Déjà Vu

I was five coffees down and still shattered as I sat in the diner past midnight off Route 1. The waitress did her best to keep my cup filled. If she knew I wasn’t going to tip, I don’t think she’d have been so attentive. I finished my pastrami on rye and waited patiently for my ice cream; it was my little treat to myself for being on the home stretch. Read more »

People Shouldn’t Take What Doesn’t Belong to Them

He was around six feet tall. He wore a long brown trench coat. A large brimmed hat left his face in almost complete darkness as he entered the bar. I’d been sitting there for a good hour and my buzz was well and truly on. It had been two weeks since my wife had left me. This was my temporary happy place, as I did my best to forget. The man walked towards me, his boots clacking on the floorboards. He took the seat next to me. An aroma of pipe tobacco and gasoline wafted from him. I stared straight ahead. Read more »

I Wanted To Be A Hero

Tuesday night I was driving home from work. I’d only moved and started my new job a month back and was still getting used to the area. Being January, it was already dark before I left and the streets were not yet familiar. I’d been a security guard for most of my adult life and this new job was the first time working in an office. To say I was under-stimulated would have been an understatement. Though a salary bump of almost 100% was enough to convince me my shifts prowling the night were over. Read more »

The Grief we Stow

I don’t know how to begin this. I don’t know how to express the emotions I feel right now. I’m not sure if it’s hatred, fear or guilt for a time long lost, or only a nothingness – an absence of all feeling, leaving a growing despair. Read more »

I Hate My Father’s Ex-Wife

I hate when mum comes to visit. I never know what to say. My parents got divorced when I was young, only eight. My brother was two at the time, he doesn’t remember her at all. She visits twice a year. Dad says he wishes she could see us more often, for us. I told him I’m happy if I never see her again. I know this hurts him, he wants what’s best for us. Read more »

How to Know When it’s Safe to Fall Asleep

I grew up in a graveyard. Yup, not in a church, but in a small stone building right slap bang in the middle of a graveyard. My grandfather was the caretaker. I lived with him all my life. My parents died when I was very young and I didn’t remember them, though there’s something so eerie about being able to say goodnight to your parents once they are dead. I could see their gravestones from my bedroom window. I’d wave to them as I laid down in bed. I’d hear them say goodnight back. Read more »

Mr Bookbinder

When I was a kid and I did something bad, really bad, my dad used to drag me out of the house and up the hill to a phone box. It was one of those cozy red things you’d see all over England. Now, they usually contain a lending library or defibrillator. He’d make me march the last ten feet or so, on my own. I remember the last time, when the rains lashed down, with thunder and lightning filling the skies. Read more »

My Brother Haunts Houses

I look back at the pranks we played in college and feel utterly ashamed, though being honest, some were the best times of my life. Yeah, we’d go too far, once a dorm room was set alight; not our finest hour. I thought I’d outgrown it. My brother sure hadn’t. Read more »

The Crooked

I was browsing a local secondhand bookshop when I came across something very peculiar. The sleeve was leather, like an expensive diary or something. In gold leaf the title read, The Crooked. Like I usually do, I read the first few paragraphs while standing in front of the shelves. Read more »


There’s a picture on the internet that if you look at, can temporarily leave an afterimage for hours, days, weeks or months. It’s nothing unusual, just red and green squares with black vertical and horizontal lines running through them. I won’t link to it, you can find it yourself. But I must warn you first, by telling you what happened to my friend Neil. I thought it would just annoy him, at best. Read more »