Just. No.

So we’ve hit a wall, and it’s all gone to hell in a hand cart. Well, you can read and enjoy your pieces from last month’s Hitting a Wall challenge and vote – shortly – at the voting page.

This month’s challenge? Oh, you’re gonna hate it. I did.

Let’s learn about ourselves, writers. I want you to TAKE THE STYLE OF WRITING YOU HATE AND WRITE A PIECE IN THAT STYLE.

I couldn’t think for a while, then realised I hate pretentious writing, but I already do that, so went for political and stereotypical writing. I get the need for the occasional stereotype, but gods kill me if I have to read pieces where every man is in power because he’s a man and they do that and women belong in a kitchen. THAT’S BORING AND RUINING MY ESCAPISM FROM THE CURRENT REALITY WHERE PEOPLE ACTIVELY BELIEVE THIS AND TORTURE ME WITH IT ALREADY.

Anyway, go write. I need a lie down. This sucked.



Item 13-1-25

Councilman Quentin Mason’s eyes rolled back and his collar rubbed against his recently shaved neck; irritation seemed to be the theme of the day. The morning had been draining, a full two hours of back to back inane cases put forth by the lower classes. He was an older man with fading white whisps that constituted for hair, liver spots on his face, and a verge of flesh that wrinkled worse than his shirt between his chin and his collar line.

How droll, he thought to himself as he looked away from the other council representatives to the window at the edge of the courtroom. The sun was shining and he would have loved nothing more than to sack off the afternoon for a drive out of the city in his convertible and see his secretary in that summer dress again.

“Mr Mason,” the voice called, pulling him back to the present situation.

For Christ’s sake, must I deal with another petulant busy body? Her tits seem less perky than my Doberman. He thought to himself as he turned back to Alison Geralt; the head of the Neighbourhood Watch in her area who seemed to own more sickly coloured pant suits than common sense according to Mason.

“Yes, Miss Geralt…”

“It’s Ms, if you wouldn’t mind.” She interrupted curtly. He sighed and ground his teeth a little further into the next dentist’s holiday he’d be paying for.

Ms Geralt, apologies, I thought we had concluded your last item of the day?” The strain of politeness in his voice seemed to be waning more and more as the heat and the boredom loomed upon him.

“No, Councilman, I have one last item on my agenda.” The woman’s shrill and lisped voice cut through him like a knife.

Agenda? Who the bloody hell do you even think you are? He thought to himself, the rising resentment boiling in him, causing him to sort his collar once more. This is the local council, you daft bint, not the god damned Court of King Solomon.

A strained attempt at a smile crossed his face as he adjusted his perch in his seat. “But of course, Ms Geralt. What would this item be? Curfew on the youth passing through the parks at lunch time?”

The two or three other councilmen, similar in age and appearance to Mason, stifled chuckles and continued to stare through morose eyes at the young lady in front of them.

“No, Sir, it is a far more serious matter than your ribbing. The district of Hecton-on-Sea would like to file it’s independence from the City and, indeed, the country.”

The stifling stopped and the four men sat on the board roared with laughter for a few minutes or so. Alison stood, stern and resolute. As the laughter subsided, Mason – wiping tears from his eyes – saw that she was deadly serious.

“Young lady, this country is on the verge of taking back it’s own independence and, indeed, it’s dignity. Why would the local district of Hecton-on-Sea not want to join the rest of the country in such a momentous occasion?”

The other councilmen jeered with approval.

“You see, Councilmen, we don’t agree wholeheartedly with the higher powers that there would be much dignity regained in such an action. As a matter of fact, as a district of the country where the average household income is dwarfed by the population of the area, we’d very much note that our dignity would be struggling to keep up with those more well off than ourselves.”

The laughing slowly started to build again but was quickly abaited. Mason leaned forward and steepled his fingers in front of his face. This was a stong move, he thought to himself, she can see your authority and overall superiority in this stance.

“Now now, my dear. No need to get so worked up. We all know that you ‘remainers’,” he did the air quotations then quickly returned to steepled dominion, “would like nothing more for the righteous masses to stop saying such hurtful things and go back to our Guardians and whinging about the old days, but here’s the thing! It’s better this way!”

Another round of jeered acknowledgement, and another round of her piercing stare.

“Better for whom, councilman?”

For Christ Almighty, he strained in his head.

“For your generation and those to come, my dear. When you get to hand your piny down to your daughter, you’ll be able to tell her that the country has returned to an Empire and we are ruling once more.”

“Or that some old men who couldn’t bare the thought of dying without leaving the next generation in tatters wanted one last ride?”

The clucking of the councilmen irritated Mason further.

“Young lady, we do whatever is best for our city, which therefore is best for the country. You honestly think that I would allow the fringe minority of Hecton-on-Sea to affect the progress of the rest of that district?”

A slam as the file in her hand hit the desk in front of her.

“Here are the signatures of 90% of the public in that district agreeing with the request.”

“You can’t seriously be asking for such a thing? We’ve given you so much!” His shock giving him away.

“Like what, councilman?” Her eyes like flaming arrow heads.

“The parks…”

“Overrun with rodents and drug addicts.”

“The leisure Centre…”

“A cesspool and known paedophile haunt.”

He flustered once more, “You’ve been given the right to air your opinion, you left wing tyrant, what else do you want?! What else can we give you that could possibly wave a hand to? We’re lead by democracy!”

She straightened herself and cleared her throat, knowing full well that her requests upset the Conservative stronghold that was the Council of her area was like a grain of sound in a clam’s mouth. She leaned low and close to the microphone, recording the meeting and breathed…

“For The Many, not The Few.”





I hated writing this. Have fun.


It’s Not Fair

“Why is there a man crouched under your cloak?”

“What man?” The Goblin King thrust his pelvis out even further, his leather boots creaking with the strain.

“Jareth,” Sarah pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration, “the man who is playing with glass balls.”

“There’s a man playing with my glass balls?” The man in question stood and reached under Jareth’s armpits to glide a pyramid of glittering orbs around his palm, “They are pure crystal, I will have you know.”

“What… wait, you know what, I don’t ca… NO! No, no, no, no! You cannot do that here. Or anywhere else for that matter!” Sarah strode over to the Skeksi/Podling pile up that had jammed in the meeting room door. “I have told you time and time and time again, you cannot fit your oversized thrones in here, and you certainly cannot have the Podlings carry you in on them,” she snarled, “it’s insanely illegal!” She hooked a hand around a huge Skeksi collar and hauled one out. It was a brave move, and one she regretted entirely when her fingers sunk into a rotted rodent snack hidden inside, but it had the desired effect of uncorking the doorway. The rest of the Skeksis surged in, carrying with them the fetid stench of mouldy vegetables and week-old corpses.

Sarah backed off quickly to her position at the head of the table, disguising her nausea with a well-placed hanky, and kicked Jareth out of her seat. There was a spasm at his forehead which she took to mean a raised eyebrow at her insolence, but it was rather spoiled by the thick make-up that already elevated his brows to impossibly high angles. She could not care less. Since returning from the Goblin Castle and its infernal Labyrinth as a teenager, she’d been determined to shrug off her naïve petulance, and part of this grand objective was to do something sensible. The PR firm she had joined was this sensible thing: a guaranteed salary, no one cared if she got a bit wrinkly, and best of all, there were no masks. Apart from the occasional coffee break spent with Hoggle and the rest, life was perfectly normal. Until the Goblin King pranced out of the cleaning cupboard.

Striking a majestic pose in a flurry of glitter and feathers, he had commanded Sarah to turn His Kingdom and that of His Compatriots into Stellar Holiday Destinations. It came as a shock to him[1] when he was shoved back into the cupboard.

The second time he appeared, he bought his so called “compatriots”, and Sarah would never forgive him for it. A screeching, belligerent gaggle of hell-birds descended upon her office, followed by a regiment of slaves hauling along platter after platter of foul and stinking food stuffs, refusing to leave until she acquiesced to their demands. It was mortifying. The poor receptionist still had a nervous tic; her boss journeyed down from the thirty-third floor and promptly threw up; and the cleaners – well let us just say Sarah would have to do her own cleaning from there on in. It only took them two hours to wear her down, but between the crotch twitching and the general gruesomeness of the Skeksi court, Sarah found herself drawing up a contract for them.

If Sarah was honest, it could have turned out much worse. Not by much, but they did pay her generously[2]. Jareth was an egotistical and extravagant moron so it was easy to create a media campaign that showed the sun shining out of his pert arse. And the Skeksis’ land was simply gorgeous, full of the most sensational fauna and flora she had ever seen, so not a lot of work was needed there. But there were some… issues.

“General… GENERAL! Don’t you start screaming at me.” Sarah tried to turn to face the current Skeksi Emperor, but his putrid breath still hung on the air so she ended up taking a strange twisted stance that ostensibly put her body facing him, but kept her nose as much as possible out of the stench zone. “Have you even bothered to read the copy of the Human Rights Convention that I emailed you?”

He stared at her disagreeably.

“Any of the hard copies I gave you?”

He adjusted the fall of lace down his bloated front.

“The man I sent to follow you whilst reading the Convention aloud?”

Here, the General gave a smug shrug and glanced over his shoulder at his court. His less emaciated than normal court.

“You- you- For Christ’s sake! You can’t keep kidnapping people for their life essence! I cannot set your country up as a top tourism destination until you start treating people as people. Not slaves. Not resources. I want my assistant back this instant or I’m ripping up your contract. And you,” she spun towards the snickering royal behind her, “you have no room to talk. I’ve seen the latest reports from my people in the Labyrinth.”

“They managed to escape from the Oubliette? I was going to make them all Knights of the Bog of the Eternal Stench. Such a pity.” He leant over to the General, “So how did you do it?”

“We tricked the spithead into dropping himself into a pit,” the overgrown bird cackled as another tugged out a roll of parchment to write notes, “are you as clever as we?”

“Well, now you see the Labyrinth is my own personal creation. My magnum opus if you will…” Jareth began, his bulge shivering with barely contained delight. A goblin sprung up out the bin with its own notebook in hand.

Sarah watched with dismay as the meeting spiralled out of her control, as the two rulers began exchanging pro-tips for kidnapping and other illegal activities. Her to-do list lay abandoned on the table. There was no way she was going to address the problem of the Fireys bursting into spontaneous song and decapitation in the middle of a tour group. Nor was she going to be able to discuss the cease-and-desist letters from the Gelfling community against the Skeksis. She groaned, feeling the words she promised herself never to say again course up her throat,

“It’s not fair!”

[1] Though not to anyone else.

[2] If curiously. She still wasn’t sure what to do the Landstrider coach-and-pair.

Lawrence of the Conservatory

0900 HOURS

I’m awoken abruptly by Eric, who’s bathed in grime from last night’s heavy sesh playing Overwatch. His face is as puffy and red as his hair, a far cry from the rest of his pearlescent white skin, and from this angle he’s dripping oily sweat on my cheek. I shove him away and growl, hurling the hood of my sleeping bag over my head and face planting into the damply fusty pillow. A spindly finger prods my back, at first hesitant but soon short, quick and…stabby. My frustrated cry dissipates through the knackered, lumpy pillow and I remind him, face down, that it’s really fluffing early and that we spent most of last night having to wait for him to install all 6.3gb of the game on Mrs Leigh’s practically-dial-up broadband which we all agreed to do BEFOREHAND and that Mrs Leigh is totally going to bollock us for. The prodding continues, underscored by the really disconcerting sound of Eric huffing and puffing like a panicked choir boy running away from a priest. I aggressively shimmy around to face him, rustling really bloody loudly so that Eric KNOWS I’m pretty irate about the situation. Sweaty Eric thrusts a small blurry orange and blue bottle in my face, and I grouchily slam my hand about until it falls on my glasses case. I examine the much clearer bottle with my half-rims on. I gulp as I realise how totally boned we are. There’s only 10ml left in the Factor 90.

0930 HOURS

We alert Adam straight away. As a registered dweller of this house and the conservatory we had gamed and slept in, we figured he’d know what to do. We, however, leave Dawn sleeping. The palest skinned and most vividly orange of the core four. Also the resident asthmatic. We agree it’s best not to panic her if there’s a solution to be had. Adam, our leader both in battle and in spirit, resolves to get another bottle from the bathroom.

1000 HOURS

The door between the conservatory and the living room is locked. Adam is now banging furiously on the glass and yelling at his little sister as she smugly digs into her Coco Pops and swings the conservatory key on her index finger. She’s completely unphased by Adam’s wailing threats to tell Mrs Leigh on her and she retorts that their Mum has gone to pilates with the girls and won’t be back until the afternoon. Apparently this teaches us for not letting her play with us and using a bot instead. Besides, she didn’t want “boy smell” to “infect the house”. The only way out now is via the garden. Adam has now turned rage purple.

1015 HOURS

Adam has absolutely scuppered any hope of his sister unlocking the door by telling her she’s adopted. We can hear her crying upstairs.

1030 HOURS

Adam’s war cries have awoken Dawn and she now won’t stop screaming. Eric has spent the last ten minutes trying to coax her off the wicker chair which she is rapidly peeling bare with her nails. I’ve been trying to calm down Adam who has been berating Dawn for not being a proper girl and bringing any bobby pins to pick the living room lock. He doesn’t mean it. I think.

1130 HOURS

The heat is becoming unbearable. We’ve all had to break into the Factor 90 at 1ml each measured with precision with Mrs Leigh’s gardening pipette. Although there might have been some residual plant food left in the pipette as Dawn’s neck has come out in a particularly nasty rash. She’s allergic to everything though, so we’re going to epipen her anyway just to be safe.

1245 HOURS

Emergency. Man down. The sun moved whilst we were trying to wrestle Dawn into submission with the epipen and severely burnt Eric’s ears. In a state of itchy confusion, he’s holding the sun screen hostage.

1315 HOURS

Eric has been banished to the hottest corner of the conservatory after he took Adam’s threat to delete his level 60 Pandaren too seriously and spilled at least 6ml of the Factor 90. Dawn is currently rolling on the floor to soak it up. Her neck has started to pus. Adam’s sister is still crying.

1350 HOURS

Mrs Leigh still isn’t back. After trying to drain some of the Factor 90 from Dawn’s face, we have managed to salvage 2ml. 3ml in total. Someone is going to have to get more Factor 90. Someone is going to have go outside.

1400 HOURS

Adam found some of Mrs Leigh’s nail files and has snapped them to different sizes. Eric has been omitted from the drawer for on account of passing out from heat stroke. He’s still in the corner of shame, but we’ve chucked a crocheted decorative blanket over him.

1415 HOURS

Dawn picked the short file. She doesn’t want to go outside.

1420 HOURS

We pushed Dawn outside. She is screaming at us with her face pressed up to the window. She’s not listening to our instructions to get more sun screen from the offie.

1430 HOURS

Dawn is now trying to file the lock open with the remaining nubbin of emery board. Adam and I are pressed to the wall closest to the house, as the sun has started to encroach upon the conservatory. We may need to use the remaining 3ml

1432 HOURS
Dawn’s got the sun screen. As long as she remains too sweaty to open the cap, we’ll be fine.

1433 HOURS

Dawn is using her top to pry open the sun screen. We’re doomed. And she’s already the colour of Charmander. Three bulbous yellow, pustular sacs wobble on the back of her irritated neck. Eric is completely in the sun now. We’ve assumed he’s dead.

1450 HOURS

Adam drank his own urine. I’m not sure why. There’s still some cans of coke by the sofa bed.

1500 HOURS

Mrs Leigh finally returned from pilates to find Dawn passed out by the nationalist themed Chrysthanthemums. Adam, Dawn and I have been let into the living room and presented with a bottle of camomile lotion. I have never been more aroused.

1800 HOURS

Mum dropped Dawn at her parents after a quick visit to A&E to sort out her neck. Turns out she’s allergic to whatever was in Eric’s epipen. I’ve been slathered in more camomile lotion. Laying down feels like I’m being grated finely like parmesan. Sleeping may be an issue.

2200 HOURS

I think Eric might still be in the conservatory.

Scarlet Passion

Some people say you can’t choose who you fall in love with, and they’re right. But they say it as an apology, and that’s where they’re wrong. True love needs no apology, whatever form it takes. I should know, for perhaps I know the strangest love of all; the love a human can feel for a vampire…


“Lay back, my love.” Her voice is soft, gentle, caressing. She lowers me gently to the ground, one of her strong hands cradling my head, her fingers stroking the pulse point of my neck…


1. At First Sight

I remember the first time I saw Elmindreda. I was captivated in that first moment, as she tore greedily at the homeless man’s neck. It was after 5am, and I had been walking home from a late shift at the hospital (I live a few streets away) and as I passed an alleyway I heard a noise. I’d walked on, assuming it was just a cat or something, but then there was a groan of pain. So I turned back, looked into the alley. There was movement but I couldn’t make it out so I moved closer. Another noise, and two huge shadows were cast on the wall before me, a human shape struggling with something monstrous. And then with a crash two figures tumbled into the light from the street, the largest hitting the ground with a thump and the second, smaller figure landing on top. I recognised the larger one immediately as the homeless man I’d seen a lot in the last few months, always camped down in the mouth of this alley. His thick, tattered coat and many layers of clothing made him look indeed monstrous. The second figure was smaller, crouching over the man, pale hands gripping tightly at his clothes as its face was buried in the angle where the neck meets the shoulder.

I didn’t know what to think, what to do… I took a breath, preparing to speak, but the smaller figure tensed and snapped her head around to look at me. I say her, for it was indeed a woman crouching over the homeless man whose neck was a mass of red. This was my first look at Elmindreda. She wore tight black jeans and a black vest top, with raven black hair framing a white face, her lips were bright red and blood was smeared over her cheeks and dripping from her chin. But what truly struck me was her eyes. They were pale, shining blue, and glowed brightly in the dark alley. I’d never seen such eyes before, and I know I never will again. That was the moment, I think, that I truly lost my heart.

She stared at me for a moment, this strange, elegant creature, and then she bared her teeth and hissed. Her fangs shone white in the dimness, and perhaps my head overtook my heart for a moment, because I turned to run. I pelted for the mouth of the alley, but before I had taken three steps she was already there, leaning sensuously against the wall, smiling at me. I stopped, confused; she couldn’t have moved so fast, it wasn’t humanly possible…
“Going somewhere?” she asked, her voice was a caress of silk. She began to walk slowly toward me, her body swaying invitingly, and I found myself unable to move.
“I… I didn’t meant to… er…” I’ve never been any good at speaking to women, but this was a whole other level of awkwardness.

“Didn’t mean to… interrupt?” She stopped in front of me, looking up at me through long black eyelashes. She was a lot shorter than me, the top of her head was well below my shoulder, but there was something about her that made me feel I was in the wrong for being so tall.
“Exactly,” I stammered, and she reached a hand up to caress my cheek.
“Don’t fret, precious,” she said, and I blushed. “I’m just so hungry, you see. So very, very…”

As she spoke her voice faltered, and then her eyes rolled up in her head and she slumped. Without thinking, I caught her before she hit the ground. I knelt there in the alley, as the homeless man twitched his last behind me, and stared down at the strange and beautiful creature in my arms. Without really knowing what I was doing, I quickly wiped away as much of the blood from her face as I could, then rose to my feet. She was incredibly light, and her body was firm but strangely cold. Wondering what the hell I was doing, I began to walk back to my flat, conscious that the first rays of the morning sun were hitting the roofs of the buildings about me…


It’s all I can manage, but she hears me and she smiles. She understands, and her hand leaves my neck, her black fingernails tracing across my chest in a caress both tender and erotic, coming to rest over my faintly beating heart.


2. Late Night Conversations

She slept like the dead for five days after that night. Which is hardly surprising I suppose, given that she is what she is. We spoke about that quite early on, not long after she woke up. I’d put her in my bed, and kept all the curtains in the flat closed, just in case. I’d waited each night to see if she’d wake, called in sick to work. Family member was ill, I’d told them. Near enough. And then on the fifth night, as the last traces of the day vanished from the sky, her eyes opened and she drew in a huge, shuddering breath. I’d half expected her to rise up like Nosferatu or something, but she just looked at me. Her lips curled back in a snarl, but somehow even then she was beautiful. I spoke quickly, gesturing at the tray I’d set beside her on the bed.
“I thought you might be hungry.”
Her eyes darted to the tray, and the seven blood bags laid on it. In an instant she’d torn two of the bags open and was guzzling them greedily. Blood ran down her chin, over her chest, splattering onto the bed… I winced slightly at the stains it would leave on the duvet and mattress, but then shrugged. She saw the movement and froze, her eyes on me again. I grinned, nervous. She was so beautiful…

“I’m Alex,” I said, and she raised an eyebrow for a moment, before plucking another bag from the tray. This one she deftly bit into, and then she leaned back on the bed, arching her back and lifting the bag high. She squeezed it, and the scarlet blood poured in a graceful arc into her waiting mouth. She didn’t miss a drop, and I swallowed against the lump in my throat. She dropped the empty blood bag onto the tray, delicately patted her lips with a corner of the duvet and settled herself against the pillows.
“Hello Alex,” she said, and her voice was as silkily caressing as I’d remembered. “My name is Elmindreda.”

And so it began. We talked for much of the night, and I told her about myself and my life. It didn’t take long. So then she told me about her life, or unlife, as she called it. She was made a vampire in 1786, in eastern Europe. She’d travelled the world multiple times over, coming to England for the sixth time only a year or so before. She drank through the blood bags on the tray, and I fetched her some more; I’d ‘acquired’ them from the banks at the hospital. I think I covered my tracks alright, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time blood has gone missing… She told me it tasted okay, but warm blood, living blood was best. But she rarely ate from humans, she was just at a low point, starving. Not so used to city life; she’d spent much of her time in the country, with wildlife to hunt…

We talked and talked all night, and she relaxed in my company. By the time the sun was close to rising we were sitting cross legged on the bed, facing each other. In a weird way it was kind of like those conversations people tell you they had at university, where you just connect with someone and spend the whole night just talking… I’d never had anything like that, till Elmindreda.

But the morning came in the end, and suddenly she slumped and let out a terrific yawn. It was like a tiger yawning, her fangs glinting, her tongue like a bright red snake. She closed her mouth with a snap, her glowing eyes on me.
“Thank you for helping me, Alex,” she said, and smiled. “Not everyone would have.”
I started to say it was no problem when she leaned forward, slowly but intently, and pressed her lips to mine. She was cold, like marble, but softer than anything I have ever known. I returned the kiss, and her cold tongue pressed against my lips, and I closed my eyes and opened my lips, my tongue seeking hers…
Then in a moment, she was gone and I fell face first onto the bed. Her laugh rang out, sensuous as the rest of her, and as I sat up she was under the covers, only her pale, beautiful face showing.

“I have to sleep now, Alex,” she said. “But I’ll see more of you tomorrow night.”
I blushed at that, and she smiled gleefully. I said goodnight, and before I had left the room she was asleep. I sat on the sofa in the lounge, still feeling the softness of her lips against my own.

That was the beginning. We spoke every night, as she drank blood I had taken from the hospital, building her strength up again. After the second week I suggested to her I could hire a car, drive us somewhere out in the country, so she could hunt. She kissed me then, pressing her lithe, slim body against mine.
“That would be exquisite,” she murmured. “Honestly, Alex, I don’t know what I’d do without you…”
I hired a car the next day…


“Thank you, my love,” she says. “You know I cannot live without you…”
Her eyes glow silver-blue in the moonlight as she smiles down at me. I try to smile back, but I cannot. Then her smile fades as she speaks again.
“But then, I’m not actually alive am I, dear one?”
Suddenly I feel five points of pain in my chest. I try to scream but I cannot, and then Elmindreda’s hand punches through my ribcage and curls about my heart…


3. Forever

She had a lithe animal grace to her; you could see it whenever she moved, even when she wasn’t ripping a deer’s throat out. It was raw, sensual, strange but incredibly erotic. Inhuman, but utterly beautiful. That was what captivated me when I first saw her, and with every moment spent with her I grew more intoxicated. She was like no one I had ever known.

We’d leave the city every few weekends, driving out to the country, sometimes simply finding a motorway services that was far enough out and staying in a cheap room. We’d arrive at night, and the next night Elmindreda would hunt. I watched sometimes, but not often; I’d often scare off the game. She was so fast, like a panther with glowing blue eyes, leaping on her prey and draining it in moments. It was an amazing sight to behold.

I became nocturnal for her; we’d spend the nights together, sometimes walking the city, or sometimes staying at my flat. After she’d been with me six weeks I told her what I’d known from the moment I’d set eyes on her; I loved her. She looked at me with her shining eyes, and smiled. A small, beautiful smile. And then she lunged for me, kissing me hungrily, and we made love for the first time in my bed. As we lay together afterward I looked down at her, her cold body pressed against my warm one. There was a faint taste of iron in my mouth, a remnant of her kisses, and as I savoured this taste of her I knew this was right. I knew that we love each other, Elmindreda and I, and we would always look after one another.

This is forever.


With a wrench she tears my heart free of my body and lifts it to her lips. The last thing I see is my scarlet blood cascading over my true love’s face, and as she closes her white fangs on my still-beating heat, I am gone.


Cyril leant over his telescomatic 3000 and willed the gods to let him find something tonight.

#Black #MoreBlack #MoreBlack

As he scanned the sky the telescomatic 3000 tweeted his progress.

#MoreBlack #MoreBlack #WaitThatMightBeSomething #GoBackYouUselessMeatSack

Cyril glanced down as the iPad in his lit up with new tweets.

#NotThatFar #BackABit

He inched the telescope back until the iPad flashed again.





“Crap,” said Cyril slumping to the ground.


“British stargazer Cyril Bucket yesterday discovered what is said to be the first new space object since the discovery of Styx, a small moon orbiting Pluto in July 2011.” said the perfectly coiffed anchor woman from Fox news. “Cyril’s telescomatic 3000 live-tweeted the discovery in the early hours also claiming the object was on a collision course with the Earth, a suggestion that is yet to be confirmed by science,” she said the word science like it left a bad taste in her mouth.

“Indeed Madison. Fox news have been trying to get hold of a representative of NASA since the story broke without success. However, one person who has been quick to dismiss the claims is President Trump; and we can go to the great man himself now as he addresses the nation from the Whitehouse.”

The camera cut to a video showing Donald Trump sat in a chair by a roaring fire with a white cardigan over tan slacks. He picked up his pipe and took a long drag then put it carefully in a gold ashtray on the table by his recliner.

“My fellow Americans, I’m here today to put your minds at ease, there is no ‘asteroid’ on a collision course with earth. How do I know? Asteroids are not real. I mean who here has ever seen an asteroid?” said President Trump. “I believe that this so called asteroid will turn out to be just another hoax put upon the American people by the Chinese and their puppets in the world scientific establishment. An establishment that I have promised to rid America of. If almighty God would have wanted us to know how things worked he would have put them in the bible. I urge all God-fearing Americans to go about their business as normal, if we ignore it and go on buying high quality American-made electrical items, I guarantee it will all go away. Goodnight and God bless America.”


Bill Gates sat at the head of the long polished oak table and sipped a particularly excellent Frapin Cuvee as the rest of the group took their seats. The heads of Apple, Coca-Cola and Walmart were looking at Bill expectantly while ExxonMobil, BP and Sinopec were just making themselves comfortable.

“We all know why we’re here right?” said Bill Gates.

“We have a government to blackmail?” asked one CEO.

“We have restrictive new laws to force through?” asked another.

“We have irritating start-ups to force out of the market?” suggested the third.

“Jeez don’t any of you watch the news?!? There’s a massive asteroid heading for earth that will likely wipe out all life on the planet.”

“But, Mr President Trump said there was no such thing as asteroids,” said he BP CEO scratching his initials into the priceless desk with a small penknife.

“Yes but he is a moron, remember we put him in charge so we could all save money by flouting environmental rules.”

“Ha Ha Good times,” said the CEO of ExxonMobil.

“Look, we have 72 hours to get a plan together,” said Bill in a voice that brooked no argument. “Then we have maybe a week to put it in to action. Now let’s focus on what is really important, how do we make this mission a tax benefit?”

48 hours later and the finer points of the tax arrangement had been ironed out and the greatest minds in business put their heads together to come up with a plan to save the earth…


“So we’re all agreed?” asked Bill slumping into his chair. “This is the plan we’re going with?”

“Yes,” groaned the CEO of ExxonMobil. “We’ve been thinking for hours and no one else can think of any other films where they successfully blow up the asteroid and save the earth bar Armageddon. What are we supposed to do come up with an idea of our own?” A wave of chuckles washed around the room at the absurd notion.

“OK so we plan to round up eight of the best deep sea oil drillers in the world and blast them up there to dig to 800 feet in and then set of a nuclear detonation that will make the asteroid split apart and miss the earth?”


“Do we need to find a team where one of the guys is sleeping with his boss’s daughter?”

“No but if we can find one that would probably work better.”

“Fine,” said Bill with a sigh. “Let’s get our people on it.”


“Good morning Randy.”

“Good morning Madison and good morning to you America. We have a packed show for you tonight with all of the latest on the AsteroidGate scandal.”

“We do indeed Randy, a little later on we will see what those hard working industrialists over at the Global Business Council are up to but first we go live to the Oval Office where Vice President Staunton has a message for us.

Behind Madison the screen cut to the multitude of waving American flags that preceded the entrance of the second most powerful man in the world Vice President Staunton.

“Hello American! Today I have seen reports from our most trusted advisors that indicate that we may have been a little hasty in our earlier message to the people. It seems that asteroids are in fact a real thing, they are in the bible and are mentioned in the passages related to the end of days, to Armageddon,” said the Vice President. “However, now is not for fear, it is the time for the people of America to stand together and to say no to Armageddon. I have personally setup the National Asteroid Association or NAA and I urge all of you to join. Together we can get an asteroid for each and every man, woman and child in America. One asteroid is no match for a country of 320 million patriotic Americans all armed with their own asteroids. Together we defeat the evil of asteroids with more asteroids.”

The video faded out to show the pale faces of the two Fox news anchors. “The vice president there with that shocking report,” said Randy.

“Shocking indeed Randy. I for one am going straight out after the show and using my God given second amendment right to sign up for the NAA and get myself an asteroid.”

“I’ll be right behind you Madison, we can’t let extremist space asteroids push us around now is the time to stand firm and put an end to this menace once and for all.”

“Right you are Randy,” said Madison holding her hand to her ear. “Oh it looks like we have finally been able to get a comment from those egg-heads over at NASA.”

The screen behind the anchors flickered to life to show a small bespectacled man in a rumpled shirt and soup-stained tie. “Hi is this thing on?” he asked tapping the mic.

“Yes we can hear you Mr?…”

“Oh I’m Jonas Prentice, ah Mr Bolden asked me to read this message.” He held up a piece of paper almost as rumpled as he was and with a cough began reading. “Look you ingrates, we are really quite busy here doing important and very complicated science type things that you Trump electing buffoons wouldn’t be able to understand even if we took out all of the long words. So please, piss off and leave us alone so we can get on with our work, the phones ringing all the time are really quite distracting.” Jonas stopped and looked up straightening his tie. “Umm… are there any questions?”

There was a crush of noise as all of the assembled journalists tried to shout at once before Jonas picked out a specific journalist with a nod of his head.

“Janice Yung, Fox News, what is the official NASA line on the NAA will they be supplying the people of America with their own asteroids and if not why not?”

Jonas let out a long pained sigh then turned and walked off the stage.


Back in the GBC HQ Bill Gates sat opposite a barrel-chested, square-jawed uniform with a crew cut and pistol the size of a small cannon on his hip.

“How are we doing Don?”

“Pretty well, we rounded up the most motely crew of deep sea drillers that we could find and sent them down to Kazakhstan where we have the rockets. We got them all suited up and they are ready to blast off any time.”

“What about their training?”

“Well there wasn’t much detail in the movie so we skipped over that part. I’m sure they will figure it out. How hard can it be to drill a hole?”

“True, let’s get them up there.”


“And here the astronauts go now,” said Madison, talking over the video of the drilling crew waving to the cameras before boarding the rocket; there were a few minutes of nothing much on the screen and then the countdown began.


“The Fox news team have been given special permission to listen in as these intrepid men take their first steps into the unknown.”


“If they can’t do it no one can Madison.”


“If they can’t do it no one can Madison indeed Randy.”


“Now let’s go live to the cockpit as they run through their last checks.”


“What do you mean adjust telemetry?” came a baffled voice from inside the ship.

“Just turn the telemetry nob 20 degrees counter clockwise and that will open up the thrusters. We need more juice or you’re not going to break orbit.”


“Which one is the telemetry nob there’s tons of the buggers here.”


“It’s the big yellow one on the right, jeez have your forgotten your training already?”


“What training?”


“Seriously you’ve had no training at all?!? How the hell do they expect you to pilot the ship?”


“Erm… they said you were going to do it?”


Around the world people cheered as the twin rockets Fuck and You ignited spitting two roaring tunnels of flame. Slowly, then with increasing speed the rockets rose into the sky fighting off the Earth’s gravity. “Good luck to you brave men,” said Randy as the rockets went higher and higher. Then something went wrong, the engines on the Fuck started to splutter then they cut out. The weight of the Fuck pulled the You down, and with its rockets still blazing it slowly turned then began racing back towards the earth propelled by both the engines and the Earth’s gravitational pull.

Before anyone could react the rockets hammered into the ground like a dart filled with semtex; the explosion sent thick oily black smoke into the atmosphere and a tidal wave of fire that incinerated all in its path. The feed to the Fox news studio cut out in a roar of flames and a shocked Madison and Randy were back on the screen.

“Umm… Well it seems that the rocket and the mission to save the earth was a massive failure,” said a numb Randy.

“What are we going to do now?” asked Madison. “Where is the NAA? Where are our asteroids God damnit?!? The only thing that can stop a bad guy with an asteroid is a good guy with an asteroid!”

Randy held his finger to his ear to block out his hysterical co-anchor then cut in his instructions received. “We can now go live to the Whitehouse where President Trump is standing by…”

The screen cut to the frazzled President who was striding around the roof of the Whitehouse a machine gun in each hand, toupee flapping in the driving wind. He had torn the sleeves off his suit exposing his sinewy arms and his tie was wrapped around his head Rambo style. “The time is here people,” he said shouting into the camera. “It’s now or never. This menace cannot be reasoned with, it cannot be ignored it only understands one thing. Force. We need to get out there and give it to Johnny Asteroid with both barrels.” The president spun and with a wild cackle started firing into the air vaguely in the direction of where the asteroid loomed high in the sky, some 25,000 miles away.


“It is now four hours since President Trump ordered a full scale ground assault on the asteroid,” said the announcer on the radio. “Our experts put the dead from falling bullets at around ten million with, tens of millions more wounded. Hospitals all over the country are overwhelmed and have been forced to implement the Uber, surge pricing model. On the up side in the wake of the crisis shares in the US medical industries boomed with Sentera shares alone rocketing up 300%. Prime Minister May declared it a sad day for our allies but a good day for her bank balance before skipping off on her Lear Jet for her secret bunker in the Swiss alps. ”

“Bloody Tories,” mumbled Cyril clicking off the radio.

#It’sStillComing #YepDefinatelyGettingCloser tweeted his telescope as the asteroid slowly filled the sky.

“It might be the end of the world but look at that view,” said Cyril pointing to where the edge of the asteroid was lit up with flames as it started to enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

“Ya beautiful,” conceded Olga taking a hit of Vodka straight from the bottle. Cyril had been saving it for their first night together as man and wife, when they finally did the deed but it seemed a shame to waste it now that wouldn’t happen.

“I love you, you know Olga,” he said hand on her leg. “I really actually do.”

“I like you too Cyril,” she said taking another hit. “I like you too.”

Cyril wiped a tear from the corner of his eye, it really was beautiful now that he could see the detail, and the colours, blues, browns and those glorious reds and, and, “What the?” said Cyril nudging the viewfinder over to where a bright violet light appeared on the asteroid. He had just focused when it dimmed then there was a blinding flash.

“So beautiful,” he heard Olga say as if from a long distance. After a few moments when his vision finally started to clear he looked up and the beautiful, looming ball that would devastate the world was gone replaced by a thousand shooting stars.

“What? What happened?”

“It was there, then there was a flash now not there,” said Olga taking another hit of vodka. “Why not try the radio?”

Cyril bent down and clicked the radio back on. “We have confirmation, the asteroid has gone! Eye witnesses are claiming that there was a blinding flash in the sky then the asteroid was just gone! Amazing scenes! In churches, synagogues and mosques all over the globe people are declaring a miracle. Wait, wait… we have news coming in, yes there is a spokesman from NASA making an announcement, let’s see if we can cut in on the feed…” There was some static then an American voice came over the radio.

“Yes it was us. Are there any better questions?” There was an eruption of noise as everyone tried to talk at once then the spokesman cut back in. “You there, moustache; hit me?”

“Tom Billstick, ABC news; what did you guys do?”

“Death laser,” said the NASA spokesman matter-of-factly.

“What? But how?”

“Science bitches! You should try it some time. Anyway I’m off for a shower, a beer and a fucking long sleep. Let me know when our medals arrive eh?”

“I don’t wanna, talk about it…”

Good Gods dear reader, what a month!

I know what you’re thinking, and I apologise. I’ve been quite rushed off my feet recently with work and theatre and excuses but two days late, WE HAVE THE EXAMPLE PIECE!

So I hope you’ve been reading the entries to last month’s I’m my stead as I have that to do tonight. If you’ve read them and want to vote, the voting for May can be found here. This also ends the extension to the writers hand in as I had been taking ages.

So to June! Now June is the birth month of two of my heroes: Stan Laurel and George Orwell. Both were incredible in the genre of Satire, Orwell questioning the human condition through his writing and Laurel being incredibly funny in reacting to Oliver Hardy’s ridicule. Now to clear a thing, I checked the actual definition of Satire as it seems to be misused like ironic is.

the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

Now as June 8th is a bit of a political wormhole, I’m tempting fate giving the theme of satire to the seven witty gits that are my writers so I have tried to propel them on another tangent this month. The theme is PARODY. The writers are invited to give us their takes on whatever they like, the less obvious the parody the better! To make sure that we don’t start any political revolution, points will be deducted to any writer who makes reference to the current political landscape. I know, I’m not nice.

And so, dear reader, to the example piece. This piece is inspired by an idea my good friend Ian Mason had about the response to the original broadcasting of a certain radio programme, and leads me to finish on “I’m not obsessed with Sci-fi recently, you are!”




The Waning World

October 30th

“Good evening and welcome to BBC World Service. We apologise for the interruption of tonight’s broadcasting to bring you the news that our Prime Minister, Hugh Laurie, has declared that the UK and indeed the world is at war.” The radio crackled in it’s obtrusive manner, echoing and resonating with half built machineries in the lofty Tewkesbury Garage.

“Earlier today a message was received by the Pentagon – the US’s second largest centre of information after Facebook – declaring that the earth had been under surveillance for the past century and the human race left our audience wanting.”

Morris flicked the radio off in a half dazed state. He couldn’t believe what he’d just heard. The world was at war with an unknown entity/entities? Just because they didn’t like what they saw? He scoffed, “Well I blame the Americans! Running around shooting one another and screaming about how they’re the ones in the right.”

His audience, his tabby cat Jessy, didn’t much agree. She sauntered off, flicking her tail in indifference and knocking Morris’ tea off the side table for good measure.

“Oh well that says it all! World War Three is one thing but knocking a man’s tea over? I’m writing to my local council!”

November 13th

Morris knew there was something a miss, he’d felt the air change about 3.45am and knew that something was definitely not right. His morning cup of Yorkshire Tea did little to brighten his mood and he hadn’t seen Jessy in a day or two. Realising today was a Sunday and being a man of routine, he went to the garage to fetch his Triumph Bonneville and embarked on a calming and idyllic ride across the new Moor that had appeared since the last onslaught of plasma cannon fire. Morris was further upset by the events of the day as the ricochet of the blasts had caused several pot holes which took the council weeks to sort out and even then they didn’t do a good job. Morris was indeed a little miffed about this whole debacle.

December 8th

Morris sat at the abandoned train station. He didn’t know why he was sitting there, as trains had gone with the rest of civilisation after the war had ended. The word war seemed a little out of place to Morris. War, in his mind, was the act of two groups fighting over something of belief or value. Now the world was indeed valuable to Morris, don’t get him wrong, and he imagined that many of the other people that had lived on the planet thought so too but the the fighting seemed very one sided. Earth had sent everything it had in one fowl swoop and did nothing to the approaching pods as they landed in major cities on their pipe cleaner legs and started blowing things up with much more veracity and effectiveness. Although Morris had managed to avoid the major onslaughts by living in a tiny grouping of houses on the outskirts of Tewkesbury, he had heard the explosions from a far and couldn’t help but notice how the alien technology seemed to sound. He couldn’t quite place the reason why but when the things had torched Worcester, it sounded like a rock concert. It was as if Robert Moog and Steve Vai had moved in with Ginger Baker down the road. Normally the most music that Morris would listen to would be the theme to The Archers before turning the radio off for the night.

December 26th

During the early hours of the morning, a man appeared at Morris’ garage door holding a yellowed envelope and Jessy. Morris couldn’t understand a lick of what the man was saying but seemed to keep saying Old Rosie, and surmised that this was his name. As Morris opened the letter, Old Rosie made himself and Jessy comfortable by the storage heater. The letter turned out to be a call to arms by local constituencies to rebuild the now blasted country and indeed, world. It explained how somewhere in Devon, am elderly lady had realised the solution to renewable and pollution free energy. It occurred one morning when she had had a slight turn and dropped her toast, the polava spooking her own tabby cat who leaped from the top of the fridge. Not sure if it were the sudden loss and regaining of oxygen to the brain or the new outlook on life from the tiled kitchen floor, she realised that toast always landed buttered side down and cats always land on her feet. Later that night, she had carefully lay her cat to bed as she always did and then went to the kitchen. Reports from the local neighbourhood suggest that the lights in the district were supercharged and then exploded. This technology was far beyond where the human race should be at this point in time, and caused the Jeffery Wayne Time Continuum to set their agents to rectify this problem.

At the end of this explanation of recent events sat a simple instruction: To confirm your participation, please follow Old Rosie to our headquarters in Somerset. Morris wasn’t sure why Hugh Laurie would set up shop there, and even exclaimed so to Old Rosie who thought for a moment and spoke two words that Morris could actually understand. They were the answer, Morris knew. The words were: