A Traditional Gallaetha Breakfast


“Here.” Izzy dropped the plate on Layla’s table, the bang struck her headache like a gong.

Layla’s mouth flooded at the breakfast sandwich on her plate. Sausages, bacon, a fried egg, and a tomato–to ward off scurvy.

“Izzy, you’re a lifesaver. I think I love you.” Layla fluttered her eyelashes at Izzy in what she thought was a flirtacious way, but after a whole bottle of whiskey last night it probably looked more like she had a bug in her eye.

Continue reading “A Traditional Gallaetha Breakfast”

This Is My Country Too


I awoke to a shrill voice echoing through the bus. “Daddy! Look!”

I was exhausted from work but there was no way I could sleep through this screaming. I envied the elderly lady snoring away at the front of the bus with her head pressed against the window.

“What is it, lad?” The father was fortyish and sounded as tired as I felt.

The kid stood on his seat and pointed across the bus at a woman in a hijab. “It’s an ISIS!”

The woman froze, staring dead ahead like the boy’s scream had turned her to stone.

Continue reading “This Is My Country Too”

Matt Holland’s Top Nine Books Of 2017

Greetings from the distant past! It is I, a time traveller from the 1st of January. What a journey I’ve had. Instead of going back in time and kicking Fred Trump in the testicles; or going back to last week to tell myself today’s lottery numbers; I decided to use the precious gift of time travel to come here, an arbitrary date at the end of the month to write an article about my top nine books of 2017.

Yes, it would’ve made a lot more sense to stay where I was and publish this article on the 1st of January when reflections on 2017 were getting the most hits. Or go back and invest in Bitcoin while it was cheap. But no, here I am, writing this instead.

Obviously I didn’t only get this idea at the end of December and spend the rest of January writing it. That’s crazy. You ought to face a laser firing squad for even suggesting such a thing.

Continue reading “Matt Holland’s Top Nine Books Of 2017”

One Day In 1914


It was just after dawn when the Germans came over the line. Captain Timber wanted to give the order to fire. It’d been weeks since he’d last slept and the sight of the Germans climbing up out of their trenches gave him an uneasy feeling.

“We should shoot the whole bloody lot of ’em,” said Sergeant Winkleman, a heavyset fellow with a patchy beard. “Just like what they did to Cooper last week.”

Continue reading “One Day In 1914”

One Night

I met her as she was just about to leave. One arm in her jacket, the other holding a plastic cup full of gin. She scanned through the smug mass of partygoers for a table to rest her drink, when she couldn’t find one she looked for a friend but she couldn’t find one of those either. I saw the look of quiet rage on her face and she saw the same look on mine. So she chose me.

“Hold this.” She demanded. No hello. No please. Just an exasperated command barked out under duress. I had my hand out at once. She thrust the gin into it while I tried to think of something clever to say. She swung her jacket onto her shoulder like a matador and jabbed her arm into the remaining sleeve. I caught a glimpse of an old book curled over her jacket pocket. I got a little thrill when I recognised the title.

Continue reading “One Night”