Cockatrice

I have wings and a beaky face and perch on the roof of the station to watch the trains come in. I’m a little like an insect – I suck nectar out of the faces of all the pretty flowers that give me life. I crack up when I see my venom go in. I know it hurts but I… Read it

Green Stalks

Trouble with me is, when I start I can’t stop. So I saw this boy, he must have been, hmm, seventeen? Anyway his tie caught my eye. He’s seventeen and wearing a tie? Perhaps he’s got an interview. But a tie covered with bright blue flowers? So I follow him. Down the escalator, on to the platform. He walks to… Read it

Sleepwalkers

Lenny, you’re a deft circle. Lenny, you’re a square. Lenny, do you know how the pavement shifts when you walk along it towards me? Lenny, don’t you see that the way ahead – if not impossible, impassable – is more than a little obstructed with soup cartons, green-handled knives from Monoprix, high street play mats and soft toys from Ikea?… Read it

The Gentle Soul Taker

He moves in the silence beyond the colour and cacophony of the carnival. The floats are finished. The din diminished. The revellers retired. But the blood, the blood remains. Now, is his domain. His time. His space. Every year the same. To this gathering of exultant humanity the servant of Happiness is called. Called to bring the darkness. He weaves… Read it

Choose your Masks

“Welcome to Tragi-Comic, the world’s first fully interactive Virtual Reality theatrical experience.” The attendant hands us two masks. Cheryl takes the grinning one and exits left. I attach the purse-lipped tragedy mask firmly to my face and enter a booth on my right. Suddenly all the world’s a stage. I am assailed and jostled by robed assassins and peacock clothed… Read it

Meat

“The meat on this kebab is tough,” I said. I heard Slick sigh over his frying pan. “Just shut up and eat it.” I missed Jimmy’s cooking. He’d mixed it up a little. Slick only fed me meat. I dragged a chunk of beef from the skewer. “What part of a cow is this?” I asked. “How the Hell am… Read it

Circus Folk

It’s not in Oxford – it’s not a circus. All those people dressed in bright tartan trousers, they’re not clowns. They’ve just been to the nearby Golf Sale. You know, the Golf Sale. No one seems to know exactly where it is, it’s there somewhere. There’s always this guy on the street outside the station holding a big signboard with… Read it

Storms Ahead

When I arrive there are crowds of early risers waiting out the countdown to cancellations of service in mute pockets of steam from polymer cups. The young guy behind the counter of Pret-a-Manger rubs his eye with the heel of his hand and asks me if I want a bag. My tongue is morning numb so I nod and try… Read it

My Most Precious

Do you ever stand, toes at the threshold of that yellow line and imagine some nutcase is going to push you in front of the train? I always do. Every time the warm assault of air whips the hair against my cheek, I cast a furtive glance over my shoulder and judge. Charcoal suit; not crazy. Blow-dry; not crazy. Skinny,… 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

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