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We all have the best of intentions

We all have the best of intentions. Like these teenagers in the park, holding a silver balloon. On it, the words RIP Dad. You can’t release that here, someone says, it’s not biodegradable. It is a middle aged man, dressed in running gear. They argue as he tries to take it from them. In the struggle the balloon bursts, ashes exploding into their eyes and mouths, scattering up into the air and across the city.

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This 75-word story first appeared on Paragraph Planet

A list of things I cannot hear

A list of things I cannot hear. All because of the tinnitus, the high frequency noise that whistles in my ears. I am oblivious to crickets in the wildflower. The hiss of our central heating. Dripping taps in other rooms. The hum of anything electrical. Chinese whispers passed on by children. Interference on the radio. The early signs of a storm. And late at night, consumed by these lists, I can barely hear myself think.

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This 75-word story first appeared on Paragraph Planet

A sad face appears at the window

A sad face appears at the window. On the first day of spring, sunlight highlighting the
dirty glass, revealing a face in the dust. Thumbprints for eyes, a grin drawn with a smear, the unmistakable work of a child. He examines the face, his nose almost touching. His past self would yell, and tidy up behind them, but today he leaves the window filthy, as he did last year, and the many summers before it.

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This 75-word story first appeared on Paragraph Planet

Off the Rails

“The next lady has so many questions. She reads them from a notepad, in perfect handwriting that could be a font.

Describe me in a single word, she says.”

I have something new on Spelk today. It’s called ‘Off the Rails’

https://spelkfiction.com/2019/03/20/off-the-rails/

 

Things to delete before I die

Things to delete before I die. Everywhere. My laptop and tablet. An old PC  in the attic. My phones with their obsolete connections. And now the cloud, and social media. My blueprint on data warehouses. Years of work all going to waste. Nothing illegal or shameful. Embarrassing perhaps. Private insights, internal things, the things we all keep secret. So much stuff and so little time. And this paragraph. You must remember to delete this paragraph.

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This 75-word story first appeared on Paragraph Planet

Featured

You can wake from any dream if you want to

You can wake from any dream if you want to. My son tells me how over breakfast. He has a technique to use when having a nightmare. You click with three fingers on the back of your neck, and the dream will instantly stop. He tells me it works without fail. I try it for myself, clicking as he describes. Click! Everything vanishes, and I am back in the house where I have no son.

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This 75-word story first appeared on Paragraph Planet

All the Way to the Coast

“I carry you through the fields of rapeseed, wearing you like a rucksack. Sounds follow in our wake — the flattening of the crop, the distant motorway, the evening birdsong.”

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

All the Way to the Coast

Buying a suit for a funeral

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.

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This 75-word story first appeared on Paragraph Planet.

Featured

Somewhere there is a memorial bench with my name on it

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.

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This 75-word story first appeared on Paragraph Planet.