Brindley Hallam Dennis
A collection of 8 short speculative fictions with a Lake District flavour...
"Despite the distortion of the fish-eye lens, Terrence could see quite clearly who was standing in the corridor. Maurice looked no older than he had all those years before. He hadn’t even put on weight. His hair was still dark and full, and cut in a classic, almost archaic style. He looked like the 1940’s matinee idol he’d always modelled himself on.
Terrence had not lost the plot, he reminded himself, though his hair had thinned, and his figure was wiry rather than slim, worn away rather than honed. Chickens had come to roost, he thought.
Maurice was looking directly at the little lens of the spy glass. Could he see Terrence’s own eye looking back? His hand rose and lost focus, and the doorbell rang softly once again. Terrence closed his eyes briefly before opening the door.
I expected staff.
There is no staff, only me.
Hard times. Hard times. Well, aren’t you going to invite me in? Of course, you are. Maurice stepped past him into the hallway. Terrence glanced both ways down the hall, closed the door and followed Maurice. To the right, he said. Into the lounge. Through a picture window a bare and narrow balcony was not softened by a parched palm tree in a plastic pot, the thin browned leaves of which quivered like dark knives. Beyond them the ruins of Tower Bridge could be seen, emerging from dark waters like a piece of last century art.
Maurice turned from the view and smiled. Terrence passed behind the counter of an open plan kitchen and drew from a cupboard a bottle of real scotch. Not all bad then..."