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Week 413 – Once Were Wedding Presents, A Part Of A Half Billion Cabinet And A Wee Fellow Nervous In The Showers For A Lot Less.

Here we are at Week 413 and it’s my turn again.

Having a conversation with my mum this week brought up a sort of weird writing idea from me and that was about setting a story in a time.

Continue reading “Week 413 – Once Were Wedding Presents, A Part Of A Half Billion Cabinet And A Wee Fellow Nervous In The Showers For A Lot Less.”
Short Fiction

Week 411 – Heavenly Flying Rats, The Gartferry Revelation And No Contraception Isn’t Too Late.

Sometimes when I start these posts I’ll have a look at the number, birthdays, events in history, that sort of thing, to see if it inspires.

I started reading about the year 411 AD and, to be honest, it was very fucking boring. I then found something about the Missing 411 but couldn’t make head nor tail of it as there were more than a thousand, so fuck knows why it was called that. I finally found this doozy – Seemingly if you keep seeing the number 411, it means that you are being taken care of by a divine being from higher realms. Now what that means, I haven’t got a Scooby.

I remember a person who worked with me and was ‘spiritual’ in a very dubious way. They came to me one day and stated, ‘Look, I’m being looked after by an angel’. They had found a white feather where they were sitting. Maybe this could have been an angel??? Who am I to pooh-pooh (I hate that phrase and I haven’t a clue why I used it!) them for believing in this divine protection. Well, I have my reasons. The doors and windows were open and there was a young seagull stuck in the alleyway where our work was. He walked around, screeching and picking at his feathers. I pointed out the seagull…Without mentioning that he may have been the cause (Not sure why I thought he was a he??) and do you know what the daft bastard said…’The young seagull will be fine because my angel is here.’

…I reckon I could have got away with murder that day as a mercy killing!

I began to think on what I believe in – Angels not so much. However…

…Before I relate this event, I do want you to know something. We are a story site and a lot that I write is exaggerated and twisted but not what I am about to tell you. I will even swear on my first love – A litre of Bacardi (Gwen knows and has accepted this for years!) that this is true.

Gwen’s mum died in 1987 a month after Gwen had turned 18. As a lot of folks do, she was looking for answers and went to a few mediums, soothsayers, spiritualists, whatever you want to call them. She did this for a few years. We got married in 1990 and she was still doing this. In 1991 we had the worst year ever. (HAH! Which has now been bombed out by 2022) Our heating blew up. Our window fell out. Our 100 yard boundary wall fell down. And I wrote off the car. Every fucking thing cost us more money than we had.

Anyhow, at this time she went to a spiritualist and a few bits and pieces were said, some right, some wrong and some indifferent.

But when I saw in her eyes that there was something, (Oh – I was in the bar in the hotel where the guy had set up, waiting for her) I asked her.

Seemingly the fellow had said that he didn’t understand why he was looking out from a house and seeing nothing but fields. (Our wall had been pulled down and that was what we were looking at.) Gwen is an old hand at this and she gives nothing away. She even sits on her hands so no-one can see her rings or what type of rings so she just let him speak. He then stated from that house he could see her husband driving and that he was a very safe driver. (Which I am due to my friends three year old kid being killed on a road by a reckless wank!) He then stated that I was in a bad crash…I hadn’t really considered it bad but my tyre blew out, I think the car spun and I ended up in a cow’s field which had an eight foot drop from road to field. The car stayed up ended. But the thing that did make me shiver a wee bit was the roof and the sills either side of the wind-screen. There were barbed wire indents about half an inch deep all around. I honestly don’t know why the car didn’t topple or the barbed wire cut through.

Anyhow my point is, the guy stated that I was being looked after that night because I deserved it. He said that there had been a kill on that road before and that was the guy who was looking out for me.

I must admit, it did put, not so much a shiver through me but a weird feeling. When Gwen told me all this, I got us a drink and raised my glass.

The one thing I know though – I wasn’t saved by a fucking seagull!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, onto this week’s stories.

We have four new writers and one fellow who is now up to story number four.

We welcome all our new writers and another wee nod to Jim Bates, whose tenacity and courtesy we have admired from day one. We are delighted to see him on the site.

As always our initial comments follow.

First up on Monday was Phoebe Mullen whose first story for us was called ‘Beach Walk.’

‘This thing is hell weird!’

‘Active and strange.’

‘Brilliant tension and the weird was good.’

Our next new writer was Spencer Levy with the very descriptively titled, ‘Arm Milk.

‘Unpleasant, gritty but sincere.’

‘Grim and sad.’

‘A very real piece of writing.’

The newbies keep on coming!

R.W. Maxwell’s ‘Skeleton Crew‘ broke the back of the week.

‘Excellent flow and pace.’

‘The spookiness and underlying threat all the way through is well done.’

‘This has the right balance between weird and sense making.’

Peter O’Connor has found a good run lately and I think Revamp is story number four for him.

‘It’s a sort of sarcastic shot at those home improvement shows.’

‘Really funny.’

‘So readable!’

And we finished off with the gentleman that is Jim Bates!

Emil’s Magic‘ completed the week.

‘I like that he can be caught out if not careful.’

‘Overall great tone and pace.’

‘Perfect timing regarding the ending.’

Well, that is the angelic posting 411 completed.

Please keep the comments coming. And if you did before and haven’t for a while and fancy coming back, we’ll be delighted to see you!

Just to finish, well before the obscure / shit / brilliant / all of those, music section:

I don’t watch much TV and over the holidays, I watch even less. But ‘Two Doors Down’ is brilliant and I sought it out. But that wasn’t what I want to share (Although seek it out. Maybe a wee tad too much Scottish ideals but it is stunning!)

I’d like to share a line that I heard throughout the festivities. There is also a wee lesson here as per the genius that is Billy Connolly – Never steal a line, always mention who said it and you will still get a laugh. He quoted the late great Chic Murray so many times (That man is as literal as you get) and always told you when he was doing so.

I give you this belter from Brendon O’ Carroll and his amazing creation ‘Mrs Brown’s Boy’s’

Mrs Brown:

– We thought about not having children.

– (Winnie, her friend) What changed your mind?

– No-one would take them!!!!!

Hugh

Ahh fuck it – It’s New Year and I have a few sentimental memories about this regarding my dad and my wee Great Aunt Georgie!

Image by günter from Pixabay 

Short Fiction

Alexander Sawmill Legends, Steamboat Replace By What Was The Coolest Rock Pub And I Couldn’t Ignore A Huge Nod To Tom!!

Week 409

Hope you all had a brilliant Christmas and whether or not you did or didn’t, I really do hope that you remember none of it!!

This is Limbo week, the week between Christmas and New Year. It is fucking dire working these days.

Only on three occasions over the past thirty-nine fucking years (Sore point – Really sore point!! And on the 14th November next year, I will warn everyone not to talk to me!!) have I ever had the whole of the holidays off. And the first one with my first job, I had an absolute ball!! On the 27th me and the guys that I worked with went for a game of squash, then snooker, then the rest of the day and night in the legendary pub called ‘Rabbies’. That pub is still there, but it has lost a lot of its panache! It’s now for the older, earlier drinkers. I think how sad it is every morning I’m there.

This year, I have to work in between and I will hate and resent every fucking minute of it! There was a sign-up stating what wacky events were coming up over the festivities and the heading was ‘Fun At Work’ – Well, that’s a fucking contradiction in terms!!

Work is work. If it wasn’t, it would be called ‘play’

Let’s just say that there will have been no Christmas Jumper on me! (Itchy bastarding things)

To be fair, I shouldn’t moan–I think in one of my previous jobs, I went five years working through The Bells. And again, I should be thankful as this is the first year that me and Gwen have been off for Christmas. (One day mind you. She has to work four thirteen hour shifts to get one day off. Here’s a bonus question – Guess who got five days off???

– The selfish bastard who did the rota!!!)

Now before I start typing even more pish, I have been asked to mention a new feature that we are playing around with. We have always had the Saturday Specials, which were maybe not necessarily stories but they were close. We have had on occasion the odd essay sent in and we have enjoyed them but because we didn’t accept them, they were refused. But we’ve decided to give them a try. We are actually going to underplay this a bit as for the love of whatever a god is, we don’t want inundated with ‘The Infuriated’ being furious about dog shit on their pavements or someone being pissed off with the state of their neighbours’ garden. (I want it on the record that I have told my neighbours that I will tidy mine if they are ever wanting to sell!!)

Ranting is fine as long as it is interesting / Funny or a wee tad sick.

Social Commentary is always something that we want to read but make sure that you are being Ironic / Funny (Again), Cutting, Seething but for fuck sake make it interesting.

None of:

‘I walk in our park and there are a lot of leaves lying.’

‘I was appalled to see a Tesco Trolley next to the pet shop when Tesco’s is half a mile away.’

‘My water pipes smell.’

‘I don’t think that having a Bookies in The High Street is a good idea.’

‘Would somebody please think of the children?’

‘Parking! Don’t get me started about Parking!’ (And then they fucking start!!!)

‘Brexit.’

‘Trump is a cunt’ (We know!!!)

‘Covid.’ (Nope!! Still too early.)

As always, it is very difficult for us to give examples on what we are looking for, it’s the same as with the stories, we will just know it when we see it.

I don’t think we can really state that this will be a regular feature, it will really just depend on what and when we get anything in.

But what the hell, it’s another challenge for you.

I’ve had a look back and on the Saturday Special feature, we only ever had nine writers in eight years. (Conor Barnes, Tom (With four – Another record!!), Jess N. McLean, Emily Dinova, Paloma Martinez-Cruz, Johnny R Beaver, Alex Ryan, Me and Jahunda) Please tell me if I’ve forgotten anyone!

Unfortunately, not many have continued to submit but at least we still have examples of their work that can be accessed.

Maybe the same will happen with this feature, but who knows???

Normally I’d move onto the reviews of the week’s stories but I will leave that, as, to be honest, I have totally run out of plaudits for Tom Sheehan. Between him and Leila, they probably hold every record on the site.

All I will say is that I hope you all enjoyed Tom’s countdown to his second century of stories. It is a mind-boggling feat!

We wish the great man all the happiness for next year and it is an absolute privilege working with him!

To finish off I suppose that I better mention The New Year. I don’t know what I’ll be doing as Gwen is working night shift from tonight until Monday morning. I may just get blitzed on Absinthe and wait until I wake up on Monday morning–We can celebrate then.

The New Year is actually like drugs or alcohol. It’s alright in moderation, but too much of it becomes a huge magnifying glass that you sit under. It exaggerates your mood. That is all well and good if you are happy but a bit of a pisser if you’re down. And if you are heading back to work over the next few days, there is a very good chance that you will be that way inclined!!

So with that in mind, I give you my New Year Toast:

Always be happy the days you’re not there, cause the days you are, work ruins everything.

I suppose I should also suggest a resolution–Promise yourself to punch the enthusiastic at least once this year.

Cheers folks! All the very best to you all!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hugh

And lastly, here is some upbeat classical music to bring in The Bells!!

I give you ‘Lieutenant Pigeon’s’ ‘Mouldy Old Dough.’

Hugh

Image – Pixabay.com

Short Fiction

Week 407 – A Tip For Warmth, Does god Put A Line On? And Vocal Chords Aren’t Always A Good Thing! (By fuck did I censor myself there!!!)

Here we are at Week 407.

We have been having quite a cold snap lately which goes hand in hand with the rise to our heating bills. We may have a conspiracy theory here – Maybe the power companies can control the weather and they are in cahoots with the government who want to thin out the weak. So here is my tip to keep warm. Put on an extra jumper and squat in your local MP’s home. Take off the jumper, that was only to get you there, turn up their heating and cultivate love apples. (I had thought of another line here but I think I am in enough trouble with the Kismet Fairy…So squatting and tomato growing it is!!!)

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Week 400 – 400 Weeks, Halloween And A Hospital Visit.

Here we are at Week 400. I’m quite sure I’ll use that number a few times throughout this post.

I honestly can’t believe that we’ve reached this amount of weeks of publication!

It’s just a pity that the hundreds and the anniversary don’t tie in, I think it did on our second year but then dates and weeks and holidays buggered everything up. Our 8th year anniversary will be in a few week’s time, Week 403 on the 19th November.

Continue reading “Week 400 – 400 Weeks, Halloween And A Hospital Visit.”
Latest News, Short Fiction

Week 395 – The Great Wall Of China Isn’t The Only One, ‘I’m Still Standing’ Isn’t Appropriate And Thomas Dolby Isn’t Anonymous!

The Mighty Clan Cron

Here we are at Week 395 and let’s be honest there has only been one event that has been covered.

I wonder if the world has ended and no-one has told us. They have been too busy reporting on a long line of … (Insert your own phrasing here)

Only those Brits (I’m a Scottish person and for so many reasons would not include myself with them!) could put the queue in queen. (Please don’t capitalise that word Diane, it will make me cry!!)

Continue reading “Week 395 – The Great Wall Of China Isn’t The Only One, ‘I’m Still Standing’ Isn’t Appropriate And Thomas Dolby Isn’t Anonymous!”
Latest News, Short Fiction

2000+ Lovely People, One Arse For Number Ten And No, I Didn’t Forget ‘Pulp Fiction’, I Wanted It In The Title.

We have now reached 2000 followers (At the time of writing) which I am so proud of. But in the whole scheme of things, that isn’t that much. If I was a Kardashian holding a puppy with my nipple out, I’m sure that number would be in the millions in less than a day. I think I used that line when we reached a thousand but as that was about three years back I thought I could get away with it once again.

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Week 391 – Is Courtesy Dead? Is Comedy Dying? And “Of Course 6×3 Is 29 My Little Princess!

Thanks to Leila for holding down the posting fort over the last few weeks.

I see that very little has changed.

We are still getting in some excellent stories.

We are still receiving courteous submissions.

But!!!

We are also still receiving initial pig-ignorant submissions where the person hasn’t even had the decency to glance at the site that they are sending to.

Some folks, even when we gently point them towards the guidelines, they still ignore our request.

If we build up a relationship with a writer, then we are happy to come and go with some quirks and mischievousness but if you are new to this, do yourself a huge favour and check out guidelines and type of stories being published.

And this is a huge bug bear of mine, if someone asks for feedback, we all spend time and effort in doing so. I don’t think it is much to ask that a simple ‘Thanks’ is headed our way.

I wonder if this is a ‘sign of the times’ thing, you know, bad manners or are we just unlucky with some arsehole type behaviour??

Censorship has also reared its ugly head yet again. There is a Scottish Comedian called Jerry Sadowitz (The man who played Ebeneezer Good in the song by ‘The Shamen’ Seemingly they just wanted to chant ‘E’s are good and using his name was a way around promoting drug use) His show was pulled due to racist remarks. Now here’s the point, the billboard to his show announces that there will be offensive material so should anyone take offence. You can’t get away with saying well that wasn’t offensive to me, but that was. It is all relative. But you had been fucking warned, so don’t go if you can think on any topic that would offend you as sure as hell, that will be mentioned.

I wouldn’t go and see Jerry Sadowitz not because I’m one of the powder puff, snowflake professionally out-raged fuckwits – I wouldn’t go simply because his humour doesn’t appeal to me.

Connolly, Boyle, Carr, I love to listen to them work. Jimmy Carr actually has a section called the career ender, you can imagine what is in there and if you can and you couldn’t handle it then don’t be a tit and go just to complain.

Political correctness and wokeness (Is that a word??) will be the downfall of stand up comediennes. Even if they tried to make sure that it isn’t their POV they are using, it somewhat gives you an idea of where the story is going when it starts ‘A racist walks into a bar…’

Franky Boyle once said that he was asked if he was being serious about the subjects that he talked about. His answer was, ‘Serious, I’m a fucking comedienne up on a stage playing to an audience, telling made-up jokes, what do you think?’

If you are a level minded person, jokes won’t offend as they are ‘meant’ to be jokes. They shouldn’t be taken as anything else. Some you will laugh at, some you won’t, that’s as much thought as you should give them.

Censorship is a form of discrimination. It is discriminating against the intelligent who can separate a made up story that is told to amuse against a rant that is caused to incite!

Okay into this week’s stories.

This is a bit different as Nik has already done an introduction to them, but I can still let you read our initial comments for our first ever themed week, which really just happened more than was planned.

…We are not that organised!!!

…Truthfully, we don’t do prompts as we would all get bored reading the same type.

…Hell for me would be a romance week – All those idiots writing about chiseled torsos, heaving breasts, and green eyes would give me the fucking boak!!!

I was first up on Monday – Fuck knows why I took this on, probably because I am slightly masochistic and hate both genres so I gave it a go. But it was an absolute privilege to be included with the other five amazing writers. (I could never forget you Mr Henson!!!!!)

On Tuesday we had our only new writer Kat Hutchson with ‘Becoming Human, so a huge welcome to her to the site. Kat has two plaudits, one for being accepted and secondly for being included in something that we’ve never done before.

‘Very well done. There is something creepy about this machine!’

‘For an AI story, this was excellent.’

‘The characters were unlikeable and the whole thing was nice and gruesome. I loved it.’

On Wednesday we had the genius that is Mr Marco Etheridge. Now as I have said, we don’t do prompts and this was a one off. BUT if there is ever such a person as a Historian of the site, they will know that Marco has been tempted by comments before and taken them as prompts. And the man has knocked every sodding one of them out the park!!!!! To do this shows a writing brain that is up there with the best of them. I tip my hat to you sir!!!!!

Created Image’ was Marco’s twentieth outing for us.

‘Marco got every reference in. He must have had Hugh’s post open!!!’

‘What a clever writer!!’

‘This is a brilliant story, even if you don’t know the origins!’

Ailbhe Curran was next up on Thursday with ‘Magical Demise

This was this wonderful writer’s second story for us.

‘A parable for the loss of imagination done brilliantly.’

‘There is an excellent point being made.’

‘A little bit of weirdness that I really like!’

And we finished off the week with our wonderful fellow editor Leila. I think, I hope she lets me know if I’m wrong, this is Leila’s 111th story for us!

Now I have been hanging on to second place with 116 from the legend that is Tom Sheehan (200 and still submitting!!) but I will admit defeat into third place sometime soon. Leila’s imagination is too tuned for her to dry up. Me – I have no imagination and would need to do a helluva lot more people watching and eavesdropping for me to continually write. My liver would be fucked and I may be punched a few times as a pub is my source of inspiration…And I’m getting to that age that the folks I talk to talk about thickness of pads and early bed-times!! (Whit a source of inspiration!!!)

Leila doesn’t need anything like that, her amazing imagination takes over and I’ll be happy to hand my silver medal over to her.

I honestly wish I had even a tenth of her imagination!!!

‘I, Feckwit completed the week.

‘Brilliant!’

‘I read this with a big grin on my face.’

‘Loved this to bits!’

Usual bit here guys – I do need to thank a few more folks who are getting involved with comments – I can’t thank you enough.

I also spotted an old friend, Darnel commenting – Great to see you back!!!!!

The Sunday Re-Run…Well there is no point really as no-one takes us up on this. It is all promise, just like the lady with the padded bra or the guy with the sock down his trousers, all talk and no substance.

Just to finish off…

I see that the baldy prince thing and his straight up and down wife are sending one of their spawn to a school that costs £50 000 a year.

That figure is beyond my comprehension but I wonder if you are allowed to be stupid?

At Dalmilling Primary where I went, you could be stupid. You could be down right backward and you were told so in no uncertain terms.

We had daily remedial classes for the ‘thick as mince’ weans and some of us were told, ‘I knew your dad and he was stupid, your mum, I knew her and she was thick and now I have you. Guess what you are?’

If you didn’t answer, ‘I’m an amoeba Sir’, you got belted for insolence. You also got belted again for knowing the word ‘amoeba’ as that was being contradictory to the teacher’s point.

If you (Sorry – Us the fucking public) are spending that kind of money on your offspring, do you want to hear that your kid is a pot of soup, of the vegetable kind??

What would they do if you asked for your money back as the kid’s stupidity should be taught out of them, especially at fifty grand a year.

I feel sorry for those teachers because some of the kids in my day just need a little persuasion to learn. That persuasion took the form of violence and humiliation. But how can you beat up a sprog if it’s over-privileged fuckwits of parents are paying that kind of money?

Also you can’t beat those specific kids up as the Met will shoot you.

So the simple solution is, let them pass all of their exams as it’s not as if the fuckers will end up doing anything worth-while anyway…Unless you include them procreating and having more sprogs that will go to the same school at the taxpayers expense.

Hugh

Latest News, Short Fiction

Week 385 – Only Waiters Appreciate, If You Have Nothing To Write…Don’t And The Birds Will Nest Well This Year In London.

All throughout my life I have been able to give tips, whether they were wanted or not!

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