All Stories, General Fiction, Writing

Week 237 – Empty Shops, Eternal Drinking And Three Big Baws For Your Granny

Another week has rolled into the distance and here we are at Week 237.

My home town has now over 150 empty shops, that is very sad.

Off the top of my head, I can think of at least twenty pubs that aren’t here anymore and that is even sadder.

I miss all the pubs and one shop. ‘Drawrite’, was a stationers.

Not so much when I was young and looking for bits and bobs for school (I was a Woolworth’s man) but later on in life, I used to get any supplies from Drawrite. I understand why it shut as it cost me a fucking fortune.

I could spend ages in the shop, looking at the beautiful pens that I couldn’t afford, picking up paper, type-writer ribbon, note-books, pencils and small bottles of enamel. I had a very small room in my old house where I drew cartoons and painted them in enamels. I was never able to draw off the cuff but I could copy.

I had drawings of Garfield, The Vultures, Pink Panther, Scooby Doo, King Louise and Beau Peep the legionnaire. They were all OK for folks to see but I also had; Psycho Derek, The Slags, A basqued lady and God having a wank. I spent many hours on them.

When we were trying to sell the house, I couldn’t bring myself to paint over them. It was hysterical seeing the potential buyers reaction.

I feel sad thinking about Drawrite and even sadder when I think on that house. (I am inconsolable about the pubs!)

It was there that I did most of my writing and those were the days when I also had hope and dreams that this would be the one. It’s weird thinking on that hope as it was also balanced with a steady influx of refusal and I wonder when was the time that I thought ‘Fuck it – This isn’t going to happen!

That’s a sad day in any writers career (Hah! That word is a laugh but you know what I mean.) You then either rebel, spit out the dummy and smash your computer or you realise that you love what you are doing and continue to write just for the pure fun of it.

I wasn’t sure so I have a tip before you do anything rash. Get absolutely plastered for three days straight. Have a breakfast of kidneys, tomatoes and eggs, that gives you a cracking lining in your stomach to then start on the Guinness. You get pished for that day as well and then you will have clarity when you wake the next morning. You’ll realise that you’re too fucked up to break your computer so you’ll decide after many tears and another hair of the dog that you are starting to get pished again and you would rather sit and listen to ‘The Cocteau Twins’ than make any decisions. If you count this as a loop and do this until you forget that giving up hope is annoying you, you will be fine! This is also an excellent plan for deciding whether to call your kid Buckfast or not and whether to off-load your parents to ‘Die-Alone-And-Smelly Nursing Home’.

You can then sit and enjoy typing again. Although it is a bit difficult as your hand tremors will be impossible to control. This also works for those acclimatising themselves to the first shakes of Parkinsons.

OK, onto this weeks stories.

We had two old friends and three new writers for your reading pleasure.

Our topics this week include; nudity, loss, incompetence, a coffee friend and a flood.

As always our initial comments follow.


First up was the very talented Mr Adam Kluger, he started us off with ‘The Birds

‘This did make me chuckle.’

‘In one image, to lift a story into something completely unexpected that made you smile, and by doing it in such an unrelated but related tangent was brilliant.’

‘Wonderful images of days gone by and it is finished with a bloke in his shreddies!’


On Tuesday we had Tom Sheehan. Tom’s stories have been a staple over the past few weeks and they will be for a few weeks to come – So all good there.

Flesh Of An Unwanted Fish‘ was next up.

‘The loss of his wife and the loss of the purity in the river was well done.’

‘The character was very well drawn.’

‘A gentle, sad sort of a read.’


Our next three writers are all new to the site.

We welcome them all, hope they continue to send us their work and that they have fun on the site.

First of our newbies was JC Weir with their story ‘Ooame‘.

‘You just hope that the old couple survive.’

‘I loved the tone and pace of this.’

‘There’s a lesson to be learnt from their outlook.’


On Thursday, it was Sam Pothecarry’s turn to impress.

The Caste Of The Executioner‘ was next up.

‘The voice was consistent throughout.’

‘I liked the idea of him being shunned in life and ridiculed in death.’

‘I do love a bit of gore.’


And we finished off on Friday with ‘Sisters From Another Mister.’

Jill Malleck’s story completed the week.

‘This had a rhythm to it and the ending was well done.’

‘Very well put together.’

‘Jill did a great job of explaining the thinking around a ‘specific pal.’


Well that’s us for another week.

The usual reminders guys.

Please keep the comments coming.

And have a go at the Sunday Re-Run. Pick an older story, write a spiel or an introduction, throw a couple of questions in for the writer and we will publish exactly what you have written.

Well I am going to go shopping in Ayr High Street. It really does have a wonderful selection of retail outlets as long as you want to peruse things at a pound, buy a shop, do your bit for charity or pawn your Granny for a washing machine. (It’s better that than paying for it on the Never-Never!)


Image by dennis666 from Pixabay

17 thoughts on “Week 237 – Empty Shops, Eternal Drinking And Three Big Baws For Your Granny”

  1. Here’s an idea you have given me, but I am too lazy to write: Ghost Pub. One day God, or whatever runs this mess, will do a reality flip. Ghosts will only be able to go to “living” places like strip malls and the quick find themselves inside buildings that no longer exist. A war will break out between the “sheets” and the “fleshers.” Why? Why not?


    1. The nature of neighbourhoods has changed with the advent of modern transportation, centuries old traditions are disappearing. Regional accents too, as everything merges into the web. That would be interesting to have a ghost who haunts a pub in the path of a new highway development. He or She becomes one of the protestors, but no one notices right away. Now even the strip mall is disappearing in wake of Amazon and on line shopping. On the cartoon subject: When I was a kid I drew a cartoon called “The Zero Armed Peddler” He was a huge man with no arms who wore six belts linked together because his stomach was so big. He sold elixirs from a bottle implanted in his chest. My friend and I painted a huge luminous outline of him on the local baseball field fence, back when fences there were wood. Actually, that baseball stadium became a strip mall.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Harrison,
        I hadn’t thought about the accents. That is interesting.
        That may take a while to filter to us as our colloquialism is very thick and many folks when texting will use the slang terms, so that maybe keep the dialect alive. But when you think on it, if you don’t hear it, how would you pronounce it when you read it!
        What a sad thought – Talking without vowels and signing.
        Thanks for all your involvement – Much appreciated!


    2. Hi Leila,
      It’s writing itself.
      If you want this to be a successful TV script, have a ‘flesher’ and a ‘sheet’ fall in love and they have to go onto a reality show where others will judge whilst they are all trying to work out how to kill and kill again each other.
      Talking about your idea has reminded me of Dave Loudin’s story, ‘Ultra Belfast’. I believe it to be one of the best stories about Hell that I have ever read. It may interest you.
      Thanks as always, you make the world a lot more interesting!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Brilliant! I picture a Romeo and Juliet sort of thing .Will have to work on the challenge that only one of the lovers could kill him- or (sigh) herself presents.


  2. The town I live in in NC is like that and the town I once spent three months in in Japan is now like that and even has/had a YouTube video dedicated to its desuetude. Gone with the wind baby! Like the dust of the iron mines…etc. Always a good read Sat. morn. thanks Hugh


    1. Thanks Penny!
      It is even sadder that folks from all around the world can recognise these types of towns.
      There is more going wrong than problems being due to locality.
      All the very best my friend.


    1. Hi Sharon,
      Our Town Council has a lot to answer for. The rates in Ayr were once dearer than Princes Street in Edinburgh.
      Instead of cutting them back or freezing them to try and fill up the shops, they still wanted their pound of flesh.
      I hate South Ayrshire Council for many reasons. I could write a book on it! The colourful language would even be worse than is my norm.!!
      Thanks as always!!


    1. Hi Dave,
      I once had a cyst grow in my eyelid. It was only when my site was impaired that I noticed it. I don’t look in mirrors much – I wish it was because I was a vampire.
      I tend to use the same philosophy regarding my bank account. What I don’t look at, could be there.
      Thanks as always my friend.


  3. Mixed feelings about change – don’t go to libraries much because of the internet. Used to take a bus to the Big Portland Library about 60 years ago. Now it’s all on the internet (still borrow books)
    Here in the states beer is better than in my youth. Used to be 3% blah.
    Mostly my body is a lot worse.
    Cars are far better.
    Absolutely neighborhoods are worse with less to offer, but we didn’t do badly in Corte Madera CA, and now in Lake Oswego OR
    Politics in the US are abysmal. 2020 may be a choice between *&^%$ who will bankrupt the country or a socialist who will bankrupt the country.


    1. Hi Doug,
      I would like to pack up and go for a simpler life. The older I get the more I would rather look out and see a tree than see a half shut town.
      You just get that you can’t be arsed with it all!!
      And as you say, it’s worse when you are subjected to those responsible.
      Thanks as always my friend.


  4. Hi Renato,
    Yep, there could be a few stories within those empty shops but I think most of them would just be miserable. There is nothing more soul-destroying than working at a venture that you believe in only to have it fail due to simple time and place economics.
    But you can’t not try because then you are left in ‘what-if’ limbo.
    Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment, it is much appreciated my friend.


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