• Story Snapper

    The Bite

    There stood a red-bricked house, semi-detached, with a golden sheen licking its exterior. Common but beautiful. I daren’t peel my floral netted curtains any further. Someone might have noticed me, thought something of me. They always had. I wondered though…who lived there? Were they happy? Rich? Poor? Lonely? I tore myself away from my single-glazed windows, where through the netting, frost clawed at the glass and sat down. Only for a moment. My back creaked as I rose from the damp sofa. Bending down took several minutes, but eventually, I got low enough to turn the gas fire on. Click. Click. Pow. Crackle. Ah, warmth. I rubbed my hands together,…

  • Family

    The Break

    The bank holiday had finally arrived. Tap, tap, tap went my fingers on the steering wheel. Sigh, tut, sigh went my wife, staring at the unmoving cars. Groan, groan, groan went my daughter in the back. The sun glared with its unyielding rays. My son smiled at me as I glanced in the rearview mirror. His cheeks were rosy from the heat and his blonde hair was messed up from sleep. His bright blue eyes reminded me of the sea we were soon going to be diving into. The radio hissed. My wife fiddled with the dial. Been an accident…blocked up… find an alternative route…There was a snapping argument in…

  • Friendship,  Romance

    Beauty in the Beach

    I met Kym at AA. She was a slim woman, with sharp cheekbones, dark velvety skin, and a soft smile. She captivated me. It wasn’t only her appearance, though. Her heart was good. Flawed, maybe, but good. The first week I met her, she told us her story, and I remembered that AA was a safe space, a space to heal. I could hardly walk up to her and ask, “would you like to join me for a coffee?” Of course, a woman like her never would’ve looked twice at a man like me. I wasn’t unattractive. I had hair the colour of dry sand, swept to the side, as…

  • Friendship,  Romance

    Love Lock

    We ate cheap bread. We moaned about lecturers. We said we’d jog at the start of each term. We didn’t. We drank too much. We worked through the night. We slept through the day. We ran on medicine. We travelled home with bags of dirty washing. We kissed. We argued. We made up. We fell in love. We said it would be forever. We didn’t do well at the end of our second year. We fell out. We spent time apart. We made up. We flirted. We danced. We cycled. We raced. We got warning letters from missed lectures. We argued. We ate noodles. We drank coffee. We were worn…

  • Family

    Eighteen Today

    “In five more minutes our baby girl would be turning eighteen,” Jeff said, and frowned at his wife, “goodness, she’d be an adult.” “Why won’t it stay straight?” Sarah snagged the safety pin from the paper with her race number on it and fished another one out of Jeff’s rucksack. “Why do we even need numbers?” “To keep everything in order. There are thousands of people to organise.” Jeff cast a concerned glance over his wife. “Are you sure you’re okay? You don’t have to do this, you know. If you don’t feel up…” Sarah shot him a warning look. “Well, I mean…” He searched for the right words but…

  • Childhood,  Friendship

    Goodbye, Friend

    My brother, George, never had many friends. It wasn’t that he was shy, he was just direct, a straight-talker, and people didn’t like that. He knew when to speak and when to observe. He raised his hand in class when he knew the answer, but if a teacher ever picked on him at random, he’d say, “obviously, I don’t know the answer or I’d have raised my hand”. Teachers didn’t like that. They said he had an attitude. Anyone under the age of eighteen who says things how they are has an attitude. George never had many friends, but he did have Zippy. A treasured pal he received on his…

  • Family,  Romance

    Just Them Two

    Helen and cliff enjoyed the simple things in life. They woke at six every morning, read the newspaper with their breakfast, kissed each other on the cheek before leaving for work, met up for lunch in the park, the same spot as always, ate dinner together and caught up on their day, and after reading a book or watching the television, they would retire to bed. A life such as this to one eye could seem mundane, a rut they had built themselves over the years in their marriage. However, Helen and Cliff were happy. At times, they would squabble over the washing up or the wet towels discarded on…

  • Family

    Heartbreak

    “Just this one favour and I promise I won’t ask you for anything ever again,” I plead for the third time, guzzling my coffee so I don’t have to meet my dad’s stern expression. “Son, the last time I looked after Annabelle, she threw up all over my beard.” He frowns. “Do you know how long it took to get the smell out of it?” his voice rises as he notices my smirk. “Look, I’m sorry. But I’m exhausted, Dad. I need a break.” “Don’t get me wrong. I love spending time with my granddaughter but this isn’t what she needs.” “Just take her for two days.” “What, so you…

  • Story Snapper

    Tranquillity

    Tranquillity. She deserves more attention, more respect. We’re always so busy. We don’t take lunch breaks in the park, we take them at our desk, during a phone call, in a meeting. I didn’t meet Tranquillity for sixty years. There were so many deadlines in our publishing house, piles of paperwork and far too few coffee breaks. My coffee was gulped over pages, leaving brown rings on the paper. I met Tranquillity in retirement. Suddenly, I had time. To hear the early birdsong, feel the whispering breeze through my thin hair, meet strangers who turned into friends. I felt relaxed for the first time in my life. If only someone…

  • Childhood,  Family

    The Captain

    Rugby was my stronghold, my fortress. It was rugby that gave me escape when Dad called again to say his business trip was going to be extended by another week. His whole life was a business trip. It was rugby that transported me to another world when Mum accidentally knocked the cork out of the wine bottle and accidentally slugged the contents down. And it was rugby that took my mind off my whimpering little sister that wanted her daddy and mummy back. The game gave me protection, hope. It let me blow off steam, it allowed me to talk to people whose only problem was where to go and…