Tuesday, 25 November 2014


The feeling of absolute confidence didn't falter; not an ounce as I continued to stare Chad in the eyes.

The most important aspect of this look, is that it cannot reveal ferocity. It has to be stern and uncompromising, yet calm and passive. It's a game and you are showing how serious you are, but not revealing your full potential.

You let them know that they are most definitely, indisputably weaker than you are, but you keep them guessing, jumping between the possibility that you will hurt them a little, to the concept that you will bury them where they stand.

Chad was the average challenger. He had assumed from my British accent that I was some kind of ponce. He had relished my fear and confusion about The Institute and taken me for a sap, a coward, a child even. 

He had heard no protest from me and very little retaliation to his snide remarks – this was his 'comprehensive' examination. But this kind of person; they’re the weakest of all. Easily overcome if you can see right through the bravado that they use as shield to conceal their immense insecurity.

Chad continued to try and stare this out. I assumed Eden was enjoying this as she did not interrupt. From the side of my eye, I could see her sipping her drink. But you don’t want to think of that. Not now. Not midway. No distraction. Pure focus.

“Look I was just kidding,” said Chad extending his hand, then moving it to pat my shoulder when I didn’t respond. The pat on the shoulder? A show for Eden to make it seem like he was still in power. Still the man - he wasn’t. He knew it. I knew it. Eden possibly knew it. But this single minute would change the tone for the rest of our journey. And hopefully keep him in his place. 

Friday, 14 November 2014

You Really Don’t Know Who You Are? Do You? – Flash Fiction

“Well. This is nice,” I said as I walked in after them. A lady in a nightie was just disappearing upstairs as we came into the centre of the pub.

“Sort yourselves out!” she said in a distinct London cockney accent. “Good night.”

“Night!” shouted Chad after her.

"Who was-" I began, then stopped myself. I was fed of questions. Especially unanswered ones.

Chad hopped over the bar.

It was a really nice bar – definitely not your standard kind. Again, I was embarrassed to even think that I could not call out the wood that comprised the entire smart alcove, granting the bar its prestigious appearance. I was beginning to wonder where my expertise and knowledge actually lay.

The stools seats were covered with black leather with a back to them, making them extra comfortable as we sat down.

“So,” said Chad clapping his hands together. “What’ll it be?”

Chad was now staring at me with extra wide eyes, still deliberately showing that he was tolerating my presence and would probably spit in my glass if the bar held a backroom. Before I answered, I scanned the wall behind him where the finest of liquors lined a shelf near the ceiling.

I instantly recognised a drink that jogged the memory – I like whisky. It’s good stuff. Sometimes, I would deliberately select the rough stuff, just to get that extra pang.

“Chris, are you remembering something?” said Eden, who was now staring at the side of my face with more interest than she had showed since Chad had arrived on the scene.

“Yeah,” I said. “Yeah I am. Chad, fix me a Johnny Walker Blue label – two cubes of ice.”

“Just call it Blue Label arsehole,” said Chad. “Christ.”

I shook my head and looked back at Eden. She smiled as if she knew this particular beverage preference of mine. As if she were a proud mother watching her son recite the correct lines in his first school play – I definitely didn’t want our relationship to be perceived as such though, but her glowing grin was aligned with that type of emotion.

Chad placed the glass down in front of me without looking in my direction. “And what will lady be having?” he said.

“I’ll have the same,” she said. Chad almost flinched.

“Sure,” he said and I saw him grab two glasses and pour the whisky.

“So Chris,” he said as he returned to us and placed the glasses down. He leaned forward over the bar antagonistically and sipped his drink. “Do you even know how old you are?”

I shook my head. “30's, I think.”

“This guy is useless Eden.”

“Look mate,” I said. “I don’t know why you’re being like this, but leave it out. Seriously. Just leave it out.”

“Or what?” he said and leaned over the bar closer.

I tensed my jaw. I received an overwhelmingly familiar feeling in the stomach. A feeling that screamed 100% confidence as my fists clenched and my body automatically rose from its chair – slow. Slow enough to invoke a fear in Chad that moved in proportion with the speed my body was moving. I was slightly taller as my head came about level with his. But my height wasn’t the source of my power. It was my eyes. Deadly. Fierce. Uncompromising. I stared at Chad - no blinking. Dark pupils that showed nothing but focus and the promise that I-WOULD-WIN. Dead eyes that said I could kill him and not feel an ounce of it.

“So Chad,” I said. “What do you wanna do?”

Thursday, 13 November 2014

It is the green-ey'd monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on – Flash Fiction

Eden climbed in the front and I got in the back of the car.

It was a smooth red convertible – old fashioned was the only word that came to mind. I would like to have thought I could bring a name and date of the vehicle to mind, but my knowledge never stretched to cars. Never had time for it. Nor mechanics – nor anything else in that area.

The driver started the car and while my head was bowed, from the corner of my eye I saw as Eden reached around the man to hug him and kissed him hard on the cheek.

My forehead creased and I flicked my head to look out the window.

“Chris. This is Chad. Chad, Chris.”

“Cool dude,” said the man named Chad with his Australian accent now apparent.

“Nice to meet you,” I mumbled – my British reserve, very apparent.

“Where are we headed Chad?” said Eden.

“Thought we’d hit a bar,” said Chad. “After all, it’s not every day that someone escapes from The Institute.”

“Okay,” Eden said, smiling a provocative grin at Chad, then touching him on the leg.

“For fuck sake,” escaped my lips, but quiet enough so that they didn’t notice.

“So Chris,” said Chad. “What’s your tipple? Isn’t that what you British say?”

“I dunno mate, what’s your tipple?” I said in an exaggerated Aussie accent.

“You’re funny.”

“Clearly not the comic genius you are though.”

Chad shook his head and I could see a smile from the side of his face concealing a tense jaw.

“Alright, calm down boys,” said Eden.

“He’s your friend Eden,” I replied. “I don’t even know what the hell I’m doing here.”

Chad burst out laughing. “You don’t know what you’re doing here? You just escaped from being totally brainwashed you idiot.”

I scrunched my eyes and looked back out the window.

“Why is Chris important anyway?” said Chad, clearly not addressing me.

“He just is,” said Eden. I raised one eyebrow, intrigued to hear further explanation - I didn't get one.

“I think it’s bullshit,” said Chad.

“You think everything’s bullshit,” said Eden.

“Yeah – I’m usually right.” He pulled the car gently up to a typical English country pub. I hadn’t even noticed that we had entered a residential area. The darkness was too thick and the moon wasn’t doing a great job as a guiding light.

“Well, let’s drowned our sorrows, before heading to the airport,” said Chad. I shrugged and followed them both into the pub, that looked like it was shut.

As we approached, the lights surrounding the pub beamed on - almost as if we were expected...