We eat your words

SHORT STORIES: Father McKenzie

‘Father McKenzie Wiping the dirt from his hands as he walked from the grave No one was saved.’ Eleanor Rigby (Lennon-McCartney, 1966) “The Mass is ended. Go in peace.” But of course they didn’t. Because they hadn’t been there in the first…

SHORT STORIES: A Burnt-Out Case

“Steve, we’ve got a call-out.” “Where to this time?” “Brough Park. Some act of vandalism.” “Ok then, off we go.” The vandalism turned out to be a car. A VW Polo Estate. Or what had once been a VW Polo Estate. It was now a burnt-out hulk.…

SHORT STORIES: Lion of Judah

The Rev. Susan McKenzie had not realised when she first took on the Parish of St. Trillo and St. George, Rhos-on-Sea that she would also have responsibility for a third church, the little chapel that sits on the seashore just below the road…

SHORT STORIES: Galina

We’ve met, you and I. I remember it. Not vividly, but well enough. I was coming out of my room and you passed by, a towel wrapped around you. You’d obviously just visited the same shower that I was headed for. You smiled, a nice smile, and…

SHORT STORIES: Pritti Evil

'Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime' - Herbert Ward I remember it well. The day when I first saw her on the TV screen a few years ago. I was watching the news with Bill and there was some article about politics, I can’t…

Brexit: Land of Hope and Glory

It is unfair, you know. Unfair how all Leave voters are labelled as being “racist” or “xenophobic”. Some are, true; yes, there has been a rise in race-related violence since the vote, but most Leave voters don’t have a racist bone in their…

Brexit: On Torquay Waterfront

It’s a beautiful, sunny evening and I am sitting with friends on the waterfront at Torquay. As we gaze out over the moored yachts and holiday homes, a group of youngsters walk past us. It’s a large group, all about sixteen years old,…

SHORT STORIES: On Erha 9

March 2029, 53 miles off the coast of Nigeria Whenever I read Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’, I am reminded of my time on the rig. Rigs are the 21st century equivalent of the ranch in Soledad, populated by men – always men, even in these…

SHORT STORIES: ‘Renesse’

“In this house we ask before we leave the table, Kim!” It was as if her father had never spoken. She continued walking into the kitchen and opened the door. “Kim, what time will you be ba…?” But Kim had already slammed the door and was…

SHORT STORIES: Caracas

1. Jon Shingler sat in the waiting area of Gate 22 Terminal B doing the first brave, imaginative, risky, crazy act of his life. He glanced up at the monitor above the desk manned by two smartly-attired staff. UX051 Caracas He was doing it!…

SHORT STORIES: ‘Eve’

January 2042 “Martin, so glad I’ve got hold of you.” It was my sister Jenny. “I’ve booked everything for dad’s birthday. We’re flying out of Stansted at 16:40 the evening before, getting into Malaga at 17:50. And when we get there I’ve…

SHORT STORIES: ‘Imagine That’

“Una cerveza por favor.” “You speak a bit of the lingo then?” He looked at me, middle-aged, more red than tanned. “Oh yes, you pick it up you know, when you travel about as I do.” “You travel a lot do you?” “Travel? Me? Do nothing but!…

SHORT STORIES: ‘Hurt Like Hell’

The garden was spread out like a bedsheet before them. In the early morning sunlight the four men stood, gazing out, drinking in its beauty. For a split second they shared a moment of pride. This was theirs! They were the Gods who had…

SHORT STORIES: The Kiss

The night was mild and it was nice out there in the yard. I’d half-expected to find a score of other smokers but to my surprise I was the only one. I savoured the silence, lit up and inhaled deeply. Whether it eventually kills you or not,…