Monthly Archives: March 2015

Friday Fictioneers – Down In The Park

ff230315Last month, Walter, and his best friend, Tommy, were mugged while walking through the park. Tommy though was a fighter, and he gave back as best he could. His courage never failed him, even, if finally, the ex-Marine’s heart did – all for the sake of a few coins, and a ripped five dollar bill.

Tonight the local vets are playing a concert in Tommy’s memory. Walter’s bruises have almost healed but his heart will never mend. From the side of the bandstand, his eyes scan the park looking for the bastard – he’d recognise him anywhere. In his pocket his old service revolver, loaded and ready.


These words form my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge

Fear of Democracy

fearLately I’ve been limiting my thoughts on the General Election to a maximum of 140 characters. However, there are moments when the confines of a Tweet simply won’t do. Now, is one such moment.

For the last few weeks Electioneering, on both sides of the border (by Labour and Tory), has focused on the Scottish National Party. The line in Scotland from Labour is that if you vote SNP you’ll get a Tory government, which is a myth so easily debunked I’ll leave it to Google. Down south the Tories are saying Vote Labour and you’ll get the SNP in a coalition (formal or informal, vote by vote…whatever) enabling “the separatists” to influence UK wide decisions – a UK they would like to “break up”.

Fine. I get it. Political parties need to do what they have to do.

In Scotland Labour are in danger of a wipe-out at the hands of the SNP, so they attack them, paint a supposed nightmare scenario of another Tory government. Thing is to most Scots the difference between Red or Blue Tories in power is neither here nor there. What matters to Scots is to have MPs down on the green benches who will truly hold the government to account, irrespective of its colour. As we saw in the referendum, when push comes to shove Labour and Tory watch each other’s backs. The Scottish electorate is cannier than many perceive and they know the game now. They won’t be fooled again.

In England to play the SNP card, to raise the spectre of the Alex Salmond (even though he’s not even the leader) marching into Westminster, to casually wander into racist/xenophobic waters is the chosen Tory party, and supporting press route. We’ve had Alan Massie and his River Thames foaming red hysteria as well as Bruce Anderson suggesting parts of Scotland effectively being partitioned off if they vote NO in any future referendum. This morning we even had the unedifying sight of a Tory MP Anna Soubry admitting to being quite literally “terrified” at the prospect of the SNP having any influence at Westminster.


Thing is, the UK begged Scotland to stay. “Don’t Go” they pleaded. “We love you” they cried. “Play your part in a United Kingdom” they said. “We’re Better Together” they repeated ad nauseum. Ok. So we stayed and as such we’re going to play a full part in the democratic process. If Scotland can be ruled by a Tory government with one single MP, the United Kingdom can surely have no complaints if 40-50 democratically elected SNP members have their say on UK matters now and again.

Let’s be clear, Unionist parties want Scotland, they’re just not to keen on the people in it. We can come to Westminster if we play the game according to their rules. Well, we Scots are bored of the old game, so we’re starting a new one. You want us, you’ve got us – warts and all. If you don’t like it then you know what to do i.e. let us go and get on with running our own country, and you yours.

Thanks for reading.

Friday Fictioneers – Second Life

ff180315The smell of baking bread in the castle kitchens. The scalding heat of the fire. The dirty tears of  sweat trickling down the arms of the boy tending the flame. The shouts of the cook; the back of her calloused hand as she knocks  me to the floor once more. The cruel laughs of the other kitchen whelps.

Even now, sitting on this train I can still sense the imprint of her hand; remember the watching faces.

I know these are not dreams, not fantasies born of a tiredness with the modern age. These are recollections; these are memories.

I have been here before.

…have you?


These words form my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge

Friday Fictioneers – Rolling Back The Years

ff110315Clumsy, nervous fingers trembled as I checked my purse for his money.  Hidden amongst the crisp dollar bills I spotted a picture of my boys.

What would they think of their mother if they could see her now?

It didn’t matter, I needed to do this. For years I hadn’t felt like a real woman; I hadn’t felt like me.

He waved and smiled a warm, professional smile as I approached the bridge.

“Debbie,  as it’s your first time we’ll take it slow” he began. “Just one loop of the forest  – at your pace. So, if you’re ready, deep breath in and let’s go.”


These words form my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge

Friday Fictioneers – Animal Instincts

ff040315Eric Valois hadn’t seen or heard from the man in over a month. Truth was he’d felt uneasy about selling one of his young truffle pigs to someone he didn’t know, but the man’s enthusiasm and confidence had helped to put Eric’s mind at ease – as did the price he received.

Approaching the mist-covered cabin all seemed quiet; no light shone from beyond the closed curtains. Suddenly, from out of the cabin door a familiar pink and black spotted beast rumbled towards Eric. In the pig’s mouth what looked like a ripped, bloody sleeve.

‘Mon Dieu!’ cried Eric, as he hurried to load his rifle.


These words form my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge