Hello, Discerning Reader. Welcome to my Stories page. I have been known to charge for stories. One day, I hope to use that as the primary way to pay the bills. Still, I like to think I'm a kind and generous man at heart. With that in mind, I've put up some freebies here for you.
Some of them will be stories without a home. Some of them will be scraps of stories which were never quite finished. Some of them will be quick little stories to help you/me pass the time.
I hope you like them.
Communion of brothers
A long time ago I wanted to write a western. Well, sort of a western. I was looking for something with the thin, stretched feel of a spaghetti or revisionist western but set in a dying world. So, a spaghetti dystopia, I suppose.
The idea was pretty simple. The women and children of our world have been killed by a disease called Lifeboats Disease, as in women and children first. The men don’t seem to be contracting it but society has fallen to ruins. With no hope of a future and no guarantee they won’t all fall ill, the world has become a very different place.
I wanted the main story to tell the story of a young man who is forced to become something worse than the murderous monster he was. I wanted him to learn the dangers of hope and faith in a world where neither exactly fit. But, before we got to him, I wanted the introduction to be almost a scene setter. A separate little vignette set in the same world. A way of setting up the atmosphere before we moved into the story itself.
What you have here, is the beginning of that vignette.
A cold wind blew hard over the brittle surface of the faltering world that morning. The arthritic sun rose slowly to claim its rightful place in the pale, stretched sky. Its thin, sallow light bled meekly through the grey and impotent clouds........
pony street murder club
I was happy writing fantasy until Fight Club came along. I saw the movie at the cinema the night it came out and the damn thing broke my mind. It changed how I thought about stories and characters. I changed what I understood about twists and it also did something to me when it came to the idea of rhythm. So, what I did, was to start trying to write a fantasy that fit with that model.
The Pony Street Murder Club was the result. The first novel length story I ever finished. It’s as rough as hell and pretty cheesy, but I thought I’d share the prologue with you here. The main story concerned itself with a young man who thinks he’s become a faith healer until he learns that he has actually become Death. It’s a long and complicated (and pretty juvenile) story. Still, I’m a glutton for punishment. I thought I’d let you read a bit of it.
The Angel of the Lord sits by my side in our stolen car and tells me to watch. He tells me not to look away, not to miss a thing.
“Don’t miss that old woman getting mugged and beaten across the street,” he says, whilst he tries to retune the radio. “See how they're kicking her fragile, old skull in? I can guarantee you those men are going to spend all their ill-gotten gains on drugs and end up giving their cheap, whore girlfriends some terrible disease one day in the not too distant future.”.......
the costume party
Halloween 2017 was the first time I ever stood in front of an audience and told them a horror story. I went with something dark, grisly and a little funny. I thought it would be the best way to keep them interested, especially seeing as there was a well stocked bar nearby.
The people organising the event told me the story needed to be no longer than ten minutes. The final draft I came up with turned out to be considerably longer than ten minutes, so the delete key really got a chance to stretch its legs before we headed to the venue.
As a special treat for you kind people, I've decided to put the full version of the story here. Let's call it a director's cut, if only to keep my ego happy.
As I slipped on the jacket and struggled with the tie, I realised I’d never been a fan of Halloween parties. I didn’t even go in for trick or treating as a kid. The whole season had always seemed a little tacky to me. It was never a religious statement or anything to do with hating being scared. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I’ve always enjoyed a decent horror movie.
Halloween is simply a little too touristy. All those plastic pitchforks and crumpled, cardboard witch hats. The face paint that rinses off with a little party sweat and the fangs that fall out mid-sentence. It all cheapens a good scare........