Simon Jones: Revenant

Copyright © 2017 Simon Jones

Seymour Hallows was dead but his bank lived on.  As he materialised he saw at once the arches of the vault.  He anticipated a frisson as he passed through the metal grille – or rather, as it passed through him – but he felt nothing.  Being incorporeal was still a novelty to him.

There was no light, but by his own ectoplasmic glimmer he could see the reassuring glow of large metal containers.  He decided to explore further and floated up the service shaft.

What a racket came from the lobby!  Was there a raid?  A run on the banks?  Forgetting himself, he ran to help them.

He nearly took his phantom cane to the staff, who appeared to have come to work in their underwear, but then noticed the optics and pumps.  Bacchus had bought out Mammon – they were serving alcohol here!

He looked again, and saw the sums of money passing over the bar.  Mammon was an equal partner.  Fading, he smiled.

Simon Jones: Power Cut

Copyright © 2017 Simon Jones

Cuts were threatened, and tonight they start.

Some murmur about emigrating – leaving this dump of a country behind.

Some set out to party up to the last minute with all the lights on, the stereo blaring and the barbeque sizzling.

Those across the street, glaring at them, carefully siphon paraffin into their hurricane lamps.

Children are called in and surrender sullenly, getting their tea and bath done whilst the heat is still on.  Later they’ll be excited, going up to bed with candlelight changing their home into a flickering, haunted wonderland, all moving shadows and sinister corners.

One shopkeeper nails boards up over his window and door.  With the alarms off, he says, anything could happen.

The community centre declares itself open for the night.  Some need companionship more than comfort.

Anticipating a busy time in the coming darkness, Big Sonia puts a nightlight under the red shade.

Simon Jones: Luck

Copyright © 2017 Simon Jones

The circling seagulls were squawking, alarmed that their nesting place had been invaded.  On the beach far below, forensics buzzed around the body.  Two of their colleagues were up here, studying the cliff edge with steady intensity.

The Chief Inspector walked away.  At times like this the job definitely lost its appeal. 

The head pathologist sauntered over.

“Well, it looks like a straightforward accident, with one unusual aspect.  Our friend could easily have made it onto the path from the angle he was climbing, but he seems to have leaned over to the left.  See the claw-marks in the soil where he’s tried to cling on – from his height I’d say he was at full stretch.  His balance goes, he flips over, and it’s goodnight Vienna.”

“Any reason why?”

The other man pointed.  Just beyond the furthest of the scratch marks in the soil was a perfect four leafed clover.