Beneath the Eastway, alongside the River Lee, a man is slumped against one of the thick concrete pillars. He’s not dead, or dying, he’s simply resting. A long beard extends from his shaggy crop of hair and hangs down around his face; the ends clump together like stalactites and slowly rise and fall on his chest as he breathes. Around him is wrapped a filthy brown coat that looks like it might have once been worth something and on his feet are similarly tinged boots that have holes in, but still provide protection between his soles and the unyielding ground. The man gazes blankly at two boys on skateboards attempting to turn this dreary underworld into a playground. They steal the odd glance back at him, but the sight repulses them and they try to keep their focus on the task at hand. After all, how are they to know that those tired eyes belong to Chase Taylor, who was once the 462nd richest man in the world? Thanks to an aircraft leasing company he inherited from his father, Chase once had £2.4bn to his name. Now he has nothing and he only has himself to blame. Well, himself and Rose McKnight.Read More
“You can take off them ridiculous goggles, you know,” announces Rollin. You’d completely forgotten you had them on. One hand goes straight to your face to feel the lightshaders, while the other attacks the strap at the back. It tangles in your hair as you attempt to pull it off and a few strands come off with the goggles. Rollin snatches them from you and flings them onto the table. From his stunted height you’re amazed he makes the throw. “Fuck off,” Rollin snarls at you. “Go on, get lost! I don’t have to help you, you know?”Read More
Mrs Considine is currently at the market. Not a big-chain kind of supermarket, a street market that has been there since the 1940s. Since moving to Number 12 she’s never bought her food anywhere else and makes a point of going every morning to buy the exact ingredients for the day’s meals. No more, no less. Today she woke up craving fish, so now she’s sniffing them out. One stares bug-eyed back at her as she brings it level with her nose.Read More
In front of the big green door standing at the helm of 13 Rue de la Presentation is an ornate wrought iron gate. Behind the big green door of 13 Rue de la Presentation is a tea-stained tiled corridor that leads to a set of wooden steps, which in turn lead to six floors. On every one of the six floors are four doors. Behind each of the four doors on all six floors are 24 worlds. And in each of these worlds, nothing is the same.Read More
“Bollocks,” sighed Spencer as he attempted to wriggle his shoulders free. The gap looked much more Spencer-sized before he attempted to get through it. Now he was pinioned to the ground by a dumb metal door, the aged blue paint of which was flaking onto his back like blueberry dandruff. Lifting his neck as far as he could, Spencer blinked into the darkness of the garage, which was faintly illuminated by an echo of streetlamp coming in through the slim gap between the door and the floor. If he squinted he could make out a wooden chair missing a leg that looked a bit like the ones his mum had around their tiny dinner table. Spencer scoffed at thought of their glorified stool being considered a dining table.
There was also a dirty old microwave with its door hanging open, a few mounds of indistinguishable junk piled left, right and centre, and right at the back of the confined space was a tall, boxy shadow. “That has to be it,” he thought. “Where else could it be hiding?”