The Offing

The waiter was a young man with high cheekbones, a half-mask of light stubble and a tattoo in burgundy and ochre that peeked out from the rolled-up sleeve of his shirt. He kept yawning and rubbing his eyes. Her mother allowed Fearne a diluted glass of the white Burgundy she was washing her bivalves down […]

OMOHO

Lancaster University, 1993. I’m in a class. It’s the creative writing MA. My tutor is Alan Burns. He wrote Europe After the Rain, Babel, Dreamerika! He was one of a group of experimental writers knocking around in the 1960s which included BS Johnson. Alan used to talk about cut-ups a lot. And he was fond of this exercise: choose […]

CWA Daggers 2016

My story, Rosenlaui, from The Adventures of Moriarty: The Secret Life of Sherlock Holmes’s Nemesis (edited by Maxim Jakubowski) has made it on to the shortlist, released today, for the Crime Writers’ Association Dagger award for short fiction. The CWA judges say this of Rosenlaui: ‘An inventive and beautifully written new take on the encounter of […]

Sonata of the Dead: Teaser #5

She wasn’t coming. Nobody was coming. Nobody I wanted to see, at least. All the lights went out. The departures board stuttered and died. I felt my back bristle. I moved out from behind the ticket machine and heard the consternation of staff on the platforms, and passengers cheated of their information. A fire alarm […]

Sonata of the Dead: Teaser #4

She poured and I drank. She held her glass with both hands, like a child, and closed her eyes when she took her first mouthful. ‘Oof,’ she said. ‘That’s good.’ ‘That was the drink of a person who has just walked out of the desert,’ I said. ‘Feels like it. Had a tough couple of […]

Sonata of the Dead: Teaser #3

‘Joel, I think you need help.’ ‘I need help? I’m not the one who killed in cold blood. I’m not the one who took photographs of naked women in changing rooms and then tossed off over them back in his sad pad.’ ‘No. But it’s a sunny day. And you chose to come and sit […]