A host of short stories, mixed genres and lengths.
He watched as his train pulled out of the station, the rain filming over his window, forcing his world underwater. He felt he was leaving, but also that his was going nowhere. How much strength had it taken to board the train? How little they knew of what was yet to come.
He heard the voice that time, much clearer than before. He put down his cup and closed his eyes. He answered it quickly, forcefully even, subduing it of any control. It was not the first time this had happened, but he noticed it was a lot clearer now. The voice had a female sound to it, like that of a stern school teacher barking orders…
It wasn’t so much that the dark frightened him, the shadows suited him well; casting a cloak for his deeds in the middle of the night. It was just that, the darkness heightened what he already felt inside, desertion and loneliness…
They jostled onto the train that had arrived with a clankering commotion at the station. The vaulted tiled ceiling of the underground station swirled with the sound of metal, tannoy announcements and tourist hubbub…
The rain had come as soon as she left the main path. She heard it now pattering on the leaves in the canopy above her. The sheltering forest where all was unsure and forbidden. She never saw it this way, this was always how it was put to her, and this is always how it was made to be. She ran along further, carving her own way through existence…
“There would never be a place where that would feel like home to me.” She said, her hands trembling as she tried to keep herself under control. He looked away, and at that point she knew his decision had been made.Her heart sealed itself in that moment, covering up in a sheath of self-protection she had learned from when she was young…
It had only been twenty minutes, and already I was sick of being in the car. The heating had taken ages to kick in, so I shivered in the cold and frosty conversation. The argument had begun on the way back to the carpark. It didn’t matter what it was over, it never really did. These miniature versions of global wars, shrunk down to my own proximity; petty power plays and name calling could be over anything….
How long had she been driving? The sky above her was threatening the night, while bullet lights of passing cars pierced her eyes. She had left that morning, surprised by so many things that were happening, but no longer surprised by being surprised….
Tuesdays were always difficult. A problem day. A nothing day. All the things wrong in her life seemed to have occurred on that second day of the week. Second for her at least, some people she knew classed Sunday as the first day. What did they know she always thought? She could always gauge how one Tuesday was to unfold anyway, the motivation of Monday dripped away by the evening, making way for another mediocre book-end of days that collected on the shelf of her life….
(THE RAIN FALLS, THE GROUND HARDENS)
The rain fell softly, thickening and blurring between snow and sleet. Flakes that found their way onto roof tops or eyes lids, disappeared in an instance into a watery grave. The small town of Hirani was perched high atop the steep cliffs that stuck out into the North Pacific Ocean like teeth….
It had rained all morning, and a small stream of water now ran down the slope of the playground outside. Miss Carbine stole a look out of the darkened window from the warm classroom to see the water hammering down the pane. She sighed to herself, knowing they would have to have the lunch break inside today. Her class were currently in pairs, going through the text books that she had put out that morning….
Stepping into the church after so many years made him hesitant at first. He lingered in the doorway like an uninvited guest, hovering on the threshold. Some tourists excused themselves in broken English as they brushed passed him, entering the cool relief of the stone sanctuary away from the blistering hot sunshine outside. Holding his breath, he stepped inside; glancing quickly high up to the ceiling as if looking for God….
Twenty five of them, she’d counted as they’d sung Happy Birthday in the small restaurant that they insisted was her favourite. The other candle must have dropped off somewhere, or the staff at establishment had been given false information. Exasperated by their inclination to not really care.
The snow had begun to fall early that evening. Though the sun had long since slumbered down, it was around six o’clock when the few flutters of snow started to whip past his window. Daniel had left the curtain s open like he did most evenings, watching the wild sky drip away beyond the horizon. It had rained lightly that day, and it took a while for the snow flurries to leave any impression on the ground. But as he watched from his small window, his face illuminated by the Christmas lights, he watched as some people came out of their houses to investigate the snow….
‘The fireflies will take you there.’
She heard the voice, strong and determined through the muddling noise of her day. It had traveled with her since she’d left her house that morning, echoes on the wind and fingers on the back of her neck….
Alex stared out of the dirty window in his third floor apartment. The noise from the streets below floated in on the wind, sounds of traffic and everyday bustle. The water had finished boiling about five minutes ago, but Alex continued to stare outside; transfixed on a moment in time far removed from anything in the here and now.
Something was missing, or perhaps a miss he thought. He’d watched it play out a hundred times before, the movie in his head rolled forward; staging the moment time and again when his heart had collapsed. Bodies all around, pavement; yellow in motion, blurring around a corner. Lost…