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I’m not at all aware where this one came from.

I did used to live on the south coast and once had the experience of driving home from Lewes‭ (‬where there is,‭ ‬I believe,‭ ‬a prison‭)‬,‭ ‬stuck in my tin box whilst bikes were passing me‭ by (‬it might have been the Friday before Kent‭?)

The story started perculating in my mind whilst I was at work,‭ ‬one day,‭ ‬in the abbatoir in rural Brittany that I used to work at.

Work,‭ ‬at the time,‭ ‬involved putting crates of pork onto conveyor belts so that the girls could pack them into boxes.

It was good thinking work in that I didn’t have to think about it at all.‭

That,‭ ‬and the rythmn of the job,‭ ‬was pefect for thinking about writing.

Over a period of about a week I watched the video of this story in that private cinema in my head whilst I worked.

It took me a few years to write down properly but I got there in the end.

I’ve never been to prison and I’ve never killed anyone.

Although,‭ ‬thinking about it,‭ ‬with my culinary exploits I may have come close‭ ‬ to the latter‭ ‬a few times‭!


It was raining when they let him out,‭ ‬and cold as well.‭ ‬Somehow he had been expecting this.‭ ‬He pulled his jacket closer around him and paused as he heard them slam the doors behind him.‭‭

Five years.‭ ‬Five long years wasted.‭ ‬But now it was over,‭ ‬he’d done his time.‭‭

There was no one waiting for him.‭ ‬He hadn’t told anyone about his release date.‭ ‬He’d wanted to do this his own way‭ ‬-‭ ‬on his own.‭‭

He turned left and headed into town.‭ ‬There was a station there.‭ ‬He’d get a train and go somewhere,‭ ‬anywhere.‭ ‬And,‭ ‬when he got there,‭ ‬he’d decide what it was he was going to do.‭‭

To find out what happened next you’ll need to buy a copy of Different Roads – available from from 1st August 2011.