For an ugly man making minimum wage in his thirties – okay, then, mid-twenties – it is a hard life – for a man who could do with a change of apron, you’re full of mucky questions. Rather than stare at me and pepper my face with questions, you could be busy changing blown bulbs, or turn up the café’s heating, maybe put the clock right, or making a decent cup of coffee. Maybe you’re simply the curious kind, or have learned to believe I am, as your only customer, late at night, your business. Perhaps my being alone is nothing less than an invitation for you to make enquiries while you run your eye over me. What’s the unshaved old man doing out so late at night in Brighton on a wet weekend in March? Shouldn’t he be thinking about escorting his accent back to Lincolnshire? Has he no home to get to? Where is he staying?Continue reading “The Whole Me, the Whole She, the Whole Nine Yards by Antony Osgood”
Joe’s body twitched in his bed, as he knew it would. He hadn’t slept since he left the war zone in Macedonia. Violent dreams with buckets of blood, screams in the night, these had been predicted in the article he had read. Now, safe in Amsterdam, he was living the symptoms.Continue reading “Leaving Macedonia by David Flynn”
In my suitcase there were six pairs of knickers. Six was the number I’d need for a week of work, assuming that one night I’d swim or go to the gym and it wouldn’t be outrageous to wash a couple of pairs in the hotel shower.
I’d packed four tops, all of them black. Jackie in Rentals had told me that if you wear all black nobody notices. Once, she’d worn the same black shirt every day for a month and no one raised an eyebrow. Then she wore a yellow shirt twice in a week and four people said don’t you have another top?
After seven days of intolerable confinement, Izzy decided that this foggy afternoon was the right time to free herself. And, if she could manage, Clara.
Right now. Right at this very moment. The moment we are sharing through the medium of a page and the words it contains a man is washing blood from a nine inch blade. His hands are shaking and not just from the chill of the brown water that alternately dribbles then vomits from a rusting tap.
The bathroom is stark. You know the type. Single, naked bulb throwing diseased shards of light into your brain, alive with a frequency on the ragged edge of your hearing. The floor tiles might be white under the patina of despair, shit and god knows what else. The ones on the walls are much the same but with more graffiti to hide their shame. The mirror above the sink keeps showing the same re-run of a man washing a knife. He looks familiar but he’s changed. Hollowed out. He has no idea why he is cleaning the knife but he doesn’t stop.