rush hour conversation

Chloe and Emily have been friends for nearly three years, they flat share, both work for the university, and share the journey into work – in Emily’s car. Chloe isn’t a morning person, but Emily has gotten used to that.

“… so, what I am saying is this, that by observing ants closely, you’ll see they don’t do anything stupid,” Chloe said, “they always walk in orderly lines, carrying leaves, twigs and so forth, back to the nest.”
“Well not always, they sometimes fall off branches,” Emily interjected, looking left and right for an opening in the queue of traffic, “that doesn’t seem too clever.”
Continue reading “rush hour conversation”

when nothing’s inside my head (and I have no clue what to say)

Unsure if the darkened cafe is actually open
I sweep inside, straight past the hosts
Despite their earnest efforts to engage
Princess Charlotte says I look ‘dapper’ –
Referring to my outfit

She – with dark blue eyes
Dual German-Irish princess, by birth-right
Still, I penetrate deeper into the darkened space
Ignoring the time-spent on decorations
I don’t register such things

So, I actually made it to the Christmas fancy dress party!
Having left it ’til the last minute to decide
Congratulations are in order
Certainly
No mean feat

Ignoring everyone I pass by
My mission is to disembark my coat
Find the safe place
Hat and scarf
To boot

Now
Where is the drink?
Wine
Why wine?
Why white wine

Against red?
Chat
Small-talk
Forced
Uncomfortable

Move on
Notice Derek, chatting intensively
To shy Lina
Join them
Graciously elbow Derek out

Lina opens up
I nod head, agree
Say something wrong
She leaves
Smarting

I disappear for a cigarette
Reappear, drawn to the Ladies in Waiting
I chew the fat, yet
Before I settle in
All six arise together and leave

I am doing well
Another cigarette, outside
Back in, attracted to Cordelia
The source of light
To a dusty old moth

“You look well. Pretty, you look, well pretty” 
Stumbling words
I am stared down by her friends
She leaves
To involve herself elsewhere

Secret Santa exchange begins
I watch my wrapped gift picked up
Several times and placed back down
I can’t bear to watch, find another table
Here’s Tara, locks tied back.

But it is exclusively me-talk
I can’t get a word in edgeways
Facing failure, I am elbowed out of the way
By a grandpa age-difference man
That’s how bad I performed

Full circle
I chat to the two Princess Charlottes
Explaining how my gift hasn’t been picked
Now I don’t want to give it away
I decide, so take it back for myself

Mild confusion ensues
I beg my leave
I retrieve coat, hat and scarf
I don’t look back
“If only I had said this…” all the way home

the joy of song (short story 3,443 words)

Section 1
Stood in his narrow
kitchen, staring vacantly at the blister pack held between his fingers and thumb, the new pills – Johnson concluded, simply weren’t working. Like the ones he’d been placed on before, and the one’s before the one’s before. The same as always, his deep depression, chronic introversion and social anxiety paralysed him. This, despite the elapse of two years since his first prescribed treatment. Continue reading “the joy of song (short story 3,443 words)”

birthday bed sheets (short story 1,571 words)

With some difficulty, Super Dan climbed in through the Police Commissioner’s fourth floor office window, displacing several ornaments and a dried flower arrangement onto the plush carpet.
“You called?” he said panting to catch his breath while pulling the long sleeves of his gloves back into place.
“Yes Dan Man! We need your help and also some of your assistance.” said the Police Commissioner.
“Hey, hold on! I’m Super Dan, not Dan Man.” Continue reading “birthday bed sheets (short story 1,571 words)”

what did you just say? (short story 1,865 words)

Warning: this short story contains some swear words, implied nudity and chauvinistic ‘pigotry’, all deemed as essential to the plot.

Finally, what took you so long? It’s a bit late to still be lazing around in bed. Here, take the bloody parcel, I’ve got a shed-load to get through this morning and I’m falling behind just by talking to you. You’ve absolutely no idea.” Continue reading “what did you just say? (short story 1,865 words)”