The Skipper

IT WAS still there then. My cardboard mattress topped with musty carpet still intact, thank God nobody else had found my refuge. The corporate umbrella, concealed by thick bushes and at full mast to shield me from the elements, hadn’t moved since this morning. Under it, still rolled up, was my four-season sleeping bag. TheContinue reading “The Skipper”

Devil’s Pawn

ACT I A TEENAGE boy wakes from a deep sleep surrounded by a beautiful vista, a field of blue and red poppies in a sea of green. The sky is exquisite sapphire. An airship in the shape of a pointing hand flies overhead, emblazoned with red block letters that he cannot read. A road appearsContinue reading “Devil’s Pawn”

A Prayer for the Young

I DREAM of a world where material wealth and power do not rest in the hands of the few, where people are judged not by how much beauty or wealth they have but by their ability to enhance the lives of those around them through their deeds. I dream of a world where the accumulationContinue reading “A Prayer for the Young”

The Reference

A MAN applied for a job that required three telephone references. Being self-employed, identifying suitable up-to-date referees who were available for comment was not always a straightforward matter, so he asked his live-in girlfriend and former business partner Erica if she could do the honours. To this she agreed. Three days later, Erica’s mobile phoneContinue reading “The Reference”

High Altar

A LONG long time ago in a far off town, some friends and I were invited to a swanky party at an abandoned Victorian monastery that had been converted into a corporate events venue. Rumour had it that back in the day the monks used to run their own moonshine. II ON FINDING ourselves aContinue reading “High Altar”

North and South

A MAN applied for the post of geography teacher at a school in Northampton and was invited for an interview. When he didn’t show, the headmaster phoned him on his mobile half an hour later to find out what had become of him. “Oh,” the man said, “I’m a bit lost. I can’t find you.”Continue reading “North and South”

Moby

MANY full moons ago I flew to Duluth, Minnesota, via Chicago on a business trip. A few minutes into the return ascent out of Duluth, I looked out the window. Even in the blinding sunlight, I could make out the shape of a very large white underwater creature feeding by the side of a small lake. At firstContinue reading “Moby”

Dear Dynamo

THE other day I had a lunch date in Edinburgh with an old friend who I had just reconnected with after many years. The first thing I saw when I got off the bus near the top of Leith Walk was a massive German Shepherd with the shaggiest coat I had ever seen. Wow, it’s a bear! WithContinue reading “Dear Dynamo”