It is 1962. 

In Vietnam the US Air Force spray South Vietnamese forests with Agent Orange. 

Margaret, aged ninety-two, is dressed all in black. Her widow’s weeds are not of the regal flouncy variety once favoured by Victoria and her progeny but the simple black of a working-class Welsh woman and therefore almost identical with her counterparts right across the mainland of Europe.

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Problems with this weeks post.

You may have noticed this weeks story was first published incorrectly and without a link to the content earlier in the week. My web editor has no understanding as to why.

This weeks story, Cowboys, published this morning – as it was set up to do – but for some reason the system has not sent out a message notifying my followers – again, we don’t know why.

Hopefully this was a rogue event and future posts will go out as they should.

You can connect to, and read this weeks story, from the link shown below.


Sorry for the confusion.




John and Rob are eleven and have been saving their pocket money for months. They want to buy two six-guns from the toyshop next to the bus stop they pass each day on the number 46 to school. 

On Saturday the bus has hardly stopped when they jump off. They are anxious. Will the two silver six-guns still be in the window?

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Evan sits in his armchair beside the coal fire holding a copy of the South Wales Echo in front of him; the newspaper is upside down. 

His two teenage nephews, Mick and Ken, stand in the doorway whispering.
He’s not reading, Mick says.
Nobody reads upside down, Ken answers.
He’s always hiding from us.

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Billy Spider

Billy Spider is admitted, via A&E at Guy’s Hospital, London, to a vacant bed in a mixed surgical ward. He’s been in a fight. He refuses to sleep in the bed he’s offered; he’s a regular at Guy’s, has a temper and is thus allowed to sleep under his bed in a blanket. He’s eighty years old and can’t remember where he was born; he only knows his date of birth, 1896, because it’s tattooed on his penis. His body is entirely covered in tattoos; his head is decorated with a tattoo of a huge spider.

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Mary has spent the last thirty years in Hull perfecting the art of invisibility. Though seldom seen or noticed, she’s fastidious about her appearance; always clean and smartly dressed, confounding stereotypes. During the day, she hides in whichever condemned property she uses as her temporary home. In the early hours of each morning, she forages for food. 

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The Leader

It’s early morning. Alexander wakes bleary-eyed. 

At the end of his bed, a short square man wearing riding boots dances on tiptoes. He’s dressed in a French eighteenth century military uniform; his right hand is tucked into his jacket. 

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Tam Daiche is twenty-two and, miraculously at his age, in his first job as a tutor in the School of Art. Despite being excited by recent events in Paris in 1968, Tam is politically naïve and ignorant about local politics in the city.

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Shooting Rats

Fotheringale Hall, the ancient pile of the Rogerson-Stukeleys, is falling into ruin. It has one occupant, Reginald, aka Reggie, Rogerson-Stukeleys, the scion of a once rich and famous family. Reggie is lazy and filled with an inherited sense of entitlement. 

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