Pretty bubbles in the air

4,184 words – approx. 14 minutes

“How old’s the lad now?” Col jerked a thumb at Davey to his right.

“Twelve.”

“Twelve, eh?” said Col in wonderment. “I remember when you were so big,” he said, addressing Davey, and he spread his hand face down, level with the bench they were sat on.

“He ain’t much bigger now,” said his dad. “But you will be, won’t you? You’ll be big and strong, like your old man.”

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New England, 1873

3,581 words – approx. 12 minutes

The light that George Hepworth held up to the window was close to extinction. His eyesight was good, but even with this advantage and the aid of the forceful moon overhead he could barely make out the figures against the horizon. Four men, each with a spade and a belief. In the half-light George fancied that he could see them, creeping in the night as though it were an ambush, moving closer to the copse that he knew to be there even though it was too dark to see. Moving closer to the graveyard.

Closer to Elizabeth.

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Monitor

4,465 words – approx. 15 minutes

“Hannah, if you’d like to come in?” The woman jerked from her thoughts at the sound and rose from the purple, rectangular sofa, tugging down her lead-grey skirt as she stood. Before she took a step she crouched to pick up the plastic cup of water at her feet, careful not to crush it. This was no time for clumsiness.

She didn’t recognise the man who held the door open for her. He was smiling, but without showing his teeth, and there was something goblin-like in the way his head bowed towards his outstretched arm. Hannah flashed him a quick grimace then watched her feet cover the check pattern of the carpet. As she passed him he flattened himself against the door, as though scared to come into contact with her. Be assertive, she reminded herself, and forced her head upwards. But she couldn’t stifle the shiver that ran through her when the door clicked to.

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