Some short fiction for you
My ophthalmologist is worried. So is the lass at Spectaculars, and one of the lads on my darts team. And the DVLA. Or they would be, if I told them.
I’m not going to. I can’t do my job if I can’t drive, and anyway, it’s only a learner’s permit. They don’t need to know, do they? They’re already uptight about the pills – the ones that make me drowsy. The ones I stopped taking, three months’ ago.
I didn’t go into details at Spectaculars. In fact, given the dodgy pair of specs they sold me last time – the ones that fell off my face whilst I was walking across the North Bridge, to a darts match at the Three Horse Shoes – I wasn’t going to say anything at all.
But there’s this lass who works there. Emily, she’s called. She’s been working there since before I bought those dodgy specs, and I’ve been finding reasons to pop in, and talk to her, ever since.
I’m working up to asking her out. Well, I was, up to when I started seeing the shadows.
They’re not actually that creepy, you know. Simon on my darts team – he, and the ophthalmologist, are the only ones I told – that was the first thing he asked.
You ever seen them in the library? Simon asked. Simon is a big Doctor Who fan, and is totally obsessed with River Song, and the actress who plays her.
I’m not a big Doctor Who fan, but I do like to read, as does Simon. The rest of the team are great darts players, but I’ve never seen them reading anything more complicated than page 3 of the Sun.
The shadows aren’t creepy, I told Si.
I didn’t tell Si that they’re unnerving. Simon’s a great one for semantics, so he would have picked me up on that: the difference between “creepy,” and “unnerving”.
To me, “creepy” means disgusting, or disturbing: like a dream about UKIP, or an unexpected brown envelope on your mat, or a neighbour who always plays the same Rammstein song, at the same time – say, 3 am – every single night. Or day, as Simon – ever the pedant – would say.
I’m going to stop, now. Because those shadows, in the corners of my eyes? They’re getting closer. Closer than they’ve ever been before. And, this time, they’ve brought their mates. And their cousins. And their mothers-in-law.
If you enjoyed this story, please buy an e-book of “Koi Carpe Diem: Five Tales of Paws, Claws, and Mystery”, featuring Inspector Thwaite and Sgt. Jake, or contact me for a signed paperback, featuring artwork by Tom Brown. For more on Jake and Thwaite’s adventures in Ohio, click here.
The sequel collection, “A Yorkshireman in Ohio”, is out soon, initially in an e-book, then in print, as well.