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All the Way to the Coast

My story ‘All the Way to the Coast’ is published over at Spelk today.

All the Way to the Coast

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Buying a suit for a funeral

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Buying a suit for a funeral. Not sure whether to go traditional or for something more fashionable. Ideally I want to get some repeat use out of it. The sombre option feels poor value in comparison, but is the fashionable option seen as disrespectful? With my time left, I don’t want to limit my options. Maybe I worry too much. And besides, once I’m in the ground, none of my guests will see it anyway.

***

This 75-word story first appeared on Paragraph Planet.

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Somewhere there is a memorial bench with my name on it

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Somewhere there is a memorial bench with my name on it. Has to be with a common name like mine. My research finds several, and so I pick the nearest, where I sit and pretend to be a ghost. I wait all day for people to come and ask, waiting to surprise them with my big reveal. But no-one asks, no-one comes to the stranger on the bench, who may as well be dead already.

***

This 75-word story first appeared on Paragraph Planet.

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Here Come The Gulls

My story ‘Here Come The Gulls’ is published over at Spelk today. Hope you enjoy.

Here Come the Gulls

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Her Father’s Garden

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”

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Monsters in the Closet

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”

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Low Tide

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”

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Birdsong

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.

Continue reading “Birdsong”

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Poolside

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.

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Love-Locked

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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.

Continue reading “Love-Locked”

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The Sands of 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.

Continue reading “The Sands of Time”

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The Path of Lights

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.

Continue reading “The Path of Lights”

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Wake-up call

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”

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Say it with Flowers

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.

Continue reading “Say it with Flowers”

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Pack Your Bags

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.
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The Clock Tower

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”