Bonus: The Links has a spinoff!
Today’s post is a bonus and it’s a bonus with big news: like all good soap operas, The Links now has a spinoff!
Regular readers will remember that Alistair Sinclair recently decided to let the flat he inherited from his father:
‘Hold on,’ Alistair called. ‘I wanted to tell you… the work on the flat’s almost finished. I was planning to put it on the market, but I’m going to let it out instead. Short-term lets. People coming to the city for the weekend, that sort of thing.’
‘Parties,’ Erin said. ‘That sort of thing?’
Alistair’s flat is the setting for The Links: Short-Term Lets, a series of episodes written by guest writers. The idea is that in each episode (or short series of episodes), new characters will come to stay in Alistair’s flat, each with their own reasons for being there and their own stories to tell. These episodes will stand separately from the main The Links stories (although familiar characters may appear!) and basically anything might happen.
The first three episodes of The Links: Short-Term Lets are a series written by Chevanne Scordinsky, a writer and healthcare leader who explores genres from horror to romance to the surreal. She is the author of The FLARE, a collection of deeply personal and passionate work which launched in July 2021. You can read more of Chevanne’s fiction on Medium. Her first episode for The Links: Short-Term Lets is below, and her second and third episodes will be published on subsequent Sundays.
As ever, thank you so much for reading The Links!
One day I’ll be famous, Raymond thought. He shifted about excitedly in the armchair of a sparsely furnished living room on the top floor. The talent programme was just starting, with the familiar upbeat theme tune he gleefully hummed as he tapped his fingers on the armrests. The presenter’s pasted on smile flashed on the screen as he introduced the judges.
It was his favourite time of night and there were no interruptions. Raymond had told his wife he was on business, about 2 hours north of their small town, at a fake company he continued building stories about. But it was really to get away from everyone, including her. Sometimes he felt guilty for conjuring up this imaginary world of high pressure sales meetings and late night financial report drafting but there was nothing like being alone in his own space.
During the ad break, he scurried to the kitchen to peel some hard boiled eggs that were cooling in a bowl of water. Crack, crack, crack…
The show started back up, just as he grabbed the salt shaker. His favourites were Ciara, a young hopeful with a deep, rich voice, and Damien, a contemporary dancer.
In the middle of a routine, there was a loud knock at the door. Raymond ignored it. Wrong flat, friend. He took a bite of an egg and watched Damien writhe and glide to a classical song. The knock came harder and more insistent. Annoyed the caller would never go away, Raymond went to the door and pulled it open with the chain still attached.
‘Raymond. We have to talk.’
He hurriedly opened the door and let the man in. Tom shook beaded raindrops from his coat and eyed Raymond sternly.
‘We have a problem.’
The TV was still blaring and Tom motioned for him to turn it off.
‘What is it?’
‘It’s your wife. She’s on her way here.’
Raymond’s eyes bulged as he paced in circles. ‘How? Who the hell told her?!’
‘I don’t know. I tried making up some nonsense about a new client, some loose ends, and she said she wanted to surprise you, help you unwind.’
Raymond groaned loudly. He would have to act fast. ‘How about going over to your place? Tell her we’re on a big project?’
Tom laughed. ‘I’m not getting mixed up in your bullshit.’
‘Tom, you literally started this bullshit with me. You used to clock in for me when I was hung over or tell the boss I had chronic diarrhoea so I could sneak off for dates.’
‘What are we going to do?’
‘You are going to put some trousers on. I may or may not have a plan.’ Tom slowly cracked a smile and the men laughed. ‘Shit, was Damien performing?’
‘Yeah, he was doing an excellent job too.’
‘Let’s see if we can catch the replay.’
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