My wife, the cat by Anna Rivers

My wife turns into a cat sometimes when she thinks she is alone. She thinks I don’t know, but I do.

I’ll leave her washing up our breakfast things, shout a hearty, extravagant goodbye, get into the car and slam the door loudly, rev the engine so she knows I’m going, and roar off down the road. I’ll park round the corner and jog back in my suit and tie. It’s only worth doing this on days when she isn’t going in to work: she’s a part-time teaching assistant at the local primary, specialising in working with SEN kids, but two days out of five, plus weekends, she works from home as a freelance copy-editor. That’s when it happens. I suppose she must be bored. Continue reading “My wife, the cat by Anna Rivers”

The Great British Break-Off by Jake Kendall

Derek Pryce hated the cold.

He pulled his thick, double-hooded coat tight as the angry wind and lacerating rain pelted his back. The constant thudding of the torrid weather and the sheer misery of it all drowned out the self-preserving voice of reason that tried its best to warn him: turn back; you shouldn’t be out here.

He forced himself forward, slowly, cautiously. The footpath wet and treacherous. Continue reading “The Great British Break-Off by Jake Kendall”

The Ubiquitous Man by Jake Kendall

1. Rob

Robert Coleman was a man. No one could take that away from him. Neither could they credit him with much more.

You’ve probably passed a face like his dozens of times today alone. It is without flaw or charm, symmetrical – set unremarkably against his shortly cut dark hair which is pushed up at the front.

Often when people met him they felt a strong sense of déjà vu. To the extent that some would swear blind they’d met before, if only they could place where. Rob inadvertently abetted that impression as he talked: a pure expression of the pop-culture hive mind, he spent social occasions discussing the same video games, superhero films and TV box sets with the nearest other Rob-types. Continue reading “The Ubiquitous Man by Jake Kendall”

She Outruns the Humdrum by J.L. Corbett

With enough practice, a person can convince themselves of almost anything. Like square pegs stuck in round holes, they force themselves into identities that don’t fit and they pretend they’re happy. Humans lie constantly, especially to themselves.

“Is he saying anything?” the young woman leaned forward in her chair. Her eyes were glistening and she looked quite pretty, despite the circumstances. Continue reading “She Outruns the Humdrum by J.L. Corbett”