Red shoes…

Nick Munroe was not in the habit of finding stilettos in his bed. Or to be more precise one stiletto – red, with what his daughter, Chloe, would have called a killer heel. It certainly wasn’t his size, so it lead to the unavoidable conclusion that someone had been sleeping – or more likely not sleeping – in his bed. After his wife had flounced off last year to live with someone more emotionally available – whatever the hell that meant – the only woman in the house was Chloe and she was currently at her mothers. It surely couldn’t have been Chloe’s. Could it? No obviously not.
Nick resisted the closed door of his daughter’s bedroom for fully seven minutes before the overwhelming curiosity got the better of him. The door opened onto a nearly pathologically normal room. Bookshelves stacked with dusty tomes, computer humming gently in the corner and a neatly made bed.

Hang on a minute.

The computer was humming?

Surely it should be off? Chloe only used it for co-ordinating her ridiculously active social life – she was never in the house in the evening always off to this pub or that bar with her gang of cronies. It should really be switched off. But what if Chloe had been in the middle of something important. Yes he had better check before turning it off – that was only sensible.

The screen stuttered into life and Nick sat down to check what it was doing. He had already convinced himself that he wasn’t prying. Just making sure before doing his bit to save energy, cut carbon emissions and save the planet.
The website open on the computer answered the question of the source of the errant shoes all too clearly. His own daughter, on his own bed. Naked but for a pair of red killer heels, one of which now dropped from his numb fingers, all under the banner of Red Stiletto Escorts.

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Exercise is bad for you…

I’ve done my usual Monday morning trick; It’s just after nine in the morning and somehow I’ve managed to make it into work. The sleep driving wouldn’t concern me quite as much if I wasn’t doing a 50 mile commute across the Pennines; still I’ve got here intact.

I throw the car door open and it suddenly dawns on me that my legs appear to have stopped working. They are usually quite dependable things and get me around with limited need for servicing and repairs but this morning nothing.

I’m beginning to suspect that I may just have done something rather foolish the previous evening. What was it – oh yes Claire had visited and somehow persuaded me to accompany her to a pole dancing class. I have to admit that it was quite fun – despite being the only male in the class and feeling rather like a stripper at a particularly raucous hen night. Luckily for me a friend runs the class and she had shielded me from the worst of the excesses so I made it out of the studio with my honour, if not my dignity, intact.

Now I just had to face the horror of getting out of the car and waddling across the car park with all the grace of an arthritic hippo. Several deep breaths and I make it out my seat, but somehow the car park has stretched from a parking lot to a marathon race track.

Geography was obviously malfunctioning almost as much as my limbs.

Still I made it to the doors with only one stop to take on water and a sponge. Then the true extent of my situation dawned on me. Not only was the office I worked in up two flights of stairs I would also be face with explaining to my co-workers why I was wearing a pained expression and was moving like I had been recently castrated.

Dear god there was no way I would live down this foray into the world of fitness classes.

Was it too late to turn round and call in sick or had I been spotted?

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Downwards and southwards…

[And this weeks theme was leaving…]

Eeeeh lass s’a tough move for a norverner.


OK lets can the ersatz flat cap and whippet accent. But it’s still a tough move to make. I’ve lived in this city for over 30 years now. It became the childhood home that was displaced by a succession of air force bases. I can’t say I’ve always loved it, but it has had its charms. The largest village in the country. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? Well I suppose the green bits are nice but its parochial nature does grate after a while. And it’s that parochial nature that finally got the better of me. It’s a city that looks back to its past not to its future. If it’s not coal or steel then it’s to be viewed with suspicion. And coal or steel never did it for me. I was always chasing the next new thing rather than longing for the past so me and this city are just not a good fit anymore. They say you have to close the door on one thing before you can open another and this particular door is the front door to the first house I owned. All that time I spent turning a repossessed shell into a home and now I have to leave it behind. What’s it going to be now? Probably a musty stopping point on the way up the ever more treacherous property ladder. And the open door? Well that’s onto a world paved with fumes, eye-watering property prices and that mythical and endangered species – the lesser spotted job. Oh well downwards and southwards.

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Just for fun…

[No real theme – it just amused me at the time!]


Yeth mathter…

For god’s sake Igor what have I told you about the accent – save it for the tourists.

The fact that Igor could blush is a tribute to my microsurgery talents – suturing blood vessels isn’t the easiest job in the world. Especially by candle light.

Well master it would be easier…

Yes. Yes. Igor. I know – you need a new tongue. The castle needs a new roof and the werewolf is on strike due to non payment of wages. Being a mad scientist just doesn’t pay like it used to. We need money.

Now have you got me the spiders legs I wanted?

Igor handed over a bottle containing of cluster of still wriggling appendages.

Perfect. Now you know how this plan is going to work?

Yeth. Erm yes master.

Have you got the marketing ready – Dr Willemans diet delectables – all spelled correctly and ready to go?
Yes master.

Excellent. This economic downturn has hit everyone; and who will pay out for a new corset when you can fit back into your current one? Well obviously not you Igor – I built your corset in when I put you together. All I need to do is graft these legs onto the cookies then they will make me a mint. All these lardy ladies of high society will be scampering around after them working off the calories before getting their tasty treat. We can’t lose Igor; the money will be rolling in!

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Poetry redux

[Not really a redux to be honest but a rewrite of Charlotte Turner Smith’s Snowdrops using the same sort of structure but a more modern theme]


WAN Heralds of the Sun and Summer gale!
That seem just fallen from infant Zephyrs’ wing;
Not now, as once, with heart reviv’d I hail
Your modest buds, that for the brow of Spring

Form the first simple garland — Now no more
Escaping for a moment all my cares,
Shall I, with pensive, silent step explore
The woods yet leafless; where to chilling airs

Your green and pencil’d blossoms, trembling, wave.
Ah! ye soft, transient, children of the ground,
More fair was she on whose untimely grave
Flow my unceasing tears! Their varied round

The Seasons go; while I through all repine:
For fixt regret, and hopeless grief are mine.


Wan Heralds of the sun and summer gale!
The chavs head out for nights of fun,
Brief clothing show’s goose-fleshed limbs all sunless pale,
Booze flows, fists fly and blood does run,

Garlands of cuffs circle tattooed wrists,
Sirens scream and coppers shout,
Battling with drunken red mists,
As chavettes stand and watch and pout,

A spring night in another town,
The gutters flow with blood and sick,
Paramedics bend and frown,
Before carting off another injured prick,

All the courts will do is hand down a fine,
So fix’d regret, and hopeless grief are mine.

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Piggy Goes Bad…

[A fairly recent short vignette here – the idea was to take an existing character and write a bit about them. Many characters seemed to obvious or done to death (Sherlock Holmes, James Bond etc.) so I went with Miss Piggy and here it is]

I suppose you’re asking yourself how I can have fallen so low? It’s a long story but I guess the breaking point was the end of the show. It hit us hard. Kermit got so depressed and then finally cracked and went off the deep end.

That’s not a metaphor by the way he really did go off the deep end – made a hell of a splash.

I kept hoping he would come back but in the end I had to face reality; he wasn’t coming back.  He’s probably shacked up with some toad from the wrong side of the pond; run down hovel; tribe of snot nosed tadpoles. You know the story. He always said it wasn’t easy being green, but did he ever think of how hard it was being moi? I had standards to uphold and an image to maintain. He left me with an apartment full of designer furniture, a closet full of designer clothes and a snout full of designer drugs. Look at me. Have you any idea how much it costs to keep a nose this size happy?

Of course I tried other ways of bringing home the bacon. I even lowered myself to gentlemen’s magazines. Penthouse. Mayfair. My agents tried the lot. But they didn’t want me. Last year’s news they said. Me. Star of stage and screen. Last year’s news. So what did I end up with? Bloody farmers weekly!

So here I am.

My last resort.

Now empty the safe and hand over the money and no-one gets hurt.

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Better To Be Measuring Heads Than Breaking Them

[This is a little flash fiction written on the premise that a previously discredited scientific theory had in fact been proven right…]


Hanging on the telephone again.

Come on, come on.


Ahhh. Hello – is that Ms Lavery?

This is constable Gall from the police phrenometrics division.

No ma’am, it’s nothing to be concerned about. Routine screening has shown a propensity for acquisitiveness and aggression in your son.

Yes ma’am. I am talking about possible criminal behaviour.

No, no, not at all. It’s really nothing to worry about. We just need to make an appointment to take a psychograph reading to verify the initial screening . Would tomorrow morning be possible?

No ma’am. It’s a very simple process and will only take a few minutes.

Yes ma’am. It is essential I’m afraid.

Thank-you ma’am. We’ll see you tomorrow at ten A.M.

Sigh! After all these years, a policeman’s lot is still not a happy one. No matter how far phrenology research brings us there will always be those people who just have to complain.

“Oh no you must be wrong.”

“Surely not my child.”

And then even worse are those that accuse us of sculpting in “obedience to the state” along with repairing antisocial behaviours. Honestly. Do they think that if we were doing that we wouldn’t just smooth out conspiracy theories as well? Still at least we all agree that the outmoded approach of wait for a crime to be committed then lock up the perpetrator is a totally neolithic approach.

Still, at least I can feel happy in my work. Every cranium smoothed is a cranium saved in my book and that’s really all that matters to me.

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