Thursday, April 19, 2007

An extract from


‘You’re my fucking twin!’
My first thought, just a split second. She wouldn’t notice, snotty cow. And I know she won’t remember me. Then I size her up; her style, her clothes, make up, smile, I know she ain’t nothing like me, not at all. I’m an outsider, properly. You could even say professionally. I know this stuck up tart has never been on the outside of anything in her life. So I watch her. How can you look like me and be so, so different? She has a really friendly, cute face, blue smiley eyes, like Bambi’s. Shiny, shoulder length hair, the colour of honey. Expensive suit, well-cut, like her hair, but you could tell this is her work front, that she kicks off her heels when she gets home. She’s a sweet, baby voice; spoilt, middle-class. She expects to be listened to, the centre of attention, you can tell, in her eyes, the smile, she has guts. Gets what she wants. I know she is a lucky person; privilege, money. Some people nice things just happen to, just like that.
‘Off you go,’ I think, as she walks across the station concourse, and she just disappears into crowds of commuters.
I don’t normally wait, watch someone like that. You got to be quick; the faster you move, the more valuable the goods. Too slow the risks shoot sky high and the value is gone. You got to disappear, to ‘liquidise’ your assets, before they realise; call the police, cancelling cards, changing locks.
I got breathing space. In the artificial light of the Station she looks like all the other little puppets marching to a collective beat. Pitter-patter like rain, a thousand footsteps tappety tapping through London’s rush hour. She has her ticket in her hand as she leaves, her train is being announced through the echoey acoustic of the station, so she’s no time to make a call, buy snacks; not likely to reach in her bag. She won’t see what’s happened till the train’s left. Even if she borrows someone’s phone I know the signal’s bad coming out of Waterloo from Platform 9.
I feel inside my pocket. Mobile,...............................................

Kathryn Ford

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

An extract from:

Rest in Peace, Mickey Snook

………………An uninspiring purpose built old peoples home, complete with dingy patterned brown carpets and hand rails along endless corridors. He was their first resident and Jack, a solid, rough man, rumoured to be ex-SAS, took Mickey in hand.

It was the longest period of his adult life that wasn’t scrambled with drugs or tortured by delusions.
The two of them renovated the place. Every time I drove out he showed me hen sheds he’d built, or a vegetable patch newly dug over. He and Jack spent weeks restoring a boat:
‘We’re going to sail to France.’ He said.

Mickey’s brother Sean had a reputation too. He was hard, with long greasy hair, the same dark features. He looked as if he’d emerged from examining the underside of a car. He’d done time for violent offences and had his own problems, often too paranoid to leave his flat. He promised their mother, who’d died of cancer, that he’d look after Mickey.
Sean found his duties as Mickey’s brother onerous. He once bought him, filthy and deluded, by the scruff of the neck, to the in-patient unit with the words;
‘If you don’t fucking sort him out, I’ll kill him……………………..

Kathryn Ford

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Monday, December 11, 2006

An extract from:


There has to be more to life than this.
Did he say that aloud or just think it? It’s the sort of trick solitude plays on you. Peter slumped even lower in the sofa. His plate lounged beside him, smeared by the remains of microwaved supermarket mush, emanating kitchen smells in the living room. The Burgundy beeswing crusted the bottom of his glass; his tongue felt the same. The TV wafted its colours around the room and droned on about the hundred best nappy adverts or something, and the clock’s second hand jerked on its circular journey in silent saccades; just for now, it’s five to 11. Trish still wasn’t home. Yet another late meeting with her City stockbroker chums, negotiations drawn out in some big deal. Good money, though: don’t complain.
He really did not want to go to bed on his own again, to be roused by her considerate but clumsy attempts at quiet entry in the small hours; she always went straight for the shower to hose off the smoke and grime. So he dropped his plate in the dishwasher, heaved himself upstairs to the spare room and flicked on the computer to ..............................

By Richard O'brien

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