Flash Fiction – Battle Cry

Hello dearest reader, find a seat at the table and gorge yourself on the tumescent offerings of another blog post!

 

This is another entry to the flash fiction competition offered by Carrot Ranch. The premise is to write a flash of 99 words based on their weekly prompt. This week’s is “warrior women,” and it’s a prompt I had a lot of fun with. I hope you enjoy!

Battle Cry

We will fight in the streets; we will fight in the boardrooms, the courts and the home. We will never surrender.

We have lived under their rule for millennia. But nothing lasts forever.

First we fought for the vote, then for the right to work. Now we fight for control over our bodies.

So grab your weapons warrior women – the pen is mightier than the sword. The sword is a man’s weapon, a big steel dick. Look how much good it did them.

And as we come to conquer the world they will fear our battle cry:

“Me too.”

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Flash Fiction – Late Again

I fly down the pavement, barging old women out of my path. Wait for me! I yell at the hulking bus idling at the roadside.

I make it just in time. I climb on, haggard and panting.

I take my wallet from my back pocket and open it, hands trembling. Frantically I search for the right money. Once again, luck was not on my side.

“Do you have change for a ten?” I ask with trepidation.

He begins to chuckle, then breaks into a full-blown guffaw. Small flecks of spittle hit me as he laughs in my face.

Flash Fiction – New Decking

Welcome dear readers! Gather round and soak up the soothing and life-giving warmth of another blog post.

This is a piece of flash fiction I did for the fun weekly competition over at the Carrot Ranch (link here). The piece has to be 99 words – no more, no less – and the prompt was “property values. I hope you enjoy!

New Decking

We found a body in our back garden. Right where we wanted our new decking. What are the chances?

The estate agents obviously never said anything about it.

Of course the local media soon caught wind and documented the whole thing: forensic tents, police detectives, us.

Months later and they’re still camped outside our door every day.

We’re sick of the attention and want to move; start again somewhere else. But we can’t because the property is now worth pennies, and no one wants to live in a suspected “murder house.”

And we still haven’t got our new decking.

Another short story

Salutations dear reader, and welcome once again to the tepid nether-regions of despondency I call home. I offer to you another short story of mine. This was a more experimental piece, and my first real attempt at stream of consciousness. It was a lot of fun to write, and I hope you enjoy! Any feedback is appreciated.

Creep.

There’s too many people here and Charlie, my only lifeline in this social orgy, disappeared a few hours ago. It’s our first time down in Portsmouth and I’m unsure how we ended up at this party. I’m still wearing my Arsenal shirt after the match, even though it was four days ago, but hopefully it’s sufficiently hidden by my jacket. Since we got rinsed by Pompey, Charlie and I have just been bouncing across the city with no real plan.

I let everything wash over me like a wave, not taking in the specifics, other than that the music is too loud and I’m starting to come down. This mandy that Charlie got for us is shit. Shit drugs for a shit party in a shit-hole house in a shit-hole city.

The local guy we found assured us it was The Good Stuff. Imported. I didn’t ask where from, makes fuck all difference to me. He was a complete arsehole. Kept us waiting for nearly an hour, strolled up in his bright red shell-suit, and started giving us the same bullshit they do every time. Best in town. Purest you’ll get. As soon as we turned the first corner I pulled out the bag for a proper inspection, excited to see how badly we’d been mugged off. There was a few muddy brown crystals and some grey granulated powder. Didn’t scream Purest You’ll Get, but it would have to do. We both dipped a key in the bag and stuffed some of the powder up our noses, inhaling sharply to make sure it got up there fast.

I did the rest of my share in two big lines as soon as we got here and felt barely anything. That was a few hours ago and now I just feel like shit, plus I can’t even bug Charlie for more because he’s likely finished his too. So here I am, melting into a stranger’s sofa while a party happens without me.

Someone turns off whatever generic electro is playing, much to the dismay of the sizeable crowd jostling against each other in what I assume is usually the dining room. Whatever the DJ has put on is not doing it for them so they disperse, directing boos towards the hi-fi. This new song is slow, melodic. I recognise it. Ugh, Creep by Radiohead.

I’m a creep

I’m a weirdooo

What the hell am I doing here?

I don’t belong here.

Radiohead are usually a no-go for me, but for once I’m inclined to agree. I don’t belong here either, Thom. Me and the song seem to connect on some emotional level I’ve never experienced with Radiohead before, and I close my eyes to try and appreciate the music.

Oi mush, nice jacket. I open my eyes. Some Gobshite is standing over me, clearly unaware I was having an important drug-fuelled introspection.

Cheers pal. Unfortunately he takes this as an offer of small-talk and sits down next to me on the sofa. I’m unsure whether I should consider his opinion of my jacket to be valid because his own choice in attire is vapid and uninspired. Black jeans, white oxford shirt and brown shoes.

Where you get it? Clearly he is feeling for some connection, some lifeline to clutch on to that will continue our interaction.

Charity shop I think.

You can get some good deals there.

Yep. Gobshite doesn’t seem to know where to direct the conversation after I deliver this finisher. I had hoped this would rid me of his company, but he seems determined to find some elusive Common Ground he’s convinced we share.

Want a line? I nod, hiding a flicker of surprise at the idea of Gobshite being this immediately generous. He reaches for a mirror that’s been placed on the coffee table for this very purpose and tips out a small amount of powder. I don’t bother to ask what he’s offering. I’m not interested in the product, only the opportunity to abuse this stranger’s generosity. He won’t exist to me after this evening, and so I need to take advantage of this moment while it lasts.

The line he racks up for me is pathetic, so when he offers me the mirror I do both it and the one he’s racked up for himself. He looks at me with shock, but I know he’s also secretly impressed with the sheer gall of my action.

Sorry, I say nonchalantly, were they not both for me?

No.

I lie back on the sofa and can already feel this new drug getting to work on my body, it tendrils creeping through my skull, starting at the base of my neck and working forwards. Not bad gear. Nice one mate. I know Gobshite next to me is sorting himself out with another line so I just stay quiet and let the stale air between us dissipate. I must have started swaying unconsciously to the music because Gobshite interrupts with

Aren’t Radiohead sweet man? One of my favourite bands. He obviously thought he had finally found our Common Ground. I bet it was you that changed the track, you cunt.

Actually, I reply, relishing the immanent collapse of our budding friendship, I find their commentary on social issues such as the War on Terror and modern alienation to be facile, and the overall experimental nature of their music somewhat contrived.

I look over at Gobshite, wishing this moment could sustain me forever. I can see in his face that I have finally burned his last olive branch. I take my leave of him without explanation. He doesn’t need one. Out in the hall I bump into Charlie and ask him where he’s been.

Upstairs mate. Some bird fancied a quick one. Even let me stick it in her arse.

Nice one. I would be surprised if he’d used protection, he usually doesn’t. It’s a wonder he’s never knocked a girl up. Or if he has, he hasn’t told me about it.

Where’s that smoke Matty? I could do with one to mellow me out, that girl was spicy.

I hand him the bag of weed I had tucked into the waistband of my jeans. It’s the only place I can be sure it won’t be stolen.

You coming for one?

In a bit. Where’s the bog?

Upstairs. He walks off without giving me any further information, leaving me with the unenviable task of finding it on my own. Charlie was on his own mission this evening. Our loss to Pompey has dampened his spirits and he’s clearly trying to numb the pain. Neither of us are looking forward to the aftermath of this bender, but we’ll put it off for as long as possible.

I head up the bare wooden stairs and onto the landing, which is barely lit and smells like a chemical toilet. The carpet had been stripped at some point, exposing the rough wooden boards underneath. It looked like someone had started renovating it but had gotten bored and just fucked off. There’s graffiti on the walls and what looks like used needles in the corner. This must be one of the more happening smack dens in town.

The first door I come to is ajar and so I poke my head in, hopeful I would get lucky on my first try. My eyes take a moment to adjust to the darkness, but then I see a woman sat on a dresser, head tilted back. It takes me a moment to realise there is a guy with his head between her legs, one resting on each shoulder. He must really be going for it because she is gripping the edge of the dresser and grunting like a pig. She clearly wants more because she opens her legs wider and shoves his face in and holds it there. Poor sod surely can’t breathe. I can’t wait to tell Charlie about this.

I’ve been standing here watching them for a good few minutes now. There was a brief stir in my pants, but my poor little soldier seems unable to break through the wall of drugs to stand to attention. Just as I’m contemplating leaving, Thom Yorke’s wise words appear again in my head.

I’m a creep

I’m a weirdooo

On the money again, Thom. Maybe I should give Radiohead a chance after all. Forgetting where I am, I snigger at this thought. The woman opens her eyes, screams, and pushes the guy away. He loses his balance and crashes backwards, smacking his head on the floor.

Perve! Fackin perve! There’s someone watchin at the door. Oi Phil, fuck im up!

The guy is on his feet again now and has registered my presence. He runs at me, and is seemingly unaware his cock is still hanging out of his tracksuit trousers. I slam the door shut and pelt down the stairs, shedding my jacket, and toss it into the living room. Now I’m just that twat in his Gunner shirt at a party in Portsmouth. Under my new guise I head for the garden. Hopefully a change of clothing and scenery will be enough camouflage to keep away my assailant.

I find Charlie chatting up a group of girls, most of whom are probably more interested in the massive joint in his hand than in Charlie himself. I slip into the circle on his right and he passes it to me almost immediately. There’s some fine pieces of gash in this crowd, and Charlie and I use our position as drug suppliers to our advantage. Charlie seems determined to shag again this evening, but for me it’s all just show. My excessive drug consumption has left me unable to perform down there.

Charlie and I hang out in the garden for a while, having nothing conversations with nothing people. I’m still anxious about my position on Phil’s hit-list, so I remain outside for as long as possible, enduring all these losers desperate for a hit on my joint. I’m feeling quite messy now, but Charlie seems far more on-track than me.

Charlie turns to me, swaying slightly as he does so. I want to see if I can score some more gear. Coming?

Sure. Even though my body is reaching drug-saturation levels, another line won’t do any harm.

On my way through the kitchen I steal a few cans from the fridge and stuff them into my back pockets. Where did my jacket end up? I should probably find it before I head off.

As if by magic, I see Gobshite sauntering through the living room in my fucking jacket! Crafty bastard must have seen it abandoned and thought this was his chance for revenge. Well don’t worry Gobshite, mine shall be the last laugh.

Charlie makes for the living room, clearly attuned to the presence of some drug connection. When you’re this far down the rabbit-hole you can smell other users out. We’re all in Wonderland together, folks. I keep my head down as I’m unsure what Phil looks like, ready for him to jump out of any dark corner.

Oi cunt! I swivel around. There’s Phil. I stand my ground, ready to receive my punishment, but he isn’t heading for me. He’s seen my jacket and put two and two together. And got five.

Fink you can watch me going down on me bird and then just fuck off?

Before Gobshite can respond, Phil slams him in the face with a powerful right hook. Gobshite hits the deck, blood spurting from his mouth, and is out cold. Gutted prick, that’ll learn you for taking my jacket.

I take this near miss as my cue to leave the party and head for the front door.

Charlie, we gotta go.

He looks puzzled, but follows. He knows there’ll be other parties. We walk out into the night, on our never-ending quest for the next FIGHT, the next FUCK, the next FIX.

School’s Out For Summer

Greetings dear readers, and welcome to the bright and shining microcosm that is another post. I am (mostly) done with university for another year, and finally have time to choose my own reading. So instead of preparing and researching my dissertation, I’ve created a list of my summer reading. I hope you enjoy!

 

bee

The Informers – Bret Easton Ellis

I’m slowly making my way through Ellis’ back-catalogue. I recently finished Imperial Bedrooms, and it was definitely true to form! I picked The Informers up in a charity shop a while ago and still haven’t read it. It is a collection of short stories, seemingly set in the same universe. I imagine it features the same almost satirically dark and emotionless writing we have all grown to know and love. I’ll post a review in the future.

 

telling-tales-paperback-cover-9781782111573.600x0

Telling Tales – Patience Agbabi

Okay, so this one is actually university related, but I’ve wanted to read it for a while. Patience Agbabi is a British poet who uses grime-influenced hooks and beats in her poetry. If you haven’t seen her work before, find her on Youtube. Telling Tales is a modern reinterpretation of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Agbabi reimagines the original characters as modern Britons; from the Nigerian businesswoman The Wife of Bath, to Robyn Miller, the 18 year-old newly-wed. It’s safe to say I’m very excited to read this.

 

mcfarlane

The High Places – Fiona McFarlane

I picked this up at a local bookshop a while ago and it’s sat on my shelf ever since. Recently however, I’ve come across several positive reviews of McFarlane’s debut novel The Night Guest, and I thought it was time I gave her work a try. This collection of short stories has been described by The Guardian as “off-kilter” and deal with some interesting aspects of the human condition. I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

BerenLuthien

Beren and Luthien – J.R.R. Tolkien

This is a posthumous work, published in 2017 by Tolkien’s son Christopher. It’s compiled from various pieces of work Tolkien produced in his life, elements of which have appeared in several of his other works. The story is set in the First Age, some 6,500 years before Lord of the Rings, and follows the story of Beren on his quest for Luthien’s love. I’ve enjoyed Christopher Tolkien’s work in the past so I’m looking forward to this one.

 

Thanks for reading, and if you have any other suggestions, let me know in the comments.

Flash Fiction

Good day to you all dearest readers. You join me again in the swampy mire we call reality for another post. This time, I bring you a piece of flash fiction. Flash fiction is always interesting to write; its tiny word count makes it a good challenge. This piece was written for a competition with the prompt “stock.” I hope you enjoy!

The Search

The supermarket stood desolate and abandoned. The windows were smashed and a thin layer of radioactive dust had crept into the foyer. Inside it was dark and the air smelled stale. No one had been here in years.

“Do you really think we’ll find any here?”

“Have faith.”

They crept into the gloomy depths of the store, guns at the ready. Anything could be hiding in here. Their breaths escaped in short, laboured bursts, and echoed faintly off the empty shelves.

Sunlight barely penetrated this far, but they couldn’t risk torches. Plus they needed to save the batteries. Supplies were running low.

They turned into aisle 12. This was the right one. She remembered from before the world ended.

They searched the shelves fastidiously. There! She grinned. Tucked away were three packs of glorious coffee, six jars in each.

“We better stock up. We don’t know when we’ll find more.”