Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Christmas Tale, the Second

And here's another one, a wistful little tale of a big man in a red suit.

Lonely This Christmas

Three small creatures, dressed in green and red, stood on tiptoes, their hands holding them up to a frosty windowsill, their faces just high enough to peer into a window ringed with condensation. Their grip was precarious; every so often, one of the elves would lose his balance on the snow below, or feel his fingers sliding off the sill, and would tumble to the ground. This brought forth laughter from his companions - elves find nothing funnier than other elves falling over - then hurried shushing as they tried to stay hidden from the man inside the house.

Watching for a while, they were intrigued.

"What's he doing now?" asked Torven, the elf who had fallen most often and so could see the least of what was happening inside.

"He seems to be… moving." Heggle replied, in a not very helpful way.

"That's not very helpful," pointed out Mishi, for elves cannot help but state the obvious.

"You're stating the obvious," Heggle answered with a smile.

Christmas Tale, the First

Here's a little something wot I wrote, drawn by the inimitable Conor Boyle (see more of his genius at

It's a one page story about a 2000AD character called Dirty Frank; if you don't know who he is, I don't have time to explain, but you might like the jokes. Or just skip to Story Number 2 :-),31127.msg565548.html#msg565548

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


A little something I entered into a steampunk writing competition, prompted by the Emperor, one half of Paragon and the wordsmith behind Fractal Friction.

The first sentence was given, the word limit was 500, the rest was up to you. Sadly, I didn't get anywhere, but thought I'd share the musings anyway. This one's called The Memory Of Horses:

Friday, 15 October 2010


No story this time, but a bit of self-puffery (which is a neat trick if you can do it)....

Entered the Meridian Short Story Competition (, I think) and have managed to get myself shortlisted. If you look down the rather long shortlist, you'll see one called The Ride. Who knows what will come of it, but if it doesn't win, it'll be published here first!!

Have a bunch of other things out in story competitions at the moment, hence holding off publishing them, but there'll be some more new stuff very soon.....

Thursday, 16 September 2010

A story about darts. Honest.

A short and not so sweet story, perhaps a little more gritty than previous?

Click here to read more

Friday, 23 April 2010

And she tries her hand at something romantic....

So the next one word theme was spinster... A little snippet below or follow the link for the full thing -


Four heads leaned towards each other over a small round table. A conspiracy of drunks, Friday-night triple-distilled drunks, fresh off the sites and out of the offices, shirts ironed and tucked into their jeans, trainers clean, the world at their mercy. They leaned in, forehead to forehead, the moment before the decision was made.

“I bet you I could make any woman in this town fall in love with me.”

Cries of “yeah, right” and “bollocks, mate” in response. The peacock mocked but undeterred.

“No, seriously.” The peacock shuffles his feathers, swigs from his pint. “There's these two girls at work practically fighting over me... my sister's mate who can't leave me alone... your Mum...”

“Fuck off!”

“I bet I could!”

A look circulates the table. The three conspirators understand, wordlessly, what is about to happen. With a silent nod, their spokesman says:

“Alright, Dave. You're on. We name the woman, you get her.”

Thursday, 1 April 2010


An interesting challenge - someone gives you one word as the theme for a short story. Two weeks later, what have you got?
As a teaser, here are the first few lines. If you want to read more go to:


About three years ago

"Deke. C'm'nd have a look at this."
"What you got?"
"Not sure. Need you to take a look."
They look. On the fizzing screen in front of them, ahead of the Lander, is a strange, bulbous outcrop.
"What's the scale here?"
"Close. Close in. Thing's about five, maybe six inches across."
"Tracked this quadrant before and no record of it. Could have blown in on a wind, 's small enough."
"Haven't probed it yet, but it doesn't look like standard Mars rock. It's kinda shiny. Waxy."
"OK. Approach. Have a dig. See what it is."

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Something gruesome this way comes....

Left alone on rainy Thursday evenings, my mind tends to wander.... This next is an excerpt for something I'm tinkering with - try supernatural-futuristic-gory-London-noir-graphic-novel-script and you'd be about there..... Gruesome deaths, inept police and the idea of getting the vigilante you deserve.... Anyway, here's something delightful (written part comic script, part just as it comes, I'm not good at formatting!):

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The Music Box

This one dates back to last summer or so, but I have a soft spot for it so thought I'd share. Now if I could only shake the tendency to kill people off...

The Music Box
The familiar chime of the doorbell roused her from the Telegraph crossword. She wasn’t expecting anyone, so chances were it was an earnest West Indian Christian or an over-eager young electricity salesman. Half-tempted to ignore it, she rallied herself, and strode with a sense of purpose along the hallway to her front door.

The postman. Of course, the postman. He handed her a cardboard box, the size of a shoebox but made of heavier card and bandaged with packing tape. A grunt and a wave of a clipboard translated as “ sign here”. With as pleasant a smile as she could muster in the face of unnecessary surliness, she signed the clipboard, barely reaching the last r-y of her surname before the clipboard was ripped away and the postman bounded off.

She made her way back to the kitchen at the end of the hall and resumed her place at the homely oak table. She laid the package on top of her unfinished crossword and considered it for a while. It was postmarked Brighton, which meant that it had something to do with Beatrice. She needed a deep breath or two before she was ready to open it.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Something a bit different - what you get when you mentally start with the phrase "it was a dark and stormy night...". Click Read More to find the rest of it..... 

From the sea 

The stranger came through the night rain towards the bleak farmhouse. He was as wet as the rain itself, a black figure on a black night. The owls, the foxes, all were sheltering tonight. He had been walking alone for a long time, the sky’s rain mixing with his blood as wounds old and new failed to heal.

The farmhouse looked at first like a continuation of the wet, black rocks that surrounded it. It took some time for his eyes to pick out the straight lines, the corners, the shapes that told him this was made by man. He approached the house carefully. Shelter and perhaps food, possibly people. It would become more complex if there were people. People would ask him his name.

Dredd's Desires - another 2000 AD competition story

Second story submitted to 2000AD competition in December 09. Click Read More for the conclusion... Enjoy :-)

Dredd’s Desires

Dredd approaches the machine, checking up and down the street. All quiet. 

He inserts his credits. The screen in front of him flickers for a moment before a beautiful woman’s face appears.

“Good day!” the machine greets him huskily. “I am here to fulfil your needs. Please answer the following questions. Name?”

Dredd punches at the screen. The woman on screen smiles in encouragement.


He punches again.

“What four things are you never without?”

He thinks and types – helmet, Lawgiver, Lawmaster – it gets tricky after three. Ha! I am never without the law!

“Thank you. Please wait while we cater to your specific requirements.” She smiles again and – was that a wink?

Scarlet Dreams - a 2000AD short story comp entry

Posted on the 2000AD Forum Short Story Competition, December 09, theme: love and rockets. Click Read More to see how it ends...

Scarlet Dreams
You dream a lot in twelve hundred years.

Your everyday mind and your body may be out of action but your unconscious self takes longer to switch off.

I had dreams of war and killing, dead planets I’ve never known.

Dreams of bounty hunting, the greatest days I’ve had, the cold feel of long steel, the pump and recoil of the blaster, the rippled grip of brass on knuckles, playing with time and playing with fire. Our war against the world, a war fought for money and for kicks, sneck, I dreamed of those kicks.

Day One - The Author Makes A Start

A repository for words and, perhaps, deeds, where stories will emerge, hopefully be read, helpfully be critiqued and ultimately... well... Let's just say that I shall post (occasionally) random stories from the soft underbelly of my brain. If you like them, please say so.