Bloomsbury

Feb 132014
 
The Conference

by Paul Bradley
Tiny beads of sweat began to pump out of the speaker’s forehead and, up on the screen, his hunched silhouette looked vulnerable. The poor fellow just wants to eat, drink, sleep and laugh, Mr Hughes thought, but ends up doing this to keep it all going. What does he do in his spare time? Maybe he enjoys sitting in a cosy bird hide with an old tartan flask, corned beef sandwiches and binoculars. Wide open spaces, fresh air and birdsong. [read more...]

Feb 032014
 
Bored at the British Library

by Susan Harlan
It’s a terrible thing to say, but I’m bored. I’m bored at the British Library. So there it is. It seems like I’ve been here forever. I look at my watch: I’ve been here for two hours and eighteen minutes. I figure this means that I can’t leave yet. Two hours and eighteen minutes is not an honest work day. Two hours and eighteen minutes does not represent a good Protestant work ethic. [read more...]

Leo

Nov 072013
 
Leo

by Colin Tucker
I retreated to the bedroom determined to concentrate on work. My exercise books sat on a small table, one for the novel, three for short stories, one for general observations and two blank, though one of these had ‘BBC’ written on the cover. I opened it and unscrewed the cap on my Sheaffer pen. Motive, I thought, the murderer needs a good motive. Marigold came in and sat on the bed. My mind went blank. [read more...]

May 012013
 
The Break

by Natasha Green
I saw Maggie slip a compact out of her bag and smooth her hair in the mirror, tucking a lock of it behind one ear. She smiled and waved at me. Gone was the curly-haired maelstrom, with eyes circled in crumbling kohl and hands tipped with chipped silver nail polish; the Maggie of early-morning telephone calls full of grotesque imitations of spurned lovers abandoned in the night, calls that left me laughing and gasping for air on the other end of the line. [read more...]

Apr 092013
 
It Grows On You, Like A Rash

by Jess Sully
A known introvert from a town with wide skies and a vast, shimmering expanse of sea, I didn’t think I’d be happy among the hemmed-in crowds. What I didn’t realise then is that within the anonymity of the ever-flowing throng, those shoals of fast-moving fish who swoop and turn as one entity, I could move silently, unobtrusive and unremarkable. And now I know, too, that sometimes at low tide the Thames smells of brine and seaweed. [read more...]

Jan 292012
 
Pigeons in Puddles No. 5


No. 5 Russell Square
Was it not Lucian of Samosata who, in 170AD, wrote of being lifted up by a giant waterspout and deposited on the moon where a battle was raging between armies of acorn dogs and cloud centaurs? Sometimes, it’s not hard to guess what’s going through their little pigeon brains… [see more...]