God Is Great, by Charles Boorman

The men were appalled by the news from the war-torn country and felt they must help.

On the way home, Tom made a donation to charity. Leaving the bank, still haunted by the awful images of suffering, he stepped absentmindedly in front of a rental truck. He froze as it bore down on him, then suddenly came to a tyre-screeching stop. Tom raised his hand apologetically to the driver. Their eyes met.

Ahmed, the young man behind the steering wheel, hesitated, uncertain what to do next. Then he let out a deep breath: “Allahu akbar,” he sighed, and waved back.

Not Everyone Gets A Wish, by Amy Friedman

(E-mailed to the blog. Thanks, Amy.)

This book really frustrated me.
So many threads were left dangling, and the big final scene was totally pftht. Totally.
Don’t you ever wish you could take up threads and write the story right? Stop the dangling things from dangling, unwrap the things that were wrapped up too damn fast and unconvincingly? Make right what the writer did wrong?
Why not?
Waste of time. I mean, if the writer sucks, the writer sucks. No one’s making you read the book.
So why are you complaining?
UUUGGHH. I don’t know why I talk to you.

The Interview, by Guy Fletcher

“I’ve been waiting for over one and a half hours,” Carla explained tearfully. “My interview was half an hour ago. There’s only me and my daughter. I need the money.”

“Yes, it’s annoying,” sympathised the old woman.

Finally a bus crawled through the morning traffic but stated, “Not on Service.” The final straw. Carla ran into the road banging on the driver’s window.

“Let me in … let me in.”

Three buses followed behind.

“I’m on time,” said the driver smugly receiving a torrent of abuse from Carla.

Amazingly, Carla got the job. Her interviewer knew all about the perils of public transport.

Communication, by Fliss Zakaszewska

“We couldn’t access rat, which was bad enough, then wham and tad fell over…”

“You mean Tod? Was he hurt?” Bob looked at his wife blankly.

“No, the tad.”

“Right … and did you call the Council?”

“What? Why?”

“To come and get the rat? Did you try to hit it?”

“Hit what?”

“You whammed it – remember?” He looked at Donna patiently.

“What … ? Oh … no, I was talking about the rat-queue!”

“Surely that’s an infestation!”

“No, love. I’m talking about our R.R.A.T., W.A.M. and T.A.D. queues on our ticket-logging system at work!”

“And they call it Information Technology?” muttered Bob.

Stay, by Don Tassone

“So,” she said softly, smiling but looking nervous. “Tell me a little bit about yourself.”

His eyes scanned her face. It was the most beautiful face he had ever seen. Her honey brown hair. Her flawless, slightly reddish skin. Her bright blue eyes.

They had spent a lifetime together, grown old together. They had always loved each other. But more than once, he had given her reason to leave. She stayed.

He blinked, and her face came into sharper focus. Her gray hair. Her wrinkled skin. Her cloudy eyes.

It was still the most beautiful face he had ever seen.

Respect, by Ian Fletcher

“They need to learn respect!” says Mr. Caruthers through yellowing teeth.

“Yeah? I mean, yes,” I reply.

“Hi, Ian!” some late students shout at me as they rush to class.

“Tell them to call you Mr. Fletcher or you’ll never control them,” says the ungreeted Mr. Caruthers.

“Remember, they’re not your friends,” he continues.

‘So are they my enemies?’ I joke to myself.

Mr. Caruthers enters his classroom.

The students are silent, staring at the bald, pot-bellied figure with amused contempt.

I enter mine.

“Hey, Ian!” says a chorus of voices.

“Yo!” I say, wanting none of Mr. Caruthers’ respect.