Pendolino Lane

MJG Stories, Surreal 1 Comment

by Michael John Grist Despite Cray Upson’s best efforts, Milo Pendolino refused to sell him a home on Moresca hill. He always claimed the homes were already full, but Cray knew better, so he plotted out a plan. He knew Milo owed the bank thousands for his construction costs as well as the mortgage on the land itself. Plus he had no outside income. He only had the homes he’d built, way up there on Pendolino Lane with the simple gravel track running up the side of the hill, and they never sold. Pendolino’s follies, they called them down in …

The Squinching of Ricky Shay

MJG Stories, Surreal 4 Comments

When the orders came down that all the gold was to be digested by the end of the day, Efren couldn’t believe his ears, despite their unusual and rather floppy size. “All the gold?” he asked his co-consumer Ricky Shay, the fattest stupidest pig in the sty. “I mean, that’s some heavy stuff right there.” Ricky Shay ignored him, mostly. Ricky Shay was stupid, and didn’t understand English. He could grunt, and he could eat gold, and when it bust out through his system, it was, yes, it was thoroughly what it should be. But he didn’t speak a lick …

Stick Man

MJG Fantasy, Stories 5 Comments

Dray is slumped at the edge of his desk, doodling. It’s Saturday again. Another business studies class. 4 low level Japanese students talking about their companies in broken English. No matter what he does, it’s always boring. You’d think, you’re the teacher of a class, it’s going to be interesting. You’d think, you’re the teacher, you shouldn’t be the one falling asleep. But it happens. He spends longer every time, planning, brings in CDs, newspapers, games, but somehow it always comes down to this. Just, dull. Dray’s eyes creep shut. His classroom has always been too warm. The fan just …

The Disgusting Crow

MJG Fantasy, Stories Leave a Comment

Tycho lay on top of his grassy hillock and waited for the disgusting crow to come for his eyes, feeling downright blue. His friends the tired old turtle and one-eared rabbit tried to pep him up, but it wasn’t taking. Banter was banter, but the disgusting crow was something else entirely. Every time he closed his jewelly eyes he saw its claws of brambly bone and its diamante beak. He remembered how it stank, and how much he hated it. “I really hate that disgusting crow,” he said sadly. “Maybe I should just let it take my eyes.” “It won’t …

Brand New Day

MJG Stories, Surreal 3 Comments

TODAY She wakes up slow, opens her dull eyes expecting the new day to glow in, but no. It’s still night. She blinks, yawns into her pillow, stretches beneath the duvet. It’s the pig bedspread, the one her mother made. Her dozy palms bobble over the linen pigs stitched onto the cotton, sleep-weakened fingers catching in the felt swirls of their curly pink tails. She pulls one out gently, lets it tug back into place, and smiles. In the distance, muted by the thick velvet curtains swaddling her second floor window, there’s the sound of drunken students calling out on …

Two Hearts

MJG Stories, Surreal 6 Comments

He held the FridgePak plastic bag close up to his eyes, but he couldn’t see anything special. He saw no spark of life, no memory of love, nor any trace of meaning. He just saw the pulp of a heart. Liquidized. Red and purple, twisted through with fragments of yellow fat, white sinew, the strings and cords that held the organ together. Floating in the melted mushy blur. He squeezed the bag. He felt the texture of ground meat, some gristly chunks remaining. He felt the fluid rush of blood, filling the bag’s vacuum, the indentations of his fingers, his …

Sir Clowdishley and the Sea

MJG Fantasy, Stories 4 Comments

His name was Sir Clowdishley. He was once a royalty man, an astronomer to the king. He surveyed great kingdoms of heaven and charted the progress of the stars. He named whole galaxies after his two children and wife, but his family were now all dead, outlived by their celestial counterparts, lost to the sea. He stalked the ocean, walking the shores of England’s beaches, from Land’s End in the north to John O’Groats in the south. He lived off tubers and seaweed, jellyfish he found rotting on the sand, husks of old cod half-desiccated in the salty winds. He …

Sky Painter

MJG Fantasy, Stories 2 Comments

The Sky Painter lived on the mountain and painted the sky.  He painted it blue for blue skies, and white and grey for clouds.  At night he painted it black, with white for all the stars.  When the sun rose he dashed its arcing yellow lines across the heavens, and as it sank he brushed it orange and gold over the horizon. He knew he had to paint the sky.  If he didn’t paint the sky, who would? Nobody would.  He knew that.  So he stayed, and he painted the sky. He lived on the mountaintop alone.  Sometimes it was …

My Kids

MJG Science Fiction, Stories 5 Comments

“It happened 2 years ago,” he says. “What did?” Silence. “You don’t remember?” “Did I ever know?” Silence. Reflection. “I don’t think you ever did.” “Then that’s good.” “Yes. It is.” Image from here.

Alegria’s Hair

MJG Fantasy, Stories 5 Comments

The first time Tarragon Ray saw the giant Alegria, he was a baby. He was lying in his father’s arms, staring goggle-eyed up at the clouds and the big blue sky. He could hear the comforting crack of his father’s whip, and the low braying of their humpback pony as it strained against its hauliers. He could feel the joggle of their Sheckler’s wagon over the ramshackle red dust road, and the gentle motion of his father around him. “She’s a big girl,” said his father, but Tarragon didn’t understand. He saw his father’s face leaning over him, smiling, and …