Norrish Gift

My next door neighbour has: a whipper snipper; a leaf blower; a chainsaw; a ride on mower; and a shredder. Well he used to. He may have had other tools in his back shed, like a spade or a rake, but they never came to my attention. It was the noisy petrol guzzling buggers that keep the garden under the thumb that piqued my inner good Samaritan. And that is the point I tried to make after I politely knocked on my neighbour’s door last Sunday afternoon. “There’s no law against leaf blowers,” he grunted. “Do you think you could maybe give it a rest on Sunday’s at least.” “What are you a religion freak or sumthin?” I must admit his massive illustrated biceps and the can of bourbon and …

Read more →

“Fuck you,” I muttered. Traffic was bad, the weather worse and my mood – surly. Cutting me off was not the best idea at that moment. I memorized the make and model of the car, and the license plate as well. If I ever came across that particular vehicle, I would fuck it the hell up. The phone went off in the seat next to me. I glanced down at it. My boss. Again. She could wait. She was a douche-and-a-half, and I was only going to be ten minutes late. Maybe twenty. But still. I was only late a couple of times a week. She could bite me. I moved a bit closer to the bumper of the car that had cut me off. I’d been in line for …

Read more →

The figures that prowled the swirling, golden mist were indistinct, yet terrifying. Their forms were hunched and misshapen, no two alike. Some red, some black, some scaled, others spiked or hairy. All were equally horrible. The way they moved was worst of all. They never stayed in one spot for more than an instant. They flickered in and out of visibility, appearing and disappearing at random. They were unpredictable, everywhere. Leo wanted nothing more than to wrap his arms around his head and hide, but he dared not look away from the monsters. If he did, they would kill him. A demonic face loomed in front of him. Its skin was red, intricately patterned with gold swirls. A cruel, thin-lipped mouth was stretched into a manic smile that revealed pointed …

Read more →

As the bell signals the end of another tedious and sultry day, there is hurried gabbling, shuffling of papers, textbooks squashed with little dignity into bulky schoolbags, a snatch or two of nervous laughter, leather shoes thundering across the carpet, and the door closing with its plaintive squeal. Silence. She remains at the desk, in the right-hand corner of the classroom. A bead of sweat trickles down the side of her cheek, but she brushes it off before it lands on the grid paper. She scratches the paper with her pencil; solid, consistent strokes of a well-practiced swimmer approaching the final lap. She finds the last coordinate, plots the last point. As expected, the points join in smooth curves. The hyperbola and parabola intersect perfectly. Satisfied, she takes her time …

Read more →

Finnigan was a despicable human being, a fact he himself well knew. He looked up at the large colorful rosette of St. Jude’s Chapel illuminated with the warm soft glow of tens of hearts in prayer. ‘Ah, Christmas Time!’ he whispered with relish, breathing hot air into his gloveless cupped hands. It was freezing but Finnigan knew his hardship would soon be rewarded. He’d scrounge around the crowd for a while and then it’s straight off to The Sidetrack. He could already feel the whiskey streaming down his throat, heating him up, filling up all his empty spaces… Finnigan willed the doors to already open – floodgates letting the wave of parishioners spill put into the courtyard and Finnigan’s outstretched arms. He had found out long ago that he belonged …

Read more →