My short story 'Street Talk' has now been published as an electronic download by American e-publisher 'Untreed Reads'. Follow this link to download it for $0.99 (or equivalent). You will also find the link on the 'Links' page of this website.
This short story was the First Prize Winner in the National Association of Writers’ Groups (NAWG) annual Short Story Competition. It was previously published in the 2003 winners’ anthology Smooth Pebbles, Pretty Shells
Wide-awake now, I glanced at my bedside clock. Midnight. What the blazes was going on down there on the street? They were still at it, the two male voices that had smashed through my dreams.
“Out! And don’t come back.”
“But Dad, please…”
“Dad? I haven’t got a son. Not anymore.”
“Don’t you drag her into it. She doesn’t want you here either. Just clear off.”
I couldn’t help myself. Grabbing a jacket, I opened the balcony door and stepped out, feigning annoyance. How the hell’s anyone supposed to sleep?
I stared at the street below, my eyes gradually getting used to the gloom. A solitary sodium light outside the Salvation Army office opposite our flat projected an orange glow, softened by a wintry haze hovering over the pavement. Slumped against the wall was a young man, his hands covering his eyes, a scruffy mongrel at his side. Something about him—the slouch of his shoulders perhaps, or his voice, chewed at the edges of my hard-won comfort.
Belinda called from the bedroom. “What’s up?”
“Some guys having a bit of a barney.”
“Come to bed. Nothing we can do.”
As always I surrendered, soon snuggling up to the warmth of Belinda’s soft, scented flesh. My eyes began to close.
“Still here? Told you to beat it. And take that stinking animal with you.”
Sobs echoed through the darkness. “Can’t just chuck us out. Nowhere to go.”
“Think I care? Don’t give a damn.”
I switched on the bedside light and nudged Belinda. “They’re at it again. Listen.”
“Sleep, Ed. Not your concern.”
- Published by: Untreed Reads
PS If you like this story - or any of my other published work, please do give it a review. Untreed Reads ask for reviews on their site. For my novels Amazon reviews are particularly welcome. Thanks.