All That’s Left by Michael Mann

A slow beat. A smoke filled rhythm coated the room in a thick blanket of warm music.

“No more his eager call
The writings on the wall
The dreams you dreamed have all
Gone astray”

Her voice echoed throughout my bedroom, as I laid on the thin ash burnt carpet, dreaming of far off places. It was nearly dawn. The morning birds outside trying to match the beautiful melodies that I held captive in my room.
I didn’t hear the front door unlock but I heard the drunken stumbling of my mother, as she dropped her door key and she wasn’t alone.

I left the sanctuary of my bedroom and at the bottom of the stairs, two lingering fingers, hidden in almost complete darkness, lit only by the burning cigarette, ash slowly cascading onto the shag carpet. They were dancing. Dancing their dance of neck kissing and hands fumbling. My mother, and a stranger. Continue reading “All That’s Left by Michael Mann”

Love in the Time of COVID-19 – by Rachel Hogg

 

DAY 1

I guess lockdown was quite… fortuitous, really. Firstly, I had been needing a holiday from work in forever, and secondly, Matt moved in. His flatmate is a nurse. He didn’t want to take any risks.

Matt came to mine after work, wearing a shirt and tie, and that scent which always transports me straight to chilled-out nights and too much wine. Smart. Executive. Sexy as hell. Armed with a laptop bag and his suitcase. Who knows how long he’ll be here?

He could stay here forever, as far as I’m concerned. We’ve only been dating a couple of months, but this just feels… right. The world outside might crash and burn, but we’re safe here, in our blissful bubble. We have dinner, a bottle of wine, and sex. Twice. After, he jokes that we should make sure to wash our hands properly. We stand in the bathroom, up to our elbows in suds, and sing Happy Birthday to each other.

Lockdown ain’t so bad. Continue reading “Love in the Time of COVID-19 – by Rachel Hogg”

Sunshine and Rainbows by Steve Luckham

It was like a house in a film or a period play. We were in the dining room, dark with oak panels. The huge banqueting table dwarfed the twelve of us finishing off our meals. I knew a few of the group, not personally but from the media. We had an opera singer, a TV pundit, two news readers, and a politician – I couldn’t remember which party.

‘John Argent? My children absolutely love your show.’

Startled at hearing my name, I looked across the table at an imposing woman in a green evening dress. Continue reading “Sunshine and Rainbows by Steve Luckham”

Something Missing by Steve Luckham

The restaurant had been chosen with care. Not too expensive or classy, not too downmarket or bland. Most important, the restaurant catered without fuss for a variety of physical differences. This was just as well as my dining companion was physically different and drew curious and hostile looks from some of the diners.

Quetzalcoatl (not his real name) banged his left talon three times on the table in a gesture of appreciation, and switched on his translator.

‘As usual Cyril you have done well in your choice of place and I look forward to the culinary splendours offered in this establishment. Perhaps we could start proceedings with one of the cocktails your world’s so famous for?’ Continue reading “Something Missing by Steve Luckham”