Short Stories

Rooted in the realist tradition but frequently crossing boundaries of time and space, Matt’s stories have won the Ink Tears and Momaya short story competitions, been shortlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize, and been published in the Stories for Homes 2 anthology.

A Handful Nails

(Winner of the Momaya Short Story Competition)

In the thin, early-morning light, Rebekah watched her husband strike the hot metal he was working on. It was the day before execution day, which meant plenty of people would be drawn into the city for the market. She pulled the blanket more tightly around herself trying to keep out the chill air. Her brow furrowed as she watched him work, saw his muscles strain under the light shirt he was wearing…To continue reading get your copy of the Momaya anthology.

The Last Damn Peach

(Winner of the Ink Tears Short Story Competition)

Ninety-three-year-old Faye Zuckerman, who was a good time girl in the 1940s and 1950s when – hell – it took balls to swing, put on her blue, rhinestone bikini and started to make her way to the garden where the last peach was waiting in the branches of the only tree in the grounds. She opened the door to her room and stepped into the hallway, and heard the door click behind her. That same click she knew from the many hotels she had stayed in, partied in, got high in. Her key! Shit, she’d forgotten it, but it didn’t really matter. She’d ask one of the damn care assistants to open it. Most of the old people in there couldn’t remember when to take a piss, never mind remember their keys… Continue reading

Let the Bloody Colours Wave

(Shortlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize)

In the ring was the bull, its coat glistening in the sun. It didn’t know its destiny, and perhaps would not have cared if it had, would not have believed it. What animal, healthy, young, full of anger and intent, could imagine itself lying in the sawdust, the black flies gathering round its corpse like excited spectators anxious for a glimpse of death…Continue reading

The Sound of the East Dry River

(Published in Stories for Homes 2)

The bus sped past and the raw power of it made him shudder and want to weep. He hadn’t put his arm out to stop it. He’d seen it turn the corner at the bottom end of the High Street next to Oxfam, and watched it hurtle up the road, the driver obviously trying to make up time. Now he could still feel the air buffeting around him. He sat with his head lent back against the glass of the bus shelter. Beneath him the slippery surface of the plastic seat had lost its original chill…Continue reading

Dog Days

(Published in the Momaya Annual Review)

Whenever he looked down, there it was with something else in its mouth – a shoe, a sock, some old papers. It was a hot listless day, the air in the room hardly moved, shafts of sunlight forced their way in through the half open curtains, while outside the pavements baked and people walked around with barely concealed irritation. Though he knew he should tie the dog up to punish it for stealing, he felt he had hardly enough energy to take the objects from its soft mouth and set them down next to the bed… Continue reading

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