MacGregor turned, a paper thin smile across his face, he looked into Dennison's eyes, perhaps an attempt to locate something specific there. Superficially everything seemed in order; shops, pub, houses, church-(MacGregor caught Dennison looking at the squat unattractive church, "It goes without saying we have no trouble finding priests here."). There was little to suggest anything out of order or strange.
As he walked the steep, twisted streets Dennison felt appraising eyes move over him, the flat gaze of the inmates-when he attempted to catch the glance of one of these individuals their eyes fell to the ground before he could establish eye contact, it was obvious that they where experts in the area of stolen surreptitious glances.
He also noted the ingratiating respect they gave MacGregor, and the way this made Macgregor swell.
Obviously there where no children or women, and also no sign of any of those trappings of imprisonment that he had expected. No watchtowers, no uniforms, no cameras, or guards.
"No guards, at all?"
"No, we do try to keep direct contact to a minimum, as we believe the condition is potentially infectious. Naturally we patrol the waters, but otherwise they can police themselves..."
The inhabitants ranged in age from 18 to 90. Most looked ordinary, lads from northern council estates, gentlemen, farmers, and even though intellectually Dennison knew that sexual criminals looked just like everyone else, it still came as a shock just how average these characters actually were. To some extent they even looked like actors pretending to be normal, in a sense they where too average, too normal-and given their techniques of grooming, and putting parents and victims at ease, this was not too short of the actual truth.
The middle classes where also well represented amongst the islands population.
MacGregor seemed almost proud of the range of sexual offenders present; "Of course there are doctors, plumbers, builders. We really have to do very little, quite self sustaining-"
"A perfect world-" There was a sarcastic edge to Dennison's voice, "-apart from the fact that they are all paedophiles and rapists, right? Do you really believe it is infectious?"
"Yes, even the idea seems to be viral-look at the numbers who attempt to access child porn on the net, as if the idea provokes curiosity, and research shows such material scars the psyche, and scars are sites of infection-even metaphorical infection...ah."
MacGregor smiled. Shrugged. Raised an arm to indicate a building silhouetted on the edge of a hill. Dennison squinted, but could make out nothing beyond its rectangular outline.
Fiction - Off To See The Wild West Show Part 18 (1886: Hull, Yorkshire) By Frank Beill
My sister and I were sitting on my bunk. A funny feeling came over me: it was almost like relief. My hero knew about me and about my circumstances but he'd not decided automatically that I'd have to go back to the orphanage.
'I have always wanted a brother. I do not want to lose you.' Laughing Waters didn't share what she considered to be my unfounded confidence.
Fiction - Welcome To Hellville - Part 17 By Rich Mills
29th November 2040
The information is coming thick and fast.
The latest version of Arc-iSearch is a truly amazing piece of AI software.
It sweeps across the huge net archives, sniffing out the smallest of references,
eliminating the irrelevant with an intelligence that grows as it goes.
I set it on its way yesterday, now it has started to
Fiction - The M1 McDonalds Girl and the Most Suitable Bloke By Andy Bilton
So I'm heading home. Heading north. Eighty, on the M1, just south of Sheffield. Pissing it down. That horizontal stuff that totally obscures your view, your only safe option being to get in to the inside lane and follow the red cat's eyes. Not ideal weather conditions for a must-get-there-quicker sort of situation such as this.
I should slow down really but Helen's already been on the mobile
Fiction - Complicity Part 5 By Nick Quantrill
Complicity is the new crime-fiction novella set in Hull featuring
Detective Sergeant Coleman and Detective Constable Maynard.
The thisisull.com serialisation is accompanied by the stunning black and
white photography of Roland Standaert, which illustrates the story and takes a unique look at the city.
Complicity and other stories are available for free.
Fiction - The Guy Who Had All The Time In The World By Joe Hakim
Sometimes it gets to be a bit too fuckin' much, I decide, after another day spent wandering the streets aimlessly.
The sky is still bright purple - the colour of a fresh bruise - and the streets are still completely silent; not even the sound of birds chirping or distant traffic in the distance.
Aside from that, everything seems to be much the same, at least on the surface.
There's no visible
Fiction - Kat Out of the Bag Chapter Fourteen By Steve Rudd
Yogesh, my abandoned guide on all things Nepalese, had said that the small
yak-herding settlement of Langsisa was worth seeing if seeing meant believing,
being as it is so isolated and yet further east of Kyangjin.
Yogesh and I had discussed where I might like to trek on my trip before
we embarked from Kathmandu, and he'd proposed the Langtang trek as being
an ideal one
Fiction - The Burden - A Short Story By Joe Hakim
I step out into the sun and close my eyes, letting the light wash over my face.
It's cold, and the wind pinches my cheeks but I feel complete, for the first time ever.
Today the world is different. Today is the first day of a new beginning.
Everything feels real and vivid, and I bathe in it, taking it all in like a child
seeing a painting for the first time, judging the angles and
Fiction - Off To See The Wild West Show Part 17 (1886: Hull, Yorkshire) By Frank Beill
When we got further out into the Atlantic my companions became wary of going up on deck. When they did they scanned the horizon and talked in low voices if there were dark clouds heading towards us. The ocean swell was stronger but these weren't the rough seas they expected in repetition of the previous crossing.
I was pleased we weren't enjoying the great sickness
Fiction - Two Extracts from The Shintae - a Novel by Brian R Hill
Fiction - Zero and the Neighbours Part 1 - Demo version 0.1 By Joe Hakim
Frank was one of the regulars. From the first day I started dealing poker on the tables, Frank was there. To look at, he was your typical moody old man - old in the Father Christmas sense - white hair, a huge white beard and a round gut that hung out of his shirt and over his belt. You could imagine him sat in a grotto in the bottom of Princes Quay with some mewling
Fiction - Just like Eddie by Bob Spence
I don't know exactly when I got into it but there you are.
Like most lads, I suppose it was the thought of being Bristol's answer to
Elvis that was some kind of inspiration.
Yes that was always there in the back of my mind, but the accent never sounded
quite right to be fair.
Anyway. The South Deans Village Youth Club was a right place back then and we used
Fiction - The Wall by Darren Sant
Sometimes your best is just not enough.
Panic stricken and panting I arrive.
There it is, a fucking huge wall. An obstacle blocking my progress.
A visible representation of all that I can't achieve.
Nervously I look behind me. I lash out at it, kicking and punching but to no avail.
It is rock solid. I jump but find it too high. I take a running jump
Fiction - Divine by Blair Ashworth
"Mein Führer? Mein Führer?" The old man in the long grey coat was bent over the body slumped in the chair.
"Give it a few more seconds, Henry," said the doctor. "Do you speak any German? It might lessen the shock." No, Henry didn't speak any German and he didn't much care about any shocks he might deliver.
Behind the heavy oak chair,