Shorts – Tea and Anxiety

A while back i sat down to force myself to write 500 words a night. These are some of those word-salads. This was inspired by a piece of art I bought which Ill post about next…

Having slowed somewhat in my writing, a while back(September 2022) I sat down to force myself to write 500 words a night. These are some of those word-salads. Unedited, raw, and just done for the hell of it…What concerns me most about this one is that I have no recollection of writing it. How curious.


Tea and Anxiety

He sits and watches, patiently, the clink of cup on saucer breaking the silence. Hands fold in his lap as he sets aside the tea and a crooked smile creeps across his snarling lips. He wishes nothing but ill intent, that creeping gloom that overwhelms and petrifies as the Sunday clock marches on to bed time. And bed time, as we know, is the promise of tomorrow and all it holds.

“I don’t want to go,“ the little girl tells her mother, “I don’t like it one bit. They are all horrible to me, especially the boys. The one with the round face pulls my hair when the teacher isn’t looking.”

The mother caresses the girls blonde curls and pulls the blanket up tight around her chin.

“You must ignore them, Cassie,” she insists, “These things pass like all things eventually. When I was a little girl it was just the same and it will get better.”

“Nothing passes,” the creature whispered into the darkness, “nothing passes, no not ever, no never.” He takes up the tea once more and sips from the darkness of the corner of the room, his pale eyes never leaving her.

Cassie breathed deep and turned into the pillow.  It was cold and crisp.

“Nothing passes,” Cassie whispered as her mother stroked her face gently. “You know that, right?”

Cassies mother paused, feeling a cold breeze across her back, and she turned to check that the window had been properly closed.

“That’s not true Cassie,” she said, fiddling with the latch and checking that it was fastened tight. Looking out into the garden she could see flakes of snow starting to drift slowly downwards, caught in the pale light that hung over the back porch.

“It’s going to be…” Cassie’s mother’s voice trailed off as she became distracted by the night beyond the window, the inky black of winter hanging like a pall over the houses that stretched into the distance. Her mind drifted and she watched small plumes of white smoke snake into the windless sky.

“They don’t like you Cassie,” the creature whispered once more, a lyrical lilt in its voice, eyes wild as it climbed slowly up onto the small wooden dresser that sat against the far wall of the room.  It stared directly at her as she lay under her blanket.

“Tomorrow is waiting for you,” it continued, head tilting to one side as it watched the older one pull the curtains closed and walk back over to where the child lay in the bed.

“They don’t like me, mummy,” Cassie said meekly, “please can I stay home tomorrow? My tummy hurts”

“Sleep well,” said Cassie’s mother, placing a kiss on her head. “It will be better in the morning. I promise. And your tummy will be just fine”

“Promises, promises,” hissed the creature into the darkness, it took another sip of tea, eyes bright and ferocious.

“You always promise that,“ said Cassie as she turned into her pillow. “But it never changes.”

The door closed and darkness consumed all. Cassie lay quite still as the creature sat on the dresser and watched her, waiting for her to fall asleep as he whispered indistinguishably into the darkness. Morning would come soon enough, but until then, there was tea to be finished…

Shorts – Shuffle, loop, repeat

A while back i sat down to force myself to write 500 words a night. These are some of those word-salads

Having slowed somewhat in my writing, a while back(September 2022) I sat down to force myself to write 500 words a night. These are some of those word-salads. Unedited, raw, and just done for the hell of it…What concerns me most about this one is that I have no recollection of writing it. How curious.


Headlights cut through the star specked darkness as Clarissa feathered the breaks of the old pick up nervously, steepling mountain sides to one side and a seemingly bottomless drop to the other. Somewhere in the distance, beyond the lights that flickered at the end of the valley  she could see the moon reflecting off of the ocean as it stretched beyond the small white houses, and out past the small boats that bobbed quietly in the bay. It was a road she felt she had driven so many times before she’d left, but it made her nervous still. Maybe it was the thought of returning home after all these years, or maybe it was just the road. She tried not to think about either.

Tyres squealed as she rounded the tight corners, the scent of the sea already thick in the air and memories of so many summers coming flooding back as she wound down the window to feel the cool night air on her skin. She reached for the battered Bakelite dial on the radio and watched it scroll right to left, the crackle and hiss giving way to a feint music that ebbed and flowed like the tides as she moved in and out of the shadow of the mountain side and wound her way down towards the town.

A battered road sign, pockmarked and faded, told her that it was just three miles to the place she had once called home, the place where she had grown up, and the place she had vowed never to return to. Those brash aspirations of youth now as distant as the life she had left behind.

The radio burst into life once more and it caused her to start, knuckles white as she gripped the old leather steering wheel tightly.

“Shit, “ she said to herself, letting out a nervous laugh. Despite the moon and stars, the sky was still an inky black and the quiet of night added to the anxiety she has sworn would not affect her when she’d decided to return to the old family home.

The woman on the radio was now singing about the troubles that comes from loving a boy with blue eyes and a pickup truck, and she couldn’t help but sympathise, but then smiled as she decided that it was probably the singers own stupid fault for getting in the pickup truck in the first place and that she should probably just stay well away from blue eyed boys if she knew what is good for her.

“Now, now, that’s all a bit cynical isn’t it,” she said aloud to herself as she decided that the quiet of night was a far better option that the woes of the singer and turned the knob on the radio until it made a ‘click’ and fell silent. The road widened and flattened as the roadside markers ticked down from three to two miles, and soon the mountain side was left behind, the ravines disappeared, and tall pines lined the road ahead.

Though she had not been home for twenty years nearly, everything had a familiar feel already. Imprinted memories from her youth resonating as the headlights lit up the last few miles and the trees soon paved the way to the sprawling lawns and large houses that were dotted around the outskirts of town. Speeding up along the long sweep that would bring her home, she smiled as the town church spire appeared over the treetops, still white and bright against the night.

 Reaching down she decided to turn the radio back on and she scanned the dial as she twisted the black know and the thin red marker moved left to right. Music surged and faded, and she continued to search until the signal strengthened and the sound quite suddenly blared from the speakers causing her to start.

“Shit,” she said, heart racing as she looked down, struggling to quicky adjust the volume. The pickup veered towards the middle of the road as the small black knob came off in her fingers.”Oh double shit!” she exclaimed as it fell away into the footwell. It was soon to make little difference, as before she could look up there was a deafening blare of a truck horn over the sound of the music…and then nothing. Quiet.

Headlights cut through the star specked darkness as Clarissa feathered the breaks of the old pick up nervously, steepling mountain sides to one side and a seemingly bottomless drop to the other…

Shorts – Alignment

A while back i sat down to force myself to write 500 words a night. These are some of those word-salads

Having slowed somewhat in my writing, a while back(September 2022) I sat down to force myself to write 500 words a night. These are some of those word-salads. Unedited, raw, and just done for the hell of it…What concerns me most about this one is that I have no recollection of writing it. How curious.


Part 1 – Jennifer

Her thin, pale fingers still bloodied, Jennifer sat very still in the chair, hands cuffed to the desk in front of her. The room was uncomfortably warm, and the police office sat across from her was sweating more than she was.

“Are you quite okay?” she asked him, quite genuinely concerned as she watched rivulets of sweat run down the sides of his round, pink face. “I’d offer you a handkerchief,” she continued, holding up her hands until the chain clinked against bracket that held it in place, “but as you can see I am somewhat restricted in my movements.”

“Why did you do it?” the office asked, “we know you did it, we have witnesses to the whole thing. What we really want to know though is why would you stab a man through the heart in broad daylight?”

Jennifer said nothing, wishing he would wipe his face. He looked quite unwell and could certainly do to lose a few pounds. That might help. She didn’t mind the warmth particularly, it was actually nice to be warm for a change. This time of year the streets were so very cold, and no amount of blankets or cardboard boxes could stop the cold seeping into your bones.

“Did you know the man? Did he do something to you?” he asked, his eyes fixed firmly on her. “Did he want something from you, was that it?”

Jennifer looked down at the table and shook her head. She could still see his face, eyes wide in surprise, his red lunch pail dropping to the floor and sandwiches spilling at her feet.

From the very beginning she knew that she would have to go through this. There was never a thought that she would get away with it, that was never the point. In fact it was quite the opposite.

“So he was a complete stranger?”

Jennifer nodded again; head still bowed.

For a moment the tone of the officer softened, and he pulled his chair closer to the table and leaned in towards her.

“People don’t just kill complete strangers, do they Jennifer?” he said, “they just don’t do that. Now maybe you ought to tell me why you did what you did, and we can try and figure this whole thing out, eh. Did he hurt you? Is that why you did it?”

Jennifer looked into the face of the officer and sighed. His eyes were kind, despite all he must have seen in his time on the streets. They were very similar in that way she thought, only he was out there by choice.

“I did it, and I would very much like to go back to my cell if that’s okay,” she said calmly, a smile breaking out across her face. “I really do have nothing more to add. I’m guilty,  and its so very nice and warm in there and I believe lunch will be served soon.”

Part 2 – Donna

The door slammed violently, windows rattling, as Frank stomped down the hall. Heavy work boots clattered on the bare wooden floorboards and his voice boomed out.

“Donna, I’m home. Where are you?” His red lunch pail clattered as it was thrown on the small wooden table next to the door.

Upstairs, small feet scuttled and darted and then fell quiet as a sense of apprehension filled the air. A small, soft voice came from the ramshackle kitchen that sat at the back of the house.

“I’m sorry, I’m coming,” it said, a mix of fear and faked enthusiasm. ”it…it’s good to have you home,” she continued.  There was a clink of glass on glass and the sound of a bottle being put back down before she appeared through the kitchen doorway.

She was a small woman, a well-worn dress hung from her, shoulders to ankles, and her hair was pulled in a tight knot. She mustered a smile and it crept awkwardly across her face, a face with too many lines for her still young years. The remains of a bruise around her left eye were still vaguely visible in the dim light and she hurried to meet Frank, holding out a small glass of pale liquor in a thick bottomed cut glass tumbler. It had been part of a set once, not theirs of course, they couldn’t afford such things. Sometimes the family for whom she did washing would give her things they were otherwise going to throw away. As long as Frank didn’t think they were receiving charity, he was happy to not care where the things came from.

“Dinner?” he said taking the glass from her. “I don’t go to work all…”

He stopped his train of conversation as a thump and a crash from upstairs, and there was a small scream before it fell silent, stifled.

Frank roared, instantly enraged, and Donna reached for his arm to try to calm him. She knew it was pointless but she had to try.

“Here, she said,” desperately, “why don’t you come sit down and I will put the television on and I will go sort the twins out.”

Frank waited for a moment, nostrils flared and jaw clenched tight. All day he had worked, he told himself, all day just to come home to this.

“What they need is a dose of discipline,” he shouted, knowing they could hear him.

“I know, I know, please, let me deal with it,” Donna continued, her heart was racing and she knew how this would end.

Frank finished his drink in a single gulp and handed her the glass.

“Let me get you another while you sit, dinner will be ready in just a minute,” Donna said gently leading him into the living room. A large, battered leather chair sat in front of the television, a smaller couch to one side of the room and then very little else bar a few photos on a small side table. Frank dropped into it, and it seemed to groan as he settled in.

“Get me that drink,” he said, fierce eyes darting up to the ceiling and then back to Donna. He reached up and put a hand on her waist, and it took every effort in her not to flinch. He smiled and licked his lips, “good girl.”

Part 3 – Room 101

>>> Transmitting >>>

Cypher: We all set? You sure about this one?

Charon: Good to go. You worry too much. You need to learn to trust me. We’ve done this enough times.

Cypher: Transfers received?

Charon: This one’s gratis. Friend of a friend of a friend, and I was feeling charitable. Your finders fee remains the same though. It’s nearly Christmas, I am feeling charitable.

Cypher: Are you fucking serious?

Charon: Deadly

Cypher: LOL. Such a big heart.

Charon:  And she knows no lawyer right? She knows to just take it on the chin.

Cypher: Now who’s doubting who? She knows the drill. Do not pass go, do not collect 200.

Charon: Matched and dispatched brother, plausible deniability guaranteed. Ive set the server scrub. Tick tick tick…

Cypher: The things people will do for 3 meals a day and guaranteed warmth eh.

Charon: We didn’t start the fire, but we gotta pay the ferryman.

Cypher: You talk a lot of shit.

Charon: Service with a smile my friend.

>>>Transmission end…server reset initiated….>>>

Shorts – The Great Magico

A while back i sat down to force myself to write 500 words a night. These are some of those word-salads

Having slowed somewhat in my writing, a while back(September 2022) I sat down to force myself to write 500 words a night. These are some of those word-salads. Unedited, raw, and just done for the hell of it…What concerns me most about this one is that I have no recollection of writing it. How curious.


I have always been of the opinion, and remain strident in my certainty to this day, that clowns can just fuck off. And not a little. No, they can fuck well and truly off. They can fuck wholly and utterly and most completely OFF!

And it is with that steadfast clarity of conviction that I found myself sat at an until now run of the mill birthday party for 6-year-olds, beer in hand, when I was confronted by The Great Magico.

Wild eyes and white gloved, fingers torturing balloons and teasing them into twisted animal forms to ear piercing shrieks, he cavorts and darts from child to child. My mouth is dry and my heart races as his wide red lips peel back in a primal snarl revealing teeth with which to rip and tear, or perhaps to eat cake, though I do not wish to prejudge his intent – despite knowing in my heart this is truly a monster in our midst.

I recoil as the garish colours of his clothes flash before my eyes, my white-knuckled hands gripping the paper plate in my lap, an assortment of warm fruits and half eaten chocolate biscuits falling to the floor.

“Do you want a giraffe?” he asks a particularly excited ginger haired boy, and the boy nods and claps his hands, a fiendish contract of desire signed with a mere gesture. He will surely wake in the night when the painted fool returns for payment, mouth wide in at attempted scream that fades to nothing in the darkness.

I try to stand but my legs will not work. He has a hold on me, I can feel it, and I want to scream as bright-eyed girl, the birthday girl, her blood red dress trailing in the grass, runs over to him. Outstretched arms envelop her, pulling her close and she disappears beneath his foul garb. Can no one else see, are they blind to this madness. Surely, they are not blind to the funeral shroud around her lifeless body.

Though what is this? Moments later she is brought back from the precipice, the ferryman perhaps unpaid. The price too steep maybe?

I feel my legs stir, his hold loosened surely through the revival of such innocence in the face of darkness, and stumble to my feet. One in front of the other I attempt to escape his grip as his gaze turns to me, eyes as red as lucifers throbbing cod piece and nostrils flared like a dragon ready to consume me in the fire of his fury.

I fall to the ground, fingers clawing into the clod earth and fallen fruits, like those from the tree of knowledge, soaking through my clothes. The smell of beer catches in my nose, surely it is the breath of the dark jester prince as he prepares to consume my soul. The shrieks and screams of children fill the air. Surely this is it, my end, my moment of judgement.

And then, when things seem at their darkest, she is there once more, a voice as clear as a bell in the night. Sweet and gentle, like rays of light piercing the darkness of the clouds after a storm. She is my refuge, my port, my lighthouse of hope.

“Help daddy up, “she says, and a tiny hand takes mine where I lie.

“Why does daddy smell like toilet?” the small voice asks.

Oh look a haiku. No, actually don’t. But do.

Do my creative pursuits know no bounds?

Gym kit malfunction

who’d ever have imagined

hidden in small shorts


I know I am a grown man and that I should know better.  I know I can produce things of a more edifying nature.  I know should be a better example to my children and generally a better human being but alas I am not.

Look what dad made boys!  Don’t tell mum!

gymwillu.gif

It’s Monday where I am. Just. Limerick time.

Aah the things we deny ourselves…

Once a lady with grace, class and poise

Had a craving for both girls and boys

She would keep it well hidden

What she thought was forbidden

And so got through so many sex toys