May 23, 2020
“But this can’t be right! I don’t believe it!”
I suppress a sigh. This always happens. People take these tests thinking they already know the outcome, most do, but there’s always some who’re wrong. I put on my most serious face.
“I’m sorry, but the test is accurate as long as you answered it correctly.”
I wait for a reply, but he’s just staring out the window. He looks particularly devastated. I don’t really know what to say to him. It can be a tough situation. I’ve seen others go through similar.
“Is there anything I can do for you?”
His gaze is still fixed out of the window. I can only just hear his voice as he whispers to himself.
“But the Conservatives, though. A bloody Tory. I wish I’d never taken the test.”
April Fool’s Day
April 1, 2020
“Here you go!” Dave carefully lays down a tray filled with biscuits, crisps, sandwiches and much more, on his desk. He looks very pleased with himself. “What’s that for then?” I ask.
Dave frowns and looks agitated by my question. “It’s April Food’s Day, mate.” From across the office, Harry, his head tipped backwards, begins to roar with laughter. Dave still doesn’t get it. He looks from me to Harry and then back again and shrugs his shoulders. “What?”
I have to break it to him. “It’s April Fool’s Day, you cretin!” Dave’s face clouds with anger and he abruptly turns towards Harry, his finger pointing menacingly. “You bastard!”
The Car at the End of the World
March 12, 2020
The worst thing about the world ending is that I can’t move that car off the front lawn. Bloody thing has been parked there for months. It must have been left behind when the troubles began. Of course, I tried to get the thing going, but there’s no petrol inside. No petrol anywhere, come to think of it. I guess that’s something we’ve all got to get used to these days. That, and there not being electricity, or running water, or government or civilisation as we used to know it. Still, the sky does look bloody beautiful at night.
Originally published in Maudlin House
January 25, 2020
The postman said it was for me. I asked him how he knew that because it didn’t have my name on. He shrugged and walked away, leaving the package on the porch. It moved. I closed and locked the door.
In a Pickle
December 17, 2019
I tried to forgive her, but she just wouldn’t let me. She was always very stubborn. She even stormed out, which left me in a bit of a pickle as it wasn’t my apartment. It was hers.
October 31, 2019
It’s outside the door. I have no idea how it found me, but it has. I can hear it scratching at the wood. There is an unmistakable smell of death wafting through the cracks — sickly sweet. I try and hold my breath as the stench fills the room. It won’t be long now before it breaks through.
October 03, 2019
Come with me, he said. “Where do you want me to go?” I asked him. Everywhere, he said. “Everywhere?” I asked. Yes everywhere, stop repeating me, he said. “Oh ok,” I said, I must have made him angry. Sometimes he gets angry. Sometimes he gets so angry that I have to run and hide. Today he isn’t that angry, so I stay. Well, don’t just stand there, he says, let’s go. Before I can say a word, he is gone. I brace myself; it is always disorientating when I cross over. I take a deep breath, and then I am gone.
Originally published in Maudlin House
The Last Fish
September 04, 2019
A boy sits by the pond and wonders if he should catch the last fish on Earth. Somehow it has been overlooked. The last of its species. Gone forever. He knows he should let it be, leave it alone, but he is terribly hungry. He sighs and pulls out his fishing rod. A boy must eat.
End and Beginning
July 11, 2019
“Always begin at the end of the beginning. Never at the beginning of the end.” Strange advice from a man who lives outside of time. Or maybe it makes perfect sense coming from him. I don’t know. His words stuck with me throughout my life. I tried to do just that. It only occurs to me now, here on my death bed, that it was a joke.
Originally published on FIVE:2:ONE's #thesideshow web series