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”

Book Review – In Our Time

In Our Time

Ernest Hemingway

Scribner

$11.00

‘Inside on a wooden bunk lay a young Indian woman. She had been trying to have her baby for two days. All the old women in the camp had been helping her. The men had moved up off the road to sit in the dark and smoke out of range of the noise she made. She screamed just as Nick and the two Indians followed his father and Uncle George into the shanty. She lay in the lower bunk, very big under a quilt. Her head was turned to one side. In the upper bunk was her husband. He had cut his foot very badly with an axe three days before. He was smoking a pipe. The room smelled very bad.’ Continue reading “Book Review – In Our Time”

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”

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”