• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 05
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Ducks Welcome Here

The duck had been out all night partying: that much was clear. He woke up in a Belfast sink, in someone else’s kitchen. He squinted through his bloodshot eyes at his reflection in the window. His new hair was all awry. At that moment he wanted nothing more than to be back on his pond, gliding through dappled patches of sunlight and feeling as pure as the feathers on his back. But he was here, now, in this sink with a mad goose of a hangover and a ruined hair-do.

A whole hour he’d spent perched on a stack of cosmopolitans under one of those hair drying machines. It had gotten a bit toasty, the sweat had rolled off his back. Crispy duck. That’s what had popped into his mind. The women were sniffing the air and licking their lips, doing their best to not stare at him. He’d heard a few distinct stomach rumbles. Why did he have to book a lunchtime appointment? The salon had been vegan approved. The little ‘ducks welcome here’ sign in the flap at the door. They were all animals, the lot of them—couldn’t trust them as far as you could throw them. No wonder he had hit the champagne.

The duck rested his head against the cold tap. He blinked away blonde strands of hair. Images from last night whirred in his mind, in and out of focus. Dancing, flashing lights, selfie sticks. There’d been a man there too, kept picking him up and walking around with him under his arm, insisting he ran an animal friendly petting zoo. Urgh. The less he thought about it the better. The duck flapped out of the sink and dunked his head in a glass of water. A poor substitute for home. His hair was definitely ruined now. It had been a stupid idea anyway.