Karaoke Night at the El Corazon Disco Lounge
For ten years, Karaoke Night at the El Corazon Disco Lounge had been Veronica’s special time with Joe. He came along for moral support, sitting in the front row, sipping Jack Daniels, beaming up at her, nodding his head to the music, snapping his fingers like he was in a jazz café instead of a square cinderblock honky tonk that attracted the down-and-out and the dangerous.
What if the dead could apologise for leaving you? "The first thing you have to take in – if you're fairly young, that is – what you have to try to imagine is a world where people never heard anything from anyone among the departed. There was no message, not of any type … So, from a world in which there was no such communication, to one in which sooner or later just about everyone would get word. When the phone calls started it was amazing…"
Twenty-Five Tenpenny Tales
Brindley Hallam Dennis
A collection of twenty five flash fictions. "It frightened him when she walked out alone like that in the early evenings and in the mornings. Sometimes he watched her from the upstairs windows, a flickering upright between the hedgerow trees beyond fields. She ranged a little further every time, in widening circuits of the empty space between them. Sometimes he tried to follow her, though not to catch her up, and by the time he’d put his coat on and the heavy shoes – the fields and tracks were often wet and muddy after rain – she was too far ahead for him even to be sure that he was following; not merely walking in his own unravelling circles. Sometimes, when walking out like that he knew that she was one side or another of him, perhaps ahead, and felt they were like planets in their orbits, or rather comets. Their orbits were not perfect circles around the house, but stretched, elongated ellipses. Sometimes when he walked, searching for glimpses of her through the trees along the rides and lanes, he would glance back towards the house and see it setting like a sun, glinting in the early morning light or lit with yellow panes at evening in its deep cut windows..."
Brindley Hallam Dennis
On the road, escaping from a confrontation a young man unexpectedly returns home, but when his friend retells the story, does he get it right? "Billy and Geoff had gone down to London, with a few of the others. They were staying over in somebody’s house, so they were on their best behaviour. But the folk they were staying with turned out to be OK. Because no-one had eaten yet they all went down the local pub, which served chicken in a basket which was all the rage in those days. Now, Billy was having difficulties with his woman at that time, and Geoff was fooling around with anyone, on account of having comprehensively fallen out with his own woman a few weeks before. So, what with the drinks, they were getting on each other’s tits. Then Geoff started giving Billy hard beans about the way he was treating Sam – that was Billy’s woman – and saying that if he wasn’t careful somebody else would do the Doctor John on her, somebody else will, you know? So Billy told him he could effing well have her, and he took himself off into the night..."