A short story inspired by Unrest Song by The Wonder Stuff.
It was warm in the tightly packed underground train. That wasn’t unusual, although it was past the usual rush hour. We’d been stopped between stations for five minutes and I was trying really hard not to have a panic attack. I hated small spaces, I was scared of big crowds and had an almost paralysing fear of being buried underground. The combination of all three of my greatest fears was starting to take its toll. I inhaled slowly and closed my eyes, resting my head against the window behind me.
Finally the train crawled towards the station platform. It was crowded, with a tailback of commuters trying to leave the station. I didn’t have time for this, I had meetings to prepare for, and who knew how many emails to deal with. I tapped my foot impatiently and sighed loudly. Another train arrived with even more people trying to leave the station. We all shuffled slowly towards the escalators like sheep.
Twenty minutes later I finally emerged, breathing in the marginally fresher air of London. The pavement was lined with people, kerb-side crash barriers had been erected, and several police officers were milling about.
“What’s that all about?” I overheard a well-dressed, middle-aged man ask a nearby officer.
“There’s a march taking place later. Protesting all these cuts.”
The man sucked his teeth loudly. “Too much time on their hands. If only they were as committed to doing an honest day’s work…”
This is a short story inspired by the song I Am Legend by Loved Up Les.
And in memory of my Uncle, A.W.S, a legend in his time.
I was in that limbo, between sleep and waking. I could hear muffled sounds around me, but I could still feel the dream world I’d been in. There was a beeping noise and I couldn’t be sure from which reality it was coming. I suspected both. It was like being underwater, the closer I rose to the surface the louder the noise became, but as I moved back under, everything seemed far away, almost calm. A warmth enveloped me and made me want to stay where I was.
“Come on, we’ve got to go.” I heard a voice calling through the mist. Narrowing my eyes against the head lights of the vehicle facing me, I could make out a shadow waving at me. I approached him cautiously. “Come on, Jack, everyone’s waiting.”
“Jack? My name is Arthur, I think you got the wrong guy.” I turned to walk away but he grabbed my arm.
“Quit playing around, Jack, come on it’s time to go.”
There was something familiar about him, “Stanley?” He rolled his eyes, impatiently.
“Oh man, that was weeks ago, it’s me, Alan.” He stared at me, waiting for me to recognise him, “Jeez, did you get so old you don’t remember me?”
I took in my surroundings while I tried to think. I couldn’t see much, it was dark, and misty, everywhere I looked there was a fuzziness around the edge of my vision. All I could see was Alan, the headlights behind him plunging his face into darkness. He looked like my brother Stan. But that was impossible. Stan died twenty years ago.
“Oh.” I mumbled, reality dawning on me. I looked behind me, “no, I’m not ready yet.”
A short story inspired by Love Will Keep Us Together by The Captain & Tenille.
The shrill ringing of the phone greeted Ella, as she pushed open the front door of her house.
“Can somebody get that?” she yelled, dropping her keys into the oddly shaped ceramic bowl sitting proudly on the table. Her daughter had made it in her art class last year.
The phone continued ringing, like an alarm, sounding a countdown. She could rush and hope she caught whoever was calling before they gave up, or she could just take her time and assume they’ll call back.
Ella hurried to the kitchen and dumped her bags of groceries on the counter as she reached across to the wall to retrieve the phone. She half expected it to feel hot after its almost angry, incessant call for attention.
“Hello?” she asked breathlessly.
“Have you seen the paper?” her mother’s irritated voice snapped at her. No ‘hello, how are you’ just straight in with the judgement. Ella sighed.
“No, not yet. I only just got back from shopping. What does it say this time?”
“Banged All Night! My romp with TV cop.”
“Okay.” Ella, waited for more.
“It says here, he was spotted, sneaking out of a £500 a night hotel, by a passerby.”
“Nonsense.” Ella sniffed. (more…)
A short story inspired by the song “I Say A Little Prayer.”
He was smiling at me, his long eyelashes made his blue eyes sparkle, and a small smile was playing over his lips as his face filled my vision moving closer towards me.
I lifted my face to meet his as he pushed his lips out, I close my eyes and waited for his mouth to meet mine.
The image before me was shattered by a deafening alarm. I reached out my arm and frantically fumbled for the alarm clock to silence it. Lying back in the bed I sighed irritably.
I closed my eyes and tried desperately to conjure up the image of Eric again but it was no use, that dream was over.
“Please let today be the day that he notices me, please” I whispered.
I shuffled in to the bathroom to clean my teeth and put on my make up. I pulled a hairbrush through my hair, as I stood in front of the wardrobe looking at all my clothes and trying to decide what to wear.
“Something nice. What I wear could be the thing that makes him notice me. Really hope he notices me.” I said to my cat, George, who bumped his back side against me as he passed by, curling his tail around my leg, maintaining contact with me until he was too far away to be in reach. He gave a little miaow as he wandered out of the room. At least someone loves me, I mused as I turned my attention back to my wardrobe and selected a dress that was ever so slightly more fitted than usual with a slightly more plunging neckline than I’d ever worn to work before. (more…)
A short story inspired by the song Did I fight in the punk wars for this? By Henry Priestman.
It was Saturday evening. Len left his dinner plate in the sink, closed the door on the kitchen and settled himself into his arm chair by the fire.
He pointed the zapper at the TV and pressed the red button, the sudden glare from the screen illuminating the small living room.
The smiley people in shiny suits and sparkling dresses were grinning manically at him. Len curled his lip and grunted.
Four serious looking people with perfect hair and white teeth, were arguing amongst themselves while a nervous looking teenager waited with a frozen grin on his face that made him look like he was in pain.
It seemed like a decision of absolute importance was being made.
“I just don’t get it.” The stony faced man said, causing the other three to react with varying degrees of shock and outrage.
“How can you say that?” The former pop star, sat next to him, asked.
“It’s like karaoke. And not even good karaoke.” He argued.
The radio DJ at the end of the row held his hands out in disbelief.
“Last week you were complaining he was too gimmicky, this week he’s bad karaoke! What is it you want exactly?”
“Well, I want to win, obviously.” The judge laughed. (more…)