The Visitor

by Noam Klar

Satan came in the night, through a temporal gateway in the ozone layer. He had been nurturing the hole for years, reflecting the sun’s rays towards the Earth’s protective shield. Raising the planet’s temperature to be more agreeable whenever he would have to visit. It had come to his attention that common theories on Earth attributed the hole to gas emission, air pollution and the general folly of man.

An Awful Waste of Space

Growing up on a farm in rural Iowa, water was something that came out of the faucet to quench his thirst after a bicycle ride down the seemingly endless, flat gravel roads, sweat soaking through his shirt. It was something slopping out of the dog’s bowl as she lapped it up with her long wet tongue.

The Disembodied Head of Neil Sean Just Wants to Be Loved

The rumours are true. I am but a disembodied head – the virtual made flesh. I, Neil Sean of the Metro newspaper’s The Green Room, Sky and Fox News and Travelodge’s former writer in residence, sprang forth from the lager-addled mind of an overworked subeditor with a hacking cough that could wake the comatose.

Time

They told me there were three phases to go through. The first three months, everything is new and inspiring, a holiday under the guise of a new life. At six months it starts to sink in – this is for the long haul, and you’ll begin to notice things that you don’t like. Minor irritants, as well as bigger and until now unimaginable, differences. After a year, you’ll just stop comparing it to home.

Mary J Blige and Mid-Wifing the Christmas Perrenial

I, too, have suffered through Mary J Blige’s A Mary Christmas. She looks like Tito the Chihuahua from Oliver and Company on the album’s cover, pensive and forlorn, and super-imposed onto a department store’s “Meet Santa” photo set.

Swimming

The outdoor swimming pool was in the shape of a wonky figure of eight. A bridge crossed its middle. They said it was the biggest pool in Europe. The concrete border was patterned with circles in different sizes. If you fell, the surface was hard and unforgiving. Each bulb of the pool was pinned with two sets of diving boards; four and five boards layered on top of one another.

It's Weird, Grindr Doesn't Seem to Be Working Out All That Well for Me

F: hey Me: hey man!!!! F: how’s u Me: just chilling, watching Newsnight in my pants lol, u? F: what Me: if I were a woman I would want to look like Emily Maitlis what about you? Me: i already do quite a bit and im a man! Me: hey, remember when Paxo went on a rant about M&S pants a few years back and how they don’t make them supportive enough and he was pissed off because you couldn’t get good pan.

Grief vs. Clint Eastwood

One day, after my father’s death, I was in my parents’ house looking through his bookshelves. I thought about powdering the books for fingerprints so I’d have something left. I still think about that sometimes. What difference would it make to have a copy of fingerprints made by fingers that no longer exist? Those fingers were burned, and now they are dust.

The Guard

As we travel through the sky and up towards the intelligence centre my pupil says why do I fly when you touch me, and I think he knows there is no answer to this question, not any answer that can be told to him that he would understand, and so I say nothing in response.

The Almost-Final Picture Show

I’ve been thinking a lot about dying recently. Not my own death, you understand, but the idea of dying as a cinematic experience. Like many generation Y-ers, I grew up on a diet of television shows such as Michael Aspel’s poltergeist extravaganza, Strange, But True? and BBC1’s 999 (remember the episode where the kid gets a javelin through the neck?).