SANTA CALLING (2016)

Alex stopped for a breather and looked up at the canopy of the trees as flakes of snow started to fall.  He listened. No-one following.  The mugger’s last words rang in his ears: ‘I’ll know what you look like’.  His shaven headed assailant had laughed after him, ‘Now I’ve got your phone, let’s have your wallet’.

He hadn’t waited to say he didn’t have one.  He might have been kicked in revenge.  You were always punished for having nothing.

Published by Sheffield Writers as part of the Off the Shelf Festival of Words 2016

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BROKEN BRACKEN (2014)

A body on the moors lies in the bracken below a crag, around its waist a severed old fashioned climbing rope, tied with a bowline.

Alone with a body, the world changes.  It becomes quiet.  The birds are silent, the sheep watchful, a safe distance from the wiry figure flattening the bracken.  I hear a car down on the Hathersage road.  Someone shouts distantly – a climber or cyclist I guess – but we’re frozen in a bubble of silence in the shadow cast by Higgar Tor, though Stanage Edge glows like honey in the evening sun.

Highly Commended in CWA’s Margery Allingham Competition and published in The Bottle Street Gazette

LOGAN (2012)

Whilst Exeter Cathedral stood in holiness on the hill, Tommy Logan created hell down by the river below.

A chapter from the crime novel Stone and Water, published in Matter 12

PALE SPECKLED EGGS (1995)

‘Can you show me that skylark’s nest with the eggs in?’

Mr Mason paused and pointed a finger.  He looked set. Like a rumble of thunder in a catapult.

‘I’m not having you pinching them eggs!’

It was like walking smack into a wall of glass when you thought you’d stride straight ahead into a smiling party.  The tears pricked Jack’s eyes.  He turned and ran.

Published in Northern Stories Volume 6 (Arc Publications)