Oct
2016

Just a minute, sir.

“Oh sir, please don’t be alarmed by my face. Happened a few years back now, hardly think of it myself, the pox took a big chunk of it, hardly think of it at all. Yes, it worries people at first, sir, but pay it no mind. What’s inside that counts, isn’t it?
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“They say I died, sir, yes, that’s what I’ve heard. Dead as a doornail on the doctor’s table, just for a minute. Just a minute, and then the doctor brought me back, right as rain. Fit as a flea. But for that minute sir…

“I don’t like to talk about it, sir, no I really don’t. But I’ll tell you what I’ve told the Master and almost no one else, I remember that minute. Clear as day. Like it happened just now. It didn’t happen just now, it was years ago as I say, but I remember it clear as a bell. And do you know what I remember?

“Nothing. Quiet as the grave it was, sir. Black as pitch. No angels singing, no souls burning in torment. No Heaven, sir, and no Hell. There was nothing, and I was in that nothing, alone, for a whole minute. Toiling in black for 60 seconds, that’s what I was. You’d think it was peaceful, wouldn’t you, sir? You’d think it was rest? I didn’t feel any peace. No rest there, sir.

“Now we come to it, sir. Down here, please. Yes. I’m not asking you, sir. I’m telling you what the Master told me to do. Take you down here, sir. Quick as a flash, sir, down the stairs. Don’t make me push you, sir. Wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself.

“Why bother talking to you at all, sir? Why, I could have just wrapped you in a blanket and carried you down here! But the master has his ways, funny way some of them. Wanted you to hear my little story, he did, sir. Wanted you to know about that minute. Told me to tell you, sir, that you have a lot of minutes ahead of you.”

Sep
2016

Tube Chat.

The person opposite looks nervous. It’s not a ram-packed Tube carriage, but there are plenty of people here. That should mean it’s safe, but no. I am wearing a “Tube Chat?” badge, and in so doing have become the physical manifestation of urban ennui. Talk to me, stranger. Chat. Come out of your self-imposed bubble of personal space and let’s yak it up.

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Sep
2016

Working Time

​They shuffled out of the gates and over to the edges of the frozen lake. One or two of them found the cold air too sharp even for their smoke-toughened lungs and would burst the air at intervals with fits of coughing. Other than that, a drumming quiet lay across the crowd.

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Sep
2016

The Light

Waiting rooms are always the worst, she thought. This one was at least nice. Nice. And clean. Tidy, airy, bright with big windows letting in the sunshine reflected from the cars that sat waiting for owners who will have changed. Small changes, changes that the lolloping, dozy cars would never notice. Some of the changes would be in the mind, anyway. Knowledge, certainty, fear.

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Sep
2016

CONTENT

“It’s really exciting,” said the studio executive, straightening his tie and holding out his hand. His guest shook it warily. “We almost never run tours so I think you’ll agree it’s a bit of a treat.”


“It’s a great privilege,” said his guest. “Can I just ask – how do you create so much content on such a small plot? The studios are…”

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Aug
2016

The Pull of Home


Granddad always says he’s a scientist, an inventor, but really he’s just crazy. He’s never discovered anything, his inventions are all just broken wheels and elastic bands gathering dust in the shed and to be honest his “Scientific methods” leave a lot to be desired.

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Jul
2016

Reactions

“…bones, for some reason!” and he laughed; hugely, uproariously. She sank into herself. Oh god, that laugh. So certain of its own hilarity, so arrogant, so obnoxious. A toxic cloud of self-amusment that drifted slowly out from him until it stifled the genuine fun from any given room. He should have a warning, a yellow triangular sticker slapped on his face. Caution. Fumes.

She fumed. He could feel her resentment, white hot burning a hole in the sofa they just about shared. The gulf between them made it feel like two separate pieces of furniture. He tried to lighten the mood with a joke that screeched down to Earth in flames. Why did she do this? Incinerate the joy around her? She should have a warning, a red circle. Danger! Naked flame!

Those two are so great together, though you wouldn’t know it to hear them talk. They have a real spark, true chemistry. The way she reacts to him… It’s like hate, but you can see she’s knocked out by him, and she makes him just explode. They should have a warning, a big sign. Keep out. Private.