The Hundredth Monkey.

The monkey mind has been chattering all week but the time available to write hasn’t happened, so I wrote this short in a sort of coma. It probably shows. This is a first expansion of ‘Habitat’.

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There’s a bigger story in this but I’m tired and have little time to write. This is, at least, the outline and the beginning. I have a few variations on the basic theme so maybe I’ll sketch them next. There’s nothing at all new in this one; it’s a well-worn theme, but I hope the end surprises you.

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Or perhaps ‘Rust’ would be more fitting. It’s the first non-work writing I’ve done in months, and it feels like it: clumsy and jagged. Apologies in advance, dear Reader.

So, I was thinking about Wuthering Heights and that led me to Kate Bush’s song, which is haunting. Cathy and Heathcliff had plenty of unresolved issues, and it got me wondering about the subtexts of relationships and reality; ‘What if?’ Here ’tis.

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This short came about via Thumbup posting about ‘Petrichor’, which is a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather. This is a slight divergence from the recent trilogy that began from Souldier Girl’s image and poem, and which unleashed Unlocked on an unsuspecting and largely oblivious public. This one is more metaphysical and comes with a warning:


The idea for that came from painkills2.

She likes to write about really distressing stuff that I can’t bring myself to read much but which mostly needs to be written. Others might find their names slightly modified, as referential characters.

Here’s Petrichor.

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Archimedes: Firefly Fanfic.

This is my first shot at fan fiction, in a way. It’s an extract from a novel I wrote a few years ago, ‘Atmospheric Burn’, and has been slightly reworked to fit into the Firefly and Serenity cult stories created by Joss Whedon. This version of the story is set in the time just before full-blown war between the Independents (Browncoats) and the Alliance. I hope you enjoy.


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I really like the following short story. It was directly inspired by a poem I reblogged

from Souldier Girl

The story is about domestic violence, and once again I drew inspiration from a hauntingly beautiful image from Souldier Girl. I’ve called it ‘Eyes Behind Bars’. I’d like to thank and acknowledge SG for allowing me to use the image, and I’d like to encourage you to read her blog. Quoting myself 😉 on the reblog:

“Souldier Girl is a rare talent. Why we’re giving (paid) oxygen to poorly written and uninteresting shit when there are mixed media artists like her out there is beyond me. Her whole blog belongs in a high-end book on a bestseller’s list.”

So, thank you SG for all of it; the courage, the blog, and for allowing me to use what I needed. Here’s Unlocked.

SouldierGirl eyesbehindbars

“Georgie Porgie, Puddin’ and Pie,

Hit the girl and made her cry,

When the boy came out to play

Georgie Porgie had a hospital stay.”

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Silence Of The Robocop. A Chuck Wendig Challenge.

I used a random generator for the X and Y choices and came up with Robocop and Silence of the Lambs. Here ’tis.


“Stop being a bastard. You have fifteen seconds to comply,” said Robocop, his Auto9 Beretta93R at the ready.

“Tell me about the lambs, Clarice,” Hannibal replied smoothly.

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The spotlights died and the dim illumination that replaced them signalled that a softer song was coming. It was one she’d been practicing for weeks, there in the studio after all her other songs in the set had been fine tuned.

“This song comes from a beautiful little movie called ‘Once’, Ingrid said to her audience. “It’s bittersweet and haunting, and I hope you enjoy it.” She knew her audience and she knew they’d love it. This kind of song had given her career its lift, back when getting a gig and singing to three disinterested people was obviously not getting her anywhere.

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Uncommon Beauty VI.

Resolution. This is the last part. Up front, I’m not sure I liked the ending but it is unexpected. No spoilers, though. Thanks to everyone who followed this. What began as a single short grew into 6. Here are the others. Perhaps in a few days I’ll tell you the backstory to this. In some ways I think it’s much more interesting than the one I wrote.

“So that’s how you trash your own life! Why don’t they teach this stuff in school?” Hayden thought. Not only was he out of a job – one he really liked and was good at – he was being bombarded by the psycho-bitch-troll-from-hell and being studiously ignored by the police. “It doesn’t get much better than this,” he thought, sourly. “Living the dream, dude. Living the dream.”

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Uncommon Beauty V.

The next, and next to last part, in the UB series. Here are the other parts, in order, and thanks for reading.

She’s a corrosive, malignant bitch. Mariana is the cute-looking freckle that everyone loves and comments on; the freckle that’s hiding beneath it the tendrils of cancer that has invaded every part of its host and slowly, slowly sucks the life out of it.

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Uncommon Beauty II

This is the somewhat disturbing follow-on from Uncommon Beauty

“Not guilty, Your Honour,” I said to her, a stony look on my face as, for the thousandth time, she accused me of ‘having and affair’. How could that even be possible, when we weren’t even married and we never would be? I remember that moment, out of all the moments that went before it, because for the first time I recognised the sparks: anger, frustration, and then what’s substantially worse in my opinion, indifference. We had just stepped beyond the end of the beginning; we were now in the territory of the beginning of the end.

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Ice and Firepower.

The Dark God rose behind her, quietly building the fury it would unleash. Before the next pulse could pump through her heart she turned and rammed the Sword of Fire into the centre of his chest, thrusting it home with all the power of the Elementals. Surprise registered on his face as he looked down. In seconds, he exploded in a shower of sparks and oily flames, the Sword hanging suspended in the air until she reached for it and returned it to its scabbard.

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I Can’t Open My Legs! Chuck Wendig Challenge #4

The Challenge: Write an opening sentence.

followed by Pick an opening sentence and go.

The title sentence was provided by Shauna Clinning. Thank you, Shauna. Thank you, Chuck.

PS. I don’t know what happened here but only the opening paragraph published and I didn’t notice it until much later. Here’s the complete 1,261 short story.

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How To Annoy Your Human. A Chuck Wendig Challenge #3.

A short story for the Chuck Wendig Challenge

I wrote this from the sentence created by Tori.

The stains from dragon vomit almost never came out, and being covered in it while standing in a pile of manure, Donovan should have known better than to think the day couldn’t get any worse.

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Madeline. A Chuck Wendig Challenge #1.

Here’s my first dubious contribution to the latest Wendigism.

The Challenge was to write a story from a first line provided by someone else. I chose Brenna Faye’s opening sentence for this story, which is long at around 3,300 words but which can be read simply as Part 1 if you prefer. Thanks to Brenna for the inspiration and Chuck for the Challenge.


“Let go of the past,” Madeline’s mother had always warned her, “for it feeds upon us all with great appetite, and wants to live again.”

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