Roll Up, Roll Up! by Nigel Jarrett

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”

An Email from Tommy Cooper by Michael Bloor

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”

The Wildebeest Soul Star by Annie Rose

I learnt to walk within minutes of birth. Surely, I can manage this. Can’t I?

In front of me the long, shifting puzzle piece of rain macs and damp heads stirs. The afternoon fog is forked by the faintest glitter of lightning. Finally, after so long standing still, we all move along three paces. A light rain has wetted my muzzle. I keep shaking back locks of coarse white-tipped hair which have escaped in front of my eyes. No matter how delicately I try to tread, my steps always sound louder than everyone else’s. Continue reading “The Wildebeest Soul Star by Annie Rose”

Cassie’s Ghost by Paul Nevin

Cassie’s ghost walked through the front door and stepped into the hallway. As always, she dropped the phantom briefcase by the post at the foot of the stairs, and then carried on walking towards the kitchen.

Edward stepped out of the living room, an exercise book in one hand, a red pen in the other. He watched, transfixed, as the ghost walked past. Not scared, not fazed at all after seeing this scene play out so many times, but rapt at the sight of his wife’s ghost again. He followed her and stood just outside the kitchen, watching the ghost at the sink that overlooked the garden, seeing the cold tap dripping through the filter of her translucent body. The ghost turned around and smiled towards one of the chairs around the table, rolling her eyes, then turned to face him. She seemed to notice him and she smiled again. Edward smiled back. Continue reading “Cassie’s Ghost by Paul Nevin”

Wunnerful Radio Sherwoo-oood… by Michael Bloor

“I don’t care who’s requested it. You’re not playing a song called, “Conceived in Sin, Born in Pain…” err…”

I try to be helpful: “It’s “Conceived in Sin, Born in Pain, a Life of Toil, and Inevitable Death”, boss.”

“Right. You’re NOT playing, on the public airwaves, a song called “Conceived in Sin, Born in Pain, a Life of Toil, and Inevitable Death”, by a group called Dog’s Breath and the Puppypoopers.” Continue reading “Wunnerful Radio Sherwoo-oood… by Michael Bloor”

Imagination by Hayleigh Sleigh

‘I’m not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.’
A. A. Milne, Winnie The Pooh

Trevor watched as Chrissie went to make another cup of tea. Green tea with honey, always. He watched her squeak out a “Hhehh” when a colleague walked past, which he presumed was supposed to be the first syllable of “Hello”.

He scanned her over-crowded desk. Always too many pens. She regularly slowed down the pace of a meeting by not having a pen that worked – sucking on the nib, scribbling – but she had pots full of them. Was she clinging on to all those broken pens for sentimental reasons? Continue reading “Imagination by Hayleigh Sleigh”