December 2015 – the end – Untitled by John Pilling


by John Pilling

We were sitting at our usual table in the back of Benny’s coffee shop when Charlie looked around then leaning forward pulled a copy of our local free newspaper out of his breast pocket and passed it to me.

“Have a look at that mate “he said quietly.

“What am I looking at?” I said.

“Inside the front page…down at the bottom.” Inside the paper there were two articles, one a puff for our local garage and the other showing a happy looking family mother, father and two children standing by a pile of suitcases on some sort of dock with a huge ship behind them. The caption read “local family takes world cruise.” Continue reading


January 2015 – left alone – Parkway by Simon Evans


by Simon Evans

When I became aware of my surroundings I realised that I had been left alone at a small train station. I say ‘left alone’ as there was no one in sight. I say ‘small train station’ as it was a one platform affair with a small station house. I was sat on a smooth wooden bench. I felt cold and overwhelmingly numb. The sky was white and heavy like an oppressive duvet. I stood and walked with difficulty down the platform. My limbs felt stiff. I then realised, as I took in my surroundings, that the station was in the midst of a huge railway intersection. Train tracks crisscrossed as far as the eye could see in an intricate patchwork. In the far distance I could see gigantic trains speeding to their destinations. They were huge – quite mammoth in proportions. The sound of their rumbling ebbed and flowed across the cool, thick, white air. Continue reading

December 2014 – closed door – Rest in Peace by John Pilling

Rest in Peace

By John Pilling

Robert Ford was a writer of detective stories starring his own personal creation, Inspector Terence Alljoy. Unfortunately, the reading public refused to share his enthusiasm for the renowned detective with the result that the finding of the monthly rent on his bedsit had become a nightmare. It was therefore with feelings of joy that he listened to the solicitor.

“A cottage?” He said, “My great aunt has left me a cottage?”

“Indeed Mr Ford. Under the will of Miss Letitia Ledson, now unfortunately deceased, you inherit the property known as Blackthorn cottage here in Fordham.”

“Well bless her,” said Robert, “what a lovely thing to do.”

“Mmm… do you know the property at all?” Continue reading

December 2014 – closed door – Usher by Martin Bolton


by Martin Bolton

Corleb gazed into the fire and chewed a mouthful of boar. The meat was carved fresh from the spit and the boy wiped hot grease from his chin with his sleeve. His fingers throbbed as the heat from the fire seeped into them.

His father regarded him across the flames with stern eyes, black beard absorbing the light of the fire, making the man’s eyes shine all the more brightly.

“What have you been doing today, boy?”

“Playing swords in the forest.”

“With whom?”

“Chukka and Breem.”

“The twins,” said his father, raising one scarred eyebrow, “they are two winters older than you, twice your size, and already students of Feurn. Do you not wish to play with children your own age?” Continue reading

December 2014 – closed door – The Reunion by Simon Evans

The Reunion

by Simon Evans

Pretty much exactly two months after the birth of our first child my wife fell ill and died within nine weeks. During her short but devastating illness she experienced periods of intense pain. I will never forget the night when I awoke to find her gripping my arm and whispering the words ‘Kill me’ with intense urgency. I didn’t kill her, I could never do that. The illness took that particular task off my hands. At other times her pain would ebb and linger in the wings of her dying days. On these occasions we would lie in bed, cradling our son, as the warm spring breeze billowed the curtains. We both had an unerring belief in the afterlife, the spiritual world beyond mere physical existence. We would talk with certainty about how we wouldn’t be apart, not ever. “I will come back to you my love,” she would say. Continue reading

January 2014 – “ever after” – Ever After by Martin Bolton

Ever After

by Martin Bolton

Be still, child, hear my voice
These words will save your soul.
I have a tale I must recite
And you must keep it whole,
For he who scorns this ghoul’s advice
Shall pay a heavy toll.
One winter’s night, alone I sat,
In the shadows of my lair,
Dreaming of a time when life,
was fresh and bright and fair.
The twilight of my many years,
A burden mine to bear. Continue reading

November 2013 – this time – Spaniel in the Wind by Martin Bolton

Spaniel in the Wind

by Martin Bolton

I, Fletcher Stanley Norman, write this now in the hope that I might deter others as foolish and unthinking as myself from perpetrating similarly vile acts. I fear that I have sunk too far into the murky depths of depravity, into realms beyond the light of the sun’s blessed rays, to hold any real hope for my own salvation. I can but warn others that this path I have taken leads only to eternal damnation, and pray that my warning is heeded. Continue reading