static culture

Short Stories & Flash Fiction from a London Based Writer/ Film Maker


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Ohaguro

“Well frankly I think this is absurd. I mean I’ve been here like ten times already and there was no problem then, was there? No. exactly. No problem with taking my money that’s for damn sure. So then if you agree with me then why in the hell am I still sat here?”

He speaks and she rubs her eyes gently as if they were at risk of popping.

“Fine, fine well then let’s get this over with, already.”

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The Beldame

Liverpool Street station glowed within the early morning darkness that engulfed the City, providing short lived respite for commuters from rain that fell sluggishly from the sky. A Neon portcullis opening the way to the houses of finance and banking that allowed safe passage from country homesteads to the heart of power. Christian arrived at the station every day as part of his commute, admiring his position within the well-oiled machine of finance. His hair immaculate, suit well pressed and tailor made and underneath it a body ripped and chiseled to perfection. Christian had fought hard to become so successful, harder than most he suspected, and so wanted to make sure that his presence would not go unnoticed. Or worse, noticed for all the wrong reasons. Yet today there was a misstep evident in his outlook, errata in his game plan that sought to hinder his positive aura. As he stepped from the station’s safety into the rain he ruminated on the cause of his anxiety, knowing all too well the root of his worry.

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How to Apply

The escalator was at least two hundred miles high. High enough that it pierced the fluffy white clouds like a needle pricks a balloon. High enough that icicles hung underneath at around sixty thousand feet and hail as big as tumbleweed would drop randomly from the sky onto the pristine metal steps. High enough that despite its firm structure the thing swayed in the turbulent winds of the stratosphere. An effect that had caused Dave to grip the golden handrail until his knuckles where white. He had been travelling now for seven days and did not want any mishaps to occur such as him falling off the side. The thought alone made him shake his head. He had come too far to have to start this journey all over again.
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The Killing Tree

When I close my eyes I see the killing tree.

It rises from the ground the colour of ash; its sap a crimson wash. My eyes are transfixed upon its leafless branches, sharpened to hooks. A dying breeze soothes the hate within its heart momentarily, cooling the flames of hell that dwell within. Yet its malevolence is ever constant; totems of white flesh skewered upon its being. Some lie crumpled and still while others writhe as worms do before being cast into the sea. The pain of this image is profound and it wakes me from my wet slumber on the leafy forest floor. I am close now to finding my prey, having been on foot for three days. My quarry is a murderer, unleashed from the comforts of sanity. A man whose motives are as distant as the stars above me. A man whose friendship I once knew.

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Gast

Jacob dreamed vividly of his childhood. It was of his Grandfather and himself, aged eleven, standing silent by the river Ant; one of the many arteries of Norfolk. He looked up at the chiselled features of his elder, seeing the spectre of a lifetime’s experience in his wrinkled face as he cast a fishing line out into the motionless waters. Weary, jaundiced eyes never switching their focus from the task at hand. Time was an abstract here, waxing and waning at its own leisure with little consequence, yet despite this Jacob felt that he had been with his Grandfather for an hour or more and in that hour no conversation had passed their lips, no ponderings or exchanges, just an occasional abrupt instruction here and there. Blunt teaching that had led him to become the skilled angler he was today, having received awards for his expertise, albeit in local tournaments only. The silence between them had continued to grow before his Grandfather spoke and even then it was uncertain whether it was to Jacob or the wilderness at large, a supplication to the old gods who lay buried in the reeds. The words came low and monotonous, holding immeasurable sway to a child’s imagination and holding dominance over all other sound.

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The Interview

    Across the table, nearest the door of the matchbox sized interview room, Detectives Knight and Shannon sat, staring in bewilderment ahead of them. Knight’s hand hovered over the interview tape reluctantly before taking the plunge, pressing the rewind button to take the tape back to its beginning. Shannon watched from behind the curtain of his fingers, rubbing his eyes at the click of the recorder reaching its start. They had been in the room for two hours already and this would be their third attempt. “Right,” Knight began, her coarse voice matching her strictly neat attire “Let’s try this again.” opposite sat a man, crossed legged, slouched in the interview chair with a dangerous casualness for such a formal setting. A cigarette complimented one hand while the other lay outstretched from his body, ever ready should Bacchus himself materialize a Cabernet Sauvignon from thin air. The Man’s dapper attire was in contrast to the detectives across from him and in all their lack of similarities the table provided an ocean of distance. Despite his fondness for donning a Panama and a polka dot Cravat a bigger penchant had made itself obvious, and it had not gone unnoticed that the smell of alcohol had waltzed around the room for some time.  Stopping once in a while to pinch the Man’s cheeks to keep them chapped and rosy. “Can we start with your name?” Shannon asked and the man nodded slowly. “Cyril St Jude” he said.

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