“The great grey beast February had eaten Harvey Swick alive. Here he was, buried in the belly of that smothering month, wondering if he would ever find his way out through the cold coils that lay between here and Easter”
THE THIEF OF ALWAYS – Clive Barker.
Like a hairy grizzly bear with a bad hangover and a hankering for honey, I have finally emerged from my winter hibernation, bloodshot eyes blinking at the brightness of the sun, lazily scratching away at my behind with a clawed paw, all the time wondering “what the hell is going on????” With regards any kind of appraisal of what we’ve experienced of 2021 so far, I cannot help but be reminded of The ‘Orrible ‘Oo’s classic rocker “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. Yes, as you may have already noticed, things have pretty much just been a case of “Meet the new boss…Same as the old boss”. Ho hum indeed! Here’s hoping that much lauded ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ finally materialises for everyone as we’ve been stuck in this fucking subterranean passage for far too long now and my blocked ears, just like everybody else’s, desperately need to pop. Still, as I always keep reminding myself, it is imperative to maintain a sense of perspective and to try and remain humble and thankful. Every time I take a long, hard look at the world around me, it always makes me realise just how lucky I really am. Anyway, enough mumbling, grumbling and inappropriate fumbling, onwards and upwards and onto other news, all of it positive (thank goodness!) Despite being buried under a duvet for an inordinate amount of time, I have still managed to fire off the odd flare here and there, with a few examples of my ridiculous ramblings escaping into the world and then rearing their misshapen heads to stick out their tongues and pull funny faces. In January, my drabble EVEN A PRO LAPSES NOW AND THEN appeared in THE HORROR TREE’S online publication TREMBLING WITH FEAR, whilst a slightly longer story BENEATH A BRIDGE, BY THE RIVER was featured in their February Valentine’s Day special. Meanwhile, over at the FRIDAY FLASH FICTION website, they are currently running a contest, “The Andrew Siderius Memorial Writing Competition” where two of my entries, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TEAR AND A TEAR and IT’S A TRIP (NOT A ONE-WAY TICKET), can currently be read. Links for all these pieces will be added to the credits section shortly. BLACK HARE PRESS has also accepted my story FUTURE SHOCK, which will be featured in the PATREON section of their website (and will appear in the collection DARK MOMENTS YEAR THREE, available to purchase at the end of the year) and, fingers crossed, I have a few other pieces currently doing the rounds that will hopefully see the light of day as 2021 progresses. I am also in the early stages of a couple of collaborative projects which, if they come to fruition, might turn out to be really, really cool. More information will be forth coming as things (slowly!) develop. Finally, I intend to keep using this blog as an ongoing notebook for any random bits and pieces that may be of interest (to me, if not to you!) So, let us begin with a small flash, written for the PRIME NUMBER MAGAZINE 53 WORD SHORT STORY COMPETITION. The theme for that particular month’s contest was “DIGITS”. Obviously, my story wasn’t selected as a winner, but I still have a bit of a soft spot for it (purely as it took me much longer than I anticipated to get it finished!)…
Duck If Girl Intends to Swing by Steven Holding.
As the groom tried to thumb a ride, the bride pointed at the time. When another automobile zipped past, he flipped them the bird.
The registry office was miles away.
Taking her hand, he slipped the ring on her finger.
“I’ll love you… Forever… Pinkie promise!”
Her kiss felt suspiciously like a fist.
Until next time, what it is, what it was and what it shall be….