Stories

The Sudden End of Everything

Some people live their lives trying to make sure they are remembered. I wonder if it might be best to be forgotten.

First published in issue 100 of Glimmer Train, and republished online at Belle Ombre

The Weight of Nothing

They took pictures of them holding him wrapped in a crochet blanket that had belonged to a grandparent. Sophie, not wanting to look at the camera, looked down at Oliver’s face and tried to pretend no one was taking pictures.

Published in The Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Award anthology, 2019

The Room with the Mandala Rug

Every now and then she contacted me, sending brief little text messages asking how I was, what I was doing. Cleverly ambiguous messages with plausible denial built into them. A denial that became a lot less plausible when she told me to meet her at the usual place at the usual time.

Published at Typishly

What is Proper to Stones

For twenty years he had worked at the same company, slowly working his way out of jobs he had enjoyed and up the hierarchy into ones he didn’t until stress, combined with the gradual dissolution of his marriage, precipitated a breakdown. Now he makes bridles for local horse owners, and belts that he sells at craft markets.

Published in The Nottingham Review, issue 11. Unfortunately The Nottingham Review is no longer available, so this story is looking for a new home.

My History as a Bystander to Automotive Arson

We stood around at an incautious distance. I had pulled on yesterday’s clothes, but others were in their pyjamas, bare foot on the cold concrete. Occasionally we heard cracks as bits of the cars shattered. The heat caused one of the car horns to begin sounding continuously, as though screaming for help. A tire burst. The car slumped.

Published in Door is a Jar, issue 16

We’re Looking for Our Friend, We Don’t Know His Name

“I’ve got some news,” Yuri said. He shifted in his seat. “I’m selling the house. Four weeks, then you’re out.”

Published at Belle Ombre

The Surface Tension of Water

She stops and turns to me. She is stood in a puddle and her jeans, which are slightly too long for her legs, are drawing up the rainwater. I want to say that’s the capillary effect, but I don’t think she would appreciate it.

Published at Five on the Fifth

Touch

People used to hold hands. They used to hug, wrapping themselves up in each other. That was before.

Published at the 100 Words of Solitude project and forthcoming in the 100 Words of Solitude book

A Stranger in Your World

Her laugh is different now. It sounds like broken glass being swept but I can’t think how it used to sound, just that it has changed. A lot about her has changed. She dresses differently, but it’s more than that. She stands a little taller, like she is squaring up to things. Like she belongs wherever she happens to be.

Published at The Dime Show Review

Before You Were Born

Before you were born you were taken into a small room with a writing desk. You were told to write a letter to yourself. Most people write about their fears and expectations, the things they want to achieve, the things they want to avoid. You didn’t have to write these things. You could write whatever you wanted. When you were finished you sealed the envelope and they filed it away in their archive.

Published in Hypnopomp, issue 12

Give My Regards to All the People I Met

He booked one room with two single beds to save money. He said the hotel was about two hours away but we have been driving now for three. I don’t mind. I am glad we are getting further away. The headlights catch on the heavy rain and the darkness beyond makes it look like we have arrived at the edge of something. The very edge.

Published in The Green Briar Review, issue 6.2

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