By Mark Burrow
I met a man with tattoos in a pub who told me that love is shaped like an English poppy. I laughed in his face. “A poppy? What kind of idiot are you...
The fare gazed out the back of the cab as we crossed the Thames, eyes fixed on the night black water. At first, I thought the tranny would be chatty and bubbly like they were on TV or in panto.
I caught this boy, Dan, gawping at my ankle chain in a maths class once… I was like, “Oi, Noncy Nonce, stop perving at me.” Everyone was cracking up...
The news showed footage of shop windows being smashed. Cars tipped on their sides and set alight. Rioters lobbed stones and bottles at the police. A...
It was a Friday night. I stood in the kitchen, thinking about a drink. I had been off booze for six weeks. Quitting was not easy. I had wanted to go...
Freddy walked into his local. The door hadn’t swung shut behind him when he clocked the heads angling in his direction.
The sun was bleeding. A boy and girl were sitting in the stairwell of the flats, whispering together. They were the only people he had seen since being refused entry to the last pub.
Drink and food were dad’s priorities. His appetites governed the flat. Freddy watched his dad in the kitchen, pouring beer into a thin glass and then checking the oven to see what was for dinner.
Outside, standing on the balcony, Freddy looked at several pigeons strutting about on the ground below, pecking at a discarded box of chicken and chips.
As I lay here now, thinking about that night, I wonder about myself. How I let what happened happen.
MUD PIE'S REVENGE Joshua Preece unbuttoned his Agnes B shirt and dropped it onto the tiled bathroom floor. He looked at his white fat stomach. He...
When the Head of Marketing caught wind of me turning into a pigeon, she tried to take advantage by calling a meeting.
The owner of the restaurant, Pete, fired Darren for arguing with a customer. Darren was adamant he did nothing wrong.
Some blokes, they dream about free climbing El Capitan, cycling the alps, taking their family to Disney World or Disneyland. Not me.
Mrs Darwish, the manageress, was standing behind the main desk flicking through papers.
Pyser walked along a beach at dawn. He heard the cries of an injured seagull. It was entangled in strips of plastic. The seabird’s left wing seemed broken.
Darren and Kelly were sitting in a pub near Brighton station, sharing a plate of dim sum. “Do you know what I hate about Russian dolls?” he said.
“Passports,” said the man from behind a row of tables. We shuffled along. Farther back, by a wall, soldiers watched us going by, one by one. Their berets, khaki uniforms and Russian assault rifles clashed with our tie-die trousers, hats, bracelets and beads.
There was this itching sensation swarming over Pyser. He knew something was wrong with him. It went under the skin. Into his blood stream.
The hotplate was vicious. Pyser had a shift with Phil one night. Phil was doing the usual. Two greasy wooden sticks to flip strips of chicken, pork, beef, fish, whatever the customers had given them in a bowl to cook.
People don’t understand what it is to be a hero. They think it’s about sport or the military. The obvious stuff that you see in documentaries and films.
It was the girls who starved themselves at school. Never the boys. No-one could explain why.
The stones are lined out to throw. Baz has the broken bricks. We crouch behind the second-floor balcony of the flats. He peeks to see if he can spot the hearse.
Anne scrunched up a wet flannel and pressed it against my eye. The coldness made me flinch.
The four giant chimneys stick up like the legs of a table turned upside down. Smoke used to billow out of those stacks. Thick black plumes rising into the sky.
The outsourced HR lady had a mole on her cheek and I swear it expanded as the videocall went on. “We appreciate all the hard work you’ve done for us and we’ve really considered every option available. This hasn’t been an easy decision.”
Too close to the playground. I told Pete we needed to stay by the garages, near our block of flats, but he never listened. We got spotted by the older boys who hung about by the swings.