January 17, 2009
While he is upstairs commanding armies Hannah sit and stares at the bags and makes plans for moving out. She’ll have a car boot sale. She’ll sell the towel set and the coffee maker and the pack of three heavy duty floor cloths. She’ll go through his personal things when he is at work and she’ll sell his computer game console and his camera and his selection of hardback books. She will sell his first edition Alice in Wonderland and use the money to buy something cheap, disposable and forgettable. She will buy so many flowers there won’t be room in the house for her furniture. By Jenn Ashworth.
"No one likes the idea that they are being lied to, but I think if everyone always told the ‘complete truth’ the world would be very different. It might not be ‘anarchy’, and it might not ‘fall apart’ exactly, but I think it would be an even more ugly and hurtful place than it is currently. I don’t know. I’m becoming paranoid that I’m sounding very pessimistic and a bit pretentious in these answers." Darran Anderson interviews Chris Killen.
My hands still smelled of pilchard. I made my way to the collection of shelves marked ‘Dental’. I ran my index finger up and down a row of toothbrushes. Doing this made a rattling noise. The noise made me happy. I continued rattling the brushes and being happy for a short while. I did not look at the people who pushed past me, who stuffed their pockets with cotton buds and hair mousse, who removed their socks and filled them with tubes of moisturiser and lubricant. I did not look at those people, I looked at the toothpastes. I wondered how they could possibly make it come out in stripes like on the diagrams. I wondered who first thought of toothpaste. Striped or no, I was doubtful that Clarence would find toothpaste appealing. By Crispin Best.
There’s a tall gap-toothed building that I pass on my way to work. An abandoned block of flats, it lurches crazily to one side, sinking into the earth that has given up and moved aside, and its windows are intermittently boarded up, lending it a whining, drunken appearance, insectile and half-blind. One morning in a misty half-lit fug, a light flickered from halfway up; flames licked a window frame and I thought I saw a figure inside, waving or dancing, but there was no sound, though the silence that day was light and noise would have travelled. By evening, that window too had been boarded and nailed firmly shut, clean timber marking the spot. I never saw anybody enter or leave the building, though occasionally a pile of newspapers shifted into the vague form of an outstretched body would appear at the front, and the embers of fires burnt ashes and charcoal in irregular circles around the perimeter. By Valerie O'Riordan.