The lights go back on and there are cheers, claps and wolf whistles as I
take my final bow. That plank of a DJ ruined the end of my performance
by cutting Shania off short instead of fading her out like I told him to.
Thankfully I don't think anyone noticed.
I'm sweating like a pack horse, but at least I've given it my all.
Large Lady Kiss-a-grams are getting a good reputation and I reckon
it's all down to me.
The poor lad whose birthday it is, doesn't know where to look!
He's all red in the face-bless him! I bet he's never seen a girl
in her bra before, never mind a 42JJ set like mine!
I peel my T-shirt off his sweaty shoulders; 'I Love Big Birds' is emblazoned across the back- that always gets the odd car honk as I walk down 'Road. I take me spangley cowboy hat off his head before getting my coat and bag, ready for off.
The D.J gives me back my CD and I glare at him as I hand back the mic. My baby blue stacked heels 'ant half rubbed tonight - I knew I shunt o' worn 'em, but they went with my new hat a treat. Colin, my minder meets me at the door as I pull my T-shirt back on.
"Last one Janice?" He asks as we head out towards the car, knowing full well it was my last one.
"Aye!" I winced as my blistered feet roared in protest.
"Catching last orders in Cri' then? Karaoke's on tonight."
"Is the Pope Catholic?"
He laughs, even though that wasn't all that funny. Bless him.
"Come on Col," I say, resigned to another last orders at the bar, "I'll get 'em in."
Everyone in Criterion knows me. Life and soul of the party, I am.
'Ooh that's an ideal job for you Jan,' they said, 'Going to parties
and snogging blokes all night!'
They think I don't realise they're all laughing behind my back.
Oh, I know all right. Those lads weren't cheering me on, they were
laughing at their mate with the fat bird on his knee.
Still- it pays the bills and I suppose there's gotta be worse things to do for money eh?
When we get to the pub, I get the pints in for me and Col.
Tanya, the Karaoke Queen-come-stripper sees me at the bar and my name's
boomed out of the speakers.
I notice one o' the tassels has fallen off me 'at- but there's no
time to worry about that now, 'cos the familiar opening bars of Nine-to-Five blast out and I dance me way across the floor to that familiar spot near the T.V. I don't even need to look at the words for this song.
It's practically my life story!
Fiction - Later. Still. By Christopher Skolik
Maybe human beings get through life by focusing their attention down to the smallest details, those soap opera comings and goings that make up the flickering magic lantern show of day to day existence, the little things that make life worth living, the details that stand between us and the chasm.
Fiction - The Hunch-Back (in the style of The Hitman by T.C. Boyle) By Katherine Horrex
By the age of nine the Hunch-Back is aware that he has no place. He questions the existence of everything he sees and it is not until he grows shady from first stubble and hard with distracting pubescent bulk that he gains any sense of purpose, or raison d'etre if you will, for he is half French.
It is his mother to which the French in him must be attributed,
Fiction - The Terminal Brothel By Christopher Skolik
Gales crashed onto the housing estate. Grey sky like fractured mountains.
In the passenger seat Dennison read through the paper, as Snaith drives. As some story or headline caught Snaith's attention he would ask Dennison to read it in full.
The council estate was a maze of similarity -a dizzying optical illusion where homes, roads, and people all
Fiction - The Artist By The Silver Fox
Pencil in hand, he stands immobile. His eyes are locked onto the pristine expanse before him as though searching for some secret buried within the paper itself; an image that his pencil will simply be highlighting rather than creating. Above and beyond his eye line, the graphite point gleams dully in the harsh light that cascades down onto the easel.
Fiction - Independent By Katherine Horrex Photos by Darren Rogers
The room was pulsing with white noise and euphoria. Giles was positioned behind the sound booth, stupefied by the scene on stage: five Burberry clad men thrashing manically at their instruments, their sixties feather cuts flicking through the damp air.
A final power chord growled through the Marshall stack, reverberating triumphantly and the lead
Fiction - 3 Phones, 300 Words By Joe Hakim
She smiled as she handed him the bottle. He took it from her and poured himself a glass.
'So what do you think?' she asked.
'I'm not that bothered,' he replied.
He was pretty drunk by now and he attempted to think of something to say, but the silence remained stagnant. She took a gulp from her glass,
Fiction - Lessons Learnt By Nick Quantrill
DS Richard Coleman pulled into the lay-by and headed towards the flashing blue lights. An hour later it would have been someone else's problem. But it wasn't. An articulated lorry had been isolated from the other vehicles, cones placed around it, linked together by barrier tape.
A mobile generator providing power to the small floodlights
Fiction - Mr Keith Fortner By The Silver Fox
In assessing the nature and worth of Mr Keith Fortner, it helps to be acquainted with one or two salient facts about his background. This is true of anyone, of course; understanding can rarely come without some awareness of their past experiences and emotional development after all.
Even the vast majority of people who tend to exist in a very limited context - the parameters
Fiction - After The Rain By Joe Hakim
He noticed there was another crushed snail by the doorstep. It was the third one he'd found this week. It was funny because he could never recall standing on the snails, but there they were.
He opened his back door and lit a cigarette. He'd been in this place for a month now, but it still didn't feel like his home, just a place he was staying in for a while.
Fiction - The Suicide Park, Self Surgery And Brutalised By Affection By Christopher Skolik
Dennison followed Snaith from the road, through trees, to a wire fence. Snaith slipped through. Beyond the skeletal
trees, Dennison could see a smoky illumination. Snaith and Dennison walked around as if inspecting a gallery.
It looked like a derelict industrial estate from a distance. Only when he got closer could Dennison hear the sound
of 22 engines humming.
Fiction - Off To See The Wild West Show Part 2 Chapter 4 By Frank Beill
'There, there bai'n. It's o'right now. The bad man's gone away.' Sal walked up and down her bare living room, hugging her sobbing baby.
'Sorry, Sal. I shouldn't have done that.'
'Don't matter, Sammy.' She kissed the child's tearstained cheek. 'He deserves a good hidin'!'
'What was it all about? Sounded as though he was up to no good.'
I put two large lumps of coal
Fiction - Off To See The Wild West Show Part 2 Chapter 3 By Frank Beill
The red brick Board School stretched for nearly half the length of the street. Did Sal still live 'somewhere opposite'? My heart sank seeing all the doors to be knocked on especially after the Westbourne Avenue experience.
Fortunately, shops and other businesses occupied most of the buildings facing the school.
One caught my attention: Henry Tiplady,
Fiction - Smooth Operator By Edward C. Lynskey
Kenny was a thief. Nothing big. He'd only rip off the 'swag' owners wouldn't miss right away: CDs, auto parts, jewelry, tools, handguns from nightstands. Yeah, he was a smooth operator, nickelling and diming 'ditch-digging chumps.' A pawnshop run by his pal (never mind who) did a bang-up business, too.
Why did Kenny steal? Can't say. Could be he swore the world owed him
Fiction - Merry Christmas, Here's A Present By Nick Quantrill
Brett 'Razor' Rawcliffe; 'Razor' to his friends because they thought he was sharp as a tack. He was 16 years old but he'd already built a rapidly expanding drugs empire specialising in supplying his schoolmates and friends. It was one day away from being Christmas Eve and he was sat in a city centre pub with his trusted side-kick, Stevie.
The Christmas CD compilation
Fiction - Fighting the Drink By Jose Escobar
My opponent stands before me, tall and proud. We size each other up, bare knuckle fighters circling each other in the ring. He feints towards me but I don't flinch. Then one move and combat begins. The rules the same as always, last man standing wins.
I make the first move, one quick slug and the rasping and burning in my throat begins. Discover an old ulcer
Fiction - Cinch Hand By Nick Quantrill
Joe Berry, Private Investigator. That always grabs the attention. I'm a PI, but it's not as exciting as it sounds. No way. I say that with confidence as I stare out of the window of my detective agency into the overcast Hull night. That's right, Hull - the jewel in the crown of East Yorkshire. It's not a glamorous city, but it's where I lay my hat and I've just about scraped a living from
Fiction - The Post Office of Doctor Moreau Part Two By Kenton Hall
Previously on The Post Office of Doctor Moreau...
Sandy (tears in her eyes): But, Jonas, I love you.
Jonas (squinting): I know that, Sandy. But you must know this. I can not love anyone. My life is one of danger. Of intrigue. Of brooding handsomely in wine bars.
Sandy (suspiciously): Uh-huh.
Jonas: Yes. I am a lone wolf,
Fiction - The Post Office of Doctor Moreau By Kenton Hall
I was lying on my back - hands tucked neatly behind my head - and staring at the ceiling, where the Visigoths who had decorated the hotel room had utterly neglected to place a slow-moving fan.
Sometimes, a protagonist just can't get an even break.
I mean, I could feel it in my bones. I was about to be summoned on an adventure that would utterly and irrevocably
Fiction - The Prodigal Son By Joe Hakim
stuck in my room again/ looking up at the blinds/ gaffa-taped shut, keep out the light/ single beam escapes through a gap/ one piece of light concentrating on the wall/ imagine it to be hot like a laser/ imagine the smoke rising up like a spirit/ but it's not there, not there at all/ it's only in my head/ only in my head