In 'The Curtain with the Knot in It', the tube-and-bus journey to the Daffodil ward of Croxted Memorial Hospital consumes Alice's existence as she visits her ailing father. But a sinister string of coincidences and self-fulfilling prophecies, triggered by Alice's innocent act of kindness towards the strangely infantile staff member Pauline, leads to devastating consequences.
In 'The Laughing Academy', Vincent McCloud, a failed pop-star, leaves his late mother's Glasgow flat for the last time. Stewing in bitterness and grief, his mind focuses on the smug face of his former manager, Delves, who is the cause of his dying career. Nursing his anger, Vincent decides to pay a visit to Delves' Bexhill home. However, when he arrives at Delves' abode and is greeted by the manager's neglected, disturbed wife, thoughts of revenge quickly leave Vincent's mind.
Part of the Storycuts series, these two stories were previously published in the collection The Atmospheric Railway.