The Bell Tower

Reverend Langston Penniman sat on the edge of his bed, stretching his black fingers. Everything had either twisted up on him or shrunk except his stomach. Once six-foot-five, he now plunged to six two, still tall, but not the imposing dignitary he once was standing behind the lectern in front of his congregation. His parishioners aged, too. So hard nowadays to attract the young, he … Continue reading The Bell Tower

Hell on Wheels

Helen delivered drama to the street from the moment she moved in dressed in the latest ASOS creation, driving a Mercedes Cabriolet – tops down. The jury of worthies was out about whether she would enhance our lives. Twenty’s Plenty was meaningless to her, as was turning the noise down after eleven – her car thundered through the streets whenever she was returning home and … Continue reading Hell on Wheels

Things you think about as you drown

The scent of cut grass and creosote, the colour of the ocean after a storm, vanilla, the soft sourdough of the baby’s neck. The oyster slick of Andrew as he slides down your throat, the taste of yourself on his hands, frozen margaritas in a kidney-shaped pool. Sun-bleached images of the baby’s tilting totter listing towards you like a lush, oxeye daisies and dandelions in … Continue reading Things you think about as you drown

Icarus Again

Perched on a plastic chair as though indifferent to the bitter stink of antiseptic and cacophony of voices, the clawing in Ava’s stomach sharpened. Scrutinising the swinging doors where her dad had disappeared on the gurney, she chewed her inner cheek at her mum refusing her pleas to stay. Ava exhaled a protracted breath at the sight of Grandma Femi pushing through the congested waiting … Continue reading Icarus Again

The Cherub Who Fell to Earth

It was good to be in Venice off season. The November weather was grey, damp and short of daylight, but Peter and Mary were almost the only tourists. Fourteen months after their wedding, it felt like a second honeymoon. Even better, now that they were pregnant. (Peter insisted he was pregnant too.) Hand in hand, they wandered along the narrow streets and across bridges, enjoying … Continue reading The Cherub Who Fell to Earth