Who are these artists? I thought. If somebody wants to talk about the barriers we put up between ourselves and the abyss, they can say it with words, not with a dead shark. I saved that thought for the date debrief with Clara. I pictured how she’d reply, gently sarcastic, “I don’t think that’s really the idea, Christine. The world would have lost something if Van Gogh had just turned to the next bloke in the guinguette and said, “Bright out tonight”.”Continue reading “The Impossibility of Death by Tiffany Williams”
Becoming Human by Kat Hutchson
She looked at him with her huge blue eyes.
“You have a Dollar, Mister?”
With a quick glance at her, he noticed the delicate machinery shining through three straight cuts in her cheek, the plastic flesh hanging loosely over the left side of her face.Continue reading “Becoming Human by Kat Hutchson”
The Girl with the Feet by Jane Houghton
How he came to finding her was funny. Funny ha ha. But fuck all else about this was funny.
He dropped the key. Or the key dropped out of his hand. Depending on your level of charitability.
Double fuck and bollocks.Continue reading “The Girl with the Feet by Jane Houghton”
The List by Hugh Cron
One more drink.
I need a clear head to stop me doing what I really want.
I have a list of names and I want to type up some misfortune beside each of them.
But I’ve not done that yet.Continue reading “The List by Hugh Cron”
Bones by Jennifer Walkup
There were eight candles on my birthday cake the year my sledgehammer mother shattered us like we were blown glass. I remember it specifically because when the ninth candle flickered at the last minute, I thought, with the force of gale force winds, oh, extra candle for good luck, please don’t go out on me.Continue reading “Bones by Jennifer Walkup”
Uncle Andy by Hugh Cron – Warning Adult Content
My Uncle Andy always said that even as a boy his cock touched the floor. That was a possibility. He is in a few medical books as having had the worse case of rickets ever documented.Continue reading “Uncle Andy by Hugh Cron – Warning Adult Content”
Cheap Tricks by Alex Sinclair – Warning Adult Content
“Thanks love,” the red-faced punter wheezed, tossing over a tenner, as Charity Proudfoot wiped away the spunk he had dispensed on her lip with the back of a frayed coat sleeve.
She didn’t reciprocate with a banal pleasantry of her own, as per usual, she just took the dishonest twenty and climbed out the motor, which is how she knew a monster of a rattle was on the way if she didn’t hurry up and get her shit together. Normally you couldn’t shut her up.
Charity the chatterbox had been her school moniker, or as her mam preferred, a right mouthy little pain in the arse.Continue reading “Cheap Tricks by Alex Sinclair – Warning Adult Content”
Last on the List by Robert P. Bishop
Olin Bahr sat on the end of the exam table, his feet on the footrest and waited for the doctor. The exam room in which he sat, typical of all exam rooms in any medical facility, he thought, felt impersonal, devoid of anything suggesting human warmth, compassion or comfort. The only decoration in the room, an articulated human skeleton with a hook protruding from the top of its skull, hung on a metal pole in one corner and stared at Olin with empty eye sockets.Continue reading “Last on the List by Robert P. Bishop”
Karaoke At The Pincher’s Arms by Hugh Cron – Warning Adult Content
Jimmy’s knees were indented where his elbows dug into them.
He gently moved to and fro on the swing. He could hear his father singing some old song that he’d heard too many times. He looked across the road and saw Charlie The Paedo staring at him. Jimmy knew if he told his dad, he’d end up in jail again.
He heard the pub door open, “Here you go son. Is your mum not back from the bogs?”
The boy shook his head. He accepted the crisps and can of Coke.
Continue reading “Karaoke At The Pincher’s Arms by Hugh Cron – Warning Adult Content”
The Metamorphosis by Jess McColl
After my husband died I gained a friend, Kafka is his name. One would suppose that having a cockroach is somewhat akin to having lice or genital crabs, a tabooed parasite that will ultimately tarnish a lady’s reputation and habits if discovered, but Kafka is a special kind of companion. His favourite place is atop the kitchen radio where he habitually gyrates to Jazz FM in the early hours of the morning, watching me drink cheap Chardonnay and speaking to me reassuringly in the sweet-butter voice of Jeremy Irons. Before I was enlightened to his more practical uses, I admittedly went through a spell of being rather ruthless; I wanted to kill him, but in the most decent, kindest way for everyone involved. So, naturally, I concluded the obvious. Flushing. Yes, flushing him down the toilet in a vortex, much like a flume at Water World except with feces and used tampons at the end, a cockroach’s paradise. So I tried. I dutifully dropped him in the toilet and flushed, watching rather sadly as he spun. But the little chap just coughed, spluttered softly, and crawled back up. I discovered after that they can live for up to a week without their head, a month without food, and can hold their breath for forty minutes at a time; a species that would undoubtedly survive an apocalypse. They are resilient, gregarious creatures. So of course, in time, Kafka soon had a friend, a wife perhaps, and spawned a tribe of lovers and cousins and acquaintances and one-night-stands. I began to realise Kafka’s army were quite efficient at cleaning up my often neglected messes. Far more so than my old Henry Hoover friend, with his can-do eyes and pleasing suction trunk, that now just sits looking forlorn, gathering dust. Cockroaches eat crumbs, dust, hair, sewage, decaying matter, and even each other; they are the perfect companions to a less than perfect housewife. Someone like me needs a helping hand once in a while. Try as I might I can never keep on top of the housework for long, being too easily lured by afternoon wine and my artistic pursuits. George, my late husband, used to (rather too sternly, if I do say so) remind me to ‘CLEAN YOUR F*#&ING ACT UP’, but there’s no one here anymore to keep me in check.Continue reading “The Metamorphosis by Jess McColl”