159

Given an honorable mention by the Five Stop Story competition Oct 2011.

Cars were crying in the road. Sorrowful Mazdas sobbed shrilly, tears collecting in their bumpers, while smaller vehicles, one Ford Ka in particular, let out piercing bouts of electronic histrionics. It was the rain, throwing moist boulders down to street level, lolloping parcels of saliva from a heavenly mouth that slooped on contact with metal roofs, boots and bonnets. Despite the screeching, Karen would have given anything to be in a car right now. Continue reading “159”

Mania, He Wrote

Story for Issue 7 of The Read Horse: Silence, Obsession & Daytime TV.

Outside it is cold but bright, a perfect November, but inside it’s snowing sideways. White noise is coming from Dave’s wood lacquered TV set. It’s so old and swollen that the legs of the stand are buckled and it barely stays upright. Nonetheless, static snow is flaking outwards from the glass dome on a collision course for Dave’s face. The heater is on full flow so the heavy atmosphere captures each flake and the static moves slowly as if held in setting resin. Like the universe expanding; like Dave’s universe expanding. Continue reading “Mania, He Wrote”

On the Popemobile and selling WKD to lesbians

Article for G3 Magazine on gay political apathy.

On 18 September 2010 the Pope pootled into London in his white Perspex chariot. Thousands were planning to march from Hyde Park to Whitehall to protest against the Vatican’s views on, amongst other things, abortion, gay rights and the cover up of paedophile priests. My flatmate mentioned he was going ‘to see what the fuss was about’ as I boiled a morning brew. Continue reading “On the Popemobile and selling WKD to lesbians”

Housemates from Hell and how to avoid them

Article for G3 Magazine.

You’ve just stumbled back home from the pub. You fish for your keys and try to guide them soundlessly into the lock. Tiptoeing down the hallway you are relieved to find no light from under your flatmate’s door. Still, you potter around the kitchen in complete darkness- lest you wake ‘er upstairs- and prepare for a satisfying feed, but uh-oh you’ll have to borrow some butter again. With scientific precision you match the existing knife scrapings then replace the tub to its exact co-ordinates on the shelf. Satisfied she’ll never notice you ease the door shut. That’s when you see it through the gloom: another passive aggressive note. It begins “to whoever has been using my butter…” and ends with more contempt than you had for your parents aged 16. Sh*t.

Continue reading “Housemates from Hell and how to avoid them”

So you’re a massive gay who wants to be a writer? Here’s some advice.

Article on gay writing groups for G3 Magazine.

Only six months ago I was stuck in my uninspiring data entry job, repeatedly toying with the maximise/minimise button on my internet browser. I wanted to write fiction but couldn’t, wouldn’t, daren’t. Finally the sickening realisation that my life’s opus would only amount to a heap of spreadsheets collated between two saddle-stitched boards, moved me to action: I formed a gay creative writing group. Continue reading “So you’re a massive gay who wants to be a writer? Here’s some advice.”

Take Your Pick

Story for The Read Horse Issue 8: Mist, Landlords & Victorian London.

Southwark Sal stepped astride the bawdy boards of the Peckham Music Hall for her final performance. Her hit song Mudlarkin’ Abowt, was a pungent tale of love, mud and scavenged silver which she performed at four venues a night, every night, for the past ‘alf score years. The lines were simple enough, but on this night she stumbled on the last verse and clumsily rhymed the word ‘dauwghter’ with ‘ouwghta’ and floundered entirely on the word ‘wawter’. Continue reading “Take Your Pick”

Whisper

Story for The Read Horse Issue 5: Mountains, Whispers and Betrayal

Under the benevolent watch of a large oak at the heart of the estate, the Lugard Park drinkers broke open another day with the tssszzzt of special brew.  The clear sky mixed with children’s voices from the nearby school. A group of unemployed men compared pitbulls by the chip shop and crumpled page-3 nudes compared breasts in the gutter. Continue reading “Whisper”