I had Ricky to thank for finding myself sitting alone in the front row of Zippo’s Circus.
He’d walked out on his girlfriend and young ‘un, and Josie had driven off with our kids to visit her. I wanted the pair of them to stay with me, but for some motherly reason Josie insisted on taking them along. We could have made it a threesome, especially as the circus was one of those without animals. They boys could have learned some moral lesson. In any case, I’d availed myself of Zippo’s BTGTF offer – buy two adult tickets and two kids get in free. There we go. Continue reading “Roll Up, Roll Up! by Nigel Jarrett”
George was a pretty good writer. At least, he definitely wasn’t a bad writer. Two separate agents had told him they liked the start of his novel. Keep writing, they said. And the editor of a magazine had once written that he liked the idea of one of his stories, even if the story itself wasn’t quite right for the magazine.
He’d always been a good writer. When he was eight or nine he won a prize for an essay about the fields where they used to walk with his uncle’s dog, and after that he always knew he’d be a writer. He stopped writing for a while when he was a teenager and then through university – he was too busy studying and fooling around! – and for a while after he left university he still didn’t write, but then at some point he felt the need to start again and now he knew he’d never stop. It was the one thing he was good at and it was all he wanted to do. His whole life was organised around writing, and in particular around finishing his novel. Continue reading “Keep writing, they said by Christopher Branson”
The banana leaves were shredded by the storms that had torn through Florida in September, but new growth had already unfurled, and turgid green leaves clapped in the wind. Dana sat alone on her back terrace and sipped red wine that she couldn’t taste. She sucked on her cigarette, gazing at the smoke as it jetted from her mouth and dispersed into the blackness beyond her porch light.
It had only been a few months since Troy left her. He had a heart attack, which might not have even killed him if he hadn’t careened off the road into an alligator infested canal. Blunt trauma to the head, the coroner’s report said, from the impact of Troy’s skull against some part of their old Jeep. Continue reading “The Particles Formerly Known as Troy by Christa Wojciechowski”
don’t think just act don’t think just act don’t
The metal girder was cutting through Eddie’s tracksuit, slicing through the fabric and into his knees as he strained. He cursed, yelled, but he wasn’t strong enough to pull both children to safety simultaneously, risked letting them fall.
‘Listen,’ he said, into the hole. ‘I need to let go for a second.’ Continue reading “The Other Boy by Robin Maginn”
‘I’ll be honest, Celia; the sex is fantastic, but when it comes to social situations, he can be a right dick. He’s juvenile; everything ends up being an innuendo. Phallic objects need to be avoided. I cringe if there’s anything around that’ll prompt the inevitable waggling in his groin area. Carrots, cucumbers, French loaves, bananas; you name it, he does the knob joke thing. Going to the supermarket is a nightmare. If I manage to steer him away from anything cock-like, he makes a beeline for the melons, picks two up and bounces them in his hands while smirking. In truth, I’ve given up. If we’re not having sex, he stays in the wardrobe.’ Continue reading “Training Terrence by Peter Caffrey”
It happened this way. I’m a criminologist with research interests in white-collar crime and for the last few months I’ve been working on a new project – internet fraud. You know the sort of thing: you get an email from an Arnaud Sansculottes, ex-financial advisor to the ex-President of Haiti, soliciting your good offices in moving a $9.5 million secret fund from Port-au-Prince to your bank in Dunblane. You delete it with a sigh. Secretly, you’d love to correspond with Arnaud: you picture him with a pencil moustache, a double-breasted suit with padded shoulders, shiny two-tone shoes and a fat cigar; he has a lady-friend called Angelique, to whom he is devoted, and a large dog called Chichi; he is very knowledgeable – and opinionated – about air-conditioning. Well, I get to correspond with Arnaud. Not bad eh? Continue reading “An Email from Tommy Cooper by Michael Bloor”
Subject Theta had died for 197 seconds. I sat back and quickly confirmed the ECG readings and then looked over his blood works. O2 was obviously low, CO2 higher than the norm. A slight imbalance of electrolytes as the body fought against cellular death. The insignificant chemical trace of the potassium used to stop his heart. Nothing vastly dissimilar from the other twenty seven staged ‘deaths’ we’ve run through here.
I checked his viral load. No sign of the HR2ZV activating at all. Considering the horrific effects this retro virus has wrought on mankind its bloody hard to motivate it into working. I checked Subject Theta’s timeline. The cocktail of drugs were administered at 10:45am. His controlled descent into death came at 10:51. Defibrillation was commenced at 10:54 or 180 seconds after time of death. One shot, 75 joules and the subjects heart restarted as planned. Just like clockwork; but the damned Human Romero Type 2 Zombie Retro Virus did not activate. Continue reading “Zed by Ste Whitehouse”