Category Archives: short stories

Of literature, pelican crossings and escort girls in Liverpool!

I spent the Christmas period with my mum, her partner and my sister in Liverpool. Following a very enjoyable week with my family, I returned to London on Friday 27 December.

As my mum, her Partner and I stood at the pelican crossing outside Liverpool Central station, waiting to cross and make our way to Lime Street in order that I could catch my train back to London, my mum’s partner commented on a sticker affixed to the pelican, advertising the services of escort girls which (my mum added) had been rendered illegible by someone with a thick black marker pen)!

The above incident reminded me of my short story “Samantha”, which tells the story of an upper-class young woman forced into prostitution in the city of Liverpool, https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BL3CNHI/. “Samantha” has received a number of great reviews, including the below 4 star review by Paul S:

Samantha

“I downloaded this short novel when it was being offered free on Amazon Kindle and I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. It had a gripping plot, good characterisation and plenty of ‘atmosphere’; things that can be lacking in short stories. I think there may be a couple of formatting issues as I found I had to re-read a couple of paragraphs as they initially seemed out of place, possibly due to a missing carriage return instruction or perhaps because I was reading the story too quickly as I wanted to find out what happened next!
I won’t expand upon the plot as I do not want to create any spoilers but I suggest that you give this short novel a look if you enjoy atmospheric crime thrillers that have an element of romance, a gripping story line, some really nasty villains and a quite dramatic, action packed, climax”. To read the review on Amazon please follow this link, https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R2YUTS78WBRB01/.

Shy Girl

As the vicar spoke of hell fire, and how the wicked are condemned to eternal torment, the sexton gazed sideways at his youngest daughter – a girl with the figure of a dancer. A real heart breaker he thought, and yet she was pure as the newly fallen snow on the nearby moors, before the cattle had trampelled through the drifts, leaving their footprints and dung behind.

Alice, (his 18-year-old daughter) sat, her eyes half closed in the pew, a dreamy expression on her face. Her prayer book lay open (but unheeded) on her lap.

“Can I help you miss?”, the shop girl said to the young woman who stood, her nails digging into her palms at the counter.

“Yes err … err”.

The shop assistant repressed a sigh. She’d seen it all before,but couldn’t help getting impatient at times.

“Miss?”

“I’d …”,

The assistant smiled encouragingly.

“Do you have, whips?”, the young woman whispered, her face turning the colour of beetroot.

The assistant reached under the counter and withdrew 2 whips. One was of the fluffy, joke variety, whilst the other was of the kind used by jockeys.

“I’ll take that one”, the young woman said, pointing to the fearsome looking riding crop.

“Cash or card, Miss?”.

“Oh god, no card, cash!”, the customer said, her hands fumbling in her purse.

“This rounds on me”, the young student said.
“Thanks”, Marie said. And as her friend went to the student bar to pay for 10 drinks, Marie wondered, as she had on many previous occasions, where her friend got the money for those expensive clothes and the leather handbag she sported.

With trembling hands the vicar typed, “Saturday at 9 pm. Usual place. OK with you?”. Then moistening his dry lips he clicked send.

“There’s this new club opening in town this Saturday. Are you up for it?”, Marie said.
“Nope, sorry, I’m visiting my family this Saturday”, Alice said and, despite her best eforts her cheeks burned …

Hitman

He steaddied the rifle against the window ledge and, gazing along the barrel saw the target, on the beach far below.

Just another hit, he thought, as he watched the living dead hand in hand with a petite blonde. She was not his wife, he knew as much. That did not, of course bother him in the slightest. Other people’s sex lives where a matter of complete indifference to him. What was of concern to the hitman was the £20,000 he would receive once the target was neutralised.

She was pretty that blonde. He wouldn’t mind having her between his sheets, he thought as he lined up the rifle on the target.

The sea, far below roared and a gull walked, casually along the crumbling cliff edge.

It had been a stroke of luck finding this house abandoned at the top of the cliff path, he thought as his finger tightened on the trigger.

The man below bent to kiss the blonde, just as the finger of the hitman squeezed tight on the Trigger.

The report of the gun was, as he knew it would be, lost in the roar of the sea and the crying of the gulls.

As lips touched below, the bullet sailed high above the target’s head. Then the roar of the sea and the crying of the gulls was joined by another louder roar as the cliff, long the subject of erosion by wind and sea gave way, taking the house so precariously balanced at the cliff edge with it. The report had been the final straw that had broken the camel’s back, bringing house and hitman crashing down to the unforgiving waves below.

“Christ”, that was a near thing, the target said, as he gazed at the fallen rocks only some hundred yards from where he and his petite mistress stood, horror struck on the beach below.

The end

Looking for Business

This story contains some strong language. if you are offended by strong language, please read no further.

Bethany tasted blood and suddenly became aware that she was chewing her lower lip, No, not chewing, she was actually biting it hard enough to produce blood. How long had she been doing that for? Bethany had no idea.

She made a conscious efort to stop gnawing her lip but, in doing so became acutely aware of the cheap short skirt and the 6 inch heels on which she tottered.

“Fuck, what am I doing here?”, she thought, taking hold of the lamp post for support. Dam those heels, she could hardly stand in them let alone walk!

“Looking for business love?”. Bethany started, and became aware of 2 scruffily dressed guys in an old Ford. “No”. “Then what the hell are you standing there for, on the street corner?”, the driver said and, not waiting for an answer stuck up 2 fingers and drove away.

“Oh god this is all a fucking mistake”, Bethany thought, stamping her feet trying to keep warm. Shit, her right heel had snapped clean off. “cheap bloody shoes, horrid skirt”, she said outloud, starting to cry.

A car pulled over and a man in a clerical collar leaned out of the driver’s window, “excuse me, are you looking for business?”, “you know I bloody well am”, Bethany said climbing in next to the vicar.

They drove in silence, Bethany glaring at the clerical gentleman. “Chill out Bethany. You can’t deny that its authentic. I bet you will be the only girl at the Tarts and Vicars Party who can say that they have stood on a street corner, dressed as a tart and been picked up by her boyfriend, dressed as a vicar!”.

The end

Free book promotion!

My book ‘Streetwalker and other stories’ will be free in the Amazon Kindle Store, from the 11th – 15th October.

In this collection of flash fiction we meet a variety of characters, many of whom have been deeply damaged by life. The stories range from a young prostitute who walks the dangerous streets of London to tales of vengeance and comeuppance. Serious issues of abuse of power are touched upon. Anyone who is looking for a comfortable read should avoid this book.

‘Streetwalker and other stories’ is available here for the UK and here for the US.

 

Blast from the past!

Back in 2015 I released ‘Dalliance; a collection of poetry and prose’ in Kindle and Paperback format. Whilst the Kindle version is still available, the Paperback version (pictured below) is out of print. The Paperback was published by an independent publisher, who have since gone out of business, hence the print book is perhaps, something of a collectors item!

As those of you who follow this blog will know, my ‘Selected Poems’ and ‘The Writer’s Pen’ are available in Kindle and Paperback format. I hope, in the not too distant future, to reissue ‘Dalliance’ in Paperback.

Dalliance is available here for the UK and here for the US.

Dalliance

‘In this world, where nothing really exists, I kiss your cold, dead lips. Meaningless dalliance in this land of the dead, no words spoken: there is nothing to be said. Emotions stifled, frozen in ice, held in deaths stone grip.’

 

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The Clutter Monster by Sally Walford

On the evening of Sunday 29 September, I was privileged to meet Sally Walford and her partner in my favourite Bangladeshi restaurant.

I had seen Sally on several previous occasions. However I had not had the pleasure of conversing with her until Sunday evening.

I was intrigued to find that Sally is a children’s author and has published “The Clutter Monster”, The book description of which reads as follows:

“The Clutter Monster lives in the land of Mess, a monster who loves nothing more than very messy children and very messy playrooms.

This story for children , The Clutter Monster, tells the tale of one dark night when two messy children are spotted by The Clutter Monster.

Only The Decluttering Dog has the secret of how to make the Monster go.

Will he get to them in time to save their fate?

This delightful tale encourages children to tidy up their toys and keep on top of that clutter!”.

Whilst I haven’t read “The Clutter Monster”, I see from Amazon and Goodreads that the book has received a number of excelent reviews.

You can find out more about “The Clutter Monster” by Sally Walford here, https://thecluttermonster.com.