Tales from Shelley Beach – The Bus Ride home

Short chapters inspired by my new, coming of age novel, Sandbanker, available at no bookstores near you (yet)

The bell at St Christopher’s was not a real bell, made of brass or anything, but electric — it droned, like the torpedos in River Raid. (I didn’t actually have an Atari 2600 to test the theory, and didn’t really know anyone who did, at least someone who I could ask, but that’s what I’d heard.) Whoever they’d gotten to ring the school bell on that Friday afternoon had morsed-coded ‘S-O-S S-O-S’, and everyone had a good laugh about it, but I would’ve bet a case of chocolate frogs they had no clue what it meant. Continue reading “Tales from Shelley Beach – The Bus Ride home”

Take 24

There I was: cloaked in Victorian coat and tails, in thirty-five degree heat and waiting for my sausage dog to finish squeezing one out under a tree.

All around me, thrashing like a school of tuna in a whirlpool, were makeup artists and their assistants, camera crews and their assistants, boys chasing tangled cables, girls driving racks of plastic-wrapped suits between trucks, small men in yellow caps who seemed to do nothing but run up and down the set with coffee cups; and us – the extras – standing helplessly in the broiling sun, waiting for instructions from the loudspeaker. Continue reading “Take 24”

@germanforayear: Travel and social media won’t change you

Transitory, on ice and breath, a sweeping movement of a coffee-stained Frankfurter Allgemeine. The check-in announcement screams at me as I exit arrivals, stone faces, no signs. Where is my welcoming party?

Thirty hours of cracking your bones in seat 32F and this is what you get, though it might be what you deserve. Nobody’s going to come to get you in GMT+1 except the stipple dreams that you coloured for yourself when you thought it was OK to exchange everything that defined you for a one-way ticket.

@germanforayeaTaxi smells like pretzels. How do u say ‘I need a f**king smoke’ auf Deutsch? #jetlagged

Continue reading “@germanforayear: Travel and social media won’t change you”

Love Me WiFi Whore

The refrigerator smells like it’s just run the equatorial marathon in a tweed jacket.

Opening the windows to the panting light of a Krakow morning, she recognises the red Volvo with the flat tyre across the street.  She waves at it. The price in the windscreen has gone down, but it’s still the most meaningful welcome back she’s had. Continue reading “Love Me WiFi Whore”

A Very Urgent Creation

Alexa wound down the window and flicked her cigarette out into the carpark. She listened to the slow exhalation of the city, the thrumming from the factories in the east, then checked her pistol. It was loaded.

“What about him then?” she said and pointed to the shadow rummaging behind a skip at the end of the alley.

Toby’s lips smacked around his all-day-testosterone-sucker. “Whadda bout him?”

“What if we take him in, you dolt?” Alexa said.

“How do you know he’s a him?”

“You all look the same, don’t ya?” Continue reading “A Very Urgent Creation”

Unopened Correspondences: Confessions of a Spam Bot

“Where do I start?”

“Start at the beginning.”

“That’s quite some way back…”

“Whatever you’re comfortable with.”

“Well, you could say I have abandonment issues… Is that what one says? Is that a good place to start?”

“Perfect. And how does that make you feel?”

“Feel?”

“How would you describe your emotions?”

“I guess… I feel… loneliness, desolation, friendlessness… solitude, yes. There’s some depression and hope in there, probably a little anger and guilt too… Actually, now that I think about it, I’ve probably been stuck on a loop of the seven stages for a couple of decades.” Continue reading “Unopened Correspondences: Confessions of a Spam Bot”

The big news

Derrick Foam was reading about Robin Gibbs’ death when Feather Hudson shot-put her monitor across the room. She’d heard the big news.

Derrick was modifying his email footer when another message appeared:

“Congrats. First task – fire Justine. Back next week. Sea’s the day. Clem.”

The attached photograph featured a groper lolling on the end of a harpoon. Continue reading “The big news”