Posts from the “Short Stories” Category

Damian

Posted on February 13, 2012

I first met him in a squat near Hampstead Heath. He was wearing two pairs of sunglasses, one on top of the other. He sat at the end of the dinner table staring at me.  His head was shaved and his face pink and scaly, almost as if it had been scrubbed dry. Small fragments of skin fell like snowflakes whenever he moved and settled on the shoulders of his jacket. He had long, almost translucent fingers with the nails nibbled to the core. He kept them interlocked and would twiddle his thumbs continuously, squeezing his palms together, almost as if he was in a permanent state of prayer. He never spoke nor smiled but devoured the food as if it was his last,…

A Rabbit’s Tale

Posted on February 11, 2012

George had made his mind up that the dog would have to go. There was no question about it. It was either Paddy or him. All he had to do was pluck up the courage to tell her. It wasn’t as if they needed the damn thing. Yes, they were in the countryside but this wasn’t the Wild West and packs of wolves would not be attacking their small homestead in the night. He would just let it out gently and that would be that. Mind you, it had disappeared into the night again and had shown no sign of returning. He swallowed his whiskey and smiled. That’s when he heard the scratching, announcing it’s return. He grimaced. ‘Thank God for that,’ said Susan,…

Redemption

Posted on January 26, 2012

The morning call to prayers echoes around the city, rousing its occupants from their sleep and jolting them back into the nightmare that has engulfed them. The first rays of the sun radiate outwards over the sea, illuminating the devastation and destruction below. The Corniche, hugging the seafront with its famous hotels, the Saint Georges, the Phoenicia and the Vendome all shattered, pock marked and charred black; the shops and chic boutiques on Beirut’s Fifth Avenue, Hamra, shuttered, padlocked and empty, their terrified owners sheltering in the cellars below; the up-market apartment blocs around Raouche, their windows boarded up, their walls peppered with bullet holes; and behind them on the airport road, the squalid refugee camps of Chatila and Borj Al-Barajneh barricaded and guarded…

Short, Back and Sides

Posted on January 26, 2012

Martin’s Barber Shop had been in the town for as long as anybody could remember; a basic, no-nonsense hairdressers next to the Capital cinema just near to the town centre. Its owner, Marten Hiss had been a German paratrooper in the war and had ended up in a POW camp nearby. He had been captured after crashing feet first through the roof of Mavis’s Hairdressing Salon and landing trouser-less astride the poor owner, as she sat naked on her bed, painting her toes bright red. Mavis never recovered from the shock and her legs would twitch involuntarily whenever she heard anything spoken in German. It was also a defining moment for Hiss who, in an instance, knew exactly what he wanted to do with…

Arn-old

Posted on January 25, 2012

“You’re not coming anywhere near me with that thing!” screamed Grace, retreating behind the couch. “I’m warning you Bob. If you don’t take it outside this instance, I’ll never speak to you again.” Bob did hear her but he took no notice. They had been together almost 35 years and he had learnt that the best way to deal with Grace’s outbursts was to just ignore her. He pressed the remote control and stood back as the machine came to life “Good evening,” it said,  “I am pleased to make your acquaintance.” “Turn it off,” screamed Grace. “Turn it off or else…” Bob continued to ignore her and adjusted the volume. “For Christ’s sake, Grace, just get a hold of yourself. It’s not going…

Ham Fisted

Posted on January 24, 2012

The sheer scale of the disaster struck Roland Dewhurst as he was congratulating himself on the quality of his work. He had switched off the lawnmower, lifted himself from the soft, leather seat and was staring in admiration at the lushness of the lawn. He pulled the packet of cigarettes from his pocket, checked that no one was watching and lit up. He inhaled the smoke and relaxed as the nicotine kicked in. He took a few more drags, stubbed the end of the cigarette on the heel of his shoe and placed it back in the packet.  He turned, detached the cuttings box and walked over to the compost heap. He was watching the cuttings tumble down before him when he spotted the…