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  • Alan Ward


This short story was published in Popshot magazine in November 2018 (The Nostalgia Issue). It begins:


The clocks have recently rolled back and the later twilight promises Manchester a summer. Again warmth. Again the plastic cups for iced lattes overflowing the rubbish bins along. Piccadilly, heavy for the rubbish collectors. Again sodden bags slopping like dead jellyfish

scraped out onto landfill at Sandfold.

The clocks have not been wound back long enough for the man who uses the name Douglas Johnson to be warm, but the sun stays on shift longer than people are used to and that changes the atmosphere. On the structure that horseshoes one side of Piccadilly Gardens a light is flashing. A flat, spaceship-like disk set into the step of ceiling hanging over the pavement. The outdoor tables of a coffee shop have been cleared away from beneath it earlier in the afternoon. Now it is evening. The man who is not Douglas Johnson watches the flickering light from the doorway of Pizza Express, where he ate alone facing out onto the square. His heartrate quickens...


To read the rest of the story visit Popshot and subscribe – currently all subscribers to the physical magazine also get online access to the stories previously published.

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