Short Stories, Writing

Socially Awkward Shadow Puppeteer

In social situations I develop a sense of shame, I go to speak but I hear my voice replayed at me from a distance and then again hours after, but closer, as if I have a dictaphone lodged in my head and everything I say sounds eager, amplified, meek. I am so desperate to be included, to be let into the social circle for twenty minutes and then to disapeer just as quickly. The dictaphone gets stuck, it echos, it echos as I sleep, the actions, the reactions, the comments and the inevitable silence, and then the worst of it hits me, the hammering on the things which make me

Continue reading “Socially Awkward Shadow Puppeteer”

Comedy, Short Stories, Writing

Conversations between yourself and your significant other

Does romance die when you tell your partner about the fantasies which help you sleep at night, or when they pick a bogey out of your nose?

Sexual fantasies are easier to share then sleepy notions, the day dreams you comfort yourself with from childhood to adulthood when stomach clenching issues stop your brain switching off. They confuse at childhood, and in adulthood they embarrass. Aren’t we meant to be over that shit? Continue reading “Conversations between yourself and your significant other”

Short Stories, Writing

Summer Sad

‘Sounds like SAD’ said the doctor with a smirk, ‘but that would be ridiculous’ and then he hustled me out the door with a prescription for branded drugs. But now I sit in front of industrial strength blinds, dreaming of long Swedish nights.  I have SAD, but not for the winter.  I am a summer SAD. And it’s not just the heat, and the light, and the moisture that collects on the back of bus seats and sticks to your trousers. No. It’s the organised trips to the lido. The expectations of a picnic, every weekend.  All the pimms. The slow reveal of flesh, phallic ice cream choices and increased public fondling. Mum and dad, I confess, I faked my way through the long dusky evenings of my childhood, that yelp of glee as we jumped into the ravine was actually despair. I didn’t want to sit inside the villa and skip the bicycle rides because I was just going through a phase. Or because I was just really into books. I was longing for the shadows. Give me icicles, crunch of snow underfoot, ice skating and falling down in public. Catching yourself if your reflexes are better and proudly declaring ‘did you see that? I almost fell’ Hot chocolates and red fingers, constricted arteries and heating I can’t afford. I only date in the winter. I only go out when I can layer, cover my pale flesh in oversized exotic jumpers. ‘Oh, I was just going through a phase.’ I say when friends ask where I have been, ‘and I am just really into books,” I murmur, hoping they will buy it, because the truth is mockable. The lies are forgotten as soon as I come alive, buying a round of schnapps.

Short Stories, Writing

Everybody’s free to wear fishing gloves

Stop fishing for compliments, if your not getting them it’s because that person does not want you to have them. Rather compliment them until they become awkward and excuse themselves to talk to someone else. Enjoy fun, but hover your bedroom floor once in a while, it’s covered in your hair. Only your hair. Don’t use your emotional intellect for evil. You are smart enough to know the tricks you play to put off the inevitable.  That relationship will die, the credit card will not pay itself, you will not loose weight through sit ups and love can be a trick biology plays on you.

Not always. Learn to tell the difference.  Indecisiveness is a sign of weakness. There will always be a better coffee shop further along the street and their will always be sushi but sometimes you have to make do. Hide your light under a bushel, bring it out on special occasions and not to validate your childhood. Your tastes are maturing and changing but you are never gonna be one of those girls who can tell an anecdote with thoughtful timing and correct detail, so store them up to be written down in the guises of other characters who are more articulate. Maybe learn to be more articulate.  Start embracing awkwardness and embarassments. Dance with mistakes and failings and move on. Move to the isle of skye and have a torrid lover affair with a fisherman who is far too old for you but the stories he tells as he lays his cod soaked fingers on your stomach.

Short Stories, Writing


You’re on a bus; there is a couple in the seat in front punctuating rudimentary comments on the bland landscape with loud wet kisses.

He breaks away from her leviathan teeth to remark on the posterior of a middle aged runner, not kindly, and you entertain yourself with those pixelated childhood memories of a youth spent at that post office, that pub, that house with a name. You remember how nice it was to move to a place where numbering a house would do, each place as innocuous as the next as if nothing saccharine or warm could take place there but everyone was okay with that. The woman across from you speaks on her phone as though in a hallway, fingers coiled around the wire shifting her weight from foot to foot as she delights in the speakers personal viewpoint on the whole situation. Everyone on the bus hates her but you… you’re jealous of her obliviousness to the man in the suit next to her loudly clearing his throat. This naïve selfishness is a wonderful gift, a personality defect you could do with but you are selfish with conviction, with the full knowledge of your spite. You sit three rows from the back next to a girl who could be beautiful and from out of your peripheral vision her lips appear comfortingly linear instead of thin and cruel and her wrists are tiny. You try not to brush your legs up against hers, the bus is filled to the brim, but you can’t help but notice the inward spread of her thighs in a A line skirt. You could tell her you work in fashion, congratulate her on the way she has put her outfit together, you could, but she is making a point to keep her body as rigid as possible. She is making a point not to notice you, and you are making a point to communicate “hey, I’m not one of those guys”.

There is a man in aisle that reminds you of your cousin if he were ten years older and you want to take his photo to show him what he might become, sleep deprived with paranoid fantasies about snipers that stop him sitting by the window. You hate this journey, you hate coming home and as you press the button for your stop you’re sure you hear the girl sigh in relief.