J.A. Prentice was born in Redhill, Surrey, but has been a resident of the Bay Area for nearly twenty years. In 2017, he graduated from San Francisco State with a degree in Creative Writing. His flash fiction piece, “Multitasking,” was published on the site 365 Tomorrows, and he is the primary contributor to the writing blog Living Authors’ Society, which can be found on Wordpress, Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter.
A Sample of:
by J.A. Prentice
The chimes of the clock ring out over the fog. Shadows stretch from grey buildings over grey streets. The Thames winds under bridges and past docks, murky water seeping up the bank. The stink hands over the city, a smell of people and industry and waste, a stench that worms its way into the bricks.
And in the dark, the gaslights shine pale, flickering yellow over harsh and unfeeling alleys.
In the night, the dead wait for their stories to be told.
They lie on tables, cold skin against cold cement, empty eyes staring. The scalpel glints in the pathologist’s hand. He watches their faces, his pale face solemn as a priest’s. Everyone else has gone home long ago and the morgue is empty. It is just him and the corpses.
They have told him to go home, to leave them to some student with clumsy hands and a laughing smile. He cannot. He cannot abandon them, not when he is all they have.
They are the unclaimed, the unloved, the alone. No family wants them; no friends know them. They are shunned and forgotten, even in death.
He is here for them at the end. He will show them the honour they deserve. Here, beneath his hands, is where their stories end.
The pathologist tells those stories as his surgeon’s hands minister to the dead.