Maria Dolores

Maria Dolores’ house was easy to locate. The twisted Stone pine tree that obscured most of the entrance was, in fact, the only fully grown tree in the whole street and was older than the house itself. The scarred trunk was rooted in the south-west corner of the house and flung its branches out over…

Jimmy makes an entrance.

The neighbour continued up the hill. His progress was slowed by his French Bulldog who was more interested in the markings of the other neighbourhood dogs that peppered the pavement and doorways. Just before he reached his building he paused to watch a dusty Toyota Yaris, which was trying to park on the slight curve of…

San Salvador de la Marina

The narrow pedestrian streets around the Church of San Salvador de La Marina were coming to life. Waiters set tables and shuffled chairs preparing for the lunchtime rush. Others pulled down canopies protecting customers from direct sunlight if not the midday heat. Greetings and jocularity echoed off the walls. The streets without restaurant terraces were…

The story continues

Father Antonio had turned his chair around to face Maria Dolores. They were still seated in front of the altar in the church of San Salvador de La Marina. He wasn’t sure how to proceed, which was out of character for him. He had a good rapport with his parishioners, as most priests do. He…

Pascual meets Juan Diego

And as Maria Dolores sat with Father Antonio under the relentless presence of the Christ without a face in San Salvador de La Marina, the last of the snows in the valley around Los Caballeros de la Sierra melted and sank into the yielding ground. Patches of green broke through and expanded, spreading up the…

The Shadow of the Tower

They lived close to a fourteenth-century tower house, my grandparents. You couldn’t see it from their house but it was only a few minutes away. They and the village lived in its shadow. When we were young and my Gran more energetic we would take the short walk up there. The solid tower sat alone…

A Final Story

Final Story Liam McMaster pinched the skin on his forearm. He watched as it slowly relaxed back into shape, the collagen long ago depleted, his skin permanently under-hydrated. He traced the raised line of the surgical scar on his elbow where the ulna had been pinned after a moped accident just before he retired, some…

Lawrence. A Character Portrayal

Lawrence stood barefoot in front of the full-length mirror in the hallway; his face was still a little puffed from too many hours horizontal. The glary overhead lights exaggerated the bags under his hazel eyes. Baggy face the ex-girlfriend called it. Nice. He kept his hair closely cropped and sculpted his beard to match. The…

Challenging Expectations

A crisp white sheet lay across the body, starched and stiff covering all but Archie’s face and head, undulations indicated bony prominences which peaked at the feet. White sheets, white hair, pale anaemic skin, stark white light. Rory sat to his father’s left, hands on lap, expressionless, not knowing what to do next. He had…

A New Beginning

Suddenly the scratches on the desk top became more interesting. One was definitely a J, carved in a uniuqe, chaotic font, a remnant of a previous owner, some previous life this desk had had. Several perfect circular stains, one only 2 centimetres in diameter, varnish blisters breaking through, lineal and irregular scrapes, deliberate and accidental, all blotted the surface….