My Mother and Her Cat (Part 3) | Short Story

Tabby cat on a white pillow

Missed Part 1? Read it here

Missed Part 2? Read it here


I remember the first visit to the specialist hospital for treatment. That building, a giant grey block of concrete, was like a great tombstone towering over us. I had visions of it careening over and crushing us as we walked through its doors. And it did, in its way. It snuffed out our spirit.

She grew sick of hospitals, sick of doctors, sick of me telling her to cooperate. And I was sick of her too.

‘I’m not going back again, Sharon. All they do is prod and poke me and then tell me its more doom and gloom.’

‘They’re trying to help.’

‘They all know I’m a dead woman walking.’

‘They’re trying to keep you walking for as long as possible.’

‘What if I don’t want to?’

‘You’re ready to die, are you?’

‘I think I am, yes. You should just shoot me rather than keep dragging me down that hospital.’

‘Alright, Mum. I’ll see if the bloke at Holme Farm’ll lend me his shotgun and we’ll put you out of your misery, eh?’

‘You’d love that, wouldn’t you?’

‘Absolutely. Would give me a great deal of satisfaction to blow your old brains out.’

Continue reading “My Mother and Her Cat (Part 3) | Short Story”

My Mother and Her Cat (Part 2) | Short Story

Tabby cat in a wicker basket

Missed Part 1? Read it here

The wee thing didn’t stay wee for very long. It grew at a rate of knots on a diet of sardines, mackerel, salmon, steak—bloody steak!—and anything my mother left on her plate after each meal. That sodding cat was better fed than Mark and I had ever been as kids.

It wasn’t fat, necessarily, but by heck was it big. Solid. Strong and burly like a furry, whiskered wrestler. It would strut up and down the street like a panther, intimidating anyone who dared to approach it with vicious hisses and snippy flicks of its tail.

Arrogant, it was. It would lay out in the middle of the road on its back, sunning its belly and getting its coat blathered in dust and flecks of gooey tar that had melted in the summer heat. When a car came along it wouldn’t move. Brakes would screech and cars would lurch to a halt, and the damn cat would merely peer up at the vehicle before it and blink at the driver, as though they were doing it an inconvenience. A pip of the horn or rev of the engine was the only thing that got it to shift, and even then it moved at half-speed, luxuriously stretching out each of its limbs as it got to its feet and wandered over to the pavement to find a new sunbathing spot.

And it was this sheer bloody arrogance that killed it. Eventually a driver came along that couldn’t give a cat’s arse for the wee thing and its ego.

Continue reading “My Mother and Her Cat (Part 2) | Short Story”

My Mother and Her Cat (Part 1) | Short Story

Tabby cat sat on kitchen table

My mother always said that cats choose their owners. I always said that my mother talked a lot of old shite.

It wasn’t just when she was old that she talked nonsense. It started when I was young. Scratch that; it probably started when she was young. She insisted that eating my crusts would make my hair curl, but I ended up begging for a perm by the time I was fourteen because all the sodding crusts in the world wouldn’t put a single kink in my limp locks. She said apples were as good as toothpaste for brushing our pegs, but that theory was disproved when our Mark insisted on eating two apples a day instead of using a toothbrush and spent more time in the dentist’s office than he did in school. She insisted that leaving shoes on the table brings bad luck, but I don’t think I’m any unluckier than the next poor git despite going against this titbit of motherly advice more times than I can count over the last forty-nine years.

And she said for decades that she’d be dead by eighty. Said she could feel it in her bones. Said it was written into her fate. She got that wrong. No, she stubbornly hung on for as long as she could. Shame, really, because if she hadn’t, we wouldn’t have had to put ourselves through the shambles that was her eightieth birthday party.

Continue reading “My Mother and Her Cat (Part 1) | Short Story”

Weekend Plans | Flash Fiction

Sandwich illustration - "Weekend Plans" Flash Fiction

There was a new girl in the office and everyone felt a bit weird about it.

The equilibrium of the workplace was askew as everyone tried to figure out what she was like and how she’d fit in. It wasn’t that they didn’t like her, but more that they didn’t know her; it simply wasn’t clear if she was going to be likeable.

The staff room was unusually quiet for a Friday lunchtime; the only noise that filled the air was the icky sound of chewing and chomping, slurping and munching. Everyone wanted to chat, like usual, but they didn’t know what to say. Continue reading “Weekend Plans | Flash Fiction”

Resistance is Futile

cake and pies illustration

This is probably too many vegetables for one person to carry unaided. If I lose my grip on these handles I’ll be chasing cauliflowers and apples down the street and looking like a prize idiot. Good exercise, though, I guess. Ugh.

Why does there have to be a bakery three shops down from the greengrocers? Why do they have to leave their door wide open so that the street is filled with the scent of freshly baked pastries and melting chocolate? Why, why, why? Continue reading “Resistance is Futile”