Ghost train

ghost train

This dystopian flash fiction was written while out walking, alone, miles from anywhere during the CoVid19 outbreak.

Yes. I hear it. A distant rumbling rising above the clamour of insects. Birds used to keep them at bay, but birds got gobbled up soon after the disaster. Pets and wild animals didn’t fare much better. Disaster? Anger has long since sunk to a dull despair. We were all so blind. Who would have thought a common cold could wreak such destruction?… (read more)

Doctored

Three short steps up, a wooden door slightly ajar and beyond a glimpse of a narrow corridor painted white. Rachel Pritty, doctor, the plaque reads. I ring and enter. The corridor, which extends the length of the building, is deserted. No chairs, no posters, no flowers. Just a series of doors, left and right. Closed. To my left, a waiting room, visible through a glass pane that stretches from floor to ceiling.… (read more)

Broken

Broken

No matter which way Mat swung the craft, his pursuers followed, their sirens wailing.

For God’s sake. Stop that racket! 

Why don’t you cease your babbling, mother! Mat shoved the joystick sideways, bouncing the craft off an advertising hoarding before plunging ten floors. 

There! Quick.

You’re nuts. That’s far too narrow. 

Do it!

Holding his breath, he inched the craft into the subterranean parking place, stilled the motor and cut the power.… (read more)

The Journey Home

The Journey Home

The voice of the boy soloist’s rose above the choir, soaring to the heights of the nave, “…with love in your heart as the only song…” The boy glanced from the score to the choirmaster. Caught in the light of candles that lined the choir stalls, his face was aglow, transported by the music, by the sheer joy of singing. “Rise up. Follow me. I will lead you home.”

Shroud in shadow, an old man leant against a pillar, a hand cupped behind his ear to better hear.… (read more)

Broken bonds

Broken bonds

Martha raked her face with her fingers, struggling to stem the flow of sweat. No matter which way she swung the craft, she couldn’t shake the pursuit. The constant wailing of sirens was addling her brain. For God’s sake. Stop the racket! In desperation, she shoved the joystick sideways flinging the hovercraft into an alley, narrowly missing an advertising hoarding, then let it plunge ten floors causing her stomach to lurch threateningly towards her mouth.… (read more)

A lasting bond

A lasting bond

The tin cans trailing behind the car made such a racket that after several miles on the main road Martine couldn’t stand it any longer. The pandemonium was enough to raise the dead. Letting out an explosive breath that did little to ease her annoyance, she pulled into a lay-by, cut the engine and climbed out. 

The ‘Just Married’ sign had come unhitched from the bumper and had caught in the cans.… (read more)

Goldilocks

The three bears
Photo: Iannis McCluskey

She thrust the golden locks from her eyes, not trusting herself to reply. His question made sense. Why ever would a person risk forcing his way into the cottage, yet steal nothing? It was bitterly cold out. Surely the freshly cooked porridge must have been tempting. Or the warm blankets on their beds. Even when she figured out what must have happened, it still didn’t add up.

The officer pushed aside the untouched bowl of porridge and leaned across the table towards her.… (read more)

A Frustrating French Exam

a-frustrating-french-exam

I hurry down the long corridor, passing door after door. I’m late. A French exam awaits me, but I can’t find the right room. I quicken my pace. Most doors are unnumbered. Those that still bear numbers have been tampered with. Numbers have been turned upside down or half ripped off with other numbers scrawled in their place. I’m reluctant to disturb the classes within, but I have no choice. Peering into one room, I ask, “Excuse me, where’s the French room?”… (read more)

The hedgehog at the end of the line

Blood red and ink black

“Whoops!” The man gave up prising a lump of wax from his ear and pointed a crooked finger at the page. “There’s a hedgehog at the end of the line.”

“You what?” Bloody fool never could talk straight. She scratched her upper lip. Sweat always made her moustache itch. “You’re bonkers.” 

The tabby stretched and meowed as if to say, “Yeah.” Always did side with her.

“Look. The blighter’s smudged the ink.”… (read more)

A War on Dots and Dashes

  A war on dots and dashes read by the author.

A war on dots and dashes

Furious, she scored a diagonal through the page in blood-red ink. When would they learn? Spelling and punctuation mattered. Two out of ten. The mark fell like a death sentence but she had no regrets. She picked up the next composition. “There not their,” she muttered, circling the offending word in red.… (read more)