"Yes?" I emphasise my impatience. Carol Vorderman's just shown everybody up doing them fast sums the way she does and I've just realised that I've left my cup of tea by the chair.
"Marjorie Storey the clairvoyant?"
Oh! So that's what's she's after, a reading. Well I'll just have to put her straight. "Look, I'm sorry love, I don't do readings any-"
"I have a message for you." She interrupted.
"I'm Angela, a clairvoyant like you. I thought if anyone would be open to having a reading it would be you. I have a message for you."
Suddenly, I feel really hot and my heart's playing hop-scotch in me chest. But all I can focus on is the complicated flowery pattern of the telephone chair, though I've looked at it a thousand times before. I've never noticed just how delicate the stitching is and I feel like I'm seeing it for the first time.
"Marjorie?" She rouses me from my hypnotic stance. "It's from George. Your husband?"
All of a sudden I'm experiencing a familiar feeling, one not felt in years. Within a split second, the fury has exploded in my chest and rises out of me with gusto, like a firework.
My feeling of heat gives way to one of nausea, like I'm physically going to be sick.
"You what? Now just you listen here - I don't know who you think you are or how you got this number Missy - but I don't appreciate jokes. My husband's dead. He doesn't give messages to anyone any more!" I slammed the phone down so hard, the bell inside it chimed like it was ringing all over again.
Tears prick at my eyes and I can't see clearly. Easing myself down into the chair at the telephone table, I rest my head in my hands, the severity of my own reaction has scared me.
"What did you do that for?" Hans asks simply. There were no accusations in his voice, but the banks had burst and before I could form the words in my brain, they were spewing out of my mouth like volcanic lava.
"Shut up!" I shouted out loud. "Just shut up! If he was going to give a message to anyone it should be me! Me!
I was the one who looked after him all those months; I was the one who wiped his brow and watched his mind and body rot around him. It was me! He should talk to me, not some stranger!"
Hans doesn't say any more and after my sudden shouting episode I actually think for a split second I've gone deaf. I can't even hear Carol or Des in the background cracking bad jokes, just the noise of my own blood rushing through my head. The house I now realise, is so quiet.
In my rush to slam down the receiver, our wedding photograph that has stood beside the phone for as long as I can remember has fallen on its face. I turn it up to see George and his cheeky grin through the sepia tones laughing back at me and my own happy eyes that were full of youth and optimism. I smiled wryly at the irony; I bet her out of the 'Carry On' films would laugh at the comparison between me, then and now.
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 - 100 Words Competition - Rosemary By Merle R. Stone
"Have you the time?" she asked. As always when our eyes meet, my thoughts turn to tender things.
Cuddling naked by the fireplace, chilled chablis in hand. Her charming giggle rising above
the crackle of the flames. Twenty-five years married and still we idle like teens, content
in each others' embrace. The children grown, grandchildren on the way.
How long we have
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 - 100 Words Competition - Shipwreck By Michelle Dee
I sat on a shipwreck, the proud bow pointing at the river slowly drifting by. Most of the ship had rotted away long since. I sat there wondering what lay ahead, what life had in store.
The afternoon sun warmed the wood, until hot to touch. I sat longer.
The water lapped against the vanishing timbers. I sat until the sun dipped the water; waves turned gold,
the air turned cold.
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 - 100 Words Competition - One Shot, One Kill By Merle R. Stone
I watched him every day for two weeks. I learned his habits; where he slept, how he spent his days, his favourite watering hole, his acquaintances. Every aspect of his life did I observe, as my years of experience in this line have trained me to do. Not once did I sense that he suspected anything. Not once did he peer over his shoulder in my direction,
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Justice By Merle R. Stone
There was never a time when Al wasn't my friend. Children learning music together. Adults sharing liquor and time. He had a special beer glass for me, and placed it by the tap when he sensed my approach. We agreed to disagree about everything as we grew into wise and ancient men. We would live forever.
Five crackheads robbed the bar where we would meet and shot him dead
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 - 100 Words Competition - Escape By Merle R. Stone
Shock registered on his face as his mind raced and his vision blurred.
Maybe I could have been kinder, more loving.
Their history together ran uninterrupted on the viewing screen of his subconscious.
Standing out in stark relief, the happy times and the bad.
Must it end this way?
His knees grew weak, and his pulse quickened; he suddenly knew the answer.