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”

Alone Amongst the Beasts

It was big enough for a grizzly but not the right shape. Too wide for a deer and not well enough defined to be a cougar. There was no frosting on the mud – whatever had made the tracks was close. Travis blew into his hands and shouldered his shotgun. Only a pale grey glow was left lingering above the treeline, the remnant of a sun long-set. He began to trudge up the forest trail again, breath clouding over his shoulder in the cold air. Continue reading “Alone Amongst the Beasts”

Shiver

On days like this I struggle to believe it happened. It did, though – right here on this beach.

Ankle-high rollers curl in over the pebbles, just a trace of foam on the forerunners as they lazily reach up the brown sand. It’s flat calm as far as the eye can see, with matted grey clouds reflected back up towards the sky.

As changeable as the sea, they say. If only that were true. Since you were taken from me one spring morning I’ve tried to follow, I really have. I’ve waded out from our private little beach, out as far as you did that day. The undertow signs promise much but deliver little. I haven’t felt so much as a tickle around my ankles when I’ve stood waist deep out there.

I could weight myself down of course, be dragged beneath the waves as Virginia Woolf was. That seems too serene though, not at all like your experience. I want to fight the tow the same way that you did. I want to hear the pebbles rattle and shift underneath me, to see the sun’s rays slant down through the sediment-heavy water as I strain for the surface.

No such luck today. The saltwater laps gently around my chest, languidly stirred into movement by the limpest of winds. It’s not even chilly.

I shiver nonetheless. A man who has experienced shipwreck shudders at even a calm sea. They say that, too.

 

***Thanks for reading folks. Any comments much appreciated!***