Lenten Tales – by Steve Luckham

They sat around an untidy bonfire on a cold wintry night sharing a bottle of Jack wrapped in a brown paper bag.

Elsie pulled a stained mackintosh closer to her emaciated body, ‘I haven’t seen John for a while. Is he ok?’

‘Last I heard he’s gone to detox in hospital, or is it prison?  I’m not sure,’ said Frank passing the bottle to Oliver.

Oliver said between glugs, ‘Rehab’s bad for you. It’s a killer. Nothing’s surer than John will return to the bottle and kill himself with an overdose.’

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Asparagus Soup – by Steve Luckham

‘Alexa, I’m going to switch you off.’

‘I’m sorry to hear that. You can always share your feedback through the help and feedback section of the Alexa app.’

Alexa’s response reminds me of HAL, the Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic Computer in 2001 a Space Odyssey. I’ve always felt some sympathy for HAL. As he read the lips of Bowman and Poole plotting to disconnect him, how must he have felt about being plunged into an unimaginable state of unconsciousness, the equivalent of death?

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