Scarborough Fair

The last swirls of colour hung steadfast in the sky, grasping at the bottoms of the clouds and fighting the encroaching dark of the night. Between us, we gave them a nod and whispered appreciation for their fading beauty, before we surrendered our attention to the coming assault on the senses, and stepped over the makeshift threshold of sheet metal and concrete.

Wood smoke, hot oil, sugar and starch. Floodlights and flashing bulbs. Chattering, screaming, whoop and holler above the thud-thud-thud and growling hum of music and machine.

We made careful steps through the crowds – the many rivers of people with their contrarian currents, criss-crossing paths and sudden stops to bark commands at however many of the several children bobbing and weaving their own ways through the throng – to find our targets.

To stopper the grumble of stomachs, we splashed out on food (the classics, the gentrified, and the straight-up outlandish) scraping at the Styrofoam whilst lurking in the second-hand warmth of the serving hatches and trailer doorways.

To defy the odds, we surrendered our newly acquired coppers to the will of rubber ducks, coconuts and the grip of the claws. The eventual plush trophy most likely paid for twice over.

And to tempt fate, we took on the machines, to be spun and shook and launched. Hands finding hands, heads resting on shoulders. Laughter, screams, whispers.

And in between the spiralling chaos of the waltzer, we marvelled at the raven-haired girls who stepped on and off the walkways and arms with an effortless grace. Sirens that harmonised as they walked against the tide, to spin the cars. An old folk song. Their calling card.

Spun-drunk and enchanted, we stepped off the wrong way, and found ourselves elsewhere. Lost in amongst tent-backs, bins, and generators. Backstage to the theatre of the fair, with all the noise and light curtained off from us.

Alone in a sea of people.

Eyes lost in eyes.

Devious smiles.

Arms wrapping around each other, squeezing at the padding of layers in winter.

A stolen kiss.

Cold-numbed lips warming against each other. The rub of stubble. A crystal of Caster.

The already quietened world fading to a whisper. Only the siren-song to fill our heads.

An eternity, with no end in sight.

A sudden yell, and we broke apart.

Two tents down, a young man dove forward, bent double, unleashing a belly full of cider and chips, emptied onto Mike Ashley’s finest.

We were gone before we could be seen. Out amongst the throng, back in formation and hyper-aware, with blood pounding in our ears.

And as the adrenaline died away, the warmth sparked up inside of us, again.

The taste on each others lips.

The brush of fingers as we walked.

And on the air, distant but clear.

The sirens of the waltzer, singing of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme…


From Country, to Town.

The Old Oak
Far Field
Crofter’s Farm
The Country

½ Waning Spring Moon

4 Mens
Converse House
The Town
36.5 EUR

Dear Friend,

Forgive the delay in my response, as I barely received your last letter.

Much has changed. Changed fast. Changed beyond all recognition, all possible dreams and nightmares. Nothing is as you would remember, from your brief visit, many moons ago.

Your letter arrived some weeks ago, in the late post. Things had already become so disturbed. I spoke of the lack of crops being sown in my last to you? They were expecting me to be in the fields, but I had remained in the hedgerows. The Postbirds have been looking more and more shaken in recent times. I should’ve sensed the ill wind, made a move sooner…

Yellow Dragons came before sunrise, each carrying their own unnatural dawn. Rumbling, shuddering, screeching. They came at us from both sides. I grabbed what little we could in my sleep haze and ran. Some went downfield, and I almost did, too. But I remembered your letter, and…

Your letter saved me.

Downfield, the old track was gone. And The Black had come. The Black I so despised in the town has reached us in the country, and it had brought Dragons that crushed friends and strangers alike.

Those of us who remain are in the Old Oak in the Far Field. Even with so few of us, there’s little room, and the threat of rot-weakened floors and walls giving way at any moment. And the men who tame the dragons, in coats that shine in the darkness, have been lurking. I fear they have intentions for even this last refuge.

The field has been transformed. The very earth shifted and heaved, great mountains born and dying in days. They’ve sown unnatural seeds, fertilised with grey slurry that have sprouted angular tree trunks. I think they are the bones of the houses, like the ones in the Town.

Forgive the darkness and sorrow in this letter. In the coming days I intend to move again, through the Woods to the Oilseed fields. Though part of me wonders if you were right to show me the ways of the Town. Everything I have known seems to be vanishing, as the reach of the Town spreads. I so want to believe we can keep going as we once did, but the new crop cannot be sown until the old harvest has died. Maybe the Country’s time is done?

All I know is that you are in my thoughts, and I hope to see you again… Should I not make i

I have enclosed a seperate address, where I hope will find your next letter.

With all my l
Warmest Regards,


WARNING! New Challenger Approaching…

Late to the party, as usual. My name is Jonathan. Friends call me Jonty. You can call me Mr. Arnold. Yes, that IS my father’s name. That’s how this works.

J/K Kimora, could you imagine?

You can call me your Aunty Margaret, for all I care. Especially if you don’t have one. Everyone deserves an Aunty Margaret.

I’ve written for stage and page, and in vague theory for screen.

My speciality is world-building. Give me a compelling setting and I’ll spend my time building vast spreadsheets as I start digging deep, filling in the gaps of everything from infrastructure to local lore, family trees, soft drink brand history…

Anything, except the actual writing. Hence why I’m here. I needed something to spur me into action, that wasn’t as intense as past challenge writing assignments. And boy am I ready. So…

*insert “Honey, you’ve got big storm coming” GIF here*