Nets

She puts on one of her favourites. She likes it very much, this song. So much that she listens to it every day. Every single morning, the same song, just to start things off. She sways at her window, in front of the nets. People go by, on the street, and they look towards the window because the music’s loud enough to hear as you pass, but they can’t see in. You can’t see in through nets. Not in the daytime, anyway. She knows this. Her mother told her. And she’s checked it for herself. She’s stood outside her own … Continue reading Nets

Leaves

Our afternoons were spent looking through the window onto a driveway covered in wet leaves. It seems now that this is all we did, every day, for the entire time we lived in that house. Surely there must have been more. I suppose we worked, one or both of us, for how else did we make money? And not every day could have had rain, and not every season has leaves on the ground. And yet, however hard I try, I can’t conjure an image other than the two of us at that window. We’re talking, sometimes, but mostly just … Continue reading Leaves

Colours

When he’s nostalgic, it’s pale blue like seaside cottages. Circling seagulls in morning harbours, old-fashioned cream cakes, the damp wood of rickety beach-huts. Ease is liquid green, like late summer afternoons. The lazy buzz of insects in settled heat, the sweet anticipation of the evening ahead. Anxious is the colour of commuters in a cold rush of urgency. It’s frantic, the sound of doors closing on a crowded train, the smells and tastes and harsh fabrics of commerce. Continue reading Colours

Waiting

I started this story a few years ago in a Roomers workshop. We were using the Lawrence Ferlinghetti poem ‘I Am Waiting’ as a writing prompt. I posted a version here in November 2015. This week I’ve been revisiting the piece. *** He’s waiting for the tram, at the junction. It’s the last of the night, and it’s late. All the while cars stream by. He wonders where people are going at this hour. Why’s he the only one waiting for a tram. Lights change, cars stop, drivers and passengers stare. He stares back, sizing up. Drivers wait for green, … Continue reading Waiting

Just Martin

They’d been playing for most of the afternoon, despite the cold, but as soon as the light began to fade, their mothers began summoning them inside. Time for dinner. See you tomorrows were called with cheer as one by one they left the square, until eventually it was just Martin remaining. He watched the sky swell grand and purple, felt the cold turn piercing, and then made his way out of the square, back to the street, urban branches closing and tugging at his coat on the way. He emerged on the wrong side. The layout was strange and entrancing at this hour, and all roads lead home eventually, he’d been told, by someone at some time. And so he walked, passing long terraces of quiet houses, then he turned right because that felt right, then left because that felt right too.

Continue reading “Just Martin”