He’s such a lovely man, Mr Williams. For thirty years he’s owned the card shop opposite the village Post Office. His only daughter, Grace, was a friend of my sister’s at school. His wife, Barbara, had been a stalwart on our local community council. Grace now lives in Australia, and Barbara only in his memories. Nothing […]


‘What is it tonight?’ asked Pete, my dorm mate. ‘Citizen Kane,’ I replied. ‘Not again!’ ‘Come on, Pete, it’s only the third time this semester. Afterwards there’ll be a discussion on the film’s impact on 21st century cinema…and don’t forget the cheese dip, pizza and wine.’ ‘Wow, hold me back, already. Come on, Joe, it’s Friday […]


A narrow, rutted track wound its way through the sweltering forest. It seemed like hours since we’d left the main road. With daylight slowly fading, we finally arrived at our journey’s end. Ahead a tall iron gate cried rusty tears. Grasses, weeds and moss ran wild. My stomach tightened: this wasn’t what I’d expected. Beyond […]


The piercing horn of a delivery truck echoed nosily around the early morning street. Up ahead, the single set of lights on 4th and Main had just switched from red to green – but the 30 year-old VW Beetle remained stationary. Despite its age, the car looked showroom new: every inch of chrome polished with […]


The cloudless, mid-morning sky radiates a deepest, richest blue. An excited, black Labrador puppy barks as children play in the sand. Wind surfers rise and fall within the gentle swell. A young couple stroll hand in hand along the water’s edge. Up and beyond the dunes they’ve gathered, as they always do in early June. […]


We were camped near an all-night cafe on the outskirts of town. My mother and uncle have spent the last month bartering for our passage. My father is still back home. He says he will join us later. Mother is always sad, but I tell her not to be. Some of the others say, ‘What’s […]


Loud, lively exchanges between open windows on opposite sides of the street. The alluring smell of Plazinsky’s Coney Dogs wafting up from the corner of Lafayette and 3rd. Kids on the sidewalk in just their underwear, innocently splashing in the puddles and spray of an open hydrant.  That was our summer. These days the double-glazed windows […]


What do I remember? I remember kissing my sleeping wife; hearing our one year old daughter start to cry as I hurried to leave the apartment. It was just after 1am, my own shift had only finished three hours before, but it was an emergency – all hands were required to attend. Even though the […]


Cracked strip lights pulse in time with the spluttering generator. Most of the lockers remain shut tight, their contents hidden since that weekend in 1986. Here and there a few lie open on rusted hinges – within, faded photos of wives and children, a copy of Pravda, a scarf, gloves, pairs of fur-lined boots, a brown […]


For nearly 50 years he’d worked at the factory – everyone of Ted’s age went straight from school to the factory. Three wives had come and gone in that time, two divorced, one dead – only the last one did he remember with any particular fondness. Six healthy children had been raised in the same […]


The mid-morning sun was hot and high, the mercury pushing 113 for the sixth day in eight. At the concession stand, Mrs Gunther carefully unpacked the last of her stock, most of which had seen better days. Poolside, Mr Gunther paused to wipe creamed cheese from his chin, and bagel crumbs from his crumpled “Desert […]


Tommy Wilson and Colin McFarlane had been friends for as long as anyone could remember, and probably many a year before that too. From their prams, through to leaving Balmorran High at 15 to become apprentices at  Tait’s Distillery, they were rarely apart. They even found love together, Tommy married Helen McPhee, and Colin became the […]


Alice was the pretty face behind the window at the Chicken Shack on Williams and 23rd. She went to work as usual that day, she just never came home. “Small green feller, eyes like a Lizard – plumb dragged her into his spaceship,” said Hairy Bob. Hairy’s liking for cheap liquor made him a great one for stories. […]


It’s been nearly fifty years, but I can still smell the apple blossom in the trees; I can still hear the birdsong, feel the warm waters of the creek running between our toes. My pained heart still races when I recall the moment she first took my trembling hand and placed it against her firm, warm breast. […]


Billy’s father had been the star of the convention circuit. You wanted a trick, then Frank Wizzleton had it in stock. Their stall always drew the biggest crowd; however, even Billy’s father knew why they were really there. Sure he’d sell enough to keep him and his sister in good quality second-hand clothes, but it was […]


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