The message

“Man admits to string of rapes in Manchester area.. “ Colin looks away from the newsfeed on the wall of the bus and down at his phone. He swipes at the pop-ups, just in case any messages have been smothered. Nothing. A flashing ad on the back of the seat forces his gaze. “Protect your […]

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On the way home

Boys in navy blue blazers jostle each other outside the Marriott hotel, looks of uncertainty over what to do with so much privilege. Metres away, skaters slam their boards into the paving slabs on College Green, while pedestrians march through the middle, determined to exert their right of way. A small group gathers on the […]

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The Old Man and the Museum

I hadn’t been working there long when I first noticed the old man. He was padding round the balcony, glancing about with a look of quiet fascination at the old maps displayed on the walls. He made three circuits, before descending to the ground floor and tipping his hat at the meet and greeter as […]

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Dead leaves

Sam looks at the pavement as they walk. It’s covered with dead leaves and scraps of litter and there are weeds sprouting at the edges. The sight of it makes him uneasy. Meanwhile, his dad is looking up at the sky. There’s a hot air balloon floating overhead, red and yellow striped. Sam can see […]

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Bassline

The car inched forward as rush hour traffic crawled across the junction. A faint rhythm sailed over from the barbershop and Damien picked it up, tapping on the door while he surveyed the street. “So what about Keisha, man? What’s going on?” asked Jerome. Damien leaned back in the seat and put on a grin. […]

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The sky is ours

Their chanting beat against the morning stillness as Ahmed rolled the tyre along with a steady brush of his hand. The youngsters grinned like it was a new game, but the others knew better. This was their duty. Tarek looked back at the pillars of black smoke rising above the buildings. He was used to […]

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Know thyselves

I look at my reflection in the mirror; it’s not what I expected. My face seems big and clunky with a jaw that’s almost comical. How did it get like that from such a slender, effeminate youth? The light from the window brings out a sheen on my skin. It’s not the healthy kind though, […]

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Two birds

Kevin glanced out of the window as a magpie landed in the neighbour’s garden. He quickly turned away, but the fear had already set in and he dragged himself back to the window. The bird was pecking at the ground, trying its luck in the cracks between the patio stones. Kevin pressed his face against […]

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She smiled

Oh, she smiled at me! Such a beautiful girl. What did I do? I looked away! Now I am plagued by possibilities, unlived.

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