Thursday, 30 June 2011

Monday, 27 June 2011


Angela put the pint of milk down on the table and looked in the hallway mirror at the fat which gathered on the tops of her legs. Securing the phone between her shoulder and her cheek, using the sweat trickling down from her hair net as a kind of glue, she sucked her teeth. “I don’t remember getting a call from you last night Drew.” She used both hands to pull down her shirt, which was riding up around her belly. 
  As much as she tried, Angela was not a demure and sophisticated woman. She rarely left the house but when she did she tripped down the stairs on buses and popped down the aisle, grabbing at the rails as part of an electrocuted dance. At the beach she got in the way of badly disciplined children, who threw stones or lolly sticks and whose parents came tumbling out from behind their sun umbrellas, apologising profusely. Angela would stand hot and red with the white shape of a flat stone over her breast bone and part of a rum and raisin ice cream in her hair. She was convinced that these incidents would no longer happen if she lost ten-to-twelve pounds and saved up enough money to buy a new car with tinted windows.
  On the other end of the line Drew imagined murdering Angela and running over her body several times in his pick-up truck. He watched flies mating in his living room with his mouth damp in the corners. It was a very hot day. 
  “I can’t meet you this afternoon Drew” said Angela, “I’m sorry but I’ve made plans.” 
  She patted her hair, which was wholly stuck to her head, and waited for a response. When Drew said nothing she said, “I’m just meeting a few friends, if you must know Drew. I’m sure you can go to ASDA by yourself can’t you?” 
  She pulled a loaf of bread out of the cupboard and listened to Drew’s breathing. 
  “Don’t you want me to have friends?” His silence was making her tap her fingers and she walked to the other side of the room to turn on the radio. 
  “How about I bring you some fish and chips on the way back then?” She sucked her teeth again and opened a packet of jam tarts.
  Drew was still watching the flies, six, seven, eight flies; Angela offered him mushy peas and he felt nausea rock his stomach.
  “Hey Angela,” he said. 
  “What is it honey?” 
  Her voice was thick, he imagined her pouting at herself in the hallway mirror, her top button undone and her shirt stuck to the tops of her breasts, ‘honeeeyyy, sweetie, dahhhling’, she said.    “Did I tell you about Mitch the cabbie who lived up the road from Mum’s?” he rushed over the words. 
 “What are you talking about Drew? Who is...?” “Someone called the police because the windows, they went all black and it looked like it was moving. The glass was rippling Angela. D’you know what it was up there?” 
  He paused to breathe imagining the black tide and carrying on in a whisper, “The window was moving because every inch was covered with flies, because old Mitch had been dead for five weeks and when they smashed the door in his eyes were gone and the flies were all inside of his brain and...” 
  Angela hung up and Drew listened to the dial tone for several seconds, breathing heavily.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

It was unusual for Francis to be in such a pleasant mood. In the queue for the checkout she watched a fat old man, who looked like a large toe wrapped in scarves, shouting at the girl who worked behind the blue glass. 
  Francis smiled. 
  She put her hands in the pockets of her fleece and felt the ten 'lucky seven' cards she had bought the week before. They were scratched smooth, curling like grey slugs.
  It had been raining when she sat on the vast flight of steps outside the market scratching them. She laid them out in front of her sensible shoes and blinked at them in disbelief. 
  She had not won a pound. 
  Francis was sure that there had to be another way out. 
  She reached the counter and shouted through the glass, “you got a bin back there love?” 
  The girl scowled as she peeled the tickets off the counter, “you’re not very lucky are you?” She had short blonde hair, which was dark at the roots and a nose piercing. 
  The line of customers reached to the back of the home-ware aisle and a woman in a museli patterned dress was crunching her trolly wheels. 
  “Don’t worry Hun,” Francis said. 
  She tried to pat one of the girls long fingers, but the blue plastic separated them. 
  The girl was bathed aquamarine light.
  “You’re going to be famous soon.” 
  She opened up her wallet and held up card to the glass so that the cashier could see. She pointed to her photograph and to where it said, ‘Psychic Network’ and wiggled her eyebrows emphatically.   “You’re gonna be famous Hunny."  
  Francis cupped her left breast and said, "I can feel it.” 
  She left the supermarket feeling better that she had in years.

Monday, 13 June 2011

“Do you want to hang out for a bit longer Jase?” said Peter.
  “Not really. They’ve got this programme on T.V about all the biggest animals in the world.”
   “Yeah probably Lions. Only they’re not alive. They cut them up and look at how powerful their claws are and how big their bellies are.”
  Peter looked at the sun for a couple of seconds and even though he wearing shades he could still see bright white toenails when he blinked. He said, “But they’re not very powerful when they are dead are they?”
   “I know.”
   “Nothing is powerful when you can just gun him in the face.”
   Jason made the sound of a rifle and pointed two fingers at the sun. 
   Peter laughed.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

If you're so special, why aren't you dead?

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Claire was not attractive when she had been crying. She ran down the road, narrowly missing a heap of dog shit, brushing gravel from the bottom of her feet and gripping the sleeve of Ethan’s shirt with her other hand. “Don’t go,” she said. Her eyes were still wet and Ethan thought he could see moisture around the base of her red nose. He watched a bluebottle on the window sill behind her head and remembered Claire performing in the college production of Midsummer Night’s Dream last year. Ethan had left during the first interval, through boredom more than anything else and Claire had run after him, her limbs painted purple and her hair covered in white fluff. “Don’t go,” she said. He had laughed at her, standing in the car park, and she had cried. Today, he followed her back to the house, dragging his feet and then sitting in silence while she listed all the different kinds of drinks she could make him. Later, fumbling with the DVD player she put on a film that she said was her favourite of all time. “Do you like it? I think the scenery is beautiful.” “Yeah,” said Ethan and looked at the ceiling. He felt her squirm in his silence and a warm amusement creeping over him when she changed the film several times. At half past five he said “gotta go babe,” and left her sitting on the carpet with her wet eyes.