• Family

    The Banana Incident

    ‘I am not spending money on a cinema screen. It’s not happening,’ Hugo said, marching up the muddy, beaten track toward another kissing gate. ‘Hugo, calm down, I’m just saying…’ Kate grabbed a water bottle from his rucksack. ‘Slow down!’ ‘I won’t do it,’ he reiterated, not slowing down at all. ‘Dad, it’s freezing!’ Jack moaned, trudging behind his parents. ‘I told you to wear a hat,’ Kate huffed. ‘It’s hardly much bigger than our one now anyway.’ ‘It’s six inches bigger! We don’t need a 50-inch TV.’ ‘We don’t need a bean to cup machine either, but…’ ‘Uh, we do actually.’ Hugo glanced at the coffee-stained OS map. ‘It…

  • 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. …

  • Dreams,  Family,  Romance

    My Mary

    Clad in sooty black leather, my Mary roared about the seaside village from the unripe age of sixteen. When she rode, her vanilla hair whipped out of her helmet, which she only wore because her father demanded it, her slick smile grew ten inches, and that jacket she wore burnt under the relentless sun like a lump of hot coal. She was a lioness. And the village folk didn’t take kindly to it. They harrumphed and tutted. My Mary heard the whisperings, but it didn’t bother her a jot.  And then she met me. An awkward, gangly fellow who resembled more of a dizzy flamingo than a strapping lion. But…

  • Family

    Memory’s Perfume

    Salty sea air. As soon as the scent hits my nostrils, I’m jolted back to the days of high-pitched giggles, knotted sandy blonde hair, smooth skin like sun-kissed pebbles, drawn-out blush-evenings with whispering waves. Days with my daughter, just us, carefree. When she was young, when we were close. Where no troubles existed, where we never disagreed. Ice cream was a must for us both, even in January. A swim was a necessity, though not in January. Days with my daughter, just us, carefree. Now, she’s grown, with a daughter of her own. And I’m grown, with a daughter miles from her home. Days with my husband, just us, careworn.…

  • Family

    Snow Day

    As if all the rooftops in our town were fairy cakes, one cold night, God decided to finish them all off with a dusting of icing sugar. The following morning, the whole town was cloaked in nature’s glitter. Sparkling spider webs adorning shrubs, solid blades of grass welcoming the lick from the morning sunshine, piles of thick fresh snow waiting to be crunched and rolled into snowmen. After a dull, blustery Saturday where no one in the family seemed at all happy, that morning was like a breath of fresh seaside air filling our lungs. Even Dave, who had been in a stupor all week from a hard slog at…

  • Family,  Romance

    Patchwork Quilt

    Each field looked different, unique with its shape, colour, pattern, and like a carefully crafted patchwork quilt, every piece slotting together to form a united picture. The deep green hedgerows working alongside the pale fields, the soft lines interweaving with the rough, imperfect patches. The sky above us was warm, a shelter to rest under. Alice hadn’t moved her eyes off the quilt for some time. Nor had I. What was she thinking? Once upon a time, I might have known. Now, it was like deciphering the enigma code. Sometimes, I wondered why we got married at all. We had managed to stay together for ten years. Could we stay…

  • Family,  Romance

    A Cushion Too Far

    “Frank!” I’m not talking to her. I am staying right here in my office until she gets rid of one. I have somewhere to sit in my office. One comfy leather chair. It’s not like I can sit in the living room. “Frank, you’re being ridiculous.” Scatter cushions. What are scatter cushions? What is the point of them? I hate them. Despise them. Or perhaps I’m missing something in my old age. Perhaps I need someone to explain to me what a sofa is used for. Because apparently, it isn’t something to sit on anymore. Not with all the scatter cushions in the way. Maggie came home today with four…

  • 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…