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MASTER OF THE SECOND PLAN HAS A BEAUTIFUL MOUSTACHE (posted on: 24-06-16)
Anger sparked in His eyes but failed to ignite the calm face, a motioned finger sufficient to render me silent.

'Dissenters you say … mmm,' the bowl of His long stemmed pipe glowed as He took a deep draw,' and what of Bohmert?' 'Master of the First Plan …' Anger sparked in His eyes but failed to ignite the calm face, a motioned finger sufficient to render me silent. 'Never say that to me again, Bohmert is his name, I let him keep it, so use it.' I nodded, 'Bohmert still rots in the stocks.' 'I know you of old Messenger, I recall you as a child running errands in The Institution and later as a man of education,' He jumped down from his veranda chair and stretched like an ape, 'come with me.' Papers adorned every bench of His expansive study: some of text, some of diagram, charts, maps, everything. Haphazard, yes, chaotic even but there was no doubt the array reflected the mind of the great man himself and that within this system lurked order. 'This is it,' He said with sweeping arm, 'the plan.' He put His hand on my shoulder and I felt the power of his purchase. 'Tell me Messenger do you think it better to be feared or loved?' Again, the extended finger. 'How do you think Henchman would answer?' 'Feared,' I said. 'No doubt. Henchman is important, to me and to the plan but his methods can veer. Go, seek him out, tell him the news.' 'Dissenters!' Beer splattered into my face with the force of the thud. He stared down the long table at the feasting rabble as if the guilty were rife among their number and that detecting their location involved nothing more than cruel narrowing of the eyes. Signalling some guards he marched down the hall to where a pair of enthusiastic revellers were raucous with bawling and song. 'Traitors!' he roared. Food, ale and lesser mortals went scattering as Blacksmith spun round to face his accuser. 'Henchman,' said Blacksmith, raising a hefty chair, 'yer nose is out of joint man, yer purse empty from last night's game, cheats, ay, loaded dice, ay, that oi would 'ave expected, but traitors?' 'Oi'l slice it off so oi will,' said Skinner, entering the fray with unsheathed blade. Nothing trifling about this stance - the duo stood their ground bristling with battle-ready menace. No stranger to public disturbances Henchman nodded to his men and a huge ale barrel was soon careering into the conflict zone. 'Jump,' shouted Blacksmith and the pair vaulted the barrel. 'Hah,' went Skinner, slicing the air with his knife, 'cahmon 'enchman, want yer gizzard slit?' Henchman grinned and pulled a contraption out from under his cloak. 'What the fu...' Skinner, confused, frozen, screwed his eyes, alas no focus was to be had as the device started to whirl and click and a small, spiked, steel ball came fizzing out striking his eyeball. Screaming like a castrated goat he fell to his knees. Blacksmith suffered no such confusion as Henchman slewed his aim – after all the weapon had been fashioned by his own expert hand. Loathe to be defeated by his personal design he threw down the chair and surrendered. 'Take them to the dungeons.' The beer hall incident heralded a dark time throughout the land. A purge. I myself narrowly avoided personal tragedy: on approaching Scribe's cottage with a message I found myself in the midst of much commotion. Scrutiniser was focussing on a large pile of parchments that had obviously been gleaned and tossed from the house. Scribe himself was rendered still with his arms staked and his legs tied over a dead tree. Scrutiniser appeared industrious: going through every word, often wiping his large, heavily lensed glasses clean. On completion of a particular parchment he would call out, 'three,' or 'four,' or 'five,' depending on the number or seriousness of the detected indiscretions. The calling of the number animated Punisher, who accordingly thrashed his willowy cane into the soles of Scribe's bare feet. The screams brought, running from the cottage door, two distraught children wailing, 'no, not daddy, No! No! ' Clutching at Punisher's clothing in a desperate plea for leniency they only succeeded in provoking the stone faced grunt so the lashings were delivered with fresh enthusiasm Then, Scribe's wife, head all bloodied and patchy bald from a shearing, dashed out, grabbing at the kids, pulling them indoors. Plenty of room on that log for a couple of ten year olds. Or a fully grown adult. On seeing me Scrutiniser held his hand out. 'Message,' he demanded, I hesitated, it was against my profession's charter but on consideration of the perilousness of my situation, I promptly complied. During the examination he tutted five times then looked towards the overseer of proceedings. Henchman thought for a while then trained his vision on me – it felt like the glare of a lethal reptile. A nod would have meant joining Scribe in disaster. His head slightly shook. It seemed that this day was not one for the messenger to be flogged. Scribe's ordeal panned out as common place rather than a rarity. It became dangerous to form groups, to talk or rather to be heard talking, spies were everywhere. Even going to work was fraught with danger, having been caught off guard at Scribes I tightened my vigilance, only a fool would blunder into an inquisition a second time. Messages went undelivered, people stayed indoors and no one trusted anyone. The gaols and dungeons soon were full and a brutal penal colony appeared out in the wastelands. Our land, once joyous, buckled under the yolk of unhappiness, twisted with the knife of fear. Another occupied a chair in the waiting area, a fancy type, colourfully attired. Servant opened the door and He entered. Addressing the Bohemian He asked, 'you have no examples of your work, no portfolio?' To which the fellow produced a blank parchment by way of answer. 'Wait,' He said to Servant who had brought out a switch, readying to punish such impudence. Then, dipping a brush into a pot of black ink, unaided by any instrument, the visitor proceeded to draw a perfect circle. 'Excellent, Servant show him to his studio.' Then He turned to me, 'I want you to go to Jester's.' 'Certainly Master, and the message.' 'None, he's expecting you.' I threaded a route of caution through the backstreets, avoiding the rising plumes of smoke - and therefore the fires. Janus-faced Jester answered his door with flamboyant bow. 'Enter, oh favoured one,' he said and I got the shiver. His house was full of the usual jugglers and fire breathing imbeciles but a new visiting troupe captured my attention and it seemed the travellers were busy at practice on an elaborate puppet show. 'Please,' their leader said, giving up his seat. Such was their expertise one hardly noticed the puppeteer's presence, the figures    seemed to dance and cavort through the scenery as living entities. Engrossed I settled myself into the chair to watch the show. 'A fable,' Jester said into my ear, 'the lion and the fox are engaged in an important quest but their way is rife with dangers. Enjoy.' He left me in peace to take in the performance. And what a show, at the end I stood up and whooped and clapped. 'Why thank you kind sir,' said the leader, 'we strive to please.' Jester appeared back with a freshly baked cake in his arms, I was so excited I forgot my dislike of the man. 'It was terrific Jester, spellbinding, the fox was so wiley he dealt with each trap with ease, and the lion, well, he was so fierce he saw off a whole pack of wolves. And you know what? They needed both the cunning and the ferocity in equal measure, otherwise they would have failed in their mission.' Jester did that thing of his with his eyebrow. 'Come,' he said, 'we must be off.' Bohmert's face, once regal, was now a frightening sight to behold: swollen, lumpy, slashed and scratched. Grotesque. He sensed us approaching and twisted his head. Surely the power of speech was beyond such a mutant. But no. 'I'll fucking kill that bastard, fucking send him to the devil I will. You hear me, he's dead.' 'Who?' 'That rapist bastard, he fucked my arse like a crazed bull.' 'But surely, you're in the stocks man, you've got to expect...' 'Oh I've been Rodgered a few times but not like this, I tell you that bugger was possessed. ''Yeeeeha yeeeeha'' he was yelling then fucking and fucking. My poor arse. Couldn't see his face of course but that Dutch tobacco, I'll never forget the sickly smell, he's marked, marked I tell you.' 'Never mind that... ' 'Never mind! Never mind? Are you insane? I tell you I will bludgeon...' Jester gave up on the reasoning and laid his cake out. Ceasing his rant Bohmert swiveled his swollen eye on it. 'That's nice,' he said 'and such a sharp knife, what's to be sliced, the cake or my throat?' 'Much happiness.' 'But it's not my birthday.' 'Oh but it is.' Jester moved swiftly, grabbing Bohmert's trapped, pale hand, prizing out the pinkie and cutting the tip clean off. He was good, clinical: to stop the screams he pulled on Bohmert's tongue with tongs and captured it in a cage. Then he unlocked the stocks, tied him, called on my help and together we bundled him into the back of the wagon. 'Good, that's that, he shouldn't give you much trouble, here are your papers, the horses are fresh, take him to the border. The road ahead proved rocky, looking back at Bohmert he seemed oblivious to the uncomfortable ride which was hardly surprising considering his recent ordeals. Trussed up and filthy like some common animal I couldn't help but feel for the man but if I was honest I was glad of the bridle – no one needs to hear a lurid tale of brutal sodomy for mile after mile. As Messenger affairs of state were not unfamiliar to me. Although observing proceedings from the outside kept me in the dark as to the specifics, the often cruel and deceitful nature of the engine that seemed to drive political intrigue did not go unnoticed. I was in great danger. A not so fantastic visualisation of a declaration pinned in the town square played in my head: 'a discovered escape attempt thwarted, Bohmert and perpetrator killed.' Imagined maybe but tangible enough for a damp sheen of sweat to break out over my entire body in the cold, wintry air. Scared, yes, but also wide eyed alert, thrilled. Usually hectic, traffic proved sparse for a main road to the border. What fellow travellers we did encounter were sorry sights – ransacked, beaten, robbed and keen to offer advice. 'Bandits' … 'Soldiers' ... 'Don't risk it,' … 'Turn back.' Dire warnings indeed but I had no choice but to plough on. My mission was my life. Luckily our little wagon, and us, made it through unscathed until we reached the formidable check point. 'Papers,' snarled the border guard and I hoped they were the right ones because the sounds of a man being kicked to death in the interrogation hut supposedly came from someone with the wrong ones. 'What's with him?' he asked, nodding towards Bohmert. 'Insolence,' I explained. 'Insolence! Learn some obedience boy,' he yelled and gave him a couple of sharp ones with his baton. He turned to me and gave me the longest, scariest look.'Proceed.' Once safely through, I sought out a monastery, dropped Bohmert off, booked into a tavern and got drunk for three days. All the dread I felt in anticipation of another foul journey home proved unfounded. I was waved through at the border post by a smiling chap dressed up in national costume. The road was busy with travellers, all in good humour, keen to engage in conversation of good nature. But the headache I was nursing was so severe I played mute, almost longing for the long faced victims of only a few days previous. My refusal to interact with fellow citizens meant that I remained in the dark as to the cause of this great transformation. Until I reached the market square. A strange form of sculpture dominated the centre place – that of an impaled and burnt man. The spike of the wooden stake forced up his arse now jutted out through the blackened hole of a mouth. The outline of the corpse, although ragged, was nevertheless recognisable. 'Henchman,' Baker said to me, 'it appeared overnight two days ago. People have been gathering to see for themselves, I myself refused to believe it but there you are.'     I noticed another pair of familiar figures at the head of the crowd spitting on the spectacle – Blacksmith and Skinner. They looked pleased, satisfied as they helped each other towards the tavern, one half blind, both limping with the ravages of the rack. 'Good, good,' He said, filling His pipe with some half zware shag, listening to my tale of Bohmert's exile. 'Something wrong?' 'One thing puzzles me,' I said, 'the sliced finger tip.' He tossed me a sword, 'attack routine eight.' Keen to impress I went through the turns, steps, swipes and slashes of the drill with vigour, finishing, as required, with the blade held out horizontally, at throat height. 'Excellent.' He said. 'Bohmert can't do that, it's the weight of the weapon you see, if he gets into a sword-fight he's a dead man, and as for followers, hah, who would follow a man useless in the art of armed combat?' I nodded, impressed. 'You have served me well young citizen, I think a promotion is in order, you are now Diplomat, by the way my portrait is finished, look, what do you think?' 'Magnificent, and, it has to be said, you have a beautiful moustache.'         
Archived comments for MASTER OF THE SECOND PLAN HAS A BEAUTIFUL MOUSTACHE
e-griff on 24-06-2016
MASTER OF THE SECOND PLAN HAS A BEAUTIFUL MOUSTACHE
Great to see you back and read your work! 🙂

Author's Reply:

Mikeverdi on 25-06-2016
MASTER OF THE SECOND PLAN HAS A BEAUTIFUL MOUSTACHE
Well that was different! I enjoyed the 'horrible tale' is it part of a longer book? If so....more please😊
Mike

Author's Reply:


CLOCKWORK VALIUM (posted on: 08-06-15)
'It's acid,' he said, impregnated on gelatine, it’ll dissolve in my eye and zoom along the nerve,straight to the brain, boom!'

'Just take half they're fifties.' And he handed me over a large white pill. 'I brought some back from Portugal when I was on holiday, fuck, you can buy them over the counter over there.' 'Thanks Danny.' There was something wrong, something I couldn't grasp, then I saw a small square darting around the moisture of his eye; the game hero ''Super Mario'' no less. He noticed me noticing and laughed. 'It's acid,' he said, 'impregnated on gelatine, it'll dissolve in my eye and zoom along the nerve,straight to the brain, boom!' 'Okay,' 'Don't take that tonight, 'they don't mix well with booze.' 'Then I saw a well loved cartoon character disappear into someone's eye right in front of my own. I've never taken half of anything in my life. So when I got home I washed it down with a can of lager … and waited. Not for long, twenty minutes later I felt as serene as a Nepalese monk. Then the hunger struck. I needed to hit Lidl for some munchies. Then the dying for a piss struck. Ah'll nip round the back oh B&M, ah thought. There was some hatchet faced bag standing outside with a security guy having a fag. 'Oi' she shouts. 'Where do ya think your going. 'Oi...Oi ahm talkin tae you.' I just kept on going, just managing to whip it out before I pissed myself - slashing on a big pile of rubbish On the way back I knew bag puss would have something to say. 'That's disgusting' she goes, and started into a tirade of abuse. I just ignored her and eyed up the security ape who was muttering something about,'bairns'. He was big but I could see the flab wobbling in time to his shaking anger. I'd been going to the gym three times a week, my shirt grabbed tight round my biceps, getting match fit for the coming season. Shit I'd even taken up jiu jitsu 'Dont think yer goin in there,' she says. 'Ah wasnae anyway,' I replied, grinning. Waltzing round the supermarket I was filling my basket up, smiling, pleased with myself that I hadn't fired a rake of fucks into hatchet's face and nutted the ape. Ah'll have tae phone Danny for some more of these, ah was musing, they're the business. No acid in the eye this time just the average bloodshot veins of a drug fiend. The pill was different, it was red, he started to say something, I just held up my hand and split it in half swallowing one of the bits down with a coffee. Everyone knows it … 'you wait ages for a bus then two come at once.' Well this time the bus didn't come at all. The stop was filling up with ever angrier potential passengers. So when the next scheduled bus trundled up much groaning and abuse could be heard. I just said 'hello' and wandered upstairs to the back-seat to finish my book. 'The maintenance of headway,' I said, pressing the book up against the drivers safety window. 'What?' he said puzzled, but not frightened by my grin. 'You should read it, it's about bus drivers. 'Eh.' 'Oh forget it, y'were on time, it was that other guy …the no-show.' 'Nothing to dae with me.' 'Ah ken, sorry pal, it's the no-show that should read it. Have a nice day.' He drove off, nonplussed at my friendly wave, but probably wondering what the fuck I was on about. It was a rather more volitile scene at the library though when I returned the book. 'What's happened here,' said the hag. She looked like an old school teacher, a nasty type. The sort that would send you to the deputy head to get thrashed in the hands with a fuck off leather tong thing, just for talking in the class. I remember getting an enthusiastic six from a baldy bastard for refusing to tidy his desk. I wasted no time when I left the school though, sitting in my car outside the pub he got pissed in every Friday. Leather belt wrapped round my hand. Buckle over knuckle,. Fuck, I enjoyed every one of the six I gave him...and it wasn't in the hands. The bend of his nose still makes me grin when I occasionally run into him even now. 'What? 'This book is soaking wet.' 'I picked it up, it was a wee bit damp but no big fucking catastrophe. 'We'll have to withdraw it, and charge you accordingly.' 'It's only a wee bit water it'll dry out.' 'We don't know what kind of water it is.' I lent over the counter, causing alarm. One atom of oxygen and two atoms of hydrogen, I said, bursting out laughing into her face. But pills from Portugal don't last forever and no one warned me of the dark despair of withdrawal. 'None left,' said Danny you've cleaned me out, 'but ah've got some of this.' And he pulled out a bag of powder. 'What is it?' 'Brain.' 'What the fuck is that?' 'Ah dunno, some kind of speed ah think.' 'Right gimme a gram, ah canny handle this come doon much longer.' He slipped over a small wrap which I tipped into a glass of milk and swallowed in a oner. He saw me coming as I marched towards him. The glow on his fag turned a fierce type of red. I gave him a couple on the jaw just to stun the cunt then put him in a martial arts hold. I was right he was a useless flabby bastard. As I dragged him along the satisfying stink of sour dog piss hit my nostrils. Some canines had obviously added to my example. I threw him down on the rubbish heap and gave his face a good wash.
Archived comments for CLOCKWORK VALIUM
deadpoet on 08-06-2015
CLOCKWORK VALIUM
This story brought back memories of my deceased dope fiend boyfriend- and the stories he could tell. Brilliantine- you should put in it your hair- bound to get you somewhere ZB
Thanks for the entertainment.
xx
seems silly to give it a rating but I will

Author's Reply:
Aye a dope fiend's life can be short. You don't see many old junkies 'though some of them make it, look at Bill Burroughs,he lived until fine auld age.Sorry 'bout yer BF. Wear it in my hair. Haha it never gets longer than a grade 4... then it's out with the clippers. I cut it masel ... far too miserable to pay a barber's fee......VIVA LA UNDERGROUND!

Mikeverdi on 09-06-2015
CLOCKWORK VALIUM
I've read this several times now, not my normal read.....I really liked it! Thanks for something different, doesn't always work... but this time 🙂
Mike

Author's Reply:
I write like this because I despise middle class norms and values. I don't care if this wee piece works for some condescending twit who considers himself some kind of knowledgeable authority. DON'T COMMENT ON MY WORK AGAIN!

Andrea on 15-06-2015
CLOCKWORK VALIUM
Reminds me of Burroughs. Not a stranger to illegal substances meself. Good stuff, took me back 🙂

But hey, Charlie! No need to slag Mike off like that, mate.


Author's Reply:

OldSquare on 24-06-2015
CLOCKWORK VALIUM
A very well-written piece, reminds me of James Kelman and Alan Warner, in fact Scottish literature really pisses on English literature at the moment

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 06-10-2015
CLOCKWORK VALIUM
Charlie, we URGENTLY need your agreement to publish this in the anth, and for you to check your bio (see forum 'anthology' for all details.

Author's Reply:


IMAGINo.9 (posted on: 08-09-14)
Bandanna couldn’t help laughing as he was slapping into Martha's ample arse. She reckoned being taken from behind improved the quality of the communiqué. He could hear nothing but there was no denying the dogs howling back like there was something in the air.

Bandanna couldn't help laughing as he was slapping into Martha's ample arse. She reckoned being taken from behind improved the quality of the communiqué. He could hear nothing but there was no denying the dogs howling back like there was something in the air. Anyway, he was happy enough, fucking away, and when it got to the throb it was him that started grunting – at a frequency anyone could hear. 'Those animal noises, loud they are,' said Martha, towelling the spunk off her backside, 'the White Hawk'll be getting suspicious.' 'What? So he's gonna cup his ear – hark, there's Bandanna riding Martha at the meshed window, boosting up that witch screech just fine. The niece is bound to hear that one.' 'Haha, no, but...' 'That's in between the howler monkey running up and down the corridor and mad Lizzie's horror film terror screams. Give me a break.' 'Haah, right you are,' 'Too right I'm right, so what was the message of the day?' 'Not really a message it isn't, more a state of mind transfer. Hard to explain.' 'Like a distress signal.' 'Sort of, more emotional it is.' 'Well whatever, if it helps get us sprung out of here, screetch it up girl,' said Bandanna, sounding keen, holding back on the ridicule. She was in her zone, wisest to keep her happy and bedsides he was getting his hole on a regular basis, only a fool would fuck that up so best to lay off with the smart-arse comments. 'So, what's the machine got planned for you today?' 'Role play therapy. You?' 'Same, but I'm giving it a swerve, The Emperor's challenged me to a chess match, right out there in that corridor, it's his domain, seemingly.'' 'What with Howler running wild?' 'I know but I need the game, the mental exercise.' 'Come looking for you they will.' 'Nothing surer but by the time the search gets to...the freak's hall , I'll have beaten the old fool.' 'Really? Good he is, I've heard.' 'That's as may be but I'm no beginner myself,'said Bandanna, stretching his arms up towards the ceiling, interlocking his fingers and cracking his knuckles in preparation for the approaching, strenuous, moving of the pieces in a board game. He opened the door and entered the fray. His opponent - already seated, cowl up, half-hidden furious face, setting out his hand carved chessmen - refused to give his foe any kind of credence by even looking at him as he took up his position. Eyes fixed on the board he held out his fists. Bandanna tapped one. White. The Emperor spun round his universe. He pulled out a sand timer and turned it upside down indicating the start of the game. Bandanna, feeling cocky, decided to go for the fool's mate but his arrogance proved futile as, too late, a few moves later, he realised he'd lost his bishop. As The Emperor lifted the piece from the board his other arm shot out and slapped Bandanna's face. 'Oi,' he yelled, hurt. 'What's the game?' The Emperor remained still, silent, staring at the board. 'Chess I suppose,' tried Bandanna, laughing a little. The Emperor remained still, silent, staring at the board. Conversation was obviously off limits, Bandanna decided to keep quiet, concentrate, the slap had been his own fault, maybe it was best to refrain from acting the wide boy while engaged in a game of chess with a guy who looks like Death. Soon he found himself in the position of taking a pawn, that he suspected The Emperor had sacrificed for gain, as he took it his opponent pulled down his hood. 'Surely you don't expect me to...reciprocate.' The Emperor remained still, silent, staring at the board. Bandanna hesitated, then, dished out a playful smack. The hood was replaced and the game continued. It continued in much the same vein, with Bandanna receiving hard slaps to the side of the head every time he lost a piece. It was starting to really hurt, despite his age The Emperor had strength, the muscles in his arms were twisted like wrought iron. Then, at the far end of the corridor a cell door banged open and The Howler hopped out. The lope was on – a sort of half skip, prance and jump that generated a fair turn of speed as he trundled along on his well worn route howling his lungs out. It was worse than he'd imagined, no man should have to put up with this carry on, with a sore face, but to throw the game was not an option. He had to concentrate, ignore all the craziness, he had to win, for the sake of his sanity. The Emperor was not a 'good', player, competent, yes, but he was a piece taker and that was his weakness. There was a situation looming out, it could mean victory but it involved the losing of his Queen, he winced at the anticipation of the force of the slap that that would entail. A high risk gambit indeed and one that should not be taken on a rash whim. Then The Howler got to Lizzie's door, opened it, and the battle of the noise of hellish creatures began. Bandanna fingered his Queen... 'Checkmate.' The Emperor remained still, silent, staring at the board, until, on the next sweeping pass, he booted The Howler's heels together, causing flight to the performance and an almighty crashing end. He pocketed his sand timer, folded his board, and table, and chairs, and went back to his cell. The Howler was broken, Bandanna was loathe to go over and see if he could fix him, the fucker would probably just start up again straight away, besides, soon he saw the balloon of blood blossoming from his head – that would take hospital fixing. The crunch of keys resonated up the now silent corridor like a ghost's chain. Bandanna knew the noise, that rattle could denote only one owner, those were The White Hawk's keys and there he was alone with a badly injured patient. He made haste with his escape into Mad Lizzies' pod and immediately received a slap to the face and a scream, right in the ear. 'For fuck's sake, what is it with you mad freaks,' he yelled, protecting his head with his hands, 'it's like being in a …' He silenced himself, the shouting had been reckless, no matter how much of a nightmare he'd been through he knew that the most vicious bastard was right out there in that corridor - bent over an inmate who had obviously been assaulted, the whirring of his mind deducing that the culprit was his quarry, the missing guy from the role play class, the trouble maker they called Mr Plant. Bandanna squeezed his eye to the crack and could make out the approval on the faces of three henchman as the White Hawk held his syringe aloft, expelling the air with ritualistic verve. 'He's readying his weapon Lizzie,' said Bandanna, 'and that solution is one king fuck of a hit, it's designed to bring down rhinos but, alas, sad to say, if that bastard finds me, the only flesh it'll be piercing will be my hairy arse.' Silence, no response, could she even speak? All he had ever heard was screams. She was staring at him pretty damn serious. He feared attack but Lizzie pulled out a piece of chalk from her drawer and scrawled I CAN HELP YOU on the wall. 'How? How can you help me?' She formed her mouth into a crooked 'O' and gave him a drum busting burst. 'Aargh...okay that'll do it.' BUT she chalked up. Right, here we go. YOU HAVE TO FUCK ME He eyed her, she looked like a crystal meth victim, could he fuck that? The keys rattled closer. Of course he could. He gave her the thumbs up. HARD 'It's the only way I know,' he said. The door started to open. Bandanna jumped behind it. Lizzies mouth did the crooked thing, next, a deafening noise but it was no Hammer House howl. A wind up, screaming klaxon of that intensity could only have come from a machine. He waited a while then risked a peek – patients were coming out of their pods, confused, deafened, fingers in ears but no sign of the white coat boys. He ventured out. They looked at him for guidance. Unsure himself, he moved slowly down the corridor. Towards the wide open outside door. Tip-toing through The Howler's blood. Sensing strangeness. The lawn in front of the main building was being violated by an old style circus carriage - emblazoned with ''Arsefaces' Acrobats and Artistes'' - being drawn up by a tractor with a kilt wearing Mohawk at the helm. He jumped up onto the roof of the carriage. 'Ladies and gentlemen, I am Arseface, come closer, you are about to be entertained with a troupe of exquisite performers the like of which you have never before seen in your lives.' Bandanna felt himself being joined by a stream of patients oozing out beside him, Martha gripping his arm, all staring at the spectacle in wonder. They moved in closer. The line of white coats stayed where they were, they were close enough, all armed with bats and pick axe handles. The thing The White Hawk had in his grip had sparks coming off it. Arseface turned the handle of a hurdie-gurdie, the carriage doors flew open and out came a guy in a black hat, no costume. Christ, thought Bandanna, he's steaming drunk, he looks as if he's just been dragged out the pub. The performer, ignoring the snorts of derision from the white coat guys, lit up a fiery stick, stuck it in his mouth and breathed out a volcanic like eruption of flame. That seemed to go on for too long. His hat caught fire. It was obvious he was in trouble. He collapsed to his knees. Coughing out embers and smoke. Fucked. The snorts turned into laughter. Next out was a rolling ball of bald head and black leotard that opened up into the shape of a lithe young woman exuding an air of artistic ability. The display she produced reminded Bandanna of the mat workout at the Olympics: all flips, cartwheels, forward rolls and ending up with a perfect backwards somersault. Finished, she stretched out in a pose of arresting grace. All snorting and giggling disappeared. Only to return with the appearance of two identical leopard skin attired 'strong men' lathered all over in white grease paint and sporting dastardly moustaches. A juggler, complete in the outfit of a fool, led the way. Christ, thought Bandanna, that mouser and shaved head doesn't throw me, that's Bing, that's two Bings, fuck those pills are fucking me up good style. These comic appearances proved to be deceiving, the white coats fell silent when one of the muscle men jammed an impressive metal bar between his teeth and began to bend it into an upturned U and the other started working out on an old fashioned ball barbell like a demon. The grease paint showed off an impressive display of rippling muscle power. The pickaxe handles were gripped tighter. The mirth returned though when a clown stumbled out with a bountiful supply of balloons with which he proceeded to blow up and create artistic delight. One of the white coats let out a super snort, 'what the fuck's that' he yelped, 'a fucking cock and balls?' The White Hawk made his move, waving his prod he ventured in closer. 'Righty oh,' he said, 'that's jus about 'nough of this here lil carneeval.' He stopped soon enough when the clown pulled out a revolver and pointed it at his face. Coming from the land of the gun he knew that this was some serious piece of kit. He dropped the prod. 'I've had it up to here,' said the clown, 'all this humiliation and embarrassment has worked me to wake up time. But it's not everybody that can blow a man's head off. Most people wouldn't have it in them and I'm probably one of them. 'But,' he said, his voice tightening, 'I've thought of a way. You see I don't see a man's face in front of me. I see a skull. An impersonal piece of bone... The White Hawk crumpled before his eyes. A blurry figure of Bing spun round, brandishing a bloody juggling skittle. 'Skulls are for crackin Kaiser.' The white coats didn't move, the gun and the ease with which their leader was dispatched had frozen them. The patients seeing that the sadist was down, that the white coats were cowards, began running down the hill, eyes flashing like a gang of baboons out on the rob.
Archived comments for IMAGINo.9
Andrea on 08-09-2014
IMAGINo.9
Haha - excellent! (you could do with a bit pf spacing, though).

And on the front page it says -3 comments, no idea why, I'll look into it.

Nice to see you posting again Charlie 🙂

Author's Reply:

Mikeverdi on 08-09-2014
IMAGINo.9
Oh my, last time I read anything like this was when Bushall was posting, it's a weird and whacky world.... Bring it on!
Mike

Author's Reply:

Pilgermann on 12-09-2014
IMAGINo.9
Written with verve; couldn't stop until I came to the end. Great stuff.

Author's Reply:


IMAGINATE (posted on: 16-09-13)
''Man of action you are,'' said Iris, picking up her flute and fan-faring his departure by executing a trill. Kaiser wondered; who this Guardian might be, if he had drunk enough to steel himself against the countryside, and how his cock had learned the cha cha.

         This is your invitation for                                 THE PILGRIMAGE TO CASTALIA The landlady gave me this,'' Kaiser said, scrutinising the note, ''she told me a girl left it on promise of return.'' ''Me, I left it, dragon-lady she was, couldn't muster up the courage to come back.'' ''Don't worry, it added to the mystery, I had Bandanna by the balls, you should of seen his face, he tried to make out he didn't give a flying...but you can't kid a kidder.'' ''Green Eye the monster, was he?'' ''Blazing emerald more like, when we were having a scoff up in his room it was tearing him apart, in the end he couldn't help himself...'what was in your note?'...that's what he said. I laughed in his face.'' ''Did you show him?'' ''Not a chance, I pretended to go for a piss but waited just outside the door intending to burst back in but as I watched through the crack I knew I couldn't do it, he had moved with the swiftness of a cat, his trembling hands sought out the note from my coat, he seemed a man in a state of shock as it quivered in his palm like something come alive.'' ''That's poetic that is, sensitive is he, your friend?'' ''Not so you'd notice. You don't understand the power of a handwritten note in the world of the single man boarding house, and when it's written on a pink piece of paper...well.'' ''You're cruel you are.'' ''He'd have done the same. So what's this message?'' ''Ride with me,'' she said, wheeling out a scooter from behind the bench. ''Why not,'' he said, jumping on and they trundled off into the night. When he looked back he saw the last lights of civilization blinking out. The scooter bounced on a road more rocky. A tighter grip seemed wise. Then the mouldy smell. Fuck, not the countryside. Again. Visions of midsummer merriment - goblin-like creatures dancing to the beat of a drum fashioned from a black-stallion's scrotum - swirled in his head. ''You okay back there?'' asked Iris, grabbing at his leg, too late as Kaiser took a tumble. She spun the bike round using the beam of the headlamp to spot the forlorn figure crawling, spitting out mud. ''Kaiser, how did you manage that?'' ''Must have passed out, fell asleep, don't know, it's this bastard countryside.'' Straining to see, she was only a jerky shadow behind the light, taking a good guess she was shuddering with silent laughter he stuck his face back into the dirt and started snorting like a pig. Changing the hilarity to a mode more vocal. ''Eeee yer a lad, best give up, no truffles down there.'' ''No truffles,'' he yelled, jumping up, getting back on, ''forward then, throttle up the Putt Putt.'' '' Putt putt? Too much for you she was.'' ''That she was, sweet Iris, that she was,'' Kaiser said, his words trailing off through the trees. No thatch but the cottage in the woods did not lack the rustic quality of fairy-tales, it looked to Kaiser as if the creepers were trying to throttle it and the mottled oak door opened with a creak. ''Who's in here, the big bad wolf?'' ''No, he's gone, tasted awful he did.'' ''I'm sure, you didn't happen to wash him down with anything, erm..'' ''Eeee yer a lad, don't worry plenty of wine in here, make it I do,'' Iris said, delving into the scullery, returning fully armed, ''lots of it.'' Kaiser plucked a bottle from the selection, wedged himself into a seat that swung from a beam, squeaked the cork out with his teeth, spat, and took a long and noisy slurp. ''Lord of the estate you are.'' ''What an amazing seat,'' said the said Lord, spinning slowly round, surveying the tenant's abode; the light from the wood stove illuminating a work bench and an array of violins at various stages of construction. ''Now isn't this a wee trove, hah, a cottage industry. Do the woodland creatures help, you know, when you're sleeping?'' ''Lazy they are, no help at all,'' said Iris, thumping down on a horsehair couch, squeaking a cork out of her own. ''But I've got a magic flute.'' ''I don't doubt it.'' ''Well, more of a recorder it is.'' she said, pulling out a hand-carved instrument from under the couch. She played a few notes. Kaiser felt his penis pulse. ''See,'' she said, ''magic it is.'' ''I do see, any lengthy fugues in your repertoire?'' ''Eeee yer a lad, you might get lucky, get creative at the witching hour I do.'' ''And productive by the look. That's a fair old selection of violins you got there, where do you get the maple?'' Kaiser said tapping the body of an instrument. ''Maple? Knowledgeable you are.'' ''Oh you'd be surprised. I lodge with a know- it-all and the radiogram has a bad habit of blowing its valves on the long winter nights.'' ''Your friend in the asylum. Don't worry, we'll get them out.'' ''Them?'' ''Aunt Martha too, both prisoners they are. The maple comes from that wood out there, all my materials do, special that forest, watched over it is, by The Guardian. Help us he's going to, break them out I mean...there's his horn now, he wants you to go to him.'' Kaiser finished off his wine, sprang to his feet, wiped his slobbery mouth and made for the door. ''Man of action you are,'' said Iris, picking up her flute and fan-faring his departure by executing a trill. Kaiser wondered; who this Guardian might be, if he had drunk enough to steel himself against the countryside, and how his cock had learned the cha cha. Outside he whistled into the forest and before it tailed off a torch sparked up into a crackling flame that drew a circle as it whirled around in the air at speed. ''The beacon has been lit,''muttered Kaiser, crashing through the undergrowth, cursing all things jagged. ''Hark! What manner o beastie is this that cometh? A wild boar, foul of mouth and temper,'' boomed a voice from behind the fiery hoop. ''I seek The Guardian,'' said Kaiser. ''Haaargh, you 'seek The Guardian', forfucksake man d'y'ken how fuckin daft that sounds?'' ''Well, I didn't, what was I supposed to have said, oh screw it to hell anyway, I'm drunk.'' ''Ye've been quaffin Iris' home-made, it does that tae folk, even the likes oh you Kaiser.'' The circle came to a stop at it's apex, putting a face to the flame. ''Hope ye've no been tryin tae screw her. Mah soul sister.'' ''No, no, erm, enjoying some hospitality was all, I never...'' ''Haha ah ken, ah ken, ah'm Hector by the way,'' he said, thumping Kaiser on the shoulder, ''forget aw that Guardian shite, that's Iris speak, witchy stuff, she gets it fae thon mad auntie oh hers.'' ''Martha.'' ''Aye, d'ye ken her? ''No, but she's locked up with Bandanna is she not? Iris said...'' Hector grabbed Kaiser's lapels. ''Aye, that's right, ah ken all about it, dinny worry we'll get them oot oh there nae bother but there's a wee pressing matter that needs attendin tae first, a certain Chaplain whose stride needs tae be shortened.'' ''You know the Chaplain?'' ''He's crossed my path.'' Hector straightened out his arm, the torch shone out on a rough route of sorts, Kaiser lurched forward with the tug and followed on into the wood. More leaves and branches and those trunks and the mud, always the mud and mulch, that mouldy stench that's so...wonderful. That's what it is, full of wonder, and charm, and mystery, why get so worked up, this place is elating, this is not drunkenness, this is enchantment. And The Guardian what a magnificent specimen, the way his bulky form moves with ease through his domain, he is at one with this place and it in turn envelopes and grasps at him almost in reverence - a single entity, flora, embracing its protector. ''That must have been the Elderflower ye were pourin doon yer neck back there Kaiser - ye're mutterin and mumblin like a loony.'' ''Ahhhhwoooo,'' Kaiser howled into the night. ''Special Vintage,'' said Hector, laughing, ''Werewolf's Tipple.'' Soon Kaiser saw the flame rise up and felt his feet leave the ground, hauled up onto some kind of platform. More torches were lit and various shapes that constituted a hideout in the trees were revealed. ''Take a seat, the table is round, the stools are strong, sturdy and hard, wooden, like everything else. You've had the flower, now here's the berry,'' and he sloshed out wine from a flagon into a couple of crude cups. They both took eager slurps. ''Now then Kaiser mah man, ah want ye tae tell me the Chaplain's circumstance, where's he at, what's his defences, how many men has he got?'' ''He's holed up in a soup kitchen's basement, he's got a congregation of what looked like tramps to me; old bastards, drunks, whores and the like but he has a band of cohorts, well dodgy cut-throat types, but they're mercenaries when I came across them they were moaning, calling him a tight cunt.'' ''He is, ye'll no get much tighter, said Hector, stroking his chin. ''This basement place, you ken how tae get there, the layoot?'' ''Sort of, I've been there but I wasn't at my best...'berry', you say, delightful, can I have some mo...that goat looks a bit distressed Hector, it's jammed in, the cage is too small.'' ''That's no goat. That's Luggy.'' Kaiser screwed his eyes, didn't quite get it, he got up, moved closer, no mistake, there in the cage was a man. A broken man. ''Are you okay?'' ''He canny answer ye. His tongues too swollen in his heed.. That's three days now and nae water.'' ''Is that not a bit drastic.'' ''Drastic? Don't ever say that tae me again Kaiser.'' Kaiser squatted down, introducing himself, the man, Luggy, didn't notice him, he just carried on staring at something that wasn't there. ''Look what the bastard had in his hat, d'y'ken what that is?'' ''Looks like a squirrel's tail.'' ''Aye, but what colour is it?'' ''All squirrels are grey in the dark.'' ''It's fuckin red Kaiser, red, d'ye'ken how many oh them are left in this wood? And this fuckin joker wastes one tae decorate his hat.'' He slammed his fist into the cage but failed to rattle Luggy. ''He's past caring,'' said Kaiser. ''Is he now, we'll see.'' Hector fed the tail through the bound mesh and began tickling Luggy's face. Nothing. ''Yer right Kaiser,'' he yelled, pulling out the peg, swinging the door open, grabbing Luggy and throwing him out onto his back. ''He's had enough, time for a wee bit rehydration.'' He disappeared and came back with a pail of water and a funnel which he jammed into Luggy's mouth. ''Isn't the method, erm, small sips.'' ''Ah've got mah ane method,'' yelled Hector pouring a great sloosh into the funnel. ''Flooding!'' ''Is that not a bit dras...beyond the pale.'' ''It's what's in the pail, that's aw he's needin. Sit on his chest Kaiser, he's strugglin like a bastard.'' The funnel came shooting out Luggy's mouth in a great coughing spate of water and he convulsed so violently he landed on his feet. He coughed a bit more, staggered 'round a bit, then took a seat at the table. As did Kaiser, and Hector. ''See,'' said Hector, ''right as rain.'' Luggy elevated out an ape arm towards the goblets, ''where's mine?'' ''Y'can have one Luggy but that's all, ah'm still mad at ye.'' ''Man, I've already told you,'' said Luggy, spilling the wine down his throat in one, ''it was dead meat already.'' ''That's yer story, even if it's true,'' Hector started brushing the tail into his face once more, ''it's a bad example. No be long every one oh yer tribe'll be wantin one.'' ''Man, three days in the cage for a dead squirrel's tail. Three days." ''Waznae that when ah waz in thon dug oots. Drugged me up they did, then banged me up. There ah waz hallucinating mah tits aff and careerin roond in a maze oh tunnels like a googly-eyed mole.'' ''Want to know what happened Kaiser?'' ''You know my name?'' ''Man, everyone knows your name. Midsummer's it was. We told 'im, Mr Gormless Guardian here, 'be careful with the soup, it's exotic,' but does 'e listen, nah, 'es giving it the old gobble, gobble. There were mushrooms in 'is thatch. Next minute up 'e goes, upwise, treewise, giving it the chant, chant of the demented. Then 'e gets the fear, comes down running round the fire like a fucked up feral fucker. Then 'e spies the entrance and down 'e goes, muttering shit to 'imself like the white fucking rabbit. All 'e needed was a watch an' waistcoat.'' Luggy stretched out his ape arm again. Hector filled his cup. Kaiser detected bashfulness and truth. He laughed. They all did - the wine-fuelled mirth bursting through the forest as the three of them shared a moment. It didn't seem odd to Kaiser, the relaxed feeling, as if the camaraderie he felt with the two men of the wood was somehow natural. One a wild man with full thatch and beard dressed in combats, the other a strange looking guy with a patch of his hair shaved above his huge ears, straggles of plaits hanging long down his back and his gibbon-like arms wrapped in jet-black tattoos that exaggerated the sinews, he looked as if he could swing through the trees for fun. He wondered how Hector had managed to imprison him. 'Bear-pit,' said Luggy, reading his mind. 'Aye,' said Hector, pointing to a blowpipe, 'and poison dart. But that'll no be the weapon oh choice for tonight's foray Kaiser, we'll need somethin a wee bit more urban.' He got up and returned with a crossbow. 'Ittle no be shortage oh payment ye'll hear these Chaplain Cohorts moaning about this time Kaiser; that tends tae pale when ye've got a barbed crossbow bolt tearing intae the flesh oh yer arse.'' ''The Chaplain? Tell 'im I was askin after 'im.'' ''Aye ah'll dae that. It's just that he might hae a wee bitty difficulty hearin through six feet oh dirt.'' ''Not like you to hold a grudge Hector.'' ''What?'' ''I'm joking, yer like an elephant man, Anyway I must be off.'' ''Right, penance; ah'll be havin six grey squirrel tails, right here, on this table, a week. Oh and Luggy see when the bulldozers come back…the tribe, up they trees, chains, padlocks, the lot, and more tunnels, deeper, darker. Got it?'' Luggy got up, grunted and nodded, raised a farewell hand to Kaiser who had a vision of him swinging upwards towards the darkness of the canopy on some sort of creeper, and when it happened, he only blinked twice. ''We'll need to get goin an naw Kaiser,'' said Hector filling a bladder from the flagon, ''best be prepared, concrete gies me the jitters.'' He hoisted the bladder up and aimed the jet into his gape. ''Righty oh, let's go,'' he yelled, grabbing Kaiser and jumping off. Kaiser found it amazing, following on behind, that Hector could move so quickly through the pitch-black woodland, he was like a night-sighted predator. But when they approached the urban outskirts Hector slowed down, almost to a stagger, as if he found the neon blinding. This new state of confusion obviously called for voluminous slurps from the vino-bag. ''Where the fuck are we, what a shite-hole, dae folk actually live here.'' ''It's a council estate, I'll lead from here, best keep up the pace,'' said Kaiser, looking up at the faces at the windows. ''Ah'd die in a place like this.'' ''If we don't keep moving, we both will.'' They hurried on and soon Kaiser found the terrain more familiar and on the street up ahead he recognised a gang of noisy drunks, in all their roaring glory. A game of raucous leap frog seemed to be in progress; falling, cursing and laughing. A game of hilarity until, sensing interlopers, they halted, fell silent, one by one. ''Only me,'' yelled Kaiser. ''Fuck me, Kaiser you cunt, what the fuck are you doing sneaking 'round, and who's the wookie?'' ''Allow me to introduce Philthy Phil's finest,'' said Kaiser turning to said wookie, ''Jeremiah, Baldy, Scholar and Bing, guys this is...'' '' Hector,'' interrupted Bing, ''the serial killer.'' ''You! Ah had tae get outa toon cause oh you.'' ''Has tae be said y'dinny look much like yer photofit, tryin a disguise – a fuckin ugly, hairy, apeman bastard. How any cunt could say ah'm yer double is a fuckin mystery tae me,'' said Bing fingering his own immaculate Turk cut. Kaiser looked at them; disparate, true, at first glance…but if Hector had a haircut and shave, put on a suit. ''So you guys know each other?'' he said. ''Nope, never met, let me tell ye a wee story,'' said Bing, ''a while back there wiz this psycho goin round killin tramps, tyin them up, settin them on fire, a right evil bastard. Ah got pulled in for it, turns out it wiz mistaken identity. It wiz somebody wi mah face they were lookin for.'' he stopped for a hard stare at Hector. ''It wiznae fuckin me.'' ''Oh no, it wouldnae ah been, you that's standin there wi a fuck off crossbow tied tae yer back, the fuckin model citizen that's what y'are. And what the fuck are y'dayin wi mah pal Kaiser? Has he laid a finger on ye mate?'' ''No, no, he's an ally, mutual interests, we're on our way to The Chaplain's.'' ''The Chaplain's?'' ''Aye we'd ask yous lot if ye'd want tae lend a hand, but yer aw steamin drunk.'' ''Whoa-ho, and you guys are sober?'' said Scholar. ''Maybe not, okay, you're welcome to come along. You two okay? Want a truce? Shake on it?'' Bing hesitated, then offered his hand. ''Ahm no bein awkward,'' said Hector, it's just that Martha told me if ever I was to meet you... 'don't touch him, the two of you will burst into flames'.'' ''Doppelgangers,'' croaked Jeremiah. And the gang, attention grabbed, moved in, eager not to miss the… ''Aha, ye big fearty, ah saw that,'' said ____ . ''Off we go,'' said Kaiser, ''down this hill.'' They closed in, silent, their best attempt at a sneaking up but their efforts were surplus to requirements, only a lone figure stood round the cohort's burning oil can. Hector grabbed him, twisting his arm up his back. ''The Chaplain,'' he snarled, ''where is he?'' ''Yer too late, they've gone, a big guy came down to see him, they've all gone to set up a gaff, New Jericho they're calling it.'' ''What did he look like, this guy?'' ''A redder deformity of a face 'ave never seen on any livin soul, looked like somebody gave it a spashin o' battery acid.'' ''Horse pish.'' ''You never saw it, the Devil himself would be paler, I swear.'' Hector broke his arm with the crack of a dry branch, stifling the screams by searing his lips on the side of the drum. ''New Jericho eh? Any oh you jokers play the trumpet?''         
Archived comments for IMAGINATE
Weefatfella on 16-09-2013
IMAGINATE
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Fantastic!
I love the way you describe things seemingly with ease. (wedged himself into a seat that swung from a beam,) so little explanation but described to a T.
The whole piece reads original and is completely absorbing. Your use of vernacular is spot on. the Scottish accent shines through and adds to the piece. I could go on and on there are so many good things to say.
Suffice to say, an entertaining and absorbing write.
A pleasure to have read it and looking forward to more. Allow me to nominate it for next years anthology. I am also taking it into my favourites, I loved this.
Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
fantastic eh?..right, that's a pint fur you...an a cheese piece 🙂

ruadh on 28-12-2014
IMAGINATE
Great read Charlie. A bit different from your norm but an interesting read. Look forward to reading the rest.

~A~

Author's Reply:


WASPS (posted on: 28-06-13)
So when some guy comes tearing down the street, stark naked, terrified, screeching for help it would be wrong to think…jeezo here comes the latest rent boy escaping from Boy George’s torture chamber…

The Time of the Wasp. No mistake it is, once again, the time of the wasp. Don't worry they're just posh ants that make a right guid ol crunching noise when crushed. Whatever y'do don't try and shoo them out yer house unharmed because they will STING YOU! Anyway it's good sport, a rolled up paper is the business when they're near the window but mid flight the weapon of choice has to be the wet dishcloth…HEAR THAT CRACK WASP FUCKERS? EH, HERE THAT? THAT'S THE SPEED OF SOUND! But they're always good for a story, ye canny beat a wasp story; from the gnarled auld gardener crushing a wasp's bike with his bare hands to the bagpipe busker, mid tune, cross eyed, tryin to blaw one off his nose…classics. I, myself, was waxing lyrical in an e-mail about a bastarn nasty sting in the throat when I was out fishing last year. But some arsepieces just go right over the score; flappin and screechin like someone no right in the heed. Aw that does is annoy them and some poor bastard sitting quiet ends up getting stung. Where does that come from? Ye canny imagine, 5000BC, a bunch of bear-skinned hunters gnawing on the skull of some sabre-toothed predator getting too worked up about a wasp that's just flew into the cave. Although it does put a new slant on…'it's no a tiger'. Does Anything Eat Wasps? That was the title of the book looming out from the shop window, I couldn't walk past, I had to know. Seemingly lots of things do, including:- dragon flies, badgers, birds, bats and rats. But better, much better, here's a new take on the old feeding spiders with flies routine…. 'I was once idly observing a wasp crawling round the edge of a water lilley leaf in my pond when it paused to drink. There was a sudden flurry of activity when a frog leapt from its hiding place and swallowed the wasp The frog did not appear to suffer any ill effects, so I captured another wasp, tossed the hapless creature into the pond and waited. The frog was slow on the uptake, but there was another disturbance in the water and this time a goldfish snapped up the wasp. The fish, too, seemed undisturbed. My curiosity now thoroughly aroused, I wondered whether the fish could be induced to consume further wasps. For the next hour or so I continued to hunt down luckless wasps and throw them into the pond. Some got away, some were eaten by the fish, and a few were swallowed by the frogs.' So no bored kids again. Ever. The Fundamental Attribution Error. Lecturer : …maybe the Fundamental Attribution Error is at work here. Me : the what? Lecturer: you're supposed to know this, the F.A.E. is when we judge someone for what we imagine they are rather than what's actually happening. For example; you observe a man in a park howling like a wolf, dancing a mad jig and hauling his clothes off, your immediate judgement will probably presume that he is suffering some kind of mental disturbance rather than the real, actual cause – a wasp is trapped in his under-garments. Understand? Me: aye I think so. So when some guy comes tearing down the street, stark naked, terrified, screeching for help it would be wrong to think…jeezo here comes the latest rent boy escaping from Boy George's torture chamber…when what actually is happening is that it's a harmless naturist who's been sunbathing in his back garden but he's accidentally sat on an ant-hill and his arse is stapped full of angry, stinging ants. Lecturer: erm, no, I think you might have failed to fully grasp this concept. Read up for next week. Christ only knows what the face was for, it was him that started it. Anyway read up I did and I learned this :- In social psychology, the fundamental attribution error describes the tendency to over-value dispositional or personality-based explanations for the observed behaviors of others while under-valuing situational explanations for those behaviours. The fundamental attribution error is most visible when people explain the behaviour of others. It does not explain interpretations of one's own behaviour—where situational factors are often taken into consideration. And also that there was trouble in the camp…extract:- Jones wrote that he found Ross's term (FAE) ''overly provocative and somewhat misleading'', and also joked, ''Furthermore, I'm angry that I didn't think of it first. Which reminded me of when someone told me that he was reading a book and a character in it would capture and tie wasps to the hammer of an old fashioned alarm clock so that when he woke up in the morning two wasps were getting battered to oblivion. Which raised two questions in my mind…how do you attach them without getting stung and, why didn't I think of that.
Archived comments for WASPS
Weefatfella on 08-08-2013
WASPS
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Aye, there yie are well.
Wasps are drunk when they sting yie.
That's whit A wiz telt.
According and that's no a musical instrument.
Accordian tae the guy that enlightened me, Wasps eat auld fruit that husnae fell aff the tree but huz somehow goat stuck and huz rotted.
The sugar in the fruit turns tae alcohol
( How it ferments He didnae explain ) and the wee bastards eat it and git oot their stingers like wee mad mental weegie's.
Then they fly aboot the place stinging awbody.
That's whit A wiz telt oanywey.
Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
Ach bollox...who telt ye that ... a sweety wife?

Rupe on 14-01-2014
WASPS
You learn something new every day. We've got a wasps' nest at the side of our house. The neighbours have got a little pond that has frogs in it at a certain time of the year. I can see this working out beneficially. Only problem is that the neighbours are jerks, so the plan will have to be carried out secretively. Pretty sure ants would eat wasps too - they seem to eat anything. And we've got ants too.

Enjoyed this. I took at look at your Will Self story too, which wrongfooted me, but that's no bad thing. Keeps the brain moving.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
The frog thing...that was a quote but sounds like a shitload of fun. Get them kids out in the summer months and go for glory...you can always tie the neighbours to a tree and cover them with ant-enticing goo ...red ones are probably best.
As for Mr Self have'nt seen him around for a while maybe he got swallowed up himself...by his own ego.
Cheers Rupe and good hunting.


WILL SELF'S FACE (posted on: 28-06-13)
I didn’t know Will was in town and what the fuck’s he doing with a Leith hoor, steaming drunk, getting ejected from the worst dive on the street.

'It's yer face!…It's yer face!…screams some mad lassie at the guy she's just been chucked out the boozer with. This is the middle of the afternoon and a commotion of this magnitude, even in Leith's notorious scumpubland, tends to grab your full attention. In order to discern the offending features this face demands closer scrutiny so I stop, and it's non other than Will Self himself I didn't know Will was in town and what the fuck's he doing with a Leith hoor, steaming drunk, getting ejected from the worst dive on the street. What was his crime? Could it really be his face that had caused such an almighty row? 'Will',' I shout over, 'what's going on man? don't worry I'm here, you've obviously been mistreated, to hell with these bastards! they are scumsucking mutants and I promise they will rue the day they crossed us.' He looks befuddled, his ratty eyes seem fixed in his head, staring down his long conk which he swivels round until he detects my location like the business end of a tank. He has trouble focussing, it is an odd moment of calm, even the fury of the hoor subsides, her tiny mind incapable of taking in the far from complex new turn of events. But Will, a man with a brain the size of a planet, even intoxicated to the level max, seems more than up to the task of processing the situation…AYE FUCKIN RIGHT PAL HAUNDERS…he bellows over. This snaps the hoor out of it and she comes running towards me screaming her lungs out. I side step her no problem and trip her up, she goes flying. I think Will will be pleased, but no, he shouts something about, 'that's mah fuckin burd.' and as I approach he takes a wild swing at me. I subdue him and pin him to the wall. 'Will, Will, what are you doing man, I'm your friend. I have always defended you. When they said you paid a young girl five hundred to shite in your mouth I said, bollocks, you've all been reading too much Welsh, these awful tales have rotted your minds. The man churns out nothing but purile pish. He's dreadful. Read Will Self, Will is a real writer, he's at the cutting edge of contemporary fiction, a master of his craft. But they weren't the only ones Will, the cruel internet message-boarders were spreading their filth… ''I fucking hate Will Self,'' they said, ''he's an arrogant, obnoxious, self important prick''…You bastards, I replied, you think you're safe chapping out bile on your keyboards but be sure I will find you and I will execute terrible retribution for these scandalous lies. I tried my best Will but they proved elusive. But I tried, don't you see, I TRIED. He leans forward, here it is, the whispered thanks I deserve but he spits in my eyes with the ferocity of a venomous snake. The back of my head explodes with a searing pain as the hoor attempts to embed her stiletto into my skull. I grab Will Self's face and thump his head against the stone wall, I spin round and bang the screeching harridan's ear with a cupped hand forcing the trapped air right through till it perforates the drum. Maximum pain on impact. But my ordeal isn't over. The pub clientele has spilled out into the street. Irvine Welsh readers to a man. They had heard me decrying their hero, here on his own turf and they look crazy enough to kill. It makes good sense to run. I cross the Leith boundary and slip into the pub for a pint. I sit down on a bar stool and tell the barman…'you know when people say you should never meet your heroes, there's a lot of truth in that.'
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METAMORPHOSIS (posted on: 11-03-13)
Gregor Samson awoke from troubled dreams to discover he had been transformed into a hard-core punk rocker.

Gregor Samson awoke from troubled dreams to discover he had been transformed into a hard-core punk rocker. Naturally, such a radical metamorphosis brought on confusion, he tugged at the many piercings that now adorned his face, they held, even the bull ring through his nose seemed secure. Great, he thought, I'll put an ad. in SOUNDS … wanted, punk girl to drag pet through town centre, must have fishnets. He had grown a crust of scabs so itchy there was no choice but to rip and tear at them in a determined display of frenzy, exposing, underneath, a colourful mural of aggressive, fuck off tattoos. Perfect, he thought, when I walk into the office I'll just peel off my shirt, this skin says it all. Brushing his hand over his head he felt the bristling splendour of a spiky mohican. My, my, he thought, people will notice me now. He felt the need for music but what was this, no Soft Machine, no Gong ...The Damned, fitting, maybe he was but when he spun the record, got hit by the beat, Hell held no fear. Up he got and started bouncing up and down like a fucking idiot. Hell it was then, second track and the door burst open and there stood a raging red demon roaring, `what's the game, did y'no here me on the ceiling, what's this racket?' FUCK YOU DAD, yelled Gregor, THIS IS PUNK AND I'M DOING THE POGO Which he was and he carried on doing the pogo until the demon, broomstick in hand, in one sweep, quashed the bounce and soon he was writhing on his back, arms and legs drawing zig zags in the air, like a dying fly. Gregor was no more and in his place was Vomit, who liked to be tugged by Christine, the strawberry girl. 'Pull me chain harder' he often said, along with, 'fahkin'ell you've got a luverly arse.' Which she had, if you like them big. 'Cahmon, Vomit, yoo cahnt,' she said, 'we've gotta meet Screwyoo, he's gonna ask ya somefink, ee's dahn at GETOUTMYFUCKINSHOP.' Which he was. 'Hey, Vomit' said Screwyoo, 'wanna play in our band, Skullsplitter's sick, we're called Kafka's Kunts.' 'I only know four chords.' 'Fahkin brill, that's one more than ya need, welcome aboard,' and he stuck his finger into Vomit's mouth. 'Wot's that?' he asked. 'Six trips, don't worry I'm havvin six as well,' Screwyoo said, tossing a ball of blotters through the air and into his gaping gob like the Salt'N'Shake guy. 'We're giggin tonight man.' Vomit felt like vomiting. The piss-flooded urinal was perfume compared to the stench wafting out the shite-house. An ugly cockroach on the pulsating wall laughed at him in that insect, screech-like way they have – 'aceeeeeed,' it shrieked and scurried up onto the ceiling so it could shit on his head. 'Cahmon, Vomit, hurry up an piss whydontcha,' said the strawberry girl, 'I'm not holdin this awl night, and, anyway, if ya cant pull yer own cock out 'ow ya gonna play?' Good question and one he asked himself as he struck one of his guitar strings and it vibrated and expanded and hummed like a bridge cable. The drummer drummed and the bassist kicked in with a deadly line, all Vomit could do was stare but what he saw was no crowd; a many headed giant slug had visited and it proceeded to spew out alien slime. The stuff was flying through the air in green and white globules that rained in on him in splatters. This is not good , he thought, soon I wont be able to breathe. Before the mucus cocooned him completely he managed to wipe his mouth clear and say, 'what's happening to me, why are you doing this, is this what I get for being a Kunt?'     
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Weefatfella on 11-03-2013
METAMORPHOSIS

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My God, Whit a Place tae end up.
A hope there isnae a hell.
A don't want tae go there.
If that's whit drugs dae tae yie, why dae people yase them?
A very descriptive piece and very Anthony Burgess.
I don't know if I enjoyed it, is what I want to say?
It was definitely interesting.
Weefatfella.


Author's Reply:
interesting is good WWF TA Z

TheBigBadG on 11-03-2013
METAMORPHOSIS
I was waiting for someone from the crowd to belt him with an apple myself. Nice twist on the tail, not sure if it's more metaphysical or not, less traditionally metaphysical perhaps? I got a whole heap of Burroughs with my serving too. I like how it feels that Gregor is reacting only to what he has become and we have no idea who he was before he woke up as a punk, that's definitely very true to source. And puberty...?!

Author's Reply:
WHY HAVE AN APPLE WHEN YOU CAN HAVE A STRAWBERRY...ooooh Burroughs I'm liking that.
It's been ages since I read it but I think there is a hint to his past in the original, something about working too hard as a salesman or something, anyway in this wee sketch you know he used to listen to Gong and Soft Machine ....maybe the good music fairy visited...but you're right there's no big reflection as to what caused his transformation...he just gets on with it.
cheers BBD....Z

cooky on 11-03-2013
METAMORPHOSIS
So atmospheric. It has a rare quality of raw magic and I like it.

Author's Reply:
thanx cooky

you've made my day
Z

japanesewind on 11-03-2013
METAMORPHOSIS
Six trips...hahaha..brilliant...gave me good laugh this did
Zen. the "cockroach" SHOUTING ACCCEEED was brill.......D

Author's Reply:
yeah well they have a very limited vocabulary

cheers Z

stormwolf on 11-03-2013
METAMORPHOSIS
Och Charlie, yer an awfy bugger, as you know I don't venture into prose very much but you had me in stitches. Not exactly stuff i would read to my mother but brilliantly written, ken fit ah mean?
Too many incredible lines to highlight, Charlie doing what Charlie does best. 😉
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Ach yer mother wid like it fine lassie...ma auntie Alice reads my stuff and she's 86

thanx stormy.....Zx

Mikeverdi on 11-03-2013
METAMORPHOSIS
OMG!! I think I liked it....I will confirm when fully recovered 🙂 mike

Author's Reply:
haha well it did something for ya then mike...that cannae be a bad thing

cheers z

jay12 on 14-03-2013
METAMORPHOSIS
Reading that was like being on acid! A superb, crazy ride! Is it part of something bigger?

Jay

Author's Reply:
well I took 6 trips before I wrote it...haha aye write

it is part of something bigger in the sense i'm in the process of building a collection of flash and blogs that i might try and publish in some way or another...not a clue how I'm gonna go about it but it's a vague plan

cheers jay....Z


A TALE OF TWO VESTS (FILTHY) (posted on: 04-03-13)
...standing at the top of the falls was the second filthy vest of the day and this one concealed no tantalising tits, no, this one stretched over the obese gut of a fat bastard

Shards of autumnal sunshine illuminated Ivan's 'Water o' Leith' walk - it was a day for a man with the artist's eye. The new camera felt like a weapon in his hand as he screwed in the zoom lens. A bulb exploded in his head; he could see himself up on the podium accepting his award - Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year. A rustling and scrunching of leaves up ahead hijacked his focus from such abstract musings and, although a way off, he could see that the cause of this disturbance was an extremely tall lassie kicking at the fallen foliage with the ferocity of a difficult child. He felt flurries of flicker-finger playing on his gut. Was this a nutter? He tried to pay her no heed, avoid eye contact, totally ignore the fact that she was getting ever closer, staring straight at him, tall like a freak, getting closer, so close he could make out her face with features dominated by the inane grin of the idiot. She caught him with her mocking gaze, working the circle she had formed with her thumb and finger with the index finger of her other hand, sliding it in and out, saying nothing - large breasts straining under a grubby vest and open jeans unzipped to her knicker-less crotch saying it all.  It was all he could do to keep moving, she had started laughing; a horror film cackle capable of spurring far braver men than Ivan into seeking safety but he did not run. Sure she was mental, sure she had unnerved him, but never, ever, in his wildest fantasies would he have imagined a fanny could be so, so hairy. Shook up as he was, he couldn't run from that.  So he fast-walked towards the sound of a waterfall feeling he had survived an ordeal, like an ancient Greek hero. But it didn't take long to blow the wind from his sails; standing at the top of the falls was the second filthy vest of the day and this one concealed no tantalising tits, no, this one stretched over the obese gut of a fat bastard. And not just any fat bastard, the gigantic boil sprouting out his forehead flagged up his identity like a Belisha beacon, standing there, right in front of him, was BILEY COGIE.  Biley Cogie, a mythical creature up there with the Boogy Man and the cloven-hoofed, Horned One, yet here he was, real as a rock. If you wandered too far from home you knew what to expect, all the kids knew. Ivan could see he had one with him captured in a canvas bag, a small one, surely a baby who had crawled through a left open garden gate.  Biley hooked his thumb under the elastic of his joggy bottoms and pulled downwards, his long cock uncoiled and slipped into the neck of the bag as if it had a mind of its own. The muscles in his screwed up face relaxed and his boil began to visibly pulsate. Ivan realised that this happened every time he pissed for Scotland. He also realised that the squeals and whimpers coming from the bag could be from no child, no, this was a bag of puppies. Biley proceeded to swing the bag windmill fashion, aiming the trail of leaking piss so that it splattered into Ivan's face. With a 'weeeee' he let go, the bag flew through the air, landed in the grip of the waterfall, where it sank, out of sight. He took a couple of steps towards Ivan, stretched out his muscular, tattooed arm, pinched his cheek and, in a surprisingly high pitched voice, said, 'chubby cheeky.' In a flash his mood darkened, he rushed Ivan, belly-barged him to the ground, then, satisfied, went on his way.  Brave Ulysses had fallen at the first battle, the waterfall ogre had defeated him without even trying, but, at least, spitting out dirt and wiping piss from his face, Ivan could squeeze himself back into his skin and feel fortunate that Biley had left him alive. Perhaps, though, it was time to quit the quest; even if a fish gnawing otter surfaced right in front of him and he managed to capture it in photographic perfection, he knew, that that particular image could not compare to the one that would blaze in his mind that night as he crawled between the covers and closed his eyes.
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Weefatfella on 04-03-2013
A TALE OF TWO VESTS (FILTHY)
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Aye, A hairy fanny right enough. He'll huvtae fold the sheets wie an axe in the mornin.

(I had an adolescent dream wance. All the usual, perfectly shaped breasts and rounded thighs. She was for some reason sitting on the cludgie. she invited me over, as she slowly opened her legs. I began to lower myself for a better view. The legs suddenly parted, the fanny had turned into a huge, long toothed tiger,it opened its mouth and roared at me. I woke up in a sweat.) Just thought I'd share that wee bit ae shite wie yie. Thanks for posting. Weefatfella

Author's Reply:
thanx for that


A DANGEROUS GAME (posted on: 18-02-13)
Even in SHAGGERS'N'SLUTS she stood out. You'd have thought some torturer had stuck a cattle prod up her arse

I watched for the screwed face as the dregs of Super sloshed down her neck, nothing, not even a wince. A drinker then, hard core. 'C'mon,' she snarled, 'let's dance.' Even in SHAGGERS'N'SLUTS she stood out. You'd have thought some torturer had stuck a cattle prod up her arse – all mad jerking 'round and flailing arms. 'Wot's wrong wi yoo?' she yelled into my face, 'yer dancin like a fuckin catatonic.' I wanted to pork her so I broke out into a pogo. That lasted as long as it took to go over on my ankle. Anyway she was more or less dancing on her own and I wasn't nearly pissed enough so I limped up to the bar and ordered two more Supers. 'Wantin some o' these,' asked Danny the Dealer, an array of swedgers in his mitt, 'tenner, they're good, I've only had one and look at me eyes.' I didn't want to, the cunt was disturbed but them eyes were saucered up just nice and this would be no night of sanity so best be prepared. He nodded in satisfaction as we watched the pill fizzing up and down the beer - quality control, Double D style. I nearly got a slug; up to the lips and then the word 'swipe' appeared, in parenthesis, where the bottle used to be. 'Cheers,' she said, her outline blurred by the pull of the dance-floor. 'Hey DeeDee give us another one of those, they're fuckin great, they kick in before you take them.' It had to be raining outside. So it hammered down. Then it was; the head snapped back, the open mouth, the arms in the air and the, 'oh mother rain, wash my soul.' A wee bit of a dance, not much, just enough, until...the burst roof gutter and the run-off cascade. Then it was; off with the clothes, a cleansing shower and a fuckin Hopi Indian rain stomp. 'Wow,' I muttered, 'you've got some fit muscle action going on there girl.' The rain dance morphed into some kind of warm up exercises, all twisting and stretching, an acrobat in a street circus, all for me. Until. Fuckin'ell...Bruiser McHuge! When he stripped off he cut the dash of a scary sci-fi monster, you could almost see the 'roids coursing through the fat veins that twisted round his muscles like creepers. 'I'll lift you higher,' he roared, 'look at these arms.' It was his package she was looking at. 'Peanuts', she sang, kicking him in the nads. Go down, I said to my head, go down you great big bear. Then he fell, like an oak. 'Big guns, small balls.' she spat out, as if it were a crime. 'Yeah,' I nodded in agreement, 'it's the steds, he's a freak, now let's get the fuck outa here.' 'I need ya wearin this,' she said, and it was the paper bag over the head, no ironic joke this – an actual paper bag, with the drawstring pulled up nice and tight. Just like the ropes. 'Nice and tight,' she said, probing up my arse with her finge...fist. 'Aaaaooooya.' 'Shut it,' she yelled, climbing up. 'Wait, hud on, it's no made outa...aaaaooooya.' Then it was; no rain chant, a fuckin war cry more like and the pounding and the squeezing of the ballsack and the strangulation and me trying to fuckin breathe – the bag sucking in and out and the even more pounding and the...me bursting out inside her like an explosion. Then it was the wakening up and seeing, CALL ME written on the mirror in some unnameable substance. I'd rather slam my own dick in the fridge door, I said to my head. Which is, all told, another dangerous game.
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Weefatfella on 18-02-2013
A DANGEROUS GAME
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Holy shit Zen. Whit's gone oan? Yi'v loast me.
Strange piece ae writin well fur me oanywie.
I have led a relatively sheltered life.
A'm no sayin A'm shocked, A'm surprised.
A enjoyed it but after the second read.
It all went off kilter after they drapped the swedgers I expect that was the point of it all.
Yie know whit it wiz different, it wiz true tae life and it wiz exceptionally well written.
Thanks very much for sharing.
Weefatfella

Author's Reply:
Cheers WEEMAN
at least ye sortof enjoyed it
the point of it all is...to stay oota SHAGGERS'N'SLUTS where the decadent and depraved roam free
AHMA REGULAR ME
toodle-pip good sir....Z

franciman on 18-02-2013
A DANGEROUS GAME
Hi there,
I liked this. You're another James Kelman, or at least heading in the right direction! A statement of the obvious to say it's hard edged. I was also going to say it is brutally honest, but then it's not, is it? The jaundiced, world weary narrator is deliberately and wonderfully overplayed; an Irvine Welch stratagem which works in a short piece but would be too much if sustained.
Well done pal. It takes real talent to write such dirty prose.
cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
I enjoy writing these flash pieces they're fun to write, sortof a hybrid between prose and poetry, you can get away with a more SURREAL narrative which is good. They're open to interpretation as well i dont see the narrator as world weary and jaundiced at all...he got what he was looking for...they both did...aw soul mates and so close to valentines

ta for the comment.....z

japanesewind on 18-02-2013
A DANGEROUS GAME
brilliant, bang on, them were the days.hahaha...|D

Author's Reply:
oh they were were they...well i doff my cap j.w. san

bluepootle on 18-02-2013
A DANGEROUS GAME
Love it. Particularly the word 'swipe' appearing in parentheses, and her saying 'these kick in before you take them'. And the rain dance. Brilliant.

Author's Reply:
i never tire of reading that word...brilliant

ahma flashfan and this is what got me hooked:-


http://www.litro.co.uk/2012/09/flash-fiction-panel-special/

thanx for the comment bluebottle


Kat on 18-02-2013
A DANGEROUS GAME
Excellent - love the vernacular - really well done. I'd be happy to read more from S'n'S = wonderful flash... with a good bleep bleep up the jacksie!

Fusion stuff here, for me... Alan Warner, Laura Hird, to name a couple.

Kat

Author's Reply:
Ah Laura Hird one of the most talented writers to come out of Scotland, one time active member of this site and ringmaster of one of the best literary magazines on the web which is still active, though sadly sleeping.
great lass, she served me a pint in the Tynie last summer and we had a grand wee blether

www.laurahird.com

ta kat

cooky on 18-02-2013
A DANGEROUS GAME
Excellent write which captures a culture usually seen only on Jeremy kyle. Reminds me of my local pub.

Author's Reply:
i had an evil bastard cold a couple of weeks back so the telly was plonked in ma room, fell asleep, woke up still drowsy and the Vile man was droning on about...'not having done enough' and how he personally would have'walked through the night' to see his kids...i groaned, pretty mediocre stuff i mumbled and drifted back off but then...I GET BACK FROM THE FISHING AND THERE WAS A HALF AROUSED NAKED MAN ESCAPING DOWN MY GARDEN PATH AND SUBSEQUENTLY I HEARD A RUMOUR THAT MY WIFE WAS INVOLVED IN THREESOMES... now that tends to snap ya wide awake.

Ta cooky

Andrea on 19-02-2013
A DANGEROUS GAME
Blimey, you don't post often, Zen, but when you do it's a corker 🙂

Author's Reply:
oh well, I aim to please andrea, one can only do one's best 🙂

thanx.....Z

roger303 on 20-02-2013
A DANGEROUS GAME
Here's another one for you - Brilliant!



Author's Reply:
oh I like you...you can comment anytime


ta rog


WHAT A PRICK (posted on: 08-02-13)
PRICKS

This is not love and the only thing it's making is money. Are we going to make love now, is that what my dad paid you for. I'd nearly bust out at that but it had been reassuring, this trick would be easy. It shut down the warning horn that had been blasting through my head since she told me it wasn't a hotel. The last birthday bash had turned out to be just that. Angela, I told her, you've got a short memory, have you forgotten the last time I went on a private residence birthday treat. I ended up getting gang raped by half the football team and my bladder still aches when I pee. What a prick, I'd said. He looked like Harry Potter's pal, the ginger one. Why, he'd said, do you like it, is it big enough. Christ if I had a quid for every time. Ideal prompt though, snap on the smile, roll on the rubber. He was a twitcher, which is always good, they never last long. He certainly didn't. What were you counting for, he'd asked. Helps me keep my rhythm, I'd said. Which was a lie. I was counting how much a thrust. Quick count, twenty five quid a bang. Easy money if you can get it and not getting it is not worth thinking about. She'd clocked me straight away had Angela, she knew I'd answer her call. Something easy to start with. A nice meal at a restaurant, pleasant chat, a bit of old fashioned missionary and oh what nice crisp new notes, what are these Bank of Scotland, these will do nicely thank you very much. But when your soul dies, it's not heart attack quick, no, it's cancer eating slow and my crab took its first claw-full that night. Nobody's immune. What was that famous model's name, her out of celebrity love island, her who was always fighting with Paul Wassisface from Hollyoaks. Sophie. SOPHIE SUCKS SHEIK SCHLONG FOR SHEKELS. Hee, hee, did I read that on a toilet wall. Yeah I did, just wooshed a nice long line up and there it was. Nearly pissed myself. Ah, toilet humour. Ah, cocaine, these little white crystals of pleasure and pain. At first It puzzled me how Tony had known but that was the naivety of the fool. I was an addict, of course I was getting supplied from someone else and me owing Tony all that money. He had broken my little finger as casually as if it was a bread-stick. No anger, no shouting but oh the pain. Just thinking about it now is making it throb. Oh well, job done, Harry Potter's pal could have looked happier but what the hell, he'll have a good old yarn to tell his wee friends. How he shagged the arse off me. Sad, like all the tricks I've ever known and there's daddy holding the outside door open with his smug smile. What a prick.
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Weefatfella on 08-02-2013
WHAT A PRICK
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The whole piece rings true and is a fascinating insight into the thoughts of a Hooker.
A very compelling and thought provoking read.
I feel something for the hooker but the dad is, as is well said, an out and out fud!
Enjoyed this very true to life piece.
Thank you.
Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
Thanx WFF , aye well i had an arguement wi a guy from morningside in ma writers group who had written a piece on how a youngster was given a 16th birthdat 'treat' by a 'great dad' all the characters were nice and a jolly coming of age good time was had by all. BULLSHIT I said..that's no anythin near what its like, it's a sordid, dangerous murky world ...thing is he didnae turn up last week tae hear ma response.

Morningside (Edinbra) = Kelvinside (Glesga)

ta fur the comment pal Z


BALZAC'S CHARACTER (posted on: 25-01-13)
BIG BULL BALZAC bellows - 'I'll break the back of any Belgian bastard who belittles my character.'

BIG BULL BALZAC bellows - 'I'll break the back of any Belgian bastard who belittles my character.' The bell-maker from Bruge refrains from breaking his bread and bawls – 'your character is exemplary Balzac, I said so in my report.' 'Report! You dare to spy on me. You fool, ittle be your ears that are ringing, I can beat out a merry tune.' 'But Balzac we bow to your character, failed ventures mean nothing here, bring more wine wench,' says Monsieur Gobseck. 'Failed ventures ! Who do you slander Gobseck? You who sit like a spider in the centre of your web of dastardly deeds deciding who should be loaned monies and who should be decried as disparate. My printer's presses would be producing prolifically if it wasn't for fiends like you.' 'I break no laws Balzac, my conscience is clear.' ' The cruellest of crimes are covered by the cloak of the courts Gobseck.' 'True, but I am both a product of the times and a precursor of what is yet to come– the worship of money as the new God, soon it will be the only religion pious people practice.' 'Tis the greatest evil of our times, that and the emergence of unbridled individualism – 'here I come and you better make way' indeed the philosophy of greed and self gratification.' 'Hah, and I renounce it, I seek no grievance, give me your goblet, we will toast your character.' 'Slake not with serpents brother Balzac ,' says Wenceslas Steinbock, 'we architects of great art must direct our energies with drive and determination, the genius within us must be serenely sculpted and never seduced by salacious insincerity … or licentious larceny.' 'Ah, Wenceslas old friend, your credentials soar higher than any flaming arrows of cruel critique. A gnarled nut of resilience resistant to disrespectful rant. 'Not so,' Balzac indicates a seated, harmless old man with a theatrical flourish of arm, 'Monsieur Sylvain Pons – my character.' This Inn is inundated with your characters Balzac,' says Cousin Pons, 'your proffered protection is flattering but my banishment from cousin Camusot's is shaming and I seek solace in succulent cuisine. I only came in for a good meal.
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GHANDI RAIDS A BHANG DEN BUT HIS INTERVENTION IS PASSIVE (posted on: 18-01-13)
'well, I was there when Vera Lynne shat herself on stage,' he said

'We used to smoke this in Burma, the Indian fellas were always good for a sackful, bhang they called it.' So said uncle George, rubbing and smelling a pinch of the wares I'd just brought back from the pub, his face all lit up. 'Good stuff but nowhere near as crazy as the banana tree sap; that was loco juice, a couple of glugs and you'd be tearing yer clothes off and running round the plantation, screaming like a loon.' 'Well,' I said, 'suppose you'd need something.' 'I'll say, there was none of this here good old Scotchman out there in that hell,' he said, pouring himself another generous measure in case there was somehow a danger of him being supernaturally transported back. He passed over a Scotchman and I rolled up some bhang. 'What was it like George?' His eyes flashed with fear as his memory scan blipped on a trough of horror the sands of time would never cover, but it was fleeting; 'well, I was there when Vera Lynne shat herself on stage,' he said, bursting out laughing, 'y'never seen the like, just reached the high note and then...whoosh. The Delhi belly that was, we all had it but at least it wasn't the killer that malaria was, laid waste many a good mate that. The bullets, flame throwers and booby traps were no day at the races either. I still get the Kilarney Lakes.' 'No wonder, you must have been the same age as I am now?' I said, watching him draw on the bhang so ferociously it looked like he was trying to smoke the whole joint in one go. 'Yeah I was and it all happened so fast,' he said, exhaling a huge plume, 'there I was twenty years of age, working on the docks, then, in a blink, I was a sergeant in the British Army fighting fucking Jap bastards in a sweltering jungle and we were scared, forget all that war comic hero stuff, we were fucking terrified. Like this one day we were out on patrol, six of us, the jungle up ahead was on fire, then four horsemen - I'm not making this up, there was four of 'em – rode through the smoke towards us; mountain tribesman, the fiercest fuckers y'ever seen in yer life; long muskets strapped to their backs, curved sabres, daggers in their sashes. The leader sees my stripes and rides up and says – 'how many Japanese soldiers have you killed today?' What do y'say to that? Before I could answer he unties a sack and empties out three men's heads and points to the sun in the sky showing us that it was still early then they rode off, probably to fill the bag back up.' 'Wow I can see how that little scenario would stick in the mind.'' 'Yeah, and you know what else does, smells, you know like the cordite hanging in the air at sunset or...' 'Dame Vera's shitty pants?' 'Hahaaargh...unforgettable.' The door opened and a figure appeared through the smoke, no turbaned assassin this, no this was father Wilbur with his bald pate pulsating red with too many Scotchmans and fury at the illicit goings on right here, in his very own kitchen. He was nearly naked, a fine display of grey chest hair sprouting up from a pair of baggy, white, string underpants out of which dangled peelywally legs the likes you never seen equalled this side of Bengal Bay. He opened his maw to complain but was either incapable of angry speech or he found the situation far too confusing to form actual words. He gave up and went back to bed. 'Fucking 'ell,' said great uncle George, 'if I'd known Gandhi was coming I'd 'ave baked a chapatti.' He exploded into uproar, we both did, that bhang-fuelled laughing, all consuming and almost serious as it intensifies into the kind of silent shuddering that hurts.
Archived comments for GHANDI RAIDS A BHANG DEN BUT HIS INTERVENTION IS PASSIVE
Weefatfella on 18-01-2013
GHANDI RAIDS A BHANG DEN BUT HIS INTERVENTION IS PASSIVE
 photo UKABueeyedhush.gif
Very well written and interesting read, left me wanting more. Thank you for sharing.
Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
MORE!!! did y'no hear aboot the weefatfella who dared to ask for more? he got a block o cheese for his cab fare...boom boom

ta fur the wee comment pal....zen



MASH (posted on: 24-12-12)
A claw, nah, throw it back in the box, this job requires a mash

A claw, nah, throw it back in the box, this job requires a mash, ah here it is, feels good in the hand, needs to be used, you can't pick up a mash hammer and not want to use it, to break something, especially when you're raging. ''...a stupid, lazy, little bastard.'' Who the fuck does that old...what suits; crone, witch, hag, all and any of those, ach I'll just stick to bag, that's my very favourite – the Laundry Bag. ''...stupid...'' That would be funny if it wasn't tragic; here's me with a mind that whirs and clicks like the guts of a finely tuned Swiss watch, an intellect capable of absorbing complicated theorems from all fonts of wisdom and there's her with a slug iron for a brain that overheats with the shifting of clothes from washers to dryers or whatever the fuck it is they do down there. ''...lazy...'' Surely a jest, no, more a glib taunt, but the insults of fools fall on fallow ground. ''...little...''Meaning small, tiny, but I stand a foot, nay more, above her. Maybe she means to belittle me. Wee folk do that, don't they; it's a psychological aberration – the overbearing, bullying midget. Cowardly though, like all cruel gossips but I possess the tuning fork hearing of youth – I heard you, Baggyface. ''...bastard...'' My favourite word and coming from the foul mouth of a crabbit-faced bastard - oh irony I love you, you're my second – with attitude. Who ever heard of a fifty year old woman chewing gum? How long do you want to be a Hairy for? It wasn't even me! I never get reckless with wine, it was Sparky, done a bolt didn't he, but before you could say 'spin cycle' there she was, frothing up just fine, temperature rising, right up to fucking boil wash. What me? Oh no Bagwash, not me, I'm not the skivvy round here, besides I might get careless with them there shards, my senses are dulled, you don't want blood on my hands, do you? My name will be mud, not my name, my description ...you know the one, the skinny one with blue hair, and it's not just drink if you ask me...and there will be plenty, asking. Enjoy it Baggy, go on enjoy yourself, put me through the wringer while you can because here comes the flood.
Archived comments for MASH
Savvi on 24-12-2012
MASH
The controlled rage in this is superb it sethes and boils along captivating, makes the reader want hear the flood.S

Author's Reply:
thanx very much...my first flash and i must say its good to know it works cheersZ

japanesewind on 24-12-2012
MASH
Great that, loved..."How long do you want to be a Hairy for?
regards..D

Author's Reply:
hee hee bit o the auld glaswegian there

Hairy :- a female ned, especially a LOUD one.

thanx japanesewind -GREATNAMETHAT CheersZ

zenbuddhist on 24-12-2012
MASH
ahma FLASH FAN great wee link this

http://www.litro.co.uk/2012/09/flash-fiction-panel-special/

Author's Reply:


IMAGINA7EN (posted on: 26-10-12)
...drink some herbal tea or something, all this high drama is wearing thin; evil puppets, death masks, demonic scalpers, it's like meeting Edgar Allen Poe on a peyote binge. It's not that I think you're lying just try and see things through a lens more rational.''

Kaiser's head was lathered in sweat, he needed to towel down, something to eat, something to drink. Even though emerging from the old town into streets more familiar he was surprised when he stumbled on Philthy Phill's Cellar Bar. Which was open. It must be dusk, not dawn, he deduced from the rabble standing three, four deep at the bar, braying for beers. He checked his pockets for coin. ''Ocht, we're no goin through aw this countin performance again are we Kaiser y'scavenger. Ye'll never change. What y'havin?'' ''Bing! Thank Christ you're all right.'' ''Me? Sound as a pound Kaiser, what about you, where in the blue beyond have you been hidin, we were aw worried.'' ''Worried? What since last night.'' ''Last night? Ye've been missin for three days man. Fuck ah knew it, ye've been on a bender, look at the sweat pourin oot ye, better replenish some o that pal or ye'll end up a shrivel-skinned prune. Baldy and the gang are sitting at the back there, ower ye go an ah'll get ye a pint.'' The bald head of Baldy signalled the whereabouts of 'the gang' like a marker buoy and Kaiser sailed his way through and squelched down like the sweat soaked sod he was. ''Fuck me, it's the wreck of the Hesperus, whereabouts on the fog shrouded oceans have you surfaced from?'' ''The Dead Sea,'' croaked Jeremiah. '' A stinking swamp more like, what's happened Kaiser? You look like you've been battered by a pod of killer whales.'' ''I've just escaped from a dank and dangerous dungeon...'' ''Where else?'' said Scholar, his hands outstretched in sarcastic asking. Bing came back with a tray of drinks. ''You're just in time, the ancient mariner here is about to recount his tale of woe.'' ''And thus spake on that ancient man...the bright eyed mariner,'' droned Jeremiah in his guise of side stage storyteller. Kaiser seemed unsure. ''...except I never escaped and it wasn't a dungeon...'' ''Fuck me, hark the unreliable narrator.'' ''The lying serpent more like,'' said Jeremiah, morphing into his scathing cynic, ''owcha, that hurt Baldy.'' ''Unreliable I said, you froggy freak. Kaiser wouldn't deliberately tell us lies, would you Kaiser? You magnificent bastard.'' Kaiser was struggling, he grabbed his pint with both hands and sloshed it down his neck in a oner. ''...it was a traumatic ordeal, no, more weird, or calculated...'' ''The indecisive bullshitter,'' offered Jeremiah, shifting his legs out of range. ''...yeah, looking back on it, I think I would of experienced trauma, if I knew what was going on, I was too easily fooled, naive, I was lured into a false sense of security, I'm too trustworthy, always eager to see the good side of people, always...'' ''Kaiser, Kaiser, you're wandering off, we've been drinking man, our attention span is short, catch a grip.'' ''The digressing dullard,'' put in Jeremiah, who croaked with self satisfaction, ''man, I'm on fire.'' ''Not yet you're not,'' said Baldy, slitting her eyes, fingering her lighter. ''...the man of God, a chaplain, wooed me with a tale of his own demon, a scalper by the name of Siegfried, from whom he had narrowly escaped with his life, something I found reassuring, it allowed him to get his hook in and I followed him to the pedestal. He asked me if I knew anything about its origin and when I answered in the negative he did not take it badly. A wave of fatigue hit me, he suggested rest and I gladly seized on the chance to crash out on a straw mattress in a back room. I had no idea it was a gaol, or that I was not alone. A sleepwalking pediophobe had been imprisoned for trying to drown the chaplain's nephew, he had a bottle of rancid hooch that tasted like poison, just a couple of hits and I was plunged into a dream world of psychotic marionettes or was it zombies? Both I think. I was awakened by a burly consort of cohorts who were struggling with the pedestal. I followed them outside to a walled courtyard which was full to bursting with an odd assortment of tramps who served as the chaplain's congregation, he mounted the pedestal and started a bible thumping sermon about the evil to be found through the corrupting influence of poetry. 'I have one of these devil poets imprisoned in my dungeon,' he cried, his face shining like a waxed, grizzly death mask. It was too much to take, I had to escape, I walked out and on to freedom - narrowly avoiding the snarling, vicious beasts the chaplain employed as cohorts who were warming themselves round a drum, deep in disturbing conversation about the desire to cause serious violence, to anyone, even the chaplain, who had seemingly 'ripped them off'. It was horrible.'' ''Fuck me, that was a tale of woe,'' said Baldy, just before the eruption of hilarity. ''Kaiser, ye'll need tae take me on one o these mad benders sometime, it must be mental.'' ''Mental is right,'' said Scholar, ''an experience to be avoided by the weak of mind.'' ''But it's true.'' wailed Kaiser. ''Aye to you it's true, you've been quaffin raw spirit wi an auld pal for three days, of course it's true.'' ''Yep, I think we've just been treated to a 'Kaiser Classic', we are blessed,'' said Scholar. ''Except,'' said Baldy, ''I saw him leave with the Chaplain, not three nights ago.'' ''Hah, see,'' said Kaiser, ''mock ye not, the truth bringer.'' ''And not an albatross in sight,'' said Scholar. ''No, no albatrosses and not much sense from you guys either, I'm tired, too tired for this.'' ''Wait Kaiser, I'll get you outside, I've got to talk to you,'' said Baldy getting up, slipping her hand under his arm and piloting him through the exit route. ''Don't take it to heart man, we've been hammering it.'' ''I know, it's just that I'm tired, I've been through the...'' ''Fuck me, give it a holiday mate, I get it,'' said Baldy, then, seeing hurt, messing up his hair with both her hands, ''you look like you've been through ten big bastard mills,'' her antennae tingled at the vulgar detection of a pulse of self pity - ''then fucked in the hole by a rodeo bull.'' He looked at her, frowning, then, started hopping around, grabbing at his own arse and bellowing, ''auuuuuuuh.'' ''Hahaaah, that's more like it,'' she said, jumping on his back, ''now give me a rollicking ride up the orchard for a good seeing to.'' ''Auuuuuuuh,'' he went, all the way to the plantation. ''I wasn't exaggerating, I truly am exhausted.'' ''Lie down then, even Kaisers get weary.'' ''It feels like I've been poisoned.'' ''Don't worry, I've got the remedy. Unzippity dooda, my oh my, what a wonderful donga.'' ''That's not the words.'' ''I'll shut up then, mmmmm.'' ''Auuuuuuuh'' ''Mmmmmaybe you should too.'' Auuuuuuulrighty He managed to keep the bull noises down to a minimum until she climbed up for the 'ol' back ways cowgal', then it was rodeo raucous roar, all the way to the showdown. ''Fuck me, isn't this heavenly? A bed of musty leaves and rotten apples. No poem this evening Kaiser?'' ''Poetry, you jest, surely, a man who has narrowly escaped from the clutches of...'' ''Ah, pillow talk.'' ''You don't believe me?'' ''Listen you fool, it's me that took you to that soup kitchen, I've met the chaplain, I know exactly who you're talking about, he's a manipulative, dangerous bastard. Those creeps you call his 'cohorts'; cut-throats to a man, the chaplain feeds them scraps in turn for their allegiance...what's wrong?'' ''What you just said, about them being cut-throats and their allegiance, it's the same as the story about a powerful demon that lived on a mountaintop in ancient Japan.'' ''Fuck me, there you go again, Jeremiah's pissed and he's being an arse but he's got a point the chaplain is dangerous but that doesn't make him a demon, you need to calm down man.'' ''So I'm a fool in a frenzy?'' ''Not exactly, no, but maybe...drink some herbal tea or something, all this high drama is wearing thin; evil puppets, death masks, demonic scalpers, it's like meeting Edgar Allen Poe on a peyote binge. It's not that I think you're lying just try and see things through a lens more rational.'' ''He unnerved me.'' ''Oh you're right to be wary, he's like a cult leader with a messiah complex but don't fuel his fire, if you attribute him with any trait at all of the supernatural, never mind a fucking demon, he's got you. You'll be down round that oil drum burning the bodies with the rest of them.'' ''I think I'll stay out of his way.'' ''You may not have a choice, it could well be he allowed you to escape, maybe he's had you followed, is that someone up that apple tree?'' Kaiser shot up, fists raised, ready. ''Fuck me I was joking, you really do need to go home for some rest, don't you? You magnificent bastard. But you can give me a cuddy back to the pub first, it's not closing time yet.'' Kaiser gazed at the swinging pub doors through which Baldy had disappeared, not so her words, they clung onto him like moths on a wooly waistcoat - 'see things through a lens more rational'. Good advice perhaps, was he really making things up in his head, creeping himself out, he walked on, head bent, deep in thought and nearly knocked over the girl. ''Sorry, I was...'' ''Eeee yer a lad.'' ''Do I know you?'' ''No, but...'' ''Wait, I've got something to ask, is that okay?'' ''Fine.'' ''What if I was to tell you I have been engaged in conflict with a powerful monster who has manifested by ripping through the membrane of a madman's nightmare. Would you think me strange?'' ''Eeee, of course yer strange, yer Kaiser.' ''So it wouldn't strike you as irrational?'' ''Eh?'' ''Spooky.'' ''Nope.'' ''Or silly.'' ''Nope.'' ''How about, off the wall.'' ''Like a bat, bat off the wall.'' Kaiser stepped back, his shadow was darkening her features and he wanted to see what she looked like; it was a face from the wood, neither nice nor nasty, odd, he thought, but interesting. ''How do you know my name?'' ''Eeee, everyone knows yer name Kaiser, got a message I have.'' ''From whom.?'' ''Aunt Martha the witch, come, come with me, take my hand.'' Kaiser took the offered hand and let himself be led to the park. ''This is it,'' she said, plonking herself down on a bench, ''sacred it is, where I first saw you, over there I was, me, Iris, on that next seat, mad you were, crazy wine drunk, stuck on a poem, tore out the pages you did, lunged at a big black dog, taking a kick, missed by miles, started hissing like a snake, dancing a mad dance, ran off he did, the dog. Then yelling you were; 'I'm sorry Cerberus, forgive me, Calliope has deserted me, my poetry is as dull as goat shit on a barren hillside whilst once it shone like the golden chalices of Apollo's great temple, I am lost, I am lost!' Remember it I do, every word.'' ''I recall it myself, almost, it's hazy.'' ''Eeee drunk you were, drinking wine.'' ''Yes but I remember something, did you follow me, did you leave...'' Kaiser dug into his coat inside pocket and produced a crumpled pink piece of paper, Iris couldn't contain herself, she was bouncing on the bench in excitement. Kaiser opened the note.                                                      This is your invitation for                                                  THE PILGRIMAGE TO CASTALIA             
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THE IMAGE HAS CRACKED (posted on: 14-09-12)
''So you guys are students?'' he asked, rubbing the card. ''Yes, we used to be hustlers, dangerous bastards who weren’t above doctoring ID cards; feigning false identities in order to access cheap booze and drunk girls to lure them into a shadowy underworld of sexual depravity. But not now.''

I wasn't mistaken, 'I'm not drinking tonight', that's what he'd said. Well this'll be a first, I thought and then deciding, judging by the last performance – the awful spectacle of a crazy drunk, dreadlock swinging, black guy bouncing around wild, high kicking to 'Go Buddy Go' by the Stranglers in 'The Gunner', of all places, came back to me - it could be no bad thing. 'The Gunner' has a reputation as being one of the roughest scheme pubs in town, it was packed with football supporters who had just witnessed their national team under-performing in a one all draw and they were in no mood to be 'entertained' by an impromptu live show, especially when there was a real threat of their pints being spilled or even knocked right out their hands; a heinous crime that constitutes only one punishment - a right good kicking. Charlie, though, seemed oblivious, there was no stopping him, not that I tried, in fact I was doing my best to make it look as if he had nothing to do with me but, mercifully, before the first blow was struck, the song finished. He had phoned from another dive - 'Minto's' in Duke Street where, woe-betide you if you don't look as if you're just out of prison because you've just flagged yourself up as the next violent mugging victim – to say he was on his way and, sure enough, when he arrived and I asked him what he was having, he ordered a coke.''Is that a can, a bottle or a line?'' I asked, grinning at the awkward figure he cut in sobriety. ''Funny you should say that, I've just had a hit of the green stuff.'' ''What absinthe?'' ''No, no, methadone, I gave a junkie a couple of quid for a slug of his medicine..'' My knowledge of methadone was sketchy at best. I knew it was a heroin substitute and had read in a waiting room magazine that the Nazis, fearing a strangulation of supply from the East during the war, had developed it as a chemical alternative to morphine. I had no idea as to the effect it had but took a better than hopeless guess that it was no recreational, party drug. ''Oh well, that's all right then, no drink, just hard core opiates this evening, you are one prize guy Charlie me ol son, one, real, prize, guy.'' Not only that as the night rolled on and I was quaffing a few pints, rising on the beer tide as it were, he was going the opposite way, slowly sinking into the swamp of lethargy; he looked like one of them mournful, cartoon dogs and was about as much fun. ''Lets get out of here,'' I said, ''this crap pub doesn't even have a duke box.'' ''Right,'' he said. ''Snap out of it me ol son, we need a bit of enthusiasm here, a bit of anticipation of a real, right royal night of raucous debouch.'' ''Eh?'' ''Forget it, just finish your coke, we're leaving.'' The doorman took it off me, looked at me, examined the card and, again, looked at me. He didn't trust us or the card for that matter, but there was nothing he could do, there it was, a genuine NUS student card with the option of signing in a guest. ''So you guys are students?'' he asked, rubbing the card. ''Yes, we used to be hustlers, dangerous bastards who weren't above doctoring ID cards; feigning false identities in order to access cheap booze and drunk girls to lure them into a shadowy underworld of sexual depravity. But not now.'' He shot his mate a look when he burst out laughing and pulled out a registrar. ''Right names and addresses here,'' and then, grudgingly, let us past. ''Jesus,'' said Charlie when we got to the bar, ''what did you pull that shit for, that was madness, ha ha, I was sure we were fucked then.'' ''Why, we had nothing to lose, it's what he was thinking anyway, or close enough, did you see the look on his face.'' ''Hahaaargh, I certainly did, this calls for a drink.'' Well, that didn't take much, I thought as I watched the first of many beers disappearing down his neck but any satisfaction I gleaned from this change in events didn't last, soon he was ducking under the table puking his guts up. ''Fuck sake Charlie! Get to the toilet man, you can't do that here.'' ''Couldn't, couldn't help it man, just came up, sudden like, it's that drug man, I should never have taken it.'' ''Okay, forget the toilet, I think we're in the clear, let's disappear before anyone notices that mess, there's something going on upstairs, time to go.'' The upstairs entertainment had yet to kick in, I saw an empty table out the way a bit next to some wooly jersey, student types. ''Right sit down here for a bit and I'll get some beers, are you all right, want a coke?'' ''Nah man, beer, must have beer, got a terrible taste in my mouth that I've got to get rid, only beer can do it.'' ''Okay,'' I said ''you're a man with spirit, I like that.'' I was lying; he looked awful with his bulging eyes mapped out with red canals and a sheen of sweat covering his face like a man in the throws of a malaria fever, ''Charlie Rasta Man, good guy to have in the trenches.'' When I got back from the bar he was trying to speak to the Woolies but they looked totally baffled. No great shock as his drift was wild and senseless and punctuated with great, gaping yawns. Fuck, I thought, he's lost it, I should never have left him with anyone normal at all, never mind polite Scandinavians. Then the band started up. ''Salsa!'' he yelled, jumping up and blazing a trail towards the beats. ''Sorry about that, he's the restless type, did he insult you?'' ''No, no, really, we're from Finland, we all speak English but it was not easy to understand his words.'' ''Don't worry, it's difficult for everyone, even me, Finland you say, do you speak Hungarian?'' He looked surprised, I was pleased with myself, who'd of known, my waiting room magazine knowledge had served me well, twice in the one night. ''Yes some words are similar, you know this?'' ''It was a wandering Hungarian tribe was it not, they settled in Finland...'' They looked impressed, my knowledge on the subject was somewhat limited but who cared, certainly not me I had attracted the full attention of some of the most stunning blond girls I have ever seen in my life, right there, in the flesh, in the tanned, smooth, beautiful flesh. Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw him; a figure streaking across the dance floor, struggling with the top of an aluminium cylinder bin, ripping it off and then it was volcano vomit splattering into the can so loud you could hear it above the music. Right in front of the bouncers. ''Listen me ol son, I've got you a beer, no problem, but are you sure it's wise, this pub is up market, no easy going student union stewards in here, if you fuck up...'' ''It's okay, feel fine now, just need beer, I'm fine.'' He didn't look it but I slid the beer over in front of him with the wise words, ''sip it, it's not a race.'' I might of well have been talking to the wall because he drained it in one gulp. I waited for the big spit but, no, he held it down just fine. And ordered another. Just as I thought we were back to some kind of level his phone went off, I couldn't hear the conversation but knew by the look on his face he was getting a shit-load of grief. He snapped the phone shut, then seeing his reflection in the bar room mirror shot up on his feet, stretched out his arms and bellowed, ''BASTARD, WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT YOU BASTARD'' into the mirror. ''Calm down'', I said, ''you're acting like a fool.'' ''Right me and you outside now,'' he snarled, ''fight!'' That was it, I'd had enough, he'd obviously lost his mind so I got up and left. I didn't get far, though, until he caught me up, gasping apologies, 'it was that mad bitch'', he said, ''she was calling me a bastard for being out on the town, I don't know what happened, must have got to me somehow man. C'mon there's still time for a club.'' Indeed there was, a dark hole with bang, bang, awful music but a club nevertheless. I supposed Charlie would disappear to do his 'crazy legs thing' on the dance floor but, no, he wanted to stay with me at the bar where there was a gang of young Welsh guys who looked like they were having fun. ''We're on a stag night,'' one of them told us, ''yeah'' said another, ''and we are ripped man, want some of this?'' he pulled out a wrap of white powder, ''it's MDMA'' powder,'' he said. I hadn't read it in a magazine but I knew this substance was the active ingredient in the drug ecstasy, I wavered but Charlie had made up our minds, ''yeah man, we'll have some of that.'' So the guy tipped the powder into our beers. And we were off. So to speak. My wavering was not without good reason, the last stint I'd had with psychedelic drugs was with LSD 25 a drug of 'extreme and unnatural heaviness' which took me on a trip to heaven, hell and just about everywhere else in-between, it had been a traumatic experience, one that I was not keen to replicate. But this was different, no real hallucinations just a general feeling of ...well, ecstasy. Does what it says on the tin. I suppose. ''Let's go up to the chill-out room upstairs and smoke a joint, I've got a heavy duty ganja spliff,'' said Charlie, beaming. The chill-out room was a bit pink, buzzing pink but what the hell we were stoned. Charlie went off to roll another one and a fucking bouncer appeared. He was a mean looking bastard with a bullet shaved head; ''thumoneth been thmoking a joint up here,'' he said, if I find out who it is they're hithtory, fucking hithtory.'' ''I know,'' I said ''it fucking stinks, smells like skunk, or ganja, bastards eh? They're taking the pith.'' I hadn't meant to say it. It just slipped out. I saw the flash of anger in his face so carried on with some fast talking so he wouldn't dwell on it, and it was working, he was nodding along to my bullshit quite the thing. Then Charlie came back with a joint dangling from his lips. So, once again, we were ejected from the premises. What the hell, I thought, it was the end of the night anyway and we made our way towards the taxi rank. Not far along the road, in front of the train station stood the classiest looking prostitutes I've ever seen in my life, these were no stinking, junky, port hoors these looked more like models, their pimps were out in force as well openly selling drugs on the street. So these were the Jamaican Yardies I'd heard so much about, dangerous looking gangster types. Charlie, of course had to get involved, over he went to negotiate some drug deal. I yelled on him but he ignored me. Fuck him, I thought, I've had enough of his shit for one night. So I caught a cab home. It takes me a lot longer to recover these days. Even a couple of days later I was lying, naked in a darkened room sipping tropical fruit juice, listening to some smoothing, ambient music when the door went. I slipped on a robe and answered it. There stood Charlie grinning like a fool, he lifted up his shirt to expose some plastic tube arrangement sticking out his belly. ''I'm an octopus,'' he said, ''man I really fucked up, these guys had some strong stuff, you know that metal handrail in the middle of the steps down to the station, well I was balancing trying to walk along it then, wham, did the splits didn't I, done some serious damage man. So they tore me a new arsehole. ''So they did. Do yourself a favour Charlie me ol son, the next time you gaze into a bar-room mirror, even though there are twelve bastards staring back at you, ignore them, they're an illusion, focus your concentration and embrace the image, see what's really there – a solid block, first class, fucking idiot.''
Archived comments for THE IMAGE HAS CRACKED
Nomenklatura on 14-09-2012
THE IMAGE HAS CRACKED
An interesting insight into a life I know absolutely nothing about. Sounded gritty and realistic enough for me anyhow.

Author's Reply:
gritty & realistic'...good, that's good i aim to entertain.

bluepootle on 14-09-2012
THE IMAGE HAS CRACKED
I ended up liking Charlie. I'm not sure why. I think it was his total commitment to be utterly wasted that won me over. That was one hell of a journey through a night with them. I enjoyed it.

Author's Reply:
aye he's sortof a likeable fool is charlie...that's charlie in the story ...not me ... haha aye, well, nuff said.

Andrea on 15-09-2012
THE IMAGE HAS CRACKED
Good, gritty stuff, Charlie. And great to see you posting again.

Author's Reply:
'gritty' again, i like that, ta for the comment andrea ..aye us auld posters never die, we just get lazy.

Weefatfella on 15-09-2012
THE IMAGE HAS CRACKED
Amazing mate.I've been a taxi driver for nearly forty years I've seen it all including this. well written and very engrossing piece loved it. I was out with you two, I've met guys like Charlie, flung them out the taxi. one tried to pay with a wedge of cheese.

Author's Reply:
i doff my cap tae ye man, i've never met a late night taxi driver who hasnae 'seen it all' ...wots wrong wi a wedge o cheese like? that's good solid currancy round here pal...haha aye its because it's easy tae steal...so they tell me.

Texasgreg on 16-09-2012
THE IMAGE HAS CRACKED
Aye! It's a troubling world and some just can't cope with the demands. Yes, I've seen it up close and personal. Had to run off dealers and get a loved one treatment that was resisted until love conquered.



Good Job!

Photobucket.

Greg:-)

More than 55,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico under the administration of Felipe Calderon, who launched a war on traffickers shortly after taking office in December 2006.

American Revolutionary War-Total killed on both sides- 50,000

U.S. casualties in Vietnam-58,209

Author's Reply:
Well these stats speak for themselves.

RoyBateman on 16-09-2012
THE IMAGE HAS CRACKED
Certainly an unflinching portrayal of the night out from hell, though I'm guessing that it's not that uncommon these days: there's quite a few hostelries that I'd steer clear of these days, at least late at night. Then there would be the fatal problem, for me, of being an Englishman abroad - at least, that's how many would now see it! So, while I'd avoid these characters like the plague in real life, I'm sure that the depiction is all too accurate - well done in making the whole event readable, even gripping.

Author's Reply:
'night out from hell' aye, that's just about right Roy. Best to avoid these types of 'dangerous bastards' at all costs ...ittle help keep y' sane, even abroad. Glad you found it readable and ...(almost) gripping...hee hee cheers pal


IMAGINATION SEX (posted on: 03-08-12)
''You evil bastard,'' she hissed at Bartholomew, ''lucky you are, next time, see that glass, you'll have no use for that 'cause I'll have that eye, carve it out I will, like a slimy gob of goosegog.''

Although reticent Bandanna was also intrigued; had his choice of subject really provided some kind of expose into his inner world? Had he laid himself bare? Possibly, but he could see no reason to view this as harmful. What did it matter if Tick Tock had turned out to be far more insightful than first impressions suggested? In fact he had panned out to be something of a good humoured, decent sort. Looking up from his task he saw him engaging with another sculptor, offering advice, encouragement, doing his job. Of course it could easily be an act, knowledge is power, it was entirely plausible that he was gleaning information for The Prince, whom, he imagined, was obsessed with compiling a fat Mr Plant-Troublemaker dossier and his admission of investigatory tendencies would not sit well for him. Enough conjecture, he told himself, a man whose mind's wandering into a wilderness of the unknown is easy prey. He had to keep focussed, sharp, get a face on the Sphinx and since the original had been subjected to thousands of years of biting sandstorms and even cannon ball blast, any face would do. ...vases, pots, human figures have all been found in archaeological digs... That they had and perhaps the process was still going on; in some post apocalyptic world a barely surviving mutant might dig up the actual artefacts that were being produced in this very room. His own Sphinx held aloft and the discoverer muttering to himself - those ancients might have built spectacular cities but they weren't much good at faces. ''Anyone who wants to fire their pieces, feel free to use the oven,'' said Tick Tock, ''but please do not think that this is obligatory.'' ''Don't think I want to make this permanent.'' ''It's up to you Mr Plant but if you fire it you can always look back on your first piece in...let's say, a light hearted frame of mind.'' ''A joke you mean,'' Bandanna chuckled, there wasn't much chance of him lulling himself into a false sense of grandeur, ''a ridiculous, pathetic joke.'' ''That a cat?'' He spun round to face his inquisitor and it was Cubist Girl. She looked more normal close up, maybe someone had modelled a face for her and slapped it on her dish. ''Erm, no, it's a lion with a man's head, a mythological beast, a Sphinx.'' '' Hung my cat they did. Bastards.'' ''What? Who did?'' ''The tree, the tree at the bottom of the garden, swinging in the wind, little pink tongue sticking out, bastards, cruel bastards.'' ''Who?'' ''Baying mob, crazed blood-lust bastards they were, 'burn the witch, burn the witch', crying out from the darkness, witch finder at the head, torches they had, blazing torches, hid in the cellar, lucky I was, down with the rats and spiders, holding my breath.'' Bandanna was wondering if he'd seen the film. ''Come, come, show you the grave if you want, come on over here.'' He followed her over to her workbench where she exhibited a little clay heaped grave with a headstone onto which she had carved the words, 'Wobbly Bob'. ''Beer,'' she said, ''he drank beer, fell over he did, every time he went round a corner, whoops, bump, over he'd go, wobbly he was, Wobbly Bob.'' Bandanna, couldn't control himself, he burst out laughing, he was the kind of guy who found a beer swilling cat called Wobbly Bob keeling over every time it tried to turn a corner, funny. ''Did he go waaayhaay when he buckled?'' ''No, just screeech, like a cat.'' she was joining in, giggling, ''a pissed cat.'' Her giggle rose in pitch and intensity until it reached witch-like status, which didn't bother Bandanna too much, he was enjoying sharing some mirth, it was the first time he'd laughed in ages but when she stopped mid-cackle he realised the joke was over, spoiled by an intruder. ''Good day to you good sir, I believe you have been inquiring as to my whereabouts, pray forgive me for appearing elusive but as I am sure you can appreciate our circumstances are far from conducive towards casual encounter, Beau Bartholomew at your service.'' He held out a hand which Bandanna was about to grasp until a blur of a fist shot out and embedded a sculpting tool into the dimple between forefinger and thumb. Bandanna expected a howl of pain but there was only a groan of despair as the hand fell to the workshop floor where it ignited some sawdust and shavings. Bandanna restrained and disarmed her. ''You evil bastard,'' she hissed at Bartholomew, ''lucky you are, next time, see that glass, you'll have no use for that 'cause I'll have that eye, carve it out I will, like a slimy gob of goosegog.'' ''Enough,'' said Bandanna looking round for Tick Tock and stamping out the glowing embers. ''Teachers tend to notice little things like fires in their workshops...and blindings,'' he said and bundled her over to his bench, ''yes, this sphinx is ugly...it's a self portrait,'' he bellowed, to the amusement of the whole class. ''Well fire it up Mr Plant, preserve it for prosperity,'' said Tick Tock, ''Martha will show you the works.'' The ferocity of 'the works' became apparent when Martha opened the oven door and threw in the Sphinx. Wow, thought Bandanna, if I had grabbed that hand it would have burned me to blisters, I would of had the cunt by the throat, Martha would have joined in, there would have been an almighty row, I would of got darted and, once more, I would be drudging through sludge. He had to fight hard to control his anger but there was a potent incentive, he had found his man. Bartholomew was stood stalk still, staring at the remnants of his failed plan. Bandanna approached. ''Evil you might well be but you're sadly lacking on the genius front.'' ''Oh you were lucky Mr Plant, the cackling witch saved you,'' said Bartholomew taking off his monocle with exaggerated aplomb, misting it up with his hot breath and wiping it clean on his cravat before pressing it back as if it were a weapon. Which in a way it was, Bandanna was having difficulty looking into those odd shaped orbs of insanity without shuddering. ''So you've dispensed with the friendly greeting etiquette.'' ''Ha ha, I offered you a hand. There are no friends in here William.'' Bandanna could not hide his surprise at the mentioning of his Christian name. ''Oh yes I remember you well, your visits were somewhat enthusiastically anticipated; you conducted yourself in a courteous manner, seemed genuinely concerned and, most importantly, you always brought the sweetest grapes. Oh yes I stole them William, your uncle did not eat them in your company out of good manners, he was under threat. In fact, if I remember correctly, he was on some kind of biblical fast; refusing all foods not mentioned in the Book, grapes would have been a welcome treat, which indeed they were. For me.'' ''You bastard...'' ''Such a crude term William, I abhor its use, when I was informed an infiltrator had instigated a search for someone called, 'The Dandy Bastard' I, naturally, discounted myself from the possible candidates.'' ''It's what the monster calls you.'' ''Is it indeed and what, pray, 'monster' would this be?'' ''The one from your story, he has returned, he has graduated from tramp to monster, he seeks his master...'' ''Listen to yourself, what utter nonsense, a monster physically manifesting from...what? A story. Let me allow you to share some small wisdoms; monsters do not exist, you are currently incarcerated in an asylum and if you think you'll walk out as freely as you entered...you're sadly mistaken.'' ''But I'm no madman...'' ''Is that so, well tell the teacher, inform the orderly that you want to explain to 'The Prince' there's been a mistake, that it was all a plan, that you only wanted to contact a man who has conjured up a monster from his imagination. Tell them that and see how freely the release doors swing open. You fool.'' ''I have friends on the outside.'' ''Bah, and what good are they? More important, who are they?'' ''No one you know, well my uncle.'' ''Your uncle, well unless he processes the power of transmutation he'll be of no use to you, because, sweet William, he's still here and what's more, he has no soul. Nobody leaves here, ever.'' ''But...'' ''Do you recall the beautiful coloured butterfly he kept as a pet? I watched that creature, night after night, flapping on the sleeping face of Thomas Aquinas, your uncle, sucking the dewiness from the corner of his eye until I realised it was feeding on his very soul. Who would not hanker after the soul of a saint? So I ate it.'' ''Sorry to interrupt this little tête-à-tête,'' interrupted Tick Tock, ''but the class is over.'' Outside, just as Bandanna had suspected waited the white-plumed hawk. ''See, that was cool man, no foolin round, no commotions, no nothin like anythin that deserves the rhino shot. Follow me back yoor crib Mr Plant you done good man.'' It had been a long day and when Bandanna hit the pillow of his 'crib' he fell asleep. On waking to a witch's face right in front of your own most people would attempt to cry out in alarm and Bandanna was no exception but Martha slammed her hand over his mouth. ''Shhh,'' ''How, how did you get in here, this is an isolation chamber.'' ''I command a more relaxed run of this establishment than most...lets just say I have a way with my hands.'' ''So I've noticed.'' ''What did Bartholomew say to you?'' ''That's not important for now, I have some friends on the outside that I have to contact.'' Martha walked over to the window checking if it was sealed. Bandanna shook his head in wonder at the woman, did she really think she could witch screech a howl that could bounce of the buildings echo-locating her target, he grinned, picturing Kaiser's long, ugly face, he did have huge ears. But he was no bat. Kaiser stumbled forward. ''You're tired young K, that was the dance of a man dead on his feet. Take this lamp, there in the back room a mattress awaits you.'' ''Thanks Chaplain, I don't mean to impose but you're right I am weary.'' Kaiser took the lamp and under its flickers discovered an empty straw mattress onto which he collapsed and before the groan of exhaustion had tailed off to nothing, he was asleep. Fevered dreams visited him immediately, strange snapshots although lacking in story were no less alarming. But he was lucid, he knew this constant staccato barrage of disturbing visions came to him through dream-time so he relaxed and began to watch the show – a horror show populated by grotesques and villains who twisted and twirled to the beat of a weird drum. These marionettes entered and exited the stage of his mind only uttering a single word until Kaiser realised that together they made up some kind of narrative but when he joined them in sequence the earlier words became lost to him; it was like his time of reading novels so tedious that by the time he'd struggled through to the end of yet another long winded sentence its beginning had disappeared into a pit. So he gave up and willed himself back into consciousness. The lamp flickered no more, he awoke into darkness but he was alert, the intense visions of his dream had refreshed him, he stretched the stretch of the just and felt the craving for a bottle of cider revisit him like an old friend. ''Jeez Louise, some stretch, ya look like a geezer meaning business.'' Kaiser screwed his eyes but could see nothing.     ''Oh, ya ain't been in this gaff long enough to see me, ya ain't...accustomised, but I can see you. Who flung ya in?'' ''Eh? No one, I came by my own accord.'' ''Hahaaargh, 'at'z a joke, right?'' ''Erm, no I...'' ''It'z a punchline...wot waz it again? Jamaica? No she came by `er own accord...harhaaargh, So, enough of the `ilarities, who waz it?'' ''I'm not joking, the Chaplain gave me the lamp and pointed the way.'' ''Ah the Chaplain, me too guv, `e'z some piece of work iz the Chaplain, `iz first name's Charlie did ya know? 'at would be funny az well if `e wazn't so fahkin serious, serious az the fahkin crab.'' ''The crab?'' ''Cancer mate, a fahkin big fahkin red bastard wi` claws, slowly eatin away at ya. So what'z yar 'andle guv? What do they call ya?'' ''Kaiser.'' ''So yar back then, me ol` son, harhaaargh `e iz back...some may cheer, some may weep. If ya don't mind me sayin, ya don't look nuffin like I'd 'magined, ya don't exactly cut the dash of a legend.'' ''That's no cause for wonder, I am Kaiser, a humble poet, a scribbler of verse and ballad.'' ''Not a legend then?'' ''Not as yet. My name seems to cause confusion.'' '' 'not as yet' hahaaargh, I like that. So wot waz ya'r crime 'ow didja fall foul of the Chaplain?'' ''I'm not aware that I did.'' ''Oh, y'ave, me ol son, that y'ave, wouldn't be 'ere if y'adn't. See me...somnambulist, `at's my crime, somnambulist; a geezer who...'' ''Sleepwalks.'' ''Yez, Kaiser, 'at'z the fact of the matter, a sleepwalker, 'ow didja know 'at?'' ''Because I too have been stuck with the label.'' ''Zat right now, wot grief didja cause?'' ''None, well minimal, I was plucking hawk moths from the air and chewing them to a paste, I had dreamt them as a fighter squadron and myself as a giant under attack. No real harm done, except, when I jolted out of it, my breath stank of dead insects.'' ''Minimal iz right, 'at's not wot ya'r `ere for. `At'z ...minimal.'' ''I take it your 'grief' over-ran the limits for minimalism.'' ''Yez it did, by a long twist of the grinder, so no call t'be bitter, in fact I'm 'barrassed 'bout it, I deserve this. It could 'ave been worse Kaiser, so much worse. Ya see I've always 'ad a thing 'bout dolls, ever since I waz a nipper, scared the bejeezuz out me, specially clown dolls. It never left me, ingrained it waz, a phobia and the worst of the lot are ventriloquist dolls, nothin in the world scares me as much as them fuhkas. Ya know wot they say 'bout dreams and fears? No? Me neither but take it from me they merge. Got that I couldn't sleep without this fahkin nightmare with this evil bastard doll in it, done m'noggin right in. So one night I breaks into the Chaplain's gaff, don't ask me why, and kidnaps the Chaplain's nephew, took 'im right out 'is kip, stole 'im. A right ol' hue and cry ensued, as ya can 'magine and the Chaplain and 'is cohorts found me dahn by the river, sitting on the bank, with the nephew inside a suitcase. Bad scene Kaiser but wot's worse is...in the dreams 'ats how I get rid of the evil doll, I drowns 'im in a river.'' ''And you knew nothing of it?'' ''Naffing Kaiser, absolutely zilch.'' ''Scary stuff,'' said Kaiser. ''So been 'ere since, just me and this 'ere bottle of spud peelings vodka. Want some?'' Kaiser outstretched his hand, a bottle was slammed into it, he pulled out the cork with his teeth and took a long pull; it was rough stuff, gutrot. ''Hee hee, eazy does it on the grog me ol' son.'' ''First slug is the sourest,'' said Kaiser taking another one, ''if I go blind I'm coming looking for you.'' Kaiser grinned at this, handed the bottle back and slid down on the mattress hoping the dream with the monosyllabic puppets would return but it was, once more, a visitation from horrible mutants hell bent on harm. Again he was lucid, ''you lot again, how many times do I have to punch you ugly bastards out?'' he asked but expected no answer as he ducked another bloodied talon swipe. He awoke to muttering and murmurings coming from beyond the doorway, which was illuminated occasionally by a lamp, the power of which was insufficient for him to discern if the Somnambulist was still there or had plodded off on a search for another innocent child to drown. It was obvious that there was some kind of fuss going on so he hunkered down into the lame old moggie pose that he liked to refer to as his 'panther' and creeped towards the action. ''But it's heavy Chaplain.'' ''I'll say 'n awkward.'' Kaiser could see the Chaplain overseeing a lifting of the pedestal by a cohort of four or five shadowy souls. ''Indeed lads but don't despair, remember our work ethic, 'hard work is good for you', brings you closer to God.'' These noble sentiments did nothing to lighten the load but eventually their labours secured some success and they struggled through a back door with the waywardness of a drunk, grunting beast, the Chaplain easing the passage by following on behind dishing out more religious platitudes of encouragement. Kaiser sneaked along behind, keeping back, he wanted to see what was going on from a distance. When he got outside he was in an alleyway shrouded in darkness and the struggling, blaspheming cohorts were getting tongue lashed for taking the Lord's name in vain. They battled on into a courtyard where they dumped their burden in a place designated by the Chaplain's bony finger. This activity did not go unnoticed as the courtyard was populated by a congregation of munching, swilling tramps; a curious collection of humanity likely to have been coerced by free stuff. Kaiser slipped in. The Chaplain secured their attention by climbing up on the pedestal, giving a huge, ancient King James Bible an enormous thump and breaking out into sermon. I, the Chaplain, would like to convey to you good people a message. Nay, not a message, a warning, the direst of warnings; the Evil One may be returning amongst us. Oh I know this has been claimed in the past, but now, in this time, the signs are manifest. Beware the silver tongues of monsters and demons who precede him, trust no one, take no chances, lest you became enthralled, mesmerised by their trickery and lies; make no mistake the temptations will be seductive and alluring. But you must resist, you must see these attempts at corrupting your souls for what they are - diabolical threats of damnation. Stay away from poetry readings, discard these pamphlets of aesthetic culture, shun purveyors of verse and ballad for therein the influence of evil abides. I have imprisoned one of those scribes of damnation in my dungeon but I am not complacent, there are many more waiting in the wings, all too eager to expound their own brand of filth and corruption, see them for what they are and cast them out, for they have a purpose, a design blueprinted in the halls of hell itself... Kaiser sloped out unhindered. Back in the alley he took a guess at downhill as being the escape route he desired and sure enough found himself in a street he vaguely recognised. He passed a bunch of wheezing whiners warming themselves round a burning oil drum, again a notion of vague recognition hit him – the cohorts. He steeled himself, ready for a scrap but as he passed they hardly noticed him and the only sounds he heard were the collective moans about 'fuckin measly fiver... shiftin that heavy bastard thing... he's a right tight bastard...Chaplain cunt'. Kaiser chuckled to himself, maybe the Chaplain was all that they said but one thing that bothered him was what he had said about the powerful nature of the monster and how he, Kaiser had underestimated it. He hurried on, bouncing on the balls of his feet, bolstered by the easy nature of his escape, if only he could get rid of the ringing in his ears.
Archived comments for IMAGINATION SEX
Weefatfella on 05-08-2012
IMAGINATION SEX
Oh My. I enjoyed this.
A wee bit creepy to say the least.
The Cockney accent worked well and the piece flowed easily.
I look forward to find out where he ends up and what he gets up to. Oh My.

Author's Reply:
Ta pal...I had a lot of trouble with that cockney accent especially when I had to read it out...haha had to sortof imagine masel in a bit part in Eastenders...it's still not right but ....ach its near enough.


IMAGINATION V (posted on: 07-05-12)
A blind run, Jezebel wants to know what's behind the face, meet Charlie the Chaplain, the pros and cons of claywork therapy and with a name like Tick Tock you've got to laugh at your own jokes.

Kaiser experienced the disorientation and fear in common with every recently blinded man. ''Jesus H. Baldy you can cover my eyes without gouging them out my head and calm the killer thighs on the neck grip, my head's gonna pop off.'' ''Too rough eh? Fuck me where did this whine of complaint come from? Didn't hear too much of it back there in the orchard. Man up, man, man up! I need you to run.'' ''Run?'' ''Yes, run, I'm late for work and keep in mind if you stumble and fall ittle be me that gets it worse.'' It was madness but the high octane mixture of creativity and sex had bolstered Kaiser, hot blood coursed through his system rendering him bolshy and bold, the slightest of bumps and he bolted. 'Running blind', he'd heard the expression but never imagined himself ever having to negotiate the difficulties involved; ''kerb,'' he elevated his stride, ''stone wall starboard, parked cars port,'' he imagined himself in a tunnel and ventured to traverse a straight line, ''pub sign 'The Iron Duke','' he ducked, ''cobbles'', he tried to fuse caution with speed, ''pothole,'' he made a little jump, pub sign 'The Dog and Duck' he ducked again, ''spiral stone steps''... ''SPIRAL STONE STEPS!'' He stopped, he grabbed Baldy's wrists and prized her hands from his eyes, and, sure enough, found himself teetering on the edge of an abyss. ''Wow you weren't lying were you?'' ''That, Kaiser, is correct,'' said Baldy, climbing off and making her way down the steep chasm, "coming?'' The steps were precipitous, precarious even but for a 'blind runner' they presented little difficulty, he breezed down them and under the swinging sign that told him he was entering the Sailor's Ark Soup Kitchen. Baldy had donned an apron and started ladling out bowls of soup from a steaming pot, one of which Kaiser commandeered before seeking out a seat at a table for a bit of rest and recuperation. ''Good sustenance in that soup Kaiser,'' shouted Baldy, ''sticks to the ribs.'' It was thick soup and good and tasty but his palate soured at the arrival of a hag who sat opposite, frowning with puzzlement. ''Kaiser,'' she said, reaching over and tapping his forehead with her knuckles, ''Kaiser?'' He had endured worse, a lot worse, but when she dug in her nails, drawing blood, he saw red. ''Hey, what the..?'' ''Forgive her weary pilgrim, she knows not what she does,'' said a hatted man in a shiny demob suit inviting himself to the table, ''she's a mad old Jezebel, although, curiously, she has something on her mind. Your face.'' ''Well, fascinating as it may seem, get her to lay off.'' ''What, knock her out?'' ''No, of course not, just, I don't know.'' ''Have a word? Restrain her? Impossible. She's the obsessive type. The good Lord only knows what goes through that head of woe but she seems convinced you're wearing some sort of mask or an outer skin, maybe she's searching for something smoother, a shiny pearl encased within a gnarled obscenity.'' ''Have you seen your own?'' ''Ha ha, that I have and, alas, it has launched no ships but it's the only one God gave me.'' ''Well, perhaps, if you don't want it rearranged for the worse, you should hold back on the insults to complete strangers.'' ''By the saints forgive me, here's my hand, Charlie the Chaplain at your service.'' ''Kaiser.'' ''Kaaaiiissseeerrr,'' wailed Jezebel, climbing up on the table, hands stretched out, trying to grab some face. ''It seems it's your name that's the cause of this commotion,'' said Charlie, grasping her waist, seating her back down. ''Recently, Chaplain, my name has been the cause of far worse 'commotion' than the attention of a half crazy bag lady. Unless she holds the power of diabolic curse.'' ''The Devil moves in mysterious ways Kaiser...'' ''Kaaaiiissseeerrr,'' ''Mary mother, it's like a trigger, sit back down Jezebel, as I was saying K...'' ''K?'' ''It's less of a catalyst, anyway, for all I know Old Nick and a troupe of demons had a party with her arse in the pit of eternal damnation...'' ''What the fuck are you talking about Chaplain?'' ''Curses, witches.'' ''Did your good God not grant you any sense man, even a fool could see she's harmless.'' ''That's where you're wrong, the Book is clear; evil lies in everything and everyone.'' ''Yeah, right, word to the wise, avoid burly Scotsmen on buses.'' ''I'll keep it in mind, so, the Horned One had no hand in your recent 'commotion'? You surprise me.'' ''How so?'' ''Because evil has a certain stink, it permeates everything it touches and you, K, reek of it.'' ''Do I?'' ''Your expression gives you away K, you know I speak the truth.'' ''It was a monster Chaplain,'' blurted Kaiser, ''he seeks to kill me.'' '' 'He'? This monster, it takes the form of a man?'' ''Yeah, a brute, a bruiser of a bugger, but a man nonetheless.'' '' 'Nonetheless' oh, but he is more, so much more.'' ''He seeks The Kaiser, his former master, an endeavour in which he saw me as an accomplice but he now perceives me as treacherous, which condemns me to a death sentence.'' ''And were you? Treacherous that is.'' ''I sought out an ally, we plotted against him, yeah, and, surprisingly, we did him some damage. I think we may have blinded the bastard with a bucketful of horse piss.'' ''Take care, K, not to delve into the sinful, dangerous waters of presumption, or worse, to underestimate your foe, because, believe me these creatures are formidable and, usually intensely, single minded. Aye, to the point of obsession in my experience. What I mean to say to you is, try to erase from your mind the picture of a forlorn, broken figure, slinking off in wounded defeat. Because that little scenario, however desirous it may be, I can tell you now, with almost certainty, is an illusion.'' ''Now, listening to you, I realise my folly and that my guard is down. Not only that, I have become complacent to the point of self deception. I saw what I wanted to see. Like a fool.'' ''Perhaps. But your ignorance as to the nature of this beast is mitigating. You don't know what you're dealing with.'' ''Do you, understand its nature, have you met him before?'' ''Probably not this one, but others of its ilk, aye, that I have K.'' The Chaplain removed his hat to reveal a bald, ruination of skin from his parting to his ear. ''Siegfried the Scalper,'' he said by way of explanation, ''he tied me to a chair, he was seeking to procure from my possession a rare manuscript; the gospel according to Judas in the ancient Greek but when he peeled away my head flesh with his knife I laughed in his face. He had posed as a book dealer, with some success but one thing they can't disguise is their stench; I smelt him for what he was instantaneously and he knew it. He knew that I, a believer, would never bend to his will of evil so consoled himself with the leaving of his mark.'' ''He left you alive.'' ''Aye, K, they always want something, and require some form of assistance, so it's usually unwise to cull the help.'' ''Unless, the help, have turned traitor.'' ''Indeed young K, indeed, come this way I want to show you something.'' Kaiser followed the Chaplain through past the toilets and the donated clothing store until he arrived at a recess, a lamp was pulled out and shone on a pile of wood. At first glance it looked like junk but after a while, when his eyes got used to the odd shape Kaiser realised it was some kind of pedestal or a pulpit. ''Does this have anything to do with your recent 'commotion'?'' asked the Chaplain. ''She goes mad for it,'' he said placing his palm on Jezebel's forehead, keeping her back in the manner of an older sibling restraining a toddler. ''I don't know'', said Kaiser, ''if only Bandanna could see this.'' ''Your ally.?'' ''Yeah, no, my original partner, he's in the asylum, on the trail of The Dandy Bastard.'' ''Indeed,'' said the Chaplain, where else?'' Bandanna had always credited his apprehension for being stared at over a pair of pince-nez to Goaty Grey, his headmaster. 'Hostile old cunt was Goaty,' he often told, 'and predictable, he had this disturbing way of looking at you before you got thrashed.' But this weird fucker's something else, he thought, 'the Prince' - some moniker that, what's up Prince? A little torture on your mind? A little diabolical punishment? ''So you see yourself as an entertainer? That can be therapeutic. But we cannot have patients openly expressing themselves through the medium of dramatic mime in a communal ward. It's destructive. Unnecessarily so. We'll have to channel this energy. Believe me there is no place for disruptive, blundering fools in my facility. So a little...' E.S.T.? Lobotomy? '...clay modelling therapy has been arranged. An orderly will arrive to escort you forthwith.' Forthwith was right, the door hadn't even clicked shut when it swung open again and there was the white plumed hawk. 'C'mon Mr. Plant, choo is required in the craft room, now don't choo try nothin like gettin all crafty an crazy on m'ass, all we need from choo is a lil Patrick Swaaayzee, you get me?' 'Yeah, I get you,' said Bandanna, feeling wobbly as he rose from the bed, 'you bastard.' 'Heehee, now that aint nice Mr Plant, here lemme give you a helpin hand, yeah that's right, that is one croc grip, huh? This waaay to the claaay an don't choo be rubbin that fine crotch into nobodies butt crack, choo get me?' Many hours in bed had taken their toll, Bandanna struggled along in some discomfort but at least the orderly escorted him in silence and the workshop was nearby in a hut. ''Aha, come in, come in Mr Plant, we were waiting for you, here's some overalls, join the gang. My name is Thompson but you lot can call me Tick-Tock, that's what the wife calls me, at least to my face, ahahaah. Clay products date back to times long ago; vases, pots, human figures have all been found in archaeological digs, the wife says they'll dig up one of me next, ahahaah...' Fucking Hell, Tick-Tock Thompson where the fuck did he escape from, a fucking Boy's Own Adventure story; with a name like that he should be a bomb disposal expert with a talking dog sidekick not fucking droning on to us unfortunates laughing at his own fucking jokes like a fucking idiot... ''...sorry if you find my little introductory talk such a dreadful ordeal Mr Plant, perhaps you would like to take over?'' ''Erm, was I..?'' ''Yes you were, now that you've got that off your chest I'd like to continue, if that's okay with you? Yes? Good. Clayworks, besides practical uses, have been utilised as a vehicle to express a religious dimension in human life...'' Frightened to even think Bandanna focussed on the girl across the shop from him, she had a face like a Picasso cubist masterpiece - both side on and full frontal at the same time. Amazing how a sneer takes on so much more power when viewed three dimensionally. Maybe he was hallucinating, one thing, for sure, he couldn't afford another blurting out episode, he knew the white hawk bastard was waiting just outside the hut door, twirling his dart. People were dangerous, he decided, they set him off, best to concentrate on something safe, like the gnarled old wooden workbench in front of him with its wondrous array of; cocks, cunts, cartoons and...MAP OF JERICHO. He blinked but this was no shimmering vision, it had been cut into the wood with determination if not skill, a fevered effort laying out areas for; the throng, the disciples quarters, the rooms of fornication and The Kaiser's pedestal. This can only be the work of The Bastard, Bandanna knew, thought and said out loud but the crime warranted only comment as the map was obscured by a big dollop of clay being thumped down. ''Is that so Mr Plant, well let's see what you can do.'' It was a first for Bandanna, he had had little time for artistic pursuit personally, although he did not dispute the importance of the contribution it made towards the construct of the human condition, besides as a child he had enjoyed Morph as much as anyone. He slid his fingers in. What sensual pleasure was this? He wiggled his fat digits imagining himself playing some sort of alien instrument, grinning. The melody bouncing round his head was less popular singalong, more strange and wonderful, as if tuned into some timeless music of the cosmos. He wanted to solidify, to stay like that forever. ''Enjoying yourself Mr Plant?'' Bandanna slid his fingers out. And he was back in the workshop. ''Sorry Mr Thompson, I erm...'' ''It's Tick Tock, no need to apologise, no need at all, process is just as important as product in my class Mr Plant. Carry on.'' Carry on with what? Playing the cosmic synthesiser? He scanned the workshop for inspiration; there were six of them, all at individual work tables, all busy, but none as frantic as Cubist Girl who was engaged in the act of sculpting large phalluses and then crushing them with a pounding fist. She caught him looking and held his eye as she lovingly applied the finishing touches to her latest, largest prick, slowly caressing the head as she stared into his soul. Captivated, he experienced the twitching of his own penis as it engorged under his overalls. She cackled at her success then twisted the knob right off and flung it to the floor. ''Fancy a fuck? Weirdo!'' she yelled across the shop.     Bandanna felt the blood rush from his cock to his face. ''Now, now, Clair, constructive communication only in class,'' said Tick Tock, the muscles in his face rippling as he tried his best to contain an outburst of mirth. Bandanna cursed himself, had he not just five minutes ago resolved to avoid people and then he goes and gets involved with a witch. Unwise as this had been it had the effect of focussing his concentration on the task at hand. A Sphinx. Yes, why not? He had a clear enough picture in his mind of this mysterious, ancient monument, all he had to do was make it live. He rolled a long sausage body, stuck on; a lumpen head, a couple of strips for the front paws and picked up a tool to sculpt the features of an enigmatic Pharo. The essence of the art is simple, he decided, his aesthetic mission required the transfer of the abstract - his imaginative vision, into the material - the ball of clay, but somehow on the way from brain to hand the impressive Sphinx face corrupted into a bulldog's bollock. ''Bastard,'' he bellowed, ''this is an abomination.'' ''Tick, tock, tick, tock...'' droned Tick Tock, circling the workbench, ''nobody said it was going to be easy Mr Plant.'' ''Yeah, I appreciate that but this is harder than a whore's heart, I've overestimated my ability, I've been a fool, of course a representation of the Sphinx requires a daintier hand than the slab of meat at the end of this arm.'' ''Oh you'd be surprised; Michaelangelo was a bull of a man, nothing dainty about him, deft, yes.'' ''I am neither dainty nor deft, daft more like.'' ''Ha, ha, don't beat yourself up, tell me, why did you chose the Sphinx as a subject?'' ''First thing that came into my head.'' ''Good, that's good Mr Plant, it may reveal an interest you harbour regarding mystery, a desire to embrace the unknown, to investigate. Is that a trait that you recognise in yourself?'' ''Absolutely.'' ''Well there you have it, think of your actions as an investigation into the riddle of the Sphinx rather than an attempt at artistic accomplishment.'' Bandanna nodded and returned to his 'investigation' he realised Tick Tock was deliberately involving him in conversation, that this was an integral part of the therapy. Better then to keep quiet about what he knew about the solving of the riddle of the Sphinx at Thebes; in order to gain entry into the city the Sphinx required an answer to the riddle, 'which creature walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?' the answer was, Man - who crawls on all fours as a baby, then walks on two feet as an adult, then walks with a cane in old age, and the solver was none other than Oedipus himself.         
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IMAGINATION FOUR (posted on: 26-09-11)
Bandanna gets told how it is, the cider goes down well in Philthy Phils, the publishing house speaks and Kaiser gets his mojo back.

''Thing is, you're my favourite kind of lunatic, funny sure does it for me, every time, but old Prince Nebuchadnezzar there, he's what you might say...erm, zipped up tighter, he don't appreciate no foolin` `round, `specially from you. Thing is, that there audience, you know, the flock, the guys callin you a plant, they ain't alone in that. 'Keep a close eye on that one,' says The Prince, all serious, 'he's a plant'. Now me? I gotta listen to that shit, gotta look out for m'own hide, you get me? So when The Prince hands me the rhino shot an' stares over them half moons, I nod, all knowin`, nothin` written you understand, but you gotta believe me man, a contract has been signed. Thing is, every itty-bitty thing you heard is true; you know, the madhouse tyrant who don't stand no bullshit from no one, that'll be old Nebuchadnezzar, the rebel against the regime who don't stand not even the smidgeon of a pigeon's chance, that'll be you Mr Plant. You just come up against one razor-clawed murdabird! Yeah, an` you sure as shit don't believe in wastin` no time, man you was only in the door, only just acquaintin` your good self with the flock an` the next minute all hell thunders in, a 'fiendish commotion' says The Prince, an` I get the order. That's the order, in italics. Thing is, you was all messed up an` slidin` `round in that flock guano but your big, hairy ass, it was nice and bare in the air, I had to take a carnival throw, but I gotchoo Mr Plant, I darted you up good, ain't nothin` wrong with my aim, no shortage of practice in here. Wild animal tamers, that's what we is, but we don't need no chair an` whip, you get me? Thing is, it's no big deal, that shit happens in this place all the time, let me tell you man there's guys in here make you look weak, weak as a suckling babe, but the rhino shot, man no fucker can even stand after that, no fucker. Don't worry Mr Plant it's not permanent, you even look as if you is gonna remember your name any day now. So let me read you the script; Prince Nebuchadnezzar, he is the man, me an` them other dudes you see wandrin` `round in these nice white coats, we is the boys, an` you, you is part of the flock an` let me tell you the flock be quite and peaceful like, no squakin` aloud, you get me? So you got a choice, this here blue pill, this be a chill pill, man I take these myself when I cool off in m`own crib, an` this here dart, this be the rhino shot. What's it gonna be? Good choice buddy, good choice. Thing is, thing I don't get is if you is a plant that would make you a dude with all his marbles in the bag. So why come in here? The flock, they is okay when they is good and chilled but you don't want to make them your buddies man, no sir. What's that you sayin? Man you is whisperin real quiet...where is the randy bar steward? Zat what you is sayin man? No? ...where is the Dandy Bastard? Man, old Prince Nebuchadnezzar, he got you all wrong...you is crazy.'' ''The thing is Kaiser, ahm tellin ye now, Scholar is no gontae go along with the monster stuff,'' said Bing, confident in his knowledge. ''You've seen the bastard in action, don't try'n tell me that's normal.'' ''Course not, nae arguments from me but Scholar'll no buy it, best maybe say, a murderer on the loose, an escaped psycho...'' ''There's no point in meeting him them? If we can't tell him what's going on, how can he help?'' ''Aye, suppose, all ah'm sayin is dinnae call him a monster, just describe him as...'' ''He's met him.'' ''Eh? Where?'' ''This Scholar, he's the clerk in the library reference section is he not?'' ''Aye.'' ''Well he's met him or at least seen him in the flesh; he was working when the creature was there reading from a poetry book. That sounds innocuous I know, but believe me it soon transmuted into nothing less than a horrifying display of menace. He threatened to kill the clerk if I didn't help him.'' ''Scholar? Was he scared?'' ''Oh he didn't know, it was to me the danger was delivered, I thought he was going to rip off my jawbone.'' ''Right, well, that's a shitload of menace right enough, maybe a shovel too much. Fuck this bastard, he's startin tae really annoy me!'' ''Well, y'got him good with that horse piss in the face.'' ''Ha ha, aye, ah think ah hit the spot, did y'hear him? 'It burns, it burns', he goes like a big, greetin bairn. Kaiser, that monster deserved it.'' ''Indeed he did Bing, indeed he did.'' The certainty in Kaiser's mind of the just deserts for a creature hell bent on wreaking havoc was carved from hard granite but the conviction did nothing to allay the despair he felt at the new turn of events; the assault on the bus driver had changed everything. It was obvious that the scheme of things had trundled along to a dangerous tipping point, the peril they now faced no longer consisted of mere threats and psychological games. They had reached and now stood on a new, elevated tier, a level as high as a mountain plateau in a far away land. Not that Bing seemed particularly fazed by it all, on the contrary, Kaiser noted a distinct transformation; an increase in pace, an excitement in his mode of expression, an aura of self belief as he moulded himself into the gait of the warrior. ''What's the name of this pub again?'' ''Philthy Phil's'' ''And Scholar, the clerk of the reference section, is going to be here, in Philthy Phil's?'' ''Aye, course he is, it's Friday night is it no? Friday night is rant night, he never misses it. What's that face for? Fucksake, you, 'Kaiser the tramp' should ken better, just cause a man works in a library doesnae mean fuck all.'' ''Of course not, you're right, I'm being an arse.'' ''Ach lighten up man, ye'll enjoy this, ah guarantee ye'll hae a belter of a night.'' And Kaiser found himself in another half Nelson getting his scalp rubbed, Chinese style. He felt glad of the stiff neck, it soothed the unease he was feeling at the thought that soon he would be in congregation with a room full of other people. Mercifully though Philthy Phil's turned out to be a dimly lit cellar bar and on entering the first sight to behold was a Mohican in a black kilt, stuck up on a corner stage, shouting his mouth off. Even better, Bing seemed to be well in with the barman and soon, despite the crowded bar, he was supping from a nice, ice clinking, cool cider. ''That's Arseface the Antipoet,'' said Bing, nodding towards the Mohican, ''he's the master of ceremonies.'' ''And so he should be, fine fellow that he is.'' Bing grinned and weaved his way through to a couple of empty stools amongst some misfits where they blended in, like camouflage. ''Fuck me it's Withnail and I,'' said a bald headed girl in a leotard. ''That doesnae make any sense.'' ''No, you're right, okay then what was his name?'' ''Good question.'' ''Paul McGann,'' offered a white face under a black hat. ''Nah, he wiz the actor, anyway who's who?'' ''Fuck me you mean you have to ask? Okay he's pouched out a bit and got a whole bag of sin more ugly but you can't hide from me Mr Withnail,'' said Baldy, staring at Kaiser. ''Marwood,'' said Kaiser. ''See! Fuck me it is him, See! It's him, welcome to our humble get together Mr Withnail, shall you be requiring any sherry?'' ''I'm a Frosty Jack's man myself.'' ''Of course you are, fuck me one has to move with the times or the times they have a habit of shunting one into one unholy pit of shit. And you, Mr Withnail, waft the fragrance of sour apples with aplomb. No shit.'' ''I never understood the furore,'' said a fat bloke in a voice that croaked like a frog, ''fucking 'Withnail and I', crock of crap if you ask me.'' ''That's because you're a beacon for original thought Jeremiah,'' said Paleface in a voice that spread a thin film of derision, ''or...an attention seeking moron.'' ''Gentlemen, gentlemen, fuck me you're embarrassing, give it a holiday, Mr Withnail was just about to inform us which, if any, of the acts he anticipates as being an absolute fucking blast.'' ''We're here to see Scholar.'' ''Screetchin Scholar, he's ace, an acquaintance perhaps?'' ''Aye, he works with me in the library.'' ''With you, I?'' ''Aye, with I.'' ''Oh you guys are sharp tonight, careful or...aaaaoh'' ''Watch it Jeremiah, that little kick was nothing, Mr Withnail has been sullied with false reputation. Coward he is not.'' ''Y'got that right, your Mr Withnail makes enemies of monsters.'' ''Does he indeed? Hear that smart mouth, we are in the company of monster slayers, so shut your fat face.'' ''Esteemed cunts and cuntesses, would you now put your hands together and welcome to the stage Mr Anger Personified himself...Screetchin Scholar.'' Hay, hay, hay, guys, wondering what's got my goat this week? Well I was raging at the radges running the rat race, furious at the fuckers, mad at the media, irate at the state but you know what really got me? Those moronic fuckers who turned down the shining light of my artistry, my novel. You guys ever get a rejection notice? Yay? Nay? Well lemme read you one: Shows some promise, skill and imagination but sorry, NOT WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR AT PRESENT...doesn't this author even have the most feeblest of grasps as to the nature of the blockbusting cash cow that is the CRIME NOVEL? Where is the flawed, improbable hero, the ridiculous plot, this offering doesn't even have a single gruesome murder in it, not one. What were you thinking you fucking amateurish bastard? Catch a fucking grip. We need, crave, expect, blood, yes fool, FUCKING BLOOD, flowing, gory BLOOD, you know the red stuff that spurts out of bodies before they FUCKING DIE. If we get sent another 'literary masterpiece' PILE OF SHIT we're going to puke. Get with the wise you splash of spunk stain, we want scary fucking criminals; gypsy gangs, old school cockney cunts, Russian Mafia enforcers, Irish mad dogs, psychotic loners, AND OTHER MISCELLANEOUS MURDERING BASTARDS . What's that we hear you murmur? Cliché? Want to know something about Cliché Mr Eloquent Wordsmith? Cliché is our sustenance, we dream of devouring cliché, of gorging ourselves like pigs, we beg to fuck the mistress Cliché for SHE is our GODESS and we grovel for scraps beneath her towering presence in the manner of scavenging dogs. More murmuring? what's that? FORMULAIC TRASH DEVOID OF ALL SOUL AND INTELLECT ? Of course, if it fucking works, makes us FUCKING MONEY, MORE OF THE SAME PLEASE, CHURN IT OUT, there's no shame here, not in OUR HOUSE and if you submit another work with any soul at all and/or even a hint of high brow intellectual prowess WE WILL SEND ROUND SOME CRIMINALS...THE PUBLISHING HOUSE HAS SPOKEN! A baby frog, that's what it was, freshly hatched, or at least reared in a jar; from egg, to tadpole, to this little specimen - a perfectly formed frog. Lively too, jumping out the dirty, cold porridge pot with determined zeal. A lust for life. A girl's laughter. It is funny though; the way it's leaving a little trail of porridge lumps as it hops along. He feels pleased, proud that he's made his big sister giggle and he joins in with his yelps and whoops, encouraging it along, out, out, out the kitchen door and into the big wide, wide, world. The bastard in the white coat had gone, he could conjure no tricks, this was no hallucination, no fevered vision, this was – memory. He scrunched up his sheets in his fists – strength. Memory and strength, he was on his way, by the Great God Holy Fuck he was on his way back, he stifled celebration by screaming into the pillow – cunning. He felt so much better; memory, strength and cunning had clinked into place forming the basis for a burgeoning armour but he realised the danger of throwing caution to the wind; the White Coat's gloating warning had penetrated through the thinning mist and he knew he was still weak, confused and vulnerable. He spat out the blue pill and grinned at the triumph. He ran his fingers through his hair and the nakedness of his scalp felt strange, where was his ban...Bandanna. He only just managed to grab the pillow and ram it tight into his face before he bellowed BANDANNA! Like a bull. The man with no name was no more and, if for no other reason than the image of a weather beaten cowboy slitting his eyes up before unleashing murderous devastation made him cringe, it could only be a good thing so he enacted his childhood ritual of rebellion by turning around upside down in the bed. A simple act but one with his stamp on it; an idiosyncratic ingredient as to his identity, and, besides, it felt just grand. He lay there perfectly still, enjoying the picture show of early memories that reeled in his mind. Strange how he thought he'd forgotten most of them, this was like starting anew, it was as if someone had kick-started him, reloaded his very being and the process involved the colouring in of his memory, childhood first. Maybe he was retarded, ''he's got the mental age of...'' Of what? The setting fire to the back garden that was when he was about eight. But hold on, the reel was screeching along now; fighting in the playground, his first feel of a tit, quaffing a pint in the pub, dropping acid, dropping out, meeting a pock marked poet, a tortured soul who was...was...KAISER. How could he ever have forgotten about him? That shot must have been strong enough to floor a whole fucking crash of rhinos. His comfort zone soon felt odd, embarrassing, a grown man upside down in his bed, the trait of a fool, not only that if he was to fulfil his mission, make contact with the Dandy Bastard, he had to fit in and stop acting the goat. With his head back on the pillow he surveyed his surroundings – a plain white room with no other furniture at all apart from the bed he was in and a large mirror on the wall, two-way he suspected. Maybe he was being paranoid but this place smacked of an observation cell. Which creeped him out but from now on he had to get used to whatever came his way as being formidable and consisting of a nature that tended towards evil and the best way to combat that, initially, was compliance. He had to play their game. ''Fuck me if there wasn't a lot of truth in that rant call me a banana.'' ''You're a banana...aaaaoh, that was hard Baldy.'' ''You wouldn't know hard supposing it was...Scholar, Scholar over here, you've got a couple of hard core groupies over here waiting to suck on the Dick of success.'' ''What, groupies in Philthy Phils? Surely not...Baldy you mutant, this is no Dick sucker, this is my protector, my centurion at the gate, Bing my man, back again, I told you it was addictive, you should put your name down for open-mic night, you could treat us to a good ol' rant about the library miscreants. Oh but I see you've brought one with you, Kaiser we meet at last, where's the other half, erm, Bandanna?'' ''The nut-house, how do you know my name?'' ''The Municipal Library is indeed multi-layered and, yes, I am usually confined to its dungeon but even reference section clerks surface occasionally and besides everyone knows your name.'' ''Aye but he's a well behaved lad is Kaiser ah've only shown him the door once; pished oot his heed, demanding fresh crayons.'' ''Fuck me fresh crayons? That's hardly a throwing out offence, every library should have bountiful stock, especially when requested by a Kaiser.'' '''Requested', aye right...I WANT FRESH FUCKING CRAYONS...was the exact 'request', if ah mind right.'' ''Haha I bet it was. Fuck me there's nothing wrong with a bit of belligerence now and again, make a good rant that, haha, the fresh crayon rant.'' ''Never mind crayon's, it's pints that's needed WE NEED FRESH FUCKING PINTS.'' ''Fuck me that's no rant, it's a mantra, c'mon Kaiser, beer's up, I'll give you a hand.'' Following her shiny dome as she weaved her way through the crowd Kaiser felt fine but odd, she reminded him of a Greco-Roman nymph and as he joined her at the bar, he entertained thoughts, for the first time in ages, of powerful, creative verse, of poetry. ''Wow, fuck me you're a deep one, that's good though Kaiser, deep is good, at least you've not asked me if my cuffs match my collar or tried to slap my head. Those are crimes; the first foolish and punishable by a good old smack in the face, the second unforgivable and, as such, restitution can only involve a hefty boot in the balls.'' Kaiser, having committed both 'crimes' in the safe zone of his mind, nodded in sage agreement but words failed him as poetic visions flooded his imagination and carried him off on a tide of romantic bliss. He searched his pockets for a crayon. ''Let's go, let's get out of here, I need you to come with me.'' ''Fuck me you don't hang back, what happened to the...woooooa, ok, ok, I'm coming.'' It was frantic but Baldy kept up with the mad rush, Kaiser seemed possessed, hell bent, he didn't stop running until he stopped, stood stock still at a rotted wooden gate which burst open with a single kick. She could smell the apples when she entered and giggled when Kaiser hoisted her up into the tree. He hauled out some crumpled blank pages and scribbled on them like a madman. She didn't have to wait long for his declaration. "Ode to the nymph of my black hanky How blessed are you, woman of my dreams, For your beauty as Savitri, content of hymns. Though Art gives you, the sweetest smile That every bee could sing sweet lullaby. How blessed are you, woman in my mind, I am from the distant, with you, wanted to be bind. You are always in my feelings Thinking of a good thing for the sake of your being. How blessed are you, woman of my life, You attracted me as the edge of the knife. I'll do anything you ask for Even my life, I can give furthermore. How blessed are you, woman of my heart, You snatched my love and turn to your part I'll go to everywhere and search your heart For in my life, you are a part. Though you are the woman of the red apple tree, You are the nymph in my black hanky." ''Fuck me Kaiser.'' ''What, fuck me I thought we were getting the pints in...or fuck me what am I doing stuck up this apple tree?'' ''No. Just fuck me.''
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IMAGINATION THREE featuring the slaying of the oni on mt. Fiki (posted on: 03-06-11)
Drudging through sludge, the slaverin scale o madness, a ranting preacher gets silenced, the slaying of the oni on mt Fiki, a long faced demon and a faceful of horse piss.

Drudge, that was the word he was looking for, he recognised it when it materialised in his mind's eye. But it was no light-bulb moment; it didn't suddenly appear when he had stopped trying too hard, no, like the meaning of the word itself it came to him through a laborious process. However, the satisfaction he took from the recall was the same, it meant he could assemble the phrase he had been toiling with – drudging through sludge. He was pleased or at least felt something that seemed like a semblance of the emotion because it meant that the loop was complete. Drudging through sludge, though, was an improvement; when his calamity first struck thought itself had eluded him. It was as if some cosmic storm had visited, fragmented his brain and dispersed the atoms out into an uncaring void. This was no out of body experience, he did not; observe himself from far above, reflect on his lifetime experiences, become overcome by regret or satisfaction and he definitely did not behold the face of God. There was just…nothing. But nothing does not last forever, some gravitational force, his soul perhaps, pulled his shredded mind back into some kind of configuration – a hideous form he perceived as sludge. As good a term as any because its consistency rendered the possibility of contemplation impossible – the formation of a single, simple phrase had all but exhausted his intellectual prowess. The cruel irony of this dire state of affairs lay in the fact that Bandanna possessed some insight into his own circumstance; he had spent a whole week researching the hypothesis – 'Is Thought Possible Without Language?' but, unfortunately, the ability to access his own conclusions lay beyond him. Indeed, there were some orbs of wisdom shining like beacons in the mud of this alien mindscape – the problem solving abilities of chimpanzees and pre-lingual children for instance. His investigations had revealed that this thought system, although independent of language, relied heavily on deductive reasoning through observation and what he observed, right then, when he had lost his reason, filled him with dread. He did recognise his visitors, he knew they were no strangers but this induced no comfort, he somehow sensed an awareness of what and who he once was. ''Ah think he recognised us at least Kaiser.'' ''Yeah, sort of, if you can call it that, he looked like he was peering through a foggy haze at a couple of blurry figures, a flicker maybe. Jesus fucking Christ Bing I never expected that, he was like a zombie. ''Aye, staring eyes eh?'' '' That, Bing, was the classic blank stare, dull, like the eyes of a dead fish but that's not what got me. Did you see the white stuff in the corners of his mouth?'' ''Aye, hard tae avoid.'' ''Well that's the mark of the madman. Don't look at me like that, it's true, think about it, every nutter you've known or ever likely to come across will be slavering at the mouth. What's more it's a sliding scale, it goes from the slightly disturbing frothy saliva to the psychotic horror of yellow gunk.'' ''So that's in the medical books is it – the slaverin scale o madness? Kaiser yer gettin a wee bit carried away here are ye no?'' ''Am I? See that guy you've just thrown off the bus, the ranting preacher, he was one crazy bastard was he not?'' ''Aye, course he was but…'' ''But nothing, he was slavering at rate spectacular, spittle was strafing the passengers like machine gun fire.'' ''Nae arguments there, he was gettin over-excited, nothin surer, these religious heid cases are ayways like that.'' ''He was making sense Bing, oh not to me and you, not in the real understanding of the word but all that 'wages of sin are death' stuff, I'll guarantee, would have been bona fide scripture, he was quoting the Book. So there's not much difference between him and a bible thumping sermon preached from the pulpit say a couple of hundred years ago – it would have looked and sounded just as manic, just as fucking nuts.'' ''Okay, ah can go along wi that inna 'everythin is relative' kinda way. Where's he on the slaver scale?'' ''Low, white spittle.'' ''But he's still aff his heid, ah mean auld women have a right tae sit on public transport without, REPENT OR THE FAT OF YOUR FLESH SHALL ROAST ON SATAN'S SPIT being shouted into their faces.'' ''Yeah, oh yeah, he's mad, that's why he's on the scale.'' ''So whose at the business end, what scurrilous scoundrels lurk in that dark and dangerous domain?'' ''Many.'' ''Who though? Right just now, aff the top o` yer heid.'' ''Erm…okay, that guy in the papers who cut off his own prick in the chip shop and handed it over saying, 'fry that in batter'…him.'' ''Hahaaargh, that'll dae it, so he's…?'' ''Yellow gunk Bing, yellower that a septic Chinaman.'' ''Aye, well, that's yellow.'' The bus continued to lurch along the single track road; bouncing in and out potholes, battering into low hanging tree branches. ''So now that you've grasped. 'Kaiser's Insanity Indicator Scale' would you mind explaining to me, again, just why we're taking this trip into the back of beyond.'' ''Horse pish.'' ''Which is, in the world according to Bing, an essential commodity while engaged in a conflict with a dangerous monster?'' ''Maybe no 'essential' Kaiser but maximising our firepower cannae be a bad thing.'' ''Agreed, but how? How does the piss of a horse help us?'' '' It's aw there in, 'The Slaying of the Oni on Mt. Fiki'.'' ''A legend?'' ''Aye, some will say legend, others a truthful precautionary tale, however interpreted doesnae matter, does it? We're gontae need aw the help we can get'' ''Agreed, again, but I hate the countryside Bing, I'm getting nervous just looking at it out the window…not only that, I've never seen a horse '' ''Eh? Yer kiddin me, right?'' ''Nope, not face to face.'' ''Hard tae judge who's the fortunate one in that, but, ach ye'll be fine.'' ''So they don't bite?'' ''Well, aye they do, but…'' ''Or kick?'' ''Aye they…look just dinnae annoy it or stand behind it, ye'll be awrite, it's no as if we're gontae have tae break in a wild stallion fur fucksakes.'' ''You'd better run that legend by me once more Bing, I need convincing, that last version stunk of bullshit.'' ''Bullshit! Ah'm offended, it reeks o` horse pish laddie, horse pish, get it right. Here, read it fur yersel, ah cut it oot the magazine.'' ''And what, pray, publication is this ripped from – 'Myths and Legends for the Chronically Gullible'.'' ''Nah they didnae have that yin in stock, ah had tae settle for, 'Destroy All Monsters'.'' The Slaying of the Oni on Mt. Fiki It was said that Yonekizu the warlord shook so uncontrollably with rage that he became incapable of forming the words to order the execution of the messenger. He had been tolerant, all the misdeeds of the oni - the damming of the stream, the raids on his livestock, the subjugation of the odd peasant into slavery – had been, although inconvenient, viewed as unavoidable consequences of having a monster in his midst. But the attack on his garrison and the kidnapping of two of his favourite concubines – these were indiscretions too far, these were acts of war! He hurriedly dispatched a band of his personal guard up the mountain of Fiki to flush the oni from his lair with promises of lavish gifts but not a single soldier returned to claim them because, like others of his kind, this oni was hideous, cruel and powerful. Yonekizu refused to believe his samurai had been defeated, they had fled, he knew, because silks, silver goblets and geisha girls were but stark return for the all too formidable task of defeating an oni. He had to up the stakes. Zatoichi looked up from the broad back of his customer at the sound of the declaration being shouted from the Market Square. Although a stranger to the region, and thus its dialect, the statement unmistakably involved some kind of reward, a golden reward. ''Hah, probably all he's got left,'' scoffed the magistrate in a tongue more refined. ''Left?'' ''Yonekizu's skills as a man of war, Masseur, are fierce and unquestionable but he is, without a doubt, probably the worst gambler I've ever seen. It's likely that not a single gold coin is left to shine in the coffers, why else would he offer a statue of the Buddha?'' ''Ah, is it not valuable? I was sure…'' ''Oh yes, it's golden, but, Masseur, it's plunder, stolen from the murdered, peaceful monks of Fiki monastery and, as such, in the eyes of many, cursed.'' ''Ah, but surely, esteemed Magistrate San, not all mercenaries are polished with the shine of superstition.'' ''That, Masseur, is a statement steeped in the barrel of absolute certainty but the task itself, so fraught with danger, so enshrined in the supernatural, will ensure the recipient, if there ever is one, can be nothing less than deserving. Make of that what you will.'' ''Ah, my command of the dialect proved inadequate esteemed Magistrate San, what, may I be so bold to ask, does the task entail.'' ''The slaying of an oni Masseur, nothing less or more.'' ''Ah, to kill an oni is a difficult task.'' ''Oh yes, what's more this one is especially powerful he commands a band of brigands, cut-throats to a man, who are camped on the lower slopes of his mountain lair. It feeds them scraps in return for their allegiance – when it wearies of Yonekizu's concubines they will be thrown to these vultures to be passed around.'' ''Ah, as it should be esteemed Magistrate San you are well informed.'' ''Hah, my information is always reliable; there are harsh penalties for those who…erm, misspeak.'' ''Ah, as it should be esteemed Magistrate San, do your informants enlighten you further on the oni, any other peculiarities?'' ''Yes, this one's hide is unique - scaly like a dragon's, swords cannot penetrate it, it is only vulnerable at the throat and the navel also it sparkles in some magical way which mesmerises its foe. Hah it's easy to club a man in a trance into the next world.'' ''Ah, that it is esteemed Magistrate San.'' ''Why so interested Masseur? Anyone would think you yourself were planning an attack.'' ''Ah, me honourable Magistrate San, I am but a humble travelling masseur.'' ''Hah, and an excellent one you are at that, these knots in my back have disappeared, such expertise deserves reward, I will open my purse wide for you.'' ''Ah, you are most kind, honourable Magistrate San.'' Zatoichi sensed the signs; foes were gathering. Not unexpected, his fire was a blazing, beacon for anyone prowling around in that dark and dangerous night. He spun round in the attack position, sword unsheathed, ready for action. ''Forgive us weary traveller, we arrived unannounced but our intentions, I assure you, are honourable, we are but humble goatherds attracted by your fire, visitors are a rarity so far up the mountain, we wish you only peace and safe passage.'' ''Then come, share my fire goatherds, `tis a sharp, chill that descends this mountainside tonight.'' ''Hahha, almost as sharp as your sword.'' ''Apologies, one cannot be too careful, brigands and cut-throats are said to roam freely in these lands.'' ''Indeed, you have been warned well, as you can see we also take the precaution of protecting ourselves with armour, shields and swords. May I be so bold as to suggest we retire to the safety of our cave, we will afford you our usual hospitality - some saki, roast meats and a friendly game of dice.'' ''How can a weary traveller refuse such a kindly invitation, lead the way chief goatherd, lead the way.'' The cave was nearby, the promised hospitality was indeed realised, he knelt comfortably at the dice table washing the roast goat meat down with the proffered saki, he bowed in respect. Zatoichi appeared a man at ease, he engaged in conversation, exchanging stories of mirth and glory until, when the chief goatherd's turn to throw came, he tossed down some personal, customised dice. ''These dice are loaded,'' Zatoichi shouted, throwing over the table. The goatherds went for their swords, snarling.''We are no goatherds, only a fool would believe it, we are the oni's protectors, prepare to die,'' roared the chief. Zatoichi moved swiftly, snuffing out each and every candle exclaiming – 'darkness is my advantage!'' The stream was dry. The oni's dam had parched the mountainside presenting Zatoichi with a problem – to be fully battle ready the sticky, minion's blood had to be cleansed from his sword and he needed his water for drinking. But sometimes solutions appear without warning of their own accord – as he pondered his problem his horse began a long, hot piss. The oni stood at the edge of the cliff using the cool updraught to soothe his rhubarb red penis – the morning rape of the concubines had been an over-zealous affair, even for him. Through the thin mist he observed a lone figure on horseback making his way up the mountainside. Ah, a solitary assassin I admire such courage, thought the oni, brave but foolish - I will enjoy killing this one. Zatoichi tethered his horse and began his laborious climb which was a task in itself but the degree of difficulty of the ascent became intensified with the rocks the oni was throwing down in an attempt to dislodge him and send him to his doom. But Zatoichi's stoicism prevailed and soon he stood on the plateau of the summit. The oni stood before him. ''Prepare to die!'' it roared. ''Again?'' said Zatoichi. The oni tore off its tiger skin tunic and loomed before Zatoichi, it's scaly skin sparkling with an array of bright, hypnotic colours. Zatoichi froze. The oni advanced, club elevated for the killing blow. Zatoich waited, then in a single slice, dispatched the oni's head from its shoulders. Who'd have thought, thought Zatoichi, that this lump of gristle and bone is worth a Buddha cast in gold, as he held the oni's head aloft by its horns in front of his sightless eyes. ''Right lads that's it, the end of the road.'' ''Righty oh driver, Kaiser get yer act thegether, let's get going, the mission is paramount, what's that face for?'' ''This story, this absolute bollocks, this is what I've got to brave the…the countryside for?'' ''Fur fucksakes anybody would think ye were getting dragged through the 'swamp o deadly peril', c'mon, move, get some fresh air intae yer lungs laddie.'' ''I'm allergic to fresh air… and all green leafy things…'' ''How `bout a boot in the erse, are ye allergic tae that…thanks driver ye got us here safe and sound pal.'' ''No worries lads the enemies of my enemy are my friends, that preacher guy was getting well outa order, a fucking pain in the arse, enjoy yourselves, what's the buckets for, too early for shroom season is it not?'' ''Secret mission,'' Kaiser said, tapping his nose, venturing out into the unknown. As soon as they got to the wooden gate a huge black horse came bounding down the field towards them. ''Look at it, look at the size of the fucker, oh man, Bing, its tossing its head and everything, it's possessed.'' ''It's pleased tae see us, visitors are bearers o` gifts Kaiser, sweet surprises like these here sugar lumps. Listen up, here's the plan - ah'll fill this bucket at the stream and fill the horse up at this end, you jump over and get underneath it, grab a haud o` its tadger and fill up this other bucket. Easy.'' ''Fuck that! I'll… oh fuck, look at the length of its face, look at its eyes Bing its evil, it's a demon, a demon that bites!'' ''Right y'are Kaiser, over y'go man, the bucket'll no fill itself…easy boy, take yer time… anything happening that end Kaiser?'' ''This thing's getting fatter and… long, oh ya bastard what a fucking size!'' ''Fur fucksakes yer supposed tae be guiding its piss intae a bucket man, no gein it a wank. Aim the fuckin thing man, aim the fuckin thing.'' ''Fuck you with the orders you cunt! Is it you that got a horses' cock in his face! Is it?'' ''Right, it's obviously getting a wee bitty too frisky, gie at a good slap in the bawbag.'' ''You want me to slap the balls of a horny demon? Are you mad man?'' ''Me? Mad? Ah dinnae ken Kaiser but this horse's doin an offy lot o` frothin at the mooth!'' ''You're a big fearty Kaiser, nae wonder ye shat it when Apeman came acallin.'' ''Is the bus not coming yet?'' ''If ye came oot fae under yer jacket ye'd see fur yersel.'' ''I've had enough Bing, this countryside lark is killing me.'' ''Ach yer erse, what's so bad about it?'' ''Everything, the grass, the trees, the flowers, the fields, the birds, the butterflies, the fucking horse…`specially the fucking horse.'' ''Did ye no go on field trips when ye were at the school?'' ''Torture trips you mean, pure fucking torture, that's when I came across the goblin thing.'' ''What goblin thing?'' ''It was horrible Bing, it had the ugliest face I've ever seen, Bandanna is an oil painting compared with this hideous bastard, I swear.'' ''What did it say tae ye?'' ''Nothing, it was sat on top of this stone wall and it just looked at me, mocking, enjoying itself at my expense, knowing fine well I was scared out my wits, that I had stumbled into its domain and I was at its mercy.'' ''Wow, that must have been some look that...here's the bus.'' ''Alright lads, I'm not even going to ask what's in the bucket, just be canny eh. Strangest thing I ever seen just happened back there on the road, some guy driving a hire van ended up in a ditch, he's cursing and swearing cause he's stuck, next minute some guy appears out the woods and lifts the whole van, driver still in it, and slings it back up on the road, on his tod…some strength. He looked a bit strange though, like someone from the stage.'' ''Like Max Wall?'' offered Kaiser. ''That's the one,'' said the driver, clicking his fingers, ''the very man.'' ''Ringadingding, seconds out,'' said Bing, clenching his fists, cracking the knuckles in his hands. The bus reeled to a halt, reason being - a hire van strewn right across the single track road. The doors buckled open and a pair of strong hands peeled them apart as if they were cardboard, then, there he was, without looking he knocked the driver unconscious with a glancing backhander to the side of the head. ''KAISER, KAISER YOU PLOT AGAINST ME, PREPARE TO DIE!'' Where's Zatoichi when you need him, thought Kaiser, Bing's train, though, was twisted from stronger flax, as was his courage, he ran down the bus and sloshed the contents of the bucket into the face of the assailant who roared like a hellish thing, jumped off grabbing at his face and ran stumbling through the woods screaming, 'it burns! It burns!'
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IMAGINATION - a novella Pt II (posted on: 21-02-11)
A madhouse game show, a cruel checkout girl, an oriental meal, an unexpected visitor in the night, a guide to winning at the casino and the man with the weirdest penis in the world.

The white glare of the institution was as expected and if the nurse hadn't been a hard faced bruiser there would have been something wrong ''Take that off,'' said the nurse pointing to Bandanna's bandanna. It wasn't the first time he had been deprived of the headgear that gave him his illustrious title but he inevitably and always found the experience upsetting which is never a good state of mind while on the verge of entering an asylum. It doesn't tend to help if there's no good reason for the incarceration in the first place. Still there was no going back now, his self-afflicted process of dehumanisation had began; he didn't mind so much being observed taking a shower but his overseer shrank from a fine, fierce death stare when he attempted to monitor his toilet activity. With his flowing, newly washed, long hair and beard set off against the white robe he had been given, he cut an almost biblical figure as he was led through the ward to his hospital bed. The pseudopatient had arrived. The ranters and ravers, the frantic wankers, the bent heads, the spider eaters, the shit smearers, the good, the mad and the very ugly, they were all there but The Dandy Bastard was only noticeable by his absence. Where is The Bastard, thought Bandanna, his defensive fierceness morphing into fear as the reality bit, struggling to catch a grip he tuned his mind into an acceptance of the situation, the original pseudopatients must have encountered similar exposure and surely, he, Bandanna, a man of science, was more than capable of rising above the grasp of base emotion. But his heart stopped when a creature resembling Golum sat on the edge of his bed. ''Come to get us have you, deliver us unto the Promised Land?'' ''No, I am not Moses.'' ''Abraham?'' ''No, not Abraham, I am Bandanna.'' ''You are a plant.'' ''No, not that either, plants photosynthesise, I generate energy from good old fashioned food.'' ''Heeheeheee, Banaaaanaaa the plant, yes you are, a big, bushy plant.'' ''No, not banana, Bandanna,'' but without his trademark headscarf he realised any attempt at explanation was pointless so the master of mime screwed out his beard, made a face and stuck his thick, tattooed arms in the air - a good go at his best tree impersonation. Not exactly 'Play School' but effective enough to have The Golum screeching, clapping and bouncing up and down on the bed. His cries of ''banana, banana!'' caught on with the rest of the patients until it reverberated round the ward like some kind of insane warcry. Bandanna was thus renamed and, despite himself, felt an odd sense of belonging. Bandanna sussed The Golum, although harmless enough, was seriously crazy but there was no denying his popularity, he seemed to slot into the asylum hierarchy as some kind of court jester so to shun him would be a mistake, besides he detested any form of nastiness towards the less fortunate. Never one to balk at an opportunity to display his talents he entered into the spirit of the mad house game show by jumping out the bed and enthusiastically going through a selection from his repertoire of mimes; the lost dog, the jack in the box, the drowning man, the dying fly and, Golum's very favourite, the moon crazed werewolf. Excited, spurred on and reckless Bandanna went spinning out of control and the floor show came to an end with him careering into a trolley of bedpans and urine samples as he attempted his 'coup de grace' - the crashing boar. ''Another twenty nine pence.'' Many factors indicated to Kaiser the hopelessness of his circumstance; the cruel, confident enthusiasm of youth oozing from her very being, the way she had methodically counted every penny, the look of disdain on her face, the fact that further, frantic searching of his pockets would produce no more money. She seemed to be revelling in his misfortune, anticipating the warped satisfaction that would come with the imminent repossession of the not-cheap-enough-bottle of blue cider. ''Jesus Christ Kaiser y'dinnae get any better dae ye, how much are y'short?'' Kaiser spun round. ''Bing, Bing, if you could find your way to lending me thirty pence man.'' ''Naw Kaiser ah'll no lend ye thirty pence, ah'll give ye it.'' ''You are a saint Bing.'' Kaiser took the coins and added them to the stack on the counter, the cashier selected a penny from the pile and slid it back, her expression had changed but not to one of defeat or deference, no, she wore the knowing look that said; 'you were lucky this time Mr Vagabond but I am worried not a jot – this will happen again.' Not that that overly concerned Kaiser, he was a man who lived his life in the moment and right then the powerful headlock he found himself in was taking up all his attention. ''Before ye disappear tae get bevvied Kaiser, yer invited home tae mine fur some dinner, ah promised Bandanna ah'd look oot fur ye, RSVP ye mannerless cunt!'' Unable to speak Kaiser held up his hand with the index finger and thumb joined in an O to indicate an acceptance of the gracious offer. Finding himself released he joined the shuddering-with-silent-laughter Bing by forcing out a few foolish guffaws. ''Aha, a prompt, enthusiastic response, yer a model guest Kaiser, c'mon it's only roond the corner.'' He'd heard that one before had the worldly wise cynic but this time it proved to be true, when they rounded the corner Bing stopped at a black door and inserted a key. ''Come away in,'' said Bing grinning, disappearing into the flat, setting off the beads and bells that hung down the doorway in a curtain. ''Dinnae get too excited ye big galloot, it's no a brothel,'' said the host sticking his head back through, reading Kaiser's mind, ''it's just a wee bit o` rattling and chiming tae ward off demons and evil spirits.'' ''What about monsters?'' ''Aye, them an aw.'' Brothel it was not but the room surprised Kaiser nevertheless; it was like walking into a Buddhist monk's sparse, humble abode. ''Make yersel comfortable,'' said Bing with a wave of his hand towards a dragon woven into a floormat, ''dinnae worry it doesnae bite.'' Kaiser could hear Bing's soft chuckling coming through from the anti-room that smelled of cooking fish. He thinks this is funny, he thought as he tried his best to manoeuvre his big backside into a position that caused the least amount of pain without disturbing the array of candles on the low table. There was little else by way of furniture in the room – only a single bed in the corner, bare floorboards shining with polish, some tapestries of oriental persuasion but Kaiser's focus became hijacked when he turned around and his gaze fixed on the white wall's sole decoration - the most wonderfully vicious samurai sword that, surely, had ever shone from a master's forge. ''Ah see ye've mastered yoga position tae perfection Kaiser, what d'ye call that one –'the sprawling around on the fat arse.''' 'Nope, this one's called – 'the best I can do on a wicker strand thin mat.''' '' Haargh and a picture o` elegance it is at that, hud on ah'll get ye a cushion.'' The soft cushion that came flying through the air and subsequently jammed under Kaiser's arse was, indeed, a respite, he began to relax, to appreciate his strange, unfamiliar surroundings, if only he had a drink he might even ... ''This is sake,'' said Bing coming through with a tray adorned with an odd shaped bottle and a couple of porcelain cups. He squatted into the lotus position, with ease, and poured out two generous measures of the sake. He bowed to his guest, who, embarrassed, nodded back in return then both of them slaked the back of their throats with the fiery liquid in a single gulp. ''Nice little apéritif eh Kaiser,'' said Bing leaping up, rejuvenated, ''now ah'll get ye some grub, fish with rice alright with ye?'' he said returning to the kitchen to fetch two steaming bowls of food speared with chopsticks, ''if ye cannae work them ye'll need tae use yer fingers ah've nae cutlery.'' '' I usually do anyway.'' ''Hah, so ah've heard.'' ''Can I get some more of the sake?'' ''Help yersel man, dinnae be shy.'' The two large men, Bing and Kaiser, host and guest, sat opposite each other, feasting and drinking, until satiated and when Bing wiped his face, it must have been with the cloth of deadly seriousness. ''Want tae tell me what's going on Kaiser?'' Kaiser had obviously cleaned his mush up with the cloth of wavering uncertainty but Bing's formidable presence, the delicious food and the burning sake emboldened him. ''Do you believe in monsters?'' ''Of course, ah fight them every night.'' ''Fight them?'' '' Meditation technique Kaiser, has transcended me tae a higher plain, now ah control my dreams, ah kill monsters every night, ah ahm the fuckin monster slayer!'' '' What do they look like?'' ''A wee bit like this,'' said Bing lifting up his shirt to display a tattoo of a hideous creature. ''See that's the problem, this one doesn't, he's a bit strange but he looks like a man.'' ''A man?'' ''Bing, he looks like a bulked out version of Max Wall.'' ''Max Wall, the guy that used tae strut aboot like a demented ape?'' ''The very man, but swap ape for gorilla, this bastard is powerful! Bing, he slung me over his shoulder, carried me for miles and held me captive in a rat infested hellhole.'' ''You, what the fuck fur?'' ''It's a long story but the just of it is that he wants to be reunited with his master or messiah or whatever the hell he is, all I know for sure is that his name is The Kaiser.'' ''Another monster?'' ''No, this one's a master swordsman.'' ''And Bandanna's away lookin fur a master swordsman on his tod?'' ''Nope, he's on the trail of The Dandy Bastard…a madman holed up in an asylum.'' ''So that's who yer up against; a monster, a master swordsman and a raving lunatic.'' ''Pretty much.'' ''So if yous pair o` eejits are no tae be torn tae pieces ah can see that ma services are required.'' ''Well, I wouldn't have the audacity to ask favours from…'' ''Are ye fuckin jokin man, ah widnae miss this fur the world, the fuckin world. Count me in.'' The initial shock subsided, after all if he could find him in the library there was no reason to be overly surprised that the creature now, in the middle of the night, lurked outside his door. At first he thought it might be Bandanna back from his foray, he even had the most fleeting of hopes that his ridiculous fantasy of the landlady sneaking up to his room for some illicit action had come true. Kaiser, though, had always been a stranger to luck so he steeled himself and hauled out the iron frying pan from under his bed – the only weapon he possessed. The door opened as far as the chain would allow but Kaiser held less than zero faith in that particular security device protecting him against unnatural brute strength. Frying pan held aloft he prepared himself for the crunch, the rushing in, the fight to the death but these horrors failed to manifest - surely the rat-tat-tat of fingernails could be the calling card of no self-respecting, murderous monster. He slid back the bolt. ''My god Kenneth, yes it has been a while, perhaps too long but you don't need to start flipping the pancakes on my behalf.'' ''Emelda!'' Although no petite lady, the night visitor rocked back on her heels with the force of her brother's embrace as he hugged her and buried his face into the warm folds of an expensive fur coat. ''Control yourself you fool and get that disgusting object away from my coat.'' Kaiser dropped the frying pan. ''I was referring to your face.'' Kaiser lurched back laughing, a mad uncontrollable laugh which had as much to do with relief as mirth. ''Are you drunk?'' ''A little, I've been drinking sake.'' ''A trifle exotic for you Kenneth but don't get me wrong, I'm impressed, I always knew there was a man of culture lurking in there somewhere but I suspect we'll need a diamond tip to drill it out.'' ''Come in, where's Boris?'' ''That, brother Kenneth, is a very good question.'' ''You've had a fight.'' ''And that, dear brother, is an understatement, I fear I may be in great danger'' ''Well,'' said Kaiser as he opened up his special guest's deckchair, ''that's you and me both.'' ''You really know how to treat a lady don't you Kenneth, do you honestly expect me to sit on that?'' ''Well there's always the bed.'' ''What that thing? Are you mad? No the chair will suffice, I can always pretend I'm on Brighton pier.'' '' Hardly an idyllic spot these days. It's burnt down'' ''Don't be facetious it doesn't become you, you knew what I meant, now what was that about some sake?'' Kaiser dug out, from his coat, the remains of the bottle Bing had given him as a departing gift, luckily the porcelain cup had been thrown in as part of the package, Bing being something of a traditionalist when it came to oriental custom. Emelda, though, refrained from knocking it back in one and sipped her drink in the manner of a lady of some elegance. Kaiser, in contrast, tipped up his plastic cider bottle so that the sour liquid emptied into his gob as though being poured through a funnel. He then forced out the trapped gas in his belly by trying to recite the alphabet in an enormous, continual belch. He got as far as J. A habit that his sister invariably found disgusting enough to warrant a furious scolding. This time Emelda never even scowled. ''Must be bad,'' said Kaiser, alarmed by her silence, noticing for the first time the unfamiliar vulnerability etched into her face. ''I've cheated on Boris,'' she said and lapsed into silence letting the seriousness of the statement hang in the air like a lethal bog vapour. ''Cheated!'' screeched Kaiser, ''on Boris!'' ''Yes and what's worse, we got caught.'' ''Caught! Fucksake Emelda you know how dangerous he is…'' ''Yes Kenneth,'' interrupted Emelda, in calm tones designed to halt the rising hysteria - a voice of reason. ''I am well aware of my situation, I don't need you to exacerbate my already jangling nervous system by behaving like a panic stricken moron.'' ''Sorry, I mean that, of course you don't, it's just that I've been through the mill myself a bit recently.'' Emelda stared hard at her brother, saw the concern and it dawned on her that her countenance appeared twisted with involuntary negativity. She smiled. Expertly. ''Don't worry,'' she said, ''I often forget the sensitive nature of the poet. Are you still writing?'' ''Not recently, no, I've been…erm, otherwise occupied.'' ''Another madcap adventure with Bandanna no doubt, what was it last time a momentous quest to discover the lost fountain of Castalia? Don't you crazy fools go changing, ever,'' she said, chuckling. ''This is no quest, well, yes, maybe, sort of, Bandanna's on a mission, I'm left here, on the front line…'' ''Yes, no, maybe, forgive my bluntness brother but shut up! Just for now please `till I tell my tale of woe.'' ''Sorry.'' ''And stop with the sorry rubbish, you sound like Sticky Willie.'' ''Who?'' ''Bill Clin…never fucking mind who, are you going to replenish my cup? I don't know if you've noticed but it does not exactly 'overflow' at present.'' Kaiser nearly said sorry but checked himself in time, he dutifully topped up Emelda's drink and lay down on the bed anticipating a much more intriguing story than the drone of fairytales he suffered as a child. ''Boris was pleased with the sudden visit from his friend Vladymir from Moscow, excited even, much more animated around the gaming tables than usual. I think he sees gambling more and more as an occupation these days. They decided to play poker, not Boris' usual game but Vlad considers himself something of a shark. They were talking in Russian anyway so I didn't mind being left alone at the roulette table, besides I was winning, which always makes the champagne much more pleasant on the palate, I always find. In fact I was buzzing along nicely on a time honoured recipe for a more than pleasant evening; winning, bubbly booze and a nice little spoon of Vlad's high octane cocaine – a heady mixture indeed. All the lights in the casino seemed to shine brighter. I remember thinking that this must be what it's like in an alien spacecraft and laughing because there was no shortage of strange creatures mulling around to enhance the illusion. I was attracting attention too, in the way winners always do; a sort of humming excitement with both men and woman winking, softly clapping and tipping their glasses in admiration and encouragement. I felt great, on top of the world but I didn't lose my head, I kept my bets reasonable, made the right choices and stacked up my chips in ever-higher columns. But I couldn't get the picture out my head, you know the one you see in countless movies where this all ends with a mad bet on a single number and that shiny steel sphere does some crazy acrobatics and, depending on which movie you're watching, either lands on the desired number – or, usually by some feat of in-house magnetic force, the one next to it. Indeed, and so much for that, this wasn't the movies and I knew the odds so I bagged up my winnings and headed towards the cashier accompanied by a small crescendo of applause from my fellow gamblers – no one wants to see someone blessed with a lucky streak crash and burn. It's etiquette. ''If the casino was a spacecraft the bar was the command centre, haha the bridge as they call it in 'star trek' and I felt as sexy as Uhuru, it was drinks all round, of course. The barman was gorgeous and by some strange twist of fate, Russian. He was well impressed when I assaulted him with some of the phrases I had learned from Boris, especially the more erm, intimate ones, I suspected that the English interpretation must be tame by comparison, haha. I have always found the course Russian tongue a turn on and the braying of this buff, beautiful beast had me squirming in my seat like a young girl. ''The carry on came to an abrupt end, this barman was no fool it only took a glance at the approaching figures of Boris and Vlad for him to sense danger. He was good though, he managed the transition from outrageous flirt to professional barman seamlessly and the three countrymen entered into what I can only assume was some form of small talk and, almost, friendly banter. But this is the age of living dangerously so the sexy beast and I managed a sly, fuck me, wink exchange before we finally left the building, sorry spacecraft. ''When we got back to the flat I started mixing up some vodka cocktails and despite my request that English be the language of conversation Boris kept breaking out into Russian. He was starting to annoy me. I think Vlad picked up on this and began speaking in French to me, a language totally beyond Boris' linguistic capacity. He held his hands up in mock surrender and made a joke but I could see the annoyance in his face. Anyway I decided to make up some snacks for supper and Vlad said he would accompany me, he would assist, show me the 'Russian way', the secrets of his Grandmother. ''I didn't plan to cheat, I swear, it was no devious plan, it was only when he pulled it out, when I saw it – it was the strangest penis I have ever seen in my life. Not big, no, it was only about three inches long and it stuck out rather than up, the head was unusually large, like a mushroom, a mushroom tattooed with a bright red heart. 'The whole suit,' he said but despite having had no idea what he meant I hiked up my skirt and pulled my panties to one side so he could knob me. 'Ace, he said plunging it in, '2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen…KINGDOM COME and we both shuddered in shattering orgasm. ''When I opened my eyes I could see Boris standing in the kitchen doorway, Vlad sensed him too and pulled out to turn round and face him. There they stood, pointing at one another but flesh is no match for cold steel that explodes in three thunderous flashes – Vlad spun round and dropped to the floor. I backed away but Boris followed pointing the gun at my face and by his expression I realised this was no threat, he was about to pull the trigger. But then I saw the figure of Vlad loom up behind him, his arm swung round in an arc as he dealt a vicious blow with his cosh to the back of Boris' skull. He ripped open his shirt and grinned – a bullet proof vest. Then he blew me a kiss and disappeared out the flat. I wasn't far behind him but not before I picked up the gun.'' Kaiser sat up and let out a long, slow expulsion of air from his lips. ''Jeezo Emelda, now that's a cheating story.'' ''I want you to take this for just now.'' Kaiser took the revolver from her, opened the barrel and saw the shiny heads of three remaining bullets in the chambers. ''Now what was that about a yes, no, maybe quest story?'' ''Eh, oh that, oh don't worry, that was nothing.'' said Kaiser and snapped the barrel back in the flick of the wrist like a hardboiled gangster.
Archived comments for IMAGINATION - a novella Pt II
zenbuddhist on 21-02-2011
IMAGINATION - a novella Pt II
Well ah dinnae ken how ah managed that but this sub is now in italics...ach it's still the same story nae point in greetin!

Author's Reply:


IMAGINATION...a novella (pt I) (posted on: 05-11-10)
Just imagine.

It was an action akin to staring into the back of a spoon; the image, Kaiser's face, appeared distorted but, nevertheless, much more reassuring to the beholder than he usually found the experience solely because the vessel acting as the reflector doubled up as a half full bottle of blue cider. It even looked to be within easy grasp, his attempt at retrieval, though, became thwarted by a heavy boot slamming into his wrist. A big man, Kaiser never took to losing in any kind of grapple well, he went for the old knacker grab but his assailant dealt with the move with the ease and flair of the expert, one trick out of a bag of many. Kaiser was debilitated and he knew it, he began to wail. ''Be silent and relax, it's your only chance.'' The mournful moaning began to tail off, it was as if his thought processes could be discerned through sound, he was giving up. Resigned to the reality of defeat he fell silent and limp but the sensation of being hoisted through the air almost made him choke and keeping up with the sound elucidation of unfolding events his throat gurgled and croaked. ''If you're sick on me, I'll drop you like a sack of corn!'' The sheer power and presence of the man had overwhelmed Kaiser and, to add to the ballast, the forcible, authoritative tone in which he spoke, although oddly lacking menace, strongly suggested no other course of action other than blind obedience could possibly be entertained. Which is fine and well but when you're swinging upside down on the back of a man as powerful and as ambling as a gorilla, with a belly full of sour cider, the act tends to require an effort of concentration to pull off. However, Kaiser was nothing if not stoic and long ago he had made the choice to adhere to the heartfelt conviction that spewing up was a waste of good booze and thus a crime, so, despite the jarring nature of his transportation, the remainder of his journey passed without event or commotion. A soothing calmness descended, the result of which appeared to be Kaiser entering into a Zen-like state of being and, safely ensconced in that bubble of tranquillity, he managed to catch some shut-eye. Eerie shards of sunlight searing through the wooden shutters, illuminating the flies and swirling dust, did nothing to dispel the notion Kaiser had seized upon on awakening - surely he must be the captive of some kind of Gothic monster. He wheezed out a hiss ''Is this your lexicon, groans, gurgles, snores and hisses? What brand of moron communicates like that?'' ''I'm frightened.'' ''What do you think I am? A ghost lurking in the shadows? You're a heavyweight and I have carried you a not inconsiderable distance to this place of safety, surely you can see that that is not the action of some bloodless phantom, I am substantial flesh.'' '' Name one monster who isn't.'' ''Monster! Is that how you perceive me? Not a ghost?'' ''Of course not, as it had to be, I have been bested, the fact that my vanquisher, my Nemesis, stands over me in the guise of a monster is not an embarrassment to me, but a ghost…'' ''You speak of monsters and ghosts with casual ease, with an air of familiarity that suggests authenticity. I take it you do not anticipate scathing ridicule or contempt by speaking in such a manner or indeed if such attacks manifested that concern would rear up in response. What are you?'' ''I am a poet.'' ''Aha, and as such your sphere of existence encapsulates all manner of weird and wonderful entities and situations, so the notion of being kidnapped by a monster and imprisoned in his lair is not fantastical to you.'' ''No, but that doesn't stop me from getting scared ''But your hands are untied, you sit there on that chair as freely as you would on a church pew, the door is open, you are free to leave…uncertainty invariably generates alarm, yet now that you are aware of your situation, you hesitate.'' ''I…'' ''You are afflicted with the burning curiosity of the aesthete, being that you have identified yourself as a poet any other reaction would be unthinkable, if you leave now, you'll never know. What is your name?'' ''Kaiser'' ''What? Are you the vandal that scrawled on the castle wall, 'Kaiser was here' in a bold dash of red paint, no, don't answer, of course you are.'' '' I can tell by your tone that to deny it might be dangerous. It was I.'' ''You caused me much anguish.'' ''For that I apologise but how could I have known?'' ''You strike me as a man whose intellectual compass must encircle the concept of irony so I will not insult your intelligence, suffice to say your name is not unfamiliar to me.'' ''But not me personally.'' ''No, when I realised that you existed in your own right, that is to say that another Kaiser walked this earth, I wanted to crush you like a beetle, yet here I am providing sanctuary.'' ''You wanted to destroy me for vandalising the castle wall.'' ''No, that is of no consequence, I care nothing for that crumbling pile of debris, your crime was to fill me with false hope.'' ''You thought an old friend had come back.'' ''Yes.'' ''The scrawling was less an act vandalism and more a necessary aid, a memory aid for a mind in turmoil, I was in a very bad place at that moment in my life and I do not throw up exaggeration when I say that my very sanity was at risk.'' ''So your criminal exploits acted as catharsis?'' ''No, not exactly, it was to stop me from going over old ground, I was frantically searching for a dreamscape, it was an obsession, if I could find this place of nightmare in the here and now perhaps I could come to terms with the terror that plagued me every night.'' ''A cathartic conciliation nevertheless. Your sincerity is evident and cannot be doubted but you do not strike me as a man to become overly concerned with bad dreams. I would have thought they were a habitual, if not necessary, part of your make up and, as such, unlikely to actuate obsessive quest.'' ''Yes, you're right, it wasn't the dream, a graveyard horror show can sometimes be a source of amusement to me, but not every night, not every time I tried to sleep. I was driven mad by insomnia.'' ''Yes, I think I can imagine what that would be like.'' ''You've never been afflicted?'' ''I, good poet, have never been afflicted by sleep.'' ''Where did you come from?'' ''My first memory, or rather the first time I became aware of my existence I was holed up in an old town, darkened doorway, a beggar of sorts, at least there was an upturned cap displayed in front of me. It was grey and drizzling but from out the gloom I beheld the clip clop on the cobbles of an approaching Dandy Bastard in his buckled, shiney shoes, he deposited a gold coin into the cap and stood there waiting. I knew he expected some utterance of thanks but I could tell his was no act of selfless benevolence; by the way he was looking round it was obvious he was playing to the gallery, desperate for people to observe how an epitome of the charitable citizen conducted himself in public. Remaining silent I watched the arrogant sod's face twist with indignation which rose to such a haughty fury he actually clicked his heels together and snorted. Then, an uncontrollable urge to recite a poem overwhelmed me and my rendition stopped The Dandy Bastard in his tracks. ''What was the poem?'' ''The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.'' ''Hah ha, of course, what else? Sorry, please continue.'' '' His face now twisted into a mask of uncertainty and fear, 'what are you a ghost?' he said as he reached into my alcove. A ghost! That's what he said. When his spindly fingers began prodding into my meaty chest I grabbed his wrist with my thick link fingers, I could have plucked his puny arm out its socket like a well done chicken wing but my anger was satiated by the sheer terror I had instilled, he wouldn't mistake me for an apparition again. I let him go.'' ''He was the Kaiser.'' ''No, he was the Dandy Bastard and he scurried away.'' ''A man steeped in the proud aristocratic traditions of conceit and cowardice.'' ''Saturated, but he was not defeated, he was to return slithering back into my world like a snake.'' ''He came back with some guards?'' ''No, but when a man in flowing robes, armed with a sword approached I thought he had dispatched an assassin, I made myself big, ready for the fight, when I saw his clear blue eyes blazing out from the black lines that surrounded them I realised my foe was formidable, then he smiled a smile so radiating his face actually shone. He nodded to me in greeting and placed a piece of paper in my cap.'' ''His calling card?'' ''Not exactly, it was a map, a crudely drawn affair etched out in thick crayon but the obscure route and smudged destination, became almost discernible through close scrutiny. I say almost because when I arrived at the door I was unsure but on knocking the robed man with the sword opened up, he beckoned me in with his eyes and I entered into Jericho.'' ''What manner of place was this?'' ''A place of wonder, it was a large hall full to bursting with tinkers, tramps hags and beggars all milling around chewing on bread and drinking wine Hardly a vision of paradise perhaps but when the robed man appeared amongst us, when he was hoisted on the shoulders of his disciples, everyone, including myself, started reciting poetry, not the same poem, just poetry.'' ''Where there any classical epics?'' ''Many.'' ''Sounds like a place I would find intriguing.'' ''Yes, any man of poetic persuasion would have been intrigued, amazed and appreciative. I myself was in rapture, it felt as if this was what I was created for. I entertained not a single thought of tearing my tormentors apart, limb by limb. I was at peace with the world.'' ''The robed man, he was the Kaiser?'' ''Yes, most called him the Emperor because of his samurai sword but to me he was the Kaiser and I loved him, I became one of his apostles and it was when holding him aloft at one particular gathering that I noticed The Dandy Bastard amongst us. His disguise of a filthy overcoat, although impressive, did nothing to conceal his conceited countenance, if I had not been supporting the Kaiser I would have exposed and ejected him but all I could do was watch as he was led by the hand to the room of fornication by a decrepit hag.'' ''Was he spying?'' ''I don't know but my world crumbled soon after, One day I was travelling the well worn path between my alcove and Jericho and I had a horrible experience of not existing, of fading away, I felt nauseous and weak but continued on to Jericho or at least to where Jericho used to be but alas it had gone and the next time I became aware of my existence I was cast adrift on a rowing boat, just out there in the filthy harbour. I broke into this abandoned rat-infested warehouse and have been here ever since only venturing out in constant search for The Kaiser, to praise him or, The Dandy Bastard, to snap his neck like a twig.'' Kaiser knew the story was at an end, he was no longer aware of the sensation of the narrator pacing back and forward in the darkness. He nearly asked if he had disappeared but checked himself and went in search of the door. Once outside he plundered his pockets, he had enough for a bottle of cider but decided to spend it on a bus home, the hard wooden chair had caused his nether regions to go numb, it was like having an arse that wasn't there. Like a ghost's. It was deep thought rather than disbelief that generated Bandanna's intense stare, he had known his friend for far too long to doubt his honesty, the strange series of events that had just been described to him, however, threw up the possibility of misinterpretation. Kaiser could have got it wrong. ''Where were you when the 'monster' abducted you, you said you were drunk but at what location?'' ''I had just come to, I reached for my bottle of 'Frosty Jack's' and he pounced.'' ''Where though Kaiser? It's important.'' ''At the top of Gay Street.'' ''Lying flat out for the count on the street?'' ''Erm, yes, I suppose I must have been.'' ''You see this may have been an act of altruism, your 'monster' might have acted out of pity or camaraderie rather than malevolence.'' ''Do you really believe that?'' ''What I'm saying is, he got you out of there before the police arrived, someone was sure to have phoned them. A drunk man lying flat out on a busy street, of course they had. He might have being doing you a big favour.'' ''I never thought about it like that.'' ''But this was no gentle persuasion, his actions were deliberate to the point of forceful?'' ''He beat my hairy arse like a second hand rug.'' 'Haha powerful then, he may well have been a monster.'' They both contemplated this until the reeking smoke from the old iron frying pan rose up and broke the spell, Kaiser threw in the sausages where they sizzled and banged before reaching the required condition for consumption - black burnt on the outside, red raw in the middle. The little harbour stank, it was a shame because its high stone built walls and once brightly painted wooden shacks lent themselves to the notion that this was once a place that had been much more pleasing to the eye. Now the shit brown stream that flowed freely into its heart carried all sorts of fetid flotsam; used condoms, nappies, tampons, even the occasional dead dog or cat. Where's the source of this stink river? Bandanna asked himself, Gommorah? Kaiser strode on ahead, his long black coat flowing behind giving the impression of a man with a purpose; an assassin. Amazing, thought Bandanna, he actually looks as if he knows where he's going. ''Kaiser hold up a minute man, I want to survey the terrain.'' Kaiser stopped but Bandanna, getting closer, could see the urgency in his face. ''Why so distraught Kaiser? What's the hurry?'' ''I can't explain it, it's important for me to speak to him again, to actually see his face.'' ''But we can't just blunder on, this could be dangerous.'' ''You don't have to tell me, I was the captive remember.'' ''That's certainly true but his motivation is, as yet, a mystery.'' ''But he kidnapped me, I was drunk, confused, I was scared Bandanna, fucking scared, it's not a state of mind I'm familiar with.'' ''It's nothing to get embarrassed about Kaiser, we all get scared, it's called being human, it's part of the package.'' ''I was slung over his shoulder for fucks sake, he carried me for miles, I'm eighteen fucking stone Bandanna, the cunt never even broke sweat!'' ''Calm down man, all the more reason for caution, we don't know what we're up against.'' Bandanna looked into his friend's eyes and he knew he was wondering what kind of package monsters came in. It was a vexed Bandanna that entered the old, disused warehouse, the main entrance was locked up tighter than a prison but Kaiser had led him to a side door that flew open with one kick from his steel-nosed boot. ''We've abandoned the surprise element then, eh?'' Kaiser ignored him and pulled out a torch that shone out a weak, yellow beam that was next to useless. ''Careful with that Kaiser, you'll burn someone's eye out.'' ''Listen professor Prick, less of the fucking 'hilarity', I'm trying my best here.'' Bandanna resolved to keep quiet, an agitated Kaiser was a dangerous animal at the best of times but when on the trail of menacing monsters… ''Ahaah, look, look Bandanna, here it is, here's the wooden chair he forced me to sit in, look at it, the very chair.'' ''Well it's hardly an instrument of torture, were the ropes tight, cutting?'' ''Erm, well, no, there were no ropes.'' ''But he warned you of dire consequences if you attempted escape?'' ''Erm, no, he told me I was free to leave.'' ''Well that sounds like Hell, those medieval, rack ravaged 'heretics' never knew they had it so good, eh?'' ''Yes, no…you don't understand it was the story he told, I couldn't leave.'' ''Oh the story! Of course, how could I have been so stupid? What was it Roald Dahl?'' ''No, it was his story, it was about his existence, how he had come into being, or at least what he could remember of it, it was a fantastical tale about the two most salient figures in his life; The Dandy Bastard and The Kaiser. ''Wait,'' said Bandanna, his cynicism gone, ''he said that, The Dandy Bastard and The Kaiser.'' ''Yes, I thought he was going to kill me for writing KAISER WAS HERE on the castle wall, he said I had instilled him with false hope.'' ''Did he look like a tramp?'' ''I told you, I never saw his face, he kept in the shadows but he certainly stank.'' Bandanna took the torch from his friend and began to scan round the warehouse dusty floor, the yellow illumination caused the pile of rat bones heaped up in a corner to shine with an eerie glow. He put his hand on Kaiser's shoulder. ''Come on old friend it's time to go.'' A flurry of dust and debris rattled down from the rafters, the torch beam proved far too weak to identify the cause. That could have been anything, thought Bandana, a surviving rat, a restless bat or a monster swinging upside down from one of the beams his lanky hair hanging down in strands like black snakes. ''It's unfortunate the stench of this harbour, we need a place to ponder, to consider our position, our next move.'' ''Don't worry there's bound to be a graveyard close by,'' said Kaiser pulling out a clear plastic bag bulging with coppers, Bandanna didn't need to ask to know that it contained exactly ninety nine pence – the asking price of a litre bottle of 'White Star'. ''Here, get two bottles,'' he said, handing over a pound coin, ''we've got some serious thinking to do.'' And remembering brother Hugh who drowned Shanghai Anchorage 1955 ''Black sheep.'' ''What? Who?'' Brother Hugh there, look, that's a black sheep if ever there was, look at all the rest, fancy lettering, exact dates, touching sentiments, then poor old brother Hugh there tacked on at the end.'' ''You're right Kaiser, probably pissed and fell off the gangplank, hey, for fuck sake gonna stop slavering back into the bottle, in fact you keep that, I'll crack the fresh one.'' ''But you've already had some of this.'' ''I'll leave you a bit at the bottom.'' ''Thought you were supposed to be off it.'' ''Exceptional circumstances Kaiser, Holmes had his intravenous cocaine solution, my intellectual intuition responds best to cheap cider, it's a no-brainer.'' ''Haha, well you got that right!'' Kaiser sprawled out resting his head on a flat gravestone and taking long noisy slugs from his designated bottle, Bandanna continued to sit crossed legged on the grass emitting a low moan as if in meditation, they lapsed into silence, a soothing, comfortable silence. ''Anyway, he was a fictional character.'' ''Who was?'' ''Holmes.'' ''You know eking out my existence with you, my friend, I sometimes feel like a fictional character, the product of some sick and twisted would be author intent on exasperating my depravity to an extent that threatens my very sanity.'' ''Oh well, at least he's got a sense of humour.'' Kaiser's wrinkly eyes snapped open like a lizard's, he knew he hadn't been sleeping long, about just the length of an average daymare, but Bandanna had gone and he hadn't left the promised cider, ''YOU BASTARD BANDANNA…'' but his belligerent rant became cut short with a plastic bottle, a half inch of liquid lurking at the bottom, coming flying out a tree and landing on his stomach. ''I'm a man of my word,'' said the tree, cackling gleefully. ''Indeed you are good sir and I toast your sincerity,'' said Kaiser emptying the sloosh into his gaping gob, ''together with your cheerfulness.'' ''I've had a revelation, Kaiser, a eureka moment, a flash of inspiration touched by genius…'' ''Hey! Hold up Bandanna d'ya want to get your feet back on the ground pal, I feel like I'm talking to an ape.'' Bandanna shinned down the trunk still talking. ''Remember I had that uncle who suffered a spell in the asylum, for some strange reason he was deluded into thinking he was the reincarnation of St. Thomas Aquinas.'' ''Do I? How could I forget, he was barking.'' ''He was deluded Kaiser, not barking, anyway he's much better now.'' ''Glad to hear it. And?'' ''And what?'' ''And, what the fuck has some nut job who thinks he's a long dead theological philosopher got to do with…with anything?'' ''Nothing.'' ''Are you taking the piss?'' ''Sorry Kaiser, I'm still thinking, he's not involved.'' ''Praise the lord on that one, well if it's not too much trouble maybe you could…'' ''It was the guy holed up in the next bed Kaiser, I'm pretty sure he was The Dandy Bastard.'' ''The guy in the monster's story?'' ''The very man.'' ''What was he up to, cramming Turkish Delight up his arse and mincing about like Oscar Fucking Wilde?'' ''Haha, no, but wait, listen, he spoke in that 'olde worlde' manner but he only had one subject, one story, he was obsessed.'' ''He was in an asylum! He was mad!'' ''Yes, absolutely, I know, but the story Kaiser, I remember it well, involved The Kaiser - an almost mythical figure whom my uncle, in his confused state of mind, took to be the embodiment of the Antichrist on earth.'' '' I wouldn't expect anything else from old St Thomas, would you?'' ''No, perhaps not, but this train of thought, my train of thought can only be dismissed as irrelevant if you believe in coincidence.'' ''And there's no such thing'' chimed out Kaiser and Bandanna in unison. ''Kaiser here is another pound coin and…two fifty pences, get another two bottles, its party time, but savour it Kaiser, a long period of sobriety awaits us.'' ''Yeah well, I'd kind of guessed that as much.'' ''You cynical bastard! Hah, embrace the moment you fiend, we are about to enter the realm of exciting endeavour, this will be the stuff of dreams…dreams Kaiser.'' Security guard Bing always impressed Bandanna, the way he stood outside the library like a rock might confuse a stranger into thinking he was guarding the Royal Mint. ''Mornin lads, what's up the day, the pennin o` an epic poem, a literary masterpiece, the unearthin o' a psychological theory that'll gie the academy a good ol` shake up?'' ''Why, yes, of course,'' replied Bandanna, ''anything less is unacceptable. '' ''Just a normal day then, eh?'' ''You got that right Rambo,'' said Kaiser landing a soft punch into Bing's belly and grabbing him in a half-hearted headlock. Bandanna had no time for this horseplay, he was a man with a mission, he hurried on into the library. Mavis' forced smile failed to conceal her disappointment at Bandanna's failure to stop for their usual chat, but she became downright annoyed when he broke out into one of his spontaneous mimes designed to portray he was on urgent business. No need to make fun of the afflicted she thought as she stamped the book of an arthritic old man. There were a few other civilians in but thankfully none appeared to be disturbing the order of the 'psychology' section. He listened out for the nasal whine of The Library Creep; he was mulling about in 'biographies', which was good. The Chameleon, an eccentric old bag so named for her tendency to adopt the persona of literary characters, was nowhere to be seen but the stench of some unnameable animal's pelt, a 'fashion accessory' permanently wrapped round her scrawny neck, hung in the air. Must be reading 'The Lady Vanishes', mused Bandanna. He needed the section to himself because he couldn't recall the exact name or author of the study he required but he had a hunch, a sort of half name so his fears proved unfounded as he soon had the desired journal in his hand. He sauntered up to where Kaiser was sat squeezed into a chair designed for a child and dumped his new-found prize on the table. '' 'The Rosenhan Experiment','' he said, '' 'On Being Sane in Insane Places'.'' ''Wow Bandanna, that's some handle for a study that.'' ''Isn't it by God and it's just what the scientist ordered, this is our ticket into the asylum Kaiser, this is the blue-print for our plan of action'' Kaiser warmed to this new turn of events, the name of the study had impressed him, Bandanna seemed excited, purposeful, statistically speaking he was bound to get something right at least once and since it had never happened before the odds seemed slightly more favourable. But he wasn't holding his breath. '' 'Science','' said Bandanna tapping the journal, '' '1973' the year David Rosenhan shook up psychology, a criticism of psychiatric diagnosis previously unequalled, this is not only influential Kaiser, it's fucking dynamite.'' ''Boom!'' said Kaiser, leaning in. ''It gets better, listen to this, 'Rosenhan himself and eight mentally healthy associates, called pseudopatients'. " ''Pseudopatients, Bandanna you're on fire man, pseudopatients, I like that.'' ''Thought you might,'' said Bandanna, still tapping the journal with his finger, '...attempted to gain admission to psychiatric hospitals by calling for an appointment and feigning auditory hallucinations'.'' ''What?'' ''They said they were hearing voices Kaiser, simple as that.'' ''And they were admitted?'' ''To a man.'' Kaiser began to realise the importance of the study, to form a picture in his mind of Bandanna's intentions, his plan. ''So in the absence of anyone to visit in the asylum one of us will gain admission by a replication of this experiment,'' said Kaiser. ''Yes, and the other will be able to visit.'' ''Me Bandanna, me, I want to be a pseudopatient!'' ''Thought you might.'' ''It would be easy for me, I do hear voices, in fact I can go even one better, I can tell them about seeing things as well.'' ''Erm well, it doesn't actually say anything about visionary hallucinations in the report.'' ''Yes, but Bandanna don't you see I wouldn't have to make it up, all I'd need to do is describe my visitation from 'brother Hugh' last night, you were right he did fall off the gangplank drunk, he was floating in the corner of my room, eyes eaten away by crabs, green slime dangling from his teeth, he told me…'' ''Change of plan Kaiser, I'm the pseudopatient, you're the visitor.'' '' What! Why?'' ''Because you know when Boris' last rouble is scooped up off the roulette table…you know when the supply of fur coats ceases…when the presents of sparkling jewellery are no more…when the champagne dries up and your sister comes back home.'' ''Yes.'' ''Well, I want to be able to look her in the eye.'' Not a sausage left but lurking in the drawer that doubled up as the larder, with an unhealthy looking grey sheen on them, were a couple of links of black puddings. Once sliced the emerging contents proved dry enough to soak up the beef fat swirling round the old iron frying pan. Brain food. Kaiser scoffed his share, wiped his greasy mouth on his pyjama sleeve, lay down on the floor flat on his back, rubbed his big belly with his huge hands to aid with the digestion process and belched like a pig. ''What I'd give for a bottle of 'Frosty Jack's'.'' Bandanna, despite the declaration of the booze ban at the graveyard, relented and pulled a half-full plastic bottle out from under his bed. ''Okay Kaiser get ready old friend, here's what I think is going on and here's the way it's going to be,'' he said, handing over the bottle. ''It's impossible to know what crucible of the forces of darkness can possibly be responsible for the creation of this creature but I suspect that the fuel for the fire comes from the imagination of a madman,'' said Bandanna getting serious, ''what cannot be denied is the formidable nature of this adversary, the glaring fact that we are up against it, in black-hearted spades.'' ''So we should regard him as our enemy?'' ''Most definitely so, to underestimate a dangerous foe may not only be a naïve approach on our part but also highly likely to end in fatality. He knows were on his trail ''How so, is he psychic?'' ''No, I think he was there in the old warehouse, watching us, but apart from that the fact that he kidnapped you, particularly, is no random act of chance.'' ''Because of my name?'' ''Yes, and he'll be anticipating some follow up, some reaction from you, in fact I think it's more than expectation, he's relying on it.'' ''Why?'' ''Because he's lost himself, he's looking for answers, for a way to realise his purpose, his aspirations.'' ''Which are?'' ''Who knows, but a reunion with The Kaiser seems to be his main priority at the moment. It's more than his lynch pin to his previous existence, it's his obsession.'' ''So he's been here before?'' ''Yes, but not as a monster, as a tramp, a much more innocent incarnation.'' ''People think of us as tramps, are we the product of some nutter's imagination?'' ''I know it sounds weird.'' ''Weird? You, Bandanna, have a mastery of the understatement. Catch a grip man. It's off the wall!'' ''Off the wall, did you see that pile of rat bones heaped up? Spooky eh? But not nearly as spooky as a nice, neat row of shiney skulls.'' ''Do you think…'' ''I think Kaiser, he's not up to full strength, that's where the concern for being mistaken for a ghost stems from, I think he's fading away and coming back but each time with renewed energy, and it's correlated Kaiser; the madder the madman, the more powerful the monster. We may be running out of time, we have to think outside the box.'' ''I'll second that,'' said Kaiser, taking a long pull on the cider, ''but you've lost me, what and where is The Kaiser and if The Dandy Bastard is responsible for the manifestation of the monster, why is it trying to kill him?'' ''Because he is in the dark, he has no notion of the nature of his own existence or indeed his purpose, his destiny, if you want to get dramatic, is as yet a mystery, even to himself. He identifies The Dandy Bastard as someone who has done him wrong, not just wrong but as being responsible, somehow, for severing his connection with The Kaiser.'' ''Yeah, that fits, but The Kaiser, where does he slot in?'' ''At the top, the middle, the bottom or the sides, take your pick, it's not important, what matters is that he's the biggest piece.'' ''The Antichrist?'' ''There's no denying the extent of my uncles delusions but yes, if you want Kaiser, in the parlance of medieval theology, the Antichrist.'' ''Wow Bandanna, do we really want to get involved?'' said Kaiser tipping his head back and slooshing a good splash of cider down his throat. ''We already are and failure is not an option old friend, we emerge triumphant or we die.'' ''You're right, I can see that, what I don't see is the bit about the previous existence, the tramp thing.'' '' The answer to that, lies in the original story; the tale of The Dandy Bastard.'' ''Hahaargh. You're just loving this y'old Drama Queen, the tale of The Dandy Bastard, this I've got to hear.'' ''Less of the fuckin 'hilarity' eh? I'm trying my best here.'' Kaiser quashed his desire to laugh, an angry Bandanna was a dangerous animal at the best of times but when rudely interrupted in full flow… ''There was no story at first, a severe case of lockjaw saw to that.'' ''Lockjaw?'' ''Yes, he had hammered a rusty six inch nail through his hand and into his boss' mahogany desk, the poem he was reciting, seemingly, needed a little extra emphasis.'' ''Poetry again, the monster seemed intrigued by poetry.'' ''That's what connects them or at least it was, this time round I suspect we may be dealing with far more foreboding forces. Anyway, when the jaw of The Dandy Bastard at last slackened he spouted out a tale of poetry performing tramps, Jericho, The Kaiser and being naked in public places. His first experience of this weirdness involved an encounter with a sinister tramp holed up in a darkened doorway whom he had unfortunately mistaken for the ghost of a dead poet because of the high quality of the recital. He narrowly escaped with his life.'' ''Let me guess, the poem was the 'Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner'.'' ''What else?'' '' 'I fear thee ancient mariner, I fear thy glittering eye','' said Kaiser adopting the gait of a hunchback and twisting his face into a grotesque. Bandanna took advantage of the floor show distraction to slink off for a piss when he returned Kaiser was lurching around the room, he had drawn a black felt tip deep-browed face on the empty cider bottle and forced a bolt through the plastic, a good swing was going on as it was attached to his long cock by a pyjama cord. ''Aaaaaaargh,'' went Kaiser. Bandanna grabbed an old golf club out the cupboard and a scabby old ball, on the first shot the ball sailed through the air and skelped into the head with a thud. ''Aaaaaaargh,'' went Kaiser again, but this time with feeling. '' 'Thud', the voices were saying 'thud'?'' ''Yes.'' ''Anything else, specifically?'' ''Yes, 'hollow' and…'empty'.'' Bandanna realised his mistake as soon as he had uttered the words, he was sticking far too close to the script, it was a bad blunder, of course this stencil of a psychiatrist peering out at him over the top of a pair of pince-nez had heard of the Rosenhan study, it was one of the most famous experiments into the validity of psychiatric diagnosis. Of course he had. ''Mmmm, anything else?'' ''Then brother Hugh appeared,'' stuttered out Bandanna, desperate. ''Brother Hugh?'' ''Yes, he floated around the corner of my room, eyes eaten away by crabs, green slime dangling from his teeth, he told me…'' Kaiser was stuck, stuck into his usual child's chair and stuck on his poem, there was no flow, no ideas, no nothing, usually this was cause for great anxiety but today he welcomed the nothingness, he embraced it like an old friend. He concentrated on zero, a big O filled his mind, it was a simple but effective technique, think of nothing and nothing bad can happen. But the zero began to distort, its shape twisting, waxing, waning until it began to fill up, fill up with some kind of vapour, a vile stink, the awful smell of a monster. Not here, he thought, not here in the library, not here in my temple, my sanctuary. He looked across at Mavis' desk, it was empty, the nasal whine of The Library Creep could be heard from no aisle, Bing the security man was missing from his post. His fear turned to fury, he thundered the table with a clenched fist and stood up so quick the chair was still clamped to his arse. ''You bastard what have you done with them!'' he roared, ''I'll fuckin kill you!'' ''Goodness me, what's going on, this is a library young man,'' said Mavis standing up from tidying her bottom shelf, a finger wagging sessions was imminent but she was further distracted by a right old ding-dong as a fired up Bing and a fleeing Creep got jammed together in the doorway. ''Sorry, sorry,'' said Kaiser feeling a fool at the unwarranted outburst, it didn't help that the sticking out chair made him look like some kind of circus clown, he prised himself out of it, gave a gesture of apology and sloped off down the stairs to the reference section, in shame. The stink in the reference room, down in the bowels of the library, ensured Kaiser smelled his adversary before he saw him. The little clerk busying away at his desk in the corner seemed oblivious. Working in this fusty hole must dull the senses, thought Kaiser, probably efficient though, good at his job, but his queerness reminded him of one of the minor characters in The Trial. When he looked up Kaiser motioned to him that he required no assistance, which was a lie. Kaiser's monster stared at him intently and beckoned him over. He was not tall, very broad, exceptionally so, but with his long, lank, black hair and dark suit he resembled many eccentric academics to be found in reference libraries. He had a pocked marked face, much the same as Kaiser's, the only unusual feature was the large space between the eyes. He looks like Max Fucking Wall, thought Kaiser. The smell, though, was overpowering, flies were actually swirling around his head, some of them landing on his face. He was clutching a book of 18th Century English Poetry, which he dropped when Kaiser approached. ''You're sober today Kaiser,'' he said, ''should I be cautious?'' Not exactly a rhetorical question but he showed no surprise at the lack of reply. ''What do you want from me?'' asked Kaiser. ''Everything, you're the only person I can talk to, the only person who can perhaps understand, I grow stronger Kaiser, hungrier.'' He shot out his hand and grabbed Kaiser's jaw. ''I could tear this off and eat it.'' Kaiser once again felt the unfamiliar grip…of fear. ''But then you wouldn't be able to talk and that, good poet, won't do, won't do at all,'' he said, releasing him. ''I can't help noticing an increase in hostility since our last meeting, not just in that little outburst, but tone.'' ''What do you expect from a monster?'' he snarled. ''A little civility might hit the spot, if you want my help…'' ''Oh you have no choice in that Kaiser, there are no other options but you're right I was behaving deplorably, I would ask forgiveness but as that would be meaningless I will atone by not killing that,'' he said, glancing towards the clerk. ''So your tastes have transcended somewhat, from rats to men, a considerable leap, a veritable ditch jump some might say.'' ''You have the poetic eye Kaiser, an accomplished turn of phrase, you of all people must go some way to understanding my anguish, I grow powerful but my desires are unfulfilled, I lack direction, purpose!'' ''Yes, that's what Bandanna said…'' ''Who?'' ''My friend.'' ''The fat, bearded one with the rag on his head with whom you broke into my home.'' ''You were there?'' ''Oh yes Kaiser, I was there.'' ''He said you might be.'' ''Aha a genius, and just what, exactly, did this genius say.'' Kaiser hesitated, he was disconcerted, disoriented, unsure how much to reveal, the flies crawling over the monsters face, unhindered, captured his focus. ''I brought him in to help, he's a clever man, right now he's on the trail of The Dandy Bastard.'' His neck tendons sprung out like cables, just the mention of The Bastard's name seemed to send him into some kind of fury. ''He's trying to help you, I told him your story.'' ''Why?'' he asked, through gritted teeth, ''does he want to help me.'' ''Because he thinks your little kidnapping performance was an act of altruism, he thinks you saved me from the police.'' ''Perhaps it was, I'm pleased he thinks it, but what of you Kaiser, what do you think?'' ''I think, no I know, you let me leave unscathed, I think…'' ''I wanted to tell you my story, nothing more or less.'' ''But why me?'' The question brought on confusion, he seemed unsure. ''Because you …looked like someone who would listen.'' ''I was drunk, lying drunk on the street.'' ''Nevertheless…I felt something, something that felt right, and you turned out to be Kaiser the poet…'' ''I must insist on silence in the reference library,'' said the clerk, ''if you persist with this conversation I'll have to ask you to leave,'' and then, something that seemed totally out of character to Kaiser, ''take it outside guys.'' Kaiser felt his upper arm being seized, the strength of the grip ensured any attempt to pull free futile but Kaiser had no intention, he realised the extent of his involvement, for him there was no escape but the clerk was innocent. He allowed himself to be dragged out into the marble staircase. ''Do you know what a poet is Kaiser?'' Kaiser hesitated, he suspected that a wrong answer might very well result in his jawbone being ripped from his head. ''A poet is a savant, a messenger of knowledge and power.'' ''Exactly, damn right, they are powerful people but this power must be used properly, channelled into an energy, an indestructible force to render the puny forces of materialism impotent.'' ''But how?'' ''I don't know,'' he wailed, ''not yet, I must find The Kaiser.'' Bandanna was right, thought Bandanna, or at least his interpretation of the situation could be viewed as plausible. ''Where is The Dandy Bastard?'' ''I told you, Bandanna's on his trail, you must be patient'' ''Ah Kaiser, Kaiser the poet, you have not, as yet, proved to be a disappointment but Raghead is unknown to me, if he fails he will be the first,'' he said turning back towards the reference library door, ''excuse me I must finish my book.'' Kaiser stood there for a while before dealing with an annoying, errant fly by slapping his own face, it stung a bit but this was somewhat negated by the unsettling knowledge that he now had blood on his hands.
Archived comments for IMAGINATION...a novella (pt I)
Kazzmoss on 05-11-2010
IMAGINATION...a novella (pt I)
Sorry, soon as you used the c word it put me off reading any more. Up until then it was intriguing as I wondered about these two characters. Good description of the area as I've seen places like that it set the seen perfectly.

Kazz

Author's Reply:
Scene, set the scene perfectly. What c word, camaraderie?

e-griff on 06-11-2010
IMAGINATION...a novella (pt I)
Hmmm, I read with interest. about halfway through I did flag a bit and it started losing my attention (after they came back from the library) I picked up again and followed it, but the second half wasn't really as gripping, until the monster materialised in person.

I objected to the punctuation. You often use commas where full stops should be and that confuses slightly. The style is interesting and tangential, glancing. I'm not sure it's my thing, though. wwe shall see how it develops.


Author's Reply:
If it's not your thing Griffy then your attention is bound to flag.

The comma full stop thing is an argument far too complex to get into properly here, all I'll say is if I'm writing something that I think, because of the nature of the piece, a short sentence format is warrented I will and do use it. I think it's a question of what fits the story rather than style. But obviously this is not set in stone.

And we shall certainly see how it develops, yes we will.

sirat on 06-11-2010
IMAGINATION...a novella (pt I)
I found the words beginning to wash over me a bit as I read, and I think when this happens it's usually because the characters haven't come alive for me and I'm not able to visualise them or care about them. It seemed a bit plot-heavy and character-light. The setting was reasonably vivid, but I needed something to give me a sense of who the characters were and to make me feel something for them. I think I would try to have some dramatic hook at the beginning to arouse reader interest, and then slow down a bit on the plot side and let your readers get to know the characters a bit before piling on too much plot. You've got a lot of dialogue here, which is good, but the two main speakers and even the monster seem to have very similar 'voices'. Something that separates them out a bit would be helpful. Sorry if that's a bit vague but I hope it's some use.

I just spotted one grammatical error: had began

Author's Reply:
I disagree strongly with this comment, 'showing' characters involves allowing the reader to form a picture on what they say, feel and do, not by detailed description of their appearance and background.







Which setting the lodgings, the harbour/warehouse, the graveyard, the library???







If a drunk poet being kidnapped by a monster is not enough dramatic impact for you. well sorry mate it was the best I could think of.

I think the monster talks a lot posher and more old fashioned and I dont see that mates can't talk in similar tones, i sound like my mates and they sound like me.







This is a novella, not a short story, so the plot is ESSENTIAL to the narrative.


The Edinburgh Festival Part II - Bring Me The Head Of Ricky Rattray (posted on: 10-09-10)
More festival shenanigans.

Blue is the colour o` danger, ah could see a bright blue can in the hand o` Little Alex from way up the Princes St. gardens. It was shinin in his grubby paw. Keep clear. But ah couldnae, there was nae turnin back. Course it was heavin what wi the festival an aw so there might just o` been a chance of slippin past unnoticed, ah didnae believe that, no for one second. 'Whaay haaaay howzitgoan yacuntcha long time buddy, wantin a can? We're just up tae a bit o' tourist terrifyin, ken?' Ah could see he had a good bag o` blue bombs and some guy wis lurkin in the shelter buildin a joint. 'Cannae Alex man, ah've got the young laddie wi me, just up tae some festival shit, street shows an that.' Good excuse. 'Aw right pal - howzitgoan wee man - whit aboot the night? Wee party on up at Tollcross the night mukkah, plenty fanny.' 'Hae tae gie it a miss mate, he's no goin home till the morra.' 'Okay man, soon.' The usual hand crushin contest and we're off. 'Who's that dad?' 'An idiot.' Some o` these street shows are aw right, ah've seen it aw before but there's nothin better tae captivate a twelve year old laddie's attention, ah just wish that maybe once when the fat bastard stands on the bed-o-nails the 'deadly spikes' pierce right through to the cunt wi the mohican's heart. Now that's entertainment. Ah'd gie him two quid anyway. Stuck up on the stone platform thingy ah could turn roond and watch another clown, an what a prize CLOWN this bastard was; he runs up tae a wifie and her wee laddie tryin tae get past the back o` him, sticks his airms oot and gies the laddie a kick wi his big clown shoes. It wis obvious tae any cunt the wee guy wisnae quite right, autistic ah would say, the clown goes back tae his act an the laddie sort o` half runs away fae him and goes intae hysterics, real fuckin fear hysterics, it was aw his Ma could do tae hud ontae him. Ah could feel the anger, naw RAGE! PURE FUCKIN RAGE buildin up in me. Nae seethin cauldrin this, ah thought the tap of mah heed was gonna blow. But does CLOWN stop, see if the wee guy's awright? Does he fuck, he just carries on wi his shitey 'act'. He doesnae ken how close he came tae gettin his stupid puss punched. RIGHT THERE AND THEN! Don't worry folks it's all part of the show. 'What's wrong dad, yer shakin?' 'Nothin pal lets get outa here.' Twelve year old laddies dae indeed enjoy sword swallowers and flame eaters but they're no so keen on pipe bands. And neither am I. So pipe band after pipe band marchin down the royal mile wisnae really the ideal afternoon's entertainment. The gadgie that coined the phrase the 'skirl' o` the pipes wis right on the money. We were gettin 'skirled' good an proper. No only that it wis mobbed, packed oot mobbed. Sonny didnae look as if he wis fully appreciating 'the festival experience' so when ah says tae him, 'c'mon let's go tae the baths,' ah wis the best dad in the world. Got Sonny hame tae his Ma safe and sound next day but ah felt kinda empty, it's ayeways like that when he leaves, it sortae feels like a depression o` sorts, the cure – a quarter o` dope. 'Awright Ricky, it`s me, ah'm needein a quarter…right that's braw…one thing though mate, this phone's oota battery so ah'll no be able tae phone ye when ah get intae Leith so ah'll meet ye at Andersons at ten…eh?…aye ten man, see ye there.' Ah couldnae see any problem after aw ah'm well old enough tae remember life without mobile phones and Ricky's a museum piece, that's what ye used tae dae - arrange tae meet someone, certain time, certain place, that's it, if they dinnae turn up or you dinnae turn up, nothin ye can dae. Ricky didnae turn up. Oh well ah says tae masel ah'll just go oot fur a wee drink on the town, it's been a while. Aff ah goes tae the 'Port o Leith', it wis just the same as the last time ah wis in, an that wis aboot five years ago. Guid crack though, ah wis talkin tae these trawlermen aboot fishin an a couple o other gadgies aboot fitba, closin time came roond a wee bit too quick though and ah had the taste. Next stop, 'The Old Salt'. Ah kent it wis the festival an aw but a guy walkin intae 'The Old Salt' wearin a pink ballet dress wis a wee bit beyond the pale. Ah looked in, it wis packed wi poofs aw screechin an swishin aroond, the bouncer saw the look on ma puss. 'Whit's goan on there?' ah says, 'this is 'The Old Salt'. 'No now it's no, this is 'Pracilla's'. He puffs oot his chest as if ah wis gonna try an get past him. 'Dinnae worry pal ah'll no be joinin the party.' 'Yer no welcome anyway, we dinnae let homophobic dinosaurs in here.' Ah spun roond an' jabbed ma finger intae his puss. 'Aye ye got that right pal, homophobia is a FEAR o` homosexuals an the thought o` havin sex wi an ugly bastard the likes o` yersel fills me fu o DREAD!' 'If ye drop that fag dout on the pavement ah'll fine ye thirty quid.' 'Eh, what the fuck are ye on aboot, an who the fuck are ye?' 'Environmental officer ah have the power…' 'Aye, aye, aw right ah believe ye, listen pal ye dinnae ken any place that's open roond here that isnae fu o poofs.' 'Ower there, it's a mixture.' 'A mixture?' 'Aye, a mixture o` gays an straights.' 'That'll dae nicely.' Best place tae be after a night oot on the tiles, specially if yer no used tae it, is yer bed an that's exactly where ah wis when Ricky phoned:- 'WELL GET OOT YER FUCKIN BED!' 'Aye aw right geeza chance, anyways whit ye goan mad aboot it wis you that never turned up.' 'Ah wis there!' 'Right ah'm no arguin, ma phone's charged up ah'll phone ye when ah get there.' 'Get oot yer fuckin bed' who does that cunt think he is, ah wis there, he wisnae, fuckin shoutin the odds, if he thinks ah'm rushin intae Leith at his beck `n call he's got another think commin, ma heeds splittin, ah'm away up tae 'the Elm' fur a curer, 'get oot yer fuckin bed'. 'Fuckin hell, here's a stranger, same ugly puss though, hah haargh, same shakey hand, what ye wantin, pint?' 'Aye great tae see you 'n aw, seen Good Humour Steve.' 'Ower there.' Ah goes ower. 'Aw right Stevie, see Ricky Rattray, he's gettin worse man.' 'How what's happened?' 'Nothin ah'm just tryin tae get a quarter aff the cunt, it's provin tae be…' 'Difficult.' 'Aye difficult.' 'Ach ye ken whit he's like…' 'Hud on this'll be the cunt now.' 'Where are ye?' 'Ah'm on ma way.' 'Yer in the pub, ah can hear it.' 'Aye but ah'm on the way, ah'll gie ye a phone when ah get there.' 'What are ye dayin in the pub?' 'Ahm just leavin the now, ah'll gie ye a phone.' 'Ah'll need tae go Stevie before this cunt explodes.' 'Ah'll get ye a quarter at six.' 'Yer jokin are ye no, he'll go aff his nut.' He comes walkin along the road, puss trippin him. 'Ah wis there, where were you?' 'Doesnae matter, got the dope?' Ah gies him the money an his puss is still trippin him, he's wantin another fiver. Ah cannae be bothered arguin, ah gies it tae him an he starts tae smile. 'That a jail shirt ye got oan?' he says 'Naw Ricky, it just looks like one.' When ah gets back home ah rolls a joint, goes back tae ma bed and sends Stevie a text. Bring me the head of Ricky Rattray Ah'll need tae find it first, last ah heard it wis floating aboot doon at Leith docks. Ah laughed, says a it aw aboot the Edinburgh festival, the first time ah'd laughed in days wis at one o` Good Humour Steve's jokes. Whose name, by the way, is IRONIC.
Archived comments for The Edinburgh Festival Part II - Bring Me The Head Of Ricky Rattray
ruadh on 10-09-2010
The Edinburgh Festival Part II - Bring Me The Head Of Ricky Rattray
Entertaining in your own unique style, as always. Well done.

love ails

Author's Reply:
'unique style' ah like that Ails...its a true story, Good Humour Steve brought it round later on so we hollowed it out and stuffed it, it's sitting on my mantelpiece the now wearing an expression ah can only descibe as 'confused'! 🙂

pdemitchell on 10-09-2010
The Edinburgh Festival Part II - Bring Me The Head Of Ricky Rattray
Cracking stuff Charlie - my Thursday poker game was ruined by a crack head demanding 'chonk' over and over again. I left but I was told Big K showed him the door, the lintel and a few other bits of masonry. Anyway, a hard and worthy take on the Festival crowds, dope and being a Leith Dad. Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
'chonk' thats a new one on me ...ye just canny keep up these days mitch.
ta for the comment z

stormwolf on 13-09-2010
The Edinburgh Festival Part II - Bring Me The Head Of Ricky Rattray
well done on the nib Charlie. Told like a pro! 😉
Alison x

Author's Reply:
thanx alison

On a different note I'm an assistant organiser for edinburgh writers group we meet every tuesday in the Spoon coffee shop, there's poerty, short stories, novel extracts and literary discussion it's pretty informal and it's usually a good wee night out , you're more than welcome to join us if you so wish, here's the website Alison and maybe see you tonight 🙂

http://www.edinburgh writers.com/

e-griff on 23-09-2010
The Edinburgh Festival Part II - Bring Me The Head Of Ricky Rattray
I'm still reading ... just not commenting.

watch that Alison, you smooth bugger! 🙂

Author's Reply:


The Edinburgh Festival (posted on: 03-09-10)
It's a question of philosophy.

"That didnae sound too much like a fuckin philosophical discussion tae me!" That's whit the cunt says, okay maybe he's no a cunt, he's the BOSS and as such…naw anyways it wis well good tae see ma old pal Rodger, ''Rodger!'' ah says. ''Guy dude,'' he says, him being Canadian an aw , ''how the fuck are ya man, still playing the game?'' The game in question being poker, not LIFE, that being a different and, mair difficult gambit aw the gether. ''Oh christ aye'' ah says ''ye've gotae man. Ah met fat Tom on the bus the other night, fuck man he wis goan on aboot a fuckin hand ah'd nay clue …''Ye had king, eight off suit,'' he says, 'that's a fuckin good hand that Tom'' honest ah didnae hae a fuckin clue what the fuck he wis oan aboot…anyways… ''WHAT THE FUCKS GOING ON HERE? AH COULD HEAR YIS OOT ON THE STREET'' We're just having a philosophical discussion, ahm Socrates, that's Plato and this good man here, he's Aristiotle we were investigating the nature of an infinite universe and the possible role and purpose of a God within it.'' ''You're Socrates?'' ''Aye man, an John Paul Satre and Albert Camus are in the bog havin a piss but ah think they've lost their way.'' ''Nah somehow ah dinnae believe ye ye fuckin wido, in fact ah think ye might be at it. AH KEN YER AT IT SOCRATS BECAUSE AW AH COULD DETERMINE FROM THE PHILOSOPHICAL DISCUSSION WAS THE DANGER OF FUCKING NO KENNIN THE ADVANTAGE OF POT ODDS AND HOW SOME CUNT LOST A SHITLOAD BECAUSE OF UNDUE ATTENTION TO THE NATURE OF A FUCKIN LOSING HAND. ''Aye aw right yer right BOSS but the answers to the most difficult questions often lie in the most unexpected o places, serendipity ken?'' ''Naw ah dinnae ken aw ah FUCKIN KEN is that ah've got a Jazz Combo commin in here the night and there'll be new customers, CULTURED CUSTOMERS, so there'll be no fuckin jokers arguin like fuck over gamblin odds at the top o the fuckin voice GOT IT? ''Ye've put yer point over admirably.'' Ah canny stand that jazz pish so ah rack the baws up. ''You dinnae recognise me dae ye?'' ''Cannae say ah dae hen, should ah?'' What a total wee ride. ''Ye ken mah ma - Catriona.'' ''Cockantwister, jeezo ah ken her her aw right, hows she daen?'' ''Still twistin.'' ''Nae surprises there then eh, nae mysteries? Ha ha if she twists yer cock ye fuckin ken aboot it ah'll tell ye.'' ''What the fuck are you sayin tae ma burd?'' ''Nothin man we were havin a discussion about the revelation of beauty through the medium of dance.'' Time tae go. Ah wis mair pished than ah thought, it wis aw that misty way, it wis like bein in a RLS story, spooky man. ''I am the God of HELLFIRE,'' goes a nutter walking oot the gloom wi his heed on fire. Nae joke, ye get them aw at the festival man, them aw. ''Mmm imaginative at least, of sorts.'' There he was this guy standing beside me, like a ghost wearin a berry. ''The exercise of the imagination is the paradigmatic exercise of freedom.'' ''Who that cunt? Yer jokin pal he's been watchin too many sixties pop shows that's aw that cunt's aboot, the fuckin god of hellfire, what a prick.'' ''And what about you Socrates, are you a prick?'' ''Ah dinnae ken, ye'll need tae ask Plato.'' ''Yes, perhaps, he seems to know more about you than you do. Let's take a walk down by the water o leith.'' ''What for?'' ''A philosophical discussion of course.'' ''I thought ye'd lost yer way.'' ''Never, that was Camus, the Algerian.'' ''Good goalie though eh?'' It was cool down by the river but ah somehow got the feeling that it would take a lot mair than philosophical insight to make me appreciate the beauty of a brass man's bare arse.
Archived comments for The Edinburgh Festival
stormwolf on 03-09-2010
The Edinburgh festival
Ha ha You made me laugh. I think it will be..let's say 'wasted' on those who do not understand the lingo 😉 but it was hillarious and outrageous in equal measures.
I love the festival but the folk in Edinburgh seem to need a rocket up the nether regions on occaision. ;-(
Aye, give me the Glasgow humour any time .
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Aye well as a Pitlochry man ah'm neutral, glad ah made ye laugh wolfy but yer right unless ye've read anythin like Legge , Hird or that BANE of ma life, Welsh ye might be srtuggling a bit tae get it....the brass man's arse reference is about one of Anthony Gormley's statues which is planted right smack bang in the middle of the water o Leith, i never knew it was there and got a bit of a shock when ah seen it, but ah suppose that's the whole point....cheers Z

sirat on 04-09-2010
The Edinburgh festival
I had no problems with the language (in a Belfast pub they would be considered well-spoken) and I loved the mixture of the somewhat earthy discussion of the noble game of poker and more overtly philosophical matters. Camus indeed combined the two in his goalkeeper role. I can do no better than quote his obituary in The Guardian: 'Goalkeeper for his university team in Algeria, Camus found the missing link between football and existentialism.'

Author's Reply:
Aye Sirat ah ken a Belfast man would have nae problem with the 'language' but neither should anyone else. I hate that middle class 'tut tut' attitude towards writing. THE CHILDREN OF ALBIAN ROVERS tried tae sweep all that rubbish away and of course they succeeded...Camus ahhhh Camus ...what can I say

pdemitchell on 04-09-2010
The Edinburgh festival
Hi Charlie - the revelation of beauty through the medium of dance and bare arses of brass statues. Priceless eight-pints-o'-heavy stuff. At least I won my poker game on Thursday with Snibs, Ty, Ol, Wog, Ker, Sara, Danno, Beep (so-called because of his pace-maker) where, because I write books, I'm now 'the Doctor' and the language is BLUE: ie 'told the missus to fuck me like a chilean miner: slide down my fucking shaft and stay there till fucking christmas' Etc. My characters swear when pushed or at rest as all us non-anals do at times. Mitch 😛 PS They said I was fucking weird for pointing out the space station overhead as 200 tons of human ingenuity 200 miles up flying at 17,000 mph means squat to thousands struggling on the dole...

Author's Reply:

stormwolf on 04-09-2010
The Edinburgh festival
Hi Charlie
Yes, I came across the brass man's arse. I stay in Stockbridge. I stumbled upon him when walking by the river. It didn't half give me a right fleg.
Alison x congrats on the nib!

Author's Reply:

royrodel on 05-09-2010
The Edinburgh festival


Author's Reply:


FISTING FRANK and the GLORY HOLE (posted on: 05-07-10)
any resemblance to living and breathing franks or fisters is wholly intentional

HEAR YE! HEAR YE! HEAR ALL YE FLABBY ARSED FLUNKEYS GET YER FLABBY ARSES DOWN TAE WHERE THE FUN IS COS FISTING FRANK HAS FASHIONED A FABULOUS GLORY HOLE HEAR YE! HEAR YE! HEAR ALL YE JAUNTY SAILOR BOYS IT'S TIME TAE BRAVE THE HORN SING A SHANTY WITH HEARTY VOICE COS FISTING FRANK HAS FASHIONED A FABULOUS GLORY HOLE HEAR YE! HEAR YE! HEAR ALL YE QUEENS AROARIN SHUT YER FLAPPIN FACES LET ME GET A WORD IN COS FISTING FRANK HAS FASHIONED A FABULOUS GLORY HOLE HEAR YE! HEAR YE! HEAR ALL YE BARE BUM BUCCANEERS GET IN LINE TAE PRESS THE FLESH WITH TATOOED SODS FRESH WHIPPED SADES AND BRASSY BLOODY QUEERS COS FISTING FRANK HAS FASHIONED A FABULOUS GLORY HOLE GLORY BE! GLORY BE TAE FISTING FRANK WHERE WOULD WE BE WITHOUT HIM A CRAFTY CRAFTSMAN AND HIGHLY SKILLED JUST WAIT TILL YE FEEL HIS FISTIN
Archived comments for FISTING FRANK and the GLORY HOLE
pdemitchell on 05-07-2010
FISTING FRANK and the GLORY HOLE
Hi Charlie -This is not one for the PC or the faint-hearted pile-sufferers of butt-munch closet-land. This is like Long John Silver meets Quentin Crisp with a lot of sybillant allieration thrown in with the repeated 'f' sounds. As that jazz impster George Melley used to say on his album about sailors: ashore it's wine women and song alright but at sea it's rum, bum and concertina! Arrrrrrse. Cheers Mitch

Author's Reply:
'long john silver meets quentin crisp' i like that, i met ol' george melley in perth library cafe once, what a size of a fedora that man had on him...a true legend, sadly missed... thanx for the comment mitch and congrats on WOTM cheers Z


THE START OF THE SEASON (posted on: 11-06-10)
Ah fishing, that most maligned and misunderstood of pastimes whose popular conception seems to be embodied by the laziest of lazy bastards, rod jammed in a V-stick, sitting on his fat arse chewing on a mouthful of maggots.

Doubtless there are some deranged perverts who hang around outside derelict buildings hoping to sneak an eyeful of a madwoman urinating amongst the filth and squalor with impunity. But I'm not one of them. No, my pleasure principle tends to be activated by more conventional activities, like fishing. Ah fishing, that most maligned and misunderstood of pastimes whose popular conception seems to be embodied by the laziest of lazy bastards, rod jammed in a V-stick, sitting on his fat arse chewing on a mouthful of maggots. A disturbing image certainly but one, it may be cautiously argued, which resonates with at least a semblance of authenticity, I blame that useless, curry munching, fanny magnet Chris Tarrent myself, maybe I'm biased but if a bumbling fool bestowed with the inane grin of the village idiot is perceived as being anyway typical it's no wonder an unfounded, derisory attitude prevails amongst the uninitiated. Of course there's fishing and there's fishing; there's the pursuit of the blue marlin on a high powered boat in the Caribbean seas immortalised by Hemmingway in his inimitable, animated prose and a Geordie actor whose portrayal of 'extreme fishing' is equally admirable – if Robson Green was made of enthusiasm he would order a double platter of himself with an extra portion of chips, and there's float fishing on a canal. I'm not being derogatory towards the latter, whatever floats your float is fine by me but personally I never go fishing for anything I can't eat. Fly fishing for trout in North Highland Perthshire may sound like an excellent title for an autobiographical experience or a blurb for a holiday brochure but for me it was part of growing up, which, of course, doesn't detract from any enjoyment gleaned from the experience. Fishing is addictive, like a narcotic and from an early age I was hooked. So with the start of a new season the addict, at last, gets to feed his habit and the agonies of the winter wait wash downstream like the piss of a mischievous child. It's a time of elation, I'm not exaggerating here, I can think of no comparable state of being, no adequate metaphor exists, and if that doesn't make any sense the core substance, the Faith, that permeates every human being who has ever taken up the rod eludes you. Not that that marks you as some kind of outcast to be shunned and ridiculed, on the contrary, it just means the joyous rapture of hooking, playing, landing your first brute of a writhing catch, gutting it, cooking it to perfection and eating the fish-faced bastard, awaits you - a position that can only be regarded with envy. Indeed, and I wish you well, but for me it's the familiarity of the ritual that chimes the tune; the hauling out of the gear, the oiling of the reel, the checking of the rods and the talking shite at the tackle shop. Oh yes, you'll never make it as a fisherman if you can't master the art of talking absolute shite, it's not just a hard fast rule, it's obligatory so when that paragon of all things fishy, Gungy George unleashes his wisdoms involving the re-freezing of smelly squid for future bait the very least you can do is mutter some sort of agreement and nod sagely as if you've been made privy to the absolute truth, so help you God. Ah the Lord God Almighty, He gets everywhere maybe it's the nature of His Being, His omniscience, or His omnipotence, well whatever omni it is, He gets about and among sea faring and fishing folk his wrath is not taken lightly and whether He's portrayed as an invisible all powerful entity or a trident wielding crabbit old bastard it's best not to take his name in vain, after all it's His sea you're trying to plunder. Well at least I was on my first outing of the new season when I ventured out on the harbour with mackerel on my mind. Of course the old hut had been there for years, many years, it was derelict and usually boarded up with a heavy, metal, rusted door but someone had forced it off its hinges and it now stood open. It had always been a handy break anyway, that bitter wind howls along the firth and up your arse like a Devil sent punishment. You wouldn't want to spend too much time in there sheltering though, the stink is too much for that but it proved handy for putting my gear at the doorway to stop the wind messing it up. I'd noticed this lassie heading along towards me earlier walking a big slobbering mutt but hadn't paid much attention but when I was setting my rod up I noticed, out the corner of my eye, her disappearing into the darkness of the minging hut but any surprise that hit me soon dissipated as I had to make a dashing rescue bid for my roast beef rolls as Slobbering Mutt had taken a more than casual interest in wolfing the lot but during the battle for the pieces I couldn't believe it when some irate protestation gushed forth from the darkness. ''What?'' is all I could manage. ''Excuse me I'm having a pee!'' ''Right, well I'm trying to rescue my sandwiches, shit happens eh?'' What brand of nutcase was this that had visited from the void? ''Thank God for that little handy hole in the floor.'' She says when she re-appeared. ''Aye, The Great Designer in the sky thinks of everything, after all ye canny have a minging hut without a place for a desperate slash built in can ye?'' No laugh at that, not even an embarrassed giggle, this girl was definitely off her head. She was dressed normally enough, casual trendy I would take a stab at but when I looked at her face, well there's many expressions but she warranted a new one all of her own - 'the lights were on and there was somebody home just no the person you were expecting.' And so off she went along the breakwater, casual as you like but it's a dead end so I knew that she'd be back. Sure enough I'd just heaved out a mighty cast:- ''I've been watching two ravens out there, one of them was fluffing up the others breast feathers, I think they're about to mate.'' ''That right,'' I said, carefully avoiding eye contact but I knew she was staring at the welcome mat bristling over my stripey Breton shirt, I busied myself with reeling in and casting out until she wandered off. But, God help me, I couldn't resist another look and there she was stood staring back at me with the blank expression of a fifties zombie flick extra. She was more to be pitied than scorned but I couldn't help the rush of intense dislike that hit me as if I'd been slapped in the face with a wet haddock. Crazy woman seem to be everywhere, there's no escape, not even way out on a harbour breakwater and I've just had about a gut-full, of course harrowing ordeals can in no way diminish the attraction the opposite sex has always held for me but if certifiable lunatics are all that's on offer I'll take a seat on the slow boat, after all, there's plenty more fish in the sea.
Archived comments for THE START OF THE SEASON
sirat on 11-06-2010
THE START OF THE SEASON
This has the quality of a story told in the pub by someone who has enjoyed an extended lunch. Nothing wrong with that, it's either your thing or it isn't. My only criticism is that I thought it was building up to more than was actually offered in the ending. It felt a bit like a joke without a punch line. Just my opinion, for what it's worth.

Author's Reply:
Funny you should say that, a guy in my writers group said more or less the same thing, that he was expecting more. Its deliberately kept short because I tried to write it in the style of a magazine column roughly around a thousand words. he was going on about he expected them to go off in a boat, they don't because that never happened and there's no punchline because it's not a joke.

zenbuddhist on 11-06-2010
THE START OF THE SEASON
I just changed the details from drama to articles and fiction to non fiction which isn't totally accurate but is probably more representative...it's not a story as such although one runs through it....like a spring salmon!

Author's Reply:

pdemitchell on 12-06-2010
THE START OF THE SEASON
My dear Zen, Cod does move in mysterious ways but knock me off my perch here - and I'm not one to carp - but this was reely good even with the auntie-climax. A fin effort in the given format. Mitch

Author's Reply:
Oh yer a clever gadgie mitch me ol son....one thing, ah've no got an auntie called climax and that's just a cruel twist of fate ah'm gontae have tae live wi


SLAM DUNK (posted on: 28-05-10)
Planting trees in the idyllic Scotish Highlands

I could see the distant figure of a man doing it well and often. ''At last, one of these lazy, useless bastards has got the hang of it.'' ''Eh?'' asked Bret, looking up from filling his bag, face all shiney from sweat. ''Look up yonder, Squeezy's got the knack, he's dunking in them there trees like a fucking all-star.'' Bret laughed, ''you're needin specs Mr Magoo, that's Danny.'' I screwed up my eyes, he was right. ''Aye so it is, forget the specs maybe it's mah heed that's needin examined. So where's Squeezy?'' ''Said he was goin for a shite, that was ages ago,'' and he pointed to a heather strewn hillock, ''ower the back o yon hump.'' ''Right.'' At first I couldn't see him then I nearly fell over his boots. There he was, trousers down, fast asleep, a big steaming shite that looked as if it had come out the arse of a horse stinking away in the heather, a half-smoked joint in one hand and his now limp Dick in the other. I kicked the soles of his boots. ''What the fuck d'ye think yer on Squeezy?'' He sat up with a start, ''Eh sorry boss I was just…'' ''Yer supposed tae be workin…get wi the wise man for fucksake…and put yer cock away.'' He got up and pulled up his breeks. ''I just cannae dae this.'' ''Really? ah'd never o' guessed, look just get aff the hill, if the inspector from the forestry comes up here and sees a man…just get back tae the bothy ah'll speak tae y'later.'' I returned to where Bret was back bent grafting. ''Yer no gonna believe this.'' ''What?'' he asked. ''He's just had a shite, smoked a joint, had a wank and fallen asleep.'' '' Hahaha in what order?'' ''Your guess is as good as mine,'' we both chimed at once. We laughed but this contract was entering the realm of the ridiculous these young guys the agency palmed us off with were beyond belief. ''Ach well, if yer wantin somethin done…'' I picked up Squeezy's bag which was full to bursting, he must have planted all of about a dozen trees, and started to slam in the spade. You need rhythm and imagination to plant trees; a black man's rhythm, not so much the 'blues' more the graceful purposefulness of a Chicago Bull, and not so much a realisation of the metaphysical realm of existence more the wisdom of the all-knowing pub philosopher. A finely tuned mind, body and soul, Zen if you like and me and Danny and Bret we'd being doing it for so long we were the fucking Zenmasters. When you sink that spade into the peat, take a tree out your bag, stick it in the hole, boot it in tight, take two steps, do it all over again you're not up a Scottish hill with a freezing wind howling up your arse, no, you're rubbing sunscreen into the tits of a sex bomb in the Bahamas with a six pack cooling nicely in the coldbox, thank you very much. Of course happiness is a transient experience and let's face it sometimes you can get too much sun but I'll tell you, with the unshakeable confidence of a high wire performer, up on that hill you'll be thinking so fucking hard about something, anything, it hurts. That day I was locked into a mode of grim contemplation, Squeezy was the second useless bastard to seize up completely and the rest of us were going to have to work like cotton field slaves to get the contract finished. Slam Dunk – what was it with these young guys. Slam Dunk – they took laziness to a new level. Slam Dunk – spoiled rotten by their mammys. Slam Dunk – ach probably better off without them anyway, they're just a waste o` food. Slam Dunk – we're goantae have tae plant about two thousand each, a day now though. Slam Dunk – ah was shoved out tae work as soon as ah was old enough, on a coal lorry, ''goan get yer own money.'' Slam Dunk – the Protestant work ethic – 'hard work is good for you.' Slam Dunk – a lot of truth in that, at least ah'm no a work-shy, pathetic… You can't hear them coming, they just sort of materialise out of the ether and they're on you like streaks of silver in the sky, this one was a Tornado, and you're so high up on the hill you're at eye level with the pilot, I waved and he gave me the thumbs up like we were comrades in arms. Then came the deafening roar as he twisted and banked down the valley and a surge of admiration, tinged with more than a hint of jealousy, coursed through me like a shock wave. I watched as the warplane shrank into the distance leaving the power of its engines resonating in the still air behind it until both were gone in a blink and a blimp. Slam Dunk – that pilot was about the same age as me. Slam Dunk – here we are at the same place at the same time. Slam Dunk – ah ken what ah'd rather be doing. Slam Dunk – ach it's just the way o` the world. Slam Dunk – still though it must be great… ''Boss! Boss! Is it no piece time yet.'' It was, ''aye just make yer way down, ah'll just finish this dreel, ah'll see yiz at the caravan.'' I'd driven up an old caravan so we could have a wee bit shelter at piece time and when the weather got beyond a joke, when I got there it was long faces all round. ''There's nae pieces, that cunt Squeezy musta fucked off wi them'' growled Danny with the fury of a man with serious violence on his mind. ''He canny have,'' I said and had a search about but sure enough, no pieces. ''What the fuck's he on, what's he wantin aw that grub for?'' ''Maybe he thinks he's a Jacobite fugitive an he's aff up the moor hidin fae the Redcoats, like in 'Kidnapped','' offered Bret. ''That cunt wouldnae ken what a Jacobite was and it's no the Redcoats he needs tae be feart from if ah get a hud o the cunt ah'll chop his fuckin theivin hands aff!'' snarled Danny slamming his spade into the ground to demonstrate the method of amputation. ''I'm starving,'' complained Gogs the last of the agency beauties, ''I mustave planted three bagsfull this morning.'' ''Good man'', I said, meaning it, ''we'll make a planter o ye yet, right ah'll go doon an make up some pieces just hang fire the now lads.'' ''Ah'll come wi ye'' said Danny. ''No ye'll no,'' I told him knowing damn fine that he only wanted to come to see if we would catch up with Squeezy. I jumped into the land rover and zoomed off, bad enough having to make the sandwiches without having to prevent murder in the highlands. I was pretty mad myself but Danny's face and neck were scarlet with rage and he had a punch on him harder than a hoor's heart. So foot down, more trundling than zooming, I headed down in the ancient drover I'd borrowed from our farmer landlord for the day, when I got to the bothy I discovered the cupboard was bare, well plenty of bread but fuck all to put in it. Nothing else for it I had to head down eight miles to Kinloch Rannoch for the supplies, it never rains but it pours. In fact it was quite a pleasant, clear day, fine for sightseers who were out in abundance making sure progress was slithering along the lochside road at a snail's pace. 'But, hey, what can y' do man,' I said aloud in my best Hollywood accent and tried to smile. When I got to the village I just drove up to the door of the shop leaped out, grabbed a big block of cheddar cheese and a dozen cans of tuna, when I got back outside who's standing there but Deucher the village bobby writing out a ticket. I knew there was no reasoning with the cunt because Danny, pished out his nut, had been screaming abuse at him a couple of nights previous. You reap what you sow or at least what your slightly deranged workforce sows. It was hard enough to take the ticket off the smarmy bastard but when he opened his fat face to dish out a lecture I just snatched it out his hand, jumped in and vamoosed, as fast as the old wreck would manage, out of town. Deep down, in my gut, I just knew the filthy fingers of fate hadn't finished with me yet so when the engine groaned and spluttered and finally died on me I didn't shout, scream or even sink the boot into the bastard. Five miles from town and the tank ran dry, which sounds like a country and western song, only I wasn't singing. One thing the red plastic can I was waving stopped the first car that came along and soon I was at the garage filling it up. Same going back, no problem getting a lift but when I lifted the fuel cap off suddenly it occurred to me, and the realisation hit me like a hammer - it might be a fucking diesel. Fuck it, I thought, if it is, it is, what can you do? I glugged in the petrol launched myself into the drivers seat and turned the ignition, and turned the ignition, and turned the ignition and…the old beast coughed into life and I slammed my fist into the dashboard screaming 'hallelujah, HALLEFUCKINLUJAH' like a person not right. I got back to the bothy, which was a farm outbuilding, and my belly started to ache and rumble so bad I had to jettison the provisions into the muddy yard and run to the outhouse bog hauling at my belt so I'd be ready to empty my guts at the drop of the jeans. Ach the cheese was well wrapped up in plastic ittle be fine, I told myself, which was true but when I emerged from the shitter it wasn't the mud that was the problem, no, a gaggle of braying geese were fighting each other over the cheese with such a ferocity you'd have had to have been mad to attempt a recovery. At least the canned tuna was safe, not that they didn't try. The lads were all just lazing around the caravan when I got back, I threw the bag of pieces on the wee table with the single word, ''tuna.'' ''I don't like tuna fish sandwiches,'' said Gogs with a whine. But when he saw the look on my face he started wolfing them down like a famine victim. That night in the bothy I closed my eyes and thought of flying Tornadoes hoping for pleasant dreams but I knew that Lachie the Peat Bog Monster who had been haunting me with his horrible face since I got here would be paying me another of his nocturnal visits.
Archived comments for SLAM DUNK
bluepootle on 10-01-2011
SLAM DUNK
Love this. The slam-dunk stuff is great, particularly the build up to it, the paragraph before. And it's got a great start. And great imagery. Love the Tornado too. Yeah. Wish there was more of it.

Author's Reply:
Well thank you young lady. You know there's a few more tales I could tell about tree planting in the scottish highlands but they all kinda circle round this particular whirlpool :-



"When you sink that spade into the peat, take a tree out your bag, stick it in the hole, boot it in tight, take two steps, do it all over again you’re not up a Scottish hill with a freezing wind howling up your arse, no, you’re rubbing sunscreen into the tits of sex bomb in the Bahamas with a six pack cooling nicely in the coldbox, thank you very much."



Haha, which, if you ask anybody who's ever done it...well just ask.



This story was one of my better ones from last yr. I thought after I got disillusioned with the crime novel I started...well maybe that's just an excuse for getting stuck haha. anyway it (slam dunk) got ignored so ta for rectifying that


DUMMY (posted on: 28-05-10)
This is a wee play I had performed at Words, Words, Words, The Traverse Theatre Edinburgh recently

     DUMMY . Players : Wee Mo, a lassie from Scotland, early twenties. Fergus, a guy from Scotland, early twenties. Scene: A bathroom in a London squat containing a bath ready filled with water and an old wardrobe. *** Wee Mo opens the wardrobe door for a nosey but quickly slams it shut again, letting out a squeal. Wee Mo: Did ye see that Fergie? Fergus: Aye, ah did. Wee Mo: D`ye think it wis real? Fergus: Naw dinny be so daft. It wis a dummy oot o a shop or somethin. Wee Mo: You sure? Fergus: Open the fuckin door an we`ll find oot won't we? Wee Mo: Naw, naw dinny, no while ahm here Ferg, promise me, dinny open that door again, PLEASE NO WHILE AH'M HERE. Fergus: Calm doon, ahm tellin ye, it wisny real... Let's get intae the bath that's what we came up here fur, wis it no? Wee Mo: Ah canny Ferg, no after seein that. What if it's a dead body? Fergus: If it's a dead body it's no gonna mind us havin it aff in the bath for a wee while is it? Ah mean it's no gonna complain, it's hardly likely tae start bangin on the door shoutin, ''Right yous pair quit that shaggin in the bath dae ye no ken there`s some-one fuckin deed in here'' is it? fur fuck sake. Wee Mo: It's no funny [bursts out laughing]. Fergus: Mind you ah maybe wrong it could be a guy that's hung himsel an he`s gonna burst through wi `is hard cock stickin oot, bawlin '' right ya bastard aff its ma turn.'' Wee Mo: Stop it, stop it, [more laughing] Jesus Christ Fergs can ye no see ah'm scared. Fergus: Aye that's why yer pishin yersel wi the giggles is it no? Wee Mo: Have ye no heard the expression 'nervous laughter' before. Fergus: Uhu, ah have that. C`mon the water`ll be gettin freezin, nothin worse [gets in the bath]. Wee Mo: Okay ah`ll get in but ah`m no in the mood fur any sex. Fergus: Well that`ll be a first then eh. No in the mood fur sex. Jesus H. Fuckin Christ ah`ve heard it all noo. Wee Mo: [Gets in the bath]. Oooh that water's sent shivers up ma spine. So is that true then? Fergus: Is what true? Wee Mo: When a man gets hung he dies wi a hard-on. Fergus: What like that ye mean? Wee Mo: [laughs] Aye, but bigger. Fergus: Well that would depend on who the fuck had been hung would it no. Ah mean that might be Ron Jeromy lyin in there. That greasy fat bastard is bound tae snuff it wi a hard-on whether he was hung or no. Wee Mo: Zat the wee Mex guy that ye aye see in the blue movies. Fergus: The very man, if that jammy bastard doesny die wi an erection there isnay a God. Wee Mo: What makes ye think it's him? Fergus: Ah heard that he wis comin over tae London tae shoot a movie, sortae theme one like ye ken, the sex lives o the London homeless, ah think it wis called 'Squat Thrust.' Wee Mo: So you think it might be him then ? Fergus: Aye, there was a rumour that a bunch o Columbians had put a contract oot on `im cause he`d ripped them off. Ye ken whit these bastards are like, he`s probably lyin in there the noo wearin his lungs on the ootside o his chest. Wee Mo: You're winding me up YA BASTARD. Fergus: [laughs] Course ah`m winding ye up fur fuck sake, squat thrust, aye right, ye shoulda seen yer face [more laughing]. Wee Mo: C`mon Fergy stop it ye ken ah`m spooked right out. Fergus: Aye ok, ah'm sorry, sorry hen, ah`ll stop it, turn roond an ah`ll scrub yer back fur ye eh, it'll help ye relax. [Wee Mo turns round] Wee Mo: Mmm thanks Fergus. Fergus: Did ye hear that? Wee Mo: What, ah never heard nothin...ah swear tae God Fergie if you're at it again ah'll… Fergus: Shhhh, it was definitely somethin, listen. Wee Mo: What is it? Fergus: Dunno it's a voice it's really faint, listen. Wee Mo: A voice what's it sayin like. Fergus: Canny quite make it oot ''aww'' somthin` aye it's ''aww ite'' wait ''awwwlrite'', AWWLRITE .... FUCK ME IT'S MICHAEL FUCKIN BARRYMORE QUICK MO LET HIM OOT THE CLOSET [raucous laughter]. Wee Mo: Ah knew it, ah fuckin` knew it, that's it ah'm outa here, ye just canny be serious fur two minutes can ye. Fergus: Nae wonder what a state tae get intae over a tailor`s dummy fur chrissakes. Wee Mo: How dae you ken that's whit it is? Eh? mister smarty fuckin pants, how the fuck dae you ken? This is a squat in the middle o London, dinny tell me there`s no chance o someone gettin murdered an been shoved intae a cupboard. Naw dinny try`n tell us that yin. This hoose has been lyin` empty fur ages anythin coulda happened before we got here. Fergus: Ok, ok, ye`ve got a point but ah`ll tell ye why ah dinny think its real - there`s no smell. That's how they find overdosed junkies and old folks. Wee Mo: So there would be a stench in here then? Fergus: No unless it's been done recently, it takes a wee while like. Wee Mo: Dinny say that ferg Ferg ah wis just startin tae feel a bit better. Dae ye think it might o been they two doon the stair that's done a murder? Fergus: Maybe, but ah canny see it masel, they`re so whacked oot on smack all the time ah doubt if they could squash a fly, never mind doin someone in. Wee Mo: Aye, they`re a bit stange though, even for junkies, ah dinny trust them, they gie me the creeps, especially him, he`s got evil eyes. Fergus: Ach she`s just as bad, a fukin actress, aye right, talk aboot kiddin yersel on, wi any luck it's her in there, dae us aw a favour. Wee Mo: So you think it could be real an aw now? Fergus: Dae ah fuck, ahm just sayin if it just so happened tae be one o they sad freaks that's come tae a sticky end, ah fur one'll no be sheddin any fuckin tears. Wee Mo: Maybe ones murdered the other, it would be easy for them all they`d need tae dae is put somethin in the syringe - just an extra bit o smack. Fergus: Ah for fuck sake, right that's it, ah'm gonna open the door an find oot. [they both get out the bath] Wee Mo: Wait `till ah go Ferg, promise Fergus: Aye aw right then… What are ye dayin standin by the door ah thought ye were away? Wee Mo: Ah`ll wait here till ye open it, ahm shitein it but - ach ye ken what ah mean. Fergus: Aye ah ken, ah ken. Right Mo here it comes, the big moment, dahnanana........ looks like there`s only one dummy in here. Curtain.
Archived comments for DUMMY
e-griff on 29-05-2010
DUMMY
Good god, man! Have you no shame!

I couldn'ae unnerstan' a word 'o it! 🙂 *there, Doris, told you I could speak scotch*

Author's Reply:

pdemitchell on 31-05-2010
DUMMY
Hi Zen. Blew me sporran off. Very dark and funny wi' real characters. Did you actually get real actors in the nip? Well worth the read and the dialect written well. Did you know Glasgow is a Welsh word from Glas Cae - meaning Blue-field? Cheers Mitch

Author's Reply:
AHAHAHAAAH Naw mitch they kept their kit on. It was only a reading but it was good to hear it performed by actual actors. What bullshit is thon that yer tryin tae palm me aff wi, Welsh folk live in fields ???? widnae surprise me man.

ta for the author thing pal , it's much appreciated... cheers Z


whatthefucksitgottaedaewiyoucuntpuss? (posted on: 30-04-10)
my first poem

Ah'm a Cunt. Aye it's true, a pure Cunt. But whatthefucksitgottaedaewiyoucuntpuss? Ah'm no the only one, There's Me an Cocknose an Fannymooth an Let's no forget oor main man, Cuntybaws. But whatthefucksitgottaedaewiyoucuntpuss? We are the Cunts. Ken who we fight? The Wanks. We fuckin batter the Wanks fur fun. But whatthefucksitgottaedaewiyoucuntpuss? But ken somethin, even the Wanks they're better than The Prissy Queens. Every cunt hates the Prissy Queens. They fuckin strut roond here like they Fuckin own the place But whatthefucksitgottaedaewiyoucuntpuss? Aye struttin roond wi their briefcases and their Fuckin hyphenated names, thinkin they're Somethin fuckin special, Tellin every cunt Tae mind their language. But if ye ask me they're Just posh cunts. Ah've got a plan tae fuck them right up. But ifithadanythintaedaewiyouyacunt Ah'd tell ye.
Archived comments for whatthefucksitgottaedaewiyoucuntpuss?
e-griff on 30-04-2010
whatthefucksitgottaedaewiyoucuntpuss?
What an 'ethnic' kind of poem! Delightfully fresh! One thing that spoiled it for me, though, Mr Buddhist, was the language. I feel if you moderated it, you might be more successful. It's not clever, you know.

With cheer, Tim Piggot-Forbenton-Ash

Author's Reply:
Zat a hyphen I see there......grrrrrr

Albermund on 30-04-2010
whatthefucksitgottaedaewiyoucuntpuss?
Hah! Love it. A:)

Author's Reply:
ta

stormwolf on 30-04-2010
whatthefucksitgottaedaewiyoucuntpuss?
Haha an extravaganza of swearing the like of which I have not heard since my teenage days on nights out in Glasgow 😉
You gave me a right laugh this morning.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Aye it's only meant to be a wee bit fun, i just wasnae sure if many folk would get it apart from scottish cu......ok thats enough now...cheers Z

pdemitchell on 30-04-2010
whatthefucksitgottaedaewiyoucuntpuss?
Ignore the barbs of prissy queens
it's a target they can't miss
like a Tourettes' guy on crystal meth:
they're talking fuck shit fuck fuck piss.

A hooting nanny me old zen bud! Mitch

Author's Reply:
glad you liked it mitch.....I wrote it in about 15 minutes flat and hardly changed it at all ....in a piece like this it can be the best [only?] way...thanx pal soon Z

sunken on 01-05-2010
whatthefucksitgottaedaewiyoucuntpuss?
The suggstion to moderate the language was a joke right? Sometimes, Mr. Zen, I just miss the fucking irony. I've never seen 'cunt' as a swear word. I think it's describes beautifully the most beautiful of all lady bits. A warm, soft, succulent cunt... Ahhhh... Ahem. Sorry. I'm very sensitive when it comes to cunts. Their name should never be taken in vain. I worship at the alter of cunt (next door to The Holy Trinity of Tits). Enjoyed muchly.

s
u
n
k
e
n

he was bipolar before it was cool

Author's Reply:
i can never get anywhere near that alter ...its eyewis fuckin packed...cheers sunks Z

Nomenklatura on 01-05-2010
whatthefucksitgottaedaewiyoucuntpuss?
There are 'mullyins a Weegees' who speak like this, and ZB has got some poetry out of it, whilst making me laugh.

Right, I'd better go off and hyphenate my name.

Author's Reply:
well you just summed it up, right on the nail thax Nomen -

stormwolf on 01-05-2010
whatthefucksitgottaedaewiyoucuntpuss?
There's mony of us aboot laddie. Go up the Royal Mile and get yersel a 'see you Jimmy' hat.
Rabbie Burns move over 😉 ken fit ah mean?
Alison (fa kens a thing or twa aboot eejits, wankers, glaikit nyaffs, dodgers, and cu..others similarly afflicted.)

Author's Reply:

Rupe on 03-05-2010
whatthefucksitgottaedaewiyoucuntpuss?
I dunno about this flowery, Wordsworthian stuff of yours... Still, by the sounds of it I wouldn't want to meet Mr Cuntybaws up a dark alley.

Rupe

Author's Reply:

royrodel on 06-05-2010
whatthefucksitgottaedaewiyoucuntpuss?
bullshit
'mullyins a Weegees' speak like this
bullshit
sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh
you have potrayed your imagination here, and all the fools bite.

RODEL






Author's Reply:
'bullshit' 'fools' .....oh ah widnae say that, they definately dae in Springburn but maybe no in Kelvinside


CLASSIC CONDITIONING (posted on: 23-04-10)
Better the shite you know.

I suppose a man who earns a living by sticking his head in a bucket is allowed a little leeway when it comes to talking absolute shite in the pub but with his story beyond ridiculous and his 'street' accent so grating I'm tempted to slope off to the pool table where the shite tends to chime a more familiar tune. But I can just hear Fat Spatz holding court between shots with another one of his, 'five guys, big bastards, bouncers by the looks, knocked `em right out, didn't I,' stories so I decide to settle for this mouthy street performer spouting off about a girlfriend he has 'trained' by using the behaviourist techniques of; positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement and punishment. A bit highbrow for 'The Stag's Napper' perhaps but this genius had, presumably in-between bucket practice, managed to achieve through academic endeavour the accolade of an 'O' level in psychology. Which, in this company, makes him a respected expert. In fact he's a star turn, his listeners seem captivated, it's as if they're being enthralled by some sort of outlandish fairytale, which - in the absence of the usual tedious drone of; betting odds, the telly last night and the 'fucking ridiculous price of drink' - they are. Encouraged, the sage continues with his wisdom...'see, I use money, chocs, flowers, diamonds, okay not diamonds, diamonds are the best, cos they sparkle innit, but pressies are crap, bullshit, money talks an' bullshit walks innit.' 'So a pile o` coppers oot the bottom o` an auld woman's bag does for her does it, just what kind o` woman are we talking about here?' I ask. '`ats the trick innit me old China plate, y`takes out all the slurry and leaves the nuggets.' He pulls out a bag of pound coins and empties them out on the bar. 'See geezer, I'm a miner 69ner, every 69 comes my way, a good sprinkling of this here gold sparkles in that bitch's purse.' ' A hoor then?' 'No way, no way Jose, this shit don't have to be carnal man, could be she's just ironed me a shirt.' 'A skivvy.' 'Wot y'take me for man, could be any shit; no grief when I go out clubbin it up, lettin me watch my shit on t.v. man, any itty bitty thing, as long as it's safe for me man I part with the coin.' ' ''Safe'', so she's a psycho?' ' ''Psycho'', no man, safe just means cool, look man she aint no psycho, no skivvy and definitely no ho, you get me, she's just trained man.' 'Like she's a dog?' 'Hey she's no dog, definitely not man, Pavlov, he's the dog guy, me, I'm more the sex kitten guy.' 'So this sex kitten prowls round ready tae coil intae any desired sexual contortion, always keen tae iron a shirt or two and ignores any selfish bastard conduct just as long as a few squids cross her palm now and again.' 'Yeah man, you got it.' 'What method did y'say?' 'Positive reinforcement.' 'Right, but ah thought you said it was the sparkle that did it, ah mean these 'nuggets' aren't exactly positively dazzling are they? They're no even worth that much.' 'True Blood but who cares, if they work, they work, that does for this Nigga, you get me?' 'Aye, right, okay, makes sense, sort of, so what's the other one, negative or somethin?' ' The other side of the coin innit, see what you do Blood is, she fucks up, you don't give that bitch nothin, she's not keepin the crib nice and tidy Blood, no nuggets man, simple.' 'Aye it is, and she certainly sounds it, simple and effective eh? Harmless even but what's the deal with the punishment, that's when she gets a good old fashioned slap eh? That's hardly a ground breaking approach, just buy a black stringed vest pal, Spatz was doing a good line in them last week.' He stretches his neck out towards me, all the sinew and muscles bulging out, it doesn't appear to belong to a human being at all but his face shines with satisfaction not threat, he looks like a saloon gambler about to throw down his winning hand. 'See that's where you is wrong Blood, man you couldn't be more wrong, I'm the Bucket Man innit, you gotta be some kind of crazy to do that shit man, you gotta be some kinda pain junky man, some kinda masochistic brother, you get me?' 'Aye, no arguments there pal.' 'So that's the script man it's me that gets the punishment, all she does man is dish it out on this here nigga ass, but she don't like that shit man like I said she's a kitten, it's dope.' 'Dope, so she's a junkie' 'No way man, dope just means safe man an' that just means…' 'Cool, aye y'said, so let me get this straight…' But I'm cut short with the entrance of a sex kitten dressed in black like a circus acrobat who drapes herself round the Bucket Man like a cobra her snake eyes mesmerised by the pile of pounds on the bar and when he slots them into his personal pouch it looks as if she's about to burst into tears. The pull of the pool table suddenly ratchets up a couple of notches and before she puts him over her knee and reddens his rump with her stilettos I'm dragged over like a lost boy. 'Awright Spatz y'fat bastard, good weekend, get intae any fights?'
Archived comments for CLASSIC CONDITIONING
pdemitchell on 23-04-2010
CLASSIC CONDITIONING
A slice of the pool bar life anywhere. I love the Bucket Man. I play poker in the Valleys with Ty, Snibs, Ol, Danno, JJ, Sticks, Dodgy and Beep - so called because of the pace-maker - so the characters are real. Last week, I spent half hour trying to play poker while K, the girlfriend of English Jimmy rabbited on about her piles at the top of her lungs while another regular confessed publicly to impotency. Like you say, you can't write the stuff. Well written. Mitch 🙂

Author's Reply:
the Bucket man exists mitch if you're ever in edinburgh you'll see him on princes st. ....although i've kinda stiched him up ....hope he understands its only a story...cheers Z

stormwolf on 25-04-2010
CLASSIC CONDITIONING
You caught the scene perfectly. All this stupid way of speaking has come over from America and from watching too many films where such desecration of English is the 'gang speak.'
Thank God it's not made its way up here yet in general. I grieve for Britain but that's another matter altogether. I am no good at critiquing writing in general as my medium is poetry but I recognise a well written piece when I read one and congrats on the nib.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
thanx alison, hope the snow has cleared from yer drive, bad winter up north eh?

RoyBateman on 25-04-2010
CLASSIC CONDITIONING
Welll, if this is the lounge, Gawd knows what the public bar's like...certainly this whole thing rang true, even if I couldn't pretend to have caught all the nuances. I need a babel fish, I reckon. Somehow, I get the impression that it wouldn't be wise to cut through the conversation in an English accent, would it?? Great atmosphere, well worthy of the nib!

Author's Reply:
I DONT KNOW ABOUTAN ENGLISH ACCENT BUT THIS GUY'S WHITE sortof mixture of jamican and essex dialect or somethin....to me it's just annoying cheers Roy hey man ittle soon be beer festival time...cheers Z

e-griff on 25-04-2010
CLASSIC CONDITIONING
Better and better, young man. You'll be read at the Academy before you know it. 🙂

Author's Reply:
ah the Academy....where monsters roam free....this was just a wee bit of fun bun i think it reads well enough....cheers John Z


A NEW MAN (posted on: 29-03-10)
It was as if some benevolent Being had enticed the greedy parasitic worm out from the dark domain of Kaiser’s mind.

It was as if some benevolent Being had enticed the greedy parasitic worm out from the dark domain of Kaiser's mind, crushed its head with a pop and, pleased with Its work, sent the rains of poetic inspiration to water the withered garden of his creativity causing; the trees of Knowledge and Greatness to take root and grow, and Kaiser to strive to quickly clamber up them with the eagerness of the excited child, knife clamped between his teeth, keen to carve his notch of individuality in their uppermost branches. Kaiser was not only reborn he even started taking a bath, something Bandanna couldn't fail to notice when he appeared for breakfast with a bouffant on him like a Song for Europe contestant, a clean, frilly white shirt and smelling like a rose. ''Good morning Mr Darcy,'' quipped Bandanna, ''shall I call for your carriage?'' ''Ah the wit of the fool, how quaint,'' came back Kaiser's reply as he sat down and began to sup his porridge. The landlady was giggling away to herself, amused at Kaiser's appearance and Bandanna's sense of fun but also inwardly pleased that Kaiser was actually using a spoon. ''B'jaysus, just look at you now Mr Kaiser my man, dontcha just scrub up fine and well?'' Bandanna's eyes stretched in amazement with the witnessing of a flush of red in Kaiser's cheeks and nearly popped right out his head when a shy awkward smile appeared to accompany it. Wonders, it seemed, not only never ceased but actually flew in the face of all known laws of nature - Kaiser was embarrassed. Quick to take full advantage he rubbed his hands together and held them up to Kaiser's face as if warming them at a fire. Kaiser broke off eye contact. ''What's in the porridge Kaiser, must be interesting, a microcosm of enchanting elfs perhaps, the blueprint for eternal happiness, the face of Christ?'' Bandanna was beside himself with glee. ''No, actually, none of these things but inspiration comes from the unlikeliest of places, I must rush now to the seat of learning, an epic poem worthy of the pantheon of the great classics has come to me, please excuse.'' The smirk although still occupying Bandanna's countenance began to twist and wane, any scathing satisfaction he had gleaned from Kaiser's abashment could not survive such a display of enthusiastic motivation. Could he be witnessing the metamorphic emergence of a new man? It was Thursday, brew day, so Bandanna altered his route so as he would pass by the Garden of Heavenly Delights. Not that he was spying, he told himself, but the street drinkers would be out in force and Kaiser seldom failed to make an appearance; a man who has his name carved into one of the benches in order to dissuade newcomers, fools and the drink fuelled brave from stealing his rightful place must, always, be considered a regular. Surely a new man would forsake such a debasing assemblage. A drunken song boomed from the direction of the benches, tuneless and forced, of course, but Bandanna stopped in his tracks as the awfulness of the rendition suddenly became shored up by a resounding baritone that he knew only too well. Kaiser was in full voice and so he could only assume, the penning of the epic masterpiece had been back-shelved for the time being and the emergence of a new man had been but a fleeting and foolish fantasy of Bandanna's own making. A little disappointed but not overly surprised Bandanna approached the rabble. At least he's cleaned himself up a bit, he thought as he encroached on the proceedings which, as was usual for this time on Thursdays, had began to enter the boisterous stage, but he was keen to talk to Kaiser so he soldiered on. He body swerved Warlock as he tried to grab him in a headlock screaming, ''BAAANDAAANA'' like the drunken fool he undoubtedly was, the next assault came from Skinny Jim who had fashioned a 'cutlass' from a fallen branch, ''`AVE AT YE!'' he shouted and started prancing about poking Bandanna's barrel chest with the 'trusted blade'. Bandanna, sober for a long time now, lost patience, grabbed the stick, broke it over his knee, threw it in the face of his assailant and wandered off in disgust, but not before noticing what was in Kaiser's hand. ''I'm telling you he was drinking from a carton of milk,'' Bandanna insisted, trying his utmost to paint the picture of the new man for Bing the library security guard. ''Hahaha, okay, wait, let me get this straight, he comes down like a perfumed ponce, gets a reddy when the landlady gives him a wee bit praise, then you see him drinking milk at the Thursday gathering.'' ''Correct.'' ''Okay, okay, I can just about buy that but …using a spoon?'' ''I swear Bing, on my life, I swear.'' ''Unbelievable.'' 'The seat of learning', that's what he had said, Bandanna just naturally assumed he was referring to the child's chair he usually squeezed himself into when sweating and grunting over his poetic compositions, comfort, he insisted, being conducive to complacency and pretentiousness. But no, he was notable only through his absence. Where are you Kaiser, Bandanna mused, what location would a new man consider acceptable as a throne of aesthetic expression? Bandanna cursed the nightshift workers with their heavy boots, the dodgy boiler with its banging pipes, the buzzing insects, anything and everything that dared interfere with his vigilant surveillance campaign. Not that he was snooping, he told himself, even a moron could see that the motivation behind this slightly irrational behaviour was concern, after all the state of his friends mind may very well be at stake and, however strange it seemed, it looked suspiciously as if the bastard was experiencing something akin to contentment. He tried his damnedest to block out all interference and concentrated on the job at hand, but, by even having to engage in such an elaborate effort, he knew that something was seriously wrong – usually he had no difficulty at all discerning, from Kaiser's attic room, the anguished cries of a man caught in the grip of maddening insomnia as he paced back and forward like an imprisoned Victorian retard. Now there was nothing, always quick to throw scorn on the heart-felt platitudes of the hysterical, Bandanna winced, he couldn't help but feel that there was something deafening about this eerie silence. Kaiser twirled round the church steeple for a third time, for luck and to give his catapult release a little extra oomph and then wheeeee he was off with the careless abandon of the free-spirited superhero. The white fluffy clouds engulfed and hugged him like old friends and, as he frolicked and lolled in their cotton wool like luxurious squeeze, he knew what it was to be a God. Bandanna had heard the tune before but the incredulity he was experiencing prevented any possibility of recall, in fact he only just managed to close his gaping mouth before Kaiser was upon him, gushing with excited enthusiasm for the new day. ''At last Morpheus has embraced me, like the wayward son of legend I have been welcomed into his bosom, rocked gently into peaceful slumber and gently transported into the euphoric realm of dreams,'' said Kaiser. ''Ah, you caught up with some shut-eye, good, that can only be a good thing.'' ''Shut eye! Yes, I slept the sleep of the just Bandanna but you know what I say, inconsequential! Inconsequential! The sleep of the just is but insignificant when compared to the transcendental delectation of the flying dream, Bandanna have you ever had a flying dream?'' ''Many, many,'' said Bandanna hoping above hope his visible composure had recovered enough to conceal the obviousness of the barefaced lie. ''I'm not lying Bing, hard to believe I know, but it's true.'' ''Right, so he comes down the stair whistling a merry tune, gives a little skip at the bottom, another clean shirt, eyes as clear as ice and starts blurting on about flying dreams.'' ''Correct.'' Okay, okay, but Bandanna listen to what you're saying man…sprinkling sugar on his porridge?'' ''I swear Bing, I swear on my mothers grave.'' ''Incredible.'' Bandanna took his place in his usual library alcove, the sheets of paper to be examined were crumpled and covered in Kaiser's almost indecipherable handwriting but Bandanna smoothed them out with care and purpose, burning, as he was, with the curiosity of the scheming scholar. Even if he hadn't been told and, indeed, almost witnessed for himself, he could have taken a good guess that the seat of learning from which they had been penned doubled up as a park bench. ''About the epic poem,'' he had said, '' I changed my mind.'' Warlock age 10 DARKNESS Ashley walked into Darkness Alley, the fog was thick. Boo Ashley screamed. Laughter came From the other side. Her friend, Peter, was there!' Ha, ha, ha, ha!' Peter said. 'Very funny' Ashley said. Then a creepy voice said 'Boo to you too' Ashley and Peter froze. Peter disappeared …! It was all in the same vein, page after page of what Kaiser had imagined the Thursday gathering crowd had written as school children. Bandanna pondered this unexpected revelation, granted there was something endearing about such a project, one might even say thoughtful, pleasing, quaint…wait a minute this had sprouted from the imagination of the borderline maniac that was KAISER! To hell with the emergence of a new man, the world, as he knew it, might actually be coming to an end! He's been with a woman, thought Bandanna as he scrutinised Kaiser's face, true the crater like pock marks were still all too visible, as was the large, unavoidable, abomination of a nose but his complexion had taken on a kind of soft sheen and the desperation had vanished from his eyes. ''What did you think about my work?'' asked Kaiser, sprinkling an unhealthy dose of sweetness on his grey gruel. ''Different,'' said Bandanna trying his best to expel the disturbing image of Kaiser making sweet love to an actual woman from his fevered mind. ''Hah, no in-depth analysis, no thoughtful suggestions, perhaps it's just as well old friend, I must dash.'' 'Old friend', 'must dash', who was he breakfasting with these days, P.G. Woodhouse? This was neither spying nor snooping, Bandanna told himself as he followed on at a respectable, safe distance. If anyone had inquired what, in the absence of these possibilities, it was then that he was actually engaged in, he might have had difficulty in providing a viable explanation but that was neither here nor there, he had been right, Kaiser was sauntering on up ahead, arm in arm, with what looked like a respectable lady of substance. And, as was not entirely unusual in these scenes of idyllic bliss, a little toy dog, adorned in the latest doggy fashion, trotted along behind on the end of a brightly coloured leash. Bandanna's conflicting emotions vied for supremacy; surprise, scorn, disappointment all took flitting holds but nothing could stop the onrushing, overwhelming tidal wave of good old fashioned jealousy from sweeping them all asunder. He held his head in his hands anticipating an unstoppable brain explosion of cartoon proportion but it never came. Good sense prevailed, that, and the sudden realisation that a solution had just manifested itself like a friendly ghost. ''Now what wouldya make of Mr Kaiser these days, Mr Bandanna, t'be sure you would think he was some kind of new man, would y'not,'' said the landlady making cheery breakfast time talk. ''Oh yes, a new man, that he is, it's amazing the influence of a good woman. '' ''Aha, so that's it, is it? Now why did I not…ah here he is, the man himself, what's this about a good woman I'm hearing Mr Kaiser you old dark horse that y' are.'' Bandanna managed to keep his composure, an outward display of delight is not considered, in any way at all, proper conduct in front of a man whose colour had just drained from his face. ''What are you writing today,'' asked Bandanna of an unshaven, bleary eyed man squeezed into a chair designed for a child. Kaiser pushed across a sheet of paper scrawled all over in thick black pencil. Bandanna examined it, broke out into a grin and focussing somewhere behind Kaiser's head, held up his hand and began wiggling his fingers. ''What are you doing?'' ''Oh, I'm just waving goodbye to the new man.'' Kaiser spun round saw no-one and said, ''you know Bandanna for a man of some intelligence sometimes you don't half talk a load of old shit.'' Neither angel nor demon the benevolent Being had unravelled as a non-entity whose grasp proved too weak to crush the bone-like head of Kaiser's worm and Its efforts at nurturing only succeeded in the propagation of the tress of Banality and Sentimentality whose branches transpired as so insubstantial Kaiser had crashed through them like an overfed bear and when he landed he was back out there, on the edge, in the darkness, with raging storms billowing up above and boiling seas swirling down below but he felt no fear, not here in his comfort zone, a place that could never hold any threat for a man of demonic poetic expression, he only wished it wasn't so damn difficult to catch some of that lovely sleep.     
Archived comments for A NEW MAN
e-griff on 29-03-2010
A NEW MAN
Great stuff. Very interesting style. Sometimes you surprise me, old fruit!

Makes a nice change to read something like this ..

thanks ... G

Author's Reply:
'old fruit' thanx mr PG Griffhouse, in all seriousness thanks for your comment John it is , as always much appreciated, I enjoyed writing this and that is always a good sign I usually find anyway... Z

e-griff on 29-03-2010
A NEW MAN
and, as those demented nibbers seem stuck in the rut of the average, here's a rare Griffpick if you choose to accept it ...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Author's Reply:
A Griffpick ! YES! I like them. 🙂

pdemitchell on 02-04-2010
A NEW MAN
Diverting and zen-like and took me back to the beer gardens of the Netherspoons. Kaiser and Bandanna could be a sit-com couple in a run-down B and B drifting from bar to bar. Enjoyable. Mitch

Author's Reply:
I like a good beer garden me, is it summer yet? yep my two miscreants are indeed a bit of an on-going saga,I find the writing of them theraputic but if they're read as enjoyable, well, maybe I'm doing something right, smiles all round 🙂 cheers Mitch Z

e-griff on 06-04-2010
A NEW MAN
Ahah!

Once again, the wavering nibbers have simply responded to my own 'Griffpick' (rarely given). I would have far more regard for them had they followed their own taste instead of copying mine .... yet again. *sighs*

What are we to do with this motley crew of indeterminate 'pickers'? Are they 'fit for purpose'? I beg to differ.

Andrea, please, I beg you, change your nibbers - even Hereward (I opine) would be better. *sobs concernedly*

*exits, bearing a frog*

Author's Reply:


HERE BE MONSTERS (posted on: 15-03-10)
MONSTERS, MYTHICAL CREATURES, ANIMALS and POKER GENIUSES

Only a band of guileless fools would ignore the dire warning, HERE BE MONSTERS, etched in rust and blood on a heavy metal basement door, or creatures that eat them for breakfast. Voracious creatures devoid of mercy, keen to crush the bones of MONSTERS between their teeth, not for nourishment or sustenance but for the sheer fun of it all. And, as is usual with the best kind of fun, to do it without smiling. You couldn't have made it up, not only did the door look seriously solid but it even had one of those hatch things that you see in gangster movie depictions of clandestine speak-easies, that, after I'd wrapped on it with a set of knucklers, slid open to reveal half the ugly face of Cyril the Cypriot. If it hadn't clunked and creaked open I would have felt cheated but I needn't have worried. ''Evening gentlemen, welcome, please leave all weapons with me.'' Aaah the familiar greeting so cherished by poker players everywhere, not exactly over-friendly perhaps but matter of fact and to the point, practical, fit for purpose, as, it seemed, was the venue; a sufficiently dank, smoke filled, sleazy pit populated by a sizeable selection of known monster and mythical mutant. Seat one: Winston the Caribbean voodoo priest, a formidable, familiar figure on the circuit with his ganja ravaged, blood-shot orbs capable of searing into the very soul of anyone brave, or stupid, enough to try and bluff him. Seat two: The Rhino, nothing mythical about him, just a thick-skinned, bad tempered, ugly bastard. Seat three: Cassandra, cursed and beautiful, they say that if you ask she'll tell you her exact hand but I don't believe it. Seat four: Stella Stoneface, a hideous gorgon, steal her blinds at your peril, she'll turn you to stone, salt or blackened ash. Take your pick. Seat five: Old Snake Eyes, a writhing, slippery serpent, who tempts you in with effortless charm then strikes with fangs so venomous your bankroll unfurls like the scorched skin of a sinner. Seat six: Cyclops, a brooding, devious deviant who has the unnerving game-play of removing his shades exposing a pure white porcelain false eye when you're trying to make a difficult decision. Seat seven: The Turtle, greedy bookmakers are always dangerous in any gambling situation even when their once impressive Death's head features have been shrivelled to that of a wrinkly old reptile. Seats eight, nine and ten: The Destroyers, otherwise known as me, Jack and Scratch, oh and Brenda who doesn't play but there's no show without a dominatrix porn star. Oh yes, they were all there, waiting, contemplating the arrival of their would be slayers, and one another, with the aloofness and barely disguised contempt of the serious gambler. ''Here they are, Scumbag College, hope you've been swotting up lads,'' offered the Turtle. Lame, just fucking lame. Even from a crap joke specialist the like of that pathetic cunt. ''Cramming Billy Boy, cramming, just like I'm gonna cram an all-you-can-eat serving of crow down your scrawny neck.'' ''Squwaaaaaack,'' he went, like the prick he is and I could tell he'd been drinking too much. Which is always good. Of course the Turtle didn't have the only runner in the bad joke stakes, poker games are always blessed with a full field and not a handicap in sight. It was ever thus. Typical table talk always consists of; awful jokes, cutting taunts, boring anecdotes, unlikely tales of conquest, damn lies, statistics, gambling odds, painful flirting and bad beats – most of all BAD BEATS. There will never be a poker game anywhere in the world where the thread of conversation fails to find its way round to the terrible injustice that is the bad beat – a sequence of play which leads to your odds on favourite of a hand being beaten by the rank outsider, lucky bastard, freak hand. The simple reason for this is that you will never, ever, in your wildest dreams, encounter anyone across the green felt who is anything less than an expert, the notion that they could possibly go broke through brazen overconfident incompetence or plain stupidity is never considered let alone mentioned, everyone, but everyone, is a fucking poker genius. Get used to it. Sucker! It doesn't matter, no one expects, or wants, stimulating, intellectual conversation and I'm as guilty as the next bullshit merchant, we are all gathered together for one reason and one reason only, to win and walk away with each other's money. There are no friends round a poker table, it's not a team game, despite the Turtle's Scumbag quip, from the moment you glance at that first hand you're on your own, you change, you can feel a determined, dark presence permeating your very being like an old friend. And you want to keep him there, everyone's got their own method. Me? I endlessly repeat the internal mantra – destroy all monsters! ''All'' being the important operative in this little idiosyncratic ditty. It's important not to respond to personal dislikes and enter into grudge play, tempting though it is, that particular road can only lead to disaster, stomping on the Turtle's shell is definitely off limits, as is the imbibing of strong drugs so I refused the massive Rasta spliff cone Winston offered round and settled for a light beer. Not that Winston had the ulterior motive of getting everyone wrecked, wired to the planet Ganja is his normal state, he's off his face but not so's you'd notice and he just naturally assumes everybody else either is or wants to be. We're not and we don't but dodgy card rooms are full of all kinds of odd balls who indulge in most eccentric behaviours so no one is particularly miffed at the smoking and offering round of a massive spliff. Anyway the attention of each and every player is captivated when Cyril the Cypriot took his place in the dealer's den and uttered the magic words; ''ladies and gentle please take your seats, I'm just about to shuffle up and deal.'' Strangers to the game just don't get it, poker is many things and the chances of achieving any kind of agreement as to the nature of the game would depend entirely on who was being asked, when and where. Claims that the core essence of the game involves percentages, probability and statistics worked out through an understanding of game theory, although not entirely ridiculed, are treated with a cautious mixture of cynicism and scorn by those who prefer the gut feeling, bluff and bluster, gung-ho approach. Which is fine but let's not forget luck, sometimes luck so freakishly unlikely that when it raises its ugly head people can be seriously hurt or killed…usually in illegal, sleazy gambling dens. Where monsters roam free. First hand and I'm dealt six, seven of diamonds, suited connectors, worth a call out of position, everyone else folds apart from the Turtle who raises it up from the small blind, nothing too extravagant, so I call. The flop comes; ace of clubs, Jack of diamonds, two of diamonds. I'm on a flush draw, I check, The Turtle takes the free card and checks behind. The turn is dealt; it's the ten of diamonds, I've made my flush, I could slow play it but I want to know where I am, so I bet, The Turtle puts in a massive raise so I figure he's made his hand, this early on he's unlikely to be risking his life on a bluff, I reckon he's got King, Queen, which makes him a Broadway straight which is a fucking great hand, but it doesn't beat a flush, as long as it's not KQ of diamonds I've got him, I go all-in, he calls and turns over his hand ''Broadway'' big grin, I turn over mine ''flush'' no grin, he's got king of diamonds so another diamond on the river and I'm fucked. The river comes; three of hearts. I love this game. First hand and I beat The Turtle's arse like a fucking gong. The table clammed up into silence, no one wants to say anything when a player has just sucked out on the first hand. Well not for a while anyway, give him a chance to leave the table. About roughly thirty seconds. ''I was playing in Bangkok last month, haah ha, it was fucking fantastic we were all getting blow jobs under the table, kinda played havoc with my poker face though,'' boasted the Rhino. ''I'll suck your cock right now for two hundred,'' offered Brenda. Unable to figure out if this was in jest or not The Rhino squirmed in his seat and a slight tinge of colour tried its best to blossom on his pock-marked, ugly face. Winston burst out into a loud guffaw, which set us all off, it was just a wee bit difficult to work out who we were laughing at - The Rhino or The Turtle. It was a long night and I was on fire, with my gambles paying off, my gut feelings instinctively correct, my bluffs uncalled and my application of game theory judged to perfection I destroyed every monster, one by one. Grudging nods of respect, weak handshakes, bonecrushers and insincere embraces accompanied each and every exit but what the fuck did I care? I had won! The Turtle had been sitting on his own since he'd been knocked out early and had set about quaffing a bottle of brandy, every swallow bringing about the painful wince of either the bad loser or the seriously ill man, I took a good guess at both. He sauntered up to me after everybody had left. ''Okay Sammy, me and you, high card, just like old times.'' ''Fine by me Billy, shuffle the pack, I never refuse money from a fool.'' I tanned his hide at high card as well but my elation at the victory was cut short when I looked up from counting my money to realise that my old mate Billy Kruge, a.k.a. the Screaming Skull, now known as The Turtle was pointing a fucking gun at my head. ''Woah, easily Billy Boy, nae need man, nae need, it's only a few squid, what the fuck's the matter with ya?'' ''Fucking shut it you Jock cunt, Georgy Irons is on his way to see you, and he's angry.'' The gun, as they tend to do when brandished by brandy soaked drunks, was wavering about in front of my face. ''Angry George Irons, what's new, he hates everybody, especially himself.'' ''Shut it.'' ''Look ah'm gonna tell ya how it is Billy Boy, if ah wait here for George, ahm a dead man, so ah'm gettin up tae leave, see thing is Billy Boy ah dinnae think ye've the stomach for murder, by the looks o things ah dinnae think ye've the stomach for anything much at all by the state of ya, so ah'm leaving, do yer worst. Oh ye might want to point that thing at ma chest, ye might miss ma heed the way yer shakin ye cunt.'' It worked he levelled the gun at my chest and I just prayed that Jack's fucking internet bullet-proof vests were up to the purpose. I suspected they were only any use for small calibre, low velocity assaults and the fucking thing Billy was waving around was a fucking rusty old hand cannon straight out the last war. I stood up and the next minute I'm deafened by the roar and floored with the blast impact, writhing in agony. ''OOOOH FUUUCK'' wailed The Turtle in terror and scurried out the room clanging the monster door behind him. I checked myself over, I was okay, sortof, but a few cracked ribs is better than the morgue. I had to hurry, Billy wasn't worth bothering about, it looked like he was dying from the inside out anyway, but if Georgy Irons knew where I was that meant The Black Man did as well. It was time to leave town. I stuffed the money into my pockets and walked out into a grey and misty dawn.
Archived comments for HERE BE MONSTERS
pdemitchell on 21-03-2010
HERE BE MONSTERS
Thank God my poker games aren't like this. Would these backroom muties know about the Young Ones? Here be monsters indeed but I've seen some dangerous guys playing serious stakes and what struck me was the sinister silence. I like the human monsters angle but the characters were a wee bit stilted in the stereotyping as was the ending for me but an enjoyable mutant sleaze squeeze nonetheless. Mitch

Author's Reply:
you're lucky, my poker games are always like this.....only joking my friends are all genial gents who laugh in the face of defeat and deminishing bankrolls, aye right...yeah its all a bit of a cliche this but its actually the last bit of part one of a crime novel i've been busy with, the rest is on this site under zenbuddhist "crime" so the ending disnae make any sense if ye dinnae ken the rest o the script....if you catch ma drift....cheers for the comment mr pdemitchell most appreciated Z


HORROR (posted on: 26-02-10)
KAISER WAS HERE

It was a dark and stormy night, the lightning bolts illuminated Kaiser's shadowy silhouette on the graveyard wall, a desperate figure caught in the throws of frantic struggle with a snagged, long black coat. It was a fight he could scarcely afford to lose, it would be a fearful, hard enough accomplishment to sneak stealthily under the landlady's radar but bleeding, big, hairy, bollock-swinging naked ratcheted it up to a task too far, even for a storm wolf the likes of himself. The attack of the zombies had been an inconvenience, the lacerating of his testicles, agonising but nothing struck greater fear in his heart than the thought of humiliating himself in front of a goddess. The coat ripped asunder and free, floundering he fell down flat on his face, not even flinching. Agitated and animated he daubed the wall with the erratic vigour of an action artist, KAISER WAS HERE in a big red splash as if the wall was a personal masterpiece that could only come alive when adorned with the signature of its creator. Although impressive, the purpose of the graffiti tag was neither art nor vandalism, it was a marker, a necessary mnemonic for a failing mind, Kaiser dreaded that without it he would return and Lord Fuck knew he didn't want to go back in there. These dream driven quests were becoming more and more alarming, that 'old bastard' zombie had come zooming out the crypt like an athlete. In fact they had been the strangest zombies he'd ever come across, or imagined. No groaning, slow motion, flesh-hungry mutants these, a prowling pack of predators more like, whose heads, even when whacked with full force haymakers, stayed on to a man, they may have had sharp talons but Kaiser suspected the swishing arc that cut his pyjama cord sliced through the night air with the familiar, glinting trail of a cut throat razor. Even when he hauled the wooden stake from the pauper's rotted skull and rammed it up a toothless zombie's arse it didn't explode or even burst out into flames. Strange. Death seemed tired, he wandered through the park with the fatigued gait of the overworked harvester, Kaiser guessed that a visitation of plague or pestilence had wreaked havoc in some far off land, grisly work if you can get it. A raven called from the darkened shadow of a gnarled oak and Death wearily acknowledged the call, limping over and slumping against the trunk in laboured motion. Avoidance, Kaiser decided, could be the only sensible course of action but he was out there on the desert plain of the park, exposed. '' HOI…I know you, I know yooooo…'' wailed Death, ''Kaiser, Kaiser, it's me, Me your old PAL.'' Kaiser ran for his life. Worse than I thought, thought Bandanna as he keeked out from under his blanket to behold the pathetic sight before him of a panting, pyjamaless Kaiser dripping blood from his ravaged ballsack. ''Did the landlady see you like THAT?'' ''Eh? No, no I had my coat on, never mind that, I need your help.'' ''So I see, what happened to your scrotum?'' ''Oh that, that was the broken glass on the graveyard wall.'' ''Of course it was, what else could it have been? My intuition must be deserting me!'' ''Don't say that old friend, I need you at your sharpest.'' 'Old friend'? Must be serious. ''I'm all ears.'' ''It's a dream or rather a recurring nightmare, I haven't slept for five days, I daren't…'' Kaiser broke off unable to continue, a look of abject horror drawn on his face. ''Take it easy, try and recount it as best you can.'' ''I wrote it down.'' ''Excellent, go fetch, let the scholar see the scroll.'' Kaiser zoomed up the stair and returned with a scrap of paper scribbled on in crayon in the manner of a child. He offered it to Bandanna with a shaky hand. * I try to free my leg but the huge dog's biting grip only tightens and I feel more blood running down and collecting in my boot. I try to scream but nothing comes out my wide-open, panic- stricken mouth, the haunting drone of a hunting horn the only sound piercing through the mist filled twilight. I feel myself falling and throw out my arms instinctively and grab at a large rectangular erect stone that I suddenly realise is marking a grave. Looking round I notice more of them. A graveyard. The panting sound of more hounds and the keen excited shouting of men approaches and over a small stony wall they jump in unison. I am lost. What faces! One man levels a shotgun at my chest, another uncoils a large horsewhip but they remain silent. A third calls the dogs and they leave me and gather round their master, snarling. He draws a small vicious looking short sword. He speaks. 'When the Turkish Sultan tortured my ancestor to find the site of the hidden grain, he had him skinned alive and thrown into the sea. But he felt no pain. Look.' He pinches his cheek, slices through it with his sword and throws the blob of bloody flesh to the ground. Through the gaping hole globules of blood spray out from his visible yellow teeth as he roars YOU HAVE VIOLATED THE FEMALE KIN OF MY BLOODLINE ...FOR THIS YOU WILL DIE HORRIBLY…BUT I AM NO TURK ...MAKE YOUR PEACE WITH YOUR GOD...and he points to a small chapel at the far end of the graveyard. I limp over to the church door hoping to meet a merciful priest who can somehow save me from this terrible fate but when I turn the rusted handle, it's locked. I start to pound on the large oak doors Bang! Bang! Bang!* ''See, see how horribly I've suffered.'' ''Mmm, yes, but there is a simple solution, a visit to the graveyard in question will purge this little horror show from your troubled mind.'' ''Where do you think I've been? Searching, searching every night but to no avail, the graveyard eludes me, every quest brings its own danger, tonight I was lucky to escape with my life, crazed zombies and Death himself, they all wanted a piece of me.'' ''Crazed zombies and Death, formidable adversaries indeed, how long was it, you said, since you slept?'' ''Ages, can I get in beside you?'' ''WHAT? Have you lost your mind?…OK but put a pair of pants on first eh?'' The lot of the sleepwalker is an unenviable one, thought Bandanna watching Kaiser prancing about the room in his baggy, string underpants. Somnambulism that was the proper term, what a fantastic word, it symbolised the opposite of onomatopoeia, whatever that was, if, indeed, it existed. There was no way in the world if you hadn't heard the term before you could make a fairly good guess as to its meaning. Its linguistic connotation was far more likely to lead you to believe that it referred to a quirky personality trait or the eccentric collection of some rare objects, but sleepwalking, never! Bandanna was beside himself with glee, at last he could use it, he had fallen in love with the expression as soon as he had come across it, which, if he remembered correctly, was back in the far off days when he used to excite his imagination and expand his intellect through the exploration of the twentieth century German novel. To the landlady, ''did you know Kaiser was a somnambulist?'' or to Kaiser, ''that was an impressive display of somnambulism you put on last night,'' the delight of the anticipation struck pure joy in his heart. OK he wasn't exactly walking but a fine display of sleep shadow boxing would suffice nicely, thank you very much. Then, horror, his joyous heart sank, he had been too hasty, Kaiser was awake, he wasn't boxing at all, he was trying, with the intense concentration of a martial arts master, to pluck out the air one of the many hawk moths that had invaded through the open window, attracted by the naked light-bulb. He probably thinks they're a squadron of murderous, dive bombing vampires, thought Bandanna laying his head back down in bitter disappointment. When Kaiser squeezed back in beside him he didn't have to see to know that he'd caught a moth and was busy renting the wings and legs from its still struggling, hairy body, one by one. The landlady was under no obligation to serve breakfast, hers was a rent only establishment but she benevolently cooked up a steaming pot of porridge every morning for her two favourite miscreants. She knew that without it they would starve. Being a good Irish Catholic lass she insisted on a small saying of Grace but she refrained from judgement, that was the prerogative of the Lord, even so she was visibly alarmed at just how deranged Kaiser appeared, that morning, as he sat down to sup. Bandanna improvised an elaborate mime behind Kaiser's back to try and convey that he was on the case, that she needn't worry but he only succeeded in convincing her that the diabolical affliction must be infectious. She kept her distance. Kaiser did, indeed, appear possessed. Bandanna wondered if it was advisable to take him to the library at all, he himself had important work to do but he had witnessed the spat with security guy first hand, maybe he should suggest he remained here, maybe he could try and catch some sleep but as he watched Kaiser stick his lips into the bowl and suck up the roasting hot porridge like a bottom feeding fish, he realised that to leave him to his own devices would be just wrong. The library was quiet, Bandanna was ensconced in his usual alcove surrounded by books but the pile didn't reach the level that would compromise the clear view he had across to Kaiser's lair. Not that he was overly concerned, Kaiser seemed gainfully occupied; scribbling down page after page of crayon drawings of ghouls, gargoyles and grotesques with pencil bursting ferocity. There was a wrap on the glass door, the security guy was beckoning him over for a parley, Bandanna slipped out. ''He's a lad not right that mate of yours, I mean he's calling me a Mummy, a Mummy for chrissakes just because I've got a bandage on my head…what was it again, a putrefying something or other, he's a fucking nut case.'' ''Oh come on, I'm sure you've had worse.'' ''Aye, course I have, I work in security mate, I've heard it all, every insult you could imagine, and threats, loads of them but no-one's ever expressed their intention of sticking red hot needles into my brains, mushing them up and pulling them out through my fucking nose!'' ''Erm no, no I'm sure they haven't, don't worry I'm on it, I'll keep him real, it's just a bad patch.'' ''He'll have a bald fucking patch when I rip the hair from his imbecilic head, I mean it, if there's any… ''OK, OK, I'm on it.'' ''Fucking Mummy, it would be funny if wasn't so fucking tragic.'' ''That it would.'' Bandanna swivelled in his chair activating his Library Creep sonar, that nasal whine could be detected to a single aisle, he was in the cartography section. ''I need your help,'' Bandanna whispered, handing him Kaiser's dream, ''where is that?'' The Creep studied the scrawl pulled open a screeching bottom drawer, blew the dust off an ancient map and offered it over in silent resolution, taking care, as always, to avoid looking into the eye of the Beast. This could end in tears, thought Bandanna finding the abrupt change from grey and concrete into green and stone surprising, he had expected a gradual transition but before he knew it the countryside had encroached around them like an all-encompassing foreign foe. It unnerved him, he was out his comfort zone. Kaiser strode on ahead, oblivious. Wary of the power the eerie environment might have over his imagination he purged the notion that Kaiser had caused the blackening of the corn crop, by merely passing by, from his mind and stoically followed on. Head bent he nearly walked right into Kaiser who had come to an sudden stop, gazing over at a small, rustic, stone cottage his face contorted into a mask of anguish and fear. An old woman was hanging out a window chatting to a bearded, hunter type of guy who was resting from his chore of chopping wood logs. I SEE YOU WICKED OLD WART FACED WITCH, GIVE NOT ADVICE TO THE EXECUTIONER, BEWARE, ONE DAY HE WILL COME FOR YOU, screamed Kaiser so ferociously his face turned horribly scarlet and his eyes bulged from his head. Bandanna, wrongly, judged it was time for another of his explanatory mimes; a confused, theatrical effort that only succeeded in the woodsman gripping his axe tighter and taking a couple of steps forward. Desperately grinning and bowing Bandanna managed to manoeuvre Kaiser out of harms way and, eventually, along the winding country path in the direction, he hoped, of the place of cathartic, conciliation As they stood amongst the gravestones, looking round, it was impossible to be certain. It could be the place, it was certainly old and run down enough, at the far end a small chapel did, indeed, lurk amongst the longer grass and rowan trees. The sound of a barking dog approached, they froze, over the crumbling stone wall jumped a friendly, excited red setter, it ran up to Kaiser and nuzzled into his hand. ''Don't mind him, he doesn't bite,'' said its owner, a little old man, entering through the small gate brandishing a small bunch of pretty flowers. The chapel door swung open on well oiled hinges revealing an endearing place of worship with beautifully sculpted marble statues and carved old wooden pews. The light from a roaring fireplace shone out from an anteroom where they discovered a fat, friendly monk who was sitting at a table adorned with a bottle of red wine and plates of crusty bread and cheese. ''Greetings weary pilgrims, I am father Thomas,'' he said, ''won't you take some sustenance with me?'' As they warmed themselves, ate, drunk and engaged in hearty conversation with the monk, Bandanna could see, creeping into Kaiser's face, the return of some semblance of sanity. ''Let it go old friend,'' he said, ''it was all just a bad dream.''
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THE BLACK PANTHER (posted on: 08-01-10)
A wild cat romp!

If asked in the dark there may well be some people in the world who'd envisage the driving of a motor cycle called a Black Panther as being a torturous ordeal but I'm not one of them, no, the picture blazing in my head would be one of a sleek, purring, swift piece of absolute class capable of extraordinary turn of speed, easily capturing the passing attention and admiration of even the most brain-dead, ignorant grunt. And I would be wrong, not just wrong but so far off the mark that if ever I allow myself these kind of fanciful fantasies again I will deserve to be kicked and whipped like a stray dog in the street. It wouldn't have mattered so much if I was just taking the thumping, oil burning, lumbering beast for a Sunday run but it was supposed to be our getaway vehicle and as I lurched along the road from the scene of wanton destruction with my pyromaniac cousin standing up in the sidecar screaming obscenities, the fleeting fancy that I had lost my mind entirely whirred round in my head like an ancient, rusty bike chain. Fucked up as we were the blessing of a long straight road stretched ahead of us like an old friend, the Black Panther picked up speed slowly but surely and soon we were blasting along like familiar figures in an Ealing Studios fugitive romp. Old friends, though, can be treacherous bastards, an ominous, long left hander loomed up and I knew the worn brakes would be completely compromised considering our calamitous momentum. ''Keep going! Keep going!'' screamed Jack hooking his legs in the sidecar and leaning out, so far out sparks were streaming off the German tin hat he was wearing as a helmet. Crazy madness of course but it worked, Jack's weight was keeping the sidecar's fatal tendency to rise in the air in check and it looked like a successful negotiation of this Devil's elbow was possible, maybe we could make it. It was and we did. Sort of. As I straightened up again somehow Jack disappeared, he'd done the hard bit then he was gone, overboard. I was right about the brakes, my knuckles went white and my leg went stiff but somehow, squeezing and standing, I managed to tame the beast but before it came to a standstill Jack leapfrogged back into the sidecar. ''Move! Move! The busies are behind us, I think it's Bullneck.'' He stood up again and bawled into the night ''FUCK YOU BULLNECK YOU FUCKING GREAT BIG BULL BOLLOCK BASTARD…AUUUUUUUH… AUUUUUUUH.'' There's not a lot you can say to a crazy person fresh from falling out a sidecar at considerable speed and bellowing bull noises at the encroaching agents of law enforcement so I concentrated on somehow getting us away from the mess that constituted our escape attempt. Black billowing smoke reeked out the exhaust pipe as I crunched through the gears trying to haul the beast back to a reasonable getaway speed. So black and billowing was this smoke it acted like a screen, I glanced behind and all I could see was a great black cloud engulfing a blue flashing light like treacherous fog thwarting the skill of a ship's pilot trying, in vain, to pierce through to a sighted and safe passage. ''Nice one Sammy La,'' yelled Jack pulling out a bag of steel ball-bearings, ''more smoke, more smoke!'' Even over the not inconsiderable noise of the thumping engine I could vaguely make out the sound of a smashing windscreen and screeching crash behind us. Jack leered across at me, hand signing a fist into a palm and a fluster of fingers to mimic an explosion, the actions of an excited child. Short-lived though because when I signalled back a slowly opening hand indicating another lean out and pointed to the next bastard of a corner we were fast approaching he looked at me as if I was crazy. By the time we eventually wheeled into Jack's back garden we were a spent force, especially the Black Panther, when I switched off the ignition it let out a noise resembling the long, relieved sigh of an old woman back from the shopping with two heavy and awkward sacks of baggage. ''She's tired,'' said Jack, ''getting too old for the fast lane.'' I was going to tell him that his precious Black Panther was a heap of scrap, that it was nearly the end of us but the display of fondness oozing from his very being while caressing the bashed, black tank like a favourite pet put paid to any complaint. Besides I could hear the familiar commotion of a full-blown party coming from the direction of the house. The back door burst open and a drunk dominatrix staggered out with Ken the barman, adorned in a baby's nappy, on the end of a leash. ''What do you want mistress?'' he wailed, ''cry like a baby or bark like a dog?'' ''Cry like a baby.'' He crouched down on all fours and started going, ''WAAAH WAAAH'' ''Bark like a dog.'' ''WOOOF WOOOF.'' ''Both at once.'' ''WAAAH…WOOOF.'' Who'd have thought, all these days I'd spent supping pints down the pub I was being served by that most dangerous of mutants, the Barking Baby Dog. ''Brenda you're startin to worry me.'' '' Ahaaaah yer back, the grooosome tooosome, the diaaabollox duuuuuoo…'' I just shrugged at Jack, he shrugged back and we limped through to the party. First things first though, I was dying for a slash and, skilfully dodging the sprawled out stair dwellers, ran up to the bog. It was one of those long, tingling pisses that warm you up and you can't help smiling with relief and satisfaction. Then an idiot appeared. He barged in, teeth grinding, eyes popping out his head and fumbling in his flies, with limited success; he managed to pull out the smallest, wrinkled up penis I have ever seen in my life. A spray of piss gushed forth soaking everything in its wake, which unfortunately, for him, included the leg of my jeans. ''Aaaaargh! get it off, get it off!'' he screamed, ''there's a spider on the end of my cock, I'm terrified of spiders, please get it off!'' ''You're pishin through yer foreskin ya fuckin zip-the-heed.'' He tried to turn round and face me but, wary of an even bigger soaking, I rapped his jaw with a quick jab, his head snapped back, I caught him and laid him out on the floor, his pissy wee cock still throwing up a fountain spray, which, deservedly, landed mainly on himself. Only a moron would consciously seek out the company of idiots but sometimes, it seems, there's just no avoiding them, a sad fact of life that, no matter how many times it rears its ugly head, defies your capacity for reason and rational response. For instance, there may well be a tried and tested method for dealing with an absolute beauty who has mangled his mind so badly with weird drugs he's frothing at the mouth like a rabies victim and advancing along the corridor towards you slapping his own face as hard as he can, but I don't know it. ''Pull my nose, pull my nose!'' he yelled at me. ''What?'' ''Pull my nose, I don't know if I'm in a dream, if you pull my nose...'' And he stuck his face out towards me, so far out all I could see was his big conk stuck right out within easy grasping distance. ''Anything to oblige,'' I told him and jammed his beak between my knuckles which unfortunately, for him, soon greased up with snot. Doped up to the max he didn't even flinch when I dislocated the bridge with a bloody crunch but he had no choice but to follow me when I dragged him, by the nose, through to the bog where I cracked him one and tossed him on top of pissy pants. You couldn't make it up, two idiots tangled up in a mire of piss, blood, imaginary spiders, pain, bad dreams and madness. I needed a drink badly and threaded my way through the throng to join DJ Scratch . He handed me a cold beer. ''Stay away from the punch,'' he warned, ''it's spiked with some crazy drug.'' ''Aye, seems to pack a punch right enough, there's a couple of overindulgers mashed up in a heap in the bog, looks like they've been punched.'' He nodded but it was obvious he couldn't hear me, he was in another world, a world of fuck off headphones, cannabis reefers, spinning decks and banging tunes. This world seemed to have eclipsed the old one, for now, but when I looked at the 'dancers' I couldn't help but experience a twinge of nostalgia for classic Scratch seventies singles and planet T. Rex. ''These fuckers look like they're wired into the mains'' I joked. Okay, maybe not my best but an appreciative smile would have been nice, no chance, Scratch was in the zone, his face a mask of serious concentration, he looked like he didn't give a fuck supposing Bob Hope himself was beside him cracking one-liners, those tunes wouldn't bang themselves. I took the joint off him and decided to survey the scene in silence. My crap joke wasn't even that, it was a statement of fact, the ''dancers'' jerked about as if they had power cables rammed up their holes. You couldn't fault them for enthusiasm though, they were going at it like electric rag-dolls, apart from three lassies all dressed up in black gear and baseball caps with FBI insignia, they were traipsing through some practised routine that involved plenty of high kicking and much shaking of the arse. I recognised one of them, she'd stuck in my mind, she was so tall I had to stand on a breeze block so we could engage in a knee trembler round the back of the casino one night. She noticed me looking at her and mimed the action of someone stepping up, to the mark. The usual suspects were there of course, lounging around, drinking, smoking dope, arguing, laughing, getting off with one another, I recognised most of them but there was one guy standing alone in the corner who seemed intent on scanning the room with the grim intensity of a man who harboured a hatred of mankind itself. Even in a room full of well dodgy party animals he stuck out as some kind of criminal type. A label you can hardly avoid when you lurk in the shadows sporting a flat top haircut straight out a forties noir and you've got a mouth on you like a frog. He made his move, which, surprisingly, consisted of nothing more sinister than shouting 'death and despair' into people's faces and taking a long slug out of the wine bottle he was waving around. Nothing too hard core but always dangerous if you're foolish enough to try it on the wrong person, a person like Tank the Commander, a six foot five biker, Tank slammed one into his guts, hoisted him up on his shoulder, fireman style and threw him out on his arse. ''All right Shorty, howzithanging?'' ''Long and strong Pippy, no seen ya for ages.'' ''Pippy?'' ''Aye, Pippy Longstocking.'' ''Cheeky bastard, never mind that shite, have ya got yer brick with ya?'' ''Oh, ah'm sure we'll find somethin.'' The back yard was a sight to behold: Flat Top was rolling around on his back still slugging from his wine bottle shouting, ''YOUR ALL GOING TO DIE'' and the dominatrix had Ken all hand cuffed up, grinding her stiletto into his ballsack, ''OH THANK YOU, THANK YOU MISTRESS, I'VE BEEN SO BAAAD.'' A kneetrembler was obviously out of the question under such distressing circumstances but Pippy led me through the mayhem to the garden shed. The nagging suspicion that this was a well-practised procedure was confirmed when she dug out a mattress and hauled me down on top of her with the smooth execution of a seasoned shed shagger. I was all too conscious of the Black Panther beside me what with its cracking and wheezing as it cooled down. But it didn't put me off, no, not a stroke, I had some fizzing and banging of my own to contend with, only my mercury was travelling in a different direction entirely.
Archived comments for THE BLACK PANTHER
e-griff on 08-01-2010
THE BLACK PANTHER
Gosh! There was I considering a trip to your beautiful country, and wondering if I should beg lodgings for the night in your fair town, with you as my host - maybe a cucumber sandwich and some china tea of an afternoon?

Your honest expose of 'life in the tartan lane' has changed my mind. I shall stay in Southern England, where women are sweetly pretty (and some men are too).

Author's Reply:
I have the most impressive cucumber in town and my porcelain is the talk of Tea Taster's Tea Time.
All are welcome.

Jaws on 09-01-2010
THE BLACK PANTHER
I loved your romp. Just one question - what is the square root of 45,872? Somebody must know.

Author's Reply:
42


LABELLING and the SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY a layman's guide (posted on: 06-11-09)
MISANTHROPES ...dontja just HATE them!

I bought this book the other day, another one of those books whose blurb declares that the contents are, 'laugh out loud funny', you know the drill, usually the most you manage is a sly, twisted grin which only succeeds in instilling a feeling of great unease in your fellow bus passengers, so much so, you can feel the glances of suspicion and fear burn into you like super hero death stares. This one went even further, the highly improbable boast of, 'your jaw will ache', glared out at me, like a beacon, or rather a warning, or a challenge, whatever the particular ad hook employed, it worked, I dug my hand into my pocket and parted with three whole pounds. Not a fortune, granted, and I was cautiously optimistic that my sacrifice might just be nearly worth it, that such a confident blurb couldn't be a TOTAL pile of shit, that my cynical suspicions might be, just for once, way wide of the mark. And nobody was more surprised than me when that, indeed, proved to be the case I'm getting ahead of myself here, there's background stuff that you need to be aware of, apologies. I had high tailed it to my dentist, late, running for a bus, something so alien to my metabolism that I thought it was going to punish me with nothing less than fighting back with such a ferocity that soon I would be lying on the pavement, dying a miserable, public death, gasping for oxygen through a face that resembled a bloated, blood blister. But the last time I was late the bastards charged me ten pounds, a 'missed appointment' they declared with aloof cruelty, which, as I pointed out, was technically incorrect, but my protestations of the variances involved between 'missed' and 'late for' appointments fell on cold, indifferent ears. And in today's climate of non-existent, available, national health, dentistry practices, only a fool would labour the point. You know it's true. Anyway, as it turned out all this rushing around like a blue-arsed flea was a waste of fucking time and energy, I'd got the time wrong, I was an hour early, I'd like to say it was the clock thing, you know going back an hour but it was probably just because I'm an idiot. Which I am, and that's fine by me, as long as haemorrhaging money for no good reason isn't a consequence. So that's why, having escaped being fleeced by the dentist mafia, I wandered into a shopping mall and purchased the aforementioned, reduced price book. Actually it was a far better move than I could possibly have realised at the time. It turned out that I had split a filling so bad that my routine check up appointment transmogrified into an emergency root canal drilling torture ritual. And if that sounds like too much of a list to you, you can go sod yourself, because that's exactly what it was. An experience so traumatic and horrible that I don't want to talk about it anymore. But to be fair the massive doses of Novocain that were pumped into my gums killed the worst of the pain, my face just felt as if it had gone on a tour of the Antarctic and had forgotten to come back. Which can leave the rest of you feeling more than a wee bit vulnerable. Which is never a good thing. Okay this is where I fess up, I didn't go in blind, by that I mean I'd come across the author before, at least, sort of. It was during a particular nasty and prolonged bout of insomnia, lying in bed, flicking through a motley selection of rubbish channels, as you do when you're driven half crazy by lack of sleep, that I came across a t.v. critic spouting bile about a motley collection of rubbish programmes showing on said rubbish channels. This guy was GOOD a sort of mouthy, funny, scathing, cynic who seemed to hold a venomous worldview I recognised as close to my own. Not only that, he seemed to have a particular nasty brand of poison set aside for that twat Jeremy Kyle, and, also, like me, sported the damning face of a criminal. The programme was called 'Screenwipe', the book, 'Dawn of the Dumb' and the man in question none other than Mr Charlie Brooker himself. Home, after the dentist ordeal, I settled into my favourite chair and began my journey into the world of a man whom, I suspected, would rather be flayed alive than seen flinching when declaring, 'I don't get people, what's their appeal, precisely, they waddle round with their haircuts on, cluttering the pavement like gormless farting skittles. They're awful.' It proved to be a fruitful, laugh out loud journey, one in which, as time went on and the anaesthetic wore off, I felt my jaw beginning to ache. In 1796 a German physician called Franz Joseph Gall developed an early psychological theory known as Phrenology which states that personality traits can be derived from skull shape and facial features. This became popular in the 19th century as a criterion for the identification of criminals. It is a very early theory and has since been dismissed as pseudo-science and quackery. Which, in all probability, can be confidently viewed as an accurate appraisal. However, the next time you're scanning through the local paper and you come across the photo of the latest drug dealing, man of violence to be thrown in the slammer, you wont be surprised to recognise the all too familiar picture of a dangerous thug, a right evil looking cunt who looks like he's about to jump out the paper and kill your whole fucking family! Futhermore there is a link, a statistically proven correlation between conviction and aggressive appearance. So what's going on? Did Gall have a valid point? The answer is no, and the justification for this rejection lurks within a social psychological approach proposed by Howard Becker, which became prominent in the 1960's and 70's, known as 'labelling' theory. The theory hypothesises that the labels applied to individuals, especially those applied by the guardians of social control, police officers, social workers and judges for example, influence their behaviour, especially negative labels such as 'crook' and 'thug', this in turn creates a 'self fulfilling prophecy' i.e. an individual who is labelled because of his appearance has little option but to conform to the kind of behaviour associated with the judgement. Which means if you're unfortunate enough to be in possession of a face that is generally deemed to be that of a crook, you're called a crook often enough and, subsequently, treated as a crook, guess what? You're going to turn out to be a scummy fucking criminal! You've got no choice. Now it's my guess that The Brooker Man may well refute the judgement that he resembles a crook but he has no qualms at all when, off his own bat, it comes to labelling himself as a misanthrope. 'I'm a misanthrope' he informs us [Dawn of the Dumb] on more than one occasion and I feel my warming to him ratchet up a couple of notches as I suspect that I might well be one too. Although it occurs to me that it may be a relevant term, or a sliding scale, that some people are more misanthropic than others, with a cantankerous old bastard who lives alone up a mountain in a fortified compound at one end and, let's say, a happy clappy, altruistic Earth Mother who's first on the list for the adoption of a blind, legless orphan on the other. Not sure where I'd be but, as I don't harbour a hatred of mankind universally, only those sectors of society labelled, Slebs and Dykes, I might loiter on the low end. But it's not all about me so let's slide back along the scale to The Brooker, he tells us [Dawn of the Dumb] that a ' crazy party animal' set him off one time, with me it's more likely to be someone not paying me back, and he retaliated by wandering round the party like a zombie endlessly repeating the word 'despair' in ever louder tones, until he was ejected. Which is probably true and quite an amusing little story but I think he neglected to tell us the whole truth. I suspect he took along a bottle of wine to that party, a dark red, almost black wine with an unhealthy sludge of sediment floating at the bottom – like that 'Bull's Blood' you used to get – and a white label with only a single word MISANTHROPY written in that old fashioned style your granny still uses. Every time Brooker is accosted by a 'crazy party animal' he violently shakes the bottle and takes a long slug. There are so many 'crazy party animals' at this particular party that he finds himself staggering around in a drunken stupor shouting DESPAIR AND DEATH into the face of everyone he comes across until he is beaten up and thrown out on his arse. I harbour a suspicion that Charlie's misanthropic tendencies are not so transient and mellow than he would have us believe. He likes to give the impression, that he would be a fucking good laugh in a pub, one of these guys that humorously slags off everyone else but not in a cruel way, or at least not too cruel. But really, deep down he's not joking, he's not only deadly serious but holding back, and the joke's on you. So I'm sitting in my most comfortable chair chuckling away at Brooker's scribblings and my own interpretation of events and the letter box clatters at the door, I ignore it, I don't want to see anybody, but then I hear a flutter, I know what it is immediately, the noise a hand written note makes on the way down to your hallway floor is unmistakable and IMPOSSIBLE to ignore. Sure enough there it was, shining up at me from the carpet, a note demanding to be read in a neat, seductive female's hand. It was from the lassie downstairs, she had split up with her girlfriend, a relationship of five years, seemingly, an upsetting experience, apparently, it had ended in violence, allegedly, theft had been the final act of treachery, undoubtedly and, oh yes, could I lend her some money, inevitably. If you ask me she's well rid, I have come across the villainess far more times than I feel comfortable with and I have never seen that lassie smile, not once. In fact she looks at me with unbridled hatred but I suspect I'm not being singled out, no, there's a good chance she hates everybody she doesn't want to suck cunt with, which would, of course, encompass the entire male population of the world. She's a man hater, the female equivalent of a misogynist, whatever that happens to be, and I wouldn't mind so much if she didn't try her hardest to be one, a man that is. Honest, she looks like a bloke with tits. I'm straying into an offshoot of labelling theory here, one that should be more familiar to the layman – stereotyping, but I don't care, that lassie is the epitome of the Butch Dyke, she swaggers round sporting a skinhead haircut, in football hooligan uniform and, if given half a chance, would gladly, with relish, squish my balls into a paste. I'm not making this up, I met her up the town one day where she 'borrowed' two pounds for her bus fare off me and even as she was slotting the money in her pocket she looked at me with the fury of a crazed meth addict who'd just had her fix stolen. It's not my fault her girlfriend always gives me the, 'I'm a dirty bitch and you can fuck me if you want' look. Is it? It certainly isn't but that doesn't mean I have to grin back, but I do, because you never get two of these 'Butch Dyke' creatures paired up together, no, they always go for the more 'girlie' brand of lesbian, you know the ones you tend to see actively engaged in porn films. The lassie downstairs is one of those 'girlie' types and she wouldn't have asked me if she wasn't desperate and, besides, I like flirts, especially the dirty bitch type of flirt who look like they might star…anyway you get the picture, I went downstairs and lent her twenty pounds, ''till Friday.' So much for Dykes, a despicable bunch, yes, but small beer when compared to Slebs, at least the Dyke is probably aware of the hate fallout they attract. The Sleb is a unique brand of self-obsessed moron so far up their own arse they are completely oblivious just how odious they actually are. I thought the worm was turning, they were dropping like flies, two Sleb supermongs Michael Jackson and Jade Goody, gone, no more; Jackson, an abhorrent pederast more than capable of washing what's left of his face in the leaking body fluids of a too long dead Hollywood child star if he thought it would turn him into Elizabeth Taylor and Goody, an attention seeking harridan who would've gladly paid a surgeon a Heat magazine fee to sculpt her fat arse into that of a pre-pubescent boy's to put herself in the running for some of that legendary maypole dick action. Of course I didn't wish them dead, as such, misanthropes are not necessarily sadists, but seeing that Slebs would rather puncture their own eyeballs with red hot needles than voluntarily move out the media spotlight, I'll take what I can get. Slebs are more than fair game for the Brooker Man of course, he fires volley after volley of scathing grapeshot into their midst with the blood lust of a demented destroyer:- 'Nicky Campbell (Satan) drips with menace while sorting out fly by night time share companies as though discussing the Third Reich. Joe Pasquale is better known as, Oh My God Turn Over I Can't Stand Him David Dickenson with his sagging breasts, cow length eyelashes and oaky complexion resembles a retired Thai ladyboy.' And on, and on, you should read it, it's fun. How could I have been so DUMB it was so glaringly obvious I couldn't see the wood for the trees. Charlie Brooker has obviously donned the cloak of misanthropy for comedic effect and, I'd like to tell him, it's a superficial ploy that only works initially, my laughing out loud has diminished to a twisted grin and, I'd like to shout in his face, my jaw only ached because I'd been to the dentist. I HATE him. He's also the worst kind of Sleb, the ones that pretend they're not, he probably meets up with Jeremy Kyle every Friday for a few glasses of wine before retiring to a room lined with mirrors so they can watch themselves suck each other's cocks from every possible angle. But worse, much worse, it's Friday and as the day draws to a close, as I sit here listening to what sounds like a party coming from the flat below there doesn't appear to be any sign of that torn faced Dyke venturing up the stairs with MY FUCKING MONEY.
Archived comments for LABELLING and the SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY a layman's guide
sirat on 07-11-2009
LABELLING and the SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY a laymans guide
This has the feel of a standup routine about it – I'm not sure it works so well on the printed page, it cries out to be performed.

Some material, I felt, was just there to make me feel uncomfortable, and it did. I disliked the stuff about (highly stereotyped) lesbians. I was waiting for you to move on to other traditional target groups – blacks, the disabled, asylum seekers, the old – but you chose instead clelbrities ('slebs') who I suppose most of us would consider fair game. Maybe picking on recently dead 'slebs' though pushed the boundary just far enough to appear daring. But is abusing people, even creatively as you have done here, really funny? I suppose I just don't have the right sense of humour. I wasn't clear how much of this was supposed to be you and how much you were attributing to the well-known gay-bashing and 'proud to be sick' Guardian columnist and late night digital TV broadcaster Charlie Brooker. My honest feeling is that this is his territory and should be left to him. It's not for me. Sorry.

Author's Reply:
Aw don't be sorry we cant all be smart arses...and that's probably a good thing

I'd rather puncture my own eyeballs with red hot needles than put myself in the PUBLIC GLARE so it can just cry.... at least till i send Brooker or Steven Lee a script

it was just a wee bit of fun... no offence unintended.

zenbuddhist on 13-11-2009
LABELLING and the SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY a laymans guide
STUART LEE...

Author's Reply:


THE WRATH OF THOR (posted on: 23-10-09)
Warning - rock concerts can be dangerous places...TRY NOT TO GET HAMMERED!

Death stares have never particularly bothered me, so a withered turtle's hard man act is not so much pathetic as comical, comical as a cartoon. Still, it's cruel to laugh in a reptile's face, so I just winked. ''You fucking Jock bastard…'' ''Hey, hey, Billy Boy, chill man, keep the heid, truce Krugey, truce, c'mon over, I might even buy ye a pint.' One thing about the Kruge, he's no dull-witted thug, he thinks quick on his feet, and crafty too, he held the record at Aintree for the fastest counter of a hundred quid in his back pocket. There were many reasons for him to drop the tough guy bullshit, not least he was on his own and I was supping in the company of battle hardened shock troopers. So over he came, his face hardly a beacon of reconciliation but at least the bull dog snarl had disappeared. ''I'm drinking brandy.'' ''Of course you are, Ken a large VSOP five star for…'' I nearly said The Turtle but when you're making amends it's probably best to leave the insults 'till a little later in the proceedings. ''…my esteemed companion Mr. Kruge here.'' I half expected him to neck it in one but he swirled and sipped it like any self respecting Noel Coward aficionado would, but on swallowing, try as he might, he couldn't disguise the wince, the involuntary expose of pain that comes with serious illness. Billy Kruge was as sick as he looked. Not that that stopped him and after he'd demolished the best part of the bottle he emerged from his shell and climbed on his high horse. ''The trouble with you scallies is ambition, or rather the lack of it, get with the wise guys, all this traipsing back and forward…here, Ladbrokes, here, Ladbrokes…get some fire in yer bellies, get some serious cash in yer pockets, get some fucking ambition.'' ''Listen to you ya fuckin knobhead,'' objected Old Glory, ''Ladbrokes is across the frog, where the fuck's your shop? Eh? Oh that's right it's not there anymore, wonder why? Might have something to do with the owner pissing it up the wall. Eh? The day I take a lecture off a bankrupt bookie is the day the sun sets in the East Kruge, so fuck off.'' ''Okay I got into a little trouble with the tax man, look at you lot; a bouncer, a two bit porn merchant, a cardboard gangster and a seventies D.J. Fucking says it all.'' ''Trouble with the tax man'', scathed Old Glory, ''yeah right, you were pissed out yer head screaming at the monitors, chasing bad bets, raiding yer business till for the stake money, you've no backed a winner since Elamanamou ya prick.'' ''Yeah? Is that right? Well, there's a poker game on tomorrow night, here's my card, give me a bell if any of you are up for it, oh and it's a monkey min buy in, see ya wouldn't want to be ya.'' He sauntered off, swaggering out the door like the last of the high rollers. I had to stop Old Glory from going out after him, fists balled. ''Easy big man, ah think there's a law about the squashing of shrivelled turtles, they're an endangered species.'' Another round of guffaws greeted that one and another round of beers hit the bar. I lifted mine in a toast. ''Here's tae the morrow night Mr Kruge, big mistake, ye've invited the wrong sharks, we eat slimy reptiles for fun.'' ''Ow we gonna rustle up a monkey each Sammy?'' ''Don't worry lads ah've got a couple of ozs of good quality gak that's needin cooked up. We shall go to the ball.'' ''Snap, crackle, pop,'' mimicked The Scratch as he twirled the residue in the pan with a hooked needle, as it twisted and solidified into ace looking 'rocks', he growled out the Glitter Band lyrics, ''Rock 'n Roll, Rock.'' Man he was good, he looked like some mad, medieval alchemist spinning gold thread, we were all huddled round, mesmerised. ''What the fuck's goin on here. Zat crack Sammy?'' asked Vampira from behind my shoulder. ''Jesus Christ Brenda! Are you tryin tae put me in mah grave?'' ''Nah ah just want tae suck yer blood…correction, yer baws… a h w a n t t a e s u c k y e r b a w s,'' she drawled out like a pervert ghost. ''Eh? What the fuck'r ye on about? And what are ye dressed up like that for, thought ye were shootin a court scene?'' ''Finished that yin, it's 'Intercourse With The Vampire' now, that's what it says in the script, look. Scene 5: - Vampira tricks Van Helsen into quaffing a knock out potion. When he emerges from his stupor he finds himself tied to a chair, Vampira has his balls in her mouth, she's humming the tune from, 'Ride of the Valkyries'. ''Jeez Louise, who writes this stuff? Eh? What moron's gonna put their hands up tae this shite?'' ''What d'ya expect fuckin Shakespeare,'' protested Jack, all put out, ''it's porn Sammy La, fucking porn, it's meant t'be shite!'' ''Ah think it's great! Anyways are ye gonna gie me yer baws tae suck or no?'' ''Ahma fuck.'' ''Aw c'mon Sammy we need another 'money shot'. ''What's happened tae Long Dong Thomas an' Seymour Butts through there?'' ''They're a spent force, me an' Suzie've milked them dry?'' ''What about this lot?'' Scratchy said, ''I'm busy.'' Jack said, ''can't star in me own production Sammy La it's against me ethos.'' Old Glory said, ''my balls are too big.'' To prove the point he pulled down his trackies and displayed a pair of balls that would make a stud stallion proud. Brenda said ''fuck sake ah'm no Cherie Blair ye ken. C'mon Sammy you're our only hope.'' I gave in and allowed myself to be led to her lair. ''Okay but gonna take them fangs out first, eh?'' Scratchy had come up with the goods all right, there they were, one hundred crystalline rocks of headfuck, the product, two grands worth. Jack, the self designated 'tester', loaded a wee glass pipe and sparked it up, if it was ever possible to get high by proxy this was it, I was out my fucking head just watching him, Jack was poleaxed, he couldn't speak just stretched his neck back and let out a long, slow, vaporous o..h..s..h..i..t towards the ceiling, me and Old Glory pummelled the Scratch man with appreciative rain blows. ''Ye've no lost yer touch Scratchy lad, you are the MAN.'' We looked at Jack, looked at each other, looked back at Jack, nothing needed to be said, we were all thinking the same thing, it didn't help any the rocks all lined up on the tray, just in front of us, gleaming, no, not gleaming, glistening, glistening like diamonds. I wanted to burst out laughing, break the spell, but I couldn't, I was the silent man, the statue. ''You go first.'' ''What?'' ''Try it on, what have I just been saying t'ya.'' I hadn't a clue, Jack was holding out a black vest thing that looked like a ski body warmer. I nearly made a right cunt of it, I nearly asked him where we were going skiing. ''Jesus Sammy, what the fuck's up with ya la? Ya look like a fart'n a trance.'' He had no idea. I snapped out of it proper and tried on what I now recognised as a bullet-proof vest. ''Where the fuck did ye get these?'' ''The Internet, can't be too careful Sammy La, like I said.'' ''Yeah, run that by me one more time Jack.'' ''Make no mistake the 'Hell Hounds' ahwooooooooha, will be snarling, the 'Black Widow' Sammy La, is their territory, they sell meth in there, we go in turning over this shit and,'' he made his hand into a gun, pointed it at my heart, '' boom, boom, we're dead.'' ''Why risk it then?'' ''Because, 'Deaf School Death Grip' are playing there tonight, five, six, maybe seven hundred rockers jammed in, all looking to get fucked out their fucking skulls and we, Sammy La, we are the skull fuckers!'' And that, well there's just no answer to that. The Black Widow's blinking neon sign magnetised us and we dutifully scurried in like lust fuelled, doomed, creepy crawly suitors but not unsuspecting, no, the risks were all too solidly real, real as rocks and, as if on high alert, my heart was pounding with the ferocity of a piledriver. If we could avoid the murderous bike gang, the 'Black Widow' was in many ways a good choice of venue; Old Glory worked there sometimes so the bouncers were no problem, local metal heroes 'Death Grip' were, indeed, bound to pull in drug hungry crazies and it was a dark, sleazy, hellhole of a dive where blood sucking mutants foraged and feasted with impunity so Vampira didn't even have to fret about having to change her clothes. We needed a booth but they all seemed to be occupied, Old Glory though, was on the case. ''These seats are reserved, club members only.' ''What fucking club? The Old Cunts Retirement Club are ya needin a seat grandad? Well ya can drag yar saggy arse down the park if ya'r quick ya might even bagsy a whole fucking bench. Ahahaha…'' The comedian's hilarity cut out quick as he found himself hoisted up out his seat by the neck. ''Naw, The Royal and Ancient Association of Jawbreakers, now take yer wag crew with ya and fuck off 'funny man' or you'll be supping yer Sunday supper through a straw.'' The joke was over, nobody seemed to find it funny anymore and the booth seats emptied with the urgency of a bomb scare. We slid in, like snakes, King Cobra Jack hissed out the orders. '' Sammy, Brenda, you take the money, Scratch look after the product, c'mon Glory we'll let the crack heads know the den is open, just look out for the 'Hounds'. Business went fine and fast, the cash was flowing in good style, Brenda was sitting under the table sniffing big handfuls of the stuff before stuffing it into her bra and knickers ''What the fuck 'r ye doin?' ''Ah love the smell o money.'' ''So do poker players but they tend tae prefer the fanny and sweaty tit free variety, have ye no got any pockets.'' ''Have ye no noticed, ahm dressed up as a vampire no Coco the fuckin clown.'' She was good at that Brenda, pointing out something that was so glaringly obvious that to carry on arguing would just show you up as an idiot. I just burst out laughing, we both did. Not for long though, an almighty commotion burst out from the mosh pit, the battle, as it had to, had commenced. I told Brenda and Scratch to disappear, slipped Nicolas over my knuckles and joined the fray. The 'Hounds' were well named, they fought like dogs in a pack, Old Glory had about three of them clinging on to him trying to haul him down so they could administer a good biker boot stomping. Stood solid as he was he still looked over in appreciation when I peeled one of them off and cracked his eye socket with Nicolas good style, his blood sprayed out in an arc as he swooned back on his journey towards the deck, the next one was on me quick though, grabbing in close trying to draw me towards a head-butt so I had to punch his throat. I could see Jack out the corner of my eye doing his karate shit, Old Glory was banging heads together, things didn't look too bad. Then he came. At first I thought I was seeing things, the mosh pit was swirling in that dry ice mist and he materialised out of it like the ghost of some legendary warrior. This guy was about seven foot tall, long straggly red hair and beard and his weapon of choice appeared to be a mash hammer which he promptly brought down on Old Glory's head. LEAVE THEM TO ME he roared out and the rest of the 'Hounds' made way. This called for Nickleby, so I slipped him over my other hand, both fists now bristling with deadly brass, I nodded to Jack to take a back seat and squared up to this angry giant who seemed intent on crushing my bones. I've been up against of few scary opponents in my time, neds swinging baseball bats, bikers wielding chains, cowards with their sneaky little flickies but a mystical God flailing a hammer around, well, they tend to be a bit thin on the ground. The tactics, however, are more or less the same, keep out of range, wait for your chance and when you get it, make it count. The first swing was well aimed but I was ready, side stepped it, nipped in and scudded his jaw with a neat jab followed by a right cross. Knuckle-dusters are illegal in this country and with good reason, they have the potential, when correctly used, by a trained boxer for example, to break every bone in a man's head. This guy just snorted took a step back and came at me again, even angrier, which proved to be his downfall, it made him wild, careless, he missed by a mile and lost his balance, fatal, I changed tactics, went for the ribs and slammed into him so hard I could feel them crack and break. He fell to his knees bellowing like a wounded grizzly and I finished him with a sharp blow to the top of the skull. I put my arm round Jack and we walked through the Red Sea to the exit. ''See Sammy La, I told ya we were the skull fuckers.''
Archived comments for THE WRATH OF THOR
macaby on 24-10-2009
THE WRATH OF THOR
Another good story from your pen, grips you by the balls from start to finish. Brilliant dialogue, crazy , unforgettable characters ( I remember Brenda the porno star from one of your other stories, sharp tongued indeed ) I'm glad to see it has been nibbed, highly entertaing stuff IMO.
thanks for the read
mac

Author's Reply:
ahhahahaha a BALLGRIPPER.. not sure if thats a good thing or no
yeah ye've met brenda before, she was a chamber maid ... a prostitute...a nympho...and just sort of slipped into the porn thing by chance...I love her and want her to be my girlfriend.

thanx mac


CITY OF CULTURE (posted on: 25-09-09)
MAN I'M ENJOYING THIS

WELCOME TO LIVERPOOL – EUROPEAN CITY OF CULTURE ''City of culture, I thought it was full o thieves, scrappers, junkie burglars and crack head whoores, a sorta Mecca fur neds.'' ''Scallies.'' ''Scallies?'' ''That's what neds are called doon here, scallies, as in scallywag.'' ''Scallywags, that's what they call themselves, fucksake ah've no heard that since the primary.'' ''Haha, aye, well, it gets better we're on our way to see Crackers Jack.'' ''You're at it Sammy, who in the name o the Wee Man o Arsefuck is Crackers Jack the Scallywag.'' ''He's no a scally, he's a biker, dinnae cry him a scally Brenda he's likely tae dae his nut, he's, erm, a wee bit sensitive.'' ''A heid case ye mean.'' ''Aye, that an aw, he's ma cousin.'' ''Hah, ya shoulda said, a family reunion, Crackers Jack an Sammy Knuckles thegether again, ah take it we'll no be goin tae the Sunday fete, is there anythin ah should know?'' ''Eh? Aye, dinnae mention lesbians.'' ''Lesbians, what's he got against them?'' ''His 'old lady' ran away wi some fuckin lesbian.'' ''Haargh hah, what's he dayin wi an auld wiman?'' ''FURFUCKSAKES she wisnae an auld wiman, that's wh…look, just dinnae mention, scallywags, auld wiman or fuckin lesbians, especially lesbians, got it?'' ''Aye, okay, keep yer wool on…what aboot ma ancient, butch dyke, gollywog joke?'' ''Save that for the 'Clit Club'.'' ''The 'Clit Club', now yer talkin, this place has definitely got potential.'' I wasn't exaggerating about cousin Jack, he was volatile, quick tempered, fearless, completely crackers and his mother had never seen him cry. The lesbian thing? All too true. True enough for him to get wired up on meth and try to blow up a gay bar with one of those 'Chinese Bomb' fireworks, he threw it out of a motorbike sidecar wearing a Guy Faukes mask screaming: IT'S FRIDAY IT'S TWELVE O'CLOCK AND IT'S CRACKERS JACK FUCKIN EAT THAT CARPET MUNCHERS…BOOM! The bouncers had to run for their lives and some dyke's lacquered up Mohican caught fire but no one died. Still, it was crazy madness and you didn't need to be Sherlock Sleuth to figure out who done it. Cousin Jack went on another little six month holiday in Walton nick. Comes with the territory when you're a grade one nutcase of course and Jack wouldn't have batted a lid, and me? Well I'm as partial to a bit of crazy madness as the next man but when you're on the lam from dangerous psychopaths it's probably best to seek out the quieter path, but needs must, anyway I hadn't seen him for a long time and boy was I in a mood to drink a lot of beer! He answered his door wearing the wig of a high court judge, out his face and brandishing a camcorder as if it was a rapid fire Uzi. 'Greetings, you are the long lost culture attaché for the region of Caledonia are you not? Before you are admitted to my court your worthiness must be judged I AM THE JUDGE, JUDGE MENTAL… PULL OUT YOUR PRICK AND STICK A LIGHTED MATCH UP YOUR JAP'S EYE…THIS BE THE LAW I pulled out Nicolas and shoved him under his nose. 'Howzabout an exemption Judge, we are but weary travelers and know nothing of the law, beer and shelter are our only requests.' 'My fridge is laden and my roof sound, these dusters are indeed impressive and only a fool would ignore their potential, excuse me while I consult my minions.' HEY LADS THERE'S A PSYCHO JOCK, A WITCHY LOOKING BRASS AND A SET OF KNUCKLERS IN MY FACE …IS THE COURT IN SESSION?…WHAT'S THAT? TELL THEM TO FUCK OFF…THAT'S EASY FOR YOU TO SAY…I, JUDGE MENTAL OVERULE…ENTER WEARY TRAVELERS YOUR MODEST REQUESTS ARE HEARBY GRANTED…THIS BE THE LAW. 'Thanks Judge you are indeed fair and wise.' We both burst out laughing and grabbed each other, a greeting ritual not so much in common with an affectionate embrace as a backbreaking contest, a writhing knot of muscle. 'Com'ed Sammy boy yer lookin sound la and oo's the brass? fuckin well tasty, com'ed in girl, ignore the bodies, making a bluey. Sortof. Bit greedy on the bong like.' A 'bluey', yeah right, I've seen a few horrendous porn movies in my time but at least the actors were awake! A bald headed crook, complete with stripey jumper, mask, and bag with 'SWAG' written on it was slumped in a chair, a girl dressed up in a lawyer's gown and wig was hanging onto his leg, snoring, with his limp dick still in her hand, a tight-bunned, bespectacled 'court secretary' had passed out in the middle of shaving her pubes into a heart shape and some guy dressed as a copper was face down on the floor, arse in air, with a judge's gavel sticking out his ringpiece. 'How to make a porno scouser style, Jack ye've earned the seal of approval – a City of Culture Production, stamp it on the can mate.' 'Nothin less Sammy la, nothin less for the Merry Merseyside Comatose Players. Don't worry I have the antidote – the new Metalica album is in the machine.' I stopped him, pointed to the kitchen and was about to tell Brenda to hang fire, to make herself at home but she had already commandeered the camera and the clothes were coming off. 'Carling, ah canny drink that pish.' 'This is England.' Indeed it was, the land of the pub. 'Let's go tae the boozer.' 'The Black Goose?' 'Christ aye, where else, Ken still work there?' 'Oh Christ ayyyyyye,' he goes like a pier comedian, 'no show without Punch.' 'True, just remind me tae duck. Sweaty Ken emerged from the cellar, sweating. The perspiration on his bald napper reminded me again of dewdrops glistening on a tomato still clinging to the vine - funny how some images tend to stick in your head. As usual he`s moaning like a drain about the problems that confront a man of his size, which has to be said is considerable, moving beer barrels around in such a confined space. But we'd heard it all before, every delivery day in fact, so he gets ignored, from the natives that is, not from me. 'Aw quit cryin ye big bear wot the fuck's up wi ye, someone steal yer porridge?' 'Hey Sammy Knuckles, back from the wilderness, you've not worn out them woolybacks already havya, watcha havin man?' 'Pinta weak and horrible piss.' 'We don't serve that.' 'Aye ye do, THAT'S WHAT I GOT THE LAST TIME,' we both said at once. He grabbed my hand in a bonecrusher and gave me a couple of playfuls on the chin. 'Good to see ya Sammy boy.' He leaned forward on the bar on his massive forearms, a classic Ken pose that invariably heralded a classic Ken story. He had captivated our full attention. 'Jeanie the cleaner phoned in sick this morning, so I had to clean the woman's bogs. Honest lads you would not believe the writing on them there walls.' 'LIKE?' we all chimed. ''Haha, well one goes 'Pedigree John is a total shag.''' Guffaws all round at that one. ''Naw but wait, listen, written underneath in black felt-tip is YEAH IT'S A SHAME THE OLD BASTARD CANT GET IT UP EH? Uproar. We were all in stitches, Scratchy's whole torso shuddered with silent laughter, Old Cunt's belly laugh could be heard out in the street, I was banging the counter with my hand and I swear there were tears in Jack's eyes. Sweaty Ken just leaned there grinning when who walks in right on cue? The bold Pedigree man himself. ''Christ lads what's all the hilarity?'' ''Aw nowt, John you'd have had to have been here. Pinta Peddie mate?'' Kruge looked as if he'd shrunk, no joke when he walked in I had to look twice, see if it was him, his once infamous skull stuck out his loose fitting jumper like the wizened leather head of a turtle. As I watched his reptilian entrance I tried to remember what had caused the original rift, we hated each others guts now, sure, but it hadn't always been like that. Billy Kruge a. k. a. 'the screaming skull', the loud mouthed, failed bookie was once, a long time ago, my mate. Then it came back to me and I bellowed out a scathing guffaw which, I knew, he'd suss was directed at his own good self. It had been a miserable, rainy day and we were walking back from a disastrous pool hall campaign. Skint. We came across a patch of wasteland and the 'skull' stops in his tracks. Next minute he's off over the crumbling wall and digging away at the earth beneath this clump of bushes. A coyote howl fills the air then he's back boldly brandishing a rusty strongbox and leering like a peepshow pervert. The hinges were rotten and we soon booted them off and what's inside? Two grand in forgotten cash stashed over from the days his business was going to the wall, when he was hiding money all over the place, trying to keep it out of greedy creditor's mittens. It was all fusty though and in old banknotes but he got eight hundred when he took it to a bank…And then I took it all off him playing high card. Don't know what he got so mad about, it wasn't as if I never gave him a chance to win it back, double or quits, it's not my fault he's shit at Indian wrestling. Anyway all that had happened a long time ago and I'm no David Attenburgh but by the death stare that was searing across the bar I'd take a good and fair guess that turtles can give elephants a run for their money in the long term memory stakes. Anyday.
Archived comments for CITY OF CULTURE
e-griff on 25-09-2009
CITY OF CULTURE
whey! a fast moving blast from start to finish ... great stuff, well up to your usual standard - and set in my hometown as well! what more can a man ask?


Author's Reply:
Never knew you were a scouser johnny. Ye'll recognise a few of these guys then eh?.Its a great place, a town i know well...My cousin does indeed hail from liverpool.....he's a social worker!

ruadh on 25-09-2009
CITY OF CULTURE
You're showing your age Mr Skinner, Friday and Crackerjack. Some clever writing in this and entertaining to the last.

Author's Reply:
Aye well I can sortof vaguely remember .....clever and entertaining eh?.....I can only hope to please

Mimi on 25-09-2009
CITY OF CULTURE
zenbuddhist,
Laugh out loud great. Impeccable character study and dialogue.
More, please!

Mimi

Author's Reply:
MORE ! MIMI.... certainly i'm writing it RIGHT JUST NOW.....thanx for your comment....Z

e-griff on 25-09-2009
CITY OF CULTURE
that's how I got the 'Oor Wullie' annual every christmas and learned the lingo...

Author's Reply:

macaby on 26-09-2009
CITY OF CULTURE
Loved it all, the dialogue, the patter and the characters. Well paced and highly entertaining story in your usual style. Thanks for the laughs.
cheers mac

Author's Reply:
you're welcome....thanx for dropping by mr mac.....hope the summer has been good to you


MOTORWAY MADNESS (posted on: 03-08-09)
Where does a chav have to go for a nice cup of tea these days?

'Honest Sammy ah thought you were in tae rob the place, a Little Chef fur fucksakes, oh, oh, ah thought, HERE COMES A NUTTER, some junkie with a bad Tarrantino habit.' 'Wot would have went through your heid? One text, then nothin, nae mair texts, nae answer tae calls, oh, oh, AH thought, THIS IS A FUCKIN TRAP!' 'Aye, maybe, but did ye have tae walk in like one o the Power Rangers? Eh?' I turned round fully intending to fire off a volley of fucks but she was just sitting cute on the back seats, like a corny game show hostess, holding up the leather outfit I'd arrived in, casting a sweeping hand over the black visor helmet as if to say, 'you too can look like a knobhead!' I burst out laughing. We both did. 'Yer lucky ah didnae turn up in the costume o a monk.' 'Haha, wish ye had, ah've ayways fancied shaggin a man o the sack cloth.' 'There's mair tae life than shaggin ye ken Brenda.' 'Like wot?' 'Like a wee spoon o Lord Charles.' 'Zat coke Sammy? oh ya beauty, geis a wee toot…aaaaaaargh ya cunt ya… ah could fuck a fitba team noo.' An overindulgence of cocaine doesn't tend to act as the ideal catalyst for making a stress-free bolt down a motorway, I kept checking the mirror, easing up on the accelerator, pushing Brenda's groping hand off my crotch, I was too charged up, too hard wired into crazy escape mode. Brenda must have sensed this, never said anything, just started putting together the makings of a joint. It was a shit-awful, gloomy day, not raining but the road ahead looked overcast, mist-filled and disturbingly ominous. Not that Brenda seemed to notice, she was sporting the biggest pair of fuck off headphones I'd ever seen in my life, I'd had to stop her from taking all her clothes off, said it was more comfortable, said she wanted to give the truck drivers a good eyeful so's they'd wank themselves to death. Then, much to her delight, two black flying beetle things splattered into the windscreen, like sniper's shots, they looked horrible with yellow, spilt guts sliding down the glass. She took out her eyeliner pencil and drew crosses inside circles over their crushed corpses and wrote, 'sammy' and 'brenda' underneath. She laughed. I didn't. The joint took the edge off the uneasy anxiety, I started to relax, stopped imagining police cars and furious gangsters in the rear view, it was time for a petrol stop, a good stretch and a nosh. I hit the turn-off at my usual speed, nothing too outrageously fast and attempted to cruise up to the pumps, which, if the truth be told, loomed up a wee bit faster than I'd expected. If I'd been driving my own motor there would have been no problem but it was a hired car, one of them family size fucking Fiats and it handled like an over-laden haycart. When I hit the brakes I knew I was in trouble, I knew they were going to lock, I had to ease off, pump them, grapple with the wheel, try and get the fucker under control before we smashed into the Roller that was fuelling up just ahead. And I almost made it. The big bang made it sound worse than it was, I jumped out to inspect the damage, there was no one around, at first, then a posh git with a snarling, fuck off, devil dog straining on a leash appeared on the scene. 'Look at my car! Look at my fucking car, this is a Rolls- Royce you moron' 'Er, aye, ah can see it, sorry bout that.' 'You will be my little chav friend.' 'Now, now, no need for insults, ahm sure we can…' 'Look at your EYES, that's drugs if ever I seen them, I'm sure the police will be more than a tad interested in YOU Mr Drugged up Destroyer of exquisite automobiles.' 'Put that phone away, ah mean it you pompous arse, if the polis arrive ah'll show them this and tell them you set that fuckin dog on me.' 'Wow, that's some mess of a bite you got there! But Max didn't do it!' 'Ah ken that, you ken that, but that's the story the polis are getting if they arrive, now see some sense Mr Weed in Tweed and put the phone away.' We just stood there facing each other, a Mexican stand off, I knew he wasn't scared, despite my weed reference he was anything but, an arrogant aristocrat I've heard them say, I don't, I'd just say a posh cunt with attitude and for some reason I started to grant him some respect for it, he looked like he could go a few rounds. Not only that, he seemed to have a pretty good grasp of the situation. 'Well, well, well, we seem to find ourselves in a bit of a bind. Don't try'n insult my intelligence by trying to show me any insurance documents, I'm not a fool.' 'How 'bout a cenny, cash?' 'Ho, ho, ho, anymore fantasies like that and I will set the dog on you, I estimate that damage at, at least, eight hundred pounds. Let's call it a grand.' 'How 'bout an oz. of coke?' 'That, Mr. Respectable Gentleman, is perfectly acceptable.' I tossed him my 'personal' which he plucked out the air with the reflexes of a cat, I grinned, my instincts were still good, this guy was a contender. He raised his arm in farewell gesture, jumped in the Roller and drove off with a honk of the horn, revealing the true extent of the 'damage' for the first time – a dented bumper. Not only a contender but a chancer of the first, no, not first, upper class. And certainly not to be taken as a fool. 'Sammy have you lost yer fuckin mind, ye just gave Lord fuckin Snot there an oz. o good Charlie fur a dented bumper, ah thought ye were gonna knock him oot an pish on his stupid puss ' 'Did ye now? That was a bag o sugar, roll another joint and this time dinnae stack it tae the hilt, ah could do withoot balooterin intae another motor before dinner time.' 'Ah've already done it, we'll take it wi us eh? Ah love gettin stoned an shagged in the service station bogs.' 'Really? You're full o surprises Brenda.' We sauntered off hand in hand, like Romeo and Juliet, the star-crossed lovers. The formidable presence of a battle hardened toilet attendant stymied any shenanigans of a narcotic or carnal nature in the ladies conveniences so we had to settle for a nice cup of tea or what passes for one in those plastic shit hole cafes. Brenda was stoned and took a fit of the giggles, no particular rhyme or reason for it, just one of those belly laugh burst outs that tend to break through now and again when you smoke too much dope. ARE YOU FUCKIN LAUGHIN AT MY DAD'S NOSE Eh? Whose nose? What was this crazy, fat person on about? Did she want to fight? It was a horrible sight to behold, neck stretched right out, face all bloated with red anger. Obviously a vodka monster with a bad attitude. There's no reasoning with these people and they deserve no mercy. Then I saw her dad and, it has to be said, the unfortunate facial volcano that passed for his nose – one of those fuck off, purple, hairy, raw hamburger things that seem to wobble for fun. Unfortunately so did Brenda, she went into uncontrollable hysterics which was obviously all too much for a vodka monster. I expected some kind of trouble, a wild cat scratching attack, or a hair pulling, what I didn't expect was the pulling out of a vicious looking, double edged, lock knife. I sprung into action crashing a full swing slap against her ear, making sure to cup my palm, this traps a depth charge of compressed air which forces its way through the inner workings, culminating in the perforating of the drum – maximum pain on impact. She screamed in agony, staggered round knocking chairs and tables over but it was no more than she deserved. It was her dad I felt sorry for, after all it was his nose. THANK YOU FOR YOUR CUSTOM…PLEASE CALL AGAIN That was the leaving message, the final insult, funny, I never noticed the one on the way in. WARNING: IRATE TOFFS, DANGEROUS DOGS, NAZI TOILET GUARDS, KNIFE WEILDING MONSTERS. ROAM FREE ! TAKE CARE! Maybe it just wasn't there.
Archived comments for MOTORWAY MADNESS
e-griff on 03-08-2009
MOTORWAY MADNESS
och, the life you lead, laddie!

woud'na you be better off suppin cocoa with your old grannie in Dunoon?

so it was YOU that dented my roller *counts wads of cash* *is rich*

what happened to your new style? back to the roots is it?

seriously - very entertaining, pacey. enjoyed the read.... JohnG

Author's Reply:
Dunoon.....are you MAD!... too many heidcases in Dunoon Mr Griff...I prefer the more sophisticated brand of nutcase to be found lurking around the central belt... I am a man of many styles, talents and wisdoms ....but even I wouldn't dare enter the sin 'city' of Dundee!

macaby on 06-08-2009
MOTORWAY MADNESS
If this was a film you would be afraid to go for a pee in case you missed any of the action. Fast paced story, with some really funny lines and I have told you before your carachters .. first class. Thanks for the read I enjoyed the ride.
cheers
mac

Author's Reply:
The thing about rides Mac is that some are better than others but they are always enjoyable. Cheers pal , hope you're enjoying the summer..... Z

ruadh on 17-08-2009
MOTORWAY MADNESS
"...vodka monster with a bad attitude..." - brilliant! I often wonder how much of real life you blend into your tales lol. Perhaps I'm better off not knowing.

And I must protest sir! Dundee is perfectly safe and has a lot to offer ... if you know the right people ... who know the right people.

Author's Reply:
oh aye ah've met a few vodka monsters in my time ...quite a lot in dundee actually...cheers ails


RUNNING MAN (posted on: 03-07-09)
Drugs Sex and Extreme Violence....aaaaah what more do you.....oh man there's no rock and roll. Just put on Alvin's greatest hits when you read it!

Life can be a shock; shock tactics, shock jocks, shock and fucking roller old Teds who think they're Alvin Stardust. The shock of my life came when I opened the false bottom of an acquired suitcase and found it crammed to the brim with high quality cocaine. No hopeful assumption this, I tested for grade A Charlie by, after said shock subsided, rushing a good spoonful up my beak and the top of my fucking head nearly blasted off into orbit. This was way above my wildest hopes and dreams, I had expected eight, maybe ten at the most, bars of Moroccan hash and here I was with, what looked like, half a dozen kilos of the finest Bolivian marching powder. 'Ya fuckin beauty,' I shouted out way too loud but what the fuck, it's not every day you find yourself reincarnated as a God. After the initial rush of good drugs and excitement came the cold, hard reality of the matter; no way was this Georgey Iron's swag, no, this had The Black Man's dabs all over it. I'd done graft for George for nearly five years, he was way too small time for this box of delights, flying solo that is, no, there was no doubt about it, I'd just crossed swords with one of the most dangerous men in Glasgow, The Black Man, boxing promoter, security firm owner, genial family man and cold blooded murderer. Mind you George would have came after me off his own back but this was a whole new level of seriousness, replace broken legs with laying flat out on a mortuary slab. So Georgey boy had finally managed to wangle a deal with the Man himself, he'd been crawling up The Black Man's arse for years, collecting debts, providing safe houses, even lending out his boys for a little extreme violence. It used to make me sick the way he'd jump every time Black Man's fingers clicked, what a prick! Anyway, that was then and the bags of white powder gleaming in front of me, well, this particular, dazzling little glow heralded the dawn of a different day. The acquisition of the suitcase had been no mean feat, okay I knew the route, the mule – fat Gus, the hotel and even when he'd book in, but a lot of ground work went into this little heist, not least the hiring of Brenda, a sassy chamber maid come game wee hoor. 'Wear one o they pink cowboy hats, y'ken the type, lassies on hen parties are aywis wearin them,' I told her. 'Whit the fuck for?' 'Cos the fat bastard actually got off wi a lassie who wis wearin one in Prague, ah think it wis the first time he'd got his hole withoot payin fur it. Ittle ring his bell.' 'Jesus! Izzy that bad?' 'He's a fat, ugly, thick-heeded bastard, haha just close yer eyes an think o yon time Henrik Larson scored that scissors kick screamer.' 'Ahma Rangers supporter.' 'Haha, that's your fault, okay Chris Boyd, any cunt, just make sure his attention is, erm, fully occupied.' 'Dinnae fret Sammy fur five hunner I'd fuck a slaverin ogre.' 'That's whit ah like tae hear, ittle be a piece of piss, knock his door, pink hat on mind, ask if he's wantin business, that's a given, trust me, then ride him rigid, make sure ye get on top, that's important, ah want him helpless.' 'Oh ye'll no need tae worry about that,' she assured me with a fuck off wicked grin. 'Want a wee shot?' Well I had to test drive the goods, only a fool would embark on a risky campaign without diligent preparation, you just know it makes good sense. Sex noises were audible through the door, I slipped in the master key copy, courtesy of my wee chamber tart accomplice, the lock clicked, I was in. She was riding him high, bouncing up and down on top of him, pink hat on, screaming yeeee haaaa and whoop whooping like the horniest wee cowgirl in Wild West Weegieville, Gus was grunting like the fat pig he is, it was fucking fantastic, I was honestly tempted to watch the whole performance, I'd paid good readies for a far worse show than this in Amsterdam's red light. I snapped out of it though and scanned the room for the likeliest hidey hole, hoping like fuck the stupid cunt hadn't stashed the goods under the bed. Just then Bucking Brenda turned her head, just for a wee second and stretched her arm out towards the wardrobe, didn't even miss a stroke. I was falling in love. I hit the deck and belly-crawled over to where she'd pointed, like a slithering snake, thank Christ for sliding doors, it ran silently along on well oiled runners and there it was, mind you Fat Gus was so far gone into fuck heaven he probably wouldn't have noticed the groaning of a rusted-hinged, Transalvanien castle. Then, disaster, Gus's grunts were speeding up, a few bellowing gasps burst into his repertoire, the fat bastard was about to shoot his load, not good, I wanted him pent up demented till I got outside the door with the goods. I needn't have worried though, Brenda was on the case, I saw her hand slide down under her arse, she was squeezing his sack just in-between his tadger and bollocks, a good delaying tactic that, expertly executed, I seized my chance and scurried out the door and when it clicked shut all I could hear was the 'aaaaaargh' of a large mammalian orgasm. Stage one - done. The suitcase was surprisingly heavy but no way was I getting the lift, that's the procedure when you're on a job, always stick to the plan, when you start fucking around, changing things, that's when fuck ups happen and if I fucked this one up it would be bye-bye Sammy, sure as shit. I'd only got down a couple of flights on the fire escape stairs when I heard the crunch of segged, steel-toed boots on the marble, the clattering of a trailing baton on the iron rails, someone was coming up, someone serious. There was only one mental case of my acquaintance that I could remember wearing footwear like that – Giant Gerry, Gus's older brother, another fat bastard, he was an ex-wrestler though and by the sound of it, tooled up, this would require the assistance of my good friend Nicolas. I dug out Nicolas from my pocket, slipped him over my knuckles and savoured the reassuring rush this always gave me. I was up against it but never underestimate the element of surprise – I ditched the burden of the case and rushed down to meet him head on, he was caught gobsmacked so I smacked his gob with Nicolas good style, he went tumbling down the stairs, cracked his head onto the stone wall and when he slid down he left a fuck off, lovely streak of the crimson claret. Looked like good vintage. I made a bad mistake then, I should have made sure but I've always been soft about hitting a man when he's down, it's the boxing training and anyway I'd done him good style. Not good enough though, when I walked down with the case he suddenly made a desperate lunge, grabbing my leg and sinking his teeth into it like a rabid dog. It was unbearable agony and for a minute I thought I was done for, I'd put Nicolas back in my pocket but Gerry's cosh was on the stair, nice and handy, it looked like an old-fashioned police baton, I picked it up and smashed it into his thick skull, once, twice, three fucking times before his grip relaxed. 'Down rover, bad dog,' I said, but it was bad fucking pain that stymied any follow on chuckling. I winced with every step down to the fire exit which burst open when I rammed it with the case and at last I was free to stagger along to the motor I'd parked up round the back. A human bite is the worst kind, I learned that from my trainer, seemingly there's all sorts of nasty germs involved, leads to infection every time. I had to get it seen to, not here though, not in this city. I had to run. The Black Man, The Black Man, a delirious drone in my head as if the leg had already gone bad and the poison was affecting my brain. My phone text alert pinged, it was Brenda: Take me with you, I'll be at the little chef. This wasn't the plan, the old one that is, I couldn't run to London now The Back Man had solid contacts down there and I'd just ripped him off for a half mill's worth of top grade merchandise. I couldn't leave Brenda either she'd be killed for sure. When I'd decided to do a runner I never expected all this. I dug out another spoonful with a shaky hand, it wasn't fear that was causing the trembling, it was excitement, full-blown unadulterated fucking excitement. I snorted the Charlie, threw the packages into a rucksack, shouted FUCK YIS AW and limped out into the red dawn of the new day.             
Archived comments for RUNNING MAN
RoyBateman on 05-07-2009
RUNNING MAN
Now, kiddies, sleep tight - that's enough of our story for one night! Blimey, Zen - gritty stuff, eh? How's he gonna survive the fallout from this job? A tight, well-paced slice of drama - and you seem to know your characters inside-out!
ps I don't think that this was commissioned by the Glasgow Tourist Office, was it?

Author's Reply:
next instalment soon.......soon as I write it that is...hahahha cheers Roy, off to any beer festivals this summer??

pombal on 05-07-2009
RUNNING MAN
Nice one zen

Author's Reply:
thanx pal

macaby on 05-07-2009
RUNNING MAN
Sex, drugs and who needs rock "n" roll with characters and patter like this.
I’d paid good readies for a far worse show than this in Amsterdam’s red light.
a wee second and stretched her arm out towards the wardrobe, didn’t even miss a stroke.

she was squeezing his sack just in-between his tadger and bollocks, a good delaying tactic that, expertly executed,

Just 3 brilliant lines, in my opinion. Great story zen, well worthy of the nom.It certainly was the highlight of my reading night.
thanks for sharing and the laugh.
mac
rated 10


Author's Reply:
cheers mac.......more 2 cum.....soon ......Z


ALIENS (posted on: 22-06-09)
Sci-fi, dont ya just luv it!

'They're here now,' Billy insists, he's talking to me but the others on the bench are listening, bored, waiting in silence for the drugs to arrive or at least the lucky ones are, the unfortunates, the skint ones, they're just waiting. It's amazing how much time junkies spend waiting, there's a song about it, Andy Warhol or some other fucked-up, poser – 'Waiting for My Man,' or '…The Man' something like that. Who gives a fuck? Not me, I fucking hate junkies! 'Who's here?' I ask, not remembering what the fuck the stupid fucker was on about. 'The robots,' he goes, like a t.v. resident expert, as if he was some kind of authority, as if he wasn't starting to make a complete cunt of himself, 'they're walking the streets right now, they're so good man, they look just like people but they're not, they're robots.' Billy is not a junkie, at least not in the classical sense, that is, opiates aren't his particular poison, he is a crank-head - an amphetamine addict, in fact I don't even think that's his name, Billy, he's just called that because of the comic character. What's he fucking called? Billy Whiz, something like that, I don't give a fuck, I fucking hate speed-freaks. He takes out a wrap, peels off the cellophane and rubs the white powder under his tongue and in doing so captivates the attention of each and every bench dweller, they just love a fucking ritual this lot, some of them start to salivate, brow-sweat breaks out, it's like being in a fucking zoo park. It would be easy to offer drug-induced paranoia as an explanation for Billy's bizarre thread of conversation, it's a highly credible theory, even the junkies think he's 'lost it.' I, though, disagree, I think his drug intake is insufficient stimulus, he needs to fucking crank up his intake of 'crank' to see things as they really are, to cement a firmer grip on reality. They're not fucking robots, they're aliens. We all make mistakes, mine are legend but at least I listen to people, sometimes. Did they listen to me when I tried to tell them that my parents were from another fucking world? Did they fuck, all I got was the patronising fob off, 'yeah, yours and everyone else's.' Then, when they realised I was fucking serious, that I was trying to tell them something so important that the future of the world depended on it, then, all of a sudden, I've got something fucking wrong with me, I'm some kind of fucking mental case! Me? If that guy they forced me into seeing wasn't totally off his fucking head, then no one is. It wasn't the Residual that put me on to them, too early for that, it was wee James Cairns, Cairney. 'Your mum and dad are aliens,' he goes one day when we were out playing golf with frogs. 'Eh?' 'They must be, does yer daddy get his trim at Joe the Barbers? Nah, it's the fuckin wimen's salon fur him, he goes fur a run every mornin, whae else does that? Nae cunt. Yer mum's never oot the bookies, wears them old style hats an' coats and they both read fucking books!' 'But they…' 'But nothin,' he says, pointing to one of the floating frog corpses, 'see that scaly skin, that's what yer mum and dad really look like, underneath.' Then his grin vanishes, he must see the look on my face, 'fuck sake y'tolly can y'no tell when I'm kiddin y'on?' It was too late, I knew he spoke the truth, I had to hurry home, they wouldn't be expecting me, maybe I could catch them in their room, that place I was never allowed in. Why? Easy, they didn't want me to see them in all their fucking reptilian glory. The alien bastards. I missed them, at it, revealing themselves, it was a close thing though, they'd come out their lair all fucking messed up, red faced, sweating, they'd obviously just squeezed back into their human skins. It was a shit for sugar disappointment but I knew I'd get another chance, even aliens could fuck up and I was on high alert. I didn't have to wait too long, one Saturday night my old man came in from a wine tasting session and collapsed on the sofa, my mum was at the dog track, this was what I was waiting for. The brand new razor blade was a good choice, it was so sharp I didn't wake him straight away, I knew I had to go in a bit though, to get to the scales. That was why it was deep, I hadn't tried to fucking kill him, of course I had to go through a few main cables, that alien skin was hard to find. I was young then, I thought I knew it all but to be fair all this transpired before the Residual kicked in. After the 'attempted murder' of my father I had to go away, to places weird and far. But at least I learned some things. Things like; if the sun was a burning tennis ball, the distance to the nearest star, the next burning ball, would be three hundred miles. Scaled up it's over four light years. And that's the nearest. Not only that, matter disintegrates long before it could be ramped up to light speed and conventional technology? Well it would take the fastest man-made rocket eighteen fucking thousand years to get there. These fucking cinema-house, sci-fi blockbusters were nothing but a pack of fucking lies. So I grew up into adulthood, learning things, absorbing information, levelling out into a more 'balanced' individual, that's what they said anyway. It was a long haul but when I embellished this more conventional behaviour with expressions of regret and remorse over my actions, it was decided that I had 'progressed,' that I should be allowed to re-enter the alien-infested populace. My strategy had worked, I was free. Free, yes, but far from happy, I just could not figure out how these alien fuckers had got here because it sure as shit wasn't hitching a ride with Han fucking Solo. It was soon after my release that the drone of the Residual crunched into my head - I called it the Gen in those early days. At first it frightened me, the way it just fucking started up talking to me like an internal instruction manual. Then, I realised it meant me no harm, that it was actually helping me cope with my strange little bed-sit world, especially when it schooled me in the skill of wiring a plug for the wireless. That was how we spent our time, listening to the electrical crackling of an untuned radio, for days on end. It helped take my mind off the aliens. It became an unsatisfactory diversion though and eventually I sank my boot straight into the fucker. It was brilliant. The Residual seemed to enjoy it as well, it was the first time I heard it laugh. It was time to go hunt some reptiles. Then the Residual really came into its own, sitting in a café looking out at the passing crowds it revealed to me that the aliens were moving ever so slightly differently, displaying more laboured, not quite swimming actions but as if they were negotiating a slightly thicker, more viscous atmosphere. Armed with this information I began to spot them, they fascinated me, aliens right fucking here amongst us and there was so many of them. Too many, I couldn't kill them all. I had to cut one of the fuckers up though, I had to see with my own eyes what I was up against. So when I cornered that young one up an alley, when I felt the weighty hunting knife in my hand – no pissy little razor blade this – I felt as if I was about to be vindicated. Soon I would be shouting at the world, 'see, unbelieving fuckers, I fucking told you all, what's that? Fucking green blood that's what that is, you septic sceptics.' But something stopped me, it wasn't the look of terror in his face, it wasn't fear of becoming a monster and it sure as shit wasn't any misguided compassion. Some kind of mechanism, like an old-fashioned bell alarm clock exploded inside me and I loosened my grip and let him go. Back at the bedsit I tried to fix the radio, it was hopeless then I remembered the bastard downstairs had given me an old telly, it was in the wardrobe. The hiss of the T.V. white noise was even more comforting than the wireless. I laid on the lumpy bed and stared at the ceiling. Why couldn't I kill it? Because you're one of them. Have I always been? No, do you want me to explain? Yes. The knowledge that you have absorbed regarding space travel is correct, matter cannot travel at the speed of light, our method of transportation involves the creation of a machine which transforms our alien being into replicate earthlings, we are the same in every way identical personality, identical memories, everything absolutely identical, it is the only way we can survive on this planet, once this is done we are condensed into wavelengths similar to that of light, our memories are wiped and we are transported here, as you also know we will not age during this journey. The time you first heard my voice is when you arrived when you replicated the Earthling. What happens to the Earthlings? This I do not know, my knowledge is very superficial, you see I am what is left of your alien memory, the residual, I do not know if this is a malfunction or if there is a purpose for my existence. Are there others like you? This I do not know, the others, they seem totally unaware of the nature of their true identity but it would make sense if there were other self aware beings like me if there is some kind of plan. A plan to take over the world? Yes, we will have to wait and see. So now I sit in the park with the junkies, waiting.
Archived comments for ALIENS
sirat on 22-06-2009
ALIENS
A good opening and a great narrator's voice. I like stories told by people with an unusual perspective on the world. But I thought the ending let it down a bit. To me it seemed like 'more of the same', not the climax that I was expecting.

There are a few ways you could end this: one would be with an incident of extreme violence. I wouldn't recommend that, but of course it's the easy one. Another would be with the emergence of evidence supporting the hallucination. Not easy to do well but great if you could make it work. Especially if it was something that we as readers would pick up on but which the narrator missed. A third ending, which is maybe what you were aiming at, would be something that makes us realise this cook is even more mad and more dangerous than we could possibly have imagined. He decides that the junkies are all aliens and that dousing them with petrol and setting them alight is the best way to solve the problem. Story ends with him filling up a petrol can at the local filling station.

I wonder why you drew back from murder when he had the knife and pursued the 'alien'? If you let him go through with it it would alert the reader to what he's capable of, get us on the edge of our seat for the big ending.

The only other thing I would change is the pseudo-scientific stuff about space travel. One short sentence would be enough, his theories about space travel are a lot less interesting than his relationship with the 'aliens' here on earth.

It's a nice piece of writing though, and my suggestions are really only minor quibbles.

Author's Reply:
I argree with you totally about the ending you see I wrote this as a challenge from my writing group in which I had been [somewhat unfairly] deemed to be scathing about the science fiction genre. I read and enjoyed immensely JG Ballard as a youth and some Robert Heinlen stuff but, yes, I have to admit I'm not what you would call a fan. I kept it short as I had to read it out loud and this is about the length I prefer. I enjoyed writing it and put in that 'pseudo scientific' bit to give it a sci-fi feel,obviously failing miserably, haha. I tried to intertwine an ambiguous thread into the narrative i.e. the guy suffers from schizophrenic delusions but for that to really work properly I'd have to go back and spend a lot more time on it There is also the philosophic question that if something is constructed that is identical to you in every way, could it be regarded as you? In a longer piece this could be explored. Thanks for your suggestions ...you've got me wondering if its worth going back to.....Cheers Z

bluepootle on 22-06-2009
ALIENS
Hi,

I think you picked a great starting point for this story, grounding it in reality, and then going back through his history - it has a strong structure, and I liked the ending, and the confusion of the conversation with The Residual. I think the pace is the best thing about it - it's reckless and galloping. Class.

Author's Reply:
Well thank you, you've put me in a good mood, which is never a bad thing. Maybe a wee but too pacey I think, reading over it again....och you can read over a piece too many times sometimes, if it works for you that's just fine by me.... cheers Bluebottle, thanx for commenting Zx

macaby on 01-07-2009
ALIENS
Hi zen,
I see 2 good writers have left their opinion on this story. I think you have a great imagination and you are one hell of a storyteller.I am not a fan of sci-fi, but I am a fan of yours. I thought the story was great,the character, the patter, the funny lines( I liked mars attacks , you know) junkies and aliens, yes I like the combination.I liked the fast moving pace of the story, sounded just like the narrator had done a line of speed before telling his tale.
Thanks for sharing, great stuff.
mac

Author's Reply:
SPEED KILLS! ! !......I don't know about aliens. I've never met one....cheers mac esp. for the hot story thing most generous.....soon Z


DORK and the INTERNET POETRY SITE (posted on: 05-06-09)
Self explanatory, if anything ever was.

Dork took care when writing his introductory bio, he knew next to nothing about Internet websites but he was well aware of the importance of creating good first impressions. Indeed he had perfected this art to such a degree that if the recipients of his lustrous bonhomie failed to perceive an aura of mysterious charm exuding from his very being they were obviously Philistines and, as such, not worth bothering about. However this introductory repartee relied heavily on the Dork 'experience' which in turn relied exclusively on personal interaction. You had to be there. And although no stranger to expressing himself through the written word he realised his foray into the technological jungle might just be placing himself on a slightly lower footing. But needs must, his conquest tally had diminished to such a low score …well it was just awful. He shuddered and banished the picture in his mind of a cricket duck into some dark recess where he hoped it would fester with the rest of the bad things. The World Wide Web, self explanatory if anything ever was, the world at his fingertips, the unique brand of the Dork artistic excellence was about to metamorphose into a worldwide phenomenon. All he needed to do was submit a poem. And sex up a bio. Bio – Greetings fellow aesthetes, I am Dork. I would like to begin by a self-effacing statement to the effect of, 'it's not all about me,' but it is, so I won't. Hahaha. Please allow me my little digression into humorous frivolity, it's one of my [few] weaknesses. I am a poet, first and foremost. I live and breathe the poetic verse of life. My vision and acute observation, both material and metaphysical, have enabled me to express myself with originality unsurpassed by peers and past masters alike. I have been blessed with, and cultivated, a clarity of expression that has the power to illuminate the senses of sightless men. My published volumes have graced the shelves of both labourers and lords. My resounding oration technique has left learned men gaping in wonder, sent women of substance into rapture, turned the heads of fools, falconers, friends and fakirs. The subtlety of my tone causes beasts of humanity to lay down with the lamb. I set worlds alight with glorious fires of passion. Internet poets take heed, rejoice, a brightly hued bird of heavenly delectation has alighted to roost amongst you. But why am I telling you all this? Soon you will see for yourselves. He would have liked to have written more but the box was full, still not bad for a modest little life and work synopsis. He pressed the send key just as the Elder had instructed and it was gone. Cyber space shivered. Next a poem. INTERNET The rustle of the page fades Like the anguished cries Of a dying God. The strands of the web twang Like the guitar string Of a living God. Not Clapton, Gates. For a change Dork was pleased to behold the distorted, bowl-like features of the Elder through his spy-hole. He opened his door with a flourish and enthusiasm that sent Tom reeling back, hands up in mock shock. 'Woah there Dorky me old son, ease up, it's only me, granted a bottle of malt graces my pocket but then you knew that didn't you? You psychic bastard.' 'Tom my good fellow, bottles of malt are but seed on fallow ground it is your company that causes my spirit to soar, good friends should never be apart for any kind of prolonged duration, like Keats I am seduced by intimacy and always saddened by its premature passing; - ' Let me write down a line of glorious tone, And full of many wonders of the spheres: For what a height my spirit is contending! 'Tis not content so soon to be alone.' 'Fuck sake I only just got here you big dope, have you been on that pipe?' 'No, no, and trice no, mere opium cannot transcend me to this inner world of delectable euphoria. I am reborn, my past tendency towards cruel cynicism is now but an embarrassment to me. At last my imagination is responding to the only true artistic stimulus – cold, hard, wondrous, robotic fingers of technology now pluck the silver strings of my heavenly harp, now massage my scathing soul. I am converted.' 'You're stoned!' 'And you're magnificent, come in, what was that about a bottle of malt?' As Tom watched Dork dance through to the kitchen in search of some glasses, still blabbering on, about what, exactly, remained a mystery, he felt his eyes stretch, it was involuntary, as if he was some kind of conditioned dog destined to adopt an expression of stupid amazement every time he encountered Dork's presence. 'What's brought this on?' he asked, intrigued. ' I'll tell you what's brought this on, ' said Dork returning with two tumblers held up to his eyes. 'I was blind,' he exhorted with pronounced pain, then 'prizing' the 'stuck' glasses free, 'but now I see!' These theatrics left Tom, if somewhat mildly entertained, nevertheless none the wiser. He decided to let him rant on, did he have a choice? Dork was in full flight, surely there was more to come, better to … then he twigged, keen to cut short the performance he said, sagely, 'ah, you've joined an internet poetry site.' 'Excellent deduction Elder,' sneered Dork, put out, resorting to his more derisory designation for his guest. Tom relaxed, poured out a couple of generous drams, this was better, the uncharacteristic onslaught of friendship he had just been subjected to had grated. 'Never thought I'd see this day, you of all people,' then, after some pondering, 'what's up, things aren't that bad are they?' 'Eh?' 'Well if I didn't know you better this might smack of a cynical ploy, a pathetic attempt to pluck a few unsuspecting female flies from a web of, erm, deceptive intent.' 'What!' screamed Dork, 'I've never heard the like, I can assure you my intentions are nothing but honourable.' 'Listen to yourself,' exclaimed a gleeful Tom, 'honourable intentions, ahahaha it's a poetry site Dork, not a fucking prostitution ring.' 'Professional!' spat out Dork, 'professional, that's what I meant to say.' Tom savoured another mouthful of the smooth single malt, never could he remember a whisky to taste so good. 'So what's its name?' he enquired in casual tone. 'Whose fucking name? Are you a fucking moron? I am merely embarking on an aesthetic project, broadening my horizons and you, you, a guest in my home, have the audacity to drag it into the gutter by base suggestions of ulterior motive!' 'The site name, the name of the poetry site,' clarified Tom, biting his tongue, refraining from any inflammatory mention of excess protestations, he couldn't get chucked out, not now, he was enjoying himself too much. 'Oh, the site name, erm, I don't know, the one you gave me.' 'Ah, UKPoets.com, c'mon then fire up the computer, let's have a looksee,' he said encouraging Dork with a sweep of his arm towards the laptop on the desk, and revelling in the discomfort this innocent action seemed to initiate. Dork hesitated but he knew there was no way he could back out. Dork stared at the screen with an intense fascination, it was a kind of wonder that bordered on apprehension as if what he was experiencing was some fantastic other world phenomenon that had serious potential for turning hostile. 'What is it I'm looking for?' asked a nervous Dork gulping down his whisky. 'Well to see how many hits you've had, what scores you've been awarded, if anyone's left any comments, did you not have a look at the site?' 'Erm, no, no, not really,' stammered Dork, replenishing his glass, flushing with a painful admission, 'I was, erm, waiting for you.' 'Okay, let's see, right, there you are: INTERNET…by DORK… a poem of 31 words…comments welcome. The rustle of the page fades… Read more? Click here. Tom clicked, the poem appears, in all its glory; twenty reads, no comments, no scores. 'Nothing Dork.' 'What?' 'Nothing, no comments, no scores.' 'Fuck all?' 'Absolutely fuck all.' 'I don't believe it,' said Dork, stunned, 'what is wrong with these people?' 'Any chance of a drink?' said Tom taking advantage of the Dork shock to rescue the fast diminishing bottle. 'Drink! Is that all you can think of?' 'That's rich there's hardly any left and don't shout at me, it's not my fault your poem's short!' 'SHITE! whatja mean SHITE?' 'Calm down, for fuck sake, short I said, short, Jesus man you're going to give yourself a heart attack.' Dork's red face looked horrible, he dispensed with his glass and took a long pull straight from the bottle, 'tell me one thing Elder,' he sneered, 'would the minute waltz be improved by an extension, the hour waltz perhaps?' 'Good point Dork, that's more like it, see things for what they really are, maybe you just don't fit in, not clique material, this just isn't an up your own arse smug fest, it's a goddamn self-perpetuating mutual appreciation society. Look at some of this – 'great poem George one of your most perceptive works: 10… beautiful, descriptive language Sally: 10…a poignant masterpiece Tess: 10…hauntingly atmospheric Tel, just what I expect from one of your excellence pieces: 10.' And on, and on. You never stood a chance Dorky, see for yourself.' The screen had suddenly lost its fantastic fearfulness, Dork leered at it, scoffing out loud and slugging from the bottle after finishing each submission, 'the smell of stale piss in the hall!' he roared. 'Oh, I wouldn't say that some of the poems are…' 'Bollocks, they're shagging each other, do they ever meet up?' 'Well, yes, there's a Christmas poetry reading, a summer seminar in foreign climes…' 'Aha, exactly, I fucking knew it, how can I expect to compete with this cosy little lot when they're all making the beast with two backs on some nice, little, exclusive Mediterranean scud beach?' 'Is that a wee hint of jealousy I detect?' Dork finally lost control. 'Listen to me Elder you has-been, no, that's too generous, never-was pretender, the day that I, Dork, get jealous of a pathetic band of wannabees is the day you write a decent fucking poem, when I have degenerated into a decrepit old bastard is when I listen to the likes of…' And so the Dork rant gathered pace, each point being emphasised by the jabbing of his finger towards the screen until suddenly it burst into life with an electronic chime. 'What was that? What did I do to it?' 'You're asking me, a never-was pretender?' 'Yeah, erm, sorry 'bout that Tom, heat of the moment and all that.' 'You've been sent a private message, it's a sort of site e-mail system, someone's got in touch.' 'What does it say Tom, show me how to open it.' Private message: Greetings illustrious bard. What a most gratifying privilege to have such a sensuous artist enter our midst. And the poem, it left me speechless, so much so I have to rely on Keats to convey my experience :- 'Then felt I like some watcher of the skies, when a new planet swims into his ken.'… There's a poetry slam on in the Blind Beggar tonight, be there or be square, meet me, wear a cape so I'll recognise you, I'll be the girl with a rabbit in her pocket…p.s. I think you might be the ONE…Gypsy. 'See that, did you read that,' leered Dork close into Tom's face, spitting. 'A poetry slam, I've been invited to a poetry slam, hah ha, thirty one words Elder, a mere thirty one words and I've got a gypsy beauty quoting Keats at me, inviting me to a SLAM! Now if you'll excuse me, the ONE has to search out his cape.' Tom had had enough, he got up and left with much shaking of the head. He departed a happy man, gleeful in the knowledge that the 'beauty' would probably turn out to be a wart faced witch and the 'illustrious bard' had no idea, not even the slightest inkling, what he was letting himself in for, there was no shadow of doubt in his mind that Dork hadn't a clue what a poetry slam even was. Dork woke up with a stinking hangover, he was thirsty, his head ached, he felt queasy and his memory had all but deserted him. Classic overindulgence consequences and, of course, nothing new to a seasoned boozer such as himself. He knew what he needed, a hair of the dog and he wandered downstairs to see if there was any whisky. There was, mercifully, enough left for a decent sized dram in the bottle he had been 'sharing' with Tom the Elder the previous day. He noticed the laptop was still on and on closer inspection discovered he had a private message pending, he opened it. Private message: Dork what a dork you are. When I read your bio I thought it was a joke, a classy piece of ironic self-parody, but no, it now seems clear to me it was, in fact, the preposterous scribblings of an egotistical oaf. Shame on you, you pathetic wretch. As for last night, you turned up steaming drunk, kept on trying to grope my arse in the bar, insulted my friends and then things started to get bad! Jazz Sazz says she's going to castrate you, there's humorous heckling and there's just plain rude nastiness, you said [roared out] her poem about her G-spot, should have been GI spot cause it hadn't been touched since the war. As for your hurled insults at Rap Master…..what exactly is a Mau Mau? No don't answer that, don't ever try and get in contact with me again. Do you realise I saved your life, there was a baying mob hungry for your head last night. But it was when I managed to get you outside when you fell to your knees in the pouring rain and pleaded with me to give you a hand job. That was the straw Dork. YOU DORK. Have a truly awful life creep…Gypsy. Dork closed the laptop that was it, no more Internet shenanigans for him. What a cheek, an ironic self-parody, who did these people think they were? Self righteous cunts that's all they amounted to. He wanted no part of an artistic medium that had the audacity to deny a man of greatness a little exaggeration. After all to allow an illustrious bard to truly shine surely a little leeway must be allowed, a little poetic license.
Archived comments for DORK and the INTERNET POETRY SITE
ruadh on 05-06-2009
DORK and the INTERNET POETRY SITE
Well, I really don't know what to say about this one Mr Skinner. Best read tongue in cheek I think. But I have to say, I did enjoy the first verse of Dork's poem, as for the second, less said the better. One thing's for sure, your writing keeps life interesting lol.

love ails

Author's Reply:
Interesting is good Ails... wots wrong with the second verse?....take that back or I'll tell him....Zx

Humblewriter on 05-06-2009
DORK and the INTERNET POETRY SITE
Praise the lord that this egotistical charlatan was unmasked so readily! Poetry is great art, as many fortunate people recognise in my own work. It is not for the likes of such drunken people. When we dip in Euretpe's well, we dip deep, and drink full on her spirit, I opine! The joy of poetry is inestimably better than the false glow of alcohol.

At least this oaf was confined to some shabby site with know-nothing cliques in abundance, 'hitting nails' and 'crafting superbly' away. Such is not for me - nor is it for the true poet! Sadly, there are few of us.

Hereward

Author's Reply:
Aaaah the art of the true poet is indeed alive and well ..may the well of Euretpe never run dry

Humblewriter on 05-06-2009
DORK and the INTERNET POETRY SITE
Euterpe.

Author's Reply:

Romany on 06-06-2009
DORK and the INTERNET POETRY SITE
I love the arrogance of his claims and his total and utter denial of what he really is! I also love the way his friend knows EXACTLY what he is, realises he's powerless to help him see it for himsel and so just stands back to watch the show.

I did notice a couple of typos, including this:

sent woman of substance

Should read women? And some punctuation/grammar but it's not a big deal for me, don't know if it is for you? (God, I hope I don't sound too much like Dork?!)

This reminded me of the character Mod in The Last Detective (Dangerous Davis - love it!) Except Mod, although pretentious too, is likeable. I don't much like Dork, but I like your writing of him, if that makes sense?

Romany.

Author's Reply:
This is my third Dork story..the others are on this site...and alas my last...Dork is a lot of things but you could never describe him as 'likeable'.....he has a place in my heart though.... like all caricatures it was fun creating him...no you don't sound like Dork and I hate typos so thanx for pointing out that one, I'll just fix it the now... CheersZ

macaby on 06-06-2009
DORK and the INTERNET POETRY SITE
Congratulations on the nib, it is well deserved. Yes, Dork is a bit of a pretentious bastard, an unlikeable character but a memorable one. Remarkable story, well told. The poem was definetly good, both verses.
take care
mac

Author's Reply:
Aye well the poems short for a reason....it's all I could manage....haha...but it kinda fits in with the story
.. bottom l;ine on Dork is ... conceited oafs are funny...cheers mac...Z

Rupe on 08-06-2009
DORK and the INTERNET POETRY SITE
Yup, there's a very thin line between ironic self-parody and egotism & I hate to admit it but there's probably a little bit of Dork in all of us. An accurate and entertaining whatnot.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
Aye, well, maybe it's nothing to be too ashamed about.....if you just wrote stuff kept shtoom and never showed it to anyone there wouldn't be much point...cheers Rupey... Z


PILLOW (posted on: 22-05-09)
A pillow, a hero, an old man, a busybody, the police and some [pillow] talk.

The pillow comes with him as he raises his head from a dreamless, unnatural sleep, causing alarm, pain and surprise; alarm because it's covered in blood, pain because it's attached to a deep wound on his head and surprise because things like this don't usually happen. He stands up, wanders over to the mirror holding the bloody pillow up to his head. He looks like a horror flick extra; the pillow takes on the guise of some punishment labour ordered by a mythical God, his face is a crust of crimson and his hair is sticking out in thick, dried, bloody strands like the crazy locks of a zombie Rastafarian. He laughs, wouldn't you? Perhaps not. As a socially alienated, young hoodlum and borderline psychopath our hero laughs not only in the face of mere adversity but has the strength of character to find humour in even the most degrading of humiliations. Either that or he's realised just how ridiculous he looks. Whatever the case the hilarity soon peters out as it dawns on him that the removal of the pillow presents a problem, it's stuck fast into a nasty gash, a quick yank would doubtless precipitate another bout of heavy bleeding, a slow peel might have no less severe an outcome and it's glaringly obvious that either method will result in a discomfort level that's bound to border on searing agony. Even gangsters have a pain threshold. The thumping from the flat below isn't helping matters either. What the fuck's got into that old bastard, there's no music on and the screaming hasn't even started yet. It's always the way with coffin dodgers, it's always about them, every single little thing that doesn't fit into their pathetic little world has always to be raged against, they are never happy unless they are in a full flight gripe about the slightest of things, they never stop for a single minute to ponder the difficulties involved in removing a blood encrusted pillow from a deep and dangerous laceration. It's a hard lesson in consideration they're needing. 'SHUT IT YOU SLAG,' he shouts down without thinking. His head explodes with such a sharp pain it feels like he's been hit with an axe. A bit hasty there, start counting, that's what the anger management manual says, no joke, it's the recommendation, count to ten before you open your big trap, or start flailing fists around. If they could incorporate the axe punishment every time someone fucked up that would be it, in one fell swoop, no one would need to go back, a whole army of angry, aggressive young men would disappear from the world faster than polar bears. 1001, 1002, 1003, the counting method is working, he calms down, he realises that the banging doesn't make sense, for precisely the same reasons that caused him to tip over into a frenzy and react with a totally unjustifiable display of vocal anger. Maybe the genial elderly gentleman is in trouble, he listens more intently, is there a pattern? Morse code or something, the dot, dot, dot thing. No, there doesn't seem to be any repetition, it's random, it's getting louder, it's completely unnecessary, selfish, erratic, arrogant and totally unacceptable! Who does the old cunt think he is? Fucking banging away like he fucking owns the whole fucking building. A little bit, just a little bit younger and he'd get such a slap… 1, 2, 3, No answer, he gives the bell another ring, thumps the door so hard the catch clicks and it opens with an ominous, corny, haunted house creaking, he shouts into the flat, no answer, just the knocking. He has to go in, something's up. Indeed it is, strung up, the old guy is dancing a crazy dance on the wooden floorboards; a sort of tiptoe tap-dance, hop and skip, earnest affair. The collapsed cable from the light fitting is holding him up, just, amazingly the bulb is still glowing, casting a ghostly light down his bloated face, it looks ghastly and his desperate hands are clawing at the twine digging into his scraggy throat so tight his screams are muffled into pathetic, little musical squeaks. He is the puppet on a wire. I'll name that tune in ten, he says out loud mimicking the t.v. police habit of making defence mechanism jokes while investigating particularly gruesome corpses. But he isn't dead, not yet, the wire is allowing him just enough purchase with the floor and whatever his state of mind before the performance began his survival instincts have kicked in, big time, he's dancing for a lot more than his supper. It occurs to our hero that he's wasting time but he's locked in fascination of this danse macabre, it's spectacular and personalised; as if he alone is meant to witness this as a hideous almost hypnotic display of hellish delight. This passes and he dashes into the kitchen to search for a knife, grabs a meat hatchet, pushes next door Doris out the way and rushes on to save the day. 'Aaaaaaargh,' goes Doris and disappears back to where she's come from. 'This just doesn't make any sense, has that desk sergeant lost his fucking mind?' 'That's the report, eye witness is the next door neighbour.' 'And we're getting scrambled, us, the 'armed response unit,' for fucksake!' 'The guy, the torturer guy's got a bullet lodged in his brain, maybe suicide attempt, maybe assassination.' 'The torturer guy?' 'Yeah, it's a suspected, hanging, drawing and quartering assault.' 'Listen to yourself. Who ordered the hit, Henry the fucking Eighth!' 'Right guys come in and take a pew, I've got an urgent one, as I've just been explaining to your commander it's a little …ehrm, unusual. The twine is so taught, the blade so sharp that he doesn't need to do more than touch it to cut him down with a twang. But there's a problem, he's still choking on the embedded tourniquet, he's losing consciousness, there's not much time. He, wisely, decides to go in from the neck, too many vital chords, veins and arteries are bulging at the throat. The hatchet is a good choice, which is strange because it wasn't what he was looking for, he digs the corner into the flesh groove till he meets resistance, jerks the blade, it's bloody messy but our hero saves a man's life, the fact of which is heralded by a rasping coughing fit that resounds all the way to the old man's polished brogues. 'They're what saved your neck, right there,' he says pointing to the shoes, wincing at the Yank speak, recognising the start of a bad habit. 'Good old, Saville Row deerstalker brogues, my old man used to swear by them.' The old guy can't answer, he's rushing oxygen into his lungs as fast as he can, in great, gasping bellows. 'Sorry, wrong choice, 'bout saving your neck I mean, that was tactless, seeing as how it's just been badly sliced into, bad irony, it's a bad habit. Bad habits are one of my more distasteful traits but it's not all-bad, for some reason my total lack of respect for the sanctity of human life seems to have been back shelved today. Maybe it's a new dawning, 'today is the first day of the rest of your life', hah, ain't nothin truer than that shit for you grandpappy!… Did I sound like some homeboy, nigga car-jacker there? Like I said, bad habits and me, old friends man, old friends.' The old guy doesn't look as if he's about to offer an answer, it's anybody's good guess that he doesn't give a flying fuck supposing it was Satchemo himself growling out a tirade of jazz trash, there's air to be breathed. 'Nice suit brother, that's some natty threads, sorry 'bout the blood n'all but hey, it could be worse, look at me, aint this some crazy sheeitt goin on, right here,' and he gives his pillow a playful scrunch. 'What a pile of steaming bullshit, I joined this 'band of brothers' so I could waste some towel-heads.' 'Well hold on there soldier boy maybe this'll be good practice, a fucking pillow-head is reported to be at large, hahahaha!' 'Yeah, it's not every day you get to whack a deranged, medieval torturer doing the rounds in his underpants, with a pillow stuck on his head.' 'I don't buy this torturer crap, if you ask me it's a suicide pact gone wrong.' 'If you ask me it's some old bag forgetting to take her pills.' 'Whatever, if I see some mad bastard waving a weapon…' 'You're gonna put his lights out.' 'Yeah, it's way past his bedtime.' It's hard to fathom the mood of the old man as he turns to look on our hero, the flesh of his face has bunched up into folds and all the blood vessels in his eye-balls have ruptured. He looks like a red-eyed, rain forest reptile. 'You! You bastard, you saved my life!' 'Anytime pal, don't mention it, nice of you to be so gracious, let me guess, you acquired this becoming demeanour through many hours practising Tibetan meditation technique.' 'Fuck you, smart arse,' he hisses out, then breaks down into great wailing sobs. 'Yeah, it's all been a bit Weird City innit mate, try'n chill man, Delirious Doris will have phoned by now, don't worry the cavalry is on its way.' The tears have wetted his face, he looks even more reptilian but he's starting to come round, 'the last thing I need is the cavalry, are you as stupid as you look? I want to die!' 'C'mon man…' 'C'mon man fuck all, they're going to put me in a home. So do you know what I've got to look forward to? No, course not, well listen up wide boy you might learn something. There'll be some guy wandering the corridors bollock naked offering a gift with outstretched hand but it's no generous present, no, it's a turd, the guy is offering me his shit, and when I refuse to take it, know what he'll do? He'll eat it right in front of me. There'll be old skeletal women hiding food all over the place, half masticated meat and veg in their shoes, in their pockets, the stuff stays hidden for days, rotting, stinking, you know why? They can't chew anymore. There'll be a guy in the t.v. room who pulls out his plonker and starts pulling on it all fucking day, complete with a screwed up perv face. But I can't move, get out his way because it's not my mind that's going, it's my body. So it's a fucking daytime t.v. and live masturbation horror show, every fucking day - Jeremy Kyle and Tossing Tommy the Diabolical Duo. Even if I could move there's nowhere to go, these homes are locked up tighter than Bellmarsh. Do you know how hot it is in these places? The heating's on full blast, not because of the load of old tripe that old people are more susceptible to drafts and cold, no, it's to remind them they're in hell, a living hell… You look at me and you see an old man, a moaning bastard that's always kicking off about that awful earthquake you call music thumping down every other night. Fuck you arseface, I was a bigger gangster than you'll ever be, Mad Frankie Frazer was my best mate You think you can do time, when I was in prison we went to bed with a candle, shivered inside the damp brick walls on straw mattresses. You think you're hard, try squaring up to a gypsy bare-knuckle contender. You think you can pull birds, I've had more rides than Lester Piggot. You better be paying attention matey boy because you know what, the retirement home thing, it'll come to you'n all. If you live too long. 'Did you carry heat?' 'Guns you mean? Sure, all sorts, shotguns, rifles, pistols, German Lugers, you name it, we carried them all. And used them. I just wish I'd kept one, this mess, this fucking pantomime, this total fuck up would never have happened.' 'I've got a gun.' The pillow gets caught in the hatch hole on his ascent into the loft so he has to ease himself up, not too much of a problem though and soon he's unwrapping the cloth that conceals his revolver. Every time he does this his heart skips a beat, this is the tool of the street, this is power, when he has it in his hand he can't bear to let it go, it mesmerises him almost to the point of magical control. The pillow gets even more stuck on his descent and the pulling on his wound makes him cry out a little in pain but he's not letting go of the gun to ease his difficulty. DROP THE WEAPON NOW! He knows he's been shot in the spine, it's agony beyond belief, it feels like he's been put through a band saw. As he crumples to the ground he lays his head on his pillow which encases him in a blinding white light, in here there is no pain, in here there is only euphoric happiness, in here there are no shit eaters, no food hoarders and definitely no degenerate wankers. He laughs, won't you?
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SECOND PERSON (posted on: 01-05-09)
I'm now looking for the fourth bastard but I think he either got away or fooled us all into believing that he existed in the first place.

Wake up! You have slept too long but that's nothing unusual. Don't get grumpy about it as you usually do. Make a conscience choice to be a cheerier soul today. Today is a big day for you, search for that inner strength that can consume you with the benevolence, flamboyance and sharpness of being that you will need. Seize the day. Search for a mirror, appearances are important, still ugly? What did you expect? It's just puffy eyes and that spot on your nose. What is it that they say, 'no one notices a spot on the nose but yourself', something like that. But it's not true, yesterday everyone was staring at it and Julip Jerzinsky called you 'rhino'. Which would have been all right if it hadn't been Julip Jerzinsky that said it. Why couldn't your parents have given you a name as cool as that? At least you came back well, 'yeah well you know me Julip, always horny,' you said, with your best wicked grin. Not bad considering how wary you are around him, it's as if you're terrified that a world exists in which he will pay you no attention. But after the exchange you felt clever, smug. This is something you'll have to be careful about, there's no place for vanity today. Least of all a display of self-importance. It's all about you but don't milk it. Remember, it matters not what you are, only what you appear to be. But mean it, inside. People are fickle but if you assume they are easily fooled you could be heading for a fall. Don't take anything for granted. Best to play it by ear and assess the situation for what it is. Let your confidence rule the day. The tight fitting black skirt is a good choice, gives you an ass to die for. Well done. Your father disapproves, all the better. 'I love you dad but don't deny me freedom.' This is the law. Your face still has childlike qualities, impish, freckly. It's a face that can't improve with a make-up assault. Subtlety has to be the governing hand. So select a white blouse, without frills. Big girl's blouse – that's Julip. Your mother comes in to make sure you're up. She's still got it, it takes a certain shape to make a suit appear powerful. Her hair tied back tight in a little bun shows off her sharp, striking features. A classical look. One that wouldn't look out of place on a brooch. In profile. 'Good, you're up,' she says, 'nervous?' 'Not yet, but it's in the post, parcel delivery.' 'Yes, well, don't worry I'll sign for it, never say I'm not there for you,' she says, grinning, 'shower's free.' That's one of the things you like about your mother she can diffuse tension with humour, effortless but sharp, like her face. 'I love you mum but don't ever change.' This is also the law. It's not exactly a cold shower, just cold enough, tepid is what it says on the dial. Strange word, tepid, it's not a word you'd ever use in connection with anything else, 'how's the weather outside?' Tepid, no it doesn't work. It's also a word that loses its meaning the more you repeat it in your head. Like you're doing now. So stop it. It's something you used to do as a child, then it was fun, you could make anything appear worthless, just by repeating its name, it gave you a certain power. It made you God. Now you're just using it as a distraction technique and you can't tell if its working. Tepid. Tepid. Tepid. It's not quite catharsis but it's close. The shampoo is definitely the 'simple' one, you don't have to keep checking it, not that you can be blamed, the last thing you need today is a Freddy Kruger face. The thing on your nose is crisis enough. Don't touch it it'll make it worse. People keep telling you stuff like this, and other stuff, there's no shortage of advice regarding embarrassing spots, rub it with the scent glands of a freshly slaughtered dormouse. Crisis what crisis? Give your hair a vigorous wash, drag yourself out from the clinging mud of drowsiness. You feel glad you've had it all cropped off now, it was the right thing to do, it's a statement of your maturity, of your transition from child to adult. Bold and brave, like it has to be. It doesn't half show off your slender neck and the long, long curve down to your heavenly ass. To die for. Which you write on the steamy glass door with an arrow pointing to a bum drawing. To amuse yourself. On the radiator - another word that loses its meaning with the repetition treatment - a nice fluffy, warm, white towel is waiting for you. 'I love you mum, but you make me say things out loud.' This isn't the law, just a statement of fact. The Pest is at the door but you take your time. He's adorable and you could just give him a sisterly hug, in much the same way you would a snarling dog. 'C'mon gorgeous, Kate Moss is outside waiting in a limo,' says the Pest through the door. He's funny and you could just crease up in laughter in much the same way you would at a Sambo joke. You know that your Dad will stay quiet about the skirt, you know your mum will have ordered this, what you did not expect is an enthusiastic, encouraging greeting. There is no trade mark sarcastic comment, no ribbing. He looks proud and almost handsome in his open-neck, casual shirt. Almost. You rush through breakfast, the first butterflies are fluttering, the enormity of the day is beginning to consume you, from the inside out, as is usual with such things but you have a plan, an unusual plan that's not to be found in any manual but it'll work for you. Hopefully. 'I'm off to practice,' you say grabbing your folder, hugging your parents goodbye with lots of 'good lucks,' and 'you'll be just fines,' even the Pest says something from the stairs that has a ring of encouragement. You set off with a spring in your step and without fully realising it you give in to the childish compulsion that makes you want to skip. There's something reassuringly carefree about it. If Julip could see you now. Your parent's house is in ten acres of woodland, the driveway is flanked by swaying, tall trees, no one can see you now. Did you forget how fast you can go? Hike up your skirt, get a good lope on, yeeeeehaaaaa! A bike, it's doing the same speed, towards you, it's the postie, you forgot about him didn't you? 'Morning,' you say as you cruise past. The look on his face is priceless. It's the funniest thing you've seen in a long time. Don't stop, you can't anyway, just keep skipping and laughing along. It's the bestest day. Ever. 'I swear her skirt was wrapped round her waist, flying by she went, black stockinged as well, like a tart, 'morning,' she says without a trace of shame.' You can hear him now, telling anybody that'll care to listen, plenty no doubt. The epitome of the cruel gossip; the country postman. You skip even faster, laugh even louder. The day that anything these people say is worth something will be a Flag Day. For everyone. For sure. It's surprising how much ground you cover, you arrive at the field before you know it, breathless, exhilarated. Maybe you'll take this up on a more regular basis, the image in your head, skipping round the town, pleases you and lying on your back for a rest and a daydream seems like far too good an idea to ignore. So don't. Go on then, make a daisy chain you know you want to. You can always feed it to one of the cows, like that cute cow in the magic roundabout, Ermatude, she always has a daisy in the side of her mouth. Entice them over, it's strange that they'll come with just the offering of grass, long bushy bunches maybe but grass just the same. The grass is always greener when you're offering. It's probably just because they expect something else, something a little more exotic, sugar lumps. That's conditioning, learning by association, you learned that in psychology, now there's a grown up subject, sexy as well, nearly as sexy as poker. Nothing's as sexy as poker, not even Julip. The grass is working here they come, no, no sugar lumps, only grass. Dumb animals. That's not cruel, they are dumb they can't speak, they can listen though. You pull out your folder and get busy, eye to eye contact, that's what it says in the manual and you won't get any better practice than a cow peering over a dyke. But you can't feed them and lecture them at the same time. Rhetoric doesn't taste nice and it sure as hell doesn't get you fat. They wander off one by one. You hope you don't get that reaction. Thank you Julip, that was a most enlightening, persuasive argument and now ladies and gentlemen and, hurrumph, dare I say it, boys and girls, I have the pleasure of introducing a young lady who's about to offer an alternative point of view regarding one of the most controversial and thought provoking proposals the debating society has ever had the pleasure of hosting, SIXTH YEAR PUPILS ARE YOUNG ADULTS AND AS SUCH SHOULD BE ELEVATED TO A STATUS EQUAL TO THAT OF THEIR PEERS – THE TEACHING STAFF would you please put your hands together and welcome to the stage the second person to speak this evening Miss -
Archived comments for SECOND PERSON
e-griff on 02-05-2009
SECOND PERSON
wow. this is a different style from you! (or did I miss previous ones). very smooth writing, had me hooked.

Surprising stuff. Liked it a lot.

Author's Reply:
glad you liked it Johnny boy always aim to entertain....yeah it's a different style don't no exactly which one but it's definately different....cheers Z

macaby on 02-05-2009
SECOND PERSON
An interesting and well told story. I agree with griff, I have read a couple of your stories now and this has a different touch to it.The dry humout is still there though in certain parts. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed the read. mac

Author's Reply:
thanx mac your generous comments are always appreciated.....Z...oh and the hot author thingy many thanx my friend


RIDING THE DRAGON (posted on: 17-04-09)
A test.

As soon as he uttered, no, not uttered, they had felt so foreign in his mouth he'd more or less spat out the words, he'd felt a fraud, 'would you like to go for a coffee,' only roasters spoke like that. He reasoned with himself, after all the lassie was Chinese, a recent immigrant with a thick accent so no point in beating himself up, he had to make himself understood after all, otherwise it was over before it started. He felt vindicated when she accepted with an enthusiasm that struck him as genuine, this was going to be different but why should that make it any less enjoyable or exciting. He recognised the situation for what it was – a test. He was glad to get out of the IT room, there were too many nosey bastards ensconced in that particular nest of gossips and if his public proposition hadn't turned every head from their screens it was only because some of them were wearing headphones. The Arts Centre coffee bar presented a venue far more suited to purpose, even though he suspected that his involuntary wince at the extortionate charge had been as telling as it was obvious. It wasn't his fault, he had no idea of the prices in these places, he'd made a point of never darkening their doors, student grants, as every sane person knew, were exclusively designated for purchases of beer, cigarettes, dope, pasta and tins of Campbell's condensed soup. The wince was bad enough but the trembling of the hands, the rattle and spill of the coffees in their saucers, were just pure embarrassment, hell and damnation, he hadn't realised his hangover was so bad, he blurted out a crude questioning strategy to divert her attention away from this delirious display of debauchery: what was her name, where was she from, what was she studying, did she enjoy this country and other banalities which, of course, were usually of no real interest, consequence or importance to a youth whose normal preoccupation with girls he was engaged in conversation with invariably involved the burning question of what colour of knickers they were wearing. Not today though, today was a test and if he was to rise to the challenge all puerile obsessions were to be purged from his, frankly, limited and deficient approach to the courtship ritual. It was time to be a man. The beating engine driving this force for change, he knew, was the fact that she was Chinese, he was sailing in uncharted waters. He'd got off with a black lassie when he was hitching in France but she was, pigment aside, in every and all ways, French. This lassie was from the East, an Oriental beauty or was she? It was the eyes of course, they were deep pools but of beauty? So different, he'd never noticed just how different before but when you're pissed and ordering a chow mein takeaway in full voice the green shoots of romantic love don't tend to take hold in fertile ground. 'So you want to be my boyfriend?' That was a bit sudden, different to say the least, he couldn't imagine a lassie from, erm, from anywhere he knew coming out with that one, not unless she was some kind of desperate freak, Chinese though, Chinese. 'Yeah, that would be nice,' he felt himself implode and not just metaphorically he was convinced that he was actually collapsing in on himself. But there it was again that display of enthusiasm that could never be viewed as anything other than spontaneously genuine. Maybe he was a natural, bring them on, Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, he was the Oriental dating meister, but he, wisely, checked himself, no point in getting carried away, this was only the start of the journey. Outside the café, Jo Jo started whooping and circling round him in the style of some kind of Chinese ballet, she grinned, grabbed his prick, turned away and gave it a couple of tugs. Ding! Ding! All aboard? It didn't take long for the wheels to start falling off, as they trundled up the road, arm in arm, towards the cinema he spied an obstacle up ahead that was just as dangerous as any police 'stinger'. The visit to McDonalds had been bad enough; the expense, the awful food, the screaming kids, especially the brat who insisted on beating his hungover skull with a balloon on a stick, the gaudy décor, just the general crappy, plastic feel to the place. She had asked him, 'are you bored?' of course he was fuckin bored, you'd have to be a brain dead moron not to be. Or Chinese? The fast food fiasco though soon paled and dissipated, up ahead sat Lachlin McClachlin, his flatmate, engaged in the activity he charmingly referred to as 'income support,' a satirical euphemism perhaps but the less lofty among us, those tarred with a brush more frequently dipped in the pot of reality, would just call it street begging. Of course had Jo Jo been Scottish he'd have been able to tell her all about this eccentric near-toff who spent his benevolent father's allowance on cocaine and prostitutes, they could have had a laugh at and with the fool. But she wasn't and they couldn't, it had been bad enough in McDonalds lying to her about how it wasn't boredom but tiredness, that he'd been studying hard, that he was a frequent visitor to establishments that not only churned out artery blocking fat rolls with military precision they had to make a point of smiling about it. Not that he hated lying, he was, after all, an expert but this was different, he'd never had to constantly strive to be a person he wasn't and it grated, he had felt like giving up, just walking out but the fact it was a test spurred him along, that and the couple of dongs on his dick. Thankfully Lachlin, when begging, always donned one of those deep hoodies which gave him the convincing gait of a deranged pilgrim finally succumbed to the overwhelming toils of his journey, his dusty face mercifully hidden away in wrap around obscurity, unseen and, more importantly, unseeing. He knew she would stop, he hadn't known her long but she seemed to favor a political outlook that would be hailed and applauded exclusively by those fringe organizations found to the right of New Conservatism or at least she had displayed a strong aversion towards smokers, drinkers, recreational drug users, dole scroungers and, presumably, begging students. He got the feeling that the latter might just be earmarked for a significantly more lethal strain of venom. 'What are you doing down there?' 'Just hoping for any change or maybe a little tobacco,' growled out Lachlin in an unsuccessful attempt at disguising his posh accent. 'What from complete strangers, why, why don't you work, where is your mother and father?' 'I know it's bad but I'm desperate, I can't work I suffer from depression, I was mugged by hooligans, they took everything, my money, my jewelry, my parents are backpacking around Australia I have no way of contacting them, could you please spare me some change?' Backpacking around Australia, mugged, depression, a desperate plea in a faltering voice, all this would usually be far too much, Chinese girl to impress or not this deserved an unprecedented derisory hooting and display of unfettered glee of the highest order. But he was frozen, he was caught in a déjà vu, standing there looking at the spectacle of his begging friend he got the feeling that this had happened before and, as is usual with such things, he was frozen in a moment of time trying to work out where and when… A dream, it had been a dream, a long and particularly nasty nightmare one of the lasting images of which was a plague ridden monk whose face had been hidden by his cowl, when he leaned forward the cowl had fallen away revealing a puss and boil abomination that would drive any mere zombie hopping and screaming into the nearest bottomless pit. To his horror he noticed that Lachlan was beginning to lean forward, it didn't really matter what particular face was about to be exposed, both were disastrous in their own right, he had to think fast, he pulled out a pound coin and threw it into the hat with considerable but completely necessary force shouting, 'here ya scroungin bastard, get a job!' into his sleeve. He grabbed Jo Jo by her arm and in marching her away in mock fury they sort of jolted together, bounced and straightened out like an out of control train buckling on the tracks. 'Do you want to have sex with me?' Jesus, this girl couldn't half come out with them, all he'd done was grab her, no, not grab, fondle her arse during the affectionate, reassuring embrace, which, after his display of anger, they found themselves engaged in. What could he say? 'Yes' – that could mean a face slapping and a storming off. It could also mean, success. 'No' – that could mean a face slapping and a storming off. It could never mean success, not unless it was a test. He settled on a grin and nod and had no idea what effect this had had because she just looked back with a completely blank expression, disentangled herself, locked her arm in his again and led the way. They couldn't arrive at the cinema quick enough for him, he knew there was a bar there and a nice cold lager seemed like the best idea in the world. 'No,' she said with a frown when he came back with his pint. 'Yes,' he said with his first flicker of real annoyance, something she picked up on straight away, she sat further back in her seat, sipped her orange juice and sulked. So what, he'd failed, who was he trying to kid anyway, better to get out now before the horrendous expense of the cinema tickets, expense, oh yes, plenty of expense, there had been the coffee shop, McDonalds, the drinks at the bar but it was the pound he'd had to shell out to McClachlin that really stung. Bastard! The beer was going down well, he felt like he deserved it, it was all getting too much, too much of a strain, he noticed through the bottom of his glass Jo Jo disappearing from the bar and whether she was heading towards the toilet or the exit door somehow didn't really matter anymore. Back she came though, she'd tied up her hair with big wooden sticks and with hands together, smiling, bowing, sort of glided across the barroom floor like some kind of Chinese puppet, a hover craft marionette, when she got to the table she seemed to float through the air in that effortless way gymnasts seem to pull off with ease and landed on his lap, straddling him. He made that his last pint. He felt glad of the darkness the cinema offered, not that it was peaceful what with a raging sword and sandals carnage-fest blaring on the screen but he somehow felt more at ease than he had all day, he tried to relax, to play with her hair and realised that she was sitting on the edge of her seat enthralled by the action. Okay Brad Pit looked a bit buff he had to admit, looked like he'd been working out for this one, and of course that handsome face could, maybe, by some, be considered classic – it could have been worse it might have been Bruce Lee! Then he might of felt like a drunk who had just been woken in an alley by a dog pissing on his face. But it wasn't Bruce it was Brad and…fuck them both, it was him that was getting his cock felt in the Picture House. Not a good feel though, just a couple of pulls and then, then nothing, then another couple of pulls. What the fuck was this? A Chinese wank! He tried to return the complement and she let him grope her fanny for a couple of seconds then, giggling, pushed his hand off declaring to all and sundry that it was 'sensitive'. Sensitive, well yes, maybe, but so was his ego, sensitive spiraling down to fragile, he decided to go for the traditional Picture House snog, but as he leaned into her she whipped her head away saying that it was 'too soon'. Too soon, what the fuck was that supposed to mean? He gave up, settled down to watch the film, stuffed his face with popcorn and did his best to cope with the straining erection that was trying to burst through his jeans. It wasn't that the arm and arm thing annoyed him it was just a wee bit awkward, old fashioned maybe, embarrassing, people were staring, a mixed race relationship, no the mixed race thing had nothing to do with it, it was the sham of it all, ok not sham but it felt false, clumsy. 'So will you give me a son?' Don't beat about the bush or anything, ask it like it is. Since when did a wee cinema date come with a domestic bliss clause bolted on? A journey of a thousand miles starts with but a single step. That was Chinese, he was sure it was. 'Well the park's just up ahead you'll get one in there.' It was a shit joke but it relieved the tension, the feeling that twisted in his gut that he was being taken for a mug, dates were supposed to be fun, enjoyable, not some kind of confusing ordeal, there were tall trees waving in the wind up in the park and he wished she would float up and perch herself on the topmost branches. He'd seen that, 'Crouching Dragon' or something. But her feet remained firmly on the ground, using the arm in arm link he hurried her through the park, towards the bus stop. West Pilton, one of the worst housing schemes in the city, as they walked through the wasteland, flanked on all sides by the rabbit hutch abodes, he imagined he could hear the feral cries echoing round the blocks, there was a student within their midst. In these parts the hunting of students with crossbow and dagger was no mere enthusiastic pastime; it was a heart and soul obsession. Anyone reneging on the obligatory Sunday practice of firing poison-tipped bolts into a Stephan Fry effigy could expect their supply to be forfeit for at least a fortnight – by order of Baron Von Heroinstein. Surely she could find a better place. A light went on; the barrage of questions he had faced about where he lived began to make sense. He was no linguist but when they got to her particular hutch, he assumed the greeting the wee lassie was hollering out could be confidently translated as 'mummy, mummy'. He hadn't expected to be invited in and he was glad when this proved to be the case. 'Next week we'll go to a disco.' He nodded absentmindedly, his thoughts were elsewhere, surely McClachlin wouldn't have discovered his new hiding place, surely he could expect to return to his wee stash of; a single cigarette, enough for a joint, a can of Stella, a packet of macaroni and a fine tin of pea and ham soup.
Archived comments for RIDING THE DRAGON
Rupe on 17-04-2009
RIDING THE DRAGON
I've read a few of your stories now & am getting to think I could identify by them by the style of writing - at its best it's excellent:

"So different, he’d never noticed just how different before but when you’re pissed and ordering a chow mein takeaway in full voice the green shoots of romantic love don’t tend to take hold in fertile ground"

Yes. I enjoyed this one, but by the end of it felt that there were a lot of things I wanted to know about - just where is she coming from with this approach, and where is it leading to, being the main question in my mind. Good read as far as it goes though.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
where is she coming from - it's a mystery......?
where is it leading to......nowhere

this actually happened to me, maybe not exactly but near enough.....do you not think that short story writing should contain confusion, c'mon lets face it if you're led by the hand in word for word explanation it's fucking boring or at least badly written.....the imagination is a glorious thing.


last two tickets for colorado (posted on: 27-02-09)
The Celtic Cowboy Showdown

Friday and we'd all pulled the pin, the door of the 'Tarmac' tea hut banged open and in burst Grim Gregor the grader driver, he looked like a wild west carnival hawker, 'yeeeehaa lookyhere ahve goat the last twa tickets fur Coloradee, any o yoo cowpokes up fur it, ten bucks a pop!' he boomed out in his best attempt at an American accent, holding the said tickets up in the air. They didn't appear to be any ordinary tickets, they seemed to have a power source all of their own; two scarlet tombstone digits spookily radiating in his hand like the final defiant gesture of a freshly burned heretic. A stampede ensued, a rig boot thunderous stomp and jostle in the direction of the hallowed tickets with no holds barred and with good reason, the stakes were high – a live 'Country an' Western' set unrivalled this side of the Grand ol Opree, or at least north o' Dunkeld, these tickets were bars of red gold. 'Draw straws! Draw straws!' roared Grim Gregor, seeing sense, realising that this little ruckus had potential to escalate into a mini-riot, the first punch had already been thrown, everybody calmed down to a frenzy and one by one turned towards me. I shook my head, they could all take a run and jump, the last time I'd organised something, a wee sweepstake, I'd pulled out the favourite, talk about death stares, it was the first time I'd ever wanted my horse to lose! 'No way, no way, sort it yourselves.' I told them but looking round the pathetic array of; broken noses, scars, gnarled hands, pale faces, ruddy complexions, full beards, goatees, sideburns, lots of sideburns, oh yes plenty of....there was no escaping the overwhelming sense of collective helplessness. They were like expectant children looking for help in blagging a way to the fare and to refuse them would be tantamount to the worst excesses of a bloated, wart-faced, Dickensian bully. No, I did not roar MORE? I softened into the countenance of a reasonable man. 'Okay but forget the straws, there's a set of dominoes here, there's…how many ten? I'll give ten a good shuffle everybody picks one leaving the last one for me, the two highest numbers get the tickets okay?' Lots of murmurs of assent greeted my little proposition, I wasn't so enthusiastic, I had to include myself in the draw otherwise…well they already thought me some kind of freak so refusing to jump at the chance of attending a 'Colorado' concert just wasn't an option. Anyway the odds were strongly in my favour which, although initially elating, after some wistful reflection, got me wincing, the last domino beckoned me, I bit the bullet and turned it over…no great shock as I revealed the double six. I glared at it with super hero intensity trying to erase the offending result, the bastard black spots just glared back with the ferocity of an incoming volley of grapeshot about to rip into my flimsy flesh. Looked like I was Colorado bound. Still Friday and everyone was on the work's site, the door of my caravan banged open and in burst Robbie the Pict, he looked like the bastard son of Willie Nelson, 'yeeeehaa lookylively y'awl young guns, strap yer iron an'let's get mosyin,' he boomed out in a slightly better accent than Grims. There was obviously some rush, on realising he had drawn the other winning domino Robbie had let out a massive whoop, stripped off his shirt, filled a pail with water, stuck his warrior locks into it and started attacking the tangled mess with a bar of carbolic soap, 'to save time' and as I watched the blue tattoos on his back ripple into life, he got no argument from me. 'Yeah Robbie, I'll get 'mosyin' in a minute, is it okay if I get out these work clothes, have a shower and shave, iron a shirt, get changed and maybe grab a bite to eat?' He looked at me as if I'd just proposed sacrilege or at least suggested a list of preparations that were not only completely unnecessary but from another world entirely and could surely only be practised by an alien or some other kind of freak. His eyes slitted and he crunched a tape into the machine. 'Get Wranglered up, the Roundhouse, twenty minutes,' no attempt at a phoney accent, just a menacing undertone of urgency. I smiled and stuck my thumb up in a gesture of understanding and hollered, 'Coloradee,' which was obviously the required response because Robbie broke out into carnival dance, a little yeeha shin digger shuffle straight out of Calamity Jane. No pairs of Wranglers were to be found in my clothes drawer but I did have a pair of black Levi 501s and a new checked work shirt. Christ I was practically model rodeo, no boots though, I suppose I could of borrowed a pair but recently I had been wracked with concern for the fate of my immortal soul - better to roast on the eternal spit of hellfire than to be seen prancing about in a pair of cowboy boots. Far better. A Johnny Cash tape seemed appropriate accompaniment, as I washed, shaved and dressed the San Quentin posse of murderers cheered and applauded a cacophony of debauchery which included bloody fistfights, drunken arrest, burning rings of fire and the killing of an innocent man, 'just to watch him die.' Had the 'man in black' been to Blair Atholl? The Roundhouse door was wide open allowing a great billow of tobacco smoke to escape, it spiralled skyward in curious twists and turns as if signalling a dire warning. A lone figure stood guard, Grim Gregor in fine Stetson and Confederacy frock coat, I steeled myself in anticipation of the grating 'Southern drawl'. 'Howday partner, it shoor is a hootin, howlerin showdown in there!' I was getting used to this, 'Coloradee,' I quipped back, no dance this time but a huge grin flashed under the hat at me as if I was his best pal ever. I handed over my ticket with convincing enthusiasm and was informed that I was, 'the luckiest critter alive.' 'Yup,' I said, sliding past him into the fray. Grim, of course, was far too dumb to detect any whiff of condescending irony but I decided there and then that that would be my last yankism, I had my immortal soul to consider. It was ten gallon hat city inside, the band had yet to appear but there was a sizeable crowd of cowpokes giving it a good ol' rock 'n roll by the jukebox. Robbie was sitting in a booth waving over and pointing to the bar which was at least three deep with slavering beer monsters. Once again I bit the bullet. I eventually got served and struggled through to Robbie's booth, which was also occupied by two rhinestone guys and their cowgirls, I dunked down the beers nodded in greeting and squeezed in. One of the rhinestoners got a face on him but when he realised I was with Robbie he, wisely, decided against any belligerent complaint. 'Hi honey, wanna cut the rug?' asked one of the mini-skirted cowgirls in the best accent yet. 'Yeah,' I said, that's what I came for. She sashayed up to the dance floor like a real fun time girl, timing the secret wee ass-rub against my crotch to perfection. It was a slow one, she pulled me in close and whispered, 'I bored with these guys, d'ya like Johhny Cash?'
Archived comments for last two tickets for colorado
Sunken on 28-02-2009
last two tickets for colerado
I've been trying to comment all morning. If it's not one thing it's a bloody other. Ahem. You'll never lose your chance to gain more glory and fame, Mr. Zen. I can't offer any suggestions regarding your piece. After all, I am but a lowly sunk. There's an air of realism to it, if that helps. It's as if it really happened. That can only be a good thing... Unless it did really happen, but even then it would be a good thang. Ahem. You're right. I'm coming across as a proper cunt here and no mistake. Do you think, Mr. Zen, that one day people will wake up to your subs? I hope so. Keep em coming, that's what I say. Good luck with the rest of it.

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he's a feckin cunt

Author's Reply:
Aye course it happened.....would I lie to a fecken cunt.....I think people find it hard to comment [or even read] on prose pieces in general and mine are just that, erm, wee bit stranger than most but I kind of expect that.
So having got that put to bed, about my GLORY and FAME.....it's in the post pal I can feel it...thanx cuntpuss

macaby on 28-02-2009
last two tickets for colerado
I found this story very fast paced, crammed with action and great description of characters.A most enjoyable read.

Author's Reply:
thanx mr macaw...sorry macaby.....macaw is somebody else entirely....very generous comment I thank you.....Z


A NEW HOPE (posted on: 02-02-09)
In a galaxy far, far away.

If only she wasn't wearing a headscarf, Kaiser could think of nothing else than what the back of Bandanna's head would look like when viewed from above, that is when engaged in a similar activity. As if the teeth scraping his helmet weren't bad enough he had to go and conjure up this awful picture in his mind, it was all too much and he felt himself soften to a semi. The whore kept busy until his fifteen minutes were up then pulled away. 'That's it pal, time's up, if you want to blow your muck it's another tenner,' she told him bold as brass but inwardly nervous, it was always risky when a punter couldn't come. Kaiser felt the all too familiar grip of hopelessness, even if he had another tenner he was certain the image of a bobbing head Bandanna wouldn't go away. He just shrugged, watched the whore disappear up the embankment and just stood there for a while feeling like a fool. It was uncanny how Bandanna seemed to encroach into his life, even when he was nowhere to be seen, the man was a jinx, no it was more sinister, a hoodoo maybe, whatever, the blaring fact of the matter was that he was a cunt and the next time Kaiser set eyes on him he was getting told just that. He picked up a huge boulder, hoisted it above his head and ran along the towpath like a belligerent fairytale giant intent on crushing some bones. Herman had hoped for some lasting memories from his barge trip, especially since this carefree appreciation of a foreign country seemed to unfold at such a slow pace. Yes he had had to learn how to steer, to tie up and cast off, to negotiate lock systems and other tricky new skills but on the whole he was a man who occupied a comfort zone conducive to the appreciation of the idyllic countryside he had passed through. He had already witnessed some fantastic scenes from the world of nature; diving kingfishers, flitting beautiful butterflies, majestic swans, hedgerows alive with buzzing insects. Visited some charming country hotels and pubs where he had consumed tasty local fare in the company of some friendly, fellow holidaymakers and good-natured locals alike. In the city he was looking forward to scenery of a more industrialised, urban nature, antiquated warehouses, docking bays, old mill houses and the like. Some interesting characters of yesteryear perhaps, like the approaching stonemason who was so keen to get on with his work he was actually running. He raised his hand and smiled in friendly greeting and was pleased that this throwback, salt of the earth type had stopped, had taken the time to acknowledge him with his…with his…snarling face contorted into a mask of rage and his dick sticking out of his trousers pointing at him like some sort of irate allegation but this was no prosecutor's accusing finger, it was the guy's dick for chrissakes. Herman's face fell with the realisation of the terrible mistake he'd unfortunately made. In desperation he throttled up in an escape attempt, an engineer to trade he mentally calculated the distance from the barge to the 'stonemason', the size of the stone he was brandishing and reckoned there was no way he could reach him. Unless of course he'd been taking drugs, Herman had seen a documentary on a new drug craze sweeping through the States, PCP, in drug slang, angel dust, this stuff was designed for the sole purpose of tranquillising horses, when taken by dangerous, degenerate addicts they became alarmingly endowed with a super human strength. Had this guy been snorting angel dust, a guy who was frothing at the mouth and howling like the awful, demented ghost of a witch torturer?.. He ducked. The 'stonemason' hurled the boulder with a mighty two handed throw roaring like a bull elephant in must, it fell short of the target sending up a wall of water which drenched the cowering figure on the barge. Safe but soaked Herman couldn't help but look back, only to witness the crazy scene of the guy slapping his own dick with sweeping open handed blows, as if he was mad with it. Bandanna was on his third newspaper, they all said more or less the same thing but the prolonged activity gave him an opportunity to dwell longer in the bar nursing a small beer. He was in no hurry, the Chameleon would just be starting off, Mae West this time, Bandanna had seen her plucking the weighty biography from the shelf, he had only just recovered from the Marlyn Munro onslaught. How anyone as ugly as the Chameleon could possibly think they could pass themselves off as a Hollywood icon was beyond him. The woman was a pest, no she was more than a mere pest Bandanna shivered with the memory of her swishing along the reference section hand on hip, tossing her head back and pouting like a fish. He was forced to bury his face in his hands just thinking about it. The awful lingering image only dissipated with the entrance of a yellow-faced tinker boy carrying a wooden cage with sacking draped round it, Bandanna knew a fighting cock coop when he saw one. The tinker was all too familiar as well, Lackie Johnsone, his cousin's boy, a notorious poacher, cock breeder and bare knuckle contender. Trouble. Bandanna nodded in greeting but Lackie stared straight through him, he was drunk. The rebuff suited Bandanna fine, he had been out of the life for a while and the last thing he needed was a drunken tinker rant. He needn't have worried, either Lackie couldn't recognise him or the drink didn't allow him to pull in his focus. He turned to Charlie the barman and ordered a whisky, Bandanna could see Charlie turning over in his mind the wisdom of serving a time bomb more drink, Charlie was no one's fool he'd owned the bar for longer than anyone cared to remember, he knew that a flat refusal was potentially dangerous, better to test the water, give him one, see what happened. Which was all fine and well if Lackie had had any money, he pulled out a small bag and emptied out a couple of small round milky spheres. 'Get the fuck outta here ye canny get good whisky for a couple o bools!' 'They're no bools, they're pearls, fresh water pearls fae the Tay!' This was a new one on Charlie, fresh water pearls, he thought he'd seen it all, but no, a tinker trying to pay with pearls had so far alluded him, this was classic. His first instinct was to throw him out but the shine of the pearls captivated him, he picked one up and held it up to the light, Bandanna could see the workings of his mind crunching into gear again, no need to be hasty these could be worth something. If he got these mounted up into a nice pair of earrings he might be able to worm his way back into the marital bed. It was testimony to the seductive allure of treasure and the nullifying effects of strong drink that Charlie and Lackie failed to notice the unusual scene of someone being thrown into a bar, the Chameleon shot through the swinging door Wild West style, Bandanna recognised a flash of hairy arm – the library security guy - as being the propellant. 'You can kiss my fanny, yoo'all baboon assed piece of meat, why dontcha come up an see ma honey!' screamed the Chameleon at the flapping door then spun round in a haughty huff in Bandanna's direction. He was caught off guard, his refuge had been violated, but worse he had been too slow with the newspaper shield, the arbitrary injection of a nutcase into the fray tended to have that effect on him. She had locked on and the ass wiggling missile launch had commenced, there was nothing to be done. He didn't want to just get up and go, he was more than a little interested in the outcome of the banter transaction taking place at the bar, he knew where he could get his hands on a bigger bag of pearls than Lackie was flaunting. Besides he was a wee bit tickled at the bizarre entrance, the security guy must have thrown her out the library, marched her across the street and deposited her into a place he considered fitting for this kind of carry on – Charlie's Bar, ancestral home of the annoying bastard. The last thing he wanted to do was encourage her but he just couldn't help bursting out into hoots at that. So, encouraged, she sat down opposite, the energy of her recent fury channelled into an attempt at seduction. It was her best shot and Bandanna, despite himself, wasn't immune to attention bestowed upon him by a member of the opposite sex, even one as mental as the Chameleon. She looked different, he could be witnessing a change, maybe Mae West was wearing off, it made sense, what next? Next thing Kaiser came bursting in, obviously in a high state of agitation, he spotted Bandanna and advanced with a strange, stiff-legged limp. Bandanna knew he was about to call him a cunt, he had the look on his face that invariably ended, or indeed began, with that particular insult. Bandanna called it his cuntface. He stood in front of them, glaring, the dried up froth splattered on his chin giving him the appearance of a starving man who had stuck his head into a pan of soup. 'Zat a gun yoo've got in yer pocket or d'ya want yer cock sucked?' asked a curious Chameleon pointing to the pulsating bulge that ran down the inside of Kaiser's thigh. It was time to go, Kaiser's cuntface had gone, replaced by one that Bandanna had witnessed many times, he just didn't have a name for it, yet. The Chameleon was fluttering her lashes and doing that disturbing pouting thing. Definitely time to go. He body-swerved Kaiser and on the way out noticed that there seemed to be some sort of banter deal struck at the bar. The day had panned out to a satisfactory conclusion, had kindled a New Hope for the struggling virtue of magnanimity and he crossed over the street and disappeared into the library with the beating heart of a contented man. It's strange how some people always seem to get what they want; Charlie got to snuggle into a straw-haired, fart-rasping, swampmonster, Lackie got to take home another bottle of liver-rotting poison, Kaiser got his aching cock sucked, the Chameleon got to suck it, Bandanna got peace and quiet to ponder over the transcendental idealism elucidated in the thought of Immanuel Kant and Herman? Herman got to return to his homeland with a lasting memory of his barge trip that would never fade 'til his dying day. Be careful what you wish for.
Archived comments for A NEW HOPE
Sunken on 03-02-2009
A NEW HOPE
Hello Mr. Charlie. I read this earlier. What can I say? A top write. Humorous, stylish, gritty, extremely well written, you make me sick. You're underrated on uka. I hope that changes.

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robin hood 2 - shredded wheat 3



Author's Reply:
thanx mr sunken man...your my new best pal!............a robbing hood x

macaby on 04-02-2009
A NEW HOPE
great story,crazy and very funny i like your imagination
"They’re no bools, they’re pearls, fresh water pearls fae the Tay!’ " this i thought was a very original line. well done.


Author's Reply:
thanx mac.....much appreciated.....Z


PILGRIMAGE TO CASTALIA (posted on: 15-12-08)
Frustration, jealousy, intrigue, re-invention, mortification, rage, despair.....and a quiet day in the library.

Kaiser felt the sickening dull pain of failure twisting a knot in his gut, he took a long slug and winced, never could he remember the taste of wine to be so sour, this his favourite swill as well – Chateau de Mindfuck. What had happened? Where was the fluid flow, the inspirational interpretation of his imaginative vision? He tore the scribbled pages from his notebook, threw them to the ground and lunged at a passing large black dog trying, with the irrational determination of a man not right, to kick the startled animal into next week. It was a wild swipe, the dog recovered quickly and hunkered down growling through a visible, vicious set of meat rippers, slit eyes sternly focussed on Kaiser's throat. It was a formidable adversary, no whimpering pup this, if it had another couple of heads it would be guarding the gateway to Hades itself. Kaiser made himself big, flapped the sleeves of his long black coat like a manic bat, hissed like a snake, started dancing a mad dance. The dog stood its ground but uncertainty began to grip and the steady menacing growl broke out into a less ominous bark. Kaiser seized his chance, raised the wine bottle skyward as if to strike and made another lunge. The dog ran off. 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry Cerberus, forgive me, Calliope has deserted me, my poetry is as dull as goat shit on a barren hillside whilst once it shone like the golden chalices of Apollo's great temple, I am lost, I am lost!' he wailed after the fugitive. He sank to his knees poured the dregs of wine over his head and sobbed the sob of the vanquished. 'Transference, a classic example, Kaiser my good man you are the living embodiment of the flawless test case, worth far more than a raft of weighty tomes expounding the promises of theoretical enlightenment.' 'Fuck you Bandanna, go away, you're the last person I can stand to be near at this time of disillusion.' 'It's a public park and I failed to notice any signs barring the admittance of unruly vagabonds otherwise you wouldn't be here now would you? Anyway, I urge you to reconsider.' Kaiser slid his tear-soaked hands from his face and beheld the blurred vision of an angel of mercy who had manifested as a grubby ex-biker swinging a bag of freshly picked mushrooms. 'You should of said.' here they come rosencrantz and goldenstein two of the finest fools youre ever likely to come across when was the last time either of them has had a bath or even a wash bandanna looks like hes crawled out a bear pit and kaiser well all the assassins you get in the action movies wear long black coats but do they go to bed in them does kaiser whats under that coat you mysterious man of poetic verse oh christ no i dont want to know there could be anything lurking under there none of my business absolutely not keep it hidden away at least you have flashes of kindness i can see it in your eyes they pepper that constant dark place of rage and despair like specs of sporadic sunlight maybe you are a poet or maybe I am what about the eccentric professor bandanna there he unsettles me with his staring penetrative eyes trying to work you out all the time aye right not that i know too much about these things but id of thought it takes a wee bit more than reading a few textbooks in a public library to qualify yourself as a psycho analyst psycho path more like ach well hes happy and anyway who am i to cry down a self deluded twit. 'Good afternoon lads a wee bit early for you two is it not, what's up library burnt down?' 'Public park seat of learning today, have I got any mail?' 'No letters but there was a lassie came round, she left a note, said she'll come back but mind Kaiser no guests overnight,' warned the landlady reluctantly handing over a fancy pink piece of paper. 'Aye, aye, a note eh?' He gave the note a brief once over and quickly dispatched it into his coat inside pocket, his filing cabinet. Keen to give nothing away as, of course, any self-respecting mysterious man of poetic verse would. Bandanna did his best to conceal his jealousy, he'd never had a note in his life never mind a fancy pink one, he snorted in mock contempt, made for the staircase with bent back, shaking head and much muttering and mumbling, a behavioural combination not entirely out of kilter with the popularly held notion of a perplexed eccentric professor. Bandanna slipped into his room to pick up 'The Book of Edible British Fungi' and a half loaf of stale bread sealed away from the mice in a biscuit tin then followed Kaiser up the steepest part of the staircase to the attic room. The usual stink of feet, decay and escaped gas hit Bandanna in the nostrils but with no effect, it didn't even register, how could it when his own room smelt exactly the same? Kaiser had no need to change into his indoor clothes - a pair of old-fashioned, striped cotton pyjamas - because he was wearing them, all he needed to do was take off his coat. The process of identifying the mushrooms in Bandanna's bag, using the colour illustrations in the library book, was undertaken by the learned man himself, at least he looked as if he knew what he was doing. Kaiser lit the gas fire for warmth and the toasting of bread, for the mushrooms he pulled out a blackened, wee gas camping stove and an ancient, iron frying pan with a smattering of hard, brown fat clinging to the base. Primitive tools indeed but effective, soon the stink of the room became temporarily overpowered by the smell of a sizzling pan of edible fungi and Kaiser was blistering himself trying to prize the burning toast from the grill of the fire. They both ate greedily and were surprised by the tastiness of the meal or rather by the fact that it was edible at all. Kaiser pulled out all the stops by digging out a half full, crushed bottle of blue cider to wash it down with. A banquet indeed. Finished they lolled about the floor in front of the fire saying absolutely nothing, this silence was their normal state, it was the mute land they occupied and both were kings, they knew no fear for here be no monsters. No, no monsters but that day a huge elephant filled the room, he tried his hardest but eventually Bandanna could no longer ignore it. 'What was in your note?' 'Did you ever see the likes of her downstairs, talk about disdain, anyone would of thought she'd been asked to deliver a stack of porn. I swear she's getting worse, what with all the lies she blurts out, every time I ask about her old man she comes up with some bullshit story, the last one was some kind of deep sea fishing trip, I think it's getting to the stage that she's starting to believe them herself.' Bandanna sparked into life, this was his field, all considerations of the contents of a mysterious note evaporated into the ether, in the face of this new thread of conversation there was no way he could possibly allow his concentration to be divided. 'Denial,' he eventually said with authority, 'without doubt, a typical example, if she represses the unfortunate, painful realities of the situation to a degree where they become, to all intents and purposes, buried she must fill the vacuum with an alternate version of events and inevitably this fantasy world takes on a much more appealing shine, so keen is she to embrace it, it becomes reality and if it's real to her, it's real.' Kaiser took a little time to ponder this. 'Like O.J.Simpson denying the murder of his wife?' 'Precisely.' 'Mmmm, well maybe I could ensconce myself into this fantasy world, sort of play the role of a rebound lover, a bit of rough to ease the pain, hah give her a good seeing to, I've seen the way she looks at me, I'd be doing her a favour.' 'You'd be taking advantage of a woman in a fragile state of mind, hardly the conduct befitting that of an upstanding man of poetic tendency.' 'Nonsense, have you never heard of Byron?' 'Mad, bad, and dangerous to know, is that how you see yourself? No don't answer that, I'm just glad you don't have a sister. Anyway I have seen the way she looks at you and I don't think I need be overly concerned.' Kaiser snorted but he offered no come back, there was no need, he knew that when the chips were down, despite his moralistic chastising, Bandanna would jump at even half an opportunity, anyway he considered that he'd done more than enough to throw the nosey bastard off the scent. This attitude of arrogance, so typical of the conceited man of aesthetic sonnet, had again blinded him to the reality of the situation. Bandanna had given the case careful consideration, offered his opinion and satisfied, closed his intellect towards the matter. His mind's focus once again turned to the note. The realisation that he had been distracted, drawn into a diversion he could not ignore, did not dismay him, it only emphasised the importance that Kaiser attached to the message and so, consequentially, elevated the salience of the matter in Bandanna's own thought processes to epic proportions, bordering on the limit of obsession. His view of the world altered, it was as if someone had jammed a pair of pink tinted glasses over his eyes, everything else became filtered out and in this world of pink the unread note was king. Keen to feign apathy Bandanna slipped back into silence, staring off into space as if further analysing the taleteller's state of mind. The only rat Kaiser could smell was the dead one under the sink, his guard was down and he wandered off downstairs for a piss with thoughts elsewhere, feverishly weighing up the chances he had of a passionate fling with the landlady. Bandanna moved with the swiftness of a cat, his trembling hands sought out the note in Kaiser's coat and soon it quivered in his palm as if coming to life, he opened it,      this is your invitation for THE PILGRIMAGE TO CASTALIA Bandanna hurried to the library through the bloated summer throng of tourists, it was raining but that was of no consequence, it was curiosity that spurred him along, Castalia where or what was it? How was Kaiser connected to it? Why had he never come across it before? Questions, questions and the lassie that delivered the note, surely she held all the answers, she had failed to return as promised, what was her involvement with Kaiser? His head hurt. Not only that he could see that Bing the security officer was standing outside the library having a smoke, he was duty bound to enter into a conversation, a meaningless engagement involving trivial rubbish, their usual greeting ritual. A pain when he was so keen to discover some answers to the mysteries surrounding Castalia but he was too hasty, Bing wore the animated expression of a man who had something to say. 'Did Kaiser meet that lassie?' he blurted out, dispatching with all preliminaries, he was obviously another intrigued man. 'No,' answered Bandanna, a little taken aback, ' so she was here, what did she look like?' 'A stunner Bandanna, I jest ye not, an absolute stunner,' his voice was raised with excitement, 'one of them foreign looking, hippy types you get, strange and sexy.' 'Like a poet?' 'Aye, a poet, she could easily have been a poet, she asked me if I knew where she could find Kaiser, I sent her along to your hostel, man where did Kaiser ever come across a piece like that? Honest she was class man, pure class.' 'Kaiser missed her, but she left a note.' 'A note, what kind of note?' 'A pink one.' 'A pink note! Wow, what was in it?' 'How should I know?' 'What you didn't manage a wee peek?' 'Course not, what do you take me for?' 'A nosey bastard, same as myself.' 'Well I didn't manage a ''wee peek'' so if you'll excuse me I have research to carry out.' 'Sure man, sure…oh and Bandanna, if any sexy wee professors turn up I'll send them straight in eh?' Kaiser searched for the soap in the murky bath water, he'd forgotten how slippery the stuff was, this the slimmest of bars as well, a mere slither, if he didn't find it soon it would dissolve altogether instantly defeating the purpose of the expedition. This bathing lark was starting to turn out to be a far bigger ordeal than he had anticipated; his bleeding foot ached, stabbed by a splinter of wood from the exposed floorboards where the linoleum had worn away, the hot water geyser spurt had almost instantly reduced to a lukewarm trickle and the enamel of the bath was so rough it even scraped into the hills and valleys of Kaiser's dirt-ingrained arse. His nagging doubts as to the wisdom of the exercise dissipated immediately with the retrieval of the run away soap and the realisation of how much better equipped he would soon be to increase his chances of wooing the landlady. He contemplated his long cock, as it broke through the film of scum like a surfacing mini submarine, with the wistful confidence of a battle hardened admiral about to call his secret weapon into action. His nickname at school, Russia – he had a nuclear weapon but never used it – was soon to be blown out the water. No, confidence and cleanliness were not likely failings in the forthcoming courting campaign of the freshly scrubbed, bawdy bard of the boarding house. He reached for his notebook. would you just look at the state of this jesus h christ that cant be kaiser no way it is it is kaiser well ive seen it all now theres nothing left to see this side of christendom is that a suit no not quite nearly though as close to one as youre likely to get in kaisers wardrobe combed hair and clean shaven as well oh kaiser oh no surely not no I don't believe it a skull and crossbones bootlace tie 'Like the tie Kaiser, where are you off to a Billy Fury concert? No though, seriously, you look great, about ten years younger hahahaha I can't get over it, who's the lucky lady?' Kaiser sauntered up to reception with a slight swagger, he was tempted to drawl out the line 'you are' but decided it was too much, better to take it easy, to soften her up, to dazzle her with some love poetry, he pulled out his freshly penned ode with the suave, deliberate manner befitting a man who usually devours at least one Noel Coward play before lunchtime drinks. Kaiser obviously favoured the more old fashioned approach, the tried and tested gentleman's courtship ritual of yesteryear but unfortunately it was to be the mark of his failure, he made the foolish error of trying to make eyes at her. To his horror he quickly discerned that this was not the face of a troubled woman, of a person so twisted up in denial that a fling with a poetic man of romance would lift her out of a pit of misery. This looked more like a woman who couldn't believe what she was seeing and didn't know whether to laugh or cry. In the parlance of the old fashioned she was, 'pure dead mortified!' He crumpled the sheets of poetry in his hand into a ball and imagining the small sphere to be Bandanna's head started punching it with the strange fury of a man not all there. He turned tail and fled, in his haste to escape he nearly knocked over a man in the doorway who was struggling with a large bag slung over his shoulder and carrying a fishing rod. 'Woah, hold up mate, where's the fire?' 'In my heart,' wailed Kaiser, 'in my heart.' Castalia: a fountain on Parnassus sacred to Apollo and the Muses and thought to be a source of poetic inspiration. Bandanna snorted at the dictionary definition, reading it over and over again, not because he hadn't taken in the meaning, his disbelief lay in the amazing fact that Kaiser had received an invite to such a place of romanticism from, according to Bing, 'a stunner' no less. This was not only unusual it was unheard of, of course he couldn't care less, him an educated man, a man well versed in the workings of the human condition, how could he possibly give way to such emotional failings as, as…jealousy? It would cause him great pain to even consider such a debasing sentiment. Not to mention embarrassment. He loosened his bandanna in an attempt to quell the hot flush of blood that was surging through his head and slowly spun around in his swivel chair listening hard for the Creep. The Library Creep, usually an elusive character who flumped around the library in a pair of carpet slippers, had recently acquired a heavy head cold which caused him to emit a sort of nasal whine and Bandanna had subconsciously developed a sonar system capable of locating him to the accuracy of a single aisle. He was in the science section. 'Can I have a word,' whispered Bandanna into the Creep's ear. The Creep turned to stone, aghast that he had become the unwilling recipient of the spoken word within the hallowed confines of the reference library. He nervously looked round to see if any librarian had been witness to such a gross infringement and seeing he was in the clear motioned to Bandanna to follow him into the foyer. 'Sorry Nigel I didn't mean to startle you but I find myself all at sea and as such, compelled to request your assistance in the resolving of a certain enigma, the semantic nature of which has so far eluded me, I need to access that encyclopaedic knowledge,' said Bandanna tapping the Creep's head with his knuckles. The Creep recoiled, terrified, it was only a friendly wrap but this ogre had touched him and what was more it even knew his name. 'What do you want from me?' he squeaked out. Bandanna was oblivious towards the discomfort he had instilled into his unwilling accomplice, his mind was consumed by far weightier considerations. 'The ancient Greeks,' he began with an intense tone of concentration, 'popularly accredited with nothing less than the fostering of the mindset of modern man, the cradle of civilisation as we know it, innovators of many of the institutions we see around us, of things we hold dear and unfortunately take too much for granted. We have many things to thank them for; seats of learning, political systems, appreciation of culture, of the arts but what do we associate with them most of all? Mythology, and the common source of our knowledge of these myths, a poem, an epic adventure poem loved and admired by many. Why do these fantastic tales, rising like a phoenix out of the ashes of a dead religion, resonate so readily with today's educated people? 'Take Kaiser for example,' he continued becoming more animated, 'why the fixation with the classics? I'll tell you why, he has become seduced by his collective unconscious or rather a certain aspect of it, he has reached into a black pool and pulled out a piranha; an unhealthy obsession with beauty. The Ancients worshipped beauty, all their gods were beautiful, their heroes, it underpinned the very fabric of their culture or at least the part that lent itself to poetic expression. They were obsessed.' 'I know nothing of beauty.' Bandanna looked into the ugly face of the Creep and knew this to be the truth. Kaiser rolled around in the wet grass by the park fountain. He should never have listened to Bandanna, how could he have been so gullible? He got up on his hands and knees, started howling like a forlorn wolf and tearing at the grass with his claw like hands. 'Regression, a classic avoidance strategy, by reverting to the behaviour of a child you wish to block out some painful experience.' 'Painful! I'll show you pain, oh yes Mr Bastard Bandanna I'm gong to teach you what real pain is you charlatan shitehawk. 'Me, what have I done?' 'You convinced me of the availability of 'a beautiful wild flower…that creature of exquisite form,' I'm quoting now, quoting from the poem I wrote in honour of the landlady, only to be shunned and scorned like a desperate fool. Have you any idea what you've done!' 'Me? Excuse me I had nothing to do with it, I merely offered an opinion on the information you supplied me with, if you want to conduct yourself like a desperate fool it's got nothing to do with me. What are you getting so upset about anyway? Bing told me the lassie that delivered your note was an absolute 'stunner.' Who is she?' 'I DON'T KNOW,' screamed Kaiser throwing a clod of earth at Bandanna's head. It whistled past his ear and landed in the fountain where it dissolved slowly, muddying the crystal clear waters that gushed forth from the pissy wee cock of a chubby-cheeked cherub.
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THE HAPPENING EFFECT (posted on: 14-11-08)
A butterfly emerges from a dried out husk... Hahahaha I cant believe I just wrote that!

At first I was unaware of anything unusual, the only slightly strange sensation I experienced was one of well being, something that had evaded me for so long I'd forgotten what it felt like. It got better, an acceleration kicked in, the world took on a new shine, a soft glow which made everything appear so much more appealing, objects somehow looked different, people less threatening, as if I was perceiving them for the very first time. Not in a childlike way, the opposite in fact, I actually felt as if, at last, I was growing up or even experiencing something akin to a strange journey, a journey into a far more dynamic existence, a breakthrough into a new world, one in which, if everything went well, I might be able to look someone in the eye. I knew I was getting ahead of myself but I could hardly contain my excitement and it did indeed feel like an acceleration, a veritable roller coaster in fact, a crazy ride shunting along so fast that the shell of shyness that had encrusted me for so long was cracking up and splintering off into the shrieking wind. Again I'm getting ahead of myself, as I initially iterated it was slow beginnings. Appropriately enough it began on a slow train journey, not a romantic one, an unusual one or an intrigue fuelled Hitchcockesque extravaganza but a routine commuter drudge that I made every working day. A drudge totally devoid of handsome strangers, passing back-bent peasants throwing rice plants like darts into muddy paddy fields or disappearing nice little old ladies. No, none of that, just the over-familiar dreary spread of a concrete conurbation flashing past between dismal overcrowded stations. The only thing that I ever used to feel anywhere near slightly above miserable about was the fact that I boarded the train at the beginning of the route meaning I could always get a seat, a window seat where I could avoid any uncomfortable social interaction by merely staring out the window. Not only that I always arrived early in order that I could sit in exactly the same seat so the journey was more than just familiar it was as if I was being tortured by someone intent on driving me insane by forcing me to watch a scene from a horrible, low budget British movie over and over again. It didn't help any being in possession of the wisdom that the torturer was, in fact, myself. That's not strictly true, I suppose I was hedging my bets, perversely drawing some kind of comfort from this self-inflicted repetition, it provided an order to my life into which I could escape from the horrors of any possible unforeseen conflicts or even well meaning, friendly banter. I was invisible. Indeed it was this intricate knowledge of the journey that enabled me to discern the subtle aberrations that began to occur on a daily basis. These 'happenings' began with visual distortions that displaced the outside panorama in much the same way interference does on a television set; blurring, squiggly lines, rolling horizons and the like. Not dramatically so, subtlety was definitely the governing principle but soon a more substantial intensity and frequency took hold with the result of throwing up a far more vivid display. Of course I suspected illness as the cause but not, as you might expect, with trepidation, no, the uplifting aftermath was such a pleasurable experience I began to look forward to the phenomenon, the 'happening effect', as I referred to it at the time, was definitely nothing to be afraid of. Afraid? I'd never been so confident in my life. Without fear I began to join the mass rush of people when the train stopped at my station, without revulsion to jostle, smell and touch them on the way to work, eventually I could even look them in the eye. I'd long thought my clothes drab and shapeless, my hair old fashioned and my personality non-existent, just the way I liked it in fact, how better to avoid contact and unwanted attention. Now it was different, I looked at other people, how they were dressed, how they spoke to one another and I felt, no there's no other word…jealous. I wanted to fit in and found myself actually caring what other people thought about me. The transformation did not go unnoticed as I began to take better care of my appearance, my mother always told me my legs were my best asset and sure enough when I shortened my skirt length, tried some dark tights that weren't made from wool, I could see where she was coming from. I paraded in front of the mirror and at once decided to enrol for a salsa class. Dancing, as a young girl, had been my forte, one in which, soon, I would not only rekindle but, with a whirling dervish of passion, fan the flames of. Of course I felt no such similar enthusiasm for my work but it was not without a new approach that I embraced it. I began to lighten up, indeed the whole office had turned their heads when I spilled a cup over myself at the water dispenser not because of the incident but because I'd burst out laughing at my misfortune, obviously something they'd never heard before. But it was only when I shouted, 'bitch-faced whore!' into the face of my long-term tormentor, the office bully, that I captivated their full attention. The salsa classes were heaven sent, I had long envied those dancers who had the confidence to give themselves up to such a whirlwind of emotion, beauty, intimacy and skill. And what was more, it was fun. I was a quick learner and my dormant childhood aptitude once again sprang to the forefront, I was never happier than when at these classes. Until, that was, I decided to revisit the cinema. It may be considered by many that a cinema emits a certain appeal to the chronically shy as a night's entertainment and indeed it has its advantages, you can go on your own, sit in the dark and you don't have to engage in any intimate mingling or conversation. The problem I had was that I was so shy that, even in the dark, the act of sitting in such close vicinity to complete strangers was intolerable, in fact I usually experienced it as a vile ordeal. So it was not without hesitation I entered the foyer, however this apprehension proved to be totally unfounded, the bright lights got to me, I became like a Disney fairy flirting between the ticket booth, confectioneries, the smiling collector and my comfortable Pullman chair. Mighty me, the chair, what a revelation that was, I had no idea they could be altered to suit, I chuckled out loud as I manoeuvred my position to one of maximum comfort causing the privileged others to smile over knowingly, we were a band, an elite who afforded a kind of telepathic, snobbish intimacy. But more, much more than that, they were damned comfortable. I forget the name of the film, suffice to say it was a courtroom drama which, in harmony with the genre, had a reputation for a twisting and complicated plot. As the projection suddenly blazed on the screen, I sank into the Pullman, as you would a luxurious dentist's chair, and gently floated into an unfamiliar land of limbo where my consciousness locked between reality and what felt like a drug induced euphoria. I became absorbed into the film, or rather morphed into a character, the beautiful, high flying, assistant D.A. no less. Free will deserted me, I became part of the proceedings, I knew all my lines and softly spoke them out loud as if in a possessed trance, I was aware of this, I had split in two, I was simultaneously sitting contentedly in a cinema and starring in the film and it didn't feel odd or alarming in any way. In fact it felt natural and fantastic, I was living, not playing living, the role of a shrewd, intelligent member of the legal profession who not only unearthed the crucial lost witness but performed outrageous, imaginative tricks in bed. When the credits rolled the audience clapped appreciatively and I couldn't stop myself from standing up, giving a little bow and telling the ladies and gentlemen that I loved and thanked them all. It was still reasonably early when I found myself standing, in a sort of daze, outside the cinema, the high of the experience still surging through me, no way I was going home. I considered a singles bar but why settle for something so tacky when I could give Michael, a hot guy from my salsa class, a phone, he could only say no. But he didn't, just the opposite in fact, he readily agreed to meet me for a glass of wine, he even agreed, albeit with a good humoured gibe, to my request to don the velvet trousers that so gloriously enhanced the shape of his muscular buttocks. I sat on a bar stool, sipping my glass of wine, checking myself out in the bar mirror and fending off unwanted advances with an air of pretend aloofness that had the jilted leaving feeling good about themselves, happy in the knowledge that at least they'd tried. The barman flashed me a knowing grin and refilled my glass. I was a natural. Michael soon turned up though, kissing me gently on the cheek in greeting causing my heart to race but at least my face didn't feel as if it was flushing. Indeed it was in a measured tone of calm confidence I suggested we retire to one of the intimate booths. He had the sort of intelligent face that lacked features that would denote him as classically handsome but the charming wistful grin and kindly eyes lit up his countenance, he shone with interest. He was interested in me. And, amazingly, he seemed interested in what I had to say; as I recounted my cinema experience I told the tale with excited enthusiasm but controlled, careful not to become too animated, to come across as a manic lunatic no matter how weird my words must have seemed. I had half expected him to laugh, scoff or just get up and leave and I wouldn't have blamed him, he barely knew me. Mercifully these fears failed to materialise, he listened intently, maintained constant eye contact, asked questions, expressed amazement and constantly touched my hands with reassuring enthusiasm. I knew right there and then he wanted me and my interior love lamp sparked into life, I was glowing with intense anticipation. As I mentioned before the 'happening effect' had whisked me off not only into an intriguing plot but an indulgence in some of the most exciting sexual experiences anyone could ever hope for. But it was all in my head. I couldn't wait to get to grips with Michael, to try out my recently acquired knowledge and while I agree the brain is the most important sexual organ only a fool would refute the absolute necessity of an encounter firmly rooted in reality, of flesh on flesh action. And it was imperative that this action took place in Michael's house, I wasn't ashamed of the décor of my own apartment or anything I just wanted to leave before morning time, sneak out through the night, not because I aspired to the standing of the bitch, it was just something I'd always wanted to do. The night of the cinema visit blew me away, something, even the slightest thing, would happen that reminded me of it, sending shivers of rapture up and down my spine and believe me I thought about it often. It was indeed a special night and only the hard-hearted could fault me for the conviction I held that it couldn't get any better than that. But I was wrong; the seductive world of dreams had yet to reveal its box of charms. I had experienced lucid dreams before, I revelled in the sense of power they unleashed, the self awareness, the vanquishing of fear, the control exerted over adversaries but most of all, I loved to fly. Ah the freedom of flight, such a joy, only rare, far too rare an occurrence and random, it wasn't as if I could decide when they were going to happen. No, I had to run the gauntlet of a good few nightmares before I could seize the glittering prize of a flying dream. At least that had always been the case, not so after 'the effect,' the fervour of change that had engulfed me yielded a new format, to my delight all my dreams became lucid. Along with many other socially compromised unfortunates I've always enjoyed the escape that a good read provides. My favourite story was the tale of the Arabian king found murdered in his own labyrinth, a story I've often fantasised about, now, through the medium of lucid dreaming, I could enter into that fantastic world and do with it as I pleased. Basically the story involves an Arabian king who wages war on neighbouring kingdoms his motivations being a longing for self-aggrandisement and greed. He was on the make. His endeavours prove highly successful and he soon becomes revered as a victorious, great warrior with coffers brimming with the spoils of war. However he becomes wary of his cousin, his partner in war, a wretched man with the reputation for being a coward, a man more than capable of treachery. Fearful of the theft of his treasure the king decides to strike the first blow but as he is getting his throat cut the coward manages to hiss out that before his passing into the afterlife he will avenge himself. The king, a man long plagued by the scourge of superstition takes this oath seriously and, acting on the popularly held belief that spirits are incapable of travelling across water, flees in his treasure laden ship. He arrives in Cornwall accompanied by a faithful servant and a majestic lioness on a leash. His gold easily allows him to commission a vast red brick castle to be built on the cliff top into which is constructed a vast labyrinth. He ensconces himself within this fortress, constantly scanning the seas with a powerful telescope in search of his ghostly adversary but all these efforts to escape his destiny are in vain as he is discovered murdered by the bewildered townsfolk. On reading the tale I had sided with the murdered king I thought it a shame that all this elaborate exertion had ended in futility. After conjuring up the story in a dream my plan to aid the unfortunate fugitive was to manifest exotic distractions at each dead end within the labyrinth, something that would slow down the progress of a cowardly ghost. My first manifestation was that of an enticing belly dancer, I appeared to him gyrating on a deserted beach dancing the seven veils in time to a haunting flute. I whispered into his ear that I was but one of many, a harem of beauties lay within his grasp, just over the dunes stood a palace but the sultan was but yet a child, the harem longed for the company of men and what was more the eunuchs that guarded them were forbidden to bear arms. The coward, of course, mesmerised by my charms is easily fooled and follows me into the mist, sword at the ready, certain of success. The eunuchs, as he soon discovers are indeed unarmed but they are well practised in the art of sorcery, something I neglected to mention, and have the power to imprison the spirit in much the same way as a genie in a bottle. The would be assassin is almost captured but narrowly escapes a horrible fate and scurries back to the relative safety of the labyrinth, wild eyed with fear. I awoke from this dream in a state of ecstasy, charged with boundless energy, like some kind of marvel comic hero; if I had started discharging lightning bolts from my fingers it would have come as no surprise. Unfortunately reality took hold and I forced myself to adjust to the limitations of mundane existence, with reluctance. It was time to get ready for work but as I squeezed into my tight fitting power suit I allowed myself a self satisfied grin, smug in the knowledge that the forthcoming day provided an opportunity to concoct my next exotic adventure and, after all, it would soon be time for bed. The dizzy spells are increasing in intensity and frequency now and the headache that is all but incapacitating is so severe I can hardly hold this pen. I know that when I go and seek help for this tomorrow they'll want to cut into my head and it scares me, not because I'm afraid of dying, it's just that if I survive there's a good chance I'll never be quite the same person again.     
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HANDS FREE (posted on: 08-09-08)
HAIL HORUS; VANQUISHER OF ABOMINATIONS

The guy came walking towards me not only talking to himself, bursting out into sporadic laughter but complementing the awful spectacle with an array of facial contortions that could only be seen to reinforce his rightful status as an idiot. Isis was tugging on my jacket sleeve pulling me towards her as she lent into my ear, 'It's a mobile phone,' she hissed, 'hands free,' as if this somehow excused him from being a moron. I waited until he had just passed and booted his heels together, man this was some tumble, there was screaming in the street. I went up to him and noticed the earphone lying on the pavement next to his head, its new home, the old one having been reoccupied by a bubble of blood. He was out cold. 'Someone phone for an ambulance,' came a voice of concern from the gathering crowd. 'Don't worry I'm on it,' I said, pulling out the guy's phone from his inside pocket, ripping out the jackplug and punching out numbers with the urgency of authority. I scanned the crowd, no accusing faces, good no witnesses. 'Aaaaaaaaargh,' I shouted, throwing the phone into the pavement where it smashed into many, many pieces, 'its one of these hands free fuckers.' 'Calm down mate,' a suit said, fumbling with his mobile, 'I'll phone,' and he did. The boys didn't come running though and when they did appear it was the police, no sign of an ambulance. Some woman, a passing nurse, was making the guy comfortable, lying him on his side and some other shit. The police are well trained these days there was no 'what's happened here?' or 'stand back please,' no, they were right on the case making sure the guy could breathe and jabbering into a radio for advice. Changed days. Changed days indeed but after a while they still wanted to talk to me, 'what happened here, did you see?' asked a tough looking kid, no more than twenty but well built and boxer faced like one of them Italian heavyweights. 'Not much, well obviously he went flying but I don't know, must have been talking into his phone, maybe he tripped on a loose paving stone.' 'What that phone there?' he asked pointing to the smashed mess of wires and plastic. 'Yeah, sorry that was me, I tried to phone you guys and it wouldn't work, I must have been caught up in the urgency or something, it was one of these hands free jobs.' 'Let me get this straight, you saw the guy trip,' his tone had changed, more angered, ' then went to help, tried to phone the emergency services with his phone then flew into a rage and smashed it when you couldn't get through.' 'Yeah. Like I said, it was one of these hands free mobiles, I've never used them, it got to me somehow.' 'It was him.' I spun round to face this accuser, it was a small woman about fifty whose gait appeared twisted into a wire figure of vengeance, her face a crust of ire. Yes she cut a formidable presence, but worse, much worse, I'd seen her before. 'Did you see an incident?' asked a suddenly animated Marcianno unable to control his emotions, to disguise his enthusiasm, he'd smelt crime. Tuning into the vibe and anticipating an escalating situation his partner left the care of the injured man to the nurse and moved in closer, which irritated me, he was a ginger. 'No but I've come across him before, he scrubbed a busker's face with a brilo pad until it was just a mush of shredded skin and blood, the poor man was made and dressed up as a court jester, he was singing mediaeval ballads and playing a lute, this madman came walking by with his puppy, the dog took fright at the busker's appearance, that was it, that was his crime and for that he was put in an armlock and probably disfigured for life. I shouted at him to stop and he turned and stared straight at me with the face of a murderer, I thought I was next. It was him all right, where's the loose paving stone? I tell you it was him.' Ginger moved in even closer, close enough to grab me if I'd tried to make a run for it, Marcianno started to inspect the paving stones, you could feel the change in atmosphere among the gathered crowd, it was getting thicker, a thickness somewhat akin to collective hostility. Anyone would of thought I'd just personally executed a busload of window licking spastics. 'It wasn't me,' I protested to the crowd. 'What wasn't you, the facial mutilation or the rendering of an innocent man unconscious?' sneered Ginger who had turned nasty and obviously made up his mind. 'Both, I'm the innocent man, hear me, innocent, I was waiting for a bus with my mother, when this guy took a fall, I tried to help!' 'Your mother?' 'Yes, my mother,' I looked round for Isis, she was helping the nurse, wrapping her shawl round the guy, 'that's her there keeping him warm.' He tried but Ginger couldn't hide the uncertainty that crept into his face like a dose of adolescent guilt. He was at a loss for words. Not so Marcianno, 'all right Mr Samaritan show me exactly where you were standing and describe to me exactly what happened.' I dutifully complied and lied. 'You see the problem I have here is that there's no loose slab, no obstacle at all, not even a banana skin.' 'A banana skin, what comic are you reading?' 'I don't know pal but one thing sure as Shylock you're no 'Friendly Ghost,' and don't get lippy, you're not out of this yet. Did anybody else see this?' he yelled at the crowd. A young, green-haired, stud-faced half-wit stepped forward, 'I passed on a skateboard on the pavement just before it happened, I thought he was going to do me the way he was giving me the death stare but I was lucky, something behind me was bugging him even more, must have been that guy,' he said pointing to the unconscious man. I opened a chasm, a deep black hole with spitting cobras lurking in wait, a trap, something to stop me crossing over and ripping the tongue out of this punk's head. It was barely enough, I teetered on the edge only just able to control myself in the face of this latest outburst of bile. I could feel Marcianno's eyes upon me, gauging my reaction, a mistake here would have been fatal. A silence ensued, it was time to play my ace. 'Why don't you ask someone who might actually have seen what happened?' 'Who?' 'My mother, ok she's getting on a bit, her hearing's not what it once was but there's nothing wrong with her eyesight.' I was surprised, Marcianno looked as if he'd been expecting this, he was nobody's fool, that much was obvious. Isis, as always, sensed her presence was required and joined us. 'Did you see what happened madam?' 'Yes, he tripped on his loose shoelace.' WhamShazzaam. Nobody expected that, not even me, Marcianno shouted to Ginger to check if the guys shoelace was undone. 'Yeah it is,' he shouted back in a tone of not just disappointment but shear wretchedness. 'Of course it is,' shouted the twisted wire woman, 'because she's just untied it, what do you think she was doing over there? She's lying look at her, she looks like a witch how can you possibly believe that apparition?' 'Right that's enough,' I bellowed, 'what the fuck is going on here? This toyshop clown appears from nowhere and accuses me of wanting to 'do' him because he was riding a skateboard on the pavement going on about a 'death stare,' of course I gave him a hard look there were old people having to get out his fucking road, did it make a difference? Did it fuck, he just carried on like the arrogant little shit he obviously is. Oh but, he's a credible witness in your book isn't he Marcianno? And what about this mad old bag? What the fuck is she all about; court jesters, mediaeval ballads, lutes, frightened puppies, face disfigurements, I can't believe I'm hearing this bullshit. Another credible witness though eh? She's already admitted she didn't see a thing. What a crock of crap! Answer me one thing you old bastard, where did I get a brilo pad from? Eh? Do you think I walk the streets armed with brilo pads, that they're some kind of weapon of choice. Better search me Marcianno see if I'm brilo'd up. Then she not only accuses my mother of lying, of tampering but calls her a witch. Just what the fuck is going on here!' He was down but not out, there was no denying the element of truth in my rant, he knew it only too well, the crowd shifted its stance, started to murmur assent but he rallied, went in another direction, I wouldn't have expected anything else. 'Right first of all don't call me Marcianno, second you're swearing at the top of your voice in the street and placing a member of the public in a state of fear and alarm, that's a public order offence, breach of the peace, thirdly there's the small matter of that smashed phone that's destruction of private property, so if I was you I'd get off that high horse.' Just then the ambulance arrived which created a distraction, a welcome break. The injured man got strapped in and stretched off. The crowd was going nowhere though, it was buzzing like a curious swarm of bees. 'Right, said Marcianno, 'I'm going to tell you how it is; if Mr Unfortunate Accident there wakes up in the hospital, I'm going to cut you some slack, you'll hear no more about this but if Mr Innocent Victim happens to wake up you can be sure I'm going to hunt you down, you'll never know what hit you, now get out of my sight.' Isis nuzzled into my shoulder in the taxi, she seemed contented and indeed so was I, 'do you want to go for some tea mother?' 'No I would prefer a glass of beer, it reminds me of home.'              
Archived comments for HANDS FREE
delph_ambi on 08-09-2008
HANDS FREE
That is so bloody good. I rarely rate, but it's getting a ten.

Author's Reply:
wow thanx

e-griff on 11-09-2008
HANDS FREE
Bizarre!!! Excellent stuff indeed. Good to read your gentle, fluffy style again. 🙂 involving writing


(ps - 'sheer' , 'brillo' (I think))

Author's Reply:
'Gentle' 'fluffy' I know Johnny boy I canny help it, think I'll write a nice wee story about a runaway pussy for my next W. I. reading, they like that sort of thing..... It could well be bri LLo but for all the difference it makes i'm no going into the edit thingy just for that, anyway ittle save any trademark courtcase when I sell it for a fortune ahahahahha ...... cheers for the comment pal, appreciated ......Z

pombal on 11-09-2008
HANDS FREE
cool and great style - wish I could write like this .... 10 all the way ...

Author's Reply:
Jeezo another 10..... I'm beginning to feel like Nadia Comaneci....thanx Pombal...Z

RoyBateman on 14-09-2008
HANDS FREE
Great - both different and challenging. Personally, I think the twat on the phone got off too lightly - I'd make talking on those things in public a hanging/public castration offence. But that's just me and my happy-go-lucky nature, I suppose. Next time I want an annoying chattering bastard doing over, I'll know where to come to. How much do you charge?

Author's Reply:
50 sheckles Roy.....its the crunch you understand.

Rupe on 26-09-2008
HANDS FREE
I know, I know - they're terrible things. The wife's got one & it confuses the hell out of me when she starts using it without warning. You what? I say & she points at her ear and looks cross... Luckily the baby's taken to snatching it off the table & chewing it, so maybe there's hope yet.

Good story. Liked the black humour in it - especially the Unfortunate Accident / Innocent Victim thing. Isn't it 'brillo' pad with two l's though?

Rupe

Author's Reply:
yeah they are arent they i used to always think, 'here comes a right nutter,' why do people not realise that they're doing that?....it is brillo ....cheers for commenting Rupey....Z

Sunken on 29-10-2008
HANDS FREE
Hello Mr. Zen. I don't think I've read ya before. I'm glad I dipped in. I'm usually put off reading prose because of the word count. Yeah, I'm that lazy. I should start making more of an effort. This was well worth the read. Just one thing tho, doesn't brilo have two L's? (-; Go on, tell me to fuck off. I can take it.

s
u
n
k
e
n

loosely based on a nocturnal emission

Author's Reply:
fuck off


DORK and the POETRY HIT SQUAD (posted on: 21-07-08)
THE RETURN OF THE DORK

Dork considered his 'hit squad' poem to be tailor made for the purpose it was intended; a witty, succinct little verse peppered with just the right amount of the Dork idiosyncratic, cutting edge brilliance. He had known when he penned it that it would far surpass any of the other's offerings and that knowledge became further reinforced, like steel in concrete, now while practising his rendition in front of a full length mirror. His only perplexity was the decision on what hat to wear. The checked workman's shirt, leather braces and faded denims had more or less chosen themselves, the difficulty lay in setting his outfit off with the correct choice of headgear. The wide brimmed suede perhaps? No, too extravagant, too jazzy. The panama? Definitely not, not with this earthy get up. The cloth cap? Mmmm maybe. Aha, his black Frenchman's beret, if only, where did he leave it? Yes, the back of the drawer, you just couldn't wear a beret without the white spotted, red kerchief. What a plethora of perfect combinations; the hat and scarf, the rustic outfit with his tanned Mediterranean complexion, the outstanding poem with the delivery perfectly enhanced through his powerful oration technique. Any woman who failed to be impressed by that little lot, frankly, wasn't worth bothering about. No point in negative pondering though, Dork had insisted that the hit list included a few taverns well known to be frequented by man hungry, brazen hussies. OK he had had to make the concession of a gay bar but not all lesbians aspired towards the Russian shot putter look, no, in his experience there were some well worth it 'greedies' in the mix, artistic types only too keen to acquire the acquaintance of such a refined, literary man of letters such as himself. With plenty of time to kill before the meet up he idly scanned through the biographies in the 'hit squad's' magazine. What a sack of horsespunk. Keen to set the record straight he pulled out his notebook and in his own inimitable style composed, what he considered, a far more accurate accumulation of appraisals. Frank McCardle a.k.a. Frank the Poof:- a truly awful poet, his pathetic attempts to illuminate the plight of homosexuals in the modern age smack of nothing less or more than paranoid persecution. He has succeeded in persuading fellow members of the 'hit squad' into including a gay bar in their itinerary, justifying the move by citing, 'the inherent values of sexual liberation and equality; absolute prerequisites within the philosophy of the movement.' The real reason, of course, is that he wants to stick his Dick through the 'glory hole', with any luck there'll be a psychotic cannibal lurking on the other side. Con Blooper Bark:- horrendous example of a so called 'performance poet.' Whatever that is. This guy is so far up his own arse you can see the bullshit on the soles of his shoes. An attention seeking moron who honestly thinks that his opinions and rants are actually worth something. It's not a chip this guy's got on his shoulder, it's a paving slab; he will fly into a rage at the slightest provocation especially if he thinks his intelligence, or, heaven forbid, the quality of his 'work' is being called into question – if you want to see a red faced idiot waving university degrees around, call him stupid and/or inept. I think his mammy must of ignored him as a child. Agnes Stark a.k.a. Milly Tant a.k.a. Saggy Aggie:- a man hating feminist who, if the truth be told, should really wear a bra. If only she could bring herself to go down on the wire wool muff of a German lesbian we might all get some peace. Her poetry consists exclusively of aggressive feminist rhetoric that not only displays obscene bias is also amateurishly forced and like all such rubbish should be thrown in the bin. Florence Ramsbottom a.k.a. Fluffy Sheepsarse:- Fluffy insists on spelling fairy, f a e r i e, says it all. Why, oh why, do these people think anyone is interested in an unhealthy dose of this kind of puerile pish? Which is about, on a good day, what her poetry amounts to. Here's hoping she'll get lost in a wood someday and follow the enchanted path down to Middle Earth where she'll get sodomised by a slavering troll. Tom Pitt a.k.a. Pitt the Elder:- the archetypal angry young man of the north, except you'd have to be a faltering octogenarian to consider him as being anything like young. Talk about living in the past, I swear Tom thinks 'Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner' has just opened at the Cinema, sorry, Picture House. If the 'hit squad' ever invaded a beer and sandwiches Trade Union bash he'd go down a treat. His poetry all sounds the same, is dated and shit. Anthony Worthington-Smythe a.k.a. M C Street Gangsta:- I have absolutely nothing to say about this. Enough distractions though, time was getting on but he was OK the meet up was only round the corner at Tom's pad. Not that Dork even considered being on time but his customary, fashionably late entrance was getting close to the wire. Time to don the beret, knot the scarf and set off for a leisurely stroll. Dork congratulated himself when the Elder answered the door wearing a cloth cap, typical of the posing bastard, the trade mark roll up dangling from his unshaven face, that cunt would never change his image. Who did he think he was? 'Here he is, no show without Punch eh? Come in you old bastard, help yourself, beer and sandwiches aplenty, haha even for the decadent middle classes, but come the revolution Dorky, come the revolution.' 'Come the revolution you'll have to do a days work you fucking posing wanker.' 'Ahahahaha, charming as ever, come in, come in.' Dork entered a room that was bristling with the altercations of a heated argument. No change there then eh? Well actually there was, Milly Tant was in a full flight rage about something that didn't involve men's persecution of the downtrodden sisterhood. She was actually arguing about whether the poems should be read from a sheet or not. Same red fizzog though. 'If we don't read from a sheet no one will know we're reading poetry, they'll just think we're a bunch of nutters. Remember there's no introductions.' 'Speak for yourself,' interjected Dork, 'I can assure you the citizens of this Parish will know only too well when they hear one of my poems.' 'Oh here he is, Dork by name Dork by…. well Dork not all of us have the dulcet tones of a baffoon, ahahaha sorry bassoon.' 'That was a joke wasn't it? Tom was that a joke? I never knew dried up husks had the courage to even smile, too frightened they'd crack the epidermis of the wrinkly prunes that pass for their faces!' 'Dork, I swear I'll…….' 'NOW NOW children, enough, lets just leave it up to the individual if they want to read from a sheet.' 'The only fucking reason she wants to read from a sheet is because she can't even remember her own fucking poems.' 'YOU BASTARD…' 'ENOUGH…..c'mon the road is calling, let's get the show rolling, the poetry starved masses await. They'll never know what hit them.' Dork absolutely detested Americanisms, so much so any material containing these bastardisations he had inadvertently picked up got ripped to shreds. With one exception; Dork was an ASS MAN. Oh yes, an ass man through and through, to Dork nothing else came even close; a nice ass was, well, a nice ass. Arse was fine if you wanted to kick it, fall on it, sit on it or even scratch it but when it came to that most beautiful part of a woman's anatomy, it was ass - if it was a nice one that is, a fat one was arse, a saggy one was arse, a skinny one was arse but a nice one, ass, definitely ass. So when he entered the 'Bricklayer's Arms' the first thing he noticed was the well toned ass straining under the tight fitting skirt of the middle aged barmaid as she dug out some change from her till. Wow, nice ass, nice shapely, taut ass, sculpted in a gym that one, without a doubt. 'Pint of ass please.' 'Pardon?' 'Pint of bass.' She looked at him with wistful amusement as she poured the beer, she'd heard him all right but obviously the offence merited no reprimand. Dork returned her gaze with the well practised expression of the seasoned lounge lizard. Wow, he hadn't expected action so soon, brimming with confidence he risked a sly wink when handing over the coinage, A grin, a fucking unmistakable knowing smile. Here we go. A tap on the shoulder. 'Dork you go first these two handed drinkers need a little softening up methinks.' 'Oh I see like that is it, why don't you get Fluffy to kick off with a nice leprechaun ditty, or how bout a hip hop hash, or a fucking feminist rant?' 'C'mon Dork we need a strong start, these workies are all plastered, we need something old fashioned to grab their attention.' 'OLD FASHIONED, that's fucking rich coming from you Tom you fucking sanctimonious cunt.' Dork, of course, had every intention of starting the proceedings, keen, as usual, to grab the centre stage limelight, he was just going through the motions of protest to wind the Elder up. He picked a spot where the barmaid would get a full frontal view and got busy with his usual gusty performance. Oh look A glimpse of thigh As her legs cross Young girls Hipster clad Showing thongs That titalate But the young woman In the yellow dress Illuminated in the sunlight's shaft Excites the senses A well-endowed filly On an adjacent table Leans forward suddenly And her breasts Rearrange themselves Delightfully I feel no shame As I view A curvaceous beauty A shapely leg Or well sculpted ankle Pert well formed buttocks Plump or perky breasts Tarty or Vampish Bare midrifts Obscenely short skirts Less is more I feel no shame For letching Where's the sin In looking They are God's creation Well packaged Why would he Give us such delicacies If he intended us not to look So where is the sin Even if I am the Vicar The surprise of the clientele quickly turned to appreciation and Dork warmed inside with the onslaught of a hearty round of applause, more importantly though the barmaid was looking at him with a look of admiration that Dork suspected bordered on longing. He returned to his position at the bar, she leaned into him and said 'I need a hand with a barrel round the back.' 'Only too glad to be of service,' returned Dork, as he felt his pulse starting to race. With good reason because when they got round the back she hiked up her skirt revealing a knicker-less ass that she stuck up in the air and wiggled as she leaned over a barrel. 'C'mon good Reverend, ride me,' Dork's cock was trying its best to burst through his jeans and when he unzipped it, it sprung out like a springboard, ready for riding. And ride her he did, slapping against that peachy, peachy ass like a man possessed. His face contorted into a frightening, pious gargoyle, frightening? yes, no doubt, but pious? yes definately pious because when it came to the tingling bit it the almighty roar of 'HALLELUJAH!' reverberated round the car park, calling the faithful to their knees. When he returned to the bar he was greeted by a right old ding dong; 'MY WIFE DOESN'T NEED TO HEAR LANGUAGE LIKE THAT.' Dork couldn't believe it, here he was after reading a poem getting rewarded by one of the best shags of his life and here was Pitt the Elder getting pummelled by an irate brickie after swearing in one of his. It just didn't get any better than that, this was heaven on earth, no, it was more than that, this was, if anything ever was, poetic justice.
Archived comments for DORK and the POETRY HIT SQUAD
Rupe on 22-07-2008
DORK and the POETRY HIT SQUAD
Nice work if you can get it, though it did seem a little too easy for Dork & after the introduction I was hoping to see that motley array of poets in action. Enjoyed it as far as it went, good rollicking stuff, but felt it ended, um, prematurely. Is there going to be a sequel?

Rupe

Author's Reply:
yep rupy you're so right ...its a bit of a quicky - [see what i did there] and indeed there's a much bigger story in this.... not so much a sequel as an expansion - characters the same but the next time they'll all get a shot.[at reading]....only dificulty is I cant write poetry which may prove to be disastrous to the project....ach not to worry its only a wee piece of fun as it stands.... and may well have to stay that way....cheers Z

bluepootle on 18-08-2008
DORK and the POETRY HIT SQUAD
Glad to read in the comments that there'll be more of these characters - really enjoyed the premise and the writing. I actually liked the poem.

I liked the first section of the story and the intro to Dork in particular. Felt the ending was rushed, though.

Author's Reply:
hey bluebottle, long long time huh, great to hear from ya, as usual your right it is rushed but it was only meant to be a we bit of a laugh, so you liked the poem eh? so did I .....it wasn't me that wrote it AHAHAHAHAHAHA...i wrote the one in 'dork the poet' though and am afraid that dreadfull piece of tripe is about all I can manage...still I'll soldier on with the prose stoically who knows I'll maybe write something half decent one of these days....cheers the now Zx


IN SEARCH OF THE ELUSIVE OTTER (posted on: 06-06-08)
A tale of brave Ulysses.

In Search of the Elusive Otter 'A river which extends from the Pentland hills to the Port of Leith, a distance of some fifteen miles, the pathway alongside providing a relaxing walk of interest through the heart of the historical capital city of Edinburgh…..' The swing of a door, the familiar footstep flump, the click of a mouse and zing the Scottish Heritage bumph was banished to the toolbar, the week's spreadsheet blazing gloriously in its place. Ivan could recognise the approach of his supervisor in his sleep, he knew his jacket was on a shoogly peg but he couldn't help himself, caught in the grip of excitement unnecessary risks took on the guise of routine drudge. And the cause of this recklessness; an otter had reared its far from ugly head in 'The Water o' Leith' which was, in most folk's book, pretty unusual, in Ivan's you could tack on amazing, exciting and a glorious opportunity to snap a wildlife photograph that would shake up the world. His dream. So come Saturday he was off with his newly purchased zoom lens and camera intent on capturing the creature midway through chewing up a fish head, or something equally fancied in the spectacular stakes. Choosing that stronghold of new town affluence trendy Stockbridge as his starting point he strolled along in the late autumn sunshine anticipating an enjoyable afternoon even if the otter, as he more than half dreaded, decided to make a no-show. The river was little more than an oversize burn but its waters were pleasantly clear with large swathes of green weed flicking and twisting underwater conjuring up visions of ancient monster's tails; it didn't take much to set his mind racing but there's not many who would view this as a burdening cross for a budding photographer, indeed his previous endeavours good enough to solicit praise had, to a picture, displayed the originality of a fertile, artistic imagination. He passed Saint Bernard's mineral well, a circular stone cage incarcerating a scantly clad Greek goddess bearing the essential gift of an ornate vessel without as much as a second glance. Bet she's cold, he thought and sniggered, amazed at his perceptive, off the cuff wit. He wished he had a girlfriend he could share it with, Auntie Sonia had assured him there was someone for everyone in this world and if ugly cousin Eugene could manage to get himself hitched he concluded that she was some kind of wise woman, mysteriously privy to the absolute truth. A rustling and flurry of leaves up ahead hijacked his focus from such abstract musings and although a way off he could see that the cause of this disturbance was an extremely tall lassie kicking at the fallen foliage with the ferocity of a difficult child. He felt the first twinges of apprehension; a sickening, euphoric mixture he could neither take nor leave. Was this a nutter? He decided to try to pay her no heed, avoid eye contact, steel himself, totally ignore the fact that she was getting ever closer, staring straight at him, tall like a freak, getting closer. So close he could make out her face with features totally dominated by the inane grin of the idiot, she caught him with her mocking gaze, working the circle she had formed with her thumb and finger with the index finger of her other hand, sliding it in and out, saying nothing - large breasts straining under a filthy vest and open jeans unzipped to her knicker-less crotch saying it all. It was all he could do to keep moving, she had started laughing; a crazy, horror film cackle capable of spurring far braver men than Ivan into seeking safety but he did not run. Sure she was mental, sure she had unnerved him, shocked him even but never, ever, in his wildest fantasies would he have thought a fanny could be so, so hairy. Shook up as he was, he couldn't run from that. So, head in a spin, he stumbled round the bend where he encountered the enormity of Dean Bridge; a huge affair which stretched up to the sky like the imposing colossus it was. In common with many susceptible souls, Ivan, when confronted by such edifices, usually experienced a degree of alarm, right at that minute he felt as if he was being massaged by the bony fingers of Death himself. What if he fell from that? A spooky gust of wind blew into his face mimicking the rush of air that would whistle past him as he spiralled down to a skull splitting end. He felt sick. But all this was crazy nonsense! He was underneath the bridge with both feet firmly on the ground, the need to vomit subsided as he caught a grip, embarrassment replaced fear, he squeaked out a high pitched nervous laugh and passed under the arch unharmed with only the single anxious look up, scanning for rock throwing maniacs. The safety of quaint Dean village with its cobbles, hills and old world feel calmed and reassured him. He joined a group of Japanese tourists who were checking out an old millstone that was set up for display. One of them grinned at him and pointing to his own camera and Ivans alternatively said 'Japan,' to which Ivan nodded in agreement. This single word exchange with its nodding and grinning ritual was the sum total of interaction between the cultures but to Ivan it might as well of been a group hug. He felt oh so much more at ease. If only he could decide if that was a good thing or not. The tourists moved on and alone again he felt the well of another dose of anxiety rising so he busied himself with an inspection of the millstone that according to the placard was imported from France in the seventeenth century because of the hardness of the stone, interesting. Not only that the grooves that were cut to capture the flour could still be clearly discerned in the remnants that were displayed, riveting. A nice wee picture that depicted the old mill with its horses and carts and waterwheels screwed the lid tight, the panic retreated. The seventeenth century held no fascination for Ivan, if he had a time machine he wouldn't be transporting himself to some dreary flourmill. No, his would be a more recent retrogression to about a time roughly about fifteen minutes previous when he would have done things differently. God! why hadn't he stopped? Did he have to get so scared? If only he had asked her name. Or laughed along with her. Get to KNOW her. Another band of millstone seekers approached, a school party, his face reddened with the realisation he was speaking out loud and the children were staring at him as if he was a head case. Keen to escape ridicule he sloped off trying his best to ignore the sneers and taunts, one of them had ran right up to him, pulled a face and waved and flailed his arms around. Like kids do. When he began to cross the footbridge the flowing, gurgling water brought him back to his mission, the path at the opposite bank looked as if it followed the river more closely, he fiddled with his camera and removed the lens cap in anticipation of a snapshot opportunity, like a hunter checking the readiness of his gun. But he knew he was just going through the motions, enthusiastic drive had all but deserted him, he stopped on the bridge, stared at the water and felt his mind wander in grim contemplation. The past was huge, an enormous thing full of stuff, oh so full of stuff, everything that had ever happened. It was full of the Romans, the Scots fighting the English, the death of his mother, what had just happened at Saint Bernard's well, Saint Bernard himself. And it was this stuff that made it heavy, the weight of the past was enormous, enormous beyond comprehension. But the future was equally enormous, the future stretched before him forever, the difference being it was empty and light, so light it weighed nothing at all. And what kept these two entities apart – the present. What was the nature of the present, was it heavy like the past? All the stuff that was happening at that moment in time would make it so, sure, but not as heavy as the past, no not nearly as heavy because the past was the sum total of all previous presents but hold on a minute that might mean that because the present passed so quickly its weight was so closely linked to the past that the two were inseparable. That couldn't be right, if that was the case he would be living in the past and if so would be crushed by its enormous weight. But on the other hand it couldn't be part of the future either, if the present was as light as the future he would float away, he would cease to be. So what was the nature of the present? Was it a place, a boundary, where the past devoured the future like a ravenous beast or a place where the vacuum of the future sucked in the past, hungry for its weight, desperate to achieve substance, some kind of balance for its emptiness. Or a combination of the two! A battleground indeed, the mother of all battles. The present then, under siege from both, must be stronger than the past and the future, its ability to resist such enormous forces was living proof, if it wasn't nothing would exist. The difficulty in contemplating the nature of the present was, indeed, also enormous, it fast became obvious to Ivan that all thought was already memory. The best he could hope for was a photograph. So the search took on a new dynamic, a greater significance in the scheme of things, he became a quest driven hero more than worthy of the ancient's code, marching towards the thunder of a waterfall with the spring and determination of brave Ulysses Ivan felt like a new man. But it didn't take long to blow the wind from his sails, standing at the top of the falls was the second filthy vest of the day and this one concealed no tantalising tits, no, this one stretched over the obese gut of a fat bastard. And not just any fat bastard, the gigantic boil sprouting out his forehead flagged up his identity like a Belisha beacon, standing there, right in front of him, was BILEY COGIE. Biley Cogie a mythical creature up there with the Bogey Man and the red-faced, cloven-hoofed, Horned One, yet here he was, real as a rock. Biley Cogie, eater of wayward children, if you wandered too far from home you knew what to expect, all the kids knew. Ivan could see he had one with him captured in a canvas bag, a small one, surely a baby who had crawled through a left open garden gate. Biley hooked his thumb under the elastic of his joggy bottoms and pulled downwards, his long cock uncoiled and slipped into the neck of the bag as if it had a mind of its own. The muscles in his screwed up face relaxed and his boil began to visibly pulsate, Ivan realised that this happened every time he pissed for Scotland. He also realised that the squeals and wimpers that emanated from the bag could be from no child, no, this was a bag of puppies. Biley proceeded to swing the bag windmill fashion, aiming the trail of leaking, sour piss so that it splattered into Ivan's face, with a 'weeeee' he let go, the bag flew through the air, landed in the grip of the waterfall where it got sucked in and sank out of sight. He took a couple of steps towards Ivan, stretched out his muscular tattooed arm, pinched his cheek and in a surprisingly high pitched voice said, 'chubby cheeky,' in a flash his mood darkened, he rushed Ivan, belly-barged him to the ground, then, satisfied, went on his way. Brave Ulysses had fallen at the first battle, the waterfall ogre had defeated him without even trying, but, spitting out dirt and wiping piss from his face, Ivan squeezed himself back into his own skin and felt grateful that Biley had left him alive. 'Alive, alive alive oh,' sang Ivan, pleased to be rid of them both. So where was the furry one? The river had deepened and widened; a large pool with overhanging trees straight out of 'swallows and amazons' - a likely spot. If only the pushy fucking joggers would piss off and leave him to search in peace. No sign though, only the usual scrounging mallards and squawking starlings, this was proving to be about as difficult as he had thought. Nagging, despondent doubt had set in but the flickers of hope and determination flashing in his mind carried him onwards and his eyes were skimming the river like spotlights. Nothing, no glimmer but a picnic area up ahead cheered him, on approach it felt as if he was in the middle of the countryside, who would have guessed that such an pretty, endearing place could exist in the middle of a capital city. A gushing wear stretched across the river damming the water and creating a still pond. There was a wooden bridge which led the way to a semi-circular sign which had 'modern art gallery' written on it, the gateway to a set of steep steps through a wood to, presumably, the gallery in question. On the bridge stood a man in a mauve suit and brown, broad brimmed hat staring at his reflection on the water. Ivan stopped at a strange, unexpected kind of shrine dedicated to the victims of A.I.D.S. Set in stone was a red ribbon, a statement declaring that grief was not forever but love was and a poem, a sentimental poem about an unfortunate who had succumbed to the disease which Ivan thought soppy. Then he saw it. Not the otter but a large heron was stood at the far side of the wear, its intense, beady eye darting around, searching for fish. It made a grand sight in his viewfinder, enlarged through the powerful zoom. Click. The heron's head exploded in a flurry of feathers. It died on its feet, right there and then. What kind of camera was this? Or whose? James Bond's? His shock was short-lived though, a triumphant howling and whooping from a young lad filled the air, crouching down by a bush, he was waving a catapult around, no forked stick affair either, this thing looked as if it had a sight on it, in his other hand shone a vicious looking metal gaff. With a two footed splash he jumped on the wear and ran across, still hollering. When he got to the heron's corpse he raised the gaff above his head, the sun caught the shiny pole and in a blurred flash he brought it down sticking the unfortunate bird through its still twitching body. Ivan carried on taking pictures, something that did not go unnoticed for long, the kid flew into a rage, threw the dead bird down the wear and advanced towards Ivan in a strange sort of lop sided run. Ivan stood his ground, he was getting used to disturbing situations. 'Gimme that fucking camera,' snarled the kid and made a lunge snatching it from Ivan's hands, the leather strap though was still round his neck and Ivan winced as it dug into his flesh. 'HAH, YOU BETTER GO NOW I'VE CALLED FOR HELP.' Ivan knew it was the man on the bridge, who did he think he was kidding. The police would take an age to arrive and anyway this kid wasn't about to run off like a daft wee laddie. No, Ivan knew this type of brat intimately, they were all over the area he lived, grown ups were afraid of them and this little bastard was a top notch, prime example. He would have to deal with him himself; Ivan had never punched anyone in his life but he did have a secret weapon, he knew the pain of a Chinese burn only too well, Eugene was an expert. He grabbed the kids wrist with both hands and twisted, screwing round in opposite directions with all his might. The kids face changed from rage to surprise and then to real agony, something, probably the only thing, he understood. Not wanting to be seen crying, he ran away. Turning round Ivan could see that the man was still staring into his watery mirror, as if mesmerised. He walked towards him. 'You'd better phone the police back, tell them its over.' 'Hah, it was not the police and I did not telephone, I called for Cassandra, she will be here presently.' The man looked up from the river and in a stiff-necked motion turned towards Ivan and reeled in surprise when noticing that by doing so had inflicted pure terror. His cheeks were ruby red, his long black eyelashes dominated staring eyes, one of which was magnified in an old fashioned monocle, a little button nose little more than a couple of drilled holes sat on top of a square shaped mouth which was as long as it was broad. He turned back to his reflection. A woman in a long, white ballroom gown appeared at the bottom of the steps, she was old but her long hair was dyed jet black and her face made up heavily with lipstick and powder. 'Are you unharmed?' she enquired of Ivan. 'No, I am injured but I'll survive, does he mean me harm?' 'Who?' 'Lord Charles, he has become real and has grown up, how can this be?' 'That is not his name, he is Narc….' ' Hah, I can see that my face is repugnant to you but I mean you no harm, please do not listen to Cassandra she will tell you truths and wisdoms but you will not believe her, no-one can. What is your quest? 'The first time I saw you, you were on the television sitting on a man's knee, I had to hide behind the settee and later my mother allowed me to sleep beside her in her bed. It is relief to me that you stare at the water, forgive me I do not mean to offend. I seek the otter.' 'Hah, you do not offend me, I am in love, love grants immunity from negative stimulus's and anyway your bravery deserves admiration and respect. You search in the wrong place it is not here it inhabits an area further upstream, but something tells me the nature of your quest has changed. Yes you're right, I seek the nature of the present.' 'Hah, a noble quest indeed, we cannot help you, Cassandra knows only of the future and I am too besotted to offer any beneficial assistance, I am sorry.' ' You do not need to apologise but please allow me to take my leave, I am weary and plan to abandon my quest for the day.' 'Hah, the nature of the present is by its very nature difficult and tiring, you may well succeed but you will have to be patient.' 'Yes, thank you.' Ivan shook his hand, crossed the bridge, embraced Cassandra, ascended the steps through the wood and caught a bus home. The odours of polish, air freshener and channel assaulted Ivan when he opened the door of his flat, Aunt Sonia had been round. The phone was ringing, he knew who it was before he answered it. 'Hi Ivan it's me your favourite auntie, I popped round earlier and cleaned up a bit, changed your sheets as well Ivan, they were a bit, erm yellow. Did you get your photograph? An otter wasn't it?' 'Yeah, no I couldn't find it, got a good one of a heron though.' 'Wow, that's great Ivan, well I'm just phoning to remind you to come round for Sunday dinner tomorrow, Eugine and Precilla are coming, remember. 'Yeah, don't worry I havn't forgotten. Aunt Sonia you know when you said there was someone for everyone in the world?' 'Yes.' 'Well how would I know?' 'Oh Ivan, have you met someone, have you?' 'How would I know?' 'Well there's lots of ways…..let me see….when you close your eyes do you see her?' 'All I have to do is blink, its as if my eyelids are camera shutters, I blink and there she is.' 'Oh Ivan, I'm so pleased, who is she? Anyone I know? Someone from work? Oh Ivan!' 'She's a six foot five imbecile who wanders round the town half naked making obscene gestures to complete strangers.' 'Hahahaha Ivan you will have your little joke with your Auntie wont you. You're such a tease, listen, I have to rush you can tell me all about it tomorrow, oh Ivan I'm so pleased. Bysie bye lover boy.' Ivan cradled the phone, took off his clothes, stretched a mighty stretch, went into his bedroom, crawled under the fragrant, comfortable, clean cotton sheets, drew his knees up, hugged them and closed his eyes.
Archived comments for IN SEARCH OF THE ELUSIVE OTTER
e-griff on 08-06-2008
IN SEARCH OF THE ELUSIVE OTTER
Well, mate. What are you on?

This was, in many ways, brilliant. Sure, errors in punctuation and grammar (even allowing for scottish 🙂 ) but the flow, the energy, the poetry ... is all there. No more pissed bokes in Greece, this is a step up for you, je crois.

I only lost it when 'Lord Charles' appeared. went off the rails for me there. the rest? sublime, and worth one of these rare things (if you'll accept it)

Photobucket



Author's Reply:
'brilliant'....well, coming from you griffy that is praise indeed and thank you for your picky thingy.
Hahaha what's a pissed boke in Greece?
Lord Charles is or course Narcissus and though I've never had a problem with ventriloquist dummies a surprising amount of people find them eerie or are genuinely terrified by them.......cheers the now John Z

Rupe on 01-07-2008
IN SEARCH OF THE ELUSIVE OTTER
I read this article about otters the other day. Some otter expert was saying that a lot of people say they've seen otters, but actually they haven't, on account of otters being very shy and elusive. I wondered what that was all about - why the bogus otter-claiming? Is there some status attached to having seen an otter? Is it just because they're so hard to spot that people want to say they have spotted them?

In some curious way, this story was a take on that thought. You might not find otters, but you'll find pretty much everything else under the sun while looking for them. A good one. Nice mix of a definite & real geographical location, carefully built, with oddball characters & a unique inner voice narrative that makes the ordinary seem strange.

The description of the bridge was great - I've never seen that feeling put accurately into words before:

'In common with many susceptible souls, Ivan, when confronted by such edifices, usually experienced a degree of alarm, right at that minute he felt as if he was being massaged by the bony fingers of Death himself'

Rupe

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 01-07-2008
IN SEARCH OF THE ELUSIVE OTTER
yeah you're right ....but i can never find anything when i'm looking for it ...in common with many....well.... idiots basically......thanx for commenting rupy.....I like to think i can still entertain.
do you not think that making narcisses a ventriloquist dummy is comedic irony....griffy doesn't know everything.....hahahaha....just most things...thanx mate....Z

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 05-07-2008
IN SEARCH OF THE ELUSIVE OTTER
Oh, otter, where art thou? A real roller-coaster ride, isn't it? I began not knowing what to expect, thinking your "brave Ulysses" might simply have been a Cream reference, but no...it was never this hair-raising for George Clooney and his gang, was it? Yes, the Lord Charles bit was inspired, though you can't be short of metaphors for Narcissus these days. A real feat of the imagination, this, and a vivid set of images that I shall remember for a long time.

Author's Reply:
Well Roy you're not far wrong....I took the subtitle from that very Creram track....oh how the time flies I've not heard it for years.......thanx for the comment always appreciated mate.....cheers Z


Dork the Poet (posted on: 28-01-08)
Dork by any other name...

Dork the Poet Dork remembered his first poem well. He was especially known to recite it while drunk and maudlin at parties; hankering after his youthful glory days with soulful loss and consumed by a bitter resentment that he had grown old so quickly. This little pub 'literary evening' was to be no exception, with tearful conviction he pounded out the stanzas as if launching an attack, a scholarly attack on the mediocrity of all dull and over-contrived efforts of pretenders. This certitude was carved from genuine ilk; Dork had no doubt in his mind that he had penned a masterpiece, a gift to the world impervious to the ravages of modernity and that through his art had made himself immortal. ODE TO THE CAVE OF RUNES Gateway, oh gateway to the past We stumbled through. Had we breathed our last Useless breath? Your invitation cards Scattered round; Rounded shards Of ancient alphabet Stooping to wash In iridescent cascade And emerging as lush Food for the Gods Like Aladdin we ascended On a magic tide, Ours a forgotten Druid Endowment of love Finished he struck his usual pose; hand on hip and brow to convey the anguish of lost love and youth that every sensitive soul surely must endure. His pale blue predator's eye scanned the room, searching out weakness or isolation, only to encounter the stoic challenge and mocking of previous prey. Dork did not waver, the bounds of his self-importance far outreached any notion of rebuff or ridicule and his perseverance was to reap reward as, sitting at the rear, a lone, attractive young lady, displaying what he took to be a hint of interest, blinked on his radar, thus fuelling the fires of passion in the pollyannaish poet. As the under-whelming applause diminished and his place on the floor was occupied by a gypsy traveller recounting a folk tale in the oral tradition Dork threaded his way through the attentive audience to the object of his desire. 'There is , of course, an interesting little story behind my modest offering of romantic verse,' he informed her by way of introduction. 'And I've got the strangest feeling I'm about to hear it.' 'Haha, may I?' he asked, pointing to a chair. 'Do I really have a choice?' 'Haha, we all have choices my dear and like it or not we must make them, it's what sets us free,' said Dork making light of the situation and squeezing his flabby bulk into the too wee chair. 'Even if they make us uncomfortable?' 'Especially so, comfort is an illusion forced upon us by the scourge of materialism, we may do well to heed the teachings of the eastern philosophies.' 'You don't strike me as being a disciple of the great lord Buddha.' 'Oh I am merely reflecting on the benefits of alternatives, although I do believe that what is considered sacred in this mire of consumerism, in which we are forced to live, is at best paper thin.' 'Shallow people in a shallow world.' 'Precisely. What's more it's dangerous, we are being ripped so far apart from the fabric of what, in essence, makes us human.' 'Spirituality?' 'Yes and this cannot be realised through the forced doctrines of organised religions.' 'Perhaps not, you sound as if you have experienced something in your life that pointed the way by a different path.' 'Indeed I have, which brings me to my story 'Haha, yes I thought it might. Go ahead, I'm listening.' 'Zoe interested me, not surprising as she stood out from the crowd with her hand knitted jumpers, long skirts, flame red hair and rolling buxom rump as she wandered, alone, throughout the town. As far as I could see she had no friends, another point of attraction as, indeed, neither had I. I had a scooter though, a lively little Lambretta which reached the dizzy speed of nearly thirty. It was while out and about on this trusty steed that I approached her. 'I've noticed you around,' I said. 'And me you,' she replied, you don't get many guys wearing pink shirts and turquoise cravats round here.' Whether this was a less than acute observation, a nod to my individuality or a cutting taunt I was at a loss to decipher, however, it mattered not, my flamboyant dress sense had, as I knew it would, paid off. Striking while the iron was hot I informed her of my expedition – to explore a cave. Her face shone with interest and without waiting for an invitation hiked up her skirt, jumped on the back, grabbed my waist then let out a wolf howl of enthusiasm, I howled in unison, cranked the scooter's throttle and we were on our way – two carefree spirits set loose in the world and immersing themselves, with relish, in the whirlpool of reckless adventure. The anticipated grotto though was not what we expected, in fact it was barely a cave at all, this was no mysterious subterranean passageway, a deep cut cliff overhang would be a more accurate description. My heart sank as I noticed drawn on Zoe's face, that most difficult of emotions to conceal – disappointment. All was not lost though, as we began to explore the 'cave' began to give up its secrets; there was a charming little waterfall which spewed out a crack in the roof forming a little clear pool which sparkled with crystallised rocks. Zoe let out a little squeal of delight as her foraging reaped reward, she held it up with the dexterity of a watchmaker, it was as if that that was her rightful vocation but deep down I knew she was destined for higher purpose. What exactly mattered not, I was captivated, consumed by the fascination of there and then – between these nimble fingers lay something of interest, an artefact. 'it's a rune stone,' she said with the authority of a wise sage. 'Is that good luck?' I inquired 'Depends, look round there might be more.' There was, another two, three in all each etched with a differing symbol. Zoe cast the first one onto a large flat stone embedded in the cave floor, we leapt up and began dancing, twirling, leaping, skipping and laughing like children. The second was cast and we stripped off our clothes, jumped in the pool and washed each other under the chilly cascade. With the third casting we fucked like beasts, humping, grunting and groaning until we gave up and lay on our backs , exhausted. 'And now you must be branded,' she exclaimed pressing the rune stone into my forehead, 'I name you Wizard Fuck and claim you as my own, keep this with you always,' she said handing me the stone. This celebration of existence forged a strong bond between us and we became lovers but my creative compulsion drove me to follow my dreams so I set off for Spain where I arrived penniless with a few meagre possessions; a little ready-rubbed, a guitar to sing for my supper, a pencil and notebook for my poems and a rune stone in my pocket 'Not bad Dork, Not bad.' 'Please, call me Wizard. 'OK Wizard, does my carriage await?' Dork gulped down his drink and was off through the throng with surprising agility for a man of his years, either he'd just supped from the bowl of everlasting youth or the terrible thought that she would change her mind before he could call a cab had spurred him into fleet-footed, graceful action – like poetry in motion.    
Archived comments for Dork the Poet
e-griff on 28-01-2008
Dork the Poet
A very nice wee story (and only one scottishism in it - what happened?)

Nice, rounded, neat complete. A surprise!

best JohnG

Author's Reply:
haha always good to surprise you griffyboy....thanku fur yer generous wee comment....Z

e-griff on 28-01-2008
Dork the Poet
bugger - forgot to say ...

'came into fruition' was a little odd

'pollyanaish' - was a little bit author intrusive for me - let us see what he is like - don't tell us.

Author's Reply:
yes it doesnt fit i knew that but couldn't come up with anything, anyway I was relying on the suberb quality of the poem to dazzle the reader into not noticing - canny fool you though johnny boy
As for pollyannaish I hadn't a clue what it meant till it came up on the comp thesaurus and thought it fitting for my hero.....and i think in all honesty you are left in no doubt as to what he's like ...wee clue in the title perhaps.

Rupe on 29-01-2008
Dork the Poet
Enjoyed this. It has a distinctive tone of confident flippancy, which shows up especially well in the bits where you fast-forward through:

'We became lovers but my creative compulsion drove me to follow my dreams so I set off for Spain where I arrived penniless with a few meagre possessions; a little ready-rubbed, a guitar to sing for my supper and a rune stone in my pocket'

Also liked the casting stages - from innocence to humping 'like beasts'.

There are a few quotation marks missing & a couple of typos ('sprituality' is one I think) that could be tidied up.

Good stuff.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
i had to copy this from a print out because the library doesn't take floppy disks in their computers anymore - the world moves too fast for a Luddite like me these days so the typos are surprisingly [to me] few but thanks for pointing them out ...oddly there's a wee bit missing in the sentence you highlighted as well - will fix...yes he's confident, flippant, big headed, arrogant, opinionated, pollyanaish which means optimistic to the point of annoyance, seemingly...the narrator does his best to deal him a lousy hand but in my opinion doesn't quite manage to pull it off...there's definitely something likable in there... although it may take a wee while to chisel it out.

RoyBateman on 30-01-2008
Dork the Poet
Oh, you've got your finger on the pulse here...this character looked oh, so familiar. Mind you, I'm sure that there's nobody of this description on uka. Not at all, and especially not me 'cos I'm perfect - as I'm sure you are too. A very enjoyable write, just the right length too.

Author's Reply:
haha yeah Roy, you're right, I am....Poor old Dork is of course a figment of my imagination, a sort of cross between W.H.Auden and Michael Winner so any resemblance ..etc... anyway he's not so much 'poor old'..... he gets the woman in the end ! canny say fairer than that.....cheersZ


PILLS and THRILLS (posted on: 19-10-07)
thrills and spills

This was getting to be a habit, could a man not sit quietly in the pub and be free of some bleary eyed drunk complaining about the state of their genitals? The last time it was a cancer stricken unfortunate who was close to tears lamenting on that he had to get one of his bollocks chopped off. Too much information that when you're munching on a jar of pickled muscles. But this guy, reeking of rotting fish and corpse sweat, this deranged apparition is just something else. The total mystery is why? Why would anyone want to declare to all and sundry that he has to get circumcised because he'd neglected to clean under his foreskin for so long it's now a stinking mass of festering fungus. He's shouting about it like it was something to be proud about. At least he's getting some laughs, probably for the first time since nineteen sixty-seven, that momentous year when he last said something funny and wiped a soapy sponge under the rim of his knob. There was a time when I too would have found it amusing but that was in the good old days when I could drink, when my liver had yet to take the shape of a burst leather football. Best not to dwell though, to hanker after a paradise that not only no longer existed but to try and recapture could only result in my premature demise. I slip another speed pill under my tongue, crush it and wash it down with a mouthful of cranberry juice, one must have clarity. The Rope is late, I check his text message – 'got them..c u in the cock and balls..1 hr.' That was nearly two hours ago. It's not as if he's a busy man, he's messed up so many times that his services are now only utilised by a dwindling bunch of loyal 'friends' and the desperate. Unfortunately I fall into the latter of these categories. Not that I dislike him, I find his company vaguely amusing, he's like a throwback to the age of the loveable fifties rogue or rather what all these Pinewood Studios crime flicks would have you believe as one. Unfortunately he's my only source and therefore indispensable so I resolve to be patient. Not so long ago waiting in a pub would have been uncomfortable, nay, impossible for me but when even a single whisky is enough to snap the thread holding back the sword of Damocles, abstention becomes a lighter cross to bear. Anyway I'm far from bored, these worthy customers are seasoned performers, if reality entertainment is your thing spend a couple of hours in a pub like the 'Cock and Bull', sober, taste that slice of life, you'll tear up your t.v. license within the space of a week. My absent minded musings are interrupted by the anguished cries of PUT IT AWAY as it becomes apparent that the festering foreskin story must be endorsed by a physical display of evidence. The license tearing, perhaps not. It's easy to be a self-righteous, cynical bastard when you're free of the grip though, watch out, if you're inclined to tread down that thorny path you'd better be careful, the past has a nasty habit of springing back, cutting deep into an unsuspecting, smug face. Black-outs had been my worst affliction. The amount of times I had failed to recall drunken escapades were too numerous to mention, usually the most embarrassing ones, granted, but not always. Sometimes I 'd wake… 'Penny for em,' so says the two-tone gonk sitting opposite, complete with wild shock of white hair, pasty face and black, hairy caterpillar eyebrows. 'Yeah I know, sorry, off on one there, reminiscing, reminiscing like some retirement home reject.' 'The past returns to haunt us.' Does this freak's conversational repertoire consist entirely of tired clichés? Two can play at that game. 'Never a truer word's been spoken my friend, never a truer word.' 'Best not to dwell. We're all the dead on holiday.' Never heard that one before. 'Funny I was just telling myself that only a few moments ago, yeah you're right, pastures new and all that.' Cringe. 'Variety is the spice of life.' Enough! Is enough. He's a bit of a contradiction is my new found companion, he looks like a manic Scandinavian troll but sounds like a broken down robot programmed to spew out heart felt platitudes. But I'm forgetting I'm in a pub, ancestral home of; the bullshitter, the morose mourner, the enlightened philosopher, the bad joke comedian, the political genius, the football pundit, the walking encyclopaedia, the clued in sceptic, the…I suppose I got off lightly. I get up to go to the toilet. 'Do one for me.' Someone's daubed a massive cock and balls on the wall above the urinals and scrawled underneath – 'cock fun in here' followed by a list of scored out dates, all but the latest, 'wed 20th 2 o/c' which just happens to be here and now. I'm half way through my piss and nervously glance over my shoulder towards the cubicles half expecting to see a building labourer being bummed by a muscle bound, bare-ass, leather boy but, no, the coast is clear. Of course it is, what's wrong with me, you see graffiti like that in pub toilets all the time, doesn't mean there's going to be a sodomy festival on Wednesday the twentieth at two o'clock – which is now, it so happens, a coincidence that, one of life's little peculiarities, who'd have thought. The door opens and I'm relieved to see Laars the Troll entering but the relief is short lived as he drops his trousers revealing a half erect, wrinkly old penis poking out a pair of crotch-less French knickers. 'Pop goes the weasel,' he says with a grin. I'm tempted to order a large brandy when I go up to the bar but settle for a carrot juice with tranquilliser chaser, one must desensitise. The barman has an expression on him that would peel paint from the walls but intending as I am to occupy a barstool I throw caution to the wind and enter into the customary friendly banter. 'Why the long face?' 'That's my line pal.' 'Sure is, but I'm the tactful sort, not feeling like sharing your woes, fine by me. I'm a good listener though. Doesn't involve a woman by any chance does it?' 'Doesn't it always, I can pick em, an absolute psychobitch, fucking cow painted my balls scarlet red – with a wire brush.' 'Ouch.' 'Thought I was out shagging but I was just out on the piss with the lads, woke up on the floor in agony, wallet gone the lot. Worst thing is, not only that I can't get it off, I can only wear this apron and a long shirt to cover my arse. Pants and jeans are torture. Look.' And he pulls aside his apron displaying a pair of bright red plums that would put a monkey to shame. Strange fruit indeed. I spot the brilcreamed barnet of 'the rope' in the bar mirror, swivel round in my seat, grab his shoulder and march him out the bar. 'Hey what's up with you, I haven't even had a drink yet!' 'That pub, it's doing my head in.' 'What you on about? That's the Cock and Balls.' 'Well you got that right Ropey, I've just been subjected to, Stinking Bishop, Wee Willie Winky and Thunderballs. 'Eh?' Just then Laars comes stumbling out the door with a soaking wet, bedraggled head, sees me and quickens up the pace so he disappears into the shopping throng. 'Jesus did you see the nick of that guy, hedge, dragged and backwards, or what? 'He's Norwegian they revel in that style, it's called 'the head flushed down the bog.' 'How do you know?' 'Gut feeling. Did you get the pills?' 'Well yes and no,' he says, pulling out a prescription bottle, 'I've never heard of them, think they're strong stuff though, better be careful.' 'Thanks, for the pills and of course your much appreciated pastoral advice.' I squeeze a twenty into his top jacket pocket, purchase a chilled banana smoothie and whoosh down a couple of tablets. 'I know fine it's you, I might be blind but I can smell you just fine. Did your mammy never tell you, blind men see with their noses. No booze coming this way though. Off it eh? Bit late for that, what was it a pang of conscience? Nah, no you, you wouldn't know remorse supposing it bit your hand off. Like mine, look. Look you bastard!' Funny I thought I had the top deck to myself. I try to spin round, face my tormentor, tell him for the umpteenth time that it wasn't me that was driving, explain it over again but someone has ripped out my spinal chord and replaced it with a cast iron rod. I can no more turn my head than fly in the air. 'What's up cat caught your tongue?' 'Gnnnnnnph,' is all I can manage. I hear him walking down the bus, his white stick clack, clacking along the metal handrails. When he gets to me he stops and I get a tickling sensation on my scalp as he takes a long sniff. Then he comes into vision, he reaches the top of the stairs and I find myself wishing that he falls and cracks his head but he glides down with the ease of a cautious ghost. And disappears. I realise I'm on a circular route because my stop has flashed by at least twice. People getting on and off some sneering and pointing but most totally engrossed in their own problems to bother about a zombie sat bolt-upright complete with frothing mouth and the intense gaze of Bedlam. By the third time round I muster all my energy for an escape attempt, I get as far as the first stair when the driver takes off with a violent jolt sending me flying down the drop headfirst. My wish genie is obviously drunk on irony, I can hear his insane laughter ringing in my ears until the blood seeps in and shuts his cruel mouth. A strong pair of hands lifts me up, he's asking me if I'm okay, it's the driver but I slope through the open door without answering, keen to get home. It's not easy but the difficult journey pales into insignificance when I see my ex-wife walking towards me with our two daughters. At first she's smiling but as we draw closer the grin vanishes and her friendly twinkling eyes mutate into a death stare, she grabs the kids by their arms and crosses the street in quick time march. The kids see me, they're shouting 'daddy, daddy, mummy stop, look, there's daddy.' I try to speak, to tell her it's not what it seems, that I haven't been drinking, to stop, but it comes out as 'aaaaaaargh.' I see myself as she must, staggering along the road, filthy, blood streaming down my face, saliva drooling out my stupid, stupid mouth. If I thought I could, I would cry. I can only look straight ahead, if I move my eyes the after trace turns everything into a multi-spectrum like the many headed dog whose sensed a monster and is barking for all its worth like some kind of call to arms. I realise the stone stairwell is going to be a problem and am not disappointed, this time I fall up the stairs, the bottle of pills leaves my pocket, the gentle sound of them scattering all around mixes with the screams of a startled old lady. I manage to crawl onto the landing where I roll over onto my back. For a rest. 'Let's hope he's not taken too many of these,' says one paramedic to the other. As they strap me into the stretcher I'm focused on the stairwell light, a large moth is fluttering around in its perspex shade where it is doomed to die, it has been fooled by false light and therefore shall perish. Sounds like something Jesus would ponder on, rather than a first class idiot.                         
Archived comments for PILLS and THRILLS
ruadh on 19-10-2007
PILLS and THRILLS
Nice one!

Author's Reply:
Ta Ails

RoyBateman on 21-10-2007
PILLS and THRILLS
What an utter nightmare...ever thought about doing adverts for pub chains? It'd close 'em down overnight! Seriously, this is a horribly well-drawn picture of the worst aspects of pub life - and human frailties, too. The sort of experiences that we laugh at in others, yet hope never to go through ourselves. Worse than Homer Simpson on a bad day! Great piece - really raw and different, if not exactly an easy read.

Author's Reply:
They're fast disappearing Roy..ittle soon be a distant memory when beer comes in pints and sex on the beach is just that...aye this guy is just about as hapless as poor old Homer...and of course its not all his own fault..makes me laugh though....cheers Z


DOPPELGANGER (posted on: 14-05-07)
DOUBLE TROUBLE:TROUBLE DOUBLE

She flirted with me shamelessly, my kind of woman I remember thinking, well she would have been if she had a nicer face, fuller figure and been at least ten years younger. Unfortunate maybe but I'd learnt a long time ago you can't have everything so I went along with it, playing the game with my usual aplomb and expertise, which more often than not succeeded in me ending up with absolute zero. Not this time though, I was on fire, I had her giggling and fluttering her lashes bunny girl style. The worm had turned. But it was time to go, which was a pure bastard, it's bad enough leaving the pub at the best of times but when the barmaid's after your body it's ten times worse. At least. So, reluctantly, I said my goodbyes and was pleased to see that she looked genuinely disappointed. 'OK, see ye Hector,' she said and I realised she thought I was someone else entirely. Not exactly ego inflating but with reflection I grinned in the satisfaction that if this Hector character looked so much like me he must be one unlucky man. Furthermore it was my patter that had her wiggling her skinny ass like a catwalk queen, not Hectors, mine. He could have lessons if he wanted. I thought no more about it, it was but a distant memory, tucked away in the dusty wardrobe of my mind. Until this weirdo came walking straight towards me, as I took a shortcut through a churchyard, with outstretched arms like he had every intention of giving me a hearty embrace. I instantly took him for some kind of religious nut. One of those hug cult devotees. A big one. 'Hey my man, great tae see ye pal,' he bellowed into my ear as I felt the power of his purchase, 'no seen ye at the game fur ages!' I jerked my knee into his groin, hard, well, hard enough to make the fool gasp, release his grip and double up in agony. Wasting no time I bolted to safety. Hug oaf must have caught his breath. 'HECTOR YE SHITE-BAG, AH'LL KILL YE, YOU'RE DEAD, HEAR ME DEAD.' He had returned to haunt me, this time in far more sinister circumstance. Hector had become a thorn in my side and not just metaphorically speaking; my ribs ached with the intense pain that comes with over enthusiastic clinch-crush. Not only that, through no fault of my own, my life had been placed in jeopardy, it was as if this look alike charlatan had put a contract out on me. No longer a source of mild curiosity and amusement Hector had mutated into that most dangerous of things – an elusive adversary. This unsettling development at first filled me with dread. I lost sleep, lying in bed I could think of little else but gradually I began to see the thing for what it really was, pulling my difficulty into focus it became obvious that I had simply been the subject of mistaken identity. It happened all the time. But no matter how many times I tried to convince myself it became impossible to shake the nagging fact that both the barmaid and the hug-nut had been certain, absolutely certain, that I was this Hector guy, not someone who merely resembled him. It wasn't as if I'd been a familiar distant figure, no, both encounters had been face to face, up close and personal. So much so they had looked straight into my eyes. My worst fears unfortunately materialised as the incidents became more frequent. Although these were mostly uneventful it nevertheless never failed to unsettle me when a total stranger greeted me on the street or blasted their car horn in recognition. It was starting to get to me, paranoia began to grip and I became withdrawn, only leaving the flat when absolutely necessary. My confidence returned however when indulging in strong drink, with whisky courage the situation became almost tolerable and I began to think that my imagination was just playing tricks. It was in one of these fine, bold states of intoxication that I endured my next bizarre experience. Marching up the street with arms swinging, I recognised an old friend who was standing outside a pub sharing a joint with some guy who looked like a refugee from a 'Damned' concert, what made it even sadder was the fact that the guy must have been forty. At least. 'Well, well, well, what have we here? A couple o seasoned tokers I would take a stab at. Some things never change eh?' I joked, and gave my friend a knowing wink. He looked at me as if I was the police. The punk just scowled and made a pathetic attempt to look menacing, as they do. 'Keep walkin, arsehole,' he snarled. 'Who dae ye think you're talkin tae! Eh? Listen Rat Scabies, get back in yer box before ye get hurt, yer lucky yer wi the man here. What's yer problem?' 'What's ma problem, you are! Dae ye no mind gettin thrown oot ma party?' 'Naw, naw ah dinnae.' 'Talk aboot oot o order; furst up ye spewed in the punch bowl, then ye were lightin matches an throwin them at anybody that moved. Ah had tae get Kung Fu Kenny tae chuck ye oot the door.' 'Chucked oot yer party, aye right, ah've never seen ye before in ma life, ah think ah might mind a pathetic time-warp the likes o yersel.' 'Woa hold up fellas,' my friend intervened, 'you think you ken me dae ye no, well what's ma name?' The fury inside me subsided. Confused I backed off, feeling small and ridiculous with the realisation not just that I didn't know, I had never known. Safely back in the flat I locked the door, pulled out the phone, poured the whisky down the drain, filled a bath with cold water and lay in it, staring at the ceiling. When I was a kid I used to see how long I could hold my breath under the bath water, it became a sort of comfort zone, my own little weird, watery world. But this time, when I ducked under and started the count, I found myself in a dark, dangerous place where my muscles locked into paralysis and the awful, desperate cries of every poor soul that had ever floundered and drowned screamed in my head until I thought it would explode. This was it then, that most feared of things - an untimely death. I was terrified, it wasn't supposed to be like this! Drowned in a pissy bathtub of water – like a helpless baby! What struck me hardest was the unfairness of it all, why me? Was I being judged and condemned for the actions of another? I was innocent! It was all so, so unjust, I deserved more than this, I deserved another chance, another kick of the ball, yeah, another big greasy toe-poke boot at the ba… The waterline creeped down my face until the nostrils and mouth were free, with lungs expanding and deflating in billows I desperately gasped for oxygen. Through hazy teardrop distortion I noticed that somehow my leg had shot out the bath, yanking the plug out with it. Death had rejected me; he had sucked me in, chewed me up, thought about it and spat me out like a cyanide pill. And I thanked him with all my heart. But what of life? She hadn't exactly nestled me under her protective wing of late. I had been treated like some kind of reject - only fit for humiliation and unfounded ridicule. No, I was definitely not one of her favourites but, as I found myself back in her fold, I decided to make the best job I could. So no more skulking round the flat feeling sorry for myself. I had to grasp the nettle, from now on it would be boldly onwards and upwards, like a money hungry yuppie, albeit an unwashed one. My near demise had provided a new means, a catalyst, for change that enabled me to reject and subsequently pour scorn on such crippling constraints as time and fear. Time no longer characterised the slow, constant, physical decay towards non-existence. It became a joyous thing, a friend, something I could play with like a childhood toy. It was as if I had visited a celestial store, not to borrow time, to secure mere credit, no, I had burst through the security door and evaded the guards with pockets bulging. I had stolen time. Fear was more resilient, although its weakened grip had lost its all consuming, crushing force and somewhat subtle dexterity, I knew it was still there, waiting on the back shelf, temporarily impotent perhaps but only a self-deluded fool would openly boast of conquest. So with all the time in the world and, almost, fearless I entered the seedy side of town and cheerfully returned the greetings of scantly dressed prostitutes. However it was the tall one wearing the long raincoat who sallied forth intent on procuring my custom. Unusual attire for a whore, I thought but she quickly yanked the coat apart revealing a full show; black lace bra with matching suspender belt and stockings, no knickers, her well-lubed pubes matted together in a cutting edge, shark-fin style. 'Aw right Podgey Prick, fancy a fuck?' 'Eh, naw, gie it a miss the night hen.' 'Jeezo ah've heard it aw noo, what's up wi ye, seen the light or somethin?' 'Naw, crabs.' 'Haha, nae wonder, ah telt ye tae stay clear o her, did ah no tell ye?' 'Aye ye did that darlin, shoulda listened eh?' She laughed, I laughed, not through any notion of good-natured repartee but because I could. Gallows humour, courage in the face of adversity, whatever, most importantly I had refused to buckle or panic and even over anxious concern had evaded me - in much the same way, up till then, Hector had. I was getting close though, I could feel it in my gut. 'Malkie's Bar' the blinking neon sign pulled me in like a homing beacon. A real dive. I'd been once before but had vowed never to return, it had a horrendous reputation, justifiably so, the regular clientele consisted entirely of a hard core element; beer monsters, junkies, whores, burglars, shop lifters, drug dealers, con artists and other varying breeds of scum. In short, the worst of the worst. It was packed, but no wave of alarming paranoia washed over me and I did not balk at the thousand eyes drilling into the back of my head as I scribbled my name up for pool. Not me, I was steeled, they could spit their vilest poisons, I was the mongoose in the vipers nest. I stood at the bar, guzzled a pint, offended no one and although suspicious glances and lowered voices were rife no disturbing incidents ensued, which is all anyone could hope for walking into 'Malkies' a stranger. Strangers were not welcome, strangers were undercover policemen or worse, 'grasses.' Strangers were rivals trying to muscle in or worse, out for revenge. The only exception to this hard fast rule being the drunk stranger. Drunk strangers could be hustled or even better, pick pocketed, drunk strangers could be ripped off or even better, fleeced. And they were easy to beat at pool. When my turn came at the table my heart skipped a beat, underneath mine, someone had written the name HECTOR in bold capital letters. It was winner stay on and although a wee bit rusty I played like a demon to emerge a skin-of-the-teeth victorious contestant and castegised police informer. 'Hector', I shouted, 'yer on.' Of course I was expecting a spit, a long lost mono-zygotic twin who became separated from me at birth, someone who resembled me to such a degree it would be like looking in a mirror. Wrong, yeah he was roughly the same age, height and build, you could say, but only roughly, this guy was no double, it was hard to see how we could be mistaken for each other. 'Mugs away?' 'Aye, go on pal, you break.' The balls are given a hard clatter, the six and the three rattle in opposite corner pockets. 'Wee ones.' The one is lined up for the middle right. 'Been tae the match lately?' 'Naw, no been for ages.' Said one is sunk. 'Seen the barmaid up the 'Fountain' no bad for a skinny bint.' 'Naw ah'm barred.' The four ball is slotted in with plenty of bottom screwing the white back on its path ending up in perfect position to sink the two. 'Some party the other night there eh? What aboot thon clown chuckin lit matches aw over the place.' The two is rolled in. 'Look you tryin tae put me aff or somethin or are ye just some kinda nosey CUNT? Ah wisnae at any party!' The difficult seven is flooked, leaving the black over the middle bag. 'Is yer thick dick under siege from the itchin crabs?' The black ball and a man's head are somehow miraculously interchanged as it is battered with the thick end of the cue, with plenty of right hand side. Game over. When I eventually struggled through from the Land it was to the cry of 'he's awake,' and the attention of a passing man in a green jacket. I had to get away but when I tried to go the tubes in my arm and nose ripped out causing spurting blood and a hissing like an angry snake. An alarm sounded. Green Jacket advanced but any attempt at restraint was completely unnecessary; I gave up and lay back down. 'Take it easy, you're in a hospital you were found unconscious outside a pub. It's OK I'm a doctor stay still `till I reconnect you; it's only saline and oxygen. Relax.' Yeah, well, easier said than done, through my compulsive stupidity my arm and nose smarted but my chest and head; my chest had obviously been stood on by an elephant and my head felt like it had been caved in with a pool cue. Funnily enough! Then a wave of nausea hit me, I sat up and groaned, 'ah'm goin tae be sick,' one of those cardboard bowl things was jabbed into my hand and I began to violently spew up a vile black liquid that resembled stale Guinness. A nurse hastily drew a curtain but before it closed I noticed a strange looking girl sitting on the edge of a bed watching me with an unsettling, grim intensity. It was but a fleeting glance but when I awoke the second time she was perched at the bottom of my bed, crossed legged like some kind of overgrown elf. This close proximity made it possible to more accurately discern her odd facial features. She had a squint nose, not a boxer's boneless obscenity but there was a definite tendency to stray towards the right. I'm not saying it made her grotesque, quite quaint actually, probably because of its long slender, if slightly askew, shape. Her eyes were that lop-sided way that you get - one higher up in her head than the other. Yet when she looked at me I felt there was something enchanting and witchy about her gaze, an experience that was enhanced by the bright emerald hue of her irises. 'Hi,' she said, 'my name is Iris.' 'Iris, unusual name. You can call me anythin ye like, as long as it's not Hector or Cunt.' 'Why so?' 'Because the two of them seem tae land me in a load o bother.' 'An odd combination.' 'Not for me.' 'Yeah, you'll have to tell me about it.' 'Sure, look, ah ken ye mean well but not just now eh? Just now ah… 'Just now he has to rest,' said Green Jacket, as he pulled back the curtain. 'C'mon Iris back to your own bed, strictly forbidden this you know, fraternisation behind closed curtains, what do you think this is a sultan's boudoir? Feeling better?' 'Naw, ma head and chest are aching.' 'Not surprising, you were knocked unconscious with some kind of blunt instrument, the pain in your chest is the result of resuscitation technique, you had stopped breathing and went into arrest. Flat lined.' 'Dead ye mean.' 'Let's just say you're lucky to be with us,' he said and stuck a thermometer under my tongue. So much for the banishment of fear then, hardly the fabled shining path of enlightenment it's made out to be, the pot-holed road to destruction more like. Oh well, at least I was still around, battered, bruised and yanked from the jaws of extinction, yeah, but for all that still drawing from the well of hope, even if it was with a rusty bucket full of holes. But I was getting used to faulty apparatus, the emotional roller coaster that had been my recent plight had become so rocky my very sanity was at risk. The thought of a lengthy period of hospital incarceration only compounded the misery and I descended into a mire of self pity and depression. I needed a friend. 'Hello again, you look like you need a friend.' 'Who are you?' 'Iris, don't you remember?' 'Aye, course, sorry, miles away there, a friend, aye, did ye catch him.' 'Who?' 'The bastard that stole ma swimming trunks, he shouldn't be too far, he was limping.' 'Ha ha, you've been dreaming.' 'You know Iris, ah'm losing it ah think, ah dinnae ken what's a dream and what's real.' 'Welcome to the club, don't worry, it's no big deal, you'll get used to it, think on it as a gift. Just remember when you feel like flying, you can. I do it all the time.' I knew what she meant there's nothing better than a good flying dream but I was unsure if it was wise to uproot designated dream-time at will. There was something unnatural about the act that grated with my sense of fair play. Not that I disbelieved her, she was my friend. 'Have I met you before, you look familiar.' 'NO, PLEASE, NO YOU AS WELL!' She looked taken aback by my outburst and her face twisted into an odd expression, not of fear or hatred but understanding and empathy. Such noble sentiments seemed to have eluded Green Jacket as he suddenly appeared, open eyed with alarm but any stern interjection was halted when I wrapped my arms around her; a gentle embrace of the kind that occurs exclusively between friends who have yet to become intimate. He left us alone. It came pouring out, all the recent misadventures and trauma, in between sobs I blurted out my pathetic story, because, indeed, that was the truth of the matter, it was what I had become, a pathetic excuse for a man blubbering like a forlorn, lost child into the arms of somebody he had commandeered as a friend. A fool. 'It's worse than you think.' 'Eh?' Iris scurried off to her own bed and returned with an old newspaper that she excitedly thrust in front of my face. It was a report about the latest victim of a suspected serial killer. Some guy had been scouring the streets for homeless people, pouncing on them while asleep in the gutters, tying them up and setting them on fire. This time there was a witness, he had been spotted making good his escape, they had an identikit photo and however notorious these things are for inaccuracy this one hit the mark, more or less. It looked like me. Not that this shocked me, why should it? I had gone beyond the point of caring and decided there and then that I was doomed and nothing and nobody could alter the pitiful, sad fact of the matter. 'Don't give up,' said Iris sensing my despair 'you've still got me.' 'Yeah…and?' 'I can help.' 'Oh, if only ye could darlin.' She grinned, pressed her finger to my lips, kissed my forehead, went back over to her lair, pulled a hand carved flute from her drawer and began to play a haunting little melody. Blood rushed through my penis pumping it up to such a throbbing erection I thought it was going to burst, I hadn't had a hard-on like that since Kitty Hanshaw showed me her well nice tits in second year. Then the exotic dance began; swaying from side to side in time to the tune, then rotating round and round like one of these weird, disturbing looking, sex shop rubber dicks that perform eye-popping gymnastic feats at the flick of a switch. The finale was nothing short of fantastic, it felt like my pulsating performer was being pulled back till it stood up like a tent pole, exploding into a volcanic ejaculation which spurted out vast quantities of semen with the consistency and aroma of royal jelly. Unable to focus I could only listen to Irises high pitched, triumphant howl. I had obviously been too hasty, only an idiot would cast doubt on the beneficial services offered him by an experienced trouser snake charmer. Indeed, but a whole army of cock flutists could not have helped me through my next little ordeal. I was alone and although referred to as a 'psychometric evaluation,' ordeal is exactly what it was. 'I hear you've been through the mill,' said the psychiatrist, then proceeded to put me through the mill. It was a complicated procedure; all sort of tests and tasks that literally made my brain hurt. I complained that it was too soon, that my judgement and ability were bound to be compromised following such a painful experience and as a psychiatrist surely he must see this for the torture it really was. He ignored this protest with a professional aloofness that struck a chord of admiration within me. I became seduced by the matter of fact manner that, although devoid of sympathy, he executed without a hint of malice. I complied, tried my hardest, went along with it until, when at last it was over, I thought I would collapse with exhaustion. 'Well done,' he said and called on a nurse to accompany me back to the ward. He might as well have been carved from stone. Cold, grey, damp stone. That night my dreams were in black, white and shades of grey, like being in an ancient flickering horror film populated with animated shadows and giant living statues waving clubs around, intent on doing me serious damage. No great surprise in that, they would have been in the wrong dream if they weren't. No, there was to be no respite, asleep or in the waking world I found myself under attack and I was beginning to think there was no way out. Right on cue Green Jacket sauntered up the ward with my evaluation results tucked under his arm. 'Its not all bad,' he said, 'but I'm afraid there is some thought pattern impairment.' 'Brain damage ye mean.' 'Let's just say a few fuses seem to have blown. The results though are somewhat unusual, the brain is very susceptible to oxygen deprivation but harm is usually spread evenly throughout all cognitive functions, with you it seems to have been confined to the domain responsible for memory. Have you been suffering from black-outs?' 'Not so ah've noticed but then ah wouldn't, would ah, seen as ah'm aff ma heed?' 'Quite, well, anyway, as I said, it's not all bad news, time may heal, we'll just have to wait and see. Plenty of rest meantime', he said, arched his eyebrows and glanced towards Iris, who was buried in an ancient looking book. He disappeared and left me with my own thoughts. I pondered on the situation and, inspired by the benefit of a new insight, a revelation flashed in my head like a spotlight. What if the damage was already done, the tests revealing a defect that existed before the episode of unconsciousness. In that case it was possible that I could have blocked out vast swathes of activity, that I had a selective memory, that I only remembered what I wanted to remember. It suddenly became probable I'd been responsible all along, that I was some kind of modern day 'Jekyll and Hyde.' I shuddered at the horror of it all, sure I was capable of behaving badly, but to deal with the moral dilemma of committing such horrible and cowardly acts of murder by simply wiping the deeds from memory filled me with dread. 'Oh c'mon it's not that bad,' consoled Iris, attracted over Green Jacket's invisible line by my face of anguish. 'It is,' I wailed and then spouted out my misery. Although she listened and nodded I could tell she was less than convinced. 'Don't worry, it's not you.' 'WHO IS IT THEN?' 'A ghost.' Iris gripped my arm tightly, it was obvious she thought I was about to run but there was no need I had resigned myself to go along with the dreaded visit to Aunt Martha's abode. I was desperate and although overtly sceptical, inwardly craved the wisdom of a lesbian Wicca High Priestess. She could cram eyes of newts and claws of ravens up my arse with a broomstick handle if it would rid me of my malignant, ghostly nemesis. Martha had certainly written an enthusiastic almost rapturous reply to her niece's plea for help. Her eagerness was encouraging and oddly reassuring, maybe she could come up with the goods. It alarmed me to dwell on the distinct possibility that she was my only hope but Iris was ecstatic and utterly convinced that my troubles were about to be cast into the murky pool of forgotten misfortune. Martha looked more or less as I thought she would; a cross between a fat Woodstock hippie and a blotch-faced, butch dyke. A hybrid. She cut an imposing figure as she stood at her doorway watching us struggle through the wilderness that passed for her garden. 'Iris, how lovely to see you and this must be your star-crossed friend,' she grunted, then looked me up and down as though measuring me for a coffin. 'Come in. come in and make yourselves at home.' The room was just like I expected; no furniture as such, plenty of lounge around comfortable cushions, burning incense, a rack of potions and lotions, tapestries and huge oil paintings adorning the walls and some sort of supernatural wooden statue depicting a pot-bellied naked woman which, going by the huge leather-bound book and array of candles, presumably served as an alter. Wooo-eee-woo. 'So how are you feeling?' she asked me and I felt for a moment that she had just swapped places with Green Jacket.' 'Sick and tired.' 'Yes, yes, you will be, it's feeding off your energy, you see it means you great harm but if ever the two of you meet, each will be destroyed, it does its dirty work from a distance.' 'You mean if I actually came across him we'd burst into flames or something.' 'Yes,' she said looking into my eyes and I could tell she was serious. 'Fuck!' 'Don't worry, that is it's weakness, you see we don't have to perform an exorcism, all we have to do is shield you, create a protective barrier to stop it from draining your life force, then it will have no choice but to go back to the spirit world. We must cast a circle.' Iris' grip on my arm was even tighter as we traipsed after Martha through the wood on route to the sacred place of spells and this time with good reason. I had no idea what was in store but took a less than wild guess that it was bound to score pretty high in the weird shit ratings. Not to be disappointed we soon reached a clearing with a large upright stone in the middle where Martha immediately took off her clothes and bade us do likewise. She filled two bowls one of water, the other salt, pulled a sword out her bag and dipped the point in each bowl then, power being doubled, starting at the stone drew a circle yelling:- I DRAW WITH SWORD THE CIRCLE ROUND LOVE BE RAISED AND POWER BOUND. SO MOTE IT BE. She then proceeded to sprinkle the water round the circle, placed the bowl on the stone and lit some incense. She saluted the stone, held the sword horizontally at waist height walked round the circle and positioned it next to the bowl. Next she marked four points with shiny black pyramids; air/east, fire/south, water/west and earth/north. Martha was obviously no stranger to this sort of thing but neither was Iris who jumped into the circle and started to dance, sweat glistening off her lithe, naked body under the moonlight. She beckoned me join her with a crooked finger and as I entered the circle a strange, euphoric tingling ran up and down my spine. Iris looked so beautiful, I felt so energetic and filled with the love of man, I didn't even flinch when Martha joined us. Nothing could harm us in this circle of magic. We all embraced. Intimately. Hector has gone now, whether it was down to the circle ritual or the fact that we have moved to the country I neither know nor care. We live in a rustic cottage, Iris makes musical instruments, I chop logs by day and write by candlelight, our first child is on the way and we are very happy. The only complaint I have is our neighbours, traveller types who have camped nearby, they call them 'new age,' in the village but I'd just say they were tramps, dirty, stinking tramps. Iris says live and let live so I keep quiet. She has gone out to gather some wild herbs and fungi to complement our evening meal but lighting the stove has proved problematic as my last damp match has just fizzled out and died.
Archived comments for DOPPELGANGER
ruadh on 14-05-2007
DOPPELGANGER
You never fail to surprise me with your writing Charlie. This is one weird read though.

love ailsa

Author's Reply:
aye it is that ..think i might try a romcom script next..set in a barenuckle fistfight cage....nah forget that thats even too weird for me!

Claire on 14-05-2007
DOPPELGANGER
Deffo a weird one, but damn captivating.

Author's Reply:
captivating is good claire....long time hun everything ok?

Rupe on 16-05-2007
DOPPELGANGER
The word count had me worried, but it pulled me in pretty quickly. I liked the atmosphere of the piece & the deadpan humour which is deeply engrained in the writing - clearly part of how you see the world rather than any conscious bolt-on.

It did go round the houses somewhat - various bits of description & characters (the superannuated punk, for example) that don't seem particularly necessary - but in a way that's part of the appeal of it & fits in with the narrator's leisurely conversational style, so I'm not going to suggest anything.

Rupe

Author's Reply:
'superannuauted punk' now why didn't I think of that?
cheers for the comment rupe..Z

josiedog on 27-05-2007
DOPPELGANGER
I read this when you posted but had to buger off, and yet it has stayed with me.
I'm no crit master, and am tempted to just say "his was well cool" but perhaps should say why...
The writing is bang on- it has a real earthy feel to it - no flowery bits or purple prose, but real crisp, and lively.
I think that, and the well-observed (and written) accents make the strangeness all the more believable, or help the reader to suspend his/her disbelief.
Anyway, great story, characters and writing, I could go on, but I won't. Nice one Charlie

Author's Reply:
thanx mr josiedog, much appreciated ...Z


PRISON (posted on: 12-02-07)
YOU'RE FAHKING NICKED ME OL SON

Well at least it was no one's fault, we were both to blame so no quarrelling about that. Not that that makes the situation any easier to bear but considering we are doomed to spend a disagreeable length of time locked up with each other in this cesspit, the fewer sources of belligerence the better. We'll fall out soon enough. 'What was the charge Gilles? I couldn't understand a word.' 'Murder.'  'Murder my pink cheeked arse.' 'Yes my friend, we are murderers, the guy at the salt factory, metal, how do you say, shrapnel? No head, you blew his head off.'  'Eh!…that was in Crete…murder!..how the fuck?.. Fuck's sake we're right in the shite ..murder!..you have to be joking me!' 'No joke my friend, the magistrate, he said murder, they are shipping us to Athens for trial.' 'How do they know it was us?… Where is their evidence?… What did we leave behind?… And WHY HAVE YOU GOT THAT SMUG, SLY SMIRK ON YOUR UGLY, CRUEL, DEMENTED FACE YOU FUCKING FRENCH FROG? I jump on him, mad, mad with him for winding me up, mad with getting locked up but most of all mad with myself for falling for such a simple ruse. But not that mad. After a wee bit wrestling we're soon lying on our backs roaring with laughter. 'Vagrancy, vagrancy,' pants Gilles, 'seven days for vagrancy.' 'Eh! a whole week looking at that,' I say patting his cheek, 'think I'd rather get hung.' What a shit-hole, a peeling whitewashed, grilled windowed, cockroach infested, sand floored dump with two small straw filled mattresses perched on top of piles of old newspaper at either end of the room, oh and the toilet's a rusty pail. It's like one of those gaols 'down Mexico way,' portrayed so often in shitty old movies and even shittier songs. There's a couple of 'blankets' but thankfully it's far too stifling hot for them – the spunk stains have got spunk stains. 'Where are we?' 'Prison.' 'I fucking know that, where? What place?' 'It's a mystery, we jumped off the boat before the ticket man got us, some island, some island with bastards for police.' 'I don't remember.' 'You were drunk.'  'What drunker than you?' 'Me, yes, yes, drunker.' 'Now that's drunk, no wonder my head hurts.' 'From the baton.' 'Baton? What baton?'  'You forget, you went crazy, the policeman batoned you, feel your head.' 'Christ , yeah there's a lump alright.' 'You were lucky, only one blow, in Algeria I…' 'OK mister French Legion one's enough for me, there's plenty of time for stories, I'm going to sleep and try make the bad place go away. Goodnight.' Any illusions of a change in circumstances brought on by slumber were shattered immediately when the sour stink of this godforsaken hole hits my nostrils on awakening. The disgusting cockroach eyeballing me from my chest doesn't help much either.  'Aaaaaaargh.'  'Hahahaha, say hello to your little friend.' 'Did you put that there you BASTARD?' 'Calm down Johnny, a joke, a joke my friend.'  'Some fucking joke, hilarious I'd say, you twat, listen Beau Geste you might be used to this sort of shit but me, me…' 'Mon Dieu, relax, only six days left,' says the grinning comedian lighting up a skinny, hand rolled fag. 'Where did you get that?' 'My arse, want one?'  'Your arse, nah think I'll give that a miss'  'Suit yourself.' 'Was it wrapped up, eh? Was it?…Answer me then you bastard.' 'What? Be quiet Johnny, I'm enjoying my smoke.' 'Course you are, my mistake, please except my most sincere apology.' 'Changed your mind?'  'Nope, you're still an ugly frog.'  'Brave words my friend, brave words from someone with non tobac.'  'I can go without a smoke no problem.' 'Course you can.'  'Do you have to blow the smoke in this direction.'  'No but I was thinking maybe it might help the withdrawal.' 'Hah, withdrawal, me, you're talking to a man with a will power carved from granite, I laugh in the face of superficial addiction,' I sneer as the restlessness, sweats and irrational fury begin to kick in. The only hidden blessing concerning the awful sickness that is surging through my system is a complete loss of appetite because the prison cuisine, dispensed threw a hatch accompanied by the sweet music of someone hacking up phlegm, scores a couple of notches below pigswill. Even Gilles, the shit-hole gaol veteran, is struggling to eat it.  'What's up Gilles? Food not to your liking.'  'Bah, nonsense, this is delicious, give me yours if you don't want it…in the desert we lived on scorpions and beetles, this is a king's banquet.' 'Yeah that's why you're screwing up your face like a bulldog licking piss off a thistle.' And the bastard responds by wolfing down both platefuls like a Victorian starving waif, belching with satisfaction and lighting an after dinner arse fag. Day three and the boredom is starting to bite, I mean real boredom not lounging about on the couch, unemployed, wondering what to do with yourself, suffering daytime telly. No, this is real monotony, the kind that has you crawling the walls, there's nothing else for it. 'C'mon then Gilles let's have one of your stories.' He looks at me wistfully, eyebrows raised, as if he knew that it would only be a matter of time. 'One day about twelve of us entered a village in Algeria, we had been sent to discover if there was any truth in the rumours about a massacre of civilians. The story went that the bandit leader was a hump-backed grotesque who revelled in the torture of the innocent. We had been told that on the villager's refusal to hand over provisions he had gleefully lined up six children one behind the other against a wall, levelled a rifle and fired, curious to discover how many bodies the bullet would pass through – all but the last had dropped so he pulled out his revolver and shot him through the head. So it was to an atmosphere of great fear when we arrived in two jeeps - each mounted with a heavy machine gun. Our friendly interrogation was met with a wall of silence, the cautious Arabs avoiding our questions and our eyes, they were like frightened animals. All but one, a bold, short bearded youngster, Yusef, who braved his superior's fury by telling us that the bandits had taken the village elder hostage and on their return if no food was on offer he was to be beheaded. We commandeered some camels and with Yusef as our guide we went out into the desert in search of the criminals. We found them twenty or so miles away camped up at a small oasis, they were so confident of being undiscovered they had made the fatal mistake of posting no look-outs. This made the occupation of the high dunes above the camp an unexpectedly simple military manoeuvre, we took up positions under cover of some tree shrubs where we easily observed and contemplated the situation. But we were but a dozen and they were at least fifty strong. The village elder had been tied to a palm tree with cut open tin cans fastened to his naked body – they were cooking him alive in the hot desert sun. Although still conscious he looked in a bad way, we prayed he would last till nightfall because it was then we had decided to make our attack. To try to save him during daylight, even with the element of surprise, would have been suicidal. At nightfall the hideout was illuminated by a large campfire, the grotesque could be seen standing on a rock reading from the Koran to his gathered followers. He repeatedly pointed to the unfortunate captive whose attempts at retort came out as the stifled gobble of some dumb animal, which made us realise they had cut out his tongue. Shocking certainly but it gave me an idea. When I lined up the `scope on the grotesque's head, although tempted to change my mind, I did not go for a fatal brain shot, no, I aimed at his lower jawbone. Yusef, as I had instructed, lay ready with two bunches of fuel soaked scrub bush. When the dum-dum bullet smashed home he did not fall, just stood there motionless with a blood spurting, gaping hole where half his face should have been. Yusef stood up with his flaming torches and began screaming in Arabic SUCH WILL BE THE FATE OF ALL THOSE DISBELIEVERS WHO BLASPHEM FROM THE HOLY BOOK OF THE PROPHET…ALLAAHU AKBAR… ALLAAHU AKBAR! The bandits took to their heels yelling with terror and throwing down their weapons as they disappeared into the desert night.' 'That's a pleasant heart warming little tale that one Gilles, I'll have to remember it when some time in the future I'm trying to get one of my kids back to sleep because they're plagued with horrific nightmares.' 'It's true Johnny I swear, the elder survived, Yusef became his mouthpiece, we left the grotesque to die in agony and the bandits were never heard of again. Your turn tomorrow my friend.' Gilles' story is running round my head all night, it's pervading into my dreams, I am there, I am in the desert of a far away land and it's the place to be, it feels good. It's true that you should only ever hear or read one story at a time, it empowers the tale, elevates it to a point of singularity in your imagination. That is, if it's any fucking good. I'm beginning to panic, it's morning time. I can hear Gilles sucking on his teeth. He's waiting. Johnny Ringo was dying. The bullet was shearing through his brain destroying neurones by the millions. Contrary to common belief his whole life was not flashing past his eyes. But he was remembering, he recalled the recent events that had lead up to his soon to be death, with bitterness. His was not to be a peaceful demise, there was too much anger, too much hatred for a calm, serene departure from this mortal coil. His animosity focused on the two murdering cowards who had donned corrupt masks of respectability and hid under the skirts of the law – Marshal Earp and Holliday the tooth puller. Chicken-livered bastards, both of them, Johnny had challenged them to a gunfight in Tombstone not through, as they had tried to make out, whiskey bravado but hatred, the kind of hatred that burns in your guts like bad moonshine. Regrets, he had none , a whoring, hard drinking, iron-fisted gun-slinger has no room for such pious, ridiculous notions. He had been a bad man, a mean sonofabitch who stole what he couldn't win by gambling or squeeze from extortion. His conscience was clear. He was Johnny Ringo, fastest gun in the West. A man who remained loyal to his friends and unleashed terrible retribution to those who made the foolish mistake of making him an enemy. Marshal Earp was another man untroubled by bad conscience. A lesser mortal may have balked at the treacherous act of murdering a man in his sleep. Not Earp, in fact he couldn't believe his good fortune of discovering Ringo slumbering against a tree with an empty whiskey bottle at his feet. He knew he had no chance of defeating him in a pistol draw so had been relying on an ambush but this little scenario was beyond his wildest dreams and expectations. Anyway he had it coming, a murdering bastard the likes of Ringo should expect nothing less, to be put down like a rabid dog was a fitting end. But Earp knew that to be complacent in his execution would have been foolhardy recklessness so he crept towards the sleeping figure with the utmost care, like a cougar stalking its kill. But his precautions were unnecessary, Ringo was drunk, there was no chance of him awakening, Earps foul act of cowardice, like so many, was destined to end in proficient, if loathsome, success. The bullet exited Johnny's skull and slammed into the tree, releasing him from the burden of hatred. Earp pressed the revolver into Ringo's hand, resisted the temptation to spit in his face and cursed the fact that he would receive no richly deserved homage.  'So it was murder made to look like suicide.' 'Yeah, exactly that.' 'Interesting theory.' 'It's no theory pal, it's fact, that's the way it happened.'  'How can you be so sure?' 'Because Ringo told me, he visits.'  'In dreams?' 'Yeah, in dreams but he speaks through me.' 'To others?' 'Yeah, it's always me telling the story.'  'Like now.' 'Yeah like now'  'So we could be in a dream.' 'Yeah, just our luck it's a fucking nightmare!'  No books or magazines, no cards or dice, no pieces, counters or boards, in here there are no stars, no wind, rain or sun, in here there is only us…and the cockroaches! 'Let's have a little race.' 'Haha, not much room for that Johnny.'  'No, not for us but what about them,' I say throwing a pebble into the corner scattering a bunch of ugly insects.  'You want to race them?' 'Yeah c'mon So we capture a handful of prospective athletes and stake out the running track; a sprint affair consisting of three lines in the sand, one start, one finish and one down the middle. Let the games begin. Trouble is that the 'sprinters' are...erm somewhat less than enthusiastic competitors. 'Move you lazy bastards, get with the program ,c'mon scram, vamoose, jilty.'  'Haah that's cheating, pinging them like that.'  'CHEATING, how the fuck can you cheat in a fucking COCKROACH RACE.'  'Quit yelling into my face and keep your GRUBBY HANDS OFF THE RUNNERS.' 'WHO'S YELLING NOW… EH?' 'Least I'm not chea…fuck this, the athletes are revolting.' 'You're fucking right they are.'  'MOVE YOU BASTARDS.' 'No chance, all they want to do is…is shag and eat…that's it Gilles.' 'Eh?' 'Well if we provide them with some encouragement, a little bit of get up and go, look all we need to do is put some tail or grub at the finish line and whoosh they're off.'  'Ah tre bon. Now that might have been a good idea Johnny but we have no food and if you can tell which ones are which you're a better man than me!'  'Well the bigger ones have that red stripe they must be the males, the smaller drab ones must be female, look at peacocks.'  If this was a correct observation or not will remain a mystery because the new arrangement also proves fruitless with no movement elicited by sex crazed cockroaches or otherwise, causing Gilles to fly into an uncontrollable rage as he boots and stamps on the reluctant athletes like a person not right. Either he's smoked his last arse fag or he's losing it! Lying on our backs the next day we are both tearing at the damp newspaper below our mattresses and shaping them into little figures. A revelation comes to me. 'Why don't we make a papier-mache sculpture, one each, we'll jam the blankets into them ceiling cracks so there's no copying, see what we come up with.' 'You realise, of course, that you will be hopelessly disadvantaged, you are against a formidable opponent, I am French.' 'Hah, and that means what exactly? French! Hah, prepare to eat your words froggy. They will taste of smelly French cheese.' The blankets are set up and battle commences. I can hear him humming and whistling away obviously a man happy in his work. Either that or he's trying to get my goat. No matter, I refuse to be intimidated and enthusiastically begin to tear and shape my sculpture; a large phallus with a depiction of a man's face at the tip, the features of which being adorned with long hair and beard not dissimilar to the style favoured by my artistic combatant, maestro Gilles Prick Face. 'You finished?'  'Yeah let's see what you've got.' I rip down the screen with passion, keen to view the competition and am confronted with – a large phallus. Unbelievable, the same as mine but wait…  'They're the same!' 'Not quite,' I say pointing to the face. 'Now why didn't I think of that?'  'Because you're a dick-head.' Gilles goes mad, hauls up his sculpture by the roots and threatens me with it screaming something about cheating. 'GET YOUR BIG COCK OUT MY FACE I'M NO CHEAT.'  'DON'T FUCKING LIE TO ME.'  'OH SO I'M A LIAR AND A CHEAT NOW, LISTEN UP FROGGY MY COCK'S THE SAME SIZE AS YOURS… EN GUARD.' So it's a cockfight; the sensation of beating and being beat mercilessly with a large phallus strangely eliciting a perversely pleasurable experience. Either that or I'm losing it!  The sun is blinding, we stink, the guards taunts are meaningless, its time to dance, so we do. Waltzing Matilda. I cried when I had no shoes but then I met a man with no feet!    
Archived comments for PRISON
e-griff on 14-02-2007
PRISON
Hey man! Nice to see you again. Another mad, bad excellent story - you are on form, I see! 🙂 (two typos: threw/through and tre/tres bon).

i don't do scores or owt, but this is so good, I'd like to give it a rare griffpick (sorry if it's a bit big).

GriffPick

JOhnG

Author's Reply:
BIG ..!...I could fit in there no problem...You know John its sortof reassuringly comforting that you commented ..its been that long since I wrote anything I thought I mightof lost my ....what is it ? ... Spiderman knows... back in the groove now though..who knows I might even write a poem!...as for the typos thanx man but I'll leave them for now..what a carry on I had with the italics thing...cheers Z

ruadh on 14-04-2007
PRISON
Entertaining in your usual madcap way. Enjoyed the read Charlie.

Author's Reply:
thanx hun..


AmsterDAMAGED (posted on: 18-09-06)
culture shockED

I walked into the A.V.C. on the outskirts of the red light district in the port of Amsterdam twenty five years of age, lean, strong, wearing tight black jeans, tortoiseshell shades and thirsty. There was a wee guy with long black hair and beard running at the wall, jumping up and head-butting it like he was trying to stick an imaginary cross into the back of the net. He must have kept missing [the net, not the wall] because he had far more than just the single attempt. This was seven o'clock in the morning so although there were probably a few other bars open I couldn't be bothered to walk back out in the pissing rain to find out where, so I decided to take my chances and went up to the bar and ordered a beer. Besides I'd been in rougher places or at least that was what I was telling myself. The barman was English, sober, about forty, totally unfazed by the invisible football training session but also tired and bored looking; you could just tell he wanted to be somewhere else entirely. And who could blame him, what a dive, I'll skip the detailed description, suffice to say it felt like I was in some kind of dank indoor swamp. I had a small bag of bud-heads in my pocket that the guy in the coffee shop assured me was sensimelia, keen to test this boast I asked the barman if it was okay to smoke dope and thus captivated his full attention. 'Sure man, sure, as long as you offer the bartender a blast,' he said with a wide grin, an expression I immediately reciprocated and proceeded to skin one up. You can always tell good weed before you start smoking it and this stuff looked and smelled like 'the business.' So not disappointed I shared a joint with my new found friend who's name was Roy and who turned out to be a really nice guy. The only other people in the bar were Wall-Head, who was taking a time out sitting with another guy who resembled an all-American college kid grown old and a middle aged hippy type of lassie who actually looked amiable enough, she noticed me noticing, smiled and gave a wee friendly wave. The dope was giving me the hunger so I asked Roy if there was anywhere I could get some grub. He pointed to the back of the premises and I saw for the first time there was a kitchen/snack bar but it was so badly lit it kind of blended into the rest of the décor, as if camouflaged. If this wasn't intentional it should have been because one look at the obese cook would have put a famine victim off – unshaven, unbelievably filthy set of 'whites' and slugging from the neck of a bottle of red wine that was no doubt intended for cooking purposes. I walked back to the bar shook my head and puffed out a long draught of air through pursed lips. Roy burst out laughing, 'don't blame you mate, there's a bakers shop next street up.'. The sausage rolls and pasties were a bit on the small side but they had just been made and smelled delicious so I purchased a dozen of each. Not that I intended eating them all myself but I was sure Roy would appreciate one or two and I took less than a wild guess that Wall-Head and his compadres had been up all night without a bite to eat between them. So I appeared back at the A.V.C. handing out freshly baked goodies like some kind of benevolent charity worker. Wall-Head couldn't believe it. 'Sausage rolls, pasties,' he exclaimed, 'ah just knew ye wernie a Catholic.' He started rambling on some more but it was impossible to hear a word of it because he'd crammed so much grub into his mouth bits of pastry and meat were flying through the air like a foodstuff blizzard. I moved back up to the bar out of the firing line. 'I should've known he was Scottish,' I said to Roy, 'no one else could miss the goal that often.' 'Eh?' That guy,' I said nodding towards Wall-Head. 'Oh Donny, crazy as a loon but he's alright is Donny, yeah he's from Glasgow I think, he's been here that long no one can remember, ha ha least of all him!' 'I could believe it.' The cook soon sussed out we were all munching away on wares not purchased from his kitchen and appeared from his den looking furious. Quick as a flash Donny jumped up with an expression on his face resembling a demented Charlie Manson, 'FUCK OFF BACK TAE GORMENGHAST SWELTER YE FILTHY CUNT OR AH'LL FUCKIN NUT YE!' I nearly fell off the bar stool with laughter, we were all in stitches except Donny who glowered at his adversary until he got the message and retreated back to his lair no doubt deciding that another slug of wine was a much better idea than getting into a fight with a certifiable lunatic. Time was not on my side though, all this excitement, enjoyable as it was, could not stave off the incredible fatigue that I felt in my bones, time to return to the Boatel Alida where I'd booked into. The Boatel Alida was just that, a boat converted into rooms, a bar the lot, the doctor didn't order it but I would have shook his hand if he had. The rooms were, well, just like sailor's cabins; really small with a porthole included. I gratefully hit the sack and crashed. When I awoke around dusk I sleepily wandered through to the bar where I was confronted by two dodgy, wide-boy bastards; Spanish I would guess but…ach fuck let's just say they were Dago chancers, 'do you have a cigarette?' asked the brazen one. I took off my shades and stared the fucker right in the eye and stared and then some, 'till I got what I was looking for – the flicker of fear, I pointed to the machine, 'there's plenty over there pal,' I informed with just enough menace to get the cadging bastard fumbling in his pockets for change. So, 'no worries' as the Aussies say, I ordered coffee, sat down and rolled a spliff. I remember thinking that those guys weren't going to last long in this town but what did I care, I was off to the A.V.C. When I got there around midnight the place had accumulated far more customers than on my last visit; a mad looking German giant holding court with a group of disinterested looking friends, four or five Dutch skinheads shooting pool, two tired looking prostitutes sitting down ignoring each other, a Hell's Angel on his own looking about as scary as any I'd ever seen, a bunch of back-packers discussing the course the evening would take, two Arabs deep in thought about who they were going to mug later on, a loud mouthed Yank homosexual with his boy lover, a transvestite who still looked like a man, the obligatory drunken Aussie lout with what looked like a rabid Alsation dog, an emaciated albino with a white pet rat in his top pocket, three punketts sporting the latest shaved/dyed hairstyles, a mean bastard don't fucking mess barman and contentedly ensconced in the corner – Donny. He recognised me straight away and bellowed over a greeting so loud I could here him over the blaring music, 'HEY SIMON THE PIEMAN GET YER ARSE OVER HERE,' not so much an invitation as an order I grant you but what the hell at least it was company, the sort of company in which you are unlikely to be struck down with boredom. His grip, as I expected, was like iron but so was mine and he grinned as his attempt to crush my hand failed miserably. 'What ye havin Simon me ol son,' he asked in a mixture of Glaswegian and Cockney. 'Just a beer.' 'Bob get ma pal here a pint and none o that froth-top Dutch pish, a decent pint, he's a Brit they dinnae sell half pints in pint tumblers there.' Bob looked as if he hadn't heard or was ignoring the order, maybe Donny had had enough and was getting refused but no the beer appeared and so did his hand, iron again but this time my own hand was duly crushed, 'Bob,' I was informed and that was that. 'Haha, dinnae heed yon grumpy bastard he's always like that.' Not that I needed the advice, it wasn't as if I was going to start complaining about the service or anything, I had every intention of living until twenty six! Of course there was no point or indeed desire on my part in telling anyone my real name so Simon it was, I've been called worse. Besides I was pretty damn sure that every other bastard's real name would remain a mystery. Donny was quaffing down jeneva, which is a type of Dutch gin, like they were going out of fashion but, although wild eyed, remained sober[ish] the reason for this became apparent when he produced a wrap of white powder I [correctly] presumed to be cocaine. He tapped out a small pile in the pit of the back of his hand between thumb and forefinger and snorted it like some kind of Victorian gent whose regular social habits included the partaking of snuff. He offered me some but I refused, which caused little more reaction than a Roger Moore style lift of an eyebrow. Besides I still had some grass left, the whole place was reeking of the stuff but it didn't seem to be slowing anyone down when it came to throwing the drink back, it was like a modern version of a wild west saloon and as if on cue with my thoughts Donny bawled out, 'bring on the dancing girls.' No dancing girls but the 'hippy chick' lassie from that morning came in with a pal and joined us at the bar. 'See,' he said, 'all ye have to do is ask.' 'Yeah,' I laughed, 'need to try that one some day.' 'Simon meet Sophie the blow job queen of 'Fat City' and stage pal 'Kit Kat' the chocolate finger snack.' 'Pleased to meet you ladies, Simon the Pieman at your service. So you are dancing girls then?' 'Yeah, sort of, we're, erm, stage performers, but not much dancing going on… don't look so puzzled, let me show you what I mean.' And with that I found myself being led by the prick into the toilets with Donny guffawing away in the background like an insane person. It was like being in a blue movie, the things that lassie could do with her tongue. Honest I was in fellatio heaven and was in no hurry to leave so when an almighty commotion sounded through from the bar I decided to ignore it but unfortunately Sophie had other ideas, not that I blamed her after all her mate was through there. She gave my balls a farewell squeeze and vamoosed. I didn't give a fuck if it was word war three starting, I was going nowhere until I finished myself off, besides it had nothing to do with me and furthermore what kind of nutter goes into battle with a raging hard-on? But if I was hoping all would be quiet when at last I emerged from the bogs I was sadly mistaken, this was a bar brawl A.V.C. style. I had to stand back in amazement, after all there was a lot to take in; the skinheads and the Germans were embroiled in a sort of rugby scrum with the added bonus of most of the combatants having shored up their fight strength with pool balls in their fists and a few broken cue blows thrown in, the prostitutes for some reason were fighting with each other with plenty of face scratching, screaming and discarded clumps of hair, the Yank was having a real stressful time of it as his boy and the trannie had joined forces and were bitch-slapping his bald head in unison, the 'Hell's Angel' stood exactly were he was before drinking his drink with no one touching him, the innocent backpackers, murderous Arabs and colourful punks had disappeared, the Alsation was jumping up on the albino trying to bite the head off his rat but the craziest bastard in the building was the Aussie thug who had leaped up on the bar roaring like a Tazzie devil and swinging the dog chain round his head like a drunk, demented assassin, Donny and Bob had chairs up kidding themselves they were circus trainers but I deemed that this might be an inadequate gambit against this particular wild colonial boy and so made my advance. When I surfaced into consciousness I became aware of being on my knees out on the street with Sophie and Kit Kat holding me half ways up and banging on someone's door. No one answered. I groaned with the pain that was shooting through my head. 'Simon, you're back, are you okay? That was a real bad thunk you took with that chain.' I was about to answer that I didn't really know when the door opened and we were confronted with the strangest looking dwarf I've ever seen. For a start he was bare-chested which showed off a montage of weird Japanese style tattoos, his nipples were pierced with nails and his muscles looked like they had muscles. But it was his face that really freaked me out – he looked like he had been in a fight with an angry swarm of wasps [and lost] and when he smiled it revealed two rows of pointed gold teeth studded with diamonds. He ushered us inside. The apartment was reminiscent of a Sultan's favourite wife's boudoir – all satin curtains, Persian rugs, oriental cushions, incense burners and the showpiece brass hookah pipe in the centre of the room. It was a pleasant, almost dreamy place, close with atmosphere. He spoke to the girls with a thick, indiscernible accent or was it a foreign language, either way it was a mystery to me. The girls understood though, they sat me down on one of the cushions, removed my shirt and the bloody towel which was wrapped round my head serving as a temporary bandage. 'I am Zardoz,' the dwarf told me as he approached with a jewel studded leather case which contained a vast array of silver knifes, razors and needles, a sinister presentation certainly but one that failed to cause me any alarm – I was either concussed or beyond care, probably both. Zardoz proceeded to wash and shave my head with a sort of gentle care that filled me with calm and confidence in his abilities, he was obviously no stranger to treating the afflicted. Besides the girls were there to hold my hands. Even when he started to insert the acupuncture needles into my neck panic failed to grip me, in fact it brought on an euphoric sensation which endured as he began to stitch the nasty gash in my head, it was totally painless, professional and a far from unpleasant experience. Only when the needles were extracted did the agony begin to kick in and I was handed one of the hookah tubes. We all sat round the pipe on the cushions, I don't know what was in it but it was like smoking a magic potion, the head pain dissipated immediately and I began to understand what Zardoz was saying. Not that he said much, he was a man of few, carefully chosen words but these came across like the wisdom of some revered guru. He was a native of Uzbekistan, a place that was as much a mystery to me as the man himself but I gathered from the conversation he had with the girls that he was a fellow stage performer. The image of the strange tattooed dwarf performing in a live Amsterdam sex show immediately became indelibly imprinted on my psyche but I asked no questions and certainly had no desire to witness the spectacle. Some things are better left to the imagination. So after the hookah session I thanked Zardoz who merely smiled and daubed three turquoise dots on my forehead 'for protection,' which I probably needed. We left Zardoz meditating, Kit Kat went home and I went to an all-night coffee shop with Sophie. 'The Wizard of Oz, yeah I get it, Zardoz, now that's a cool name and what do I get Simon the Pieman!' 'Oh don't worry you'll get another one when you get back to the A.V.C. you've not seen yourself in the mirror yet.' 'Not so sure if I want to Sophie to tell you the truth.' 'Oh don't worry it wont scar too badly Zardoz knows his stuff, anyway you're a hero.' 'Really?' 'Nope I'm joking, you're a fool, ha ha, a brave one but a fool nevertheless, want another coffee?' 'Yeah, but no more spliffs eh, I'm a little culture shocked at the moment.' 'Hardly surprising Simon, you sort of jumped in at the deep end, a bit much for someone yet to be Amsterdamaged.' 'AmsterDAMAGED?' ''Yeah, that's what it's called, happens to everybody who tends to stay here too long they end up damaged one way or another and it's not always drugs, it could be sex, religion, cults, street gambling, some people just get caught up with the thrill of living here, they're the lucky ones but they still change.' 'What about you?' 'Yeah, well, that's a long story, I was a promising young artist at one time, went to Slade to learn sculpture, ha ha now I'm a sort of living sculpture I suppose could be argued, Zardoz travelled with a circus you'll not be surprised to hear, Kit Kat worked for the British consulate until they found out she was smuggling coke in her diplomatic bag, Bob was in the army, a Falklands war hero no less, even Donny, he was a professional footballer, so he says but…well, let's just say that must have been a long fucking time ago, ha ha.' 'Aye, a fucking long time.' 'So, take heed young man, take notice of your auntie Soph.' 'I'm leaving for Berlin today.' 'Wise move, you'd better buy a hat, get one of these sailor caps it'll suit you.' 'Well, suppose I won't be the first traveller to Berlin fitted with a Dutch cap. C'mon let's go get some pies and hit the A.V.C.' 'Oh Simon you're insatiable.' 'Why, because I'm starving and choking on a drink?' 'Yeah, that too.' The baker somehow managed to recognise me and said something in Dutch which got Sophie giggling like a girl and when he handed over the sausage rolls he threw in a baker's hat. Sophie was right, I hadn't seen myself in a mirror. The A.V.C. was wrecked but not deserted; the all-American ageing college boy had materialised, he was sitting at one of the few tables with the bald-headed homosexual [no sign of his boy] and Kit Kat, who had obviously decided home, like heaven, could wait, Bob had been replaced by Roy and Donny was practising his dribbling technique through the broken furniture with an empty beer can. He was sporting a corker of a black eye. 'Here comes the pieman, where ya been me ol son, what's in the bag?' 'Pies you silly cunt! Who did you play for? Wait, by the way your dribbling that tin, let me guess…Hamilton Accies?' 'Who? Fuck off, nae way would ah play fur they soap dodging bastards, ah played fur the best, 'the Buddies,' St. Mirren F.C. ah wiz the wizard oh Love street.' 'Another one, want a sausage roll?' 'Does the Pope look like a dick in a hat? Ha ha, or is that just you.' 'No, that would be the both of us right enough, here and try and not swallow it all at once.' I shared them out and went up to the bar to get me and Sophie a much needed beer. Roy grinned, 'see you've met Zardoz,' he said looking at the dots on my head that I'd totally forgotten about, it wasn't as if the bar mirror was there to remind me or anything, it was keeping the rest of the broken glass company in the huge plastic bin. 'If it's any consolation Ralph's in the hospital, likely to be there for some time, he'll have to leave town when he gets out as well,' Roy informed me. 'Who's Ralph, that Australian?' 'Yeah, he made a bad, bad mistake, he lashed out at Tony Macaroni with that chain he poleaxed you with.' 'Who's Tony Macaroni, the 'Hells Angel'?' 'Vice President, you know how they've got that brotherhood code that if you attack one of them you attack the whole chapter, they take it seriously, Ralph's dead meat if he stays here, the dog's already snuffed.' 'Eh?' 'Yeah man, hog dragged, these fuckers don't mess about.' 'I could believe it, fancy a joint.' 'Now you're talking.' I sparked up one of the ready rolled joints I'd bought out the coffee shop which lifted the top of my head off, just in time for the entrance of a barrel-.chested, psychedelic waistcoat wearing madman. 'Mah name's Manchester Wullie,' he loudly informed us in a Scottish brogue, 'set them up for everyone,' he said to Roy like a line out of one of those country and western songs. In fact that's what he looked like; wild, long grey hair and beard doing their best to hide a gnarled, red, ruddy, squated-in face. Willie Nelson or one of those good ol' boys. It came as no surprise that he seemed to be one of Donny's best buddies as they consolidated their friendship by sitting opposite each other and grabbing each other's beards and pulling, bellowing like bulls. 'Is that what passes for an act of endearment in this place?' I asked Roy passing him the spliff and nodding towards the tug-o-beard. 'Ha ha, yeah it is for those two at least, they're mad.' 'No kidding, I sort of picked up on that one, Jesus what a pub! What a town! You'd have to be mad to live here.' 'It certainly helps Simon.' said Roy taking a deep draw and holding in the smoke for ages. 'Amsterdamaged, that's what Sophie called it.' 'Yeah, well she's not far wrong, everybody's got some story or other.' 'Not being nosey or anything Roy but you seem okay, a bit of a stone-head but that's fuck all.' 'That's because I'm trying to save my pennies to go to India, where I plan to take up residence, hah, preferably next to a poppy field, you've got to feed the habit Simon my friend, this monkey on my back does a fucking hell of a chattering' He smiled as I looked a bit surprised. 'Oh I'm clean just now but as I say I've got a plan, or rather I'm going to try and make my dream come true, do it properly, I don't want to end up one of the hollow-eyed ghosts that stalk these streets.' 'No, of course not, you just don't look the type, if there is one that is.' 'It's like alcoholism Simon it can happen to anyone, look at me I trained as a nurse in England but the wages were shite so I took a job with a construction firm in Libya as a medical orderly, oh the money was there all right but so was the morphine, ampoules and ampoules of the stuff, unrestricted liquid heaven, it's hard to tell anybody what it's like. Oh I know plenty have tried but… 'I could imagine Roy,' I said thinking 'another one.' I have always harboured a phobia about heroin/opiates and those who are addicts and so was about to join the rest of the motley crew at the table but they all seemed to be intent on ingesting the contents of an ashtray through their noses. Closer inspection revealed that Manchester had pulled out one of those wraps and they were all snorting lines of coke like pigs at the trough - Sophie looked like she was having some kind of orgasm. And she called me insatiable. I silently sloped out. It was time for rest and relaxation anyway, I was meeting Bolshevik Bob later on at Amsterdam central station and together we were Berlin bound on the next stage of our European excursion [student tickets]. Bob was arriving from Barcelona where he'd been on some kind of communist pilgrimage; visiting the place where his grandfather and so many other members of the International Brigade had perished in the trenches, bold, brave men who stood alongside the Catalans defending the city against the fury of Franco's fascist forces. I knew he would be fired up, tired and emotional – in the literary sense of the term – so I had to straighten up and get some shut-eye. Bob had no time for drugs. On the way back to the Alida I stopped at a stall and with Sophie's good advice in mind swapped the baker's hat for a Dutch sailor's cap which the holder assured me was 'very good,' he had a mirror so I took a wee peek, it wasn't so much the cap that startled me as the red eyes – I looked like some kind of tree frog. Too much dope. Great sleep though, I awoke feeling refreshed and almost straight, just a bit woozy. The central station was close by so plenty of time for coffee. I paid my bill, slung my pack, grabbed a handful of info leaflets to read on the train and went to meet Bob. I saw him standing waiting impatiently wearing his Che Guevara tee shirt, combat trousers, doc martens and some kind of Spanish peasant's hat. And all fears of derogatory remarks about my own headgear disappeared. Not that he didn't mention it so I whipped off the cap to reveal my shaved head and home-made stitch job. 'Least I've got an excuse.' 'Jesus H Christ, who the fuck done that?' asked the Spanish partisan. 'What the damage or the repair? And you don't have to look so concerned.' 'Ha ha, the stitches, the stitches, what's that climbing rope?' 'If you must know it was a benevolent dwarf.' 'BENEVOLENT! Are you sure it wasn't that murderous wee bastard from the 'Singing Ringing Tree?' 'If you must know his name was Zardoz.' 'ZARDOZ! AHAHAHAA AND WHO HELD YOUR HAND SEAN FUCKIN CONNERY? 'No, it was Sophie and Kit-Kat actually. 'Sophie and Kit-Kat, of course, who else, ha ha, no need to ask if you've been on the waccy baccy then eh, ye prize idiot, hahaha.' But his hilarity was cut short by some lunatic running along the platform screaming his head off and waving a big plank of wood. 'Oh don't worry Bob he's Amsterdamaged.' 'Well he'll be a lot more damaged than that if he comes near me with that.' He said pulling out a vicious looking ancient bayonet from his pack.' 'What the fuck is that? A Roman short sword?' 'A wee souvenir.'he informed me with a wink. Then, thankfully, the train came.
Archived comments for AmsterDAMAGED
thehaven on 18-09-2006
AmsterDAMAGED
Fantastic characters! The kanuguage though,semed to fluctuate between authentic from the characters to clipped and false when the narrator spoke imo.

But the atmosphere created in this was excellent.

Mike

Author's Reply:
Yeah I know he seems out of place..... but not so much in the dialog.....just think of it as a middle aged git reminiscing....not me of course..haha...cheers Z

Claire on 21-09-2006
AmsterDAMAGED
What a laugh. Loved this. I was to engrossed to pick or notice any flaws.

Author's Reply:
thanx claire .....theres plenty .....but if it makes u laugh its working .....I'm dying on a ride.....bye Zxxx

TheGeeza on 23-09-2006
AmsterDAMAGED
Good characters, there, Zen. Very Irvine Welsh. Some of the dialogue seemed a bit false - around the "Wizard of Oz" bit. Enjoyed it though, even though it's quite a long piece.


Author's Reply:
Zardoz is an old science fiction film starring Sean Connery and thats what it was some thing floating in the sky called Zardoz which was actually a bastardisation od T.W.O.O.... I went to see it when I was about sixteen it was the first time I'd ever been to an x-rated film ....so it kind of stuck in my head.....I dont see this as long at all ...Most published short stories are much longer in fact when I see people posting 'first chapters' on this site I wonder if they sometimes realise that 2000 odd words is about three pages long....which I suppose is okay for some books ....but them all....no way....cheersZ


RESTLESS NATIVES (posted on: 06-01-06)
WARNING this story contains :- thick-headed beat bobbies, a curvy arsed barmaid, a deranged psychopath, bar brawlers, a homocidal security guard, diseased junkies, screeching harridans, a porn star, a spotty comic store geek, failed teenage assassins, dodgy detectives and a not so innocent man. May be detrimental to your peace of mind

Ah knew it was the polis straight away, naebody else knocks on yer door like they're testing the fuckin hinges. Even they electric company wankers dinnae rap as hard as that, if they did they'd get a rap right back, a rap in the puss. But if ye've any designs at aw about stayin oota Saughton Prison yer better leavin the polis' pusses well alone, so ah put on a sassy nice as ye like false grin and opened the door. Ah neednae o bothered cos ah forgot ah still had the frying pan in my hand and the polis were looking at me as if ah was about tae start layin intae them wi it. 'Oh it's youse, thought it was the missus commin back,' ah slyed them a wee wink, 'cannae be too careful ye ken.' But for some reason the bastards seemed tae had lost their sense o humour or more likely didnae hae one in the first place. Ah knew the type, the only thing that would raise a laugh outa this pair o zonks would be the screams o some poor prisoner getting his hands crushed in a cell door jam. They wernie remarkable in that, naw these were nothing special, the polis round here have got a well deserved reputation for sadistic torture, ah just try an stay oot their clutches as best ah can. In fact they wernie remarkable in any way at aw, just a run o the mill, repulsive, thick heeded beat bobbies. 'How can ah help you gentlemen?' ah asked slippin intae the game o serious talk. One o them started mumbling on and ah couldnae make much o it, just the odd words like 'routine' and 'door to door,' the usual pish, but when ah heard him say 'shooting' ma lugs pricked up a wee bit, 'what shootin?' ah asked. 'Dinnae say ye've no heard aboot it.' 'Ah swear tae God ah've no heard anythin aboot any shootin.' 'Well this'll be the quickest yet, we've got a few questions, can we come in.' 'Aye, but ah've got ma breakfast on the go.' 'Right we'll come back, gie ye a chance tae scoff yer fry up, cannae whack the Sunday breakfast eh?' Ah must admit ah was a wee bit puzzled, they were nearly actin like human beings, very friendly thank you very much, but then again ah'd no done anything, maybe this was the way they were when they're no tryin their hardest to bang ye up. Stands to reason that it would be, after all ah'm a member o the public but ah wasnae getting carried away, the polis is the polis, full fuckin stop, and if ah let ma guard doon, even for a minute, ah'd maybe find masel facin a murder rap. Okay that was probably takin things a wee bit too far but it was a shootin they were investigatin and if ah had any sense at aw the best move would be to proceed with extreme caution. Of course it didnae help any that ah'd just finished readin, 'The True History Of The Kelly Gang.' And ah reckoned that the injustices wreaked upon those poor colonial boys by the 'traps' wernie so different to what we had to put up with in these here schemes but then again ah eyewis did suffer from a bit o a wild imagination. No that wild though, ah swear to God that they stories o me stottin about with a mohican and a combat jaeket after goin to see 'Taxi Driver' were a loada shite. When they came back it was more o the same, nice as ye like, they asked me where ah was on a certain date, ah didnae hae a clue so ah made up a bullshit story about being up the toon, just to distance masel from local acts o extreme violence, attempted murder and other misdemeanours. It might even have been true but it didnae really interest them too much anyway, which kinda got me thinking that they already had some likely lads in the frame for the deadly deed. Either that or they just couldnae gie a fuck. An attitude that ah must admit kinda rung ma own bell; if they mad bastards wanted to blast lumps oota each other, it was just fine by me. Who'd have thought it, me and the polis kindred spirits, bosom buddies, odd bedfellows bowing in unison to the Great god Apathy, peace be upon him. They atheist bastards in the papers were getting excited though, 'The News' printed a big story about how the 'victim' was a major player in the drug dealing game who had served time for importing acid into the country in the eighties. There was a photo an aw, which was the usual press crime mug shot – a right evil looking cunt starin out at ye as if he was just about tae jump out the page and kill aw yer family. Latest developments included a manhunt for two youths who were seen drivin about on a motorbike shortly before the incident took place, the guy on the back seemingly had a shotgun strapped to his back. No wonder ye cannae hire a Tarrantino movie about here at the weekend. It went on to tell ye that the guy had been shot in the back but had walked out after some hospital treatment. That's good news; its always nice to know there's a serious head case wandering the neighbourhood no doubt hell bent on exacting some kind o reckless violent retribution, fancy an evening stroll darling. Last time ah went on a nice concrete walk it was spoiled by a screechin murder o crows squablin over a squashed cat's guts, a horrible sight and sound to behold but slightly more preferable to machete wielding maniacs and gunfire. The next time ah set eyes on the 'victims' face it seemed to have transformed itself from psychotic lunatic to hardened criminal; a welcome relief as the first, ah consider disturbin and the second, nothing particularly out o the ordinary. Certainly no in ma local pub anyway, in fact ye would be harder pushed to come across someone that didnae look like he was just out the jail. 'Victim' was playin pool with his mates, a fine selection o local thugs rightly considered to belong tae the most dangerous variety. Ah had to marvel at the real-yin who was sportin the latest schemie fashion statement – a shaved skull with a 'No. 1 HUN' tattoo commin at ye strong. Ah didnae put ma name up. It suddenly occurred to me that there must be some kinda war on and that maybe ah`d innocently put masel at risk by stumbling into the battlefield. But fuck it ah`d thought, why worry, ah'd no done anything, anyway these guys didnae seem that bad, at least none o them was cawin me 'Travis.' So ah went up tae the bar to get masel a pint. Aw right Travis howsit goin?' 'Oh no so bad Marie, see the natives are restless the night.' 'Aye watch yersel they're on the warpath, none o yer smart arse comments.' 'Loud and clear on that one darlin, do ah look like ah've got a death wish?' 'Haha, ah'll no anser that. Least ye've no got yer combats on.' Marie is the only reason ah come intae this dive, they tight black jeans dae it for me every time. She's a bit of a looker aw right but also a serious gossip, blether and teller of horrendously crap jokes. That been said it's also fair to say she gets it right at least some of the time, this was one of these as the drink started to flow you could just sense trouble was in the air, they were definitely getting fired up, specially 'No.1' who started hard starin everybody like the deranged psycho he obviously was, even lassies. Ah've often wondered what would happen when some total bam actin like that was to come across another bam doin exactly the same thing, psycho vs. psycho, it wasnae likely one o them would look away, or that there would be a long Mexican standoff, nah the maist likely outcome would be that they'd both stab each other straight away and the world would be mercifully rid o two scary murderin bastards. A scenario ah found mair than just mildly amusing. 'WHAT THE FUCK'S SO FUNNY CUNT?' 'Me. nothing pal ah was just….' 'He was just laughin at one oh ma jokes Prizzi, haha makes a change eh.' 'JUST FUCKIN WATCH YERSEL RIGHT!' 'Aye sure man,' ah raised a friendly hand in submission, mouthed the words 'cheers Marie' across the bar and wondered over to a seat at the back which was hopefully oot o range o imaginary corny jests and aw too real physical pain. Ah was just safely oot o harm's way when a gang o 'young team' marched in and a right royal battle started up, ah sniggered when a fine ping came off of 'No. 1's' stupid heed as it was battered by one o they aluminium golf clubs that ye get. Ya beauty ah thought, hole in one, but ah didnae say nothin, Marie was right this wasnie the time or place for smart arsed comments. It looked too serious for that; bats, pool cues, probably chibs an aw but ah couldnae be sure, ah was that far back the only thing ah could see properly was the 'victim' up on the pool table lashin oot kicks, swingin a cue, yellin 'AHM A BULLET PROOF MAN' at would be assailants. What a prick! Who did he think he was? Bobby D. in Mean Streets? An they say ah'm kiddin masel on, Christ on a bike, if they fuckers could just see themsels. Ah'd definitely seen enough anyway and slipped oot the back door before the polis arrived looking for perpetrators, performers, colluders, collaborators, witnesses and any singer o the well known song, 'Whispering Grass.' Nae way was ah goin tae another pub, ah'd had enough shite for one night thank you very much. So it was off tae the late supermarket for a few cans and a video or two, something funny. A sortae contrast tae the movie o life where it was fast becoming obvious when ah stepped intae the supermarket car park, that horror was the only show in town; a guy wearin a yellow 'Scream' mask was chargin towards me full pelt, wailin his heed off like a madman. Ah quickly manoeuvred oot o his road and as he got closer ah realised it wasnae a mask at aw but a diseased junkie oot on a shopliftin spree. He was mair frightnin than any movie ah've ever seen; jaundiced features contorted intae grim determination, frothin at the mooth, folded arms cradling a fine selection o bottled spirits which never once looked in danger o bein dropped an smashed [how dae they dae that] and goin wooooooeeeeee like a Scoobydoo arch villain. Definitely a man with a mission and he wasnae the only one, the security man was makin a valiant attempt tae apprehend his foe but was being hopelessly left behind, eventually endin up bent double gaspin for air and looking like he was gontae spew his ring. 'How did ye no stop him?' the cheeky slob says when he manages tae stand up straight. Aye right, dae ah look like ah`m just off the boat and anyway how did YOO no fuckin stop him ye flabby arsed, sweaty, USELESS BASTARD. Ah didnae say that out loud just condensed it intae a look, a sortae body language no tae be found in any o Desmond Morris' books but the security guy understood it aw right, oh aye he kent exactly where ah was commin from. Just as he was in the process o apologisin [rightly] affirmin that it wasnae ma fault, another one appeared, it was as if the supermarket was spittin them oot like bad tastin sweets. This guy was more o the same; the same black hoodie, the same dodgy looking cargo o bottles, the same ridiculous wail and the same scary looking yellow puss. 'Ah think they guys have been sharing the same toothbrush,' ah say tae the knackered guard who had no chance o musterin enough energy for another chase but had somehow managed to change his face intae that o a murderer. 'Bastards,' he muttered under his breath. 'C'mon man, get yer act thegether, time for a second wind, there must be a junkie thief factory in there, they're getting churned oot faster than cans o coke at a high school orgy.' 'Eh?' what the fuck are you on about it's no coke they're stealin, its boattles o whisky an vodka an that, LEETER FUCKIN BOATTLES.' He yelled oot as if the larger sized bottle elevated the crime tae something so heinous every law-abidin citizen should get tae ken about it. 'God's sake man keep yer voice doon, yer cursin like a lunatic, there's customers about, if ye dinnae chill ah'll be forced tae no tell ye where they stay.' 'Eh?' he looked at me like an excited child does at the mention o toys or the fairground, hoping above hope that he'd no misheard, 'dae ye ken where they live like?' 'Ah might be in a position tae help ye out, just depends.' 'Depends on what?' 'If the favour can be reciprocated.' 'Recipra…what?' 'If it works both ways my good man, you scratch ma back an aw that…look ah'll spell it out for ye, if ye could see yer way tae turning yer back when ah walk out with a couple o vids an a six-pack, ah'll tell ye where the yellow peril are shacked up.' 'Who?' 'The shoplifters ye balloon.' 'Right. Aye right , nae bother, done deal son, done deal,' and he held out his hand like he was Donald Fuckin Trump. But ah'll give him his due though he was true to his word, ah slipped past him wi the beer and vids nae bother. Ah considered doin a runner but decided against it, a bargain is a bargain, besides this could have been the start of a long and profitable relationship. He followed me out aw excited. 'Right listen,' ah kinda whispered behind ma hand like we were in the 'Sweeny' or something, 'there's a derelict flat at the end o Leasy St., its got the shutters up but the metal on one o the windaes has been bent back. Ah seen the brothers Grim crawlin oot o there last week. Word o warnin though,' an ah tapped ma nose, 'watch yersel, there'll be old needles an that scattered aw ower the place. Could be fatal, ye seen the colour o their pusses, that's bad blood if ever ah seen it, might even attack ye wi a syringe, could be tooled up even, better no tae go in single-handed make sure ye've got a weapon….' Ah'm no gien a fuck if they've got bazookas, cheers son, cheers, they thievin bastards'll get theirs, ah'll burn them oot, aye burn them, ah'll teach them tae steal outa ma shop, cheers son, cheers, aye burnt oot that's what they've got commin..' He was gettin mair than just excited and aw ah could do was look on in astonishment as his tirade of anger and revenge reverberated round the car park. It was fast becomin obvious that not only was this man a physical wreck, he was also totally aff his heed! Suppose ye cannae expect much else from one of the strange breed of near humans who seek employment in the security industry. So havin fuelled the fires of a pointless and potentially murderous vendetta ah wandered off intae the night clutchin ma goods in close; it pays to be careful in the land o the thief, nae point in taking risks or advertising yer wares. Some o these devious, heartless bastards would steal oota beggar's hand, they're famous for it, that and the corruption of the innocent, there's nae dandy rogues stickin tae the gentleman thief honour code round here, nah, ye can read as much deprived area and social exclusion crap as ye like but take it from me if ye want tae survive in this place yer best tae keep yer powder dry, yer heed doon low and trust naebody. Ah was lucky enough tae get hame safe, sound and wi ma booty intact, the gauntlet had been even mair dangerous than usual as ah had tae walk through the rotten core o the scheme tae get tae Leasy Street but it was worth it, two 'leeter fuckin boattles' for a tenner. Ah plumped up the massive bean bags, made masel up a sexy long cocktail, rolled a nice fat one, opened a can o lager and cursed the fact that such an agreeable evening would be spent alone. It's just no the same without a woman tae get tae grips with when yer on a chill oot video stint. There was nae point in searchin ma mobile phone for likely female company cos there was nae birds numbers in the fuckin thing! Well maybe a couple but yer hardly likely tae want tae cuddle up tae yer sister or the dentist, are ye? Ah made a mental point tae get ma act thegither on the gorgeous ladies front, changed intae ma kung fu gear and put 'Enter the Dragon' intae the machine, a video session just isnae the same if ye dinnae start with Bruce. The phone went just as 'the end' came up, it was Maie fae the pub. 'Have ah missed it?' 'What? The boat? Aye me an you both darlin!' 'Nah no the fuckin boat ye tube, that Jackie Chan pish ye've ayewis got on.' 'Eh! Jackie Chan! Yer jokin, no way would ah…' Haha, awright, the 'Karate Kid' or whatever ye call it.' 'If you're referring to the kung fu classic of all time, Enter the Dragon,' the finishing credits are rolling as we speak.' 'Good cos ah'm at yer door with a copy of 'Love Actually,' the romantic comedy classic of all time so open up lover boy, open up. Sure enough she was standin outside ma door, video in one hand, bottle o wine in the other. 'Hi Travis can ah come in or are ye too busy pointing guns at the mirror?' 'You talking to me?' 'Aye well ah dinnae see any other weirdo with a Kamakazi bandana wrapped round his heed, so ah must be.' 'Nice tae see ye Marie, what's the matter hae a fall oot with the 'Pig.'     'If you mean the gorgeous guy who just happens to be in the gainful and worthy employment of Lothian Police Force, aye, ye've got it in one.' 'No hard tae guess, it's the only time ah ever see ye.' 'Aw come on now Travis that's just being cynical, you just know that ah find ye irresistible and mair than just a tad accommodating, so yes, you can pour me a nice glass of wine, roll me a high power cannabis cigarette and play my vastly superior choice of video, if ye dinnae want this boattle ower yer heed ye mashed up freak!' 'Cynical?' if by that you mean ah believe your past indiscretions and future intentions are motivated by selfishness and should therefore be treated with scorn, yer right, but seen ye put it so eloquently madame, go right through, make yersel at hame.' 'Why thank you my man,' she said as she sauntered past making sure ah got a good eyefu o her wigglin arse. No that ah had much chance o seein it in the flesh. When ah came through from the kitchen with Marie's order ah noticed she was checking out one o ma latest video acquisitions. 'Put that on first if ye like, it's excellent, A wonderful Forsyth comedy from the eighties in which he depicts, with ease, a Scottish working class social commentary, peppered, as usual, with his trademark dark humour, not as popular or well known as some of his other work but….' 'Aye OK Travis ye can lay off wi the 'newsnight review' pish, what's the name o it? 'That Sinking Feeling,' haha, very appropriate that's what ah get every time ah come intae this neighbourhood, it's usually about when ah pass the second or third burnt-oot car, here it comes, that sinking feeling, as if ye can feel yersel slowly getting sucked intae the quagmire o scum and despair.' 'Someday a real rain will come.' 'Eh?' 'Haha, aye ah ken what ye mean, but that's nothing Marie ye soon get used tae it or at least ah did, it's that screechin feeling ah cannae handle.' 'Haha, fuck off Travis, what screechin feeling?' 'Oh you know; screechin bin lorries, flocks o screechin seagulls, screechin nutcases goin right aff their heads, aye, oh aye plenty o that. Folk round here dinnae seem tae ken how tae speak tae one another, that's a forgotten, or, more likely, never acquired skill. Oh no, the only thanks ye'll get for misguided courtesy and genuine concern is a verbal assault of abuse delivered at the top o the voice, lassies are the worst, her doon the stair she's gontae have that wee laddie demented, and see if there's any trouble they seem tae come oota holes in the ground or something, all o a sudden the whole street's full o screechin harridans goin aff their nuts about something that's about as important as next tae fuck all. It's as if they're lurking in the fissures in a constant state o rage just waiting for the; 'right burst oot and start threatening everybody as loud as ye can signal,' which of course could be anything. Then ye get the joy riders, nae point in stealin a motor if yer no gontae screech round every corner, yer mates'll no notice, ye wouldnae be a main man, that just wouldnae do now, would it? fuckin pricks. And ye dinnae need tae be a genius or own a watch tae figure oot when the pubs have just come oot, oh no, just listen till ye get deafened by aw the oot o control screechin and 'bang' there ye have it – closing time.' 'Haha, yep that definitely rings a bell, its worse for us we have tae try'n get them all oot the door.' 'Bet 'the Pig' doesnae like ye working in there Marie.' 'Will you stop callin him that, ye've never even met him, anyway ah'm no wantin tae talk about him, let's just have a wee drink, a wee smoke and watch the film, ah could dae with a laugh.' 'Aye, ah ken that feeling.' So a very agreeable double bill commenced with the two of us lounging around on the bean-bags smoking weed and quaffin booze. It was over too quick though, Marie must have been thinking the same cos she scowled and asked, 'got anything else good?' 'Does the Pope wear a funny hat? What aboot this one, 'Back Door Bandit.' 'Whose in that?' 'Ron Jeromy and a cast o many.' 'Never heard o him.' 'It's a classic.' 'Stick it in then Travis my man, stick it in.' 'Next day on route tae the comic shop ah was actually singing, what brought on such a ridiculous display o happiness ah'm at a loss tae decipher; it might o been the sight o a passenger liner loomin oot the Forth fog like some kind o mysterious ghost ship, it might o been the fact that 'History of Violence' was opening at the pictures that night, it might even o been that the previous night's entertainment culminated in the pleasures to be found when entering a polisman's girlfriend's back door, or, actually, it might have been love. Ah hadnae been tae the comic shop for a while and was leisurely browsin through a pile o recent Yank imports when one o the brothers Grim walked past checkin his reflection in the windae. He had a bandage wrapped round his head and one side o his puss was scorched red with angry looking, weepin blisters, he reminded me o 'Two-Face' out o 'Batman Returns.' 'Fuck's sake,' ah said tae Zorro ma mate who works in the shop, 'What happened tae him?' 'Did ye no hear? Someone petrol bombed their squat last night, the other yin's still in the hospital.' 'Jeezo, ah never thought he had the bottle.' 'Eh? Dae ye ken who it was like?' 'Me, naw, naw, no me, ah dinnae ken anything aboot it, never even heard nothing.' 'Aye so ye said, c'mon Travis spill the beans man, ye ken me ah'll keep well shtoom.' 'Who the fuck are you callin Travis ye plooky pussed cumstain and anyway, what ye on aboot spill the beans, even if ah did ken somethin dae ye think ah'd tell a mooth like you, the less you know, the less the polis know.' 'That's nice that is, accusing yer mate o bein a grass, c'mon ye cunt ah'll gie ye a look at ma 'Silver Surfer' number one.' 'Ah telt ye, ah dinnae ken fuck all,' and ah exited the shop whistling King Creole's 'Stool Pigeon' with a couple o Marvel gems tucked nicely under ma waistband. Time tae lay low for a wee while ah decided, there was about as much chance o that stupid bastard security guard getting away with it as Ian Paisley reciting a rosary at the chapel. Nae point in taking unnecessary risks, not, of course, that ah'd done anything but ah'm sure the polis would conjure up some trumped up charge. Oh aye, of that there was nae doubt, best tae keep oot o sight, there was plenty o beer in the fridge and all the take-aways had a delivery service so ah was well sorted. Not that ah panicked or anything just clippered ma hair doon tae a number one and threw oot the gear ah was wearin when the dastardly deal was done, ye have tae be careful ye ken. But ah must admit ma heart skipped a beat when, a few days later, two detectives came a callin. They were dressed identically in black suits like a couple o undertakers, serious looking clobber tae match their serious looking pusses but ah kept calm and took a long look at their ID cards. 'How can ah help you gentlemen?' 'It's about the statement you gave concerning the recent shooting, can we come in?' 'Aye, sure c'mon in lads,' ah said both relieved and curious as tae the nature o this second unexpected visitation. The youngest one took a seat and pulled oot a file which he started scrutinising like a high court judge, ye could just tell the bastard didnae half fancy himself, the other one stayed on his feet and stared oot the windae, dinnae ken what he was expecting tae see like, there was no Hanging Gardens o Babylon or stampeding herds o migrating wildebeests oot there, there wasnae even a nice view o an English seaside resort. Nae wonder he was wearin a bored as fuck expression that didnae look as if it was put on, but ye can never be too sure, these were the busies, best tae proceed with extreme caution, again. But it didnae help that they reminded me o a scene from 'Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.' Something ah found highly amusing, it was all ah could dae no tae burst oot laughin right there and then, definitely unadvisable, heaven forbid they might have got the impression ah was some kind o smart arse! 'OK I'll cut to the chase we've had reports that the perpetrators escape route involved running through this flat block due to the broken locks on the back door, they might even have utilized the empty ground floor flat, so if we can just go through your statement.' 'Sure,' ah said, no believing a word o it, they were either clutchin at straws or tryin tae fit me up but ah kept ma cool just fine as he trawled through what ah'd told the uniforms. A piece o piss, if ah wasnae here ah couldnae tell them anything, stands tae reason. His cool kind o evaporated though, he seemed tae get more and more agitated and kept glancing towards the corner o the room. Ah followed his gaze and smirked [Marie's chiffon scarf was bundled up where she'd left it] with the realisation ah was in the company o 'the Pig' himself. His anxiety soon changed tae seethin anger and ah could tell it was all he could dae tae keep from grabbing me by the throat and conducting an entirely different kind of interrogation althegether. The windae man, silent up till now, suddenly turned round and snarled, 'do you know anybody called Gonzalas or Wall-eye.' Ah just burst oot laughin at that, it was all getting too much, 'sorry, sorry guys but they sound like a couple o spaghetti western bandits, haha, backdoor bandits. Ah knew they wanted tae beat me within an inch o ma life, lock me up in a dungeon and through away the key, but what could they dae? Ah'd no done anything. Months passed and ah just carried on with ma life in much the same vein, Marie got herself a new boyfriend, a lawyer no less but she still came round for the occasional nights entertainment. Ah was right about the security guard, he landed in the jail, seemingly he was boasting to anybody that would care to listen how he'd 'burnt-oot' a viper's nest o thievin junkies, nae surprise there then eh? Ah'd all but forgotten aboot the back door bandits until one night a story came on Reporting Scotland about two young guys who got sent doon for eleven years each for attempting to murder a gangland rival. Seemingly the 'victim' was walking around with a bullet still lodged in his back which kind of reinforced a heart-felt conviction ah'd held for some time; that bullet proof men only exist in prize-winning books, crap comics and films.                 
Archived comments for RESTLESS NATIVES
sirat on 07-01-2006
RESTLESS NATIVES
To submit a 5,000 word comic story written in Scottish dialect is a brave act. The whole piece is genuinely funny once you get over the pain of trying to read it - the theft scene at the late-night supermarket is superb. The only thing I would suggest would be toning down the Scots just a little so that the story becomes a bit more comfortable for Sassenachs to read.

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 07-01-2006
RESTLESS NATIVES
What did ye no get the Broons birthday book ? good trainin that....I take your point though Dave but I think I'll leave it...if it was set anywhere else I would change it but believe me there's no gentlemen with posh accents round here....cheers Z

Author's Reply:

Claire on 08-01-2006
RESTLESS NATIVES
Hey there hun,

Well I enjoyed this a lot, love the dialect in it, gives the piece some colour to it, not that it needed it. Deffo worth the nib too.

I can't see any probs with it at all. An excellent wee tale.


Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 08-01-2006
RESTLESS NATIVES
I think that even if you hadn't come across some of the words before you could take a pretty good guess as to their meaning in fact most of them are just another way of spelling the same words, which isn't that different....its not as if its Clockwork Orange or anything, I like writing in dialect it's more authentic, the narrator is obviously a native so why would he speak any differently?...stands tae reason ...cheers Claire Zx

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 08-01-2006
RESTLESS NATIVES
Couple of typo's Charlie but an entertaining tale as always.

love ails

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 10-01-2006
RESTLESS NATIVES
I'm reading this at my writer's group tonight so if I start stuttering I'll just blame the typo's good excuse eh? cheers ails Zx

Author's Reply:

bluepootle on 11-01-2006
RESTLESS NATIVES
Really enjoyed this. Loved the beginning - all policemen knock as if to take the door off its hinges, and you know what kind of narrator you're dealing with. Loved the dialect - gets the reader in a certain frame of mind.

Author's Reply:
They certainly do, I think 'heavy handed' is the term...wankers.....its actually based on a true incident which happened just round the corner from my flat ....some young thugs trying to take over the drug trade or something but the guy that got shot was a prick as well so good luck to them all...idiots!!!.......thanx for commenting bluebottle....erm sorry POOTLE ..i THINK i`M GETTING THE HANG OF THIS REPLY THING....CHEERS Zx


MURDER HE WROTE (posted on: 25-11-05)
A man of letters entertains the concrete boys.

Of course these things have to be worked out properly. I mean I could have got the bastard right there and then; the back of his grimy head was crying out for a good splitting open. But in hindsight the correct decision won through, it wouldn't have been fair on the young lad, so I opted for throwing down the heavy concrete slab into the mud which splattered into his old, ugly face. That had set off a right royal howling; the young lad with gleeful joy and Val with surprised shock, quickly morphing into seething anger and malice. Keeping carefully out of range of his trowel hand I sniggered and although delighted at the upset I had wreaked upon my foe I soon felt a pang of inward regret for having missed a clear-cut opportunity for murder. He had no idea how lucky he was. Although safely cocooned in his ignorance the swirling winds of retribution were shrieking ever closer. Beware my sworn enemy your time is nigh!

 It was meant to be thus. The blow might not have been fatal, severe injury was not part of my design, even if he eked out a brain-damaged, miserable existence for the rest of his days he would still be alive. So I would have failed. And that is intolerable. The only acceptable outcome of this conflict involves the casting of his miserable soul into oblivion. A fitting and apt punishment for having got under my skin, for disturbing my sleep patterns. By invoking my hatred; he has invaded my personal space, he has broken into my head, he has hijacked my thought processes. He has to die.

He needn't think his age will save him, no there's no plea bargaining here, no mitigation, not in my court. Besides his fate has already been sealed, I have donned the black cloth. His sentence is that of death. He is to be despatched from this world at the first opportunity. Vengeance will be mine. I will offer no mercy. I will not dance on his grave, I will piss on it! There will be no regrets, no guilt, indeed I will rejoice, I will have changed, taken a new form, that most celebrated of things, a man of mystery, of fame, one who demands to be feared and admired, a man of iron will. A murderer.

 'Hey Shakespeare, sorry to interrupt your latest chapter but do you think it might be possible to take your head out the clouds and GET YER ARSE OOT THAT HUT AND DOON TAE THE CONCRETE POUR THEY'RE NEEDIN ANOTHER MAN.'

 'Right gaffer, right, just coming.'

'Aye, you an fuckin Santa Claus. See that book yer writing, hope yer tellin everyone what a great guy the foreman is.'

'How could it be otherwise Val, how could it be otherwise? Who's the ganger on the pour?'

 'Oh it's a grand squad; Deaf Dougie, the Ghost, Lackie, Stupid Stew, the Red Fox on the JCB and the ganger's Black Jake the Geordie.'

'Don't think I know him.'

'Just take a walk doon the line till ye meet a guy that ye cannae understand a word he says.'

 'Christ, that could be anyone!'

'Haha, aye, ye could be right there Shakespeare, ye could be right enough there and his wife ran away wi a poet from her book group, so you two should get on like a house on fire, haha.'

 Black Jake, whoever named him that knew him well. I could see the engrained dirt on his neck as he operated the concrete vibrator below me inside the bridge leg. This man didn't wash, a complete stranger to soap and water, and totally lacking in the ability to make himself understood, a disgrace to the human race, he deserved to die.

His greatest mistake had been to displease me, to make me an enemy, it would have been wiser to duel with the devil, he'd have stood a better chance. I had crushed his life force with the same satisfaction weaklings get when killing a wasp. But I am a destroyer of men not insects, a pitiless bringer of death who cuts swathes through lesser mortals with as much concern and conscience as an abattoir bolt man. How could he have been so foolish?

 The image of his panic stricken face as he struggled in the quicksand concrete will accompany me into satisfied slumber this evening.The panic changing to abject horror was a sight to behold as he realised, whilst feigning attempted rescue I was in fact pushing him further in with the long, hooked pole. That had been a stroke of genius. Of course how could anyone expect anything less from a cold-hearted, calculating executioner. From a murderer.

 'Aw reet canny lad no gaun doon poob wi the lads like, Doogie's last day man.'

'Can't Jake, I'm busy with this just now, thanks anyway.'

 'Suit y'sell canny lad, must be soom masterpeece that like.'

'That auld chancer's no as deef as he makes oot. He`s no kiddin me wi his 'Eh?..ehs?' No that when any bastard asks him if he's wantin a bevy or a fag or that. Naw he's in like Flynn. Like the now, look at the glasses the ancient bastard's got in front o him, he doesnae like tae go short that's fur fuckin sure!'

'Aye yer no wrong there Ghostie man, wonder if we'll ever get like that.'

'Whaaat! Nae chance, nae fuckin way ahm ah gontae end up like that decrepit, scroungin, DEAF AULD FOOL.'

 'Eh, what's that yer sayin son?'

 'Ah was just askin what yer wantin Dougie man, we've gottae get back soon, show some face, ken it's yer last day an that but Val 's likely tae burst in any minute an ittle no be tae get his hand in his pocket that's fur fuckin sure, no unless he's playin wi his tadger. A glass o whisky and a bottle o export, now how did ah ken that? must be some kinda psychic eh? if ah could be as spot on wi the dugs ah`d be tickety boo!'

 'Oh ah dinnae ken aboot that, that dug ye were wi last week looked like she'd just escaped fae a pikey's camp.'

'Greyhoond dugs, ah wis meanin ye smart arsed bastard, anyways what the fuck are you on aboot Lackie, when wis the last time you had yer hole? Eh? Yer well named Lackie, Lackie shagin, haha.'

 'Smell the glove and disappear Ghost ah wis riding high just last night.'

'Oh aye, what wis his name? Haha.'

'Look out lads here comes yer boss, whatja call him, Val?'

'Well, well, well, what have we here? What have ah told you shower about goan tae the pub at dinner time AND NO GETTIN THE GAFFER A PINT get them in Ghost, mines a Guinness, cannae have mah man Dougie here leavin us withoot a wee send off eh? Where's Shakespeare?'

 ' Where d'ye think? Up the hut playin wi his pencil.'

'There's somethin far wrong wi that guy, ah swear. Shut yer moanin puss Ghostie, when the foreman says it's your round, IT'S YOUR FUCKIN ROUND!'

Yes the hut door is barred, yes that is the strong smell of petrol and yes your skin will soon be peeling from your bones. I can smell it already, roast meat. I am not alone; the demons Halabazant and Halakathor have arrived to feed on your burnt flesh. Do not fret oh hapless victims, I will not allow this, there will be no frenzied feast, your demise will be slow and agonising but no Hellish creatures will grow fat on your fat. They are no match for me, I will despatch them back to whence they came, they will lick their wounds in the presence of their Master. Satan will learn of my deeds, he will enthusiastically acknowledge the arrival of a near equal, a steely eyed assassin stalking the Earth, a vanquisher of demons, someone more, much more than a mere murderer, a lieutenant, a right hand man who will take on the diabolical mantle with loyal pride, a farmer of damned souls who gathers his harvest with ruthless efficiency. Yes, you are damned my friends, get used to the heat, there's no escape from Hell's kitchen, you will burn for eternity.

 'JESUS CHRIST SHAKESPEARE THAT GRILL PAN'S ON FIRE.'

 'Eh, oh sweet mama so it is I, I.....'

'Get oot the road, could ye no smell that? watch yersel till ah chuck it oot. Your heed's up yer arse laddie, that book's taken ye over, ye've nearly set the hut up. Look, wise up eh, ah'll clear up the mess, get yersel back tae work.'

'Sure Val, thanks, sorry, I....'

 'Just fuck off and get oot oh ma sight.'

 'Here he comes, to work or not to work, that is the question, haha, better watch it Skakespeare if ye keep playin wi that pencil o yours the end o it'll catch fire hahaha. Fucksake man I'm only takin the piss ye dinnae need tae look so worried! what ye pointin oer there for? Oh Jesus Christ... MAN DOWN! MAN DOWN! JAKE! SOMEONE GET JAKE GET HIM TO RADIO THE MEDIC QUICK.'

 'Hey Mr. Ghost, what are you guys doin back here? Finish early or somethin? Wee party for Dougie is it?'

 'Naw Mags, there's been a fatal accident, guy fell twenty feet off the parapet and landed right on his heed, snapped his neck. The site's closed doon, mark of respect like.'

'Jeez, bad news or what, what yez wantin large brandies? Ye're aw lookin a wee bit shook up.'

 'Aye suppose so, no as shook up as Shakespeare though.'

'Whose that? Oh I know, the guy with the crossed, wee piggy eyes, looks like a murderer.'

 'Haha, aye that's him, the murderer whose running doon the line the now, bawling his eyes oot like a bairn.'

'Aye, well, he was in that much of a hurry he dropped this, gentlemen ah have in ma possession the secret notebook of a murderer, ah'm sure he'll no mind us havin a wee peek.'

'Nice one Lackie, read it out man, we could aw do wi a laugh.'

'Of course these things have to be worked out properly......'


Archived comments for MURDER HE WROTE

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ONE DAY AT A TIME (posted on: 31-10-05)
A war hero ekes out a meagre existence in a Scottish coucil estate.

I awoke under the rug to the sort of agonising heartburn that makes you think some kind of evil tooth fairy had forced a tube down your throat during the night and topped up your already aching guts with battery acid. But all was not lost, lying on the floor had its advantages; it was good for your back, provided a different perspective, made you become aware that there was still a half-full, three litre bottle of White Lightning lurking under the couch. Not exactly a classic remedy for full blown indigestion and chronic liver disease but nevertheless a welcome and necessary tonic for a ravaged central nervous system. So I steeled myself, screwed my eyes shut and began forcing down the sour, chemical cider in large gulps, somehow narrowly avoiding throwing it straight back up again and fainting with the excruciating pain. Cigarettes were a slightly more difficult acquisition, I had already scrunched out the tobacco from the dog ends in the ashtray, rolled it up, smoked it and repeated the process with the residue from the roll-ups. This truly was the stuff of nightmares. Eventually my frantic search uncovered a half smoked cigar someone had thoughtfully hidden in an old cup. It couldn't have been me I never usually touch them but then again the time when I could have been certain about such things had long since gone. For some reason the radio was being particularly unfriendly, blasting out ridiculous, inane drivel and the funniest guy on air seemed to be Fred McAulay! So I idled away the early morning sitting in silence, inhaling the acrid cigar smoke and wincing at every painful swallow. Which suited me just fine, the alternative was far too terrible to even contemplate. In fact the stale cider and cigar butt had saved my life. I grinned at my good fortune but was obviously premature as my solitude was shattered by the braying of my name from the street below, the intercom having been kicked off the wall many lifetimes ago. Peering out from my third floor window I recognised the familiar shape of Dippy Diane accompanied by some guy I'd never seen before who seemed to be balancing a case of beer on his shoulder and they were both smoking cigarettes. They also had heavy looking bags so I threw down the keys having no intention of being commandeered into lifting anything strenuous. But I felt a pang of guilt when I opened my door, the Dip looked in a bad way. Which was hardly surprising as she had just been thrown out of detox for drinking smuggled vodka on top of antabuse, not only unwise but potentially fatal. Her playmate's name was Kenny a guy she'd befriended in the hospital, only just managing to introduce him before rushing through to be sick in the toilet and then crawling under my duvet, boots on the lot, in a vain attempt to relieve her thumping headache. I did not envy her but my concern stopped a long way short of sympathy, drinking alcohol with antabuse in your system is foolish, very foolish, but she'd probably live.  The guy Kenny started off all right, generously handing out beers and cigarettes and recounting the throwing out incident with a certain humorous edge that almost made me smile. A harmless kind of guy but it soon became obvious that I was in the company of someone who revelled in the sound of his own voice and I realised things could only get worse when he cracked open a bottle of Tesco's cheap whisky. Which was fine by me, being able to stand wagon loads of bullshit when there's free drink involved is one of these little skills that you tend to pick up when alcohol becomes an important part of your existence. The trick is to keep your trap shut, let them rant on without offering any comments or jokes, then you come across as a quiet man and no one expects too much conversation. When you get really good at it you can switch off entirely, just needing to recognise when a question that needs answering arises, thus giving the impression that you're actually listening, after all you don't want to be biting the hand that feeds you! Minimum offence is definitely the key but this guy was something else, only to be expected from someone who hails from Govan I suppose. His favourite top of the voice expression, 'ah wis like that,' began to drum into me until my nerves frayed and a deep resentment began to take root. So I perked up a bit when he declared he was starving and wanted to go to the chippy because I knew that there was a good chance he would get lost and that would be the last I seen of him. You see all the streets and houses look the same round here and when you're not used to it, it's like being in a maze, a concrete fucking maze. My mate Zeb, who looks like Bob Marley, made the grave error of getting lost on bonfire night - all the neds were trying to trim his dreadlocks by firing rockets and other miscellaneous gunpowder plots. Which might have been funny if he didn't disappear with the cargo of drink. Not this time though, I sat at the window looking out onto the dreary streets and depressing rows of houses sipping my large whisky like the lord of the manor.  'Where the fuck's Kenny gontae.'  'Oh yer alive, wantin a nip? That should just about finish ye off, ye prize eejit. Sometimes ah wonder.' 'Dinnae change the subject, where the fuck is he?' 'The chippy.' 'The chippy, you're a cunt Geezbo, an dinnae start gien me any o yer shite, ye ken damn fine he'll get lost. He's a pal o mines.'  'Ah'm no gien any cunt shite, whit did ye want me tae dae, hud his fuckin hand?'  'Nah, but ye coulda chumed him roond, like ah say he's a pal.' 'Some pal, plyin ye wi drink after taking antabuse, whit's his address ah`ll need tae pit im on mah Christmas card list.' 'There wis naebody forcin it doon mah throat, c'mon Geezbo ye ken the crack yersel, way'n see if ye can find im. Pleeease!'  'Aw right, aw right, keep yer wig on, he cannae be that far.'  She was right I did know the score, the guy might have been a bit of a pain in the arse but he obviously had a serious drink problem, something I could easily empathise with. So I slipped a claw hammer into my inside coat pocket and went to see if I could save him from a kicking from the local 'young team'. These little bastards attack any stranger walking about on his own, especially if they're drunk, they even tried it with me one time. Ha ha, 'tried' being the operative word, I grinned to myself as I recalled; the crunching noise the 'main man's' smashed cheekbone made as I jabbed my hammer into his spotty ugly face, his pissy little flick-knife clattering onto the ground, his so called 'hard' pals running away as I re-arranged his ribcage with my steel-toed combat boots. It had been the first time I'd hurt anybody, one on one, since Goose Green and I wasn't surprised that I took no pleasure from it, it was just something that had to be done, a classic 'me or you' situation. And it fucking sure wasn't going to be me! I didn't have to look too far, he was standing outside the chippy looking a wee bit forlorn and sorry for himself. He turned his head so that he was looking straight at me walking across the road towards him, his blank expression showed no sign of recognition but then broke out into a relieved grin. 'It is you! It's you Geezbo, innit?'  'Ha ha, aye well last time ah looked anyway.'  'Fuck ah got total lost man, ah wis like that, aw ower the fuckin place.' 'Aye well dinnae worry about it, yer no the first yin, ah shoulda gien ye a map 'n compass, ha ha, c'mon ye daft cunt ye dinnae want tae be standin aboot here on yer own fur too long. Diane's surfaced she's wonderin where ye are.'  'Listen Geezbo, aboot Diane, it wisnae mah fault, she just grabbed the bottle fae right oot mah hands an........' 'Ye dinnae need tae explain mate, ah ken whit she's like, let's go she'll be pleased tae see ye.'  And sure enough she was, big cheesy grin and sneaking me a sly wink, silently mouthing the words 'cheers Geezbo.' Which kind of came as a bit of a shock because she doesn't usually go for guys. When she's out with that twisted harridan she'd been shacking up with the way they go on you'd think a man's erect penis was some kind of abomination. Mind you whether or not a relationship struck up in a drying out clinic has any future might well be a serious bone of contention but I was pleased for her, everyone deserves a break from constant misery and disappointment, everyone! 'Dianne tells me ye write tae the papers an that Geezbo.'  'Aye ah'm involved wi a pressure group that lobbies M.P.'s and the media aboot ex-servicemen who suffer fae P.T.S.D. post traumatic stress disorder, this government couldnae gie a fuck aboot ye when ye leave the forces, nae support or fuck all!'  'Whit's that?' 'Used tae be called shell shock Kenny.' 'Right, maybe ye could write tae them aboot that joke o a hospital.'  'An say whit exactly? it's a damned disgrace that anybody that's just oot can ONLY manage tae drink beer an whisky!' 'Ha ha, naw, everybody does that first day Geezbo, it's a sortae tradition before ye start takin aw the medication tae stop ye bevyin, look at this lot, ah'm like a fuckin chemist shop.' 'Have ye been in before like?' 'This is mah eighth time.' 'EIGHT FUCKING TIMES.' 'Aye, aw they do is dry ye oot, same sorta thing nae help after ye leave.'  'What aboot the A.A. never try that.' 'Tried it aye, ah ken aw aboot 'one day at a time,' believe me, an counselling, doesnae work fur everybody though Geezer, ken whit ah`m sayin.' 'Aye, only too well pal, only too well. Ah've got mah hands fu right now Kenny, why no have a go at it yersel, first hand knowledge an aw that, might help keep ye aff the drink, gie ye somethin else tae focus on, ah mean it's no as if yer stupid, get Dianne tae gie ye a hand, she'll be fine once she straightens oot a bit.' 'Aye, ah'd like that fine, good idea Geezbo, good idea mah man.' Just about then Dianne had another relapse and I had to put her to bed again, she was a wee bit tearful so I sat with her for a wee while listening to her tales of woe with the face of a concerned priest. 'Dinnae let Kenny through, ah dinnae want him tae see me like this, teary face aw puffed up an that, ah really like him Geezbo, honest ah've never felt like this afore.' 'Ha ha, again? dinnae worry he's sittin through there scoffing a beer, thinkin, ah put a wee flea in his ear.'  'Whit aboot?' 'Nothin that concerns you, well maybe, nothin romantic, ah'll tell ye the morrow when yer feelin better. Dinnae worry ye can trust me.'  'Ah know ah can, you are fuckin ace Geezbo man, just like the big brother ah never had.'  'Zat a fact?'  'Too fuckin right man, too right. What ahm ah gonna do Geezer? Libby'll be expectin me back at the flat, she'll go mad if she finds oot ahm goin oot wi somebody else, specially a GUY.' 'Ah cannae tell ye what tae dae, anyway ye ken how ah feel aboot that fuckin psycho bitch. Ye'll just need tae go wi yer feelins darlin. Tryin get some kip, ah'll look in on ye before ah crash.'  I wondered back through to the living room and switched on the t.v. in the hope that Kenny would get interested and knock the tedious anecdotes on the head for a wee while. No chance. He was well into yet another riveting recollection when I had a sudden brainwave. 'See that chemist shop ye've got there Kenny boy, any diazepam in it? 'Aye sure is, loads, many ye wantin?' 'Just the one'll dae, naw better make it two!'  '.........honest man, ah wis like...' 'THAT!' I finished for him as the tranquillisers kicked in and carried me off to a peaceful place that was blissfully devoid of confused invalids and loud mouthed Glaswegians. I awoke next day to the kind of light headiness and apathy that makes you think some kind of friendly tooth fairy had wrapped you up in cotton wool and hummed you lullabies all through the night. Not much use for battlefield positive action and clear cut decisions but perfect for dealing with the hustle and bustle which inevitably occurs when visitors take their leave. I even walked them to the bus stop so they wouldn't get lost, said my goodbyes, wished them luck and meant it. Dianne was much better, not quite back to her usual cheeky self but that might have been down to the 'starry eyed love' surging through her veins. Ha ha, who knows? Certainly not me! Kenny had slipped me a tenner so I sloped along to my Pakistani friends to get some beer and fags but fully intending to return to the flat and finish my latest letter.  Dear sir,               I am writing to inform you that I find your rejection concerning the symptoms that typify a P.T.S.D. victim as frankly offensive. Your claim that so many ex-servicemen suffering from severe psychological problems that include; nightmares, flashbacks and serious depression as 'normal wear and tear and mere coincidence'.... Reading through what I'd written my thoughts [as they often did] drifted towards and focused on the day I went across the estuary to meet up with Lieutenant George McIntosh and Corporal Iain Tanner. Tosh the charismatic Sandhurst toff and natural leader of men had turned up at Spanner's flat in the Kingdom of Fife with a large wedge of cash - the remnants of his divorce settlement. When I got the postcard requesting my presence on a 'monumental piss up for God, Queen, Country and Regiment,' alarm bells were definitely ringing but what the hell I'd thought ittle be good to see them. The flat door had been wide open so I let myself in, I've seen a few untidy kitchens in my time and my own place is definitely no showpiece but at least you could see the cooker. Tosh and Spanner were lurking through the living room busying themselves with quaffing a large bottle of Gordon's, the finest champagne and reading passages from T.S. Eliot's, 'The Wasteland' to one another. 'SERGEANT GEESON REPORTING FOR DUTY SIR.' 'At ease sergeant, gin and tonic ok for you?' ' Sorry to interrupt the poetry seminar but If there's any left that will do nicely.' 'Hahaaaargh plenty left Geezer you syphilitic cunt! Take a pew.' So we enjoyed a merry glow as we yomped along the road to the pub, something we'd not done together since we were in a hurry to take the high ground above Stanley. Then Tosh ducked down, broke into a run and began shouting IGNORE ALL INCOMING FIRE. Me and Spanner burst out laughing and ran after him into the boozer but I couldn't help thinking there was something oddly sinister about Tosh's sudden outburst, that it was something more than a mere 'joke'. 'Where's Tosh?' 'Gone to get some cigars.' 'Has he been alright?' 'Dinnae really ken Geezer,actin a wee bit strange but we've been hitin the bevy since he showed knowhatamean.' 'Phone call Spanner!' Whoever it was that phoned had been right enough, Tosh was lying on his belly in the middle of the road drinking out of a puddle. We picked him up and took him back to the flat where he curled up into a ball in the corner, took out some photographs of his kids and began to cry like a baby.  I tore myself away from the letter, no point in writing anything when you're seething with anger, you just don't get anywhere, past experience had taught me that, so I poured myself the last whisky, took a beer from the fridge, sat by the window and tried hard to think about something else. I noticed the flat across the road was still shuttered up, the walls blackened by the smoke. There had been a bunch of junkies staying over there until one of them caught some thieving bastard of a kid up to no good and threatened him with a baseball bat. The kid's mum must have known some of the hooligans round here because a wee bit of a war ensued, ending up with the junkies getting burned out of their flat. Of course the mistake the guy had made was threatening the kid - he should have just broke his thieving little bastard hands with the bat. Not that it had anything to do with me, I couldn't give a fuck either way, a few less junkies round here is no bad thing, believe me. I had no regrets finishing the last dram, there was still a good few beers in the fridge and my invalidity benefit was due next day. My conversation with Kenny had made me think of a different spending strategy, I would divide the money up into daily amounts so I would never be totally skint again. I would take it 'one day at a time' because, after all, that's as fast as I can go.
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THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A LATTER DAY SAINT (posted on: 30-09-05)
In which a tramp, a punk and St. Thomas Aquinas seek revelations about the Apocalypse from a witch.

Saint Thomas Aquinas was about to release his pet, a beautiful brightly coloured moth, in order that it could commence its cathartic nightly excursion into the stale and squalid atmosphere of the ward for the deranged and chronically deluded, when he heard a slight, ominous tapping at the window. As he raised the blinds he was struck with horror and dismay to discover that the culprit was the unfortunate tramp who had been tainted by the diabolical hand of the Antichrist and furthermore that he was accompanied by a branded, wild eyed demon with bright blue horns protruding from its skull. Horror because he realised in an instant that the Reckoning was upon him and dismay at the unspectacular form it had taken. Not one to be overwhelmed or despondent however, he raised his hand in friendly greeting. The Tainted One smiled, returned the gesture and proceeded to plaster the windowpane with treacle and brown paper. Never had Thomas expected it to be like this, he had thought that maybe he, one of the most pious of all the world's sinners, would have been spared. Yet there they were, having already chiselled out the rusty bars, assaulting the pane with tenuous but relentless hammer blows breaking the glass, the shards of which adhered to their crude but effective break-in device. It was all too simple... and human. 'Quickly Thomas we are in danger of being discovered.' 'Have ya goat a crane in yer back hipper cos we're gontae need yin tae get this flabby-arsed, fat-guts bastard through that wee gap, yew been scoffin aw the pies ye greedy cunt?' 'I had always presumed the road to Hell to be paved with good intentions rather than impossible hurdles, this window is rather on the small side for a man of my girth, do you think your demon might assist me, does it understand my words or is it confined to the language of Babel?' 'What? Oh no, he is not a demon, he`s a punk.' 'Well please excuse my ignorance as to the nature of the inhabitants of the underworld but it is a distinct possibility that I will become better acquainted during my short stay of eternity.' 'I'm sure an amiable chap such as yourself would have little difficulty in building a rapport with new found acquaintances, however grotesque...but this talk is defeatist, please we must hurry.' 'Before I leave this place I would appreciate some answers to some nagging questions. Do the maelstroms of fire run rampant through the trees, do necromancers dance hand in hand with witches, are the skies blackened with hate and shimmering trepidation, have the seas boiled dry?' 'Not so that we've noticed, at least so far anyway but I fear we might not be the best people to ask, we have become somewhat, erm, blinkered to the workings of the world recently.' 'Wot the fuck's aw the fannying aboot fatso, are ye commin or no?' 'What did you say it was, a punk?' 'Yes, well, he's also a lawyer.' 'Ah the Devil's Advocate, how quaintly reassuring.' Thomas rushed off to dig out his habit, a crude affair he'd fashioned out of thick brown curtains with a fire-axe, kiss his pet goodbye and release it into the world of danger for the very last time. He shed a single tear of emotion but the moth suffered from no such sentimental foolishness; recognising the fresh wind of freedom it flew out the newly opened escape route narrowly avoiding being immediately squashed by the punk as he took a bad tempered swipe at it with his hammer. So, fearful of similar hostilities, Thomas busied himself with the task of escape, the punk easing his obvious and anticipated difficulty by hauling him through the window with an arm lock round the neck, a task entered into with a certain degree of relish and gleeful enthusiasm. This tumultuous activity, however, proved beyond the capability of The Tainted One who seemingly could only manage to muster enough energy to quaff a cheap bottle of wine, smoke a thin cigarette and offer some passionate words of encouragement. Martha the high priestess and dedicated shroom-picker rubbed her eyes in disbelief. Her live in lesbian lover had warned of the bad karma that would result in the harvesting of magic mushrooms in the grounds of a lunatic asylum. However the quantity and quality of the patch and a tendency to disagree with most things folk said caused Martha to dismiss the dire predictions as the ramblings of a superstitious nut. A dismissal that immediately struck her as being possibly ever so slightly on the hasty side as an unshaven tramp in a filthy overcoat, a punk with a bright blue spiky mohican and an obese, robed monk materialised through the early morning mists. 'Greetings witch, have you come to guide us, I am St. Thomas Aquinas.' 'She's not a witch, she's just a weirdly dressed, mother earth, mushroom picker, got any spare fags?' 'Oh but I am, I am Martha, witch of the Wicca and high priestess of the Morningside coven, I have only loose tobacco and these mushrooms, food from the Gods, would you like some?' 'Aye geeza handfu ah'm starvin.' 'Tobacco's fine for me, what about you Thomas?' 'Is this what I have to look forward to, a diet fit for a pig?' 'Eeeeuuuuuuuch, yew tryin tae fuckin poison me ye fuckin auld witch?' 'Certainly not, this is food for the mind not the body, if you wish to break fast with me I have lentil soup.' 'Well aren't we the lucky ones, lead on o witchy one, got any spare change?' Being in such close proximity to a wooden idol made Thomas decidedly uneasy but guessing that the odds were stacked against him to such an extent rebellion would prove to be potentially disastrous and ultimately futile he remained silent and sat down with the others. And anyway, if his soul was soon to be thrown into the pit of hellfire it seemed somehow preferable to be in possession of a serene and rational mind rather than ranting on like an escaped lunatic. So, like any great philosopher he reflected on the situation calmly, introspectively searched for answers from within and stared in silence as Martha and another similarly attired witch, Zade, emerged from the kitchen with a steaming cauldron of what he hoped to be soup. The graven image that watched over them, as they hungrily supped on what her companion had loudly enthused as being 'big Martha's spicy soul food,' provided a mystery for Thomas, he had expected Satan himself or at least one of his disciples but no, this looked like an aged, naked woman sitting cross legged under a tree, with an egg stuck in her mouth! Martha noticing how much the monk seemed intrigued by her alter image cackled and sneered at the holy man, 'dinnae try'n tell yer grannie how tae suck eggs.' 'I can assure you that previously my intentions were to refrain from any attempt to perform that particular little seminar.... but now I've got a living breathing model! ' 'Ha ha, at least a sense of humour and the ridiculous has not escaped you Aquinas, of course under normal circumstances I would be glad to accommodate you but I think you might agree more pressing matters are at hand, where did you think I'd come to guide you, Hell?' 'Possibly.' 'How can I show you the way to somewhere that does not exist? Do I look like a damnation tourist guide? a devil worshipper?' questions that she quickly stymied any answers to by holding up her open palm, 'no don't answer,of course you presume me to be such things, I suppose it's only natural, you being a man of the cloth or even curtain. But we, the white witches of the Wicca are not Devil worshippers we celebrate Mother Nature, our belief system cannot and does not harbour any reference to Gods and Devils or indeed any fantastic notions about days of judgement and Apocalypse! But worry ye not, I may be able to help, although firstly I must become party to your individual versions of events.' Thomas declined to co-operate, refusing to grant audience about his personal affairs to a witch, whatever colour she claimed to be. The lawyer/demon/punk's aggressive rants were far too unintelligible for anyone to take seriously. So that left the tramp to churn out a reasonably accurate account of the recent events that had led to the unfortunate situation they now found themselves in, an admirable attempt which amazingly only required a single pit stop, during which he managed to mooch and scoff a bottle of Matha's finest elderberry. Something he would remain eternally grateful for as the strong wine mercifully dulled his senses against the awful scene that began to unfold. Thomas scowled at the pagan symbols that adorned the parchment Martha unfolded in front of the Wicca alter but his disapproval soon turned to scarlet-faced astonishment as Martha stripped off and prostrated herself, crab style, in front of the wooden idol. 'Whits wrong wi yew Friar Fuck, never seen a fanny afore?' 'Well, actually, no.' 'Don't worry about it Thomas, neither have I, at least not one like that anyway.' But Zade had, and now she came into her own as she, also naked, chanted in some obscure language and slapped huge handfuls of slimy frog spawn onto the muscular, ample body of her lover 'till it glistened under the weird glow of the hog fat candles. A spectacle that had obviously been enacted many times before as the two women embraced enthusiastically and began writhing together on the parchment, the gloopy goo of the spawn spurting out from between the heaving couple as if in a desperate bid for escape. Thomas knew the feeling. The streaked, smudged and dripping parchment when tacked to the wall provided a bizarre and curious spectacle, one in which Martha absorbed herself as she formulated an interpretation. Eventually she turned to the motley crew that sat round in a semi-circle eagerly waiting for some spectacular lengthy revelations. 'There is a considerable shift in the forces governing the fabric of Mother Nature.' And that was that! 'Is that it?' scoffed Thomas. 'Well what about you with your fantastic tales of the end of the world, as prophesied by some half-mad zealot in the deserts of the Middle East thousands of years ago. Apocalypse! when? APOCALYPSE WHEN AQUINAS?' 'Woe,' interjected Zade sensing an escalation of hostilities, 'there is another possible explanation.' 'Feel free to enlighten us.' 'Okay, let's just forget about religious explanations, whatever the creed, for the moment.' She turned to the punk, 'let's see, according to your friend you were a respected member of the legal profession, a leading light in the prosecution service, when you inexplicably woke up to discover that you had been changed into the person you are now. It is a strong possibility that things are not so sinister as, at first, they appear, you could be responsible for your own transformation, fed up with your lifestyle you decided on a drastic change of image but unable to deal with the consequences vanquished the episode from memory thus throwing your situation into chaotic confusion.' She looked at him, intently searching for some flicker of recognition and agreement. There was none. 'Your story,' she said turning to the tramp, 'an unusual tale indeed; tramps reciting poetry, toothless hags, tyrants, coercion, self-harming and hallucinations. It is possible you have experienced a severe psychotic episode possibly induced by over indulgence in alcohol consumption.' Another facial scrutiny revealed a similar lack of reaction, unfazed she continued, 'as for you Thomas, please try and not take offence but I'm sure the asylums of this land house many people who are convinced their true identities are that of religious figures of yesteryear and are waiting in the wings for a terrible avenging Judgement that will both vindicate them and lay waste their enemies who have become their jailers.' 'THAT'S JUST RIDICULOUS,' they all cried at once. 'Sorry!' The search was on; Saint Thomas Aquinas began his pilgrimage, that would hopefully culminate in an audience with the Pope, alone, thoughtful and confused but as usual not despondent, his strong leather sandals flumping along the windy road which he had no doubt would lead him to Rome, Martha and Zade set off for the hills in search of wild orchids and the tramp and the punk went in search of a tavern that would let them in. Far out in the ocean vast quantities of trapped volcanic gases bubbled up from the sea floor, a phenomenon that when first witnessed by the ancient Norse mariners was presumed to be the wrath of the Gods, who in their angry displeasure had began to boil the sea.
Archived comments for THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A LATTER DAY SAINT
ruadh on 2005-09-30 20:27:52
Re: THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A LATTER DAY SAINT
You know, I sometimes wonder about you darlin' 😉 Whatever you're on when you write these things, I want some!

Entertaining as always Charlie. Please, please, go back through it and remove half the 'that's, you don't need them.

love ailsa



Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2005-10-01 10:50:45
Re: THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A LATTER DAY SAINT
Good God no I couldn't possibly do THAT ...it took me that long to write the bloody thing I`m fed up looking at it! ...p.s. u need copious amounts of bullshit milkshake to pen a piece like this ails.....Cx

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2005-10-02 15:03:27
Re: THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A LATTER DAY SAINT
I printed this off yesterday and took this little gem to bed with me last night, I'm glad I did, it certainly made me chuckle. I don't think I've read a piece of yours that I ain't liked...

I love the dialogue in this, excellent piece. ;^)

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2005-10-02 15:11:40
Re: THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A LATTER DAY SAINT
or a twisted mind!

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2005-10-02 15:16:00
Re: THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A LATTER DAY SAINT
Thanx Claire I feel all embarrassed now......cheersZx

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 2005-10-02 15:28:46
Re: THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A LATTER DAY SAINT
haha, no comment sweetheart. I noticed a couple of typo's so have saved a copy of this to my pc. I'll go through it and send to your email ok.

ailsx

Author's Reply:


THE TRANSFORMATION (posted on: 05-08-05)
For Franz Kafka, who was wonderfully strange and nearly handsome!

Gregor Moore woke up one morning to discover he had been transformed into a hard-core punk rocker. Naturally he was confused at such a radical metamorphosis but also relieved that the process had involved no suffering; he had a low threshold when it came to physical pain. The many piercings that adorned his face elicited no particular discomfort, even when he tugged at the large bull ring through his nose. He even fancied that it was of a perfect size to attach a dog's chain with which he could be led through the city streets by a black fishnet stockinged, leather mini-skirted, punkette girlfriend he was yet to meet. His tattoos, although fresh, had no painful scabbing, indeed he couldn't help but admire the professionalism of the needlework, especially the large red rose wrapped in barbed wire which decorated his chest. Brushing his hand over his head he discovered that he now sported what felt like a fuck off, spiky mohican, certainly a freakish hairstyle but one which he had always harboured a secret longing for. But such eccentricities would certainly be considered well beyond the boundaries of acceptable conduct and dress code when you happened to be one of the most promising criminal prosecutors of the city. He hoped it was dyed blue but could not, as yet, bring himself to look in a mirror. However his mood darkened a couple of shades when he checked out his record collection - gone were his prized progressive gems and rarities, even his signed album of 'Tales From Topographic Oceans.' A loss that surely could never be compensated by the paltry and frankly inferior replacement pile of vinyl by bands he'd either never even heard of or had previously avoided like the plague. He selected one at random - a twelve inch single entitled 'A New Rose' by 'the Damned' and couldn't help but noticing that the cover artwork mimicked exactly the tattoo that now emblazoned his torso. On first spin it was all he could do to stop himself from jumping up and down but by the third he was riving around the floor on his back thrashing the air with his arms and legs like the final manic death throes of an ugly and dangerous insect. The aggressive beat had not gone unnoticed or ignored, his mother stormed down the stair in a fine old fashioned, blistering, bad mood. She burst into the room, turned the volume to zero and started beating the hapless, floundering Gregor with a thick handled broom. When his screams reached the level of hysteria she at last relented and headed back towards the door, scowling and wagging a finger of warning at the offending stereo. Gregor groaned and sat up when, at last, the pain from the dull blows subsided but what caused him greater anguish was how he was going to listen to the rest of the collection; the headphones would probably save him from further assault but they were bound to severely restrict his movement, after all you just had to 'dance.' He thought hard, then, like any good lawyer, grinned as a workable, ingenious solution entered his head - Johnny Fingers. Although he had more or less lost touch, Johnny had been his best friend at school but much more to the point he lived alone in a house with the basement converted into a sound proofed recording studio. Fearing ridicule he decided against a phone call or indeed telling the truth, after all what kind of punk would admit to being banned from playing his records by his mum? Besides he was keen to gauge the reaction of the populace concerning his bizarre appearance so he plummed for the option of the long walk across the city. Johnny, naturally, did not recognise his friend but it worked both ways; his own appearance had altered to such a degree that the two amigos faced each other across the open doorway in a state of awkwardness and confusion. The penny dropped for both of them at the same instant and soon they were hugging each other in the kind of tight embrace exclusive to the reunion of long lost compadres. There was much grinning, whooping, 'how ya beens', 'great to see yas' and 'boy are we gonna drink a lot of beer!' Which of course is exactly what they did, Gregor during the reminiscing managing to interject the 'real' reason for his unannounced somewhat clandestine appearance - a broken stereo and a shitload of records to review for a new rock magazine. That misfortune though was easily rectified, as luck would have it Johnny was off to a bash down the Borders with his band, giving the anxious 'critic' unrestricted access to the studio, a large packet of drugs and a ticket for The Cramps / The Fall. Which, in his current state of mind, was a remarkable and quality result! So it was a well pumped up Gregor who arrived for the gig at the Astoria, his first live punk experience. The amphetamine charged adrenaline surged through his system like a runaway, loco locomotive - Johnny had not lied. He was straight down the front of the stage amongst the heaving, spitting, hard core, pogo jumpers, cutting an impressive bare chested figure with his provocative tattoos and bright blue mohican flashing on and off in the light of the powerful strobe. Just when he was beginning to think things couldn't get any better the singer half swallowed the mike, screeched out high pitched wails, climbed on top of the massive p.a. amps and swayed back and forward threatening to topple the stack - to the possible serious injury of the fearless, ecstatic, baying audience. Gregor Moore's transformation was complete. Fearful of the consequences of slumber Gregor kept himself cranked up with the contents of his packet and blaring music, only prizing himself away from the studio in order to pay a visit to the new wave record shop in Cockburn St. Customers were thin on the ground so early in the day but the thumping in house sounds were by no means similarly compromised with Bauhauses 'Bela Lugosi's Dead,' an enthusiastic haunting vocal extravaganza, howling out to an appreciative bunch of white faced vampires. Which was great stuff as far as Gregor was concerned so he immediately marched up to the counter with wild staring eyes and requested a copy. 'D'ye need a receipt mate?' 'Lugosi wasn't his real name you know it was Blaska but he was born in the Hungarian town of Lugos so he took on the name when he emigrated to the States just like Don Corleone in Puzzi's masterful depiction of the Cosa Nostra but of course the main difference being that Bela was a real person as opposed to a fictional character he was discharged from the Hungarian army in 1916 during the most horrific conflict the world had ever experienced having somehow convinced the authorities that he was mentally unstable quite a feat don't you agree it might possibly be viewed as a prelude to his not inconsiderable accomplishments as a Hollywood actor as he managed to convince a large section of the populace that he was the epitome of the Gothic vampire Dracula this of course being his most celebrated role and one in which he relished he requested that he be buried in his costume a wish that was duly granted causing Lone Chaney to suggest to Christopher Lee whilst viewing the body that maybe they should drive a wooden stake into his heart 'just to make sure' a waning of popularity in the genre and a chronic addiction to morphine heralded a low point in his latter career but he was 'resurrected' by Ed Wood in 'the worst film ever made' Plan 9 From Outer Space where he famously wrestled a broken giant octopus prop in a mud hole an escapade which had no compatibility with the script causing some sceptics to scathingly declare that the scene was originally filmed for a different project entirely........' 'Ah'll take that as a no then eh? You better lay off that speed mate!' 'The Bauhaus was an art school in Germany mainly but not exclusively devoted to new architectural innovations due to a high concentration of Jews and communists attending it was closed down by the Nazis in the thirties......' 'GET OUT MY FUCKING SHOP!' Things were only to get worse as he found himself on the slippery slope of drug and loud music dependency. On his fourth day without sleep or food he found himself sitting on the floor, facing the wall, drooling and muttering uncontrollably. But worse, much worse, was the fact that his epidermis appeared to be contracting; squeezing his bone, sinew, muscle and internal organs to bursting point like a shrinking sausage skin. The terrifying experience of imagining his thoughts were not his own almost drove him insane. But by far the most horrible of his afflictions were the hallucinations that convinced him that his fingers and toes had mysteriously transformed themselves into disgusting cockroaches. So it was to this pathetic scenario that Johnny returned. He was shocked and stunned and considered calling an ambulance but he had had previous bad experiences dealing with the authorities concerning overdoses of illegal substances so he administered Gregor with a large dose of vallium solution. Gregor calmed down, eventually recognised his friend, thanked him and walked out into the breaking day. The fresh air did him good, he felt much better and growing in confidence he considered going for a walk up 'the Crags.' But he realised that this leap of faith would have been a reactionary, premature decision when he met one of his business acquaintances, an accountant and a dreadful snob who somehow mysteriously seemed to be adorned in, by far, the most filthy overcoat he'd ever set eyes on. 'What happened to you?' 'Funny I just about to ask you the same question.' 'It's much worse than it looks, I keep hallucinating about cockroaches.' 'Welcome to my world, with me it's spiders.' 'So we're doomed then.' 'Well maybe damned, I don't know but I know somebody who might, follow me.' So they wandered off, heads bent in contemplation, hand in hand, in the direction of the city asylum.
Archived comments for THE TRANSFORMATION
e-griff on 2005-08-05 17:32:31
Re: THE TRANSFORMATION
Sorry man, I tried this , but it just whizzed past my left ear , leaving me stirred but not shaken.. 🙂

thought I'd tell you, rather than not...

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2005-08-06 10:57:56
Re: THE TRANSFORMATION
Haha hope you ducked pal......its the second bit of a story I`m writing called....The Tramp, the Punk and the Latter Day Saint... so it does kindof end a wee bitty sharpish...but I thought it stood up on its own no too badly....cheersZx

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2005-08-06 21:47:06
Re: THE TRANSFORMATION
Zen hun, I would love to see more of this. Yup, the ending is very abrupt, but it does work ok by itself. ;^)

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2005-08-07 14:23:44
Re: THE TRANSFORMATION
And so you shall.....just as soon as I write it but the festival starts today and one just has to socialise you understand...so like Captain Oats ..I may be some time......CHEERS Zx

Author's Reply:

blackdove on 2005-08-07 16:26:31
Re: THE TRANSFORMATION
Yes, I enjoyed it, it made me laugh and I'd like to see where it goes.
Jem x

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2005-08-18 12:59:01
Re: THE TRANSFORMATION
thanx Jem.....I can tell you where its not going and that's down to McAuley & Co. at the speigal tent....Zx

Author's Reply:

scotch on 29-04-2006
THE TRANSFORMATION
hi Zen' i like the gritty nature of the work I've read, though it will take me time to read the rest, you remind me of two guys i once knew from Penicuik just the style and way of language... from scotch

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e-griff on 29-04-2006
THE TRANSFORMATION
Ah! That explains Zen's secret - he IS two guys from Penicuik!

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You calling me schitzo GRIFFY ....be careful my friend someone might make you eat that beard....or get a goat to do it!!!!!.......I can honestly swear that the only time I've ever been to Penny was to pick magic mushrooms.....ah them were the days ........SNAKE!!!!!!....yer pal Z


When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry (posted on: 01-07-05)
a strange and terrible journey into the world of poetry.

Careful as I was not to associate too freely with the gentlemen of the road it must also be said that I did not shirk at donating some small contribution towards the need of the hour or indeed to occasionally engage in some irreverent conversation and [usually] good humoured banter. So I became uneasy and surprised when a strange and curious phenomenon descended on the city with the anonymity and eeriness of a dead vampire's cloak - all the street tramps had somehow acquired the uncanny ability to recite poems and furthermore to deliver them not only verbatim but occasionally enhancing their performance through the medium of dramatic mime. Of course at first I thought I was mistaken. I had just deposited a pound into the upturned hat of a down and out, who, by the wording of his begging sign obviously favoured the more direct approach - ''CAN YE SPARE A QUID - AH'M NEEDIN A BOATTLE O CIDER.'' I had chuckled to myself over the audacity, or was it the honesty, of the man? Whatever the case I tossed the coin in and waited for the customary, ''God bless'' or ''ta pal,'' but it never came so I made a mental note to miss the cheeky old rogue out next time. In fact it was fast becoming more and more obvious that these bouts of spontaneous generosity were nothing more than misguided attempts to massage my own ego, pseudo charitable acts designed to boost my self image of benevolence, superior social standing and importance. So having scolded myself over this egocentric foolishness and curiously hurt by the tramp's refusal to adhere to the unwritten laws of beggar's etiquette, it is with a pang of regret that I admit to reacting childishly; scowling at the bulky figure lurking in the shadows, haughtily clicking my heels indicating disapproval and warning of my immanent departure. But I was halted in my tracks with the softly but clearly spoken words of a poem I'd not heard read since school, although stunned and shocked I began listening more intently and had to grudgingly acknowledge the merits and professionalism of the mysterious rendition that gushed forth from the darkened doorway. ...And ice mast high came floating by... Surely this could be the dulcet tones of no tramp! I stuck my hand into the darkness, groping at the shadowy silhouette in a desperate attempt to uncover its elusive identity, so when I came into contact with substantial flesh, rather than ghostly gases, a certain degree of confidence returned to my apprehensive heart. Short lived! I feared attack, robbery or even murder as my wrist was snapped back and the poet leaned menacingly forward from his chilly cove - all too solidly real....and vocal. ...Fear not, fear not, thou wedding-guest... His reassurance was somewhat negated by his rum ravaged face, contorted as it was into a grotesque mask of diabolical threat. He loosened his grip and I at once skipped back and made my escape, stumbling through the narrow, rain-soaked cobbled street, never daring once to stop for breath or [heaven forbid] to look back. So it was with not inconsiderable relief that I entered the Black Bull Tavern shaking from cold and traumatic ordeal. The taverner, noticing the uncontrollable trembling, elicited a sarcastic knowing look as he handed me my large whisky but I was too ruffled to even try defend myself against such an outrageous, silent accusation of alcoholism. I sat alone in the corner next to the roaring log fire watching the steam rise from my damp clothing and going over in my head what had just happened. I must've dozed off because next thing I knew the taverner was booming HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME. I shuddered, there was something oddly familiar about that call but I dismissed it as over-active imagining due to nervous agitation on my part or mere coincidence. However, the dismissal panned out to be wishful thinking because on my way home I passed two vagabonds warming themselves round a burning oil drum; one able-bodied and bearded, the other a crippled dwarf huddled inside a makeshift wheelchair. Able-bodied turned to me, his face lit up by the crackling flames and gestured towards his companion with out-stretched arm:- ...Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you ! ... The blood drained from my head as I reeled backwards into unconscious faint. Feeling weak and somewhat vulnerable the next day, I foolishly decided to remain in bed. It would have been better to keep busy, the idleness merely acted as a catalyst for wild conjectures and irrational fear. I tossed and turned, came out in a lather of sweat and every lapse into slumber resulted in the onslaught of horrific nightmares, some of which pervaded into wakefulness as spiders crawled all over. But it was when the baboon with a lizard's head requested my order for lunch that I decided enough was enough and ran out, naked and screaming, into the street. I found myself down the Grassmarket where I joined an odd band of tramps who had gathered at the site of the old gallows, intently watching a street show. I was grateful when a kindly Samaritan slipped his overcoat round my shoulders. It stank of cheap wine and stale tobacco smoke but shielded me from the icy wind and curious stares of strangers. ...For England's shame, O Sister Realm! From wood Mountain, and moor, and crowded street, where lie The headless martyrs of the Covenant... The orator's powerful voice roared out to us from his elevated position, stuck up as he was on top of a soapbox like a communist shop steward agitator. The mime artists were only distinguishable from the audience by the fact that they had made a half-hearted attempt to white-up their faces with chalk. They were enacting the seventeenth century executions of the Covenanters - an unjust persecution of ordinary men and woman whose ghosts were to be often heard wailing and groaning throughout the derelict dungeons and gaols of the old town. I had to bow my head and raise my hand in apology in an attempt to quell the furious reaction as I sniggered at the redundancy of the wardrobe department in supplying the victim's ripped and filthy clothing. But the pieces of flayed flesh and deep red flowing blood had done make-up proud, indeed it seemed unfathomable how such an amateur production had managed to simulate bloated, lolling tongues and the stench of excrement. The lifeless corpses were thrown into the back of a hay cart and sensing the end of the show I left them to it and took my leave in search of food and liquid sustenance. Lack of funds and suitable attire forced me to darken the door of the Sailor's Ark Soup Kitchen where I was given a bowl of porridge and a mug of steaming hot tea. I sat opposite a sparse- toothed, straw- haired, mumbling hag who seemed shocked that anyone could bear to be in such close vicinity. Hardly surprising because when she attempted to enter into conversation bits of food and spittle splattered into my face. I moved out of range and examined the piece of paper I had discovered in the pocket of the Samaritan's overcoat. It contained a crudely drawn map, in crayon, that I was at a loss to decipher. I was about to crush up and discard it when I noticed my new found acquaintance had her hand stretched out. She seemed grateful when I dropped the map into her palm. She examined it and stood up on a chair. ...The walls of Jericho were stout and strong like the forbidding of a giant's calloused hand ... She spat out in an astonishing moment of near clarity and apparently seized by the need to attend a forgotten appointment she jumped down and marched through the exit door. Intrigued I followed on behind trying hard to keep a sensible distance and not to appear as if I were her companion or being able to understand a mumbled word that she said. This amateur act of espionage, in hindsight, proved disastrous as it culminated in my being drawn into the clutches of the tyrant of Jericho. It was when examining the door into which my dining companion had disappeared that I first encountered the overwhelming, charismatic presence of a man resembling a youthful, born again biblical prophet who had developed an unhealthy, obsessive fixation for black eyeliner make-up and samurai swords. Showing no surprise at the intrusion of an inquisitive stranger he seemed pleased with himself as he held me with his clear, light blue eyes, out of which no kindness shone. He stood aside and ushered me inside with much laying on of hands, from which no reassurance could be felt. Inspecting Jericho I could see that it consisted mainly of a large room full to bursting with tramps, our host played the role, with ease, of a creepy cult figure roaming through his assembled band of dispossessed followers excepting reverence and adoration with the smug air of a false prophet. There was much smoking, munching of charity sandwiches and imbibing of cheap wine and cider but an unsettling lack of conversation of any kind; they stood silent either staring at their mysterious mentor or trying to touch his flowing robes as he passed between them. When he reached the centre of the room he was hoisted up on the shoulders of a group who could only be described as his apostles, he held out his open palms and the poetry began. Everyone started to chant but the ensuing noise was indecipherable because of the disparate nature of its make-up - each man and woman championing a different verse. There were modern poems, rhyming poems, romantic poems, limericks, epics, in fact every kind of poem you could think of; the fallen old Etonian on my right was barking out military pieces with gusto and relish which clashed with the wee wizened wife on my left whose preference obviously lay with Japanese haiku. Curiously though the effect lacked chaos and confusion indeed it has to be said that there was a surprising atmosphere of uplifting calmness and latent power exuded by the unwashed actors and their bizarre performances. How long this went on for I could not say but just as a wave of fatigue threatened to overwhelm me the mumbling crone re-appeared through the throng and led me by the hand to a back room which was bedecked with rows of straw mattresses, many of which were already occupied with heaving, humping masses of humanity. I prayed that the hag had no designs of a carnal nature but fortunately my fears were unfounded, she seemed content to kneel on my chest forcing the air from my lungs and to soak my face with a swinging slaver of saliva that hung from her slobbering mouth. Jock the security man drew me a dirty look as I entered my workplace still wearing the coat of the good Samaritan but I pre-empted any belligerent complaint by greeting him with a cheery false smile and inquiring about the health of his elderly mother - a subject dear to his heart and of which he never tired of boring anyone stupid enough to get caught in the trap. So it was with a newly acquired knowledge of the suffering involved when stricken with swollen, itching haemorrhoids that I solemnly entered the boss's office. ...how could I have known that my blood would spurt in time with a deaf cuckoo's heart... The bored expression on her face indicated to me that somehow my boss was unimpressed when it came to the imagery to be experienced through poetic expression but when I attempted to enhance the aesthetic quality of the poem by hammering a six inch rusty nail through my palm into her desk I managed to captivate her full attention. Actions, it would seem, speak louder than words. From the time when, at last, my jaw slackened again I can honestly say that my stay in the institution was a far from unpleasant experience; the bed was clean and comfortable, the staff were amiable enough and, best of all, they administered me with a daily dose of a varied selection of pills in a little plastic cup that resembled the cap of an aerosol. The exact purpose of these medications I'm at a loss to inform you, all I know for sure is that they [mercifully] staved off feverish visitations from busy arachnids and mutant primates. I even made some new friends, a freakish collection of oddballs maybe but friends nevertheless, after all we were all tarred with the same brush. And perhaps tarred blackest of all was the fellow in the next bed who would only answer to the name Thomas Aquinas. Thomas became my constant companion he was an extremely animated character who would often wander the institution's corridors ranting on about the abominable heretics who should be burned at the stake for attacking his demonstrations of the five proofs of God's existence. However this obsession disappeared entirely from his rhetoric when I told him about my encounter with the tyrant of Jericho. He had stared at me with open-eyed astonishment and declared that the tyrant was the embodiment of the Antichrist on earth and that he was marked with the number of the beast, 666. His raving wanderings then consisted of dire warnings of the imminent visitation of the apocalypse and we were all to prepare ourselves for the casting into the fiery pit of hell. During my last night at the institution I followed the sliver of moonlight that shone through a gap in the blind. It illuminated a beautiful, brightly coloured moth that was flapping on the sleeping face of Thomas Aquinas and I wondered if there was any way he could witness this, as it sucked the dewy stickiness from his eye, he would see it as another irrefutable proof of the existence of God. It was not without some hesitation that I approached the lair of the ancient mariner. I noticed he had changed the wording on his begging sign, it now read - I AM NOT AN ALCOHOLIC JUST A POOR OLD SAILOR MAN WHO IS DOWN ON HIS LUCK ..PLEASE HELP ..GOD BLESS. I threw in some change and slowly walked away only to be stopped in my tracks when a roar burst out from the darkened doorway, ''that's nothin but a pile o coppers ye tight-fisted, dandy bastard!'' I grinned to myself and let out a sigh of relief, safe in the knowledge that the world had somehow crunched back into kilter and it was once again safe to wander the city streets. Then I turned the corner to be confronted with a respected member of the legal profession who was wearing a ripped T-shirt, bondage trousers and sporting a mass of facial piercings and a dyed blue, spiky mohican. But that, as they say, is another story.
Archived comments for When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry
littleditty on 2005-07-01 10:10:18
Re: When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry
I liked this very much -full of honest , well written lines - a good read, which, if you don't mind, i'll pop in my favourites for later - thank you - littleditty x

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zenbuddhist on 2005-07-02 10:51:11
Re: When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry
thanx for the fav thingy and nice comment oh little one..*S*...Z

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LenchenElf on 2005-07-02 23:45:22
Re: When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry
Really enjoyed this 🙂 Thanks for sharing it
all the best
LE

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zenbuddhist on 2005-07-03 20:07:08
Re: When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry
you're very welcome....thanx.....Zx

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reckless on 2005-07-03 21:12:12
Re: When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry
An interesting read, reminds me of all those books I used to read set in the 30's or before. That solicitor at the end, well I'd quite like to pierce some of their faces... with a staple gun perhaps.

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zenbuddhist on 2005-07-04 10:50:37
Re: When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry
Now now that would just be reckless.....you never know you might need one of them to dig your garden in the not so distant future....Z

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eddiesolo on 2005-07-04 11:42:03
Re: When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry
A great read I enjoyed this.

Congrats on the nib, deserves it.

Si:-)

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zenbuddhist on 2005-07-04 11:54:05
Re: When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry
aye thats two of them I've got now......haha its getting to be a habit....cheers Si....Z

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tai on 2005-07-05 10:46:34
Re: When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry
Hi Zenbuddist, Thanks for this, an enjoyable and absorbing read.

Tai

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zenbuddhist on 2005-07-05 10:55:01
Re: When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry
you`re most welcome..Z

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Kat on 2005-07-05 12:10:08
Re: When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry
A great title to draw the reader in and I thoroughly enjoyed your tale with its intriguing olde worlde narrative voice. You give great insight into the world of the psychotic person.

I love anything set in Edinburgh (if it was) - a great backdrop to many a story.

Kat 🙂

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ruadh on 2005-07-05 15:46:59
Re: When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry
Interesting little tale Charles... can I pinch the character at the end, he's given me food for thought 😉

ails..x

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zenbuddhist on 2005-07-05 18:48:12
Re: When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry
Yeah its edinburgh....but not as we know it!..cheersZx

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zenbuddhist on 2005-07-05 18:48:49
Re: When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry
course you can...Zx

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Claire on 2005-07-08 19:09:04
Re: When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry
Damn good read hun. I love the way you write, it makes the piece seem more livelier.

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zenbuddhist on 2005-07-14 13:44:38
Re: When the tramps of the city succumbed to the corrupting influence of poetry
Well when the only game in town is internet poker livelier always seems like the better idea...cheers Zx

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The wee boy, his gran and the coal fire fairies (posted on: 30-05-05)
A fairytale.

The wee boy sat in front of the coal fire staring into the flames as if in a trance. He was watching the fairies skiting and burling amongst the warm and friendly coals. He was happy, he loved being at his granny's, loved the real fire, the fizzy lemonade, the massive back garden but most of all he loved his gran and the way she told him stories. She always warned him not to tell. ''If you tell anybody else the fairies will hear and away they'll go and never come back again,'' she had explained. So he felt proud and special that he shared such enchanting secrets with his gran and the coal fire fairies. There was always the black teapot keeping its strong dark tea warm by the fireside. His granny was fond of the brew but he liked lemonade so she bought it in for him off the 'juice lorry' in thick glass bottles. In winter they would both sit huddled by the fire, faces glowing, while the granny peered into the tealeaves in the cup to discover what the future had in store for the fascinated wee boy. She told him he would grow tall and strong and travel across the great ocean to a strange, untamed land where he would make his fortune. The wee boy danced a jig in excitement, he couldn't wait till he grew up. ''When? When?'' ''Ach ye've plenty of time yet Wee Puckie [for that was what she called him] have patience.'' ''What are these gran?'' he asked pressing the blue veins on the backs of her hands. ''Ah, they`re to remind me of a time long, long ago before I was with this world. You see I was once a water spirit and I lived in the many rivers of Scotland, Mahashee was my name and I was known throughout the land. The people threw tokens of coins and gemstones into the waters at certain times of celebration and in return I would save them from drowning. I ushered many a floundering fisherman and washerwomen to the safety of the riverbank. For many years my name was sang and chanted at the gathering feasts and a beautiful carved wooden statue was paraded and passed from hand to hand when the people danced round the fires in jubilation. The greatest of all the clan chiefs was Barrac a fierce warrior whose bravery in battle was unequalled but he ruled his people with a fair and generous hand. He was an enormous giant of a man whose bi-ceps were as thick as most men's thighs and could ride an ox like a sprite pony. His hair and beard were long and entwined with many strings of fresh water pearls - a gift bestowed on him, by me, in return for his great reverence and respect. One day whilst returning across the hill from the fishing, with a muckle bag of trouts he was stopped in his tracks by some faint calls crying for help. He screwed his eyes against the glare of the sun reflecting off of the peat-bog pools but could see nothing. 'Here, here ah am ye big galoot!' 'WHO DARES SPEAK TO BARRAC IN SUCH A TONE..HOLD ON TO YOUR EARS LEST I CUT THEM OFF' and he jumped from his ox and drew his sword. 'Ya canny dae that, ah need them tae keep these devil`s fleas away.' Barrac listened hard and could hear a sound like the beating wings of a great hook-beaked eagle but he soon saw it was no bird. No, it was Doch Hairyarse the brownie, stuck up to his neck in the bog furiously flapping his huge pointy lugs, trying to keep the swarms of biting midges at bay. A sight which made Barrac howl with laughter. 'Well Doch,' he said, 'this is a fine broth you've got yourself into and you a brownie too, never have I heard of a brownie stuck in a peat-bog right up to his ugly chin. You'd be wise to stay clear of the whisky jug, did your big nose take one too many sniffs? hahhahaha.' ''Aye, go on laugh at the poor wee helpless soul, c'mon Barrac ye can see ah need yer help.' 'Haaha I see no poor soul, only a thieving pest who's been stealing my lambs and calves for as long as I can remember, you can stay there until the darkness brings out the fat-bellied, foul toads, they'll take bigger lumps out your napper than any wee midge!' Doch shuddered because he knew this to be true and had been thinking of little else, 'ah`ll make it worth yer while,' he offered hopefully. 'Haaaha, HOW, how can you make it worth my while, I know of no brownie who can grant any wishes and even if you could what could I possibly need? my lands are fertile, I have vast herds and flocks, my general and army are powerful, my son is strong and healthy and I could ask for no wife more beautiful. What could you give me that would entice me to save your scrawny wee neck. Eh?' sneered the clan chief. 'A kelpie's bridle,' offered Doch and sniggered to himself when he saw Barrac's eyes light up like stars.'' ''What's a kelpie gran?'' asked the wide eyed wee boy. ''They were my sworn enemies, powerful evil spirits who also lived in the rivers, so hideous of form were they that if any mortal man were to set eyes on them they would be struck down with a terrible madness. Only when out of the water they would take the shape of a beautiful horse that could be seen gently grazing by the riverbank - a tempting prize for a weary traveller or indeed anyone who had dreamed of owning such a majestic beast. Once mounted by a would be master they would bolt into the deep waters triumphantly drowning their hapless victims. Such was their power I was unable to offer any assistance and many perished in watery graves. Men believed they could be controlled by slipping on a magic bridle and if tamed by such sorcery offered not only the strength and stamina of ten horses but were considered [ perhaps foolishly] to be an influential force for goodness and mercy.     Doch led the way, a noose round his neck, cursing, trying to brush the stinking mud off of his new rabbit-skin tunic but secretly grateful to Barrac for saving him from the terrible fate that had awaited him. How he hated these bug-eyed, peat-bog toads and their pixie masters who were still furious over a few measly missing gemstones, they would surely have shown him no mercy. Safe in the knowledge that he had cheated them and [almost] free now his mood brightened so he skipped along and whistled a merry tune. Barrac gave the rope a sharp tug, 'I warn you my hairyarse friend, if you are deceiving me, my wife's next purse will be made from dried and tanned brownie ear.' 'Heehee, no me Barrac, ah widnae dare, see that muckle pine tree yonder, ah swear a kelpie's bridle lies hidden in a widpecker's hollow. Ah ken cause it wis me that hid it.' 'And where did you manage to steal that?' 'Heehee, ah didnae steal it, ah won it playing dice wi Puddlefoot.' 'Hah, beware the brownie with the loaded dice, a lesson surely all must learn.' Doch made a curious sight clambering up the knotted tree with his big arse sticking out like a sack of tatties, but he was deft at the task, his long bony fingers and toes grasping even the frailest of limbs. Soon he was back down with an oilskin bag slung over his shoulder, which he emptied at Barrac's feet. The bridle was not what Barrac expected. 'It's a bit plain is it not?' 'Ach, whit did ye expect gold an jewels? its power come's frae the magic, no the way it looks, its woven frae the mane o a unicorn.' Barrac drew his sword and before slicing the noose tapped Doch's ear, 'stay away from my livestock,' he warned. Once free Doch done a somersault, lifted up his tunic and blasted a loud fart out his hairy arse, 'the best o luck tae ye, ye big galoot,' he sang to Barrac before disappearing into the bracken. Barrac tied his new prize to his ox and headed homeward. And so began his long descent into unhappiness.'' ''Did Doch trick Barrac gran?'' ''Aye well, yes and no, that is to say it's hard to be certain, Doch was a thief and a gambler that's for sure but he was not wicked and his gift was definitely the real thing. But it was true to say he did not share the belief of men that they could dominate anything from the fairy world - especially something as malignant as the kelpie. Bridle or no bridle.'' ''Did the kelpie turn on the clan? Did it? Did it?'' ''Haha ach patience, patience Puckie, give me a chance,'' she smiled as the wee boy held his head in mock shame at the half hearted row that had just been given him. ''Barrac had seldom seen such a beautiful strong horse; grazing by the riverside was a huge black stallion which seemed as tame and harmless as a new born lamb. He sneaked out unnoticed from his hiding place in the bushes and slipped on the bridle. The horse reared up and let out an almighty roar the like of which Barrac had never before heard from a horse's mouth but it did not bolt. No, he allowed Barrac to mount unhindered and together they galloped towards the scarlet hued horizon, both with eyes bulging and watering in the wind. The first of the misfortunes to visit were the thunder and lightning storms which raged every night for a month and with such a violence that grown men hid under the bed with their wives and children. These were no ordinary storms, it was supernaturally sinister the way they came only after nightfall and with howling winds that some said were the wail of the banshee. Barrac could be seen wondering the hillsides, braving the lightning bolts with his arms outstretched like a great oak tree, vainly cursing the unrelenting violent tempest. The clan was visibly shaken by their ordeal, they went about their daytime chores with bent heads, no children were seen to be at play, talk of witchcraft was rife and fear gripped each and every soul. When at last it ended there was no triumphant merry-making because the crops lay ruined in the fields; either flattened by the great winds or rotting under murky floodwaters. That year would see no harvest. Then came the visits from the murderous hairy man. No one caught a clear look at him because he always came at night under the eerie cover of hill mists but he was said to resemble a muscular ape whose knuckles trailed the ground. At first he slaughtered only the penned sheep and cattle but soon turned his attention to the killing of men. Amongst the victims was Hercul, Barrac's blacksmith, general and best pal who was found with a broken neck - testimony to the iron grip of the ape-man because Hercul was the clan's strongest man, famous as he was for the knack of the one-handed caber toss. Barrac, distraught at the loss of his friend cried for the first time since he was a bairn. Distraught yes, but he became inconsolable when the next disaster struck. He had hesitated when his eldest son asked to borrow the kelpie for a hunting expedition he had planned with his friends but with the realisation that he was no longer a boy, Barrac relented. A decision that he would regret until his dying day. Shamus, his son, rode at the helm of the hunting party at a furious gallop, the kelpie, as I mentioned before, having the strength and stamina of ten horses. Barrac had grinned when they disappeared over the hill whooping with uncontrollable glee. But there was no smiling when the kelpie returned that night - rider less and alone. Sadly the forthcoming frantic search revealed the broken bodies of the young men and their steeds at the bottom of a sheer cliff. A great sadness overcame the clan as the enormity of their recent misfortunes hit home. So it was with some excitement, however cautious, they greeted the travelling minstrels who had appeared within their midst, greedy as they were for some light relief. Not least provided by the star of the show who was a handsome young troubadour called Blondel, whose romantic ballads were the talk of the land. In accordance with good manners and etiquette he presented himself to the clan quean who succumbed to his flattery and good looks and instantly fell in love. So when the band left the next day their number was increased by the sum of one! All this Barrac told me when he came to the water's edge, a broken man, pleading for my help and between sobs throwing great handfuls of coins into the river. Of course I felt sorry for the man, he was, after all, an old friend but what could I do? I was bound to the river, unlike the kelpies, I could never leave. But I knew somebody who could! So I journeyed up the Black Spout to visit Puddlefoot, armed with two bags each of coins, gemstones and shiny fresh water pearls. Puddlefoot was a rogue but like Doch there was no evil in him, some even said he was loveable but I could never see it myself. I found him sitting outside his cave at the bottom of the waterfall busy with a rock cracking open snails, popping them into his slobbering, greedy mouth and throwing the shells at an unfortunate figure who was swinging by his heels over the deep pool, bound and gagged. 'Who's that? I asked. 'A poet,' he answered staring at me with his one remaining eye. 'Let him go, this instant!' 'Wait, I'll just check,' and he loosened the gag. 'Oh wondrous falls, how can your beauty compare, rollrock highroad roaring down, when at first I beheld your........' 'Hah, he`s no finished yet, whit are ye frowning at Mahashee its no you that has to put up wi this drivel every day ah .......OK, OK,' he cut the poet loose, who swam to the pool`s edge and scrambled up the bank, still muttering. 'I've come about Barrac.' I said to him as he filled a pipe with some green weed. 'Ah guessed that as much, Barrac is a fool! He`s brought aw this on himsel. Only a weak- minded idiot would try tae harness the power o the kelpie, specially thon huge black one whose drowned so many ye would need a Chinese bead machine tae count them aw.' 'So it's not all just bad luck?' 'Nope,' he said, blowing smoke rings, 'the kelpie will destroy him. The thunder storms were its work, they say when they dive back intae the water their tail gies aff a thunderclap, they have long been associated wi storms. The hairy ape man is the kelpie, they are shape-shifters. As soon as Shamus mounted the beast he never stood a chance. As fur the disappearance o his wife, ah dinnae ken but who am ah tae ken the whims an fancies o chiefs an their wayward queans, hahaha.' 'So what's to be done?' 'No much, it canny be killed, there's only one way tae control it and that canny be done at the hand o any man.' 'Why?' 'Heeheehee. Cos it has tae be fitted wi a horseshoe made oota dwarf's gold and, as ye ken fine, if any man touches dwarf gold it turns intae withered leaves. Hahahaha.' His insane cackling soon came to an end when I threw the bags of treasure at his feet.'' ''What about Doch gran? What about Doch? Everything Barrac boasted to him about, he lost.'' ''You're a clever wee soul,'' his grannie said, smiling and ruffling his hair, ''maybe he should have been more sparing with the loud mouth bragging eh? Doch was innocent, he only wanted to save his own skin and you can't blame him for that now Puckie, can you? Duncan of Bold Mountain was so bad tempered it was said that he hated everybody - including himself. But Puddlefoot knew fine what mellowed the crabbit faced dwarf and he was carrying three bags of it. So it was with some confidence he entered into the mountain's mines in search of an accomplice. He was not about to be disappointed Duncan inspected the bags of treasure and uttered a grudging grunt of approval, which is really about all anyone could expect from a sourpuss tightwad that hardly ever ventured into the daylight lest his constant digging for gold be interrupted. But for gemstones, coins and pearls he agreed to don the garb of a travelling blacksmith and enter the realm of men, for whom he reluctantly harboured a sliver of respect - because they were nearly as greedy as he was! Hercul's murder was in a way fortunate for the clan because had he been alive no services of a travelling dwarf blacksmith would have been entertained, as it was they were pleased to see him and Barrac ordered that he be bestowed the finest roasts and whisky. Which of course Duncan gobbled down with the voracious appetite of a dwarf. The last horse to be attended was the huge black stallion which Duncan knew to be the kelpie so he slipped out the gold horseshoe from his tunic. When the last spike hit home the kelpie turned round with such a murderous look in its eye that even the dwarf paled but it was too late Bursting into flames the kelpie began to shrink and shrink until when about the size of two inches Duncan seized it with his tongs and threw it into the furnace, where it was to remain captive forever in the realm of flame." The old woman smirked as she saw that her grandson had written the name MAHASHEE in the coal dust on the hearth. The wee boy stared into the fire, open mouthed as he noticed for the first time the fairies taking turns jumping from coal to coal on the back of a fiery horse.    
Archived comments for The wee boy, his gran and the coal fire fairies
Michel on 2005-05-30 10:19:12
Re: The wee boy his gran and the coal fire fairies
Brilliant. Riveting.

Author's Reply:

littleredsteve on 2005-05-30 13:00:47
Re: The wee boy his gran and the coal fire fairies
Excellent stuff, mr Z... A great fairy tale...

Thanx

steve

Author's Reply:

AnthonyEvans on 2005-05-30 23:20:04
Re: The wee boy his gran and the coal fire fairies
a very good read, z, thoroughly enjoyed this. much different from your skool piece (which i also liked). small things department: grannies should be granny's ; who's (biceps) should be whose ; through (it into the furnace) should be threw. best wishes, anthony.

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2005-05-31 10:42:32
Re: The wee boy his gran and the coal fire fairies
Nice to see you again, man.

And what a difference in style here! Must go back and see what else you've been up to (still catching up). G

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2005-06-01 13:08:43
Re: The wee boy his gran and the coal fire fairies
Brilliant! Loved it. It's so different to what you normally write. The pace is fast moving and it wraps up well.

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2005-06-01 14:45:22
Re: The wee boy his gran and the coal fire fairies
thanx for fav thingy...Z

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2005-06-01 14:47:03
Re: The wee boy his gran and the coal fire fairies
who`d have thought...."a great fairy tale"..about me!!!..cheers stevie boy..Z

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2005-06-01 14:48:46
Re: The wee boy his gran and the coal fire fairies
aye yer a canny eyed loon...thanx ...put them right...couldny find 'grannies' but then who can?..Z

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2005-06-01 14:52:13
Re: The wee boy his gran and the coal fire fairies
naw the style is the same....its the content that differs my good man....hope you`re feeling better griffy...cheers Z

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2005-06-01 15:00:20
Re: The wee boy his gran and the coal fire fairies
well thankyou young lady...glad you enjoyed......Z

Author's Reply:

LenchenElf on 2005-06-01 23:51:43
Re: The wee boy, his gran and the coal fire fairies
Riveting, enchanting, loved it, thanks for this magical tale.
all the best
LE

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-06-02 11:26:14
Re: The wee boy, his gran and the coal fire fairies
I am so pleased this received the nib. I found it a wonderful imaginative tale and so well written.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2005-06-02 14:00:23
Re: The wee boy, his gran and the coal fire fairies
thanx dargo and elf for taking the time to read and comment....aw you sweet things you....Z

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 2005-06-03 13:30:07
Re: The wee boy his gran and the coal fire fairies
'grannies' is in the second line, you also have 'wifes' instead of 'wives' in paragraph ten

😉

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 2005-06-03 13:31:49
Re: The wee boy, his gran and the coal fire fairies
Terrific story, held my interest to the end. Great stuff Charlie

~A~

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2005-06-04 12:30:56
Re: The wee boy, his gran and the coal fire fairies
cheers ails......thought i might submit this for 'the book of hopes and dreams' or whatever its called...whatja think??..deadline is at the end of the month...soon Zx

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 2005-06-04 13:26:58
Re: The wee boy, his gran and the coal fire fairies
I had a feeling you'd written it for Dee's anth. I think it would be great so yeah, submit it. Catch up with you soon... xx

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-06-05 16:00:03
Re: The wee boy, his gran and the coal fire fairies
Really different and refreshing - truly a tale that's suitable for all age groups, and that's certainly not easy to achieve. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-06-06 01:02:24
Re: The wee boy, his gran and the coal fire fairies
What a wonderfully woven and well-written story. It put me in mind of one of my favourite books: 'Young Art and Old Hector' by Neil M Gunn.

Cheers

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:


SKOOL (posted on: 11-04-05)
SKOOL

Come with me, if you will, on a wee journey back in time, a time which although not so very long ago seems somehow to ring bells both distant and near. Maybe not for everyone concerned but unfortunately for me events from this period are so indelibly seared into my psyche that sometimes it becomes disturbing. A heavy cross to bear perhaps but one, it may be argued, that qualifies me as just the chap to churn out an accurate version of the story. I take that back, there is no story as such; no plot, no climax, no happy or sad ending and definitely no prententious poetic structure in which to lose one's self in foolish romantic delusion. No, this is merely a projection of selected events which have potential to stimulate certain sleuth qualities within the more curious and observant. You are about to enter a strange and vicious world, a world in which you are unwelcome, scorned and potentially endangered. For obvious reasons it will serve you well to stay close and silent for this is an environment where predators, perverts, and depraved criminals roam free, 'oh my God where are we going? Sodom? Belsen? Hollywood?' I hear you cry with fearful anticipation but please do not throw caution to the wind, feel no safer when I inform you that our destination lies within the confines of an established bastion of education - the Presbyterian Scottish High School. All the incidents you are about to witness take place over a time period of a single day during the seventies, the day before the school burned down to a blackened husk. That's me sitting in the back row next to the strange looking boy who's wanking furiously under his desk. His name is Ross, more commonly referred to, even by some teachers, as 'the Toss'. Note his perfected masturbation technique, this is a well practised art, there's not many who can abuse themselves to climax without attracting the teacher's unwanted attention, in fact he's probably the only one, although I have heard it's easier for girls. His target is blissfully unaware of her ordeal, see how she ignores the sniggering as she sallies up to deliver the class reading with globules of semen glistening across the back of her skirt. Judging by the quantity and texture of the spunk this must be the Toss's first wank of the day and, as always, his aim is true. Rhona McDonald, the wee lassie sporting the fish-nets is silent for a reason; she's upset at the waste of cum. That test tube she's checking out is only half full and she's got a bet on with her pal. The terrifying sadistic thug lurking at the far end of this corridor is Magwah, this is his favourite haunt whilst procuring dinner money from unfortunate, lesser mortals; the nearby cloakroom providing an excellent venue for the administration of punishment beatings and other more exotic forms of torture. The onslaught of which is imminent as he alternately fingers the knuckle-dusters and plastic bag in his long black coat pocket. Black of course being the preferred dress code of the criminally insane, just look on the extra decoration of dried chicken-shit as being a farm boy's idiosyncratic peculiarity. He is indeed a unique individual, uniquely grotesque; bullet-like shaved head, thick rubber lips, non-existent neck, Indian ink swastika tattoos and of course his steel-nosed boots which curl up at the toes revealing many sparkling rows of tackets. A much hated and feared figure who has few friends but even less enemies - even the 'clockwork orange boys' give him a wide berth. So Rastus, the small darker coloured Indonesian may well deserve your sympathy as he inadvertently wanders along within striking distance, wondering innocently what he's going to have for his dinner. A futile pre-occupation as he's about to take the place of the blue-faced first year hanging up on the cloakroom peg, penniless, with stinking fish-guts seeping into his eyes. Onward now to premises officially designated as being out of bounds for lowly pupils, the janitor's pantry or as most would have it - Gorgeous George's Gin and Strip Joint. George the Jannie has unquestionably the ugliest face ever bestowed on a living thing. Even bottom feeders do not look out at you with piggy eyes deep-set in a mass of pocked, red raw flesh with warts and coarse black hairs sprouting through like a poisoned plantation. His breath smells like he's been chewing dead moths [which he probably has]. But please express no heart-felt concern for such a seemingly cruel affliction, this man is no anguished Merrick, no, he is an insatiable, disgusting paedophile, who, when the job affirmation came through the post, walked around in a state of full arousal for two whole days. His usual agenda for coping a feel requires adherence to the helpful, friendly, father figure masquerade, where a comforting shoulder embrace can so easily slip down to arse grope without attracting too much belligerent complaint. This field play strategy, however, requires great care, only the smaller children are targeted and never in the presence of potential witnesses, nevertheless due to the overt nature of the operation, the practice is not without risk. Not today though, today he's due a cookie visit from his little niece whom he has been grooming for many years. That strange noise is actually coming from the swine smacking his lips, unable as he is to contain his excitement over; opening his first bottle of gin, the prospect of getting his mitts inside a kiddie's knickers and the heavenly taste of his sister's home baking. Hark... is it? Yes, quickly this way towards the unmistakeable baying [''fight! fight!''] that inevitably heralds the beginning of a playground brawl. This one appears to typify a common cause of violent conflict, a revenge attack for the bullying of a younger sibling and is following a familiar pattern. We've missed the start but judging by the wrestling like combat positions the opportunity of the perfect opening gambit - the boot in the baws - has been missed. These modern day gladiators are quite evenly matched so they will roll around, each jabbing the other with the odd punch but hostilities probably will not end until one has the other in sufficient hair grip so that the head can be held down where it can be kicked as hard and as often as is necessary, this is known as 'gettin yer heed kicked in.' This may take some time so upwards to the science room store where one of the school's more ..erm.. colourful ..aye colourful students, the Ghost, is getting unwisely intoxicated by sniffing the fumes from an ancient glass bottle of ether. What he's unaware of is that ether fumes are heavier than air and so wafts of it are escaping under the door and are about to stimulate Charity Case's nasal receptors and earn him another six of the belt, or as Charity Case calls it -the equaliser. The belt being a heavy leather split tongued punisher which is brought down on the victim's hands, preferably with maximum pain inducing force. The Ghost has already been caught smoking and pinging bras so this latest heinous crime will notch up his tally to eighteen for the day. Not bad, even for the Ghost who holds the school record at thirty something. What is such a dangerous chemical doing stored up in a school science room? I hear you enquire, good question and one to which I have no answer but I would like to draw your attention to the six inch blocks of potassium floating in that jar, do you know what happens when one of those are thrown into a duck pond? Erm, not that I, of course, could possibly know of the consequences first hand, one can but speculate, you understand. Ah, 'Egor's Lair,' or as the door tag suggests 'the music room.' It's not Mr. Egdon`s fault he resembles a deformed gothic monster, it's not even his fault that his name naturally lends itself to ridicule but what is unforgivable, absolutely unforgivable, is that he has this hideous preference for Holst's 'The Planets' over the heavenly symphonies composed by the genius that is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Worse, deep breaths, he also harbours an unhealthy enthusiasm for 'Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.' Forgive me, my knowledge of Holst`s 'masterpiece' is somewhat limited, I think this might be 'Mars,' whatever the piece I am confident that the composer's intended purpose of solicited emotional enjoyment did not include the systematic removal of the listener's clothes. The fact of which Egor has obviously abandoned to oblivion, these garments are being discarded in nice time to each and every cymbal crash, revealing an ape like hair covering reminiscent of a chimpanzee suffering from alopecia. Not that what he's about to cover it up with is in any way more pleasing on the eye, haha, this is his personal dreamcoat you might say, crocheted, of course, by his own fair hand. Which is now busying itself placing the stylus onto the grooves of the Lloyd-Weber/Rice 'musical extravaganza,' the dubious artistic merits of which are about to be translated, by none other than Egor himself, through the medium of dance. He crouches down harnessing the energy of the coiled spring, his face assumes the grim intensity of a murderous dwarf and, yes, he's off. Off leaping and spinning round the [thankfully] empty classroom, swishing the dreamcoat in enthusiastic swoops like a manic, psychedelic vampire, lost in music and indeed in the head. Breathe more easily, our time is nearly up here but no excursion could be possibly considered complete without paying the obligatory call on the headmaster's office [although after this reveal, many of you can be forgiven to retain the right to disagree]. Letric Eric is unfortunately not wired up right! Haha, a matter of opinion it could be argued as he does rely on an elaborate system of wiring designed to bring about the maximum masochistic pleasures. The peg board he's pulling down from the wall has a slightly larger hole fashioned to accommodate his personal peg an activity in which he regularly indulges - with gusto and relish. No your eyes are not deceiving you, he is indeed attaching crocodile grips to each testicle, his Jap's eye is being stretched to the limit to accommodate an electric bulb, he is cranking the handle of a powerful dynamo, his secretary is whacking his lit up peg with a steel ruler and……oh no! sorry we have to go now and I will be forced to leave the conclusion of the fading scenario to your own fertile imaginations. The official reason given as to the cause of the fire was an exploding boiler but if somebody had decided to put a torch to the midden you would be hard pushed to find anyone who would look upon the arsonist with furrowed brow. Indeed there are many who would advocate that such an act would be deserving of a hearty round of applause.    
Archived comments for SKOOL
Rivington on 2005-04-13 19:50:48
Re: SKOOL
It's one of those pieces which leaves me wanting to say I din't enjoy it at all. But I did. Surreal and gruesome but giving the impression of reality. And here's me thinking the Scottish education system was pretty good!
Rob Crompton

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2005-04-14 09:57:26
Re: SKOOL
Glad you enjoyed. To me fiction has to be rooted in reality no matter how surreal. Unless you want to scribe fairytales of course. Cheers Rob Crompton.

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2005-04-15 00:55:18
Re: SKOOL
Wow, this is fucked up! I don't mean the way you've wrote it. Well you had me hooked, I did squirm and feel disgusted at some parts. And I was rather annoyed that it ended actually. It is gross but it's certainly a damn good read. I suppose a school like that should be burned!

I'm still laughing at the bit about 'the Toss'... gawd can that be done unnoticed?

Thoroughly enjoyed the read, tis very canny indeed.

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2005-04-15 12:13:14
Re: SKOOL
Cheers Claire.... one cold winter`s gloomy morning in 1974 scuffing along to start my milk round I was warmed in mind, body and soul by the heavenly glow of a burning school.....how lucky was that???..*G*

Author's Reply:

Squeaky on 2005-04-30 12:21:33
Re: SKOOL
Skinner i think you're a mad genius, how could this grotesque masterpiece be so criminally overlooked?

I too was intrigued at Ross the Toss could disguise his wanking? Surely his deskmate would complain?

Remember 'Play for Today'... well this would be a belter for that format.

You can gather i enjoyed this rather a lot.

Squeaky

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2005-04-30 12:49:55
Re: SKOOL
Haha yeah but not if his deskmate was pissing himself laughing,,,ah "play for today"..them were the days....you`ld have to find some open-minded actors I would imagine....ahhh wot ahm I on about? they`ll do ANYTHING for a buck... yep that`s spelt with a b.....Z

Author's Reply:


PATRAS-BRINDISI and back again (posted on: 10-12-04)
A trick of the light?

The man in the uniform taps the wee lassie's shoulder and pulls her dangling legs onto the dubious safety of the rolling deck. He motions to her the mime of someone sliding through the railings and ending up overboard. She mouths her apology in Italian but the wind carries off the sound because a storm is brewing up nicely and it's time to take refuge in the bar. Which is, of course, where Gilles has been hanging out since we embarked. I can hear him before I can see him or at least I think I can, logically working on the assumption that he's bound to be the loudest customer. But no, not this time, he's not even here. What trick of the light is this? His slot has been occupied by one of the most distasteful creatures drawing breath on the planet - the badly drunk Australian. In fact two, arguing furiously about whose 'bark' it is next, there's only them in the round, so how hard can it be? Hard enough it would seem. An old guy is making his way pushing a zimmer frame. 'WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU SAYING ABOUT IT GRANDAD,' goes the arse with the face. An act which makes my blood boil and want to hold the ignorant bastard's head under a smelly, poisonous cesspit. Although this form of retribution is obviously impossible, taking into consideration our location, I find myself wondering how many blows with my cosh it would take to make blood seep from his ears and ease him from the burden of memory. Judging by the outraged expressions and buzz from the rest of the patrons I don't think there would be a stampede trying to stop me doing it either. The only thing that saves him is that the crippled old man seems also to be tone deaf, because he shuffles along totally unfazed. Not that there is forgiveness in the air, merely a reprieve. I decide to seek out Gilles. Duty free shops must have some kind of powerful Johnny Ringo magnet installed universally because every time I get anywhere near one I get sucked in like a spare cock at a blow job convention. Vodka, mmmm yeah it's been a while, blue label? of course, a litre? naturally, why thank you young lady, what's that? tomato juice? a bag of ice? well now you're just spoiling me, sounds like the business, cheers and bless you my child. Miracle upon miracle, Gilles is chatting to a woman who isn't actually a prostitute. Wow this is a first and I'm wishing that I'd come prepared, camera `n all, it's just a pity she's so butt ugly, no that's cruel, her face is ....er....lived in... aye that's it...I'm sure her mother loves her! They are jabbering away in French so I leave them to it and go in search of solitude or at least some bastard I can understand. But not even a seventh son of a seventh son could have foreseen that that would turn out to be a guy with a tattooed face. I've seen similar swirling designs in films before but never in the flesh and must admit it's a little disconcerting. Christ it's not as if you can avoid staring or anything - it's the guy's face. The unholiest best of it being that he's no desperate escapee from Devil's Island or Maori warrior - no, he hails from Scunthorpe! A fact of which I am constantly reminded because he celebrates every vodka toast with the cry of ''Scunthorpe,'' but no way it's rubbing off on me, so I find myself replying ''the regiment,'' like some kind of pucker lipped Sandhurst twat. ''So what's up in Italy mate, just travelling round?'' ''Nah man, business, haha the jewel business you might say.'' His cautionary look round is straight out of James Bond but I suppose if you're a gem smuggler you can't be too careful. He unfolds a piece of linen to reveal the most colourful, sparkling array of small precious stones I have ever witnessed; sapphires, rubies, emeralds, diamonds, all types. ''Wow dude, you weren't fucking joking were you!'' ''Nope, d'ya want in? Treble your money man, no problem.'' ''Treble! I'm your man.'' I hand over some bills, fill a pentop with jewels, seal it off with chewing gum and shove it up my arse. That's the way it goes sometimes, a chance encounter with a man sporting a scary design for a face one minute and a gem smuggler the next. C'est la vie. Nobody had to spell it out, make a film, or stand on a fucking soap box to let me know that it was Gilles and his newly found acquaintance that were banging the arse off each other in the bogs. Haha the teenagers are finding it hilarious of course but spouting off a wee bit too enthusiastically, so before too much attention is attracted I burst through the throng and batter my fist on the shaky door. THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN SPEAKING CAN I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE!....YOU HAVE BEEN FUCKING FOR AT LEAST FORTY MINUTES...GIVE IT A HOLIDAY AND MAYBE EVERYONE ELSE CAN ENJOY THEIRS Scunthorpe is making strange, snake-like hissing noises through his teeth, the kids are hooting, I'm trying to keep a straight face [or voice rather] when the captain appears on the scene. He's the spit of a Long John Silver / Captain Birdseye hybrid or rather what you would imagine one to be. Nevertheless this barrel chested old salt is real enough and judging by the expression and scarlet hue of his face his foul temper also appears to be a tangible commodity. So Gilles' timing when bursting out the cubicle with clenched fists might just well be considered disastrous or at the very least ill-advised, especially when his partner in crime seems to be experiencing difficulties in re-arranging her under garments, a situation which does not go unnoticed under Long John Birdseye's furious gaze. A press gang materialises and our unfortunate amigos are whisked off while Scunthorpe and your humble narrator chase after the teenagers and make good a safe [?] distance between ourselves and the zone of unfortunate circumstance. Thing is with a ship though is that you can hide but you can't run. So we adhere to sea-bound outlaw tradition and hide in one of the lifeboats. Scunthorpe pulls out a wee metal hash pipe and his attempts to light it provide a weird, slightly disturbing spectacle as his distorted features shine across like an Egyptian Pharo burial mask. And of course that strange snake hissing laugh of his does nothing to diminish the scary, claustrophobic effect so I peer out from under the tarpaulin in order to scan for Long John's henchmen and escape the annoying premonition of dreadful doom. Wise move perhaps but unnecessary, the heaving deck holds only a lone figure who is struggling, hunched up and bent down as he is against the driving wind and rain but as he gets closer it's becoming obvious that he cuts a familiar figure - the arrogant, drunk bastard from the bar. ''That's that Aussie I met in the bar, it was him that was shouting at the crippled, deaf bloke, haha, take a look at the bastard, he's got spew all down his front, what a nick to get yourself in.'' ''Let's get `im!'' Wary of the consequences I am about to answer in the negative but Scunthorpe is a man with a mission, so I just shrug and together we leap out, envelope the tarp round arse-face and start spinning him around singing, ''what shall we do with the drunken sailor.'' Which is fine, no big deal, just a bit of a laugh, until Scunthorpe starts to lose it - frothing at the mouth he proceeds to lay into the howling, heaving mass of canvas with a thick piece of broken oar. He's swinging it like fucking Babe Ruth, producing cries from his hapless victim that suggest the onslaught of serious injury. Fuck this, time to disappear but next minute I feel the sharp pain of my arm being twisted into a half-nelson and my feet lifting off the deck, I'm conscious of the fact that I'm about to be clapped in irons but at least I'm not sharing Scunthorpe's awful fate of being knocked senseless in a flurry of fists and baton blows. Gilles is silently sitting next to me exuding a Zen-like aura of calmness. There's just the two of us and although not chained up in the engine room we are under close guard in an otherwise empty snack bar. Close guard! haha that's a laugh, our jailers are just ordinary sailors who have obviously been chosen for the security task because of their sizeable bulk. Much to the delight of his mate one of them is forcing out smelly, squeaky farts. ''I'll name that tune in three,'' I offer but this is recipricated with blankety blank, hardly surprising but I realise it's going to be a long haul, what with the Dahla Llama resigned to his fate at one side and Beavis and fucking Butthead sniggering at each other through the retch-inducing foul air on the other. I'd watch the TV but it's showing a subtitled version of 'Ben Hur.' No luck seems definately to be the dish of the day. Maybe Gilles is in love. He always treats woman with gentlemanly courtesy, even whores, every brothel I've ever been in with him he's the height of popularity but of course that could just be that he's got a big cock. Haha or a small one. I remember a certain lady of the night telling me one time that she liked well-hung customers at the start of her shift but when it got towards crashing out time she would hope for 'cherubs' as she put it. But no, I suspect strongly that he's one of the last of the 'knights of chivalry' left amongst us. A vicious machete scar across his chest may well be testimony towards that assumption. It happened in the Sudan while he was travelling with two locals who were drinking wood spirit, they gave a lift to a simple woman who was on her way to market. He defended her with his life as they turned nasty and attempted to rape her. Although seriously wounded and left for dead in the roadside dirt he was lucky, a lorry driver stopped and took him to hospital where they patched him up and hoped for the best. It's easy to imagine what that was like, I myself ended up with a longish bout in Hania hospital suffering with hepatitis after cutting my foot on a broken beer bottle, no picnic that. No, no picnic being broke [minimum medication] suffering from a serious illness in a foreign hospital. It's not just that you realise that there`s a good chance you're going to die a lonely death far from home - the boredom has you crawling up the walls! There were times during bouts of high fever when I would leave my body, look down at the stricken, hollow-eyed, yellow-skinned victim below and was loathe to return. But us gun fighters reincarnate are made of sterner stuff, I grab Gilles in a headlock and give his skull a friendly knuckle rub. He grins but remains silent, must be love! The ship docks and the situation degenerates as the two burly Greeks are replaced by Italian police, serious looking bastards who treat us with a degree of disdain that would suggest they're dealing with [heaven forbid] career criminals! I'm up first for the strip search and interrogation malarky in the adjoining room. The only question they keep banging on about is the whereabouts of my Italian money because all the notes I possess are hard dollar currency. Just as well I've got the gems safely lodged up my arse because when they eventually hand back my billfold its about half its original bulk. Snort, snort fucking pigs. The bastian of inner peace that is Gilles goes through the rigmarole without a word passing through his normally over-animated mush. Both our passports get decorated with a bright red 'refused entry stamp.' Unfair or what? At least it's not the jail - where Scunthorpe is doubtless nursing his wounds awaiting trial for; smuggling, drug possession and attemted murder. The only thing we have to put up with is the twisted cop who relishes in the disgusting habit of staring at us while pacing up and down pulling on his dick but there's nothing we can do, he's left with us until the return journey gets under way. I ask Gilles if he's OK but he just looks at me with misty eyes and softly declares, ''she was beautiful.'' Beauty, all the clued up beholders and their eyes have definately left the building. The jolt of the ship leaving its berth snaps me out of the semi-conscious limbo I've fallen into. We are free. There's a grinning attendant behind the snack bar and the cop has gone. Time for a meal and a much needed alcoholic beverage, we both wolf down our bolognese like famine victims and decide to take in some fresh air. After all its always good to see what you missed. FUCK YOU YOU PRICK PULLING PERVERTS WE HAVE DANGEROUS FRIENDS THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE US WE'LL BE ARMED YOU BETTER RUN YOU THIEVING SHOWER OF SCUM WE'LL WEAR YOUR SCALPS WITH PRIDE YOU HEAR .... I know he is there but even that doesn't prepare me for the sight that confronts when I turn from the railings. Surely no human being can look as angry as this! And what about the huge outstretched gnarled hands. Does he want to confiscate the wine bottles or crush our testicles in a Titan-like grip?
Archived comments for PATRAS-BRINDISI and back again
ruadh on 2004-12-10 05:04:32
Re: PATROS-BRINDISI and back again
The Skinner trademark is stamped all over this, rebellious to the end... *smile*

love ails

Author's Reply:

flash on 2004-12-10 09:37:18
Re: PATROS-BRINDISI and back again
Excellent stuff,loved every word of it.

You're a talented chap Skinner.


xxxxxxx
Flashypants

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-12-13 09:18:30
Re: PATROS-BRINDISI and back again
wots all this ' SKINNER' ah`ve no been cried that since skool...anyway its MR Skinner to yoose......soon to appear on 'unlikely stories' and 'litvision'...aha the e-zine ye cannae wack it...well ye can but no too much eh?..."see if ye can find mah glasses fur me Jean"

Author's Reply:

littleredsteve on 2004-12-21 17:39:45
Re: PATROS-BRINDISI and back again
Mr Z....

every now and then you slip in a line which kills me. "Miracle upon miracle, Gilles is chatting to a woman who isn't actually a prostitute"

I lay on the floor and howled.

I still am.

Wicked.

steve

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-12-22 09:29:54
Re: PATROS-BRINDISI and back again
aye well ye ken the crack stevie boy ye dinnae get any-place wi the burds if ye cannae crack the one-liners!!!....have a good one pal..cheers Z

Author's Reply:

spacegirl on 2005-02-18 05:37:50
Re: PATRAS-BRINDISI and back again
charles my man

you are a true comic genius 🙂

"Does he want to confiscate the wine bottles or crush our testicles in a Titan-like grip?"

best end I've read for ages (not wot ur thinking)


Author's Reply:

KevTheRev on 2005-02-24 02:25:27
Re: PATRAS-BRINDISI and back again
I have been saved! Fantastic, I can read someone’s story’s that has not been PC’d. Political correctness fucks my happiness!

Irony here, were both Jock’s and both Skinners!

Like the structure and the reality of everyday humor along with language that is relevant rather than, lame, safe, upper class, middle of the road safeness used by many in case other thought they were being crude.

Regards

Kev


Author's Reply:


MRS POSH PUSSY (posted on: 10-09-04)
This is dedicated to a very dear friend of mine who just splashed out a small fortune for a ........well a posh pussy!!

He was right Mrs Posh Pussy was back. There she was pourin oot the lemonades on the wee glass table. Yes! bound to get a bit o arse, fanny and tit show now. Nae doubt about it. The young thing was ok, always good for a look like but you were lucky if she took they wee swimsuit thingies off. Bastard, he'd have tae mind the secateurs next time, they bramble thorns were diggin intae his puss and scratchin the backs o his hands. He teetered on the shoogly ladder. Wow that was a close one, nearly fell there. He ducked down quick style. Christ maybe he`d been caught, they had both looked roond. It was a struggle to hear what they were mumbling aboot, ach cannae make much o it, just that high pitched cackle o hers. He had tae risk another wee peek. Oh glory of glories. The lot. Wait till he telt Sandy this ane.

'What ye on aboot? Ah wisnae bein that greedy. The waiter laddies kept commin roon wi trays o whisky. What wis ah supposed tae dae, refuse?'
'Naw Sandy ah'm no sayin that. But folk were noticing. Ye've gottae watch that mind. Next thing ye no they'll start askin questions aboot who ye are an the like. Take it easy is aw ah'm sayin An another thing ye wernie dressed right.'
'Eh? Ah haud the black tie on.'
'Aye but ye wernie wearin a suit, they expect that fae old yins like us. That's the truth man ah`m telling ye, auld yins wear suits at funerals and ogle the young things at weddins, it's expected.'
'Ach you've been pervin ower that wa o yours again the day, ah can tell. An yer telling me tae watch masel!
'Ye shoulda seen it……..'
'Ah dinnae want tae ken, you`re gonnae end up getting yer arse booted intae the nick, yer name `ll be in the paper, folk`ll point tae ye in the street, hahaha they'll say, ''there`s that auld perv Jack Cummings would ye just take a look at him.'' '
'No they`ll no, an` d`ye ken why?
'Why?'
'Because she kens.'
'Ach, yer baws she kens, if she kent Sergeant Bill Ross `n his boys wid be roond yer hoose like flies roond shite. She kens, haargh haaaargh ah`ve heard it aw noo.'

The place was full of hoity-toity snobs and top brass, which was expected but they had counted on a few more normal folk mingling around. Jack wasn't worried though, he had attended the Colonel's garden for the best part of twenty years so no one was going to chuck him out and if Sandy took it easy he would be just fine as well. The finest spread was on offer; lobster, smoked salmon, caviar, quail's eggs, a spread indeed. None o yer voolybombs or dried oot chicken legs at this bash, thought Jack helping himself to yet another exotic dish, the name of which had managed to escaped him for the moment. Anyway inna country hoose nae uppity steward or jumped up waiter wis gonnae start playin the Hitler bit, naw this wis a bunch o top class caterers wi proper uniforms the lot. The whisky was single malt, the brandy was VSOP five star, aye nae cheap stuff here, he mused, allowing his 'snifter' glass to be replenished yet again. But the bonus o it wis that there wis nae oota control wailin, Christ he couldnae stand that. Of course it usually came wi the territory when ye were a professional mourner like but naw this time, this was the blue blood brigade where stiff upper lips were definitely the order o the day, an anybody seen greetin at a colonel's funeral wis likely tae be taken outside an shot.

'Mr Cummings is it not? Mr Jack Cummings.'
'Aye, it is that, the very man,' replies Jack burling round to meet his inquisitor.
Jack had had a few embarrassing moments in his day. After all he hadn't always been a thick skinned, devious, old bastard. But nothing compared to this. He was caught off guard. No way could he bear to look her in the eye, so he tried to focus on something over her shoulder at the far end of the room. Bad mistake, all he could see was Sandy Bisset`s face glowing not with embarrassment but gleeful, triumphant expectation. His full attention had been captivated; there wasn't enough free meals and drink on the planet to make Sandy miss this. Jack was sure he could actually see the swine rubbing his hands together like some kind of grotesque Fagan. He quickly diverted his eyes towards the Indian rug.
'At last, it's so superb to actually meet you in the flesh, put a face to the name so to speak. We are, near neighbours you and I Mr Cummings, you occupy that small cottage and holding that borders on my property do you not? I am Mrs. Caruthers-Brown of 'the Poplars.'
'Eh, ay…aye th tha that's m me right enough,' Jack stammered at the rug.
'You have been highly recommended to me, by none other than our dear departed friend, Colonel Lamb, such a dear, a better gardener is not to be found in the shire he assured me, the good Lord rest his soul. I of course do not take such recommendations lightly, a man such as the esteemed Colonel is highly unlikely to bandy around falsehoods. I take it I find you well'.
'A ay aye, fi figh fightin fit me maam.'
'Excellent, glad to here, I realise this is hardly the place or time to discuss business but I find myself all at sea as far as my grounds are concerned, my usual man has taken ill you understand. I was wondering if you could provide your services until such time as he can return. I will of course make it well worth your while.'
Jack fiddled with his tie but his nervousness began to wain, an offer of work at 'the Polars' was not to be sniffed at. He decided to risk lifting his eyes from the decorated elephant. Still, he half expected her gaze to bore into him like the glare of a steely- eyed assassin. Although mistaken he felt no relief- no one had ever looked at him like that before. Never!

'Well worth ma while, thats whit she said tae me Sandy, ah swear it.'
'Aye, so, she's no short o a few bob is she? An if yer fillin in fur somebody, helpin her oot an that, she`s bound tae pay top wack, stands tae reason.'
'Naw man, listen, it wisnae money she wis on aboot.'
'Whit then? Fags n booze?'
'Naw ye dafty, it wis a bit o the other.'
'Haarghhaarghaaargh, christ man yer losin yer marbles, how auld r ye? A bit o the other fur a wee bit gardnin, ooooh hooo, who dae ye think ye r like Lady Chaterbox's Lover? Haarghhaaargh naw sorry, Lady Posh Pussy's Lover, the lithe, handsome, irresistible young blade. Jesus, dae yersel a favour an dinnae say fuck aw tae any other buddy, ye`ll get laughed aff the domino team ye sap.

Jack had never turned in for work like this before. Anybody would have thought he was presenting 'The Beechgrove Garden.' It was a boiling hot morning and his new shirt was making him sweaty and uncomfortable. Not that he was about to take it off and work in his semmit. No, not him, he just carried on hoeing away getting more and more bad tempered. Then he saw a black cat under the azalea bush. It had just defecated and was covering it up with a flurry of dry soil. The durty wee bastart, thought Jack, if I get close enough tae it wi this hoe ittle be the last time it shites in this border. The cat finished, turned round, looked at him, arched its hairy back and spat.
'I see you two have become acquainted,' said Mrs Carruthers-Brown from the lawn and made a screech that Jack took a wild guess at being a laugh. 'He's being a naughty boy aren`t you Lucifer dahrling I`ve been searching for you all morning, time for brunch.' The cat seemed to understand the significance of 'brunch' [which was a damn-site more than Jack] and ran up to her allowing itself to be lifted up and carressed in her arms. 'I suspect you thought he was a Persian didn`t you? Most people make that mistake but he's not, this is a long-haired Abyssinian quite a different breed altogether.'
'Aye well ye can count me in that lot,' answered Jack,'had me fooled althegether, so it did.'
One thing that definately didn't throw him into confusion was what was inside that light summer dress as she sallied up to the house with the cat slung over her shoulder glowering at him.

Jack hated cats with a vengence, not just because they made him sneeze and shat in gardens, no there was a far more pressing reason for his deep resentment. His nickname in the army had been - 'Pussy.' Not through any physical resemblence to the feline genus but because of a certain lack of tenacity during times of strife. Whether this was [as Jack would have it] imagined or not without foundation was beside the point. The name, as they tend to do, had stuck. Of course that was a long time ago and he had moved around a lot since then so no one knew or remembered - except Jack.

This is a peesapiss, yon other bloke couldnae hae been away that long ago, there`s no that much wrang wi the place, course he'd hae tae keep busy like, oh aye cannae ruin a guid hing, besides a braw impression is gained through hard graft haha so long as the back is seen tae be bent. So Lambchop had recommended im eh? The auld bastard maybe haudnae been that bad after aw, mind you he'd been mair generous deed than alive, that wis some do that funeral, christ aye just braw that yin, whit a spread, the best o whisky an.....

'I wondered if you would care for a refreshment Mr Cummings?'

Jack stood up and instantly thought he was seeing things, too much sun or something. But no there she was naked as the day she was born holding a tray with a glass of fizzy refreshing looking beer on it. He focused on the beer for what seemed to him an age, then moved his gaze up to the most spectacular tits he`d ever seen this side of forty, when he at last elevated his vision up to her face she was looking at him the same way as she had done at the funeral. Undoubtably there was a grey, short hair lurking below the tray but whether it was a Persian or Abyssinian would remain a mystery because he was off over the wall scratching his face and hands on the unkempt brambles.
A strange noise filled the air and to any one listening it might of sounded like the eccentric laugh of a mature lady of substance or even, less romantically, that of a poor pussy which had unfortunately just been snared in a trap.







Archived comments for MRS POSH PUSSY
thehaven on 2004-09-11 02:08:36
Re: MRS POSH PUSSY
I'd have read this if I could have a transalator for the first few paras. but I gave up after 1.

How would an editor react?Dread to think.

Mike

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-09-11 06:16:39
Re: MRS POSH PUSSY
oh as I`ve said before there are plenty Scots tongue published stories....Jimmy Kelman`s booker prize winner 'how late it was' springs to mind but I understand that [some] English folk cannae hack it!..Z

Author's Reply:

spacegirl on 2004-09-12 14:49:31
Re: MRS POSH PUSSY
I think I'm offended 🙂 Tho I think I'd like to be the mad lady of the manor with white persian cats with little bits of red!! My posh puss has bits of burgundy and black mascara where Isabelle has painted him.

It did make me laugh, he's a bit of a wimp tho. All that leering and no action!!!

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-09-13 06:31:38
Re: MRS POSH PUSSY
yes well spacey there`s no accounting for taste..........leering & no action...wow ...really?... are they no aw like that?....wouldnae ken masel like....Zx

Author's Reply:

royrodel on 2004-10-09 05:11:29
Re: MRS POSH PUSSY
Diz this no jist happen in every boolin' club o'er the land.

RODEL

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-10-09 05:23:42
Re: MRS POSH PUSSY
haha aye ...keep yer eye on the cat eh???? and watch oot fur the roll !!

Author's Reply:

royrodel on 2004-10-11 00:44:57
Re: MRS POSH PUSSY
okay,
gimme , gimme.

Author's Reply:


THE SALT FACTORY (posted on: 13-08-04)
THIRSTY WORK THIS

Toying with a Greek salad and sipping iced Mataxa Cola at midday under the shade of the bus station's veranda is not only pleasant but an absolute necessity. I need time to think. Not that any flashes of genius, insights, logical solutions, idle fancies or whims are shooting through my near-dormant brain. No, I am lazily watching the hustle and bustle of arriving and departing passengers, killing time before my siesta, nearly dozing off when an over excited driver comes running up the steps shouting and gesticulating like all these fat sweaty fucks tend to do when something excessively mundane upsets them. I'm a wee bit annoyed at the intrusion but curious as to the nature of the impending cataclysm that seems to be lurking in the shadows of some dark domain, ready to strike and lay waste the world and all who live on her. I ask the Greek guy sitting opposite [ I'd been speaking to him in English about football -naturally] he looks up from his magazine and shakes his head.... 'oh' he says, 'someone's fallen asleep on the bus and he can't wake him up.' He smiles as I softly chuckle to myself. But suddenly it occurs to me. It might be Gilles. Not impossible, the bastard always falls asleep on the bus. I sit up straight, drain my brandy and try to initiate a degree of sensory perception which will enable me to assess the situation to an acceptable degree of satisfaction. I smooth the creases in my sky blue summer suit, put on my ray-bans, pull down the rim of my panama and walk into the fierce glare of both sun and trouble. The driver [ filling a bucket of water] has commandeered two baggage slaves from the station who are engaged in the task of ejecting the offender from the bus. This operation naturally involves overenthusiastic manhandling and an unceremonious dumping onto the concrete platform. I stop in my tracks. Although he is face down and therefore impossible to identify, this guy is wearing a Hawaiian shirt, beach shorts, brand new basketball sneakers and his short fashionable hair is plastered back on his head with gel. Definitely not Gilles then. Definitely no....fuck these tattooed forearms are....Indian princess..GILLES. I grab the drivers arm as he prepares to administer a soaking. WHAT`S THE MEANING OF THIS..I roar at him. DO YOU KNOW WHO THIS MAN IS? He is stunned and I can smell the fear off the dumb bastard. THIS IS THE FRENCH AMBASSODER`S NEPHEW YOU ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE MY MAN 'Eeerrrrr he is errr....drunken', he offers with hesitation. NONSENSE HE IS STRICKEN WITH A RARE TROPICAL DISEASE WHICH CAN RENDER THE SUFFERER WITH BOUTS OF EXTREME FATIGUE....DRUNK?..THIS IS AN OUTRAGEOUS ACCUSATION AND I snatch the bucket from his hand, stick my shiny soft leather shoe under Gilles' armpit and flip him onto his back IF ANY CUNT`S GONNA WAKE HIM UP IT'S GONNA BE ME...[SPLASH!].... Oh ya beauty.....He's not drunk now. I easily avoid the haymaker Gilles throws at me. Get that hay on the cart, aye right- not this time pal. Haha the driver's not so lucky, he walks right into the next one, but he takes it well, the fat bastard just takes a stagger back, bellows like a grizzly, then lunges foreword and grabs Gilles in a bear-hug. I whip out my newly acquired leather cosh and whack him on the base of the skull. Game over. 'GILLES GILLES ITS ME MAN JOHNNY...LETS GET THE FUCK OUTA HERE,' I shout grabbing his Hawaiian shirt and marching towards the cab rank.. 'TAXI TAXI... . Thank you my man, we have been assaulted, could you please take us to safety I will of course make it well worth your while,' I say, pulling out a newspaper stuffed wallet. And that's all it takes. We jump in, the guy turns up his cassette, puts his foot down and screeches out the concourse narrowly avoiding the approaching police car which has all lights flashing and sirens blaring. 'Shut that gob for fuck sake, you look like a hypnotised guppy.' 'But the suit.....hat....is it really you Johnny?' 'Ha ha you can talk, looks like I've just risked my life rescuing an extra outa fucking 'Point Break.' He`s not alone in the budding cinematic prospect stakes, the taxi driver seems to think he's in with a chance as a stunt-driver in the next blockbuster; screeching round corners and singing along with the music like a fucking lunatic. He's great.     'Hey, Steve McQueen want a ciggy?' 'Hah, yeah Steve McQueen, Bullit!, Bullit!' He yells, taking the fag and hammering down the accelerator, no doubt imagining the hilly streets of San Francisco.     'D' ya think its worth telling him we lost the police about a mile back.' Gilles just smiles and shakes his head. 'Nah, me neither.' We travel into the wilderness of the foothills lining the town outskirts, taking a turn-off where the tarmaced road gives way to dirt-track. A small taverna appears on our right but at the speed we are approaching it, it can't possibly be our destination. Wrong. Steve hauls on the handbrake and we skid into the courtyard in a hail of dust and fleeing chickens. 'You will be safe here,' he informs us sporting a sly grin. 'I am Kourgos, the black wasp, sit here friends,' he says pulling out a couple of chairs from under an outside table and heading towards the kitchen. 'My wife will bring some food' he informs us wiggling his fingers on top of his head, 'harrgh harr tastes like chicken.' 'I've heard that one before,' I say to Gilles. 'Me too.' 'Frogs legs?' 'Haha yeah, a good French dish.' 'Sewer rat?' 'Sure, a Calcutta delicacy.' 'Rattlesnake?' 'A Texan delight.' 'Hedgehog?' 'Uh.' 'What? you've never experienced the culinary thrill of baked hedgehog? a regular treat incumbent within the diet of any self respecting Scottish gypsy. You haven't lived mate!.... Lets just hope she brings out some rabbit!' I can see that its raki, a lableless bottle always rings the chimes. This stuff is lethal, fucking bastard fucking lethal. Oh yes believe me when I tell ........you. Ahaaa. 'PEARL`S A HINGOOT ..SHE SUCKS COCKS UP OUR CLOSE JUST FOR TEN PENCE.......AFTER MIDNIGHT....YOU`RE MA BEST PAL YOU FRENCH CUNT.. I AM GONNA PULL THAT FUCKING BEARD RIGHT OFF YOUR FUCKING FACE YOU BASTARD BELIEVE MEEEE.....AH`LL TAKE ON ANY FUCKER..AH`LL TAKE YOU AND YER PAL AND YER PAL'S PAL PAL...STALIN WAS FUCK ALL COMPARED WI ME ...A MASS MURDERER?..FUCKING BOLLOCKS ..HE WAS A GEORGIAN PUSSY...HERE ME A FUCKING PUSSY...........FU..UH..K ..' 'Johnny, Johnny, wake up, wake up my friend we have to go to work.' 'Uuh..work, WORK, what are you rambling on about you insane fuck? That raki's destroyed any brains you had left. Jesus look at my suit, ruined, fucking ruined, looks like I've been rolling around in goat-shit.' 'YOU HAVE, you have, merde, you call me insane!....it's you, you have escaped from the crazy-jail! I am sure of it. Put these dungarees on we have to work, Kourgos is waiting.' I throw away the destroyed suit, squeeze into the work clothes and we depart the farm outhouse to meet up with Kourgos who is standing beside a pick-up filling a gun-belt with cartridges like a Leone bandit. He sees me and a broad grin splits his darkly handsome features, there's something different about him, he looks bigger but I realise that this is only because I feel smaller. As they say 'everything is relative.' 'Brothers, brothers, today you will thirst,' says Kourgos like some kind of biblical prophet. 'Follow, follow me.' So we traipse after him like a couple of lost souls about to be cleansed. He disappears into the shadows of an open-door barn beckoning us within. Waves of paranoia are nearly drowning me, it's as if I know that somehow this is a grave error and that we should get out while we still can. But raki hangovers have a knack of playing tricks on your mind, I had a mate once who used to hallucinate about being chased by creatures resembling monkeys with bat's heads. Not that I'm much better off, I'm sure I'll see them soon enough. The monstrosity is hard to realise, comprehend, behold, or even fucking see in this dark domain. It's huge and strange like one of these wacky cartoons you used to get in Monty Python's. Consisting mainly of a twelve foot diameter metal cylinder which stretches the length of the barn it starts to rotate with a deafening grind when the mad Greek pulls the switch but that's not all, next minute he lights a gas jet flame which shoots through the whole shebang like a demon farting over hot coals. Definitely a crazy, hellish machine but somehow fascinating. We must both look gob-smacked because Kourgos is beside himself with vicious glee. 'IT MAKES SALT,' he howls at us over the horrendous din. So it does. After showing us the operational procedure Kourgos leaves us with a bottle of home-made wine each and a huge flagon of water. I'm at one end loading up a hopper with rock salt using one of these long handled shovels that you only ever see when you're abroad. Gilles is at the other filling bags full of the stuff you put on your chips. That's it. It's a simple system which works like clockwork as long as there's a steady constant flow and that obviously depends on whose feeding the thing, which of course is me. Haha naturally I soon get bored and break sweat frantically lashing rocks into the hopper `till its full to the gunnels. That should get him going. But when I hear the Arabic curses I realise that I might have overstepped the mark a wee bit. I grip the shovel tightly, just in time because a drunk white bearded Yeti appears through the salt cloud, its black eyes staring wildly, fists clenched and a terrible growling noise coming out from what looks like a hole in its head. I spring into action keeping it at bay with the long shaft like a gladiator fighting a lion but no snarling beasts from the ancient arenas were anywhere near as dangerous as this wild animal. 'Gilles c'mon man,' poke, 'it was only a joke,' poke, 'calm down,' poke, 'you can have my wine,' poke, 'I'm gonna get mad in a minute' poke, 'fuck sake chill man,'poke. This is getting me nowhere but I know although he's got a short fuse it doesn't tend to last too long, so I take a chance, throw down the weapon and hold my arms outstretched. He stops dead, the growling stops but he's still staring at me with darkness in his eyes, I burst out laughing and I can see the beginning of a smile cracking the white mask. Soon we`re both howling, drinking, smoking and slapping but when we go back to work the parting grip on my shoulder digs in like a steel claw. Towards the end of the day I'm digging into the rock salt pile with the kind of aggressive hatred usually set aside for objects of an animate nature but it's it that tells me to fuck off. I wipe the stinging sweat out my eyes as best I can in order to take a clearer look because I realise that I just might be suffering from an over active imagination, but no sure enough there they are; two fingers sticking out the top of the salt hill. I pull at one of the digits and uncover a severed human hand, or rather half of one - no thumb but four fingers and a hunk of palm. Gilles is as shocked as me when I show it to him and we both decide its time to pull the pin. I switch the machine off and we wait for Kourgos. When he arrives its easy to see where he gets his nickname from - he's got his shirt off revealing a torso which is covered with black bristling hair. He inspects the piled up bags of table salt and grins, 'good, good work my friends, why so glum?' I show him the hand. He takes it from me pulls out a knife, slices off a finger to free the gold ring, holds it up to the sunlight, bites it and deposits it into his boot. He throws the two pieces of flesh to the starving, tethered guard-dog, which nearly chokes trying to swallow them whole! 'Don't worry friends, a machine at the quarry,' he says making a slicing motion across his hand, come, now we eat,' and he pulls out a bag of what looks like sparrows from the pick-up. The ice-cold beer cuts through the debris in my gullet like steel going through cobwebs. I've never been so thirsty. Kourgos brings the food that he`d shot that day. The wee sparrows are all roasted dark brown and there's a slab of dark red fillet of meat. Gilles is whisking up his beard and making enthusiastic smacking noises in anticipation of the feast. I keep forgetting he's French. Not that much different from quails I don't suppose and the toffs go mad for them. They are actually very tasty I could get used to them. Its only when I try the fillet that the nausea overwhelms me. How many things can taste like chicken? Gilles slashes the tyres of the pick-up and taxi good style with his switch-blade. I start a little smouldering fire in the barn corner, switch on the gas jet and close the barn door tight. Gilles cuts the silent guard dog loose but it doesn't move, I just shrug but when we make our way down through the olive grove`s darkness, it follows on behind. The explosion rocks the very ground beneath our feet, the nerve-shot dog lets out a demented howl, we both take a wee stagger. But neither of us makes the foolish and fatal mistake of looking back.
Archived comments for THE SALT FACTORY
e-griff on 2004-08-14 04:44:11
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
well I for one read this and appreciated the writing. Have you thought of having less outrageous characters and plots, and sustaining them for longer? You are a good, expressive writer, but I think maybe some people are put off from commenting etc because of the nature of the content, which is pretty bleak, negative and mindless... (forgive me 🙂 ) there is some humour to compensate, but not enough, IMO to balance it fully.

Cheeky of me, I know.... G

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-08-14 05:04:14
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
no not cheeky at all TRUE........I get loads of reads [sortof] but hardly anybody says anything...probably because most of what they`re are reading is BLEAK, NEGATIVE AND MINDLESS...but thats the way life can be....oh of course most of the situations are exaggerated but believe me this factory and Kourgos are very REAL INDEED....thanx for commenting griffy...soonZ

Author's Reply:

flash on 2004-08-14 05:14:13
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
First this was the strangest poem i have ever read?

Anyway i didn't know WTF was going on in this and had to keep back tracking to see what i'd missed.

Sorry but i was confused at the end...i must be retarded like you say.

Despite all of this the characters and the setting...which i found compelling. you've write with a lot of flair...but sometimes you hit and other times you miss.

I wonder what the judge(Laura) thought when she saw this?

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-08-14 05:22:39
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
HAHA.....yeah I think I made a wee mistake when posting....definately not a poem then eh.....have you never heard about Lots wife....when despite dire warnings looked back on Sodom..[or was it Gemmorrah...okay u try and spell it!!...] and was turned into a pillar a salt.........Laura can be pretty bleak herself sometimes....anyway she put 'eye of horus' on her showcase so I doubt if she would be too shocked or anything.....and laughed! cheersZ

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 2004-08-14 10:45:44
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
Love the bit where Gilles gets woken up ... you sadistic person you! lol. Sorry about the comp though. You can change the 'poetry' by editing in your account page btw.

love ails

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-08-14 12:45:23
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
ah bless ya ails......at least the Sunday Post didnae reject it anyway..haha mind you they most definately would have done...a sure fire cert...soon hunZx

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-08-14 13:18:04
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
*FIRST PRIZE FOR POETRY* in my notebook of SALTY RHYMES! - *GOLD RIBBON FOR POTENT AND MISERYIOUS!* as haggis - and *BLUE MEDAL FOR WILD BEASTIE OF THE TAM!* which is in Loch Ness.

Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2004-08-14 13:59:45
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
Blimey! what a lot o' stuff!

Listen, you burk. You write real well. You choose outrageous subjects, way out - to some, offensive (nay moi!) . Maybe you do this so you DON't win! (Hmmm!... psychological amateur)

Be brave, be conservative (small 'c' , OK?). get yo' finger out and do something 'conventional'

C'mon! Let's SEE what you're made of on a level playing field. Time to come out of the closet, my counterfeit Glaswegian friend.........

🙂 Hee-hee! G

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 2004-08-14 16:20:51
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
you're never going to let me forget that are you? lol

xxx



Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-08-14 16:32:52
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
NOPE

Author's Reply:

laura_h on 2004-08-15 06:58:05
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
Did you enter this for the comp Charlie? From what Flash said, thought you had. Never recieved it if you did. Enjoyed reading it today though. Your right. Appeals to the sick bastard within me.

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-08-15 09:00:02
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
aye ah did......ruadh paid the entry fee with a check because i havn`t got a bank a/c but I definately posted it and sent the check explaining the situation....must have been too complicated a deal ..I`m gonna tell ruadh though she sould get her money back eh......see ya ...cheers [ya sick bastard..*G* ] ..charlie

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-08-15 09:12:55
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
A fair amount of reads....a few comments....no rating.....?
Dargo

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-08-15 09:27:08
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
Zen, I love the novel idea of putting the title of you latest piece in CAPITAL letters....it really attracts one to the piece.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 2004-08-15 09:28:18
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
Cheque cashed on 16th July. I'm not worried about the money, they can use it for your membership fee instead. Tough luck about the comp though.

~A~

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-08-15 09:34:54
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
Zen, in the interest of hygene....I found no reference of your hero cleaning his teeth or changing into his pyjamas before the dream sequence. In the interest of future generations..... these point should be added to your piece.

If the reader of these comments saw the disgusting messages I have received from this very low life man....they may understand why I no longer want to stay on this site.
DARGO

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-08-15 10:05:58
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
Dargo, you are you.

Everyone respects you.

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-08-15 10:08:11
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
As a pensioner I never ever envisaged being called a c..t, w....r, f..k and a myriad of other expletives. If you choose to share a site with this kind of language, I can only respect your decision and move to a site that has a modicum of decency.
Dargo

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-08-15 10:12:07
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
write a poem about it!

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-08-15 10:13:55
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
PM's are this mans secret weapons....he threatens....curses.....and makes lives a misery.
I believe he has set my work back years and he is happy for it. I believe I will never write another word. I am destroyed.

Dargo

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-08-15 10:22:52
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
He calls everyone that, Dargo.

He called my giraffe all those words
last week (I had a giraffe on my personal
page) but the giraffe took no notice at
all.

You are very respected, and I can't
say I am but and I won't be
driven off by anyone's language, for one!

I'm staying RIGHT HERE and having my
cup of tea!!! and Marmaduke fisticuffs
to anyone who tries to stop me!

Author's Reply:

dargo77 on 2004-08-15 10:25:58
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
PM's are this mans secret weapons....he threatens....curses.....and makes lives a misery.
I believe he has set my work back years and he is happy for it. I believe I will never write another word. I am destroyed.

Dargo

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2004-08-15 22:53:56
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
Hi Zen

Enjoyed the vernacular and your style here.

Regards
Kat

Author's Reply:

spacegirl on 2004-08-16 04:44:09
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
I reckon just as when you pick up a Grisham novel you know it's about the law, courts and solicitors, when you read a Zen classic it's about drunkenness, sex and violence.

Charles, my good man, where's me poem about love?

Author's Reply:

spacegirl on 2004-08-16 08:52:09
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
Something's going on with the comments again.

Anyway, read Grisham and know it's about the legal system, read Chekov and you know it's about life, social commentary and the quest for knowledge, read Zen and you know it's about sex and violence.

Except his love poems, which I'm told are truly magnificent 🙂

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-08-16 16:20:42
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
not that I'm one to beat my own meat...errr SORRY DRUM but my last love sonnets were so well received down at WRI I had to keep them at bay with a shitty stick...such is the power of the written word...yours..the modern bard zen ...thank you and good night ladies

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-08-19 08:44:35
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
I liked the style and expressive nature...but feel that it is stretched way too much for any practical use...I can see occasional humor to do the balancing act, but that is it..

I enjoyed reading it...would like to read more topical drafts from the author...

Debashish

Author's Reply:

Myriam on 2004-08-29 06:11:18
Re: THE SALT FACTORY
Well I've never read anything like it. This is the first piece of yours that I've had a look at. No doubt you write well. Good use of vocab, vernacular extremely realistic, like descriptions.

Half-way through, thought with your style you might do well doing a film or TV script?

Did get lost in the plot though and am also thick as didn't get the ending!

Author's Reply:


BAD KARMA II (posted on: 16-02-04)
A BASTARD GETS HIS

zenbuddhist


The poachers followed the trail marked at turning points by the advance party. A fitting trail where dead fish indicated the direction. What else? Wilkie was furious with himself. He refused to put them in his bag. They were small ones. He had caught nothing. Fuck all. He couldn't believe it. Imagine, fuck all. Worst of it was he had had the first strike. The first big splash was his. The wrong knot saw to it a splash was all it was.The wrong fucking knot. How many times had he tied that knot in the dark? hundreds? thousands? Okay he had been pished but that was hardly a first on an all night loch poach. The rest had started reeling them in after that. Big ones. The rumours had been true, the loch was stocked with beauties 5, 6Ibs - every one putting up a heroic fight. But the feeding frenzy had been short lived and by the time Wilkie had set up his rod again it was over. Over and out. Wilkie was out. Out of patience. He walked alone across the hills blighting the heads off thistles with his rod as he went. Muttering. It was easy to see that here was a man who had been sent off four times already and with the season only seven games old at that! A feat that would probably cost him the captains armband - the coveted status symbol he had worked so hard to attain. His world was falling apart around him. He had lived for fishing, football and golf most of his life. First he got himself barred from the clubhouse, then the red cards and now this. What had he done to deserve it? What indeed?

Back in the pub his hippy{ish} friend Iain suggested that bad karma had returned to haunt him. That the negative energy created by his previous bad behaviour had not disappeared but had merely holed up in some kind of cosmic bank - which paid out its customers with interest. An explanation dismissed by Wilkie with such a display of contempt that the manager wondered if it had not been a mistake to open his doors early to this hungry, thirsty fishing party. Iain though was unfazed, 'that's exactly what I mean' he said 'you just bumped up your account with a hefty deposit of negative karma there, just now.'
Wilkie calmed down.'But ah dinny believe in any o that shite', he offered in a lowered tone, 'that's OK for a bunch o slopes ringing bells an` chanting 'Hare Krishna' in a goat hide tent in the Himalayas or somethin but no a hairy-arsed tink like maself.'
'That doesn't mean that your immune to the effects,' Iain insisted 'that's like expecting the Devil to hand out exemption certificates to atheists. You, as an adult, are responsible for your actions and these may well have consequences that are beyond your understanding and control. Belief is irrelevant.'

Wilkie left his local early that night. He told himself that it was because he had work in the morning but the truth was that Iain had planted a flea in his ear. A nagging annoying flea that wouldn't go away. If that bad karma crap was true, what next? He shuddered to think. Christ knows he had been responsible for countless sufferings in his life. Too many. Ach he was just being stupid. He'd drunk too much. His thinking head was going into overdrive. Just a load of superstitious fucking nonsense. Typical of that lettuce eating tube. He cheered himself up by booting a curled-up hedgehog into the middle of the road

* Elsie was worried. She had allowed her lover to stay too long. They had had a glorious night of passion. So glorious she had taken the risk of allowing him to stay that little bit longer and then they had fallen asleep. Although he had gone now and Wilkie nearly always stayed in the pub until closing after a nights fishing, she couldn't quite shake the feeling of dread her carelessness had conjured up. What if she'd missed something. She made a mental check - she'd showered, the sheets were in the machine, she'd cleared the ashtrays of roaches, the empty wine bottles were in the bin, she'd hoovered and polished. Yes, she was being silly, everything had been covered. Just relax and light a cigarette. Watch Corrie. And smile. It was hard not to - not after the night she'd had. *

The Witch & Warlock was not one of Wilkies usual haunts, too full of the kind of middle class wankers he despised but none the less lived amongst - ever since his migration to suburbia. Tonight though he decided to grab a final pint and soak in the inane drivel that constantly spewed from the clientele. It would take his mind off things. He wandered in nodding to the lame greetings he received and ordered a beer. Taking up the classic predatory male bar stance he was surprised to notice Skoosh McIntyre sitting on his own reading the football results on the corner stool. He wandered over unseen and slammed the counter next to Skoosh`s bent head 'RIGHT McINTYRE YOU`RE FUCKIN RUMBLED' he shouted at his unsuspecting victim. Wilkie expected a reaction, of course he did but he couldn't have been more triumphant with the result. This was Skoosh McIntyre one of the widest new boys from the team. He was; talented, enthusiastic, two footed, versatile and [most importantly for Wilkie] - fucking well hard. He could also hold more than his own when it came to the sarcastic banter and boisterous camaraderie which was such an intregal part of any football team.
'Whaaaaaaaat wooooow' Skoosh got such a fright he nearly fell off his stool, he spilled his pint and the paper he was so studiously examining was flung into the air. His expression changed from fright and shock into genuine fear . To Wilkie it looked as if he was more than scared, shiting himself in fact.
'Ya beauuuuty, fuck sake Skoosh ahaaaaaaahaaa ya cunt, ah fuckinwellgotcha there, ya fuckin doss cunt' Wilkie was beside himself with delight. Skoosh seeing that it was a 'joke' composed himself said something in the spirit of the occasion and grabbed Wilkie in a pretend head lock. A good recovery but his heart was beating so fast he thought it was going to burst.

After the 'hilarity' the two 'friends' sat down. 'Whit the fuck are ye doing up in this neck o the woods Skoosh? No exactly your style is it? What are ye nippin a wee bird up here or somethin?'
'Naw, naw, ah came up tae score a bit o dope offa guy that lives just roond the corner like, thats why ye gie me such a fright ye big bastard.'
'Hahaha thought ah wiz the polis eh.'
'Aye too fuckin right ah did, ah mean its no as if ah expected tae meet any cunt ah ken in here. Fuckin suburbia city man.'
'Naw ah only live up the road an` ah hardly ever come in, fuckin dump, never any decent crack, boring bastards knowwhatamean.'
' Aye but its fine an` dandy tae catch up wi the fitball after ye`ve been working aw day, nice an` quiet like.' Skoosh gave Wilkie a sidelong glance.
Wilkie chuckled. 'Ach ye`da done the same yirsel, ye know ye wid ya cunt.'
'Too right an` a woulda, too fuckin right, aye it has tae be said, ye caught me a cracker there el capitano, ye did that.'
The brief liason with his teamate had put the spring back into Wilkie`s step. He had stayed till closing time after all, the two of them blethering away about the football like the bosom buddies they weren`t. His previous depressive mood had lifted. He had been maudlin over things for nothing. Karma, what the fuck did he care about karma, things were going to change from now on, he had just had a run of bad luck that was all. He hoped Elsie was still up.

She wasn`t. She was in bed joyfully indulging that blissful limbo that floats between wakefulness and dreamtime sleep. Not for long though. In came the pig of a man she had once loved, or at least liked enough to marry. She tried to recall any contentment or happiness that she had felt then. In vain. It was either too long ago or had never properly existed in the first place. Probably both. Wilkie was enthusiastically recalling his fishing tales. He might as well have saved his lies. Elsie`s indifference, as usual, took on all the features of a brick wall, she just groaned and complained to her husband that she`d taken a sedative and that he could tell her all about it at breakfast time. She smiled to herself as she recognised the disappointment in Wilkies 'mmmmm okay' reply. He got into bed. Despondent but still eager to carry on a conversation or at least a monologue [which his conversations with his wife usually amounted to anyway].
'Caught one o the young lads from the football team a silky one the night' he said, changing his subject matter in the hope of prompting some kind of reaction. Preferably one that would trigger a degree of wakefulness which would allow him to have sex with her. 'Ah wiz a bit surprised that he shat himsel so much though,' he added thoughtfully, 'Skoosh is a right wide boy, then ah found out he wiz carrying, dope like, thought ah wiz the polis, haha, ye shoulda seen his face hahaha'.
Elsies eyes snapped open, her heart missed a beat, 'who did ye say' she asked tentatively.
'Skoosh, Stuart McIntyre, ye ken `im, he was up here at the hogmany party....Whit are ye awake noo?' 'No I`m sleepy and so should you be, now get off,' but Elsie was far from sleepy. Fear had snatched her suddenly away from the sandmans gentle caress. Indeed it would take her a while to drop off into the safety of slumber - where getting caught presented no consequences and physical pain is blissfully illusionary.

***

Auld Doogie had waited a long time for this day of revenge. No not revenge, justice. He would try and not lose any sleep over it whichever way it was wrapped. All that was necessary was for him to recall that ghastly image of his disfigured nephew and all feelings of guilt dissipated immediately. The young man had stood before them, mutilated, shocked and silent. The empty arm socket spewing blood. At first the assembled men had failed to notice. They were engaged in their usual tea hut activities. Then the realisation. Panic spreads. 'The laddies no got an arm'. Doogie`s quick thinking probably saved the boy`s life. He layed him down on the floor, wrapped up as many towels he could and kneeled on the injury partially stemming the blood flow until the arrival of the ambulance.

Wilkie had been busy when his new employee had asked him what he should do. 'Just do what you were doing yesterday' he had replied. So he did. With disastrous results. His caught arm was ripped out like a well done chicken wing.
At first Doogie could see that it was probably a genuine mistake on Wilkies part. Just one of these things. It happens. The laddie should have had more sense than to crawl beneath a moving conveyer belt no matter what he`d been told. Intuition should have alerted him to the danger he was putting himself in. A part of him blamed himself - he should never have got him the job, he never had the savy. But it was what happened afterwards that really made his blood boil and caused him to hate Wilkie with such a vengeance. The boys mother had put in a large compensation claim against the company but when it came to the court case Wilkie had lied through his teeth. He told the tribunal that he had warned the boy not to go near the belts and that he had in fact assigned him another task sweeping up the tar plant floor. This had had the effect of dramatically reducing the sum payed out to the mutilated nephew and not only admonished Wilkie of any blame but elevated his standing with the quarries owners. After all compensation pay outs were an expensive business.

One of the tipper drivers was on holiday. Wilkie as usual had taken the decision not to call in a relief driver. He would take his place himself. Fuck paying an agencies extortionate rates. They were robbing bastards. It would keep his costs down and earn him more points with the bosses. He prided himself on being able to do every job that existed in the quarry. He was an impressive example of what hard work could achieve. Had he Wilkie not risen from a humble crusher operator to manager in six years. Quite a feat. Fucking agencies could go and fuck themselves.
Today though he was feeling out of sorts. The combination of recent events and a stinking hangover had hurled him back into the melancholy state that he had being experiencing the previous day. Well at least that was what he put it down to. But he was aware of something else, something he couldn`t quite pin down. It was a weird feeling and it made him uneasy.
Doogie was employed as a Caterpillar loading shovel driver. This involved feeding the tar plant hoppers with various sizes of limestone from the bings [dunes of stones]. Some of these bings were so huge that the tipper lorries actually reversed on top of them to tip their load. The Cat drivers were cutting into the bings from the bottom so they always had to make sure that they elevated their shovels periodically to bring down any overhang. Doogie had deliberately cut deep into the bottom of the bing but unaccompanied with the necessary safety work with his shovel, it resembled a concave arch. What appeared as the usual solid edge, was in fact a death trap.

Oblivious Wilkie reversed into oblivion. And all the birds sang.

Archived comments for BAD KARMA II


spacegirl on 2004-02-16 11:51:48
Re: BAD KARMA II
Oblivious Wilkie reversed into oblivion. And all the birds sang

I love the last line. Nice to see someone getting a tast of their own. A great story

Author's Reply:

littleredsteve on 2004-02-16 16:16:43
Re: BAD KARMA II
Really enjoyed this piece, K. Thanks.

steve

Author's Reply:

littleredsteve on 2004-02-16 16:22:35
Re: BAD KARMA II
K??!! I meant 'Z', obviously. (I blame the red wine, myself, for the moving keypad)

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-02-17 04:51:00
Re: BAD KARMA II
yeah you`ve gotta watch that stevie boy I dont know how many keyboards I`ve ruined spilling booze on them...hahaha ...occupational hazard I guess...fucking expensive as well....cheersZ

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 2004-02-17 07:05:00
Re: BAD KARMA II
Nice one 🙂

ails

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-02-18 12:48:26
Re: BAD KARMA II
CHEERS Z !!!

and will ye giv mae beast wushes ti thi puir luttle wee hedgehog, and gi' it a drop o warrrm mulk in one o yuir ole sossers











Author's Reply:


Everything In Its Place (posted on: 23-01-04)
Jode sets to work on righting the world`s wrongs

zenbuddhist

At first Jode thinks his eyes are deceiving him. But no. It is definitely up. Sitting upright like a stone dog statue. He wracks his brains. Had there been anybody in the flat recently who could be held responsible? Had they shared something to eat? a Chinese take-away? a fish supper? a home cooked meal? No, he would of remembered. Surely. He panics and frantically zooms round checking if all his moneys and valuables are where they should be. They are. He sits down in a lather of perspiration. Too perplexed to concentrate properly. Time to take stock and reflect on the situation. Light a cigarette. That usually helps. Come on think man, think. Suddenly his brow stretches tight and he slams his fist into a sweaty palm. That was it. Not all burglars were neds who kicked your door in and smashed the locks. No there was a far more sophisticated and dangerous breed doing the rounds these days. That was it. That was what had happened. A professional had let himself in with a set of skeleton keys, done the deed and disappeared into the night without leaving a trace. He grins, satisfied, stands up and clicks the pouring spout on the Saxa salt bottle shut. He stands at the bus stop unable to look away. There isn't much in it he has to admit but it is definitely squint. At first he had thought it was the whole sign that was askew. But no. It was only the last letter. How could that happen with a neon sign? Not that he knows much about these things but he presumes it should be a fixed unit. Obviously not. He takes it on himself to investigate further. Jode is no expert of course but it doesn't take him long to identify the problem. As he suspected the word 'take away' is written in a handwriting fashion with a continuous bulb containing the charged-up gas neon. The problem is, he successfully diagnoses, that one of the bolts on the grid of the letter y has come loose so the whole feature is under tremendous pressure with the bulb taking the strain without support. He notices that the bolt is still in place, just loose, so the whole shebang can be easily rectified. However, he reckons there is no time to lose. He enters the shop. The two Turkish guys are cousins and although the shop is empty they are both busy. Busy doing what kebab house guys are always doing - arranging salad, roasting meat, sweating, shouting and sharpening vicious looking weaponry. Jode - do you know about the sign? Fat Turk - huh? Jode- do you know about the sign? Fat Turk - Whatja wan mister? Jode - I'm here to tell you about the sign. Fat Turk [confused] - wanna kebab? pizza? what? Jode - no, I just came in to tell you about the sign. Thin Turk - [in Turkish] He`s a nut he`s asking us if we've seen a sign. Fat Turk- [Turkish again] Fucking Christians and they`ve got the fucking cheek to call us crazy. If he doesn`t fuck off I`m gonna chop into his head with this [picks up one of the largest knifes]. Thin Turk - better go mister, he`s a psycho! Jode- [confused] but if it's not fixed, if the sign isn't seen to, that'll be the end. No more light! Fat Turk- [shouting and waving knife] NO MORE HEAD MISTER NO MORE FUCKING HEAD [makes to lift up counter-flap]. Jode exits the shop [quickly]. He knows that he is close to success. Problem is, is that he can only work with one hand. He needs the other to hold on. If only the chain wasn`t wrapped round so tight [must have been big boys] and being suspended upside down presented difficulties he`d failed to foresee - disorientation taking first place. He sticks his finger into one of the chain links reckoning this will be the most effective strategy. A loud shriek pierces the air causing Jode to panic, he loses his grip and falls ten feet to the ground, lands on his back and leaves the tip of his finger up above plugging the rusty gap. First Old Lady- eeeeeeh! sorry, sorry love, we came round the corner... you just gave me such a fright ....I never expec....I mean....thought you were trying to hang yourself or... something... are you OK? Jode- uuuuurgh Second Old Lady- he was, I bet he was, he`s a suicide, that's for sure, look he`s wearing a tweed tie, that`s how brother Hugh done it, remember, tied one end round his neck, the other round the pavilion banister and jumped..... never even broke his neck...throttled himself good and proper... face all blue and that obscenity bulging out his trouser front... disgrace. Jode- aaaaaargh. First Old Lady- oh but I think I disturbed him.... he`s bleeding... its my fault. Second Old Lady- nonsense, you disturbed him all right but the only thing you`re guilty of is saving his life.....and his family from years of anger, misguided grief and SHAME. Jode- eeehhaaeeeeeehargh Second Old Lady- c`mon Agnes just leave him...don`t think he`ll be trying that again for a while.. he`ll think twice.. serves him right... he`s lucky.. no one had the grace to disturb brother Hugh....probably Irish. The two old ladies wander through the park, heading down to the canal, continuing their afternoon stroll. Jode, winded, gasps for air wishing that some merciful soul would take this terrible pain away from his hand. The catfish are sharks, at least that`s what the kids are calling them. Understandable. But not correct, although they do sortof give that impression... never mind he sees the direction sign - 'Butterfly & Moth Display This Way.' Jode makes his way through the fake marble `till he reaches his ...well what does he reach? ...dead moths & butterflies. They are perfect, or at least in symmetry, if you could fold one in two ...it would be the perfect match but they are all encased in glass. Jode tries to open one with his blood stained towel. Security Guard- what the fuck d`ya think your on! Jode- they`re beautiful.... perfect symmetry. Security Guard- yeah and they`re gonna stay that way, your dripping blood all over the display case you fool. Jode- sorry. Security Guard - you're in some state lad, think you better get that seen to... don't you? This way, I`ll try and help you out just now, there`s a first aid kit in my office.Jesus Christ man you`ll have to go to a hospital with that, the whole top of your finger is missing.You know you're not right. Jode- what about? Security Guard- well I don't mean just in the head, although God knows, I'm talking about the symmetry you were on about, it doesn`t exist in nature....like if you were to take one half of your face, reverse it and merge the two halves you wouldn`t recognise yourself, you'd look like a freak, mind you in your case! Jode is glad the man from the museum has stopped the flow of blood and has replaced his towel with a fat bandage. His pain is still intense but it's being transcended by an incredible hunger. He realises he hasn't eaten. Not today. Jode notices the small pieces of cork floating in his wine. He complains to the skinny effeminate waiter, who apologises but Jode can detect the insincerity present in his tone. This angers him. He requests to see the manager. And is kept waiting a very long time. At least he thinks it is. Manager- sorry bout that sir I was very busy, how can I help you? I believe your wine was corked. Jode- yes it was but that's understandable...I mean it happens...but I don't expect to be treated discourteously when I complain. Its rude. Waiter- but I apologised that's all! Manager- is this true? Jode- yes but.....but. Manager- look sir we will give you a complementary bottle of wine and I will add my personal apologies to the unfortunate incident will that satisfy you? Jode- OK. But look there`s no salt & pepper on that table over there. Manager- thank you for pointing that out sir. We will rectify that situation immediately. Not for the first time that day Jode can't believe his eyes. But there it is; a juicy plump caterpillar on his lettuce leaf . He bellows out an almighty roar and launches his table skywards with his thick forearms.The burly chef has to lend a hand in the attempt to eject Jode from the premises [the manager and waiters are lightweights] and with his help the mission is accomplished. Sitting opposite him are a mother and her young daughter. Jode looks down and shudders with horror as he notices the girls shoelace is undone, this is not only incorrect but downright dangerous. He informs the mother of the situation and bends down to rectify it. The mother stops him and smiles kindly explaining that the child is perfectly capable of doing it for herself. BUT YOU DONT UNDERSTAND NOBODY UNDERSTANDS THE OTTOMAN ASSASSIN WANTED TO CUT OFF MY HEAD I WAS ONLY TRYING TO HELP I TRIED TO FREE THE CHILDS SWING IN THE PARK AND THE SENIOR CITIZENS AMPUTATED MY FINGER THE MAN IN THE MUSEUM TOLD ME MY FACE WAS DEFORMED I WAS EJECTED FROM THE RESTAURANT FOR COMPLAINING ABOUT THEIR CRUDE ATTEMPTS AT POISONING THE INNOCENT BUT WORST OF ALL THERE WAS SOMEONE IN MY HOUSE THEY CAME IN WITH THE SKELETONS AND LEFT MY SPOUT STICKING UP IN THE AIR. Jode gets up and makes his way to the train exit door. The mother holds her trembling tearful child closer with one hand and starts punching out numbers on her mobile phone with the other. He slumps himself down against the platform wall, hangs his head so that the streaming tears fall easily off his face where they mix with the dripping blood from his leaky bandage, forming little irregular pink pools on the cracked and crumbling concrete.
Archived comments for Everything In Its Place


ruadh on 2004-01-23 02:53:48
Re: Everything In Its Place
Poor Jode! Shouldn't really laugh at the unfortunate but..... Thanks for putting a smile on my face this morning 🙂

ails

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-01-23 06:14:56
Re: Everything In Its Place
Brilliantine!

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-01-24 00:07:58
Re: Everything In Its Place
Sorry for yesterday's too-short comment. I meant, this is cleverly written and structured, funny and original.
THANKS FOR THE A1 MALT UNBLENDED *GOOD READ*... Z....
Michel

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-01-24 05:59:23
Re: Everything In Its Place
you`re welcome

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-01-24 06:00:42
Re: Everything In Its Place
is that what you use to thin paint?......*G*...cheers Z

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-01-24 06:13:03
Re: Everything In Its Place

I don't know - don't you think it sounds like some kind of puir molt whusky?

Author's Reply:

Bee on 2004-01-25 03:37:09
Re: Everything In Its Place
Have you thought about scriptwriting for Rowan Atkinson? Enjoyed this: it sums up a certain kind of man brilliantly - the Aspergers type. Thannks for the laugh.

Author's Reply:

bektron on 2004-02-04 08:54:57
Re: Everything In Its Place
love it!-bek

Author's Reply:

spacegirl on 2004-02-22 10:18:48
Re: Everything In Its Place
Poor Jode

I know the feeling, just keep yer head down & leave everyone to sort out their own problems

Author's Reply:


THAT`S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR (posted on: 12-12-03)
This one`s fur Billy Nae Teeth........even though he did bar me fae his pub [the thievin gypsy b'stard]

zenbuddhist

Ah dinnae like tae see him like this. It's just no like him. Of course ah could gie it aw the 'whit the fuck's up wi ye ye cunt, tell her tae fuck off, when it's over it's over.' After aw it wouldnae be the first time ah`d offered ma expertise in the field o relationship counselling. But ah just cannae bring masel tae speak tae him like that. So ah try a different tact. 'Look Paddy she's lyin tae ye, ye wid think that wi the number o porkies she tells she`d be better at it, she`ll be doon that flat suckin Pakie cock as we speak, nothin surer.' Ah catch the spray on ma new dress jaeket as the dirty bastard splutters intae his pint. 'Whoa hold on man, catch a fuckin grip, they`ll think yer a fuckin sheep shagger if ye keep that up, this is a fuckin cocktail bar ye ken.' Ah look roond tae see if any fanny [or more importantly the bouncers] noticed but ah think we're in the clear. 'She`s been leadin ye by the prick fur ages noo anyways. It's time tae move on. Trust me, ah ken.'
'Pakie cock! Whit the fuck r ye on aboot Pakie cock?' eyes aw stretched oot.
'Dinnae tell me ye didnae ken?' but by the look on his puss ah realise that this might well be a rhetorical question. So ah kinda try tae guide the conversation intae a different vein. 'Check these two sittin doon ower there.' No chance o gettin a reaction though, no from someones back which is fast retreatin towards the exit door. Ah just dinnae ken whit the fuck is goin on wi ma mates these days. They`re aw turnin intae bags o soft shite.

It gets worse. Ah drain both pints an follow him ootside tae be confronted wi a grown man, heed in hands, blubberin like a bairn. Jesus H Fuckin Christ can he no see there`s folk oot on the toon starin at him? Ah spark up a joint. 'Here man take a toke on this, look, ye ken me ah`ll no say fuck all aboot ye greetin or that, but ye've got tae get yer act thegether, fur fuck sake. An dinnae start gein me aw that ah'm goin hame shite, there's fanny galore oot the night.' He looks at me wi red raw eyes, smiles an suddenly bursts oot laughin.
'Yer right China man ah dinnae ken whit's wrong wi me, ah did ken, course ah did, its just..'
'Say no more ma pal, say no more, gies that spliff, the night is yet young, we are gonna score the night, trust me.'

Ah deem that a new venue is required, so we gie that Q-bar shite a body swerve an head up toon tae the more seedy side. Paddy is fine. By that ah mean he`s no greetin or maudlin, quite quiet though but hey there's plenty o time tae get him in the groove. Some young guy wi pinned peepers asks us if we ken anywhere he can score gear. A fuckin community worker telt me one time that ye can always tell junkies because they had such beautiful eyes. Aye right, maybe if yer a sad fuckin bullshit- talkin arse that's got a degree in sociology they have, but no tae me. Ah cannae believe it when Paddy stops tae gie the cunt a fag but ah say fuck all. He's like that Paddy, aywis givin beggars money an buyin the 'Big Issue' so there's nae point in upsettin him. He'll just storm off in a huff and no way am ah stottin aboot on ma own, nothin worse, ye cannae get goin properly, birds think yer a nae-mates dodgy cunt, besides once ye get a good bevy in ye ye dinnae get in anywhere decent. Fuckin bouncers, the bane o ma life, ah mean if ah wis on the door it wouldnae matter tae me if some cunt wore his hair shaved tae the wood, had a good bevy in them an wisnae wearin a pair o hush puppy loafers. There's a new gaff just up the road wi two shaved gorillas posturin ootside, so its bound tae be fu o fanny. Ah look them in the eye an gie it the 'aw right lads,' they just nod an in we go, good investment this new jaekit.

Yes, a result straight away, this firey piece is givin me the eye, so ah'm up dancin wi her leavin Paddy at the bar mutterin aboot 'goin tae a decent pub.' He refuses tae move an her pal starts tae get aw that stroppy way, so ah gie up an go an get another couple o pints.
'C`mon tae fuck Paddy, if ye could see yer own puss the noo, ah swear man ye look like yer wearin one o they 'auld cunt' rubber face masks that ye get. Jesus ye`ve got tae lighten up a bit, nae blut`s goin tae entertain that. Trust me.'

He's lookin at me as if ah'm some kinda fuckin prick or somethin, what is it wi the cunt? After aw ahm only tryin tae help him oot. He shrugs an fucks aff tae the bogs droppin a twenty oot his back pocket on the way. That`ll dae nicely, ah could use that. Any gents up fur mair bevy, no? Oh well all the more fur me then eh, an ah can see a pair o young things lurkin in the posh seats. Fuck ah ken her. That's that total ride Terry fae the college. She smiles ower an gies a wee wave, things are lookin up. Paddy returns and even displays a bit o enthusiasm when ah suggest we go oer an join them.
'Hey China howzit, this is my pal Louise.'
'What's up Terry, an this is my pal Paddy, an ugly pal fur your ugly pal, haha.' The lassie Louise`s puss takes on the guise of havin just bitten intae a sour lemon an Paddy's nervous giggle rings as true as a wooden bell. Thing is her pal is ugly, no a disaster, lets just say on the plain side but she`s chatty enough when she gets goin. It seems tae be infectious because Paddy starts comin oot o his shell a wee bitty an cracks a few one liners which has us aw chucklin. Things are definately lookin up.

So its off tae a club after a few bevies. Ah slip my dope intae Paddy`s pocket when he`s no lookin, just in case we get frisked. He`ll be awright anyway, its aywis me that gets searched - comes wi the territory when ye sport a number two, dress jaeket or no dress jaeket. Ah`ll just hae tae figure oot how tae get it back without him knowin when we get inside.
No need to panic though because we all get in nae bother, the hired thugs are like that wi couples sometimes, so ah just offer tae take Paddy`s jaeket tae the cloakroom while he goes fur a piss. Easy peasy.
It kinda becomes obvious why when we get inside - a fiver entrance fee and its deed. There`s some cheap bevy offers on though, so we take advantage an get wired in.

So we`re aw a bit pissed when we get back tae my flat but definately in festive spirits. Paddy`s like a new man compared wi his early evening performance, in fact he`s gettin it on wi Terry grand style, a wee bitty too grand fur my liking. Looks like ah might have tae settle fur ugly puss McGraw. Still she`s gettin bonnier as the night gets longer. Then Terry gets up tae dance, fuck me she moves like a fuckin pole-dancer. Honest this girl is sex on legs - an no holdin back.

It takes me a wee while tae fish oot the nearly forgotten temazapam script ah`ve got lurkin in the back o a drawer in the kitchen. Yes, two left an they`re twentys, that should dae the trick nicely. Ah deposit them intae Paddy`s beer bottle hopin that they`ll no taste too bad. But no worries, he starts guzzlin away withoot even pullin a face. Ah doth my cap tae masel in congratulations on my unique perceptive intuition and evil genius. An it doesnae take long fur the plan tae kick in. Ah burn a constant trail tae the fridge an stick some hot stuff disco music on the stereo. The girls are up shakin their booties an Paddy slowly slides off the couch into a glorious unconscious slumber. Soon it gets better than my wildest hopes an dreams as they both start strippin off in time tae the hypnotic beat. Bingo.

Ah wake up alone. Mah cock is achin but who's gien a fuck aboot that? Certainly no me! Its no the first time ah`ve had a three in a bed shaggin session but the last one cost me a 1000 guilders! When ah wander through tae the livin room ah can see Paddy tucked up nicely in the spare quilt wi a carton o orange juice next tae him. Ah notice he's got a big plaster on his heed - he`s obviously been the subject of some tender lovin care. There`s a loud wrap on the door. Ah open it and who`s standin there but the half-mad caretaker in his usual filthy anorak. He nods in greeting.
'Party last night son?'
'Aye whits up some complaints aboot the music?' He shakes his stupid heed slowly.
'Nah it's no that son. There was a bit o a mess on the stair that ah had tae clean up. Lets just say some-one didnae make it tae the toilet. Ye ken the score ah`ll need tae charge ye fur it.'
'Ach well ye ken whit its like yersel sometimes it comes flying oot yer mooth before ye can get tae the door. The usual fiver eh?' Same idiotic heed shake.
'Nah,' he says, 'its a wee bitty worse than that.'
'Eh, ah never mind, ma pals never been roond here before he wis probably dyin on a piss an couldnae find the bog, six quid dae ye?'
'It wis blood an a dirty big shite right on the middle o the stair so that`ll be fourteen quid,' he says, poker faced.
'Eh, blood, shite, yer havin me on!' but ah can tell he`s no kiddin so ah just tell him tae hud on an rifle Paddy`s jaeket fur the dosh. Ah hand it over an a big smile comes over his retarded puss. Ah just shake ma heed an close the door. The cunt must have a set rate pinned up in his stinkin pantry.
Spew....£5
Pish.. ...£6
Blood....£6
Shite......£8

Ah put The Fall on the stereo an Paddy stirs awake [as ah knew he would] he rubs his eyes open an stares roond aboot obviously experiencing difficulty in focusing an remembering where the fuck he is. He notices the orange juice an gratefully takes a long pull. Ah start tae laugh. Okay pal some state last night eh?'
'Honest China ah cannae mind hardly fuck all after we got back here.'
'Nae wonder, its been a while since ye`ve been oot eh.' He fingers the plaster on his heed but ah just hold my hand up tae stop him sayin anythin.
'Anyways ah made sure ye were awright.'
'Cheers China yer a real pal.'
'Dinnae mention it mukah, after aw that's what friends are for!'


Archived comments for THAT`S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR


ruadh on 2003-12-17 07:40:22
Re: THAT`S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR
I was tempted to ask if this was autobiographical...but I don't think I really want to know *S* Liked this line; "Still she`s gettin bonnier as the night gets longer." A case of never gone to bed with a dog but woken up with a few...hmm...?

love ails


Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2003-12-17 07:58:31
Re: THAT`S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR
Autobiographical ??... You might think that ..I couldn`t possibly comment ....cheersZx

Author's Reply:

dancing-queen on 2004-01-12 08:04:45
Re: THAT`S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR
LOL - very funny, Z! I had a bit of trouble deciphering what some of the words meant (and still not sure I've understood them all) but I got the gist of it in the end. I'm not too good with the broad Scottish accent and words - LOL (I work for a firm of Scottish lawyers but they don't speak like this...)

Biographical, Z? Surely not!! No, don't answer - DQ 🙂

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-01-12 09:30:05
Re: THAT`S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR
no I dont suppose they do....funny lot them lawyers...in that one it is a wee bitty hard to undertand the dialect ...must admit....but I dont see anything wrong in writing like this... sometimes its the only way to convey the humour content [lets face it it wouldn`t work in a eatoneon [sp] public school privaliged spoilt bastard accent now would it] ..in fact I enjoy it...after all I`m scottish.....I write in english as well though...best of both worlds I suppose......one thing that really gets my back up is that I get accused of copying irvin welsh.....BULLSHIT.....theres been scottish writers writing in dialect for eons....[check out the anthology 'IN YER ANE TONGUE' MIND YOU HE` ONE OF THE FEATURED WRITERS ...ANYWAY HE`S NOT AS GOOD AS ME...close though...*G*.....NEXT ONES IN ENGLISH...BUT i`VE NO FINISHED IT YET in fact I`m just away to do that the noo.....watch this space...cheers Zx

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2004-01-12 10:03:33
Re: THAT`S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR
UN ENGLISH THE NOO!
AR Y SURE YOOR ALL RIGHT LADDIE D'YI NOO WANT A CUP O TAE?

Author's Reply:

dancing-queen on 2004-01-12 10:07:24
Re: THAT`S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR
Yes, you're right - it wouldn't have worked any other way. I struggled with it to begin with but I think the trick was to 'hear' the words in Scottish and not just read them with my English accent. Also, certain words up there obviously have a different meaning to down here - LOL. There was one thing, though - there was no way I was going to be able to give you any proofing help - wouldn't have a clue about typos amongst that lot.

As for those that accuse you of copying Irvin Welsh (to be honest I don't know him) - what - does he have a monopoly on writing in the Scottish dialect? Silly people. Take no notice of them. Do what you enjoy doing. That's what I say.

Shall be interesting to read your next one (in English)...am watching that space, for sure.
DQ 🙂





Author's Reply:

e-griff on 2004-01-12 10:27:22
Re: THAT`S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR
I tell you, Jimmy, I'm nae attendin' the Glesga' meet, havin' seen yon man's photie!

no, good luck to you I don't have a prob with the accent. (I was brought up on 'Oor Wullie' - got the annual every Christmas) G

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-01-13 04:51:27
Re: THAT`S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR
& whats wrong with the image of a handsome celtic warrior pry tell...*G*...aye so did I.... one year it was the broons and the next it was oor willie....ah takes me back......THATS WHEN I USED TO ACTUALLY ENJOY CHRISMAS...CHEERS Z

Author's Reply:

spacegirl on 2004-01-27 08:42:56
Re: THAT`S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR
Why did Billy bar you from his pub, are you responsible for his nae teeth?

I agree with Griff, that photie is frightning. I bet it is autobiographical.

Louise`s puss takes on the guise of havin just bitten intae a sour lemon.

A classic line. I enjoyed the story - a warning about good friends!!!

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-01-27 09:05:03
Re: THAT`S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR
ITS ONLY A STORY

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-01-27 09:07:13
Re: THAT`S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR
BUT THE BASTARDS STILL NO GOT ANY TEETH.....[unlucky ..eh?]....Zx

Author's Reply:


NO NEED (posted on: 24-10-03)
A Short Story

No need. None, it was Sunday morning after all. Last thing he needed was some excited middle-aged hag showing off with her fucking no-mark arse of a toy boy next to him on the bus back seat. If he`d been in a better mood he might of thought it amusing, unusual or even quaint. But not today. The only thing that had saved her from a slap was the fact that she`d moved from sitting opposite him [it was one of these new buses with facing seats] with her arrogant challenging look right in his face. What the fuck's going on? he had thought. There were plenty other empty seats. Why sit there? This was his space. His personal space where he needed to surround himself with menacing contemplation. People usually avoided him at the best of times but when he was in a mood they only needed a glance. But no, not her. Fucking witch. Then it was all the teeheehee's and playful hits. If its hitting they want. Easy tiger. Live and let live, it takes all kinds, if we were all the same, yeah, yeah. His mind wondered off into the only zone that would banish these annoying cunts from his thoughts - the money zone. He hated being skint at the weekend, there had better be some cash in that hole in the wall! Okay he'd squandered a good wad over the past couple of days but no way should he be broke. No way. He must of lost some or been dipped, yeah that was it some sneaky, fucking, light-fingered, wide cunt had dipped his pocket. Aaaaaargh. He looked over at the love birds, nah, surely not, they were nose to nose giving each other little kisses. He pulled out his matches, sparked one, set the box up, tossed it between her legs and sauntered up to the exit door. The driver spun his head round at the screams and reeking cloud of sulphur which engulfed his vehicle.
GONNA OPEN THE FUCKIN DOOR YA BALDY FUCKIN BASTARD IT FUCKIN STINKS IN HERE !
The door hissed open and he jumped out laughing - all the way to the bank.

'Hahaha 'Singed Minge,' that's what ah`ll call it.'
'Yeah ittle be a scorcher, haaarghhahaha. Set the fuckin page on fuckin fire that yin will. You know what they say, always write about the things you know. Says so on ''The Waltons'' John-boy would be proud of ye Zander man. Hahahaha '
This was more like it, his gloom had lifted, the bank that likes to say 'yes' had indeed. It was all a big hoot now. A bit of a yarn to share with his mates over a few pints. Sure he was joking about writing the story but it set him wondering. Could he do it? Reading was no problem, but writing? His English teacher had tried to encourage him to stay on at school, saying that he was wasting himself. His parents were keen. But he was 'Zander,' one of the hardest bastards in his year. Fuck he'd never have lived it down. So he had left with next to no certificates. He hadn`t even taken a trade, no it was straight into the big money for him, a scaffolder, that's where the money was. What was the point in waiting four fucking years before you started earning. School was for poofs and swotty cunts anyway, everyone knew that.

London was where the big money was, so off he went on the Dick Whittington trail, but he hated it. So much so that he only lasted a year but it turned out to be profitable in more ways than one. Money in the bank sure but he also met someone who would change his life. A woman of course, a wee Irish cracker, a student of literature who ensured he returned a reader and an avid one at that. Something that had stayed with him. He would rather read a good novel than watch TV or videos. But writing? He looked at his mates. They were great guys, good friends. But he knew that he would get slagged rotten if he told them he had taken up writing or worse, showed them what he'd written. Fuck that!

So it could only be a passing thought and would have stayed that way if he hadn't met Max the poet. Max was a comic figure on a building site with his long gray ponytail, huge knobbly hands and indeed a poet. Not that he went round quoting sonnets at sweaty backed brickies or anything. No but he was more than willing to oblige anyone with one of his gems on request. He had even been published. It was okay for him he was an eccentric - folk expected him to spout verse or quote druid scripture. That sort of thing. Zander bit the bullet. 'Ah'd like tae try ma hand at writing Max.'
'Why not? Don't be embarrassed. Just be yourself. Choose any subject and write a thousand words exactly. No more, no less. Then show it to me. I'll look forward to reading it. I'm no expert but I'll be glad to offer a humble opinion. For what its worth. Enjoy it. Its fun.'
Zander sat at his little sisters computer. She had been curious about what he was up to but he managed to spin a yarn. No way was he letting on to that little mouth. She was getting to know fuck all. It would be up the street and round the corner like wildfire. Might as well hang out a flag with HEY EVERYBODY SOFT LAD ZANDER`S WRITING A STORY on it. He sat there staring at the little jumping thing on the screen. Fuck this was the hardest thing he`d ever tried. Come on no-one can see. Go for it man. What if its a load of fucking shite? What if Max tells everyone. Ah fuck it, here goes.

No need....

Archived comments for NO NEED
bluepootle on 2003-10-24 03:55:55
Re: NO NEED
I liked this. I was, initially confused about what order things were happening in (when he went to London etc) but when I reached the end and realised the circular nature of the piece I felt that the confusion in time was not a drawback. In fact, I liked it more for not being linear.

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2003-10-24 06:06:04
Re: NO NEED
thanx. its not supposed to be linear but i didn`t forsee it as being a problem its so short...shortest thing i`ve ever written...but i`m a wee bit pissed off it was supposed to be exactly 1000 wds long...but if you could see the thing that passes for a comp. in my flat you wouldn`t be surprised that its got a dodgy word count..*G* ...cheersZ

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 2003-10-25 06:02:10
Re: NO NEED
According to Word it is 1000 words 🙂

ails

Author's Reply:

Sharikov on 2003-12-22 10:54:16
Re: NO NEED
That was good. I enjoyed the part about the bus and 'menacing contemplation.' Public transport does that to some people. I really like your style, really relaxed and expressive. I'll check out some more of your stuff.

Author's Reply:

BBSea on 2003-12-22 11:30:33
Re: NO NEED
I second the 'style, etc.' comment. It deserved higher than a 7 rating.

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2003-12-23 07:39:29
Re: NO NEED
well thank you friends......I wrote this on one sunday morning when I was feeling a bit....a bit....oh I dont know.....angry and spaced....haha ...it happens.....cheersZx

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2003-12-30 12:40:48
Re: NO NEED
hahaha ... well written and lots of wit, zen! (Glad you rescued th' poor laddie before he blew himself up.....)
I thought I commented on this before because it's a fav story but I dinna
so -
'GREAT READ':
1) funny
2) angry
3) spaced
4) punctuated
5) cheers
Michel
(or in translation in case you need:
L? enchantemente of the boy and his site gives an air familiar the decoracion like its environment qu?n can breathe between its walls, concede the visiting refuge and detente.)




Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-01-10 03:45:23
Re: NO NEED
man you have a way with words!!!!!..cheersZ

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2004-06-24 08:17:46
Re: NO NEED
Enjoyed this and not too long for one of us poet types to read...L x

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-06-24 08:22:44
Re: NO NEED
hahaha.....yeah well glad you managed to struggle through..... good on ya gal....*G* Zx

Author's Reply:


Gatsby's Guest (posted on: 20-10-03)
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A story from the rip snorting roaring twenties [well maybe]

The heat shimmer would have been more appropriate distorting the panorama of an arid, cactus strewn, Arizona desert, rather than the bustle of a New York street setting. He took off his glasses, mopped his brow with a sodden silk handkerchief and shifted his uncomfortable position, stuck as he was to the coupe`s leather upholstery. This heat would have been intolerable if he had not been in possession of his treasured hip flask, which he took another long pull on and lit a cigar. Confound that young scamp. Where on earth had he got to? If he had been able to drive, he might have been off. He considered it, after all it couldn’t be that difficult, but he knew he was fooling himself - he didn’t even know what the goddamn pedals were for. Besides he had handed over a not inconsiderable sum of money - which was no doubt being squandered away! That, though, had little consequence as long as the [promised] cufflinks materialised. If only he wasn’t parked up in such a squalid neighbourhood, he thought, as he surveyed the scene before him; two emaciated dogs fighting in the street, two emaciated men fighting in a doorway, ragged children selling everything from overripe fruit to matches and a naked, large breasted Negro woman looking out at him from a third floor window. What? She grinned in triumph with the realisation that she had at last caught his undivided attention and immediately began to fondle her large bosoms seductively. He continued to stare with his large owl-like eyes without any change of facial expression, which was apparently the signal for the next part of the act to commence. She thrust her pelvis forward so that her vagina was now fully displayed against the glass of the window. It was covered with black, fuzzy hair which reached all the way up to her naval. My god, I’ve never seen one like that before, he was musing but remained passive. Which, this time, obviously was not the required reaction. She scowled, turned around, pressed her large sweaty buttocks against the pane, made an obscene gesture with her fingers and pulled the drapes.

‘Where the devil have you been?’he quizzed angrily.
‘The fence was late sorree.’
‘Mmmm? Oh never mind, did you get the links?’ At which point a small leather case was tossed into his lap. He opened it to reveal two unusual, ivory-patterned, gold cufflinks.
‘How much?’
‘Ninety bucks.’
‘I gave you a hundred.’
‘Yeah buta gotcha this,’ and a bottle of brandy was produced. His owl eyes stretched open wider and the extortionate expense of ten dollars paled into insignificance, he needed that bottle.
‘Okay, get me out of here,’ he said beginning to top up his flask. ‘Now!’

He tried not to sway as he made his way through the throng of Robspierre’s Cafe. Which wasn’t easy. Why did this place always have to be so goddamn busy? Difficulties arose here even when he hadn’t been drunk for a week. However, today it suited the purpose of his visit absolutely. His client was sitting in a private booth and was accompanied by another young man whom he had never seen before. Both were casually but expensively attired and deeply engaged in conversation, so much so he had to force a polite cough before they eventually acknowledged his presence.
‘Ah there you are, unfashionably late as ever my friend, haha, please sit down,’ said the client and motioned his hand towards an empty chair. A waitress appeared almost instantaneously, which was totally inexplicable considering the wasp-like activity which hummed throughout the establishment. But there were no complaints from the clientele, who carried on harassing the waitresses, as if wisely ignoring the misdemeanour. They ordered coffee.
‘Please forgive my abruptness, but my friend and I both have pressing engagements and so may I be so rude as to enquire if you were successful in that little matter I asked you to investigate.’
‘That was indeed the reason for my late arrival, please forgive me,’ and he handed the client his newly acquired jewellery case.
‘Not at all, we are all gentlemen of this world and are well aware that these things inevitably take a little time,’ the client replied and opened the case, he said nothing when displaying the contents to his friend. A slight smile flickered across his aquaintenance`s lips and he nodded. The client then slipped it into his inside pocket, passed an envelope over the table, raised his chin and eyes every so slightly towards the head waiter and the coffee arrived.
‘Will you be in attendance at the party this evening?’ inquired the client.
‘Party? What party?’
‘Long Island, are you aware of the location?’
‘Yes, yes indeed but I am unfamiliar with any Long Island resident who is throwing a party. Except of course Gatsby who holds parties there every weekend as far as I can gather. A generous man but a little sinister and shadowy I am led to believe, conflicting rumours are abound that he is some sort of spy, or a war hero, or even a murderer who’s money has saved him from the chair. Anyway, whatever the case I’m afraid an invitation eludes me.’
‘I am Gatsby,’said the client’s friend, speaking for the first time, ‘and you, old sport, are cordially invited to attend my little get together, in fact I would consider myself privileged.’
‘Well put that way......I’m so sorry for my .....’
‘Good, then it’s settled,’ said the client, ‘now if you could excuse us....oh and I hope you acquire little difficulties while attempting to find the festive venue Mr, Mr?
‘They call me ‘the Colonel’ in the cathouse, don’t worry I have a driver for that sort of thing.’
‘Hahaha ‘the Colonel’ it is, till later then.’
‘Indeed, yes later,’ and they all shook hands.

It is certainly a truism that you don’t see many old whores laughing. Sex is only fun for beginners it would seem. Unless of course you happened to own your own shebang, in which case fun is usually the name of the game. Yeah and none were revelling in all the hilarity more than Lilly Longhorn, the cheeriest hostess in all New York City. And why not? she had made it. No, no more tricks for our Lilly, her [dead] sugar daddy had seen to that alrighty. These days it was a privileged man indeed who witnessed them frilly, perfumed panties stretch over chubby knees on their way down to the waxed and polished floor. And none more privileged than ‘the Colonel,’ who was not only up for a few laughs but was invariably merriment’s very lifeblood itself. As in now when careering round the bar on his hands and knees, bellowing like a bull while attempting to rid himself of the burden of a chauffeur come would be rodeo star. The tears were flowing but not yesteryear’s tears of despair, no these joyous drops depicted insurmountable ecstatic mirth. Which was hardly surprising considering the ongoing, boisterous floorshow, provided courtesy of two crazy-cats who seemed to be enjoying themselves every bit as much as the spectators and showing no signs of slowing down. Lilly had seen to that. Her ‘powder drafts,’ with which she had embellished the last round of drinks consisted of pure cocaine hydrochloride - a little perk that tended to manifest when physicians and pharmaceutists could be counted amongst your regular patrons.
‘Ride’em cowboy yeeehaaa, me next, me next,’ enthused one of the cowgirls [all Lillies girls were dressed up wild west fashion] seated at the ‘saloon’ bar. Spurred on, the ‘Colonel’ gave a derisory snort towards his puny tormentor and with a tremendous final buck tossed him unceremoniously through the air and head-first into the unemptied copper spittoon. Well wasn’t that the giddy limit, if any of the aforementioned physicians had been present you felt sure they would have been forced to display concern as to the condition of the gut of one Lilly Longhorn, because anyone’s guess would have been that it was in imminent danger of busting. Oh yes, ‘the Colonel’ was no stranger to shenanigans, if only he could have refrained from frothing at the mouth and letting off rip roaring farts maybe Lilly might have survived the early evening’s entertainment in the same pair of knickers.

This time the wait in the coupe was much more agreeable, devoid as it was of the afternoon’s annoyances and distractions. It was a relaxed affair. If his employee required dancing shoes, then so be it, dancing shoes it was. Who was he to deny a young man the necessary attire required for a high-class society party, especially one thrown by the most celebrated host resident in the East Coast States - Gatsby, the enigmatic entrepreneur. He winced as he recalled his earlier faux pas in Robspierre`s but how was he to have known? At any rate Gatsby appeared totally unfazed by his blunder, even displaying a keenness for him to attend this evening. But why? Curiosity began to bore into his confused mind. He was sure that the man was a stranger to him. Drink had, he realised, dulled his capacity to recall names with any degree of accuracy but faces were stored in his memory like a complex gallery of rogues. Which, in his line of work, could not only be considered advantageous but an absolute pre-requisite if he had any aspirations at all towards survival.
‘Whatja think,’ was the question he was forced to address. Of course ‘the Colonel,’ had no clue as far as the fashion of the day was concerned but he had to admit the bright silk satin shirt, striped suit, soft calf-hide dancing shoes, topped with gaily-ribboned straw boater almost made him look presentable. But he took a less than wild guess that the bulge of the revolver under his left arm might just rub against the grain of acceptable social etiquette, even in these hectic, jazz-fuelled, crazy days.

There was something about automobiles. They were surely the greatest invention ever. The ‘Colonel,’ could never contemplate the horrible scenario of life without one. He had got used to losing other things, trivialities like a home, fame and family but he would sooner be castrated than part with his trusty metallic steed. How could this possibly be compared? There was nothing like the freedom, the rush, even the smell, his driver had become his best friend. His only friend. This realisation brought on another slight wince as the moral fibres of both loss and regret rocked his fragile, damaged, inner-being. Slight only in nature because he knew that he was in no position to harbour such feelings as self pity and remorse. No, only the deluded were lucky enough to possess such emotional privileges. Creatures of conscience and misguided piety, who might well consider him a weaker, lesser-souled mortal but he was sure that no sleep, meals or liquid sustenance would be lost through that particular little misfortune. Beware the self-righteous men for they are indeed the true pestilence scouring the reaches of this godless earth. Of that he had little doubt. He laughed and tapped his fingers to the tune of his driver’s soft and gentle lullaby as they sped into the star-lit, fresh, night air. Party bound.

The driver could not contain his excitement as they joined the honking driveway queue. Gaiety, exuberance and overindulgence wafted through the air, more intoxicating and luring than any song ever departed from a treacherous siren’s lips. He began to howl like a love forlorn coyote when a full moon orb graces the unforgiving skies, which in turn instigated an infectious, good humoured buzz amongst the more conservative, gridlocked revellers. Who chuckled amongst each other and began to buttress their senses against yet another assault from the excesses of Gatsby`s famous hospitality. In between slugs on his flask ‘the Colonel’ once again roared like a bull and felt his heart swell up with excited virgin anticipation.

The bull and the coyote parted company on the marble steps, each with a festive mission in mind; the coyote to hunt out light-footed female companions and the bull to satiate his chronic cravings for alcohol, mischief and intrigue. What else? They were not about to be disappointed. It was indeed difficult to discern if ‘Colonel Bull’s’ owl-like features were the result of binocular-lens, spectacle distortion or surprise at the vast array of drink being offered at the bar and the coyote’s swishing tail did more than disturb a few pesky flies. This was without a doubt their kind of soiree - a do of immense hedonistic proportion, where the illustrious rubbed shoulders with the dishonest and the downright depraved. Well whoop-de-do, fill your glasses gents and take your partners, its gonna be a long and heady evening!

Or perhaps not. Greed had offset ‘the Colonel’ onto a slippery slope. Consuming vast amounts of exotic liqueurs had unbalanced his normally huge capacity for the partaking of strong drink. He had forgotten himself and grabbed a young woman’s breast at the bar. The incident was laughed off but it was fast becoming obvious that he was in danger of being regarded as a barely tolerated buffoon. So it was none too soon when his client from Robspierres materialised and whispered in his ear, ‘Mr Gatsby requests that you join him in the library.’

Gatsby smiled as he observed his guest from the far end of the massive antique, Gothic library, he spoke in greeting but was either unheard or totally ignored as ‘the Colonel’ began to lovingly caress the vast leather bound hoard of reading material. He selected a book at random and bellowed, ‘they’re real, real, come see for yourself, they’re real, my dear boy come quickly, see, see, real I tell you.’ Gatsby tried once more.
‘Greetings ‘Colonel,’ something tells me you’re somewhat impressed by my modest but reasonably varied collection, browse at leisure old sport.’
‘I can’t decide which holds the greatest wonder for me,’ blurted ‘Colonel Bull, ‘the books or the library itself. This is indeed a shock and a revelation.’
‘Hah there’s more to come old sport,’ Gatsby rolled the ladder round, climbed up and retrieved a large volume of work. He grinned at his guests surprise when he showed him the book. ‘You see ‘Colonel,’ I know who you are. Our meeting was far from coincidental, I must say you were a difficult man to track down. But now to business, first things first, here is a thousand dollars, my business partner was very impressed with the retrieval of his cuff buttons.’
‘Another thousand!’ ‘the Colonel’ exclaimed ‘that must be valuable ivory indeed.’
‘Haha well yes, very individual you might say, I mean one’s mother has indeed a very exclusive line in that particular market.’
‘You mean...?’
‘Lets just say they are from a very unusual rolling stock.’
‘My god, imagine having your mother’s teeth fastening your shirt together, what is he a Jew or something?’
‘I have another proposition that you may be interested in,’ said Gatsby ignoring the question, ‘but it requires a degree of sobriety that seems to have escaped you of late. Call me at the end of the week and we can discuss it further but now you’ll have to excuse me old sport, I have some host duties to attend, feel free to explore the library further, oh and you can keep this,’ and he handed over the impressive volume.

When the coupe’s return journey came to an abrupt stop it was not only the ‘the Colonel’ who was thrown into deep confusion, his driver was in an equal state of bewilderment. When they staggered out of the stricken vehicle into the blazing headlights and cacophony of honking horns they learned that they had had a slight accident on Gatsby’s driveway, which had resulted in the loss of one of their wheels. Unfortunate maybe but hardly a fatal catastrophe. Besides his hip flask was far from empty and where better to wait for a taxi than the confines of an exquisite library.

Archived comments for Gatsby's Guest


e-griff on 2003-10-20 06:59:06
Re: Gatsby's Guest
I see you have changed your style in this one. As always your writing is good. I think this style suits you also , you have light humour with considerable depth of meaning. Definitely one to keep up! 🙂

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 2003-10-20 07:58:18
Re: Gatsby's Guest
Well written, nice touches of humour. Loved the bit about the cufflinks 🙂

ailsa

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2003-10-20 08:11:49
Re: Gatsby's Guest
Why thank you young lady. Much appreciated even though you do come from Dundee...*G*

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2003-10-20 08:24:14
Re: Gatsby's Guest
Hey I took YOUR advice....thanx appreciated as always variety is the spice of life eh!! cheersZ

Author's Reply:

ruadh on 2003-10-20 14:20:03
Re: Gatsby's Guest
And what is wrong with being a Dundonian, pray tell? (hands on hips, tapping foot, looks round for rolling pin) *S*

Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2003-10-20 16:25:49
Re: Gatsby's Guest
Entertaining; enjoyed it. Thanks.
Is this part of a bigger something?


Author's Reply:

Heirloom on 2003-10-23 12:32:47
Re: Gatsby's Guest
Hmm, not sure what to make of this to be honest. Writing style was fine but I found my attention wavering in several places. I think this was due to the story, which failed to hook me. At times the writing was a little convoluted, which, again, kicked me out of the story for a while. It's a pity because there are some great phrases and descriptions in this (the Negro woman at the beginning, for example).
regards
Steven Dines

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2003-12-15 06:06:07
Re: Gatsby's Guest
yeah you`re right I should have convoluted a dog monster that has just escaped from a stephen king pile of shite to beef up the thin story line....sorry `bout that pal...Z

Author's Reply:

Heirloom on 2004-06-05 05:37:50
Re: Gatsby's Guest
lol, I only just read this response, zen. I don't think my comment was harsh at all, merely one opinion. Learn to take criticism without lashing out, mate. Isn't one of the aims of this site constructive criticism?
Steven

Author's Reply:

zenbuddhist on 2004-06-07 08:13:43
Re: Gatsby's Guest
but I was merely jesting....

Author's Reply:


Over The Sea To Skye (posted on: 25-08-03)
Some friends enjoy a weekend on the beautiful Isle of Skye

'Half each`ll dae yis,' that's what he had said tae me. I `m rollin it aroond in the glass o ma shades wi ma pinkie, wonderin how the fuck I was supposed tae cut it in half . It wis wee`r than the dode o shite that comes oot o a baby gerbil`s erse. The bog door starts rattlin. It`s the McGloosh.
'C'mon tae fuck ye cunt, let us in.'
'Aye, aye, hud on ye fuckin desperado, ah've got tae be careful here ye ken.' Ah slide the bolt back, an his red excited puss comes leerin through the gap like a fuckin chilli pepper - aw dried oot an wrinkly.
'What the fuck r ye on aboot, thought ye were gettin some whiz.'
'So did ah. Look what the fucker gie me!'
'Jeez Louise that`s acid is it no?'
'Naw, no accordin tae him it`s no, he says it wis speed, an ah wisnae aboot tae start arguin wi the big cunt. He says tae just take half each, it's as strong as fuck. Accordin tae him.'
'Ach well, ye can only piss wi the cock ye've got. Here gies it here, ah've got a razor blade on us.' We tan the tiny crumbly tablet an make oor way back through tae the throng o the pub. This wis gonna be mad. Seemed as if half the toon wis goin or wantin tae go. Every cunt scoopin it up at the bar, shoutin an bawlin at the tap o the fuckin voice, aw that restless, keen way that ye get. Ah wis glad ah had a place booked wi Shortie, mind you it wis only fair cause ah'd takin ma car last year - the one that wis the size o a breeze-block the noo. The Skye Folk Festival, too fuckin right man, ye can stick aw yer Glastonburys an yer Readings up yer fuckin erse, this wis the gig man, as far as we were concerned anyways. An Shortie's van's got a gallus, fuck-off, blarin stereo in it an aw!

'Ah luv travellin like this,' ah says tae the MacGloosh.
'What, in the back, comfy on aw the sleeping bags n tents, next tae the Pogues commin oot the speakers, an a case o export at oor feet, cannae think why?'
'Hahaha, aye that n aw right enough, naw ah wis meanin lookin oot the back o the van, sortae seein where ye`ve been, rather than where yer goin, ken.'
'Aye, so if Shortie totals it and we survive, we'll see his heed rollin along the road likes.'
'Hahaha, fuck off ye mental cunt.'
'What,' he says, like in a huff, an ah realise he wis bein serious.
'Pass us up another can,' says Stevo who's sittin in the passenger seat, like a fuckin lord.
'Aye an dinnae be fuckin bangin that yin aff the fuckin dash ye cunt, nae fuckin respect,' moans Shortie, 'ah'll hae yin an aw.'
'Want me tae open it fur ye? Eh? Ah mean ahm sure ye`ve got yer hands fu, what wi hoggin that joint, playin wi yer cock an tryin tae keep this fuckin scrapheap on the fuckin road.'
'Its better than walkin, ye cheeky wee bastard.'
'Now, now lassies, here, an dinnae drink them aw at once eh? There's only sixteen left!'
'Eh! Fuck sake China, how mannies that yous pair o cunts in the back`s drunk noo?'
'Same as 'yous pair o cunts' in the fuckin front, they dinnae last forever ye ken.'
'Well ah`ve only had four an so`s Shortie so either yous are at it or ah cannae count.'
'Haarghhaarghhaaa wait ah minute Stevo ah'll try an work that yin oot. Ya fuckin doss cunt.'
'Haud on, haud on, ah dinnae fuckin believe it! Shut it yous pair, look who`s up here thumbin it.'
'WHO'
Screw-tap n Buckfast that wis who. Stevo rolls doon the windae.
'Hey yous punks, have ye no got anythin better tae dae than stand oot here gein aw us normal folk the finger, eh? C'mon get in. China an McGloosh'll make room fur yis.'
'Aw fur fuck sake, there's nae room in here as it is,' goes the McGloosh, aw pit oot cause he used tae go oot wi Buckfast yonks ago, an now they didnae speak tae each other. The feelin seems tae be mutual cause she squeezes in next tae me, winks, an offers me a swally o her favourite tipple - a nice little tonic wine fermented by the blessed Benedictine monks o Buckfast Abbey.
'Fuck sake Screw-tap, ah dinnae mind the bondage chains stickin intae us so much, but gonnae get that fuckin bog-brush o a Mohican oot o ma puss.'
'It's no a Mohican, its a Mohawk.'
'Is that right, well if ye dinnae shift, ittle be the fuckin last o them, whatever ye want tae call it!'
'That's nice that is, an here wis me gonna offer ye some o these,' an he pulls oot a massive bag o dried-oot shrooms.
'Whoa ya beauty,' goes McGloosh, and helps himsel tae a big handfu. I just cannae understand that cunt sometimes. I`m oot a ma tits on that wee pill, so he should be an aw. Mind you its no that dificult tae figure oot - he`s a greedy bastard! The bag gets passed tae the front after ah refuse and Stevo gets wired in. Ahm lookin at Shortie, oor chaufoor fur the trip, no only is he tryin tae juggle; a joint, a can o beer, drivin wi the foot doon tae the boards, now he`s tryin tae stuff his puss wi magic mushrooms. This could end badly. Maybe no though, I'm sure Neal Cassady would have been proud.

The queue at the ferry port is long, really long. Shortie jumps oot his seat and slams the door.At first ah think he`s gonna lamp some cunt but he`s just trying tae get a better spec tae see what's goin on. He squeezes his hands thegether an his massive erse back intae the van.
'Looks like we`re gonna be here a while folks, lets hit the boozer.'
'Yesss,' goes Stevo.
'No you, ye fuckin wido, someones gonna hae tae stay wi the van, an there`s no fuckin straws. So its you.' Stevo`s puss is trippin him [which suits him fine, cause he`s trippin] but he doesnae argue too much cause he kens he`s pushed it a wee bit too far wi the big man. So we make oor way tae the pub wi Shortie mutterin aboot; cheek... an empty cans thunderin aff his dashboard... an serves the smart cunt right... blah, blah. But there`s no blah blah when we walk intae the bar, the opposite in fact, ye could tell there had been though. Hardly surprisin right enough when ye consider what we look like; every cunt`s wearin shades, Shortie resembles a refugee from the WWF, Screw-taps Mohican is dyed bright green, Buckfast is the spit o Souxsie Sue, an we`re aw oot oor fuckin nuts, greetings teuchters.

'It`s no Fuckfast it`s Buckfast an` anyway ah dinnae, no unless ahm on tap, an ah wouldnae climb on tap o you, ye fuckin hairy-faced ba