Tales From The Town #22: The Slide

There was a slide under the stairs. They didn’t know where it went. They didn’t have a cellar or a basement. Or, at least, they hadn’t before.

“I’m not going down that slide,” Ethel said. “Not ever!”

“You’re scared!” Claire said triumphantly. “I’m not scared.”

“You are!” Ethel said. “You’re just pretending you aren’t.”

“I’m not!” Look! I’ll show you!”

And with that Claire sat down on the slide and slid off into the dark. It took a while, but eventually her screams faded out to nothingness.

No-one spoke for a very long time. They thought they could hear Claire calling, but it was just Anna and Oya having tea in the kitchen.

“Well, I’m not going down there to find out where’s gone,” Tina said.

“No am I,” Ethel agreed. “Not ever.”

“Daniel?” Tina asked.


The three of them went off to play in the garden.



1. Written on May 6th, 2021

I Was A Witch Once

I was a witch once. I used to help out in the summer, when the tourists were here, and the covens couldn’t cope with demand. I did luck spells mostly, lucky in love, lucky in spite, lucky in fruit machines, that sort of thing.

I don’t do it anymore. The covens have all closed down now. Everything’s online these days. Some old witch out there in her hut on the marsh can’t cope with some streamlined Russian wish farm or whatever. Now it’s all spells delivered by email spam, targeted facebook ads, unsolicited twitter DMs. No need anymore to slip something in someone’s tea. You can reach anyone.

It’s not the same, of course. But then again what is?



1. Written on September 2nd, 2021
2. Although the title and half the first paragraph was written August 13th, 2021