It’s a cliché, I know, but here I am the hard-bitten alcoholic, twenty years clean, sitting staring at the unopened bottle of whisky in front of me, contemplating its deep smokey flavour and iodine traces running across my tongue. Note I said unopened, the seal not even cracked.
Continue reading “Beyond It All – by Ian”
Lunchtime and the city is bustling. The World celebrates. Three months since the lifting of lockdown and the pubs, clubs, cinemas, restaurants, and theatres are full to bursting. The partying persists much to the frustration of those who make their living from other people’s work.
Alicia knocks on the door of the attractive townhouse. She waits thirty seconds and takes the front door key from her purse. She hesitates at the sound of her mother slowly making her way down the stairs to answer. The door opens and a small elderly lady looks out.
Continue reading “Crossings by Steve Luckham”
Last night it happened again.
Continue reading “Shinjuku – by Ian”
I awoke a number of times only for my dream to lie just out of reach. The same dream each time, the same cracked voice taunting me. The dream was the same but this time each had a different ending.
‘Is that it then?’
‘Yep, that’s it. Would it make you feel better if I said “abracadabra” or if I chanted an ancient Celtic invocation formerly lost in the mists of time?
‘I don’t know. It might help.’
The leprechaun regarded John with a mixture of contempt and amusement.
Continue reading “The Midas Formula – Steve Luckham”
I finally manage to move the tumblers in the elaborate lock and push the door open. The sight and smells before me are remarkable, the rumours I had heard do not do the room justice. Acrid smells assault my nose, faint traces of bitter substances play across my tongue and my eyes are startled by an array of colour and fantastic, unnameable objects.
I am so in awe that I forget the door but a breeze running down the darkened alleyway behind me prompts me to shut the room away from prying eyes. There are no windows to the room but it is faintly lit by various sized bowls emanating a faint glow. There are enough scattered around the room to allow me to see the whole space. I slowly walk around marvelling at, touching and variously inhaling the contents of the rows of jars, vessels and implements that are stashed on shelves and various tables.
Continue reading “Lustre – by Ian”
A letter. Why did I send a letter? I could have spoken to her, or then again, maybe not. I could have sent a text, email, a DM but no I had to send a fucking letter. I guess I was in what she would call my “letter zone”. I don’t know if I even fully understand what that means but the boxes of unsent letters are maybe testimony to it.
Continue reading “Hell – by Ian (inspired by Jake and Dino)”
I’d just finished getting dressed that morning when I noticed glittery streaks on my towel. Glitter isn’t an unusual thing in my house; it’s the herpes of the craft world, after all. Do you remember, during covid, there was an analogy for it? Nine people are using glitter in a small room. How many of them are not covered in glitter? Well, I teach 30 tiny, sociopathic people in a classroom built for straight-backed Victorian paragons. The craft lessons are—well, I’ll leave it to your imagination.
Continue reading “Gold – by Cara”
I adjust the bandana so it covers my nose and mouth as my horse strides across the border. The plaintive wail of a trumpet plays in my head as I watch the rising sun cast long, human like shadows of the cacti across the arid landscape.
I know my quarry is out there somewhere. The money is good enough on this one to merit the risk of crossing into Mexico but I need to find him quickly and get back with my bounty.
Continue reading “Distance – by Ian”
The morning light started to seep itself through the closed blinds, like an unwelcome visitor, reminding me of the end to the night. I looked around the unfamiliar room. The clothes in a heap on the floor, of which only half were mine. The hanging pictures of the unknown smiling groups of friends seemed all to be looking at me, but their smiles seemed like judging smirks. The naked man who was snoring next to me with his unwanted hand grazed across my bare chest.
I gently slid it off, as not to wake him and sat up, kicking my feet off the bed and firmly planted them on the bare wooden floor. I tried to get my bearings as I felt the oh too familiar headache of a hangover start to pound in my head like a children’s brass band playing the national anthem, and none of them were in key! Continue reading “David by Michael Mann”
A girl stands by her parents’ car at the gates to the air base. They’re all looking for someone. The air is hot and smells of dust and pine needles. The road is lined with shops selling brass and carpets and souvenirs for the US airmen posted overseas. When this family return home, they will bring with them a carpet too big for any of the rooms in their house, a lantern and several dolls in traditional dress.
Continue reading “1986 – by Cara”
They flew into Turkey six months ago, just the girl, her sister and her mother, following her father. At first, they lived in a flat in a tower block. On each floor, the balconies were dark brown, curving out from the main tower. If you lay on the floor, there was a gap of about an inch. The girl would lie there until she felt dizzy, watching the busy traffic.