Who's Who 6: Moreish

Of course, all those big temptations are easy. If you’re going to cave to them, then you’ve been doing that long before you got here. Just one more bottle to make the pain away. Just one more pack, so I can get through to the weekend. I’ll quit tomorrow. I’ll quit in the new year. I promise. It’s all a dance that goes on through endless, sleepless nights or restless, sweaty afternoons. There’s no sport in that type of addiction. Not for the likes of us.

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Who's Who 5: Bearing Gifts

They always met here. When things needed discussing. When plans needed drawing up away from the prying eyes of their family. He arrived first. The eldest. He would order the first round and carry it carefully over to their table. Not that there was a sign on the table that sat beside the door to the little courtyard where people could smoke. It was simply written into the foundations of the place. This was Their Table.

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Who's Who 4: All You Can Eat

They made accessories of themselves and others. They lived by aesthetics. The right physique. The right magazine left, unread but skimmed, on the right worktop. Their unused, designer golf clubs sitting next to their skeletal framed racing bikes. Bikes that would squeal and throw up their handlebars should mud ever touch their shiny paintwork.

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Who's Who 3: The Burden

The reason he gave was truly bizarre. The fact he tied it back to my grandfather only baffled me more.

“You remember your granny’s funeral,” he’d said. “The priest putting his arm on your granddad’s shoulder. Your granddad screaming so hard all the birds flew out the trees.”

“Sure,” I told him. “I remember.”

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Who's Who 1: Trap Street

Curtains twitched. Featureless faces peered out. None of these people grew up around here. They’d swooped in from their daily commute, invading the moment these houses went on the market. They’d bloated the morning traffic queues and caused house prices to soar thanks to their private road. Well, it wasn’t so private tonight. He was claiming some curb for a free, front row seat.

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Shadows, Psychos and Spiders

I’m trying to remind myself these days that horror is a many splendoured thing. In fiction, that is. I’m not watching the news, smiling a slow snake smile and muttering the word ‘beautiful’ to myself. I’ll leave that to the people pulling the politician’s strings. Surely there must be someone watching the blossoming groundswell of chaos reaching far across the world today and congratulating themselves. Before turning to Hitler’s living brain (now safely implanted inside the body of a gaunt, pale, asthmatic gorilla) and offering a deeply worshipful high five.

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Music of the Fears

You might remember, the other week, that I mentioned setting up a sort of required reading list for the new novel.  Who am I kidding?  Of course you remember.  They’re putting up the blue plaque outside my window to commemorate the anniversary of me writing it.  I was talking about how I was looking for particular things to read and watch.  I was listening to a lot of horror scores.  I was basically chasing some sense memory of the novel I’ve got growing in my head.  Or I was sense checking that it didn’t already exist.

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