Learning the Alphabet: A Memoir

(900 words) Resemblance to a schoolmaster gone for the moment, Dad would appear, jaunty, as if holding a big secret, which in a way I suppose he was. “Listen, children” – he never called us ‘kids,’ they were for goats, apparently. “We’re going to grandma’s next week.” My sister, Helen, brother Steven, and I would … Continue reading Learning the Alphabet: A Memoir

Shine On

(1500 words)

"Hey man, how much further?" A young man huddled in a great coat, unshaven, with long black hair flopping over a Romanesque face, lay across the rear seat of a battered Bedford van. The headlights traced the track between high dry stone walls, suddenly illuminating a sign, ‘Swarfdale farm 3 miles.’

The driver, a tall, thin man in his twenties, laughed. He had the long, misshapen face of a gravedigger and black hair combed across his forehead. “Three miles. Hey, break out the whisky, Sid, … or were you thinking of acid?!”

The man in the passenger seat turned round to face the back seat. He was good-looking, his face thin-lipped and framed by curly brown hair to his collar. “Hey, Sid, leave off the fucking acid!”

“I never brought no fucking acid!”

“Like we believe you,” laughed the driver.