A Pair of Shorts #5

(Seventeen pence for) A fresh soul
By: James

“I don’t understand… I mean, look at it. Just look at the bloody thing! I don’t know how I’m expected to work like this, not under these conditions! What am I, fucking Helmut Newton?! No. No, I’m not, I’m… you know bloody well who I am, and I expect better support. Now you, you pull yourself together and next time dickhead, find me a better specimen!” I’m angry as hell, seething even, and Harper’s the only one around, so he’s copping for it. I’m in a foul mood and struggling to cope. I’m not sure what’s happening, but I’ve not been myself recently.

“I’ve not been myself recently… not been…very well,” I sip my caramel macchiato. It soothes.

“S’alright, I know you’re under a lot of pressure,” he says, adjusting his Santa hat.

I put the camera down. Calming myself, I rub the sleep from my eyes.

“Just put her on the sixty-two, should be here in a bit. Mick usually turns a blind eye to our capers.”

Harper sniggers to himself, the seedy bastard. He drags our subject into the bathroom.

“Fifteen minutes!” I shout. That should be ample time.

“I’ll only need five!” he retorts. I hate him, but he’s the best in his field. I’ll cope. I pick up my paper to check the share prices. Not bad. Up again. Not much, but it helps.

Harper’s yelps of delight resonate. I don’t want to know.

I want to die. A part of me does.


Yobo-Gouda, the gobshite monk
By: Lydia Crow

Slipping through the slimy dark, oppressive and sickening, he continued up the narrow alley ever flexing the twine held in his twisted hands.  The hood of his cowl, worn and defeated, fell back to reveal his deformed head; a vivacious masterpiece compared to the workings of the fractured brain inside.

His filthy fingernails, still clutching, still twisting, knocked against the crucifix that hung around his neck.  Muttering an incantation (perhaps even a prayer to an incensed God) this Burke, this Hare continued on his misguided path.


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