Tunnels of Time

I begin tunnelling, through rock, clay and gravel, cutting through the streets of London.  A link from the King to his Knights of St. John.  Covered over with arches of bricks.   Down the line two dummy house fronts act as camouflage.  Engines grind through the bowels of commerce, rattle homes, disturb lives.  Yesterday travel around the city was on foot… Read it

Death of a Pelican in St James’s Park

I would recommend your sign be more firm. ‘Please do not feed’ implies the action to be optional. A sans-serif font would be considerably more off-putting. There have been pelicans here on the lake since 1664, a gift from the Russian ambassador. In South Australia, a woman named Judy communicated with pelicans as a way to heal lung disease. I… Read it

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

Pan’s Final Victim

She crouches on the cold, steel chair, eyes scanning every inch of the grey room. From mirror to door. Door to mirror. Just as He taught her. A door slams in the building and her ears prick. Footsteps. She knows them before they reach the door, before he steps into the room. He looks her up and down, taking in… 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

All’s Well that Ends Badly

I’d moved into Lavender Cottage on the 15th of April 2013.  Falling in love with its chocolate box looks, charmed by the inscription over the door ‘Built by Tom ~ Thatcher of this Parish in 1791’. In a moment of weakness, I invite my few remaining relatives still alive to celebrate the festive season in my picturesque idyll. My brother… Read it

Blood-orange

Your latest orchestral piece is a limestone cliff that you want me to throw myself off. Instead I jumpstart the Cortina and drive it slap bang into the space between notation and stave, but not before taking your Zippo out of the glove box and setting fire to the house. Later you’ll pull back your cuff like some inky conjuror,… Read it

The Amaranthine Moment

The slender iron columns resolute in their purpose, curved off towards the tunnel, their rigid equidistance punctuated by people milling, reading, their toes awkwardly kicking the shiny painted paving stones of the platform in anticipation of the train’s imminent arrival. The woman was there again. Her tall and purposeful gait was as slim and strong in appearance as the column… Read it

Countdown

The thing she had, the syndrome, was like nothing the best minds in medical science had seen before. In the foyer of A&E they lifted her like cloth sacking, triaged her; no she hadn’t fallen, or vomited. Her temperature was pushing fever point, that was the most they could say. “Do we have her notes?” the nurse wanted to know.… 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