Barney unscrewed the cap off the bottle of muscatel, took a hit, passed the bottle to me. I took a hit. Then I started the car and drove, looking out through the windshield into the rain for a bar that we might possibly enter and not vomit the first time we got the look and smell of the urinal.
Mike Radley is from Catterick Village and has an ugly nose and a fat gut. Sheila Webb, from Catterick Garrison, isn't very attractive either. They have a date tonight because their internet dating service matched them.
Mike Radley has a pint of lager in his hand and foam on his top lip that he hasn't bothered to wipe off. Sheila Webb notices but doesn't say anything: Sheila Webb is too busy poking the black plastic drinking straw in and out of her alcopop bottle.
Mike Radley's dating profile says that his ideal first date would be a romantic walk, perhaps...
These three peasants are gathered round a plough, drinking ale and sharing a small knob of cheese between themselves. It's a sunny day in Northumbria and the midday sun makes it hard to work, so these guys are taking a break. The ale is cheap and the cheese is rotten.
"You see the sunset last night?" asks one.
"Yes. It was beautiful." agrees a second. The third peasant doesn't speak. He just stares lengthways down the field.
"See that cow?" he finally interrupts. "Rumour is that it's magic." The others are intrigued now and stare down the field at the...
My name is Joseph Buxton and I am a terrible person.
The audience stared open-mouthed at me as the blood welled around the wound and covered my hands which were clasped over. I wouldn't normally do this, try to save a man's life, but I felt I owed him something. As he bled out and stained the cuffs of my shirt, the useless audience just stared on unmoved.
I felt his heart slow to a stop and watched the life drain from his eyes. He was still now, it was over.
I rolled up my sleeves and flagged down a...