Uncle Charlie

“What’s up Dad?” “Uncle Charlie died.” “Whose uncle Charlie?” Turns out he was a quiet man, a relative who I never met. A solitary sort of bloke as if he couldn’t or didn’t want to fit in. His family lost touch and Charlie died alone in his room, no relatives could be found. His death notice appeared in the local paper, too late. He had already been buried, alone, in an unmarked paupers grave. Pregnant, jobless, homeless. A girl ‘in service,’ what happened? We will never know I suppose. Victorian England was a harsh, unforgiving place. Society still reels from their pompous values. Destitute, young and with a child. Her…

Three Amigo’s

The world rushes by this city Sunday. The three amigos on the steps dancing, chilling, singing. Fifty, sixty or even seventy who knows? Tired faces, worn out clothes, shabby un-chic ready for anything caring for nothing. The great and the good, rush here, don’t look there. Quickly cross the street, “they might want money.” A tape machine with tinny tones of Bob Marley ‘Jammin’ straight from 77. A hint of alcohol, well more than just a hint an early morning top up from cheap sherry hidden out of view. Takes the edge off, soothing cold tired bones. Lookout for cops,…

Avalanche

This I never expected, alone high on a mountain pass in this tomb of ice and snow. I am not sure how much air there is in my little cave, enough for a few days, a few hours. It could be worse, at least I have escaped the terrible pestilence rampaging through my land. There is no name for it, no one has ever seen anything like it. The wise men and elders can do nothing. A cough, then a fever followed by quick death seems to be its way. Many thought it was the plague or some long forgotten illness…

High In the Tower

The Peregrine watches over the city from the inner-city cliff, surveying the glass and concrete peaks all around. A different perspective on our troubled world. No hunting pigeons today. Hanging on to the stone face of the building and riding out the storm is her priority. The wind howls around the building like screaming demons demanding entry. Sitting in the lobby far below I hear voices in my head maybe real who knows. This building is alive with noise. Thumps, thuds, creaks and cracks. These old walls don’t shake. They are too strong for that, built to last of Portland Stone.…

A Leap of Faith

As Cecilia Vanderbank passed from this life, a small team of medics moved into action. She had no family, was fabulously wealthy and about to die. She believed in nothing except money, business and science. Despite her fame and fortune her destiny was to be the same as everyone else’s on the planet. In recent years’ great advances had been made with anti-aging drugs, treatments and cryogenics. The old lady had considered them all and tried a few to help retain youth. In the end she put all of her hopes and most of her money with the company, whose…

Morning Half Light

The yellow morning half-light filters through the broken glass and boards that were the old the houses windows. That lonely, fearful time before the dawn. How long have I been here? Waiting, loathing, watching. An empty shell, no light, no life. I will always be reminded of that cruel night all those years ago. There is someone in the street passing by. Alone so early, how foolish. I wonder can he hear me screaming, calling to him. I don’t know if he can or not. Each step though brings him closer. Good he’s stopped. Yes, that’s it. Turn and look…

Superfast Broadband

“Hello Mrs Dudley, this is Triple Tekkno superfast broadband,” the voice on the phone said. “Sorry not today,” Margaret Dudley was terrible at this. She had friends who just hung up or left the phone in drawers when people rang selling things but she just couldn’t, it seemed so rude. In less than ten minutes the Triple Tekkno saleswoman had convinced Margaret that there was indeed much to gain from finding out more about their product. A week later Margaret and her husband George were patiently waiting for the sales and installation team to arrive. George was still annoyed that…

Meet at The Mall

The four friends would meet on the last Friday of each month. A few drinks, a meal, a laugh and a joke. They looked forward to it and had been doing it for years. Guy and Sue sat side by side, opposite Frank and Fiona. They talked of nothing in particular. Work, football, music all just general stuff. The restaurant was a nice Italian on the fourth floor of new shopping centre in the heart of Leeds. A city that had changed so much over the years. From a grim industrial town in the late twentieth century, it was now…

Wake Up

“Wake up.” A voice disturbs my slumber. “Wake up now.” It’s urgent, it wakes me up. Who was in my room, someone or something that’s for sure. A ghost, a dream, the NSA. Gasping for air I drift back from that world into this one. Sweating in the cold night air I am I think now awake. A voice, it was a he or was it she. “Wake up, wake up now before it’s too late.” I stir and force my aching body upright sitting on the edge of my bed. I pull back the blinds in my room. The…

Tuesday Night

I’d been following the lumbering white Mercedes for a few miles heading into the city. Late in the evening on a Tuesday and the roads were quiet. I suppose mainly people like myself going to or coming from work. I noticed it’s speed, it seemed slow and the driver uncertain of the way. The other thing, it was from the French Department 2A. I decided to overtake, it overtook me straight back. There was a young man driving. His car was left hand drive, mine right. We were just a few feet away from each other. He was in his…