We do not know why the king went into the cave. Was he hiding? Seeking solitude? Was he meeting a lover? Or an envoy of his neighbour to negotiate a transfer of power? Was he fed up of being a king? I once asked my nursemaid and she told me it was better not to know. I disagreed with her. It’s always better to know. Continue reading The Crown (La Corona)
His moustache wriggled like a caterpillar when he laughed. Florence hated it. She hated the moustache, she hated the high waistband of his tweed trousers, the way George cleared his throat all the time – huh-hummm. The protruding mole by his ear, the smell of stale pipe tobacco, the way he kept his fingernails so long that they cut into the skin of her arm now as he gripped her. She shook her arm, but he held it all the tighter. And while his mouth smiled, she saw anger in his eyes. Continue reading The Quiet Fight and Flight of Florence Morgan
“Mummy, what’s that lady doing?”
Jenny pushed Tom before her, guiding him past the other shoppers with a gentle, but insistent, hand on his shoulder. The sports shop closed in five minutes, and she had to make sure she got the right golf balls. She bought the wrong ones last time, and Mark had not been happy.
Tom craned his neck to look at the woman as they passed her by. She was holding a sign he couldn’t read, and shouting, her face determined.
“What does… ‘por-testing’ mean?”
The first spots of rain fell, and one landed on Jenny’s nose and made her jump. She reached out and pulled Tom’s hood over his head. Why hadn’t she brought the pushchair? At three and a half he was getting too old for it, but it sure made shopping trips quicker.
“Pro-testing,” Jenny corrected. “When you’re annoyed about something, you can tell everyone why and ask them to help you change it.”
“Like when Daddy is annoyed with you?”
Jenny smiled and shook her head. “Not quite, Tom. Bigger things than that. Come on, we need to hurry.”
The shop was in sight now, in the distance. As she herded Tom towards it, she saw a fit-looking guy in a polo shirt come to the door and flip the sign from Open to Closed.
“Shit!” Jenny couldn’t help herself.
She picked him up now and swung him into her arms, ignoring the sharp pain in her back from her fall down the stairs the week before. Mark didn’t want her to go to the doctors, but she might have to, because it was getting worse. Tom gave a cry of surprise as she began to run towards the shop, every step making her gasp.
The guy was outside the sports shop locking the door now.
“Wait!” called Jenny, “Please…”Continue reading “The Protest: A Short Story”
This one was a homemade job created for a reluctant reader who was also a massive Star Wars fan! It caused another problem – he was no longer reluctant, but couldn’t read for laughing 🙂
This story is dedicated to all those who breathed their last breath in ‘the war to end all wars’ – if only that were true – and to the memory of Harry Redman, my great-grandfather, who managed to live through it all. Unlike so many of his fellow soldiers. Continue reading The Perfect Gift: Short Story
I was a Saturday Girl once. There was a small cafe in our small town, made popular by a long-running TV series. So many girls from school undertook their job-baptism of fire here, and the kitchen was a seething microcosm of alliances, hostilities and hormones, interspersed with coke floats and cheese and pickle sandwiches.
They pushed me to the top of the stairs and handed me a torch.
“Go on,” said the girl called Suzanna, “They’re on the top shelf.”
I peered down. It was pitch black at the bottom. The light from the cafe filtered down, reducing with every step. I flicked the torch on and gritted my teeth.
This was clearly the beginning of some kind of war.
“Come on, new girl.”
An hour into the job and I was already losing.Continue reading “INSPIRATION: The Saturday Girl”
This wee story is in response to my early-motherhood days in England, when the rivalry for motherly perfection was knives-out serious. I just thought, wouldn’t it be nice if… INSPIRED My sister flung a cushion onto the floor, then another one. She caught hold of the throw on the sofa and wrenched it so that it was crumpled. I followed her unusual trail of destruction … Continue reading INSPIRATION: The Un-Amy Mess