What do you get if you cross the Pied Piper of Hamelin with the Liverpool riots, with a little bit of Simon & Garfunkel thrown in? The answer isn’t a joke, it’s my latest short story, ‘Troubled Waters’, which I heard on Saturday had been accepted by Grift magazine for their music-themed third issue.
The story is no joke either, but a dark, even elegiac tale of childhood magic, and the effect it has on a pair of life-long criminals caught up in the aftermath of the inner-city riots of a couple of years ago. It was inspired partly by the old classic ‘Bridge Over Trouble Water’ and partly by my own experience of living in two of the cities affected by the riots (Birmingham in 2011 and Liverpool during the famous Toxteth riots of 1981). Oh, and by the famous tale of the Pied Piper, although this doesn’t involve either rats or the mass abduction of children, you’ll be pleased to hear.
I don’t yet know when the magazine is due out but I’ll post further details as soon as I have them. In the meantime, why not track down ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ and sing along to it, for old times’ sake? It’s a great song!