The Man in the Bookies

Elaine Speakman Every tiny blue pen is neatly laid Every blue edged pad lined up straight Every blue and white brochure tucked squarely in its place He comes out often from behind the spotless blue glass To do it all over again And again as the punters leave Crumpled losings littering the blue chequered floor […]

The Boy from the Badlands

Chris Buchanan Rob McFadden, he’s a bad un – he’s a nasty, gone-off pasty full of sweaty brawn and internet porn. Steer clear of his beery back streets and his alt-right tweets. He’s a bad lad an his dad said he’s a mad ed. I’ve seen him eatin cod and chips with skeevy teeth and […]

Suckin’ Diesel

Aidan Matear What the hell are we doin’ here slowly sipping soapy beer? It bloody isn’t rock and roll We want to leave this bloody hole. They bloody banned our legal highs They think themselves more bloody wise than us, the users, hopin’ to escape the strains of life we bloody hate. The bloody world […]

Ones and Zeros

Steven White Every conversation, every thought, every word is indexed, filed and cross-checked. Family, friends and colleagues are all the same to me numbers on a screen. You all have something to hide, something to reveal, something to tell. I am one-part thief, one-part friend, one-part liar. There are no boundaries for me. I am […]

No more than Feelings

Fiona Nuttall The love rush comes; unasked for, but not unwanted. Heart swells with palpitations, chest refuses to be ignored. Gazing eyes track the desired, throat choked. Brain intervenes with psychological analysis, Rationality refuses to engage. “Stop before you get hurt. It won’t work. You’ll lose what you have.” Compromise sets its own parameters, Allows […]

The Cheat

Emma Parkinson SCENE ONE – LISA IS IN THE FRONT ROOM LISA (OUT): I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help but think the worse. When we first met, he was always on time, full on energy and super organized. But recently he’s often late and always forgets things. The doctor says it’s common with […]

Broken Mirror

Cas Fletcher Charlie bolted upright in bed, sweating and shaking. A nightmare, she thought, hugging herself. Just a nightmare. Alex, who was lying beside her, stirred. ‘What’s wrong?’ she said groggily ‘Nothing. Go back to sleep.’ ‘You first,’ said Alex, turning over to face her. Charlie leant back, staring at the ceiling, and sighed. Alex […]