Cannon Fodder

The gnawing started as soon as night fell; incisors clicking, toes scurrying over both the dead and live bodies. The rats feasted. There wasn’t much you could do about it. The living had nowhere to escape to anyway. Their living quarters were awash with mud, corpses and spent bullet cases. There was no colour anywhere. The landscape was brown mud,… Read it

Leaving Home

The warm breeze plays xylophone along his exposed ribcage. He stretches, finally able to roll his back in one long motion, sinuous without sinew, the vertebrae clicking to the tip of his tail. Ahead, the neon glow of the tube station and London’s boulevards beckon. Behind, the grand Victorian façade of the museum he has called home. He’s been upstaged.… Read it

Odin’s Ravens

One by one, my ravens come. Their blackened talons scrape a shiver of anticipation up my ancient spine. Trapped down here, they are my eyes. I gave them human skin. I had only the power to create a thin illusion. A closer look would reveal a flash of black beak and oily feather. But the mortals never look. Sitting in… Read it

Marked in Red

The elegant tap of her designer pumps brightens the sound of the working morning. One hand clasps a sleek umbrella and the other, a piping hot coffee. The blonde bob resting on her shoulders bounces with every graceful step and her plump red lips smile at her admirers. She is something out of an advertisement, women envy her and men… Read it

Not Falling Down

London Bridge isn’t falling down yet. It’s a prime piece of real estate that I’ve recently acquired – with full rights. There’s an old tale about an American buying the edifice believing it was that Victorian mechanical wonder Tower Bridge and then being disappointed that his shipped-out structure didn’t do any tricks. No, I’ve bought the actual London Bridge knowing… Read it

Greening the Blue

The north end of the Piccadilly line sounds so bucolic – Wood Green, followed in short succession by Bounds Green, Arnos Grove, Oakwood. So perhaps it was just a transformation waiting to happen. A surreal end to a no-longer-normal working day. I blame the international flights at the other end of the line – something must have escaped and lurked… Read it

“I love the man that can grow brave by reflection” – Thomas Paine

I, Hardy in name, hardy in nature, a proud political reformer, servant to working men, craftsmen, stumble through London. A waft of diseased mud from low tide tries to hold onto me with afflicting memories, my lost progeny, six lost tots. I fly along Watling Street, up Ludgate Hill, drunk with hope. I, the shoemaker, shop owner, am politically sanctioned.… Read it

All his Worldly Goods

You turn my key; a rough edge scrapes my mother-of-pearl escutcheon.  You run your index finger over the small abrasion. The spoon slips into the dark curled leaves, wrinkled and dry with the faint aroma of bergamot.  They will not come alive without the scalding water from the kettle.  It hums and purrs, poised to unfurl my treasured contents. A… Read it

Transubstantiation

We stopped for coffee and discussed our purchases: shoes, dresses, tops, frilly knickers. ‘Perfect,’ we told each other, sipping our lattes. ‘You’ll look terrific in it,’ we said. We had been saying these things for decades. Sometimes they were even true. Traffic whizzed round Marble Arch, with its towering sculpture of the horse’s head, chopped off at the neck. “This… Read it

Siege

We always went to your flat in Walthamstow, but this time there was a problem with the tube. “We’ll get out and walk.” You said. I asked why it was called… “There’ll be a reason for it” You cut in. There’s always a reason for it. There’ll be some bloke who does talks in the back rooms of pubs all… Read it

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