Andy KJ Cragg


I didn’t want to publish this but I may as well. It’s from a notebook I had years ago when I was calling myself “Alexander Crowley”, for reasons I can’t quite remember.

I saw a Facebook ad for a set of six coasters. Clicked on the link, took me to a website. There were just the six coasters on it, and nothing else, no “about” page, no other items for sale, just the six coasters. And they looked lovely, all geometric shapes and lovely colours, very nice, so I clicked on the buy-now link, entered my credit card details and ordered them. Nice.

That was about ten thirty in the morning. I was working in my upstairs office and heard a package being delivered at about six thirty the same day. I was working, so I didn't go down to see what had been delivered, or the person delivering.

The coasters, including box was small enough to fit through my letterbox.

So, at about seven thirty, I went down and picked the package up from the doormat, wondering what it was, surely the coasters would take a day or two to arrive? But anyway, there were the coasters in the jiffy bag. A beautiful box. I opened it in the kitchen and pulled the top of the coaster box off, and saw the first one. As I looked at it I was instantly taken back to my childhood, the days I'd spent with a girl and the fun we had prancing about and being very silly. Can't remember her name now, but Mum said she wasn't 'all there' and I should not go about with her any more. So, I didn’t. Odd that a coaster should have reminded me about her, all those years ago. I think her name was Jenny.

I took the first coaster out and saw the second one, and it made me smell fresh cut grass and took me back to school, and playing fields and larking about and playfully teasing the girls, and all that, a long time ago.

The third one took me back to university, where I worked with a girl on the course and we seemed to click, she knew stuff I didn't and vice versa, we worked well together, and managed to pass the second year. She somehow didn't turn up for the final year, but I thought nothing of it. Odd, I've never thought of her since, either, I think her name was Imogen.

Then I saw the fourth coaster, and the fifth, but nothing seemed to trigger any memories from these ones, and the sixth seemed to be a pixelated mess, as if something had gone wrong at the printers.

Then, I thought, hang on, these aren't the pictures that I saw of the coasters on the website. So I went back to my computer and brought up the site again. 404 Not Found. The website didn't exist any more, except, well, I do websites and you can create your own "404 Not Found" page and direct people to the home page or search or whatever, but the 404 was odd. The text was oddly formatted, the numbers and letters were in odd places, like they were a ransom note, culled from letters in a newspaper. In Google Chrome, if you right-click on a webpage, and choose "Inspect" at the bottom you can see the gubbins of the page. And the gubbins was a lot more than you could see, because there was a paragraph, the text was white on white, so you couldn't see it on the page, but it was there in the gubbins. The paragraph read :


That's it for the website version - read the rest in my new book!

Out Now! "A Curation of Curious Characters", A Short Story Collection by Andy KJ Cragg

A Curation of Curious Characters, A Short Story Collection by Andy KJ Cragg
Get it at Amazon!

These stories are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.