Had another short piece of writing featured in Agony Magazine – here’s a link for to read of it.
Been a while, but not been idle – here’s a link to a short story of mine in Agony Magazine… Musically, am gearing up for a London gig at the end of March courtesy of The Animal Farm, and whatever else I can scrounge – new songs on the way, too. Wait and see x
Internet short fiction publisher Ether Books has just published another story of mine as a free download. This one’s called Lucky Bleeder, and was performed in London by White Rabbit at one of their Are You Sitting Comfortably events in 2012. It’s about sex – of an unpleasantly strenuous kind – and it’s 666 words long, which was pure coincidence.
It can also be found in my recent Kindle compilation, The Gift of Fear.
The Ether app can be downloaded from iTunes here.
20 tales of terror, the supernatural and the super-real: a richly-varied journey from the horrors of the human mind to the depths of space.
You’ll meet people in these pages whose fearful struggles will grab you hard, and some you’ll wish you’d never met at all… But either way, you won’t forget them.
Evil beings, experiments gone hideously wrong, psychopaths, erotic maniacs in league with the outer gods, sinister corporations and ghosts from the future. If you get nightmares, just remember: it’s THE GIFT OF FEAR.
A lucky 13 days from Xmas, too.
Internet short fiction publisher Ether Books has just re-issued a story of mine as a free download. It’s called Complaint from the Other World, was originally published in (print magazine) New Horizons; later performed in Brighton by White Rabbit at one of their Are You Sitting Comfortably events in 2010 – more on them in the previous post…
The Ether app can be downloaded here. This enables you to read all kinds of stuff on the shiny modern appliance of your choice, and is therefore great. (More writing-related news soon.)
Below is a piece I wrote some years ago for a fanzine (on actual paper, yet). Explanation follows.
I arrived at 221B Baker Street to find my friend Sherlock Holmes deep in consultation with a well-to-do lady of middle years, her pale worried features a sad contrast to the richness of her dress. ‘It’s my son Francis,’ she said in a voice cracked with weariness. ‘Ever since he joined this.. “rock band”, he’s been like a perfect stranger. He comes and goes at all hours, refuses his dinner, and seems to detest my husband and I – but worse yet…’
Here Holmes interrupted with a brusque gesture of his nervous fingers. ‘This band. What do they call themselves?’
‘I blush to tell you, Mr Holmes, but they are known as The Fucking Cocksuckers.’
‘Quite so. If you will permit me – ?’ Holmes stretched out a long arm and reached into the jumble of documents and periodicals on the mantelpiece. ‘Hmm. Yes, here we are – this week’s New Musical Express.. Watson, what a catalogue of horrors is here! The lubberly scum of London, the very dregs of the opium dens.. Where was it.. Ah! I quote: “spotted by yr excited reporter picking their noses in a darkened toilet with the Damp Socket Scuzz Collective (formerly We Luv Public School Records) – anti-music – anti-quotes – they wipe their arses on the smug corpse of the Old Previous Cunts – doing it for The Kids, man – tired rhetoric – I play guitar like I’m flogging my old PE teacher – drums like a scotch egg full of Iggy’s spunk…” Enough!’
‘But Mr Holmes, this is not the worst of it!’ the good lady interjected. ‘I listened to some of their.. music.. only this afternoon, and my own Francis was,’ she coughed with embarrassment, ‘..singing, after a fashion, about “snorting bones”. In somebody’s garden shed.’ Her face was ashen with horror. ‘Bones, Mr Holmes!’
Holmes looked grim indeed. ‘Mrs Glendinning, I shall be most glad to rescue your son from these villains. Watson, I would be grateful if you’d pass me the inhaler of benzedrine cough remedy.’
‘Why, have you a cold, Holmes?’
‘Just do it.’
Suitably refreshed, my friend bade the dowager Lady goodbye and stepped out to hail a cab. I found him prostrate with nervous exhaustion a few feet from the porch, his athletic frame splayed on the cobblestones. ‘Quickly Watson – the brandy,’ he croaked, gesturing feebly toward the inner pocket of his greatcoat, ‘and you’d better have some too if we’re to stand a chance of surviving the ghastly work that lies ahead of us. I trust you’ve brought your revolver.’
‘Holmes, you surely cannot anticipate any danger from these noisy children?’
My friend smiled thinly as I helped him to his feet. ‘No. But I might feel like shooting someone.’
We arrived in a swirling fog outside the lowest kind of tavern. The noises from within are beyond my power to describe – and over it all a nasal, tortured yelp as of a man crying out in mortal crisis.
We pushed inside through the heat and throng, eyes watering in the murk, minds assaulted by the din. My cheeks burn as I write it, but the music began to work within me in strange ways – my moral fibre was shaken – my resistance wavered.. I plugged my ears and pushed on, seeing the lithe form of my friend leap onto the stage!
What a scene I beheld: the preening figure that had once been Francis Strathbogie Glendinning, beloved heir of a respectable family, twitching and cursing in language that must not – must not – be repeated. Surrounding him were a group of haggard, perspiring louts, sneering in practised ennui as they mishandled their instruments; a glassy-eyed stare and a shrug was their only reaction to Holmes’ appearance. He grasped Francis’s skinny shoulder and pushed the repulsive figure aside, seizing the microphone – howls of protest rose from the crowd – with his other hand Holmes picked up a guitar and lifted it high above his head, then dashed it to the floor!
I felt a thrill of fear as he snarled, ‘Right you lightweight little shits.. I’ll show you something..’
TO BE CONTINUED
(Except it wasn’t, nor was it intended to be. It was a dig at the then-prevalent mid-00’s fashion for bands made up of crackheads and public-school wankers pretending to be ex-rent boys, weird as that seems now. Anyway, I rediscovered it by accident and thought it might be a laugh to stick it on here.)
…and also for the re-issue of “Episodes”
Monday 20th Feb sees the digital re-release of my 2008 EP Episodes, with bonus tracks. Here’s a short story to celebrate: one for all you Valentine’s Day romantics out there. (Ha!)
There was just one more thing…
A new short-short story of mine called Bitten by The Birds of Paradise appears in the Winter issue of horror e-zine Estronomicon. A pdf can be found on the website of publisher Screaming Dreams.
It’s Xmas-y, inspired by a phobia/hatred of a certain type of vegetation, and carries no message or redeeming value whatsoever. Check it.
Happy 2012: back soon.