Short Stories

‘This Much is True’, The Blend International, June 2019. Also performed at Quart Short Literary Reading Night, October 2016

“Daniel blinked, a slow and heavy shutting of the eyes. He couldn’t think what to say. ‘I love you,’ seemed too trite. ‘I’m proud of you,’ too condescending. ‘You’re wrong. You’re right. You’re bad. You’re good ….’ Nothing fitted into the space. Instead he allowed the ellipses of silence to collect. They were so smooth and round. So much easier to swallow.”

‘Don’t Ask’, FIVE:2:ONE & #theslideshow, February 2018

“There’s an eternity symbol tattooed on his inner-forearm. You don’t ask if it’s for her. Either way, the answer will hurt.”

‘Her House’Vestal Review Online Issue 52/Print Issue 50, November 2017 (also nominated for the 2018 Pushcart Prize and performed at Quart Short Literary Reading Night, Winter 2017)

“I wear my long coat, outside and in. I refuse to remove it. She refuses to offer.

‘That’s Our Dee’, Flash Fiction Magazine, October 2017

“Back when we were teenagers, a seagull shat on her head first day of highschool. That was the first time I met her. I felt bad until I realised: “Hey, that’s just Dee.””

‘Hush Hush, Little One’Toasted Cheese, September 2017

“I now have two shadows—one which stretches outward on long summer days, and one which casts inward, into the space where my children used to live.”  

‘Ex-Change: Your Community Buy, Swap, Sell Site’filling Station Issue 67July 2017

“For rent: Six-flight-walk-up off of City North. Boasts nipple lights and views of brick walls. Current roommate suffers from Absinthe-mindedness and may return at times in a shopping trolley.” 

‘Sometimes I’m Suzanne’Prairie Schooner, July 2017

“Kev hung around the pub more, surrounded by blokes with tattoos of every family member on their body: ‘Yeah even ol’ Wayno. I put his name on my left cheek here, see? To show how much of a pain in my arse he is’.

Kev nodded and drank, nodded and drank. A small graveyard of bottles gathered around him. Finally, he returned home to discover his house had fallen over. Carly found him the next morning out by the bins, cheek flat against the concrete. He stumbled into bed and spent the day filling it with farts.”

‘Andrew Loves His Wife’StorgyMay 2017 (first appeared in Hypertext Magazine)

“They’ll chat about mortgage and equity. The women will huddle off to discuss gnocchi, words flapping from their mouths like seagulls. The men will drink pinot gris and study its legs. Raewyn will serve vegetable chips that resemble potpourri.

All adult friendships are just working out whose turn it is to cancel plans.”

‘Blankety-Blank’, The Stray Branch, April 2017

“He stood and howled into the night, releasing … what? Tension? Satisfaction? It ripped through the dark and knocked against the pines. Such a harsh sound had never felt so sweet.”

‘Terms of Departure’, The Stray Branch, April 2017

“Mashed into a corner of the kitchen. A ball of fury and terror.

That was how the police found them.”  

‘Andrew Loves His Wife’, Hypertext Magazine, March 2017

“They lived three years of Oxford in the 70s, Andrew and Hadley and her group of misfits: Larson, Slim Jim, Punctual Dave, Skinny Rachel, and Heathrow (named for her place of conception). They lived a time that crackled with hormones and big ideas. A world of synaesthetic paintings and dinner parties with stiff collars and cheap wine. The air was thick with dreams.

They knew it wouldn’t last. So they lived it twice as hard.”

‘Family Tree’, Coup d’Etat, 2017

“Sitting on the gum-freckled bench, purse neatly on her lap, Joan stared at the beer and thought of her father, down at the pub with all his mates—Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniels, Glen Morangie—his face like the wet end of a cigar.”

‘Jokes’, Thrice Fiction, December 2016

“There is a house in Acacia Grove, cupped in a bowl of Suffolk-green. It has nine-foot ceilings, manicured lawns, and adjacent stables. The house lives in a neighbourhood full of money and bold brass knockers and obnoxious little dogs.

The house is really a box with airholes.”

‘She Ran’Thirty West Publishing House, November 2016

She ran through the golden fields. She ran through the shuddering grass. She ran through the smell of late pollen, of pine trees, of rich loamy earth. She ran, her blonde hair catching a thousand shades of sunset.

She ran, glancing over her shoulder.

He chased, head thrown back, laughing. Teeth bared. Hunting.

‘New Year’s Eve’The Bookends Review, October 2016

“How we loved our life. The promise of health unwavered. We expected the future. Each new day impressed itself upon the last, building our history.”

‘Curls’Anomaly Literary Journal, October 2016 (first appeared in New World Writing)

“Like many before, Mark had taken her to the ballet and the Met. They’d ridden horse-drawn carriages around Central Park. They’d listened to Gershwin and Schubert and other composers who sounded like head-colds. They’d eaten beef yakiniku in restaurants without TVs.”

‘All The Many Guilts’Apeiron Review, September 2016

“Winter worsened. It flung down great fistfuls of rain. Malcolm sat by the window and watched the wet slap of the world. Millions of eyes watched with him.”

‘Spectres’Molotov Cocktail, September 2016

Some people thought they resembled dogs with vague pockets of eyes, a snarl of teeth or a flick of tail; loping or hunting or haunting. But their legs didn’t quite brush the ground. And really, if one looked close enough, they didn’t resemble dogs at all. (Humans have a way of humanising the world—finding faces in buildings and pumpkins, giving names to canaries and cars.)”

‘Spiders’Crannóg Issue 42, June 2016

“He called the spiders Big Brother One and Big Brother Two. They tracked his every movement with anthropomorphic eyes.”

‘Rejections’After The Pause, June 2016 (also performed at Quart Short Literary Reading Night, Winter 2016)

“We suggest you learn how to disable the ‘caps lock’ function on your keyboard. We’re able to read, ‘Marriage is the Splice of Life’ quite clearly without the entire text in bold. Your cat may be able to assist you with this.”

‘Angelman’, Alfie Dog Fiction, May 2016

“Grief is a symptom of love. Jemma had read that somewhere. It never seemed truer than now. How she loved her son and wanted the world for him. She recalled the nights she’d sat on the bath, staring at the blue throat of toilet, knowing something was wrong. Of course this would happen.”

‘Curls’New World Writing (formerly Mississippi Review Online), May 2016

“Carla pictured giving birth to a child with a giant beard, who then high-fived everyone in the delivery room.”

‘Widow’A Quiet Courage, January 2016

“You are the second blue line on the test, the Y chromosome in our child, one-half of the cells multiplying inside me.”

‘Matters of the Heart’Literary Orphans, June 2015

“Teresa ran every dawn until her feet stopped talking to her. Meanwhile Jeff lay in bed and farted.”

‘The Revelation’ (Commended for the KSP Speculative Fiction Award 2014), Beorh Weekly, April 2015

“‘Wait. Do you hear that?’ Tess asked.

Her brother halted. From the room with the mirror, there came a knock.

‘Sounds like something’s tapping on a window.’

‘Could be a bird.’

Tess cocked an eyebrow. By now, she knew it wouldn’t be something as reasonable as a bird.”

‘Private School’, Foliate Oak, April 2015

“A girl called Sandra falls pregnant. Hug and sigh and make sympathetic sounds as you wait with her outside the nurse’s office. Once she’s inside, tut and roll eyes and say it was Dylan Powell—you know, the one with the overbite and lardy midriff. High-school is a bitch.”  

‘The Second Opinion’, The Legendary, September 2014

“I’m sure two things are growing inside me.”

‘The Art of Cleavage’The Legendary, September 2014

“He glances at the wife; the original deep-freeze; wearing a cushion for a face and a fox around her neck. The gin hasn’t thawed her at all.”

‘Four AM’ (1st place in monthly competition), Writers’ Forum Issue 156, September 2014

“Her son’s wail clattered down the hall and around Josie’s brain. She shoved her fists into her eyes, trying to dampen the hurt. Like an injury, a baby’s cry demanded to be felt.”

‘A Set of Neatly Folded Pyjamas’, Tincture Journal Issue 7, September 2014

“Nigel ran a hand through his hair. His fingers grazed the bald patch he’d sported for a whole year before his wife, Martha, shared the news. Nowadays, he combed the remaining wisps over—a barcode on his head.

You look ridiculous! Martha scorned.

She put a lot of effort into mocking him; her mountainous frame looming, her chins trembling. Nigel hated those chins. She grew another for every significant anniversary. He feared they’d eventually rise up and smother him in the night.”

‘A Second Life’ (Winner of the 2015 Write Well Award), Alfie Dog Fiction, July 2014

“From November 1943, the SS massacred thousands upon thousands of prisoners, chiefly Jews. Although planned as a covert operation, we knew. We knew by the new layer of fear pressing down, by the constant plumes of smoke, and by the rapid emptying of the compounds. Days grew punctuated with the crackle of firing squads. We trembled together for warmth and comfort, our world tilting on Axis power.”

‘The Last Day of SummerSeizure Online, July 2014

“She sees in his eyes every part of him. And something inside her breaks.”

‘Escape to the Country?’, One Page Literary Magazine, June 2014

“Susan leapt from the branch and, for the briefest moment, floated through the air—a photograph suspending time. Then gravity pulled her down until the swing caught her in its embrace. She arced out over the stream, then flew in close to Alice, her grin the size of a platter.”

‘Monologue of an Assassin(1st place in monthly competition), Darker Times Publishing, February 2014

“He always awoke with guilt as his bedfellow. Over time, he’d learned to roll over and ignore it. Today, however, was not one of those days.”