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Thursday, 28 March 2013
Excerpts from 'BIG MAN & Other Stories'
The First Day:
‘You have to make tough decisions in life, but you should never lose
sight of what your ultimate goal is.’He
was looking at me now, and I realised what a friendly face he had.
‘Why are so many people content to plod through life?I did it for a while, I must admit, but I
realised it wasn’t for me.’
Do We Leave Him Here? (or 'Dead Weight'):
‘Do we leave him here?’ asked
I laughed loudly.Big Gary had
been slumped on the table for almost an hour now, passed out.
‘Leave him here?How would
you like that if it was you?’ answered Pete.
‘Leave him here…’ Pete muttered laughing wryly and shaking his head.
‘We’re in a foreign country!’ I snapped angrily, ‘Do you think he wants
to be woken up at six o’clock tomorrow morning by some Turkish trucker?’
‘Yea…or robbed,’ added Pete
‘Okay okay, I get the picture.’ Jerry scraped his chair in noisily.
mesmerised now; she couldn’t have told you how long she stood watching him, but
she couldn’t take her eyes away – loving the way he moved; his cool, casual
air.She imagined the way he smelled,
the way he looked and remembered the way she’d went nearly breathless the first
time he had held her in his arms.
A tear rolled down Toby’s right cheek and he hurriedly wiped it away
with the back of his hand, then looked round nervously to see if the old man
had noticed.He turned and walked back
by Toby at that moment so he quickly wiped his face and eyes with both hands
this time, determined to get all signs of the tear out of sight.The headmaster was sitting down again.
‘You’d better hope…’
Toby looked at him briefly before looking down again to where he had
been looking before.
‘You’d better hope, that Brian is okay…comes back as normal,
otherwise…well, I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes.’
Toby’s eyes almost ran again, but he was determined not to cry in front
of old Morris.
‘Get yourself along to your next lesson Toby.’
Toby looked up, able to hold Sir’s gaze this time.When he got up to leave he couldn’t feel his
legs properly, they felt like jelly and he couldn’t feel them fully as he
The boy turned round and saw Sir again; he looked bigger and more
imposing to him somehow, seemed to be almost staring into him.
‘These are your friends.’
One More Hand:
I’m mentally exhausted…had it up to here
with Vegas and Blackjack and chasing money and trying to think of what to do,
what to bet.It seems like in this god
forsaken place everything is against you…not only have you got the odds
against you, but you’ve got clueless players coming in and out of the game,
you’ve got dealers who can’t wait to pull the next card, not giving you any
time to concentrate…you’ve got all the noise distracting you – not allowing you
to focus…you’ve got the sheer, overpowering size of this place…’
I remember the first five minutes being pleasant enough, but as the
drinks started to flow, Debbie seemed to be griping about everything and
answering Tony back rudely whenever he dared to speak.I recall at one point early in the meal
staring out across the Strip and realising that the view was different from
what it had been when I’d first sat down.I tried to concentrate my mind – thinking perhaps that I might be losing
it completely – but as I stared across the table and out through the windows, I
realised that the restaurant was ever so slowly revolving!
‘Yea we’re movin’’ said a middle-aged American man on the next table to
us, sat with his family, ‘isn’t it neat?’
As if my head wasn’t battered enough already.
The Real Mrs. Docherty:
‘Do you want to take a walk for a while Mrs. Docherty?You can always come back, and we’ll tell you
immediately if there’s any change.’
Marie looks up to the nurse then, wide-eyed, as if aware of her for the
‘Yes…yes…okay,’ she looks back to her husband on the bed, her hand still
clasped in his – loosely now – but she can’t let go somehow, as if letting go
of his hand was to let go of everything they had.
‘In a moment nurse…I’ll just stay here…’ she finishes speaking in
mid-sentence, then the nurse rubs the top of her back gently.
‘Okay,’ the nurse says softly, ‘but take a break soon, it will do you
The nurse leaves the room and Marie suddenly feels more alone than she’s
ever felt in her whole life.She
struggles to get a tissue from her bag, as she breaks out into sudden, full
sobs of pain and misery.
A Girl Called Fran:
As the biggest of the rubbery-looking
creatures made a sudden lurch in the direction of the small bunch ahead of
Nick, there was a shriek and then a blonde girl flung her arms in the air and
ran away, high stepping in the sand.He
looked at the girl closely as the others laughed and edged back too; with her
quite tall height and slimmish figure she ought to have been quite athletic,
but she seemed clumsy and ungainly as she got a further twenty metres away from
the Sea Lions before daring to look round.She wore a white bobble hat with fluffy pom-poms hanging down at the
side, which had been swinging about frenetically as she ran.She was flushing all over her face as she
quickly adjusted her jeans, a big joyous smile on her face.
‘Oh don’t pick on me!’ she shouted, as the guide laughed at her, along
with the others.She was laughing too,
albeit still red and embarrassed and Nick realised that he hadn’t taken his
eyes away from her during the whole incident.
Another Late One:
My name is Cockney, except that’s not
my real name.In fact, sometimes I
forget my real name, and so do my friends.I’m also not a Cockney.
I’m a real easygoing guy, I mean, excessively so; I seem to have a
problem saying no to anything.I let any
number of people stay at my house anytime and everybody borrows things from me,
some of which I actually get back.
Thanks for reading!
Read 'The First Day' or purchase the whole book for just £1.53 @