Cartwright pushed the half eaten bowl of food across the table and sat back in the precarious chair. Six months in the country and he had still not got used to rice soaked in butter tea for breakfast. Through the smoke of a newly lit cigarette Cartwright watched the room from the vantage of a corner table. He was the only noticeably, recognisable westerner, most of the faces were familiar to him though. Even if the food wasn’t to his liking the small cafe was. The owner was hospitable and it was a great place to pick up the local comings and goings, despite the complexity many dialects brought.
Passengers talked, clicked and tapped mobile phones, worked computers, listened to music, and slept. The train slowed and a synthetic voice announced the next station. John was tired from a day full of meetings, and six hours of train travel.
A large man, flopped into the seat opposite. He smiled and breathed heavily at John through beads of perspiration that gathered on his chin and threatened to drip onto his newspaper. The hand holding the newspaper was soft and pudgy, its featureless landscape broken only by a thin band of gold on the wedding finger. Continue reading “The Rattle of the Bones – by Steve Luckham”
At 7pm on Tuesday, the weather is still warm enough for Billy to be outside in a t-shirt and shorts. He sucks a carton of Um Bongo through a straw and listens to Michael Jackson on his Walkman. Across the street, Dirty Grimshaw sits on his front step, swigging supermarket-brand lager from the can and throwing his dog-ends onto an ever-growing pile. The neighbourhood kids piss him off, squealing, as they race each other across sticky tarmac on BMX bikes. At 7pm, no-one is overly worried that eleven-year old Tania Parry has not yet returned from the swimming pool. Continue reading “Golden Tears – by Rachel Hogg”