short story

Broke by Danielle Goldstein

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.

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13 Rue de la Presentation / Three by Danielle Goldstein

“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?”

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