My story ‘Here Come The Gulls’ is published over at Spelk today. Hope you enjoy.
She will set fire to the garden, to bring her father back.
It is day sixteen of the heatwave. The lawn is a tinderbox ready to spark. Shrivelled flowerbeds are perfect kindling.
Continue reading “Her Father’s Garden”
She throws up into the bin, her insides lumpy and smelling of sugar.
Once done, she wipes her mouth and smiles at me.
Fancy one more go? she asks.
We spend our days playing in the closet.
In our imagination it is a spaceship, a doorway to other worlds, a portal that can travel through time. In the darkness we act out our fantasies, constructing the characters of our narrative. We play with the treasures that surround us – costumes in boxes, paperwork on shelves, trinkets that remind us of our parents.
We play all day in the closet, waiting for the door to be unlocked once more.
Continue reading “Monsters in the Closet”
During low tide we search for remnants of the conflict.
Every day brings with it a new surprise, gifts from the battle upstream. Metallic objects washing up on the shore, many of them unfamiliar and no longer of use. Military uniforms floating by like leaves. Body parts settling in oily reflections.
Continue reading “Low Tide”
The music almost kills me today.
It is a childhood memory. The song that would play as my father hunted and brought local wildlife to the garage. It would play as I cried for my mother, begging her not to go to work. Terrified of spending time with this hulk of a man.
It is the third month of darkness.
Bodies pile up in the empty pool, our physical tally of the time that has passed. By day we party underneath the darkened sky, the abandoned resort our own, our hedonism natural and obvious.
He reaches the bridge at midnight, the bolt cutters heavy in his hands. Five hundred padlocks are to be removed, an unpopular decision taken by the council. His instruction is to work in secret, throughout the night and paid at double time.
Time is catching up with us once more.
We run towards the safety of the hills, another time-stop due any minute. All around us we see plants no longer wavering in the breeze, clouds rolling to a halt, footsteps now silent as we run.
Something outside the tent wakes her.
Her boyfriend is asleep and immovable, despite the music still playing outside. She clambers over him to find a string of lights outside their tent, weaving across the festival field and out into the woods beyond.
The message wakes him with a start, glaring at him like some terrible urban legend.
On his bedside table is a slate mug, and on it a message written in chalk. Normally the message is written by his wife as she leaves for work, something for him to wake up to and keep for the rest of the day.
Continue reading “Wake-up call”
The flowers are delivered without a message or recipient.
The husband immediately accuses his wife of having an affair, and in turn she accuses him of having the very same. Before long it has escalated into a vicious argument, where years of unsaid truths are hurled at each other in unison, culminating in him wanting a divorce, further culminating in her also wanting a divorce.
They argue over everything, especially when it comes to packing the car.
Her approach is to plan ahead and pack methodically, whereas he grabs items on sight and packs with brute force.
Continue reading “Pack Your Bags”
Our new home is known as the Clock Tower.
The village layout is a masterpiece of practical design, every house having a direct view of the clock face. We arrive one autumn evening, new keys and a fresh start, unpacking some essentials before sleeping on temporary beds.
Continue reading “The Clock Tower”
My story ‘Shuffle Up’ is published today. Thanks to The Drabble.
My new story ‘An Open and Honest Dialogue’ is published today. A modern relationship in 100 words. Massive thanks to The Drabble.
Sometimes I just sit and watch the horizon, dreaming of my younger self. Remembering the version of me that knew nothing of what I would become, the adult who sits here today.
Continue reading “Over the Horizon”
This sensation is common when scavenging the upper floors. It is a form of high place phenomenon, typified by the healthy desire to jump off an edge. This urge comes from contradictory signals generated by the brain – the backing away from an edge, reinforcing the conclusion that you were always going to jump.