First Shot: Just Say Aye - an extract from Irvine Welsh's Skagboys

First Shot: Just Say Aye - an extract from Irvine Welsh's Skagboys

A sneak peek inside the Edinburgh author's Trainspotting prequel

We head oot and dive oantae a 16, bound fir Johnny’s pad at Tolcross. It’s a blindin hot day so we sit doonstairs at the back for a better view ay the passin fanny. Back top deck wi Begbie, tae intimidate wideos, back bottom wi Sick Boy tae leer at lassies. Life has its simple codes.
– This is gaunny be so much fun, Sick Boy says, and rubs his hands thegither. – Drugs are always fun. Do you believe in cosmic forces, destiny n aw that shite?
– Nup.
– Me neither, but bear one thing in mind: today was a ‘T’ day.
– What … ? ah ask, then it dawns on us. – Yir dictionary thingy.
– All will be revealed, he nods, then starts talking about heroin.
Smack’s the only thing ah huvnae done, ah’ve never even smoked or snorted it. And ah must confess that ah’m fuckin shitein it. Ah wis brought up tae believe that one joint ay hash would kill me. And, of course, it wis bullshit. Then one line ay speed. Then one tab ay acid; aw lies, spread by people hell-bent on self-extermination through booze and fags.
But heroin.
It’s crossing a line.
But as the boy said, anything once. And Sick Boy doesnae seem concerned, so ah bullshit tae keep ma front up. – Aye, ah cannae wait tae dae some horse.
– What? Sick Boy looks at me in horror as the bus growls up the hill. – What the fuck are you talking aboot, Renton? Horse? Dinnae say that in front ay yir dealer mate or he’ll laugh in yir face. Call it skag, for Papa John-Paul’s sake, he snaps, then stares oot at a short-skirted lassie meandering wi seductive intent up Lothian Road. – She’s a peach … far too carefree in bearing and expression tae be a baboon …
– Right … ah feebly respond.

Extracted from Skagboys by Irvine Welsh with permission from Jonathan Cape.

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