Agnes loves Christmas. As soon as they finish forking out a small mountain of sweets to the trick-or-treaters at Halloween, Agnes starts her Christmas build-up. It starts small. A few 'extra' items in the supermarket shop: a decoration here; a little snack food there. Then wrapping paper, cards, presents. Before November is out, Archie is … Continue reading FIRST SNOW
Another motel, another room, another picture on the wall. This one a broad wearing suspenders changing the tyre on a car. It wasn't the worst one I'd seen. Too many pillows on the bed. I picked one up and sat it on my lap, my back sat against the huge cushioned headboard. The bedside lamp … Continue reading THE PICTURE ON THE WALL
Private Michael Boyd was not cut out for war. Or for a life in the army for that matter. He was too slight in build, too short in stature and too vibrant in spirit. But when war was announced he signed up, caught up in the fervour of patriotism. He had never met a German … Continue reading ARMY OF SHADOWS
She thought the first time would have been an epiphany, a glimpse at paradise. Instead, here she was underneath the overpass, among squalid dirt and mud. The climactic moment had come with a rush of adrenaline, but it was over too quickly. Her breathing returned to normal, she fixed her rucked top and smoothed her … Continue reading HER FIRST TIME
'Digger!' he shouted from the back seat. Where did it come from, this fascination with any construction or agricultural machine? Tractors, cement mixers, dumper trucks, combine harvesters, even bin lorries - all of them elicited a squeal of joy upon sight. And so we all joined in with my son's enthusiasm. 'So it is, that's … Continue reading DIGGER!