Where Are My Nuts?

It’s that age old problem: you bring a back of almonds to work and, 24 hours later, they go missing.

That’s right. A bag of almonds. Missing. Nothing fancy or anything; they weren’t roasted, salted, covered in chocolate or made for any kind of pleasure. Just plain, unshelled almonds. The kind that resemble tiny, wooden tears like those that well up in your eyes as you eat then, because they’re so unbearably dry and tediously tasteless.

Who’d steal a bag of almonds, you’re most likely wondering? Not only a bag of almonds, in fact, but a half eat bag of almonds. That’s 100g of raw, boring as almighty christfuggle nuts.

Someone must have been desperate. Or maybe there’s more to it.
Continue reading

‘Another Skin’

I must be getting forgetful. Before, I’d never leave the curtains open. But the sudden smell of smoke, seared flesh, reminded me too late that I’d done so.

In all honesty, I wasn’t me who’d always remembered to close them. She had done it for me as I slept. So when I woke, pouring myself a first cup of steaming, black coffee, I was basked in a glorious, cool darkness.

But she wasn’t here anymore to remember these things for me. Not I had to learn to remember. But I’ll forget by tomorrow. And the next day. Probably every day until one morning I wake up to more than my hand smouldering.

Can’t even find the cups. There was definitely a clean one around the house, but I’ve lost it now. Today I’ll have to go without coffee. I’ll get used to it.

With four hours until sunset I began to dress. You can never be ready too early. Punctuality is, after all, a virtue. And I was running very short of any others.

After thirty or forty minutes of matching shirt to tie, I found I had no jackets. Settling for jeans and a t-shrit nearby on the floor, I sat on the edge of the bed and waited for the sun to go away.

Easing my shoes off as I felt them begin to cramp my toes, I tucked my feet under the bed. There’s something comforting about sitting with your legs under you, like sitting on the floor at school with a glass of milk, listening to a story about nothing in particular.

Pressing them further, my feet felt the edge of something pressing into the sole.

Intrigued, I stood from the bed and brought myself to my knees, peering underneath. Where my feet had been exploring was a small box, neat and square, resting.

Inside were a simple pair of gloves. Black leather, with no label. I’d never liked designer objects. As I put them on I saw a small note at the bottom of the box.

It read: “Don’t be afraid.”

Replacing the note in the box, I put the gloves on, pressed my naked feet back into my shoes and head to the front door. It was getting dark.

‘Heart in a Jar’

On the mantelpiece in my living room there’s a small jar, sealed shut. Inside it’s a heart. A real, actual factual heart. Not human of course. It was given to me one year by my significantly better other half, Carla, who preserves organs – human – in jars. This piece of flash is about it.


On the window sill sits the heart in the jar. She gave it to me two weekends ago.

We’d been walking in the woods, as we had done each weekend for the last two years, when she stopped under a fledgling oak tree and presented me with a box, square and tightly wrapped.

Continue reading

Shut Up and Make Some Bread

baking1

Before I tried it, baking you own bread (and bread related items) seemed like something people tend to do when they’re retired and slightly quirky. The people who regale their children and grandchildren with epic tales about their latest loaf, mulling over the finer details of yeast and pretending you know what every dial on the bread maker you got for Christmas does. But then I did it myself.

Turns out it’s awesome.

Continue reading