This is my writing blog, where I will be shamelessly posting my work. Poems, short stories, flash fiction, extracts from novels...they'll all be here. And if you don't like any of that, just play with the tiger.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008


I was going to start by apologising for tootling my own trumpet, but actually I'm not sorry at all. Many thanks to John for bringing my attention to a nice nugget of good news - the New Writer magazine has charitably awarded me a runners-up spot in its annual competition. My anti-hero Tyrone has done the biz for me, gor luv 'im.
Sometimes the word 'gobsmacked' just isn't enough, so let me just add that I am
dee-f***ing-lighted. (And no, that's not meant to sound sarcastic.)

Friday, 7 March 2008

Tyrone pops by

Out of the corner of my eye, I notice a man standing outside my bedroom window. You'd think that would be a pretty big problem. Actually, the bigger problem with that is the fact that I live on the fifth floor. After a split-second of heart surge, I realize who it is. But it’s impossible.
Swallowing a rising nausea, I pad over to the window. It’s a beautiful window, reaching down to the ground and opening onto a little balcony with two or three pansy-filled terracotta pots. I wrench the door open, and slosh the remnants of my Jack and coke into the man’s face.
‘Bastard!’ I screech, to the discomfiture of a nearby pigeon.
He smiles his one-corner-of mouth smile, edges past me into my bedroom, and begins running his tongue as far round his face as he can to catch the JD.
‘The coke ruins it, y’know,’ says Tyrone. ‘Any chance you could fix me a real one?’
This time I throw the glass. Tyrone ducks nonchalantly and walks out into the kitchen, exaggeratedly tiptoeing past the sparkling shards. I follow, and launch myself at him, beating his back with my fists as he pours himself a drink. He turns, and snorts at me.
‘Jeez,’ he says, in an aggrieved tone. ‘I thought you mighta been happy to see me.’
Which I am. As well as being bloody furious.
I pick up the letter on the worktop. ‘Just what was this supposed to mean? I thought you were dead.’
‘I thought I would be, too,’ Tyrone says as he rummages in the fridge. ‘Cool. Lasagne.’ He switches on the oven, and takes a large draught of his drink.
‘So I changed my mind.’ He drums his fingers on the worktop, and glowers impatiently at the oven.
‘Well. I’m glad.’ My voice is quiet, but I can tell from the twitch of his eyebrow that he hears, and is touched.
I pick up the paper, his suicide note, wanting to tear it up. Something stops me.
‘Hang on,’ I say, and Tyrone’s shoulders tighten. ‘The policeman. He brought me this.’
‘Great detective work,’ muttered Tyrone dryly. ‘That’s why I put your goddam address on it.’
‘He said there was a body.’ I’m backing away, that old sick fear rising up in me again.
‘Of course there was a body,’ Tyrone said smoothly. ‘It wouldn’t be much of a suicide without a body, would it?’
‘Who?’ I pick up a cushion and hold it to my chest, as if for protection. ‘Who was it? Bloody hell, Tyrone, what did you do?’
‘I believe his name was Jim. Homeless guy. Real sad.’ Tyrone stoops to place the lasagne on the oven shelf, and walks towards me. ‘Why must we keep having this same goddam conversation?’
‘Because people keep dying. Tyrone, what did you do?’
‘I decided on a fresh start. No more Tyrone – his life sucks. He’s over.’ He strokes my neck with the side of his index finger. ‘Sweetheart, you’re not gonna rat me out. Are you?’
I try to remember how to breathe. The greyness of his eyes seems to be forcing the air from my body. Eventually I shake my head no, and Tyrone nods. He lowers his hand.
‘Extra cheese on your lasagne?’ I ask.

With thanks to Graeme