The Shopkeeper – final part

They sit next to each other on the couch. The only light is from the kitchen and the moon. There is a faint tang of Sharizad’s sickness hanging somewhere in the room. “Carry on with the story,” she says. The sides of their bodies are touching. “It’s finished,” he says. “There isn’t any more.” “There is more,” she says. “He will come into the shop again tomorrow afternoon, or the day after, and what will you do?” “What can I do?” he says. “He knows that you have been thinking about him,” she says. She looks around the room, into … Continue reading The Shopkeeper – final part

The Shopkeeper – part VI

She eats the last piece of lamb on her plate (having saved it till the end, as usual) and puts her fork down. She’s tempted to run her fingertips over the plate, to scrape all the sauce up, and then to suck her fingers clean. She’d do this if Ali wasn’t there. “So why are you telling me?” she says, and glances at the candle burning between them, worried that it might go out. “I don’t know,” he says. “I can’t help staring at his hands. It’s like I’m waiting for them to fly away. He’s caught me looking. Now … Continue reading The Shopkeeper – part VI

The Shopkeeper – part V

“The first time he came in, he told me that he was buying the bottles to give to someone at work, to add to a farewell hamper. He told me about how they had bought this fellow enough gifts to fill a box, that they were going to wrap it all up in cellophane and ribbons, but they still had a small amount of money left in the collection. Everyone likes a drink, he said. And I agreed.” “I don’t like a drink,” says Julie, but he looks at her as if that doesn’t count. “And neither do you. So … Continue reading The Shopkeeper – part V

It was called Cassidy’s (excerpt)

I was over at Sam Disher’s place last Friday night. I walk past his house every day after work, and that evening, because of the heat, I’d picked up as many bottles of beer as I could carry. They were clanking around in the bags as I walked, straining the plastic, and he was standing at the front of his house, watching the road. ‘What’s that you got?’ he said, in a playful American accent. ‘Dinner!’ I yelled, and we laughed, and the next thing we were on his veranda drinking the first beers warm, waiting for the others to chill … Continue reading It was called Cassidy’s (excerpt)