I can smell bullshit a mile off. A person can do all the reading and all of the Youtubing they want – some things can’t be faked. Journalists will write about the history of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, but I can tell that they’ve not been inside, that they haven’t felt the sweat of tourists run down its four and a half thousand-year-old walls. Nor is such fakery limited to sunburnt tourists and more-money-than-sense septuagenarians. I’ve lost count of the number of lithe young things ironically wearing Beatles or Rolling Stones t-shirts. Scream all you want at Summerfest – in the seventies I was close enough to smell the sweat from Mick’s vest and to see the gleam of his back teeth as he attacked the microphone. Back then us ladies knew how to swoon. Continue reading “A Sense of Perspective”
Now that I’m able to sit up they have given me a pen. This is so that I can write what I am feeling, or rather what their psychological textbooks suggest that I should be feeling. After the doctors have finished shining their torches into the backs of my eyes they search my face, their foreheads furrowed. I know what they are looking for – a flicker of madness, some trace of the rage bubbling up inside of me.
We like the dark, my kind. It’s just as well, because no sliver of light chinks its way into this forsaken place. I have only the damp walls and the chittering rats as muses for my senses. Even the wardens provide little interaction; my meals are pushed through the hatch once a day. I eat my thin soup to the sound of hurried footsteps retreating up the corridor, and then nothing. The guards’ unease is not surprising. They can sense something about me. What they feel they cannot say, but it is there nonetheless. Continue reading “Adjusting my Palate”
In Our Time
‘Inside on a wooden bunk lay a young Indian woman. She had been trying to have her baby for two days. All the old women in the camp had been helping her. The men had moved up off the road to sit in the dark and smoke out of range of the noise she made. She screamed just as Nick and the two Indians followed his father and Uncle George into the shanty. She lay in the lower bunk, very big under a quilt. Her head was turned to one side. In the upper bunk was her husband. He had cut his foot very badly with an axe three days before. He was smoking a pipe. The room smelled very bad.’ Continue reading “Book Review – In Our Time”
Morning all. Throwing a couple of haikus into the ether today… Continue reading “Haikus – Hiss and Hinge”
Don’t leave an ankle dangling over. Not even a toe. That was the rule. If you did, the monster under the bed would seize you as you slept. Ragged, blackened fingernails would trace their way up your calf before digging cruelly into your flesh. Veins would pop out from the unforgiving muscles of the creature’s forearm as his hand crushed ligament and bone. You would be dragged underneath your bed and down into the depths. Continue reading “Over the Edge”
Delighted to have my nasty little short story ‘Face to Face with Death’ featured in the inaugural issue of New York-based literary journal ‘Whatever Keeps the Lights On‘. If you’re looking for somewhere new to submit your writing, you could do a lot worse than have a look here; the editors were quick to respond, passionate about promoting their journal, and very friendly.