THE ASYLUM SEEKER

I was sitting with my friend Yusuf in the Bab al―Salam refugee camp, just a hundred yards south of the Turkish border.  Twenty thousand refugees, mostly women and children, lived in the camp.  Yusuf and I were Syrian refugees escaping the war in Aleppo and trying to get to Europe..  Twenty yards away barefoot kids…

The Telephone Call

The telephone rings five times before I pick up.  A monotone voice on the line says: “This a BT information call.  Your Internet has been compromised and will be shut down.  Press number one to connect to the team or press the hash key for more information.” I know it’s a scam call, a voice…

A GIRL CALLED VALERIE

I am 16 years old.  It is the height of summer and I’m sitting with Valerie in an open park shelter with a tiled roof watching my friends play football.  Valerie is not in a relationship and neither am I.  In fact she has only recently split up with her long-time boyfriend, Colin Jones.  Colin…

THE PROFUNDITY OF MY BEING

I was walking home from school, making my way down Sherrington Road , Charlton, towards the ditch: a dirt road that branched off from Sherrington Road and passed alongside a series of allotments before exiting at Tallis Grove, which was a stone’s throw from where I lived.  The houses along Sherrington Road had small front…

THE GARDEN ORNAMENT

So I walk passed this house every morning on my way to primary school and every afternoon on my way back home.  The house stands out because the garden is very attractive.  I’m always by myself.  I’ve always been by myself.  I don’t have any friends, not real friends.  I’m alone with my thoughts and…

STOKE MANDEVILLE AND GERALD BUTLER

My right testicle was heavily swollen.  It was a hydrocoele that needed repairing.  My urologist, Mr Reynard, was draining it every three months or so in the spinal outpatients department of Stoke Mandeville Hospital.  The process was uncomfortable.  He had to insert a needle into the testicle and draw off the excess fluid, which occasionally…

LIFE AND DEATH

This amazing bubble of existence My being, my soul, my conscious mind Surrounded by oblivion That awful void There Threatening to engulf me As I gaze at my pictures The fruit in the bowl The books on the shelf Acutely aware of my surroundings Every nuance of my life My breath My thoughts Knowing that…

THE INFAMOUS MR DAVID EVANS

So who was the real Mr Evans? He presented himself as a charming, well dressed, well spoken individual, always available to help and advise. Beneath this façade of respectability there lurked a depraved monster driven by compulsions he could not control.

A PINK DRESS AND HIGH HEELED SHOES

Rowing as fast as they could, the crew members gradually drew away from the doomed ship. The fog began to clear as Captain Picklewink watched the stern upended and then slowly slide beneath the waves, passengers silhouetted by the silvery moon as they lept into the cold water. Their screams continued for several minutes then all was silent, just the gentle lapping of the waves against the side of the lifeboat and the murmurings of the passengers that had survived.