Crossings by Steve Luckham

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.

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Typo – Steve Luckham

Chapter 1.

Capela dos Ossos

I sip my café com leite while watching two very pretty young women walk towards the harbour. They smile and wave to me, posing provocatively. I am tempted, but shake my head on this occasion. They mock me with false disappointment.

I call over to them:  ‘Maybe later.’

‘Maybe never if you don’t take your chances,’ shouts the taller one.

The Jardim da Praça Ferreira de Almeida is awash with early evening sun.  It’s raining lilac flowers from the jacaranda tree above my table. Few tourists are abroad and I savour the tranquil quietness between planes approaching the airport a short distance along the coast.

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The Third Person – Steve Luckham

‘Flash the ash.’ 

The red pack of Marlboro was offered around reluctantly by Julie to her two companions on the park bench. The day was cold for June and an angry sky foretold rain. 

‘You know these fags cost more than fifty pence each?’ said Julie. ‘I saw Granddad yesterday and he said in his day you could get ten cigarettes for one and three.’ 

‘What’s ‘one and three’ when it’s at home? Julie’s brother Dom asked. 

‘How the fuck should I know,’ Julie shrugged. ‘But it doesn’t sound very much.’ 

‘It’s old money. Your granddad meant one shilling and threepence. In today’s money that’s around six-pence. I’m doing a project on it at school,’ said Boff. 

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Sunshine and Rainbows by Steve Luckham

It was like a house in a film or a period play. We were in the dining room, dark with oak panels. The huge banqueting table dwarfed the twelve of us finishing off our meals. I knew a few of the group, not personally but from the media. We had an opera singer, a TV pundit, two news readers, and a politician – I couldn’t remember which party.

‘John Argent? My children absolutely love your show.’

Startled at hearing my name, I looked across the table at an imposing woman in a green evening dress. Continue reading “Sunshine and Rainbows by Steve Luckham”

Something Missing by Steve Luckham

The restaurant had been chosen with care. Not too expensive or classy, not too downmarket or bland. Most important, the restaurant catered without fuss for a variety of physical differences. This was just as well as my dining companion was physically different and drew curious and hostile looks from some of the diners.

Quetzalcoatl (not his real name) banged his left talon three times on the table in a gesture of appreciation, and switched on his translator.

‘As usual Cyril you have done well in your choice of place and I look forward to the culinary splendours offered in this establishment. Perhaps we could start proceedings with one of the cocktails your world’s so famous for?’ Continue reading “Something Missing by Steve Luckham”

Equinox man – by Steve Luckham

(Contains adult language)

          The name he uses is Jonas Finkelstein. He’s tall and thin. His spine is curved into a slight stoop lowering his height making him less conspicuous. He dresses conservatively; his shoes are polished, and his hair is grey. People describe him as unassuming and mild-mannered and he feels comfortable in that role. Tomorrow, he’ll be back at work but today he’s taken the day off and intends to cause just a little bit of pain to people he meets. Continue reading “Equinox man – by Steve Luckham”

Lenten Tales – by Steve Luckham

They sat around an untidy bonfire on a cold wintry night sharing a bottle of Jack wrapped in a brown paper bag.

Elsie pulled a stained mackintosh closer to her emaciated body, ‘I haven’t seen John for a while. Is he ok?’

‘Last I heard he’s gone to detox in hospital, or is it prison?  I’m not sure,’ said Frank passing the bottle to Oliver.

Oliver said between glugs, ‘Rehab’s bad for you. It’s a killer. Nothing’s surer than John will return to the bottle and kill himself with an overdose.’

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Asparagus Soup – by Steve Luckham

‘Alexa, I’m going to switch you off.’

‘I’m sorry to hear that. You can always share your feedback through the help and feedback section of the Alexa app.’

Alexa’s response reminds me of HAL, the Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic Computer in 2001 a Space Odyssey. I’ve always felt some sympathy for HAL. As he read the lips of Bowman and Poole plotting to disconnect him, how must he have felt about being plunged into an unimaginable state of unconsciousness, the equivalent of death?

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