At the point when they’re about to sign, I’m always gripped by the strangest feeling. It’s a rush, I suppose. A chemical release; the flood of endorphins. There are moments when we are all teased by that quintessentially human impulse of self-destruction: the irresistible urge to do something detrimental, simply to see what will happen.
From advert to interview the time had finally arrived. First day nerves fizzed through her. She rang the bell, straightened her skirt and checked her phone one last time. Mrs Basak welcomed Eva in, told her to wipe her shoes and hang her coat up next to the grandfather clock. ‘The bedrooms are mostly guest
We fought our way through the crowds in the heat. In the hazy yellow-brown streets around the famous museum, guys sold Cokes from trunks full of ice, but you had to wait so long under the leering, spiteful sun, feeling the push and pull of sweaty bodies on all sides, that a Coke seemed a
Buddhism has a curious hold over me. I go through a trunkful of Buddhist books every year. I think I’d be a better person if I could put a few of their beliefs into practice. But then I fetch up against some strange epigram that sends me right back to the sense, the safety, of
She’s dying. She’s dying and I’m thinking: What if I don’t cry? “…wonderful thing about orchids is the variety of species, about twenty-eight-thousand. I bought Gareth a Lady Slipper Orchid and he simply adores it…” My eyes roll so far back they do a full rotation; a morbid one armed bandit where the Reaper always
Capturing Op Toral 1649L How far did we travel, Stevens? My guess it was fifteen, twenty minutes. Eighteen, twenty K, something like that. Recognise anything? Nothing, stinking fuckin’ rag wrapped round my eyes. I was out for a bit, pressed down on the back seat. Couldn’t suss anything out. South, I think. I counted five
The blubber-oil lamp flickers against a wall of ice and snow. Illuminated figures loom large like shadow puppets; huge and misshapen. Their dance, dark and muted, whispering from the shadowlands. It reeks like the campfires of my youth, but here the smoke is heavily infused with brine and grease. They begin quietly and without fanfare.
It isn’t blind adrenaline or fury that drives her but a kind of flat blackness, a steady humming like the engine, somewhere deep in the gut. Nelly gurgles in the baby seat behind her and when she looks at her in the rear-view mirror she catches her own eye, black and swollen. The last time,
The best thing about dementia is that you can really wind people up. Take the old woman I sit next to at breakfast. I’ve asked her seven times this morning what we’re having and had seven different responses – a personal record. Yesterday I only got her up to five, but I think she’s on to
The ritual would always begin at 5pm and take exactly five minutes. Molly would signal to her co-workers that she was getting ready to leave by sighing loudly and saying, ‘Right.’ She’d take her mug to the kitchen, wash and dry it, before returning it to its space next to the metal pen pot on