An excerpt from

24 Stories

Rhona M, Steve Thompson, Kathy Burke (Editor) and Paul Jenkins

From some of the stories featured in the book

by Irvine Welsh
"She was falling off the roof of a building in New York City. It was seventeen stories high. To everybody looking over in horror, it was like a life going by. It started slowly and picked up speed as she receded from them. Now Melinda Pallister understood: how old people seemed to be lurching slowly to the grave, but that was only on the outside. Internally they were sprinting at breakneck velocity, or at least it must have felt like that, as, like now, the world uncompromisingly hurtled by in the opposite direction.

Melinda was accelerating to her death."

By Nina Stibbe
“We must’ve been in the village half a year when my mother jack-knifed the car and pony-trailer in the lane beside our house and no amount of revving and manoeuvring seemed to help. The more she inched forward the tighter the angle became. Just when she was about to scream or run away and never come back, Jim - the quiet husband of Ramona (who’d had the hot Ribena) - suddenly appeared. He jumped behind the wheel, sorted out the vehicular crisis and even patted the roofs of the half dozen or so cars queuing to get along the lane as they passed. In return my mother gave him a glass of whisky and, as far as the village was concerned, stand-up sex in the back of the trailer. And the next day someone left a bunch of white roses (secret love) at our back door.”

by John Fidler

"Yeah, you’ve probably seen me, mate. I stand on the high street most weekdays and every weekend, just near Holland and Barrett. It’s a good spot. Gold suit and raincoat, gold shoes and socks, gold hat, gold briefcase, gold shirt and tie. And of course gold paint on my face and hands - any exposed bit of skin. Used to need a tin of metallic hairspray too, but I’m bald now. Probably because of the metallic hairspray."

by Sue Barsby

"3.30am and no-one about. The illuminated Council House dome reached into the black above, the light combining with the moon to reveal his goal. He put the bag down and stood staring, his pounding heart ruining the silence. A deep breath, a little shake, and he opened the rucksack to get his skates out."