Grace Notes | Book Review

Grace Notes

Bernard Maclaverty

Vintage

£8.99

 

‘Catherine had never been in a church this late. The place was dim – a quarter lit to save electricity. One bulb in four. Sounds were magnified – a candle dropped, high heels on marble, the swing doors whumpfing closed. Coughing, with echoes. And old women whispering prayers full of esses. A coin dropped into the box of a candelabra – from the noise it was possible to tell how full it was – clink for full, clunk for empty. The sacristy lamp burned steadily in its red glass container – symbol of the real presence of the tabernacle. Jesus in flesh and blood.’ Continue reading “Grace Notes | Book Review”

Street Service | Short Story

Difficult to justify my behaviour this evening as the kerb grates against the back of my head. Difficult to keep my dinner down amidst the spinning lights and the belches of warm, yeasty air from the nightclub doors. The coldness of the road is beginning to reach through my jacket as people crowd around.

‘You alright, mate?’

‘He didn’t mean nothing by it…’

‘You ain’t gonna press charges, are ya?’ Continue reading “Street Service | Short Story”

In Bad Taste | Short Story

Dear diner,

It has come to our attention that our small, family-run restaurant was the subject of a review by the renowned food critic and raconteur Jean Bernard last week. Recently opened, we were delighted to have attracted the attention of such a culinary connoisseur. Nonetheless, it should be noted that no soliciting of such a review was made by our humble restaurant and no pretences of grandeur were made on behalf of our food. It was with some surprise then that Monsieur Bernard’s scathing review was read and it is with no small degree of sadness that I must tell you that we are closing our doors as a result of his article. Responsible for the breaking of many a head chef, Bernard is notorious for destroying the reputations of a far higher class of restaurant than ours. As a result the chefs, the cleaning staff, and the serving staff will be looking for work elsewhere.

Nevertheless, do not mourn us. We offer this counter-review as a sweet, a dessert, a cordial if you will. What is a meal, after all, without a satisfying finale? Continue reading “In Bad Taste | Short Story”

Customer Disservice | Short Story

‘Good evening. Thank you for coming in so late. Please sit.’

Six chairs were dragged over the plush carpet and six people took their places around the oval table. Among them was a young woman, her eyes puffy and her hair scraped back into a ponytail. She looked around her as though expecting to be asked to leave.

‘Due to the serious nature of what we’ll be discussing tonight, I’ve asked Paul to minute this meeting. Please introduce yourselves before we begin.’ Continue reading “Customer Disservice | Short Story”

A Grim Business | Short Story

Terry had begun to get suspicious around ten-o-clock on his forty-first birthday. There had been no cards, not one, nor a single present. Things had not improved when the pawnbroker had taken his customary walk through town during lunch. The bakery was closed due to sewage works on the pavement outside, and Terry had missed Sean’s corner shop by minutes – the old man mustn’t have seen him as he was locking the door for his half day. Terry’s luck was no better in the supermarket. He could have sworn he saw Emma Wilkins ditch her basket and stride out past the tills upon seeing him. A fine way to greet one of the town’s most generous philanthropists. Continue reading “A Grim Business | Short Story”