‘All That Lasts’
– The story of the 2002 fire that destroyed a significant part of Edinburgh’s Old Town, from the perspective of the fire itself. Selected for Echoes of the City, a project that recorded some of Edinburgh’s hidden stories.
I am all directions, flung this way and that, I reach, stretch, climb, I bow and limbo – and in me, and with me, ghost fires dance; the flares of 700-year-old old wars that laid this burgh to waste, that burned the length of this glacier-gouged crease.
– winner of the 2015 ‘Writing Edinburgh’ competition, and inspired by artist Kate McLean’s Smell Map: Edinburgh. Along with snippets of text from hundreds of other Edinburgh authors, this story features on the amazing LitLong: Edinburgh website; it’s also been republished in Umbrellas of Edinburgh, an anthology of poems and prose about the city, and most recently in Shoreline of Infinity‘s Edinburgh International Science Festival Special Edition.
One day we’ll have ghost people alongside my ghost smells. The technology isn’t there yet – but when it is, we’ll start with the old favourites: Mary Queen of Scots, Deacon Brodie, Robert Louis Stevenson. You’d roll your eyes at that: history for tourists. But how perfect to bring them back, the lives that were woven into this city. And we have to start somewhere.
‘Forbidden,’ I say. ‘That had something to do with it.’ The word sounds like an invitation. That lift in its middle, flicking up: like raised eyebrows, or the hook of a glance.
– in Gutter 09. A short story about getting lost: described by The Skinny as ‘a perfectly handled piece of realist science fiction’.
Really, they scarcely needed to knock me out. They did, though – they knocked me out. Jesus, of course they did. This was my actual brain.
‘Time-keeping In Public Places’
– in New Writing Scotland 30. A story about rain, renovations and running out of time; the Scotsman said it ‘signals a trumpet call of urgency and great promise’.
Sharon sucks on her straw, makes a hollow sound. She’s down to ice and air. She has noticed that Florence only ever complains about clocks that are fast.
‘Ninety-nine Tae Wan Against’
– winner of the Sunday Herald’s Wave of Change competition, published in Imagination: Stories of Scotland’s Future. A story about redheads in a Scotland of the near future.
Gran had remembered it, had grown up through it, in a different Scotland. We were dying, she’d said. Simple as that. We had nothing but empty space.