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 Phone Box

The rumours seemed to start in the wind as such things often do. There was no flickering light in the top of the phone box, no broken glass in the door. Neither was there any noticeable smell in the cubicle save for the sour, metallic odour present in every phone box in every town in Britain. No-one could remember anything having happened inside the booth – no gruesome murder or grisly stabbing. Nevertheless, it stood on the corner of the road outside my flat like a solitary red warning finger in the gloom. Continue reading “The Phone Box”

Shack

The path is losing its fight with the wilderness. A few miles back, it was rutted and gashed by tyres. Now it tails off intermittently into brush and grass, the weeds on each side creeping inwards like Tour-de-France spectators eager to see their favoured rider. Soon it becomes indistinguishable with the forest floor.

My feet become my primary concern now. Roots rise from the ground like sun-bleached ribs. Sticky willow snags on my laces. I am so intent on keeping my footing that I don’t notice the ferns dragging their damp fingers over my forearms and across my rucksack as I push through the foliage. Branches reach across the sky above me, shivering against the grey sky. I am close now. Continue reading “Shack”