Sunday, May 13, 2018

Oven Stones

There was this here jolt, see, like an earthquake. The only thing I hear moving is them two round oven stones and the glass plate, the one what used to fit in the microwave we got rid of.
The wooden stand for the rolling pin what looks like it’s made of a marble staircase ˗ the one me hubby found at the recycling ˗  that holds them in place.
So it shifts with the jolt, I suppose, and off they goes. Off the bench. Onto the floor. All three of them in a bunch, three peas in a pod…!
Never smashed, you know. Should of, but they never did. I mean, one of them’s made of glass, in’t it? The others, well, they’re made of stone ˗ stone don’t break easy, not unless you drop it off a great height, like a cliff. Then it still has to fall on stone. Stone on stone, you see?
Unless it falls on some unsuspecting bloke sitting down there taking a kip alongside of the sea ˗ and then this oven stone falls on his head. Split it in half, it would, that oven stone. Like that there bloke standing up on the plinth with the gun. The time immemorial bloke.
He had his head split open once: had to get the Council to glue it up again. Kids done it.
Anyway, my hubby picks up that there microwave plate and says, This here ought to have broke. I’m gonna nail it on the front door. Like an horseshoe.
That’ll break it, I says.
Always picky. I’ll glue it on.
Not on my front door you won’t.
Righto, I’ll just stand in front of the bleedin’ door and hold it. Will that make you happy?
This story first appeared on Helen Moat's blog, as one of a series of flash fiction stories writers contributed at her request. 
She also interviewed me: you can see the interview here. 

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Future sceptic

'We know from yesterday's calculations that the sun is only three centimetres in diameter. And therefore the moon, being smaller to the eye, must be smaller still in centimetres. Parsons! What do you calculate the moon's diameter to be?'

I look up. Personally I don't give a toss about anything in the sky that's got a diameter. I'm more interested in the diameter of the wheels on my self-driver. Dad bought me one last twelfth, when they came down in price, in exchange for me supervising the self-mowing of the lawn. Old braindead that he is, he's always concerned that the self-mower is going to sail off the edge of the section and crash into a passing self-driver.

But it's a task. Tasks are good for growing boys, supposedly. I think Dad's forgotten I'm already sixteen, and around 240 centimetres tall.  I'm probably not going to grow anymore.

Which reminds me, they've raised the school basketball hoops at school to four metres. Basketball hoops have a nice diameter. Must SuperSkype Jomz and tell him he hasn't a hope of hitting the hoop now.

Something else to do when Ranter's finished ranting on. I mean, does anyone need to know that the sun isn't a big ball of flame in the sky like the old braindeads used to think? Or that the moon is just a little glob of yellow spit, hardly worth thinking about?

I read somewhere that men were supposed to have walked on it. Amazing what people used to think they knew about the Un-verse.

[Originally intended for a National Flash Fiction Day competition, but apparently never sent! Plainly my secretary wasn't doing his job properly.]

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Challenged by a poet to write an alphabetical, one word per line, poem, I came up with this. Needs some work still, methinks.



Thursday, October 12, 2017

Six characters in search of...

Six of them stood under a sky crackling with frequent lightning.

Five of them stared at the ramshackle framework of the novel from which they’d been excised.

‘What’s he going to do without a cheerful character?’ asked Shoat, a man in a heavy raincoat (it rained often in his country). ‘I was the best he had. That other bloke’s a villain.’

The woman to his right ignored his question, glared ahead. ‘I was coping with the sour, self-focused dialogue he gave me...’ She spat on the ground, to Shoat’s surprise. He’d thought her genteel. ‘But killing me off with cancer was the last straw. Before the book even started. Obliterating my name!’ She strode off amidst thunder, after sending a long, thick spittle at the building.

Bemused, the wizard Mukkeljugson half-heartedly cursed the framework.

It was oblivious to his magic, although it shivered. Its appearance altered continually.

Shoat’s enormous draught horse, Arnold, said nothing ˗ as you’d expect ˗ though he nodded in agreement with the others’ complaints. He nudged Mukkeljugson, who, not being familiar with horses, jumped back, unsure if it was a warning or an encouragement.

The last two, a middle-aged man and woman seemingly joined at the hip, scowled like souls lost, silent. Then the woman burst out at no one in particular, ‘The whole idea began with us, you fool!’ She hammered at her mild-mannered husband with her fists. He knew her anger was directed at the author.

The downpour began.


This story was originally published in Flash Frontier, November 2015.  The characters had all begun life in a children's fantasy I was writing at that time: The Disenchanted Wizard, and had all been cut from the finished novel. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Wellington: half-hot and half not

                    half super-smart and strutting-stuff, half scruff.

Found in one of my old diary entries, from May 1989 

Thursday, February 09, 2017



Each time I climb the stairs
the faded photo of the skinny boy
is leaning to the left again.

Smarten up, boy! I say.
He grins, salutes, and again
next time I climb, to the left

he leans. I'll inform your sergeant,
I state, but the boy's sergeant,
we both well know, is long gone. The

boy hooks his crooked cap rightwards,
to compensate for his lingering
leftward lean. Long dead, this

teenage, ageless soldier

grins, salutes. And leans again.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Making Passes

Supposedly no one makes passes
at girls wearing rimless eyeglasses,
something my mind soon dismisses
when covering a face with quick kisses,
because a face wearing glasses amasses
resistance to no-glasses smart-asses.

Since my severe brimless eyeglasses
no girl sees as pains in the asses,
nor sees she the need to take classes
in lip-synching met-metastasis
I'll keep making numberless passes
at girls wearing rimless eyeglasses.

Read it with an English or American accent; it should still work...though I prefer the 'English' version, myself.

Originally published on one of my other blogs