CuiousPages - fiction and nonfiction
CuriousPages - fiction and nonfiction
Then I could hear footsteps in an adjoining room and I started following them or trying to. I was passing from room to room, from corridor to corridor and the steps always seemed to be receding from me, as if deliberately shunning me. I turned into a darkened room and it was full of the sound of those steps, echoing. The sound diminished and I noticed a single picture, from which the steps seemed to be emanating. My eyes followed the sound of those steps deep into the picture, which seemed to consist of nothing else other than the sound of those steps always walking away from me. My mind listened to the picture as my helpless eyes stood by. But then I turned to another wall and saw a silent picture. I saw Jonathan’s face looking at me. And there was nothing that either of us could say; all we could both do was stare, helplessly, as we both knew that we should be together but were now parted for life and in another picture, nearby, one which I recognised had been painted by myself over the years since our parting, I saw all my mistakes laid out, the wrong paths I took, and the so obvious things I should have said to avoid this, this silence, the enforced dumbness, and this, his staring face, his heart connecting with mine, from deep inside his body, that knowledge within both of us, that we should be together, if only I had done those obvious things, and not been driven by my own deformed impressions. I saw his face, looking back at me from within that picture and heard those footsteps receding from me.
I turned to another wall and saw a tunnel, its path disappearing into the distance, as though tunnelling deep into a dark hillside, though I knew that it was, in reality, tunnelling deep down into my own heart and I realized, with alarm, that the name of this room was ‘My True Loves’. It contained my most treasured, yet most feared pictures. These were the remnants of the men who had become lodged deep within my own heart. Next to the tunnel, I saw another face, the face of Lee. He was staring up at me as he hung over a cliff’s edge, his fingers desperately gripping the ledge. Our eyes, again, watched each other helplessly, and in my mind another gallery of mistakes played out its images, each of them a lifeline that Lee could have grasped, had I not mistaken it for a rejection and tidied it away into my grave where one day I would join it and lie there alone with those tattered, misunderstood ropes, my only company.
Then the air in there was suffocating; I could not breathe; I had to get out. I fell towards a wall, for I had lost my balance, and I was then in a new room. This one seemed to be outdoors, for I could feel grass beneath my feet and in place of walls, there was an orchard—its trees burdened with tempting fruit, which I dared not pick. I looked closely at the glossy surface of a ruddy apple and noticed the reflection of myself there. I was buying furniture to make a home but I could not decide between this fabric or that. Then an assistant walked passed behind be, angrily tearing to shreds my favourite clothes, saying, “If you can’t decide, you’ll have nothing.”
Peter Softly, the Member of Parliament for Perception, was speeding along Misconception Boulevard, possessed by anger. He swerved onto the driveway of Number 17 and stamped on the brake pedal as if it were the face of the man he met earlier. He swivelled his foot while pressing it down, as if forcing the man’s nose into his face.
Earlier, he was walking to his car when he saw this man standing on the pavement, holding a clipboard. Peter crossed to the other side of the pavement but the man blocked his way and said, “I work for Opinion‑for‑hire Polls. We’re conducting a survey into people’s personality disorders. I wonder if you’d mind answering a few questions?”
Peter shook his head and tried to pass.
The man said, “Can you spare a minute?”
Peter shook his head, looked down to the pavement and tried to pass again.
The man stood in front of him, blocking his way, said, “I’m sure you can spare half a minute—” and watched him accusingly.
Peter stepped across the pavement again, trying to pass, but the man blocked his way, looked at his form and said, “Now. Are you self‑centred?”
Peter looked up and said, “What?”
The man said, “—Uncooperative?”
“What—?”
“Answer the question!”
Peter said nothing, so the man explained, “Do you often refuse to cooperate with perfectly polite people who are just trying to help you?”
Peter shouted, “What is this?”
“Just answer—I’ve got to put something on my form.”
Peter’s face trembled with rage.
The man looked at his form, smirked and said, “—Frequently angry at trivial things?”
“What?”
He ticked a box, looked down his form, nodded and said, “—Incapable of understanding simple questions?”
“What!”
He ticked another box, sighed contentedly and said, “Now. Do any of the above sound like yourself? Most, some,” and the man looked at him and slowly shook his head while saying the next option, “none, or,” and now he vigorously nodded his head, “—all of them?”

Fiction

Stories from a Leaking Mind

Stories from a Leaking Mind
A collection of short stories. Each of the eighteen stories are different in style but all feature a comic, thoughtful and poetic approach to this exploration of the striking inner worlds of these memorable characters. Read more>>

Andrea Segovia Loses Control

Andrea Segovia Loses Control
Short story. Andrea is addicted to correcting other people’s mistakes, and when she moves to London to meet her new boyfriend, she finds that she has plenty of work to do. Read more>>

The Gallery

The Gallery
Short story. A woman stumbles into a gallery and finds pictures of her own life displayed there. Read more>>

The Price to Pay

The Price to Pay
Short story. In a moment of recklessness I begin overspending which soon attracts the attention of a shady character who watches over me. I then discover the shocking price I must pay. Read more>>

Choosing the Right Drinks

Choosing the Right Drinks
Short story. How do we choose to spend our life? And is our chosen path of any value? Joseph is dying and is troubled by the choices he made in life. Clemency, his nurse, has no answers for him but his turmoil causes her to re-evaluate her own life. Read more>>

My Constant Companion

My Constant Companion
Short story. A man is being pursued by his shadow—or so it appears to him. Read more>>

The Wimpering Beach

The Whimpering Beach
Short story. In a tropical paradise, the boundaries are blurred between love and terrorism—but then perhaps those boundaries are blurred everywhere. Read more>>

Irresistible Temptation

Irresistible Temptation
Short story. An old man offers me some simple advice which I ignore and this begins the adventure of my life. Read more>>

A Substitute Passion

A Substitute Passion
Short story. Many Truman is accident prone when wearing stiletto heels. She decides to wear them one more time and finds this unleashes from within her a shocking passion. Read more>>

The Armchair Ballet Dancer

The Armchair Ballet Dancer
Short story. To the outside world, Benjamin Clark seems unusually happy, but this only masks his inner turmoil as he struggles to live with the consequences of a single reckless decision he made at the age of eighteen. Read more>>

Fiction Archive

Fiction Archive
A selection of classic fiction by past authors, including short stories, longer fiction, and poetry. Read more>>

The Tragedy of Perception

The Tragedy of Perception
Full-length novel. In a town called Perception, the citizens are ruled by an extravagant madness. The novel is a comic allegory about communication problems. Read more>>

If only Cats could Speak Japanese

If only Cats could Speak Japanese
Short story. Lorna Glover does not know whether her boyfriend has any feelings for her, so she decides to consult the Emotional Detective Agency to try to solve the riddle. Read more>> 

Craig Stemford's Imprisonment

Craig Stemford's imprisonment
Short story. Craig Stemford’s life seems like a prison sentence. He meets a new girlfriend on the internet, secretly hoping that she might set him free, but instead he only gains a deeper insight into his sentence. Read more>>

Samuel Pam

Samuel Pam’s Salvation
Short story. Samuel’s life is plagued by strangers who whisper to him unwanted messages of a sexual nature. Read more>>

Shorter works

Shorter works
Short pieces of fiction, poems, prose poems, nonsense poems, or other short pieces of writing that don't seem to fit anywhere else. Read more>>

The Beckoning Precipice

The Beckoning Precipice
Short story. A doctor, who is racked by guilt, is contemplating suicide, but are his misdeeds imaginary? Read more>>

Daniel and the Wine Stain

Daniel and the Wine Stain
Short story. In one way or another, we are all disabled. Daniel’s disabilities are not immediately obvious, yet when he is forced to face them, he becomes overwhelmed. Read more>>

The Betrayal of Jack Baynes

The Betrayal of Jack Baynes
Short story. Ray Herring recalls his school days and the betrayal of his best friend, Jack Baynes. Read more>>

Thinking Inside the Box

Thinking ‘Inside the Box’
Short story. A burden is thrust upon me, in the manner of a cryptic message. Read more>>

A Martial Artist Meets his Match

A Martial Artist Meets his Match
Short story. Jack Hutton was a martial arts champion. But nothing in his training had prepared him for his life’s ultimate challenge, which began the day Maryanne moved in with him. Read more>>

Trout with Celery Stuffing

Trout with Celery Stuffing
Short story. I attempt to eat a simple meal in a restaurant but find myself getting deeper and deeper into trouble and unable to negotiate my escape. Read more>>