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”

Adjusting my Palate

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”

Over the Edge

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”

Face to Face with Death

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.

Read my story here. Continue reading “Face to Face with Death”

The Big C

A short story…

God almighty I hate cancer.

That’s not strictly true. I hate the gravitas that cancer assumes, the sombre expression it wears at consultations and support groups. I can’t bring myself to treat it that seriously. Anything that I dress up for in a hospital gown that opens at my arse can’t be a proper antagonist. Any enemy that I take my clothes off to face isn’t worthy of the name. My keys, wallet, and phone all go in the locker. I can see a smile looking back at me in the dull steel. Continue reading “The Big C”