Category Archives: Stories


I cannot describe a 1950s council estate without slipping into a catatonic stupor, my forehead resting on my notebook, all energy drained, and my anger rising at the utter pointlessness of these places competing with the utter pointlessness of having to write about them; worse still, spend time at one. Continue reading


Magic Happens When You’re Good

Contains strong language.

‘I don’t know,’ says the younger man. He takes a sip of his pint of Kronenbourg.

‘Look,’ says the older man. ‘Look at me.’

The younger man holds his pint close to his chest.

‘I’m looking at you,’ says the younger man.

‘You can play it safe or you can get yourself noticed. And you really need to get yourself noticed. It’s up to you. All I’m saying is that you need to make a decision.’ Continue reading

Two and Eight

Darren picked up a stack of chips and let them slip back through his fingers on to the table. They clicked together as they dropped, that dry, abbreviated sound you only get from 11-gram clay chips. He slipped a blue from the top of his stack and tossed it expertly into the centre circle of the baize. As he did so, Terry joined the table. Continue reading

The Widow of Edenbridge

Short story based on The Widow of Ephesus written by Aristides of Miletus in the 2nd century BC, and thought to be one of the oldest short stories. The original is shown below in italics.

Today Kathleen Phillips was attending the double funeral of her husband and son. Her younger sister, Lisa, with strength and energy drawn equally from stoic duty and the relief that it had not been her loss, had guided her broken sister sensitively through the event. Kathleen and her husband had been the attractive couple: sexy, capable and confident, and their son was a loved and admired product of their perfect union. Continue reading

The Deradicalisation of BB Miller

‘Ah advise you, BB,’ drawled her father. ‘Y’Uncle Geary is a legend fo’ all the wrong reasons. He int no man of God, and he don’t foller scripture.’

‘But he don’t get any visitors Reverend.’ said BB.

‘Non-sense,’ said her father. ‘For a year he had a ho-mo-sex-yew-al livin’ in his home.’ Continue reading


I resisted with every resource I could articulate. I was acting up like my life depended on it. On this particular day, I believed that it did.

No school today but without any of the benefits of that rare and enviable treat; that eight hours of kicking back with nothing to do but savour how a Wednesday could feel like a Saturday, only all to myself.

I would rather be at St. Joe’s amidst its mopped floors, wood, paper, chalk dust and Roneo ink; its stern-ness and judgement; its corduroy, Daily Mirror and St. Bruno staff room; its cold radiators and greaseproof toilet paper, and its walnut-brained fuckwit, alpha moron bullies, with their football nonsense and their gobbing and grunting and primeval clubbing of submissive beta boys. Continue reading

Rock and Ruin

Using imagery, metaphor and symbolism to explore wider themes.

Robert had two thoughts within thirty seconds of appearing. First: It was warm. Second: Fuck. I am never getting down from here. This has gone wrong and I am going to die here.

And he was right on both counts. Continue reading

Extensive To Face

Broken windscreen, 4 ft very slight scratch mark from rear of front wheel arch to rear nearside door.

I lived in a safe house. Not a safe house like when you’re on the run from the enemy, or you are the enemy within the close vicinity of those who would consider you so, but a safe place in which to grow up. It was quirky and chaotic: we had buffalo horns and ostrich eggs, World War 2 helmets and a decommissioned German officer’s Luger, and jazz on the record player. We had a Reliant Robin with no engine in the garden, in which we played, and scrap paper from the Houses of Parliament with a black border mourning the death of the King. Continue reading

75% Tall (excerpt)

Part of an unfinished short story about very young love.

Caleb and Angela had always had a sort of on-off relationship, but despite this, on one thing they were both agreed, that one day, they would be married. It was Angela who had first suggested it, when they were both four, and Caleb, being fairly easy going and really not too bothered about who he married, had agreed and not given it a second thought. But then, soon after, handmade cards and hand-written notes had started to be posted through his door, and each time Caleb picked up the deliveries, he would run to the window, only to see Angela disappearing behind her hedge, trailing a ribbon of pink chiffon, a mop of dark, curly hair and the click-clack of a very large pair of bright red high heels. Continue reading