What would Louis Armstrong do?

She lugged the worn and battered case that protected her most valuable possession across the station, muttering a string of apologies as she went. This was the fourth time today she’d clobbered someone’s knees and sent them buckling to the ground. She knew she was late but a little bit of her just didn’t care, actually, that wasn’t true, none… 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

Stuck

Cheryl was stuck in a lift. Alone. The date hadn’t gone well. After three years of solitude she’d signed up to a site where love was ‘only a click away!’ and began her dating adventure: starting with Tim and the Black Lion pub. The date was dull. Tim was dull. Possibly, after so much time alone, she was dull. Cheryl… 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

Emeralds & Diamonds

He called me his Queen. I never called him my King. Except once when he gave me a brooch. “You listened?” I said. ” I thought you were asleep.” One night, when the world was at its coldest and darkest, I awoke sweating from a nightmare. It was then I whispered my one and only story into his ear. It was the… Read it

Yes

Under the thick wolf sweater, the stays of Andrea’s corset had flexed with every movement of the carriage. We went to a fancy dress party once as geologists. I had a rock hammer and a leather bag; Andrea wore the sweater and carried a field guide to the sedimentary beds of southwest England. Everything seems a long time ago and… Read it

The Warrener’s Daughter Warns

Run, bunny, run. You’re a big buck coney with paws as fleet as windrush and blood as hot as sunshine. When my father comes with his ferrets and his net you’d best not be here, munching on tussocks between the pillow mounds, twitching your bunny nose with that devil-may-get-me flare. There’s a flash of grey on your rump that says… Read it

The Left Eye

The operation had been a success. The Ophthalmologist had shaken her hand. “Enjoy your new life,” he’d said. Leaving Moorfields she headed for the Old Street roundabout, a vortex that sucked people under and round and out again, blue tubing holding an advert for the latest phone above. On her way, a mother and her scowling son glanced up at… Read it

To the Woods – Journal of a Journey Intrepidly Taken

Mud; mud everywhere. Even now, as I set down the tale, my stained notebook sheds crumbled earth, which lodges between the keys of my Mac. We crossed Bramley Road and entered a wild place. Within sight of the Tube Station, we glimpsed the scut of a rabbit disappearing amongst frozen molehills. The air so cold it almost crackled. You shattered… Read it

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