Treehouse By Annabell Bowyer

TreehouseDeep into the Forest, far beyond the reaches of Dust stood a Treehouse; hidden amongst the Oak trees. In the blossoming sunlight it stood watching the world go by, each day as it comes and by night another. It watched the brown pillars towering over the glazed flowers and the iced mountain tops, over the continuing daylight chasing the clouds across the landscape, and over the animals growing and changing into something majestic. The cascading Oaks hid the Treehouse in their shroud of Green, holding onto their dignity as rest of the Forest shied away. They knew more than they were letting on.

The little girl woke from her dreams sharp as the breath on her tongue. Her butterfly eyes opened from the dark, and she stood up and reached for her bow and arrow, walked towards the door, unbolted the latch and looked out onto the Map beneath her feet. She followed the animal footprints in the freshly carved Earth with her eyes and raised her bow to a shadow-cast Rabbit. She took a moment. She knew she had to do this. It would only take a few moments- moments that had already passed. There were never enough moments in the day.

Continue reading

Apollo XI By Julie Hayman

Apollo XIJuly 1969. Everyone’s making rockets. Kev’s made one, Bobby’s made one, Nick Cruikshank has made one. Kev’s is a Fairy Liquid bottle covered with white sticky-back plastic and the words Apollo XI written in permanent marker along the side, like he’s seen Val make on Blue Peter, with wooden forks, the kind you get at the chip shop, glued low-down to make it aerodynamic. Bobby’s is an Airfix kit he bought at the model shop on Fisherton Street, with transfers of the American flag and NASA up near the snout, while Nick Cruikshank’s is a fab one, built with Meccano, complete with a launching gantry on wheels. They’re going to have a competition in the park on Saturday afternoon, to see which one’s best. Kev asks if I’m going to bring a rocket too: I nod and race home.

I’ve already got an empty Cornflakes box, some crow’s feathers from the garden, a square of corrugated cardboard and some cocktail sticks in my bedroom drawer – they might be useful for it. I ask Mum if I can have the washing-up liquid bottle, and she says I can when it’s empty, but it’s still half-full so won’t be ready in time – I’ll have to think of something else for the body of the rocket.

By teatime, I haven’t come up with anything. By bathtime, nothing too.

Continue reading

Exclusive Member Story Men of the World By Nick Black

Men of the WorldI write this by the guttering light of a candle, melted down so far, it’s mostly wick and puddle now.   The darkness around me billows and retreats, billows larger again as a draft creeps in near my feet.

My nib scrapes against this paper, though I can barely read what I am writing.  I ignore the repeated, demented, banging that I cannot tell if outside on the street or within this very house.  I steady my hand so as to spill no more ink, and start at the beginning, with Thurwell bursting into the Club, a train of snow in his wake. Burton and I beckoned him to join us by the hearth, and sent for brandy. Neither of us had seen him since his return to England, and while he answered our many questions, I took the time to examine the changes five years abroad had wrought on the man. Never thickly set, he had dropped a weight of flesh from his bones but was finely dressed, moustache well waxed, beard curling from his thin chin in an upward hook.

“Gentleman,” he said, raising his tumbler in a toast. ‘To old friends.” In the dancing rosy firelight, his face had a positively Moorish aspect so that his eyes and teeth flashed all the whiter by contrast. “And tomorrow, my lambs, you must come to my rooms, for I have brought back mementos that I believe may amuse, things,” he looked around, “not suitable for such public galleries.”

Continue reading

Meeting Fran By Jennifer Thompson

Meeting FranMeeting One

“So we have the veg covered; on to poultry, then there’s just ingredients for desserts and hmm, anything else?”

“Wine, lots of wine.”

Copious amounts of alcohol would be the only way of getting through yet another dinner party with the awful couple from across the road Angela was so bloody obsessed with. She pretended she hadn’t heard my comment, as usual. The joys of Tescos.

“So you still O.K to take the kids out later?” She asked, whilst trying to select the best from a bunch of identical apples.

“Yeah sure, I’m a bit jealous of them actually.” I remarked.

She lifted her head briefly from apple duties to give me a disapproving look.

“Why on earth would you be jealous of a bunch of teenagers thrashing around to rock music and spilling drinks all over one another?”

“Because that sounds incredible.” I replied honestly. God, I couldn’t even remember the last time I was out past midnight. I’m sure I used to have fun. Angela tutted in response,

“Right, these should do fine. Let’s head over to the baking stuff.”

“Sounds absolutely thrilling, darling.”

“You go and get the wine then, make yourself useful.” Angela ordered, in a tone that reminded me of my mother.

“Rightio.”

I trudged over to the vast alcohol isle, passing a group of lads debating whether or not they would get served for their four litre bottle of cider. Those were the days.

So did the Wilson-Jones’ prefer Italian or French red? Who cares, I thought, grabbing a decent looking £5.99 bottle. Suddenly there was a loud clunk from behind me, followed by the unmistakeable sound of glass shattering. I looked around to survey the damage.

Continue reading