Stories in Sandstone

10 June 13 words: Kirsty Fox
"Doug paused to roll another cigarette and idly watched the ASBOs dancing."
Stories in sandstone cover
A Visit from the ASBOs, Glen King
Doug paused to roll another cigarette and idly watched the ASBOs dancing. Their movements were languid, graceful and mysterious. They weren’t dancing to Steppenwolf or any of the other biker anthems which Doug played, and they weren’t skanking to his reggae or po-going to old punk rock. They circled and gently touched each other in unfathomable and possibly intimate ways. Who knew where their genitals were or even if they had separate genders? Occasionally they would embrace; two, three or more of them at a time, and strange protuberances would enter equally weird orifices. This could be an orgy or a high-powered conversation. Doug certainly couldn’t tell.
 
The Rock, Penelope Burns
I don’t mind it too much, reminds me of my younger days. Met Eddie there when I was fifteen and he was seventeen. He was standing by the hot roast chestnut stall, looked so handsome in his grey linen suit. Well, I thought he did anyway. It was crumpled, slightly too short and his socks didn’t go with it, but I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He later told me it used to be his oldest brothers Sunday suit and since he was the youngest of four boys the suit had had a bit of wear through the years. 
 
What Did I Tell You?, Kate Davies
Carry picked up the paper and studied it hard, the way she used to study a difficult sum at school. Eventually she put the paper down. 
“Well I hate to say it,” she said with a look which told me that actually she would love to say it, but I wasn't going to give her the satisfaction. 
“Oh, let me guess,” I said. I was going to enjoy this too. “I have always been too good for him?” 
“Precisely!”
I had taken the words out of her mouth and in some small way it gave me hope that I could use Simon’s prank to my own advantage; and take him down a peg or two!
 
A Perfect Abyss, Kirsty Fox
I carried on down the hill onto the Forest Rec, expectation weighed heav’ly on my shoulders and threadbare jacket. It was cold and the wind grazed the bony shamble of the man I was to become. It was Goose Fair week. It should’ve been loud and raucous. I should’ve already been belted with distorted laffter, tinny pop music and the creak of old rides, the smell of fried onions, candyfloss, and the sight of exhausted parents draggin their lieblings by the hand. Kids who were horribly hyped on sugar and tantrums - still whingin that Daddy didn’t win them giant Tigger. My eyes should’ve bin awakened by the spinnin tops of coloured light by now...
 
After the Storm, Luíseadh Morgenstern
I walk on past the shattered shop fronts. I find the sight of the mannequins in their ruined finery poignantly sad. This place is full of contrasts. The clock tower, where the crows have made their home, was a thing of beauty once. Tall and elegant, I imagine it once rose up above the streets, dominating the skyline. However, behind it is a concrete and glass monstrosity that I am reliably informed was once a whole block of separate human dwellings. Why, I wonder, when humans were clearly capable of building structures of grace and splendour, would they then choose to live in ugly concrete boxes? Then I think of home, and of how the war made us sacrifice beauty for functionality and realise we are not so different after all.
 
Unaccustomed Coldness David R Thompson
Nottingham railway station was clothed in rain and darkness, almost in black and white as the dank air seemed to bleed the light of its colour. Presently, the scene was disrupted by the last train from London St Pancras, which slowed as it approached its final stop, and eventually came to a halt. Late night travellers began to pour from the train, milling around like a sudden congregation of ants around an intruding caterpillar. The man in the shadows watched the faces as they disembarked. A smile crept across his face and he pocketed his smart phone.
 

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