I’m really sorry, but this week’s Spread the Word is a bit skimpy. My wife has been away for work all week, so it’s just been me and the kids and I’ve not had as […]
The 199 tracks the river west until Greenwich, whereupon it peels off south to Catford. George likes the look of Greenwich. He imagines it the sort of place Adam might be living had he succumbed to family life.
The end of the route takes George by surprise. He has a sense of having travelled south-east, but the scale of the city is yet to avail itself.
George starts at the beginning. Route 1. Every route from start to finish, a sticker on the window of each bus.
Come Home Adam.
There is only one Adam back home.
The bus snakes away from Tottenham Court Road, but he is nervous.
George spends much of the tube journey trying to work out why the train is moving left while the stations on the Northern Line map above the seat opposite seem to be moving right. And isn’t he supposed to be going south anyway?
Look out, I’ve thought of something.
Back in 2009, I began a quest to travel on every London bus route from start to finish and write about my adventures.
Ralf watches from the steps of the clubhouse as Sylvia squats over the ball like a sumo wrestler. She has new clubs, but is wholly unsuited to the treacherous demands of the prestigious Lesser Frampton Links.
His blue blazer confirms he is a Soldier of Christ, boarding the 139 to Waterloo. He stays downstairs – those upstairs already condemned
His camera has become an external memory device, a means to document – and fictionalise – every event in his life. Its very presence taints the purity of experience
On Saturday morning I was set a challenge on Twitter – write a short story that involved no living thing. So I had a go…
I have added another six cards to The Last of Logan, an experimental story of childhood grief told through a series of Pokemon cards, which takes us to the halfway point of the piece.
Thought it might be nice on a Saturday to spread the love a bit and post up links to some of my favourite short fiction of the last week.
In a nondescript outhouse in the joint security area of Panmunjom, Joo-won watches as the enemy completes its theatrical changing of the guard.
One of my stories – The Great Weight of Ordeals – has been featured on The Drabble today, which is a lovely old thing to happen.
Losing again. He stands and shuffles, avoids eye-contact. A deserter avoiding the rush.
We can see you sneaking out!
Through the turnstile, he hears those left behind bellow their futile chants, demanding one final effort.
Vicarious Jones was given a wonderful send-off before leaving to sprint for just under 10 seconds for his country.
There was bunting, a street party and the primary school headteacher presented him with a messy collage of the Union flag.
Thought I’d practice some dialogue. It began as a 100-worder and grew. I quite like these three characters, might work on them some more. Strong language.
I hover on the pavement, waiting for my new workmates to follow me out of the building. Home is left, but I think Amy goes right. I point right.
He checks the clock. 2.34am.
He listens to the rolling tide of her breathing, and sighs. His bedside clock ticks. The boiler stirs briefly, whirring for a few seconds before clicking off into silence.
OK, I’ve been writing some more this morning, warming up for some larger project work this afternoon and something seems to be happening. It seems all my flash fiction absolutely must have an exact word count.
It was very realistic. It reminded him at first of that McEwan novel. James had been off chasing Pokemon, yet in the sickening thirty seconds between lost and found, Adam found wonder in the brutal clarity of horror
Fifteen minutes after turning out my light, Dad is back in my room. I simulate the breathing pattern of a sleeping child as he lies down next to me and puts his hand on my back.
She smiles apologetically when they meet in the communal hallway each morning.
‘Sorry about the noise,’ she’d said when they first met, her son lurking behind a haircut in the doorway. ‘It’s my thing.’
A couple of people asked me about the song that sparked yesterday’s ‘Neighbourhood Watch’, so here it is. Meanwhile, today’s 50-worder marks the 35th straight day I’ve put up a 50-word story…
Wednesday night is party night and it’s my turn to bring the music. He usually staggers in about 11.
Steve arrives at the polling station without a placard.
What good is that? I say.
Moral support, he says.
But no one knows you’re here.
I kick lazily at the dead leaves and wait for them to file past and offer one last condolence before drifting back to unchanged lives.
The next day: Ring ring. Dad picks up.
We’re watching that fat nanny film.
George carefully mops up the remaining bean juice with his last bit of sausage.
‘Did you know,’ he says, stabbing the food into his mouth, ‘Franklin Roosevelt won a silver medal in the Peru Olympics in 1891?’
Someone in my dictionary is up to no good. Words slip, slide; old truths melt away as new ones emerge, dark and glutinous, always just out of reach.
We watch children mourn their futile endeavour as the tide engulfs their sandcastles. Ellie lies with me as the water laps at our feet and we find his ghost in the clouds.