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”
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 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”
I like to travel
but I don’t like
what I like
is living in places,
and turning them
and getting to know it,
the way they say the locals
“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”
‘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”
The reddening was getting worse, splitting out across my sclera like the wetlands of southern Louisiana. It was a common symptom according to the experts – bloodshot eyes. A drop of saline could soothe it, but the wine red would still snake across my white; a marker that I was a sufferer – a casualty of the spreading allergen. It didn’t help that I constantly rubbed them, wound my index fingers anti-clockwise to counter the itch that came as a side syndrome, swollen blood vessels abound. I’d circle and circle and circle until the kohl that I’d applied bled as though I was made from coal. I checked the pocket mirror I kept in my bag and licked my thumb to wipe the collection of smudges away. The sweat from the underground train had made it sticky and the more I wiped, the more it dragged like a child’s finger painting. Continue reading “The Fever by Emily Harrison”