Image for post
Image for post
Edited image from https://flic.kr/p/64wzbf

By the time they got to the airport Blair was about ready to murder him. They were on a tight schedule so you would have thought stocking up on cigarettes would have been taken care of already. But no. Niall insisted they stop in at the shop to pick up a gargantuan pack. That meant they missed the train to Glasgow, which meant they missed the bus to the airport, which meant they ran up to the check-in desk a tense ten minutes before it was due to close. The airline attendant looked at them, sweating there next to their…


Image for post
Image for post

It began with a flash of lightning, far out at sea, though it would end in a different kind of tempest. I was stood in my garden calling for my cat to come in for the night when the storm began. Some many miles out from the coast, it was still visible in the dusk half-light as a giant churning ball of black cloud. It reminded me somewhat of those artistic depictions of the Day of Judgement, with some wreaking punishment threatening to touch on mankind. I stopped to watch for a time, losing all thought of my pet, until…


Image for post
Image for post

The night was calm and still, a light fog creeping through the forest towards the open field André was watching. The drop was late. He was expecting to meet a new contact, flown in from England, and take them to the city. The last contact who didn’t turn up had drifted a mile off track and had been shot before they’d hit the ground; André wondered if something like that had happened again. The soldiers were everywhere these days, and at all hours too. He checked his watch. The drop was definitely late.

André picked himself up, stretching his back…


Image for post
Image for post
Edited photo by kke227 used under a ShareAlike licence

When I was a boy, maybe eight or nine years old, I would often trek the long walk through farmers’ fields down to the little beach. That was what I called it back then; the little beach, to mark the difference between the small hollow I was drawn to and the larger, more widely used stretch of sand a mile or two south. Tourists adored the big beach and it would often win awards for cleanliness and good surfing waves. The little beach, however, would never win awards, never be drowned in tourists. …


Image for post
Image for post

The only sounds were the boy’s tapping footsteps and the occasional swirl of wind. Orange leaves spun past him, then a new noise began: a quiet whisper on the breeze. The boy turned, expecting to see someone, but there was nobody. Just a small cat licking its paw. He shrugged and walked on.

He turned the corner onto a street lined with skeletal trees. Each house watched the street with dark windows and the boy clenched his little fists in his jacket pockets. Another gust of wind brought a fresh voice to his ears. He strained to catch what it…


Image for post
Image for post

When the heatwave started we flocked to the beaches, the parks, the beer gardens. Two weeks, the forecast predicted. Two weeks of suntans and ice creams. Two weeks of blue skies. We called in sick to our jobs and marvelled that we didn’t need to book a flight for good weather. We drank cocktails on the balcony and watched the cafe down the street sell iced coffee every afternoon.

Sixteen days in, the grumbling began. ‘I shouldn’t moan but I do wish it would cool down a little bit,’ people would say, and I would mop my forehead and laugh…


Image for post
Image for post
Edited photo by Derek Bridges used under a Generic licence

I don’t know why I return to the scenes of crimes. I suppose you could analyse it and say something about enjoying the chaos, the disorder, of it all. Or maybe something about needing to watch the aftermath of my actions, watch the police comb over every grisly inch. But really, in my mind at least, I like to watch them wash the blood away. There’s something very symbolic in that which just does something to me. The throaty gurgle of crimson water as it sinks into the drains and down into the belly of the city. I get goosebumps…


Image for post
Image for post
Edited photo by Tony Webster used under a ShareAlike licence

The argument had started the same day they moved in. An old song with new lyrics.

‘Do we really need a gun?’ Lizzie had asked, a box cradled in her arms.

Eric leaned against the truck and squinted out towards the water. ‘You won’t feel so bad if a cougar comes,’ he said, flicking his eyes to Hunter. The boy was across the driveway, choosing the best tree for a tire swing. ‘Or a gator. Or a bear.’

‘You said it’s safe out here,’ Lizzie said.

‘Safer. I said safer.’

Lizzie had sighed and gone indoors. The screen door slammed…


Image for post
Image for post

The boy had a glass bottle in one hand and a rock in the other. Like a tennis player, he tested the weight of the rock before whipping his arm to send it spinning through the air. James watched from a distance, following the arch of the rock with his eyes. His breath caught in his throat as the rock splashed into the water, narrowly missing a swan. Turning to his friends, the boy laughed along before stooping to find another stone. While he scoured, another boy took a turn, the pebble skimming over the swan’s back. There was a…

Samuel Best

Storywriter. Novel 'Shop Front' published by Fledgling Press. Founded Octavius Magazine. http://samuelbest.weebly.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store