lisamarie20010 (joined about 10 years ago)

Stories


There was a stage. A microphone. A guy with a guitar and another at a piano. One spotlight trying to mark out everything up there and missing the edges. And that was it. If the audience in the jazz bar had been expecting anything more, anything grander or, well, jazzier, they were disappointed. Most were. It was a good place to be disappointed in.

It was a good place to spend money when it had nowhere else to be spent too. That’s mostly what these people were doing. Spending money that they didn’t know what else to do with. Spending...

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The dapper man picked up a penny. He rolled it around in his fingers, enjoying the coolness of it. It was raining, and he had had only seen it because the bronze colour had shone up in the middle of a shallow puddle.

The dapper man remembered a rhyme he had heard when he was tiny. See a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck. He thought there might be more to it than that, but that was enough for now. He had a Very Important Meeting to go to that afternoon, and if a bit...

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Until now, she’d never thought of herself as pretty. Beautiful, yes. Stunning, definitely. An angel fallen to earth, she’d occasionally even heard that one. But ‘pretty’? Pretty was little girl sweet and candy floss innocence. It was not her because it was not enough. Pretty just didn’t cut it.

She stared at herself in the mirror. She’d been doing the same thing for an hour now, barely moving, hardly breathing, not wanting a hair to fall out of place. Pretty was an insult. She couldn’t bear to hear it again, so she was going to make sure she didn’t. That...

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Fault. Not a good word. Not a pleasant word. It conjures up the idea of blame. If someone’s at fault, someone’s to blame. The same thing.

Plus it makes me think of faulty. Broken. Useless.

Like you, really. It’s your fault. You’re faulty. It’s not me, it’s you.

I can tell you now I never appreciated the blank stares, the monosyllables, the selfishness, the way you sit there every morning drinking your coffee and reading your paper, or tapping away at your laptop, or doing whatever it is you do with your phone. Facebook, maybe? Or are you on Twitter?...

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They panic was reaching heart-stopping momentum now. Jake was sure that at any second his body would give up, surrender, break apart or explode or melt away into the once beautiful sea. It wasn’t beautiful any more. The fear had seen to that.
One minute having the time of their lives, the next…

“Shark!”

That one word was enough to instil panic into the entire group, even the captain, the tour guide. Everyone. And no one had known what to do – it hadn’t been covered in the onboard safety announcements at the beginning of the day, so many long,...

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The record was broken. That was not a cliché or a euphemism, it really was completely and utterly broken. Snapped in two due to a bit too much rough and a lot of tumble. And it was all Johnny’s fault anyway. Our dad had told us not to touch the old LPs stacked neatly at the bottom of Mum’s bookshelf, but he just had to try it. Just had to see if he could work out the record player – the HiFi as Dad called it. He almost had it too, only he couldn’t find the play button, and when...

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She unwrapped her sandwich and fed it to the pigeons, just as she did every day. Sometimes she wondered why she bothered making them in the first place, when she knew that she wasn’t going to eat them. And then she remembered the birds. How they would come hopping towards her when she sat on the same old bench, the paint long gone and no one caring enough to give it a new coat, the splinters of greyed wood sticking to her clothes as they grabbed at any chance to be free of their prison.

She understood how they felt....

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In 1921, he flew from the Great Rift Valley. No one believed him, of course. They knew a man could not simply spread his wings and fly. Because a man had no wings, and that was really the point of it. But he insisted he had done it. “Just because no one saw me,” he said, stretching his arms up to the sky, “Does not mean it didn’t happen.”

No one was convinced.

“I flew,” he continued, “From one side of the rift to the other. Over the canyon. I soared above the ground and floated in the sky.” He...

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It was really just a matter of survival. Keep going and keep going and eventually, soon if they were lucky, they would reach a village, a town, a bloody great city with skyscrapers and McDonalds and satellite TV. All right, maybe that was taking things a bit far, pushing their luck to the extreme, but it was a beautiful daydream.

"You all right back there?" called Hitesh loudly, despite his cracked, dry throat, trying to make himself heard over the rushing, roaring river that the canoe was racing along.

Ash nodded, realised Hitesh couldn't see him, and carefully leant forward....

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I am still half dreaming as I open my eyes against the night. The alarm hasn't gone off yet, shaking me awake with its awful, soul grating shriek, and it is not yet morning. I glance at the slime green display on the clock - 2.18am. Not good. Something has disturbed my sleep at this usually, thankfully, unknown hour and I just hope that I can ignore it and drift back down into my rest.

I try, but there is a sound, or some movement, or maybe it's both things, and my eyes are open again even though I wish...

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