flash fiction, flashfiction, microfiction, short story, Uncategorized

One-Man-Band On The Run


I’m a oneman band, when the crowds are tough, a oneman marching band.  I’ve had more coins thrown at me by the afternoon cathedral drunks than dropped into my hat.  I’m an unloved oneman band.

The bass-drum’s my Achilles’ heel.  I’m old school, I don’t think it’s right to perform to backing tapes like seems to be the norm nowadays, but can I keep a beat? Can I fiddle!

I practice at home, foot, pedal, foot, pedal, ’til the neighbours bang on the walls.   They’re better percussionists than me, I should rope them into the act.

The precinct on a Saturday, rain curtaining off the eaves. A couple of Community Support officers look over as they pass, but they don’t seem too interested. Them and everyone else.

Can’t wait to go home today, before I mould.  My harmonica suddenly makes the most godawful squawk when I blow.  I blow harder.

flash fiction, flashfiction, microfiction, short story

‘The Slider’



Harry’s sat at the top of the slide, refusing to come down.   I’m not even sure that he could if he wanted, having got up there.   I’ll have to fetch a broom, try pushing from behind.  I don’t think the hose’d be powerful enough.

What a forlorn sight, leaves drifting down around him, some settling on his head.  He swipes off a large yellowed maple.  “I’ve got better things to be doing, young Harry,” I tell him.   “The hall needs clearing before Assembly tomorrow, and the teachers have blocked their loo again!”, which gets me a smile.  “I’m sorry, Mr Brown,” he mumbles, trying to tuck that smile away.  I take one last bite and hand up my Double Decker for him to finish, and he reaches down with his trunk to take it.  I can’t wait for the day when he starts to fight those little bastards back.

flash fiction, flashfiction, microfiction, short story, Uncategorized

‘The Lilac Time Herbaceous Borders Tour’

(As seen at Sick Lit )


Old houses and back gardens in Tewkesbury  UK


I don’t care if these boots are in fashion, I think it’s criminal hiding an ankle as exquisitely boned as Mysteeq’s in what looks like a split-open, inverted sheep.  And yet, after half a minute’s airing, her arch is stretched, the toes spread wide, and her bare foot’s slipped back into that gaping froth of wool, for all that the day’s so hot, the rest of her outfit’s no larger than a cummerbund.

She looks up and catches my gaze, grazing her lower calf under the desk, and says, to me, but playing to the galleries, “Miss?  Do you like girls, Miss?”

“I like educating girls, Mysteeq,” I reply dryly, “Which is why I’d like you all to turn to page 46,  and complete the first three exercises.  In silence, if you would, Ms. Harpam at the back!  I can see and hear you, you know?”

As the class tuts and mutters at their Maths, I put my hand on my left thigh and gently tread with my fingers at the leg of my slacks so the bottom rides high enough for me to peruse my own ankle, exposed as it is in a flat-soled Birkenstock.  Said ankle, quite frankly, looks like a giant pale scone; and I release the linen so it’s out of view once more.

Even on a private teacher’s salary, I can’t afford to live near where I work, not if I want an actual house and tiny garden.  I’ve been driving on the motorway for at least fifteen minutes before I notice the girls’ present for me, pressed against the offside mirror glass – a bright scarlet kiss, almost perfectly formed.  Whoever delivered it must’ve really pasted the lipstick on first.  I can picture them, clustered around my Citroen to hide the kisser, nervously laughing at their daring, en masse, but jumping out of their skins and screaming at any flicker of movement, and I smile to myself.  Turning up the radio, I force my way into the fast lane and press down on the accelerator.

The sky, putty coloured all day, looks positively lilac as I step into my bathroom.  The setting sun bleeds across the fences to my right, but, sandals off to feel the cold tiles against my feet, I’ve only got eyes for next door’s garden where, as usual at this hour on a Thursday, my neighbour’s on all fours, head down, trowel in hand, moving between his herbaceous borders.  With his back, and backside, facing up at me, I imagine he’s Him Off That Sunday Night TV Programme (I know the actor’s name, of course, but prefer to objectify him as much as possible), glistening under his shirt in the dusk, plunging his hands into the soil while imagining it’s my body he’s ravishing.  The neighbour has hair of a vaguely similar length and colour, and, looking down, enjoying myself, that’s close enough.   The evening shadows lengthen around me, and my ankles cave a little.