Number 1

The coins lay there on the bedspread, half hidden by the backpack, the dull gold winking in the sunlight coming through the bedroom window. They called to him, as he passed by his sister’s doorway, calling louder than her voice could.

He knew that he could use that money for so many things, and so before his conscience came into play, he entered his sister’s room, snatching up the small pile of coins and stuck them in his jean pocket before he heard his sister coming back upstairs. He was relieved that he had inherited his father’s speed as he ran back into his bedroom, and switched on the tv.

 

Copyright Emily Morris 2016

Number 2

“Sir?” the voice broke through Jake Ross’s daydream, and he turned to glance at the hovering waitress, who was offering the plate full of spaghetti with a shy smile.

“Oh sorry,” swiftly Jake shoved the papers he had been working on, to one side, stacking them neatly so that she had plenty of space to set the plate down on the metal table top. “Thanks,”

“No problem,” the waitress smiled before walking away, her pen poised in preparation for the next customer’s order.

Jake had barely started to eat, his hunger not allowing him to wait for his daughter any longer, when Petra dropped into a free seat at the table. Her hair was a bright shade of scarlet, a unwelcome change since the last time that he had seen her, and he sighed when he saw just how many shopping bags she was holding.

 

Copyright Emily Morris 2016

Number 3

Screams bounced up the corridor, through the open door of my office and sent shivers running down my spine. I knew exactly where those screams were coming from. Without thinking, I was on my feet and out of the door within seconds running in the direction of the bathrooms. 

Jim staggered out of the shower space, his fists still raised and to my horror I saw streaks of blood on his skin as strands of strawberry blonde hair floated to the ground from his left hand. 

I braced myself for what was likely to greet me after previous experience of Jim and his particular behavioural issues as I crossed the threshold but still felt my knees buckle underneath me at the way that the new girl had been left. 

 

Copyright Emily Morris 2017

Back to you

The raised angry voices came oozing out through the thin walls of the flat, spilling down the long cream painted hallway. The door opened abruptly and a curvy brunette came striding out, slamming the front door on her boyfriend’s attempted retort to the dispraging comment she hurled over her shoulder.

She strode down swiftly down the corridor, oblivious to the fact that her neighbours were observing her through their peepholes. Her profile bristled with righteous anger, as she stalked on her way to the lift, sparing barely a thought for the man that she had left behind.

Inside their flat, he kicked out blindly in his frustration. His foot collided with a stuffed bear holding a heart, a Valentine’s present and sent it flying across the room. It squeaked in protest as it slid beneath the black leather sofa. A expletive escaped from his lips, pushed out by the anger burning inside him.

The shrill ringing of the phone broke through his thoughts, and he grabbed hold of the cool plastic, lifting the receiver to his ear. He couldn’t help the sharpness of his greeting, as he presumed that it was going to be his girlfriend.

His surprise was great when instead he heard the calm lilting tones of his best friend. The familiar voice soothed his temper as usual, and he found himself agreeing to what she proposed. Grabbing his jacket he left in a hurry, switching off the lights but leaving the bear where it had skidded.

He took long strides on his way to the lift, anxious to get out of the building. He heard the click of the peepholes opening, but resisted the impulse to respond as he wanted to. When the lift doors opened in the lobby, he was stunned to see his girlfriend waiting there with a sheepish smile on her face. A glance at her phone’s display revealed a all too familiar number and he laughed.

Their voices mingled, words tumbling over each other as both tried to apologise over the argument. Hand in hand they returned to the flat, wondering why they had been so mad over the washing up.

Lying in the sun

Lying in the sun, letting the warmth sink into my exposed skin, it feels great. Sunlight always makes me feel alive, ever since I was a child. To me summer’s the greatest season, sunshine means safety, warmth, life and comfort, and it’s something I didn’t feel until I arrived in San Francisco.

Before then all I can remember is freezing, feeling cold all the time. “Thought I’d find you out here.” The voice breaks through my stream of memories, and I turn to see that Ted’s a few feet behind me. The sun sparkles on his hair, and makes his eyes twinkle even more than usual.

“Is Kevin ready to get his arse kicked?” I slip back into my t shirt, glad that it’s just behind me. Dad doesn’t like it when the neighbourhood lads see us in our swimming costumes, since Luce nearly caused a riot when she was a teenager. Her abilities kicked into overdrive before she knew how to handle them.

“First off it’s ass.” Kevin appears at his brother’s shoulder and stretches out one hand to pull me to my feet. A small part of me is surprised by his increased strength, he’s only been away with his dad for a couple of weeks. “How long have you been livin’ in the States again?” a smile curves his mouth but he doesn’t give me chance to answer, “Secondly there’s no way that you’re going to beat me again,”

I pull my Converses on, not caring I’ve no socks on as I relish the prospect of beating both Harts. “How about a bet?” I find myself saying, as I see the smug look on Ted’s face.

“What kind of bet?” Ted sounds intrigued and I can see Kevin’s slightly worried. Ted and I have always been ultra competitive, and some of our bets have been on the dangerous side.

Kara comes padding out of the house, before we can settle the terms of the bet, and she’s carrying the cordless phone. “Max’s on the phone for you,” She doesn’t hand it over, “Please hurry up. I want to phone…”

I know who she wants to phone. She’s always phoning the same person lately. “Hey Max,” I love hearing about and from Max, but he’s been incommunicado over the last few months, “Where are you?”

“I’m right outside yours. Mom and Dad have gone to Seoul for something.” He says excitedly “Come on Mel,”

“Okay,” Ted’s stiffened and I can practically hear his thoughts. He always hates it when me and Kevin meet new people, scared that we will stop needing him as much, or that his world will change again.

“Who was that?” Kevin’s voice is just as curious as I end the call.

“My friend Max. Come on it’s gonna be two on two, for our race,” I lead the way out the front, to see that Max is waiting on his shiny ten speed, a cheeky smile creasing his face. I’m unable to resist the impulse to hug him, despite how girly it is. He always makes the summers more interesting.

“Let’s get goin’,” Ted cycles away without another word, closely followed by Kevin on his trusty BMX.

“He still doesn’t like me then?” Max remarks lightly, as we pull back from the hug.

“Don’t take it personally, Ted doesn’t like anyone apart from Kevin.”

“And you,” Max doesn’t wait for my response, which I’m relieved by as I have no idea what I would say. He takes off at full pelt after Ted and Kevin, his determination to win the race driving him on.

Jealousy

"Send him back mummy," the girls speak in unison, refusing to step any closer to their mother while she holds the bundle of blue blankets that contains the newest addition to the family. "We don't want him," it's the first time in over a year that they agree on anything. 

"I can't send him back," their mother is torn between amusement and sadness that her daughters feel that way. "He belongs with us,"

Without another word her eldest daughter walks out of the room. Curiosity darts through the youngest girl's eyes but it is gone when she realises that her mother is watching. She hurries after her sister, still clutching her favourite raggedy bear at it's neck. 

 

Copyright Emily Morris 2016