Ash wakes up with a grimace and a cough. She winces even in the feeblest rays of sun. Her hand goes to cover her eyes while the other fishes blindly for the packet of Belmonts. Fingers probe out the sleep dust, the remains of a multi-course dinner of bourbon and codeine, piercing the sockets. The sudden image of prodding a fork into an electrical socket becomes the apt comparison. Sparks fly in her mind, tinfoil in the microwave.
The kind of hangover that would cause any lesser person to wake up screaming, followed by screaming at the sound of screaming, and so forth. She clenches her teeth and scowls. Cigarette face on, she plants one between yielding jaws, and is half-way through sucking back before she realizes it hasn't been lit.
Tattoos on her forearm are mixed around enough that you might miss the lettering entirely- 'You're damn straight it is', reads her left; 'Deadline', reads her right. Her silver lighter reads 'Bitch'. These are the things that put her morning in perspective: Facts, function, and fuckin'-A attitude. She smiles whenever she has her little trinity.
The hair is gone again, victim of charity. A non-cigarette-duty hand brushes over the stubbly memory. It's a nice feeling, sign of the new cycle.
Same as the old cycle. Ash pulls her laptop up onto her stomach and whips up the screen.
The editor's paunchy emails dot her inbox. Ash's right arm flares up, 'Deadline'. Of course it would be this morning. Fuck. Irritation mixes with a sudden burst of hangover, and she almost bites clean through the filter. Cold coffee is gargled as an afterthought, shotgunned in pursuit of a caffeine rush to keep the pain at bay. The butt is tossed into the empty mug, and the Bitch lighter sparks the morning's second course of exhaust. Tasty, but not enough...
Her writing cap is slipped over her brow. Classic brown fedora, inexplicably spotless after years of ravenous nicotine abuse. She flexes her typing tendons, clearly in her element, Queen Bitch of the Broadcast. 6000 words need to be put together, and she's been given a cap as to the frequency use of the word 'fuck' and its derivatives. Narrative pulls at her fingertips impatiently, urging them to produce. Ash grins as she yields to it. Bourbon, codeine, nicotine, caffeine-- journalism. Dessert.
"You're damn straight it is. Goddamn straight."