Most recently published stories in Criminal.
Three days I think. It has been three days since I woke up in this room. How long I had spent unconscious here beforehand? I do not know. Three days spent with no food, no drink, no sign of life other than the occasional bird darting past the small window in the roof. At one point, a crow landed by the window, hearing my screams for help, glanced down and saw me there, hands tied to a timber beam over my head, wearing the same clothes that I had arrived in, matted blood on the hair at the back of my head from the blow that struck me down. I’m not sure what I was expecting it to do but whether it was through not understanding me or having more pressing matters to attend to, the crow took flight and went about its day.
The boss’s book of lies
As Alexander lounged on a Bahamian beach sipping one of those tropical, fruity drinks with an umbrella in it, he took advantage of the relaxing calm to reflect on how and why his life had changed so drastically in the past few days. After all, at the beginning of this week the 23-year-old resided in a stuffy studio apartment in a city the cost way too much to live in and held a job he dreaded at the bottom rung of the corporate ladder at a Fortune 500 company. Now, he could travel the world and enjoy life, financially secure in the knowledge that each week his now substantial bank account would grow due to the fact that despite the fact that he never had to step foot in the office again — and wouldn't be welcome if he did — Alexander was now by far the highest paid person in the company. And all because he had stumbled upon that little black book.
One might say, “he is so ungrateful to be alive,” but their not the one going through the worst case of “Holy Ghosts,” since the Harlem shake. I am counting my blessings, I should be in jail for the murder of three degenerates, but I'm on a dark road driving upstate with Cynthia riding shotgun. The whole country is trying to become the mysterious hero, I'm running from the life they all want. I just, keep repeating it all in my head as I drive to a new life.
Sticky, why did she feel sticky? Her senses were overwhelmed with everything; at least that's the best she could describe it. Her stomach clenched as she felt the need to release the contents of her stomach. She was searching for something; she just wasn't quite sure what. She was running and could feel pain in her leg and smell the iron more prominently. "Tell me where the book is at!" a gunshot.
Slow Poison - Chapter Twenty-Seven
Chapter Twenty-seven Stonehouse The boy never came now. Nor did the Mother. The Husband had looked in once or twice before the snows had gone, but he had soon relinquished the chore. The old man was seldom lonely as he sat out his days in the first floor council flat. The gas meter ticked on, consuming the nickel coins he set aside. The world had shrunk to the dimensions of the cramped kitchen, to the area of the chipped Formica table. He sat there between sleep, sipping the cooling instant coffee that stood ever within his reach. One or the other of the books would lie open before him; diary or the book of Ilya’s verse. The verse was never read, the strong line-work of the illustrations too powerful a magnet to allow his eyes to stray, but the power of the images paled beside his own words. The fragile scrawl held the ghosts within the prison of the cracked kitchen walls. The dark stars of her eyes held his own as he followed the marks he had left on the pages of the diary.
Slow Poison - Chapter Twenty-Six
Chapter Twenty-six Even the rainbow has a body made of drizzling rain And is an architecture of glistening atoms built up,
Slow Poison - Chapter Twenty-Five
Chapter Twenty-five Stonehouse The old man was a prisoner once more. His kitchen was the one warm place in the apartment. The familiar ice-scapes had masked the view from the bedroom windows, and there were crystallised plumes of frost spreading out in all directions on the inner walls of the toilet and the stairwell. The old man huddled close to his gas stove, an old grey blanket wrapped around his shoulders. A tin of Co-op soup stood in the pan of water, its paper label floating helplessly in the bubbles. The air in the kitchen was humid and reeked of tinned tomatoes.
Slow Poison - Chapter Twenty-Four
Chapter Twenty-four Outside The Cotswold Cottage A city had grown up around the cottage, beyond the perimeter of the Victorian wall, in the once open fields. Silent shapes bowed low beneath the rotor blades that circled slowly over head. There were those with eyes that could see in the dark, tracing the frames of the windows through infra-red lenses, accurate barrels lining up their sights with the seventeenth century leaded lights.
Slow Poison - Chapter Twenty-Three
Chapter Twenty-three The King’s Head Becky was framed in the doorway to the stairs, Alan’s arm around her shoulders. The others in the bar looked on with quiet concern.
Slow Poison - Chapter Twenty-Two
Chapter Twenty-two The King’s Head Another quiet day of snow watching and lovemaking had made them hungry. “I’ll give my chin a scrape. You go on down.”
Slow Poison - Chapter Twenty-One
Chapter Twenty-one “MUMMY!” The voice split the night, echoing through the house. Trim was instantly awake. He sat up, his body aching, the glutinous ooze smeared on leather. He listened. Acrid sweat poured from him. No other sound came. The child slept on. Three-ten. Trim pulled himself from the leather unit, his hand sticking to the surface. Sleep, in the master bedroom, was a feverish, broken stretch until the black beyond the window became grey. From the outer edge of sleep he could hear the child. She stirred in the second bedroom. The first day was beginning.
Slow Poison - Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twenty Stonehouse “WHICH OF YOU SODDIN’ LITTLE BUGGERS BIN GOIN’ THROUGH MY FUCKIN’ POCKETS?” Both boys felt the drunken hand. Fred held his ground, but Lenny fell heavily against the kitchen cabinet.