The phone's ringing again - the second time today. Its shrill chime echoes around the house, reverberating through the hall and into my warm little cocoon of a living room. It makes me nervous. It's like a foreign body, stealthily making its way through the house, looking for me- preparing to bump me off, to throw something at me when I least expect it.
It annoys me though. I can't bear interruptions. I wonder whether or not I should even bother picking it up. Who do I really need to talk to today anyway? I can have nothing but conversation twenty-four hours a day if I want and that's all in me 'ead.
The last thing I want now is to pick up the phone to yet another Indian based call centre employee trying to flog me a time share or life insurance-I mean, at my age! Anyway, it takes me all me time to get out of the chair these days, it's not worth the hassle. If it's not a call centre, it'll probably be bad news.
If I had the money, I could get myself one of those moving chairs that her out of those 'Carry On' films advertises in an afternoon. God, she 'aint half aged! It makes me laugh 'cause they'll put one of her films on in an afternoon from years ago and she's all young and skinny, just like I remember her and the next thing- the adverts come on and it's back to reality, there she is thirty years later advertising stair lifts and those baths you sit up in.
Anyway, if I got one of her chairs I could be up and about as often as I like. Not necessarily to answer the phone mind you, but perhaps to have more than just a couple of cups of tea a day.
I ask my spirit guide Hans, (in my mind) if it's anyone important.
"You won't know until you pick it up," he says in my ear, his German accent thick like porridge. He's a bugger, he is! He won't give anything away, you know? He won't let me be lazy by actually answering a simple question for a change.
Oh-no, I always have to find everything out for myself. I should invest in one of those new fangled answering machine thingys. Then I won't have to talk to anyone and I still won't miss a trick.
The phone's still ringing.
Hans is silent in my ear. It can't be my daughter, she rings on Thursdays and today's Tuesday. I growl in annoyance that whoever it is, is interrupting 'Countdown'. I just got my first eight letter word an' all!
My arthritic knees creak in complaint as I slowly clamber out of the chair, but eventually I get to the telephone stand, puffing a bit mind you, and stand in front of the seat.
This conversation won't be lasting long enough to warrant sitting down.
"Hello?" I snap into the receiver.
"Hello, is that Marjorie Storey?" She sounds English. Hans tuts in my ear at my racism.
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - A is not only for Apple By Lin Whitehouse
Is this what it feels like to sit on death row, morbidly freefalling through the past? I keep averting my eyes from the clock face but the minute magnet holds me hostage.
Had I done enough to be reprieved?
Another hour swallows my resolve not to panic, in God's name how long does it take to open an envelope?
Perhaps the results aren't what we predicted.
Fiction - Everyone Loves The Big Girl By Leah Scarpati
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. Read more...
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - The Unkindest Cut By Manuro
Phil's partner in hell-raising had convinced him that it would be a 'good idea' to spend all of his gig money on pork chops. They had met during the summer at an all-night Clown Skills and Raw Food workshop in Worksop, where the ability to see through walls and predict future events had proved, at the very least, useful.
Unable to control his bohemian life, Phil took solace
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 - 100 Words Competition - Kundalini By Andrea Longstaff
She was homeless and walking the streets.
Her mind was unhinged but full of new found awareness. A realisation that she was now free in the true sense of the word.
Her life always did have a surreal texture to it but after a night of no sleep and helping the stranger who had dropped his pens.
He looked into her glazed eyes, "I hope you get a good nights sleep tonight"
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 - 100 Words Competition - Crackers By Pete Texas
I was 12 ½ when my dog ate my rabbit
He chewed on its head like a malnourished Gannet
So I traded Ben for an Arini Parrot
Put her in the hutch with the lettuce and carrot
I was sure with the straw to build Polly a nest
So when she fell asleep she'd have somewhere to rest
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - The Flat By The Silver Fox
He emerged from the oven to see the landlord eyeing him as though enquiring as to what he'd expected to find in there. He adopted a knowing expression - as though saying that he hadn't found it and was disappointed.
"Seventy a week?"
"That covers your water rates," came the expansive reply. He nodded, fearing that further conversation would bring
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 - 100 Words Competition - The Prescription By The Silver Fox
The pen flashed across the pad like a magic wand. Jeff watched, appropriately spellbound. The prescription was pushed across the desk with neither comment nor eye contact.
"Not much of a bedside manner."
"This isn't a bedside."
Pain sent a stinging retort flying to Jeff's lips; need bit it back.
"Not funny," he mumbled, leaving.
After an agonising moonwalk
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Kids Like That By The Silver Fox
The abuse, though muted by the noise of the engine, was clear and vile in the thick afternoon air. It poured onto the bowed head of the smaller boy; rank as his sweat and tears. He pressed down upon the accelerator and the car shot forward, elongating the bully's last insult into a thin scream.
He was out onto the hot road before the broken bundle had rolled off of the bonnet.
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Who's The Daddy? By Catherine Horlax
I heard footfalls; hollow thuds echoing down the corridor, and drew my knees up so my boots wouldn't be visible. He'd said he'd be there. A tap gushed.
I noticed the door was inscribed with idiocy, and calmed myself with the fact that
'Lisa Hyde stuffs mashed potato up her cunt'.
At least I'd kept my word - I'd said I'd be there too. I laughed because, barring crying,