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Here’s a reading of my short-short story “Authorised Domain,” commissioned as part of a package on “the future of the living room.”

The judge said I have to write this note and so I am, but I want to put it right at the top that I don’t think it’s fair.

It begins with Mum and Dad having rows all the time. At first, they tried to hide it from me, but come on, the flat’s not that big. When they put on their mean, angry voices, well, I’m not thick. Then they didn’t even bother to hide it. Mum’d get at Dad about something, it didn’t matter what — taking out the rubbish or leaving his shoes in the hall or money (money was always good for an hour’s moaning). Or Dad would storm into the house and not say a single word to anyone, just sit himself in front of the telly and enter a vegetative state that lasted until everyone had gone to bed. Mum’d make dinner for us two, and I’d go to my room and watch the stuff I’d saved up from the week, my shows, you know, the stuff everyone at school were talking about. Footie, of course, and Celeb Kendo. Had to, yeah? Before it expired, I mean.

It was better when they split, and even better when they divorced. Kids aren’t supposed to be happy about their parents’ divorce, so call me a bastard, but my parents’d tell you I was right. Some people aren’t meant to live together, I guess. Dad had me at the weekends, Mum had me during the weeks. Both of them were much nicer to live with, too. Plus, Divorce Dad was much cooler about things like going to the footy or Alton Towers, and then he’d buy me a takeaway and leave me at home while he went down to the pub.

Mastering by John Taylor Williams: wryneckstudio@gmail.com

John Taylor Williams is a full-time self-employed audio engineer, producer, composer, and sound designer. In his free time, he makes beer, jewelry, odd musical instruments and furniture. He likes to meditate, to read and to cook.

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