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.
We find shelter from The Horde in the old courthouse.
Casey marvels at the cornicing, the domed ceiling, the utilitarian furniture.
We skip Geography, race to the cliffs and dance incoherent patterns on the roof of a World War Two pillbox. Harry pulls his trousers down and pees over the cliff edge until the wind blows it back onto his legs and the three of us collapse in laughter.
That’s not really how it works.
You can’t really rob a spa.
Gavin put the gun in her mouth.
I want a free massage. Now.
How can a violin be haunted, I said. Maybe it’s got a ghost living inside it, like a little mouse, he said.
‘Truman, you can’t expect a crushed child on your watch to go without consequences.’
Derek Granger stands up, gulps down his Coke and burps. I stare out the window at the July snow.
Before The Contamination my job was much easier. I’d never complain, of course, but stopping Outcasts from scaling a 188-foot waterfall to flee has been tough since they drained Lake Erie.
Bulgaria was the last to fall. They even had hotel bellboys, for fuck’s sake.
Robert knows too much. At first light, I run the bath, yank out his Pain Threshold chip and throw him in the water.
‘You can’t expect a crushed child on your watch to go without consequences.’
After more than two weeks of 50-word stories, I thought I’d combine a couple to expand into a longer piece.
If you are interviewing grieving parents in their cramped Victorian living room, try not to knock a photo of their dead teenage daughter off the mantelpiece.
The vacuum whine woke him every morning.
She met him once in the communal hallway to apologise, her son lingering behind a haircut.
Unused swings wobble in the breeze. An disheveled man, can in hand, chases a pigeon, staggering, burning fury in his bloodshot eyes. The taunting bird hops in a large circle until, bored, it hauls itself […]
The Union flag stood tall in scruffy gardens, thrashed violently on the aerials of speeding white vans, draped lazily across windows of now-darkened pubs. Victory. The windswept rock was cleansed, thanks to one woman, in […]
Mum’s birthday today, don’t forget. Swipe to clear. Huge earthquake in Bangladesh. Swipe to clear. Police hunt for missing toddler in Derby. Swipe to clear. I love you. Swipe to clear. 86 dead in suicide […]
Aika shut out the world, gripped the scissors in her right hand and cradled the baby’s head in her left. Her training had prepared her for this and yet her heartbeat was deafening, her breath […]
Hello! With my first full month of freelance writing now completed, I just wanted to get a few notes down about these 50-word stories that seem to have taken over my life. I only started […]
‘The barbarians are coming,’ proclaimed the king. And so, the people prepared for war. A sacrifice was left outside the walls. The wait was agonising, but no one came. ‘Where are the barbarians?’ demanded the […]