Wayne threw a right. The van slewed across the black road. He slammed the brakes, the sound of slack gravel. He pulled on the end stuck to his lips, gave the horn one long lusty honk with the flat of his hand, looked in the rearview, said, All out that's getting out! We were out front … Continue reading The Dead Meadow.
"Secret tests," was your whisper of the submarine halved in the harbour. Unable to contribute anything further, beyond eyebrow and frown and ear, I encouraged lightly-rolled papers and palm-flattened papers of star maps and numbers to appear. Sailors, once one fathom under, hum, one octave over an ancient incantation, through the iron and water: Summoned; rise up and disappear. … Continue reading One Fathom Under.
The hospital wards held a distinctive smell. Disinfectant and desperation and decay. In the tea room it was less so. In the tea room it smelled of biscuits. It smelled of apple pie and cheap custard. He was sat in the tea room. Everywhere he looked, people looked ill. Or, sick with worry. A sort … Continue reading Fast & Slow Educations.
The Russian, recently bare, but now clad only in tiny vinyl shorts and flip-flops, was telling me all about how the dog days came to be called the dog days. Apparently it had to do with the stars, or the trade winds, or something. I tried to concentrate on the words, but he tended to … Continue reading Breadknife To An Iceberg.
Night rattles the tiles, the street glass roils, reflects traffics of cars, faces. Moon, too, yes. But, no star arcs in raindrops; shoeshine puddles even the paving. Trainbent, late, and suddenly lost. Of the first to cross the mouth of the concourse, I ask direction, but with apology he passes without pause. A near full … Continue reading box of light.
Some years later. He pulls the peacoat collar up over his ears and, head down, takes heel to the bottom of the street. Folk still whisper as he passes, but less so these days. They grow old, they float away, they die. He lives with the memories of that night; the sky more white star … Continue reading The Lookout.