Thunder rumbles ominously in the distance. Polly suppresses a yawn. She glares at the night sky which is blanketed in clouds heavy with storm. Rain already, she thinks. Get it over with. Almost as though they are lending an ear, the heavens open. Fat raindrops make their rapid descent down to Earth and Polly quickly pulls up her hood and directs her camera at the Stormy Princess. For decades the Stormy Princess has guarded this short, barren stretch of Yorkshire coastline. From the day she first appeared in 1959 — crafted from clay by an anonymous artist — the sculpture has […]
His heart is pounding. He’s lost in her gaze. His lips are a hair’s breadth away from hers. And then it all disappears. He’s wide awake, staring up at the white ceiling, cursing himself again. Why does it always have to end there, right before the kiss? Why can’t he keep himself asleep for just long enough to feel her soft, full lips against his mouth?
Three strangers cling together, grubby, weak, and utterly terrified of the knives and guns and nail-ridden planks of wood that surround them. “You’ll hand over everything you’ve got in exchange for safe passage through the valley.” Cain picks at his fingernails with the tip of his hunting knife. “Two of our own will escort you. They’ll leave you to continue your journey on the other side.” One of the strangers shakes his head. “You can’t take everything. We need it to survive.”
I wrote this story nine months ago and put off publishing it in case it was too morbid or doleful. It’s certainly a lot different to the silly, whimsy fiction I tend to post. I was also scared of sharing too much of myself. This story is fictional, but it is inspired by own experiences with depression, self-harm and suicidal ideation. It’s Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK right now. I figured that sharing fiction like this might help in one way or another. Ask for help. Lean on your loved ones. Don’t be too proud to admit when […]
Her chest heaves as she looks at the photograph of days long gone. Her and her big brother, eight and ten years old, throwing sand at each other on Brighton beach. A snapshot of childhood, back when summers seemed to stretch out for years rather than months, giving them hours upon hours of play and playfights to indulge in. “Alright, love?” She jumps at the sound of her husband’s voice and the photo frame slips from her hands and lands with a crack on the edge of the hearth. “Fuck!” “It’s alright, I’m sure it’s fine.” She retrieves the frame, […]
‘He’s terribly cute.’ Cute aren’t I? ‘Adorable.’ I’d make a lovely lodger. Neat. Tidy. Quiet, except for when the postman comes and you need an advance warning of him shoving danger through the letterbox.
She coloured in a final patch of deep blue sea, capped her pen, and gave herself a satisfied nod. She had to admit she felt calmer. The worries that had plagued her all day long were now distant thoughts buzzing around softly at the back of her mind. Maybe there was something in this stress-relief colouring book, after all. She admired her work. It was an underwater scene filled with colourful coral, snazzy-looking tropical fish, a long-tentacled octopus and a treasure chest spilling over with gold coins and ruby jewels. She was proud of how she’d coloured in the ocean […]
“There’ll be hell to pay.” “Looks like it.” “She had it last when we were at the supermarket. You’ll have to go out and look for it.” Dad groans. “Have you seen the time?” “She won’t sleep without it. Which means we won’t sleep without it.” “She’s far too old for a blankie, anyway. Maybe it’s an opportunity for her to give it up. We could tell her that now she’s nine years old, her blankie knows she’s far too grown up to need it anymore. And that it’s gone out into the world to find a new little baby […]
Grandparents have secrets. And trust me — you don’t want to know what they are. My Grandma was 87 years old when she revealed her secrets, but nobody would have pegged her anything beyond 75. She had a few lines and wrinkles here and there, sure, but you’d never guess she was pushing 90. And if you spoke to her without seeing her, you’d think her in her 30s. She could talk a mile a minute and she swore like a trooper. She knew her stuff when it came to modern music and the latest blockbusters. She had an iPhone and a […]