5 | david gaffney

all mod cons


Jake invented a prescription glass windscreen for his car so that he could drive without wearing his corrective lenses. He enjoyed the feeling of freedom–no plastic pads digging into his nose–and it had the added advantage that car thieves couldn’t drive the vehicle unless they happened to have the same degree of myopia.

Jennifer needed a lift. However, she soon began to complain. She couldn’t see, everything was blurred, and to stop herself being sick she had to stick her head out the window like a dog.

‘You idiot,’ she said to him when he dropped her off.

He wouldn’t ring her again. A permanent relationship would mean grinding the windscreen to suit two different people and he could imagine the arguments–it would be the self-cleaning bed-sheets saga all over again. He went to bed, turned up the shipping forecast and drifted to sleep.


david gaffney was born in West Cumbria, studied in Birmingham and now lives in Manchester. He has worked as an English teacher, a film studies lecturer, a holiday camp entertainer, a medical records clerk, a pub pianist, a debt counsellor in Moss Side, a legal consultant in Liverpool, and now works for the arts council. His stories have been published in print in Ambit, Opium, The Illustrated Ape, Ephemera, Modart, and many other places, and his new novel, Skip Trace, about a crooked debt counsellor and a conceptual artist with a taste for trepanning, is available to publishers now.