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 [...]

Take My Advice-Slip (short story)

The ATM screen is flashing at me. Would I like an advice slip with my cash? I press the button for yes. This is the last withdrawal I can make for a while, unless I want to slip back into my overdraft. I need the printed reminder that I’m broke as a spur to action [...]

Reconstruction (short story)

He bought the tape measure during one of his trips to Amsterdam, and shown it her as soon as he back. She remember the look of foolish pride on his face while he demonstrated its proportion-altering qualities. All the prostitutes use them, he’d said. To beef up their clients’ satisfaction.  After he fallen asleep that [...]

Past Contempt (flash fiction)

‘Am I?’ ‘Only ten minutes.’ I said.  Then she apologised, and I said I forgave her, and we both pretended it didn’t matter any more and set off. Halfway round the headline, I stopped to get a stone out my shoe and she kept walking.  ‘Did I?’ she said and I said that she had [...]

Respiration (short story)

She had the day off work because the fish died.  It ruined the feng-shui of the building, apparently.  They were told not to come back until the official cleanser had performed the appropriate rituals.  She had brought bread in for them, sometimes.  The rumour was that it had taken an entire bottle of bleach.  That [...]

The Wedding Guest (flash fiction)

I don’t want any, thank you.  Can’t abide hot drinks; they turn my stomach.  Always been that way, ever since I was a child. Am I bride or groom? Both. Neither.  You may have seen me in church, up the front.  Yes, that was me. How kind of you to say so.  I’ve had it [...]

If You Love Me, Let Me Go (short story)

Mind yourself as you come through there, please, the newspaper on the floor hasn’t been changed since yesterday.  We had some flooding earlier in the week, and it’s still a bit slippery.  That’s just one of the problems with these old outbuildings I can assure you; the only bits that don’t leak water are the [...]

Endangered Species (short story)

Was I right to burn my bridges? Not the best call, environmentally speaking. Great plumes of black smoke and that lingering, queasy aftertaste in the air which must have been the plastic safety rail. At least I’m still recycling, though quite how they’ll collect it now the main access route has gone, quite literally, up [...]

I Miss Her (#shortstory)

I play my grandmother’s memory loss in a game for closeness. ‘Gene Richards,’ she says.  ‘I was thinking about him the other day.’ ‘He wasn’t at the funeral, was he?’ I say, because we had this conversation when I called in yesterday, and I want to both want to speed over it and humour her [...]