Bloody Furnishings

‘Madam…’

She is rocking back and forth in the bus shelter. It is four in the morning.

‘…the shapes,’ she mutters, hair falling over her face. ‘The shapes they were twisted into…’

‘Madam,’ says the paramedic as he puts down his medical bag and rifles for a notepad. ‘My name is Gary. We’ve received a call from a member of the public. Can you tell me your name?’ Continue reading “Bloody Furnishings”

Book Review – Ellipsis Three

Ellipsis Three

www.EllipsisZine.com

Compiled by Steve Campbell and Amelia Sachs

Print edition: GBP 5.00

Digital edition: GBP 3.00

Ellipsis ‘Three’ is, unsurprisingly, the third digital zine produced by Steve Campbell and his team of editors. It is a collection of forty-five pieces of flash fiction, with a limit of three-hundred words or less to test their submitters’ pith and discipline.

What results is the perfect coffee table magazine. Five minutes to kill until you leave to pick the kids up from school? Desperately fighting off the weekly house clean? Then Ellipsis is your friend.

Some of my highlights are as follows…

Continue reading “Book Review – Ellipsis Three”

Knit and Knatter

You sit there like a mother hen, all your little chicks around you.

You’re at the head of the circle. Circles don’t have heads, but you are indisputably at it. Maybe it’s the teapot and tray of biscuits placed proprietorially at your feet. Maybe it’s the way that the ‘Tifton United Church’ mural sits directly above your head, like you’re the centerpiece in a postmodern interpretation of the sodding nativity. Continue reading “Knit and Knatter”

Smoke and Dust

There it stands. My cathedral. Quite literally the pinnacle of my career. It was once a spectacle. A reference point for others to navigate by. It is there, they would say, so I must be here. Now my chimney is doomed.

Standing above the crematorium at Hopewells Hospital, the stack was a landmark, but also so much more. It was a portal into another world. People would start their journey at its base, lumpen masses waiting for transcendence. They would end it ethereal, curling around its blackened rim before being tugged away by the breeze. Used by thousands, beloved only by its creator, it stood to serve, not only pointing the way to heaven but giving its users primary ignition on their ascent.

The locals gather around it now, baying for its demise on their plastic garden chairs. There were no crowds when it was completed, but tearing something down? Why not make a day of it, and bring the kids too?

A crass countdown begins. I planned every brick in that tower and yet I, and it, are denied the dignity we provided for so many. The loudspeaker echoes off its façade – a noble final defence against the inevitable.

A button pushed. A guttural rumble. A rush of rubble and dust mushrooming towards the earth.

 

***As always, I’d be delighted to hear your thoughts/feedback!***

Beyond Cleopatra

It’s really not so unreasonable, darling.

Every icon is defined by their attention to detail, by the emphasis they put on minutiae. By their idiosyncrasies.

Cleopatra used to bathe in asses’ milk. Phoney? Maybe so, but it demonstrated a willingness to go beyond what was thought reasonable. It demonstrated an inclination towards virtuosity.

Like Cleopatra, my face is my fortune, and whilst she could innovate using donkeys, these days going within a kilometre of a dairy product in New York City is enough to get one court-martialled for crimes against ethical wellness.

No. Nowadays we are forced to go further. Which is why I’m sitting in the first class lounge at JFK Airport waiting to fly to Frankfurt for no particular reason. Usually I have photoshoots to attend, ad campaigns to launch, skincare products to front, but when I’m not working I like to fly east.

Why east, I hear you ask as you thumb through the latest magazine with my face on it, as you devour every last scrap of gossip on a celebrity website. Because, my little pimple-faced, crows-feet-creased sycophants, the earth spins counterclockwise. A couple of long haul flights every week, and I’ve put miles on my odometer without tyres having touched tarmac. For every week you are getting burnt to a crisp by UV rays, I spend only six days. Whilst I am not turning back the clock on ageing as such, I am jamming a collagen needle in the cogs, all the while racing towards a rising sun.

What age, they’ll ask.

How is it done, they’ll wonder.

Well that’s how – with a T-Rex-sized carbon footprint and enough face cream to re-enbalm old Cleo herself. I’ve done more orbits of the earth than a GPS satellite. It’s called dedication, darling.

And they say you don’t require brains to be a model.

***As ever, all comment welcome!***

Surveillance State

‘About bloody time,’ muttered Brian, getting up from his chair and stretching, his fists pressing into the small of his back. ‘My shift ended fifteen minutes ago.’

‘All right, all right. Not like you’ve got a hot date, is it?’ Cassie put her coffee on the table and glanced up at the screens. ‘Anything for the handover?’

‘No movement for a while. Temperature normal. Camera four is partially obscured by a book he’s put up there, but not so much as to compromise line of sight. Still no indication that he’s onto us.’ Continue reading “Surveillance State”