The Old Swanson Place | Short Story

Talk of the town, it was. The old Swanson place had finally sold. Three years it had been on the market, its balconies covered in gull mess and the gardens creeping over the gravel chips in the driveway. Dusty bay windows looked out over the estuary, bulging and blank, as though unable to bear the sight of the cheaper dwellings at the bottom of the steep hill. Then one day the estate agent’s sign was gone, rotten stake heaved out of the ground. Continue reading “The Old Swanson Place | Short Story”

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”

A Sense of Perspective

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”

Thankyou

Dear sir,

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.

Continue reading “Thankyou”