Friday, 24 June 2016

Brexit - The Chiller

The votes were counted. The forces of ‘slam the door – we’re full!’ had won. The man with the pint rejoiced, ‘Call it Independence Day!’ he said. Wait, wasn’t that a disaster movie? The blond one from Eton was said to speak for the people, and asked to lead. The Tories, the Labour Party, the country, the Union, all bitterly divided; the calls for cooperation shouted down. What now for the desperate people, fleeing terror? What now for the world? The nylon-haired one, who shouts from the hip, leader of the most powerful nation? If only it were a horror story.

Saturday, 11 June 2016


Courtesy of

This chiller is inspired by my time as a gweilo (a foreigner, sometimes translated as foreign devil or ghost person) in Hong Kong.

The flat was cheap, since no Chinese person would go near an old mortuary. ‘Do come round!’ I teased my colleagues. The day I moved in, I went out in Wan Chai: Joe Bananas, then a club. I crashed out around two, hot but happy.

I woke up cold. The bed was marble-hard against my back and my sheet, for some reason, was over my face. I went to pull it off, but I couldn’t move.

And then the sheet was whipped away. Above me was a Chinese man in a surgical mask. In his hand was a cutting tool.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Mother of the Beast

Courtesy of Getty Images
Crowds shriek and howl at his prison van and at me – the Beast’s mother. How much did she know? the tabloids demand. Did she make allowances, turn a blind eye? Photos show him at five, cute and smiling. When did it begin? they ask. As if he emerged from me a writhing larva of what he would become, then burst from his maggot self transformed, hardened – a monster. As if I didn’t give birth so much as he shucked me off like an old skin and slithered away. But I remember, after the agony, his downy head, his tiny hands.