You did what to my Gran!?!?

Consider if you will, how easily a message is transformed by a casually mis-typed emoji.

I’m sure we are all familiar with the tale of the mother who assumed that LOL meant ‘lots of love’ and sent a message to her son informing him of the death of his Grandmother signed off with LOL.

Consider now if you will, how easily a message is transformed by a casually mis-typed emoji.

No?  Let me give you an example or two.


I saw your gran last night 🙂   is wholly different to  I saw your gran last night 😉

You accidentally add a winky face to that and it gets rather uncomfortable for me.  I’m suddenly wanting to know where you saw her because she should have been at bingo.  Then I want to know why you were hanging around her and why to god you added a winky face which can only mean something a little sexy.  I do not want you having any sexy time with my gran.  Good heavens.  Stick to a nice smiley and we’re still going to be friends.

God forbid that comes from like a parent or a sibling, that’s a whole new level of messed up and there is no way I can spend Christmas with you all.



Now imagine you were to send the following:

I saw your sister and her husband at the park yesterday.

If you add the tongue out winky face instead of the regular smiley face then again I am wondering wtf, was getting sexy with my gran not enough for you?  I am then forced to ask what in the blazes happened with my sister and her rather dull accountant husband Greg that required any sort of tonguing?  They’re not the tonguing type of people.  Please stop.

At this point I am considering having to ask you to leave me and my family alone.


wp-image-1226434679 wp-image-1755908686  wp-image-1729823862

There are lines one should not cross, and I think careful typing is essential to ensure that you do not send the message below with the smiley icons above:

Hey stranger, popped round to your place but you weren’t in.  Was great to see your mum and dad after all these years  

That is too far, I mean sweet Jesus what sexy stuff did you do that made you go all winky face and then then cry?  Was it both touching and deviant?  Were there  cuddles?

I now want you to delete me from your phone and call the authorities.

So there you have it.  Just a few tips…be careful out there.  Next week I intend to explore the incorrect use of the abbreviation for ‘At The Moment’.



Want to read more of my stuff?  No.  Don’t blame you, no offence taken.

Title photo courtesy of JohnHain @ Pixabay

Headline News – #Sunday Photo Fiction

“What you got in the box?” Thomas asked quizzically as Wednesday stepped from the car.

“What you got in the box?” Thomas asked quizzically as Wednesday stepped from the car.  He was dressed head to toe in black, which seemed wholly inappropriate for the desert.

“A head” replied Wednesday very much as if that’s exactly what he didn’t have.  “I cut it off of one Alphonso White!”

“Whoa!  That’s big money you got in there amigo!” said Thomas excitedly, taking the box and opening it to take a look inside.

“It is indeed my friend” Wednesday replied proudly.  “Biggest mobster on the Eastern Seaboard – huge bounty – and I have his pudgy wee head in a box!”

“How’d you bag him” Thomas asked looking somewhat panicked.  These were not the sort of people whose head you snatched willy nilly.  “His people know you took him?”

“No they don’t, it was a complete fluke” Wednesday grinned, “I was following him to get an idea of his security and the daft arses ended up in a big old pile up, everyone dead.  I managed to nip in and lop off his noggin!”

Thomas closed the box and handed it back, and pointed to a convoy of black SUV’s hurtling towards them.

“I think we may have a problem…”



200 words

photo © A Mixed Bag 2009

For more on Thomas and Wednesday take a look here

More miserable and inappropriate limericks – Not for the kiddies

Limericks about the darker side of life….Today I think I shall perhaps write about sexual harassment in the work place.

Limericks about the darker side of life….Today I think I shall perhaps write about sexual harassment in the work place, prison abuse and the evils of drugs.  All of which I know absolutely nothing.     Remember, It’s not big and it’s not clever…any of this.

A lass at our work called Tallulah

Approached a young lad with a ruler

proclaimed “Three and a half”

He:”You’re having a laugh, 

and it’s cold so do not let that fool ya”!



A young lad caught fiddling the books 

got locked up with the rapists and crooks

spent his days filled with dread

frightful thoughts in his head 

pretty mouth, lovely hair, rugged looks

A woman I knew, Enid Black

smoked some weed for an ache in her back 

then she dabbled in coke 

which she got from “some bloke” 

Now spends all day selling boobies for crack


There was another here but I think it goes too far but I struggle with boundaries…so if you choose to read it you have to scroll and scroll and scroll. 


Want to read more of my stuff?  No.  Don’t blame you, no offence taken.

































Husband wants rape sex role play

“Bloody hell no!” says wifey “No way!”

“That the spirit!” he cries

all ‘Trumpesque’ grabs her thighs

Now hes single, in jail, wife turned gay


31 days of Daily prompts – Done!

After a month of completing each and every daily prompt I am going to give myself, for the post of the final day of July, something of a reprieve.

After a month of completing each and every daily prompt I am going to give myself, for the post of the final day of July, something of a reprieve.

I shall certainly be writing about aliens ferreting inside the bottoms of stranger,  I will avoid poetry of a most dubious nature and I will most definitely avoid any writings on the matter of chubby people rutting like beasts in space.

Instead I shall allow myself a most substandard (see what I did there?) effort and just rehash things from the previous month.

Having only started writing this month I have found the daily prompts a brilliant way to focus my ideas and to gain exposure for my thoughts.  If you don’t already, I would certainly advocate using them.

It wasn’t all tomfoolery and deviant imagery this month though, I tried my hand at some serious stuff too and dabbled with the ideas of dementia, child slavery and death.

Admittedly I preferred to write about things more ludicrous but they were still great fun.

So what will August bring?  Not a clue really.  But then that is all part of the fun.

Thanks for reading!


P.S. – Before you ask, yes – that is indeed my body in the picture.  Or at least the body I would have had were it not for my love of eating jam with a spoon stood in front of the fridge in my underpants in the middle of the night.

Photo courtesy of comfreak @ pixabay

Fatties in space – not one for the kiddies

He devoured her like so many delicious cream buns that had gone before…

So I have this idea for a story right, but I think writing about the idea may be more fun than writing it – for now at least – because my kids read my blog sometimes and it would/will scar them.


The idea is a simple one.  It’s a tale of a company that flies particularly portly people to space so that they can have sex, unencumbered by the forces of gravity which must so inhibit those of a most enormous girth.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is not about fat shaming and I am not talking about your average fat person here, of which I am one, I am talking about your truly rotund specimens that might currently require a small winch to get out of bed or a wall removing from the house should they wish to go out to the shops to buy a sandwich.

Some of the lines I scribbled  down that I wanted to use were …

  • He devoured her like so many delicious cream buns that had gone before.
  • Her high pitched squeals of delight filled his mind with a craving for bacon
  • His heaving mass of desire floated towards her
  • somehow I wanted to work in …when she moved her bottom looked like two piglets fighting in a sack
  • she caressed each of his chins gently, staring into his chocolate pudding eyes
  • Locked together like lust filled sea creatures they drifted through the inky blackness oblivious to everything but the throbbing of…well actually I just had this desire to use the word throbbing in some capacity there.

I’m sure you get the general idea.  It’s very much a tale of passion and desire and fulfilment and there is a scene where our star crossed lovers Barry and Janet float across their chamber of love with him positioned behind her, hands on her hips and a large bowl of pudding in the very large small of her back.

Admittedly the idea needs some work but as a general idea I think its quite an evocative one.  Perhaps its chocolate dipped strawberries – that might work better.

So one for more consideration I think, it might make it to my blog it might not.  time will tell.



Want to read more of my stuff?  No.  Don’t blame you, no offence taken.











More sombre limericks…kind of.

Today I’d like to explore the frailty of our existence. through the medium of limerick.

I’ve rather enjoyed the attempts at sombre limericks of late and being a little pushed for time to write this week they still give me chance to write as they don’t take long.

Today I’d like to explore the frailty of our existence. through the medium of limerick.

So here you go, another 4…though these will be the last for some time as they’re getting rather dark and a bit weird if I’m being honest.

A lass I once worked with called Jane 

Had a tumour removed from her brain 

She went to celebrate 

Thinking yeah this is great 

But got hit on way home by a train 

My friend knew a girl, quite the dancer 

Really hot so he thought he’d romance her

Woo’d her hard, they got wed 

Had two kids then dropped dead 

Nobody knew she’d brain cancer 

 Mum loved  chicken and steak, cheese and bread 

Quite often ate cake in her bed 

Scoffing chocolate and sweeties 

Got real fat,  diabetes 

Lost 3 toes then one summer fell dead 

Old dame lived alone in a flat 

Had no family or friends fancy that

Fell, banged her head on the ground 

3 weeks ’till she was found 

Decomposed, face chewed off by her cat


Want to read more of my stuff?  No.  Don’t blame you, no offence taken.


On the matter of eating endangered species

Following a drunken discussion at the pub.

I would not eat a panda

it does not appeal to me

Despite it being grass fed

and not tough and quite juicy

It’s flesh I would not sauté

bake or broil or steam or fry

I would not make some pastry

and then bake it in a pie


Please do not serve me blue whale

it would surely be obscene

To brown it in a skillet

with chopped garlic and some cream

I could not sample blow hole

or a steak of flesh most pink

Do not prepare me sperm whale

or an orca or a mink


Bald Eagle’s off the menu

it could never pass my lips  

I’d never shallow fry it

And then serve it with some chips

Please do not bring it to me

if you do I will reject

The smorgasbord of tasty

claws and wings and beaks and necks


Be gone you furry entrée

do not ask me to abide

A puppy stuffed with kitten

and Koala on the side

It leaves me feeling queasy

and on me it does repeat

I gag on eucalyptus

flavoured mar-su-pi-al meat


I’d never eat a chilli

made of simians for sure

Orang-utan with lentils

that I surely would deplore

I’d not enjoy chim-pan-zee

milk poached with fresh vanilla

I’d rather eat a salad

than bar-be-cued gorilla


But pig and cow I’ll gorge on

and chickens fill the belly

Once eels I even sampled

But the hot ones not in jelly

So why’s each species different

some not headed for the pot

whilst others we eat freely

quite delicious cold or hot


Fancy something else?

The continuing exploration of my fascination with alien probing

Malan eased the sleek silver craft to the ground, ion drives humming quietly and three silver legs sliding out slowly to cushion the ships gradual descent.

Malan eased the sleek silver craft to the ground, ion drives humming quietly and three silver legs sliding out slowly to cushion the ships gradual descent.

“This looks as good a place as any” said Malan as the craft settled snugly into a clearing in the middle of a large wooded expanse.  His voice was full of excitement as a green light on the panel lit up to indicate that recharging had commenced and a second blinked to indicate that there were no locals within a 1 quillet radius.

“We’re here dear” he grinned “shall I put the kettle on and we can get straight to it?”

His clan mate ran a clawed hand through thick blue fur and grunted approvingly.

“make sure the system’s are running on low power” she bristled, her thick tail swishing impatiently “we need to keep usage low until we’ve recharged enough to make the next leg.”

Their unplanned detour to this awful blue and green galactic backwater was made only slightly more pleasant by the promise of the opportunity to do some probing, something she took great delight in.

“How many did you pick up for me?” Zarb asked curtly.

“Just the one” Malan said eagerly, “there seem to be rather a lot of them so he won’t be missed for a few hours I’m sure. ”

“They all looked like pests to me!” she snapped.  “Hardly worth our time I’d imagine”

He was lucky to have her he reminded himself – the benefits of a wealthy family – and she was a quite magnificent specimen when she was vexed.  Standing tall she was half again as large as he, her glossy fur thick and blue and a quite magnificent tail that made him want to do nothing more than please her.

Zarb punched away at a small hand held console.  “According to this there are already a number of recorded instances of probing across a number of the species on the planet” she said curtly “I guess we won’t be getting any ‘first finder’ recognition!  Records seem to indicate a mostly primitive society.”

Malan brought her over a steaming cup of tea, the writhing thrubar tentacles curling around the lip of the mug made her purr with delight as she slurped them into her sharply toothed mouth.  “Right, let’s meet our visitors shall we” she said almost smiling.

Malan coughed nervously.

“What?” she snapped.

“He does seem rather annoying”

“Annoying?  What do you mean annoying?”

“Well, just a little backwards and he really will not shut up”

“What do you expect” Zarb snarled, “an unpleasant rock such as this is hardly going to be the most intriguing of places is it.  I’d be surprised if we were able to learn a single thing of interest from him.”

“I suppose” Malan replied, suddenly feeling deflated.  “I just wanted it to be fun you know – special – it’s been a while since we’ve done this together.”  Despite her frightful temper he really did admire her and as clan mate’s went she was the envy of many of his colleagues and friends.

“Perhaps just turn your translator off” Malan suggested, “we can still have fun without listening.”

“Hush will you!” she snapped.  “Let’s just see what we have shall we.”  Zarb put aside her tea and pushed past him and headed to the medical bay.

The first thing she noticed about the earthling was just how small he was.  Small and pink.  He seemed to have a light covering of fur in a few places but mostly he displayed a rather repulsive amount of flesh.  “How revolting!” she said scornfully as Malan followed closely behind her.

Upon hearing her voice the creature turned his head towards her and started shouting something, his eyes wide.  Zarb had no idea what he was saying but she thought she would at least entertain it for a while, he might actually turn out to be interesting.

She walked across to a small panel and with a curled claw punched a sequence into a keypad.  With a crackle she began to hear the previously unintelligible ramblings translated as he spoke them.

“…You will be purged ..something something…” the translator was struggling a little.

“Animated fellow isn’t he” Zarb remarked, picking up a large probe from the array of tools at the end of the silver bench to which he was strapped.

“…and fire and death will descend upon you…” he continued, his eyes bulging wide as she walked towards him smiling.

“Fire and death eh” Zarb smiled menacingly “I think I may keep him awake for this you know Malan.”

Malan congratulated himself on bringing such pleasure to his clan mate as the creature continued to rage and thrash.

“…and you will be destroyed and you will submit to the… something …will of the most something…Alan Akbar!”

“Alan Akbar” Zarb remarked, “you ever heard of an Alan Akbar, Malan” she asked, now most definitely grinning.

“Alan Akbar?  No dear” Malan replied playfully “never heard of the chap.”

“Well my little pink friend” She continued menacingly, running a claw slowly down the creatures stomach, “unless this Alan Akbar is about to burst through the door an rescue you you’re going to feel this descend on you most imminently!”

She held up the probe and something in the creatures response told her that it knew exactly what would happen next.

“Malan, be a dear turn the translator off will you” she asked smiling, “I think we will do this the old fashioned way…”


Whilst this piece can be read on its own there are other pieces which give it some greater context which you can find here and then here.

A collection of hopefully sad limericks.

Limericks are so playful and whimsical and done right, usually rather funny.  My aim is to do quite the opposite. How did I do?

On Mondays I like to allow myself a little more freedom from the discipline of the more structured writing schedule that I have set for myself.  

Last Monday I explored the idea of the inappropriate Haiku which you can read here

Limericks are so playful and whimsical and done right, usually rather funny.  My aim is to do quite the opposite.  So, can the limerick be sad?  Perhaps you’d like to leave your own in the comments?

A young lad I knew as a senior

he got cancer, I think ’twas leukaemia

the treatment it failed

he got thinner and paled

and then died and his wife got bulimia

My dad was a drunk and a cheat

every weekend my mother he beat

took her cash to do drugs

bringing home sluts and thugs

’till we all ended up on the street

First time we met how I tried

not to love, but I made her my bride

then the marriage it failed

when her sister I nailed 

Took her life, overdose, suicide

My dog, my best friend always true

dedicated to me through and through

Drunk, I left the door wide

and she ran straight outside

got ran over and died now I’m blue


A chap that I know who loves choir 

had to quit giving up his desire 

he could not harmonise 

when he lost both his eyes 

and his tongue when he fell in a fire 

I think I’ll stop there, I’m not sure that I’m trying hard enough to make them sad.  Or maybe I should blame the limerick, either way I hope it’s not too inappropriate and I think it goes to show that even the most serious of subjects find some lightness in a limerick.

Want to read more of my stuff?  No.  Don’t blame you, no offence taken.

More tea vicar ? 

I should warn that should you read further you could find my post somewhat inappropriate, though that could also be down to you.  I am not one to judge.

I have written on the matter of tea twice already this week, and as a proud Englishman and Yorkshireman I believe that it is a subject worth revisiting.

Not that I am particularly fond of the stuff, I am not.  But seeing the daily prompt I was reminded of something of a running battle that has raged in our house for a number of years now.

I should warn that should you read further you could find my post a little inappropriate, though that could also be down to you.  I am not one to judge.

My wife insists on insisting, much to my frustration, that on a hot day a nice cup of tea will cool one down.  Now before you rush off to Google to see whether it has a voice on the matter I will confess that any answers it may provide could possibly be construed as confirming that fact.  There are posts on the science of heating one’s core to trigger the bodies natural cooling mechanisms.

I do not care one jot what Google says on the matter, if you are drinking a scalding cup of anything on a boiling hot day it will inevitably make you feel somewhat sweatier than a nice pinacolada will.

Despite pointing that out to her, the merest mention of sunshine and she is ready to trot out her well worn offering of a nice cup of tea knowing that I will both refuse her not at all kind offer but also rant and rage much to her pleasure.

I do however get to occasionally exercise my revenge, which is always best served cold, unlike tea.   It’s important to note at this point that my wife likes to leave the tea bag in the cup as she drinks her tea.

If we have visitors then I like to ask her, loudly and in front of as many of them as is possible (and if children are about even better), “Do you want ‘teabagin’ hun?”

The pleasure is amplified if I can get my 9 yeah old to shout it.  “Mum, dad wants to know if you want teabagin.”

At worse I will be the recipient of a withering look, and if I am lucky I will be on the sharp end of rolling eyes and a “god, what are you 13 years old!”

I may not win them all but when I do, the sweetness of battle is oh so delicious…


More? You could see if you like any of this

A letter to the council – An Armitage Tangent

Secondly, and perhaps more obviously, I would again press as to why my husband is now on what is quite obviously a dangerous undertaking.  He did not take either a proper coat or sturdy shoes,

The Cottage

79 The Crescent

Little Norwood

West Yorkshire


To whom it may concern

I would write to you in the strongest terms with regards to the recent treatment of my husband, Mr Armitage Shanks, of the address noted above.

Two days ago My husband attended your offices and was informed by the receptionist that in order for his family to continue to receive our support he would need to support one of your apparent operations within The Rift.  This really is most unacceptable and not how we should conduct things as the last bastion of organised civilisation.

To this point I would ask a number of questions.

Firstly, who the devil is this receptionist.  Whilst the world may have gone to hell (please forgive my language, but this matter has me most vexed), surely one would require far greater authority to compel my husband to risk life and limb that that possessed of a mere receptionist.

My husband is a weak willed man and I can only assume that she is one of these modern liberated types who, feeling empowered per some council agenda, feels that she can order people to their doom willy nilly.  This simply will not do and on that matter I would ask that you escalate my concerns to the highest possible authority.

Secondly, I would again press as to why my husband is now on what is quite obviously a dangerous undertaking.  He did not take either a proper coat or sturdy shoes, instead choosing a light summer jacket and a pair of tan brogues.  Can you assure me that you have provided his with suitable apparel.

Lastly I would again insist that you return him home as soon as is possible.  He is in no way prepared for an endeavour of this basis and not capable of a great deal more than some light gardening and the occasional trip to the pub.  He has also not yet fitted a shelf in the kitchen over which he has been procrastinating for some time and I must insist that should anything untoward happen to my husband then I will hold you responsible for not only the welfare of me and my family but you will also need to put up that shelf as I currently have nowhere for my pans.

I anticipate your swift response.

Yours Sincerely

Katherine Shanks


If you want to read more about Armitage Shanks please take a look here.

Fly me to the moon – Sunday photo fiction

When Yako spent his food-creds on the lottery he knew it was their last chance of escaping the bleak existence of Earth. 

The Series 3 transporter hurtled through the inky darkness, ion propulsion drive humming as it devoured the empty miles.

“Dad, dad, look!” Tovi shouted. pointing out of the port side windows as the earth disappeared,  the moon racing towards them..

When Yako spent his food-creds on the lottery he knew it was their last chance of escaping the bleak existence of Earth.  “This is going to be a new life for us!” he said gently, “Not many poor folk like us get a second chance of a real life on the moon you know!”

“Will we be happy dad?” Tovi asked, still uncertain.

“It’s going to be wonderful” he grinned, “We’ll have an apartment, food, you’ll go to a real school and I’ll have a job at last!”

Tovi’s face lit up in delight.  As the transporter doors Tovi pushed through the crowd desperate to get a glimpse of their new home.

“CHILDREN LEFT, ADULTS RIGHT” boomed the tonoi.

The last time Tovi remembered seeing his father was as he turned and momentarily caught sight of him looking panicked and calling his name.

He wasn’t sure how long ago that was though, time escapes you in the mines of the moon…

Photo courtesy of © A Mixed Bag 2009

The intergalactic language of tea – Daily Prompt

Now as it turns out, across the collective 11256 recognised civilisations registered at the Central Galactic Office for Sentience more than two thirds have something culturally equivalent to a nice cup of tea. 

Zarb turned on her clan mate, his blue fur ruffling as she roared her disapproval at again being lost in some awful backwater.

“I swear by the many moons of Tarlex” she bellowed, “If we run out of fuel and end up marooned here waiting for a repair service I will rip out your throat and leave your carcass in this god forsaken place!”

“Now now dear” said Malen, attempting to calm her.  She was half his size again and had such a frightful temper, “I know exactly where we are” he paused for a moment before adding “…more or less.”

She scowled at him, her claws twitching and her tail swishing impatiently.  “My mother told me that you were an inferior mate” she snarled, “but no, I let you woo me with your throbbing brabnar and your eloquent songs of dal-bur”.  She pushed him aside, reaching for the Navigation console.

“Zarb, my sweetness” Malen pleaded, “trust me, we are only a mere 4 quintels astray and we will soon be back on …”

Malan never got to finish explaining how they would soon be back on course following a diversion to avoid a rather nasty solar flare, because he was quite rudely interrupted by a loud alarm and a series of flashing lights emanating from the bridge.

“Malan you useless spawn of a fargon!” She cried, clubbing him across the side of the face and squeezing her ample rump into the not quite large enough chair in front of the console.  Furiously she stabbed away at the illuminated buttons with her long fingers. 

He looked over her furry blue shoulder as she plotted a new set of navigation coordinates. 

“You’ve taken us too far out of range of that sun!” she growled, we’re going to need to spend a couple of cycles on the nearest planet to recharge the cells!” 

Malan knew it was best to say as little as possible at this point.  “How about I make us a nice cup of tea?” he offered apologetically as she continued to mumble insults about his mother’s cooking and the unimpressive girth of his father’s jarbul.

Now as it turns out, across the collective 11256 recognised civilisations registered at the Central Galactic Office for Sentience more than two thirds have something culturally equivalent to a nice cup of tea.  The people of Karpisal V have a beverage almost identical to a refreshing Earl Grey taken each morning as a cleansing tonic whilst the amassed hordes of Qualik have something more akin to a soup of battery acid and pig trotters which is apparently quite invigorating on a summer’s day. 

The idea seemed to calm her somewhat and she grunted approvingly. 

“I’ll tell you what else we can do when we get there “ Malan said with a hint of excitement in his voice.

“What’s that?” She asked, her interest piqued.

“Probing!” he exclaimed.

“Ooh ooh yes please” Zarb cried “It’s been far too long.

To find out a little more about our furry blue friends take a look here


Or you could see if you like any of this

Screw you Haiku

On Mondays I like to allow myself a little more freedom from the discipline of the more structured writing schedule that I have set for myself and simply do something stupid.

On Mondays I like to allow myself a little more freedom from the discipline of the more structured writing schedule that I have set for myself and do something different.  I normally like to dabble with a variety of fiction pieces but Not on Monday, oh no

The challenge of packing emotive imagery into 17 syllables is quite a test, which is perhaps why they seem so daunting and often so very serious.  A limerick on the other hand is quite the opposite, filled with such joy and whimsy.

Today I shall attempt to write some haiku that are not serious at all serious.


Hot spicy curry

Arse like a Japanese flag

oh no not again


In the house naked

Wife and kids on vacation

Beer for breakfast


Leaving work in shame

Stomach flu going around

Gambled on a fart


Wife screams in horror

Dogs humping in the garden

Cover children’s eyes


Loud knock at the door

Dancing in the house naked

Police “Close curtains!”


Want to read more of my stuff?

Armitage – Part 6

“Imagine the world as a sheet of double ply toilet paper.” Ichabod continued, “This world is one sheet and the other sheet is one of countless others.  I exist in-between those two sheets.”
“As scientific explanations go” Armitage snapped, “that is bloody awful!”  His breathing quickened, his head started to pound and he started to feel sick again.

Armitage awoke from a rather pleasant dream where he was not in a military compound waiting to pop into a space time rift on the whim of a council office receptionist.  It involved cups of tea and pottering around the garden for the most part.  There may have been croquet at one point but he was too busy tending to his roses for that.

He opened his eyes slowly and realising where he was mumbled an “oh bugger me” before closing them again in an attempt to at least pretend that he was still asleep.

“Excellent, you’re awake!” Came a reply.

It wasn’t Goodwin.  This was a new voice and one wholly more friendly and upbeat than either Goodwin or Koala.  It sounded excited almost, which Armitage found most annoying.

“I was just about to wake you” the voice continued quite chipper.  “You need to get ready, it’s nearly time”.

Armitage sat up slowly, rubbing his eyes.  He hadn’t meant to fall asleep, he had intended to try and get hold of his family, protest loudly but politely about his current situation and try and get hold of a tooth brush as he had neglected to brush this morning.

“And you are exactly whom?” he asked turning towards the source of the voice.

“Turner” came the reply, “Ichabod Turner, please to meet you”.

There was nobody precisely where this somebody ought to be.

“Why can I not see you? Armitage puzzled, already fast acclimatising to the new ridiculousness of his post-council-office-trip life.

“Oh yes, sorry I do forget sometimes” came the disembodied reply, “the easiest way to explain it is that I exist in a place between your world and a million others.  Went into into a rift a few years ago and came out like this.”

Armitage said nothing, waiting.

“Imagine the world as a sheet of double ply toilet paper.” Ichabod continued, “This world is one sheet and the other sheet is one of countless others.  I exist in-between those two sheets of toilet paper.”

“As scientific explanations go” Armitage snapped, “that is bloody awful!”  His breathing quickened, his head started to pound and he started to feel sick again.

“Yeah my wife said something along those lines when I told her” Ichabod replied. “Well, in between the screaming and the crying and the insisting that she had told me something like this was bound to happen if I insisted on wandering onto rifts.”

Armitage thought he sounded like he was smiling.  He wondered if his own wife was destined for a similar fate.

“I probably need to rethink how I explain myself to people” Ichabod continued, then paused for a moment whilst Armitage put his head in his hands.  He really needed a nice cup of team and another lie down.

“Come on Armitage” he insisted “we can’t be lingering here all day we have places to be.  Lets have you, chop chop.”

Armitage struggled to his feet, head spinning.  “Ok, where are we going?”

“Oh this is going to be fantastic”.

“I very much doubt that.”

Ichabod laughed.  “Do you want to put on those fatigues?”

Armitage had no intention of putting on the fatigues and boots laid out on the green trunk at the end of the bed.  “I was supposed to be repotting my azalea today you know!” He complained loudly. “It isn’t flowering and it really needs looking at.

Ichabod didn’t reply.

“You know what” he said, “I think I shall remain in the clothes I am wearing thank you very much.”  He folded his arms in as much of an act of defiance as he could muster.

“Suit yourself, follow me” instructed Ichabod.

Armitage followed Ichabod’s voice as he was lead between the tents and to a small door in the side of the stadium.  There were surprisingly few people to be seen.  He had seen a couple of heavily armed thick set men milling about outside one of the large green tents and a small squad of around a dozen men could be seen running at the far end of the row of tents but that aside it was by no means busy.

“Could you get that?” Ichabod asked.  “I seem to be struggling with my hands in this reality a little today.”

Armitage pulled the door open and they passed through inside, Ichabod leading him through a series of winding corridors until they appeared at another door.  Armitage pulled it open without being asked.

The first thing he saw when he passed through the door, hearing it clang closed behind him, was Koala Jackson deep in conversation with Goodwin.  They were just a few metres away on the edge of what was once the pitch inside the stadium, but the grass was mostly gone now and more tents were scattered across it’s surface, with one particularly large one squarely in the centre.  Masses of heavily armed troops littered the place and there was a real thrum of activity wherever he looked, with crates of what he assumed were weapons and ammunition being moved about.  Much of the seating in the stands had been removed and what looked like sand bag emplacements and bunkers took up much the space where the seating had once been.

“Good heavens!” he exclaimed loudly.   “What the bloody hell is this?”

“Armitage, Turner, over here” boomed Koala Jackson.  “Front and centre, sharp!”

Armitage really did not like being barked at.  It made him feel most uneasy given that he was by nature a more collaborative sort, prone to problem solving through the sharing ideas and the exchange of dialogue.  Judging by the look on Koala Jackson’s face she didn’t seem to be in the mood for anything other than him being front and centre, so he hastily obliged.

First thing Armitage noticed was that she seemed to be carrying an inordinate amount of weapons, which surely did not bode well for the rest of the evening.  Not that he knew anything about armaments, but they certainly looked rather dangerous and not something you would need were you pottering in the garden or making jam.  There were Pistols in holsters on her belt, those he could recognise, and there were a couple or large pointy ones on her back which looked most unpleasant and which might take an eye out if you weren’t careful with them.   Add to these the one strapped across her chest and the one in her left hand and she looked prepared for something that he was not.

“Is all that not heavy?” he asked, the words spilling from his lips without thought.  Jackson didn’t bother with a reply.

“Gentlemen” she said with a certain menace that Armitage had not noticed earlier “Inrift into  exactly ten minutes time we shall be entering Rift 1979.”  Four heavily armed men in worn fatigues had joined him and Ichabod and they stood waiting for Jackson to continue.

Armitage felt sick again

Jackson stood to her full height, addressing the group but speaking to him directly.  “Armitage, you are our key and are going to help me and my team pass through Rift 1979.  Once inside the  Rift you will remain with us whilst we complete our mission at which point you will accompany us back through again.  Is that understood?”

“Well actually…” Armitage began before she interrupted him.

“You don’t need to ask questions” she snapped “you simply need to do as I tell you and stay close to Mr Goodwin.  He will ensure nothing terrible happens to you.”

Armitage did not like the word terrible one bit.  He had once spilled paint on the stair carpet, and that was about the extent of his definition of terrible. He feared her definition was somewhat significantly worse.

“Ichabod will be our guide between dimensions and the 4 magnificent specimens you see next to you are there just in case we need to negotiate with the locals.”  Armitage looked at the one closest to him and he had to agree, he was rather magnificent.  Not the sort  you would have round for a spot of brunch but he hoped most certainly suited to something as ridiculous as whimsically popping into a space time rift.

“Now, if you all want to follow me we really must be going” she said sharply and headed off towards the large white tent in the middle of the pitch.

Goodwin grabbed his arm and pulled him after him as he hear Ichabod proclaim “Oh I love this bit.  You’re going to love this Mr Shanks, just you see!”

Armitage doubted that very much.  Approaching the large white tent he noticed Jackson’s team visibly tense.  “What happened to your previous key?” he asked cautiously.

They looked at one another but didn’t reply.  He was about to protest most vociferously when he suddenly found himself inside the tent, Goodwin’s hand still around his arm.  He had anticipated a head quarters of some sort, or perhaps an information desk where he cold lodge a complaint, but this really was not what he expected.

Standing in the middle of the tent, the only thing in the room, was a door.

Now as far as doors go this one was for the most part a rather regular and unassuming door, the type you would find on any street. It was 8 panelled with a  brass handle, letter box and knocker and painted jet black with a number two positioned slightly off centre to the right about three quarters of the way up.  That was it, just this door.

He wanted to ask why there was a door, it seemed the natural question to ask, but given how the last few days had panned out he waited as someone would tell him eventually.

“Welcome to Rift 1979!”  Jackson seemed rather proud suddenly”Oh yes, baby!” Ichabod exclaimed.

“I expected something a little more…” Armitage paused. “Well a little less door like really.  Maybe a little more Hollywood.”

Jackson glared at him.  “The door is a containment field Mr Shanks.  Our alien friends were so kind as to leave us with this before they disappeared with our tea and biscuits.”

“Very kind of them” he mumbled.

Koala took his arm and pulled him towards the door.  ” Now all I need you to do is to open it for me and step inside.”

This was all happening way too fast he thought.  This sort of thing did not happen to people like him.  People like him tended their gardens and contributed to the general well being of the village and drank beer and played darts in the pub on a Friday .

“And how exactly do I do that ” Armitage asked, hoping that there would be some complex ritual which he could make a mess of to delay what felt like the inevitable.

“Its a Door Armitage” Goodwin interrupted.  “Turn the handle.”

“Well I could” he said, “But I really do not think that …”

“Open the bloody door Armitage!” Jackson demanded.

She scared him into action and before he knew it he had reached out turning the handle.  It clicked, just as one would expect of a door and slowly he pushed against it.  Before he had time to ask whether he might perhaps remain behind given his splitting headache he felt was a shove in the back and he tumbled through the door, the others bursting past and stepping over him.

After that it all got a little weird.


Want to read more of my stuff?  There’s a few links below you might like.

Scamper – Daily Prompt

“BRAINS!” demanded Chuck, teeth gnashing and arms flailing as he thrashed to extricate him from the tangle of barbed wire around his legs and waist.

“Hey Chuck, do you remember when we young?” Brian asked, his mind a fog and a hunger in his belly that made him want to scream.

“BRAINS!” demanded Chuck, teeth gnashing and arms flailing as he thrashed to extricate him from the tangle of barbed wire around his legs and waist.

“You used to be really active you know” Brian continued, “You were always…what’s that word..?”  He trailed off into silence, thinking was getting more difficult and the hunger was unbearable.

“BRAINS!” Chuck demanded again, more forcefully this time.

Chuck had no recollection of much other than the fact that he really wanted some brains right now.  If he tried really hard to not think about eating brains there was occasionally a flicker of a different world, but it all seemed like a …like a…something,   He didn’t really have the words anymore really, he was just so hungry.

“I’m trying to have a normal conversation with you mate!” Brian snapped.  “I know this is all very upsetting but …” the words failed him again.

He looked down and noticed a rather large hole in his military fatigues, and an equally large one in his chest, crawling with flies. “You used to …oh what was that word now…” he said, looking across at his old friend.  “You used to love to…”

Chuck had managed to get one of his legs free and celebrated with a rather hearty “BRAINS!”

For the briefest moment of moment Brian felt a clarity of thought and a million thoughts flashed through his mind.  He remembered everything.  The outbreak, the war, family , friends and so much more.

“Chuck” he said slowly, “I think we’re undead mate!”  He felt his thoughts escaping him, like sand slipping through clutching fingers.  The hunger was overpowering, he had to fight for every word.  “I’ve remembered Chuck” he said excitedly, “I’ve remembered what you used to love to do!”

He looked over and noticed that Chuck had dragged himself free of the barbed wire, leaving much of his right lower leg behind.  “BRAINS!” Chuck exclaimed joyfully.

“You used to…it was…you…we…” His voice trailed away, eyes glazing over and his head falling to one side.

“BRAINS!” was all he could muster.


Fancy something a little different?  Try one of these maybe…












Passenger – An Armitage Tangent

Alex stood frozen.  Looking across the empty lanes of the motorway he could see his brother’s red Mustang,  crumpled and twisted, steam billowing from the radiator.  His first thought was  “Mum and dad are going to kill him!”, and it never occurred to him that everything wouldn’t be ok, because when you’re 15 everything usually is.

“Weird” he thought, scratching his head through a mop of dark curly hair, something was nagging at him, his thoughts very much a fog.   “This is a dream right?”  He asked himself.

“You know, that’s usually what you lot ask at this point” came a response out of nowhere  “and then I tell you it isn’t” it continued, “and then you freak out”.

Alex turned to the source of the voice, seeing before him a small bald man with a warm smile and piercing blue eyes.  He wore a sharp well fitted dark suit, crisp white shirt and a black tie tied with a Windsor knot and despite his stature had all the air of someone who could quite easily do you harm if you forgot to pay him for whatever you might own a man like him for. 

“Calm yourself curly locks” he said, a thin smile breaking out on his face “I know this is all a shock and you want to run over and see what’s going on and blah blah blah but we really need to get moving”.

Alex indeed wanted to run over to the scene where a fire truck, lights flashing and horns blaring had just pulled up, but he couldn’t.  His head told his body to ignore the small bald man and do exactly that but he simply remained where he stood.  His thinking was so slow, words escaped him, concepts too.

“I need to go over! My brother’s still in there” he mumbled.  That he knew, foggy headed or not. 

The Bald headed man remained unmoved. “Hate to break it to you kiddo but you’re dead”  he said dispassionately.  “You aren’t going anywhere other than recycling.”  It was simply a fact to him.  He had done this so many times that he found it far easier to just get right to the heart of the matter rather than to try flowering things up. 

Early on in his career he had developed a real flair for the dramatic, and relished these moments.  He’d dabbled in poetry and religious imagery and had even used props for a while but it soon wore thin.  

These days he was a fan of a nice suit over the effort of a hooded cloak.  They were rather more uncomfortable than one might think and forever dragging on the floor and needing to be washed.   and as menacing as a scythe is it’s a real nuisance to cart around all day

Alex stood, saying nothing because some part of him knew he was dead.   There was a feint recollection of a party – perhaps someone’s birthday – and rain, lots of rain.  After that there was a horn, loud noise and then …well then he was stood where he found himself right now. 

After a while he spoke “Is he ok?” he asked.

“Id not worry about him for now kiddo” bald man replied, “come on, follow me.  You’ll like this.”

Alex turned slowly to follow, his head swimming.  “Where are we going?  What will happen to him?“

“Always with the questions” the bald man mumbled under his breath.  “Just follow me, I’ll explain everything in a bit”.

The bald man led him up a small path and just over the brow of the embankment that ran adjacent to the motorway.  “Keep up” the bald man called, disappearing inside an open door, “Ive got places to be.”

Now as far as doors go this one was for the most part a rather regular and unassuming door, the type you would find on any street. It was 8 panelled with a  brass handle, letter box and knocker and painted jet black with a number two positioned slightly off centre to the right about three quarters of the way up.  What made it wholly unusual though was the way it simply stood unsupported just alongside a busy motorway where he had apparently just died.

Bald man popped his head around the door. “Are you coming or not?” he shouted, and disappeared back inside.

As Alex approached he could see inside into what looked very much like an office.  There was a large empty hall, white floors and walls and the bald man seemed to be stood at what looked like reception desk.  Bald man looked over beckoning for him to hurry across as Alex stepped through the door.  He felt it close behind him and a lock clicked.

“Alex” he said, grabbing his sleeve and pulling him over, “this is The Receptionist, she’s been looking forward to meeting you.”

She looked a bit like the woman his mum didn’t like his dad talking to at work he thought, the one mum described as “that hot home wrecking blonde” and dad always described as “harmless” and “just really friendly”.

Alex heard a voice in his head, it seemed to cut through the fog.  “It’s very nice to meet you Alex” she said, “If you want to take a seat on one of the chairs behind you I will be with you in a short while.  I just need to have a word with Mr Goodwin”.

He had a million questions going through his head but he felt compelled to do as she had asked, and nodding he turned on his heels and walked across to the chairs and took a seat.

He watched Goodwin and the receptionist for a while, him speaking and her simply looking directly at him.  He nodded once or twice, made a few notes in a small notebook which he then tucked inside his breast pocket and with that he was gone, pausing only briefly to look back across at him before exiting through the door they had passed through earlier.

She beckoned him over with a long elegant finger.  Stood before her he heard her in his head “Well Alex, I guess you are wondering what exactly is going on.” He nodded.  “Mr Goodwin should have explained but alas he has a tendency to neglect his duties sometimes.  I really must have a word.”

Her voice was cold, he felt it not only in his head but in his bones.

“You must have a lot of questions” she continued.  He nodded again.  “All in good time Alex.  For now you need to know this.  So listen carefully.”

He nodded.  It was all he seemed capable of.

“You’re dead I’m afraid Alex, and Mr Goodwin has just left to fetch your brother who did not make it despite the best efforts of the emergency services.  You and your brother are very special, and possess certain qualities that I value most highly and because of that I asked him to being you back for recycling.”

She could see from his face that he was confused.  Understandably so she thought, these people with their antiquated belief systems really had no idea of just what lay out there in the universe.  The universes.

“Is this heaven?” he asked.

“No Alex, this is not heaven” she replied, “You’re in the council offices.  We are here to recycle you and get you back out there because there is something you need to do for me”.

That was not what he had expected to hear.  He had always gone to Sunday school and was pretty sure that if he were dead he really ought to be heading off to heaven and ot stood at the council office reception.

“No such thing as heaven or hell I am afraid.  Regardless of which of your many god’s you root for” she explained “Though from what I read neither sound particularly interesting. You really need to just forget everything you may have been told and trust me that this is the best place for you.  You got lucky really today Alex, we could have simply let you dissolve into nothing but you’re here so let’s get on with the job at hand shall we.?

Her tone was suddenly less friendly and that was not a question.   Alex nodded again as Mr Goodwin burst through the door, his brother in tow. 

“Justin!” he exclaimed, waving him over.  Justin had the same foggy look Alex had had just ten minutes prior. Mr Goodwin lead Justin over to stand with him.

“Thank you Mr Goodwin” the receptionist said, her gaze fixed on Justin.  “Very nice to meet you, I’m terribly sorry about being dead and all but it really is nothing to get too upset about.”

She looked at Alex now, he was pretty sure that they were all hearing her in their heads.

“If you would be so kind to explain to your brother what is going on I shall go and prepare you a couple of nice new bodies and we will have you back out on there in no time at all.  We have a lot to get done today.”

***I started this piece about the death of a passenger in a car then thought I’d explore an idea for the Armitage stuff I am writing so kind of just went with it.  It probably slots into the Armitage story somewhere, just not really sure at the moment. – Michael***

Soil – An Armitage Tangent

“A scotch egg is not a fruit!” Wednesday insisted forcefully, “it is an egg wrapped in sausage meat then crumbed and deep fried!”

 “A scotch egg is not a fruit!” Wednesday insisted forcefully, “it is an egg wrapped in sausage meat then crumbed and deep fried!” 

“All I’m saying” replied Thomas, “Is that if you use your imagination, and think of it maybe as a meat apple then it maybe could be.”  He paused for a moment.  “Don’t you think?”

Wednesday did not think.  Not for one moment. 

“Why do you insist on being so completely ridiculous?” He ranted, face flushed and his jaw clenched.  “I swear you do it just to annoy me!”

“What if I gave you an apple flavoured one?”

“That’s a bloody apple!” Wednesday raged.  “We’ve got a job to do here – stop going on about scotch egg flavoured apples and apple flavoured scotch eggs and dig!”

“What about an orange flavoured one?”

“Ok, you know full well  that an orange flavoured apple flavoured scotch egg is a bleeding orange!”  A vein pulsed just above his right temple.  “Just keep digging and stop being an idiot.”

Thomas allowed himself just a little smile.  He loved Wednesday deeply but he was a frightful bore at times and took things far too seriously.  No imagination at all sadly.  “It’s nature’s goodness Wednesday” he grinned, attempting to push the large brown pork ball into his friend’s hand.  “Here”, he said “Take a bite they’re delicious!”

Wednesday hit Thomas’ hand away and the scotch egg fell to the floor “Stop it!” he shouted, “I don’t want a bloody pork apple!”

“So you admit it then!”  Thomas laughed in delight, picking up the scotch egg from the floor “Oh Wednesday, you are funny.  You won’t grow if you don’t eat your vegetables” he teased.

Wednesday did not find any of this funny at all.  His sense of humour was not his strong suite.  It served very little purpose in his line of work.

“Just keep digging the hole and then we’ll get out of here” he said thrusting a shovel into Thomas’ free hand.

“I don’t see why I always have to do the digging “ said thomas “you could help”.

Wednesday rolled his head, bones cracking in his neck.  “You dig because I do most of the killing” he replied curtly.  “If you want to do more of the killing then I will quite happily dig but if you insist of eating scotch eggs and being an idiot then you get to dig.”

“I only asked, bloody hell mate” Thomas said “This should be deep enough anyway, drag him over I’ll get him covered up.”

Thomas shovelled the majority of the soil over what was quite obviously the body of a rather portly gentleman, a single polished shoe protruding from a thick white wrapping that did very little to hide what was inside.

“Job Done” Thomas said satisfactorily, brushing the dust from his clothes.

Wednesday smiled “You got any of those scotch eggs left, I’m starving.”

Footprints – An AFA Challenge

“Hey Boss, have you seen what Mary’s been writing?”

“That footprints in the sand woman?”

“Yeah her”.  Jonah scratched his head and laughed.  “Did you have anything to do with it?  I know what you’re like, whispering in their ears like you care”

“Look, I never asked to get stuck on this planet ok, I never asked to be immortal and I certainly never asked to be anyone’s lord and saviour. He continued, quite vexed, “2500 years I’ve been here. I get bored.  Not once have those upstairs even bothered to so much as pop in and say ‘Good Job’ or  read one of my reports.  I’m sorry”

“What did you do?”

“Ok I did pop into her dream and I gave it all that ‘I was carrying you ‘ business.  I also gave her cancer.”

“Boss, you’re such a dick.”


Inpired by A Frank Angle at

Footprints in the sand



Sail – A Tenuous Daily Prompt

Today I shall sit in my chair

and write a poem of despair

or something deep or maybe sad

but nothing fun and nothing glad.


With teenage angst perhaps I’ll write

of when my jeans became too tight

or of my hair when it fell out

or of last Saturday’s beer drought.


Ill dim the lights and play whale songs

and bemoan all the world’s wrongs

and type about my slow net speeds

of morning traffic hell in Leeds


Ill hug myself and watch the rain

wear baggy clothes and spout my pain

That time TIVO missed GOT

or of my boats main sail ripped in ’03


My pain is shared so now you feel

the things I do that make me real

Perhaps you’ll like to show you care

my tale of woe, pain and despair

Moxie – An Armitage tangent.

“I do not for one minute” ranted Jones, his face quite beetroot in complexion ” believe that all people are created Equal”.  A large vein throbbed above his right temple.  “And I will tell you another thing while I’m at it”  he continued, jutting out a sausage like finger and spitting as he spoke “there is no way we are taking in any more of those confounded Illegals!”

He seemed rather convinced of his point.  Out of breath he plopped his portly frame back into his chair and folded his arms defiantly.  As usual though,  he failed to acknowledge that these were not solely his decisions to make.

“Now come on Arthur, you know full well this is a decision for the council and not for you alone” Alastair Brown reminded him.  Alastair was the local milkman and had known Arthur for as long as he could remember and was quite adept at calming him down.  He was in most aspects larger than life and with a will that was seldom swayed.

Arthur let out what sounded like ‘harumph’ and attempted to fold his arms even tighter in defiance,  but this simply served to push up his chest until it looked like he had a rather full pair of breasts.

Alastair surveyed the room, and all the other council members eyes were fixed firmly upon him.  Anderson, Smith, Wesley and Carpenter were going to let him deal with this one.  They backed him, but they weren’t going to let Jones know that.

“All I’m saying Arthur, is that we can take more.  We have room.  We have resources.”

Arthur didn’t respond.

“The world has changed Arthur, we cannot keep resisting.  They need our help, we need to show compassion” Alastair pleaded.

Arthur unwrapped his arms and stood slowly, heaving his considerable frame out of the chair.  He had always been a bully, from very young,  and being bigger than the other children he learnt from an early age how to use his size to his advantage.

“I will not, and cannot, tolerate one more of those ‘things’ in our village!”  He drew himself to his full height and puffed out his chest.   He continued, now ignoring Jones and addressing the room “the world may have changed but we are not for changing gentleman.  We belong to this village and this village belongs to us!”

Alastair tried to speak but Arthur was not for listening.

“When the rifts opened and those things came through, feasting and destroying and ruining our flower beds they didn’t show us any compassion.  They didn’t show us any kindness!”

“Now come on Arthur”, Alastair exclaimed, “That was nearly 20 years ago.  They need us, they have nowhere to go.”

“That is not true, they can go home!”

“Their home is dying, you know that.  That’s why they’re here”.

Carpenter was about to speak, and noticing Arthur immediately pointed a finger at him “Giles, you surely don’t expect us to take in anymore given what happened to your Mary.”

Giles fell silent.  No one spoke until Alastair broke the silence.

“That was low Arthur.  You really didn’t need to bring that up.”

Alastair felt he was losing the battle.  They had all suffered when the rift opened, they had all lost someone and they had all fought so hard to rebuild their village.  The others were too afraid of Arthur to stand up to him, and he felt rather isolated.

Arthur didn’t care how Giles felt.  He didn’t care how anyone felt.  “So that’s decided then, we don’t take in any more of those confounded blue furred creatures.  Let them rot I say!”

The other said nothing.

Arthur sat slowly, savouring the moment.  He took a slow drink of water from the glass in front of him.  “Moving on to point 2 on the Agenda then, Donations for the summer fete raffle…Giles, I believe that was one for you.”

Probing – a cautionary tale – Daily prompt


I woke one day only to find

Aliens probing my behind

Imagine if you will my shock

Lying undressed bar just one sock.


Now I’m not the type of chap to moan

but I’d only just set off for home

from work when there to my surprise

An alien vessel fills the sky.


And after that it’s quite a blur

I recall a creature with blue fur

and a cold insertion twixt my thighs

and tears streaming from my eyes.


Then nothing until I awoke

On a metal slab with another bloke

who struggled wildly to get free

and looked just as surprised as me.


And there we lay for quite a while

imprisoned by these creatures vile

until they entered fur and claw

with tails that dragged across the floor.


I blurted out “I must protest

I need to get this off my chest!”

They simply blinked big eyes and peeked

inside my new friends bottom cheeks.


“Now please forgive my attitude

I do not mean to be so rude

but bloody hell this is not fun

please do not rummage in his bum!”


No response, they weren’t aware

it was as if I was not there

they seemed intent on exploration

to my compatriots consternation.


“Now come on really must you poke

inside the bottom of that bloke?

What is it you hope to find

secreted inside his behind?”


I felt an anger from way down

that they’d picked me when leaving town.

Who would believe a humble tailor

with tales of an alien Impaler.


“I’ve hear you lot are so obsessed

with getting people quite undressed

then delving into their hind quarter

is that what your mother taught ya?”


I’m riled, enraged, my dander rising

“Please just stop my butt cheeks prising

and let me go back to my wife

I’m late, not called, and in real strife!”


I know not if it was my words

but my request it seems was heard

and soon they would to my pleas yield

and drop me off in a corn field.


I know not why they chose to take

folk such as us and prisoners make.

Folk laugh when I of my tale speak

how I cold not sit for a week.


One day perhaps I’ll understand

why people all across the land

are probed by these fowl creatures blue

today was me, tomorrow you?


Take heed in case one day you find

an alien in your behind

your wife doubting just where you’ve been

accusing you of deeds obscene


with strangers you picked up in town

finger pointing face a frown

“Think of the kids, please don’t get drunk

and let folk fiddle in your trunk”.




We unlikely few – An Armitage tangent

In a world gone mad, where nobody is safe and danger lurks at every turn, there are men who will answer the call to stand up for what is right and to defend the innocent in the face of impossible odds.   Here tonight, in a quiet village pub in an unassuming English village, you might just find those men.

That is to say you might, but you won’t.

The men in this pub are like those men, just not quite as courageous or as athletic.  They don’t possess the chiselled jaws or the superhuman powers of those other men and those other men possess a certain confidence with the ladies that these gentlemen most certainly lack .  Here in this pub you will find men who would very much like to fight crime (given the right circumstances and good weather) but these men also recognise that a game of dominoes and a pint is a wholly safer endeavour and considerably less exerting. and pretty much never results in one losing a limb.

The last of the regulars had left and the landlord of The Three Pigeons had kindly closed up for the night and popped upstairs to bed asking them to lock up when they were finished and pop the key through the letterbox.

Trevor rapped his meaty knuckles onto the table loudly, “Order Gentlemen, Order please!”  Silence fell and he continued.  Physically he was a rather average and underwhelming man by most standards, other than his inordinately large hands.  “Firstly, I would just like to thank you for coming this evening, these are dark times indeed and in times such as these it is incumbent on the likes of us to stand up and be counted.”

He paused for a moment, in his mind rather dramatically, staring at the ‘us’.

The ‘us’ mostly sat and waited to see what would come next.  Trevor had always had a flair for the dramatic, it went back to his days in the local am-drams club.  After a drink or two  he could quite often be found recalling with much fondness , to anyone whom he might corner, details of his finest hour as Tony in West Side Story performed at the local church hall for a crowd of nearly 50.

“Our village is under threat from outside forces Chaps” he continued “and it is perhaps time for us to do something about it.”  He stood quite still, legs akimbo, hands on hips.

Gerald, the local post master, was suddenly filled with the urge to sing ‘I’m a little tea pot’.  He did not, but he was next to speak.  “Trevor, don’t you think that we’re rather past it now?  Is it not time for us to leave this sort of thing to a younger generation?”.  A number of the others nodded and mumbled in agreement.  Johnson, the cricket club chairman and first team captain, even managed as much as a “Too bloody right!”

Trevor looked rather hurt as he liked to think he was something of a local leader.  “No, I think it is precisely that attitude that has got this country in the mess that it’s in to be honest and …”

“Now hold on Trevor” Gerald interrupted, suddenly somewhat vexed.   “This country is in the mess it is in because a sodding great space time rift opened up and the majority of people went completely bonkers, the government collapsed and we…” he took a deep breath “and we have god knows what spilling out of the rift and making a jolly great mess of everything!”

“Here here” mumbled Johnson., now starting to feel somewhat braver, probably down to the three pints he’d enjoyed earlier.

Trevor drew himself up to his rather average full height of 5 foot 7 and puffed out his chest.  He looked rather ridiculous.

“Well I for one am not willing to stand back and watch our village go the same way as the rest of the places around here. I am willing to fight back!”

“Fight against what Trevor?” Asked Alan Benson the local grocer, “you reckon we’re in the sort of shape to take on the likes of some of the things the local Rift Police have been tackling lately?”.  He took a swift drink of his pint and slammed down the glass.  “It’s getting worse Trevor.  Just yesterday they had to rescue Mrs Billings the librarian from her prize winning rose bushes which had apparently grown sentient and were attempting to prune her arms off!”

“Good lord ” said Johnson.

“Bloody hell man” exclaimed Gerald.

Trevor was not to be deterred and pressed the point.  “That is exactly the reason why we need to get the team back together and do something!”  They other sat stony faced.  “We cannot rely on the council or the Rift Police to protect us we need to look after our own.”

“Trevor, the team haven’t seen light of day for nearly 5 years now, what makes you think we still have it?”

Trevor felt he was making head way now.  “You never lose it Alan, you know that.  What we did and what we achieved is legend in these parts!”

“There is no way my suit is going to fit me anymore Trevor ” Alan protested.  “I’m sadly more than the man I once was”.  He looked down at his waistline.   Time had been rather unkind he felt, given the food shortages and rationing they’d been subjected to since it all started.  “I promised the wife that Id given up on all that super power business”.

“You cant avoid destiny Alan” said Trevor.

“Destiny? Good god man – we were sucked into and then spat out of a rift on the way back from a boozy weekend watching darts in Blackpool and ended up with the world’s most ridiculous super powers.  That’s hardly destiny!”

Alan took a deep breath.  He knew things were getting worse, he had hoped these days were over though.  They weren’t particularly effective super heroes, in fact they were rather poor and far too fond of tea and biscuits to really commit fully to the endeavour.

“Do you know there’s a chap in the next village along that can breathe fire Trevor ” he asked “Fire.  From his mouth.  Like a bloody great dragon!”

“We may not breathe fire Alan but by god man you’re The Bee!” he exclaimed dramatically.  “You strike fear into the heart of those who would do us harm!”

“I can hover four foot off the ground wearing a striped yellow suit Trevor!” he shouted “that is absolutely no use unless you have a cat stuck in a very small tree”.

Trevor knew that if he could get Alan on board the others would follow.  “Alan, our suits may not fit but we are still those self same men we were five years ago.  We made a difference, and surely we have to try.”

“Oh bugger” interrupted Johnson, knowing that this was a losing battle.

“All I’m saying is let’s give this a shot eh” Trevor continued.  He knew he was nearly there.  He needed this, he needed to feel what he’d felt all those years ago.  He had always believed that they had been chosen for greater things.  “How about we get together tomorrow morning at half 9 and…”

“I cant” said Johnson “I need to take the cat to the vet.

“How about half ten then?  We all ok with half ten? You can come to my place, we’ll have a nice cup of tea and work out a bit of a plan.”  Trevor already had a plan though.  He had spreadsheets and rotas and maps and schedules all lined up.  This time “The Accountant was ready.

“Fine” said Alan sighing.  “Let’s see how it goes but no promises ok”

The others nodded in agreement

Trevor grinned.  “Bee, Stretchy Legs, Frog Boy –  I think this deserves another pint!”




Pile them high – Daily prompt

Breathing heavily Bjorn leaned on his bloodied battle axe, surveying the carnage before him.  The smell of war and death filled the air and screams of the dying could be heard from every direction.

 “And what exactly are we supposed to do with this lot?” he pondered, crows already picking hungrily at the dead.

Helgar laughed.  “Don’t look at me my friend, they can lay here and rot for all I’m concerned.”  He scratched his thick beard, matted with blood.  “And besides” he continued, “My back is killing me and there is no way I’m piling up the dead.  And besides have you seen this blister!  Digging holes like this Christians prefer will make a right old mess of my hand” Helgar thrust out a bloodied hand, a large blister forming on the webbing between thumb and fore finger.  “Look, it really hurts!”

“Oh don’t give me that about your back” Bjorn replied, heaving a large scarred shield from the ground “you’re always going on about it.  It looked perfectly fine when you were hacking that Goth’s head off!”

Helgar wasn’t a fan of manual labour. Pillaging and raping were all good and well but fetching and carrying wasn’t for him.  “Oh how dare you, you’re one to talk!” he replied, “Were it not for me and my axe you’d have been crow meat by now!”

“How about we just finish off some of the dying and decide then, how does that sound?”

Helgar loved finishing off the dead.  It was one of his favourite things, that and ale.  And women of course – apart from those British ones he’d encountered in Britannia – they were a rather unpleasant lot.  His blue eyes twinkled and a broad smile spread across his bloodied face.  “I think I’ll use a sword today though, given how my back aches.  It’s a bit less wearing than swinging an axe you know”.  He winked at Bjorn playfully.

“Oh will you shut up about your back! “Said Bjorn, swinging his axe casually into the chest of a young Goth warrior who lay groaning as he clutched a rather nasty stomach would.

“Ooh look at this” Helgar exclaimed, reaching down to snatch a gold pendant from around the neck of a fat corpse.  “This will look great with that cloak I took from that priest last week!”

“Oh I like that“, said Bjorn, slowly pushing his thick blade into the heart of a young shield maiden “it’s a bit like that one I wore to Tobar’s wedding.”   

Helgar remembered it well.  “Oh now that was a great night!  That roast they had was gorgeous.   I’ve never tasted anything like it.”

“I think it was the salt and garlic you know” said Bjorn.  “I spoke to him afterwards and he said the fellow for Aarlsberg has a chap who gets it for him”.

Bjorn pulled out a small knife and bending down slit the throat of an older Goth chieftain.  “Funny you know Helgar, I like to send off the older ones a little more intimately.”

Helgar snorted “you’re all heart my friend”.

Bjorn wiped his blade and put it back in it’s sheath on his belt.  “You know what else I was thinking?”

“What” said Helgar.

“I was thinking about doing some poetry”.

“Whooooo” exclaimed Helgar excitedly as he removed the head of a chap who was already missing an arm.  “Poetry you say?  I did a bit when I was younger you know.”

“Did you Really?” Bjorn responded, “I never had you down as the poetic type”

“Oh yeah, did a great piece about a long boat once.  I painted a rather vivid picture apparently”. 

“Hmmm” Bjorn mused.  “I’m definitely going to have a go when we get back to the village.  I always get a bit bored when pillaging season is over”

“Great idea” Helgar replied.  “It will help you relax.  Lately I’ve been doing some basket making.  Helps immensely with the creative urges”.

“Well you are a dark horse aren’t you“.

“Oh yeah” he grinned, stabbing a thrashing horse in the eye and driving his blade deep into its brain until it lay still on the blood stained grass.  “What a waste of a bloody good horse!”

Helgar adjusted his armour; it had a terrible habit of riding up on him. “You hungry?”

“Starving” Bjorn replied, “Have you got anything to eat? “

“No but I left some bread up with the rest of my stuff up on the hill.  Shall we go get something to eat and carry on with this later?”

“Sounds good to me, we can finish this later they’re not going anywhere”.  He smiled.  “We can take a look at that blister as well”.


Armitage – Part 5

Koala Jackson was consumed by exactly none of the fear or trepidation that filled Armitage whenever he considered what lie before him.   In fact, she possessed mostly none of the attributes which made Armitage the opposite of whatever would likely pass as perfect for this mission.  Not to say he did not have admirable qualities, he did, but the ability to work with spreadsheets, support charities or put up a small shelf in the kitchen were highly unlikely to be required at any point in the near future.

With Close to two dozen rift missions under her belt, Koala was as close to a veteran of these things as you were going to find.   At 6 ft 2 she posed a striking figure, especially for a woman – which she quite obviously was.  Throw in piercing blue eyes, broad shoulders and a rather intimidating yet situationally perfect crew cut she was not to be trifled with.  Drop her into military fatigues and pop a couple of weapons in her surprisingly elegant hands and trifling was the furthest thing from Armitage’s mind.  This was most certainly a non trifling situation.

“Shanks!” she shouted over as Armitage stepped from the car, “Front and centre.  You too Goodwin!”

Goodwin scurried over, pulling on Armitage’s sleeve to hurry him along.  He’d seen enough television to know what she meant by ‘front and centre’ he just never quite imagined he’d need to be either front or centre and the confusion showed on his face as she barked again.

“Move it Shanks, we don’t have all day!”

“I really do think there has been a terrible misunderstanding ” he said gingerly, his feet shifting uncomfortably as he spoke.

“Did the receptionist send you?” she asked

Armitage confirmed with a nod and mumbled unintelligibly about clerical errors and voices in his head.

“Then there is no mistake.  The receptionist does not make mistakes!”

It was at this point, looking about, that he realised that a couple of slices of marmalade on toast and a cup of tea were not going to get him through the day.   He knew where he was, but it was very much changed from the last time he was here.  The Local football team ground had been commandeered by the Rift Police and the large car park to the front of the ground, where he now found himself, was now home to row upon row of military green tents.  Large stacks of crates were dotted about here and there and the place swarmed with gnarled looking , heavily armed, military types.

“Don’t look so worried shanks!” barked Jackson loudly, “What’s the worst that can happen eh?”

Armitage was pretty sure that she was making a joke, but the stony look on her face quite the opposite and he wondered for a moment whether this was a question.  Armitage had a good imagination, and right now he could picture plenty of things that would be considerably worse than that which he would have imagined were he asked the same question less than 24 hours earlier.

Jackson continued, addressing both Armitage and Goodwin jointly.  “Now I imagine you want to know why you’re here”.  She did not wait for him to respond.  “You have been  been chosen by the receptionist to accompany me and my team into the rift at 18 hundred hours. ”

Armitage felt suddenly rather unwell.  His brain insisted, quite elegantly and persuasively,  that it was simply a ludicrous idea to even consider such a thing, and who the devil did the council think it was to be asking perfectly unassuming members of the public to undertake what was quite obviously a military mission.  It was not on and he would like to speak to whomever was in charge because this simply would not do.

Unfortunately, all of this came out as a rather unconvincing “Mnneeegghh”.

“Excellent” she said, “well now that that is all squared away Goodwin will show you to your tent and get you settled” and with that she strode off purposely towards the tents and disappeared.

Armitage stood for a while then looked across at Goodwin.  “This way then Armitage” he said, almost cheerily, and set off in the same general direction as Jackson.

Entering the large green tent it was everything he had ever seen on television, back when there was any television to speak of.  Two rows of four beds lined each side of the tent and to the right of the head of each bed there was a small metal cupboard and at the foot of the bed a large green metal trunk.  Piled neatly on the end of the bed was a sheet, blanket, pillow and pillow case.

“Pick any one ” instructed Goodwin, waving a hand towards the beds “might be worth making up the bed too in case you want to grab some sleep before things get a bit crazy.”

“Why am I here?” Armitage asked emptily.

Goodwin chuckled and sat on the edge of one of the beds, his hands folded in his lap.  It was always the same routine.  The Receptionist picks them out, lands him with them and he has to explain why some poor regular run of the mill nobody is about to pop into a rift in time and space.

“Pretty simple really ” he answered, “Turns out you’re most probably genetically predisposed to rift travel.”

Goodwin paused for dramatic effect, his slightly too apart eyes not blinking to heighten the tension.  This was his favourite part.  “I say probably because it did go wrong once and …” He paused again.  “Well lets just say that should this not go well your wife will receive a rather nice bouquet of flowers and a card expressing the council’s sincerest condolences. ”

Armitage thought he was going to be sick again.  He seemed to be feeling this way a lot today and he was pretty sure that it was nothing to do with the marmalade.

“There are things to see and places to go in this universe Armitage,  well beyond that which you could ever comprehend” he continued, “and we need your unique genetic code unlock the rift to allow Jackson and her team to pass through.”

“Oh this is bloody stupid” he replied, the combination of nausea and confusion overwhelming him somewhat.  That was all he could muster other than “I really don’t feel well at all”.

“Lie down a while” replied Goodwin still smiling “It will be fine.” He paused again.  “Probably”.









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