Category: Fiction

The School Run | A Short Story

I heard the sirens in the night. I said this to Annabel Grainger’s mum later that morning, as we both stood outside what remained of the primary school. She was looking across the car park at the smouldering rubble of the old red brick building, noting the dismay that creased her face, as I struggled to remember her name. This was a regular problem; I had known and spoken to this woman for as long as our children had attended the school, but rarely were Christian names ever uttered and too many years had now passed to deem it...

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Whatever Happens at 4am

Somewhere in the fug of the night amid the din of the music and swaying bodies and narrow shafts of jagged white light that criss-cross and flash in fit inducing intermittence above the heads and across the sweaty walls, you walk with a stagger then a helpless dance, the beer in the bottle bouncing and splashing over the rim and onto the wrist, drum, thump, the masses in front and among blur in and out of four a.m. focus through eyes that fail to cope with a scene and a brain that’s lost and slow and too tired to...

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Last Day of Summer – an extract

September 10th 2001 The deer. It stares, transfixed; hypnotised by the on-rushing headlights. On instinct Chris pulls down hard on the steering wheel, into the outside lane. The rear-view mirror suddenly awash with white light, the car behind almost on top of them, its horn loud – menacing. He swerves back inside; the deer, its trance broken, bolts into the trees and the safety of the forest. They fishtail then straighten up, as the other car speeds by; two red lights disappearing into the darkness. Annie’s head jolts against the side window, waking her. Simon & Garfunkel play on...

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The Big Red Button

It appeared on the high street on a Wednesday morning; nobody knew where it came from. A red button atop a plain, black box. Above the button was a sign, upon which, written in bold, red capital letters were these words: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE PRESS THE BUTTON Everybody pressed the button. For many, nothing more happened and their lives continued, albeit with a nagging and unshakeable sense of anticlimax. Others were not so lucky. Please follow and like...

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One Drink Then Home

“You married?” the man at the bar asks. Phil takes a sip from his drink, continues to stare ahead, at the row of drinks suspended on their optics. He pauses a moment before answering. “No,” he says, before taking another sip. “Ah, best way, mate, if you ask me,” the man continues “Stay single and independent that’s the way. I’ve been married twelve years now. Twelve years. You get less for robbing a bank don’t you?” “I suppose.” He looks down, into the glass: the amber liquid inside, swirling as he tilts it. Phil comes to the pub every night after he closes up the shop. A ritual he slipped into when the rituals of his past life had so suddenly ceased. One drink , that’s all. One drink and then home: he’d listen to sport on the radio, maybe the phone in afterwards. The man begins to laugh. He’s a large man, more than six feet tall and broad; wide shoulders supporting a round belly that stretches against the pale blue shirt he wears beneath his navy suit. He wears a red tie, loosened at the neck. “Seriously though. Life changes once that ring goes on the finger,” he says “Your time’s not your own anymore. Don’t get me wrong, my missus is a cracker, I love her to bits. It’s just you know – all that Mars...

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