In life, everyone knows a version of Dave. Dave is the sort of man who is never any good with the ladies. Sure—he can joke with them at arm’s length, the innocuous touch on the shoulder, the forearm. And because a sprig of humor always plays on his lips, he smiles most of the time. He also suffers from a continuous string of good manners and never fails to hold doors open for the ladies, and flatters them on new sweaters and haircuts. Without crossing into hashtag territory, he comforts them when they confide in him.Continue reading “The Human Condition by Monika R. Martyn”
First stop was the bins by the pond. He parked the buggy and blew on his hands with little effect, except to bring on a coughing fit. He bent down to pick up a ketchup-stained PFC take away box, fumbling for a moment, edging the carton along the frosted path towards the pond railings. As he picked it up something caught his eye behind the railings; sunlight glinting off a shiny surface. For a minute his heart raced and he wondered if this was the knife from the attack outside the school last week. He instinctively looked around, but at 7:30am on a February morning Clissold Park was desolate. Lloyd was the only soul in there, with just wildlife for company.Continue reading “An Audience of One by Hugh Todd”
Under the light of a punchy, yellow moon, Pops jammed a cigarette in my mouth and put his thumb to work on our flip-top lighter. After a while, the flint wheel peeled up his scab and showed me his insides, which were bright and clean (and A-negative, Pops says). He sucked the blood like barbecue sauce, then flick, flick, flick, nothing, flick, flick—Continue reading “Worm Cheeks and the Search for Lunar Secrets by Brandon McWeeney”
Sonny’s hand shook as he took a drag from his cigarette. Rain drops from the eaves above bruised onto Sonny’s faded grey scaly cap. He watched on as his lifelong friend Daniel reached the walkway to the funeral home. With his head down, and hands in his rain slicker’s pockets, Daniel walked down the cobbled path. “Sonny,” he said with a nod, as he reached the tall, twin hinged doors. The two men shared a moment of a silence, backs toward the funeral home, long faces towards the rain, as Sonny’s cigarette began to fade.
Sometimes investigative reporters come sniffing around for news of Lionel Fetlar. They’ve heard he’s living on the south coast now, a town that remains resolutely unfashionable while those nearby have undergone a modest transformation following the influx of the affectedly on trend from that London.