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Jun 162014
 
Please Pay At The Till

by Steve Lake
But maybe my memory is playing tricks, for working at Foyles in the 80s wasn’t unlike a trip on some fairly serious hallucinogenic drugs. There was, for example, the story of the disgruntled employee sowing seeds into the specially moistened carpets of the rarely-visited Philosophy Department on a Friday evening and returning on Monday to find a small field of cress, ready to be added to his sandwiches. [read more…]

May 302014
 
Morning Tea with George

by David Marston
There, at the end, was a tent. And not just a tent. An upturned steel drum was acting as a rainwater butt. White brushed ash marked the site of a fire. Clothes hung from a bush, drying in the morning sun, and a rolled-up tarp suggested some more extensive waterproofing had recently been in use. Someone was living under canvas just outside Lewisham town centre. [read more…]

Mar 242014
 
Dye It Red, She Said

by Christopher Owen
She rummaged in her bag for cigarettes; then, remembering that smoking was not permitted, put them back. Her bag was always tidy. Mel’s, on the other hand, was always a mess. Stephanie had seen her trying to find a lost earring, pulling everything out onto her desk: old tissues, loose change, Tampax, brushes, mascara, lipsticks, sellotape, door keys, half-empty bottles of Evian. That had been the Friday before Christmas. [read more…]

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…]