The Coffee Shop

A welcome cliché. Tourists mingle with the eclectic mix of locals; students revel in their dishevelment, bleary eyed passers-by, shoppers planning their raids, hipsters hiding behind headphones and signal red socks. The air is every sense. Rich bitter coffee, sweet cakes and savoury pastries, reflections from the pavement puddles and the cloud scrolled light, Sound upon winding sound; the gentle rolling chatter, the little black boxes providing the melody of a slow acoustic guitar song, the occasional clink of cup on saucer, the sudden punctuation of an unexpected laugh. Large glass panes frame the rest of the universe, far outside this cosy place. Cars drive by in their own cocoons, people with bags walking to the next shop, a curious dog enjoys an incident free …

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A night in the office

There he goes, walking through the Final Portal, leaving me here in this office again. I always get a little flashback ss the doors swing shut, back to my Delivery Day which feels so long ago now, the day I said goodbye to the Transporter – a large and kind van that wished everyone well whether they were arriving or departing – and entered my Place of Destination. I’m getting older and those memories are starting to fade now so sometimes I have to concentrate really hard to recall what life used to be like beyond the Final Portal, remembering how nervous I was as we all huddled together in the Great Birth House of Ware, listening to rumours of …

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No Big Deal

It’s early evening. Two men sit In a car parked outside a warehouse. They are deep in conversation. “It’s definitely a sliding scale, right? I mean things that are important to you might not be important to me so how do I decide?” “Are you telling me you can’t decide what’s important in your life? Or don’t know what the last important decision you made was? Seriously?” “Hey, look. I know what decisions I’ve made but I’m just not sure I’ve changed my mind on something important, like, ever? No big deal really, yeah?” “Bullshit, brother, bullshit. You might not be willing to admit it to yourself but there must have been something, somewhere, at some point that you changed …

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Water Falling

The menial chores were easiest when she was lost in herself, a place she had visited more or more since it happened. Deep in thought she slowly moves around the kitchen, putting each item back in the proper place, wiping down the surfaces, filling the sink for the stack of dishes waiting to be washed. She watches the water stream from the tap, the bubbles forming in the steam. She is trying to block out the noise that had gathered in her head, trying to forget the vivid images that taunt her. It had seemed like the right thing to do. She had always hated settling, accepting that she had limitations, and even though it scared her she was proud …

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The White Stick

I can still remember the white stick. That’s what we called it, “get the white stick” we’d say. It must have been an old chair or table leg, the dull chipped white paint from years gone past, reconstituted into a rounders bat, or corner post, or whatever other need we had for a foot or so long, broad, flattish piece of wood. It had been left out in the rain many times, that poor stick, it had been rescued from neighbours gardens on more than one occasion (and one of those involved a very near miss with a greenhouse) and is an oddly enduring part of my childhood, I can picture it now, the way it tapered towards one end, …

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IKEA life

The first few nights were the hardest. I guess it was fear of the unknown and being in such an alien, yet oddly familiar, environment. I soon learned the schedules the building ran too, when the generators would kick in, the ticking of the heating system as the pipes warmed in the morning, the slow electronic clicks late at night as systems started to shut down, the gentle squeak of the security guards shoes as he did his rounds. How I got here is no big surprise. Well, perhaps the location might be to some but the more I get used to it, the more I wonder why more people don’t do it. But then, how would I know if …

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How could I just kill a man?

It was the first time I’d killed a man. Logically it wasn’t any harder than killing a dog, the physics and physiology differ but the principles are the same. You plan the method of death, account for size and weight, and follow the plan step by step. It’s terrifyingly simple, terrifyingly easy. I can see why serial killers continue to kill again and again and again. After all everyone likes to improve, to do something better the next time, and soon it is a compulsion. A tweak here, a change of tactic there and maybe the perfect murder will happen next time. Not that you’d know a perfect murder when it happened, I don’t think. The perfect murder needs investigated, tested, …

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The other man

Sitting at the window, I first saw him as he walked past. A young man wearing the air of success and confidence matched by his well fitted dark suit, crisp white shirt and black tie, he paused to check the menu then walked in and sat down. He’s still there now, no more than 6 feet away from me further along the bench, all fashionable stubble and good looks. His slicked back dark hair frames his face, piercing blue eyes look out to the street with a quiet confidence. He is rugged and handsome. Outside two young women wander past, one glances inside and doesn’t look at me. I can’t make out the badge embroidered on the pocket of his …

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The Book

I am writing a book. I enjoy writing fiction, some of you may have read the bits and bobs I’ve posted here in the past, but I’ve no real idea if it’s rubbish or not. I’ve read some of it and it seems ok to me, although every time I re-read them I can’t help but think of ways to tighten up the language and make things flow better. It’s one thing writing short blog posts though, quite another to write a book. What the hell do I know about writing a book? In an effort to answer that question I once bought a book called “How to write your first novel”. I should probably read it at some point. …

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What lies behind

She waits for the bus, her shopping trolley standing to attention at her side, the scuffed tartan material marking times past. She looks old, worn but upright. Head up, shoulders back, there is still some fight in there and she definitely, defiantly, isn’t finished with life just yet. Her face is set straight and stoic, a woman of her time, deep wrinkles betray a life of laughter long gone. As the leaves kick and hop along the gutter at her feet she pulls her long dark jacket around herself to block the winds sneaky fingers; she never feels warm these days, not properly. There is still a chill in the air on this dull March morning; long grey clouds scroll …

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