Skip navigation

I got on the bus today at around 11 for uni. The driver then shut down the engine. The passengers had a momentary panic that the engine had failed, but the driver shouted out that he was observing a 2 minute silence.

The bus, for the first time ever was quiet. No one spoke. No one moved. I did not imagine that everyone was remembering, but at least everyone was silent and respectful of the occasion.

This is something distinctly British. It doesn’t matter what YOU believe as an individual. It would be rude to go against someone who is paying respect.

So I bowed my head, and I thought. Not of those that fought, but those that didn’t. In a time of ripe patriotism, how strong a persons character to have been to say “no”. And be proud of it.

It might mean little today where going into the army is now voluntary, and patriotism is lost and nationalism is a confused notion. In a world where people do not embrace and assimilate but chose to exclude and excuse.

But it meant something on the bus.

2 minutes of silence.

Silence.

Wonderful, thoughtful, complete silence.

Then the engine started up again. And instead of talking about X Factor, people talked about the news on he bus.

Remembrance Day means many different things for many different people. But it makes us silent. And thus, think.

Advertisements

I have no idea yet given this poem a name. Do I? Don’t i? It’s the paradoxical question.

Poem Unnamed worked though… If you get it.

You’re my best friend
I wish I could use you always
But you are double edged
Yet we need each other

I wish I could use you always
You are my dearest friend
Yet we need each other
Shiny metal edges

You are my dearest friend
But you are double edged
Shines metal edges
You are my best friend

Today at the Buddle writers we had to write something with these key things:

Dog walker
Angel
Feeling unwanted
Heavy rain
Garden centre
Hand made chocolates

This is the poem that I wrote:

Heavy rain, what a drain
Running for shelter, in a garden centre
A stone angel has closed her arms
The dog walker sighs, the dog walker cries

Running for shelter, in a garden centre
Forever a bore, soaked to the core
The dog walker sighs, the dog walker cries
Hand made chocolates, kept safe in pockets

Forever a bore, soaked to the core
A parted friend, will be seen again
Hand made chocolates, kept safe in pockets
Kept safe in store, forever more

A parted friend, will be seen again
Heavy rain, what a drain
Kept safe in store, forever more
A stone angel has closed her arms.

I decided to write a poem instead of prose because one of the members was complaining that we didn’t so enough poetry as a group.

My poem was well received ^_^

It’s not writers block, that’s for sure. Because I am still writing. I’m just not focusing on the big project instead doing little ones, and starting brand new ones. I’ve really gotten into the characters not yet seen in the Killer Queen story, and now all I want to do is write about them, and not write about the characters from my book I trying to write.

Have I fallen out of love with Marcus and Euridy and now want to indulge in Elija and Svetlana? It seems strange to me that I can be so fickle with my characters when I had such a great passion for them before. I blame it on getting to a dull part that I know I will more than likely cut, but yet still feel the need to write it just because it’s in my novel plan. But what is it?

When I sit down to write my mind doesn’t go blank, but rather I get engulfed by fatigue and just want to go to sleep and daydream instead. It could be the meds. It could just be my chronic depression. Hell. I could even blame the weather.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that even at the best of times, even without writers block, or even when you are motivated, shit still can get in the way.

Hardly a positive thought. But it’s true. And please don’t tell me to suck it up, or just force myself to do it. I’ve heard it all before. I’ve said it all to myself too.

Depression is a horrible thing. And sometimes you just have to wait for the dark cloud to let up a little.

I think this story needs a few more tweaks, but other than that I am very happy with it.

Enjoy!

The Busdriver and Carma

The busdriver came barreling down the dirt road; he leaned as close to the big clockwork steering wheel as he could possibly get. His scrawny fingers wrapped around the cool black metal so tightly his knuckles were threatening to break free. There was no hiding his foul mood. Not that anyone would care to notice, he thought miserably to himself.

Such was his lot in life, he fumed. It didn’t matter how hard he worked, how many hours he clocked in or how many years he put in with this sell out corporate bus company one little mistake was enough to send him on the graveyard shift like a newbie. No, he corrects himself, he didn’t make a mistake. The busdriver still thought himself in the right. He always was, you know, people were just too stupid to see it. His superior, a retired busdriver who now thought the world revolved around what came out of his ass – sorry, mouth, was just one of those sorts. So PC that he probably wiped his backside with brown paper just so he could claim to be “multicultural”. He was the one who took the complaint from that tramp seriously. What has the world come to when the word of someone like her was worth more than someone like him? Everyone was just annoyed because he still had the balls to stand up for good, honest values.

Suddenly, unregulated rain starts to pelt the panoramic windshield. The busdriver’s face beats vermillion red. If he was on his normal route the weather would be nice and controlled, coordinated with city regulations and business needs. Out here in the sticks no one cared about proper order so the rain fell where and when it liked! Turning the dirt into mud that would splash up against the lovely chrome sheen on his bus, covering the ungrateful passengers with mud and unregulated water that they would stomp and trek through his lovely pristine bus. Didn’t they know hard he worked to keep the stench that these people dragged in out? Didn’t they appreciate that he had to clean the floors and scrape their leftovers from the bottom of the seats!? The more the busdriver thought about it the angrier he got, and the more he stomped his foot down on the accelerator. The dashboard was beeping its red warnings at him, and finally the computer overrode the mute button that he had activated:

“Comrade,” the computer said in the nonsense drone of a woman, “your speed has now maintained excess beyond government regulations. Please reduce speed or company policy will have to intervene to maintain the standard of regulation.”

The bus driver grumbled, it didn’t matter where he went; somewhere there was always a woman nagging him to do things another way. Nevertheless, he took his foot off and turned on the auto drive, just to placate the computer. He took in a few deep breaths to try and use the calming techniques that the company counselor had taught him. He imagined the colours he was breathing in, and how they would change when he breathed them out. At first he laughed out right at the idiocy of this, but then the counselor – who was thankfully a man – told him that the colours changed because he was filtering the bad out, or something to that affect. Since the busdriver always thought that he was right, this made a lot more sense to him,

He was just starting to reach a sense of calm when the computer flashed the warm tones of cyan blue on the dashboard, and said in her honeyed voice: “Approaching passenger.”

The busdriver’s eyes popped open, seeing the rain was still flowing down his windshield his eyes narrowed to angry slits as he scowled at the dashboard.

“Computer,” he said, “the unregulated weather is not optimised for passenger boarding.”

“Comrade, Detroitstate Incorporated Company Policy section 10 paragraph 9 citations state that-”

“Yeah, yeah,” the busdriver grumbled, as he pressed mute, cutting the computer off. He had been lectured on this so many times he knew what she would say. Her words still haunted his nightmares.

The bus came to a leisurely stop; the busdriver took a calming breath and then touched the dashboard command and the glass doors opened with a well-oiled woosh. And just as he suspected the passenger was wet and dirty. And a woman! He looked up to the sky where he imagined corporate headquarters floated around and gave them a silent “I told you so” lecture.

Just as she was about to put one of her muddy feet on the metal steps the busdriver barked: “Halt!” and the woman obediently retracted herself back.

“State your destination and stand still for your ID scan,” the busdriver mentally winced as he realised that he forgot to be polite and say please.

“Sir,” the woman began in a soft voice, the busdriver did not like this. Women were only demure and polite when they wanted something, “I desire to go somewhere sheltered. I don’t know where I am to state a destination beyond this.”

The bus driver said nothing; he just scowled at the woman. After a period of uncomfortable silence he asked, “How much money do you have?”

He had quickly looked at the ID read the computer got from this sorry looking figure, Carma-Something her name was and she had no registered job. Figures. Why would an employed person be out here anyways?

“Excuse me, sir, but I haven’t any.”

“Then why did you hail my bus down!” the busdriver screeched.

Instead of being cowed, the woman took her first step on to the bus and out of the rain. Finally sheltered, she shacks off her meek persona and looked him directly in the eye. The busdriver straightened, how dare she look at him like an equal!?

“I can pay with other means,” she said suggestively.

When the busdriver didn’t respond she thought maybe he was simple, and began to undo the buttons of her coat so he understood.

“You will desist, madam!”

The woman pressed her lips together in a thin line and looked the busdriver up and down. Carma had no doubt as to what sort of man he would be. Everything in his life would be well ordered and controlled; if someone were stupid enough to try and stick around he would surely beat them into submission. His hair was perfectly greased back, face shaved down to the pinky flesh that never spent a day outside of the city. She wondered if he actually ironed and cleaned his own clothes, not a button was out of place. John’s like him were a dying breed, that’s how she knew them all so well. Her like were the only leg over they could ever get these days.

“If you have no fare you will alight yourself from Detroitstate Incorporated company immediately! ”

The woman sneered, no one was gonna miss his flaring nostrils, that’s for sure. She quickly undid the strap around her waist to finish opening her coat and pulled out the Regulation 5 pistol she had alighted from a foolishly trusting police officer.

She really enjoyed how the busdriver’s eyes nearly popped out of his pasty head when he saw it. But most of all she loved how his mouth dropped to his chest, and jerked back when she shot him. She liked the R5guns better than the last R3 she had, these new ones made no sound as the bullet was liberated from its metal cadge which meant she didn’t jump back in shock missing the target.

The busdriver slumped down, his arms limp and dangling over the seat. Satisfied that he was dead, the woman reached into his pockets to see if he had anything useful.

There was a set of what she assumed where house keys on a spiral ring, an appointment card to see a quack down in the city-proper and a battered, brown leather wallet. The woman sighed; it was completely empty.

She dragged the busdriver off his seat, down the metal steps. His polished boots went clunk clunk down the metal grids. And then thud as he hit the dirt road. She tossed his empty wallet after him and hit the door-close on the dashboard.

“Computer, state location please.”

The computer obliged with a map location on the screen grid. Excellent. Unfamiliar with this bus module she let the computer issue auto-drive and sat back.

It felt good to be out of the rain.

The Misfits; A Perfect Day is a working title. This story is a calibration from my friends in my writing group, Karen and Young John over a hearty meal in a pub. It is all done with loving parodies of the other members in our group. 

 

****

Graeme steps onto the landing. Happy to be on the ground and back in bonne terre, though he had to admit that his first trip to the Grand-Old U-S-of-A was…. most adventurous. He was sure to thank Slim by paying his tab for…. well at least a week. Remembering the red haired Julia certainly put a spring in his step.

Airports are anonymous. You weren’t anywhere in an airport. Not really. So Graeme was still caught up in his holiday-rose-goggles. He spots in the duty free window an array of plushies. One looks like it could be some sort of cow. Brown, fuzzy, little horns in a comical fashion. On reading the label it says it’s “Bou” the BabyBison. A light bulb flashes in his head. He knows just who to get this for! There is no security tag on it, so he takes off the shop tag and stuffs it in his coat.

He saunters on with a well practiced swagger, despite this he still draws the attention of security and they pounce on him with their horrid sniffer dogs. The stupid mongrel sniffs him most inappropriately before wagging it’s tail and barking. The look of smugness on that canine face makes Graeme seethe. If there were no cameras he would be sorely tempted to give the beast a sound kick right where he was so fond of sniffing.

He gets off with a tax from the airport because of the unclaimed fags in his bag. Still feeling disgruntled he signals down a cab to get a ride, he was in no mood to get on the metro now. He needs a drink and pronto.

The cabbie is a woman, her license says Anne – but just as he is about to read the rest of her info she swerves to the side, her hand out the window giving the world a rude gesture followed by several obscenities.

“Student drivers! They have to learn!” She shouts at Graeme, who at this point is holding on to the dash board for his dear life.

“You look tense, have you ever tried aromatherapy?” Anne asks, the question is so sweet and charming until she honks her horn and shouts out the window again. Graeme looks in the back of the taxi, which is stacked with Avon products.

Oh Lord, what fresh Hell is this? Graeme cries to himself.

Somehow, he arrives at the Anson alive and in one piece, though perhaps in a far more anxious state than when he boarded an airplane for the first time.

He jumps out of the car, practically tucking and rolling as Anne speeds away, honking her horn at the people she has cut off.

Graeme looks up at his favourite watering hole and has to take a double. The building has been repainted bright red and the sign is now black, with fancy gold lettering that spells out “The Anson Palace.”

If you told him that he was in an episode of The Twilight Zone he would believe you, no questions asked.

Looking closer he sees a sign post that his local pub has been bought and redone while he was gone. The wording of the sign in itself is eccentric. Graeme opens the door with trepidation.

His pub has completely changed. Gone was the dark interior and the slot machines, replaced with red silk hangings, dragons and paintings of tsunamis. On the stage where the buskers used to sing were two men dressed up in sumo costumes, doing a mock show of a wrestling match. Graeme gulped, please say they still serve beer.

The only thing familiar is seeing Slim sitting at his usual table, so relieved Graeme rushes over and drops himself in the spare chair.

A man comes over caring drinks, Graeme is taken-a-back by the man. He is dressed in a pin-stripped suit, cleaned and crisply ironed. Hair slick and combed back, he sits down with a self assurance that only comes from someone who has been told from the cradle that he was special.

“Graeme, this is Tarquin! He is an up and coming writer,” Slim introduces.

“Yes, yes. But currently I work for North Tyneside Council. In downtown North Shields,” Tarquin says jovially.

“Downtown North Shields?” Graeme asks, his eye brows raised ready to jump off his face.

“That’s right,” Tarquin smiles, sipping his brew.

The night carries on and soon the familiar buskers are back, but tonight it’s a Village People tribute band. While Graeme is at the bar getting another beer, a man dressed up as the red indian keeps giving him the come hither look! When he walks past, he gives Graeme a well planned wink and a playful pat on the bum that nearly makes him snort his beer up through his nose.

The Village People wait while the tattooed lady sings her folk songs, holding a trumpet that she is not quite confident enough to play. Graeme wishes she would hurry up, he does not like the idea of that indian being idle for much longer.

The new barmaid, a tart called Margie, is dressed in an elegant oriental dress and her hair is done in a tidy bun. Somehow though the woman makes the outfit look cheap, she has managed to get the neck line lower than one would think possible and so tight Graeme is surprised those puppies haven’t jumped out yet. The rose tattoo on her breast wobbles so much that Graeme has to look away, suffering from motion sickness. Not that he was looking, of course.

She wore paten leather stilettos, a bright red that stood out against the black floor, and had an odd shadow that followed her everywhere. He was a very distinct shadow, a strange man who wore and elastic band over his balding head, and took to weird moments where for no reason he would pull his black hood up over his head, covering his face like the Grim Reaper.

Gentleman John comes in, and Graeme is happy to see at least that this has not changed. He always looks forward to John’s home made pies, the pastry is always ever so good.

Jill comes in and sits at their table, exhausted after a long shift at Subway, but is glad to see that Graeme is back. She has missed his crack. Dan is there too, and they convince him to come over from his corner. He closes up his laptop and Graeme wonders what he got from all his people watching, especially in an establishment like this. Gerry has popped out again, for one of her suspicious tabs.

Two new faces come in, Jean and Ana. They have come because the place looks different now, and they have been told to find something new to do. They look around and think; WTF?! Following them is their back to work advisor, distinctive in her flamboyant hat.

Graeme remembers that he has that toy to give her…

La Fin!

The Death of a Star is still only in its baby stages, but this is what opened.

****

The death of a star is what brought us to this place. We were chasing a cosmic reaction across a white, glittering desert when the storm overtook us. It was if the Sky Lord himself had doomed our adventure from the beginning, trapping me and my team so that we would never find his secrets.

The snow had engulfed us, my team and I had to give way to the elements and we sought shelter for the night in a cave that we somehow managed to stumble in to. At first there was nothing to commend our shelter, nothing spectacular about it. We were just so thankful to be out of the cutting wind that we did not take notice of our surroundings at first. But when we did. But when we did! Oh my, what a sight we did behold.

It was like stepping inside the most spectacular of gemstones. An array of colours dazzled our starved eyes, greens of variations I didn’t know even existed. Blues and yellows. Pinks danced into purple. Turquoise flickered white. How the crystals managed to transform such minuscule light was a complete mystery to me. But it did. And it was breathtaking to behold. It made us curious; it made us bold. We dropped out cumbersome gear and ventured further into the cave, hoping to see – what? I still to this day cannot remember. I believe that we were under a spell.

But what did we see? You probably will not believe me. And if you do you will think that we were the most lucky. We found treasure. Not glittering gold. Not an old tomb. Not even cave paintings. We found a hoard of treasure most extraordinary. Who was hoarding it or for what purpose we could not tell. It was piled high through the domes of the cave like a secret pirate hoard, and I half expected to hear the deep rumble of a dragon snoring.

All we could hear was our halted breaths.

Instead of piles of gold it was gemstones. In the rough, but so beautiful and rich in colours. I am ashamed to say that they made me drool. They made me excited.

We found what must have been weapons. Swords and shields, clear and brilliant. They could have been forged from the finest and most pure of ice, so sharp the blade cut my thumb. I was mesmerised by the contrast of the perfect ice and my dark blood running down, refusing to relent. I felt like the blade was caressing my blood, embracing it and absorbing me into itself. I had to shake myself out of my trance. There was something fantastical about this place.

“Sir! Gabriel, sir! Who will believe that we have found this?” Dav’id whispered. He too was afraid that if he looked too closely the vision in front of us would vanish like the most splendid of daydreams.

“We set out to catch the essence of a fallen star, and along the way we have found a bounty the gods would envy,” I answered back.

“Aye, but whose bounty have we found?” Symon asked, his voice bounced off the crystal walls of the cave.

We had no answer for him. What could we possibly say?

“Perhaps we have stumbled upon a thieving fae?” Dav’id pondered out lout, still looking at the ice sword I held greedily.

Symon and I exchanged a sceptical glance.

“I think it would be better to set up camp and then we can speculate over our new found treasure, eh?” I suggested.

My team were good men, practical and followed leadership. We had our heater up and running and in no time a brew of tea was warming up for us. The warmth from our heater was kept contained in our shelter and we were thawed through. Symon, the stocky lad that he was soon had something cooking on a skillet. He was very good with making dehydrated food taste edible, not to mention he always seemed to have some sort of liquor on him and plenty to share around.

Dav’id was torn between food and glittering things. Both equally his greatest weaknesses. I smiled to myself as I watched him struggle between hovering over whatever Symon was cooking and looking over to the treasure hoard. I could hear the gears in his head spin out of control as he desperately wanted to catalogue what we found.

“Dav, I swear if you don’t fuck off soon I swear I’m gonna smack you senseless!” Symon barked.

Dav’id sat down in a heap. He pouted like a petulant child, but we knew his mood would improve once he got some food in his stomach. To pass the time he pulled out a black-paper cigarette and lit it on the heater. Each exhale he puffed in Symon’s direction. His own silent retort. Symon though, just smiled with his usual good nature and took a swig from one of his many flasks and then passed it to me with a wink.

“How long before we have to send up the flares?” Symon asked me.

I took a deep swig from the flask and swirled the liquor around in my mouth, it was so lovely and strong I wanted to relish it a bit before I swallowed it down.

“We will have to wait until the storm clears,” I finally said.

Symon threw something small at Dav’id, “Get out your geometrique so we know when this storm will pass, eh!”

“We will have to let the ship know what we found here,” I added.

“Do you think we will still carry on to find our star?”

I took a final drink from the flask before handing it back to Symon, “That is our mission.”

“Aye, but this is a bit of a show stopper, eh?” Symon said looking over to the hoard.

“Nothing stops finding the essence of a dead star,” I reminded him. Though I too had to look over my shoulder at the glowing treasure trove.

Dav’id cleared his throat, he had configured his geometrque and showed us the screen; a weather projection showed us what outside the cave looked like, it was chaos, “The wind is going to make the storm harder to clear because it keeps going around in circles. However, we should have enough clarity to send a message, though the chance of success is forty percent. I am predicting at least five hours before flares can be used with success.”

Five hours to be alone with the glittering hoard of wonders…. our hearts soared…

Dav’id was the first to give in; the little troll in him just could not keep his hands off all the gems and artefacts. He seemed to be searching for something. Symon and I watched from our little camp as Dav’id would go through the piles, pick something up and then put it down. He had started to make piles, but it was clear that he had not found what he was looking. The more he searched the more frustrated he got; “It’s here, it’s here. I know, it’s here,” he would mutter and rage.

This is the start of another story idea….

******

He staggers into his chambers. Exhausted and defeated. He does not care that the fire is out and the inevitable chill has invaded his bedroom; his home.

In a rush of emotion he flew back the tapestries and pulled the windows open so hard the joints wrenched. The gust of wind blew him back and the old general landed in a chair, his armour creaked and groaned. There was no one around anymore, he would have to rely on his own self to take off the cumbersome lot. Slowly, he manages to kick off his boots. They thump as he flings them off. He groans as he leans back, too exhausted to contemplate taking off anymore. It did not matter which way he sat himself, the metal cadge that was his armour was not made for sitting. In the end, he gave up trying to be comfortable.

He did not feel that he deserved to be so…

The door to his chamber flung open, uninvited it banged against the wall. The little toad that opened it hardly seemed able to provide such a force. The old general felt his blood boil at the site of the dainty man; slightly ruffled yet still fresh in his velvet and lace.

“Sire! We have lost!”

To the general, in that moment, this courtier stooge was all that was wrong in his world. All the court intrigues and plots were down to this one man; the Vasier who came in crying when all his plotting went sour.

He could not stand it.

He could not stand his voice!

“You Fool!” the general roared and for good measure, tore off his bloodied gauntlet and hurled it at the court dandy.

He ducked in time, much to the general’s annoyance. At least the fool kept close to the ground. If he had dared to come within arm reach the seasoned soldier in him was ready to tear limb from limb.

Personal feelings aside, the old general pulled off the scarlet red cape he wore over his armour. Princes wore fur, he was a simple man and chose simple cloth, sturdy and durable. The colour was part of his arms. It made him stand out. It made him the target. It was worn, and rough around the edges, much like the man who had worn it. Yet it served, it endured, and it was recognised.

His armour creaked and groaned as the old general clanked over to the monumental chest of drawers that held his faithful wife’s treasures, and with a strength one did not see in a man as old as he, he shifted the wooden monument with an ease that would shame any man. The Vasier watched with greedy eyes as he saw finally where the hiding place was. But he had no chance while the general lived.

The man scooped up a small and simple box from his hiding place, and wrapped it in his warriors cloak.

“Who is left?” The old general barked.

The Vasier gulped; “Only the Princess, sire.”

Accepting this, the general nodded, “Take me to her.”

On the school run, my daughter Lilianna decided to call the side walk ‘The Red Bone Forest’, it’s red cement you see. But we got to talking about what this forest would look like. Kids do have a massive imaginative scope, and in broad daylight holding mommy’s hand spooky stories are safe to speak of.

I’m sitting in Costa coffee, waiting for my friends from English Lit to turn up before we head off to Northumbria University for a day of workshops and lectures (I even crossed the damn bridge without screaming!) and well, the words just started to flow. Here is the begging of a new story:

The Red Bone Forest is a scary place where goblins gather in their hoards and you have to cross the Troll Bridge to enter, though why would any sane person choose to do so is beyond most people. The forest bed is covered in a thick, dry moss that has the same colour as dried blood, but rather than crunch under foot it oozes something thick and pungent. The trees, black and this of trunk leer at your, with long gnarly branches that seek to grab you at ever turn. The forest could be mistaken for being alive, as the canopy will change, seeking to blot out the light so that the dark ghouls will feel more at ease to come out and snatch the wandering souls.

But why is it called the Red Bone Forest? The trees aren’t red, and there are no bones around for anything that enters is eaten whole. And don’t be mistaken to think that the forest is haunted or cursed, I assure you that the residents are very much present and accounted for. It is their own deviousness that gives the trees and wood their own malevolence.

No. I’m afraid the tale goes far back into our memories, it involves a beloved king and his special armour, his enchantress of a daughter and what befell their family. So sick back listeners, put the light on and beware of shadows. This tale is not something to be listened to lightly….

When he woke up, he could smell burning. Ian’s head throbbed. Opening his eyes was torture and the smell of burning fish sent white flashes through the back of his eyes. The stupid bitch is cooking again, he seethed. Ian belched. Long and hard. He thought he might bring something up, but a few fist pounds to his chest later and he felt like he could sit up without being projectile.

 

He groaned as he sat up, and threw off his duvet dejectedly. Trying to regain his composure to fight of the nausea of far too much drink, Ian flexed his yellow toes and wiggled around so that he could scratch his ass. Again, a belch came up so strong that he thought he would explode. When he didn’t he gave himself a mental high five, but the smell was motivation enough to move.

 

He staggered into the door frame. Ian didn’t even notice but he heard the loud crack as the wood gave way to his bloated body. That was all he registered. He didn’t care. He had to focus on getting down the stairs to tell the woman to stop her cooking. Why couldn’t she just use the microwave like all his mates wives? 

 

The stairs narrowed in front of him. He never remembered them being this shape and when he went to reach of the banister he missed. Twenty years in this house and he missed! He managed to land on the second landing in the stairs without much hard damage. Ian sat there, a lump in the corner trying to stop the world from spinning. He would have happily gone back to sleep there, curled up in a safe ball. But then he got a a woooooff of the kippers. Through the smell of burnt char there came fish. Mmmm. Fried kippers, Ian started to drool as he closed his heavy eye lids.

 

He woke with a snort. Suddenly alert and with a purpose. He staggered down the rest of the stairs with a dexterity he didn’t posses before and stumbled into the kitchen. Without any regard he dropped himself into an empty chair and banged his beefy hands on the Formica table.

 

“I’m parched!” Ian announced.

 

The woman tossed a plate to his space, and then slammed the cutlery down. Oooooooooh, someone is in a mood, Ian sniggered to himself.

 

“Did you hear me, woman? Drink!”

 

The woman walked over with the skillet, it’s still sizzling and Ian forgets that he’s thirsty. Suddenly he is hungrier than he has ever been.

 

“Where were you last night?” The woman said, spatula held like a shield.

 

“Mind your own fookin’ business,” Ian growled. 

 

“I don’t want you here anymore,” the woman went on.

 

Ian snorted.

 

She emptied the skillet on he plate. It was lush breakfast; kippers, mushrooms, beans, oooooh and those little fried onions, Ian got all excited.

 

“I want you gone,” the woman repeated herself.

 

Ian, with a mouth full of food expressed an expletive at her. 

 

Thinking himself clever, he looked up to see how she took it.

 

The last thing Ian saw was a black round circle closing in on his face…