‘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; in Shoreline of Infinity‘s Edinburgh International Science Festival Special Edition; and and most recently as part of the fascinating Uncanny Bodies project.
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.