In the absence of anything positive to put forward in the way of policies, suggestions, or even pleasantries about the weather, Kezia Dugdale has decided that the way to restore the fortunes of the Labour party in Scotland is to insult all the people who used to vote Labour but don’t any more. That’s folk like me, and quite possibly you. According to Kezia we are “robots that are given a chip and told what to think”. Kezia knows a lot about chips, what with Labour’s definition of well balanced being to have a chip on both shoulders. Or in the case of certain Labour MSPs, a rancid sausage supper drenched in bitter sauce. It does not compute.
Driven to distraction by her weekly drubbing from the Hive Queen in high heels, there’s nothing left for the branch manager of Labour in Scotland except insults. By giving up on the…
In amongst the flotsam of our lives, rooftops were starting to reappear – the once raging flood waters had begun their silent retreat. The twisted spire of San Mira now rose defiant and proud from the shimmering depths; inch by inch, yard by yard, devastation and despair was revealed.
Looking down upon it all my father remained hopeful. “It’ll be another week, son – but we’ll get home, we’ll find her.”
Mother had been at work when the first wave came. As we ran we didn’t look back. We didn’t have time – nobody did.
England my England Tombstone of Lord Asquith, MP for East Fife, apparently ‘Prime Minister of England’
This week the assault on Scotland’s democracy returned with a vengeance. It brings to mind the charge of the Light Brigade, or in intellectual weight, the Lite Brigade.
The place is full of nonentities keen to do Scotland down for no reason they can muster. The crave unity but stir up dissonance whenever they can. If they get a momentary glimpse of reason the pull the drapes to shut out the light.
Just as you thought ruthless, liver spotted colonialists had relaxed into their button-backed armchairs reminiscing of the great days in India when the click of thumb against ring finger brought you a cool gin and tonic, spurred by SNP’s election successes they sprang into action again to double attacks on individuals considered an effective voice for Scotland. Even J.K. Rowling-Innit got in on the act by…
The bruise on her neck was still tender. But nobody asked any questions – she’d become adept at covering up for his mistakes.
“Lori, table 2’s eggs are going cold!”
Through the diner window she could see that the bus to Seattle was set to leave. She’d almost saved enough to be on it.
“Lori, table 2 is still waiting!”
Lori pinned a stray blond hair back underneath her hat. The Greyhound pulled away from the car park as she returned her attentions to the morning rush. She just needed a few more weeks…just a few more, and she’d be free.
Gaius unloaded the last of their possessions from the cart. The dust and sweat of a summer’s day in Campania coated his once white tunic.
‘Gaius, Gaius, come and see.’ Aurelia took her husband’s hand and guided him towards the entrance vestibule of their new home – a home which had taken many long years of toil and sacrifice to earn. This was a move which was going to be a fresh start for Gaius and Aurelia. The child she was now carrying proof that a love which had shown signs of being on the wane was once more the compelling force that had first joined them as childhood sweethearts.
Gaius smiled: the mosaic was just as they had discussed.
See that Pinto? That’s you. Gaius knelt down to stroke his excited, young puppy on the head.
After dinner the house soon quietened. Gaius and Aurelia had long since retired for the evening, exhausted after their travels south. In the hallway a minor, almost imperceptible tremor woke Pinto. A small cloud of dust fell from the ceiling. Within moments all was calm again.
From a neighbouring mountain tiny puffs of steam rose and disappeared into the warm night sky. At its feet the people of Pompeii dreamt sweet and peaceful dreams.
Night security stared intently at his screen. The Packers had a 3rd and goal with time expiring. Their entire season was all on this play, as was his next month’s rent cheque. On a bank of monitors across the office, only the watching eye of the CCTV camera noticed as a green Ford Mustang reversed up to the trash cans.
The security guard celebrated his luck by breaking into a fresh six-pack of Millers.
Behind him the lone camera continued to pan the parking lot. The green Mustang had gone. It would be Monday morning before they found her.
As kids we often climbed to the top of Kinney Hill. From there we could see the whole world. Africa, Australia, America, even China, on a really clear day, shimmered mystically on the summer horizon. We had plans to visit them all – to see the world. Sadly, those times of innocence and wonder have long faded to memory. Most of my friends from those days settled down to an ordinary life. An expected, safe existence in the town within which they were born and raised. Me? I decided to see if I could actually seek out these places: those distant lands only those brave and hardy enough to climb the scree scarred slopes of Kinney Hill could usually hope to see.
Twenty years I served in all. Twenty years in lands far from home. In lands far from my wife and children. When I returned for good they were gone and I was once again alone. I still meet up with my friends from childhood. We swap tales, remember the days on Kinney Hill. I tell them of my travels. They all listen with respect and admiration. They then go home to their families; I return to silence, my empty flat and my own thoughts. Thoughts for a better end to my life than this. Thoughts of a better reward for my sacrifice. Thoughts.
Wasn’t feeling inspired today but then this story just came in a flash. Only took five minutes to write i.e. it’s very raw and not overly edited, but it’s what came to mind. Hope you find something to like about it.
Every fall they’d come. Down by the bend in the river, across from Franklin’s farm. Young or old, we all looked forward to their arrival.
But then there was that trouble with Miss Wilkins and her pink pearls. Jimmy Dwyer, youngest son of the head carnie was blamed. He protested his innocence, but ran none the less. That was the last year they stopped in our town.
Thing is, it weren’t Jim. Folks round here know that, they know who it really was but they don’t want to say. Just seems safer to blame outsiders I guess. But heck, I sure do miss the Fair.
Marion looked down from the attic window. This was usually her favourite time of the year: that time when the leaves on the trees surrounding their white, timber house turned slowly from green to subtle peach-red. The dry, summer heat had always bothered Marion since moving south – she’d never really taken to it. The turn to Autumn brought with it a coolness which made her feel more comfortable and content. This year though was different.
Tom, her oldest boy, had moved down to Olsen City after graduation. He now had a wife and a daughter of his own. Marion didn’t see them as much as she’d like, but didn’t make a fuss – she still had Andrew. However, the falling leaves of Autumn would soon carry her youngest away too. His first semester at Lindale University started next week. Around her feet his cases lay packed and ready. On the walls, bare rectangular patches where his favourite posters had once been pinned. Downstairs she could hear Andrew and his father laughing in front of the TV. Marion closed the window and straightened the duvet on her son’s bed. She took a deep breath and wiped away a tear. Motherhood hadn’t prepared her for this.