Sid’s eyes dart around the room searching for something to rest upon but he is grateful for her apology, at least for her self-awareness. His eyes land on a bug on her shoulder crawling towards her neck.
Everything is capable of being loved, he says.
The lady smiles.
Well I guess that’s true.
Her voice is barely a whisper.
Sid thinks about the Syrian boy a lot. Even now, even all these years later. Lying on his tummy, arms by his side, palms upturned to the sky. He looks asleep in his red top.
I’ve been away a while. It’s time to go again.
Although they stood only five yards away from George, the pair of them were quite oblivious to his presence.
You use 40 percent less energy in the peloton. A life spent in the service of others.
She walks east. Tick tick tick tick, a woodpecker tapping at the side of her brain. Tick tick tick tick. Countless tiny brass squares of the city’s shame underfoot, unforgotten.
First up, an apology. I’ve been absent without leave, thanks largely to starting the novel. It’s consumed almost every thought and I haven’t been in a position to think about this place for a bit. […]
When darkness falls, wraps the world in confusion and unexplainable horror, when truth slips away and the real becomes incomprehensible, so the ghouls appear, blacker than the darkness they breathe, to feed on the misery […]
Flora Goodwin picks at the hole in the tablecloth on her kitchen table. There must be something she can do. Outside, six pigeons, two starlings, one crow, two swallows and a parakeet line up on […]
Consumed by The Fear, the leaden knot in the pit of the stomach, the Charlie Brown raincloud lingering overhead.
I was a camper. Everyone hated me.
OMG NOOB CAMPER QUIT CAMPING U FAG.
Finding a quiet corner of the map – or a dark spot in a busy corner of the map -and picking off passers-by was, apparently, not cool.
Anton has had a good month. His energy consumption is down and his reputation capital has doubled after volunteering at the Sunnyside Nursing Home. Content, he relaxes into his fabricated Eichholtz Goldoni armchair, swipes off his retina display and shuts his eyes.
Well, 108 days into this adventure, I thought I’d give an update on where I am, if only to collect my own thoughts and ensure I’m remaining focused.
I’ve had two lovely surprises over the last seven days.
One day there is a dead fox in the road outside the school. It is all opened up, inside out.
Jake removes his Bose headphones and stashes them in his rucksack as he turns into the estate. He needs every sense down this end of town where, lit by a full moon, giant concrete Tetris shapes litter the landscape, vomited up out of the ’60s architectural nightmare.
A farcical opening has me down a rook, two pawns and in check with the game 10 moves old. Only one way back.
‘Esther was asking after you this morning.’
As casual as you like. Don’t look up, let him soak in the information.
Every morning the same: Ellis relearning how to get through Tiny Swing Door, pawing at it like Greg fumbling at the front door when he’s drunk and cuddles too hard.
Alfie Twitch rubs his wrists, sore from the plastic ties that had him strapped to the chair. He watches as Jess eyes the painting above his desk. With flick-knife still in hand, she approaches the scene of London at night and cuts a St Paul’s-shaped hole out of the canvas.
Grandad, slumped in his tatty armchair, turns slowly to face me as I walk in with Mum.
‘Is that my favourite Grandson?’ he says, his voice thin.
‘It’s your only Grandson.’
No, you’re eating Corn Flakes in celebration at 11pm.
For once, the dog keeps quiet. The one time Percy is duty-bound to raise hell and he bottles it. Instead he sits, feet in perfect ballerina’s second position, next to the old woman’s cracked skull as it leaks blood onto the pavement.
‘Truman, you can’t expect a crushed child on your watch to go without consequences.’
Derek Granger gulps down his Coke and burps.
‘People pay a lot of money to leave their kids here. It is supposed to be a safe environment, away from the Horde.
The tube trundles woozily under the east end. Jonathan’s leg jiggles as he pours every thought into his phone screen, but the alcohol is making it difficult to focus.
Ignored by his father, Boyd plays truant and walks, for days upon days, until he can walk the streets of Cape Town blindfolded. He walks through the city, out to Green Point, Mouille Point and Three Anchor Bay.
Sam stares up at the giant letters above him, lit in neon. XLR8. He looks at the scrote who took his money, leaning back with a girl on his lap as he chews gum and waits for a man of about 60, with mutton-chop sideburns and tired, mean eyes, to pull down the safety bar.
Tonight I sleep in shallow waves, like telephone wires alongside a motorway, never quite letting go. I briefly dream of Evie and then wake with a start as Norris starts hurling abuse at an arguing couple one aisle down.
I just noticed I passed 2,000 likes today, exactly three months after starting this nonsense. Thank you so much to everyone who reads. There are far more of you than I ever imagined.
Alexander slurps on his Pepsi as he waits for the call, his van idling with a rhythmic grumble in the dark lay-by.
‘Who the hell are you people?’
Laura suspects she blacked out, but cannot be sure, or at least cannot be sure she is awake again.