Saturday, 26 June 2010
Thursday, 24 June 2010
A typical day for me involves mad-dashing to the airport 1½ hours early before departure for my pre-flight brief. Can you believe that, 1½ hours early? At first I thought they wanted me to help build the damn planes, arriving so prematurely. Then I’ve got to keep my eyes open and not drift off during the security checks. Just skip the checks, I say, it’d make my day go a lot faster, although one idiot several years ago asked my colleague who is now in jail for being a mule to pull his finger. She thought he was going to fart when she did so but instead he tried to detonate a real bomb in his sock! It failed to explode though and only ripped his foot off. Every hostess has a mad story like that to tell. Apart from me, coz I’ve been bored from day one.
Once all the passengers are on, it’s my job to help them, and believe me, the endless queues of moron lemmings always need a ton of help. Don’t pity them, as they can purchase tax-free cigs and booze once we are airborne, depending on our route. The regular food and drink knocks me on one if I touch it……ugh! That’s why I brown-bag my own scran.
After another tedious security check once everyone is off again……are you ready for this……I have to tidy the blinkin’ plane. Yeah, moi, degree-educated and all. One thing I certainly didn’t sign up for, I can assure you of that. The gents’ crapper often looks like an explosion in one of those porta-loo turd cubicles at the end of
Don’t get me twisted though, it’s a social job and I meet new people every flight. The catch is that most of them are dunces, dipsticks, pillocks and plonkers. Straight up, right across the board. When down-route, and not tending to blockhead kids in ‘cattle class’, I have the pleasure of checking out the flatlands of Kazakhstan or some other place you’d have to pay me to step foot on. I suppose that’s exactly what they’re doing, actually, innit? Paying me to step foot on ‘em.
Fancy my position? I’ve had enough, me. Career switch looming. Check out cabincrew.com and fill out the online application. Just mention that UP IN THE AIR starring George Clooney is your fav film of all time and I guarantee you’ll get the job.
© Emily Reed MMX
Monday, 21 June 2010
Sunday, 20 June 2010
THE SECOND COMING, first and foremost. I need to read up on it in the bible. How will Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ reveal himself? Digitally? In the sky? This is the end of days after all and I would like to get done jotting some ideas down about the method in which humanity's judgement could appear to everyone, all at the same time.
Thursday, 17 June 2010
"I'm not prolific at all. Sometimes I write only an hour a week. This was written exclusively in a coffee shop in black gel and biro pen. I never plan it out before hand. The plot develops in my subconscious over time. That's if what I'm writing even has a plot. The good thing about Druid's Temple is that it had a beginning, middle and end. Well, I'll tell you now: Escaping Hazel doesn't even have paragraphs, because it IS just one HUGE paragraph; 4 or 5 thousand words worth of unbroken sentences without a single line break.
"Stephen King wrote the whole of his book Dolores Claiborne without chapters, which I thought was odd, but even he had the decency to split it into paragraphs. I will not afford any such courtesy, because the uninviting prospect of reading a long solid block of text is appropriate for the ugly content. It isn't pretty.
"There's not a single line of dialogue in it so far. I've reached what could either be the end of a short story or the end of the 1st part to a novel. There's more fuel to burn there. But I think I'll wrap it up into a short piece. Like I said, it's not family reading.
"Basically, it's about a downloaded interactive holograph. I wouldn't want to give any more away than that because it is only an early draft and I haven't researched the technology side of things yet. Not that my research involves anything more than a quick Google search. I'm a stickler for as little research as possible. Haven't even finalised the title yet.
"I wouldn't say it was scary, just dark, gloomy, and all doom, but as usual I've written it in first person perspective. It's not meant to be enjoyed. It's more of a lesson, or a warning. Super sombre, and VERY emotive, it is what it is."
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Friday, 11 June 2010
ANDREW DONEGAN was paid for publication in NOT SHUT UP magazine recently with his 2000-word short story PROTECT THE PRINCESS. It is his first publication in print and he hopes every one of a possible 7500 people will read it, although if only a single person reads it and likes it then that will do him. His overriding emotion is relief that one of his best efforts has gained some exposure. It is a personal favourite for him and the added pictures were a pleasant bonus. He says "It is very nice seeing someone's interpretation of your work. It gave me an idea of how nice it must be to be a best-selling novelist who can sit back and watch movies adapted from their books."
Thursday, 10 June 2010
"Got a fantastic lucky deal considering what you get for your buck in an Argos catalogue," says Tinkerbell after first impressions with his new toy. "It's taken me 2 hours to know where I am with it though. It's like a honeymoon period where we are both getting to know each other. At first I thought it wasn't for me, because I like to play, but this is a fantastic noise machine. Ideally, I have 2 keyboards, one to compose melodies and one to make noises. I've got the other one lined up, a PSR 1700, another oldie. First thoughts with this thing though is this: Give me a bit of time, and I could stand in for Tiesto at Ibiza."
DB Tinkerbell will continue to upload existing tracks onto his YouTube channel while working on new ones for the future. Simply search Quasarboy 77 on YouTube for videos. All videos courtesy of Ya what, ha? Productions®.
Monday, 7 June 2010
Clarence is one of Sebastian Worboys' characters. Sebastian is no longer with us, but he left behind no shortage of written works. I have the first nine chapters of his first book, written when he was only 16 while banged up abroad on tissue paper with a golf pencil. The remaining 15 chapters were destroyed by his insane in the membrane bunk pal.
Roscoe pistol-whipped him clean-out and hopped into the car, engine still running. He planted one hand at 12 o’clock on the steering wheel and hung his other outside the open electric window, signalling to Amber. “Get in, gorgeous!”
She never budged. “What are you doing?”
“Taking you for a spin.”
“But you can’t even drive.”
“Are you mad? I never stop robbing cars. Why do you think I’m always suspended from school?”
She hesitated. “I’ve got to be in. It’s dark.”
Roscoe grinned at her.
She added, “I’ve got homework.”
Roscoe laughed. Amber loved the way he held eye contact whenever he laughed. She checked every direction again, contemplating the wrath of her father if she got into trouble. Roscoe looked like he was having the time of his life, unhurried, unworried, patiently waiting.
“Come onnn,” he urged.
She bit her index fingernail. “Is that a real gun?”
© Sebastian Worboys 1996
Meals: One a day
Gym: One swim a week
Girlfriend: Pat Lem PO
Typing: 60 words per min
Fav Film: Vanilla Sky
Occupation: Shift Worker
Comedian: Paul Merton
Art: Jimmy Hughes Portraits
Would love to Meet: President Nixon
Sunday, 6 June 2010
When she saw a big plug-ugly pensioner pointing at her and laughing, Kelly didn’t know whether to say something or ignore him. Why a man who looked so downright weather-beaten and utterly ass-rough should ever have the right to laugh at anyone was a mystery, but there was no mistaking what was happening; Kelly was getting the mick taken out of her because she was new here. And it was a private joke, which was much more offensive than being laughed at by a group of people, in her book.
“Hurry up lass!” the oh-so plug-ugly pensioner told her. Shouting like that, he was obviously deaf as well as gormless. Cheeky twerp. Where did an over-the-hill bum like that get the right to tell her what to do anyway? The dude was filthy and he hadn’t even started work properly yet; Kelly was reminded of a mechanic who had swindled her for five hundred notes and put her off driving for life.
Glancing about, everyone here apart from the snooty bosses looked like they’d turn bathwater black just by taking their clothes off next to it. She couldn’t see from here, but she was willing to bet her Yves Saint Lauren belt and her Pringle socks that those chum balls didn’t have black fingernails. Is that all they did, stand there like generals while everyone else busted a gut lifting this and shifting that? She reckoned they would just shake their heads if she asked for a plaster to wrap over her finger. Either that or point her towards the office where it would take her ten minutes to hunt down a first-aid kit and make her look like a waste of time.
So much for The New Deal. More like THE BUM DEAL.
© Errol & Erika Babbage MMX
Thursday, 3 June 2010
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
Sharon Hood is 27. She is outgoing and quite childish at times. Her biggest asset is her ability to approach and talk to total strangers. Her biggest downfall is drinking one too many in Wetherspoons and doing exactly that. The most important thing in her life is her son, who she has just got back, and the thing she is best at is looking after him.
Beatrice the instructor, 44, took a liking to Pedro on their steady climb to 13,000ft, over landscapes and lakes green and blue. He’d been in the group she’d been training all morning, but only now in the cramped confines of the aircraft did his presence really sink in. His features were soft, his manner softer. He looked at her in a funny way that made her belly itch with butterflies. He wore an expression that seemed to indicate he had some kind of icebreaker to share with her. Like ‘what are you doing tonight?’ for example, or ‘I think you look great for your age’. He was silent, however, except for the obvious concerns most 1st timers have. His heart wasn’t really in it; she knew that today was his birthday and the jump was a present from his family, who were watching from down below.
She did her best to relax him, more so than other clients, because it struck her that he reminded her of her first husband, who had sadly passed away when she was eight months pregnant with her 1st and only son, who had also been tragically lost to sudden death syndrome when only six years old. Beatrice’s 2nd husband had walked out halfway through their third year together and ever since the only chance she ever had time to enjoy male company was in work, when she was jumping in tandem with men in what could only be described, for them, as either very intense or very exhilarating situations. For her it was ace every time.
The 1st timers could be tricky to work out. Bravado on the ground counted for nothing in the air. A lot of them bottled out last minute. Pedro wasn’t a bottler, but she could see that he was infected with fear by the power of the vertigo. She could help him with that.
They jumped. All was good. His face was a giant blissful smile. Then disaster struck. The cord trapped and the parachute failed. They went spiralling out of control, the planet a spinning canvas of blurry colour, the wind a screaming banshee. Given no choice, she had to open the reserve without releasing the first one. The two instantly tangled. And that was it. Game over. Just like that. Bye-bye life. Pedro was very quiet, and she admired that in him, but he clung to her like a baby. She realised the coincidence then that he was the same age to the day as her son would have been, had her son still been alive.
When someone reminds you of a loved one, she thought to herself, you almost want to love them unconditionally too, even though you may not know the slightest thing about them. It was like Gods sending down angels and messengers, and they never came more than once or twice. It was cruel for her to encounter someone special at the very end like this. Cruel. Her life had been sad, overall. She’d spent many months and years in grief. But there had been good times, and those good times flashed through her mind like a stream of rosy photographs.
This was a good time. The freedom of the sky and the clouds. The peace. She would die flying, and flying she loved more than anything else in what was left of her life. No sweat. She had done it a thousand times before. Pedro, though, none. She held him back just as tightly, and they communicated so-so much without saying a word. As one they plunged like a bullet to the earth, Beatrice making sure she was on the bottom underneath him to take the full force of the impact.
Pedro didn’t like this, and tried to stop her, but he was no expert of the heavens like she, and was eased gently into submission. Her back hit the ground first and dead pain exploded throughout every outermost nerve-fibre in her body, but she only felt it for half a second before the whole world and all she knew of it collapsed inwards into a chasm of black pixels, and out she went, like a light.
She awoke a week later, in a wheelchair, wearing a neck-brace. The hospital ward was sunny. Pedro sat opposite her with tears on his cheeks. She felt so overjoyed to exist at all, for the both of them to exist, that her present condition didn’t bother her one bit. She was so happy, she started to tell jokes to cheer him up. Soon enough they were laughing together. She would get better. As author of this story, I guarantee it.
It was in a fit of giggles and laughs that Pedro proposed to her. Beatrice thought that was his idea of a joke. It wasn’t. She had saved his life and he wanted to be with her.
“But I’ve got twenty years on you,” she protested.
“I don’t care,” Pedro replied, “it’s what me and my family want.”
“Yes then,” she said.
© Sharon Hood 2010
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Emily Reed of Latchford is in her thirties and loves to cosy-up on the sofa with a good rom-com from Blockbuster. She fancies the Scottish actor Gerard Butler, currently taking
Are you a mum with a kid in school yet? It was my little boy’s first day today. I was so excited and proud taking him in and kissing him and waving him goodbye, I think I embarrassed him. The noise and commotion at the school entrance in the morning took me back to when I was in school, which wasn’t that long ago really. I may be a young mum, but I’m not a statistic. I’m a good mum, willing to learn, to do whatever it takes.
There were plenty of other mums about once the kids had gone inside so I thought I’d wonder over to have a chinwag. Socialising has always been my strong point. Dump me in a party full of strangers and I’d still be the last to leave. Before I could take a step however I was called over by a heavy woman who was sat on a yellow grit/salt bin, away from everyone else. I found big girls to have nicer, kinder faces, and bubbly attitudes to go with them, more often than not. Big girl = big laugh. A lotta fun. Not this one.
She introduced herself as Ethel than promptly quizzed me on the spot about anything and everything so long as it had to do with my personal life. She warned me not to go ‘over there’ if I was unemployed. They could sniff joblessness if they were blindfolded. Even she, from twenty paces, could see my green label Smart Price Asda groceries in my transparent shopping bags. Was it still 3 for £2 on the toiletries, by the way? Did I ever choose my own 4 pizza toppings at the deli counter? Weren’t they just yummy with chilli oil and black pepper?
Plus, to head ‘over there’ in my George denims would be suicide. Anything less than Debenhams was mocking fodder. I should upgrade to Tesco at least, but I wouldn’t be able to con them with an M&S bag; stupid they were not. Could I see Rita there, leaning against her £14,000 run-a-round? Yeah? Well, Rita looked over other mums’ shoulders to find the ones she wanted to talk to. She would likely look straight through me, if I approached. Rita dished out a Monday rota for other mums to pick her ‘twin enfant terribles’ up whenever she couldn’t get back from her luxurious weekend retreats in time. See the hair on her too? Looked like she’d been dragged feet first through a tumble of barbed wire. Right snake in the grass, that one. Mind like a booby trap.
What about the lanky model Chantelle in the designer sunglasses with legs like a giraffe brainwashing a small group of four beside her husband’s gas guzzler, could I see her too? The epitome of greed, those Range Rovers were, nothing but extravagant spoils. Chantelle claimed her kid had the IQ of Stephen Fry and had been selected by the headmistress for the Gifted Child Register, when everyone from here to Atlantis knew that the snotty-nosed numbskull was about as intelligent as a boiled rock. Chalk eater, apparently, at the back of class. Wet his kecks as well. Poor mother was in denial, addled from all those glamorous model-lifestyle drugs.
I tried to say goodbye but Ethel butted in, explaining how all the mums fell out with her because she didn’t go along to their planned Mama Mia night at the cinema. Really petty like that, they were. Not that Ethel was bothered, as all they ever yakked about was parks, potties and nappies anyway. And they all hated each other, really. They were just putting a front on because they were all in the same boat. Just like me and her were in the same boat, she said! Their world, beneath the surface, was a pantomime of secret feuds, mind games, grudges, and rivalry.
Oh lookee here, it’s Dennis in his slinky joggers, who power-walked his daughter back and to every day, but in reality probably parked his banger two streets away to give that impression. Now his child was genuinely clever but she had nits and buck teeth, which was never a good combination. If Dennis was the jam though then these moms were the flies. Those joggers were so tight Ethel could determine his religious affiliation. I didn’t get that joke, but I think it might be to do with circumcision. He’d slept with the lot of them, so it wouldn’t be much of a revelation. Not bad going for a man who worked in Greggs the baker shop. Any old how, Ethel finally concluded, rising from the yellow grit/salt bin, I was lucky to have found a ‘real friend’ in her.
You know, someone who I could get along with.
© Emily Reed 2010