! I kept expecting to see green smog coming under the door and filling the flat, but it did not happen. John came back every night, he looked grey under the electrical light but I knew that in the day he would be looking green.

Seaweed, my John was drowning!

I decided that I would make John a dish that my mother had taught to me. The dish was made from fine baby squid, stuffed with pork and vegetables, a very delectable and tricky meal. This was one of my father’s very favourites, so rich and delicious, I remembered how pleased he was when my mother had cooked it for him, those mossy teeth that he showed.

I had to place most of the items on order from the local butcher’s shop, where the butcher looked at me very suspicious and I was thinking that he would not serve me at all. The butcher wears a bloody apron and he has a tattoo that says “100% British Beef” on his arm, which always makes me think that he may cut into his own flesh when I make an order of some steaks. When the shop bell rings, the butcher comes out from behind his plastic curtains and looks at me. Before the plastic falls back into position, I can see where he sits and watches a small television, positioned on top of a metal cabinet. The butcher takes up my shopping list and looks with more suspicion, holding the list between his big forefinger and his big thumb. This is where I have learnt to take out John’s credit card and place it silently on the counter.

I spent the morning chopping the vegetables, the slimy Amanita mushrooms, orange where the sun had taken the colour from them, and looking a little bit alike to the death cap mushrooms that mother used to collect to grind into powder for the killing of rats and other things. This orange colour leaked out into the water when I boiled mushrooms to make them very soft, and then they looked pale, like blind eyeballs or snails. I was pleased with these new grey mushrooms, as I didn’t want John to think that I was trying to poison him, my babylove!

When the sun had moved to the other side of the room, I looked at the clock and wiped the blood of the mushrooms off onto my own apron and poured the red meat into a hot pan. The fat started to screech when it hit the oil and for a moment I was frightened but I quickly calmed myself. I took out the squid legs. This part of the recipe was the biggest challenge and where my mother had always shouted, “You see! You’re not fit to be any old man’s wife!”

Mother would hit the back of my hands with her wooden spoon.

The little squid legs, slightly greenish, reminded me of my mother’s varicose veins; they stood out, so angry and proud. Mother said that those veins came from carrying me around when I was still a baby inside of her, they branded her, sticking out at all kinds of sharp angles, but so delicate when you touched them—they were vulnerable, like the tubes of a heart. I had some marks of my own now, I had seen that there would be some lines around my eyes, a couple of spidery grey legs standing up from the place where my hair parted, but never mind, aging was not so much of a matter. What mattered now was that I would treat these legs with as much care as I would treat John’s heart and then, I would make the perfect dish.

There were eight legs because I knew my John babylove to have the biggest appetite when he was coming back from work. Here was the first, which I picked up with my tongs and crouched over, at eyelevel, pushing my finger inside the plastic cave; it was bouncy, and I was cleaning out some bits of sticky plasma. Holding my breath, I lifted the little leg higher and, with my face underneath it, I poked at the end of the tentacle with a single toothpick and then there was a hole, so that the vegetables could breathe inside from both sides and didn’t become a mess of sludge.

Next, it was a time for the stuffing, the most delicate part, and I turned off the radio so that I could concentrate very fully.

So strangely, I was thinking of Mother again, she was saying to me, “This man will not love you! He will treat you badly! Like a dog!”

I did not know why this was but I felt my hand shaking as I put the first portion of pork and vegetable into the leg, and then I kept having to look behind me, into the room that was there, perfectly normal.

I was thinking that the meat was piping flawlessly into the plastic leg and then the squid was escalating neatly around it, a little lung, when suddenly, the pod burst, and the meat began pouring, hot and wet, out of the tear, and I could see that it was the wrong thickness, that it was watery, as if it might be as wet as blood.

I laughed to myself, don’t be too full of confidence, Pim! But in my head I had called myself by my old name, and this made me feel shaken, even more. And it was the same, I kept on feeling some presence behind me and I thought to turn slowly, to show that I was not afraid, but when I got all of the way around, I could see that I had made a huge mess in the kitchen, and the pile of dishes and pans was a huge black shadow beside the sink, and of course! You are not a wife, Pim!

The second leg burst, more exciting this time, because I was too worried and I had seen that John would be home in two hours, and maybe he might even come home early. I knew that I must have something for my John, my babylove, so I tried to make the mangled legs presentable, on the cleanest white plate that I could find in the cupboard, it was only chipped in one place. I put the legs in a kind of pile, four on the bottom and then three, then one balanced carefully by itself, and the juices from the meat and vegetables dripped down from the tears in the severed legs and it didn’t look so bad, maybe like a red waterfall. I wiped the blood from around the meat, so that the plate stayed white, and then I stood back to observe my dish and I said, “Okay!” I sat on a chair next to the dish and looked at it for quite a long time, now and then dabbing at the white plate as more red juice leaked down out of the dish, making sure to save the very bright whiteness.

John came home at 10.45pm and that was when the dish had gone very cold, even though I kept heating it so it was steaming again. Now, the tubes of the squid legs had begun to turn yellow and they looked sticky, like glue or a wound that is bad. After a few hours, I had given up on cleaning up the red, so the septic legs swam in crimson juice.

“Babylove!” I shouted, and I ran to turn on the kitchen light, in case John would be angry with me for sitting in the darkness again, “I have made you a delicious meal.”

I smelt his smoke but he didn’t follow my voice and John, my babylove, he must’ve been so tired, because he shouted to me, “I already ate.” And then I could hear him going away, into the shower, and I heard him turning the water on, and mumbling to himself, and staggering a little while he was taking off his clothes, and, where the room was bright now, I saw that there was rain falling on the window again, very heavy and fast. My hands were bunched and I unclenched them doing some calming breathing, but I could hear thunder rumbling from far away, and I saw that there were veins standing pronounced in my hands already, and that my fingers were red and hard, dry, old woman hands. I was looking at the rain that was slapping the window so hard that it seemed as though it might be a person, wanting to come right through, and then, when the lightning flashed, I saw John’s lumbering shape, moving around in the front room. John put on the television very loudly and the shadows began to jump around in the silver light, surrounding John.

I slammed the red mixture and the little white tubes all together and into a ball, with the baby squid legs spurting out at some strange angles, red still inside. I looked at this shape, red and white, fatty and like it would be living, surrounded by old rubbish in the pedal bin, and I realised, look there, Mother; this mess looks so very much like my John’s real human heart.


I made a test one night.

John would always be saying that he didn’t like to take his pills so I said, “John, John, you must take your pills, my babylove,” and I kept on saying, like a good wife, even though he was watching his favourite show, Antiques Roadshow.

“John, John, John,” I said, “you must take your pills,” until finally, he shouted, “Don’t tell me what to do, you bloody bitch,” and he threw the pills at me and they popped open and then the bottle leaked all over the floor.

“John!” I said, and I looked down at the little pills, and I thought, oh no! The pills are dirty now; those pills will probably do my babylove more harm than good. So I threw all of the pills into the bin.

When I saw my babylove John stamping around the kitchen in his slippers a few days later (these slippers are one of the things I have kept, I hold them close in the lonely nights) and pouring out drawers so that all of the items were a mess across the kitchen table I said, “What is it, babylove?”

And he said, “Where are my fucking pills?”

And I said, “I thought that you didn’t want them, John. I threw them into the bin,” and it was then that John stared at me for a long second and I saw that his face was really bright red already, and then, while I was watching, it turned even brighter red, it was like a blistering boil, and John grabbed me, and shook my shoulders—he squeezed my flesh tightly. “You bitch,” he whispered, into my face, and some of his breath went into my mouth. And I thought for a second of what my bitch-mother had said before I left to marry John, maybe John was the same as my father, just a son-of-a-dog bastard—but then I remembered, this was my John, my babylove!

And later, when he wouldn’t let me have any of the fish and chips and iced yellow donuts that he had, that was alright to me, because I wasn’t that hungry anyway and I thought about what the doctor with the soft gloves had said about me taking care, and how the rain had fallen, the tree with the black arms, and I just gave my love John that extra portion and I poured salt and vinegar on the chips so that they were all soggy and sparkly, just how he likes them. And instead of watching Antiques Roadshow, I sat and I watched my babylove eat all of that food, looking at the little dribble on his chin and the sticky around his mouth and wishing and hoping for him to get better soon.


I couldn’t sleep and every night I watched John snoring and wondered, will his heart stop tonight or tomorrow morning? Will it stop while he fixes some plumbing, or at The Castle Pub? Or will John die in my very own arms? I spent a lot of time looking at the items in the death trunk, and reading the leaflets over and over. I had to know the items off by heart, so that I could make him eat all of the right foods. I added other items to the trunk, a letter that had been delivered from the lady doctor that asked for him to come in to the hospital for a check up, and a repeat prescription of pills.

I was scared that if John collapsed happened outside somewhere, he would be rushed to hospital and surrounded by all of those fussy people and the nancy boys that he hated. I could sense how angry that would make my babylove; he hated to be told what to do.

John just wanted to live his own life, that’s what he told me.


In the end, it happened one ordinary Sunday, when I was cleaning the oven. John had not gone down to the pub that day because it was very grey outside, filtering murky swamp light across the front room. I saw John laying back on his reclining chair, like a toad, my babylove.

The oven had been needing a very good clean since I had arrived at Paradise Block and, even though John was not interested in eating the very nice meals that I would be making him (he would have his own tastes, I know), I wanted to keep the oven very clean.

John was watching the television and eating a television lunch meal, which I had assembled for him. Steak and chips with black puddings, a food that does not look red like blood at all, but is black, as dark as an eye.

The oven was very dirty and I wondered at myself for letting it get so filthy and disgusting; what had I been thinking about? I began by loosening the black dirt that clung to the bottom of the oven, right inside. There was a smear of red sauce down the front of the glass, so sticky and perfectly formed that it looks like it could be lifted right off. I became obsessed by this cleaning, although, I will have to say, I did hear something coming from the front room, a little like John was calling me. I was fingering this red sauce, the orange part where it was thin and the deep red where the sauce was thick, and I considered to myself that the sound was almost definitely coming from the television. I started to hum in a gentle way and I thought to put on the radio. I needed to get the job done and cleaning is one of my special interests, so I became very busy and engrossed.

When I pulled the tray out of the oven I exclaimed because there were little pools of fat around the rim, gathering in, thick and yellow. Again, I was hearing this strange sound, strangled and angry, but I was so engrossed, removing the fat and thinking about how my mother would look at me if she could see me now, scratching with a scourer, and then with my fingernails, a little frantic, when the fat would not move. My fingers were slippery now, and the water ran away from them, like I was wearing a protective plastic glove. I was transfixed, hearing those yelps only slightly, and watching droplets of water sticking onto my hands, my wedding ring was a crystal amongst many other sparkling diamonds.

In our flat, the telephone was in the kitchen, so I soon saw John, my babylove, dragging himself along the floor, where he would be flipping over onto his back, like a big fish and saying, “Toni, help me, please.”

Of course I switched off the tap right away. John was green already, not the green that I had expected, but a murky sea-deep kind of green, with purple edges. John’s eyes were bulging.

“Oh John!” I said, “Your heart!” And John grabbed my hand, but the fat had made my skin so slippery that it slithered right out of his grip and I ran until I was backed right against the wall. That was only a few steps because our kitchen was very small.

John stretched his arm towards me, “Help me!” he said, “help me, Pim!”

For a moment our eyes were together but then his outstretched arm, which was waving away, distracted me. Oh such sadness I felt, that same arm that had, for so many times, held me still, in a gentle caress, as John did the sex-acts upon me. “Pim-Pim, very dim,” that’s what John had said, I had to remind myself now.

Tears sprang into my eyes, running down my face, until I had become quite wet in my grief, but this seemed to make John angry, my babylove, and he went into a mad frenzy; all kinds of swear words came out of his mouth, as well as some yellow spit, and I felt very afraid then, because I was not sure whether he could stand up, even though he was flat on his back holding onto his heart.

“You bitch,” John said, and these were the last things I ever heard from his mouth, because after that he quickly died.

I finished cleaning the oven with more tears exploding from my eyes and when I was nearly done, I saw a small, decaying tentacle with dirty yellow rot squeezing out of its suckers. The tentacle had turned grey-blue and it was disgusting but I kept looking at it, remembering my mother, while I scooted around John’s body and to the pedal bin, where I dropped the disgusting item and shut it away with the rest of John’s heart, all covered in beer cans and newspaper, plastic containers from takeaway dinners.


I am Toni, a good wife and woman with skills in cooking and cleaning and sensuality. This is my story of the broken heart, cut into pieces.

I didn’t want to keep the flat in Paradise Block, and when John fell down that day, the weight of his body on the floor made some more cracks appear up the walls, and on the ceiling. John’s dead body was there and then all of the cracks, the heart in the bin, and the oven, still dirty, so I took the bank cards, where John keeps all of his money and savings, and I left with my things in a black bag. It would be so tragically lucky that the insurance man had given me such comfort on that lonely day, just when I was starting to suspect the worst, because then, when that money comes to me, I will be able to buy my own flat, just how John would have wanted it.

I still speak to John, my babylove, and I remember all of the things that he would say to me, the times that we might have had together, if he had not been to the pub every day. I remember John as I wanted him to be, the English gentleman, and then, in my head, we are so happy together—John is my sweet babylove. In the nighttime, I wear my love-fuck gown. I put my feet into John’s slippers and up onto the dashboard of the car that I bought in John’s memory. John was always complaining about how he could not afford a car and how this was stopping him doing the things that he wanted to do. He told me that we would go on all kinds of trips if he could have afforded a car.

Now, it is as though John is travelling with me. I will be stopping high up on a hill, when the sun is setting, watching out for my babylove’s spirit, anyplace amongst the trees. The rain is sometimes falling, but the raindrops are away from me, sliding down the body of my car, or on the windscreen, and the light comes in spikes. I look at my shimmering hands as I touch the drops on the windscreen.

Still, I do not get wet.

Alice Ash is a new writer from Brighton, U.K. She is working on finishing her first collection of short stories, Paradise Block, which "John's Bride" is taken from. Alice has been published in Mslexia Magazine, Galavant Literary Journal and Dryland Lit. You can find more of Alice's writing and information about Paradise Block here:, or here:, or maybe even here: Insta @thealiceash.