Writing

Below are links to all my published writing. If you take the time to read something, I hope you enjoy it.

The Heart of Everything Young

We stepped out of the front door into the dense air of late summer and found a line of stationary cars that reached as far as we could see in both directions. The enormous queue had clogged the whole road, blocking entrances and exits and driveways. No one was getting anywhere.

Published in Houses Borders Ghosts from The Fiction Desk.

The Sudden End of Everything

It takes me two trains to get home this time. It should be one, but I had to get off as there was an unattended bag in the gangway. No one else seemed to care, but I had to escape. I sit on a bench and watch my train rumble away. It doesn’t explode. They never do.

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

Potholes

One Friday afternoon, Rodger went into the storeroom, opened the lockable cabinet where we kept the barbiturates and the poisons, removed a small tub of potassium cyanide, and took it home with him. It was Monday afternoon before anyone noticed he wasn’t around.

Published 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.

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.

First published in The Nottingham Review issue 11 and reprinted in The Wax Paper issue 12.

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

Webby’s coat remained by the front door. None of us felt responsible for it, or that we had any right to touch it. Our communal living absolved each of us of individual responsibilities and so things in the house tended to remain as they were, or gradually fall apart.

Published at Belle Ombre

Touch

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

Published in 100 Words of Solitude and available in print from Rare Swan Press.

Spoons

Every time Andrea dropped the coffee spoon it seemed louder than the last. He wasn’t sure how she did it, whether she simply let it fall from her fingers or if she launched it a little.

Published at Ellipsis Zine

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 and available to read on the DIAJ award page.

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 and included in their annual print edition from 2017.

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.

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 issue 5.

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 at The Green Briar Review issue 6.2.

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 at Hypnopomp issue 12.

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