1. Everyday life
Evan Millhauser stood watching as they stepped out of the carriage, imagining they were actors auditioning for the part of ‘Passenger getting off a train’. A woman reading an urgent message on her phone. Two students chatting about a lecture as they stepped onto the platform. A woman, tense, consumed by her inner demons.
What did they see when they looked at him though? A middle aged man in a black leather jacket, waiting to make the next stage of his journey? Or a guy with mischievous eyes, exactly where he wanted to be in life?
The final passenger got off the train, a teenager, a little too in love with himself. They each brought so much to the role, yet all were understated too. Evan thought again about his film and the teacher being investigated for events at a sports day. A niggle of doubt resurfaced about the man he was casting.
He called Catherine from the station concourse. “Exam question: The best art occurs in everyday life; it just needs observing as if it were performance, discuss.”
“What are you talking about, Evan?” his wife replied. “I have a friend of Crispin’s here, he’s called Sam. I’m feeding him.”
“They arranged it. That’s what they do at secondary school. When are you coming back?”
It was not what he needed, having to make polite conversation with an awkward teenager. “I’m on my way,” he sighed.
Just as Evan’s conversation finished, Libby’s iPhone rang. It was Norman. Norman was on marital probation. He had been for six months. Ever since she’d caught him in flagrante delicto.
“I’ve been trying to reach you,” Libby said.
“I got a call for something,” Norman mumbled.
“Is Sam with you?”
“So where is he?”
“At a school friend’s. Just as he texted, my agent rang.”
“I was worried. The children are the priority, Norman.”
“The friend’s called Crispin Millhauser.”
There was a pause. “Millhauser?”
“Hashtag slightly ridiculous name. They live in Crouch End, probably in some fuck off house. I’ll give you their address.”
“No, Norman. You pick him up when you get back. I’d like some wine.”
3. No hurry
“That is some pair of glasses,” Evan said to Norman. He couldn’t decide if the impossibly blue frames were a forerunner to a new fashion craze, or something Norman had pulled out of a Christmas cracker.
“Oh yes,” Norman laughed. “My wife isn’t quite so sure, but I thought they made a statement.”
“They certainly do,” Catherine laughed.
“Darling, why don’t you call the boys down?” Evan said. “I expect Norman will be wanting to head off.”
“I’m in no hurry,” Norman said.
“It’s just I’ve got a little bit of work to do myself,” Evan explained.
4. Brutal coincidence
Libby took a bite from her jammy dodger. Upstairs, their youngest, Serena, was running a bath. Millhauser was a distinctive name. And yes, Evan was older than her, but he could easily have a son Sam’s age. Things had ended badly one New Year’s Eve in Paris, a trip which she’d organised with high expectations and a degree of orchestration. Evan had been edgy in the restaurant, a precursor she’d hoped to something. Then he delved into his pocket towards the end of their meal, and rather than producing an engagement ring, took out a packet of cigarettes. A clutch of euphemistic, not to say clichéd, phrases followed. He’d fiddled with the packet, withdrawing and returning a single cigarette repeatedly until she snatched it from his hand and crumpled it into the remnants of his Charlotte au Chocolat. Months of mental trauma followed. With hindsight, she had behaved badly.
It was past nine when Norman returned with Sam.
“How was it?” Libby asked.
Sam nodded three times, as if to say fine.
“Who is this boy?”
“Crispin? A friend.”
“What, like a good friend?”
“I haven’t heard of him.”
“Maybe because you don’t know the names of all one hundred and seventy-five people in my year.” On that note, he disappeared down the corridor to the room he still had to share with Serena.
Norman, opening a tin of soup in the kitchen, looked up as Libby told him there was dinner in the oven.
“Why didn’t you say?”
“For God’s sake, Norman, I just did.”
His forehead furrowed. “Jumpy! I thought you were going to relax with some wine.”
“I’m tired. How was your audition?”
He shook his head.
“What was it for?”
“TV thing. A cough and a sneeze.”
“A cough and a spit, isn’t it? Are we talking drama?”
“You don’t believe me? I was awful anyway.”
“Were they nice, Crispin’s family?”
“Not particularly. Loaded, of course. God knows what he does.”
“Unless she’s the breadwinner. What are their names?”
“Catherine. And she called him Evan. How’s that for instant recall?”
Libby went directly to the bathroom. She rinsed her face and peered at the lines branching from the outer edges of her eyes. Evan Millhauser! What a crazy not to say brutal coincidence.
“What a ridiculous nerd he was,” Evan said to Catherine. “I hope for Crispin’s sake the son’s more with it.”
“You seem edgy,” Catherine said.
Evan smiled. As usual, she was more in sync with his feelings than him.
“You’re right. I’m worried about the film. This is my chance to move into a different medium and I can’t afford to mess up the casting.”
“I’m pretty sure you won’t do that.”
“I could wreck the project before shooting a single frame. The problem is the teacher. The guy’s just too solid, too trustworthy.”
“Is it too late to rethink?”
“Good point, Cat,” Evan said. “Maybe not.”
Shortly before midnight, Libby was listening to Chopin in the living room. The sheer size of the room, its parquet floor, the gauche flock wallpaper, had all been factors attracting them to the maisonette when she was pregnant with Sam. At the same time, they knew it was a stretch financially.
Norman came in. “He’s only a fucking BBC editor. Radio drama, but still.”
“Evan Millhauser. Who else?”
Evan was an actor when she’d known him. That was the problem of working in a box office, she’d only met actors. He was moving into directing – “Off-West End projects” – when they’d broken up.
“We’re inviting them round,” Norman said. “I’m not missing an opportunity like this.”
“You can’t pester these people, Norman. They don’t like being accosted.”
“I’m not doing either. I haven’t even mentioned that I’m an actor. Although my LinkedIn request is still pending…”
There had been a month when Libby had written to Evan most days. Each letter had included a reason why they should stay together as a couple. The fact that she’d hit it off with his father, for example. She would have continued writing the letters had a friend not mentioned that the courts could view them as harassment. Libby had remained in her job at the provincial theatre for longer than made sense, on the off-chance of bumping into Evan. Then she met Norman and had finally managed to move on.
7. Social arrangement
Norman left a respectable period of time before contacting the Millhausers. Considering she’d been in the business, Libby seemed remarkably ignorant about how everything worked, how it all revolved around contacts. It had crossed his mind that she planned to indulge his whimsical career choice for a finite period before persuading him to do something sensible. This would explain her pushing back whenever a genuine opportunity surfaced.
He was pleased to find that Catherine was perfectly pleasant on the phone. And that she didn’t seem phased by the idea of the families getting together.
8. Top Set
The Millhausers were driving along in traffic.
“I can’t believe we’re being so friendly,” Evan said.
“Look, Sam Howard is top set for everything,” Catherine pointed out.
Evan looked in the mirror at the back seat where Crispin smirked and nodded in confirmation.
“He leant you that Philip Pullman book, didn’t he?” Catherine said.
Crispin nodded again.
Evan picked up speed as he came off a roundabout. “Well, if he can turn Crispin into a reader, he must be Harry bloody Potter.”
The look from the back seat was now one of outrage.
The Millhausers were exactly on time. They followed Serena in single file up the stairs that took them to a stained glass window on the right and a corridor leading to the other rooms. The families did their introductions in the living room.
“How old are you, Serena?” Catherine asked.
“Okay,” Catherine said. “So, Olivia is ten too.”
“I could have told her that, mum,” Olivia said.
“I love these twenties properties.” Catherine was slowly pushing a Bakelite door handle down.
“It’s not a palace, but we call it home,” Norman said. He turned to speak to Evan, but Evan was looking round the room, as if searching for something.
“Oh, yes,” Norman continued. “Apologies that my wife can’t be here. Some crisis came up with a garage full of childhood memorabilia. I can’t claim to understand it.”
Evan had picked up a wedding photograph; the one with Norman leaning at a peculiar angle and Libby, like some superwoman, supporting him while smiling radiantly for the camera.
“What’s your wife’s name?” Evan asked.
“Libby,” Norman said.
Evan nodded, and returned the photograph to the shelf.
A few minutes later an unexpected visitor joined them. Norman had managed, with Serena’s help, to serve everyone drinks, and Crispin had promptly upset his onto the parquet floor. Serena shot off to fetch the mop which lived in a kitchen cupboard. There was a shriek followed by the sound of cascading cleaning equipment.
“Look!” Crispin was pointing at the floor.
Something between a scream and a gasp escaped Catherine’s lips.
The brown mouse had ventured into the lounge and had frozen, fairly centrally, surrounded by the two families, as if it had stepped into a matinee performance in the round. Rising to the occasion, it perched briefly on its hind legs, then poked an exploratory tongue towards Crispin’s lemonade.
“It’s so cute,” Olivia said.
“I wish my eyes were that dark,” Serena added.
The mouse was suddenly encased. Evan, acting swiftly, had trapped it with Crispin’s glass. As he held the glass in place with a finger, the mouse twitched its nose and sniffed the rim in circular motions.
“Evan, what are you doing?” Catherine asked.
“A postcard please, guys,” Evan said
Sam found one sent by the grandparents. Evan slid it under the glass.
“Look, the little fellow’s made it to the top of the Brecon Beacons. Is there a park nearby, Norman?”
They walked in a group, Evan holding the mouse in front of him while Olivia and Serena admired its delicate features. He held his phone in his other hand, scanning messages.
Catherine was telling Norman about her work as a lawyer and her specialisation in International Arbitrations.
“Let’s just say it’s not all about the ownership of marvellous paintings,” she concluded.
“And Evan?” Norman enquired. “He works in radio drama?”
“He does, though he’s become quite removed from the creative side. But he’s very excited because he’s casting a film at the moment.”
Norman couldn’t help but turn to look at Evan, now a little way behind, still scanning his phone.
“Is that for television?”
“Yes, taken from a radio play he directed. He’ll tell you all about it.”
When they reached the park, Evan set the glass and postcard on the ground beneath a tree.
“So long, my friend. Live well, and prosper.” He lifted the glass to allow the mouse to disappear into some flowering shrubs.
The children talked non-stop about the little creature as they walked back from the park, wondering what it would do now that it had its freedom back. They regretted not having taken photos to post online. By the time they walked through the door of the Howard’s maisonette, it was practically time for the Millhausers to leave.
“You must admit,” Evan said to Catherine on the way home, “there’s something unfeasibly shifty about him.”
“I didn’t notice.”
“Sam’s dad?” Crispin piped up from the back of the car.
“He’s got a funny laugh,” Olivia said.
“Yes,” Crispin agreed. “Like a car engine starting on a cold day.”
“That’s good,” Catherine said. “You should write that down. Shouldn’t he, Evan?”
“Don’t say anything to him,” Evan said. “But he’s definitely on the creepy spectrum.”
“He is an actor,” Catherine said.
“I know, he sent me that LinkedIn request. Which I’m studiously ignoring.”
“Well, as you’re having trouble finding a middle aged male who’s very much on the creepy side for your film –” Catherine began.
“Hold on.” Evan swerved to the side of the road and bumped the car to a stop over a grass verge. Leaning to his left, he kissed Catherine in the eye.
“Evan, stop it!”
“You’re a sodding genius, Cat.”
Later, as they lay in bed, Evan told Catherine how he was going to play this. He wasn’t going to offer the part to Norman yet. That would be too risky. He needed to see the family again, they’d have to invite them round for lunch. That way he could take the time to study Norman, see if he was right for the role. It was always best to watch people when they didn’t think they were acting.
“It would help too,” Evan continued, “if you could ask him about his career. Sound him out.”
“Can’t you do that?”
“It will be better coming from you. Less loaded.”
11. No Escape
There could be no escaping the Millhausers a second time for Libby. Soon after Evan and Catherine’s conversation, Catherine sent Norman a text inviting the Howards over to lunch in early May.
“I’m amazed,” Norman said the next day at breakfast. “The only thing Evan showed any interest in was that bloody mouse. And now this.”
“What bloody mouse?” Libby asked.
“The bloody mouse that jumped out of the cleaning cupboard. Did I not mention it?”
Libby got up to put the kettle on again. He certainly hadn’t mentioned it.
“Mr Millhauser trapped it and we took it to the park,” Sam said.
“Mummy, you’re crying,” Serena said.
“You definitely are,” Sam said. “Your shoulders are shaking.”
“Okay, so I’m crying.”
“Why, mum?” Serena asked.
“Because they all now think we live in a poky property that’s crawling with rodents.”
“They liked our place,” Serena said. “She kept going on about period whatsits.”
“And if they hadn’t liked me, they wouldn’t have invited us back,” Norman said.
“I suppose we don’t have to accept the invitation.”
Norman looked at his wife as if she’d finally taken leave of her senses.
12. The semi-colon
Libby was preoccupied by the impending lunch at the Millhausers for the ten days which preceded it. Evan had clearly turned his life into a blazing success story; in a way, she’d always known that he would. Whereas she had a straying husband, two children, and an unglamorous career writing for children’s magazines.
When they pulled up in front of the 1970s house, Norman pointed out the extension above the garage. The driveway sloped steeply downwards, which added to the impression that you were approaching somewhere important. Catherine opened the door and led them through to the living room where Evan was reading and Crispin and Olivia were playing Monopoly.
“You can finish that off later,” Evan said, and Olivia carefully moved everything to a side table.
Norman smiled as if he were about to make a speech. “So, nobody met my wife last time. This is Libby everyone.”
Libby said hello to Catherine, and Catherine kissed Libby on the cheek. Evan came up to Libby and smiled.
“Nice to meet you, Libby.”
“Good to meet you too.”
“This is Evan,” Catherine said.
Libby and Evan shook hands.
“What do you do, Libby?” Evan asked.
“Not acting like your husband?”
“Libby was working in a theatre when I first met her,” Norman said.
“Is that right?” Evan said. “I guess we’re all artists in our own way. Catherine’s a lawyer, but she writes a tonne of poetry.”
“It’s nothing,” Catherine said. “Just for my amusement really.”
“You never send it anywhere, do you, darling?” Evan said.
“No, I don’t want to do that.”
“I often catch her reading it,” Evan said. “Although I’m not allowed to.”
“Why don’t you go to Crispin and Olivia’s rooms while we prepare lunch?” Catherine suggested to the children. They disappeared immediately.
“There’s something very wholesome about writing only for yourself, not in search of affirmations from others,” Norman said. “We could all learn from that.”
“Tell me about your acting work,” Catherine replied.
“The last thing I did was a production of a children’s television programme that no one’s heard of. I played a train driver, which was odd as the original had no such character. I was the link between various parts of the narrative.
“So you were the dramatic equivalent of a semi-colon,” Evan said.
“Better that than a question mark,” Norman laughed.
Catherine asked Norman how he prepared for different roles. But instead of listening and observing Norman as they had planned, Evan asked Libby if she’d like to see their new courtyard. Libby followed him outside.
“I’m so sorry,” Libby said. “I would have warned you…”
“So what do you think?” Evan said. “We’re looking forward to sitting out here when it gets warmer.”
“Evan, did you hear what I just said?”
“No need to apologise, Libby. It’s a thrill.”
“I always cringe when I remember my stalker-like behaviour,” Libby said.
“I still read those letters. Just to imagine how things might have turned out differently.”
Libby felt a prickle of excitement in her neck. “And your father, is he okay?” she asked, as casually as she could.
Evan produced a business card. “We must have lunch. This week if your schedule would allow for it.”
Being freelance, Libby was able to meet Evan the very next day. He picked her up from a tube station in his Mini and they drove to Hampstead where he had an errand to run.
“I obviously didn’t tell Norman that we were meeting. That was the right thing to do, yes?” She felt a need to establish the ground rules, the parameters, from the off.
“I guess,” Evan said. “Is Norman working today?”
“Yes, a small part in a film. Work’s been thin on the ground for him and with us both being freelance… I actually wondered, with your connections –”
Evan was revving his engine at some traffic lights.
“Maybe not,” she continued.
“I might be able to do something about him.”
“What do you mean?”
“Freudian slip. Something for him. Like finding him a part.”
“That would be amazing.”
“I’ll call him later. Providing he keeps those glasses, I may have the very thing.”
As he drove, Evan told Libby about the film. How the writer had drawn inspiration from disconcerting events at her daughter’s school. How the radio play had received useful publicity from its broadcast coinciding with media interest about sexual abuse by teachers. Libby wondered why Evan was going into such detail, as she herself would not be able to tell Norman. In fact, just knowing so much could place her in an awkward position. Maybe that was the point.
“Here we are,” Evan said, parking the car in a tiny street. He opened the door to a house and Libby followed him inside.
“Hello, there,” he called out. “I’ve got the things.”
Evan’s father was sitting at the kitchen table wearing a dressing gown, a shock of white hair curling towards the ceiling like smoke.
“You remember Libby.” Evan was unpacking groceries onto the table.
“Of course, how are you darling?”
“I’m well. It’s lovely to see you.”
She was dismayed by the degrading effects of time since they’d last met. But there was more than that. His expression spoke of confusion.
“How are the children?” the old man asked.
“Crispin and Olivia are great, thanks Dad.”
“How old would they be now?”
“Thirteen and ten. Both doing well at school,” he continued, glancing at Libby. “We must bring them over to see you soon, mustn’t we, Libby?”
Libby found herself nodding stupidly.
Afterwards, Evan took her to a nearby restaurant. It was a particular favourite he said.
“I could see the old man was tickled pink that we’re still together.”
“But we’re not.” She couldn’t quite understand what was going on.
“He doesn’t know any better. We’ve done a good thing, I assure you.”
“I’m not sure I see that.”
“Believe me, we have.”
“What if he mentions seeing me to Catherine?”
“Very likely he will. You were his favourite after all.” He reached out and covered her hand with his. “No one will think twice about it.”
It was the last day of filming. Norman was sitting with some female actors while the crew prepared to shoot the scene where Gerard is confronted by the mother on the sports field.
The actor playing the mother asked Norman whether he’d worked with Evan before. Norman shook his head.
“He’s great,” the woman said. “I don’t feel that I’m ever being given direction. It happens organically.”
“We’re all being tightly controlled,” an actor playing another teacher said. “You can be sure about that. And he has a reputation for getting out his trouser snake with pretty women. Not that you need worry about that, Norman.”
“I’m not so sure,” Norman smiled. “But I love threatening young girls with javelins, so this part has been right up my street.”
“You do it very naturally,” one of the women laughed.
“Apparently these glasses were the clincher. Ever since I bought them, I’ve been landing all sorts of reprobate roles.”
Twice a year, Norman would take Sam and Serena camping. Camping had never been Libby’s thing, so she’d typically use the time to get things straight at home and catch up with friends. On this occasion, she called Evan and told him that she had the weekend free. They met for drinks in a hotel in Russel Square, then saw a film.
“Apparently our sons have been competing for the same girl,” Libby said as they walked away from the cinema.
“I heard,” Evan said. “These love tussles can be managed, with a little skill and diplomacy, don’t you think?”
“By the way, was Norman good in the film?”
“Put it like this, I wouldn’t cast him as Mr Darcy.”
Libby giggled. Evan sat on a bench and Libby sat next to him.
“But he has a natural quality,” Evan said, removing his glasses. He leaned towards her and their lips touched briefly. Libby pulled away.
“Slow down a second, soldier.”
“There’s a hotel I know, not too far from here.”
He moved towards her again and this time they kissed. She looked around them.
“Are you sure that’s wise?” she said.
“I’ve already made a reservation.”
Libby blinked rapidly.
“I can cancel it,” he said. “I haven’t paid anything.”
Libby rose from the bench. “This is a mistake.”
“What do you mean?”
“I feel like you’re controlling people, Evan. The whole time.”
“A little exaggerated, Libby,” he said, laughing.
“You did the same when we were with your father.”
“Did what with my father?”
“You wouldn’t get it. I’m going.”
“Yes, you do that,” he said. “Good idea. So long, my friend. Live well –”
She was already walking away.
“And prosper,” he called towards the retreating figure.
Six weeks later, the school was running an event for prospective pupils. Serena and Olivia were there with their families. Norman turned behind him and tried to catch Evan’s eye in the lobby of the school, as a gaggle of parents queued for refreshments. He wanted to ask about the screening date for The Javelin Man but Evan shook his head before he could speak. As Libby and Norman came away with their drinks, Catherine looked meaningfully at Norman who didn’t appear to notice. Libby smiled at Catherine and Catherine narrowed her eyes. Then Evan glanced at Libby. However, Libby was by now walking away.
“That was fucking awkward,” Norman said to Libby as they sat at the edge of the room with their teas.
Libby nodded. She glanced over to a metal spiral staircase where Crispin and Sam were sharing a packet of crisps and laughing.
“The boys seem to have made up,” she said.
“Didn’t you notice? The Millhausers?” Norman asked.
Libby looked at Serena who was fully occupied with a gaming console. She leaned closer to Norman and told him that something had almost happened between Evan and herself. Norman frowned. It was when they were all seeing each other regularly, Libby explained. He had booked a hotel room and she was tempted, but she had pulled back from the brink. It really didn’t mean anything. She didn’t know what had come over her.
“I always wondered why he suddenly offered me the role of Gerard.”
“No,” Libby said. “He’d had you in mind for that, regardless.”
“So you didn’t persuade him at all?”
“Like I said, Norman, there was no connection. And I’m sorry. But honestly, nothing happened.”
“That’s good,” Norman said. “I’d hate to think he cast me as a sympathy thing.”
“For Christ’s sake, Norman,” Libby muttered.
A series of beeps sounded from Serena’s console.
“It’s getting late,” Norman said. “Perhaps we should be making tracks.”
The Millhausers also left soon afterwards and Evan dropped the others at the house before heading off again into the night. The streets were quiet, people were turning in, hoping for better things the next day. Tomorrow he would tell his work colleagues about Catherine and himself separating. At the very least the HR department needed to know. Then there was the prospect of explaining the situation to family members. Not to mention his friends. He thought about Norman calling Catherine from a campsite to voice his concerns that their spouses might be having an affair. It must have been the night he’d met Libby at the hotel. In fact, Evan calculated, the conversation would pretty much have coincided with Libby storming off as they sat on the bench. What a dismal scene he’d returned to that night at home. Never before had he felt as if he were being cross-examined by Catherine. One admission quickly followed another.
Evan parked the car. The irony did not escape him that Norman, this weird man to whom he’d handed a huge career break, had been responsible for the collapse of his marriage.
He walked up the path to his temporary lodgings. The door opened and there was Mrs Browning.
“Ah, Mr Millhauser! Didn’t tonight turn out lovely? I told you it would.”
Evan looked at her, standing on the threshold, a tea towel resting on her arm. He imagined that she was auditioning for the part of ‘Lady running a Bed and Breakfast’. And he had to admit, she was pretty damn authentic.
James’ stories have been published widely in the UK, including in Ambit,
Spread the Word, Storgy, Cabinet of Heed, Cafe Aphra, and the New York
horror magazine, Coffin Bell. His fourth story for Ambit will be published
in July 2021.
He also writes scripts for the theatre and his most recent play, *Empty in
Angel*, a one-woman play about the gig economy, was a finalist in two
categories in the 2020 Standing Ovation awards. The play will be appearing
at different venues when theatres reopen.
You can read more about James on his website http://woolf.biz
You can read James’ previously published STORGY story below:
You can discover more of James’ previous publications below:
David and Bella, a short story about a sexual encounter that goes badly wrong will appear in Ambit in July 2021.
Mackenzie’s Leap was published in the American journal of dark literature Coffin Bell in January 2021. Read the story here.
A Tale of Twelve Speeches, a story told through audition speeches for actors, was published in the anthology You Are Not Alone in June 2020 by Storgy. The book can be ordered here.
Contaminated, a short story that begins with a man buying the T-Shirt pictured above was published in June 2020 by Storgy. Read the story here.
This Morning Paul McVeigh Liked Two Of My Tweets, a story about Paul McVeigh liking two of a writer’s Tweets, was published by Riggwelter in August 2018. Read the story here.
ARMAGEDDON – A Game of Daring and Duplicity, a story in an usual format was published by Riggwelter in June 2019. Read the story here.
Her Other Passion, a love story featuring an electroinic device, was published by Cabinet of Heed in May 2019. Read the story here.
The Crossroads at Jijiga, a life-changing day in Ethiopia, published by Village Square Journal in April. Read the story here.
One Slightly Crazy Night on East 52nd Street, James’ story based on a real incident involving John Lennon, was published by Ambit in July. Read the story here.
Mr and Mrs Clark and Blanche. Academic Derek Tibble’s article about the famous Hockney painting, was published by Ambit in January 2017. But how accurate was his article? Read the story here.
Good Morning, Azar. Told through the notes left by a barrister to his cleaner and her responses, this was published Ambit in July 2017. Read the story here.
A Suitable Candidate, this flash fiction was published by Cafe Aphra in April 2017. Read the story here.
Waiting to Meet Dylan Thomas, this flash fiction was published Cafe Aphra in July 2016. Read the story here.
R V Sieger – additional documents disclosed by the Crown Prosecution Service. James highly commended London Short Story prize entry is structured as a bundle of court documents. It was published by Spread the Word in the anothology Upshots and Other Stories in May 2016. Read the story here.
The Wondwossi Hotel Bar came second in the Greenacres short story competition and is published here.
Feature image by JeanBorges from Pixabay
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