Jimmy makes an entrance.

The neighbour continued up the hill, his progress 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, opposite the crumbling house of the old lady, he paused to watch a dusty Toyota Yaris, which was trying…

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 Alta Sierra melted and sank into the yielding ground. Patches of green broke through and expanded, spreading up…

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…

The story continues

Maria Dolores shuffled uncomfortably in her chair and blinked slowly; opening and closing her heavy-lidded eyes like a drunk trying to stay conscious at the end of a hard session. The wooden church pews of San Salvador de la Marina weren’t built for comfort, a subtle but nonetheless unavoidable penitence before the eyes of God…

Maria Dolores starts to tell her story

  “I remember it was a Wednesday. I remember which day it was because later we had to go back to the chapel. All day classes with Father Alberto then listening to Franco’s broadcast to the nation at night. The Church had one of only two of the radios in the village. It was 1945,…

San Salvador de la Marina

    The narrow pedestrian streets around the Church of San Salvador de la Marina were coming to life. Most of them already crammed with stalls selling anything a tourist might need, and many things that they didn’t. Classic linen clothing from the ‘White Isle’ and cotton t-shirts with lizards, a Volkswagen camper van or…

Maria Dolores

Maria Dolores’s house was easily located. The twisted stone pine tree that stood in front of and obscured most of the entrance was, in fact, the only tree in the whole street and was older than the house itself. The scarred trunk stood by the south-west corner of the house then flung its branches out…

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 underhydrated. 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….