The Leveret

Meghan imagines Simon and Petra sitting together in the café on the avenue where the Jacaranda bloom. ‘Just friends,’ Simon assures Meghan, ‘we are just friends. We talk about work; she knows work is our focus. I’m mentoring her. She’s bright, she’ll do well. If Petra was a Peter you wouldn’t worry.’ ‘She,’ says Meghan, […]

The Listening Place

On the last night, knowing every night was a last night, the musician played. No one knew he existed. He came, someone said, with the last wave. There had been over three hundred, and what each carried was ignored; some felt there were too many and argued for turning them away. Others said the end […]

Neo-Natal

He is barely ten hours old when the neo-natal retrieval team arrive. They attach him, my first-born, to an electrocardiograph, they wrap him in what looks like pliant aluminium foil, they place him in a space capsule on wheels. They turn on the oxygen. They close the lid. They will take him to the airport […]

The Chairman

Everyone hoped he’d make some changes, do the right thing because Jacinta was one of the 30%: tall, attractive, well-educated and highly motivated. ‘Jacinta handled her promotion exceptionally well,’ he said finally.  ‘She did exactly what we asked. Pruned the  inefficient members of her team without too big a stir. Shifted three more staff into different […]

Sauce

He mustered the ingredients, fished the saucepan and measuring jug from the cupboard and the wooden spoon from the drawer, then challenged her. ‘Okay, show me how you do it.’ She warmed the butter until it was a golden puddle roosting in the bottom of the saucepan. Reducing the flame, she added the flour then turned off […]

Sparks

At first only sparks, fragments of light that died and died again. Finally, despite her shuddering hands, a flicker, a glint of flame that swung wildly, spluttered then settled into something more. ‘Minuscule flame,’ she intoned , ‘stay alive, stay alive…’ A sound from beyond the night: familiar footsteps, the flood of stamping feet dislodging […]