The Test – by Kevin Murphy

 

A roar of ‘Ah, ha, ah!’ draws a gaggle of girls to stop and peer in the door and window of Jim Pooler’s cobbler’s hut, open to let in a summer breeze. ‘What you laughing at, Snob?’
He holds up his thumb, then sucks it.
‘Good … or bad, eh? Which is it?’
‘I’ve hit it wit’ ’ammer,’ he wheezes, then laughs.
‘Daft ’apporth, thought you were a professional,’ says one. ‘Don’t go dripping blood on those lovely brogues.’
Jim holds up his other hand, gloved by a very smart tan and white shoe. He inspects it and shakes his head.
‘Didn’t know if you were laughing or crying,’ says another girl.
Jim thinks for a second before saying, ‘bit of both I suppose.’ He smiles a sad smile then cheers, ‘I’ll be reet!’ Continue reading

Leave by Rachel Hilton

They had only been together for a matter of weeks when Cecil asked if Hayley would accompany him on a visit to his parents. He wanted to introduce her to them and thought it would be a good idea to go for a weekend. She wasn’t so enthusiastic and told him so.

“It’s too soon, we need to know each other better before we meet each other’s parents.”

“Nonsense, you’ll like my parents and they’ll like you. They are so easy to get along with.”

He kept on and on at her and eventually she relented. She didn’t want to go, it was more to shut him up than anything. Continue reading

Inside H G Wells – by David Graham

The phone rang again.
DS Loyal felt it vibrate persistently through the desktop. His fingertips slowed as they moved over the PC keyboard. He had managed to tune out the noise of the ever-busy CID Office, now his concentration was dented again. His brow furrowed, but he refused to take his eyes off the screen.
He pressed his lips together and ignored the ringtone for the third time. He knew he shouldn’t. But he had a mass of complicated details to transfer from his PNB onto the PC in preparation for a court appearance the following morning. Details that had to be squeaky clean if he was to win his case. Continue reading

Maria and Rosie by Rachel Hilton

Maria and Rosie had been friends as far back as either of them could remember, all through school and their teenage years. They had always been there for each other and now was no different although their circumstances were. Maria now lived on the Upper West Side whereas Rosie lived on the Lower East Side. That in itself said it all. Continue reading

Web by Rachel Hilton

I don’t often write about me. But the word web brought back a cascade of memories.

When I was a teenager, a canary flew into our garage. It was a bright yellow pretty little bird. My Dad managed to catch it, and we put it in a cage. I don’t remember where the cage came from but that’s not important. We did all the usual responsible stuff, placing cards in all the local shops saying “Found: yellow canary” where and when etc, all the usual actions people took before social media. We had no response so it lived in the cage in the dining room of the house. My brother Simon, who is several years younger than me, named it Freedom.  Continue reading