dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession
WHY DESTROY YOURSELF? WHY DIE BEFORE YOUR TIME? THE KEEPERS OF THE HOUSE TREMBLE. DESIRE IS NO LONGER STIRRED. DO NOT CONFORM ANY LONGER TO THE PATTERN OF THIS WORLD.

Monday, 27 December 2010

DB Tinkerbell Latest


I wish I knows how to record straight into the PC computer, man, or had the means to do it. You get me? That way I would be knockin out way more tunes, I tell ya. Instead, I have to waits until my neighbours have gone out so I can blast my tracks into the microphone. I can’t tell you how much quality you lose recording in this ancient way. It’s criminal. Still, beats recording onto a cassette while another cassette is playing at the same time, to get 2 track songs!

My neighbours are tossers, by the way. They’re new. They have no respect, bruv. Dogs, babies, noise, the lot. Litter, comings and goings, po-lice, you name it and they’re doing it. I’m not concerned about my beltin synth beats disturbing them – I’m more stressed about picking up their commotion on my microphone. Words needed soon. They're taking p*ss.

It’s not an ideal situation. I get told I’m wasting my time unless my material is digitally recorded. I almost agree. But that’s the difference between pro and amateur. Not the passion, or commitment, but a lead, or piece of equipment.

Latest song is a revamp of UN FLOW, which is linked at the bottom. Slightly heavier, faster, you know. It’s far less restrained, with all eggs in the basket. Gung-ho on this one baby. It’s not just about new songs but reworking existing ones too.

I flip the bird because if someone is cheeky enough to point a camera in my face, I’ll point my finger right back at em.

Peace out and chillax. DB

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Army Style Cup

This was probably the quickest cup so far. After3 base coats, two glazes called GLO-WORM and POPEYE'S FAVOURITE where poured straight onto the cup straight from their bottles and blew into each other, via pursed lips, over the outside and bottom surface.
The rim was in a colour called TAUPE with little squiggles coming down off it. Inside the cup was sprinkled a mixture of dried glaze dust, left over from mixing palettes and crushed up. For some reason, it failed to melt, so the bottom is lumpy and not smooth as it should be.
The handle was a rush job - it should have been the same colour as the rim. The cup was covered, leaving the handle exposed, and black paint was flicked onto it from a brush.

The fat black streaks on the rough interior of the cup were also poured straight from the bottle.
The Ceramic Devision

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Darkness, Left Hand: Light In Right

© Sebastian Worboys R.I.P
A DIALOGUE BETWEEN OPPOSING DEITIES. “I want an electromagnet in his left hand along with the Neodymium Iron Boron in his groin. That way, he won’t even have to think about it – whenever he sees a prospective mate, his body will act of its own accord.”

“That’s abusing his rights of free will and choice.”

“Perfectly acceptable within the codes of the DNA handbook. How does a bird know where to migrate? How does an elephant find water? ”

“Why not make him bisexual too, and have done with it, so that every moment on from adolescence is nothing but a struggle of restraint for the poor fellow?”

“My designs are nothing if not subtle, Ishvar, you of all should know that. Okay, over to you....”
* * *
Denton had a tough time in school. No teacher succeeded where his parents had failed. Luckily for him, he wasn’t aware that his hand was always down his pants until senior school, at which point it had become more a source of amusement to his friends, rather than a crutch to himself. It was like the way you didn’t always point out to someone you know that they have something stuck between their teeth, for fear of them not being able to get it out. Or how you sometimes let smears of toothpaste or lipstick go unmentioned. It’s their problem, you sometimes think, let them fix it.

He had girls on the brain, however, Denton did, and when he became an altar boy of the church and a singer in its choir, the priest soon clamped down on his boyish ways, expelling him after he was caught snogging Gemma Sweeny in the confessional box. It was not normal to have only one hand visible most of the time. Eating, writing, typing – it didn’t matter what he was doing. But no matter what anyone said, it was all still in one ear and out the other.

His friends wondered why he even needed all the girlfriends he went through by the time he was a young adult, because he obviously enjoyed fiddling with himself immensely. What they didn’t know was how fast his other hand was on the punch bag hanging from the shed rafter back at home in his garden. His father had installed it when Denton was only 7 years old, when the problem first became apparent.

By his mid twenties, Denton had countless kids all over the borough, thanks to his supercharged sex drive. He sometimes passed single mothers who he knew bore his children and it made him feel sad because they all, understandably, wanted nothing to do with him. His life was dark, in that respect, because they had been brief flings, and nothing more.

His best companion, over the years, was that old punch bag. His right hand was so fast on that thing that his father eventually dragged him down to the nearest boxing club. In just two years of training he excelled like nobody in the history of the club before. His left hand reinvented the meaning of southpaw, because even in fights it hung carelessly close to his groin, but his right was so devastatingly quick that before he was thirty years old it was earning him professional contracts and enough money to look after each and every one of his children.

And why? Well, because God compensates, that’s why.

Because God compensates.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Koestler Judging Preview

This year, the exhibition in Royal Festival Hall London was curated by Victims of Crime. Last year it was by prisoners themselves and next year it will be Magistrates.
Piebald77 will provide the winners with visual accompaniments to their stories in 2010. This type of representational artistic feedback must be a first of its kind.
~
Only two more stories left to read and comment on for this year's northwest Koestler fiction entries. So far, it's taken about 10 hours to get through them. The short stories range from Risley, Liverpool, Preston, Manchester, and Ashworth hospital, among others. I get the feeling most of them are by younger prisoners and patients. The content ranges from the war in Afghanistan to the more predictable themes of crime, loss, separation, drunkenness and the like. What has genuinely surprised me is how 'downright nice' some of the stories are. Writing for children is obviously very popular in prison, as you can imagine how many fathers are detached from their children.
~
The quality is a mixed bag, but nothing is poor or very poor. The good stuff is really good and I am learning tricks myself, which goes to show. It's odd how I have now judged far more pieces of work than I may possibly ever have judged myself! I've only ever received feedback on a couple of my stories, and one judge in particular said that she DIDN'T HAVE A CLUE what was going on! She even underlined CLUE!
~
My role is to encourage, and not deter a single person from wanting to fill their time with such a productive activity. I am honest though. Last year I told a guy I thought his writing was too conservative, which I regret. It's not his fault my own stuff is off the radar! Because I write what I want to, I therefore must like what I write, so if someone has a similar style to mine, I tend to like that too, and if someone doesn't, I most probably don't. It's subjective, of course.
~
For years I've wondered what people meant by a WRITER'S VOICE. I once got told I didn't have an original voice and it addled my brain. Now I know. It's when one work in particular is screaming at you above the rest.
~
So, 2 left to read (luckily, this year's entrants have been mercifully short - not everlasting first chapters of novels in double-sided scrawl like last year), and unless they impress, I have the top 3 places sewn up, and most of the partnering illustrations done (be about 6 in all).
~

Sunday, 19 December 2010

On Writing

Just writing this to remember 2 short stories which were lost recently. Data loss is textbook and should be avoided, but there you go – it still goes on. I don't contribute to the blog often but these were intended for upload.

One was called ELESHA, completed, and the other was called FORGOT IT, LOST IT, DOESN’T WORK, almost completed. About 4/5 hours, maybe, between them, in 4 or five sessions.

ELESHA was about a girl who spotted a guy in the post office while cashing her giro. She decided to hit on him outside, after weighing up the ups and downs of spending all her money in one go on food and drink in order to get him back to her flat and into her bed. What the would-be reader wouldn’t have known until the end is that the guy was in fact her ex boyfriend.

FORGOT IT, LOST IT, DOESN’T WORK was about a numbnuts in work who was hopeless at his job, and these 3 phrases were the only thing he ever said, not as honest excuses, but as lame explanations. He drove long distance to collect something and drove all the way back without even realising that he hadn’t collected it. He also lashed perfectly working goods in to the trash. This sketch was told from the boss’s perspective, who was in a state of shock that someone could be so thick.

Both are gone forever. It was annoying at first, until weighed against the other heavyweight loss, suffered way back in my teens. That is the book DREAM KIDS, over 200 pages-plus handwritten, a whole and complete manuscript lost unto the sands of time. A WHOLE AND COMPLETE MANUSCRIPT, lost unto the sands of time. And with it, part of me; a boy who didn’t know what he knows now; a boy whose only vital stand with a paper and pen in the raging throes of a dislocated adolescence did not even have chance to be read, by himself.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Pottery Update


Worm Log didn't work out and these PQ pictures don't help. Either the Copper Adventurine glaze was on too thick (3 coats), or....well, there was something definitely wrong with the temperature of the kiln, actually. Instead of being a rich coppery orange with streaks of grainy yellow running through, it came out dark and burnt-looking. Still looks okay, but really lacking that granite-like depth of colour. The gold on the top of the object didn't show at all, but came out a dark silvery black, retaining it's metallic finish only very slightly. You can see the piece erected side-on from Aztec Vase (itself a victim of the too-dark & too-black syndrome) which is glazed with natural-looking oxides, which are very powdery, even when mixed well with water, and therefore difficult to apply. Metallic firing hasn't gone well lately - may have to switch back to oxides for a while.



These cups will have to be nearly done. They just need the rim, the handle and the base doing (sounds easy). Between them, they must have taken the best part of ten hours at least. The one on the left will be the most detailed of all cups so far, and take the total to 12. They draw you in and demand more and more detail to the point where you have to wipe your hands and say that's enough. Sod it. In fact, let's kiss goodnight vienna to this whole ceramic malarkey!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Fruits of the Parallel

© Sharon Hood
Here's Sharon's latest piece. She can get them done in 60 minutes from start to finish (it takes A.T.D longer to provide a visual accompaniment than it does for her to jot the text down). Limit for all stories is 750 words. It's rather grand, calling them stories - some of them are mere flashes (hence the term 'flash fiction') and insights into snippets of isolated scenes or sketches, with no hint of a beginning, middle, or end - just a small segment from either one or all of these.
~
Kaydee died mid-sprint half a mile from her house, flat dead on the running track two thirds of the way through her second lap. She’d joined the local athletics club to lose weight.

She left behind no children, but both parents, two sisters, and a brother. She’d also recently started dating again after three years of being single.

The moment she died, she stood up like Patrick Swayze in the film GHOST and stared at her still body.

You’re allowed in,” she heard over her shoulder. An angel who looked like Peter Andre with a white glow gave her a remote control. “Go home and turn on the TV until it’s time. There’s a two hour wait.”

She went home, noting the ambulance quickly on the scene, and plodded upstairs to watch telly. There were pears on the telly, which she started to eat. They were the nicest foodstuff to ever touch her lips, both filling and thirst-quenching at the same time. On Channel 1, there was a hippie woman playing a harp to a live audience. On 2, it was a woman in overalls fixing a flat tyre in a garage. On 3, it was a woman in a restaurant carrying a platter of food. All three women were the same: All three women were her.

She hardly recognised herself: different clothes, different hair, different demeanours. On Channel 4, she was a child at a friend’s birthday party. On 5 she was a multi-millionaire media mogul in a suit. On 6, she was rowing a boat in the Olympic Games. In two hours, she’d only reached Channel 23. There were hundreds, thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands more.

Thankfully, Kaydee had turned at 30. Before 30, she had only guessed at the presence of God or any other kind of power, bewildered and confused at certain critical moments of her life. Grief, shame, guilt and anger had dominated her twenties, but something changed then and she actively sought any kind of higher existence on a permanent full-time basis, rather than flirting with the idea when it suited her, in times of want and need. She changed herself, BY herself, and indeed found something that had always been there, and would always be there, now that she had opened her eyes and her heart to receive it. It was not the Lord Jesus Our Saviour, she didn’t think at the time, but it could have been. The important thing was not what it was or what it wasn’t, but what it did.

On every channel she had friends and family; on every channel she was enriched. It would have been so much different, if she hadn’t altered her mindset and outlook while she had still had the time. The channels might have been dark, solemn, and glum, showing her walking the streets, destitute, weighed down not only by the pressures of the world, but more so by the mistakes and regrets of her own soul.

Life is all about choices, she thought. A maze.... a sheer labyrinth of Cat & Mouse and Snakes & Ladders. Every wrong turn rippled along the Path of Consequence.

Kaydee heard her bedroom door open. She thought it was the angel to lead her to the next place, but it was another version of herself. This other one was dressed like a goth with black lipstick on, black mascara on, and covered in tattoos. The goth Keydee spoke into an earpiece. She said: “I’ve infiltrated purgatory. When St Peter comes to collect my inferior, I’ll eliminate him too and invade Heaven.”

The ‘nastified’ edition of Kaydee dragged the saved Kaydee to the floor, picked up a pear, and rammed it into her throat. “You have so many fruits of the spirit,” the bad Kaydee shouted, “you may as well have fruits of the parallel too...right down your gob!”

Kaydee choked and suffocated as more pears were stuffed into her mouth. The evil Kaydee changed channels when she was done, to enjoy herself shooting a speedball for the first time all over again, on Channel 66, and splitting up someone’s marriage, on Channel 69. She chuckled to herself.

MEANWHILE, BACK ON EARTH....The paramedic finally brought Kaydee back to life. The girl had been technically dead for two minutes. She became a celebrity of sorts among her close circle, known as the girl who had cheated death. Absolutely everybody knew, it seemed, after a while....but, in fact, they only knew the half of it, because she was sure in the knowledge, deep in her heart, that she had died not just once....but twice.

finito

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Fantasia, Inc.

Day has light, and night has dark, like Libra, in equal measure
(but the light is better)
Fantasia, Inc is within the Zombie Publications branch of Wol, dealing with all things mythical and fantastical. Art Till Death does in no way take credit for every step of the creative process concerning the artwork within Blob of Glob. We DO NOT, and CAN NOT, where collages are concerned, paint on canvas, unfortunately - yet (but there are plans to produce original sketches). Instead, we ARRANGE and COMPOSE. First and foremost, we CUT, both manually and electronically, using 'Exacto' blades and 'polygonal lasso' tools. Click links below for more on manual cutting.

http://piebald77.blogspot.com/2010/05/cutting.html

http://piebald77.blogspot.com/2010/08/raging-cutter.html

DARK FANTASY is popular here at The Blob, currently. Drop by and click on a month to scroll through that whole month's content. Have a good rummage through the whole year of 2010 and see if anything interests you. Cheers!

P.S If by chance you would like to know more about the person hosting this blog - me - then follow link underneath.

http://piebald77.blogspot.com/2010/09/20-interesting-things-about-me-by-host.html

Waterstones Flyers




Stephen Gerard-Hayden & Shaun Attwood of Widnes.
.
.
.
.
Distributed 40 short stories today in Waterstones. SNOW QUEEN & THE PRINCESS (for picture please click link below) is aimed at teenagers and for it to be read by both young girls and boys alike is a delight. It is the second ‘fantasy’ story of Blob of Glob and compared to the psychological, horror, or comedy stuff, it bridges the age gap and is accepted more readily. Slipping into a brief make-believe world of Kings, Queens and Dragons is simply brilliant! stay tuned people!
.
Details about another princess story below

Friday, 10 December 2010

Keeper of Destinies

....and generations of lives he gathered into his hand....

regular pictures and stories to see us upto christmas folks !

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Public Hanging of Sue Choo

© A.Michael
THE TESTIMONY OF CHRISTIAN TARN PRESTWOOD. They hung the mother, who died silently without protest or struggle, and then they strung up the brother. The mother I felt quite inclined for, as she had a shapely swell of bosom and a generous bundle of hair. She neither resembled a so-called witch in appearance or manner, and I found it sad that she be extinguished in the prime of her life, without so much as a coat to keep her warm during her final hour upon the chilly balcony.

The brother not only displayed a similar calm, but was also relaxed to the point of banter with the gallows master and members of the crowd. In fact, I would go so far to say that he was having a whale of a time up there, moments before his own very execution, smiling and laughing at the jaunts and teases.

The story goes that the brother prevented the local tax man trying to seduce the mother, and, enraged, the tax man pushed her only little child into the river. The mother and brother were later found practising unholy rites on the recovered body before burial and were therefore sentenced to hang. They hail from a long family line of Wiccan merchants.

So the brother swings and dies almost instantly. Exactly then, the huge crowd parts in the middle, as if a fight has broken out. People gasp and rush away. I see, with my own eyes, a young child of about nine years emerge from the soil, as if from a shallow grave. She moves like an old animation on a cinema reel missing some of its frames, juddering jerkily like something in a strobe light, hitting the ground with her fists as she rises. Her hair is matted with muck and her mouth is upturned with a hate beyond her years. Her small ribcage rises and falls rapidly as her meagre frame is silhouetted by the rapidly sinking sun.

Some of the villagers and other members of the crowd stopped dead-still in their tracks. Some of them hardened to stone, some of them collapsed to dust, and some of them imploded like watermelons. As the girl looked in my direction I was quick enough to turn away and escape the same fate.

Shielding myself from her gaze, I heard all manner of screams and cries. I also heard something very uncomfortable in the middle of my head. It was like a raucous tinny clang in the base of my subconscious, which made my ears bleed. I believe everyone present heard it; the sound of one world grating against another.

I opened my eyes because I didn’t want to drown in the visions and sights that the unearthly noise provoked. On the gallows, both bodies were now kicking, and the mother’s eyes were firing out a long beam of flames, burning up dozens of the crowd with every laser-like swipe this way and that. I tried to stand, because the ground was suddenly tilting as if in earthquake and sucking me and all others in, like quicksand.

All manner of dead ghostly figures from weeks and centuries past grappled to claim me with their rotten limbs; I was half-tipped into their lairs and squalors beneath the sodden earth and they wanted whoever they could clutch to remain with them, alive or dying, whole or broken. The day had vanished from the sky; it was now deep dusk, with crows a-fly, and the hunger-slurps of creatures not known to this dimension, brought in on a free ticket by this young, murdered girl, risen like a new moon to cast our afternoon in a sinister light... END OF TESTIMONY
.
[Discuss alternative words for 'strobe' and 'laser' the author could have used in relation to the times]
.
A.Michael only writes when he is in a serious mood. He thinks his ability to dredge up a serving of horror at any given time is compensation for being hopelessly crap at some other elements of life. “The last thing my first girlfriend said to me before she split is that I was emotionally retarded. To give credit where credit is due, I can be quite lacking in certain relationships. My inability to fix this flaw just makes me want to invent something real nasty which shouldn’t exist. Some say this is a talent, but I say it’s just another flaw.”

Clay Invasion





Tuesday, 7 December 2010

When I laughed, Hard: Robert Massey

We were driving back to work in separate vehicles, after picking the van up from the garage. I was in the freshly-fixed van and Rob was in the boss’s new 3-series BMW. We didn’t agree to race before we set off, but a race it was. We were neck and neck along the M62, him in front, me in front, and so on, depending on the traffic. The only reason he didn’t leave me for dead is because of the amount of traffic, it was busy, but that didn’t stop us really going for it 120 percent. We were so reckless, speeding, weaving in and out of other vehicles, undertaking, tailgating, beeping, and all kinds of other foolishness. It was unbelievable. I think the sheer adrenalin got to us both. We were like children in go-karts, and an absolute disgrace, it has to be said, endangering the lives of others!

For me, the thrill far outweighed any trouble I might cause or get into. It was scary how blinded I was by the buzz. It was like a new feeling in my adult life, it was like being BORN AGAIN and discovering that life was REALLY FUN. The simple fact that I was RACING IN WORK felt like the excitement of 3 Christmases at once. When it came to the turn-off for Widnes, I knew that whoever got to it first would probably win the race back to work.

I was sincerely delighted, at this point, to see Rob level alongside some other car, well and truly boxed in the fast lane by some middle lane hogger, pointing and shouting like a maniac at the driver responsible. For a moment, Rob had forgotten the race completely and was GOING BERSERK in a FIT OF ROAD RAGE at some innocent motorist just as I cruised on to the turn off, laughing hard. Sheer, ecstatic, priceless, giddy joy.

How I Roll with Supplements

© The Biggest and the Best
For protein, I rely on powder. At least 3 shakes a day. 5 scoops per shake in just under a pint of water. If I fancy a thick one I’ll use full-fat milk with added honey, clotted cream, yogurt, jelly, and a banana. Sometimes I throw in some flour too, for good measure. I also keep a bag of protein powder IN MY POCKET to eat like sherbet dip throughout the day.

For solids, I’ll have chicken and beef on a plate with egg whites and tuna fish butties on top. I once blended my solids into a shake and chucked-up all over the sofa in my local gym’s reception area. For multivitamins, I buy loads of tubs and pop them like jelly tots all day long. Be careful to read the label though because I bought thrush tablets by accident last time and ate them all.

With creatine, I mix 50grams into half a tumbler of lukewarm water just once a week and neck it before my calf workout. I must admit that I wake up GASPING FOR BREATH on these nights and have recurring nightmares about being kicked in the kidneys by a donkey. With glutamine, I help myself to a double-shot every time I open the kitchen cupboard. Together, creatine and glutamine make me insanely big and large. For protein bars, I keep two in my breast pockets at all times, but sometimes they are so chewy and sticky that they make my top and lower teeth glue together. They are certainly keeping dentists in business anyway.

For fat burners, I ingest whatever I can get hold of. If I feel jittery and nervous, that means they are good. If I can’t sleep, they’re really good. For essential fatty acids, I guzzle glasses of strained salmon juice and suck on the oily skin to absorb all the disgusting goodness.

With peanut butter, I eat it straight from the jar with a spoon. I’m addicted, so what. With steroids, I get all I need from the super-pumped supermarket turkey. Tight T-shirts are a supplement too, don’t forget. I bust out the seams because they make me look
enormously thick and dense and wide.

The Biggest and the Best always knew that he wanted to be massive. He believes that if a man can’t have money, he must have size. Money and size are what makes men men, in his book. If you have none, either get the gym or get a job. He also believes that true size is acquired by nutrition, more than training. Eat Big to Get Big is his number one philosophy. He used to eat so much that the food would come back up his throat because there was no more room in his stomach.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Speed

© Taz
Shelly (Shell for short), was fired for immoral conduct. Basically, she wouldn’t let a disabled person onto her train. It had nothing to do with his wheelchair – the guy had been inebriated, intoxicated, and abusive. But try making the bosses listen when all the spectator recording the incident on a mobile phone had filmed was her telling him to get lost, go away, because there was no way he was getting on. It was broadcast on Granada Tonight, and, as a result, she would never work for any rail company in the country, ever again.

She couldn’t apply for any transport job, for that matter.

Being a train expert, what she loved most in all the world to do was drive trains. To take that away from her spelled trouble. Shell lived alone, and still had a vintage train set from childhood elevated in the spare bedroom. She spotted trains, when she wasn’t working. A lot more so, now.

What made her get fired up enough to hijack a lead carriage from Liverpool Lime Street Station, and thrust it full throttle towards Manchester Piccadilly, was a mix of situations and circumstances, mostly involving social life and finance, fuelled by drugs. She had never been a drug user, and experienced an acute psychotic reaction.

As soon as she was in motion, she negotiated the terms over the radio. She was to speed from Liverpool to Manchester in a single carriage, without any halt, disruption, or line changes of any description. If anything tried to stop her, herself and the hostages (which she had convinced them into believing she had) would die.

As soon as she reached maximum overdrive, at over 150 miles per hour, Shell took herself into the small seating area, handcuffed herself to a passenger rail, and slumped to the floor. She could see through the glass doors, and still hear the radio spitting the crackly negotiator’s voice. Her ears morphed the voice into one she recognised, from a romantic yesteryear.

In her vision, she created a body for the voice to speak through; a young man from her youth, who she had dated but once. He kicked at the rail she was attached to, trying to free her, and pulled at the cuffs. She whimpered at the pain in her wrists.

It had been over thirty years since Shell’s last imaginary friend. With the drugs in her system, her imagination had assumed a power beyond her control. Her make-believe partner in her empty carriage was almost tangible before her very eyes. She could actually see his details, if she squinted. His brow, his hairline, the veins in his neck.

He seethed and huffed, shouting and cursing, kicking and pulling the pole attached from floor to roof, but there was no budging it. Eventually, defeated, he sat down next to her.

The city architecture and the surrounding borough of Tetris-like terraced houses had flickered by in an instant and now the carriage was already into her hometown, whizzing by her old school.
A tear from each eye rolled down each cheek. “You go,” she said. “Jump.”

He shook his head and embraced her. “I don’t want to live if I can’t live with you.”

“You have to save yourself. If you jump, you’ll live. That’s the way it is. Your bones will heal.”

My heart won’t.” Her imaginary friend, and imaginary lover, snuggled closer. Together, they embraced.

And that embracing, coupled with the speed, is what it was all about, in Shell’s world. That fusing into his flesh, that contact of his being....wonderful. Every other problem, worry and care had no other option but to rush by on the wind, like semi-transparent ideas over white, foamy rapids; distant, fading, unimportant.

Life was all about poignant, touching, empathic moments. To wrap death up in such a few and far between moment was like a fairytale ending to a mundane documentary.

The landscape blurred into a wash of buildings and sunset. That line in the sky dividing night and day is called the terminator shadow*, and it was the only thing that could keep up with them.

The carriage hurled into Manchester Piccadilly stations and ejected off the rail like a car flipped off a ramp, skidding through a perimeter fence, down an embankment, and into the city itself, colliding with stationary traffic.

Shell died with the versatile elasticity of her imagination intact.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes, Taz is still getting chonged, and no, Taz hasn’t yet wrote the sequel to her breakthrough story, Moon Rabbit. She is still singing along however to her good friend Roy’s guitar and once even recorded her good self, Roy, and DB Tinkerbell in her flat. If that tape can be found, it will be uploaded to the quasarboy77 YouTube channel in the future.

*visible on any clear sunset by lying on your back and looking up behind your head

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Monday, 29 November 2010

Friday, 26 November 2010

When I laughed, hard: James Noone

We were all walking towards the arty. It was a lovely and bright Friday night. James was the only one riding a bike alongside of us. We were all on the grass in the sunshine. School day weekends, nostalgia...you know the one.

Next thing, we spot a DEAD CAT lying next to the railings. It was massiver than massive - it was mahoosive. Each of us has a quick look and says yuck or whatever, but Liam Everard, an older bruiser from the youth club who never usually hung about with us, picks it up into his arms and CARRIES IT ACROSS HIS CHEST LIKE A BABY.

To a bunch of stoned, pissed teenagers, PICKING UP A DEAD CAT is about as mad and as funny as you can possibly get.

One minute, James is looking over his shoulder, laughing at the disgustingly hilarious Liam Everard along with the rest of us, I mean we are all in stitches, but the next he is PEDALLING FOR HIS LIFE as Liam runs towards him. Seeing someone really drunk trying to chase someone with a heavy dead-weight cat in his arms didn’t and still doesn’t happen every day of the week.

There was no getting away in time and all James could do was try to duck the thing as Liam hurled it with two hands towards him, like a rancid sandbag. James did manage to duck this most unusual of missiles, or at least duck enough so it didn’t hit him square on, but to me it seemed to roll all over his back, neck and head in slow motion, before landing in front of his front wheel, jamming the tyre.

He subsequently did an endo and WENT FLYING over the handlebars.

I can’t remember anything else after that, but one thing is for sure – I was laughing, hard.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Rebel in A Pin-Striped Suit

© Cam lee
Stay out of his way...
He sat down at the greasy table in the noisy cafeteria like a man being made to perch on a filthy lavatory seat. Scowling, he wiped the surface area with some tissue, doing the cleaners work for them. Too late – his shirt cuffs were already stained with tomato ketchup, and was that chewing gum beneath his bottom? What kind of mindless folk left their chewing gum on a cafeteria seat?

He didn’t even bother to stand up and look. He was fast losing interest in anything and everything happening to him. He was becoming numb. The numbness (occasionally, flittingly) was broken by short manic fits of erratic, barely containable rage.

A radio blared from speakers on the ceiling: Downturn. Deficit. Cuts. Radio 4, early morning, was the undisputed king for ramming the recession down his throat. They would have whole interviews, running concurrently, about nothing else. Other stations, despite having crud music, would at least only vaguely mention the latest belt-tightening Conservative measure in the public sector before jamming some boy band blast from the past.

It’s 7.36am. You’re listening to David Cameron pledging to pull so many umpteen billion from the poor and the destitute. It’s 7.41am. This is John Humphries describing just how bad things are really gunna get. It’s 7.46am…

Why did that buggering Humphries and every other morning ‘DJ’ insist on telling him the goddamn time every couple of minutes? What possible reason warranted such accurate reporting of the clock?

Did they tell him the time when he was tossing and turning in sleepless anxiety, late at night? Of course not. You couldn’t water-board the time out of them, when you were actually curious to know. It was a morning thing. It was a get-yourself-to-work thing.

7.51am. The time is 7.56am.

You never heard the word million anymore. It was all about the billions now. How much was a billion, anyway? Was it a hundred million, or was it a thousand million? Surely nothing in this world could cost thousands of millions, not even a gold-cast of Elvis Presley's didgeridoo. How did anybody keep track of such large sums? Did they keep track?

Downturn. Deficit. Cuts.

He worked too hard, and for too long, yet still he had to think twice about boiling an egg. Were the government transitioning to cheap sandwiches and bus rides? Were they spreading the same wardrobe over a number of seasons? He doubted it.

“You, get me a hot water!” he barked at the nearest waiter, fishing in his breast pocket for sachets of coffee and sugar, stolen from another cafe.

The waiter returned five minutes later to explain that they could no longer give out hot water. He would have to purchase tea or coffee.

“You what?” He went to stand but was slowed by the gum fixing his pants to the chair. “Get me the manager then.”

The waitress suppressed a grin.

She thinks I’m pathetic, he thought, like every other woman.

The manager, a doppelganger for his unpitying bank manager, put him in his place. To add to the humiliation, he was instructed to leave, whether he was willing to purchase a hot drink or not.

He stood, red-faced. Two builders enjoying a full English pointed and chuckled at the chewy on his pants, so he removed them right there on the cafeteria floor, baring his white hairy legs all to see. Enough of this conforming, wearing clothes. Now, from the waist down, he was all Y-fronts, white two-stripe socks, and shiny black winkle picker shoes.

He put his hands up to the manager like a boxer, dancing on his toes. “You want a go, huh? You wanna piece of me? You think re-mortgaging my house makes me a coward?”

The manager shook his head and punched 999 on his mobile.

He waited for the police to arrive before jumping through the wall-to-ceiling cafeteria window, like a stuntman crazy for adrenalin in his spare time. The noise and the mess was incredible. Bloodied-kneed, he dusted himself off and waited by the patrol car.

Criminal damage charges? Big deal. Never mind downturn. It was the downfall that was now well and truly underway.

Cam Lee gets a lot of questions about the women who work in his establishment. Are they his sisters, his cousins, his girlfriends…? “I sell chips,” he says, “not services. The girls are good for business, however. We have a certain number of regular customers who seem to know when the girls are working and always come in at the same time, to chat them up.”

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Printing the Blog

At some point soon, the blog will cease for a while as most or all of the flash fiction since its conception in Feb 2010 are collected into an anthology. There's no harm in having an endless flow of digital production, but now that the first year is nearly up, efforts will be made to produce some hard copy. There will be a new blog early 2011.
note: DNM stands for 'definitely not mainstream'
~
piebald77

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Snow Queen and The Princess


Beauty vs Beauty
~
Tom sat on his step looking out over the cobblestone street. It was late, and deserted. Full moon above the thatched rooftops. Patchy clouds with stars in between. His parents were tucked up in bed, beneath warm blankets. He should be, too, but he wasn’t. Instead, he looked out over this cobblestone street, yellow with lamplight and white with snow.

The Princess arrived on her gold-plated tandem bicycle. It had two seats and two sets of pedals. It also had a basket on the front with hot soup and rolls in. They had been having an affair for weeks now, ever since their meeting at the village carnival. It wasn’t really an affair, but it was just as risky. Tom would be outcast from society, if found out, or possibly flogged.

She appeared from nowhere, as usual, as knowledgeable of the commoners' backstreets as she was of the royal courtyards. They were at the touching stage now, so greeted each other with a hug and a kiss. The Princess’s lips were so soft that Tom thought they might melt in his own. Her eyes were so deep and sparkling, they reminded him of jewels, floating in pools.

Together they cycled out of the labourers' village towards the restful abandon of the brook. The Princess unravelled a fishing rod with a glow worm on the hook, casting into the smooth silken silvery surface. They laid a mat and sat, one hand around the other and one hand each on the rod. Soon enough they caught a majestic starfish, studying it intently before returning it unharmed.

Comfortably, her in her diamond-studded robes and him in his brown rags, they devised their plan about running away together, across the valley. He would build their home and she would work the land for vegetables. They argued about who was more besotted with who, glad to be away from the world they knew and happy to have some time with themselves. They lay back, relaxed, about to christen their secret relationship by creating love for the first time...

Just then, they noticed a dark spec coming out of the moon. They both sat up, thinking it must be an asteroid. It was actually The Snow Queen, in her flying chariot of ice, driven by six black unicorns with wings. She breezed to earth and landed on the other side of the brook. Tom got to his feet and undressed to his long johns. He was a strong swimmer.

The Princess tugged his arm and begged him to stay put. Tom knew he shouldn’t investigate, but curiosity and excitement got the better of him. The Princess tried to pull him to ground, to ignore the distraction and create love, but Tom was off into the freezing water and splashing his way across.

On the other side, The Snow Queen was waiting for him, off her throne and on her booted feet. She helped him up and touched his fingers to her lips. He caught a glimpse of her sharp, blue tongue. She looked both sexy and cruel in a very deliberate way – something Tom had never encountered before. She was old enough to make The Princess seem like a child in comparison. She had longer legs, a tighter waist, bigger breasts, and firmer flesh. She peered down at him, holding his chin up to her, and smiled the widest, whitest smile he had ever seen, nose and cheekbones above chiselled by a master sculptor.

Her eyes, narrow and dark, burned with a faint shade of crimson. She didn’t lead Tom away, but merely nodded her head towards the ice chariot, and opened one side of her polar bear skin cloak.

Across the brook, The Princess dove into the water in a desperate bid to stop Tom from being taken away from her. She was a weak swimmer and got into trouble halfway, sinking beneath the calm surface into strong currents below. She died crying Tom’s name.

When Tom escaped from the Snow Queen’s Palace several years later, and heard of her fate, he regularly planted flowers at the spot where they had almost created love, and very nearly died himself, from a broken heart.

© Sharon Hood
DNM Fiction
Start to fin in 60 min

Sharon saw an animated version of The Snow Queen one Christmas Eve, and inserts this occasion as a ‘life marker’ in her diary. She says it invigorated and refreshed her and motivated her and inspired her. A truly magical children’s adventure, even better than The Snowman. Because there are so many versions however, she has been unable to acquire it on DVD.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Tiger Shark


Friday, 19 November 2010

Dead End Corridor

Three kids. One empty school. One dare.

They all entered together, beneath the grinning teeth of a dinosaur-like bulldozer. The demolition men would be back in tomorrow, on Monday morning, to collapse what was left. Only the central main corridor, the spine of the building, remained.

The boys loitering at the entrance didn’t go this school, because it was a senior school, before the council tore it down. They were barely in juniors. From where they stood, they could see right up into the corridor. It seemed to go on for a mile. This was the only way in. Every door along every side was locked, and every window to every room boarded up.

At first they chucked stones in, seeing who could throw the furthest. Then they slowly crept in and leaned their weight against the first classroom door. It creaked and groaned, but didn’t budge.

Zack, the tallest, stood a clear head over Greg and Daz. He regularly insisted they do silly things, like fling banana skins at moving cars and swap classmates’ packed lunch boxes. Because he was a year older, and because he knew boys a year older than him, Greg and Daz usually did whatever he said. Zack had what must be the best bedroom going, too, and invited them both over at least twice a week, and sometimes every single week night. He had internet, videos, books, toys, posters, and even a Superman bedspread.

Zack suggested Greg and Daz race to the very end of the corridor and back. There was light at the bottom, which made it look like they could get out, but they couldn’t; it was just a gaping hole in the ceiling from above. If not for holes in the ceiling, it would have been dark.

“No way,” Greg declared, and no amount of X-Box or Harry Potter would convince him otherwise. Daz felt the same way. There was something about the place that smelled dangerous.

Zack huffed and puffed because he was accustomed to getting his own way, but Greg soon flipped the tables by daring that he run up there, all by himself. “You can race the clock,” Greg put to him, taking off his Casio watch. “I’ll time you.”

“You have 60 seconds to get there and back!” Daz chipped in. Daz sometimes felt like the tag-a-long and thought he had to prove himself to Zack, so it was nice to be able to order him to do something for a change.

Zack looked surprised at first but then he lifted his Nike Air Max and tapped the soles. “No, 60 seconds to get there and 60 seconds to get back.”

“Okay!” Daz said.

“You have 120 seconds then.” Greg pushed his ‘start timer’ button and shouted, “Go!”

Zack sped off up the tunnel. It was more like a tunnel than a corridor. His mates laughed and giggled. They had got one over on Zack. He shrank into the converging lines of the walls, but always remained in plain view. It was a bright day, but not sunny, with church bells ringing in the distance. Early. Peaceful. But quiet. Eerily quiet. Too quiet...

It was just after Zack had passed the halfway point on his way there when a big dark shadow detached itself from a door and took one large step out into the middle of the corridor. It looked like a huge man dressed in black. The man simply stared at Greg and Daz as Zack run on towards the end, where he would be trapped.

Greg and Daz recoiled in fear. Daz tripped over backwards. Greg dropped his stopwatch. They saw Zack reach the end, tap his Nikes again, then head back towards them. When he saw the big man in black, he stopped dead and paused like a rabbit in headlights, frozen stiff. It wasn’t until the man slowly turned around and started walking towards Zack that he started to panic, darting left and right, checking the locked classroom doors for an escape.

They heard him shouting and screaming and crying, but didn’t hang about to see what happened next. Instead, they ran as one, as fast as they could, back to their homes, to tell their mums and dads.

© A.Michael
Blob of Glob
07.30am Fri 19 Nov 2010
(start to fin in 60 min)
Uploaded via mobile web

This is toned down normal version. The 15-rated one involves The man picking up Zack and pinning him against the wall, before doing some bad stuff one need not go into, because nobody (and I repeat nobody) likes children being harmed. Not in stories, not in movies, not anywhere. Kingsley Annaneu (see previous post) has written a story about a child lost in the woods who gets eaten by cannibals. He can't even get it published online anywhere..

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Massacre in Africa

http://www.redbubble.com/people/piebald77/writing/6298652-massacre-in-africa

Kingsley hails from Croyden. His trade is computer programming. He knows how to make sense of those gobbledegook c++ textbooks. He’s a good guy. A big screen TV is not on his wish list, now that his first child is born. He says there is a ‘better way’ than living off the state.

His story is not indulging in mindless violence. He merely conveys real life. He is not out to entertain. He admitted to almost having some lions enter the story at the end, to jazz it up, but then it would have been fiction. As it is, it’s factual, based on real atrocities.

Cover by A.T.D

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Potclays: Poor Man Supplies

Below: A small portion of the available glazes
Below: A few we decided on
(it's like christmas picking new paints)
TCD
ornamento-skulp