Archive for the Fictions Category

List #1

Posted in Fictions on August 12, 2009 by Tom Fletcher

Burma Shave is a fictional town invented by Tom Waits, named after a brand of shaving foam that he remembers being advertised on billboards in his youth, in the 1950s. Tom Waits is a genius, no matter how many people think so. I will judge you purely on what you wear. A low growl emanates from from your sound system despite it being turned off. It is the voice of a man. A wedding ring swept away by a wave. The sky turning to mud. A red-haired girl in the river. ‘ATUN’, ‘TIRRO’ AND ‘CASAS’ were words written on a Post-It note I found stuck to a cash machine. A pendant made of some bright metal. A role-playing game set in a 1960s vision of the future. It is unreasonable to expect anybody to be really, truly good. A tramp in a leather jacket points at the yellow cross hung around his neck. His mumbling grows louder as the sun goes down. The night sky is hot and wet. You can hear everything from your bedroom. You caught a seagull with your bare hands when you were thirteen. You twisted its head off and drank it dry. Everybody has at least one fundamental, life-destroying weakness. She wore a white bikini. The river was cold that day. The sun was bright. It hit you like a tin bucket.


Non-Sequential Sci-Fi Trilogy

Posted in Fictions on May 7, 2009 by Tom Fletcher


I am alone beneath the hostile city lights. They are electric and they bore through me like a million drills. They are the fingers of machines and I am subject to their probing. I am alone at the base of all of these towers. I am alone.



Everything is made of huge machines that are made of tiny living things that get born and die but never leave. The fat of their money becomes oil and grease and their prosthetic parts and electronic implants are removed so that they can be used again.



Huge fires swept in from the west, and as our cities burned we escaped through thick wires like bloody cords, and we found ourselves trapped behind screens.


Posted in Fictions on April 23, 2009 by Tom Fletcher

I click on an interesting-looking link on a medical page about people who think they are animals – people with what they call zoanthropy – and find stories about people clawing at the earth, howling, scampering down the streets at night, being unable to speak. People who start acting like animals after sex, barking and growling and biting and apparently unable to walk upright. People having to go to hospital in this condition, staying like this for months, and then coming back to themselves, unable to remember it.

The Broken Nose

Posted in Fictions on April 1, 2009 by Tom Fletcher

I should have gone to London today. But didn’t. I wish I had. Here is an old poem, a few years old now, which is very tenuously connected to today’s events:


The Broken Nose

The river burst its banks today,

And I remembered

That time I hit you

(by mistake)

And broke your nose.


You bled for days.

The blood ran,


Stained, that time it rained

It rained for days.

I stayed at yours:

Slept on the floor,

Blocked the gap

Under the door.

We tried our best,

But still you bled.

Your mouth,

Your hands,

Your T-shirt – red.


We tried to get to hospital,

But all of the roads were flooded.

And I remember thinking

(as the car began to float away)

That we’re lucky

That you’ve







She Was That Girl.

Posted in Fictions on March 23, 2009 by Tom Fletcher

The one you really loved. The one you meant to propose to but it was so obvious you were going to get married that you never got round to it. And then it happened. Whatever happens to people happened to you. Something to do with growing older. You woke up one morning and felt very tired. You felt the same the next day. It dawned on you, slowly, that you would feel this way for the rest of your life. You looked different in the mirror; your eyes looked like those of somebody you cross paths with in town. Let’s be honest. Miserable eyes. Somebody at work laughed and said ‘If you’re not a communist when you’re twenty then  you’ve got no heart but if you’re not a capitalist when you’re forty you’ve got no brain.’ When you really thought about it you didn’t know what love was. You went out drinking with some friends and saw a girl at the bar. She looked like your girlfriend used to look. You felt something. A dry grain of rice fell down inside you. Maybe that was love. You didn’t know. You just couldn’t get a handle on it. Maybe the reason that love was so hard to define was that it was so very small. Maybe it was barely anything. Barely there. Maybe, being so close to nothing, love could actually be an easy thing to feel. Maybe it would be easy enought to love everybody. All of the time. If you could only work out how. You went home again. Your girlfriend was already asleep. It was Friday. You didn’t have to get up for work in the morning. You went to the bathroom. You went into the kitchen. You could have stayed up all night if you wanted to.


Posted in Fictions on March 13, 2009 by Tom Fletcher

Something silver is moving quickly backwards through the dark. It is like a train but there are no tracks for it and there is no earth for any tracks. It is like a bullet except it is bigger than worlds and it is liquid. It is like a train, then, and like a bullet also, but different to both.

I want this silver thing to help me remember everything. Whether I knew it in the first place or not. I want the whole of space tattooed on my arms and back.


Posted in Fictions on March 11, 2009 by Tom Fletcher

I am nervously waiting for something massive to happen. Something terrifying. I am waiting for a phone call. A text. An e-mail. I am waiting for somebody to tell me exactly what they think about what I’ve done. I was nervous at first but now I just ache. All I can think about is the impending judgement. Everything else is fading to grey. Nothing else matters. Everything else is easy. All I can think about doing is checking my e-mails. So I check my e-mails. I think about David Shrigley’s little cartoon in which a weird man sits at his computer and the screen says YOU HAVE NO FUCKING EMAILS.

I have no fucking e-mails.

I look at my mobile blankly. It is not doing anything. I refresh the computer screen.

I have no fucking e-mails.

I send an e-mail to myself that says ‘youhavenofuckingemails’.


Ihavenofuckingemails. I have no fucking emails. Ihavenofuckingemails. Ihavenofuckingemails. Ihavenofuckingemails. Please. I have no emails. I am still waiting. I am still aching. My head and mind have turned grey. There is something massive approaching. Something huge and life-changing. Something terrifying. It is a Godly hammer. It is a judgement. It is entirely of my own making. It is only happening because of me. It is going to fall on me via technology and I don’t. Know. When.

I still have no fucking emails. Please.

Email me.