Monday, 28 March 2016

Poem: Will You Hold My Hand In The Zombie Apocalypse?

Photo by Michael O'Sullivan Photography
I wrote this to read out at my wedding just 4 days before the big day, according to the date in my notebook.  My wife rather likes zombies.  I think my introduction was something along the lines of, "Now, I'm not normally one for writing sentimental love poetry.  So I haven't.  I wrote this instead."

So today is our first wedding anniversary.  Which is paper.  And I read this off a bit of paper.  Which is fitting.  (Happy anniversary, darling.)


Will you hold my hand in the zombie apocalypse?
I mean, I know that you said
You'd like to kill the undead
With a double-headed axe
But perhaps I could ask
You to consider a more practical weapon instead?

Will you hold my hand in the zombie apocalypse?
I mean, I couldn't be sure
That the house is secure
From violence and theft
If I only use my left
Hand to hammer some boards
To the windows and doors
But maybe if the electricity still runs
I could use a nail gun.

Fingers crossed, eh?

Will you hold my hand in the zombie apocalypse?
Then, if I die,
If I cease to exist,
You could cut it off at the wrist
And using my end
As a means to fend
Off would-be attackers,
You could ensure my demise
Would help halt the rise
Of the zombie hordes...

And of course,
If you were to modify it with spikes
So that in the midst of a fight
You could make a cheap pun about FINGER NAILS...
Those are the sorts of little details
That would make me really very happy.

I mean, if we were to hold hands in the zombie apocalypse,
I just think we'd look really really cool.


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Monday, 15 February 2016

Very Short (Unfinished) Mondays: The Disappointing Adventure

Another unfinished one, I think I wrote it last June.  I'd quite like to come back and finish it I think...


The Disappointing Adventure

"Here you go," said The Leader Of The Islanders, heaving out The Large Chest Of Unimaginable Treasures.

"Oh," said the Captain Of The Pirates.  "But we only just landed.  Couldn't you just hide it from us for a bit?"

"We could," said the The Leader Of The Islanders, "but isn't this what you wanted?"

"Well, yes..." said The Captain Of The Pirates, trying to be as delicate as possible, "but we normally do a spot of plundering first."

"Well, now you don't need to," said The Leader Of The Islanders.  "Here you go," he added, nudging The Large Chest Of Unimaginable Treasures slightly closer to the pirates.

"But I was looking forward to the plundering!" said the shortest pirate, who was stood at the back where the islanders couldn't see him.

"And we were looking forward to giving you The Large Chest Of Unimaginable Treasures," said The Leader Of The Islanders.  "They don't call this The Island Of Hospitality for nothing, you know.  I'm Alan, by the way."  He offered his hand for shaking.

"I've never heard anyone call it The Island Of Hospitality," said The Captain Of The Pirates.  "I thought it was called The Island Of Bone Crushing Cannibals."

"Ah, that's because we only changed its name last week at a public meeting," said Alan, beaming.  "Two thirds majority and everything."

Some of the pirates groaned.

"Oh," said The Captain Of The Pirates.  "That is a shame.  George here was rather keen on being captured and then pulling off a daring last minute escape just before he could be cooked and eaten.  Apparently it's his favourite thing in the whole world."

He gestured towards a heavily scarred and disappointed looking pirate who was clutching a large tine with 'DEFINITELY NOT A KIT FOR CARRYING OUT DARING ESCAPES' printed on it.


Link of the Day: The Most Highlighted Passages From Classic Books


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Monday, 8 February 2016

Very Short Mondays: Feathers

Another one from last May from my notebook.  This one was written because my lovely wife refuses to accept modern theories on dinosaur feathers.



"Of course," said Kelly, "velociraptors were a lot smaller in real life than in the film."

"Kelly," said Horace.  "Stop ruining it.  I don't care if they were smaller or not."

"Do you care that they were covered in feathers."

"They were not covered in feathers."

"Were too."

"Don't be silly.  Let's enjoy the film."

"I'll show you."


"I'll show you.  Come upstairs."  Kelly stood up and climbed the three flights of stairs into the loft.  Horace, begrudgingly, pressed pause and followed her.

"I've been working on it for months," said Kelly when he finally caught up with her.

"What is it?"

"It's my time machine."

"Time machine?"


"You've built a time machine?"

"Hopefully.  Come on."  Kelly skipped over to the contraption and climbed inside.  Horace, begrudgingly (he did most things begrudgingly), followed her.

The door closed and without any sound, without any clicks or whirrs or futuristic pips and whistles, the contraption slowly faded into nothingness.  A few seconds later, it faded back again.

"See?  I told you," said Kelly, climbing back out of the time machine.  "Feathers.  Oh."

"What?" said Horace, who was struggling a little.

"We changed something."

Horace gave himself one final heave.

"What do you - Oh."


Link of the Day: Thread Rainbow


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Monday, 1 February 2016

Very Short Mondays: The Pizza

We're up to May in my notebook now.  Not sure what was going on in this story...


The Pizza

Jonathan took the pizza out of the oven.  It still wasn't cooked.  Why wouldn't it cook?

The oven was switched on, it was hot.  The pizza had been in there for half an hour.  It wasn't even warm.

"You've failed me," said Jessica.

Jonathan ignored her.  He always failed her.  It was practically his job to fail her.

But this time, something worried him.  The voices were one thing, but this.  This was weird.  This shouldn't be happening.

"You'd be surprised," said Ranjit, "by what some people think is normal."

It was a shame really, that this was only the first night that Jonathan noticed that some things - some actual real things that had happened - were impossible.  Otherwise he might have had time to make a plan to save himself.


Link of the Day: Monster Tea Party


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Monday, 25 January 2016

Very Short (Unfinished) Mondays: Fairytale

This one is also from March, and is actually unfinished.  I may or may not come back and finish it, but I enjoyed reading it back so here it is...



Once upon a time, there lived this man.  Well, lots of men actually, the world was full of people.  I mean, not as many people as there are now, but still quite a lot of people.  Some of whom were men.  Where was I?

Oh yes.  The man.  The man owned a cat.  Or possibly a rabbit.  I'm pretty sure it was a cat though, because I've just remembered there's a rabbit coming up later in the story.  Anyway, so there was this magical cat.  With magical powers.  And it belonged to this man.  The man didn't have any magical powers, by the way.  He was just an ordinary man.  Except he was really good looking.  I mean exceptional.  He was a hunk.  Think of the best looking man you've ever seen and times it by about fifty.  Oh and he was also a prince.  Except he didn't know he was a prince yet.  He just thought he was an ordinary man.

Actually, come to think of it, that's the twist to the whole story, so just pretend I didn't tell you, and we'll carry on as if that didn't happen.

So there was this completely normal but incredibly attractive man with a cat that was basically an extremely clever wizard.

And the cat was called George.  George?  Gerald.  Tell a lie, Gerald was the man.  The cat was called The Great Flufferton.  But we can just call him Fluffy.  (Trust me, it's going to make things a lot simpler later on.)

So Gerald and Fluffy lived in this, well, it was sort of a hut really.  It was made of wood and was only about a metre square.  In fact it looked a lot like a small garden shed.  And it didn't help that it was full of spades and trowels and things.



Link of the Day: Chip

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Monday, 18 January 2016

Very Short Mondays: Spotting Ickenham

Another from March last year.  I'm guessing it was probably on the train on an alternative route to work during a Tube strike.


Spotting Ickenham

Spotters were not exactly welcome in Ickenham, and they weren't exactly rare either.  Since the Act had been passed, these Government officials were no longer required to wear their garish yellow uniform.

Since then, Government income from fines had increased sevenfold, and the good folk of Ickenham were significant contributors to this.  They had long since been identified as Agitators and Speakers Out, and their local area's disproportionate Spot Offence Record was no accident.

If the Government wished to crush dissent, then this did not have the desired effect.  At first, suspicious local began to turn on each other.  In the first two months, three ordinary citizens were wrongly identified as Spotters and attacked.  The third died of her injuries, and it was then that the tide began to turn.

Local activists Rosemary Heathfield and Callum Springer launched a voluntary tagging programme for dissenters.  All Spotters were required to check-in fortnightly at their Regional Headquarters, and tagging events were timed to coincide with these occasions.  The scheme proved so popular that the Spotters were soon identified by elimination and driven out.

With Ickenham now under local control, Heathfield and Springer began rolling out the tagging programme to surrounding areas.

Nine months later saw the inauguration of their National Authority, which would ultimate go on to prove far more intrusive and oppressive than the old and much hated Government.


Link of the Day: Loteria


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Monday, 11 January 2016

Very Short Mondays: Instagram

Yet another old one.  It appears I missed out and never posted a whole load of stories from my notebook.  I wrote this one last March.



Ruby opened her eyes.  Not her actual eyes, of course; no one did that any more.

The image was intermittent.  She sighed, cursed her Service Unit and gave her right eyeball a gentle flick.  It stuttered into life.

Maybe she'd make a casserole later.  She liked making casseroles.  She enjoyed the process of cooking.  She liked the smells, and she would set it on the dinner table, just watching the steam rising from it until it went cold.

Later she'd write a post about it, and update her followers on its slow decomposition until she threw it in the bin.

It would have to be vegetable though.  Meat was so expensive these days.


Link of the Day: Star War


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Monday, 4 January 2016

Very Short Mondays: Flicks

Another old one, written last February.  Clearly inspired by the Odeon in Beckenham.



Callum hated going to the loos in the cinema.  They were always, without fail, disgusting.

The toilet in the first cubicle was, as expected, blocked.  The second, for some reason, had three pence sitting in the bowl.  Callum smiled to himself, made a wish, threw in another coin, and went in the third.

The smell was just about bearable.

The film stank too.


I'm not sure if I ever decided what wish Callum made...

Link of the Day: World of Moose


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Saturday, 2 January 2016

Alan & The Albatross

Happy New Year!  I'm still around.  Sort of.  Just busy.  And I apparently wrote this in November 2014.


Alan & The Albatross

"Hey Alan."



"What?  I'm trying to work."

"No you're not.  You've been staring at that screen for the last half an hour."

"I was thinking."

"Oh was that what it was?"




"Check out my wingspan."

"What are you on about?"

"My wingspan.  Look, it's massive."

"Is that all?"

"No, that's not all.  In fact, it's not only massive, it's the largest wingspan of any living bird."

"I don't care."

"Go on, touch my feathers."


"Go on."

"Go away."

"They won't bite.  Go on, they're really soft.  Ask me how I keep them so soft."

"I'm busy."

"I preen."

"You preen."

"I preen supreme."

"Oh dear God."

"I'm pretty awesome."

"You're pretty annoying."

"Go on, what are you doing.  I'll help you.  Somehow."

"I doubt it."

"Oh go on.  What is it, a spreadsheet?  I'm good at spreadsheets."

"No, it's not a spreadsheet, and I can do it myself, thank you."

"Want to play catch?"

"Wha-Oh God put that down now!"


"Those are my father's ashes."

"Ah, so they're not yours then?"

"Put.  Them.  Back."

"Oh, okay."

"Right, now piss off."

"I'm bored."

"Look, just go catch some fish, or whatever it is you're supposed to do."


"Look, just go away."

"Just go catch some fish?  I'm not a wild animal, you know.  I didn't grow up with a mother who took me out on the open water and showed me how to hunt.  I'm an orphan."

"Look, I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to-"

"Didn't mean to what?  To open old wounds?  To make me feel small?  Like a little sparrow with its little tiny wingspan, and not this massive wingspan?  Make you feel big, does it?  Bigger than this?"

"Look.  Really, I'm sorry."

"That's alright.  I'm actually vegetarian.  Do we have any cashew nuts?"

"No, I don't think so."

"Do you want to pop down the shops and get some."

"Not really, no."

"I think it's the least you could do, after what you said."

"Oh alright.  If it means I get some peace.  Do you want anything else while I'm there?"




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