Author: T

1000 Years Of Annoying The French

Before 1066, the issue troubling the inhabitants of what is now Britain was not ‘Will I get a decent pension?’ or ‘How much is my house worth?’ It was more along the lines of ‘When will a horde of axe-wielding murderers come charging across the horizon to rape the women and steal the cattle (or in the case of certain Viking tribes the other way round)?’ If people didn’t starve to death because of famine or pillage, if they managed to get the harvest in and have time to eat it, life was good. And to give themselves a...

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A Century Later

The school-bell is a call to battle, every step to class, a step into the firing-line. Here is the target, fine skin at the temple, cheek still rounded from being fifteen. Surrendered, surrounded, she takes the bullet in the head and walks on. The missile cuts a pathway in her mind, to an orchard in full bloom, a field humming under the sun, its lap open and full of poppies. This girl has won the right to be ordinary, wear bangles to a wedding, paint her fingernails, go to school. Bullet, she says, you are stupid. You have failed....

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A Short Walk In The Hindu Kush

Even the most casual remarks let drop by this remarkable people had the impact of a sledgehammer. Tū tōtt baglo piltiā. ‘Thy father fell into the river.’ I non angur ai; tū tā duts angur ai. ‘I have nine fingers; you have ten.’ Ōr manchī aiyo; buri aīsh kutt. ‘A dwarf has come to ask for food.’ And Iā chitt bitto tū jārlom, ‘I have an intention to kill you’, to which the reply came pat, Tū bilugh lē bidiwā manchī assish, ‘You are a very kind-hearted man.’

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The Power

‘They have powers that men are not meant to know. From where does this power come? We all know the answer. The Lord told us where these powers come from. We all know.’
There is a silence in the room.

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