Two Fictions
David Gaffney

Do the voice

It began with the door to the Balaclava cupboard. Its two-note see-saw creak, in descending thirds, sounded exactly like the uh huh catch phrase of the disturbed woman in Little Britain. I heard this every time I changed my Balaclava, which was three times a week, and once I'd noticed it, my house became a polyphony of comedy quips. The moaning floorboard on the stair said suit you sir, and the bolts on the door went what a plonker, Rodney. Smothering the cacophony with piano accordion practice didn't work either. Underneath the tunes, I could still hear the wind rubbing a branch against the guttering, going what are the scores, George Dawes and water curling through the radiator murmuring you wouldn't let it lie. The voices insinuated themselves into my sleep, to be born out into the day with me.
A jittery council man confirmed the infestation, but explained that eradication was expensive. Instead, he adjusted the noises to make them sound like songs.
The balaclava cupboard door plays Hey Jude, the low deep-stretched hum of the boiler is O Superman, and things are a little better. But I sometimes miss the fridge clucking stupid boy and the dish washer hissing you're my wife now. The phrases had a live, fleshy quality. Now, that post-modern chill permeates everything. Perhaps I should change my Balaclava for a Trilby.


Music like ours never dies

Marion said the article could have been written with me in mind. I riffled through the supplement, and there it was: Losing it -- the Bay City Rollers story.
The Rollers had everything, but threw it all away. Manager Tam Patton had a sinister, seamy undertow.
Marion was right. Their story was my story. I was self-obsessed, vain, and paid slipshod attention to her. The Bay City Rollers were encoded in me. And Tam Patton? My father -- what else? I left tears on Les McKeon's face, and when Marion came back from her run, I hugged her close.
'Darling, I will never allow us to become the Bay City Rollers.'
She flipped Les over. 'This is the article I meant.' EMOTIONAL INFIDELITY, it said, above a picture of a man and woman on a park bench.
Alone, I drew a penis jutting out of the man's trousers and a moustache on the woman. That's what the Rollers would have done. The moment, not everlasting fame.