There’s blood. I taste it when I swallow, metallic and unmistakable, like the tip of a battery on my tongue, and when I try to cough it up, a hand touches mine and something bleeps.
The idea comes at night, of course. It creeps up the stairs to the bedroom where you sleep, and you wipe it away, this thing which brushes the skin of your forehead. But it finds a way in, and whispers to you, ‘hush, hush.’
You dip fingers in the water expecting cold, feeling warmth. It ebbs away as the boat edges closer, ever closer. Colder, ever colder.
Nine in the evening, and the sun starts to dip below the rooftops, the dust and heat of the day, turning the sky a ruby red. September, though it feels like high summer. There’s the same lazy slowness in the air and it has her reaching for the cool of a water glass which she holds to her temple.
A short story I wrote as an exercise for the weekly Faber Academy #QuickFic competition. This week they asked for stories inspired by a randomly-selected Wikipedia article, which happened to be about Sverre Farstad, a Norwegian speed skater and Olympic gold medallist. This is my take on the prompt. You can read the winning entries here.
Short story inspired by Banksy Graffiti ‘Sorry, the lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock’
This story was first published in the Writers Abroad 2015 anthology ‘Kaleidoscope’. All proceeds go to the charity Room To Read. Available now via Amazon or via Lulu ‘Struck’ Charlie Burgess doesn’t remember the lightning strike. But if people ask him about it, what he tells them is this. He tells them about the flash. “A really bright light. And so white. Blinding white. Everything glowed.” He says that last part in an awe-struck whisper. What I just told you, he seems to suggest, is something special, something spiritual. That white light, flashing down from above, is symbolic of something. Read More
This story was first published by Visual Verse. You can read it there or listen to me read it for you. Podcast music via FreeSFX
Listen to me read my short story ‘Rodeo’s Not My Thing’