She was first violinist in the National Symphony. He was first trombonist. I, their first born, was Allegra. The priest's Southern accent saw my vowels elongated and a little of his spittle hit my forehead with the baptismal water. An active child with no discernible musical talent, at primary school I started answering to Leggy, … Continue reading Names I have known
David arrived at the school gate, brown leather sandals and satchel unmarked, marking him as the new kid. Three boys approached. In a line they stood. A line of boys each called David. The first David stepped forward, all scabby knees and dirt scuffed face. He slapped the new David on the back and said … Continue reading Three Davids
Melanie rose from the water and took a moment to consider what she saw. The last thing she remembered before the blackness was the traffic light change from orange to red. The morning had started like most mornings of the last year in alarm screaming darkness. Pulling herself from her cocoon she had stabbed the … Continue reading Heed (chapter 1)
Published in the 19th February 2020 edition of fiftywordstories.com. Chosen as Story of the Week for the week Feb 23 2020. Called out as "excellent story" "easily capable of winning" among the finalists for Story of the Month: Feb 2020.
The grump flowed across the page with a sour sigh. Issues and elements and people mixed up in a gelatinous mass. Brown with hints of green problems, still not properly digested. It all came out, across the page and over the edge of the table where it dripped to the once pretty pink carpet. The … Continue reading It was a hot and grumpy day
Early each morning Mary followed her sister Bridget to the river. Together they checked for ice. They were fire-haired waifs, with vowels that would never let them move far from the gutter. Always hungry, but they were alive. Their Ma wasn’t. That’s what Da would tell them anyways. Today, the ice had thickened and they … Continue reading The Thames Frost Fair
Norma/n was an ordinary child. An ordinary worm child. She had a mother/father and a father/mother. Like most normal worm children she never met them. She started life with her worm siblings, happy in the warm soil, learning how to be a good worm. But in some ways Norma/n was a most abnormal worm. One … Continue reading Norma/n the Heroic Worm
Their identical smiles beamed out of the photo. Abigail and Benjamin, at age three, had been blonde haired angels. The photo hadn’t shown Abi later pushing Ben in the pool - “to see if he floated”. Twenty seven years on, Ben was floating through his dialysis in a fog of despair. Abi was pushing million … Continue reading Who’s the Angel Now?
Jemima (the girl with a serious smile), her dog Mutt (half labrador, half staffie, half everything else) and Lucky (“I’ve got four lucky rabbits feet”) the Angora rabbit, were waiting. They were waiting for Jemima’s mother to finish tucking them all into bed and shut the door. They were very excited because tonight they were … Continue reading Jemima and her friends have an adventure
From cool airplane air, Ashley stepped into a heated wall. “You’re sweating” pointed out her longtime boyfriend, maybe future husband. Attempting dignity, Ashley replied, “ladies glow”. Muttering “glowing like a fire engine”, he took off for the immigration counter. A new tropical nation stamp in her passport, she struggled to breathe, carry her case and … Continue reading Ashley’s Tropical Detox