Intermission #shortstory

Lying in a tangle of sheets, I watch a spider cross the ceiling while Jacob struggles unsuccessfully to open the window.  ‘I’m afraid I’ve broken off some of the paintwork,’ He holds up the thin white slivers, and lets them fall from his hands onto the wide windowsill of the triangular alcove. ‘Leave that.  Come [...]

My Quota of Joy (short story)

The highest perfection of intellectual nature lies in a careful and constant pursuit of true and solid happiness –  John Locke One morning at the end of February I look up at the colossal wooden frame mounted above the fireplace and I can see I’ve already used up my Quota Of Joy for the rest [...]

Breakfast (short story)

Hanging on the wall in the hallway of my parents’ house is a portrait of my great grandparents on their engagement day.  It’s one of those typical, non-smiling sepia photographs.  He has a massive moustache and her hair is scraped back off her face so hard it must have been painful. They’re both facing slightly [...]

It must be Fête (short story)

Bending over the cash box – pretending to count the float – I inhale the sharp, tin scent of well-handled small change and lick my lips. ‘Jacob? Is that what you’re planning to wear this afternoon? How rustic.’ I straighten my back, sifting coppers through my fingers and forcing a smile. ‘I’ve been prepping the [...]

Creeping Like Snail (short story)

He watched them running: slipping and grabbing each other’s hands and shoulders in an attempt to break through without breaking rank. The mud plastered their hair wetly against their scalps, making so many shadowed skulls where a moment before had been grim faces. He thought – and didn’t know why, except that with the deafening [...]

Words Cannot Express (short story)

After reading the first line out loud, my mum falls silent.  I dig my nails into the palm of my hands.  She holds the piece of paper away at arms length while she reads and narrows her eyes.  Her reading glasses are in her bag but she always squints, claiming that they tend to smudge [...]

One Vial Act (flash fiction)

Even the stains on the towel looked authentic. I didn’t know there would be so much of it.  The small red bottle was a tardis. With an hour still to go before Maurice returned from the garden centre, I washed my hands repeatedly with his special carbolic soap.  No success. The nail brush was at [...]

Birds may fly (flash fiction)

Falling off the wall had been the most exciting thing ever to happen to Jane.  The doctor’s soft hands, the crisp white hospital sheets, the smoothness of the empty vase next to her bed. ‘I promise to be more careful,’ she said, scrunching her eyes as the plastic tube was slid out from her arm. [...]

Relaxation (short story)

She has bought a box of supermarket sushi for lunch, but all the green spaces and benches in the centre of town are so packed with people. Loud people. She wants to go somewhere and relax. She would like to be able to enjoy her lunch in peace and quiet. She hates seeing so many [...]

The Beginning (flash fiction)

The Beginning As the bird flew away, Annie wondered if she would always be alone and hungry.  When the last of the leaves blew out of the trees, Annie swam in the fish-empty lake until her fingers purpled. A tent appeared on the hillside; Annie licked her lips and started walking. *first published in The Spilling [...]