In 1956, a solid decade into the Cold War, and 45 long years since Hiram Bingham first emerged from the jungle to gaze at Machu Picchu, two oceanographers working off the coast of Mexico discovered the lost city of Atlantis. It was not where anyone expected it to be, obviously, but then again, lost thingsContinue reading “Atlantis”


The web was tiny and delicately made, so small and thin she almost missed it. The finest of silver ropes stretched across a space the size of her thumbnail, modestly hung with three or four more. Poverty, or minimalism? It had caught a single elderflower, blown in on the spring breeze. The spider must beContinue reading “Web”

Picture perfect

When Lauren met David, his photo had, unbeknownst to her, been in her parents’ house for about 20 years.  As a child, she had accepted without question that there was a photo of a strange family on their mantlepiece. It embarrassed her greatly in her teenage years until she learned to tell the story inContinue reading “Picture perfect”


Alan was a tabby of modest looks. His fur was well groomed and he smelled of dusty soil and warm rocks. Did he dream of the desert? Perhaps. He could not abide the cold. He was a pest for food and a lover of company, never happier than when draped over a human. Most ofContinue reading “Alan”


We came to a broad track, wide and verdant in the green light of the shifting leaves overhead. Two chalky white lines had been worn into the grass, one on either side, and at the edges were white daisies and young elderflowers and Queen Anne’s Lace. The sweetness of honeysuckle covered the rude scent ofContinue reading “Journey”


The door locked behind her with a heavy thud and the scrape of metal on metal as the bolt slid home. Behind her, the laughter of the guards. In front of her, a room full of straw. The late afternoon light beamed honey through high barred windows, illuminating the stacks so that the straw glowedContinue reading “Straw”


She was the queen of snark and her tongue was as sharp as obsidian. When she cut you with her words, no matter that your self-esteem was sliced and garnished and arranged like so much sashimi on a plate, she nevertheless left no scar, just a sense of awe, and sometimes, an admiring snort ofContinue reading “Sharp”

The Traveller

His horse was skittish, pricking its ears back, glancing around, and dancing sideways at the sight of a branch on the path. ‘Steady on, fellow, steady on Jack’, he murmured soothingly. ‘Nearly home’ They were not nearly home. They were miles away, and at this rate, would still be riding in the dark. Louisa wouldContinue reading “The Traveller”


Sam hated the new baby. Truth was, Sam hated everyone these days. Since Dad had left and Mum had married The Loser and Sam had changed schools and Em had stopped speaking to him, nothing was good anymore. He slouched around mostly trying to avoid people. It worked OK at school, where he sat inContinue reading “Baby”


I woke up slowly, lying quiet for a while before opening my eyes. I tended towards homesickness in the mornings. It was the combination of the ozone smell and the rushing of wind in the leaves that made me imagine I was back there, near the sea. On bad days I would keep my eyesContinue reading “Tale”


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