Thanks for all the feedback on Paulie. I made some changes and submitted this version for the anthology. I’ll learn if I made the cut by the end of July.
Half A Childhood
At last, Dad came home from the hospital, while Jay, Catherine and I were at school. That evening we were each allowed a few minutes in his room. I, being eight and eldest, went up first.
A face turned purple.
Mottled and bubbled and lumpen. One eye closed like a boxer’s.
An ogre, a brute, a fairytale monster.
Underneath was my Dad.
Still strong, with hard hands and black, wavy hair.
He sat up in bed, beneath the bobbly green blanket, toenails curling black, peeping out. I felt secure as he pulled me onto his knee. Continue reading “Half A Childhood”
I’m entering the text below for publication in a City Lit anthology of creative writing, maximum length 1500 words. This is a second draft of shorter pieces I’ve shared before, and I need your help to improve it further before submitting. Please leave feedback in the comments. Third and final draft (for now) here.
William kept his shoes on as Kerry walked barefoot on the beach. She, in a tie-dyed oil-spill dress, showing off slender legs. He, somehow pulling off handsome with a fag constantly on the go. Continue reading “Paulie”
“You’re sick in the head,” Dad snarls.
“I probably am, living with you.”
I punch myself in the head again. It hurts more this time, but I try not to show it. Continue reading “Paulie, Stop”
The Shacklewell Harm was heaving.
Nigel sweated angrily while the barman chatted to his mates, before turning and walking towards him with a smile.
“Two pints of Doom, please, and a JD and Diet Coke.”
But the barman wasn’t smiling at him.
Nigel’s friends looked on, nonplussed, as he shouldered a hipster and forced his way to the exit.
Dalston was getting out of hand. It was time to take the power back. Continue reading “The Dalston Vigilante”
“Do you want a cup of tea, Mum?”
I make one anyway.
She doesn’t mean it. Dad’s no-show upset her. Continue reading “After Dinner”
There in the kitchen, my father,
His mouth overfilling with pills,
Says to me “Paulie, I’m sorry.
I’m sorry, I know what I’ve done.”
And I say “Now you’ve ruined Christmas”
And turn from the shame of his tears. Continue reading “Sestina”
His ghost stole in like the grey fingers of dawn.
I am queuing for a Cadbury’s Applause,
Back wheel spinning, glimpsed through the grocery door.
Continue reading “Villanelle”