• Family

    You Made It

    ‘What about Christmas Day?’ she asked. ‘It’s tomorrow.’ A blast of white air escaped my mouth like I had a puncture. ‘I won’t make it,’ I winced as I said it, bashing the side of the lorry with my fist. ‘I’m sorry. They needed the extra work, and you know how desperate we are for the extra money. It’s so icy, and the traffic…’ ‘Don’t drive dangerously, Liam.’ Cars sped past on the main road. Jaguars and leopards after their warm dinners. They’d be home in time for Christmas. The bitter wind moaned through the trees behind me, and a horn shrieked at a car that had its main beams on. …

  • Childhood,  Family

    Fairy Princess

    When I was five, it was just Daddy and me. He didn’t walk in the door with bags of sweets anymore. He had to pick me up from school every day instead. He had no sweets with him. He didn’t slurp up spaghetti with me anymore. He had to cook fish fingers and chips for us every day instead. He didn’t slurp anything up. He didn’t play I Spy with me when we skipped through the park anymore. He had to answer his phone instead. He didn’t skip. When he shouted at people, I dreamt I was a fairy princess, floating high in the sky above the pink clouds, in…

  • Family

    Her Mark

    We ventured all over the village, leaving traces of her everywhere. She had left a mark on Sarah and me, but she was too young to have left her mark on the world. It wasn’t right, it wasn’t fair. I wanted everyone to see her, to know her, to feel the impact of her short existence. On a post in the woods, we left her old shoe. She learnt to walk there. On a jagged stone wall, we left a buttercup. She always stopped to pick them on our family walks. On a roundabout in a playground, we left her toy microphone. She said her first word on there. ‘Sing’.…

  • Family

    Life’s Lenses

    He trudged into the shadows, his limbs aching, his joints cracking. The ground was dry and brown like cocoa powder, and the trees swished above him. There was no one around, except for nature’s early risers. He breathed the cool air deep down into his aged lungs, and when he breathed out, he could almost see his breath fall amongst the dried up leaves and broken twigs. Wasted breaths. All those years. He hadn’t appreciated the touch of a child’s hand on his shoulder, the whisper of a wife’s love in his ear, the smell of tea made especially for him by a teenager reaching out. Everything he had ignored,…