My story ‘The Double will appear in the next Fiction Desk anthology, New Ghost Stories IV, available now. It’s for anyone who’s ever felt divided, or who can no longer go to their preferred café.
A Quick Look Back
The body remembers in a hundred broken ways. Even those pictures in our heads we call memories are not unitary things: you build them afresh each time from your mess of neural pathways, wearing some grooves deeper and smoothing over others. Those memories may not agree with each other; may not agree with themselves; may not agree with the scars on your skin or the way the smell of spilled beer makes you feel or the tightness in your chest when a phone rings. Like everything we do on Earth, remembering is about who we are and not who we are. But the spirit remembers singly and truly. In truth it does not remember at all: it simply is, across time, all of us at every moment. When our bodies stop being, our spirits continue, and all that our bodies experienced is laid out for them like a map. There…
In our house, we each wrap up our right foot on Christmas Eve and unwrap it on Christmas morning. It’s odd, I know, but it’s because a few years ago my sister hurt her foot very badly. It was bandaged up for months, and she couldn’t walk on it. But on Christmas Day she unwrapped the bandage to change it, and she thought it looked well enough to leave the dressing off. She managed to get herself around on both her feet that year, and even to take a few steps out into the crisp winter air. She said it was the best present she ever got. So the next year we all wrapped our feet up, as a joke, but when we unwrapped them we felt genuinely grateful. For our bodies, for our health. We’ve kept it up ever since. 🧦 In our house, we wrap up our right…
My writing with Stories of our Lives
I write regularly as part of Stories of our Lives, a community writing and storytelling project based in Chorlton in Manchester. Sometimes I’m telling my own story; sometimes someone else’s; sometimes it’s something completely different. You can read my writing on toys, springtime, silver linings and more, along with lots more writing from the community, on the Stories of our Lives website. You can also support the project with a donation or by buying a copy of our first book.
The Magic Passageway
Dan and the Dead Boy
A transplant patient struggles to return to normal life after his operation. Available in the Fiction Desk anthology There Was Once a Place. Lying in recovery after my first satisfying piss in three years, I ran my fingers over the dressing on my belly and imagined sliding them through the incision to tear out the dead boy’s kidney. I saw it flop off the bed, a bloody half-moon left behind on the sheet, and landing on the floor to be carried off by a cleaner; and my body being mine again. They say it might last ten years. A decade with it, as my blood runs through and becomes his blood.