Together

Notizia del: January 2nd, 2015

By Carl Schonbeck

By now it was a tradition. They met for dinner just before Christmas every year, usually at Trevor and Kate’s elegant flat in Wycombe Lane. In all there were three couples; Alan and Mary, Justin and Edie plus their hosts. They’d been friends for years and, as one might expect, the mood on these occasions was festive. Yet there was another, more serious reason for these get-togethers. They were there to remember a friend, Peter, the seventh member oft his small tribe, had died suddenly three years earlier. They were there to recall the times they’d had with Peter and celebrate their continuing friendship.

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The haunted hotel

Notizia del: November 12th, 2014

By Rachel Roberts

I’m not sure I believe in ghosts, but I try to keeo an open mind, and when the travel magazine I write for asked me to do a tour of the Haunted Hotels of Britain, I agreed. I was curious, and prepared to be surprised.

I soon realized that the more a hotel and its staff publicized their ghosts, the less likely you were to have a scary experience. At a luxurious hotel in a Scottish castle, the staff had all been dressed in period costume. One man had even been wearing a headless horseman outfit, with very obvious eyeholes in the chest. It was too theatrical to be frightening.

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Wake-up call

Notizia del: October 7th, 2014

By Carl Schonbeck

Three friends sat drinking and laughing on the stony Ligurian beach. From a distance they seemed like hobos by the sea but in fact they were English teachers in Milan. The bottle of Bonarda wine was nearly empty and a Sunday evening melancholy began to fill the air.
“Thanks for letting us stay with you Graves”, said Colin to the older man sitting on his left. “After a weekend in Albissola being a vagabond doesn’t seem so bad”, he laughed.

“It was a pleasure to have some company for a change”, replied Graves. He’d moved to Milan from Los Angeles some 10 years earlier to be a writer. He was a good friend.
“Vagabond? Speak for yourself Colin!” exclaimed George, the even younger man to Graves’ left.
“I’m a bohemian”.
“When do you and George sign the contract for your flat?” asked Graves.
“Next Friday afternoon, right after our lessons”, replied Colin. “Home sweet home”.
“Home sweet home”, repeated George.

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A summer day out

Notizia del: September 5th, 2014

By Rachel Roberts

It was hot in the car. The air-conditioning had chosen the hottest day of the year to break down. We couldn’t even open the windows - the signs at the entrance on the lion enclosure had been very clear: car windows must be kept shut and doors locked at all times.

I wished Rosie hadn’t chosen Camilla as her companion for the birthday trip to the safari park. Camilla was a spoilt, irritating child. She had already lost all her spending money, Which I had replaced, and chosen the most expensive thing on the lunchtime menu. Then she had dropped strawberry ice cream all over the car seat. I could smell it in the heat.

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Mushroom soup

Notizia del: July 31st, 2014

By Nicola Mabbott

The doorbell rang.
Sarah hoped it wasn’t her ex boyfriend Mike. They had had a brief relationship, but there was something about him that worried her, so she had decided to end it.
That had been two months before. Since then he had been following her around, calling her several times a day to say sorry and begging her for another chance. He hadn’t contacted her for a couple of days, so she was beginning to think he might have given up. Wishful thinking!

There was a good view of the visitor on her doorstep from the front bedroom window. She tried to look out of the window from behind the curtain, but he had saw her. “Damn! I’ll have to let him in now”, she thought as she saw Mike was looking up at her expectantly.

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The woman of his dreams

Notizia del: July 2nd, 2014

By Nicola Mabbott

The dream was always the same. He was standing in the hallway of his old flat; the flat his ex-girlfriend, Jennifer, now shared with her husband. First the voices outside getting louder, then the key turning in the lock. The door about to open.

And then the terrible feeling he was about to be found out.

Each time he woke, alone, in his large empty house, his heart was still racing. Some details in the dream changed, but never the way he felt: empty, alone, like an outsider, like an intruder in his own home, except it wasn’t his home now. Jennifer had told him to leave two years before. She said he couldn’t give her what she wanted.

Now she was married to another man, and they were expecting their first child together.

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Warning!

Notizia del: June 13th, 2014

By Rachel Roberts

Claire loved her Japanese car. It was small, black, economical and intelligent. Its on-board computer sent her messages when the car needed something; such as “REFUEL” or “MAINTENANCE CHECK”. There was no car key. Claire just had a little gadget that she kept in her pocket, and when she got close, she only had to press a button on the door handle and the car would open. Another button on the dashboard started the ignition. That made it a safe car. She could open it quickly at night without having to look throughout her bag.

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Birthday surprise

Notizia del: May 9th, 2014

By Nicola Mabbott

Today was no ordinary day. It was Jamie’s 11th birthday. When the alarm clock woke him he was in the middle of a wonderful dream. He was dreaming that his mother had finally given him the one present that he had begged for every day as long as he could remember. A dog.

He sighed as he realised it was only a dream, and promised himself that he wouldn’t be sad on his birthday. Then, as he did every morning, he got dressed as quietly as he could. He carefully positioned a pillow horizontally on his bed, and silently pulled his bed cover over it. He didn’t think that his mother would check on him, but if she did, she would think he was fast asleep with covers pulled over his head.

Jamie looked sadly at the family photograph on his bedside table. It had been taken before the divorce, before his dad had left and gone to work in Madrid, long before mum’s new husband, Martin, had come along and spoilt everything. “My dad would let me have a dog”, he thought angrily.

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