“Help. Help us! My friend’s been knifed. He’s bleeding out.”
The little girl eyes the panicked lime that stands before her, along with his injured lemon friend who is oozing juice fast. “Oh. I don’t know what to do.” Continue reading “Bleeding Out | Microfiction”
Fiona sees her parents’ car pull into the driveway and she slaps her little sister across the face.
“Snap out of it, Penny. Now. Do you hear me? Now!”
Thirteen-year-old Penny doesn’t snap out of it. She continues to stare at the ceiling, her pupils enormous black holes sucking in reality and twisting it into who knows what. Continue reading “High as a Kite | Flash Fiction”
Every single soul who sampled it said that Fool’s Gold Cheddar was the best cheese they’d ever had. And Keith had created it all by himself, at home one rainy Sunday afternoon. He couldn’t be more proud of himself.
Now, it’s set to be stocked in delicatessens, farm shops and supermarkets right across the county. He takes in the audience that stands before him and beams. They’re looking at him like he’s a genius. He’s the hallowed cheese magician, creator of the smoothest, creamiest, tangiest cheddar that has ever passed their lips.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he begins. “Thank you so much for coming to our launch party this evening. This is a huge deal for me. I went from a bored and boring old banker, stuck in a 9-to-5 job that I despised. And now I’m my own boss doing something I absolutely love. I couldn’t be more grateful for all the support you’ve given me over the past year.
“Now, lots of people ask me, ‘What’s the secret to Fool’s Gold Cheddar? How do you make it so tangy? What is it that gives it that unique, sharp flavour?’ Well, I’m going to reveal my secret to you tonight, ladies and gents.”
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‘Make jam,’ they said. ‘It’ll be fun,’ they said. ‘You’ll be so relaxed!’
They were wrong.
It was nice at first, I’ll admit. Handing in my notice was liberating. Telling people I was starting my own business was thrilling. And there was something soothing about knowing that, every morning without fail, I would wake up with the sole purpose of making and selling jam out of my own kitchen. No ghastly 7 a.m. commute. No soulless office block and squint-inducing computer screen glare. No staff room politics or having to eat dried-up sandwiches out of a Tupperware. Instead, it was just me and the jam and the radio.
Me and the jam and the radio. Me and the radio and the jam. The jam and the radio and me. That’s it.
That, and a house that smells like stewed fruit 24 hours a day. And throbbing little burns all over my hands and arms where my skin has been bitten by bubbling fruit and sugar. A garage packed to the rafters with empty jars because it was cheaper to buy them in bulk and I was oh-so enthusiastic when this whole shit show kicked off. And all the measuring and the pouring and the stirring and the sterilising and the jarring and the labelling, day after day after day until my mind is so deadened that I could happily jump into a scorching hot vat of summer fruits and sugar and end it all…
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The noodles writhe in the bowl like worms. Jeb blinks at them repeatedly, wondering if it’s his eyes playing tricks on him.
“Hunger does funny things to our brains,” mutters the old woman from her armchair. “Eat up, lad. It’s delicious.”
It was hunger that had driven him towards the cottage. Hunger which had forced his knuckles to rap on the front door. Hunger which had made him ask for some scraps. Hunger had which pushed him into the home of a stranger despite his gut squeezing and churning in objection.
Jeb smiles at the old woman, who eagerly shovels noodles from her own bowl into her mouth.
Hunger had already done some daft things. Not much of a surprise, then, that it could make a benign bowl of noodles wriggle like a mound of worms…
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