Punishment by local crime-fiction writer and thisisull.com contributor,
Nick Quantrill, has won a nationwide short-story competition run by HarperCollins.
Entrants were invited to submit a story of no more than 1,000 words in the
Here's what the judges had to say about Punishment :
'We were impressed with the use of language and it delivered a very effective
and surprising twist.'
Punishment is reproduced below for www.thisisull.com...
We pull up outside of his shop. I look around. We're sat in the bowels of Hull; a run-down area, full of cheap clear-out stores. I'm told that this used to be a bustling street; the heart of the city's fishing industry. I say, who cares? That was a long time ago. We're here to collect Wayne Glenton. We've been instructed to take him for a long drive.
The two lads with me, John and Dobba, go into the shop to collect the unfortunate Wayne. They're a bit of pair. Dobba's a bodybuilder and looks pretty much like your identikit rent-a-thug. John, on the other hand, is a little more unusual. It took me a while to figure him out, but he just doesn't enjoy inflicting violence, which is strange for someone in this line of business.
John is more of a family man and sees the job as just that, a job. Even if you have qualifications in this city, opportunities are close to nothing. He's just doing what he has to do to pay the bills.
I'm staring out of the window at a gang of surly teenagers. Dobba bundles Glenton into the back of the car.
'Now then, Wayne,' I say. There's no need for me to be rude.
'I'm not interested,' he says flatly.
I slap him playfully on the cheek.
'No need to be like that, is there mate?' I reply, laughing.
The car doors slam shut as the boys get back in. I wink at Dobba. John looks over his shoulder, signals and pulls back out into the traffic.
We start to move out of the city, I turn towards to Glenton. 'So, what have you done then?'
He ignores me and continues to stare out of the window.
'Go on, you can tell me,' I prompt.
I don't get a reply, but we're not asked to do a job like this for no reason.
The car goes quiet as we cross Myton Bridge. We can't help ourselves. We all turn to admire the city's major tourist attraction, The Deep.
'I took my youngest there once' says John. Nobody comments on this, nobody cares.
It was building up to being another busy Friday afternoon shift. It was probably no busier than any other shift, but the extra tiredness that Detective Constable Maynard felt by this point made them feel that much longer. He had been sent to Young's general store in East Hull straight after attending a suspicious death over on the other side of the city.
Fiction - The Morning After By Joe Hakim
They'll be here soon.
There's nothing much to do other than wait, so I make another strong cup of coffee and light
up another cigarette. Even these seemingly arbitrary actions are cast into a new focus now.
This patch of time I'm occupying is a bridge - a bridge that spans the space between
the way my life used to be and the way it's going to be. I look around my living room
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I wish there were bars so I could hold them, wrap my fingers around the cold steel and press my face in between them, but it's just a room, I'm in a dark room with no windows and no features, so I just sit and think and think and think.
I am a captive, a hostage in a foreign country. I'm apart from my family and friends and I don't know if I'll ever see them again.
Fiction - Off To See The Wild West Show Part 2: Prologue (June 1904: Hull, Yorkshire) By Frank Beill
From the outside the two-storey building looked even more forbidding now than the first time I saw it. Eighteen more years of Hull soot had turned bricks from red to dark brown. The dank smell of Grandmother's skirt returned to me. I caught my breath. So many emotions stirred inside me. Doors in my mind that I'd kept closed for so long were opening again but this time
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Arriving back in Hull, the first thing that hits me is just how much hasn't changed.
As I walk down Princes Ave, I look at all the café bars that have sprang up to replace
the odd little shops and businesses that used to line it, but it still feels the
same somehow. There's a kind of progress, I suppose - even if progress means it's
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'One more word out of you, and it'll be your last - I promise.'
The ice-cold gun nudging Ellie's temple was motivation enough for her to keep her mouth shut, as she trembled with fear. She daren't even sob in case her captor construed that any form of noise was reason enough to blow her brains out without further ado.
So much for being a superstar in her own right,
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Nobody told me marriage would be like this. I thought it would be bliss, day in and day out,
but problems soon surfaced, after our hastily arranged elopement in good old Gretna - that bizarre little settlement that straddles the border between England and Scotland as though it can't quite decide where it stands; where it belongs; which side of the metaphorical fence it is
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I'm just finishing off at work, watching the clock and loading the pot-wash with plates and cups,
waiting for Sarah to start her shift so I can go home.
It's been a really busy day, so I'll be glad to see the back of the fuckin' place.
I've been working at Sparks cafè bar on Newland Ave for over a year, but it's only been in
the past couple of months it's got really busy.
Fiction - Complicity Part 6 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.
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As we got closer I could see it framed against the horizon. From this distance it just looked like a huge black shape, like a giant lump of coal or something. "Jeezus, it's huge," I said. "Yeah, I'm guessing it's a male," Mike said. "Could be about fifty tonnes of whale washed up down there." Mike was a marine biologist.
He'd been given the task of studying
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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
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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
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Sometimes it gets to be a bit too fuckin' much, I decide, after another day spent wandering the streets aimlessly.
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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,
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Yogesh and I had discussed where I might like to trek on my trip before
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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
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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