North West

Dec 162013
 

At Hampstead Heath station, Christmas bells are ringing – thin silver wind chimes, strung between the London planes. Lights appear from the west. Gusts, a chill, ghosts.

Nov 212013
 
The Lucky Cat Watches

by Jess Sully
I waltz with a Spiders-From-Mars-era Bowie who only falls over once on his stack heels; at the end of the song we bow to each other solemnly, then I race onward to dance arm-in-arm with men, women, a giraffe. “Let’s get wasted on rum and ginger!” Slipping on the beer-sodden floor, clambering straight back up, tights subtly laddered. By a mysterious osmosis, we end up at the front at the same time, waving our white sunhats in the air with joy. [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...]

Jul 122013
 
London Fields

by Henry Wilson
We set out after lunch, hurrying along the quiet dusty back streets of West Hampstead to the Overground station on West End Lane, just in time to squeeze onto a Stratford train. Body heat radiates through summer dresses, T-shirts, skirts and shorts in the sun-drenched carriage. A sense of expectancy and excitement rises out of the chatter and laughter; a hundred disparate journeys blend into one. [read more...]

May 072013
 
The Hungry Cabbie

by Matt Haynes
Despite, by law, occupying no more space than a horse and cart, each shelter could seat thirteen cabbies without recourse to contortionism or immodesty. An attendant sold simple hot fare, and the cabbies, in return, promised not to gamble, drink, swear or reveal how thirteen grown men could fit into such a small space and yet still go home to their wives without blushing. Not for nothing were windows frosted and moustaches kept trim. [read more...]

Jan 232013
 
Three Opposing Pets

by Joan Byrne
In a basement flat off the Finchley Road, a Siamese cat, an Alsatian dog and a rat called Horatio lived with their owners, Jason and Arabella, known as Bella. Jason was a small-time dealer and Bella used to be an aristocrat, at least that’s what I heard. About the only thing they appeared to have in common was that both were short. To compensate, he wore special hand-made boots with Cuban heels, which gave him an extra two and a half inches. [read more...]

Oct 082012
 
Not Seeing The Smiths

by Sean Longden
One night they took me out. Up to Camden: couple of beers, round to visit some bloke from Scritti Politti at his squat, then to Dingwalls to see The Smiths. Walking there, I was amazed to hear the words “Oh – didn’t I mention it? We’re on the guest list.” It was getting better by the minute. I could just see myself back at school telling all this to the handful of people who would actually be impressed. [read more...]