Short Story #15: The Meeting

“Man, I need a drink,” said Raymond, massaging the back of his neck as he entered the dressing room. His ripped Pixies t-shirt was still soaked in sweat and there was a dirty white towel draped over his shoulder. “Any beers left?”

The small, windowless dressing room was covered in graffiti and smelled of stale beer and staler BO. Mags, their striking twenty-one year old drummer in a black tank-top and jean hot pants, was lying across a beaten up red arm chair in the corner, reading her phone with one hand, an open beer in the other.

She looked over at Raymond, moved her choppy black hair out of her eyes and smiled. Without taking her eyes off him, she drained the can she was drinking, crushed it and threw it across the room at him.

“All out,” she said.

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Short Story #14: The Janitor

At four thirty in the morning, Drake’s tiny, fitted earphones start playing a fugue by Bach and a large rectangular section of the wall that butts up against the end of his bed slowly fills the room with a soft orange light, gently waking him up.

After a quick shower, he puts on a black suit, white shirt and black tie and sits back down on his bed to eat his breakfast. His windowless studio on the 37th floor of the apartment complex is small. The bed takes up one corner and a kitchenette occupies another. An old, beaten armchair sits in a third and his bathroom—a wet room no bigger than a decent sized closet—takes the fourth. He has been living here for three and a half years.

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Short Story #13: Shame

The office was small and cluttered, with filing cabinets topped with folders and papers lining both walls. At the far end of one of the filing cabinets stood a sorry looking plant. Every long, thin leaf but one was brown and wilting. Professor Akshan sat behind a large wooden desk, reading by a green banker’s desk lamp, and behind the Professor’s chair was a grubby window that let in a dirty orange light from a street lamp.

The Professor had had a shock of long white hair and was wearing an old dark brown tweed jacket. When Jamie entered, he was absorbed in reading a loosely stapled document.

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A Poem About Blogging

Some context: at the time this was written, there was a lot of arguments in the travel blogging world about whether or not travel blogging had ‘lost it’s soul’ through blogger’s partnerships with sponsors and so on. Some people have very strong views about this.

When I went for a walk
To find blogging’s soul
Where I thought it should be
Was a deep dark hole!

I called out: “Hello!”
The hole was so deep
And I listened intently
But heard not a peep.

“Where is the soul?”
I said to myself.
And looked all around me
For somebody else.

But I was alone,
Alone by the hole.
The hole that once held
Every blog’s soul.

I sucked up my courage;
I tried to be brave.
“I suppose I should enter
That deep, dark cave.”

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Short Story #12: The Hostel

When Maggie Mathews’ husband died, she had no idea what she was going to do. They had owned a small flower shop near Withington Road but he had always taken care of the day-to-day running of the shop and she had been in charge of the business side. She was a strong woman but the loss of her husband hit her hard and she found running the shop too much in her grief. The debts mounted and she found that she did not enjoy dealing with customers like her husband had and eventually decided to shut the shop.

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