Showing posts with tag: FridayFlash


Eulogy for the Unthinking Philosophers

A year is a long time to go without thinking. It sounds relaxing, and it was for a little while. But the longer I go without thinking, the less happy I feel. In fact, I’d say losing my ability to think has been the most unbearable thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s been so long that I’m afraid I’ll never think again, and if I never think again, what kind of person would I be? Read more →


It used to happen a lot. There’s one time I particularly remember, when we were living in Salford. The rain was coming down heavy, and I was waiting at the traffic lights. The cars going past were throwing waves up from the road. I tried to stay out of the way but I was getting drenched. My arm started hurting. Not an ache from the cold, but a sudden sharp pain. I pulled my sleeve to my shoulder and the skin there was splitting open, like a zip undoing. The cut was bleeding, washing out pink with the rain. It was a mess. Read more →

Chet Baker In Paris

The train appears in the distance. They stare at it. Willing it in. They scramble on, before some of the punters had even gotten off. Shameless! I let them go. There’s no mileage in it. And I don’t know why I bother. I mean, they’ve got love on their side. All I’ve got is a sense of loss, and – looking at Belle through the window as she buries her head in the paper– perhaps a touch of jealousy. Read more →

Pigeon Squad

There’s a lot of pigeons down my way. Wood pigeons, with grey-blue backs and blue-pink breasts. Plump and sleek birds, a million miles away from their leprous-looking city cousins. In the summertime, I often sit in the garden and listen to their soft calls spotting the tarry silence, the sound bringing back memories of high and far-off holidays. Read more →

Lady Macbeth

In the morning, it began: the torturous chess game to check whose heart was blackest. At breakfast she fed him blackberries – hand-picked – and mopped where the juice ran down his chin. He pushed her hand away. She raised another handful, dark and poisonous, but he would not eat. She knew the reason for his cruelty: if she was monstrous, he was not. Read more →

Torn Apart

Who the fuck is playing Joy Division? thought the man, as he was herded into the back of a car. The seats gave a leathery groan. Tears tumbled from waterlogged eyes. Through the tinted windows the flash of leering cameras stormed. He shifted uncomfortably in his ill-fitting jacket, and turned to see his wife sat next to him. Her eyes were raw, streaming nose clogged with used handkerchief. No, not handkerchief, the man realised, a small, frayed blanket. Billy’s blanket. Read more →

Blue Flashing Lights

I was 14 the first time the Excelsior Hotel burned down. The police arrested a man named Earl Maddox in Victoria Park not long after. Witnesses said that he was dripping with petrol and speaking in tongues. When his mugshot got printed in the Herald he had deep murky eyes and a face that resembled a badly dented hatchback. He claimed that he only lit the fire to keep warm. The excuse would have worked better if it wasn’t 1994 – the hottest Paignton summer on record. Read more →