(Not-really-a) Story in Short #27: Ode to a Billboard

Dream, asks the billboard. Asks? This the 21st century. Dream! The billboard demands I dream.  Without the billboard I have no dreams, without my dreams the billboard has no purpose. Bold and agitating, the billboard greets me at 3:30 pm each day when I leave Victoria station on the southbound train for Margate. Dream! What…

Stories in (super) Short #26: Miss Hawthorn’s cakes

There’ll always be cakes in Miss Hawthorn’s shop window. Creamy round cakes topped with cherries and pink glazing that turns sweaty in the sun. Although the grime and the dust of the busy street, pounded by the crowd’s busy feet, dirties and stains the glass of Miss Hawthorn’s shop window, the cakes always look so…

Misery Confirmed 1

misery confirmed Fren Burt is sitting across from me drinking a milk and vodka on the rocks. Too poor to afford coffee liqueur, too politically correct to order a ‘white’ Russian. There’s a wasp in my beer. Sunlight refracts through the glass onto its squirming body. Nobody saves a drowning wasp, do they? They will…

Stories in Short #25 (The Hotel Notorious)

Alexei Stepanovich signed his name with a flourished S on the gilded, yellow note-pad. He was disgusted by his name and much preferred everyone to call him “Sue.” As such, every time he was forced to sign a notepad, an image of his own mild face or the bare breasts of a middle-aged woman, he always signed…

Stories in Short #24 (The last doge of Venice)

I’ve run to the romantic city. The sinking city. Years before she’d asked me if we we could go, together, and now I’m here, alone. The waterways are green-blue and the yellow-fronted houses are crumbling. Henry James wrote of the empty palaces, I’m here to write of the emptiness of the whole adventure. On the…