The nearer Jacob gets to his home, the longer the streets seem. Every day after work, he powerwalks the pavements, hugging the building lines, all the while envisioning the interior of his one bedroom flat. Over the ridge at Mimosa Avenue he catches sight of the indistinct facings and closed blinds of his apartment. Safe. Secure. Shut away.
Jacob doesn’t even look around him as he dives into the darkness of the common close. He feels the lock click into place behind him and strides up the stone stairs one step at a time. One more door, two more locks, and he is in the cool hallway of his flat, the bustle and traffic and chaos left behind. Jacob sighs and lets his shoulders sag as he leans against the inside of his front door. Continue reading “Better Safe…”
First down was the family goldfish. Flaccid and limp-finned, it had been surreptitiously slipped down the plughole as Sean’s daughter slept, shortly to be replaced by Goldie Mark II. Sean was aware that protocol demanded that the long-serving Goldie Mark I be flushed down the toilet with full military honours, but the en-suite was a chemical toilet and dissolving a family pet in what was essentially a pit of bleach felt a bit…premeditated.
When it came to the disposal, there was remarkably little fuss. Goldie did a couple of laps of the sink before finding his eternal rest and…was it Sean’s tired eyes playing tricks on him, or had the plughole widened ever so slightly in anticipation of its feast? Pulling the light chord, he went back to bed. Continue reading “Out of Sight…”
‘You don’t belong here,’ mumbled one.
Cold rain spattered against them as they sat. Nothing was said for a while. Nothing much ever was.
‘Not sure you’re suited to this kind of climate,’ muttered another.
She remained impassive, as usual. The moon peeked out from between scudding rainclouds and revealed an epitaph on her flank – ‘Sussex, 2018’. Continue reading “Hard Right”
Garth has an unusual talent and like all unusual talents, it doubles as a curse. That’s the way it’s meant to work isn’t it?
You see Garth can predict how near something is to breaking. That rusty swing in the park? Still 21,638 arcs left before the iron oxidises enough for that bottom-left link to come away from the seat. That toaster? Only 252 more slices of burned-black toast (that’s the way that Garth likes it) will pop up from that old, chrome warrior. Continue reading “Countdown”
I was one of those kids that put batteries in their mouths. I used to like the big 9V bad boys. The ones that give you just a hint of a tingle, going right to the root of your tongue. That’s how it started.
It was the choking hazard rather than the electricity that concerned my parents. Didn’t bother me, though. Every time they would extricate a saliva-covered Duracell from around my gums, I would wait until they left the room before slipping it back in again. Buzzzzzzzzzz. Eventually, once they could safely disregard my swallowing the battery, they let me be. It was just a phase, and better a little sulfuric acid than LSD, right? Continue reading “Building up Resistance”
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”
It occurs to me that I have never seen 15:45.
It’s a bit strange, because time is kinda important to me – almost a deity. It isn’t even as if 15:45 is a particularly unmemorable time, or that I am unable to assign a previous appointment or life event to it. I literally cannot remember ever seeing those digits on my clock. Continue reading “15:45”