The Brooch

After weeks of wind and rain today was perfect, still and dry. The nearby turbines stood motionless, like bleached white skeletons against the dark sky. As ever the dog stood close by its owner panting softly. Occasionally a bird spiralled skywards startled by something unseen. Standing by the edge of the wood at the corner of the field overlooking the valley, Bill expected one of two things would happen. He was a superstitious man, a believer in good and evil. Gods and ghosts. That type of thing. It all made perfect sense to him. One month before he had found the…

A Cold Room

“OK stop there Frank. We don’t do surnames around here, your first name will do”, said the man in the black suit. The unimposing room was cold and poorly lit. Two chairs, a table, a small electric heater working flat-out without making much difference. Frank sat on his uncomfortable wooden seat facing the man who had introduced himself as Jake. A stern-faced young man. He just sat looking at frank, as if trying to work him out. “Where am I? said Frank. “The afterlife of course”, said Jake. That was awkward, not least because it meant Frank was now dead. That…

Move Silent and Swift

The world had been dark for just one year. Morgan thought he was managing alright. He had though seen the population of his once busy home city dwindle to a fraction of its size. People just didn’t take enough care. Move silent and swift, that was now the key to survival. At first when the darkness came life had carried on pretty much as normal. Scientists were working hard convinced there was a rational explanation. The religious were praying convinced their sins had caused it. Morgan wasn’t sure what to think, his main aim was now to get by. As each day passed things were getting more…

The Mystery of North Cote Mine

“It’s about time you changed this car Dan” said Amy as she clambered into the back seat of his pale blue 1962 Mk 1 Ford Cortina, “it’s a wreck, my feet were soaked when we got here yesterday. There’s a hole under the carpet that I can see the road through”. It was 7.30am and the rain that had poured continuously the previous day had stopped during the night and it looked like it would be a lovely August day. “Sorry Amy”, said Jack trying to start the car for the fourth time, “I can’t afford anything else just yet…

The MV Lyubov Orlava

A rotten rusting hulk losing its balky battle twixt water, air and iron plate drawn day by day ever closer toward the briny deep. The string quartet plays a mournful tune echoing around the listing listless ship, broken furniture and shards of glass litter the wretched cabaret lounge. The swimming pool rocks and rolls with stinking green Adams ale, cabins are cold dark desolate rat holes. The cruise to nowhere never ending drifting, lost forever to the eyes of man. From the maelstrom of Antarctica to peace in a Newfoundland harbour tethered to a quiet dock awaiting annihilation at the hands…

Don’s Story

“Mum there’s a bloke outside rolling about on the floor I think he’s drunk” “It’s that bloody pub again three fights this week, Bill call the police. “We’re off to the rent office tomorrow. I want a transfer. We are off up Swarcliffe near our Pam,” said Mum She hated it here I knew she did. I suppose only now about to enter my teens did I begin to realise how much. Her large brood of brothers and sisters were always striving to better themselves. Each trying to be better than the rest. Business people, successful people. Where was my…

One Day Soon I’m Going to Cas Vegas

The coach and four bound for Hull winds its way along a ribbon of stone and dirt. Not long departed from The Bull and Mouth in the fledgling city, a hard day of toil ahead. Tolls paid at Halton Dial the traveller’s carriage labours up the leafy tree-lined hill. The new turnpike unfolds through fields and English countryside. A rural idyll. A double-decker 401 to distant Goole, grumbling hot and sweaty out-of-town. Diesel fumes spewing into the wet, grey, winter evening. ‘Home is where the heart is’ and mine is by this noisy tarmac world. A fast-flowing river of cars, trucks, buses, and helicopters chasing sirens. The traffic is fast talking,…

Listen To Your Wife

I hated those dolls, hundreds of them all over the house. Some small, others as big as a child. We’d been married for ten years my wife loved them, she had collected them all of her life. They were everywhere. On chairs, shelves, even the bed. Quaintly dressed china dolls. I found it hard to even set foot in my home. I had enough one day and just put them all into boxes. She went ballistic. “Where are my babies what have you done with them”? Her babies! We argued for hours, the dolls came back out. Their mean little…

The Restaurant Corridor

I stop puzzled, turning slowly this is crazy. I came out of that door, the toilet I’m sure of it. Maye I’m having a funny turn, too much booze. I have been to a restaurant with a group of friends. I can remember everything. The job, house, car, children. All of it but I feel so disorientated. Where was I? that was it in the corridor of the restaurant. I’d used the toilet and then we were going home. I just can’t find the door back to the restaurant. I turn to go back I can’t find the door that I’ve…

A Leap of Faith

As Cecilia Vanderbank passed from this life, a small team of medics moved into action. She had no family, was fabulously wealthy and about to die. She believed in nothing except money, business and science. Despite her fame and fortune her destiny was to be the same as everyone else’s on the planet. In recent years’ great advances had been made with anti-aging drugs, treatments and cryogenics. The old lady had considered them all and tried quite a few to try to her retain youth. In the end she had put all of her hopes and most of her money with the company that a young student, Molly Bradford had just…