Thou Shalt Not

1700 words It was a fact that Phil had organised for Matthew to die. Phil took full responsibility but there would be no trial. He could have confessed but he chose not to. On principle. When the Reverend Matthew Patterson and his wife, Penny, moved in next door they seemed a pleasant enough couple to … Continue reading Thou Shalt Not

Finn McCool, the first Gaelic vegan

This piece was written for the D'Verse Prosery Challenge, with the prompt to write a story that includes: ‘I went out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head’. I went out to the hazel wood because a fire was in my head. I sat at the feet of Finneces, who awaited … Continue reading Finn McCool, the first Gaelic vegan

When the chickens come home to roost

Walter McGillicuddy’s only, and supremely effective, defense against the charge of being insane was that he always remained within the bounds of the broad church of sanity. When he was questioned by the railway police as to why he was tearing up strips of newspaper and throwing them out of the window, he said it … Continue reading When the chickens come home to roost

Silent speculation

Some followers may recognise parts of this story from another context but I decided recently to take it in a different direction. The inevitable intrusion came. Bruce opened the door swiftly, startling the middle-aged man in the high-viz jacket planted on the verandah, bearing a six-pack. He closed the door again, just as swiftly. Mission … Continue reading Silent speculation

That laugh

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there." ― L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between. For me, the 70's were not so much another country as another universe, They officially met in art school, although he’d been admiring her from afar in the college canteen for a while. In his third year of social work, he was allowed … Continue reading That laugh

The Contract – Chapter the 3rd – In which ‘he’ acquires a name.

I think this probably stands alone but if you'd like to read the foreplay, the first two chapters are here. The contract | Six Crooked Highways ( The Contract – What Kate did next | Six Crooked Highways ( Flynn read the letter several times over, climbed on to the ancient TD-18 International Harvester tractor … Continue reading The Contract – Chapter the 3rd – In which ‘he’ acquires a name.

Have you seen your mother, baby, standing in the shadow?

Title from the Rolling Stones song. Christopher had been raised to believe that his mother adored him (her pet name for him was Christopher Robin). Every minor milestone was shared with the world at large, whether it be academic, sporting or literary. At any social gathering, she would interrupt anyone crowing about their child’s achievements … Continue reading Have you seen your mother, baby, standing in the shadow?


‘We grew up together, From the cradle to the grave, We died and were reborn, And then mysteriously saved.’ -  Bob Dylan ‘Oh, Sister’. It was Charles who first noticed it. We were sitting in the back room of the abandoned offices that were our temporary home when he said ‘You know, we could be brothers.’ I … Continue reading Re-born