Output list





jay12's (jay12 on UKA) UKArchive
125 Archived submissions found.
Title
Natura Naturans, 1 (posted on: 25-07-16)
Flash fiction that I may run with.

I was amazed I lasted 17 days in the house without setting foot outside. I'd not opened the front or back doors, nor a window, or even my curtains. Man I was amazed. Before the incident I was a creature of severe habit, some said I required professional help, with my obsession of controlling every aspect of my life and maintaining a clockwork day by and week by week routine. Thursday night was shopping night. After many weeks of shopping different nights, measuring the busyness of the shops, the availability of parking and ideal time to get the reduced sticker items (my obsessive compulsiveness extended to tightness, but it's the one thing that wasn't part of my odd foibles, I am just a miser but never openly admitted it), I managed to deduce that Thursdays were the optimum time to visit my local Tesco. Of course, I had built in a 6 monthly cycle for my plan where I would retest the days and make sure the optimum day was still Thursdays. But now, after 17 days housebound I was short of supplies. I was still alive of course, but with no food at all. But I'd learned who needs bread and milk right? It's amazing what you can cobble together from can and packets. The incident had been awful and was still a reality, but in someway it was forcing me to cure myself, and I hated it. I really should've hated it for what it was and what had happened, and yet still the overriding hate I had was that it had made me change my routine. But now after 17 long and gruelling days of forcing myself to accept that I am beyond controlling the daily minutia of my life a turning point arrived. The food had all gone and worse still the water tank was empty, as is they back up cylinder that my landlord saw fit not to remove when he added a new heating system. That was an amazing argument I had with him. As I selfishly dreamed of a new cupboard to store my prized collection of Terry Pratchett novels, he decided to keep the cylinder in place adding that it 'doesn't hurt to have a back up should the boiler fail, you always need hot water the most when they inconveniently fuck up and no one wants to be washing in cold water in early January' After my petulant protesting he concluded that it was his house and he'd do whatever he god damned wanted to with it. If it wasn't for him I'd have been thirstier and desperate sooner. I think I may like him a little now, just a little, but not a lot. I've not seen a soul in all of the last two and a half weeks. The phone, both at home and my mobile, stopped ringing about the same time the gas, water and internet went off, but oddly the power does come on sporadically from time to time from anywhere for ten minutes to several hours, it does make watching a movie a game of Russian roulette. And since I sold most of my DVDs at a car boot sale for next to nothing because I thought I'd never need them again as most of them were on Netflix, film four or channel five often enough for me to see them as often as I ever did, I'm now stuck with all of the Star Wars films, the Alien films and the Godfather trilogy. All great films but when you (try to) watch them endlessly back to back their status as iconic moment in cinema soon wears off. I'd not factored in this scenario at that car boot sale. I felt a little silly. But who thought it wouldn't last? It never occurred to me once. I wondered where everyone was, and how they were coping, or if they were alive at all. Those thoughts consumed me the most, everyday. Would I see anyone I cared about again? Would they survive long enough to come to my funeral, or me to theirs, or are we all inevitably doomed by the incident? Maybe we would all survive and at the last minute, as I was about to be taken by one of the incidents many offspring the army would roll into view and save my ass? Would I wake up from this nightmare and find it was just that? One of those scenarios could well be the truth I just haven't worked out which one yet. Well it's time to venture out, maybe just out into the back yard. It's entirely closed and unlikely to have been penetrated yet. I'll take my sturdy rucksack that has seen me through so many night fishing adventures and the dozen empty coke bottles that I rescued from the recycle bin in the garage. Old Marg next door I'm sure was away on holiday when the incident happened and I'm sure she wouldn't mind me breaking in to borrow a cup of sugar, like any good neighbour. The fence panels slide up. I can wedge them and slip underneath. My snooker cue extension with the fishing knife gaffer taped to the end is coming along too. You can never be too careful can you?
Archived comments for Natura Naturans, 1
pdemitchell on 27-07-2016
Natura Naturans, 1
Interesting monologue about a corrosive obsessive personality in what I assume is some sort of near-apocalyptic incident - reminded me of the protagonist in Taxi Driver. A cracking first draft but 'the incident' needs to be explored a bit more: a massive solar flare perhaps? Jockey around the paragraph layouts as well as over-large paragraphs tend to overwhelm the modern reader. Nineteenth century authors often had paragraphs laonger than a whole page! I would definitely run with it - a crazed OCD compulsive in a wrecked dystopia has 'legs'. Mitch

Author's Reply:
Hi Mitch,

Thanks for reading and commenting. It was a bit of flash fiction that I wrote as a test post to submit over on Write and Be Damned. I may well write more as it was an enjoyable write. I'm not sure where I'll post it though as UKA will be archived when the changeover happens and I don't want half of it here and the rest somewhere else. I may just keep writing and then post when WABD goes live.

Cheers, Jay.


Time. (posted on: 22-02-16)
I wish I had time...

Life Once Was Easy Writing Time Was Plentiful One Day Soon I'm sure
Archived comments for Time.
Gothicman on 22-02-2016
Time.
Yes, the ability to write freely is perhaps a good guide to how easy life is, not sure though the amount of free time is the reason, more an unstressed flowing brain!
Why isn't the "s" in upper case? Stress?
Clean relevant write jay12, many will agree with the sentiment.

Author's Reply:
The small s has something to do with the bottom of the bottle of wine I was reaching as I quickly scribbled this down. The good thing is that by the summer of this year I will surely have more free time than I have had in many years, then I can get on with some writing. I have tons of ideas for stories so fingers crossed, never stop believing is my motto these days. Thanks for commenting, Appreciated.

Jay.

pdemitchell on 22-02-2016
Time.
A drunken haiku, jay! I look forward to your summer postings. Paul

Author's Reply:
In the summer I garden. This is my output season. Struggling with time and inspiration at the moment. But I refuse to give up. I love writing so much and I know when the mojo returns it'll be annoying to all, to see my output. Here's hoping anyway! Thanks for dropping by fella. 🙂


Writing (posted on: 04-01-16)
Haiku

The words they appear And they all go together Some more words happen
Archived comments for Writing

No comments archives found!
Not Writing (posted on: 04-01-16)
Haiku

The words don't appear You try writing some more words No more words happen
Archived comments for Not Writing

No comments archives found!
Zoo - 1 (posted on: 24-04-15)
DCI Zoo is a character I've been playing around with, with a mate. He may appear again soon. If you like it of course.

''The last time,'' he says to me for the tenth time, maybe, could be twelve, I lost count after three as my beer was getting warm and my ear was getting wet. ''Last time I get married, I'm forty-two now, three marriages are enough for anyone, don't you think?'' I nod. I offer him a smile and a nod towards my beer with my head but he continues to talk. ''They're all bitches you know'' ''Are they?'' I foolishly reply. ''Yeah, they all want one thing, you're money.'' I think for a moment, do they? Do they want all of your money? I don't think they do. I mean I have no money and have been happily married, one time, for twelve years. But he made me think for a moment, no they don't want your money. ''Do they?'' Fool. FOOL. I'm now twice the fool, inviting this prick to speak again rather than walk away or punch him in the face. ''Yeah my first wife left me and took everything'' Shame she didn't take your breath mate, have you stopped drinking since dawn? Or last week, or since she left you, that would explain marriage two. ''And my second wife was a cunt who thought I drank too much!'' If you shoot in your mind you can score with your mind too it seems. ''Do you drink?'' I say, as I swoon with the aftermath of Bacardi and Coke delivered to me in gaseous form. ''DO I DRINK.'' He loudly announces to me, ''Only to forget the bitches, these bitches in my life, I tell you. I seem to only attract bitches who fucking moan about what I do, they want your money, they want you sober, they want you to give up your fucking self!'' ''Bitches, what you gonna do?'' I say, again offering him an in when all I want is an out. ''Too right mate, fucking bitches!'' he screeches. I lean towards my beer. ''You trying to nut me pal?'' he says. I look around at first and then look back at him and he's staring at me. ''No.'' I say, ''No I was getting my beer.'' But before I can finish he's laughing out so loudly I can hear nothing but pure, audible, cunt. ''I was just yanking your chain fella, hahahaha'' I'm unsure how to respond, so I pick up my beer and have a drink. ''What are you drinking pal?'' Oh a question. If I refuse to answer it does this end? If I answer it do I get a free drink? Or will I get judged for drinking a girly, silly drink as I always do? I take out my handgun and push it into his face. ''Fuck off'' I say and he wets himself. In the crazy busy, noisy bar no one notices at first, until he hits the deck weeing himself. I didn't pull the trigger, I didn't have to. But I had to leave pretty quickly because this cunt couldn't take a fucking hint. But I'm a cop. I'm DCI Zoo. So when the boys in blue turned up I was OK. I'll have to speak to someone important tomorrow but hey, its part of the job when you're a cop. A cop who doesn't give a fuck. ''I shouldn't be drunk, pulling guns on you.'' he paused and apologised. Next to the waste skip behind the club. I had him nicked anyway for concealing a deadly weapon his breath. He was taken away and spent a night in the cells, then was released without charge. He'd done nothing wrong and I'd spent my entire life doing everything wrong but I had a badge and a gun. And you know what? I don't even need a badge and a gun to be a cop. I'm Zoo. I play by my own rules.
Archived comments for Zoo - 1
Mikeverdi on 26-04-2015
Zoo - 1
Yes...I could read more of this.....please. Just in case you think of shooting me 🙂
Mike

Author's Reply:
Thanks for dropping me a comment. This is an experimental part of something I'm thinking of writing more of. But we'll see. I think the "parody cop" is covered pretty well but I might run with it.

Cheers, Jay.


Tick, tock, tick (posted on: 20-03-15)
Impromptu. My first post in a long time. Hope all of my old friends on UKA are doing well and hello to the guys who have no clue who I am. Hope you're all well. I'm not much of a poet but when I wrote it I thought it had a nice rhythm, I hope you like it too.

The tap drips, the tap drips, The tap drips, never drops, We all drink, we all dance, We all shop 'till we drop, We all make other plans, Then we sloth, then we flop, The tap drips, the tap drips, The tap drips, never drops, So we hope, so we hope, We can't have some more dope, The tap drips, the tap drips, The tap drips, never drops, Then we find we are old, All alone and so cold, But it drips and it drips, And it pains up our hips, But it drips.
Archived comments for Tick, tock, tick
e-griff on 21-03-2015
Tick, tock, tick…
nice to see you back again. Fun thoughts!

Author's Reply:
Hi Griff, I'm a bit slow replying, I dunno where the time goes (hence this post) - thanks for reading. I'm hoping to slowly close down all of my current writing/blogging projects in the coming year and get back to some good old UKAuthoring and reading. I've been away too long, and it's time to come home. 🙂


The Album - Chapter 6 (The End) (posted on: 29-03-13)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited so be warned! This is Chapter 6 & concludes this story and first novel draft. If you have been, thanks for reading/commenting. I really do appreciated all of your support. It's good to finally get this put to bed! It is the first entire novel draft I have completed.

Charlie coughed and held his side, ''I feel really tired, maybe we should go to bed?'' he said. Nancy smiled, ''OK, you can bring the album with you,'' ''Maybe I can manage one more cuppa though before we go.'' ''Another!'' she said, ''You'll be up all night peeing and moaning you can't sleep cus of the caffeine.'' ''I promise I won't, OK, then let's have a hot choccy, you know how quick I go to sleep with a hot choccy inside me!'' ''Well OK, but that's it, just water for you after mister!'' she said. Nancy gingerly got up and walked slowly and awkwardly as many old people do to the kitchen. ''Do you want sugar in your tea?'' shouted Nancy. ''No thank you, I only take sugar in the morning, I need the energy then, but not now, it's too close to bed time.'' He sounded like a schoolboy not a pensioner, but is there any difference really? They both wanna stay up really late, get excited at meaningless shit and then fall asleep at the drop of a hat after dinner and neither wanted to get up before eleven am. ''I can't believe how great it has been reliving stuff, Gordon Bennett! It's good to look back; I know looking forward is the only way to look but a pit stop now and then is so much fun! Can you remember back when your Derek forgot imperial and metric after the conversion and we ended up with twenty rolls of wool we didn't need, that was funny! I mean I know looking back it wasn't funny, we had a hell of a time returning it didn't we, ha ha ha ha ha, but now it seems so pointless and meaningless, what did we get exercised over? I mean really?'' The kettle boiled and Nancy poured the water into the teapot, she gave it a little stir and put the lid on, she walked back over to the door and looked over at Charlie. The top of his head poked out above the sofa as it always did, she smiled, he sat still like he always did, he was a very still person, often she thought he was comatose when he was simply reading a book she walked back over and lifted the lid and stirred the pot to death, stir after stir after stir. She poured the tea and then carefully added the milk, stirred and head back to the living room. ''There you go,'' she said, placing the cup down carefully. She walked around the coffee table and sat down next to Charlie, he was laying back head against the chair, eyes closed, and clutching the photo album like it was a young child at his bosom. She took a sip of her drink, winced and then blew on it, ''Ouch that is hot,'' she said before putting her cup down next to Charlie's on the table. ''Anything you wanna look at before we go to bed?'' Charlie lay still in the chair, clutching at the withering, scratched, leather photo album. ''Asleep already, that's great! You know how much I love waking you up when you're asleep don't ya? I've a good mind to leave you here on the sofa, but then I'll have to listen to you moaning about your stiff neck and your sore knees and your bloody cold cuppa tea!'' Charlie lay still. ''Come on then let's go to bed,'' she stood up and picked up her cup. ''Charlie, wake up, if you're that tired you need to be in bed,'' she paused and looked at him, he didn't move, ''Charlie, wake up, she put her tea back down and leaned over him, nudging him with her elbow, ''Charlie wake up, wake up. Charlie. Will you wake up Charlie, stop messing about, this isn't funny, wake up. WAKE UP CHARLIE, WAKE UP,'' she shouted as loud as she could. Charlie's arms fell to his sides and the album fell to the floor. ''WAKE UP, Charlie, please wake up,'' Nancy softened her voice and began to cry, ''wake up, wake up, wake up!'' Nancy sat with her head on Charlie's chest for about twenty minutes before going slowly to the phone and dialling 999. ''Emergency services, what is your emergency.'' ''My husband has died, can someone help me please, he's dead in the chair.'' She said, unsure what else to say. The rest of the evening was a blur, the doorbell rang and she answered it, the paramedics arrived, they pushed her out of the way and one of them started asking questions, ''How long has he been like this, what has he eaten and drank, was he ill and on medication?'' whilst the others lifted him to the floor to begin CPR. It was traumatic, Nancy stood, both hands over her mouth with shock, as the men pumped at his face with some breathing apparatus and another man compressed his chest, they continued for minute after minute after minute, which seemed like hour after hour after hour to Nancy. Suddenly a quiet night in drinking tea and reminiscing had turned into her worst nightmare. A stretcher was brought in and placed next to Charlie as he lay on the floor; his face had turned from his usually rosy cheeks and pink complexion to stone cold white. The paramedics stopped working on him; they wiped their brows and looked at each other before lifting him onto the stretcher, covering it from head to toe in a plastic tarpaulin like cover and carrying him out to the waiting ambulance. The chief ambulance man took Nancy by the hands and said, ''I'm sorry, but we're having to rush him to the hospital, but I'm afraid it doesn't look good for him. I think he might have passed on. Do you want one of us to stay here with you until the bereavement team can send someone or do you want to come with us now. ''I I I want to come with him, I'm not going to let you take him away, he's my husband.'' She grabbed her handbag and slung it over her shoulder and followed the ambulance man out of her house. She slammed and locked the door and got into the ambulance that lit up her little street with its bright blue sirens and woke her neighbours with its screeching. In a flash it was doing sixty miles per hour towards Llandudno hospital. The usual twenty minute drive to Llandudno was reduced to five with the speed and carefully skilled driving of the ambulance man but it was the longest five minutes of her life. She sat with her eyes closed, not wanting to watch the ambulance men as they worked on Charlie. They put a drip into his arm and tried to make him breathe, they compressed his chest all the way to the hospital. ''I think we have a pulse, I'm not certain,'' said one man. ''Yes, it's very weak but I think we have!'' Nancy looked over, ''Is my Charlie going to be OK?'' They looked at each other, ''We'll know more once he's been taken into the hospital and has been assessed, we don't know what has happened to him and we need to know if there might be any lasting damage.'' They spoke with nervously and overstepped professionalism. ''Lasting damage?'' she asked. But they didn't reply the ambulance came to a sudden halt. The doors opened, a crash team was waiting for them, Nancy got out and stood back making way for the paramedics and her beloved Charlie. ''We might have started his heart again, we're not sure, he's been unconscious the whole time.'' They grabbed the gurney and pulled it from the ambulance. The wheels making a loud clattering sound as they unfolded beneath it, they rushed through the open doors straight into the hospital. A woman came over, Nancy assumed she was a nurse, ''Are you a relative?'' Standing shocked, ''I'm his wife.'' said Nancy. ''Well come inside and we'll get your details, I'll take you to see him once they've finished assessment.'' ''Yes, they said.'' Nancy filled out the forms and answered all of her questions and was guided to a waiting area where a few other people sat. Everyone looked the same, fearful, scared and lost. A lady next to her turned to her, ''Are you OK, you look very pale.'' ''Charlie'' she replied, ''It's my Charlie, he's going to die, I know it.'' The stranger sat back with shock, clearly wondering what to say? ''Let me go and get you a coffee,'' she got up and walked over to the vending machine in the corner of the room and after a moment fumbling with her pocket she took out some change and filled the slot with cash. The machine hummed in that loud mechanical way that drinks machines do, and then she came back with a stealing hot cup of coffee. She placed it carefully on the table in front of Nancy. ''Is it your husband?'' Nancy nodded. ''Yeah I'm here with my husband too, they don't know what's up with him either, they've told me to prepare for bad news.'' Nancy turned to look at her; she was a young woman of about forty, 'God so young to be going through this.' She thought. ''I'm sorry to hear that,'' Nancy said despite not wanting to talk. The stranger seemed to understand she sat back in her chair, for a moment there was nothing, then the stranger put her hand on Nancy's and held it gently. They sat together in silence for a little while and then Nancy leaned forward, picked up her coffee and took a sip, ''Thank you, it was nice of you to get me a coffee.'' She said. The stranger gripped her hand a little tighter and started to cry. ''What's the matter dear?'' said Nancy. ''You remind me of my mum.'' She said. ''Really, I I dunno what to say.'' ''My mum was brave like you.'' Nancy put down her coffee and turned to face the woman, ''How am I brave?'' ''Well your husband you're old I dunno'' she mumbled. ''My husband is in there right now dying, or he could already be dead! I'm not brave, I'm scared half way to hell. Thank you for the coffee.'' Nancy stood up, tucked her handbag over her shoulder and walked slowly across the waiting room. The woman sat silent and watched her go. Nancy sat opposite her and looked down at her lap. ''Do you want your coffee'' the stranger said. Nancy looked up at her, ''No.'' The stranger said, ''Sorry!'' but Nancy ignored her. 'Where is my Charlie?' she thought. ** ** ** It was getting late and Nancy still sat with the album on her lap, curtains open, the raging thunderstorm outside was worst. The sea was getting oh so choppy. Her neighbour Geoff had long given up on his gardening, the roaring wind censoring the trail of swear words that he'd unleashed as he packed away his tools and retreated back into his home. Over twelve months she had sat alone every night looking out over Conwy harbour, thinking about Charlie. His death had been all too sudden and had made looking through the album heartbreakingly painful. It was something they often did together, shared their lives, their stories and their adventures, but now she had no one to share it with. A few tiny patters of water on leather made her look down, she hadn't realised but she had started crying again. She took her handkerchief from her sleeve and wiped the album then her cheeks. Love had been a constant in her life, it had made her happy for so long, but now all that love did was cause her pain. She missed Charlie so much; her heart broke when she thought of the rest of her life without him. She leaned forward and placed the album on Charlie's chair and sat back looking up at a picture of them both on the mantelpiece, ''I love you Charlie Pugh'' she whispered before falling into a very deep sleep. - - - - THE END - - - -
Archived comments for The Album - Chapter 6 (The End)

No comments archives found!
Remember (re-write) (posted on: 25-03-13)
I wrote my first prose for UKA in 2003 and submitted it on 21-11-2003. It was called "Remember" and it wasn't very good, in fact it's awful! I don't remember the reason why I wrote it or what inspired me but I've re-read it a few times and tried my best to re-write it. And here it is. Enjoy.

It was dark. That much is clear in my mind. It was so dark. The night sky was cloudless and the stars shone but not a hint of any real light. It was new moon time. I'd spent the week before getting up early to sketch and photograph the waning moon alongside Venus in the early morning sky. It was one of those things that I did; I'm a bit of an amateur astronomer to be honest. The easiest things an astronomer can capture are often the most beautiful, that's what I think anyway. The things in our solar system that are dancing together around the sun showing themselves to us in ever more fantastic and beautiful ways. It amazes me, it really does. The awesome power of gravity, that force that makes my toast land butter side down is the same force holding Jupiter in its place millions of miles away from the Sun. It's truly amazing. Its thoughts of such contented moments, those moments alone with ones self doing the simple things one likes, that I was comforting myself with as I walked alone along that terribly dark road. I wasn't too far from home, but tonight the walk felt, I dunno scary?! I'd walked too and from work along the three miles of winding country lanes hundreds, probably thousands of times. It never felt like it did tonight. Occasionally as I walked I stopped and stood perfectly still, listening, because I thought I'd heard a branch in a bush snap or leaves crunch underfoot behind me. I felt silly but as I stood and listened for more I heard nothing just the wind that whistled cold, straight through me. On the third occasion this happened I was brave. I turned around. Of course expecting to see a blood soaked man in a hockey mask brandishing a scimitar only to see, the road disappearing back towards work into the darkness and the waving arms of the trees that lined the lane. I'm a grown man, why was I acting so foolishly? 'This is my street, my manor, I'm nearly home too. Back to Erika, back to the comforting glow of the imitation coal burning fire' A fire that was no more coal or burning than a piece of steel sat on the bottom of the ocean. An expensive, electronic, display of coal - burning. Damn I bet I could watch coal burning on Youtube for free! Full screen view, lights out, sit back and enjoy! It's supposed to impress guests, but it doesn't even impress me. But I digress. Have you guessed yet that I hate the dark? I always have. You know what I hate? The way it can envelop you, a dark room floods over you, it's almost choking, god damn blackness. Ever noticed how a creaky floorboard can go unnoticed by day and become a vampire heading your way by night? No? You must have creak-less floorboards or maybe no imagination! Either way I fear the dark and more-so I fear a branch tapping a window, or a car door slamming, or a faulty fire alarm doing its oh so comedic blip, pause, blip, in the darkness. Jesus it's scaring me thinking about. I suppose what's more scary is the news I saw this morning, another mugging in the village. Recently a gang of thieves, with their high speed pursuit car, have been turning up in the village, attacking people as they walk down the street and then shooting out of the place like a bullet caught in the arse of a bat outta hell! Only two days ago a woman was robbed, I say woman, she's eighty seven, an old aged pensioner (they are scum!), she was walking back from the pub, a journey of about twelve or thirteen cottages along the main lane from the boozer to her house. It's about a hundred and fifty yards in total, not much of a walk even for an old woman full of brandy and bingo cheer. A car pulls up, two guys get out, another sits behind the wheel with the engine running and she gets punched to the floor and her bag taken. They got away with a few pounds, but Betty kept her money and her pension books in a hollowed out encyclopaedia in her bookcase at home as she had done since her Bert had died. He always told her she had to be careful. He was a bit of a maudlin soul, I blame the whiskey, but he insisted she was careful with what was hers if anything happened to him. Old fashioned wisdom, worked well, strange that aye? We need more Bert thinkers I feel. She was OK in the end (thankfully), she did more damage to the fence she fell against than actually to herself but her eye was black for weeks, black and scary, like the darkness. The horrible darkness as I walked home. I was walking so fast, I almost began to run. Sprinting felt like a good idea now. I was already scared and now had filled my head with even more irrational fear. Fear that I'd not felt before. Why was I so scared? I don't really know, but I needed to be home. The path I walked along was very narrow, if I stood in the road and ran along the curb edge I'd be home in double quick time, this silly episode would be over. I'd be stripped and in the bath whilst my beautiful Erika warmed through my dinner. Yeah that sounded good, it still does. So I started to run home, yeah I felt silly, but I wanted to see her, to feel my hot bath, to enjoy some hearty home made food, I wanted to listen to the wind and look at the darkness through the dining room window, in my slippers, maybe in my onesie, but definitely at home where nothing can hurt me because it never has and I refuse let it. I stumbled as I ran because there was a noise behind me, I didn't try to turn and look, I was sick of my foolish fear by now, I could see in the distance the first street light to our village, and then I heard it. The loudest thump I've ever heard. The darkness then came to me unlike ever before. I felt the darkness all over my body but it allowed me to see nothing. Darkness is like that. It hurt. It hurt from the top of my head to my feet and everywhere in between. And then you appeared to me, and that's all I can remember.
Archived comments for Remember (re-write)
Weefatfella on 26-03-2013
Remember (re-write)
 photo bfa015ef-03f8-441a-953a-e17b9b577756_zpsda0c5131.jpg
Aye, A scary walk right enough.
Even the lights in the darkness (Stars and Moon) couldn't help.
Enjoyed your experiment.
We all at some time are afraid of the dark.
I hate it when travelling in the hills near my area.
I check the rear view mirror, it's completely black Whhhhoooooo!
(That night, a child might understand,
The Deil had business on his hand. Robert Burns)
Thank you for sharing.
Weefatfella.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting mate.

Jay.

http://jay12uka.wordpress.com/


The Album - Chapter 5 (Piece 5 of 5) (posted on: 08-02-13)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The third part of five that makes up Chapter 5. (I know have been a bit slow and lazy adding these recent updates, but I will endeavor to complete this task and upload the entire first draft to UKA.) 🙂

Charlie returned from his meeting with the Ministry of Defence, he walked through the busy hustle and bustle of the workshop. He paused as he always did and looked out across the room at the thirty workers sewing away at his fleet of machines. They all looked great, dressed in the uniform of CN Textiles (Charlie Nancy Textiles), Samantha looked up for a moment and smiled at him and he returned the smile. He walked back past his own office to the small, newish office he'd had built two years ago and opened the door, there sat Derek junior, fully suited and booted on the phone. ''I'm glad you're uniforms arrived OK, this was just a courtesy call to make sure everything was OK.'' He paused, ''You're welcome,'' he said. He put down the phone, ''Unc! How did you get on?'' Charlie came in and sat down, ''I think we're all going to be getting a bigger Christmas bonus than usual, we'll be supplying the navy with all of their jumpers for the next five years, and they loved the quality! Even in field tests they held up, washed clean and looked just as smart on parade.'' Derek Junior smiled, ''That's great news, how many units do they want?'' ''Twenty thousand to start, we might need a few more staff!'' Charlie grinned like a Cheshire cat. ''We'll be supplying the whole world soon that was the scout association, they have just received our pallet of badges and they are over the moon!'' said Derek Junior. ''Have they paid?'' said Charlie. ''Up front on placing the fucking order!'' said Derek Junior. ''Merry Christmas sunshine!'' ''Merry Christmas Uncle.'' Nineteen sixty was the greatest year of CN Textiles to date. ** ** ** The twenty first century had offered new opportunities, the world wide web had arrive but still people were wearing clothes, who'd have thought it? Derek Junior had an idea; the increase in the popularity of web words, web saying and just web fads gave him an idea, t-shirts. ''Can we make money?'' Charlie had asked as he sat behind his own desk in his Armani suit and Rolex watch, wishing he could smoke a fat Cuban but modern legislation stopped him smoking indoors. ''We can easily; set up a web store, give people t-shirts that are catchy and let them just add them to their basket. It's easier than taking a dump.'' ''Well let's do it!'' said Charlie, ''I'll leave it in your hands Delboy!'' And so the range of CN Textiles or CNText.com shirts began. Comedy sold best. Derek Junior was no comic but he knew how to write a slogan 'I'm with cupid' slushy. 'Boobs with a view' low cut. 'My other t-shirt is a jumper' comical. 'Loser? I won the race as a sperm!'' comical. 'Six million dollar man, what are your organs worth?' comical. Even luminous orange ones that said, ''Dyed for Jesus he'd do the same for us!'' comedy seemed a winner every time. Months and months went by and the business grew into another unit, and then another and then a second location just up the road and on the left. Charlie and Nancy made their first million. Derek Junior made his first half million and the staff all got one thousand pounds bonus at Christmas. On the twenty third of December Charlie called the staff to halt as he always did, and he did it spot on five pm and he asked for their attention. ''I want you all to know that I appreciate all of your hard work and efforts and I'm launching a new scheme, call it a loyalty scheme if you like but anyone working for me for longer than three years will be part of the bonus scheme and next year your loyalty will be rewarded with 1% of net profits for the year, that'll be your Christmas bonus, so stay loyal, and I'll stay loyal to you. Thank you all for your hard work and efforts this year and Merry Christmas!'' A coo of appreciation went up in the room and a round of applause. ''Can we afford it?'' Nancy whispered to Charlie. ''Thirty odd staff gets 1 per cent each, Derek gets ten percent, we get fifty odd percent, it's a win-win situation.'' ''I hope so!'' said Nancy. Charlie put his arm around her and hugged her close and said, ''This business is worth a bit, we're already richer than we deserve, we can sell it soon enough, retire and leave the staff a bit of medium term security, that's worth it. We'll right it into the sales agreement that the staff get looked after for a while, that's all we can do.'' ''We aint exploited them have we and now we're deserting them?'' said Nancy. ''No we aint. We've always looked after them.'' ''What about Derek Junior and his mum.'' ''They're richer than they could hope, they're happy and we'll make sure of that anyway, don't worry Nancy.'' ''I just don't want to leave people in the lurch after what they have done for us.'' ''We won't, we certainly won't,'' and with that Charlie began the wheels in motion, the sale of his life's work began and he was glad. Life meant more to him than work ever had. ** ** ** Nancy woke him, ''Charlie wake up, I've done it!'' ''Done what he said?'' ''I've found us a house that we can retire in, it's in Conwy. It's a cottage and it overlooks the harbour,'' ''Sounds good,'' ''It's as good a harbour as we'll find anywhere really, I'm not even sure if it's a harbour, but the smallest house in Great Britain is nearby.'' ''It sounds like a winner!'' said Charlie, ''As long as the smallest house aint our I'll be happy.'' They kissed each other like they used to when they were queuing for a dance at the hippo in Wolverhampton. They'd done it, they were getting old and crusty now, but they'd made it in there lifetimes. Retirement, earlier than the government wanted, but fuck the government they'd made their contributions. A life of oggies (tastier than a Cornish pie and bigger than a Tam O'Shanter) and walks in the sunshine, yes both days a year.
Archived comments for The Album - Chapter 5 (Piece 5 of 5)

No comments archives found!
The Album - Chapter 5 (Piece 4 of 5) (posted on: 04-02-13)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The fourth part of five that makes up Chapter 5. (I know have been a bit slow and lazy adding these recent updates, but I will endeavor to complete this task and upload the entire first draft to UKA.) 🙂

Samantha sat at home, it was quiet, her house was cold, she could no longer afford the coal that she needed to get the fire roaring to warm the place up, she sat knitting away, her favourite pastime, her only pastime. She couldn't afford to go to the theatre or the cinema or go to a dance or for a meal at a fancy restaurant. SHe was stuck at home, single and bored, lonely and sad. She felt so low. It was not so bad for her a few years ago as she had Derek to bring up, he was such a handful. She'd had plenty of help from his father, but his father was no longer around. She'd also had no contact with her two sister Jacqueline and Brenda or her mum ever since they found out that she was pregnant and single. ''What the hell are you doing whoring yourself around the Black Country, are you trying to bring shame on this family? Just think what the neighbours will say, what the vicar will say, you're dragging us into Satan territory here, do you want to be saved, do you want to go to heaven? It seems not. Whore, fucking whore, get out of my house and never come back, if you do, so help me God, I'll beat the fucking baby out of you, GET OUT!'' Her mum had certainly not minced her words, and from that day to this she had never spoken to her or seen her. She flatly refused to have anything to do with her grandson, she saw him as illegitimate and the spawn of Satan, pretty harsh stuff that cut deep and caused great upset. Jacqueline had visited once and met Derek. She gave him a little toy teddy bear with buttons for eyes that she'd made herself, like her sister Samantha she was a big fan of knitting, knitting jumpers and scarves and balaclavas for fun through the summer and enjoying their warmth in the winter. The door opened and in walked Derek Junior, ''How are you mum.'' He said smiling. ''You know son, the same as always, what are you grinning at, you found lost a shilling and found a pound?'' her sayings were often odd. ''No, better than that, throw the last of the coal on the fire ma, we're moving house!'' ''What are you talking about, moving where/'' ''To Bilston, I've found us both a full time job each.'' He smiled. ''Aye? Are you joking, you bloody must be joking, who'd employ a mother and son without meeting the mother?'' she said. ''Uncle Charlie.'' He said. ''Uncle Charlie Oh no you haven't, you promised me you wouldn't go begging cap in hand to them, you said you'd not do it, you promised.'' ''Yeah I know, but they are family mum, they are part of me, Uncle Charlie and Dad were brothers and I want to get to know my family a bit, God help us both we need a family, we can't go and visit your family can we, we'd be in the dunking stool or burnt at the stake in seconds!'' Samantha laughed, ''I suppose you're right, but I don't even know them, why would they employ me?'' ''Because they are nice people ma, they want to help us, they want to get to know both of us, as far as they are concerned you're family too, what do you say?'' ''Well moving house is a big step you know'' ''Yeah but we'll have a fresh start, in a new business and anew home with a new family, better than sitting in every night in this cold, bleak shit hole!'' ''Language!'' she said, ''I didn't bring you up to talk like a bloody Navvy!'' ''Sorry mum, but come on what do you say?'' ''I need to go over and meet them and see for myself, but if it's as you're telling me then then oh OK, what have we got to lose?'' ''That's the spirit ma,'' Derek junior put his arms around his mum and gave her a big hug. ''You see ma, dad is still looking after us, he aint around anymore but he's still looking after us, he's sent us a new family. We're gonna be OK now ma, I can feel it.'' ''Like I said, I need to meet Charlie and Nancy and introduce myself properly and see if they are as nice as you are saying, but we're are going to be OK sunshine no matter what, whether this comes off or not, I'll make sure that we are OK!'' ** ** ** It was day two of being there own boss, Nancy and Charlie had placed the advert in the Express and Star and were now just waiting to see who applied, they'd decided to go ahead and advertise anyway despite offering the two vacant positions to Derek Junior and his mum because he'd not been able to give them an answer on the spot, they had to cover all possibilities, but still hoped they come on board. They sat together sipping tea, it was ten thirty. Ten thirty was and always had been tea time for Charlie. In the foundry every bloke there would down tools for a tea and if it wasn't forthcoming they'd down tools anyway and go on strike. ''I've got a meeting later today,'' said Charlie. ''Oh yeah,'' said Nancy, idly flicking through the morning newspaper. ''Yeah, should get us some interest. I'm going to Beatties in the town centre and I'm going to offer to undercut everything that Arthur Blacks is selling to them now, you know as a way of winning a big slice of business early.'' ''Do you think that is wise, I mean we haven't even made up the swatches yet to take and show the craftsmanship.'' Nancy sounded worried, ''We don't want to start a turf war with an established business.'' ''It won't start a turf war, you are silly, I'm not going to bad mouth Arthur Black I'm just going to say, if and when we get some samples over to you and you like them we are happy to discuss supplying you at a lower cost.'' ''Well as long as you are careful and you know what you are doing,'' said Nancy. ''Have faith! You have faith in me don't ya, you trust me?'' ''Yes of course I do.'' said Nancy. ''Good! I mean it's not like I'm going to gamble with anything, I don't want to lose all of Derek's money he left us, he's never forgive me. I promise to do my best at the meeting, OK.'' ''Yes, OK!'' said Nancy. ''Scouts honour and all that!'' he held up three fingers, ''Dib, dib, dib!'' Just then the door opened and they both looked around, in walked Derek Junior followed by his mum. ''Hello again,'' said Charlie, ''How are thee?'' ''I'm fine guys, I want to introduce you to someone, this here is Samantha, but I call her mum, feel free to call her mum too, she doesn't mind!'' ''Oh he is silly sometimes,'' Said Samantha. She shook hands with Nancy and Charlie, ''We're very pleased to meet you.'' ''Likewise, Derek told me all about the job offer and I'm just here to accept it in person, it's not the kind of thing you can do on a whim, thank you ever so much!'' ''You're welcome, we take care of our own around here,'' said Nancy. ''So can I ask you something,'' said Samantha. ''Yeah sure, ask us anything,'' said Nancy, ''We got nowt to hide here girl!'' ''Did you guys know about me and the baby here?'' ''Mum I'm not a baby, I'm nearly eighteen!'' said Derek awkwardly. ''I know baby,'' said Samantha ruffling his hair and him pulling away suddenly saying ''Gerrroff!'' ''Honestly, no we didn't not for a second. It was a shock for us yesterday when Derek Junior came walking in here with his story, as I'm sure you can imagine, but no - up until then we had no idea at all. Derek always seemed like a bachelor to me and he never even hinted that he had kids.'' ''He certainly liked the bachelor lifestyle.'' said Samantha. ''Well can we ask what happened with you and Derek, why didn't you get together and settle down,'' said Nancy. ''He didn't want to really; we had arguments and ended up going on our own separate paths.'' A silence fell over the room, what to say next? ''Oh such a shame,'' said Nancy. ''He was still a good father to Derek, he contributed. Not a week went by when he didn't send me money to support us. He used to send us toys and games he'd find on house clearances, all of the time, this little lad had more toys than anyone I've ever seen, and clothes. Whenever the summer holidays were over he'd turn up a day or two before he was due to go back with blazers and shirts and trousers, I mean he really did do his best for us, he just wasn't around twenty four-seven.'' ''He was always a good bloke,'' said Charlie, ''I'd not have expected anything else.'' ''I loved him too,'' she added out of the blue, ''I think he loved me in a funny kind of way. I think we'd have come back together eventually, but I suppose we'll never know now.'' ''I knew Derek better than hew knew himself and he was no mug, he never gave a penny to anyone he felt would take it for granted or take the Mickey, if he paid you every week for years, he cared, he loved you, as the mother of his son he would have loved you if nothing else.'' said Charlie. ''I hope so, he was a good man but an odd fellow, if I can be so forthright.'' ''He was an odd guy,'' said Charlie, ''But aint we all?'' ''Yep'' added Nancy. ''He wanted a family, but no family life, he wanted responsibility but not twenty four seven, he wanted success but held back, just happy to tick along. I think he was just scared of changing.'' ''It doesn't matter now,'' said Charlie, ''He's gone and left us memories and this situation, and we have to deal with it. I know he'd want the best for all of us so let's just crack on with life. We have that obligation.'' ''We do,'' said Samantha, ''We'll move house soon, when do me and junior start work?'' Charlie smiled, ''Right now, and the first thing I'm going to do is give you both two weeks paid leave to get yourselves moved, then the real hard work starts.'' Nancy looked at him with a little scorn, and after they had closed the deal and they had left, she said, ''Can we afford to pay two people with nothing coming in?'' ''They're family.'' He said.
Archived comments for The Album - Chapter 5 (Piece 4 of 5)

No comments archives found!
The Album - Chapter 5 (Piece 3 of 5) (posted on: 04-01-13)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The third part of five that makes up Chapter 5. (I know have been a bit slow and lazy adding these recent updates and that no one is reading anymore, but I will endeavor to complete this task and upload the entire first draft to UKA.) 🙂

Nancy was shocked, ''Oh my God, we've lost one Derek and gained another one, this is so beautiful. You're a blessing, we still have part of Derek alive through you, Oh this is wonderful!'' ''So tell us your story Derek Junior.'' said Charlie. ''Well OK, it all begins seventeen years ago. Derek was just starting up his house clearance business that he left to you recently I believe. He had managed to get himself a deal with a local funeral parlour, he left them some business cards and flyers and asked them to put any work his way, you know, if they heard of any people dying with no next of kin, and then he'd of course move in and sort out the house. Clear it, ready for the next tenant if it was council, or clear it ready for sale. He got a lot of work through the council when they saw how good he was, he'd clear an entire two bedroomed terrace in a day and a half, taking away furniture, clothes, bric-a-brac, it was all good work and he was great at it. He'd gotten a call from the funeral people to say that an old woman had passed away and her granddaughter wanted someone to clear the house for her, she was about the same age as Derek and when they met they kind of hit it off, something sparked between them, some people call it love at first sight I think. So Derek cleared the house and they went out for a date, she insisted after how hard he'd worked, then before they knew it they were kind of seeing each other, going out a lot and of course getting to know each other better, if you know what I mean. The next thing she was pregnant with me and then the problems started. She of course wanted to get married, despite them having kept there relationship a secret, my dad was no keen on the idea, they argued and rowed and inevitably fell out. She had a lot of trouble with her family, having a child out of wedlock was bad enough but to have no actual boyfriend either she was almost totally disowned by her family. Dad always paid his way, he made sure that I had everything I needed, and he helped support my mum who found it hard to keep a job and look after me and with no help from her family and few friends times were really tough for my mum, and sadly, even though my dad and mum never got together again, they were nice to each other and did the best by me which I am grateful for now and always. I think he loved her too, in an odd way, he just wasn't the marrying and settling down type.'' ''And where is your mum now,'' said Charlie. ''I still live at home with her in Birmingham, she still works part time, I'm just looking for work now, I mean I've got no choice now dad aint around to help us out.'' ''Well you're family why don't you come and work here, I could give your mum a job too, we can make a proper little family business of it can't we?'' said Nancy. ''Well that is really nice of you, I need to talk to my mum about that, I mean she doesn't know that I've come here today and I certainly want you guys to know that I never came here cap in hand wanting anything,'' ''Oh no of course not, family is family, Derek would expect us to help you and we will, we certainly will.'' said Charlie. ''OK, mum didn't want me to come here but I felt I had to, you deserved to know that you had a nephew, I think with how suddenly we lost dad it'll be nice to get to know you guys. It'll give us some focus that isn't just on his loss, but on our gain, as a new family together. ''Well that is certainly a very grown up way of looking at things Derek Junior, you're already making us very proud aint he Nance?'' ''Oh yes, very proud, this is all so wonderful,'' she said. ''It's just a shame that we couldn't have all been a family a lot sooner,'' said Derek Junior, ''But dad wanted to keep it all a secret. I suppose it would have all come out in the end whether he had lived of died. It's just a shame we couldn't all spend some time together as a family.'' ''Well what has happened has happened, we certainly can't turn the clock back, God I wish we could,'' said Charlie. ''Well I'm glad to have met you both,'' Derek Junior stood up and Charlie and Nancy followed, ''It's been a pleasure, I'll might take that job too, let me chat to mum, we've been hoping to move house soon so we'll look around Wolverhampton and Bilston if we have jobs here to come for.'' ''Derek Junior, I'll see to it personally that you both have a job here, there is a lot of hard work for us to do here, and we've got to put that damned Arthur blacks wedding store out of business for a kick off! We'll succeed too, we can get on and do it, together. We can all support each other, remember it aint a hand out, it'll be like any job, a decent days work and a decent days pay.'' said Charlie. ''Who's Arthur black and what's he done?'' said Derek Junior. ''Oh it's a long story, I'll save it for another day,'' said Charlie. ''OK Uncle, Well thanks very much, here is my current address,'' Derek Junior handed them a piece of paper with his address scribble on it in black ink. Nancy and Charlie both hugged him, ''It's great to meet you,'' said Nancy. ''You too auntie!'' said Derek, a tear fell from Nancy's eye. He walked towards the door; he put his hand on the handle, turned and smiled at them, before walking out. ''My God he's the spitting image of your Derek,'' said Nancy. ''I know, I thought that back at the funeral wake that first time we saw him, I mean I didn't think he looked like Derek, he just looked very familiar, just the penny just never dropped.'' said Charlie.
Archived comments for The Album - Chapter 5 (Piece 3 of 5)
sirat on 05-01-2013
The Album - Chapter 5 (Piece 3 of 5)
You're complaining that nobody is reading your chapters so I thought I would at least have a look at this one.

What stands out a bit for me is Derek Junior's very long monologue at the beginning. I know why it's there, you don't want to step in as narrator and give background information unless you absolutely have to, it's much less intrusive to do it by way of dialogue, but it feels unnatural that someone would make an uninterrupted speech of this length in the normal course of conversation. I think you need to break it up in some way. The simplest would be to have Nancy and Charley interject with questions – extract the information from him and comment on it. You could also have some activity going on that would break it up – making tea, or walking in the park or something. It doesn't matter a great deal what it is, just something to make the conversation seem more natural and less one-sided. Whatever activity you choose should continue throughout the extract that you've got here. As it stands I get a mental image of three people standing there taking turns to speak and doing absolutely nothing else. The minimal bit of movement at the end helps but I don't think it's enough.

The dialogue itself is a little formal for my taste. Each speaker seems to say a rehearsed set piece, there's none of the hesitation and searching for the right word that characterises real speech. Your only concession to the messiness of ordinary speech is in preceding six of your speeches with the word 'well'. Some more variation would help. This isn't an enormous point, but worth mentioning.

Filling in background by way of dialogue always throws up a flag for fellow writers, but I doubt if most readers are going to worry about it all that much.

I hope that's some use.

Author's Reply:
I wouldn't say I was complaining. Its a fact no one is reading. But as I'm not very active and none of the many frequent users know who I am anymore, I expect that.

Thanks for having a look at the chapter and offering feedback. I understand that the opening monologue is a bit much and you are right, every writer wants to show not tell. I will certainly look at this again when I go back through this story. I like some of the suggestions that you have made too.

Thanks David.

Texasgreg on 06-01-2013
The Album - Chapter 5 (Piece 3 of 5)
Hadn't seen ya fer a while, though I too, was absent...

Ah, a twist in the tale. keep it comin'.

Greg 🙂

Author's Reply:
I too am far too absent.

Thanks!

Jay


The Album - Chapter 5 (Piece 2 of 5) (posted on: 30-11-12)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The second part of five that makes up chapter 5.

Charlie and Nancy sat in there empty office at their new unit in Bilston, surrounded by the sowing equipment that had been shipped in by Mr Bartholomew and his associates. They'd done a great job, the place was clean and bright, no need for a lick of paint or anything, that was part of the draw, it was ready from day one to just move into and get on working. ''Right all we need now are staff,'' said Nancy. ''Well I think at first we need to get just a few, not too many, I reckon a couple to begin with will be enough, we need to make some examples of our work and then take them to potential customers.'' ''Well that'll be my job,'' said Charlie, ''I've always been interested in selling stuff, I reckon I could sell sand to the Arabs!'' ''Let's hope so,'' said Nancy, ''I'll write an advert and then take it up the Express and Star later. ''Good idea, you've always enjoyed writing aint ya!'' he said. ''Well you know I don't like to talk about my fiction writing.'' She went a little red. ''I know, I know I'm just joking, but if you will insist on writing that Erotica smut then you're going to get embarrassed.'' ''I never use my own name when I send the stuff out!'' she said. ''It's a good job; people would think I've only married you for your dirty mind!'' They smiled; she took out a notepad from the top drawer of her desk and placed it squarely and tidily on the desk before her. ''I'll be back in five,'' said Charlie. He left the office and closed the door and stood looking across his new shop floor. 'Wow it's finally happening, Decker my mate I wish you were here to see this, you'd be so pleased, so happy. I am doing the right thing using your money like this aint I, I hope so!' thought Charlie. He paused for a moment hoping for some divine message to appear in his head from Derek, appeasement for his own conscience that he was doing the right thing, but he heard nothing. He turned and looked at Nancy sat at the desk, 'You're so beautiful,' he thought, 'as beautiful now as that first day in the Varsity.' He wandered over to the kettle and put it on, he had purchased a little camping stove to boil the water on, 'It should do for now,'' he thought. He gestured with a waving hand towards Nancy, she was miles away but after a few second looked up and smiled, he waved the cup at her and she stuck both thumbs up, that was a definite yes. She loved her tea, almost as much as Charlie, both liked it strong with milk and no sugar, delicious. The kettle began to whistle and Charlie picked it up, almost dropping it as his hand touched the metal top of it and burning his finger a little, he put it back down and shook his hand before sticking his fingers into his mouth. ''Ooooh you little'' he paused before swearing, he wasn't big on swearing. He tried a second time and managed not to injure himself. As he stood stirring the cups, going from one to the other, giving each one an equal number of stirs each time he head footsteps behind him, he looked over and could see Nancy still writing away at her desk. Who could it be? ''Excuse me,'' said a voice. Charlie turned around, stood before him was a tall young familiar looking man, but he couldn't quite picture where he had seen him before, but damn he was familiar. ''We're closed at the moment mate, unless you are looking for work,'' said Charlie in his most grown up and boss like voice. ''Well I kinda am looking for work as it happens'' said the stranger. ''That is great, we aren't actually doing any interviews at the moment but if you give me your address I can write to you and tell you when they are available.'' ''Well I don't really live local, I live in Birmingham, it's a little far to come every day for eight o'clock in the morning. I need a job closer to home, but erm that's not why I'm here.'' ''OK son, why are you here,'' said Charlie. ''Well I've a story to tell you and you're going to be surprised by what I've got to say, it might be easier for us to go somewhere and sit down?'' ''Why,'' said Charlie who began to look a little uncomfortable and concerned with this stranger standing before him. ''Well do you remember me'' said the stranger. ''You certainly look familiar son, but I can't remember your name or where we met, sorry about that, I'm not great with faces and names.'' Said Charlie. ''That's OK,'' said the stranger, ''I can remember where we met, it was the other day at Derek Pugh's funeral.'' Charlie paused for thought, ''Oh my gosh yes of course,'' he held out his hand to the stranger, ''I do remember now, that's where I saw you hang on wasn't your name Derek too.'' The stranger held out his hand and shook hands, ''Yes that's right; I told you I was Derek and I was named after my father,'' ''Yes of course, I know who you are now, so how did you know my brother, did you do work for him or something?'' said Charlie. ''Well no, you see I've known Derek Pugh all of my life, and I never worked for him, this is going to come as a shock to you I know, but I'm Derek Pugh Junior, I'm your nephew.'' said Derek Junior. Charlie stared in disbelief, ''Wha are you saying that we're family?'' Derek Junior smiled, ''You're my uncle, my uncle Charlie.'' ''What on Earth, how can this be, how could my brother have had a son? He wasn't' married, and I can't remember him ever talking about a girlfriend, why would he keep you a secret?'' ''Well Uncle Charlie, if I may call you that, why don't you make an extra cup of tea, introduce me to my auntie over there and I'll tell you all about it.'' ''Sounds like a plan!'' said Charlie reaching for another cup. ''Strong, with milk, no sugar.'' said Derek Junior. 'He's a Pugh alright!' thought Charlie.
Archived comments for The Album - Chapter 5 (Piece 2 of 5)

No comments archives found!
The Old Noob. (posted on: 30-11-12)
A go at something I've not tried for a while, a poem.

Heading towards her, There she is, Where she's always been, That old familiar place. Still warms my heart, The sign above the door. Always glad to see her, Pleasure never a chore. Many an entertained hour, Spent at her welcoming bar. Many of the regulars are gone, I stand alone and watch the rest. To them - I am the noob, A guy who turned up one day. I took up 'their' place at the bar, I was old school, They were new. Me and the posse, my crew. The crew had gone, I was just me, well and you! I'm now the noob, The guy who turned up one day To take up 'their' place at the bar. I'm the old noob of UKA. May I introduce myself? I really don't do poetry. 🙂
Archived comments for The Old Noob.
Nomenklatura on 30-11-2012
The Old Noob.
Well, in that case, welcome back! 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks! I was a bit worried it might sound a little bitter. But what I was trying to say is that even though I'm a noob to most of the active users today I used to be part of the furniture. It's always a nice place to come back to.

Bozzz on 01-12-2012
The Old Noob.
You are a boon, not a noob. Bars need customers these days. Good story line. ....Bozzz

Author's Reply:
Cheers. I'm actually a bum! Nothing I like better than slobbing around. I'm no noob to that! Thanks for commenting and reading.

Texasgreg on 02-12-2012
The Old Noob.
Hehe, Jay!
Told ya that you could do poetry...

That was an excellent salute, IMO.

Greg 🙂

And keep 'em comin' ya old noob. 😉

Photobucket.

Author's Reply:
It's not so great! I used to have a lot of poetry on UKA but I removed it all when I self published it as two pamphlets. If you search Lulu.com for Scribbling Drunkenly you can see it but if you send me your email address I'll send you the PDFs for both of them. I'm long past caring about actually selling them. The first one is free to download at my website too if you aint comfy with giving out your email.

Jay.

butters on 02-12-2012
The Old Noob.
always room for another stool, another tale...

revisiting a place can open your eyes; things can look so different, yet some things stay the same

Author's Reply:
Very true. So far all the commenters on this post are people I've only gotten to know or met in the last few months or so. *Pulls up stool* So what's your story?

franciman on 02-12-2012
The Old Noob.
Hi Jay and welcome back!
you are really lucky: you can join the swelling ranks of those who think they don't do poetry, or you can join those who think they do. Personally I think both groups have it wrong.
Liked your verse and the clever finagling of the theme.
cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
I actually know I can write poems but I cannot write poetry that effects me like other people's does. I think that is the thing with poetry. The author can never see how well it sounds or feels just because they wrote it. DOos that make sense? Cheers for the read, comment and welcome back. 🙂

butters on 02-12-2012
The Old Noob.
"Very true. So far all the commenters on this post are people I've only gotten to know or met in the last few months or so. *Pulls up stool* So what's your story? "

not much of one 🙂 ran my own place some years back, got divorced, offline for a couple of years, returned and did a stint of modding over on Literotica, finally gave it up due to lack of time, dropped into this site during Sandy (took out Lit's servers for a while) and now finding myself doing some hosting over on the UKA forum. had stuff published, but not an entire book of my own. not sure I have enough ready for that anyway.

how about yourself?



Author's Reply:
I started to write in 1998, wrote crap, found UKA in 2003, wrote crap, got published in 3 anthologies overall (I think) did some work for Twisted Tongue magazine, that was fun and successful until the magazine went on hold (hopefully it'll return one day), created an alter ego, made youtube videos, blogged and tweeted, with various levels of success, got bored with social networking as it stopped being less about the social and became more about self-promotion, did NaNoWriMo, came back to UKA, and then have posted that for the last 6 months and have just done NaBloPoMo. I still blog personally and also contribute to a football blog. ALl of my experiences have taught me that UKA is probably the place to be to get proper feedback from other, similarly minded people.


The Album - Chapter 5 (Piece 1 of 5) (posted on: 16-11-12)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The first part of five that makes up chapter 5.

Charlie turned the page in the album, ''Here look at that, it's our baby!'' He pointed to a picture of a small factory unit, ''Where our dreams came true, what a great time we had there at that factory unit in Bilston.'' He smiled. ''Who'd have thought that we'd end up here in this lovely home in Conwy retired for so many years, enjoying what that place gave us.'' said Nancy holding his arm and resting her head on his shoulder. ''It would all be different if Decker had been alive, it was such a bittersweet success at first don't you think?'' Nancy lifted her head, ''Why do you say that?'' ''Using Decks money to make it all happen,'' tears appeared in his eyes as he thought back many years. Time hadn't lessened the grief and the loss he felt for his brother. ''He'd have wanted you to chase your dream; he'd be proud as hell of what you did with that money, a lot of people would have wasted it, you turned it into a million pounds and gave us both the greatest life we could have wanted. He'd be happy with that.'' ''I suppose so but would he have been happy with everything that happened back then when we started out?'' ''You're talking about Clarence and his business sale aren't you?'' she said. ''Yes,'' he replied. ''It was years ago, you should let it go,'' said Nancy. * * * Charlie shook hands on the deal with Bartholomew and his partner George, George was one of the richest people in the entire Black Country if not the entire country. He acquired businesses, took the assets and kept the profitable bits and shed the rest, he was ruthless, successful and right now he was the owner of Derek's reclamation business. Fifty thousand pounds was a lot of money and that was Charlie's share of this deal, he was happy, he could put it into his new factory unit he was currently renting in Bilston. His textile firm was about to begin business. He'd managed, through another friend of Bartholomew's, to get his hands on twenty five sowing machine kits complete with individual tables and chairs for his yet to be employed staff to work at, and he'd got them at a ridiculously low price. It was that favour that helped him overlook Bartholomew's ten thousand pound commission for helping him sell Derek's business, it was swings and roundabouts and Charlie could see clearly that neither Bartholomew nor George had become wealthy by working for free and not taking their slice of any given pie. Charlie kind of admired them both even though they would obviously sell him down the river if they thought their was cash to be made for themselves. Oh well, it mattered not to Charlie now, the deal was done so they'd have little to no reason to deal with each other in the future. 'I might keep in touch, the odd phone call or Xmas card just in case I need to drop back in on them for help,' thought Charlie. After the meeting Charlie, went for a walk, a walk with his thoughts, just around Wolverhampton. It was entertaining to watch people, he walked past his old foundry and stopped outside, ''What a place to work'' he whispered to himself, looking at the soot that lined the outside of the building and the smoke that constantly billowed from the chimneys above it, 'What the hell was I breathing in working there?' he thought to himself. The place was an iron and steel construct of gloom. 'Yeah it paid the bills, of course it did and that's why the men turned out every day, but any job that causes you to run to the pub every night just to rinse the dirt away with alcohol because the tap water simply won't manage it has got to be bad. 'I reckon the booze didn't wash it away it just got us all pissed long enough not to notice it and then we began again, probably why the men spent long weekends when they weren't working in the pub.' This though filled Charlie with mixed emotions, nice to be out of it, sad for those still in it, 'Although I could be back sooner than I like if I mess this all up.' He decided it was time to go to Derek's shop one last time and break the news to Clarence himself in person, it seemed only right. He didn't really know Clarence that well and Derek had talked little about him and it was always bad. He'd met him shortly after Derek's death and he seemed un-shocked. ''He liked to drink'' Clarence had said. ''Yeah but he wasn't a drunkard, he was here most of the time taking care of business.'' ''No he wasn't, I was, and he was always off with that Samantha from Bridgnorth.'' Clarence had replied. ''I don't know her'' Charlie had replied. ''Yeah well he knew her, he'd tell you more if he was here but he aint.'' ''Well,'' said Charlie, ''We all had a squeeze or two when we're single, not like we're all virgins is it,'' Clarence didn't reply, he'd turned red and waddled off to mess with a pile of clothes donated from a war charity that had a surplus in it's aftermath, it had lay there years, it needed binning, but still he poked his grubby little hands through it. Charlie arrived and opened the shop door, the place was a mess, several bags of clothing lay on the floor of the reception area untouched, donated but untouched. ''Hello,'' he shouted no reply. ''Where are you Clarence?'' whispered Charlie to himself, stories of Derek's still fresh in his mind. He walked around the counter and through the shop to the stock area, A dozen shelves as high as you could see, full of trinkets, ornaments and bric-a-brac. ''Clarence, are you there son?'' No answer came. ''Clarence! Where are you, you lazy good for nothing piece of shit,'' he knew which buttons he was pushing. Nothing happened, 'Where are you Clarence,' he thought, 'You should be at work you lazy bastard,' ''Well I'm not,'' came the reply, out of the blue, out of the background that was the corridor where Charlie had just been, ''I've been keeping this place alive, alive I tell you! You come around here and tell me I'm a lazy bastard, well I'm not, you cheeky fucking piece of shit!'' ''Calm down'' said Charlie, ''Calm the hell down, I'm not here to have a go,'' ''but you are here to sack me aren't you, you bastard?'' said Clarence. ''No I'm not, but I'm here to, well actually, I am here to tell you that this place is going to close down. Maybe they'll keep you on?'' ''Who'll do that, Derek kept me on because he felt I was a layabout cunt who had nothing about him, just another prick trying to skive his way through life. He felt sorry for me, not like you'' ''I don't owe you a living and neither did my brother do get screwed you lazy git.'' Said Charlie. ''Fuck you,'' shouted Clarence who raised his fists at Charlie. ''No, fuck you'' said Charlie, swearing made him feel ill, he never swore, ''FUCK YOU,'' Charlie raised his fists, ''I know you are a lazy layabout piece of shit who stole from my brother for years, but I'm ready to let that go, I'll let that go as long as you fuck off now and don't ever , EVER come back.'' Charlie was never comfortable with bad language. ''I've worked hard for that b b bloke'' said Clarence. ''No you haven't you thief, you stole from him all of the time, all of the day and all of the night, you thief, thief, thief!'' said Charlie. ''I have,'' said Clarence who tried to run from the shop, he fell and collapsed like a heap on the floor. ''Oooooooouch,'' he shouted. ''What are you doing?'' said Charlie. ''My leg, it's gone again,'' ''Again?'' said Charlie. ''Yes again, I've broken it again,'' ''Well at least time it wasn't embarrassing. You fell over a pile of washing!'' ''Why don't you go and fuck yourself up the arse!'' said Clarence. ''I will after I've called you an ambulance mate, and by the way, you're fired, the cheque is in the post.'' Clarence rolled over, held his leg and said, ''No more gravy train for me then, shame, you'll miss me.'' Charlie ignored him, 'rot on the streets with your two bob redundancy. I'll miss you like I'd miss a bleeding wart on my arsehole.' thought Charlie.
Archived comments for The Album - Chapter 5 (Piece 1 of 5)

No comments archives found!
The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 6 of 6) (posted on: 12-10-12)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The final part of six that make up chapter four.

Will readings were odd things. Charlie and Nancy got up early, got showered and dressed in their most smart of clothes, Charlie a suit that he'd recently worn to his wedding and Nancy in a dress and blouse that made her look like a secretary to the Prime Minister. It was an event, even though neither of them wanted to attend they felt some kind of crazy expectation that whatever they were going to hear (or get) would be demeaned by what they wore. If a tramp was left one million pounds would he be illegible to claim it if he was still dressed as a tramp? Of course not, the law was the law, but still they both felt that turning up unkempt was wrong. The solicitors building was Victorian, but immaculate outside and in. They'd rung the Victorian bell and been greeted by what could only be described as a Victorian woman. She bowed and curtsied and bent over and smiled and called them Sir and Madam, she was a sycophant, a jobs worth, an ass-licker all rolled into one. She was annoying. ''This way, sir, madam.'' She said gesturing with her hands the direction to walk in a corridor with an entrance and no clearly obvious exits or side doors. They entered and she locked the door behind them, ''Follow me'' she said. They followed and she reached a door at the end of the corridor and tapped on it, ''Sir'' she said opening the door and peering around it, ''Your two o'clock clients are here.'' ''Let them in, thank you!'' came the reply. ''You may enter!'' she said, 'Whoopee doo!' thought Charlie. She showed them in and asked if they wanted tea or coffee and they opted for tea, the sycophant left to get the drinks. ''Please take a seat'', said the lawyer who sat behind his large oak desk in his large parker knoll-esque seat. They sat down. ''My name is Bartholomew, I'm Derek Pugh's solicitor, did he ever speak of me to you at all?'' he said. ''No,'' replied Charlie, ''He felt personal matters like finances private and felt they were a little vulgar to talk about in polite conversation.'' ''Aaaah yes I understand,'' he said, ''He did once tell me, in very certain terms that he expected privacy from me.'' 'I bet he threatened to kick your ass' thought Charlie. ''Now his last will and testament is very simple, he may have discussed it with you'' ''No he never did,'' said Charlie bluntly. ''We never expected him to die.'' Said Nancy, ''He seemed such a healthy person.'' ''OK, well he has left a large sum of money behind which he is sharing with his mother and Charlie Pugh, that obviously is you.'' ''OK.'' Said Charlie. ''Splitting his cash fifty-fifty with your mum you both are getting a lump sum, after tax, of one hundred thousand pounds.'' ''Holy'' said Nancy. Charlie didn't respond. ''Of course he left behind a business as well and he's left that in it's entirety to Charlie Pugh, that again is obviously you. ''I want it sold, get rid of it,'' said Charlie. ''Shouldn't we talk about it first,'' said Nancy, ''We could give up our jobs and make a go of it, I mean it must be a winner look at the money he made and left behind.'' Charlie took Nancy by the hand, ''He barely paid the bills with the business,'' ''So how come he left so much'' she said. ''He was a bloody good gambler, horses, dogs, football, two raindrops running down a window. He always had an eye for the winner, which kept him going. The business was a struggler without his gambling cash.'' Bartholomew interrupted, ''According to his books the business did make money, he'd stumbled across a few items over the years that had sold for considerable amounts, mostly paintings they were but his cash fortune wasn't even half made up of gambling winnings, it appears he dropped lucky a few times and made a lot of money very fast, and simply sat on it.'' ''Well he was a very normal down to Earth guy,'' said Nancy, ''You'd have never known he was rich, he still went to work every day even in the rain and wind and snow,'' ''He probably just enjoyed work'' said Bartholomew with a big smile, ''I enjoy work, in-fact it's true what Winston Churchill says.'' ''What does he say?'' said Charlie intrigued. ''Well, I'm paraphrasing him here, but he once said something along the lines of 'Find a job you love and you'll never work again' and it's true. Suddenly the door opened and in came Miss Sycophant, she placed down the tray of tea and biscuits on the desk and slowly backed out of the door as if she were serving royalty. Bartholomew ignored her, almost dismissing her with a lazy hand gesture, he clearly treated her badly. 'God only knows what he has her doing,' thought Nancy. ''I want to sell the business,'' said Charlie, ''Can you help me do that?'' Bartholomew raised an eyebrow, ''Are you sure?'' ''Yes I want to sell it and use the money to start my own business, you see I've always had a dream of designing and making and selling clothes, I want to start a textile business, that's my dream.'' ''And your dear wife, does she have a say?'' ''Of course I do, I support Charlie in his dreams, I've never wanted to run a business but I'll stand by my man as Tammy Wynette says!'' Charlie reached over and took her hand in his, ''Thanks my dear!'' ''Well OK,'' said Bartholomew, ''I'll see what I can do. I have a few friends who might be able to point you in the right direction, but selling a small business like that shouldn't be hard, people are queuing up to get business property in the city at the moment and you might find someone will buy it just to get the building lease.'' ''Great,'' said Charlie, he picked up his tea and took a sip, ''Mmmm'' ''Yes, it's the best tea in England, I get it shipped in from India, I have business partners out there.'' ''Great,'' Charlie said again picking up a biscuit, ''Are they interested in selling clothes to the Injuns for me aye?'' ''Bartholomew smiled, ''Let's not get ahead of ourselves shall we!''
Archived comments for The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 6 of 6)

No comments archives found!
The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 5 of 6) (posted on: 01-10-12)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The fifth part of six that make up chapter four.

''Where where am I?'' asked Charlie. He awoke with a start and his eyes took a moment to adjust to the light of the ward, he looked to his left and Derek was still lying unconscious, then it hit him, he knew exactly where he was. He took his feet off the chair, his legs felt stiff from the awkward way he'd lay. He sat upright and stretched and sighed before rolling up the blanket and stuffing onto his footstool-come-chair. ''Are you still asleep bruv'' he said. He looked at Derek's face, something was wrong, he was pale, no he was more than pale he was white, ''Deck'' He reached out and touched his arm, he was ice cold, ''Deck, wake up? Deck?'' he placed his hand near Derek's mouth, he wasn't breathing. ''NURSE, NURSE, DOCTOR, ANYBODY.'' He screamed as he rushed through the curtain, he looked up and down the ward. Suddenly the matron came rushing in ''What's the matter, what's all this noise,'' ''He's not breathing help him, please!'' begged Derek. The matron rushed through the curtain. She took one look at Derek and held one hand up to her face, ''Oh my God.'' She took his hand, felt his wrist, she opened his eyelid and looked into his eyes. ''Oh my God. I'm sorry but'' she didn't finish. She didn't need too; Charlie fell to his knees and cried. Derek was dead. * Gloria had been like a diamond. She'd arranged the funeral for Charlie, he was in no fit state, and he'd slept little and cried often in the week since his older brother had passed on. For Charlie the world had not just changed for ever but it had caved in on top of him, if he hadn't got Nancy he feared what he might have done. He'd sat and wanted to get completely drunk every single day but he'd not because he didn't want to upset Nancy, Nancy had sat with him and encouraged him to talk about it and even though he was reluctant at first, he did, and he'd felt better afterwards, he owed her his life now and only a week after pledging his life to her in church they were returning to St Paul's to bury his best man, his best mate, his bro. He felt sick. No one spoke on the short journey to the church, following the hearse carrying the coffin the contained his brothers Earthly remains. They all sat with there thoughts, Gloria and Nancy sat, hand in hand, watching Charlie carefully fearful he may breakdown. Charlie sat with his arm around his mum who had shell shocked ever since the news had reached her. She admitted to them before they set off that she hadn't cried and that she couldn't believe he was gone. She'd refused to go and see him in the chapel of rest the day before, she said she wanted to remember him as she did in her head as a happy go lucky, cheeky, joker, not as a dead body in a box. She was a wiser person than some. Clarence had asked if he could see his employer one last time, to pay his respects, Gloria had accompanied him into the chapel of rest. Clarence stood there and cried, ''I'm sorry if I ever pissed you off governor, I never meant it, I'm sorry I stole a few shillings here and there when I thought I could get away with it. I rarely did get away with it, you were too shrewd for me, I'm an imbecile and even then you were always fair and you never sacked me, and for that I'm grateful. You kept me off the streets and kept me fed, you always paid me on time and let me have time off when I needed it or I didn't turn up because I was drunk, you were a good boss and a friend to me in many ways.'' He then collapsed in a heap and wept. Gloria had had to ask the funeral parlour staff to help drag him out and she'd cynically suggested that he was upset because he was worried about his job being lost more than his boss lying dead. No one knew what was going to happen to his clearance business now, the will reading was set for a weeks time, they'd find out then. The service was simple, he wasn't a particularly religious man but it seemed so symbolic to return to the place they'd all been on the last day they'd all been together laughing, smiling and joking around, so they had is funeral at St Paul's. Father Smith had been very sympathetic to their plight and had organised the service quickly and guaranteed them a decent plot for his burial at a local cemetery (St Paul's grounds were as good as full, 'historically a lot of people have died in Wolverhampton,' quipped Father Paul, 'Everyone over the age of one hundred to have lived here have died you know' a comedy career didn't beckon.) After the service everyone went back to the Varsity (naturally) for the wake, Molly had put on a buffet of sandwiches and cake, cake that looked nice but tasted terrible, she'd got a good funeral deal at 'For Goodness Cake' and it turns out Doris is an old friend of hers, they went to school together and clearly bunked off every cooking lesson. In retrospect it kind of made sense they knew each other, they could've been sisters. Charlie struggled through the day, he wanted a sandwich and a drink at the wake and then he wanted to go home, but he had to stand aroud and talk to people, shake hands, hug people, accept insincere goodwill messages and generally hang around in public as the spectacle, the main event and the guy under the microscope. He didn't care if people saw him crying, but he hated the false cooing and aahing and the shoulder gripping 'I'm sorry's', 'they can all go and fuck themselves' Charlie thought, 'It's my families loss and we'll deal with it, your 'make yourself fell like you've done your bit' outsider bollocks can go to landfill, I don't care.' thought Charlie. One guy had made him smile, he didn't know who he was and he was eighteen if a day, he'd sat at the back of the service and cried like a baby, at the wake he had one single drink, he shook Charlie by the hand and said, ''Your brother was a good man,'' ''How did you know him?'' Charlie had asked, but he side swiped the question and left, ''What's your name son,'' Charlie had asked him before he left the wake. ''Derek,'' said the young stranger who now had a name. ''That's a good name,'' said Charlie. ''It is, I was named after my father, he was Derek too,'' then he upped and left. When they got home that night Charlie and Nancy didn't speak, they locked the door, grabbed a drink of water for the bedside table, and climbed the wooden hill together hand in hand. They undressed; Nancy tidied their clothes away tidily onto the ottoman at the foot of the bed and got into bed. Charlie put his arm around her and snuggled in tight; he kissed her on the cheek and fell to sleep. Nancy stayed awake a while and watched him rest. He was worn out. She turned off the alarm clock and snuggled into him too and eventually fell fast asleep.
Archived comments for The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 5 of 6)
Andrea on 01-10-2012
The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 5 of 6)
Going to come back to this when less tired Jay! I'm soooo happy to see you posting again 🙂

Author's Reply:


The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 4 of 6) (posted on: 24-09-12)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The fourth part of six that make up chapter four.

Charlie and Nancy woke up to a thud, thud, thud on the door. Charlie looked over at Nancy who was asleep but stirring, he felt like he had been asleep only minutes, his head pounded with the hangover, his mouth felt dirty and tasted like beer too. He felt awful. ''Who on Earth could that be.'' He picked up his watch that sat on the table next to his bed and looked at it, it read six forty am, 'This had better be important,' he thought as he got out of bed. Thud, thud, thud! ''OK, I'm coming, keep your hair on!'' Charlie shouted putting his dressing gown on. ''Charlie, quick open up,'' it was Gloria. Now he started to pani, he rushed to the door and opened it, ''What's up!'' ''It's Derek, he's he's been rushed into hospital.'' ''Oh my God what the hell is wrong with him, did they say?'' ''No, I stayed over at his, I was down stairs asleep on the sofa and I just heard him start to scream. I ran upstairs to his room and he was as white as a sheet, I don't know what happened, but he was curled up like a ball in the middle of the bed holding on to his abdomen and his side, he was really hurting. I just called an ambulance and they took him and I came round here, I didn't know what else to do.'' Gloria panted as she spoke so quickly and tears ran down her face as she began to cry. ''We need to get up the hospital immediately and see what the hell is going on.'' Just then Nancy appeared rubbing her hair and yawning, ''Gloria what are you doing here? Is everything OK.'' She looked at Charlie and could see the fear in his eyes, ''What is it darling?'' she walked over and put her arms around him. ''It's Derek, he's been taken ill, we have to get up the hospital straight away.'' ''Yes of course! I'll go and get our things, come in and shut the door behind you for a moment Gloria.'' She closed the door, wiped the tears from her face and said, ''He was really in pain and I couldn't do anything to stop it, I hope he's OK, he looked bad.'' ''He's strong,'' said Charlie, ''He'll pull through, he's my big brother,'' ''Do you think we should call your mum?'' said Charlie. ''No not until we have something we can tell her, no point waking her this early and worrying herm, it won't do her any good. The last thing we need is for her to end up in hospital too!'' ''OK, let's get ready and be gone.'' said Nancy. * The Royal hospital had been built in eighteen forty nine and was one of the leading teaching hospitals in the UK; it had become part of the new National Health Service that had recently been set up by the Labour party in the wake of the Second World War. It was a beautiful building, clean, airy and welcoming. It was the kind of place that you'd want to be if you were taken ill in Wolverhampton and everything that the National Health Service had been set up to represent. Derek, Nancy and Gloria rushed through the doors and up to reception, ''Please, can you help us, my brother has been taken ill and was brought in here early this morning, by ambulance, please tell me he's here, is he OK?'' Charlie rambled. ''Please sir, calm yourself down, if he is ill and he's here I can assure you that he is the best place possible.'' ''His name is Derek Pugh,'' said Nancy. ''Just one moment,'' she picked up a pile of papers from the tray in front of her and started to go through it piece by piece. She was clearly a very jobs-worthy woman, taking her time, she wore her spectacles on the edge of her nose. When she had spoken to them she looked up and over them, not through them, something that Charlie felt more than a little annoying, but given the circumstances he let it pass without a second thought. 'Come on, come on, come on, hurry up' he thought imagining himself screaming at her, ''Hurry up you imbecile I need to see my brother!'' ''Aaaah yes, it looks like he has been admitted. I just need to make a phone call down to Patient Admissions, one moment please.'' The three of them forced a smile, through their worried expressions, at her. She spun one hundred and eight degrees in her chair, picked up the phone on the desk behind her and after pressing a few numbers she waited, and waited, it seemed like an eternity. ''Hello its Celia on the front desk, yes I have the family of a Mr Derek Pugh here with me, he was admitted earlier this morning and I was wondering what the latest news is yes yes oh dear yes OK can I send them down to you? OK that's great, what ward will he be on. Yes OK, thanks.'' She put the phone down and turned back around in her chair, she looked at them for a second as if she was gathering her thoughts and the words needed to tell them the news. ''How is he?'' asked Charlie. ''Well, he's not a very well man at all. He's been rushed down into theatre!'' Nancy put her hand up to her mouth, ''Oh my gosh!'' ''Yes that's not the best, he's had an operation. His appendix has burst.'' ''Oh dear, no wonder he was in so much pain.'' said Gloria. ''Yes it would appear he's had a serious infection for many weeks and it has just gotten worse. He's out of surgery now and they are taking him to ward B1 which is just along this corridor here on the left. It is signposted, when you get there you will see another reception desk, just speak to the woman there. She's expecting you and she can tell you more.'' ''Thank you for your help,'' said Nancy. Celia picked up her glasses and let her serious face dissolve, she perched them back on the end of her nose and continued to shuffle her papers. They headed off down the corridor. They arrived at the reception of ward B1, a plump, dark haired lady sat smiling at them, she was dressed all in blue, she was clearly a matron or a nurse. She stood up and approached them, ''Hello guys, I understand you are here to see Derek?'' ''Yes what has happened, is he going to be OK?'' said Charlie. ''Well we're not too sure, it's going to be a slow process for us to see how ill he actually is. I don't know if Celia explained to you what had happened?'' ''Well all she said was his appendix had burst.'' said Charlie. ''Yes, it's a little more serious than that but it has burst. He appears to have had peritonitis which has weakened the lining inside his abdomen, this has spread to his appendix which has become infected, it has swollen and then burst, a lot of poison has gotten into his body and his bloodstream, he's very sick indeed.'' ''Can we see him?'' said Nancy. ''Yes of course you can, at the moment they are making sure he is comfortable and they are fitting him with a drip and administering some pain relief. They've had to dress his stomach so it'll look like his abdomen is distended but there isn't a lot of swelling at all. He'll be asleep too; we've had to put him under just because of the operation and the pain he was in.'' ''is it life threatening?'' Gloria had asked the question that was on everyones lips but they just didn't want to know the answer. ''Like I said he is very poorly, we cannot say for sure what the outcome of this illness will be, we can only monitor him at this time. He's very sick though, yes.'' Nancy and Gloria started to cry, ''Oh my God, how can this have happened. Only last night we were all singing and drinking and having a good time, and now look at this.'' ''I know.'' said Charlie, ''He'll be OK though, Derek is a tough guy.'' A nurse came walking towards them, ''Matron,'' The matron turned to face her, ''Yes.'' ''We're ready for the family to come through,'' ''OK right err..'' ''Oh, I'm Charlie and this is my wife of twelve hours Nancy and her matron of honour Gloria.'' The matron shook there hands, ''Oh, newly weds, congratulations.'' ''Thanks,'' said Nancy. ''OK guys this way,'' the matron lead them down a corridor into a room, inside were four areas marked out by closed curtains, ''Behind each one of these we have a bed and a patient, they are all pretty sick, most of them are post op and are comatose, but we ask for you to be as quiet as you can be.'' ''Of course,'' said Nancy. She pulled back the curtain to the first bed and revealed Derek, and he looked awful. He was lying beneath a blanket that had been folded carefully below his chest and his arms rested over the top of it. He looked very pale, his eyes were closed, his hair was a mess, Derek was a very tidy and proud man and he always made sure that his hair looked tidy at all times, seeing him like this just made the impact of his predicament more powerful. ''I'll leave you for a while, please feel free to take a seat,'' she pointed to the chairs next to the bed. No one spoke. They just quietly walked in and sat down. Charlie sat closest to him and he put his hand on Derek's hand. ''I'm here mate,'' he said. Nancy and Gloria held each others hands and kinda leaned towards each other in a casual cuddle kinda way. ''Can you hear me bro, I hope so you can't leave me you know why? CUs we got plant to be a-makin'! We're gonna be partners we are, I've decided today that I'm going to go for it, go to the bank and get the cash, to start my textile business. Why not? I love clothes, I wanna make money from them, I'm going to make it and then we're going to go and enjoy a nice holiday in the Caribbean. That's why you can't go anywhere else, cus we've got plans no we've made plans, we are going to enjoy a holiday together, both rich and successful, we are'' he placed his head down on the side of the bed and cried. Gloria and Nancy cried too. He stayed, Charlie held his brothers hand for an hour, he'd sent Nancy and Gloria home, they were no use here. They were great at so many things, but right here, right now they had nothing to offer that he couldn't. He wanted to be alone with Derek, just so he could talk to him, encourage him back to life. ''Hey Derek, can you hear me,'' he said, ''Can you? I hope you can, I'm betting you can, you never missed a trick did you mate? Remember back in the day when I was a wee nipper and I tried to con you, con you with a trick I'd learned at school, reading the card on the bottom of the deck and cutting the cards (not shuffling them) just cutting them so I could guess your card. You watched me read the bottom of the deck, picked the bottom card and stuck it back midway in the pack I looked foolish in front of the family but you had a good laugh, you smart arse!'' Derek fell silent, he looked at his brother unconscious face. It made him sad, angry and scared. 'What am I going to do without my brother,' thought Charlie, 'He's my icon, my guide and my best mate, without him I'll have no one. Selfish I have Nancy' ''Derek, wake up it's your round'' Charlie paused and waited, nothing happened. ''Wake up'' nothing. Derek started to cry again. ''Wake up, wake up, wake up, Derek, I need you, for god's sake wake up!'' Derek's didn't move, or flicker or even batter an eyelid fleetingly. Charlie put his hand on Derek's forehead, 'He feels cold' he though, he checked his pulse, watching the clock on the wall he counted for a minute fifty beats in sixty seconds. ''Come on Decker! Wake up, wake up!'' he said over and over. He didn't wake up, he continued to lie silently, barely breathing, barley alive. ''He's going to die,'' said Charlie. ''Don't say that'' said Nancy, ''You don't know, you can't be sure whether or not he's going to die, let's be positive.'' Gloria got up, ''I'm going to see if I can find a coffee, this is too much.'' She left the room. ''He's not right, it's not like Decker to be like this, he's not a sick person, he aint the sick person we got here.'' said Charlie. ''He's just had an operation,'' said Nancy, ''He aint going to be well, they've knocked him out don't worry'' she put her arm around Charlie and rested her head on his shoulder, ''I'm here for you Charlie.'' He put his arm around her too, ''I know.'' They sat together quietly, arms around each other, for an hour, nothing changed. ''I feel knackered,'' said Derek, ''I Know I need to stay awake for Decker but I'm going to pass out,'' ''Here,'' Nancy stood up; she moved her chair around, ''Put your feet up,'' ''But I can't do that; the nurses will go mad at me,'' ''Forget them,'' she grabbed his legs and raised them over the arm of the chair and dropped them onto her chair, ''Comfy?'' she said. ''Yes,'' he said. ''Right, go to sleep, I'll go and find Gloria.'' Nancy grabbed a blanket that lay idle on a stool at the foot of a nearby bed and covered Charlie, ''I'll pull the curtain around so you'll be all snug and private,'' ''Thanks,'' said Charlie. Nancy left the ward. Charlie fell fast asleep.
Archived comments for The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 4 of 6)
Weefatfella on 24-09-2012
The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 4 of 6)
Why Un-Edited? Anyway. I see possibilities. I'll look in with interest. Thanks for sharing.

Author's Reply:
Because I'm too lazy and struggle to find the time to edit with work and life! Sorry it's so bad, but it is getting me posting again. 🙂 Thanks for checking it out.

Jay.

Texasgreg on 25-09-2012
The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 4 of 6)
Aye! You're doing well, my friend. Though I agree with Duke on clean-up, I knew coming in. It's still a good story with sympathetic characters. Enjoying much...
Photobucket.



Greg 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading as always Greg.

Andrea on 26-09-2012
The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 4 of 6)
Yes, it's nice to see you posting again and looking forward to more!

Author's Reply:
Can't wait to get this finished and start some brand spanking new pieces. This is almost a year ld now and I wanna put it to bed.

Jay


The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 3 of 6) (posted on: 14-09-12)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The third part of six that make up chapter four.

Nancy sat on the edge of her bed watching her alarm clock ticking ever so slowly by. As the second finger dragged itself lap after lap around the clock face it seemed to go slower and slower, she wanted to get up. She wanted it to be six am so she could jump up and wake up Gloria, who was asleep next to her, sleeping like the beauty that she was. Snoring loudly, unlike the sleeping beauty that she was but the sound of her snoring was easily ignored as she wished so hard for it to be morning. Five fifty eight, tick, tock, tick tock, tick tock, ''Come on'' she whispered I wanna wake her up and get this show on the road,'' ''Zzzzzzzzzzz'' the sound of Gloria almost took the plaster off the walls and made the windows shake. Sitting alone on the edge of the bed when what seems like the rest of the world is sleeping or dead is an eerie feeling, ever done it? You know that half way around the world people are lining up ten deep in sandwich halls and canteens to get something for lunch, people are running around at work just hoping and preying they make it another day in their futile, meaningless jobs to get paid and not sacked, but right here, right now it's just silent, just settled, you are all alone. You are one in a billion, unique and getting married. Five fifty nine, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, she wondered to herself, 'AM I doing the right thing, this is forever us versus the world, is he enough, will we have kids, I never dreamed of this, I wanted to be idependent, but I can't I need a man, I want a man and I've found a man and I want to be with him, I love him, but can I do this forever?' her inner fear took control for a moment. Six'o'clock, ''BLEEP, BLEEP, BLEEP, BLEEP, BLEEP, BLEEP, BLEEP, BLEEP,'' she slapped the top of the clock to try to make it go out, it took a few goes but it stopped. She turned to Gloria to shake her but her eyes were already beginning to flicker with life. ''It's not that time already is it?'' said Gloria. ''YES!'' screeched Nancy. ''I'd be more excited if it was me only joking!'' said Gloria. ''Get your arse out of bed and into gear,'' said Gloria, ''I wanna get married.'' ''Are you sure?'' said Gloria, stretching and yawning. ''I'm more than sure, I'm certain.'' Gloria, unsure what she meant and not wanting to point out the obviousness that Sure and Certain was the same thing got up. ''Morning World, thanks for waking me up!'' she said. Nancy started to cry. ''Are you OK,'' said Gloria walking around the bed and putting her hands around Nancy, ''What's the matter?'' --*-- ''They're here,'' came the shout from the back of the church. ''Oh good'' said Charlie ''Thanks for that.'' Derek smiled, ''You aint in charge groom boy, you aint in charge any more,'' his under the thumb jokes never wore thin with him, he'd tell them all day and moreso now he had the best target in the world, his brother, ''You're never going to know what's what again!'' ''Leave it alone'' said Charlie. ''Why? You're paying for this shit and yet you don't even know where the bride is, she's your girl man. She rocks up and you're just standing here going 'duh my thumb is up my ass'' ''OK Deck, you're my brother but leave it the fuck alone! Stop messing about, it's my day, not yours so SHUT UP'' Derek said nothing; he just put his hand on Charlie's shoulder and gave it a squeeze. ''You can wind me up any day mate, not today, it's too important.'' The organ piped up and the congregation stood up and Charlie looked back over his shoulder. Derek squeezed him a little harder, ''If you can hold back the tears mate, hold them back, but if not it's time to cry.'' Charlie held them in, blown away by Nancy's beauty, he stood in awe through it all and felt alive when he said, ''I do.'' --*-- The cheer as Charlie and Nancy walked into the Varsity was deafening, like a tornado in a whistle factory. Everyone clapped and whistled and cheered, even Derek in his best togs stood on a stood and pointed and waved and cheered and held up Charlie's hand shouting, ''He's only gone and bloody done it the fool!'' ''The first round is on me!'' shouted Molly regretfully as everyone rushed the bar with the speed of Jessie Owens. Pete, a fixture of the Varsity came over, fresh, cold beer already in hand, 'He was king of inside information in the bar room theatre. Had he been a soldier he'd have a George Cross instead his efforts afforded him nothing but a red nose, red face and blood red, engorged liver. Despite his failing for alcohol he was a stand up guy well when he could stand up anyway.' thought Charlie who really needed a beer, seeing Pete just made him more and more thirsty, anyone who knew the guy couldn't help but think of a nice cold pint when he was around as there was usually one in either or both of his hands, as there was on this occasion. ''I dunno if you've heard the news?'' ''What news?'' ''What happened here a few nights ago? You aint heard?'' Charlie looked confused, he turned to Nancy and she was away with the fairies, or in this case, at the bar with the fairies (at least that's what they called them back then), ''I aint heard a damn thing Pete.'' He said ''A guy was stabbed.'' ''Holy shit, you're kidding, you are?'' ''No man, he was stabbed and he died.'' ''Holy moly!'' said Charlie, ''That's awful, who was it?'' ''His name was Ian, I dunno if you know him?'' ''Ian'' Charlie stopped to think, ''I can't think hang on a sec mate.'' Charlie walked over to Nancy and whispered in her ear, they walked away from the baying mob of kings and queens still trying to get there free drink at the bar and stood next to Pete. ''What did you say?'' said Nancy. ''Pete says a chap was killed in here called Ian.'' She sighed her mouth wide open, she raised her left hand to cover it, ''What? Ian? Oh my God you know Ian, Charlie.'' Charlie looked confused, ''I don't'' ''Oh shit you do Charlie, he was the guy we had the fight with outside the Hippo that time, you know the guy who said sorry the other day with some flowers and a card.., oh God!'' ''What?'' Charlie was confused; he pulled Nancy into him and hugged her, ''Are you sure,'' ''Yeah it seems so, Molly saw everything, and they've arrested one of the dominoes team.'' ''Oh my God,'' said Charlie, ''Stabbed, in here, what the fuck for?'' Pete leaned in, ''Cards or dominoes or some such shit mate.'' Charlie and Nancy looked shocked at each other, ''What a waste.'' said Charlie, ''It's so odd that he knocked at our door the other day and then this happens.'' ''Maybe it was meant to be,'' said Nancy then felt awful for suggesting that maybe it was supposed to happen, ''I mean he made is peace and then went, it's so tragic.'' ''Yeah he was planning to move away, he'd just got a new job and wanted a fresh start'' said Pete. ''Jeez it's just getting worse and worse.'' said Nancy. ''We'll have a toast to his memory later,'' said Charlie, ''Can you organise that for us Pete?'' Pete smiled and put his hand on Charlie's shoulder, ''Yeah leave it with me, now let us not let this ruin your night! We're here to celebrate after all remember! Congratulations guys, here let me get you something to wet your whistles!'' ''Thanks Pete!'' they said. Charlie and Nancy went and sat at their usual spot in the corner of the bar, everyone budged around to make them room, Pete came over and handed them both drinks. ''Cheers!'' they shouted raising their glasses, everyone around them shouted ''Cheers'' back and raised their glasses, some clinking, some just spilling half of their drink because of their over excitement. Together they all drank and sang and danced and drank some more, the hours flew by the fun continued until people could barely stand, slowly people started to drift away, leaving them one by one until they were pretty well all alone. Charlie sat next to Nancy and opposite them Gloria and Derek sat leaning against each other, drunk, Derek could barely keep his head up and had been complaining again about the pains in his side. ''They're back, they feel much worse tonight,'' he'd said to Charlie a couple of times, ''Are you OK, he'd replied, ''Yes of course I am, I told you I'm your best man and I refuse to miss any of this day for the world.'' Gloria had gotten drunk and frisky and had tried to kiss Derek earlier in the night, that's something she'll regret, deny or both in the morning Nancy and Charlie had said laughing at her., She always was good for a laugh, she made a fool of herself continuously and never cared. Unlike a lot of people who got upset and angry if you took the mickey out of them, she just sat back and rolled with the punch, ''If you're laughing at me you're giving some other poor sucker some time off,'' she'd jokingly say. She was a good person to have around. Derek looked at Charlie through red, tiny holes, he was so inebriated he could barely see, ''Mate, Charlie mate,'' he'd said. ''Yes bro wassup?'' said Charlie. ''I I think I need to go to go home. I'm feeling really wrecked... I'm sorry to go and leave you on your special day, I'm sorry if I'm ruining things'' ''ha ha ha ha ha, you bloody drunken sod,'' said Charlie, ''You aint ruined the day, you've stayed a lot longer than a lot of people, look around you'' Derek struggled to turn his head around and look up and down the bar, ''Oh yeah where the hell did they all go?'' ''They've gone home, it's getting late mate.'' Said Charlie. ''Just us left'' said Nancy ''Yeah we're stayers aint we girl!'' said Gloria. ''Yeah we bloody are'' Nancy slurred back, holding up her drink. ''I aint got one to raise, it's all gone look,'' Gloria held up her empty glass, ''I dunno if I want another one, I think I should be getting off too.'' ''You can walk me home,'' said Derek, ''But if you try and kiss me you might end up with a mouthful of sick cus I aint feeling too well.'' ''Come on then.'' Said Gloria standing up and helping him to his feet, ''Let's get your carcass up the road and into bed.'' Then she looked at Charlie who was staring at her comment, ''Not literally!'' ''It's OK, you're grown ups aint ya, you can get up to what ever you want, nothing to do with us is it Nancy.'' Nancy winked at Charlie, ''Nothing to do with us,'' ''I'll speak to you tomorrow,'' said Derek to Charlie. ''Aye, take it easy fella!'' he replied. ''And I'll speak to you tomorrow too!'' said Gloria. ''I'll look forward to it.'' Said Nancy. ''Now you guys go home and make sure that you make the most of your first night together as a married couple, if you know what I mean.'' said Gloria. 'I hope I can get it up after all of this beer,' thought Charlie. ''I know what you mean!'' said Nancy. ''Yeah I want to know all the details, ha ha ha ha ha!'' said Gloria. Charlie rolled is eyes at this comment, 'I doubt there will be much to tell I feel like passing out,' he thought. ''Come on Decker'' said Gloria leading him slowly but surely out of the pub into the dark Wolverhampton night. Molly walked over, ''Well that has been a successful evening all round I'd say.'' ''Good glad you enjoyed it,'' said Charlie. ''Yeah I've made a lot of money me thinks, I'll need more nights like this now old Ian has perished.'' Nancy and Charlie looked a little horrified at her comments, ''I'm sorry, I didn't mean that to sound rude, but he was paying a lot of the bills round this place on his own the way he drank.'' ''Oh Molly, you are silly sometimes.'' said Nancy. ''Yeah well I'll see you in a few days time, enjoy your break, it'll be nice to have you back all fresh and raring to go!'' ''See you then,'' said Nancy. They gathered together there things and a few gifts that they had been given and head off home.
Archived comments for The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 3 of 6)
Texasgreg on 16-09-2012
The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 3 of 6)
I know it's a draft with typos and punctuation errors yet, but had to point this 'un out as it cracked me up: preying they make it another day

I've really been enjoying the story, Jay...
Photobucket.
Greg 🙂

Author's Reply:
Hahaha, keep reading. I 'prey' that you keep enjoying the story. 🙂

Jay.


The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 2 of 6) (posted on: 31-08-12)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The second part of six that make up chapter 4.

They arrived at St Paul's and were met by a few waiting guests, mostly people from Charlie's work and regulars from the Varsity who weren't sure what time it all started. Charlie waved at them like king himself as he drove past, a few of them applauded as the car passed by. The car stopped and the driver got out and opened the door for them, ''I could get used to this'' said Charlie's mum as she got out, ''Thank you very much you lovely man.'' The driver again tipped his hat, ''You're welcome my dear.'' Charlie and Derek got out, ''Well bro this is it, any last requests ha ha ha ha ha!'' ''Yeah, something funny would be nice.'' ''I'll meet you here again later to take you to the reception, now am I right in thinking you'll be going to The Varsity in Wolverhampton?'' ''Of course!'' said Charlie, ''Where else would we go Deck?'' ''I dunno, a change is as good as a rest though!'' ''Naaaaa'' said Charlie walking up the steps to the church. Derek put his arm around his mum, ''Come on I'll help ya.'' ''You're a good lad Derek, you both are, I'm oh so proud of you both!'' ''I know, look at him go, who'd have thought that little Charlie Pugh who used to ride his tricycle up and down the street twenty three hours a day in the summer and who'd sing show tunes for pennies would end up getting married?'' ''I know and that was just last week.'' said his mum. ''Ha ha ha ha ha,'' they laughed together as they followed Charlie into the church. Father Smith was waiting for them at the door, he held out his hand to Charlie and they shook hands, Charlie noted that he had a very limp handshake, one of those handshakes that felt paralysed, like his arm would flap in a stiff breeze. Softly he spoke, ''It's so nice to see you here for your wedding, it is a privalige to unionise two people as one.'' Charlie thought, 'We're paying you and we aint Catholic, what's to care about?' ''Thanks'' he said awkwardly. He looked up at Derek who was smiling back at him, revelling in his awkwardness, refusing to help. ''This is my mum,'' said Charlie. She stepped forward and shook his hand too. ''I'm happy to meet you.'' said Father Smith. ''Me too, you know father I never thought I'd be here, I thought I was stuck with this one for ever'' ''Mum'' Charlie tried to interrupt, but to no avail. ''I mean he loves to slob around all night in his room, just reading books and magazine and listening to the radio, he lets me darn his socks, wash his clothes cook his dinner, I'll miss him but damn it was getting harder and harder, at my age (she had to get that in) to look after a grown man.'' ''He's a one off,'' said Father Smith, ''We get most people married off at this church nice and early, it's what God wants, procreating couples, not lay abouts sucking on mamma's teat.'' Charlie cast him a look of disgust, ''Let's move things along aye,'' he whispered. Derek stood behind him trying hard to hold back the laughter. ''AND this is my brother, Derek, he buys the contents of dead people's houses and then sells it, such a good man.'' Derek stepped forward and shook Father Smith by the hand, ''It's nice to meet you father, I buy and sell, I'm a general trader.'' ''It's nice to meet a self sufficient man, you'll work hard and you'll go to heaven, that'll be sure.'' ''I'd like that father, from what I hear it's pretty good up there.'' Said Derek, winking at Charlie. ''Oh it is son; it is, live without sin and you'll be there,'' ''and with sin?'' asked Derek. His mum gave him a shove in the ribs, ''Leave it alone'' she whispered, ''You'll upset the father!'' ''With it you'll burn for ever in the fiery pits of hell, and you'll regret the sin then son.'' said the Father nonchalantly. ''He's blunt ma! Jeez he's blunt.'' said Derek. ''Don't say Jeez. We're in proper church now,'' said his protestant mother, casting more sin upon them like grains from a pepper pot. ''Come on let's take our places, your seat is at the front Ma,'' said Derek. They seated Ma at the front of the church and took their places as groom and best man. Derek and Charlie stood at the front and Derek looked at his watch, ''Ten minutes to go and she's late'' ''It's her prerogative Decker.'' ''You don't swear do you?'' said Derek. ''Nope.'' said Charlie. ''Damn shame, today of all days' that's a damn shame.'' ''Why?'' said Charlie, ''Today aint about swearing it's about me and my missus and our happiness.'' ''She aint here yet mate, no matter what she decides today, you're gonna look like the fool.'' ''What do you mean?'' said Charlie. ''Well marry her and you're under the thumb fool. She doesn't turn up and you've been stood up fool.'' ''Fuck off'' said Charlie. ''You do swear'' said Derek. ''Not very often,'' said Charlie, ''but that's the first time for a long, long time,'' Derek laughed, ''Ha ha ha ha ha.''
Archived comments for The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 2 of 6)
Texasgreg on 02-09-2012
The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 2 of 6)
Aye! Swear in church and ya gotta atone by buying the priest a drink, hehe.

Keep it comin' and I'll keep thumbin' through.
Photobucket.
Greg 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks mate!


The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 1 of 6) (posted on: 20-08-12)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The first part of six that make up chapter 4.

Charlie put his arm around Nancy, ''I love you'' he whispered. ''Oh stop being a silly old fool'' she said. Charlie closed the photo album for a moment, ''I don't say it much these days, but I still feel it Nance! I love you more than I ever have!'' She looked at his empty tea mug, ''Are you trying to get me to make you another cuppa!'' ''No!'' he said rather defensively, ''I'm capable of making the tea, you are so cynical these days.'' She rolled her eyes and leaned into his shoulder as he pulled her close and hugged her. ''But if you're making one'' ''I knew it!'' she said pulling away from him. ''I'm joking, I'm joking,'' he pleaded, ''Come here and let me hug you.'' ''OK, but no more tea, we'll never sleep tonight.'' She leaned over and hugged him. They clung on to each other tightly. ''This is nice aint it?'' he said. ''Of course it is, you aint changed you know'' ''What do you mean?'' he asked. ''You're still the same now as you were back then, I think I married an old man in a young skin!'' she smiled. ''Ha ha ha ha ha, I think you're right. I've never been young at heart, I never saw the point.'' ''What do you mean?'' she said. ''Why delude yourself you're gonna be the next great human being when you'll only be disappointed, life's easier just gotten on with, without aspirations. Aspirations and dreams lead to disappointment.'' ''What about hope?'' she said. ''Hope is the future, we want it to be better so we hope it is, when it gets here we still hope the future is better, come what may. People are never happy.'' ''We're happy though?'' ''Yes we are, as happy now as we were back then, you know'' he picked up the album and flicked backward and forward through it, ''as happy as we were then.'' They looked down at a picture of their wedding, ''I've been as happy ever since,'' said Nancy. * * * It was finally here, the big day, the day that Deekin became Pugh and the day that Charlie grew up and moved out of his mums' house and became the man of his own family household. The thought of this terrified him today of all days. He'd thought about it a thousand times in the last few weeks and it didn't faze him, he was looking forward to it but now he was terrified. Was he up to it, would they be happy, would he mess his speech up, was Derek going to embarrass him too much? All questions that he couldn't answer. He threw his bed quilt off him and sat on the edge of his bed and looked up at the suit that hung neatly from his wardrobe door, he looked around his room, a room that he had had for the last two decades or so and this was the final day he would wake up there (at least as a single man, he expected to get drunk at family get togethers and pass out in there at some stage in the future, who didn't do that right?) Charlie was a worrier, and he always worried about the wrong things at the wrong time. He'd often wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat trying to understand why the war had happened and why so many people had had to die even though he had no control over that, he worried about politics and what the future may hold for him and his job, but he didn't vote and so worrying was largely irrelevant. His mum had a saying (in fact she had many), she used to say ''Charlie you should worry about the things that you can change not the things that you can't!) very good advise he felt and he tried to live his life that way. But every now and again he'd find himself at work worrying about whether he had locked the front door when he'd left to go to work even though he had checked it was locked four times. He was worrying right now, as he stripped down to his pyjamas to get into the shower he worried about his entire married life why? He didn't know. ''What if Nancy stops loving me or has an affair or we fall out of love or we stop making each other happy or she starts to loathe me or I have to work long hours or she has to work away and what if we have kids and they grow up to despise me just for trying to be a good father' he thought. He felt his heart racing. He switched the shower on and watched it, watched it throw out its stream of hot water with force, he watched as the dry bath slowly filled with a shallow layer of water that ran quickly towards the plug hole. He watched the steam rise and begin to finely condense all over the tiles, 'I've never really seen any of this before,' he thought, 'in all of the years I've been in and out of this bathroom I've never really took notice of any of this, the simple stuff, and now it's all over, the end of a chapter. 'It's like a really terrible, cheesy pulp fiction novel,' he thought before getting into the shower, 'but then who'd write about my 'Mr Average Life'?' he pondered. This thought made him smile, 'Maybe, just maybe one day someone will write down the story of my life for others to sit down and read,' then he realised that biographies about foundry workers probably didn't top the best seller charts. He smiled at this thought as he washed. He thought about Nancy getting ready with Gloria, the thought of the alarm clock going off at three am just so they could both be up and have a two hour shower each followed by three hours each drying hair and plucking hair and shaving hair and generally sorting out hair, as well as make-up and girdles and dresses and endlessly trying various perfumes only to settle for the one that they had first liked to begin with. 'Women the stuff they do and the stuff they put up with,'' he thought, ''Men can have a quick wash, get changed, brush their nashers and run a comb through their hair and they are ready for a night on the town, women have to clear their schedule weeks in advance just to be ready for something as innocent as going to see a movie.' He finished showering, towelled off and went back into his room. He stood with the towel wrapped around his waist and messed with his suit, it was a nice suit, and a bargain, ''The kinda suits I wanna sell when I'm making my own!'' he thought. The jacket made a crumpling sound as he messed with it, he opened the button and reached into the inside pocket and removed a folded piece of paper, 'What have we here?' he thought. He slowly unfurled it, it looked quite old and certainly had the stench of time on it, you know the damp, cold, moth ball smell of something that has sat inside a pocket since the dawn of time. It was a hand written poem, he walked over to the window to get more light as it was a little bit faded, he read it out loud: ''For Beryl The day we met you filled my heart so I could fly away, I rose up high and flew the sky like a peaceful dove, That day we wed you made me live; love, honour, obey, We went together perfectly, I the hand, you the glove, Like God had answered all my prayers, thank you lord I pray, For we together are happy, thanks to our good lord above.'' ''Oh my, that is a lovely poem,'' he said. Then his mother called him for his breakfast, ''Charlie come on sunshine, get down here and get fed, you've a busy day ahead. Derek will be here in a bit!'' ''OK mom!'' he shouted. He finished drying off and got dresses in an old t-shirt and shorts, 'Don't wanna get anything down the suit.' He thought. He ran down stairs, poem in hand, straight into the kitchen. The kitchen was your typical nineteen forties semi detached house kitchen. Cupboards on the wall, a cooker with grill in oven, and kettle whistling away, a side board with chopping board and little else. His mother stood all of five feet tall in her skirt, blouse, pinny and marigolds. ''It's going cold, here,'' she handed him a plate full of toast and rashers of bacon, ''Make yourself some toasted sandwiches son.'' ''Thanks mum,'' he took the plate and placed the poem on the side board. ''Hey what's this I don't want your rubbish lying around, I tell you what that's one thing I won't miss when you're out of here, gosh I hope she likes following you round with a dustpan and bin liner!'' ''Mum! Don't be so silly! I'll be different when it's my own house ha ha ha ha ha!'' ''Yeah laugh it up you cheeky little sod!'' she raised a slight smile. ''No, that paper, it's a poem.'' ''A poem, did you write it?'' she said? ''No, I found it in the pocket of my suit,'' he said, ''Read it, it's very nice. I was thinking about bringing it up at the wedding but I dunno how well it would go down.'' She took off her marigolds and picked up the paper reading it over and over, ''Hmmm it's very nice but I dunno if it's material for your audience.'' ''Aye?'' said Charlie, ''Well I think your mates from the foundry and the Varsity and our Decker would have your life if you read that out. Can you imagine? I'd give it a miss our kid, here I'll chuck it away!'' ''NO! Please,'' he said. ''Alright kidda, keep your hair on, you'll need it later for the photos!'' she handed him the paper back and he folded it up and tucked it into the tiny pocket pouch on the side of his shorts. ''Thanks,'' he said leaning over and kissing her on the cheek. ''Go and eat your breakfast, it's gonna be cold.'' She said. There was a knock at the door, ''I'll get it Charlie, you sit down I won't tell you again, you need to eat, you'll need your strength!'' ''OK mum,'' ''Oh you look lovely!'' he heard his mum say before the thunderous loud voice of Derek came hurtling down the hallway into his ears, ''THANKS MUM! Where is the little bastard?'' ''Now, now Derek, less of that language, he's in the front room having his brekkie.'' ''Aaaahhh how sweet, you spoil him mum!'' ''Yeah well it all ends here don't it, aint gonna have my little boy to spoil after today, keep an eye on him Deck while I go up stairs and get ready myself.'' ''OK ma!'' Derek strode into the front room, every bit the Dapper Dan, his suit was immaculate. ''You trying to upstage me on my big day?'' said Charlie. ''I'd do that what ever I wore bro,'' said Derek, grabbing a slice of toast from his brothers plate and forcing almost the entire thing into his mouth in one giant bite. ''No wonder you have stomach pains eating like a bloody pig!'' said Charlie. They sat in silence for a moment as Derek chewed his way though the frankly far too large piece of food that he had stuffed unceremoniously into his trap. ''So how you feeling?'' said Deck. ''Nervous as hell, apprehensive, I keep asking myself if I'm doing the right thing.'' ''It's bad form to pull out on the day mate.'' Said Derek. ''I don't want to pull out you cheeky bastard, I suspect that it's normal to be apprehensive, I mean I will be someone's husband after today.'' ''God it sounds so awful,'' said Derek, ''No more one night stands, no more doing what you want when you want, no more freedom, just a life of doing as you are told.'' ''You're not really helping me with my nerves old bean!'' said Charlie. ''Ha ha ha ha ha,'' laughed Derek, ''I'm just yanking your chain, it'll be fine. Being married takes away the pressure. You've got someone who's committing herself to you for life, in front of everyone, that's an amazing thing you must admit.'' ''Yeah Decker it is and you know what Deck laugh at this if you want but I love her so much and I know we are going to be happy together. I know we aint been courting that long but when it's right it doesn't matter.'' ''Hey if you are happy little bro then go for it, you only live once, you've gotta make the best of it. If you love each other then nothing else matters.'' Charlie and Decker and their mum sat together in the front room waiting for their car to arrive. Charlie's mum was dressed in her favourite dress, her special occasion outfit; it was many years old but looked as good as new. She treated it like the British Museum treated Tutankhamen's mummy, like a delicate artefact. It was dark blue, long skirted with a matching jacket and a dazzling white blouse, she looked so proud with a big beaming expression on her face. She had already redone her mascara twice after letting a few tears run down her cheeks. ''It's nice to have you guys here together,'' she said. ''We should really do it more often ma,'' said Derek. ''We'll still be around all of the time mum, I;m only moving down the road here, you'll still see me all the time.'' said Charlie. ''It's so good to see you all grown up and settling down. It doesn't seem like five minutes since you were born Charlie. I wish your dad was here to see this, he'd be so proud.'' ''Yeah I know mum, I'm sure he'll be looking down on us today,'' Derek rolled his eyes at the thought but said nothing. There was a loud honk of a horn outside, Derek got up and walked to the front door. He opened it and shouted, ''The car's here.'' Charlie stood up and held his arm out to his mum who took it, ''Come on mum, let's go and make you prouder and prouder aye?'' he winked at her. ''Stop, you're going to start me off again.'' She said. They walked outside and Charlie paused ''Wow, Derek. Where did you get the car?'' A bright white Classic Daimler DB18, complete with driver already holding the passenger door open, awaited them. ''A friend owed me a favour, so I called it in.'' said Derek. ''I've never seen a white one before, aren't they all black?'' said Charlie. ''Yeah but Black aint a wedding colour is it mate?'' said Derek. They walked down the path of the tiny front garden. ''Good day sir,'' said the driver tipping his hat. ''Hello!'' said Charlie. ''Please enjoy the ride, and congratulations on this special day.'' One by one they slid elegantly into the car and the driver closed the door behind them. ''I've never been in a car like this before,'' said Charlie's mum, ''leather seats and a chauffer, I feel like the king must feel!'' ''I hope dad's looking down now ma how he'd laugh seeing us dressed like this, in this car, outside our old semi.'' ''Driver, to St Paul's my good man!'' said Charlie and with that they headed off to the church.
Archived comments for The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 1 of 6)
SugarMama34 on 21-08-2012
Chapter 4 (Piece 1 of 6)
Hello Jay,

what a lovely heart warming, romantic story you have penned. The characters are very realistic and jump out from the story, very true-to-life. I think you have their speech spot on, and it wasn't over descriptive for me either, but just right! I have not sadly read the other chapters as I've not been back on UKA again, but I really liked this. The only thing I did notice to point out, and I'm not to fab with this stuff myself, was there seemed to me to be a few commas missing where the speech parts were at the beginning. I might be wrong, but I don't think so. Lovely write Jay, which I have had the pleasure in reading.

Lis x

Author's Reply:
This is a very rough story indeed, completely untouched and unedited since I wrote it for NaNoWriMo last November. Glad you enjoyed it though. It might be worth a read from the start but it is a lengthy bit of writing over all, and still plenty left to come.

Jay.

Texasgreg on 21-08-2012
The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 1 of 6)
Aye! Still a wonderful and engaging couple. Kinda worried about the honeymoon scene, though. Best stock up on heart meds. 😉
The poem was a nice touch!
Photobucket.
Greg 🙂

Author's Reply:
Glad you liked the poem. Thanks for sticking with it!

Jay.

Andrea on 22-08-2012
The Album - Chapter 4 (Piece 1 of 6)
Am enjoying this, Jay, even given that's it's a rough draft!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Andy, that's very kind of you. Everyone has been very nice about it so far. I'm still not comfortable with it but what the hell. It's got me submitting work again to this beautiful site of yours!

Jay. 🙂


The Album - Chapter 3 (Piece 5 of 5) (posted on: 03-08-12)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The final part of five that make up chapter 3.

Nancy and Derek curled up together on her sofa, ''It won't be long until we're living here as man and wife now.'' Said Charlie. They stared into each other eyes, then kissed, ''I know, it's going to be so great. Nancy Pugh, sounds nice. Mr and Mrs Pugh.'' ''Well we're all ready aint we.'' He said. ''I think so,'' ''Dress and suit.'' ''Check.'' ''Venue.'' ''Check.'' ''Super Weird Wedding cake.'' ''Well, once we've tasted it tomorrow, check.!'' ''Reception and food.'' ''Once I've had a word with Molly at work on this week, check.'' ''All we need to do now is send the invites'' ''Let's keep it small,'' said Nancy. ''You don't have to, for once I'm not worried about the cost, this wedding might have liberated the inner spender in me!'' ''Ha ha ha ha ha,'' she laughed, ''No not because you're tight, because it'll be more intimate, more special.'' ''OK babe, your wish is my command.'' Suddenly there was a knock at the door, ''Who could that be?'' said Charlie. ''You'll never know if you don't answer the door will you?'' said Nancy with her usual, feminine way that was a polite way of saying 'Go and answer it, my slave!' Charlie walked over and opened the door and he was astonished to see Ian stood there. ''Hello there, can I help you?'' said Charlie gingerly. ''Yes I erm heard you were getting married and I wanted to come and give you this. He held out a card which Charlie accepted. ''I've also brought these for Nancy,'' from behind his back he produced a posy of flowers, It's not much but I wanted to wish you both well.'' ''Well that is very nice of you'' said Charlie who shook his hand and then accepted the flowers too, ''You didn't have to.'' ''No I wanted to, it's my way of saying sorry too,'' Ian's face turned red with awkwardness and embarrassment. ''It's OK,'' said Charlie thinking 'I'm marrying her so I've won!' ''No hard feelings?'' said Ian. ''No none at all.'' Ian smiled, slowly backed away from the doorway and turned and strolled away, Charlie shouted after him, ''You'll come to the reception won't you, for a pint or two?'' He stopped and turned around, ''Yeah that would be nice,'' Charlie watched him walk away for a few seconds then came in and closed the door. ** ** ** Ian walked into the Varsity, Molly's eyes opened wide, it was pay day. ''Your usual?'' she asked. ''Line them up dear, I'm feeling good,'' ''Oh really makes a change'' she said pulling a pint of Banks's, ''You're usually fed up to hell!'' ''Not anymore, I'm leaving this shit hole town once and for all,'' he smiled at her, ''Just making my peace with everyone then I'm off. I'm moving to Bristol.'' ''How long do you think that you've got before you've made your peace with everyone then?'' she asked. ''Not sure, ha ha ha ha ha. I know I've pissed off a lot of people but I need this change. No one wants to see me around here anyway,'' ''I always like to see you'' said Molly. ''Only because I'm a drunken bastard,'' he said picking up his pint and making most of it disappear in one. ''Why Bristol, what has that place got that we aint'' said Molly. ''Well-paid jobs! They're offering me a fortune, at a place called Nasser's, I'll be a warehouse supervisor pushing around the serfs. I get me an office and get to wear a suit, no more oily blues for me.'' 'Until they sack you for being pissed,' she thought. He sank the rest of his pint and slammed the glass down on the bar. ''Anyway you can make your peace with people but you'll still always be the guy that was an arsehole.'' ''I dunno'' said Molly, taking his glass and refilling it, ''people have better things to worry about than something you did ages ago and then apologised for, people have bigger worries.'' ''Yeah I guess so but still it is time for me to go, a fresh start in a new town where no one knows who I am I can be a nice guy again, before all of the drunken shit that has blighted me here.'' ''Yeah but they sell beer in Bristol, you are just going to end up in the same situations, if you can reign it in down there then surely you can here.'' ''I suppose but the deal is done I've taken the job and my mind is made up, getting out of here will be the making of me. When I'm rich and successful I'll come back and take a bottle of champagne.'' ''Ha ha ha ha ha,'' she laughed, ''You're kidding I don't keep that kinda stuff in my cellar, it can be a struggle to pay the brewery for barrels of this swill,'' She placed the drink down in front of him, ''Oh by the way, that's two pence that you owe me.'' He stuffed his hand into his pocket and brought out a handful of coppers. He rummaged around and dropped four pennies on the bar, ''There you go that should see me in credit for a few more'' Molly took the money and smiled, she enjoyed it when he paid for pints in advance, especially when it was late in the opening night and she knew he was only good for one more before passing out in the toilets, he never remember the day before that he'd paid for three or four and he'd start the whole charade over again. He'd paid off the overdue bar tabs of many a barred layabout over the years. She was going to miss him. There was a sudden shout in the corner, three of her least favourite regulars were arguing over a game of cribbage as usual, it was earlier than normal for an argument, they'd usually had a skin full before the high jinx ensued. Frank, Jim and Joey Joe-Joe were cribbage connoisseurs, they'd played for The Varsity for the last two years and had won the Wolverhampton league both years as well as taking a runners up place in the Black Country Cribbage cup. They took the game very seriously and even the most friendly of games could become heated, they tolerated no cheating and no card tricks. ''Joey Joe-Joe, you fucking cheating bastard, you pegged two too many.'' said Jim. ''No I didn't look, fifteen two, fifteen four, fifteen six, two for the pair,'' ''Show us your cards,'' said Frank. ''No, why have I gotta show you? Don't you trust me?'' said Joey Joe-Joe. ''No I fucking don't because you've been cheating all day.'' said Jim. ''Fuck you both, you're a pair of cunts, I should get ten points for a pair of cunts aye ha ha ha ha ha.'' laughed Joey Joe-Joe. Why don't you fuck off,'' Jim threw his cards at Joey Joe-Joe and they hit him in the face. ''You prick,'' Joey Joe-Joe stood up and his stool fell over with a loud crash. Everyone else in the bar fell silent and turned to look at the trouble. ''Hey,'' said Molly, ''Pack it in up the corner or you're all out of here!'' They ignored Molly, Ian turned around to observe the furore. Frank leaned over and pushed Joey Joe-Joe back, ''Leave him alone Joe,'' he said. Joey Joe-Joe lifted his hand and flicked Franks arm back, ''Go and fuck yourself Frank, you wanker.'' ''Sit back down,'' said Jim, ''This is fucking stupid,'' ''No way man, you hit me you cunt!'' said Joey Joe-Joe. ''I'm taking my money and this game is over, fuck you Joey, you cheat. Cheat for fun, not to steal, I should kick your ass.'' Frank leaned into the centre of the table and picked up some coins that sat in an ashtray next to the peg board and the deck. He picked up his drink and walked over to the bar and stood next to Ian with his back to his Cribbage competitors. ''Apologise Jim, I'm not a cheat.'' Molly walked over to Frank, ''Tell your friends to calm down or they've gotta leave.'' ''I'm not getting involved with Joey, he's fucking crazy.'' ''HEY! We'll have less of your language too, this is a public place.'' Said Molly. ''You are a cheat, and I'm keeping my money too,'' said Jim picking up all of the remaining cash in the ashtray. ''Hey, gimme my money, I put my ante in too. What's this, accuse a man of cheating and get his stake night? Gimme my fucking stake back.'' Said Joey Joe-Joe. Jim walked around the table and threw Joey Joe Joe's cash on to the floor, the coins scattered everywhere making a clinking sounds as they disappeared in every direction. ''YOU PRICK!'' shouted Joey, ''That's my fucking money not yours.'' Jim laughed, ''Ha ha you're a joke, scrabble around on the floor like a fucking tramp for your money, YOU CHEAT!'' Joey Joe-Joe grabbed Jim by his neck with both hands and squeezed tightly, Jim started to choke, he grabbed at Joeys hands to try and pull himself free. ''LET HIM GO, I'M GETTING THE POLICE!'' shouted Molly who ran through the bar to her back rooms to call for help. Everyone backed away from the action; they knew Joey Joe-Joe from old. Jim kicked at Joey Joe-Joe who dodged and twisted to avoid him as best as he could until he caught him square on his right shin and he howled ''Ouch! FUCK!'' he leg go of Jim's neck and backed away, Jim gasped for breath, ''You you you're crazy Joey, fucking hell.'' ''PICK IT UP JIM, PICK UP MY MONEY OR ELSE'' Joey reached into his overcoat and took out a small knife; he waved it in the air towards Jim. ''OK OK how much was it,'' said Jim. ''You fuckin' know how much three shillings in pennies.'' ''Here, I'll give it you out of my pocket,'' Jim held out his hand Joey moved in slowly, taking the money. ''I should shank you, I should shank you in the face for this,'' said Joey. Ian, stood at the bar, and waited for another drink, but he couldn't get one, he looked for Molly but she was no where to be seen. He was feeling edgy too, the fight, the lack of a drink, was too much, he turned around, ''Why don't you fucking cunts just pack this shit up. We're in here for a drink and a fucking chat, not to see you pricks beating each other up because you can't handle your fucking ale!'' Joey turned around, ''Who said that, didn't sound like Pussy Frank.'' Frank turned and looked disgusted over his shoulder at Joey. ''No it was me,'' said Ian, ''You guys need to calm down, if you can't play nice, don't play at all, it's just a game.'' ''Just a game, JUST A GAME, its CRIBBAGE!'' said Joey. ''I don't understand it; I don't understand how you are getting exercised over a fucking game of cards. I refer you to my previous statement, don't play if you're gonna cry.'' ''I'm a champion at this game, I'm the best fucking Crib player in the Black Country so don't fucking humour me with your, it's just a game, I know it is, I'M THE FUCKING BEST AT IT, I DON'T CHEAT!'' Ian stepped forward, ''For someone who's so good, you're pretty fucking tetchy about being called a cheat. I'd be happy in the knowledge I wasn't a cheat and I was the best. Why don't you just go home and sleep of the booze!'' ''Are you accusing me of being drunk?'' said Joey. ''No, not at all, every sober guy I know pulls a fucking knife on his mates over a card game in a public place!'' Ian said. The bar suddenly lapsed into a crescendo of applause from everyone. Molly re-appeared behind the bar, ''I've called the police they are on there way.'' ''No worries,'' said Ian walking back to the bar, ''Get me another beer doll-face, this loser is leaving.'' ''AAAAAAHHHHHHHH,'' screamed Joey Joe-Joe. He ran at Ian, Ian had one eye on Molly waiting for his next pint, he barely had time to turn around when Joey Joe-Joe grabbed him around the neck with his left hand and with his right plunged his knife into Ian's right side. ''YOU FEELING SO FUCKING CLEVER NOW ARE YOU!'' shouted Joey Joe-Joe. ''Aaaahhhhh!'' screamed Ian who fell forward against the bar. Joey pulled the knife sharply from him and ran for the exit, Molly screamed. Frank and Jim ran out of the pub after their friend Jim shouting, ''JOEY COME BACK HERE YOU BASTARD!'' Ian tried to hold himself up as other came rushing around the bar to see if he was OK but he slipped and fell to the floor. The blood oosed through his clothes creating a huge red patch on his back, he lay on his front and reached back to try and stem the bleeding himself but to no avail. Molly ran around the bar with a pile of her freshly laundered cloth drip mats for the bar and pressed them hard against his back, ''Keep still Ian you'll be fine, please keep still, can someone call help, PLEASE.'' A few other regulars ran outside to get help, one of them shouting ''Mary is a nurse; she lives just down the road here,'' Ian placed his head on the cold red tiles of the bar room floor and closed his eyes and on the spot he'd spent what seemed like a million hours drinking, he died.
Archived comments for The Album - Chapter 3 (Piece 5 of 5)
Texasgreg on 05-08-2012
The Album - Chapter 3 (Piece 5 of 5)
Aye! Such a turn of events...Done well IMO.
Hope you get more responses.

Greg 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading. I don't hope for more responses! I know its awful, but I do warn everyone, every post it's NaNoWriMo and it's bad. It is bad mate.

Jay.

Texasgreg on 06-08-2012
The Album - Chapter 3 (Piece 5 of 5)
Not at all as long as you're not wearing an "editor's hat" and just looking at a story. I've said before that fiction isn't really my thing, but started out reading to support your return and am actually enjoying. Here in Texas, one says "thank-you" and moves on. -joke, Jay-
Keep-'em coming.

Greg 🙂

Author's Reply:
Greg, I appreciate your support and comments and reads on this one. I know its hard work! I wrote it under pressure of deadline and I hate deadlines. NaNoWriMo is the most valuable and difficult writing project I ever under took just because it made me sit down and write. Writing a novel from scratch in a single month is impossible and I still think that after doing it. Sharing it now with UKAuthors feels a bit dirty but its all I've got at the moment. I'm always coming up with ideas and projects but never find the time to follow them through. Or I do and then fail to edit them or tidy them or even publish them.

I'm a bit touchy about this because I haven't read it back at all and I haven't finished it and know I have to now. I'm just a scared writer now and always have been. I love writing and hate showing anyone.

But I still love it my friend. I love writing.

Jay. 🙂


The Album - Chapter 3 (Piece 4 of 5) (posted on: 30-07-12)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The fourth part of five that make up chapter 3.

The sun rose, the day was here, Nancy slowly woke up. It was her day off. She always felt that a day doing personal chores that wasn't used as an excuse to get out of work early was a day wasted. It was Wedding Cake day two, the sequel. With sequels being worse than the main event she held no hope at all, she feared that she would have to bake it and make it herself. With everything else on her mind she wanted to chill out and forget about the cake, she wanted someone else to get on with it for her, but she couldn't ask Gloria to take over responsibility and then sit back and relax at home. Nancy was still feeling a little bit sorry that Doris at 'For Goodness Cake' and thought it a shame that it hadn't worked out. Nancy loved the name, the feel of the shop, the look of the cakes and after meeting Doris she felt a bit sorry for her, but damn her cake tasted like dog dirt. 'What you gonna do, jeopardise your big day for the random (quickly fading) feelings you might have for one odd bod woman you met? Well of course not. Doris might get an anonymous invite to the after party but she aint getting a job making the cake,' Nancy thought. It was a glorious Saturday morning out, the sun shone brightly, Nancy was annoyed that she was missing out on it being sat at home twiddling her thumbs and watching the clock waiting for Gloria to arrive so they could go on a wedding cake hunt. She wasn't good at waiting around for people, and certainly got irked when people were late. Lateness was a negative trait to her, it was disrespectful she felt to keep someone waiting, but luckily for Gloria she was her friend and so she let her off, and Gloria was always late. It started the day she was born; even then she was late, ten days late. Her mum was huge when she was carrying her and feared for a late birth. After she gave birth she was carried out of the maternity ward almost comatose, but thirty six hours in labour will do that to you. Her mum had always been a big fan of embarrassing Gloria when she was at school. Every time she came home with a friend she would regale the story of how big she was and how late she was. Sometimes she was ten pounds, sometimes she was twelve, sometimes she was ten days late and other times she was two weeks late, The story was never the same twice but all that mattered to her mum was the embarrassment of Gloria, and Gloria would squirm at it. Even now Gloria was grown up her mum would still tell the story (in Gloria's company) if they'd stand around and listen to it. 'Christ I could have childbirth yet to come!'' thought Nancy, she crossed her legs at the thought, 'but one thing at a time aye, let's get married first!' Nancy waited a little longer, tapping her foot on the floor in a nervous fashion, 'Good old Gloria, always predictable, always late' she thought. Gloria would be late to job interviews and then wonder why she didn't get them. She'd be late to movie theatres and spend the whole movie asking you, ''Who's that?'' ''What's he referring too? ''What did I miss?'' 'She'll probably be late on my wedding day too,' thought Nancy, 'Although so far she has been a very good maid of honour, helping with the wedding dress and now the cake. Maybe she'll prove us all wrong and be early.' Suddenly there was a knock at the door, Nancy grabbed her keys and bag and ran over opening the door with gusto, her face expression fell from happy to sad in one second flat, ''Oh it's only you,'' she said. It was Charlie. ''Oh thanks,'' he said in a sarcastic tone, ''nice to see you're so keen to see me! No second thoughts? Cus you'll be stuck with me soon forever!'' he said, then leaned over and kissed her. ''Ha ha ha, you're silly sometimes! I thought you were Gloria,'' ''It's not like her to be late,'' he said laughing, her reputation was local folklore. ''She's been at work this morning, she hates working Saturdays too. But a bit of cake shopping should cheer her right up.'' said Nancy. ''Yeah, sounds riveting!'' said Charlie. ''You should try and be a little more enthusiastic, it's your wedding cake too.'' He put his hand in his pocket and brought out a roll of ten bob notes, ''You know how enthusiastic I get spending money!'' he handed her the money. ''Thanks and you know how much I enjoy spending it.'' Charlie said nothing, ''Right I'll see you later, I'm off to see Decker for another high octane wedding meeting.'' ''Down the Varsity are you?'' she raised an eyebrow. ''You betcha! I'll see you later, ''He leaned over to kiss her again and planted a smacker on her lips. ''I knew it! Well we'll probably drop in later for one with you.'' said Nancy. Charlie opened the door, ''See you la Gloria!'' he said, she stood there with one arm raised about to knock the door, ''You trying to punch me in the face.'' He said. ''Only if you don't take care of my mate sunshine!'' her reply was suitably blunt. ''Don't worry I'll take good care of her, I'm nice.'' he said. ''No you're not you're a bloke, so that means you're bloody scum!'' she walked past him and hugged Nancy. ''He's a good boy,'' said Nancy. ''Always,'' he said winking and shutting the door behind him. ''I wish I could find me a good boy,'' said Gloria. Her pessimism towards men was held with good reason; she'd just come out of a five year relationship that had gone badly. Gloria had seen Craig for two years, he was married with a kid despite knowing this Gloria had gone out with him and had been having sex with him because he had promised her that his relationship was a sham and that they weren't happy. She'd asked him to get a divorce but he said it was not the done thing and he couldn't live with the stigma. Anyway they continued to see each other and have sex, go to the movies and have sex, go for some food and have sex, that was all they ever did, she was happy with this arrangement for a time, then one day out of the blue as they were sitting drinking in a local tavern she said, ''Craig I want you to leave your wife and come and live with me, we can be together for ever,'' he laughed at her, in her face, ''Forever and ever and ever, ha ha ha ha ha, what do you think this is Gloria a fairy tale. Jeez, you really think I'm going to leave my wife and my son for a whore! Come on you're just a shag, stress relief if you prefer nicer language.'' She got really upset and had run off crying, he chased after her and said he was sorry and that he'd had too much to drink (if three pints is enough to make you say that kinda stuff, in retrospect he was just an arsehole) but she forgave him and they carried on and on again until one day he exploded. She was at home and he turned up, banging at the door, ''What the fucking hell have you been saying around town?'' ''What, I don't know what you are talking about Craig,'' she'd said. Don't give me all of the sweet little miss innocence nonsense, why are you going around town telling people about us?'' ''I'm not!'' she'd said. ''Well people are work are talking, they were joking about us going out together.'' He raised his voice almost to a shout. ''Perhaps they have seen us out together?'' she started to back away. He slammed the door closed behind him, ''You should shut up, and no one has seen us out together, I'm too fucking careful where we go. No one from work, no neighbours, nobody at all I know can be there. I pick the times and days and venues very carefully.'' ''Yes but you can't plan for sure, we're in public places for goodness sake, we run the risk of being seen together every time we go out.'' ''Shut up!'' He'd shouted at her again, ''I could lose my fucking wife and kid over this shit, if they hear about us she'll take me for a fucking ride, I'll get divorced, I'll be the bad man, I'll lose everything'' ''You you'd still have me.'' ''Great the fucking booby prize! You always were just a fuck!'' ''GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!'' she'd screamed at him. He raised his hand and slapped her hard across the face, so hard in fact she lost her balance and fell over breaking a glass ashtray with her hand. Blood ran down her arm and dripped to the carpet and she started to cry. ''Now look at what you've made me do.'' ''GET OUT OF MY HOUSE YOU MANIAC!'' she'd screamed at him through the tears and pain. She backed away against the wall and held her injured hand tightly against her chest. He stopped and looked down at her, like flicking a switch he was suddenly Mister Concerned, ''Oh my God I'm sorry, what have I done.'' But it was too late. She'd then said, more calmly this time, ''Get out of my house, I never want to see you again.'' And she didn't and from that day she'd not seen another guy, vowing celibacy to herself, men were worms to her, she'd wanted happiness and love and companionship but all she'd found was a monster. Men were monsters to her. ''Come on,'' said Nancy ''let's go and get my cake, you never know your Mister Right might be just round the corner!'' ''Yeah right,'' said Gloria, ''I'm better off on my own for now thanks, men are useless twats. If they didn't change plugs and catch spiders they might as well be extinct.'' They headed off into town, ''It's a nice day for it,'' said Gloria. ''It's glorious,'' said Nancy. ''So where do you want to try first?'' ''I'm not sure? I've already tried For Goodness Cake.'' ''Oh yeah, I've seen it, I always mean to pop in and try it out but I've not yet'' said Gloria. ''I wouldn't bother, the cakes were terrible.'' Nancy chuckled at the thought of them ''But they look so nice in the window.'' ''Yeah they do, but you don't taste with your eyes do you mate! I'm not going there. Plus the woman can't spell. She showed me a wedding cake and she'd spelt wedding, weeding!'' ''You're kidding?'' said Gloria. ''Nope!'' ''Oh my lord, some poor suckers are in for a surprise. Imagine that, 'OK everyone, so the words are all back to front, let's get over it and just enjoy a slice of it aye!'' ''Ha ha ha ha ha,'' they laughed together. Hey I know a nice cake shop up here on Lichfield Street and if you like the name 'For Goodness Cake' you're gonna love the name of this place'' ''Why what's it called?'' said Nancy. Gloria grabbed her hand, ''Wait and see'' and they jogged the rest of the way Gloria almost dragging her like an excited child on the way to see Santa, there it is look, aint that great?'' Nancy looked over at the shop, the sign read, 'Happy Ever Afters,' ''Oh my God, how can I live in this town and not know about this place!'' ''You need to get out of the bloody Varsity more often girl! Working and socialising in one place aint healthy for ya!'' Gloria said. ''Yeah you're probably right!'' ''Come on'' said Gloria still dragging Nancy along. Tinkle, tinkle, went the bell on the shop door as it opened, a very gentle and angelic sound indeed. Immediately they were hit by the warm, inviting smell of the cakes baking. To their left a huge display hidden behind a thin fabric veil (to keep the flies away of course) and it was an absolute cake lovers dream. Bakewell tarts the size of footballs, apple pies thicker than a Black Country coal seam, banana bread loaves, Eccles cakes, gingerbread men, cinnamon swirls, pecan sandies, pound cake, traditional sponges, carrot cake the list of delights seemed endless. ''Oh my God it's like heaven aint it!'' said Nancy, ''I think this is my new favourite shop!'' ''It's gorgeous once we aint gotta fit into our wedding day gear we can come back and pig out big style!'' said Gloria. ''Hello can I help you ladies at all,'' a tall middle aged woman with a long apron and a floury face appeared behind the counter, her hair was tied back in a bun (how ironic). ''Hello yes, I'm looking for a wedding cake.'' ''Oh congratulations my dear, here have a cup cake each on the house to celebrate. The icing is very sweet so be aware before taking a bite, your teeth might submit and fall out hoo hoo hoo.'' Her laugh certainly was odd, they looked at each other but thought 'what the hell!' and took the cup cakes. ''I'll have mine in a little while.'' Said Nancy, Gloria had already stuffed hers in its entirety into her mouth. ''Mmmmmmm'' she was clearly enjoying it. ''Well here you go ladies I've a book of wedding cakes here,'' she produced a small hand written and hand drawn book from beneath the counter, ''These are all my own recipes and designs, I can make you a tiny cake as a taster before I make the full thing, what type of cake are you looking for?'' ''Well we want something unusual, three layers, all different cakes, decorated with a small marzipan man and wife, we want to eat each other after we cut the cake,'' ''I see,'' said the shopkeeper raising an eyebrow, ''I can do that, well I can do a sponge top layer, a traditional wedding cake centre layer and maybe a rich Xmas pudding type of layer for the bottom, is that weird enough for ya?'' ''That is perfect!'' said Nancy. ''Sounds a bit odd if you ask me.'' Said Gloria. ''Well it's a good job she aint asking you is it, hoo hoo hoo.'' Said the shopkeeper, Gloria waited for her to look away before sticking her tongue out at her in retaliation, it looked luminous pink from the icing she'd just eaten. ''How much would that cost?'' said Gloria. ''Six pounds all in, that includes tasters that I can have ready for you to try on Monday morning.'' ''OK. That sounds perfect, well if you get the tasters ready and I'll be back say lunchtime on Monday.'' ''Perfect'' said the shopkeeper, ''Just perfect, now enjoy your cup cake.'' ''Thank you.'' said Nancy. ''I'll see you then,'' then the shopkeeper, picked up her home made book of wedding cakes and wandered off into her kitchen. No bead curtain here, they could see straight into the kitchen, it was spotless. ''This place seems much better than 'For Goodness Cake' I've got a good feeling about it.'' said Nancy, ''Yeah well, I reckon it's time for a gin and tonic, you up for one.'' ''Come on then, let's go and get tipsy.''
Archived comments for The Album - Chapter 3 (Piece 4 of 5)
Texasgreg on 03-08-2012
The Album - Chapter 3 (Piece 4 of 5)
A little late arriving this time as I've been pretty busy, but gotcha read up. Gets a little trashy in parts, huh? Not in a bad way...just wasn't expecting it. Thought it spiced things up. Keep-'em coming, Jay.
Photobucket.
Greg 🙂

Author's Reply:
My writing is all trash man so it'll get trashy.

🙂 Jay.


The Album - Chapter 3 (Piece 3 of 5) (posted on: 27-07-12)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The third part of five that make up chapter 3.

Charlie was happy with how preparations had been going for the wedding, he had laughed like a drain when Nancy had told him the story of For Goodness Cake and Doris. ''She sounds like a character someone just made up.'' He'd laughed. ''Well she bloody exists, she tried to poison me, I don't think anyone has seen Tommy around town since I gave him those cakes!'' God they'd laughed last night. Charlie was almost all the way down his pint, 'Where the heck is Decker' he thought. He sat up the corner of the Varsity minding his own business, it was pretty quiet. Nancy stood at the bar chatting to a few of the locals about there problems, like any good barmaid should. It was amazing how open people were with there problems, even total strangers, once they had a beer in them they wanted to tell all. I suppose it made them feel better to share their problems and get some feedback and some ''there, there it'll all be alright reassurance, some wanted affirmation, some where just boring arseholes who liked to talk about themselves, but as Molly always said ''Keep them talking, keep them drinking, if their glass is empty grab it and offer them another one, or offer them a short or two, it can only help wash away the blues.'' Charlie looked at his watch, it was ten past six, 'Come on Deck, were are you mate' he thought as he downed the last of his pint. He got up and walked over to Nancy, ''Hey there little lady, fill her up.'' ''Who are you calling little lady, I can get you barred from here you know!'' He handed her the glass, ''You wouldn't dare, I'm one of your best customers, aint that right Molly?'' Molly was standing further down the bar and didn't catch what he said, ''Wha..?'' she mumbled. ''He said he's a good customer Molly.'' Said Nancy pulling his pint. ''Who him,'' Molly pointed, ''Old baby face, he's lucky we serve him, in fact I'm still not sure we should be, but a penny in my pocket is better than someone elses.'' 'Typical Molly' thought Charlie, 'Always chasing the profits.' ''See,'' said Charlie, ''She won't car me, she don't wanna send me over the road with all my foundry mates.'' ''Here,'' said Nancy, ''Penny please.'' ''My future wife to be works here and I still have to pay.'' He handed her the money. ''Yeah too bloody right'' said Molly, ''This aint a soup kitchen!'' Nancy and Charlie laughed at her but they knew she was deadly serious. ''When are you off to see the Father at St Paul's?'' said Nancy. ''As soon as Decker gets here, he said he'd be here at six, he's late, that's not like him, especially when we're meeting in boozer.'' ''He probably finished work late, maybe Clarence has fallen under another horse and cart!'' said Nancy. ''Maybe! He is an odd fellow.'' Just then Derek walked in, he looked around the bar for Charlie then smiled and waved when he spotted him and nancy together at the bar. ''Hello chaps and chapettes.'' He said, using one of his odd phrases in his thick Black Country accent. ''Pint is it Deck?'' said Nancy. ''The usual please bab.'' He said. ''So how are you then?'' said Nancy. ''I'm great!'' he said. ''Charlie told me you weren't feeling too well, you OK now?'' He looked at Charlie with a 'Why are you worrying and telling people' glare. ''Yeah I'm fine, just a touch of tummy trouble I think, the pains aint so bad now, I think I'm over the worst of it. ''You seemed really ill the other night bro, I was worried sick for ages.'' Said Charlie. ''Not worried enough not to invite me for a drink tonight though aye?'' Derek smiled and handed over his penny to Nancy, who put his pint down on the Banks's drip cloth that extended half the length of the bar. ''Thanks bab,'' he picked it up and took a long drink, ''aaaahhhh, that's the stuff. OK Charlie, you ready to play the shrinking violet.'' ''Yeah I am.'' They raised their glasses and clinked them. ''What you talking about,'' said Nancy. ''Well, you guys aint Catholics so you've gotta pretend, they won't marry proddy scum up St Paul's you know, so make sure you know your stuff ahead of the wedding.'' ''What Oh lord, I'd not given that a second thought,'' said Nancy. ''We'll be OK.'' Said Charlie, ''Bread is the body, wine is the blood and condoms are Satan's sperm nets, it's easy.'' Derek and Charlie laughed out loud. Nancy looked a little concerned, ''Just you pair be careful, I'll be worrying about this all the time now, what if we get outed at the ceremony and they refuse to marry us, it'll only take one nbig mouth on the day to screw it up.'' ''Don't fret, we aint even got a booking yet, we might not get one. It would be nice to get married up there, it's a beautiful church.'' Said Charlie. ''Yeah but it would be enmbarrasing in front of all of our friends and family if we were outed as proddy scum, as you so eloquently put it Deck, it's supposed to be the happiest day of our lives, that would be just awful.'' Said Nancy. ''Well if you're so worried maybe we could tell them that you are both thinking of converting, then they might let you.'' ''And what if we have to go and convert before the wedding, that's another ceremony and expense we can do without.'' Said Charlie. ''Naaaah, they'll do it for free, if we're booking a wedding they can chuck in a couple of confrmations for free, just leave the talking to me.'' ''hang on,'' said Charlie, ''We aint going to ask for anything, we'll just try and book a wedding and if things get a bit awkward we'll suggest that, but maybe we should find another venue damn it, you've put the dampeners on this aint ya Deck, I'm full of doubt now too.'' ''Me too,'' said nancy. ''Come on guys, let's just go and see, we've got the appointment now anyway and we're here ready to go aint we.'' Nancy and Charlie looked at each other, ''OK, I suppose we aint got nothing to lose at this stage,'' said Charlie. ''Good lad.'' Said Derek. They both downed their pints, ''Right let's go and get this over with,'' said Charlie. ''You make it sound like a bad thing.'' Said Derek. ''Come on,'' Charlie pushed Derek towards the exit and together they left, ''See you Nance.'' They said almost in unison. ''See you shortly guys!'' she said. ** ** ** Charlie and Derek walked up North Street to St Paul's. ''It's a great looking place,'' said Charlie. ''Yeah it is, I'm not really a church person,'' said Derek. ''Ha ha ha ha ha, I know mum used to tell me the stories of what you used to get up to when you were at Sunday School, what a naughty little Methodist you were.'' ''What did she say?'' Derek enquired. ''She told me about the time that you had to sing in the choir and you fell asleep, or at least the vicar thought you'd fallen asleep and were feeling unwell but it turns out that you and another chap had nicked a load of wine from the chapel of the Catholic church over the road and drunk it before church!'' ''She told you that, really? It's been a long tims since I thought about all that stuff we used to get up to, I wonder why she told you that?'' said Derek. ''Oh she used to tell me all sorts of things, I think it was because I used to laugh out loud at these simple little stories and she enjoyed having such an endearing and captive audience, I was only youn.'' ''Good, too young for her to tell you the proper juicy stories then.'' Derek smiled. ''What juicy stories, come on tell me.'' ''No way!'' ''Oh go on, we're both grown ups now we've all done stupid stuff, I wont repeate it I swear.'' Said Charlie. ''Yeah OK, we've all got stories. Like you've got any stories Charles!'' Derek laughed. ''I have got loads of stories actually like the time I punched a guy out flat outside the Hippodrome!'' ''Ha ha ha ha ha'' Derek really laughed, ''Like that ever happened.'' ''It did, you can ask Nancy.'' ''Don't worry you bullshit artist, I will.'' ''Hey, I'm not lying, it was our first date.'' Charlie looked miffed that Derek didn't believe a word that he was saying. ''Chill out man, I'm just kidding, I'm sure you've got loads of stories, I just don't need to know what my little brother is getting up to do I!'' said Derek. Charlie mumbled under his breath. ''What, I can't hear you.'' Said Derek. ''I said I should punch you!'' ''Oh stop having a strop you big girl!'' said Derek, ''Come on let's get up there and sort out this bloody wedding venue for ya!'' ''OK then big bro!'' Charlie gave Derek a playful push and he tripped a little ''Ouch!'' Derek leaned to one side slightly and clutched at his side. ''Oh God, I'm so sorry Decker, I didn't mean it.'' ''Relax,'' said Derek who was now panting for breath a little and sweating, ''It wasn't you it comes and goes.'' ''I thought you said you were feeling better?'' ''I am, it's nothing, I'm going to get it sorted at the quacks soon, come on lets crack on.'' They arrived at the door to the Church office; Charlie lifted the large, old knocker and slammed it three times hard against the big oak door. They waited. Then like a scene from a cheap black and white B-movie the door slowly creaked open. Stood there was the Father in full regalia, flapping slightly in the wind. ''Hello I'm Father Smith. Can I help you gentlemen?'' ''Yes my name is Charlie Pugh this here is Derek,'' Derek raised one hand in a one wave gesture; the Father gave him a look like a doctor peeking through the glass window on the door to a nuthouse prisoners cell. ''Yes and what do you want? The church isn't open at the moment I'm afraid, and if you don't mind my saying so we don't allow your kind and we certainly don't want to here anything that you gents might want to tell us, good day.'' He slammed the door closed. They stood in shock, ''What the heck happened there?'' said Charlie. ''Well I think your man of the cloth with his hotline to the almighty might have been surmising who or what we are.'' ''Aye? I don't get it?'' said Derek. ''You are so nave sometimes boy, and you say you've got stories to tell, well I'm ashamed to call you my brother you know that'' ''What are going on about, what?'' said Charlie. ''You are such a clean cut guy aint ya despite the world you've grown up in you are still so innocent, it should be refreshing,, but it aint! He thinks we're a homosexual couple, you know man on man love?'' ''Oh I see'' said Charlie, ''Why the hell would he think that.'' ''I dunno, maybe he saw me bending over on the path up here and then saw you come over and put your arm almost around me as I grimaced.'' ''That's ridiculous, why would two homosexuals choose to you know in broad daylight in the grounds of a church?'' said Charlie. ''Like I said, so nave'' Derek smiled at him, ''Well come on mate time is money and we're here now aint we, knock the door again and lets sort this out.'' ''OK my lover boy'' said Charlie, they both sniggered as he lifted the old knocker a second time and gave the door another three heavy knocks. Again they waited, this time for what seemed like forever; Charlie was just about to knock again when the door slowly creaked open again. ''I thought I told you to do away, there is nothing here for you.'' The voice of the Father could be heard before he could be seen, he almost hid behind the door as it opened, his head peering ever so gingerly from behind the door. ''No it's OK Father, it's not what you think, we're here to organise a wedding, nothing else, I called earlier'' said Charlie before being interrupted. ''We don't marry two men, sorry, but we don't. God help you.'' ''We're not homo's,'' said Derek, ''We want to hire the church for my brother here to get married, but maybe we should go elsewhere aye Charlie?'' ''Nancy has got her heart set on this place though.'' ''Well done,'' said Derek, ''Well done for what?'' ''For ruining the mood, I was going to try and haggle then, but now he knows you wanna hire the place for your bird.'' ''Hey, my fianc, not my bird!'' said Charlie angrily. ''If this is supposed to be some kind of reverse hustle it aint working, and please accept my apologies too,'' said the Father, ''Homosexuality has no place in my church or any church. That is Gods will.'' ''OK what ever you say'' said Derek. ''Please come in,'' the Reverent waved them inside the office. The office was very small, a desk sat in what was essentially the centre of it, but there was barely a few feet either side of it, the Father shut the door and squeezed his way around it and sat down, ''Please take a seat'' he said, pointing at the one chair that they were expected to share. ''After you old man,'' said Charlie to Derek, who duly obliged, taking the seat and wiping the sweat from his brow on his sleeve. Charlie stood next to him and leaned on the chair, it was rickety, 'It would be funny if it collapsed he thought' as he gave it a wobble to test its durability, it held firm. ''So my son, can I ask you one question?'' ''Yes of course'' said Derek. ''Are you catholic?'' ''No I'm Methodist,'' ''Oh... you're one of them are you so why do you want to get married in a catholic church?'' I don't want to my brother here does, he's letting me sit down because I'm older than he and feeling my age today Father.'' ''OK son, but please give the Catholic Church some thought, we are the proper church, not your breakaway made up offerings of the Methodists.'' ''I'd be offended if it wasn't all made up!'' said Derek looking up at Charlie, ''No wedding venue is worth this judgement!'' ''No. I'm not judging you; God will judge you it's my job to preach not to judge.'' ''You could have fooled me.'' Derek Whispered quietly under his breath. ''Now you there, what is your name?'' said the Rev. ''I'm Charlie, Charlie Pugh and I want to book your hall for my wedding.'' ''It's a place of God, a church, not a hall.'' Said the Father. ''So it's not a Church Hall?'' said Derek cheekily. ''Shut up!'' snapped Charlie, ''Sorry Father, he's not feeling too well, please ignore him. I think he may have had too much of your Catholic cough syrup at the pub earlier.'' Charlie smiled at the Father who stared back. ''Are you suggesting my son that Catholics are all alcoholics?'' ''No, not at all, it was a joke,'' said Charlie, ''I didn't mean anything, I was being silly, you see this Irish guy lives near me, he's a labourer and he's always drunk'' ''Oh no, no, no, no. We aren't all drunks. We all drink, but we're not all drunks.'' For the first time the Father cracked a smile on his face, ''There is a difference my son.'' ''Hey, I like that Father, I might use that one.'' Said Derek. ''So Charlie is it?'' Charlie Nodded ''Charlie, I need to know are you and your wife to be catholic?'' ''Why do you need to know that?'' said Charlie. ''Well I need to know for religious reasons, you can't just get married here in this church you know.'' Said Father. ''Why not?'' said Charlie, ''I used to go to church when I was younger...'' ''Before he knew better'' interrupted Derek. The Father and Charlie ignored him. '' I went to Sunday school form the age of about five until I was thirteen. Surely I qualify for a church marriage?'' said Charlie, hopefully. ''Aaaah well you see my son, it's not that easy, you can have a church marriage here. If your Catholic it helps us, we know what service to do, but if you aint Catholic'' ''What,'' interrupted Charlie, ''You don't know what service to do? I want to get married, I wanna tell the world that I want to spend my life with Nancy, is that disagreeable to you're church?'' ''No, no, no, not at all son, we're all Christians and we respect that and acknowledge that in the Catholic church, but you have to have been baptised, no matter what Christian you might be, you need to have been baptised.'' ''We've been baptised, both of us. I'm Methodist and she's a Church of England.'' Said Charlie. ''Aaaaahhh both protestants I see, you can become a Catholic you know and be saved.'' Said the Father. ''That means you get wine on toast every Sunday at Church, or at least disc of cardboard followed by Ribena!'' said Derek. Charlie wondered now if Derek was ok, it was unlike him to be as petulant as he had been in the last ten minutes, unless he was ill, or in pain, what was his issue? ''Come on Derek, I need to sort this out, Sorry Father, he's not himself,'' ''I'm fine,'' said Derek, ''I'll shut up if you want.'' ''Deck, I want you to support me man!'' said Charlie, sounding uncharacteristically aggressive. ''OK, OK,'' said Derek, ''I'm here for you brother.'' He held out his hand and Charlie shook it. ''Look guys, I dunno what your issues may be with each other but I'm here to encourage the Catholic faith, I'm not a patsy selling a Church Hall venue, I'm a man of God selling salvation.'' Said the father. ''We have no issues, I'm sorry father.'' Said Derek. ''We don't want to become Catholics, we want to get married.'' Charlie added. The father paused and thought, he leaned forward, elbows on desk and head in hands and pondered, Charlie and Derek looked at each other and shrugged shoulders. After a minute or so he raised his head, ''If you're both Baptised Christians, of course we'll let you get married here, all we need to know is when and what special ceremony, if not traditional Catholic, you want.'' ''How much is that going to cost father?'' said Charlie. ''It'll be five English pounds plus an invite to your reception, I do like a good old knees up you see, is that agreeable?'' ''It certainly is, I'll confirm the date in due course father, and you're more than welcome at the after party, cus you Catholics, you damn like a drink don't ya?''
Archived comments for The Album - Chapter 3 (Piece 3 of 5)
Weefatfella on 29-07-2012
The Album - Chapter 3 (Piece 3 of 5)
I enjoyed this, it flows very well and the humour is very true to life. Good read.
Everybody has their price eh!.

Author's Reply:
Hi there,

You are privvy to a story that I am not with this mate. I did it for NaNoWriMo lat November and have yet to re-read it and at the time I was writing it so fast I didn't get time to enjoy it or follow it completely. I had an idea in November and ran with it and this is it. It's not yet finished so I will have to come up with something but so far I'm sweating and panicing because I don't want to let you guys who're reading, down.

Thank you for reading, I guess its a better read from the start though.

Take care, nice to meet/speak to you,

Jay.

Pennywise on 29-07-2012
The Album - Chapter 3 (Piece 3 of 5)
I must find the time to read the first couple of pieces!

Highly amusing from what I've read. 😉

Author's Reply:
Please do Pennywise, I'd really love some feedback.

🙂 Jay.

Texasgreg on 29-07-2012
The Album - Chapter 3 (Piece 3 of 5)
Aye, funny and faster-reading than the others. Do keep 'em coming, Jay.

Good reading!
Photobucket.
Greg 🙂

Author's Reply:
Funny and fast, sounds like sex.... what?

Glad you're sticking with it fella, the gold medal will be in the post at the end!

🙂 Jay


The Album - Chapter 3 (Piece 2 of 5) (posted on: 23-07-12)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The second part of five that make up chapter 3.

Charlie ran down the street, it was packed full of people coming home from work, he struggled to maintain his stride in his overalls, his legs occasionally trying to strikde further than was possible and almost ripping themselves clean from his body (or at least it felt that way). He bumped into a few people as he went and they shouted ''Hey!'' but he was gone before they could grab a hold of him and throttle him for being an inconsiderate prat, one guys Express and Star was ripped almost clean in half by Charlie's hand as he went to push him out of the way and he only met with newspaper and anger, and then suddenly he smacked straight into one guy he hadn't seen him ahead of him and the unsuspecting victim certainly hadn't seen him as he was choking his pipe with tobacco, looking down carefully, minding his own business. They both fell awkwardly to the floor with a thud, people stopped to look at them and as they both sat upright they slowly walked away, still looking occasionally at what they had witnessed. ''What the fuck are you doing!'' said the guy as he stood up and brushed the dirt from his knees and arse and hands. Still lying on the floor Charlie said, ''I'm sorry'' ''I should think so you maniac, what the hell are you playing at, kid like you running around, knocking people down, you should feel ashamed, I should take you home to your mother.'' Charlie was unsure what to say, he stood up. ''Do I look like a kid to you, these overalls aint covered in crayon you idiot, and I'm a working man like you!'' The guy walked over and pushed his face into Charlie's, ''You are a fucking kid, I work with kids like you all day, I know a little baby when I see one. Look at you. Who are you kidding?'' Charlie pushed him away from him, ''Baby? You reckon, you wanna feel a kids fist in your trap you mouthy idiot?'' ''You're a tough guy huh!'' the stranger said. ''No, I just need to be somewhere so let me get there, aye?'' Charlie held out his hands. ''I'd cane you're arse at my school you little prick.'' ''Well I aint a kid and I aint at your school,'' Charlie ran at him and pushed him over, ''YOU'RE THE PRICK.'' Shouted Charlie as he went, he legged it down the road. ''You son of a bitch'' he heard fade away behind him as he ran, but he ignored it. He continued to bump into people until he was out of the town centre hustle and bustle. He slowed down and then stopped, leaning against a wall for a moment to get his breath back, he leaned forward on his knees and gasped whilst looking back to see if the overzealous teacher had followed him, he hadn't. He continued to walk slowly to Derek's house. He arrived outside a small terraced house in Whitmore Reans; he knocked on the door and waited. He hadn't seen Derek much for the last few months, which was unusual; he had brought him and Nancy together and then Charlie had simply spent all of his time with Nancy. Infatuated, in love, obsessed, Charlie was all of these things. Young love was always the best. But neglecting his family wasn't right, and now he needed Derek more than ever. The door opened slowly. ''Hey Decker, how are you.'' Said Charlie. Derek appeared tired and pale, ''I dunno mate, I aint been well today, come in, you wanna cuppa?'' Charlie entered the house and shut the door, he couldn't take his eyes off Derek, he stooped a little and walked slowly back into the living room. Charlie followed. ''Sit down kid.'' Said Derek, ''I'll get the kettle on.'' He disappeared into the kitchen. The old fashioned terrace had the usual layout, the front door and the reception room, which was immaculate as always, them through the door the main living room and the door to the stairs, then behind that the kitchen and the small, almost excuse of a garden. ''Are you OK?'' said Charlie sitting down. ''Yeah I'm fine, just been a bit under the weather, aint been to work today, I can't remember the last time I had a day off work, it's been ages.'' ''What about your shop?'' ''Clarence has been running it, I'd rather he didn't but what can I do?'' said Derek. ''Well, you can call on me Deck, I'll help.'' ''You've got work mate, you've can't fuck your job up for me.'' Said Derek. ''I'll help if I can Decker, you know that.'' ''So what's new with you old bean you been up to much down the foundry?'' Derek said happily. ''Well same old, you know how it is, I've got something to ask you though, I know I've been a stranger lately but I need a big favour from you, d'you mind?'' There was a long pause, Charlie wondered what could be happening behind that tall white glossed council house door in the kitchen. Was Derek offended and pissed off that he was now asking a favour on a day of all random days when he was ill, was he running out of the back door scared, was he crying with excitement anticipating good news, Charlie shuffled in his seat. Despite the thickness of the covers on Derek's sofa he felt uncomfortable. In walked Derek, ''What mate, I missed that.'' Charlie sighed, ''I need to ask you something,'' Derek placed the tray down on the coffee table, on it were the cps of tea, a pot and a small dish of milk and a plate with a few biscuits. As Derek leaned forward to pick up the teapot he grimaced and held his side, ''Oooohhh'' he said quietly. ''Are you sure you're OK?'' said Charlie. ''Yes I'm fine,'' said Derek, sitting down in his chair, ''Can you do me a favour though mate and pour the tea?'' ''Yeah of course,'' Charlie leaned forward and proceeded to pour the pot and add the milk to the teacups. ''What do you wanna ask me,'' said Derek. ''I want you to be my best man.'' Derek stopped panting and looked down from the ceiling that he was staring at so hard, ''Wha what? You're kidding?'' ''I'm marrying Nancy.'' ''Holy shit congratulations!'' Derek held both arms outstretched, ''Come and gimme a hug you little bastard!'' Charlie shot up and into his brothers arms, Derek winced a little as he grabbed him, ''Are you sure you're OK?'' said Charlie. ''I'm fucking fantastic now; I've just pulled a muscle in my side. Come here bro, congratulations. They hugged each other, then sat back and talked work and football and drank tea. An hour or so later Charlie left for home, ''Make sure you get to the doctors Derek, I need you fit for my big day.'' ''Sure Charlie, I'll get on it.'' ** ** ** Nancy walked out in her dress and Gloria sighed, ''Oh my God you look beautiful,'' ''Are you sure?'' said Nancy. Gloria waved for her to come over to her, ''Here stand in front of the mirror, Oh my God the dress is sensational.'' Nancy half closed her eyed and walked over. Gloria gestured for her to face the mirror, she slowly and reluctantly did. ''Wow!'' she said, ''look at it, it's gorgeous.'' ''You're gorgeous and you've gotta have this one'' said Gloria, ''It's just so bloody gorgeous, just like you, you both go together.'' She repeated. Nancy stood proud and tall and looked at herself in the mirror, she turned left and right and then spun around in a full circle, she turned her back on the mirror and peered at herself over her shoulder, it was gorgeous, it was the one that she wanted. It was white head to foot, as a good wedding dress always is, it was low cut exposing a sexy amount of her ample breasts, the shoulders were almost both 'off the shoulder' in style, showing shoulder but also hugging them to keep everything up and holding up her huge bosom. The veil fitted over her head perfectly and the train spread back for several feet. ''I dunno though, it's so expensive'' said Nancy. ''You can't put a price on your wedding day; it'll be the most special day of your life,'' Nancy paused in thought, ''I know, I know, I do want it. But'' ''But what, what's the problem, you want it have it.'' ''Well we discussed it and because we are paying for the wedding ourselves we wanted to make sure that we kept things simple so we can concentrate on getting a house together.'' ''But you still can do that, people will help you out with furniture and things, you're both working, what's the issue?'' ''Well, you see, when we get settled afterwards Charlie wants to open his a textiles business, he says it's his dream and he needs to get out of the foundry cus people are dying from working there, the conditions aint great sometimes.'' Gloria looked a little angry at this, frowning, he eyebrows almost touched her nose, ''So he gets to have his dream but you can't have your? You should tell him you'll support him all the way but all you want is your dream too and that is a dream wedding, tell him Nancy, you've got too, you work, you earn, tell him you'll pay for it yourself'' ''I will, I will,'' interrupted Nancy, ''It's not like that, we don't argue over money, he's being prudent not tight, he aint selfish'' ''He sounds like he can be, I would never have thought it myself, he seems lovely, but'' said Gloria. ''Gloria, ''Nancy interrupted again, ''He is lovely, this is my situation, I'll do whatever it takes to make us both happy and if I have to compromise on the dress I'll do it!'' ''OK darling, I'm just saying, I think you will be a fool to give up your dream that's all.'' Gloria sounded a little sarcastic. ''Well it's my dream to have my own business too! We can run it together as husband and wife.'' Said Nancy sternly. ''You've never told me that you wanted to have your own business before'' ''Yeah well maybe I've never had the option before aye? This could be the start of something big for us.'' ''I suppose, ''said Gloria, ''Well if it makes you happy Nancy, it's your day and your life'' ''Yes mate it is, now gimme a hug and stop sounding so bloody downbeat all the time.'' Gloria came over and hugged her tightly, ''I love you mate, I'm not having a go, I just want the best for ya!'' ''I know Gloria, I love you too.'' ** ** ** Charlie had spent another hard day at work, as usual he smelt like a stale toilet carpet crossed with the rancid odour of an old granddads baccy pouch. It was nearly five o'clock, he'd managed to wangle himself an early finish but only because he had to work through his lunch, he was hungry and dirty but he still had time, his boss as always had been sighing and tutting and moaning when he'd asked. ''I know it's a liberty sir, but I really need to get my wedding suit organised, can't get married in my work soiled blues can I,'' he'd smiled. His boss hadn't, ''Look Charlie, you're young and excited about life, but I'm not making thousands of pounds a month by paying staff to not be here, I need you here working man! Surely someone as young and nave as you can grasp that'' he coughed a little, a cough that was caused by the copious amounts of Cuban cigars he shipped in by the crate load to smoke. ''Yes sir of course I can understand that, but this is a once in a life time thing, it's not like I'll be doing this again any time soon'' ''No lad you won't! You get one work your lunch and go at half four, now get out of here and do some work.'' He then proceeded to open the drawer to his desk and take out a small hip flask of whiskey he poured it into the heavily soiled tea cup on his desk. ''Thank you very much sir,'' said Charlie His boss ignored him, but he didn't care, he'd got what he wanted, with minimal fuss, what more can a guy ask? He rushed through the streets of Wolverhampton to the 'Arthur Blacks Wedding Store,' a small family run business with a huge reputation in the town for quality, cheap, suits, something that he had begun to research just before he had met Nancy, for his business, his textiles business. Derek had always encouraged him from an early age to try and be his own boss, he'd always talked about how he had loved being a house clearance guy. ''I'm not just taking everyone's stuff after they die, that sounds callous, I'm helping grieving families to tidy up people's affairs, and I'm recycling stuff. None of this stuff is rubbish. You know the two truest things that I have ever heard anyone say are, Where there's muck there's brass and one man's junk is another mans treasure. Tis true!'' Derek had repeated to him time and time and time again. Charlie was obsessed with clothes, not in a hoarding them fashion kinda way. During the war they, like everyone else had nothing, everything you got was handed down, handed over the fence from neighbours, swapped with friends or grabbed second hand off the market and he was always astonished at the mix and match of his daily clobber. One day his mum would dress him in a pair of short trousers and a white shirt with knee high socks (he refused to wear the garters, he felt that the leather they were made of probably harboured a lot of sweat of previous owners and somehow it seemed just wrong) and the next day he'd be wearing an old pair of black trousers and a threadbare jumper complete with holes and occasionally a stain that she couldn't scrub out. But what he'd always noticed was how much people neede clothes and wanted them and how fashion was as much a part of people's lives as clothes. He knew that of course during the war a lot of these ideals went out of the window, but still people would always try to get that slightly better cardigan or newest pairs of pants if they could, no one settled for second best if they didn't have to. He knew that clothes would always be needed, hell it was illegal to walk around naked, so it was the duty of every single person to wear them and he wanted to be the person to make them and sell them, clothing the West Midlands was his dream, and he hoped he could realise it some day soon. He arrived at Arthur Blacks with literally minutes to spare, he burst in, the bell clinging loudly and Arthur, the old man who owned and ran the store looked up from behind his counter as he counted the day's takings. ''Can I help you sir,'' he said. ''Yes I'm looking for a suit to hire for my wedding day.'' ''Certainly but we're closing in a little while, a wedding suit isn't something you can just choose'' I'll take that one.'' Charlie pointed at a suit that hung in the window with a huge cardboard sign above it saying 'Star Buy.' Please sir, I assure you that making a snap choice is regrettable later, you need to try a few on and see how they fit, you don't even know if that will fit.'' ''Well can I try it on come on I promise not to mess you about, if it doesn't fit we can try all of these other suits on.'' ''Wha I'm closing'' said Arthur. ''It's OK sir, I'm joking.'' ''Comedian are you?'' he said. ''Nope!'' ''I didn't think so'' Arthur waddled over to the window in that way old people do and reached up, making a 'uuumph' sound as he lifted it. ''There you go then, you can pop in the back and try it on, but hurry up, I've got a wife at home waiting for me to get back. If I'm late and my dinner is cold, I'll come looking for you sonny!'' ''Thank you,'' said Charlie, taking the suit from him, 'what a charmer you are' he thought to himself and then he fantasised for a moment about competing with Arthur Black for the wedding clothing business in Wolverhampton, 'I wonder if he'll come and get me then, or will he be too busy boarding this place up when I put him out of work.' Charlie felt a little bad about that thought, he closed the curtain behind him and got undressed. The suit fitted well, he stood and looked at himself, ''I do'' he said to his reflection. ''I take you Nancy Deekin to be my lawfully married wife'' he said. He fastened the jacket and stood with his hands by his sides, he tried to imagine a carnation on his lapel and his hair washed and combed properly. 'I think this is the suit, it feels right,'' intuition is a funny thing. He undressed, hung the suit back on the hanger and got dressed, when he left the changing room Arthur was standing with his money bags on the counter, his coat on, looking at his watch and sighing clearly for Charlie's benefit. ''Well?'' said Arthur. ''Well I think I'm going to take it.'' ''Good, that's twenty pounds please.'' Said Arthur. ''Hang on, the sign in the window said ten pounds,'' Charlie turned and pointed at the window but the sign had gone, another suit was hung in the place where his suit had been, ''You've moved it, you bloody robber!'' ''How dare you speak to me like that in my shop, I should give you a slap you cheeky little runt, it's twenty quid!'' said Arthur. ''No sir, it was ten pounds, I'm paying ten pounds for it.'' Said Charlie. ''You can put it down over there,'' said Arthur pointing at the counter and get out of my shop, I'll get the police if you try and take it without paying me twenty.'' ''Jesus Christ,'' said Charlie. ''And less of the blasphemy, I don't take kindly to that kinda talk,'' ''Oh you're so Christian aren't you sir,'' said Charlie, ''Ever read the bible, thou shalt not steal!'' Charlie felt very pleased with that. ''I'll 'thou shall not steal' you in a minute, twenty pounds or leave the suit.'' ''You know what, this has been a total waste of time,'' Charlie put the suit down on the counter and walked away. Then it hit hium, when can I get another suit. Old Boss man won't want me asking for more time off, damn it! He stopped and turne around, ''OK Arthur I'll give you fifteen quid for it, take it or leave it.'' ''It's twenty pounds, I've told you a dozen times, twenty pounds!'' Arthur raised his voice, his patience thinning, and his dinner cooling. ''OK twenty pounds it is.'' Said Charlie. ''I knew you'd see sense son, it's a fine suit and worth every penny.'' Arthur took his coat off and walked back around his counter to get his receipt book. ''Have you the cash now or are you making a down payment ready to collect later?'' Charlie took twenty pounds out of his pocket and threw it on to the counter, ''I'll take it now.'' Arthur wrote his receipt, Charlie snatched it and grabbed his suit and walked briskly out of the shop. ''Nice doing business with you son!'' said Arthur. Charlie walked outside and simply mumbled to himself, ''I've got you in my sights old man, one day I'll get you back, today you win the battle but I'll win the bloomin' war!'' ** ** ** The day was sunny, the walk to work was blissful, the day had gone pretty well for Nancy. It had been busy at work. It seems a day of sunshine gets everyone out and they all need to drink, alcohol fuelled the good times as well as the bad times in Wolverhampton. Molly was miserable as always moaning about the number of barrels she'd had to change that week and how lifting them was doing her back in, but really it was carrying all of the bags of cash to the bank that was doing her back in. Business had never been so good. Molly had been hinting that she could host the reception for her and Charlie's wedding but so far Charlie and her hadn't discussed that far, they were getting everything else organised and leaving the church and reception until last, what good was a reception hall with no guests and no food and what good was a church without a decent dress or suit to wear in it. Nancy cleaned up behind the bar and tidied away before clocking off, the machine on the wall stamping two pm onto her cards. 'Time to go and look at wedding cake.' She thought. ''Hey Nancy, are you off?'' said Molly. ''Yes boss,'' she saluted her, ''I'll be outta here in two shakes of a stick.'' ''Well I'll see you tomorrow and don't forget about my offer, you can have the bar for free as long as you invite gusts who can drink, ok?'' Molly stuck her thumb up and forced a smile onto her lips, her cheeks almost creaked as she did through lack of use. ''Of course Molly, I'll have a chat to Charlie and see what he thinks.'' Molly dropped her clock card back into its slot and grabbed her cardigan, ''Bye then,'' and she left. The cake shop, the imaginatively titled 'For Goodness Cake,' was on the other side of town, a walk that Nancy didn't really enjoy doing but on a day as sunny as today it wasn't so bad. She draped her cardigan over her arm as she strode confidently and happily along the pavement. The town was bustling with life, it was never a boring day. Their were always newspaper vendors on almost every corner shouting out ''Express and Star'' but they'd said it so many times over the day it now came out simply as ''Esssss n'Sta'' it made her chuckle. A gentleman, reading the sports headline from the back of his folded newspaper almost walked straight into her, but spotting her at the last moment he stopped and tipped his hat at her, ''Sorry my dear, I nearly knocked you flying!'' ''No problem!'' she said and he walked off. Further along the street she saw a man who the locals called 'Tommy the Tramp' She didn't know if his name was Tommy but he certainly was a tramp. He'd had the same clothes on for literally years. His coat and t-shirt had almost melded together to become one after years of rain and sun on them. His trousers periodically changed and that gave rise to rumours that he robbed from washing lines. People ignored him and his calls for ''Change'' it was a terrible existence. She felt sorry for him, she wanted to help him, but he was so smelly and a little scary that she feared that anything she tried to do could be met with aggression, she didn't need it. 'Where are his family' she thought as she crossed over the road to avoid him and walk on by like so many other people. He'd started to remind her a little of Clarence ever since she'd met him, a slightly odd character who on the surface appeared harmless enough but she feared had an undercurrent of evil. She arrived at the cake shop and stood wide eyed and open mouthed at the huge array of fresh cup cakes, doughnuts, chocolate clairs and sponge cakes that filled the window display like a heaven sent buffet (or a Satan sent buffet to a diabetic). ''Hmmmmmm I could eat the lot of you.'' She whispered to herself, licking her lips. She pushed open the door to the shop and it gave out the usual tinkle of the bell that every shop of the time had. Through a bead curtain behind the counter a woman appeared, she was small and thin and wore a long apron and a hair net. ''Hello can I help you?'' she said. ''I hope so I'm looking for a cake.'' The woman behind the counter smiled and spread her arms wide, emphasising the entire shop, ''You're in the right place, we do all sorts.'' ''I noticed, it all looks very scrummy.'' Said Nancy. ''Oh they are, my cakes are the best for miles and miles around, but of course I'm supposed to say that.'' ''OF course you are, but I'll take your word for it.'' ''Oh no, don't do that, here try one.'' she walked towards the window display and leaned in, ''Now let's see, do you like cup cakes.'' ''Er, well I wasn't planning on taking any with me today.'' ''It's OK,'' she waved her hand, ''This one's on the house. I promise you when you've had one you'll never go anywhere else for your cakes again!'' She picked up a pink iced cup cake and held it over the counter for Nancy. She took it and gave it a sniff, ''Mmmmm, smells so fresh,'' ''Eat it, go on, it's not poisoned.'' Again she smiled. 'What an odd thing to say' Nancy thought as she peeled off the paper cup and took a bite. She chewed it for a few seconds. ''What do you think?'' said the shop keeper. It was disgustin, Nancy had to try her hardest not to spit it back out, she chewed on it a little longer just to make sure she had cracked her way through the tough, burnt sections that had been covered with a sickly thick marzipan icing. ''It's OK, very nice!'' ''Well when you've finished that one, you can have another one if you like'' ''Oh no really I don't want to be eating all of your profits!'' said Nancy still chewing on the first mouthful. She didn't want to be rude so to create a diversion she said, ''I'm looking for a wedding cake, do you have any exampled to show me?'' ''I may have, I don't have any out here, hang on I'll be back.'' She wandered off back through her bead curtain into the kitchen. Nancy seized her opportunity, she opened the door to throw the cake outside, but the bell rang out, 'Oh bloody hell' she thought. The shop keeper came rushing through the bead curtain again. ''Can I help y Oh it's you, where are you going? Don't you want to see my wedding cakes?'' ''Errrr yes of course I do, I just felt a little faint and needed a breath of fresh air.'' Nancy lied. ''Oh I hope it wasn't my cake. Ha ha ha ha ha!'' the storekeeper cackled. ''No of course not, the cake is lovely, I get these dizzy turns from time to time, it's nothing really.'' ''Well you should get yourself up the doctors, you take a minute and I'll be back in a second, I've got a cake out the back here that I've been decorating just this afternoon for a wedding tomorrow, you can see what you think. It's got real icing on it and I do all the lettering myself.'' The shopkeeper beamed a big smile, her pride in her work shone through. 'I'll be the judge of that' Nancy thought, she wandered off again through her bead curtain and Nancy threw the cake out into the street and shut the door. The bead curtain opened yet again and the shop keeper walked trough with a large tray and placed it down on the counter, ''There what do you think, that's the kinda cake I do for weddings, it's really nice. 'It looked really nice but then of course the cup cake looked nice' thought Nancy. It was three round layers each one slightly smaller than the other, decorated around the edged with a white icing arranged into little flowers, it actually looked really good. ''So, errrrr, what layers are there, are they mixed?'' said Nancy. ''Well these three are all sponge, we can do different types. Last week we had someone have a carrot cake/sponge cake/cheese cake combo that was very tricky but great fun.'' ''It sounds very fattening!'' Nancy said. ''Ha ha ha ha ha'' cackled the shopkeeper again, ''Oh yes, they are all that, only the finest fats, sugars and butters go into my recipes, not good for the hips but great for the occasion, plus on your wedding night you can you know, burn it off, wink, wink'' she winked her eye twice as she spoke. ''I guess so.'' ''I even add messages or words if you want look,'' the shop keeper turned the cake around and pointed to the top layer. Nancy looked down and read, 'Love two you on yur weeding day' 'So you spell like you bake huh!' Nancy thought to herself. ''Wow, that's certainly a skill.'' She said. ''It certainly is, not everyone can do that, it took me years of training!'' beamed the shopkeeper again with pride and a big grin. Despite her obvious incompetence she seemed like a nice enough little woman and Nancy didn't have the heart to say, 'You're bloody thick woman, you wanna get a dictionary and some cookery lessons for Christmas!' ''Well it has been nice to meet you, you've certainly got a lovely little cake business here'' ''wait,'' interrupted the shopkeeper, ''can I take an order, do you wanna know what the prices are, anything? I'll do you a good deal, I promise.'' ''Well I can't place an order now, I've got to speak to my fianc first, money is tight.'' Said Nancy. ''I can do you a cake like this one, three tiers, I'll do the lettering for free if you want, all in for ten English pounds.'' She sounded desperate. ''OK, that is a little more than we'd planned to pay ''I'll do it for seven pounds then, OK?'' ''Well that is certainly better, but like I said I need to speak to my fianc.'' The shop keepers face went from desperation to just plain sad, ''OK, well you know where I am if you want it doing.'' Nancy felt a little sorry for her, ''OK, look let me take a bag of those cup cakes, how much are they.'' ''A penny each,'' she said solemnly. ''I'll take five then please.'' Nancy smiled, took out her purse and started to count the pennies on to the counter. The shopkeeper bagged up five cakes and handed them over, ''Thank you darling, please call again, but if I don't see you have a great wedding and life!'' she smiled. ''Aaaah, thank you very much miss'' ''Doris, call me Doris.'' Said the shopkeeper as she counted the pennies one by one into her hand. ''Thanks Doris, have a nice day'' said Nancy. ''You too!'' The door jangled as Nancy opened it, she walked through and it closed slowly behind her, she turned and saw Doris still staring at her, she waved. Nancy waved back and started off down the street. 'For Goodness Cake' Nancy thought to herself, the name made her smile, 'At least the old dear knows how to market herself to passers by. She walked back up the street and rather than cross the road when she saw Tommy the Tramp she walked over to him and held out the bag of cup cakes, ''Would you like these?'' she said to him. He looked up at her from his position sat on the pavement leaning against the wall of a convenience store and said nothing; he held out his hand and gingerly took the bag from her hand and opened it. Nancy walked away, he reached in and took out a cup cake, ''Thank you miss!'' he shouted. Nancy turned around, ''You're welcome.'' She said back to him before heading off home thinking about where she might go next to get herself an affordable and edible wedding cake.
Archived comments for The Album - Chapter 3 (Piece 2 of 5)
Texasgreg on 25-07-2012
The Album - Chapter 3 (Piece 2 of 5)
So she wants to have her cake and eat it too, eh? LOL
Still a good story. I like the way your characters interact.

Good job, Jay!
Photobucket.

Greg 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks for sticking with the story. I aint read any of it yet back since I wrote it, but its something to post here.

Jay.


The Album -Chapter 3 (Piece 1 of 5) (posted on: 20-07-12)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The first part of five that make up chapter 3.

Charlie and Nancy sighed together with fondness. ''They were simpler times weren't they?'' he said. ''We didn't have the money or the temptations to get up to anything else, not like today!'' said Nancy. Hindsight always was a wonderful thing. ''I remember they had my life at work the day after that first date. They said some terrible things, in jest but truly awful, you know how cruel blokes can be, especially in factories. They'd all be dead now though. Long dead. No photos of those guys in here,'' he held up the album for a moment, ''Shame that, they are literally just memories now. We've all got that to look forward to though I suppose.'' ''Oh Charlie you're bringing the mood down. You do get ever so melancholy these days; I bet another cuppa would perk you up wouldn't it?'' ''Oooooooh that would be great pet!'' he said. Nancy gingerly got to her feet, took their plates and cups and slowly toddled off into the kitchen. Charlie continued to thumb through the huge volume before him that was there life in pictures. ''Mind you you're right,'' shouted Nancy from the kitchen, ''Times were different, these days the kids would have come back and shot you for punching them in the face, but back then Ian was a gent, remember when he brought the card and flowers to us on our engagement. I wonder what happened to him.'' ''Well actually Nancy, it's an interesting story, bring the tea's through and I'll tell you what I heard.'' * * * Charlie was in the washroom at the back of the foundry, overalls undone and tied at the waste, his white vest was stained in sweat. He stood at the large, round communal sink that stood in the centre of the bathroom. The place was dingy, the walls a dark green colour that were marked with decades of dirty hand prints. The toilet cubicles that ran the length of three of the walls were mostly disgusting. Many had doors missing, those that did have doors had locks missing, many of the seats were broken or missing and rarely would you find toilet paper that wasn't already soaked in the toilet itself. The floor might as well have been the lavatory, as it was rarely dry, usually there was an inch of urine to gently tread through. Now and again the occasional joker would come in and start kicking it around the place and often to the delight of the victims they'd fall over into it and everyone would stand around them and kick it back at them. It was very childish and disgusting, but it went on all the time. Charlie often thought that the conditions in the bathrooms were similar to those in prison minus the rape and being stuck their twenty four seven of course. In walked Peter Bateman, covered head to foot in ash and dirt and oil. He worked on the furnaces operating them and maintaining them, a tough and filthy job. He stood next to Charlie, ''Hey-up Charlie,'' he said unbuttoning his overalls with one hand and reaching for the tap with his other. The tap was loose, it was essentially nothing more than half inch steel pipe that hung six feet or more from a main pipe above which carried the flow from each tap to the relevant outlet. It shook a little and made a gurgling sounds before coughing and spluttering dirty water for a second and then gushing a fast flow of clean water into the sink trough. Pete looked around. ''Hi Pete,'' said Charlie. ''You got any spare soap there lad?'' Charlie picked up a piece of soap and squidged it in his hand tightly until it flew out of the top of his fist towards Pete. ''Cheers lad,'' it thudded off the metal sink, Pete picked it up and looked at it puzzlingly, ''Fucking hell lad, you got a piece smaller!'' ''I have actually, there's a tiny nugget I chucked into the bog pan over there if you wanna reach in and grab it.'' ''You're fucking joking, I'll die of typhoid if I go near that place, it fuckin' stinks of shite,'' Charlie chucked him a larger piece, ''There you go, you moaner.'' ''Fuck off'' he said in that cheeky, friendly way that grown men often do to each other, ''So what's your plan for tonight sonny, you off out drinking and fucking, that's all I was doing when I was your age.'' Charlie looked at him with disgust, ''Like you've ever been out any time doing that stuff mate. Just because I'm young, it doesn't mean I'm stupid.'' ''Hey I'm married, I have to fantasise about that stuff now because it aint happening any more for me. ''Wow, too much information.'' Said Charlie. ''Too little information, too little to tell. Take my advice, never get married. Unless you enjoy cutting lawns, painting walls and having no sex or personality any more. If you wanna be a robot or an extension of your wife and someone who makes sure she has all of her needs met ALL of the time, then go for it.'' ''You're really selling it to me, and so honestly too, not like your bitter or twisted by your own life aye Pete?'' ''Twenty Five years son, all I do is work here, I've just done eight hours. I'm off now for an hour then I'm doing a second shift. It's fucking crazy, just to keep her living like royalty.'' ''Leave her then, or stop moaning.'' ''She's a fat bitch who likes to moan, but no one else will cook my tea or iron my pants, so I'm staying, for now.'' ''It can't be all that bad, I'm thinking of asking my girlfriend to marry me.'' ''Who that Nancy piece from up the Varsity, you go for it sunshine, she's a pearler, nice legs on her, and tits!'' ''Oh thanks, I'm so honoured that's my missus!'' said Charlie. ''no bother! I think you're fuckin' mad. Get yourself a flat, live like a batchelor. You can fuck and leave a new bird every weekend. Great life!'' ''I think you live in a movie in your own mind Pete, you 're a miserable git!'' ''Fuck off.'' ''Again with the pleasantries, you're such a catch, I'm surprised they aint lining up. Well I gotta go, no second shift for me, I gotta go and tell the little lady the great news, she gets to marry me!'' Charlie smiled to himself. Pete began to laugh out loud, ''Ha ha ha ha ha! She's winning last prize in the raffle with you.'' Charlie ignored him, he dried himself with reams of paper that he ripped from the dispenser, pulled his overalls back up and left, ''See ya later mate,'' he said. Pete said nothing. Charlie got home and did his usual getting ready to go out routine, soaking in the bath, cologne and putting on his cleanest crispest togs, prepared for him by his mum. Despite being eighteen years old and into a one year relationship she still treated him like her little baby. He was looking forward to tonight, he was excited and so was his mum. He wished that his dad could be there but he had been killed early in the war when a German plane bombed the factory that he was working at, twenty three people died that night and an entire factory that was making armaments was destroyed. It had been a terrible blow to the area but it added steel to everyone's hearts to fight on, it was especially sad for Charlie's mum who had lost her own father in World War one in the trenches of France. His mum declared when he told her that he was going to ask Nancy to marry him that she would still be there for him and would do his washing. She even offered to let him and Nancy live there together until they could afford a place of their own. His mum was quite a lot older than his friends' mums, or at least it seemed to him. He was only eighteen but his brother Derek was twenty nine and his mum was fifty five. It was unusual for a woman to have a child as old as she did, but she did, and always said that Charlie was worth the severe sickness and pains and immense labour, something she'd never experienced with Derek. He rummaged through the change that he had on his window sill in an old glass ashtray that he'd found in the attic one day when his mum was out and he shouldn't have been up there. She's always screamed at him ''Don't go in the attic, you'll just fall through the attic, it's not a safe place to be.'' 'Yeah right' he'd thought after year and year of watching his mum going up there to dance around and find Xmas trees and decorations and wrapping paper that she'd carefully kept from the year before, and the cards. Oh my God the cards. She never let the cards go. She purchased them, made them and saved them. She needed fifty, she made sure she had one hundred, just to be sure, but hey! She never needed that many. But year, after year, after year she made and bought a hundred. The loft was an all year round grotto. You could go up there in the middle of July, at the height of the worst drought the UK had seen in decades and feel like you were standing at the very grotto of Santa himself, apart from the hundred degree heat in the attic and the shorts, the t-shirt, the ice cream stains on your face and clothes and the wasps nest ironically built amongst your dead pine needles, ball-balls and tinsel, it was like Christmas. He'd quickly thumbed through a box that was marked ''Bill'' (Bill was his dad) and found the ash tray and decided, 'I'm having that.' He grabbed a handful of shillings and crowns, filled his pockets on his jacket and trousers and ran downstairs and with a loud ''Bye!'' disappeared through the front door. The walk to Nancy's house wasn't too far. She lived on the way to town. He'd walked past it what seemed like a thousand times before he ever met her now even realising it was a front door, to him it was yet another step towards town, towards work, towards the Varsity or the Hippodrome. Homes were often terraces, Charlie didn't know if terraces were built to save bricks or space, but which ever one it was it worked. You could get a hundred homes in a line along even the shortest street, where these new post war, modern homes that were so called ''semi detached'' allowed space between them that could have simply been another house. It seemed like waste to him. He strolled along the street avoiding the dog shit and the friendly but still drunk yokels who wanted change, an ear to bend or an all out fight. He arrived outside her house, as he did every night since they'd met, he knocked at the door, looked at his watch and realised she was probably in the bath and then stood there. He'd often stand with on her step with his back to the door until she came, especially when the inclement Wolverhampton weather was against him, but tonight she opened the door almost immediately. ''What are you doing?'' she said as he was still trying to balance both feet on the doorstep. ''Nuffin' just trying to get in darling, how are you'' ''Fine!'' she said walking away. He came inside and closed the door behind him, ''At least it aint raining tonight aye? I'm sick of the bloomin wet weather in this country all the while, we should go and live in America.'' ''Its hot, cold, wet and damp there too you know!'' she shouted at him from the kitchen. He took his coat off and left it on the back of her sofa in the reception room and walked through to the tiny living area that she spent most of her time in. Charles loved it, it was teenie tiny, but cosy, the house was narrow all the way back but that added to its charm for him. The reception room off the main front door and then the tiny living room, then the tiny kitchen, in the living room a step up to the stairs that took you up to the two bedrooms and the bathroom that was equipped with fully functioning bath and toilet, it was a palace. He sat down and Nancy came walking in, the room was dark apart from a lamp in the corner but she looked gorgeous. Her hair was tied up in a bun on her head, she wore a loose off the shoulder baggy top that covered to the elbows, showing off her lower arms and hands that were so emotive, so expressive, Charlie just wanted to hold them, and her. She wore silk underpants and knee length white socks on the tin carpet underfoot. ''You look beautiful Nance!'' She came over and fell on the sofa next to him, ''Do shut up, I'm a mess.'' She said. Charlie could never get over this. She always said she was a mess even when she was so hot all he wanted to do was fuck her brains out, bend her over and make her scream out how much she loved him, but she was never happy with her appearance unless it was preceded with three hours of preparation. She couldn't understand that she was just sexy, just attractive, she only felt comfortable covered in paints and make-up and fragrances. 'Why' he thought 'do women need to be dolled up, messed up and bigged up to feel like women?' Charlie was no expert with the women, but he was no shrinking violet either. He knew what went on and what went where and what excuses to use to get outta dodge before the sun came up. He was young and stupid like we all are at eighteen but he was not clouded and mystified by the way the world worked. He was after all a Wolverhampton lad. Nancy being a woman, with her prerogative, explained nothing. ''You're not a mess'' he leaned in and kissed her, she opened her eyes wide with surprise then surrendered wilfully to his embrace. She grabbed the back of his head and pulled him closer. She pulled him away by his hair, ''I love you Charlie Pugh.'' ''I love you too Nancy Pugh'' They'd played this courting game a hundred times before but this time was different, ''Nancy Deekin.'' She said, ''You clumsy fool!'' ''Clumsy, this clumsy'' and he fell to the floor with a crunch. He screamed out and held his knee. ''Oh my God Charlie are you OK?'' she stood up and grasped both hands at her mouth, ''Charlie'' He writhed around briefly on the floor like a tortoise on it's back, not very convincing at all. Then he turned on to all fours and tried to get up. ''Here take my hand,'' said Nancy. She held out her hand. He grabbed it and slammed something into her hand, he covered it tightly with both hands and pulled her close, she almost fell forwards into him. ''Nancy Deekin, will you be my wife?'' He kissed her on the nose, she was shocked. They stared at each other in silence, he anticipated, she wondered if she'd heard right. ''Of Of course.'' She said, ''Oh Jesus of course I will, I love you. I love you so much'' She hoped that she'd heard right now! Charlie grabbed her and pulled her to the floor and they snuggled up and kissed. Charlie grabbed the box he'd thrust at her and opened it, ''I hope you like it.'' She looked at it, ''I do, of course I do'' Her face lit up as she held out her hand and he slid the finger on to her wedding finger. She held her hand out before herself and looked opened mouthed at what he had given her. She was unsure for a moment if this was right, 'Do I want to be tied to this man for ever?', ''You really shouldn't have. It looks so expensive.'' ''You're worth it,'' he said, knowing how little it cost. She began to cry, it felt right, ever so right, she knew he was the one for her. He made he laugh, smile, he could dance and looked pretty good, he worked idea and had a conscience, her tears ran down both cheeks, ''Come here,'' he said hugging her. ''Let's go to bed,'' she said. ''I dunno if we should we said we were keeping ourselves for our wedding night. Err..'' ''Don't worry about that, no one will know,'' she kissed him again, ''Come on I want to.'' ''But I I'' he stuttered. ''What's up?'' ''I'm I'm a Virgin Nancy kissing you is all the experience I have.'' She looked at him, ''Well it won't hurt then, to get some practise, ready for the big day or should I say big night!'' He felt self aware at he way she said 'big' ''I dunno, I, I wanted to make it special, the first time, our wedding night'' She hugged him and then pushed him over so he was laying flat on his back. ''What are you doing?'' he said. ''Just lie back and relax.'' She fumbled with his trousers, undoing the button and zip, with a strength he had never seen from her before she pulled them down to his knees. ''Oh my God.. Yes!'' he said as she began to suck his cock. Good news travels fast it seems, not as fast as the end of the war, but still pretty hot on its heels. Pete the pervert who poured molten steel into moulds for a living had told everyone when Charlie arrived for work the next day. As he walked into the factory everyone cheered and clapped shouting, ''Well done sonny,'' and others shouting ''If you want to be married and miserable like the rest of us, more fool you!'' But it was all good natured, for the first time in all of the months that he had worked in that sweaty, smelly, misogynistic foundry everyone was being nice and it was obviously well meant. Everyone came over and stood around him, some patted him on the back and other just poked him in the ribs several times. He didn't know why. ''Thank you all very much,'' They ruffled his hair and took the Mickey out of him as they always did but they were all happy for him and not trying to get a cheap laugh out of each other, Charlie was overwhelmed and felt on top of the world. ''Look anyone wanna come and have a drink with me tonight?'' ''Where at?'' someone shouted. ''Just up the Varisity, Nance works there so I might as well meet her. She's got the night off to celebrate as long as she celebrates there. You know how it is. ''Ha ha ha ha ha,'' they laughed, ''Her boss is no fool.'' ''She's gotta make a living and I guess she knows how much you guys can drink you bunch of reprobates!'' ''Yeah of course we'll be there.'' They all said in one way or another apart from the odd fellow who had to be home, you know the guys, the ones who are the most sexist who have to be back home to rub their wives backs and help with things around the house. They skulked away from the frivolity to try and avoid the embarrassment of saying they'd be there for sure only not to turn up. ''Thanks guys.'' Said Charlie. Slowly the group melted away as people returned to there work; despite the occasion everyone knew that it was no excuse to the powers that be when it came to work. The old fashioned way of doing things was then (and still is in tho thousand and eleven in many ways) 'Be grateful I employ you, now stop wasting time, I pay you, I own you during working hours' Not a great way of treating people at all. But what boss cares about the feelings of his employees when there is money to be made? When Charlie walked into the Varsity there was a huge roar, everyone had been true to there word and had turned up, there must have been seventy people from work standing around the bar with drinks in there hands. Molly stood behind the bar with the biggest smile he had ever seen her with. Nancy was sat in the corner surrounded by some of her friends and the locals all chatting and laughing. He walked over to here amid cheers and handshakes and sat down next to her. He put his arm around her and kissed her cheek and the loudest cheer so far went up. ''Thank you everyone.'' he said. Gloria, one of Nancy's friends, a very tall woman. Probably the tallest woman in Wolverhampton. She stood about six foot four high in flat shoes but insisted on wearing heels, she was not a fat person, and not thin, but her stature made her seem like a whole lot of woman. She was very intimidating to men and she took none of their nonsense either, she was probably going to be Nancy's maid of honour but being so big and imposing she could have been anything she wanted, ''So what are the plans then guys, tell us everything, where, when, I want the gossip.'' She said. ''What so you can gossip all over town you cow!!!'' said Nancy smiling. ''Of, bloody course!'' she said, ''I'm going to be telling everyone everything, if there is one thing people like and that is a good wedding.'' ''Or a good funeral,'' said Pete killing the conversation almost until Gloria said, ''Who likes a funeral? ''Well me if it's the right person.'' He said nudging Charlie and laughing, ''Ha ha ha ha ha.'' Charlie turned to Nancy, ''See what I have to put up with all day, the guys such a comedian!'' ''He is'' said Nancy, winking at Pete. Pete was already drunk a problem he'd had for several years. Drink to him was like tea. Time for a cuppa, out comes the Scotch. He wasn't a bad bloke, most drunks weren't, they were drunk, but still he was slowly killing himself with the very thing he loved. Drunkenness was an addiction like any other; the thing in this case was the thing that would take your life. We all knew the saying 'What didn't kill you made you stronger' but that was utter bollocks. Everyone liked drinking these days. Everyone supped at an ale of choice, some liked beers, others ales or ciders and some 'seasoned professionals' liked a shot or two of a spirit such a good Scotch or a heavy brandy, but no one feared its effects. It was like smoking back then; it was the glory years of smoking in those first fifty years of the twentieth century. Everyone smoked, men women, kids, to a man they all dragged on a Capstan or a Woodbine or even grandpa's pipe, before taking a huge glug of gin and a pinch of snuff to clear the airways ready for the walk to the pub in the winter. People were unsure of the risks and they enjoyed alcohol and tobacco with a blinkeredness that looking back was nave but beautiful. ''So where are you going to hold the wedding then Nance?'' said Gloria. ''Hmmmm we want to do St Paul's'' she said. ''Hey hang on,'' said Charlie, ''We've gotta shop around, the cash is going to be tight.'' She looked at him with a comedic scornful face, ''Come on, you know I'm worth it.'' She winked at him; he knew she was referring to the blow job. Charlie shuffled in his seat a little awkwardly, ''Yeah baby, you're worth anything. Forget St Paul's I want us to have Westminster Abbey, I want us to have the best wedding, all our friends and family and the biggest and greatest reception ever, but we gotta think of the future, we need a house together and that is gonna cost more than the greatest wedding Wolverhampton's ever seen!'' ''Forget the house, I'll live in a tent with you Charlie.'' Said Nancy. ''You guys are making me feel sick, for god sake, can you can the niceties and just tell me what dress I need to buy.'' Said Gloria. Everyone laughed for a moment, Gloria's blunt comic relief was legendary. ''I'll call St Paul's tomorrow and see what they can do,'' said Charlie. ''I went there for a funeral once you know,'' said Pete. ''Enough with the morbid funeral shit!'' said Gloria, ''Man you are fucking idiot, talking shit all of the time.'' Pete said ''Wanna come back to a shit talking idiots house and fuck!'' His dryness and bluntness was only matched by his alcoholism. ''You wish!'' said Gloria. ''Yeah I do actually, all of this pairing off and wedding talk is really getting me going.'' He said smiling, gapped, yellow teeth showing. ''You sober up and I'll let you eat me out.'' Said Gloria who turned her back on him and took a huge drag from her cigarette. ''Fuck you, you know you want to.'' Said Pete. Gloria ignored him. Charlie and Nancy looked at each other a little unsure what were unfolding, but they both sat back and shut up. After a moment of drinking and smoking quietly Nancy said, ''You know I'm kidding about the wedding Charlie, we could have it here in the Varisty for all I care as long as it's a good day, Westminster or Varsity, we'll still be married.'' ''I'll drink to that,'' said Pete. ''Me too mate!'' Pete and Charlie raised their glasses and clinked. ''Hey,'' said Nancy, ''No need to celebrate tightness!'' ''I'm not tight babe,'' said Charlie, ''I'm just skint! But don't worry babe, we'll have a decent day, I'll make sure of that.
Archived comments for The Album -Chapter 3 (Piece 1 of 5)
Texasgreg on 22-07-2012
The Album -Chapter 3 (Piece 1 of 5)
Again, going by content and not form, (or spelling-killed there and their). I'm actually enjoying and looking forward, Jay. I like the writing, characters, and time in which it is set. I do hope you get more reads and comments.

Good job!
Photobucket.
Greg 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading!

Jay.


The Album -Chapter 2 (Piece 3 of 3) (posted on: 16-07-12)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The third and final part of chapter 2.

Charlie walked confidently towards her house, as confident as he'd ever walked anywhere, and why not? He turned on to Acacia Road and stopped. The houses were not what he'd expected. He'd heard on the gossip-laden, rumour mill that her dad was a bank manager, maybe he was, but the houses were nothing like what he'd have ever expected a bank manager to live in. They were semi detached, cracked, dirty and unkempt. He was surprised to see weeds growing almost five feet tall in front gardens, rubbish left in piles next to front fences and the general smell of degradation, and poverty and human bodily excretions. Some of them weren't so bad. Some had no front gardens at all, a row of terraces lining part of the way down the one side of the street whilst the ones opposite where just falling apart semis. He took a deep breath and began to walk down the street, he felt awkward and uncomfortable, it wasn't the kind of place he was used to. The terrace where he lived was clean and tidy, everyone worked hard to keep the place like that and everyone took pride in where they lived, his father always said to him that it was 'the sick, the lazy and the criminal that lived like animals and were where not any of those.' I suppose he was right. So who lived along this street, surely not Rebecca? If she did she hid her poverty well. She was always so immaculately turned out, it seemed unreal to think that she may actually live here. The fantasy in his head had always been of a well turned out girl, from a successful background. But then this made her more likeable, more real, she was just like the rest of them, another working class person just trying to eek out a living and get by, and damn it she was getting by alright. He walked along the looking at the even numbers on the doors of the terraces. Twenty eight, thirty, thirty two and then he was there, outside number thirty four. He raised his hand to knock the door, then paused and thought to himself, 'Oh damn it, I should have brought some flowers, or something' but it was too late, he was already here. She may have seen him through the window, if she saw him walking away she might think he'd lost his bottle or had changed his mind. He didn't want to take any chances plus he was unsure how many of the windows had people twitching the curtains, he didn't want to draw attention to himself more than he had to by acting strangely, these sick, lazy, criminal types could come after him, running down the street with a knife, screaming 'Not so lazy now am I!' He didn't want that, he just wanted to get Rebecca and go. He knocked on the door, bang, bang, bang! He waited. No one came, there was nothing 'maybe she's out he' thought, then he heard the jangling of keys as someone on the other side tried to open the door. 'Just a minute, this darn thing is always sticking'' said a voice on the other side. It sounded like a young girl but it certainly wasn't Rebecca. 'Maybe she has a little sister' he thought. The lock clicked open and the door opened. Stood before him was a young girl, he recognised her from around school, he thought she may have even been in the same year as him, but he didn't know her name, he was unsure if he was even right. They stood for a moment looking at each other. She was smiling and her hair had been platted into two little pig tails that ran down the side of her head and over her shoulders. She wore a light blue fleur wrap dress and had sandals on. She looked a little over dressed to be sitting around the house. ''Hello, I'm Charlie he said. ''Hello, I'm Sian.'' She replied, ''You look lovely!'' ''Thank you very much, he said, ''You look very nice yourself.'' He said, it felt only right to return the compliment. ''Oh bless you!'' her cheeks went a little red. ''I'll go and get my cardigan,'' she said turning to head back inside, ''I won't be a moment.'' ''Err hang on.'' Said Charlie. She stopped and turned back to face him. ''Are you coming with us?'' he said. ''Us? We are us aren't we Charlie?'' she looked a little confused. ''No, there must be a mistake; you see I'm here to take your sister out?'' ''Sister? I haven't got a sister,'' her face dropped, she folded her hands as she spoke, ''Well I can't believe this, is this a joke, I was told that you wanted to take me out Charlie, this was all your idea.'' ''What?'' It all started to dawn on Charlie what was going on, Rebecca had played him for a mug. That day he'd sat out of football and studied, she'd come and played him like a fool, and now he was stood here like a fool, and this poor unwitting girl before him had also been used. He felt a little sick and extremely disappointed. His dream of happiness shattered in an instant. ''I I think we've been duped by Rebecca.'' He said, ''You see she asked me out and gave me your address.'' ''She told me that she could get me a date and that you were interested. She said you were nice.'' ''Hey hang on please, I am nice. I'm not saying that I don't want to take you out, we can still go out if you like.'' ''What you do wanna go out, but you just said Rebecca played a trick.'' ''Well, she has, but we can have the last laugh, we can go out and have a good time, why not, we're both dressed for it aren't we.'' ''I suppose so'' she said, ''Gosh, this is all a bit weird. Why would she have done such a thing? It's not really a great prank is it?'' ''Nope!'' he said. And so Charlie took Sian out. They had a good time, they went to the cinema and watched Hamlet starring Lawrence Olivier, they agreed to watch it because they'd both been reading it in English at school. It was a nice enough day, but at the end of it they went there separate ways. They didn't see each other again, occasionally they'd pass each other in the corridor at school and would share a smile. But they never spoke to each other again. Rebecca never asked him how his date had gone, perhaps she didn't care. She didn't care about him when she wound him up so why should she care afterwards. 'She's probably moved on to her next victim' thought Charlie, who now saw her in a different light. Yes she was pretty sexy, but that was all she was. Beneath the skin lay a bully and a prankster and a selfish little bitch. Charlie had more hope for tonight. The rain had started to fall a little harder now and still he couldn't see Nancy. He hoped it wasn't to be another night of high hopes dashed. He tucked the tickets into his coat pocket to stop them getting wet and he pressed himself hard against the outside of the Hippodrome. 'I'll give her five minutes and then I'm outta here,' he thought. That thought had barely left him when he felt a tap on his shoulder, he turned to see Nancy. She looked gorgeous. She stood beneath an umbrella, her hair and make-up immaculate. ''You look beautiful,'' he said. ''You look soaking!'' she said. They laughed. ''Come on let's get inside, I need a drink.'' Said Charlie. ''Well, I'll better get them in, I can get served.'' They quickly disappeared through the door into the foyer, handed in their tickets, cloaked-roomed their coats and walked into the dance hall. It was huge inside. Above them were two half moon tiers of seats that all faced towards the stage area. The floor area cleared of its seating to make a huge dance floor. As they entered from the foyer they were facing straight at the stage. On the left and right sides were two large double doors that lead out to each of the two bars. The ladies toilets being on the left and the gents on the right. The place was pretty full already, ''Wow, I've not seen it so busy for ages,'' said Charlie, ''It seems like everyone in Wolverhampton is here tonight.'' Together they walked to the bar, ''What are you drinking soldier?'' she said. ''Please let me get them,'' he said. ''Are you sure you want to try, I mean if they refuse you and see you with me, they might refuse me too.'' ''OK, well at least let me pay.'' He said. ''Ok, now you're talking my language!'' she held out her hand and he gave her a shilling. ''What you drinking?'' ''I'll have a pint of bitter.'' He said. ''OK, but let's live a little aye, I'll get us some whiskey chasers, that'll help liven us up for some swinging.'' She went to the bar to fetch the drinks. Charlie stood near the large double doors that were held open with chain links bolted to the wall. He looked out over the dance floor, it was heaving. Hundreds of men and women, some older, some younger, most of them in their twenties all spinning around the floor, hand in hand, touching and kissing and moving to the music. He was apprehensive about his abilities but he was looking forward to getting out there for a boogie with Nancy. ''Hey Charlie, come and give us a hand with these,'' He turned and looked over, she'd lined them up alright. A pint and a half of bitter and four shots of whiskey. He wandered over. ''Wow are you trying to get me drunk missus?'' ''Maybe or maybe I need a few to get my dancing feet oiled up. Here let's toast to a great night.'' She picked up two shots and handed one to Charlie, they clinked the glasses together and tipped them back. Charlie grimaced slightly at the taste and was slightly shocked to see Nancy put the glass straight down and grab her second one and tip that back too. ''Come on you lightweight, can't you keep up with a girl.'' ''Ha ha ha ha ha, usually I can, but not tonight it seems.'' She handed him his second shot, ''Don't worry I'll take it easy so you can hold the pace. You don't wanna be out drunk by a girl do you?'' ''Well I am younger than you, you know'' said Charlie as if that had any relevance at all. She smiled, ''Just get it down ya!'' Charlie, always a good lad, did as he was told. Again he grimaced at the taste but he enjoyed the warm feeling as it trickled its way down to meet the first shot that was already coursing through his veins. ''I think I'm nearly ready for a dance.'' he said. They grabbed their pints and walked out into the dance hall. It was an amazing site, he never tired of seeing hundreds of people out on the dance floor. Usually he' be unaccompanied and he'd be there with a mate or two and they'd scour the dance floor for talent. They'd rarely have any joy with any of the women but they always had a go. He knew it was an exercise in futility but week after week for months and months he and his mates would turn out and have a go at pulling Excalibur from the stone. Nothing doing. Every week. He'd rush home from work, bathe for until the water was cold and stagnant and then douse himself in whatever he could find that smelt better than lifebuoy soap and then grab his shirt and trouser and meet the lads for a quickie in the Varsity before heading on down to the Hippo. He'd never been there with a date before, he wanted to be cool and sophisticated but you were limited in what you could do as you were what you were, a normal everyday, and everyman, no one special. The Hippodrome was a working class escape, and despite the nice dresses, the make up the shirts and ties all of these people were workers, blue collar factory people, cleaners, labourers, bin men, decorators, all escaping that life for a few hours on an evening away from poverty. Some were much more they were war veterans. Many young men had been to Europe only a few years earlier to fight Hitler and his hoards across Europe and Africa. Some of them had been Japan too, and even worse a small number of them were recovering from months and even years as prisoners of war. A dance with a pretty girl and a beer was heaven for them, not an escape from humdrum, but pure, unadulterated heaven. They struggled with reality after seeing people die, friends injured, inmates tortures, limbs blown off, day to day life was hard, being able when others weren't and asking the simple question, why? But a dance with a good song and a belly full of ale was escapism, it was pleasant, it was freedom. Music was a freer of souls, a relaxing agent, a dance was a pleasant moment of exertion, and if you could do it looking into the eyes of a loved one or a good looking gal it was all the better. ''So where do you want to sit?'' he said. ''Sit?'' she took his pint from his hand and they placed it on the nearest table, ''Let's dance!'' She grabbed his hand and dragged him onto the dance floor, bumping people left and right, he tried to apologise but he was too slow as he disappeared from the view of slightly miffed person after another, wanting to moan inanely or drunkenly about being tapped lightly as they talked shit to a girl they really wanted to fuck. She stopped suddenly and he bumped into her, grabbed her and they looked at each other for a moment, ''Sorry, are you OK?'' he said. She said nothing she took his hands, pulled him close and began to dance. The night turned into a dance festival, at the end of it, they left together giddy, tired and happy. ''Can I walk you home?'' he said. ''Of course.'' She said. As they headed off together they heard a shout, ''HEY!'' They turned together and saw a young man walking towards them, ''What are you doing come here with my girl'' he tripped and almost fell over his own feet, steadying himself with his arms that flew out before him, flailing like a zombie. ''What the hell is he talking about?'' said Charlie. Nancy put her hands to her face, ''Oh my God, not him'' she whispered. He walked up to Charlie and pushed him. Charlie raised his arms in defence and shouted ''What's you're game pal!'' ''She's mine!'' he shouted. Nancy stepped back, ''Go away Ian.'' ''I asked her out tonight, she was supposed to be here with me, why is she here with you who are you anyway?'' Charlie stepped forward and tapped Ian in the chest with his finger, ''Who are you and why do you want a kicking.'' Ian stood himself upright, but continued to sway left and right, struggling to focus on his quarry, ''Wha what did you say.'' Charlie leaned backwards and with a single swift punch that landed heavily on Ian's chin, he put Ian on his backside on the floor, dazed he looked up at Charlie. ''What was that for?'' he said almost innocently. Charlie knelt down on his left knee and grabbed Ian by his tie and pulled him close, ''Look fella, I dunno who you are, but she's with me tonight. I'm taking her home, and if you even look at her again, let alone talk to her, I'll smack you down again, and again, and again. So back away.'' ''Ok ok, I I'm'' Ian said. Charlie got up and turned around, 'Where's Nancy?'' He looked up and down the street, then he spied her ahead of him, heading where towards home, ''Nancy!'' he shouted. He broke into a trot; he'd have run if his calves weren't still aching from all of his amateur exploits on the dance floor, ''Nancy!'' She stopped and turned around, she had tears running down her face. He ran over to her, ''Are you OK Oh my gosh, I didn't mean to hit him, I'm sorry.'' He reached into his pocket and took out his handkerchief and offered it to her, she took it and wiped her face, smearing her eye liner. He took the handkerchief back from her, ''Here you've smudged let me'' She closed her eyes and he gently wiped the black smear from beneath her eyes. ''There, all beautiful again.'' He took a hold of her right hand with both of his, ''I'm sorry for hitting him.'' ''It's OK,'' her eyes appeared bigger with the tears in them, reflecting the light from the gibbous moon that shone down on them, the rain clouds from earlier all gone, now dampening up the road and pavements. ''It's not OK, I shouldn't have hit him, he just I dunno wound me up. I thought he was going to hurt you.'' She leaned into Charles and hugged him; he put his arms around her. ''Take me home.'' She said. He put his arm around her and the headed off together, ''I'm sorry I made you cry.'' ''You didn't make me cry, I just felt that he ruined our evening. We'd had such a good evening.'' ''I think smacking him in the mouth might have ruined his evening more!'' said Charles. She laughed, the kinda laugh that the joker could really enjoy too, the snotty, spluttery, laugh that neither laugher or joker expected, she held her hand up to her face and Charles offered her his handkerchief again which she took and wiped her face with. ''Do you know him? If you don't mind me asking.'' Said Charles. ''Yeah well kinda he drinks in the Varsity, he's well known in there. He's a drunk. He's always pestered me. I was able to avoid him when I was just cleaning but these last few days I've been helping out Molly in the bar and he's got a crush on me. He's always asking me out and I might have said I might think about it you know just to make him go away and leave me alone. He was drunk as a skun and I never thought he'd remember.'' ''Oh well I guess I shouldn't have hit him. I mean if he's a chronic drunkard. It seems a little unfair.'' ''He deserved it, he's a maniac, a few years ago he was in the pub and Molly told him to get out, it was a Saturday afternoon and the footie fans had just left. He stood at the bar, the place was virtually empty, and he was mouthing off. I mean the worst profanity I'd ever heard. I was fortunate to be working out the back and so I could avoid it. But Molly couldn't and she certainly aint anyone's fool, she really loves her pub and will do what she has too to look after it. I've seen her make grown me shudder in their shoes. She walked around the bar and grabbed him by his ear and dragged him towards the door, she shouted at him 'That's enough of that language in here, get out until you've sobered up you.' But he didn't want any of it, he pulled away from her and shouted that she was a fat cow, he smashed the chairs and tabled next to him, he even picked one up and threw it at the optic smashing them all. He must have cost her a fortune. She managed to get him out with a little help from a couple of the other regulars, but then a few days later he turned up with his tail between his legs and some money he'd won at cards and paid her back. He was barred for a while but she eventually let him back in, drunks are profitable you see and she'd have been silly not to have him back. But ever since I've been scared of him and tonight I was worried what was going to happen, but you sorted it Charlie, you sorted it out good. Thank you.'' She rested her head on Charlie's shoulder slightly as they walked together in the moonlight. ''I'm not like that normally.'' He said, ''I'm not violent. Please know that. I'd never hurt you.'' ''I know you're my hero tonight, you saved me from that violent man, you're not a bad man.'' ''Well, just so that you know I don't get stinking drunk and start throwing punches. When I've had a good drink I have enough trouble throwing myself into bed let alone anything else.'' ''Ha ha ha ha ha.'' She laughed, ''You have such a silly turn of phrase sometimes but you make me laugh.'' ''Well it's true. I'm a lover not a fighter!'' ''Well, you don't sound like too much of a lover to me, passing out in your bed after your ale'' she said smiling. Charlie felt a little embarrassed but the alcohol helped him through it, ''Well I guess I need to keep off the sauce then.'' They stared into each other eyes, the pause long but not awkward, and then Nancy leaned in and kissed him passionately. Charlie reciprocated as best as he could, it was his first real kiss. He'd never forget it no matter how long he lived.
Archived comments for The Album -Chapter 2 (Piece 3 of 3)
Texasgreg on 18-07-2012
The Album -Chapter 2 (Piece 3 of 3)
Took me a couple days to get to it, but I did. All-in-all, good story. Trying to remember who Rebecca was.
This all there is or are you still working it?
Photobucket.
Greg 🙂

Author's Reply:
I have about 50,400 words in total and the story isn't finished but I'm pretty confident that by the time I've published all of the other segments I'd have written out a conclusion. Hopefully will add another 2 or 3 thousand words.


The Album -Chapter 2 (Piece 2 of 3) (posted on: 13-07-12)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! The second part of the second chapter. I found it hard to find a clean break point for this part of the story, so this section might end suddenly, but the third and final part of chapter two should be up next publishing day. Enjoy.

Charlie arrived outside the Hippodrome early, he looked at his watch it was seven fifteen, he was keen to make a good impression and lateness was something he hated. It was a sign of disrespect the thought. If someone agrees to meet at a time they should be there on time or early, making someone stand around was not good, but he was ready to forgive Nancy if she was late, he was happy to stand around waiting, as long as the heavens didn't open up on top of him. In his heart he'd hoped that Nancy would be early too as the skies had begun to cloud over and a fine hazy rain had started to fall as he'd walked into Wolverhampton. He pressed himself against the wall outside to try and shelter himself from the elements and turned up his collar on his jacket to try and stop the water running down his neck and back. He easily became ill and knew that sitting in a wet shirt, even for half an hour or so would leave him laid up for weeks and of course 'how impressive would I look, he thought, 'standing here like a drowned rat on a first date, not a good look, especially as it wouldn't look much of a step up from filth black overalls. I want her to know I've made the effort!' Nancy had blown him away. He'd really enjoyed the chat with her the day before and even though they'd never met before it felt like they'd been friends forever. Thoughts of her made him smile. All day at work as he poured molten iron into moulds to make nuts and bolts he'd whistled a merry tune and had a spring in his foot that even the most insane work lover would have envied. He was amazed at how much of an impression she had made on him. He hadn't thought of anything else all last night and all day at work. He wasn't one for getting the attention of the ladies but he certainly was one to grab the opportunity with both hands, by both boobs no that seemed to vulgar to him, he liked her, metaphorically he changed the image in his head so he grabbed her with both hands and just put both arms around her. 'There, at least in my head she can't get away from me now.' He didn't want to go into the hall without her, especially as he had gone at lunchtime and gotten tickets for two and he wasn't even sure if she would turn up, no that's silly, it was her idea, surely she'll turn up. But then hang on, what if it was just another female cruelty trick, like so many others he'd seen or heard of or felt in his short life? After all such a terrible trick had happened before and he'd been left devastated. Growing up he'd gone to school with a girl named Rebecca Smith Rebecca Smith was the girl that everyone liked. She was quite a tall girl, very slim but with a great figure. Her breasts stood out before her like mountains. The lads in class would always joke that you would know If she was coming around the corner because you would get five minutes to see her breasts before the rest of her appeared. They were huge, and I'm not just saying that, they really were. For a girl of sixteen years old it was almost unnatural and the fact that she was so skinny too made them more appealing. There of course were other girls with breasts that were as big as Rebecca's too but they were usually girls who were a little more rotund in figure. If the truth were to be told by any young lad they would have been happy to take any breasts from any girl no matter what her shape or size, after all the lads were all virgins just like Charlie, and of course lads are always going to be lads. The hormones that pulsed through the veins might as well have been heroin or crack cocaine for the overwhelming control they had over the brains of all teenage boys. But none of the boys, in there arrogant, misogynistic, teenage way wanted to be seen with a fat girl on there arm. Looking back they weren't actually so fat or so ugly, some of them have actually grown up to be very pretty and sexy women, but back then the boys didn't see it. They were more worried about self image and how other lads would perceive them, and being seen with a ginger haired girl with a fat arse was not something any of them wanted tarnishing their other wise good reputation. The fact remained that all of these boys, despite wanting to protect themselves from gossip still spent a large amount of their time at home masturbating furiously over Rebecca. That too was another thing that was always difficult to understand. Wanking. We all assumed that everyone did it; we all knew that we did it in the privacy of our own bedrooms (and some lads in the toilets at school judging by the states of some of the cubicles), we assumed the girls did it too, even Rebecca and that made us want to wank all the more. Jesus the thought of her lying on her bed with her hand down there doing all the things we wanted to do to her was too much. Yes it's safe to say that Rebecca surely was a girl that every guy at school wanted to take home and fuck the living daylights out of. Charlie, on the other hand, was not the most popular kid at school, but certainly not the nerdy, spotty, bullying victim that some kids allowed themselves to be. He was a kind of everyman, all things to all people, average in class, average at sports, average looks, moderately funny, kept away from trouble, didn't draw too much attention, you know the sort, most of us were the same at school. So it was a massive surprise to him when Rebecca came up to him one day and asked him to go out for a dance with him. He was minding his own business on one sunny, summer lunchtime at school. The other lads were playing football, jumpers for goalposts, rush back goalie, twenty-a-side, the usual rules of the playground where yellow and red cards were no where to be found and instead of a referee you just sorted out disagreements with two or three minutes of pushing and shoving and telling each other what you did to there mom last night (when all you were doing was lying back and thinking of Rebecca). He'd sat out this game because there was an odd number of players and it seemed unfair for one team to have more players than the others. Sometimes you'd see the best player from each team haggle over problems like that ''Well you've got one less player but two of my team are shit I mean look at No Feet Neil and Diabolical Dazza, they are shit so they don't even count, so technically you're a man up!'' School didn't just rhyme with cruel, most of the time it literally was brutally cruel. How do any of us come through it without our sanity? It was about to become much more cruel than a simple slight on his football skills and Charlie didn't realise it. He was reading a copy of 'Of Mice and Men' a novel by John Steinbeck that he had to read and critique for his English literature class and he hadn't even noticed Rebecca come walking over, he'd even missed the wolf whistles and jeers that some of the lads playing football had shouted at her as she went. She had flicked them the ever so lady like V sign and bobbed her tongue out in retaliation. She sat down next to him, legs crossed, skirt slightly raised, underpants on show looking back now she wasn't a classy act at all. She just knew that breasts and good looks and underpants equalled attention. ''Hey there sexy.'' She said. Charlie looked up, bewilderment all over his face, ''I'm sorry, are you talking to me?'' He couldn't believe it. She leaned in and put her hand on his right thigh and stroked up and down gently. ''Yes of course I am silly boy, don't ya think you're sexy, I do.'' ''I I wouldn't have said so, I er I'm not am I?'' he stammered. ''Don't be nervous,'' her hand slid close to his groin then back down his leg. She took her hand away and played with her long hair, wrapping it around her fingers. ''I want you. Can I have you Charlie?'' ''Wha well you mean you wanna go out sometime, go see a film or something?'' Charlie was out of his depth, he didn't know what to say. ''Yeah, you can take me out if you want, wanna go see a film this Friday.'' ''Yeah yeah of course, what do you want to go see.'' ''Oh I don't really care Charlie, I just want you to myself on the back row of that dark cinema, we won't be watching much I can promise you that.'' She licked her lips, ''Here this is my address; make sure that you are round mine about six o'clock.'' She grabbed his book and took out a pen. ''Wait that's a school book'' But she ignored his pleas and began to write inside the cover, ''There you go, that's where I live make sure that you're not late.'' She winked at him and got up, as she did he couldn't help but take a look at her crotch, her white, frilly panties on show only inches from his face. He knew tonight was going to be one of the best nights in alone he'd ever had with that in mind. She walked away back to her small group of friends and just like that Charlie had his first ever date. Friday couldn't arrive quickly enough. He'd thought of nothing else, just Rebecca and her underpants. If he'd had a shilling for every time he'd imagined his hand slipping down the front of them or ripping them off he'd be a rich man by now, then he could use his wealth to take her to a show in London not a cheap flick at the Rex cinema in Whitmore Reans, a nice hotel and an evening in it spend making love. An idea that would have seemed crazy to him just a few days ago but now she had chosen him he felt it all bets were off. Now he could do what every guy in his school year wanted to do and lose his virginity with the best looking girl in the school. He wasn't sure what he should wear, he didn't want to be over the top and go for a suit and tie, which was fortunate for him as the only thing he had close to a suit were the shirt, tie and jacket that he had to wear to school which would have looked very bad. Even though times were still tough following the war kids could be cruel and the poorest kids would always get bullied for having a hole in a shoe or a ripped pair of shorts (which were the bottoms of choice by schools). Children were brutal, they hunted in packs and the weak and the different were easy prey. Of course we all knew that the bullies were just diverting attention from themselves by pointing out everyone else's flaws but that knowledge was of no comfort to the poor bastards who got treated so badly. Charlie rummaged around inside the small wardrobe in his room. It was pretty full, but his mum kept a lot of her clothes in there too, you know the stuff that she wasn't so keen on but didn't want to throw away, she didn't have room for any of it in her own room so she stuck it all inside there. Charlie didn't mind, but he forbids any of his friends from ever going inside it. It had a tiny key that you could use to lock it and it stayed firmly shut whenever Ben or Joe of Mick were over after football. They may have been his mates but he knew that they wouldn't be able to keep their mouths shut if they found a girdle, a bra or a dress hanging up amongst his shirts and trousers. He decided on a black pair of trousers, a jumper and a pair of his best shoes. He sat and polished them until he could not only see his face in them, but he could see the future. Like a magic eight ball or a crystal ball he starred at himself in the bulbous reflection in the toe of his shoe and he saw marriage, kids, happiness but above all sex. He was going to ''get it wet'' as his mate Ben would say. He was a very vulgar and cheeky kid, a kid who everyone else kinda liked cus he made them laugh, but amongst all of their teenage, angsty, 'virginity loss' fear he was the kid that made them all feel better, because he was the one who'd lose it last. No matter who you were or how pathetic you may have been he was the guy who could blow even the most nailed on night of fun, just because he was lippy. He thought it made him look good but all it did was isolate him from what he actually wanted acceptance and friends. Yeah it was sharp but true to say that Ben was a dick. Charlie hung around with him because he enjoyed the funny stuff he'd say, but also because his dad was what they called ''a shit house'' to him, he often got drunk and beat Ben for no reason. Ben, in many ways, was a product of that. He didn't know how to behave, he was at his core good, but he couldn't translate that into his personality. He confused popularity (from the laughs he raised through his silliness) with respect and friends. He had many mates but it was sad to say he couldn't call them friends. But still Charlie liked him, they were mates, not friends, but they had good times. Charlie soaked himself to a wrinkled prune in the bath before dousing himself in the cologne he'd stole from his dad. He smelt about as good as he'd ever smelt in his entire life, even if bits of him stung under its contact with his wrinkles and teenage spots. He held his mums small make-up mirror before him and looked himself up and down, he looked ok. Now actually he looked better than OK, he looked great. He placed the mirror on the dresser in his bedroom and leaned forward to check out his hair. He turned his head left and right, left and right, left and right, checking every single inch of his head to make sure nothing was out of place. It wasn't. He gave himself a cheeky wink, checked the address she'd given him in his English book (34 Acacia Road) and ran downstairs, shouting ''See you later mum'' he vanished out of the front door. He was amazed at how close this goddess was living to him. It was a ten minute walk. Wank after wank after wank and she was almost within spitting distance. He'd fancied her like no other girl he'd ever met, it was almost unconceivable that a woman could exist who he might fancy more, which was the teenage boys' way. Everything you encountered in life was either the greatest thing you'd ever seen, or the worst, nothing else. Life was black and white, no room for grey, not now anyway and she was as 'white' as you could imagine.
Archived comments for The Album -Chapter 2 (Piece 2 of 3)
Texasgreg on 14-07-2012
The Album -Chapter 2 (Piece 2 of 3)
'Tho rough as you state, I focused on content and still find it a very good read. You do well IMO. Got a question though...I'm not a crack cocaine aficionado or anything, but what year was this again?

Good job, Jay!
Photobucket.
Greg 🙂

Author's Reply:
Late 50s, early 60s in Britain. 🙂 Back when things were good.


The Album -Chapter 2 (Piece 1 of 3) (posted on: 06-07-12)
This is NaNoWriMo 2011 unedited, so be warned! At the request of the management I have chopped up chapter 2 into bite size chinks to get more reads and hits. A very good idea! So this is just the first bit of chapter 2 which is almost 8000 words long. Enjoy. Chapter 2 piece 2 coming soon! 🙂

Charlie took a large gulp of his tea, a little bit of it dribbled down the side of his face and dripped off the end of his chin. ''Be careful,'' said Nancy, ''You nearly got it all over the album then!'' ''It's OK,'' he replied, ''its leather it'll wipe clean.'' He went to place the cup back on the coffee table and the album fell from his lap, thudding hard against the carpet. ''Oh dear, what am I doing here?'' he put the cup down and reached forward letting out a grunt as his old bones creaked as he went. ''Be careful, you know what your back is like! DO you want me to get it?'' said Nancy? ''No, I'm fine.'' He grabbed it and lifted it back on to his lap, he sat back puffing a little. ''Look you're all breathless now, you should be careful you know, you've only just eaten, you're going to make yourself sick you know one of these days if you don't take it easy!'' Nancy ranted at him. ''I'm OK, really oh look.'' He pointed at the album, ''Look a photo has come out.'' Sticking half in, half out of the album a black and white picture hung floppily with a dirty, tea stained appearance. Charlie pulled it from the album, ''Looks like I've already spilled my tea all over this one.'' ''Oooh let me have a look,'' Nancy cooed. He handed it to her and she gently slid her glasses towards the end of her nose and held the photo out before her, squinting and moving it towards her face and then away, getting it's aged, dull image into focus. ''Oh my, that's an old one Charlie, good lord remember the Hippodrome in Wolverhampton? It's a picture of the dance hall.'' ''Remember it of course I remember it, wasn't it where I you know.'' ''Yes it was Charlie, we had our first kiss.'' ''It was my first proper kiss with any girl you know.'' ''Yeah I know.'' Nancy smiled. ''No serious, never before a full on snog with a woman until that first night out with you!'' ''OK, OK, don't make it sound like I'm a floozy!'' ''Ha ha ha ha ha, I'm not, I'm not.'' Said Charlie. ''It weren't my first proper snog you know?'' said Nancy. ''Well you are older than me my dear, you'd been knocking around longer than I had!'' ''HEY!'' She raised her voice, ''I'm only three years older you cheeky git!'' * * * ''Thanks, that's just what you need after a shift in the foundry.'' ''Really which foundry do you work in'' said Nancy. ''I work up the road here, not far at all. I'm an apprentice.'' ''Wow , look at you, you gonna be an engineer?'' Charlie paused and looked at her, lifting the pint that she had given him and taking another long drink, almost emptying the glass, ''Well.. maybe, I dunno. I'm just pouring molten iron at the moment, it pays the bills.'' ''Molten! That's hot stuff.'' ''Ha ha ha ha ha, well the name suggests that don't it Nancy?'' She smiled, ''What are you making?'' ''We don't call it making, it's moulding.'' ''OK'' she said still grinning, ''What do you mould?'' ''It's boring really, I'm sure you aint interested.'' ''No I am, I mean how boring can it be, I'm a cleaner in this place, but I've still got a few stories to tell.'' ''Oh really, try me.'' He said. ''No you first, what you make, apprentice boy.'' ''Hey! I'm no boy'' he smiled, ''We make exciting stuff, nuts and bolts and pots and pans.'' ''Well, we'll always need them, it's a bit of a strange mix though aint it?'' she said. ''No, not really, not when it's putting beer money in your pocket.'' ''Beer you can't buy you mean'' Nancy winced inside at this comment, 'No need' she felt, before adding ''I can buy you another beer if you want one.'' ''I'll er, maybe have one in a minute. We, we er used to make armaments for the war effort. It sounds boring but before the war they just made nuts and bolts, they diversified after the war! But just a few years ago we were making shells and bomb casings to drop on those Nazi bastards!... I'm sorry I don't normally use that language'' ''It's OK,'' Nancy interrupted, ''I've heard worse, I sometimes say worse myself, they were bastards! Worse than bastards actually.'' ''Well I never made any bomb casings, I only got a job after the war, it was all a bit uncertain for a while, but we never gave up did we, we did it, we beat the Germans, we knew we could and we did. It's inspired me.'' ''Oh really, it scared me, I wasn't inspired!'' said Nancy. ''No, no, I mean victory against the odds. We had to win, can you imagine a world where they won?'' ''No, dear God no I can't, I don't want to think about it.'' she said. ''Exactly, but that's it, we don't have to. You know one day I'm going to have my own business, I'll be rich and successful and I'll have it because I want it. Like we wanted to win the war'' ''I hope so'' said Nancy, ''You know you're nice, and you deserve it. Success I mean.'' ''Decker says I'll do it, he's always encouraging me, and he always wanted a textile company. He likes clothes. Not that you'd know looking at him, he looks like he got dressed in the dark every day.'' Nancy laughed and he joined in. ''He's never had the ambition to turn that dream into anything else. He's happy taking clothes from dead people's houses and selling them instead. I know he'd rather make them and design them and do all that stuff, but he's just too scared of trying.'' ''No ambition? Is that why he employs deadbeats like Clarence?'' said Nancy. ''Yeah. I suppose so. I've told him time and time again to get rid of him but he won't, he says cus he knows him he has to at least be decent with him, but I dunno. He's a wrong 'un. You know he broke his leg and Decker paid to make sure he got to hospital and was fixed up properly, and he never said thank you, Deck won't tell you that but he told me. He's a failure, a failure of a man, I'd sack him, but Deck won't.'' ''He sounds like a sponger, I'd sack him too, you know, if I was in Derek's position.'' Charlie laughed, ''No one calls him Derek. Unless you're old bill!'' Silence followed. Charlie felt he'd killed it, the best chat he'd ever had with a woman, then Nancy said, ''Would you fold under questioning?'' ''What do you mean?'' ''Well if I was a police woman, would you answer my questions?'' ''Errrr,'' he said, ''I suppose so, I'd have to!'' ''Well OK, let's surmise, I'm a police woman, you wanna answer my questions?'' ''I'd love another drink,'' said Charlie cheekily, pointing to his almost empty glass. ''Sorry you are under arrest now,'' Nancy put her hand on Charlie's arm. He leaned in towards her without thinking, then pulled back a little. She lifted her hand from his arm and moved slightly towards him on her seat. ''Why are you shy?'' she said. ''I don't really know, I'm just shy.'' He said ''No, no you're not look how we went from red faced strangers to chatting like old friends in moments you say you are shy and yet you come across all friendly like, so why are you shy?'' He sat back and looked towards the ceiling, with thought, ''Because I'm scared of upsetting people or letting them down.'' ''Explain'' said Nancy. ''Well I don't want people to think I'm a more confident or boisterous person than I actually am, I don't want to let people down like I already said.'' ''Well you aint letting anyone down, only yourself.'' Said Nancy. ''What do you mean by that?'' ''By hiding yourself away you're depriving yourself and the world that's all.'' ''Well I am what I am, and I'm not so comfortable around people. It doesn't mean I'm letting myself down.'' ''If you'd been shy with me the last ten minutes you'd have let yourself down Charlie, and me too will you take me dancing?'' Charlie raised an eyebrow. She'd taken him by surprise such an upfront comment. He paused, stuttering, ''Err, well, I'd like to, er wow! Yes of course I would'' ''Why the wow Charlie?'' ''Because no one has ever asked me to go dancing before.'' His cheeks began to redden, ''I mean I've asked a couple of people and always been disappointed but you're the first girl to ever be so forward with me.'' ''Well I like you, what else can I say. You're nice.'' ''You don't even know me, how can you think that I'm nice. I could be a killer pretending to be shy just to lure in my victims.'' ''OK'' said Nancy, ''That's a weird analogy, but I don't thjink you're a killer.'' ''Why not he said?'' ''It would be too much of a coincidence!'' she laughed. Charlie just stared back at her with a confused glaze over his eyes. ''Don't you get it, coincidence? I'm saying I'm a killer too.'' ''Oh! Right! Nice one'' he said a little awkwardly. ''I'm going to have to get going now Charlie, but I can meet you tomorrow night for a drink if you like, do you know the Hippodrome on Queens square in the town here?'' ''Yes of course, many a night, I've spent dancing away in there.'' ''Well I'll meet you there at half seven, and bring those dancing feet, you'll need them.'' ''Well, OK, when I said dancing I meant I can move to music'' ''Ha ha ha ha ha don't worry, I'll go easy on you on the dance floor.'' Nancy blew him a kiss, grabbed her album and walked, almost skipping through the bar.''
Archived comments for The Album -Chapter 2 (Piece 1 of 3)
lallylello on 07-07-2012
The Album -Chapter 2 (Piece 1)
Hi Jay12
I confess I haven't read Chapter 1 so am basing this comment purely on the piece of writing above.
I thought you portrayed the old couple really well in the first scene. The flashback was a bit of a jolt, though, maybe rather than going straight into dialogue you could set the scene - describe the bar they're in or something. Just a suggestion.

The flashback itself was nice and I liked the cheeky banter, although I'd have preferred something to actually happen. If you can build your dialogue around a scene then it's more interesting to the reader. Maybe a fight breaks out in the background or something - so they're reacting to something rather than just talking.
My final negative is the vocabulary - I'm not sure older people would use 'stuff' quite so much as this, or 'gonna' or "snog" or some of the other phrases I'd associate with younger people. You might want to research how people spoke in the forties or fifties or however far back you are talking about.
All in all, though, I liked Nancy and Charlie and enjoyed reading this. I look forward to the next section (and might see if I can go back and find Ch 1 if that's possible).
Thanks for sharing
Lally

Author's Reply:
I must first thank you for reading. If you want chapter 1 I've sneakily hidden it as the previous upload to this one about a week earlier. 😉

Thanks you for your feedback but remember this was Nanowrimo and is still raw, unedited notes.

CHeers, Jay.

Andrea on 08-07-2012
The Album -Chapter 2 (Piece 1)
Nancy and Charlie are an engaging couple, I think, and I thought the flashbacks cleverly done. All in all I enjoyed this, and the layout is sooooo much better and easier to read 🙂

Author's Reply:
I agree with you. Much better. I always do as I''m told anyway Andy cus I'm a good boy and don't want to cause any trouble. Certainly not on UKA anyway, I've got the rest of the web for that lark! 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting. This is very raw stuff from Nanowrimo and anyone reading deserves a medal. 🙂


Andrea on 08-07-2012
The Album -Chapter 2 (Piece 1)
You wouldn't cause any trouble Jay 🙂 As if. It was merely a suggestion for your benefit, and it seems to have worked!

Author's Reply:
Hey, I totally agree with you. You know I love you! I took on board what you said and here we are. Us writers can be sensitive, touchy types.... sadly I'm the same with a bipolar leaning towards absolute insane not caring untouchy-ness too. It makes for great viewing; and one in twenty written pieces, great reading! 🙂 Yes I'm that modest. Is their a nobel prize for modesty cus if there aint, I aint being modest ever again!

🙂

Yours drunk,

Jay. 🙂

niece on 10-07-2012
The Album -Chapter 2 (Piece 1)
Jay,

You do mention that this is raw---a first draft...you will definitely have to work on this...that aside, I really liked the interaction between the couple...it's very promising and made a rivetting read...will go back to check out the first (few) chapter(s)...writing a novel is not easy work...far from it...so I wish you the very best!!!

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
It's so raw make sure you wash your hands before messing with a cooked story!

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Jay.

Texasgreg on 11-07-2012
The Album -Chapter 2 (Piece 1)
Aye! I like the chemistry between these two. They make for the unlikely couple who are suited for each other. I particularly thought the “police woman’ act to be slightly erotic due to my sun warped mind.
Good Job, Jay, and hope to see more soon.
Not concerned so much about the state of completion i.e. "ironing out" as I was forewarned. Hopefully, you'll get the type of feedback that assists you, but I don't personally do that. I merely look for the promise and leave it to you to deliver on it in the long run. 😉
Photobucket.

Greg 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the nice comment. This story has a lot of holes in it and is poorly written in parts too. I'm a little concerned with showing it all as it is a first draft of Nanowrimo from last year and not a fresh story that I've tidied up and edited and re-written. But that aside, it's getting me back on UKA so its a good thing over all. Gotta share my writing with my audience! Everyone here will remember my sloppiness and lazy editing from back in the day Greg! Now you get to see it too!

Jay.


The Album - Chapter 1 (posted on: 29-06-12)
This is the 1st chapter of the book that I've yet to finish. I wrote it during NANOWRIMO 2011. I've not edited this piece at all & so what you see here is warts & all (lots of warts!) But it's a lengthy piece of writing, something I haven't submit to a public forum for a few years. Pls comment! 🙂

The winter sun began to set over Conwy castle, closing yet another day across the North of Wales. Red sky at night and all that made for a picture postcard view as the cool winter afternoon giving way to the harsh winds and frost that moved quickly in from the sea, the drop in temperature was always amazing, especially at this time of year. Even the hardiest of inhabitants could be forgiven the occasional moan as cardigans gave way to scarves and hats and thick, waterproof jackets. It was November two thousand and eleven and Christmas beckoned, yes it was seven weeks away but still it loomed large over everyone with Xmas trees and tinsel in trees since before All Saints day. Another year had come and gone and people tidied away the ashes of bonfire night where the costumes of Halloween were burned along with old chairs and doors and pallets taken, some might say stolen, from local industrial estates under cover of darkness. Nancy had sat and watched the summer season fade away into autumn through her front window as she always did. She'd sat at that window every autumn for over a decade. Ever since her and Charlie had retired, selling their textiles business that they had run in the Wolverhampton town of Bilston for forty years, pocketing over one and a half million pounds for their decades of producing trousers, shirts and ties for the discerning businessman. Charlie had said to her back when they decided to start the business, ''People will always want suits Nancy, people will always work in offices and in parliament; people will always get married, get divorced but whether alter or court they still needed to look the part!'' She smiled at the memory of Charlie's voice saying these words, a small amount of water welled in her eyes but she refused to let it become tears. She looked back out of the window and could see her neighbour Geoff. He had been out cutting his hedges back most of the afternoon and with the cold wind blowing strongly as it had for days, she'd felt sorry for him as he stomped around red-nosed. He moved as if obliged to do the task before him, no one forced him to stand there with the sheers, the rake and the bin, no-one but himself. His nose and matching cheeks the result of a stubborn old man who'd pencilled in this chore for today and God damn it; it was getting done come hell or high water (and with the incoming tides and the weather as unpredictable as it had been in recent days high water was not out of the question.) Nancy tittered at his curses, ''God damn it!! And ''Holy piss!'' could often be heard coming from Geoff at the best of times, today he'd ratcheted up the profanity to ''Fucking balls, fucking balls!'' and ''Shit it, god damn shit it!'' He was angry, angry and stubborn. These were words that would have offended Charlie. He was not a man to swear. Many times he'd be talking over the fence to Geoff and almost get angry with the man, but it was just Geoff's way. Fuck to him was an adjective, a verb, an adverb, a noun and as part of a word. Charlie had spent his entire working life around men and women in his textile mill and he'd heard every single swear word spoken in every single dialect and said in the most jovial, benign or vitriolic way but still he never used foul language and was always a little disappointed in anyone he employed who thought it an acceptable way to express yourself. He was of course just a man of his time, an old fashioned, some might say fuddy-duddy who just didn't understand modern life and modern language. But he thought of himself as a good, decent, God fearing man who simply didn't need to shout and scream and rant profanity at the tiniest little thing. 'He certainly was a one off and one of the last of his kinds,' Nancy thought to herself, 'They don't make them like my Charlie any more.' Rain started to fall, the wind continued to blow strongly in what seemed like every direction. Trees and bushes waved helplessly in its path. Geoff gave up and grabbed all of his tools and made a bee-line for his front door, not even stopping to retrieve his cap that had flown off as he bent to collect a pair of pruning sheers from the cracked paving of his pathway. Nancy's home sat on a hill that overlooked the small harbour of Conway. Over the ten years of living there she had never seen the weather cause any problems or damage to her home. She was lucky. Yes her home took the brunt of the winds but it was made of stone and mortar, there was little chance of it coming crashing down on top of her. Many of her neighbours who were lower on the hill had seen terrible hardships. Floods were uncommon but also unforgiving when they came. A home that was attacked by the ferocity of mother natures waters was left barely standing, rooms devastated and belongings just floating out to sea never to be seen again. High winds had seen many a roof tile dislodged over the years, but never Nancy's, she knew she had been lucky and now that Charlie was gone she feared that more than anything. She worried about who would put things right, make it better. Repairs and DIY was always his domain and in the ten months since he'd passed away she's barely lifted a feather duster to the place. She didn't see the point any more, she had no family, Charlie's family simply didn't bother keeping in touch anymore. She often cried at night as she tried to go to sleep, the loneliness she felt. But she knew that even if visitors and well wishers came, they couldn't replace the soul mate that she'd lost. A sudden rush of wind made the rain hit the window with a thunderous rapping. Nancy sighed, ''Oh dear, I'm so glad I'm not out in this!'' She could see the moored boats rocking too and fro, occasionally a boat would capsise in weather like this or tear itself free and float out into the sea only to turn up on a beech in Eastern Ireland, if the owner was especially lucky. The weather certainly controlled life in Conwy at this time of year. Nancy struggled to her feet, her legs slowly conceding their abilities to age and arthritis, and she hobbled cautiously over to the window and drew the curtains. As she walked over to her favourite chair, opposite the television, she spied the photo album on her coffee table. She leaned over, grimacing slightly at the aches and pains that nature saw fit to bestow upon her back for no good reason (she'd never done a proper days graft in her life, and that was the way she liked it) and picked it up before dropping herself heavily into her chair. She picked up the TV remote, flicked the power button and pushed the remote down the side of the cushion, just so she knew where it was at all times. Eastenders was on, she didn't mind it at all. It was an escape from the hell hole that was the picturesque, historic, castle walled town of Conwy to see East End tatters moaning and whinging and fighting and arguing and doing drugs and of course sleeping around. 'They love a good affair on Eastenders,' she thought. She cherished her photo album, even more so since Charles had passed away. It was barely twelve months ago that they'd sat together going through it, Christmas carols on the CD player, snow falling outside, the fire roaring away. They'd snuggle together sharing their heat and they talked late into the night about love and family and life in general. She put her feet up on her footstool, and opened up the photo album for more reminisce, her memories of last year were so strong, so vivid, it felt like only yesterday. * * * ''Charles, are you awake dear Charles?'' Nancy stood over his slumped figure, a mug of tea in one hand and a plate of sandwiches in the other. They were Charles favourite, crab and cucumber. He loved them. He would eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner if she'd let him. The sandwich reminded him of his childhood growing up with his three brothers all sharing one bedroom at their tiny little house in Tipton. All week they'd survive on pork dripping and bread or the occasional piece of fruit, if the greengrocer was kind enough to chuck them a few extra apples there way for free, but on Sunday evenings, after they'd all shared a hot tin bath (more often than not Charlie as the youngest was last to get into a soup of dirty, used water) they would sit down and mother would allow them all to have a nice sandwich of crab. They didn't always have cucumber on it, sometimes they'd have to settle for tomato or even a slice of boiled beetroot, it was usually a case of what was growing well in the garden at the time. But he always spoke of it fondly, those Sunday evenings eating crab with his brothers. ''Charles,'' Nancy put gently put down the mug and the plate on the coffee table and sat next to Charlie, she placed one hand on his shoulder, ''Are you OK my dear, can you hear me Charlie.'' Charlie let out a sudden snort like a pig snuffling for truffles, then he licked his lips in dosile way as he always did when he awoke, lifted his head and looked up at Nancy, ''Wha whassup?'' He'd spared her the drool on his chin, something that had come with age and wasn't so endearing. He wiped his face with his hand anyway, just to be sure. Nancy breathed a sigh of relief, ''You daft apeth, I wondered if you were OK, I was bloody worried then love.'' Charlie scrunched up his face a little in disagreement with her choice of phrase, but he didn't mention it, he felt it was nice to have someone around who was worried about him so. He sat upright and adjusted the collar of his shirt. It had ridden up as he lolled lazily in his chair. He spied the plate of food. ''Oh great, you know why I love you so much Nance? It's these gorgeous sarnies you keep making me!'' He leaned forward and grabbed at the plate of goodies before him. Nancy got up and returned to the kitchen then reappeared in a moment carrying her tea and sandwiches. Charlie had demolished the first sandwich in one foul swoop, his cheeks puffed like a hamster as he chewed, closed mouthed, eyes almost closed with delight. Nancy sat next to him and watched him eat. He continued munching away, as usual, unaware of the rest of the world as long as he had food. He'd always been a good eater. Nothing was ever too salty or sweet or fatty or healthy, everything that Nancy had put before him during their long life together had pretty well disappeared down his neck hole and despite this ability to eat all of everything that was sent his way, he'd stayed slim. As a short, portly woman this was an annoyance to Nancy who'd gone from one diet to the next. Weight Watchers had been a success, it helped her lose a small amount of weight and keep it off but as soon as she'd stopped it the weight came back even with careful eating. Every other diet had been very debilitating for her and had even made her depressed. A life spent almost entirely on a diet, with little to show for all of her efforts, had been very hard at times. But the dipping of the spoon in the lasagne or the odd chip pinched from Charlie's plate she knew in her heart of hearts hadn't helped her. 'If nobody sees it, it doesn't count right?' She'd often think. It was only because portions of chips and cake and alcohol had been allowed on the weight watchers diet that it worked for her, she counted it but it was OK to do that because she'd wanted it. Charlie turned, crumbs dripping from his face, and he smiled. ''What?'' Nancy raised an eyebrow to him, ''Am I eating like a pig again?'' he gulped down his mouthful and laughed. She put her hand on his leg and laughed too. ''Oh Charlie, you're silly, and yes you eat like a pig!'' Nancy leaned forward and pulled at something from beneath the sofa, ''I found this out earlier when I was dusting. It was under a pile of old records in the spare room. I was shocked, remember we'd been looking everywhere for it for months and it was sat there right underneath our noses all of the time.'' ''That's because we're getting old, I can barely see anymore, but I can spot a nice lunch though, have you noticed?'' said Charlie smiling, as he finished off his second and last sandwich and placed the plate carefully back on the table. Nancy lifted up on to her lap a large, leather bound photo album. The leather was a striking crimson colour and was cracked all over from years of knocks and folds and creases. In the centre of it embroidered into the leather were the words 'Life Is For Living, The Memories Are Forever.' * * * The album had never been pristine or new, Nancy had gotten it from an old junk shop that she used to visit when she was in her twenties in Wolverhampton. Hidden away in the darkest corner of Broad Street the shop was a treasure trove of the odd, the old and sometimes even the macabre. She could remember a time back in nineteen forty nine, she'd not long turned twenty and she'd been taking a break from her job as a cleaner at the Varsity pub in the town to go and fetch some mop heads and she'd happened upon the store, 'Junk and Treasure' It had been there since before the war and specialised in selling second hand everything, they reclaimed property from homes after people died and no one had come forward to claim anything. More often than not there was very little to salvage back then, times were tough and people were poor but the occasional gem was to be had. Nancy rifled through piles of clothes and searched shelves of books and trinkets, some jewellery was on display but that was kept behind the counter away from the light fingers of the towns' rougher children or drink and gambling addicted shysters. She found the album wedged between a few volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica, she had to give it a firm tug to remove it, she didn't even know why she did, she was only browsing. She rubbed her hands all over its soft, yet slightly cracked, surface and fell in love with it. She read the words on the front and thought it was magical. She took it to the teller to pay for it. She placed it on the counter, the teller stood with his back to her messing with something on the display at the back. She waited, and waited, and waited. 'Maybe he was deaf, or just ignorant' she thought to herself. She raised her hand to her mouth and let out a little cough. He turned to look at her. He was a short and pale man with a very dark five o'clock shadow. His eyes were the deepest emerald colour and his thick bushy eyebrows made him look a little angered and evil. ''I'd like to take this album please, how much is it.'' He moved towards here, clearly he was limping, she looked down at his legs as he came closer. ''Shot!'' he blurted out. ''I'm sorry?'' she said. ''In the war, one of those bastard Germans, shot me in the leg just outside Berlin, I'd marched across France and across Germany just to get took down at the last hurdle, but we sorted those bastards out alright, didn't we? We sure as hell did. God damn crout bastards.'' Nancy was unsure what to say so she smiled at him and said, ''You're a hero.'' He continued to look at her with an expression of disgust on his face. 'It wasn't, it couldn't be disgust surely?' she thought, but he appeared unmoved by her kind words. ''That's two shillings that.'' ''Two shillings! Oh dear, that's more than I'd like to pay. It's old and worn, look at the scars on it; surely you can come down on price?'' ''I didn't fight in the war to be treated like this, I gotta make a living lady,'' he shouted, ''IT'S TWO SHILLINGS'' She stepped back in shock and was about to turn and run from the shop when a second voice said, ''What is going on here Clarence?'' Another man, tall and thin, hair combed tidily back, white shirt and trousers and jacket that didn't match, Nancy looked and thought immediately that this man gets his mix and match clothes from this very shop. Clarence stepped back almost falling over his own gammy leg, he put his hand out to stop himself falling and he knocked the album to the floor. The tall man came around the counter and picked it up and handed it to Nancy, ''Are you wanting to buy this?'' he asked. ''I was, but it's too expensive for me.'' ''Why my dear it's only three of your English pennies, you can pay me on the weekly if you like.'' He smiled at her. ''Oh I see, I'll take it then.'' She put the leather album beneath her arm and opened her purse to remove the money. The tall thin man walked back around the counter to face Clarence, his look of evil had now melted away and slight beads of sweat were forming on his still pale brow. ''How much did you ask for Clarence?'' ''I, uh, well, I uh!'' he stuttered nervously. ''Come on man, spit it out, I'm sick of your lies, your thievery. We moved all of this jewellery back here to stop it getting taken and it still goes missing Clarence. How much did you ask this woman for?'' ''Please, it doesn't matter,'' Nancy said. ''No I'm sorry dear, it does matter, and this isn't the first time this has happened.'' ''I asked for two shillings, don't you want to make money sir?'' Clarence spoke sarcastically but still maintained a posture of fear, a bead of sweat now running freely down his temple and cheek. ''Yes Clarence I want to make money, but you're not here to steal either, I look after you don't I? It's not one shilling for me and one for you. This is unacceptable. I mean look at it, an old photo album for God sake, two shillings.'' Nancy held out her hand, ''Three pennies, here you go.'' She offered them to the shopkeeper. ''Please take the album, I can't charge you for it now, not after what has happened. Clarence, I should sack you. Jesus! Who was it who helped you to hospital after you fell drunk underneath the coal wagon and broke your leg aye? If it wasn't for me you'd have a wheelchair not a limp, get out the back, sort out some stuff. There's a pile of stuff come in this morning that needs sorting, get outta my sight!'' Clarence limped away into the back of the shop, head down, feeling sorry for himself, but he was only sorry that he'd been caught. ''Please here, take the money.'' Nancy put the coins on the counter. ''I get it.'' Said the tall shopkeeper. ''What?'' she said. ''My name is Derek, Derek Pugh.'' He held out his hand to her, ''There you go, you know me now, so you're not accepting a gift from a stranger.'' She looked at him and smiled shyly, then reached out and gently shook his hand. His handshake felt weak and limp in her, not manly at all, she wondered if he did it that way for her, or for everyone. ''My name is Nancy, Nancy Deekin.'' ''I've seen you before around the town, I can't picture exactly where thought.'' He said. ''Well I work as a cleaner at the Varsity up the road here and I've been known to pull a pint or two for some over time.'' ''Oh really, well I sometimes pop my head around the door for a few pints of Banks's mild, nothing stronger though naturally, I've gotta keep my wits about me with idiots like Clarence around.'' She laughed, ''Who the war hero?'' ''Is that what he told you, ha ha ha ha ha, you're not the first to get that story. Which one did he tell you? Was it the one where his plane crashed behind enemy lines and he had to fight his way to freedom?'' She laughed again, ''No, the Germans shot him as he entered Berlin on liberation day.'' ''Well I'll be damned, that is a new one! Perhaps that little gem I've recently picked up has gotten his imagination running away with him.'' He pointed at a German hat and bayonet behind the counter. The very bayonet that Clarence had been polishing when Nancy had walked into the shop. ''Oh my, where do you get something like that?'' ''House clearance recently, veteran, he'd collected a lot of stuff during the war and brought it back home. Shame he was only a young lad, thirty five he was, spent three years on the front line, dodging bullets and bombs only to come home and let the demons of war drink himself to death.'' ''Oh dear me, that is a terrible story. Don't you find having things like that around a bit morbid?'' ''No, when you've gotta make a living, you gotta make a living. It's part of the job. When we clear a house we really do, if it aint nailed or mortared down it's ours. Everything is worth something even if just one single penny.'' ''Well in that case please let me give you something for this album,'' ''I'll tell you what,'' interrupted Derek, ''I'm nearly done here for the day, why don't I come and meet you at the pub in about half an hour and you can spend your pennies on a couple of drinks, then we'll be even aye?'' ''Well I suppose it can't do any harm.'' She smiled wryly. ''OK, I'll see you in a short while, I'd better go and see what Clarence is up to, he's probably stuffing old jumpers down his trousers to sell later down the market.'' ''I'll see you then,'' Nancy left the shop and headed back to work. * * * Nancy handed Charlie the album, ''Well, I'll be damned,'' he said, ''I can't believe it, we searched high and low. I'm pretty sure I tore that spare room apart looking for this baby.'' Nancy gently brushed a few crumbs from his chin with a gentle flick of a finger. Charlie lifted it to his nose and took a deep breath. ''Aaaahhh, the old girl still smells good.'' ''What are you doing you silly old fool,'' said Nancy. ''Hang on, gimme a minute with my favourite album! Jeez just looking at her brings back so many memories, that's without opening her up to see the pictures inside. You know if it wasn't for this album'' he paused. ''Yeah, I know,'' said Nancy, ''Life would have been ever so different. * * * Nancy arrived back at work a little later than she'd anticipated; she carefully snuck in through the back door of the pub, which was preferred anyway by her employers. Despite there need for a cleaner they were embarrassed that their customers had to see a woman carrying a mop or a sweeping brush. 'A very unusual attitude' thought Nancy, 'as they were only running a pub in the centre of Wolverhampton town and not the Ritz in London.' ''Where have you been, did you get the mop heads as I asked?'' said Molly who appeared like Dracula out of nowhere. ''They, er, didn't have any, they're coming in later this week?'' said Nancy. ''What's that you got there?'' said Molly. ''It's an album, for photos.'' ''Let me take a look.'' Molly reached over and as good as snatched it from Nancy. Nancy looked at her a little surprised, ''Life Is For Living, The Memories Are Forever. Sounds kinda stupid to me, memories aren't forever, we all die some day.'' Nancy snatched it back, ''Nobody dies as long as someone somewhere remembers them.'' Molly just looked at her for a second unsure how to reply, ''So they didn't have the mop heads? Well, there aint a lot we can do about that really is there, look do your best with the one you've got, it's starting to fall apart but it'll have to do a turn until then.'' ''OK Molly.'' Molly toddled off towards the bar to wash beer glasses and serve the few customers who were in so early with the surly attitude that she had become famous for. It was just her way. Nancy went about her work as normal. First she had to clear the bar, a simple task usually, the tiled floor was easy to clean, all of the ashtrays were emptied and the rubbish on the tables brushed on to the floor before the floor was first swept clear and then mopped. As the floor dried she'd wash and dry the ashtrays and put them all back out along with a fresh set of beer mats. The old beer mats were often soaking and found stuck to the wall or wedged beneath the leg of a wonky table to steady it. But they turned up in more unsavoury places. After this job she'd go to the toilets and prepare herself to gag. The gents was always a state, often here she would find beer mats too, wedge down the toilet or floating in a flooded urinal trough. The floor was always half an inch deep in urine, it was disgusting. 'Men are bloody animals, they really are.' She'd often think to herself as she delved deeper into a pan in her rubber gloves to remove unspeakable blockages that had been caused by the drunken tomfoolery and thoughtlessness of the towns' alcoholic classes. She finally finished the futile job of clearing the men's toilet just in time for happy hour, it was two pm and many of the men from foundries and factories all around the town were clocking off an eight hour shift and heading straight there for a few pints before they returned home to their wives and children for a bath and a night down their local. Alcohol was the life blood, it seemed to Nancy, of everything in the town but all she seemed to see was devastation and mess and regret in its wake. Sure everyone read in the newspapers and heard the radio adverts about how good it was for you but to Nancy it would always just be the drink that means she's up to her elbows in it's results the next day. She washed up her buckets and mops and tidied away her gloves, overalls and sweeping brushes and went back to the workers area to scrub up. Molly walked in, ''You expecting company Nance?'' ''I'm er, expecting a friend.'' ''Well he's here, the fellow from down the road here.'' Molly said. ''You know Derek?'' said Nancy. ''Oh is that is his name, he's been coming in here for a few years and I never knew his name before. He sits quietly up the corner; aint got a lot to say.'' ''That's surely not a bad thing, considering some of the cheek trouble makers who you have to deal with.'' Molly sighed and waved one hand at Nancy, ''He's here anyway, try and get him to spend a little more than normal, god damn cheap skate only ever buys one pint of mild then nurses it for forty minutes.'' ''Molly, it's a public house, who's he hurting?'' ''He's hurting me, he's taking up a chair that a drunk could be filling. A drunk will put away four pints during that time and they stop checking their change when they're pissed!!'' Nancy rolled her eyes, ''You're terrible, you know that.'' ''Yeah and you're my cleaner, so beat it if you're finished, go and have your drink with your fella, I'll see you tomorrow.'' ''Hey there, he's not my fella, I only met him earlier, I only asked him because he wouldn't let me pay for'' ''You asked him!'' interrupted Molly. ''Holy moly, the world has gone mad. Listen wench, you gotta learn, we don't ask them out, they ask us, why on Earth would you throw yourself at a guy like him?'' ''Er... I think you'll find I didn't throw myself at him, he gave me the album earlier, I'm just returning the gesture with a pint or two.'' ''So you ask him out and you're paying, Nancy my love, you really need to get your head screwed back on, you really do, ha ha ha ha ha.'' Molly laughed at herself and as always toddled off back to the bar, it was filing up now and the working men of Wolverhampton were restless for their first one of the day. Nancy followed her out through the bar and was faced by a barrage of ''Over here love, two pints of bitter, got any pork scratching? Can I have a glass of water for the baby.'' Molly turned to Nancy, ''Can you pull pints?'' ''Er, no I can't I've got a date remember?'' ''But you said'' Molly whined pathetically. Nancy grabbed two glasses and pulled two pints of mild. ''That's a good girl.'' said Molly. ''Oh really, cus I aint paid to be a barmaid.'' Nancy dropped two pennies into the till and walked back out and through the side door into the bar. She could just about see Molly's red, furious face peering at her over the rabble of twenty men all shouting and waving their coins at her and shouting their order, they getting more and more agitated with Molly and Molly now getting hotter and hotter under her collar. ''I'll probably pay for that tomorrow' Nancy thought. She walked around the bar towards the corner that Molly had mentioned earlier looking for her new quiet, shy and retiring friend. There he was sat, odd top and tails as before, smoking on a woodbine and reading the Express and Star. She slammed down the drinks on the table, this startled him. ''What you reading there?'' she said. ''Jeepers, you made me jump. Just the sports pages.'' ''Anything interesting?'' she asked, picking up her pint and taking a swig. ''Wolves beat Manchester United at Goodison Park, they're going to Wembley in the FA Cup'' ''Riveting stuff.'' She said. Derek folded up his paper onto the table, ''Since when did women drink pints then?'' ''I dunno, ever since they asked men out and offered to pay I presume.'' She laughed. ''What's funny?'' ''Oh nothing much, you see old Molly there,'' she nodded towards the bar, ''well she seems to think I'm trying to er court you.'' ''Ha ha ha ha ha, well that would be wholly inappropriate, as I'm a happily married man and I'm a little older than you. But I'm flattered.'' ''I'm not that young,'' Nancy said defensively, ''I'm twenty years old.'' ''Oh really, you're more of my brothers age than me, I'm nearly thirty my dear and like I said, I'm spoken for.'' ''Oh well really,'' said Nancy, ''I'm not looking for a man, I'm certainly not looking for one pushing thirty, why do people presume? And I'm not your 'dear.''' A moment of silence occurred, ''He's over there.'' Said Derek. ''Who is?'' ''Oh sorry, my stupid seventeen year old brother. He's trying to get served at the bar but she never falls for it, she knows who he is now, he just tries to take advantage of the chaos when it's this busy in here.'' From the melee of workmen at the bar stepped a young lad with a once blue, now black pair of overalls on, a dirty face, jet black hair (although that could have been dirt too) and a big pair of bright eyes and a beaming smile. He came walking over and sat himself down to Derek. ''I can't get a drink for love nor money in this place, go and get me a pint Decker.'' He said. ''Get yourself one oh that's right you can't get served. Well tough.'' ''Oh please'' ''No way it's not my fault that you look twelve years old is it?'' Derek smiled as his brothers expression of happiness became a sulk. ''It's no flippin' wonder they won't serve you mate, look at the face on you, like a baby that's dropped it's bleedin' ice cream cone on the promenade!'' ''He can have some of this,'' Nancy said, holding forward her pint of bitter, ''I'm not really that keen.'' Derek's brother was silent, his face turned a slight red colour with awkwardness, he was shy and clearly hadn't realised the woman sat at the table was with Derek. ''What's the matter?'' she enquired. ''Don't worry about old Charlie here; he's a shy retiring lad. Nancy meet Charlie, Charlie, this is Nancy.'' ''Hello, Charlie.'' ''Hello. Please to meet you.'' The situation was awkward, the silence deafening. Both Nancy and Charlie sat either side of Derek as he downed his pint in three large gulps. ''Well I can't sit here all day; I've got things to be doing and places to be going.'' He picked up his paper and tapped it on the table, ''You youngsters wouldn't understand. I'll see you tomorrow Charlie, same again, no service ha ha ha ha and it was nice to meet your acquaintance Nancy, I'll see you around I suppose.'' ''Well next time I need a German hat or a bayonet I'll know where to come, bye Derek.'' Derek stuck his newspaper into his armpit and strolled out of the bar. Nancy looked over at Charlie who looked a little lost and pathetic now, despite appearing very cheeky when he came over he seemed vulnerable. He looked down at his feet as they shuffled awkwardly, he glanced up at Nancy and she fluttered her eyes and grinned, ''Hey, the offer still stands,'' she moved around the table and sat where Derek had vacated and held out her beer glass for a second time. Charlie looked up and smiled. He took it gently from her grasp and took a long, deep drink, without breaking eye contact for a second. Half a pint of beer later and he placed the glass down on the table, ''Thanks, that's just what you need after a shift in the foundry.'' ''Really which foundry do you work in'' said Nancy. And so Nancy Deekin and Charlie Pugh met each other. Randomly bumping into each other in a world full of strangers and prospects and people they had found each other. * * * Nancy and Charlie sat, holding hands, still as much in love in two thousand and eleven as they were back in nineteen forty nine when they first met in the Varsity. The album slumped on Charlie's lap as they chatted into the small hours about those very early days together. ''And to think Charlie, that I nearly left this album at work that day. I'd found it and met your brother, and I went and left it at work!'' said Molly. ''I guess it was fate that you went in the shop that day and ended up in the pub that afternoon. This album was fate.'' He tapped it as he spoke. ''Yeah, I remember being worried that old Molly, God rest her soul, might have chucked it away because of how I left her to serve all those workers on her own, but she didn't. She'd kept it for me. She even increased my pay, remember?'' ''Yeah but you had to start pulling pints as well my dear.'' ''I don't recall you complaining too much my love, many a free pint went your way, and disappeared pretty damn quick too!'' Charlie leaned in and gave Nancy a kiss on the cheek.
Archived comments for The Album - Chapter 1
Texasgreg on 01-07-2012
The Album - Chapter 1
Aye! Saw the warts. I'm sure you'll get around to 'em. Since I'm not Brit., it was a refreshing take on a love story to me. She's 82 yo, correct? It really wasn't as long of a read as I had anticipated.
Keep it going so I can follow. I hate long pauses between chapters. 😉
Photobucket.
Greg 🙂


Author's Reply:
I can post the next bit tonight for Monday... in fact I will... just for you, but it'll be rusty or rustier. I don't mind sharing the first draft though as back in 2003/4 when I first came to UKA everything was a first draft. The first lesson I learned was, edit and re-write. There are people I could thank for their obvious but helpful advice back then but I don't need to. They know who they are and they helped me big time. UKA is the best writing site on the web man, no doubt about it.

That's why I still loiter drunk around here after 8 1/2 years. It's great! I love it.

Andrea on 01-07-2012
The Album - Chapter 1
The latter half, with the line breaks, was much easier to read!

Nice tale, though, enjoyed it. People sometimes seem to forget oldies were young once - time will remind them 🙂

Author's Reply:
There is a tale behind this story almost as long as the story itself. My parents were very old when they decided to pop me out into this world (My uncle, my dads bro, was killed in WW2, no shit, I know insane for a man of my age (34)) and I grew up a very old fashioned life, with lots of old tales in a very working class and old fashioned part of the world and this tory is born from all of that and I've wanted to write it for a few years. This story is very "first draft" so I apologise for my lack of editing. I had hoped to re-write it and postit here but I just aint had the time. Nanowrimo was a nightmare last year, it was the toughest thing I've ever done writing wise but was in many ways very rewarding and it got me writing, up until Nov 2011 I'd forgotten how much I loved it. I'll post the next bit and hope you get chance to read it too.


Enough. (posted on: 25-06-12)
A more than drunk, sobbing, tear soaked, fed up, why do I care, written ditty.

Gerrard can score them, And Wazza can too, Young knows how to miss them And Cole gets saved, Noooo! The final that we crave The football success we need The failure that we have No penalties!!! Just take heed! Win in ninety minutes, Or at least in two hours, Losing is the pits On penalties, again sour. Never are we good enough, Our players aint enough, We've all had enough, And seen certainly enough.
Archived comments for Enough.
niece on 25-06-2012
Enough.
The frustration comes through loud and clear, Jay...good one!!!

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Cheers, I was annoyed last night but I'm all calm today.

amman on 25-06-2012
Enough.
I can feel your frustration. It was almost inevitable; to lose on penalties. History always repeats itself. Now if you want to back a successful team..go the All Blacks!
Cheers

Author's Reply:
I'm not really a rugby person, but I know the All Blacks are pretty tasty at the game. We need to start winning games in the 90 minutes and sod all this extra time and penalty craziness!

franciman on 25-06-2012
Enough.
Even as a Scotsman I feel your pain Bro!
Verse with a great, torn Voice.

Cheers,
Jim

Author's Reply:
I think I could tidy it up a bit, but why bother, as it is its raw as you say. Nice to hear a Scot say they feel the pain, most of them just laugh at us when it comes to football... which is a bit weird really aint it!

Cheers,

Jay.

CVaughan on 25-06-2012
Enough.
Know the feeling don't I just j.
In my cups again I was with a miserable crowd in a bar, with the same friend I was with last time v. W. Germany beat England similarly. Deja vu all over again. Your rant is spot on, rating much more than the pen. missers rate, sweet FA.
Frank

Author's Reply:
The only team we've ever beaten on penalties has just got to their third final in a row.

What else can you say, they recovered from penalty defeat, why can't we?

Jay.

Texasgreg on 26-06-2012
Enough.
Aye! To lose is one thing and fail to win is another. Though I've never played it, I've watched many a game and wished I was young enough again. You'll be surprised to learn that I have a niece on the U.S. Women's team.
Photobucket.
Good stuff!

Greg 🙂



Author's Reply:
Can she wear a false moustache and pretend to be English? We need some players.

Jay.

Andrea on 26-06-2012
Enough.
Couldn't agree more, Jay. Useless lot. Italy deserved to win. And don't get me started on Rooney's £30,000 rug!

Author's Reply:
It wasn't one of Ali Baba's rugs cus I didn't see much flying around the pitch... maybe he mistakenly asked for an 'Ali Bongo' rug instead. Total and utter waste of time. THAT team won the group. THAT team!

and they say miracles never happen.

Jay.

Rupe on 27-06-2012
Enough.
That match was horrible to watch after the first twenty minutes or so - thought Italy were going to score any minute. When they didn't, I thought surely this time England's penalty shoot-out luck is finally going to change... Ha! The bottom line is that taking the game overall we didn't deserve to win.

Yes, the poem is a bit ragged at points, but that kind of underlines the frustration, which it expresses perfectly.

Rupe


Author's Reply:
Ragged poetry, but at least I got the job done. Nothing else to say, full stop, and publish. England are a little shy of getting the job done. They'd rather be nearly men than champions, but at least the failure feeds the national psyche of 'don't expect'

Cheers Coalition government, even our sports heroes can only dream now it seems. (Overpaid sports heroes I should add...)

We suck.

sunken on 27-06-2012
Enough.
I love how you wear your heart on your sleeve, Jay. I watched the match of course. My nerves have only just recovered. I used a cocktail of Guinness and beta blockers to attain said recovery. The England squad should do the same. Enjoyed the read. Nice work, fella.

s
u
n
k
e
n

best before bedtime

Author's Reply:
I dunno how it keeps beating, maybe time to take it off the sleeve and put it back into my chest.

Jay.

PS Life is better when you speak your heart (but not when you speak your mind).

ChairmanWow on 27-06-2012
Enough.
Can you say Chicago Cubs? Live by sports and you will die by sports. My favorite game watching of all time (besides Arizona's victory in the 2001 World Series against the snob New York Yankees) was Italy's victory over France in the World Cup. Classic excitement.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
Chicago Cubs. I just said it out loud so now me and my dog have heard of them. I'm a Wolves fans, can you say, "Wolverhampton Wanderers?" DO IT! If you need a soccer (I mean football) team to support in the English league you can't go far wrong with Wolves. We have no expectations so anything is a plus. Last season we finished bottom of the Premiership... beat that!

Jay. 🙂

PS - Best game ever England V W Germany 1990, furthest we've gone in a tournament in my life, drama, excitement, goals and of course, the usual heartbreak. It was the start of our penalty jinx. 🙁 I've never looked back.... apart from twice a week for the last 20 years. 🙂


The writers friend. (posted on: 22-06-12)
Insomnia - the writers friend.... I do most of my writing in the wee small hours, do you?

I cannot sleep Not a peep, I want to sleep Sleep ever so deep The harder I try The more I sigh Here I lie Why, brain, why? I count sheep The hours creep I need sleep, The alarm bleeps.
Archived comments for The writers friend.
Andrea on 23-06-2012
The writers friend.
You should stop trying, worst thing you can do - get up, make a cuppa and scribble! Nice to see you posting again (did I say that already?)

Author's Reply:
I'm always scribbling! But as Paul Newman says at the end of The Color of Money, "Hey, I'm Back!"

Thanks for commenting.

Rabelais on 23-06-2012
The writers friend.
Well very nice one, like the rhyme and short sentences. Well done!

Author's Reply:
I like short sentences, quicker to write than long ones. 🙂

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Texasgreg on 24-06-2012
The writers friend.
Aye! Thar ya are... brothers in arms, we are. Fighting the dreaded sandman when we have things to get off our chest. Good return, Jay.





Well done!


Photobucket.


Greg 🙂 - The Texas pirate
Edited for reply: And I assume you made best of your time by writing it while stuck in traffic instead of losing sleep. 😉

Author's Reply:
I wrote this as I sat trying to write something when I should've been in bed but couldn't sleep. I dunno where I get my inspiration from.

My next poem is called, "Stuck in traffic on the way to work!"

Cheers for reading and commenting my gun toting Texan friend!

sunken on 24-06-2012
The writers friend.
Hello Jay of Twelve fame. At least you turned your insomnia into something positive. I once painting a ceiling during a bout of insomnia. Yes, that's right. Insomnia: the hanyman's friend. Neat little piece. Good to see you back on Uka.

s
u
n
k
e
n

live slow, dye ya hair

Author's Reply:
Cheers Sunken, glad to see you're still part of the furniture. I thought Andrea would have had a restraining order on you by now for loitering around the place! 😉 I've made several unsuccessful returns to UKA in the last few years so I hope this is the REAL one where I return and play my part again.

Jay.

ChairmanWow on 24-06-2012
The writers friend.
What's worse is if you life with someone with insomnia and they keep waking you up. Enjoyed the poem.

Ralph

Author's Reply:
I don't have that trouble, I can sleep on a washing line and still find the energy to sleep walk into the house, and sleep talk at the people in the house so they are awake, then go back to my washing line and wake up in the morning and be none-the-wiser as to anything I did. Thanks for commenting.

Jay.


Steer The Good Ship (posted on: 17-02-12)
Tomorrow is another day, just another day without our Merlin.

The ship was hit It took on water And people fled We tried so hard to Steady her we did Then he came Out of nowhere And saved us all We don't know how We don't know why And we never asked But we bobbed along And we floated Just for a while. Then we sailed, The ship was fixed And we were back Not lacking nor slow We were fast and strong Then we arrived At the promised land Dropped anchor and stayed We'd planned for A short while But we enjoyed So we stayed A while longer Then after the years The captain came And said that he'd Heard about the end A few of them Those passengers Weren't happy at all With the state of it. The state of it all It wasn't the way that They'd hoped it would be It wasn't promised land It was struggle and strife The hills were hard work And the climbs effortful The best bits you see Were over in one go Climbing and trying And being patient They struck the captain Down he fell too. So the committee of passengers Were formed in a flash And they judged captain As a poor captain, Too bad! So we threw him ashore And we upped and We left. And 13 miles later We sank and we laughed We laughed at captain Cus he tried and he failed And we sank because captain had the maps and our course. As we drowned and hope died We lost to the force We'd had seconds and thirds But sadly no fourths. (Mick McCarthy, 21 July 2006 13 February 2012; three Premier league seasons, no fourths.)
Archived comments for Steer The Good Ship
Romany on 21-02-2012
Steer The Good Ship
Interesting, great pace, gripping but if I am totally honest I don't really get it!

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Yeah, sorry about that! I was wasted when I wrote it. It was my tribute to Mick. Glad you read it and enjoyed it a little. Thanks for commenting man!

Jay.


Lifeless (posted on: 10-02-12)
The last time I wrote a poem so freely and randomly I wrote about another 100 in the following 2 years. Here's hoping. It's good to have a post for UKA at last! 🙂

Lifeless A trickle of interest, A smoulder of hope, A smidgen of prosperity A large bag of dope, A footballing trophy, Then a lifetime of fail, A manager who's trying And a chairman in jail, A childs laughter Fanning your hope, A year spent with cancer A moment with rope, Want to go shopping, but Woolworths has closed Africans starving Dictator unopposed, Planning the future Then losing tomorrow Can't pay the bills? So beg, steal and borrow! Team building lessons And dancing on Ice And Morgan Freeman And chunky steak pies. Sitting in traffic And stealing a smile Dying the death Then walking a mile Then sitting alone And wondering if You go to Dover It's a suitable cliff. Jumping around And wishing you'd said I'm not angry with you But I'm glad that I'm dead. - Jay12
Archived comments for Lifeless
e-griff on 10-02-2012
Lifeless
write on, MacDuff!!!

a good fun piece ... 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks mate. I certainly enjoyed writing it, came naturally too me as I was going through one of my (Patent Pending) mangina hissy fits as I sat alone in the dark with a smoke and a beer and an overwhelming sense of my own importance and lack of it!

🙂

Bradene on 10-02-2012
Lifeless
It is fun, but it's dark fun. A good piece to come back with. Welcome Back Jay. Valx

Author's Reply:
Fun and dark, I want that on my head stone, thanks Val! Thanks for reading too.

🙂

Ionicus on 11-02-2012
Lifeless
Long time no see, Jay. Nice to see you back and with a good piece too. Let's now have another 100.

Author's Reply:
I'm on it! 🙂

Andrea on 11-02-2012
Lifeless
Great to see you posting again, Jay! Fun piece, as has been said 🙂

Author's Reply:
Cheers A.x

Nomenklatura on 11-02-2012
Lifeless
Splendid, splendid. I find laughter in the dark so much more satisfying. Morbid, mordant and my cup of (very dark) tea.
Regards
Ewan

Author's Reply:
I like my tea strong too.

ChairmanWow on 11-02-2012
Lifeless
Fun write, great way to pour out your mind. Not sure I like the chairman in jail line--Ha-ha.

Author's Reply:
Chairman in jail.... footie not wow! 🙂

sunken on 12-02-2012
Lifeless
Smashing stuff, Mr. Jay of twelve. It's good to see you subbing again. The best poetry, in my sunken opinion, simply flows. And this does just that. Nice work, fella.

s
u
n
k
e
n



Author's Reply:
I'm the "smashing" expert... my uncle with a glass eye and faberge egg in his bedroom... well I totally smashed up his entire kitchen once with a baseball bat when I was drunk because he laughed at me for supporting the Wolves, did I say eye? I meant eyes.

orangedream on 16-02-2012
Lifeless
Made me smile, Jay. Very much enjoyed;-)

Tina

Author's Reply:
Many thanks for reading and commenting.

Jay.


Pre-universe (posted on: 14-10-11)
Nobody farted in nothingness and... atheism was born.

Pre-universe Not a lot happening Shall I, shan't I? It's building up. The gas. The fart, The blast of creation. They'll call me God, They'll worship me. And my fart. But my fart Is Simply Everything.
Archived comments for Pre-universe
jay12 on 16-10-2011
Pre-universe
No-ones commenting anymore.... I can write stuff and not publish it and get just as many hits and comments. That is a sad but very true thought. 🙁

I'm now a failure....... Oh well. 2003-2011, RIP hope.

Author's Reply:

sunken on 16-10-2011
Pre-universe
You've been watching documentaries about the universe again haven't ya Jay? You can tell me. Did you know that 99% of the universe is made up of nothing? Over 70% of the human body is water? (Though in my mate Dave's case it's beer). It makes me feel pretty worthless to be sure. You, on the other hand, are far from this. Low hit counts and comments are universal these days. I blame the death of Betty from Coronation Street. To be frank, now she's dead, I feel I can say it out loud - HER HOTPOTS TASTED LIKE SHIT! Anyway, a clever and neat piece. Don't be downhearted, Jay. It's good to see you back.

s
u
n
k
e
n

something in the way she grooves

Author's Reply:
I was feeling a little low and very drunk when I posted that comment. I'll never leave UKA and I'll always write and publish here. 🙂

Ionicus on 16-10-2011
Pre-universe
Don't whip yourself Jay. We all seem to be in decline; the hits and comments have decreased quite considerably.

Author's Reply:
We need to get fiction back on the site. I love poetry as much as anyone else but I don't seek out loads of it on a site. As a writing community we need a mix of Poetry, fiction, faction, biography, etc etc.

I bet we could all get writing in 2012 and make the site great again.

Jay:-)

niece on 17-10-2011
Pre-universe
A wonderful theme to play around with...the beginning of the Universe...and a unique way of looking at it...you are right, Jay...it seems quieter out here these days...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
We need to get the place buzzing! UKA For the win!

Jay 🙂

stormwolf on 20-10-2011
Pre-universe
Well I was drawn to it by the 'about section' and I was not disappointed. It is witty and original. I always say we live in the mind of God...but after reading this...maybe we live in the great fart! lol

BTW do not get discouraged. Sometimes hardly anyone comments although why they read and cannot comment is a mystery to me. If I do not comment it's because I have not read a poem but very seldom do I read a poem and not comment. I do wish people would show more willing at times.
Alisonx

Author's Reply:
The click and watch world of videos that is the internet has destroyed people's concentration so the casual viewer has left. But us the writing community are still around to make stories and poems and leave comments and support. I might make it my personal mission in 2012 to get us all writing!

Jay.


The Barmy Bedouin (posted on: 02-09-11)
A short poem I penned this afternoon (29-08-2011). I rarely write poetry sober, I find it extremely difficult, so this is a rare sober ditty of mine. I haven't submit anything to UKA for so long and I'm trying to get back into the swing of writing. Enjoy.

Forty Two years of his tyranny, Not much of an alarm bell, If Libyans simply did disagree, They were forced to rot in a cell, Gaddafi, not able to forsee, His people would come give him hell, The cry from them all to be free, would see them bidding him farewell, They screamed together like banshees, Forty two years is a long time to dwell.
Archived comments for The Barmy Bedouin
Andrea on 28-09-2014
The Barmy Bedouin
Alas, I have to disagree, Jay. Under Gaddafi, the Libyans had free education, free healthcare, free social housing, help with buying homes, women were not seen as second-class citizens etc etc. It has now degenerated, thanks to Western intervention and 'democracy' into a hellhole. No doubt the average Libyan would welcome Gaddafi back with open arms...if they could.

Author's Reply:
Given what we know now, I wholeheartedly agree!


The Machine. (posted on: 04-03-11)
This is very experimental. Enjoy, please comment. 🙂

''When I came for the job interview they never explained my duties.'' I shouted over the noise of the industrial presses. Dave looked at me with a cold, unresponsive stare, like he was looking at a stone on a beech as he pissed on a wave breaker. ''You're here to change the filters, sweep up, make tea and keep out of my fucking way.'' ''OK'' I screamed over the noise. He ignored me and waddled off up the factory. I don't know why I'm here. I've been out of work for ages. The job centre pretty much forced me here or they'd stop my meagre benefit. Fair enough, I haven't worked for twenty years, since I was eighteen no wait I was an A level student then, that's right. I've never really had a proper job. I mean there was that time that I let that mate rent my loft out, well I say my loft, it was my parents' loft. I was living at home, like now, and my mate Barry Butcher filled it with lights and hydroponics and quickly had a police helicopter hovering overhead oh how I laughed as the police dragged bush after bush of marijuana from the attic. My parents didn't laugh, though they didn't moan, or cry, they just accepted it cus what else was I going to do with my life? Get a job! Not likely after four terms of Cameron governments. Coalitions, deals, arguments, political failures, we had it all to deal with and none of it was good. The general public are like bog roll to politicians some of them use two squares to wipe their crap up, some of them use two hundred. Our estate was two hundred. We took a lot of shit and still do. I was lucky I guess, I'd found this job. The last person to find a job in my neighbourhood had been a guy digging graves. He did it the only way we did it today, dragging a corpse back home and saying, ''I can bury him for a ton, I'll mark the spot with a purple, spray painted motif, pre-agreed of course, over the wreck.'' The wreck was a piece of shit bit of ground where they couldn't build factories or homes because of the asbestos, methane and lead and all the other crap we'd taken over the years into our unknown and unannounced landfill, we'd never wanted it, but we'd no choice in the matter and when we found out about it we took it lying down. People die all the time here but no one cares any more. Did you know criminal jurisdiction didn't extend to us anymore? The police don't care about scum like us dying, ''we only care about PEOPLE.'' Of course PEOPLE were key. PEOPLE was the new word for 'not poor, not sick, not old, educated, rich wealthy, better, better, better than you.' We weren't PEOPLE anymore, and to those that employed us we weren't even ASSETS. We were cogs, barely, making things happen. Wages are minimal. Not minimum anymore. Die at your workstation and get docked cash. Somehow some of us have lived through these tough times, how I don't really know. I guess our slavery paid for itself, economically, along the way. We must be the lucky ones. I mean the public funds have managed to pay for our young lads to die for the ''continuing and laughable freedom'' of Afghans, Iraqi's, Libyans et al as our hospitals closed and our benefits disappeared. We had the cuts, 'Thee Cuts,' the papers called them, ''Thee God Help Us Cuts!'' We all paid for them; naturally, and in blood and anger. Now a heart operation no longer meant a letter and a date and then surgery, it meant you traded your grandparents, how ludicrous, try telling a person that? I know it's crazy I really do know, but they want them as payment, old people are the new black gold! The days of organ donation are over, nowadays you get a 'sponsored tattoo' on your forehead to help cover health costs, of course you have to wear an ankle tag that measures your GPS coordinates to ensure that McDonalds or WH Smith or Lockheed Martin know that they are getting the proper advertising exposure from your eternally scarred face. If not you better lose the tag quickly and run away, those tattoos aint free you know! Oh yeah, I mean it, I'm one hundred per cent serious. The grandparents thing I mentioned just now. Sorry I had to bring it up. But people have to trade their grandparents these days. Age is now a sought after commodity if you're a multinational with profits on the mind. Some people will pay to own you if you're old and have experience or knowledge that can make them rich, never before has a CV or record of achievement meant so much. There was a time back when I was a kid that age was seen as detrimental to your employment opportunities. Not any more. If you can spread knowledge that makes someone a successful businessman, you're guaranteed your retirement. Some old bastards have earned ten percent of the fortunes of their masters thanks to pre-arranged contracts. I'm talking ten million pounds, sometimes twenty, well that's what the magazines, the adverts, the employers tell us. But more often than not old people end up here, they're knowledge gathered and recorded but often seen as nothing more than 'the experience of the fuel cell.' And by that they mean simply this, 'You're old and you're sold, your family are probably hungry and cold, it's for the best, it's what they want, it's what YOU want, it'll stop YOUR suffering OLD PERSON! It'll alleviate YOUR FAMILIES suffering; it'll guarantee you aren't a BURDEN on your family when you die. There'll be no dragging your corpse over the wreck for a quickie funeral. Here they guarantee peace and cash for your family (just read the small print to guarantee it!) Only one single tablet to help you sleep, a slam of a press to help compress your body and then a delivery carousel to drop your squidged remains into the furnace that burns them, burns them to generate electricity, electricity that powers well not just the furnace, but the machine. The machine you sold yourself to along with everyone else a long time ago. The machine that continues to need fuel and crave fuel and let's us feed it. With fuel, more and more fuel. Are you ready to get squidged yet? Hurry along, the furnace is hungry. Dave has stopped waddling, he's turned around now to look at me, oh God I need this job, I need to rise, get a raise and climb the ladder, and rise! I can beat the system, I know I can. I need to get myself well inside the machine and then destroy it, even though it pays me before I'm old I need to do this. For everyone who's fed the machine. ''What the fuck are you doing'' Dave shouts, ''Get your arse into gear the dust extraction filter Is full of granny corpse dust and you need to fucking sort it out my son.'' I gotta go, it won't clean itself. I know what you're thinking but I'm different. I'll bring the system down from within, but first I gotta do this, get my job done, get the cash, get my bills paid, and then I'll smash the system I know it's wrong what's going on I know. But I gotta go. That dust extraction unit. It needs my hand of maintenance my help, but one day soon I'll put a stop to all of this. But first I need to clean the granny corpse dust after all it is my job.
Archived comments for The Machine.
Bikerman on 06-03-2011
The Machine.
I like the idea and the story starts well but I'm afraid it deteriorates with too much explanation. I know it would change the story, so you might not like the idea, but maybe the narrator could be more naive and discover what is happening along with the reader, then the action would be the explanation? Or maybe he could be discussing it with a fellow conspirator, instead of just explaining everything to the reader? Definitely worth working on.

Author's Reply:
I agree with what you are saying. This was written very quickly based on a single idea and I wanted to get it down before I forgot it. I think it is worth re-writing longer with more show and less tell. Thanks for your feedback.

Jay.

geordietaf on 06-03-2011
The Machine.
There is a lot of good material here and I like the way you let the reader know early on that we're dealing with the future by the reference to Cameron's fourth term. There's probably too much for a story of this length to carry. In this length of work you could possibly concentrate on something like the 'granny dust' and lead to a shock of discovery at the end. Otherwise, expand on it and make a novel or novella out of it!

Author's Reply:
As I've said above... I agree with everything you've said. I dunno if such a story could be stretched into a novel but it certainly could be longer and more subtle. I will add it to the "do do" pile of stories that I have and have another crack at it some time soon. Thanks for taking the time out to read it and comment though.

Jay.

Claire on 12-03-2011
The Machine.
Hey stranger, I'm glad you're still writing!

You have a lot of ideas in this, and I strongly feel you should expand them. At the moment the tale is all tell, I'd like to see more showing, take me through your story with you step by step. The voice is strong, don't change that. I deffo want to know more about this world, make me see it through your character's eyes. Love the idea of the elderly being sold, I found that amusing. Deffo one to work on!

Author's Reply:
Hi there. Yes I agree with you too. "Show don't tell" is the first thing I ever learned RE: writing so I know for a fact this is more of a page of notes for a future story than an actual finished item. I rushed it out just to get some feedback and so people on UKA didn't think that I'd died or left. I'm still here writing (mostly blogging) away. Will work on it of course.

Jay.

sirat on 13-03-2011
The Machine.
Hello James. There isn't much I can add to all the feedback you've had. I also think there's a good basic idea behind this one but the execution lets it down. It would be a lot better if you could let it unfold rather than straight telling, with the granny-dust revelation at the end, either to your reader or to both your reader and your narrator. It's a bit close to the plot of the science fiction novel Make Room Make Room! by Harry Harrison, later filmed as Soylent Green, but maybe not so close that you have to worry. I like the ending, where the narrator pleads that he must, as always, delay the Revolution in order to get on with life and make a bit of money.

Author's Reply:
Hi David, I've never read "Make Room Make Room" or seen the film "Soylent Green" but I will check them out further before I re-write this to make sure I'm not writing something too close to an existing story, because that would look like copying and no writer wants that. I might find a better description too than "granny dust" as in retrospect I'm finding it a little amusing. Thanks for the input and the comment.

Jay.


A nightmare on easy street. (posted on: 11-10-10)
Weve all worked with or known one of these assholes. Rarely though will we see this kind of happy ending.

Freddy strolled casually into the office and towards his obsessively tidy desk. He sat down and switched on his computer. No one spoke, he looked around the office and people avoided eye contact. He looked sad, sad that no one had given him a high five or thumbs up or even a good morning. He tapped away at his computer loudly trying to draw the attention but again no one looked up. The silence in the office was deafening, deafening to him anyway. He furrowed his brow like a spoilt child at the lack of attention he was receiving. He coughed. Stacy was passing his desk with a pile of filing, she said, ''Good morning Mr Nougat.'' ''Hiiii, how are you?'' She continued to walk away, then slowed and stopped, rolling her eyes at Dave sat opposite, ''Yes I'm fine'' ''Did you have a good evening?'' boomed Freddy. ''It was.. Nothing special, I'' ''Well I went out for a meal,'' he interrupted, ''It was great, I had shell fish. I took the little lady to The Crown, it's about 30.00 a head there but it's worth it. Better than the filth they serve at Harvester or Wetherspoon or where ever it is people like you go mmmmm.'' ''Sounds nice.'' She said before making a quick exit. ''Dave, so hows things with you?'' Dave looked up, he was shocked. He couldn't remember the last time that Freddy had spoken to him, he usually blanked him in favour of Steve, but Steve was today on holiday and so he was off the bench and straight into Freddy's first team of work friends. ''Not bad.'' He said then went back to work. Freddy sat looking at him for a moment, ''Is dad in yet?'' ''You mean the boss?'' said Dave, ''He's been here since eight.'' ''GREAT!'' Again Freddy screamed his words across the office, ''I need to go and talk to him about my car, you know the new company car I'm getting. Did I mention that I was getting a new Volkswagon Scirocco?'' Dave got up and like Stacey walked away, heading for a second cuppa in minutes. Caffeine poisoning was preferable to chatting to Freddy who was late, as always, for work. In walked Eddie, Eddie Nougat, Freddy's old man. ''Hi dad.'' ''Fred. Look son I need a quick word with you.'' ''Is it about my new car?'' Freddy pulled a false smile and looked around the office to see if anyone was listening, they weren't. ''No Son, it's about Dave. He handed his resignation in this morning.'' ''Huh so what, that doesn't affect me, we'll just replace him.'' Eddie sighed, ''No we won't replace him though will we. '' ''Of course we will dad, he's just another drone, just go to the hive and get another one,'' he let out a nasal snigger that sounded like a footballer clearing his nose. ''Fred, we all know Dave works his tits and ass off for fifteen k's a year, we won't replace him for fifteen thousand pounds, so I'm going to try and persuade him to stay.'' ''Offer him five hundred quid a year raise, that's all he needs.'' ''But it's not the only issue, things aren't always about money. For fuck sake son, you earn four times what he does and you do fuck all, it's people like Dave that are keeping you afloat and you make no attempt to lay low, you have to rub everyone's noses in it, just remember all that son that's why I've decided to let YOU go instead.'' Dave walked back in with his tea, he nodded and smiled at Eddie and sat down. ''WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU SAY DADDY?'' Dave let out a slight laugh hearing a grown man scream 'daddy' ''Oh fuck you Dave, get out of here, he doesn't need to work his notice does he daddy?'' Stacy looked over from her desk, ''Are you leaving Dave?'' ''I err well I quit'' Dave stuttered. ''Look everyone QUIET'' shouted Eddie. ''Son get the fuck out of here, I've had enough. I've not worked my ass off building this company for twenty years for you to leech off it and drive out my best staff.'' ''B b but daddy.'' Freddy began to cry. ''GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE.'' Freddy was now bawling like a new born baby, tears streaming down his face, ''I'm going to tell mummy about what a meanie you're being to me.'' He got up and stormed out of the office, slamming the door hard behind him. Eddie walked over to Dave, removed a folded piece of paper from his shirt pocket and ripped it up. ''Can we renegotiate your contract and forget that this ever happened.'' Dave sipped his tea and without looking away from his monitor nodded, yes.
Archived comments for A nightmare on easy street.
e-griff on 12-10-2010
A nightmare on easy street.
a simple tale of revenge. but what is the truth here - where's the real story?

it might be interesting for you to get inside Freddy's head and work out WHY he is the way he is - what made him that way. Put yourself on his side, sympathetically, and see through his eyes ... he's clearly a very troubled soul .... 🙂

best JohnG

Author's Reply:
Thanks for commenting. This was based on a real person who actually said some of those things, a typical bosses son who was a 40 year old child. He was less a trouble soul, more a spoilt brat who'd never had to stand on his own two feet. Underneath daddies wing was far too comfy to leave.

Thanks dropping by though mate,
Jay.

sirat on 12-10-2010
A nightmare on easy street.
I was a bit concerned about the dialogue. The worst line I think is: 'I’m going to tell mummy about what a meanie you’re being to me', which I can't believe in at all, but I think most of Freddie's lines need another look. I think the constant use of 'fuck' gives away the weakness of all the dialogue, to be honest. The whole thing would be a lot stronger if there was more subtlety in the way the characters addressed one another and interacted. Freddie would be a much more interesting character as a sneering and patronising workmate than he is as a carping spoiled kid, and his father's action would have far more power if it was delivered with a polite coldness, and left Freddie simply speechless. I think the hysterical Gordon Ramsay tone of the piece isn't the one you should be aiming at. The actual plot I liked – I just didn't think its possibilities were very well realised.

Author's Reply:
See my comment above to John, I've heard that very line spoken by a man touching 40 years old. I know it seems unbelievable but I assure you this story has a basis in reality. I agree with the use of "fuck" too, maybe I should change that in future works. Thank you for commenting though David,

Take care mate,

Jay

sirat on 28-10-2010
A nightmare on easy street.
With respect, the fact that something really happened or that a character is based on a real person is irrelevant. You are writing a story and what matters is that your characters are believable and your plot and setting are convincing. The real people and events are your raw material, what you create using this material is your story. It's your story that we are commenting on, and I think both John's comments and mine still stand.

Author's Reply:


My Heart Bleeds (posted on: 20-09-10)
Something I wrote a couple of years ago... hope you enjoy. Hopefully I'll have some new stuff up soon.

My Heart Bleeds Every time you Have to do something, something so simple, as simple as walking or talking to a human, or just being able to answer a phone My Heart Bleeds Every time you cry about your wages and the fact you work work so, so hard even thought you don't know you are fucking born Boo fucking, hoo. My Heart Bleeds Every time you stand around eating or sit shitting for hour after hour tiresome your moans as others just get on and you simply whine. My Heart Bleeds Every time you have to do something something we all just do all day. It's work, your paid you aint starving, you're just spoiled. My Heart Bleeds Every time you tell me you start work at such an early time but you never whine when you leave on time. Mid afternoon drive, back to paradise. My Heart Bleeds Every time you tell me that you've chatted to mummy and moaned to daddy about your plight. I visit my parents, weekly, in cemetery.
Archived comments for My Heart Bleeds
Beth on 21-09-2010
My Heart Bleeds
Hi, life is never easy and the point of the poem seems to be you have to keep going whether you like your situation or not. The repetition of my heart bleeds (which is quite a dark image) seems ironic here as if you've had enough of the moaning. The last line puts everything in perspective. I look forward to reading more of your poetry - regards Beth

Author's Reply:
If you like my poetry I can send you PDFs of my poetry published on lulu. As a UKAuthor you don't need to buy it. I love it getting read. I'm not much of a poet, but I dabble. Thank you very much for reading this, it was a rant towards a guy I used to work with who had a great wage a massive house but still whined he was hard done to. He wasn't, but he moaned, so I vented my feelings in this poem. He grew up in the end and became a good mate, but damn he was tiresome for a while! Thanks for reading and commenting Beth. 🙂

stormwolf on 23-09-2010
My Heart Bleeds
I enjoyed the repitition of the words or phrases that served to highlight the anger and resentment in the poem. The feeling came over loud and clear and so the poem served its purpose very well. The last line sealed it all so well. I really think that last lines are incredibly important (to me at least) as it should. as here., seal the poem and also leave the reader with the appropriate feeling too. I get disappointed if a poem just sort of peters out at the end.
Alison x

Author's Reply:
I think the best poetry is born from raw emotion. I wrote this when I was really pissed off and it shows. On reflection I regret feeling that way.. but we all get a little miffed sometimes. Thanks for taking time to read/comment Alison. 🙂

Jolen on 24-09-2010
My Heart Bleeds
DAMN, Jay! You told it here, dear. Battle on, I say.

Sending love and good wishes,
jolen

Author's Reply:
Thank you for the love and good wishes. Can you send me some lottery numbers too! You've been a supporter of my writing on UKA for many years and I'm really thankful for that. I always battle on. Only death will ever stop that and shut me up. It's good to get emotional about stuff, and even better to write it down. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Jay.

PS. You're poetry is damn good girl! That's what living in the UK does to a yank. 🙂 Just jestin' take care my friend.

sunken on 26-09-2010
My Heart Bleeds
Good to see a poem with attitude and good to see you subbing again, Jay of the 12. I have to laugh at people who take a year out to 'discover themselves'. What bollocks. Why can't they just admit that they want to spend a year doing fuck all at someone else's expense? I would suspect that most of them, when completing the discovering process, come to the conclusion that they are spoilt brats. I hope this helps.

s
u
n
k
e
n

distantly related to the block who captained the titanic

Author's Reply:
I understand wanting to find yourself. I once lost my body but my soul caught up, which was a shame because it was so much better floating around Merry Hill Shopping Centre. I agree, we are all lazy bastards but making excuses is NO EXCUSE (see what I did there?) I'm with you, take a year and say "Fuck this, I'm playing Xbox and eating Doritos covered in cheese that I microwaved." You can't respect that... but damn you can envy it! Thanks for reading, commenting and being a constant friend on UKA. I'm so lucky that you guys still remember me.

Jay. 🙂

pdemitchell on 29-09-2010
My Heart Bleeds
Hi James - good to see you back and I do like verse wi' a bit o' spleen. Irritable Vowel Syndrome indeed - liked the website not too sure about Cwmystwyth in the short story maybeif ya managed to get in llanfairpwllgwyngychgochgerychllanwyndrobwlchlanntisliogogoggoch - I'd have been really impressed! Just kidding - the shorts were great especially the Four horsemen in the chat room. heh! Look forward to new posts. cheerz. Mitch 😛

Author's Reply:
No problems. Thanks for reading.

Hulda on 21-01-2011
My Heart Bleeds
James, i feel the heart bleeding, in daily Life and that last line struck me straight into my heart, i have lost both of my parents, i visit them in the cemetery, lost and lonely. I feel you through it all, thank you from the bottom of my heart, hulda

Author's Reply:


In A Spin. (posted on: 05-02-10)
I haven't submit anything for ages, so I drafted this little ditty of darkness and horribleness. Enjoy.

The anger and rage bubbled tirelessly, As I cut and sliced my way through, The dirty and evil organic engine, That created the horrible you. Looking for answers and reason, For why you do what you do, Finding nothing, not one answer, Not a hint, a pointer, or clue. The claret and grey looked unreal, Like the liquid that dripped to the floor, As my blade did delve and uncover, That twisted sick brain of yours.
Archived comments for In A Spin.
stormwolf on 05-02-2010
In A Spin.
delightfully grotesque 😉
Alison x

Author's Reply:
Thank you, I'm a good boy really. The only brains I've ever seen have been Sheeps in gravy and onions... yes I will eat anything. Thank you for dropping by my way, tis appreciated lots.

Jay.

Ionicus on 05-02-2010
In A Spin.
Ooer! Very dark, James, but well put.

Author's Reply:
Yeah but in my defense I am a drunk, lazy, fat, bearded, horror fan who loves a poem.

I think that was Charles Mansons defence though.... ooer!

Jay.

sunken on 05-02-2010
In A Spin.
Good to see you back, Mr. Jay of 12. I'll be frank, it's proper put me off my 'lasagne for one ready meal'. I blame highly descriptive stanzas of a grotesque kind. Good work fella.

s
u
n
k
e
n

mineral water 4 - tony blair 2
(late kick off)

Author's Reply:
I love you! Now kiss me Sunken, do it!

Jay.

Wolves 4-0 Birmingham City....... yeeaaahhh!

Jolen on 16-02-2010
In A Spin.
Hi Jay,
How great to see you back and I personally loved this!

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thanks, I dunno how I missed this comment. 🙂 How are you?

Jay.

Hulda on 21-01-2011
In A Spin.
That last verse gave me a lot to think about, it sure twisted the few little brain cells i have. It is interesting to know who that person is you loath so much, take care, hulda

Author's Reply:


Santa Muerte (posted on: 23-10-09)
A challenge set to me by Claire. ''a body on church steps ''

Holy shit, what a night I'd had. A special night at The Rock, with a Metallica tribute live band. Their rendition of Until It Sleeps was the dog's bollocks. No it was the dog's bollocks and cock. It blew the house away. But now my night of alcohol and euphoria have been brought crashing to the ground because my short cut has left me standing still, or to be more honest, falling down. The cut through from Broad Street to Barclays Avenue is a path that twists its way through Santa Muerte churchyard and it's always frightening but tonight it's much worse. Because I'm standing here with my mate Simon looking at a corpse. We almost missed it as we drunkenly sang and fucked around, pushing and shoving each other as we ridiculed each other for supporting Walsall and West Brom. But then I went arse-over-tit over the corpses outstretched leg. Simon thought it was hilarious, he held his stomach as he guffawed and almost went over himself, only a nearby wall saving his jawbone a collision with the tarmac. I looked back after I had fell to see what the fuck had made me go over only to see the crumpled body, the neck clearly shattered, the head contorted, the eyes open, the gaze so shocking as Simon laughed comically in the background. ''Fucking hell,'' I screamed trying to gain Simon's attention, to no avail, his laughter went on and on like a sun-scorched record. ''He's dead,'' I screamed out and pointed. Simon caught this and stopped his ridiculous laughter. He looked over and simply said, ''Shhhhhhh, you're gonna wake that tramp.'' ''Wake him!'' I said, ''If I could wake him, he' be grateful! He's fucked look at him.'' I stumbled back to my feet as Simon stepped closer, offering me a hand to help me up that I ignore. ''What should we do?'' I say. Simon stepped closer and put his hand into the pocket of the man, ''Maybe we should take his wallet, he's got no use for cash now.'' I reach out to stop him but he grabs something from his pocket and backs away with it. ''For God's sake, Si, can you put that back. We should call the cops.'' ''You are such a pussy, no harm in looking!'' he retorted. He opened the man's wallet only to find a few coins, ''What the hell are these?'' he said. I walked over to him expecting to say 'put them back and lets go and fetch the police' only to realise they were not any coins that I'd seen before. ''They look like doubloons.'' I said. I'd studied Spanish and Mexican history at university and should have been more baffled but seeing a dead body for the first time and now these shiny, gold coins I felt a little bemused, confused and a little uncomfortable. Because I had no idea what was going on. ''Well they are ours now,'' said Simon who stuffed them into his coat pocket. I wanted to ask him what he was doing but we were hit but a shadow that made a whooshing sound like a thousand crows swooping at the ground. We both tilted our heads and as the sound stopped we looked around us. Several dozen figures stood around us. One of them stepped forward, his eyes red and his teeth white, sharp. He simply raised his hands above his head, then flicked a finger our way and said, ''Feed.''
Archived comments for Santa Muerte
Claire on 24-10-2009
Santa Muerte
Hey there hun, for a quicky you've done a canny job. Couldn't help but laugh at some of your descriptions, especially:
"No it was the dog’s bollocks and cock" and "I went arse-over-tit over the corpses outstretched leg".

Nice wee twist with the end. You should work on this a wee more, edit, more descriptions, etc--deffo worth working on. T

Thumbs up from me. ;^)

Author's Reply:
It was written quickly, late at night, whilst a bit tipsy! I'm glad it's readable! Cheers. I'll work on it in due course.

sunken on 26-10-2009
Santa Muerte
Nice work, fella. Is there more to come? Some great lines and, in places, very naturally funny. Good to see ya back, Jay of the 12.

s
u
n
k
e
n

pass the persil on the left-hand side

Author's Reply:
I might have another go at this and add some more to it.

stormwolf on 04-02-2010
Santa Muerte
Hell's teeth Jay.
I seldom read fiction but when I do, I like to be scared....
The last line nailed it for me. A salutary warning to leave any corpses well alone 😉
Oh..and I love crows...but they do have a darker side.
Alison x

Author's Reply:


The Perversion of Revenge (posted on: 21-08-09)
Tyrants seldom want pretexts. Edmund Burke 1729-1797

You won't believe the mess I'm in. Can't go back now, not from what I've done, but it doesn't matter. I needed to do it. It's made me feel alive again, an expression that I needed to make, now people will notice me, remember me and talk about me. I can hear shouting and banging outside on the shutter doors, they'll be in here in a few moments. That'll give me time to tell you the story so far. It was Sunday and I was getting ready to go out for a night on the town. It was late, nearly ten o'clock. But I wasn't going out socially. I was going out for one last blow out. Like in the good old days when we used to go to the football and have a good old Barney with the away fans. It was all just fun. I know a lot of you cannot understand why on Earth grown men would want to knock seven colours of shit out of each other instead of watching the football, but to be honest it had fuck all to do with football. We used the rivalry and tribal nature of clubs to let the steam go. Violence was our pressure relief, that's all. You know like how some guys like to fuck, or do drugs while others simply get drunk and black out. We fought and we did it well. That's not to say that I don't have my fair share of scars and aches. You only have to look at me to see that I'm no Brad Pitt, hell I'd make Seal look like a L'Oreal advert, but I don't give a shit. It's never stopped me with the ladies, well the rough trade anyway. But what else does a guy like me want a woman for other than a bit of fun. Use them and toss them aside, that's all they are good for, that's all men are good for. We are all just dirty, fucking animals underneath it all anyway. I leave the house and make my way down to the local pub and wait. He's in there you know. Derek is his name; friends call him Decka or Del. He's an arsehole. A few weeks ago I was walking down the street and coming the other way was Del, for no reason he walked straight into me and sent me arse over tit. ''What the fuck?'' I'd said from my position amongst the dog turds and fag ends. He sniggered and carried on walking. That's enough to anger me. He's going to pay for that tonight. He's known as a bit of a hard man, I guess he likes to think of himself as a scary character, but we'll see, we'll see. And look over there at that fucking chip shop. Dirty fucking bastards. I only ate from there once and spent a week on the toilet recovering. Filthy people, like all people, filthy, dirty, bastards. Here comes Del now. Time for justice. I'll sit behind my bush here and jump out at him. That's good old fashioned street attacking. ''Hey Del, remember me.'' ''Jeez you fucking moron, you scared the shit out of me. No I don't think I've had the pleasure, who the fuck are you?'' ''I'm the guy you put on his arse the other day,'' ''Go and fuck off you smack head, you high? I put a lot of people on their arses mate. You gotta be more specific.'' Fuck it I can't be arsed chatting, ''Say hello Del, to my mate.'' As I was saying this he was already on his way towards me, but he hadn't gambled on who my mate was, my trusty fishing knife which I sunk straight into that bastard's jugular. He spluttered and coughed and gargled for barely a minute. I just stood over him as he flailed around on the floor clutching at his throat. I remember thinking 'Like his gnarled, stubby fingers are going to stem the flow of that claret.' ''NOW WHO'S ON THEIR ARSE?'' I shout. He's looking at me with the eyes of a small child, no bravery here, just fear, ''SEE HOW IT FEELS DEL, NOT NICE TO BE SCARED IS IT?'' But there is no time to hang around and enjoy my creativity. The pub will be emptying soon, I've gotta dash. Off to work, I'll bed down there for tonight. I've got business with the boss in the morning. He needs to be put straight too. * Seven AM and how the night has dragged. The constant fear of them coming to take me away,a group of heavy handed police officers, with dogs and tazers and batons. That's coming though, for sure, or maybe worse. The thoughts that rushed through my head after murdering Del almost proves to me that I am crazy, evil or both. Selfish thoughts especially. I don't want to go to prison,I'd never last, besides I was just getting my own back. It was his own fault, he asked me to kill him the day he pushed me over, his death wasn't without motive no matter how flimsy the motive seems. He was a bad man. It wasn't just about what he'd done to me it was about all of the terrible things he has done to people all of his life. I mean you should see his wife. A beautiful woman, ten years younger than he. Every time I see her she looks sad, covered in bruises and scratches that he must have given her, people like him make me sick, so arrogant, so psychotic and so selfish. Thoughts of killing for the sake of killing keep occurring to me too. I mean why not? I'm a forty-five year old man; I'm never going to be free again after this. Might as well take out a thousand people and get life, than take out only one for the same punishment. I only have one life for them to sentence. The boss is here, good old Mister Bickerstaffe I can hear his Audi. He's always in around seven fifteen because he's a sad fuckwit, a man whose wife is sat at home alone, all day. When she rises he's gone and by the time he gets home at night she's ready for bed. A complete and utter workaholic who has no social skills or the abilty to be fair, but a demonstrative man with the charm and grace of a pube in a soup course. At least she won't miss him when he's gone. How can she miss a man who's never there? I'll be doing her and her family a favour. He walks into the warehouse oblivious to me of course. He walks towards me, but looks through sleepy eyes at his mobile phone. I pick up a nearby hammer, how convenient, and I walk towards him. My foot scrapes for a moment on the smooth painted concrete floor, making a loud squeak and this startles him. He looks up and gasps. ''Holy Christ, it's you. What the hell are you doing here so early?'' Then he notices my blood soaked jumper and the hammer that I raise above my head. ''Say Good night,Mr B.'' I whisper to him. He raises his arm and I smash the hammer down hard. It barely grazes his cheek but lands with a crash against his elbow. ''Aaaaaaagggghhhhhhh,'' he screams. ''SHUT THE FUCK UP!'' I scream back. He stumbles backwards trying to get out of the way, now frantically dialling at his phone I have to lunge at him. With another almighty swing I manage to take the phone out of his grasp and as a bonus I shatter many of the bones in his hand. The crunch was delightful. ''FUCK, Aaaaaaaggghhh!'' He falls over and now raising his one good hand he pleads, ''What do you want, please tell me, is it money? I can give you money, please don't hurt me.'' I throw the hammer over my shoulder and it crashes on the floor behind me. ''I don't want your stinking money old man. First thing I want is your fucking attention. Have I got that yet?'' I reach into my pocket and take out my trusty friend. ''I want you to meet someone, a buddy of mine Mr B. He hasn't got a name, but he's certainly got an appetite. You see he likes rubbing against bones and not any bones, he's a fan of spinal columns and rib cages and every now and again he gets to crunch against an eye socket or two.'' Mr Bickerstaffe was silent. There was a moment of nothing. We just looked at each other, only the ticking of the clock on the wall could be heard. ''It's not nice is it Mr Bickerstaffe?'' I paused after asking him this. I wanted him to answer. ''No, It's not, what have I done to you'' ''Shut up,'' I interrupt, ''you just shut the hell up now. Don't be giving me that bullshit. What have you done? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? Ha! You've done the same to me that's what.'' ''Are you crazy, I'm a businessman I'' He stuttered as he replied, he seemed nervous, scared, upset all at once, It was like he needed permission to vocalise a response. That was a good sign, a very good sign. ''No, No, No, No, No! That's your problem you see. You cannot grasp that treating people like subhuman creatures, with no respect, makes them act like this. You've made my life a living hell for the last three years, and now it ends. It ends today, I hope you're ready.'' ''What are you talking about. Aaaahhh my hand it's agony, call me an ambulance. PLEASE!'' Pathetically I said, ''OK Mr B, you're an ambulance.'' Then I laughed for almost a minute. If he'd have been quicker he could have overpowered me because for a few seconds I was drunk on the laughter, almost high on it, I was beginning to enjoy this too much. ''PLEASE!'' he pleaded with me. That was when I heard the sirens approaching. His phone! Damn it. I walked over to where it lay and picked it up, his 999 call had connected, and they'd have heard everything. ''That call was the biggest mistake of your life.'' I turned, ran and jumped onto him. I'll be fair to the guy he put up a pretty good fight with one hand. But it wasn't long before I had him unconscious. I hacked at that fucker like an over-keen chef with the Xmas Turkey. I know his ears and part of his forehead came away because I remember throwing them with a splat against the units shutter door. So that is my story. It's not a very interesting one; it's not a very good one. It's just something I did to let off the steam today. The banging on the shutter doors has stopped, they must have realised that the side door where Mr B came in was open, damn it! I should really have gone and shut it, but I didn't have time. But then who really does have time? ''ON THE FLOOR. GET ON THE FLOOR. DO IT NOW.'' ''Why are you pointing those guns at me gentlemen, you can see I'm unarmed, I pose no threat to any of you, my friend is over there in his thorax.'' ''LAST CHANCE, GET DOWN.'' Maybe it's time to end this story once and for all. I'll reach into my pocket with gusto. That should give us a nice tidy conclusion.
Archived comments for The Perversion of Revenge
sirat on 21-08-2009
The Perversion of Revenge
Well, not very pleasant but it certainly holds your attention. A very accomplished piece of writing that gets right inside the head of a character we've all heard about on the six o'clock news.

The voice was fine, with the exception of: ' A beautiful woman, ten years younger than he'. Perfect grammar, that 'he', but would this particular narrator have used it? The other bit I wasn't keen on was towards the beginning when he says: 'That’ll give me time to tell you the story so far'. This is an instance of author intrusion, I think. It's better simply to tell your story without remarking on the technicalities of how you're doing it.

Overall, an excellent piece of work.

Author's Reply:
Hi David, thanks for reading and commenting. As you might see from my account I haven't submitted for a while. I take on board what you are saying. In retrospect the "story so far" bit might be worth dropping. For once I took my time with this and edited a little more than usual and so... I'm glad you enjoyed it!

And yes - it's very unpleasant aint it! I'll re-edit this later taking into account your feedback.

Cheers,

Jay.

shackleton on 23-08-2009
The Perversion of Revenge
Cor blimey, Jay... I thought you were a nice, gentle black-country lad. I was hoping to share a slice of cow pie and pint of moild with you one day. Horrible, fantastic, intriging story... you've made me go and make sure the back door is locked.

Author's Reply:
Cow Pie at Mad O'Rourkes? They are nice,, dunno if you know it. Had a mixed grill served on a metal shovel in their once. It was sweet, the nicest Gammon I've tasted, but anyway. Thanks for reading my latest short, it is horrible, but I like horrible. I think it's escapism from my very nice and simple life. Glad you enjoyed it.

Jay.

PS - Don't worry about locking the back door. My psycho's will drive a Heavy goods vehicle through your bay window if they wanna get to you. Sleep well mate!

shackleton on 23-08-2009
The Perversion of Revenge
How did you know we've got bay windows??? You're REALLY scaring me now, Mr. Jay.

Author's Reply:
It's taken as read in the Black Country. I can drive for about 40 or 50 minutes before I see a non-semi house with no bay windows. And even then its a portacabin or a caravan! God bless the West Midlands.

Jolen on 13-09-2009
The Perversion of Revenge
Hi Jay,

Yes, this is a strong bit of work and although it needs a great deal of edits for typos and so forth (if you want help to shape it up for the anthology or even on here, just yell) I'm glad to see it rewarded. I also hope you'll start subbing more often again, as I do miss your work.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Hello Jolen,

Thanks for your read and your nice comment. I will need to edit this for the anthology and any help or editing suggestions are always welcome. To write is human, to edit is divine so they tell me. I want to submit more work and will of course in due course, hows Bad Penny Prods going these days? Say hi to Linear when you next speak to him, I aint spoke to him in ages. I hope he, and you, are both doing fine.

Jay.


OAP's Revenge (posted on: 27-04-09)
A piece of flash fiction. I forced myself to sit down and write something and this is the result. Ive not been writing too much lately and Im trying to get myself back into some kind of routine again. Im banning facebook and limiting my YouTube time (two websites that have taken up a lot of my writing time!) so I can try and become a proper contributor to UKA again as I used to be. I hope you enjoy this story of revenge granny, fight the machine!!!

She hates, that's what she does. I don't know why she hates so much and why on Earth she hates me so much. After all I cannot help it. I'm just old; I'm not slow and doddery on purpose. I don't forget to take my tablets because I think it's funny to see the havoc it causes when I'm sick or drowsy or I take a fall. She's supposed to be here doing her vocation, looking after us old and infirm people but instead she laughs at us, mocks us, even hits us. Only last week Molly who lives in the flat next door to me took a swan dive over her hearth rug and ended up with a broken hip screaming in agony on the floor. Well up she comes banging on her door: ''Molly, it's late what the hell are you doing in there?'' ''Please help. I've fallen and hurt myself. I think I need an ambulance.'' ''What are you talking about now Molly? Go to bed and get some sleep.'' ''Please don't go, I'm hurt. I can't stay here on the floor all night.'' Then I could hear the muffled rustling of keys, then muffled voices and suddenly, ''Aaaaaaaarrrggggghhhhhh.'' Molly screamed with terror. It was like someone was in her room trying to kill her. Molly has just returned home from the hospital, she's going to need a walking frame now to help her get about. She told me what happened that night when she came to 'help' her. ''It was awful Maureen,'' she said, ''I was on the floor. The door opened and in she came. I know she's a horrid woman but I was just grateful that someone had finally arrived. She said to me 'get up' and I said 'I can't, I've hurt my hip' and she walked across, leaned over and pulled my poorly leg. Why she did it I'll never know.'' Well this is the final straw for me. Molly has only been living here for six months since her husband died. She'd decided that living alone in her big house was too much for her, too hard, too many memories, and so she had made the tough decision to sell her home and put herself into this warden controlled accommodation. After all it's supposed to be safer for us old folks right...? Well the spring barbecue is scheduled for this weekend and I'm going to be sat next to this piece of work for lunch. I've been slowly collecting up some old heart medication from various residents and added to the dried out and crumbled deadly nightshade leaves I think I can teach that evil bitch a lesson. One thing's for sure nobody fucks with this old lady.
Archived comments for OAP's Revenge
admin on 27-04-2009
OAPs Revenge
Hahaha, lovely - sounds like something I might write. My kind of old lady, too.

Lovely to see you back and subbing again (psssst...Facebook, Twitter etc are a waste of space :-))

Author's Reply:
Some of these social networking sites can become poison! I don't mind catching up with people, but the amount of bollocks you get sent is unreal. Poked, thrown sheep, drinking quiz, film quiz for the tenth time, smoking quiz, everything under the sun! I don't mind if it's relevant. I like footie, and writing, and films etc, but I aint really bothered if my pre-1960's music knowledge aint like John Peel cus I was born in 1978! *Rant over*

Anyway thanks for reading and commenting - is that Andrea or RIchard?

PS - Wolves are Premier League! Yay!

Sunken on 27-04-2009
OAPs Revenge
Hello Jay. Good to see you back. I like this is. It makes a change to have an elderly person depicted in this way. Some of them are evil. I'll be frank, some of them scare the crap out of me and no mistake. I blame wrinkles. As for facebook, I can honestly say I've never even visited the site. Can't say the same about Twitter mind. Anyways, good to see ya subbing again.

s
u
n
k
e
n

he's not welcome in denmark

Author's Reply:
I didn't want the old woman to seem evil. I wanted to portray a person who, despite her age, wasn't going to take any crap. I like the idea of someone fighting back with what ever method they can. Old people can't fight physically, but they could easily be more awkward and devious if they wanted... and who'd suspect a lovely little old blue rinsed, gin stinking old bird!

Jay.

RachelLW on 27-04-2009
OAPs Revenge
Enjoyed it, you could extend this nicely I expect. Like the idea of tough, old birds fighting back. Rachel.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for your comments Rachel. It could be extended, I might do that later. It was an exercise to try and get back into writing. I'm hoping to post something every week. I've got an unfinished novel called "The End" I want to try and revive. You can read that on here too 😉

Jay.

Mezzanotte on 28-04-2009
OAPs Revenge
Dear Jay12,

This is a good idea, a clever little story with a smashing final line. I like to imagine an old lady saying 'fuck', I don't say it much myself now, but when i'm old I intend to say it all the time...and probably wet my knickers in public too!

Although when you look at the youth of today, God only knows what the elderly of tomorrow will be like...nightshade leaves will be the least of it.

I too spend too much time on Facebook...but unlike you I think it's fab and wouldn't be without it.

Best Wishes
Jackie

Author's Reply:
The idea of a little old lady with a blue rinse perm saying "fuck" makes me kill myself laughing! Although dribbling wee wee down the leg in public kinda puts me off little old ladies! Haha! I think the grannies of the future will simply shoot their guns at bad care workers. Facebook is an OK site but it can become a time consuming effort I feel.

Cheers for dropping by Jackie.

Jay

Sunken on 28-04-2009
OAPs Revenge
That Jackie woman is a disgrace, Jay. Just ignore her. I've had run ins with her recently regarding her use of the word 'pussy'. I'll be frank, I've a feeling she's not all there. And don't worry, she won't read this 😉

s
u
n
k
e
n

he can balance a microwave on his head

Author's Reply:
I dunno Jackie, but I'm sure she's great old bean! As for pussy... was she using it in the "you can stroke my pussy" way or the "look at my pussy lick itself in front of the fire" way?


wfgray on 13-08-2009
OAPs Revenge
Hi Jay, I have read this flash story two or three time. In some of them I heard many a blast of fuck off you fat cow. What I saw during many visits to care homes was that some of the carers needed a few of them pushed their way. I talk from experience, an old Aunt of mine had some hard times at two or three homes. Out of desperation I moved her three times and it was on the last occasion they failed to noticed a lump on her breast. She was taken to the hospital and diagnosed the dreaded C. I complained to the proprietors and told them that she was coming back there. The next thing I knew was the old ladie's clothes being slung out in the street. At least we did find a good one and although suffering she managed to survive another three years, She was 96. But at times she was a cantankerous old devil at times. But no elderly lady should be treated by these dragons of women just for their own peace quiet. This is a delicate subject. Will

Author's Reply:
The worse thing about this kind of story is that it goes on and no fiction ever does justice to the suffering that really exists. Care jobs, be they in homes or hospitals used to be vocations. It seems these days people see them as 9-5 jobs that they don't really have any heart in. I blame the rise of the "me, me, me culture" where it's all about how "I" am and not how those less fortunate might be. The world is simply a selfish place nowadays where having the latest ipod or mobile phone is more important than the welfare of an elderly relative or an ill neighbour. Thanks for reading and commenting.


Ian Hislop in a Chris Evans Wig. (posted on: 27-02-09)
If you like my tale here, don't talk to Sid, talk to Frank.

''Take it,'' they told me, ''Take it,'' Jesus at my age I shouldn't be doing this kinda thing. I mean I spent my teenage years drinking and doing wraps of speed, lines of coke and spliff after spliff after spliff. But still I'm here in the pub and these kids that knock about with my younger colleagues still think that it's great but I guess they are just me back then. ''Try it laaaaah,'' said Sid, ''or are you a fucking toffee?'' I guessed this was a football reference from his thick scouse accent and nothing else. I mean toffee what else could he mean? My mind wandered for a moment. ''What the fuck is it mate?'' I screamed at him over the Arctic Monkeys decibels flowing from the jukebox. ''It's a bit of fun fucker, that's what it is, just fuckin' have some,'' He flung the tablet at me and freezing for a moment I watched as it landed on the bar next to my Marlboro reds and zippo. I looked back at him and he looked wide eyes and grinning, so I reached back and picked it up and washed it down with my Jack Daniels on the rocks you know, just like they do in the movies. He laughed, so hard he pissed himself I leaned over and grabbed him by his collar and pulled him towards me. ''What the fuck's funny scouse cunt?'' ''I'm from Bootle,'' he blurted pointlessly. ''What d'you give me,'' I felt cloudy and the room started to quieten and move in slow-mo it did ever so slowly. I let him go and coolly he brushed his shoulder and leaned in to my ear and simply said, ''Salvation.'' I stood back from him and leaned against the bar hard. He walked away and disappeared into oblivion. Which shocked my system as all I could see was oblivion, I turned around and the bar was still there, the bored bartender sitting on his stool looking up at the optics, dreaming of a job without a tea-towel dangling from his belt, but behind me the oblivion still existed. I slowly peaked over my shoulder and looked at the blackness of nothing and for a moment it held my gaze. So beautiful was nothing so great was it's calm until it fell from my sight and replaced with it was Tyrannosaurus Rex and his dozen or so friends stood in my local playing pool, darts, sitting with the missus, that was unexpected especially the part were they all sung and danced together the song and tune I'd not heard before, and certainly not performed by dinosaurs. I closed my eyes and wished it all was gone, I opened my eyes and it was. The pub existed again as I'd always remembered it. I could even see Sid sitting not six feet from me playing a bandit. 'What was going on?' I thought, then of course 'The tablet.' What had he given to me? Salvation, he said, just another word for acid, I guessed. I wanted to ask him so much I wanted to know what it was. But I was frozen to the spot, I looked up and saw him walk in, star struck I wasn't, but I wilted at the knees. The room faded into darkness as I watched Ian Hislop in a Chris Evans wig. Ginger and baldness mingled into an orgy of craziness as he walked across the bar. I felt now that madness was no longer a fear it was a reality, I'd done what I'd promised myself for years, gone bananas. And when he asked me if I wanted a drink, I looked harder and again saw Sid.
Archived comments for Ian Hislop in a Chris Evans Wig.
Sunken on 27-02-2009
Ian Hislop in a Chris Evans Wig.
Yeah, I don't think it was a Rennie, Mr. Jay. May I recommend Bisodol. Just as effective and slightly cheaper. Flippancy aside, I think this is one of the strongest pieces you've subbed to date. I read it whilst waiting for my pizza to warm up. I know that doesn't really mean much, but it might help someone somewhere who is also wondering what to do whilst waiting for a pizza to warm up. Ahem. Thank you. The beagle named 'Bernard', he say woof.

s
u
n
k
e
n




Author's Reply:
Cheers! This is entirely fiction. I'm not a drug user, daren't risk it with the huge alcohol consumption these days anyway! It's actually a piss take of a charicature of a colleague who often says things to look cool, like "I smoke Marlboro red and drink Jim Beam" etc etc. We all do these things but for him it's very important to do it and tell people he does. He also looks like one of the title characters. I don't wanna say too much in case he ever reads this! There is also a blog if you want to read the depravity it contains let me know I'll PM you the link (I do try to keep that private). Thanks for reading and commenting and giving me a Well Done Beagle.

cat on 27-02-2009
Ian Hislop in a Chris Evans Wig.
Hi Jay12,

I totally agree with Sunks, this is very good and it reads like it's an extract (please tell me there is more) there definitely should be more! I'm afraid I do not have a badge of approval Mr Jay but please know that I think that it deserves one of those ellusive niby things as well as the lovely beagal that is called Bernard!

Frank would be proud of your on line promation Sir, very well done! c x

Author's Reply:
Hi Cat,

Firstly thanks for reading and dropping me a comment. Sadly there is no more of this. This was a bit of "pissed flash fiction" that I wrote to expel some frustrations at work. Who knows, maybe I'll try and work it into something else or something longer, but at the minute it's an odd and lonesome piece of writing.

Jay.

wfgray on 14-08-2009
Ian Hislop in a Chris Evans Wig.
Hi there, This is one of these druggie efforts. Its a strong subject and it makes one think by the amount of interest paid and hits to an article like this on uka? I like strong worded messages and this is one. Will

Author's Reply:
Thanks Will, it is a warning about drugs and the dangers of hanging around with the wrong crowd. That wasn't my intention when I wrote it, but it can be interpreted that way. Cheers, Jay.


Bio: Childhood Holidays (posted on: 29-09-08)
The usual... a bit of autobiography written during my barren spell of writing.


Childhood is a great time in anyone's life. I have so many memories of growing up that are excellent. I remember holidays clearly. Back in the 80s we were not very wealthy. We did OK for ourselves but we never could afford big, lavish holidays and never went abroad. But this never stopped us going away as a family and enjoying the old fashioned British holiday. We went most years to North Wales. Wales is one of those places that is so easily dismissed and underestimated as a nation but is in fact a place of extreme beauty and although Welsh people never support England in the World cup the country does actually have a lot of very nice people indeed. The holidays were always caravan ones. I clearly remember going several times to the Golden Gate caravan park. It sticks out for having a huge circular clearing in the middle that was just a park for kids, with swings, and slides and the like. It also had two peacocks that ran free amongst the caravans. Sometimes I and my sister would go around and collect feathers from them and for many years we actually had a large collection of peacock feathers at home which was probably not the most hygienic hobby to have. There was also a railway that ran alongside the caravan park between it and the beach. Over it was a huge, green, steel framed bridge. The boards beneath the feet being made of wood and having gaps in between so you could look down and see what seemed an enormous drop on to the tracks below. I've always had a fear of heights and I remember this part of the holiday very clearly. I felt like Indiana Jones crossing a rope bridge over a canyon when ever I crossed that bridge but thankfully it never gave way and I always made it to the beach and back safely.


We used to collect shells too on the beach and again for a while had a large collection of shells, to go with the peacock feathers, in the garden back at home. In fact some of those shells are still in the garden and are in an amazingly good condition. My dad also cemented some as a border around the outhouse shed near the back door and some of those are still stuck fast there today.


Another great thing from childhood was trips to Blackpool. One very clear memory I have of Blackpool is riding the donkeys along the beach. Me and my sister must have been around six or seven years old at the time and I can remember getting on to the donkey near the pier and being slowly lead away at a very leisurely and safe pace. Then we reached a point that I think was marked with cones or a post and as the donkeys turned around this to head back towards where we started they began to run. Now looking back I guess they were just trotting a little faster but back then I feared for my life, holding on tightly hoping not to fall off and die underfoot the donkeys that were behind me (yes I was in the lead, Lester Piggott eat your heart out). Since then I have learned the pleasures of Blackpool as an adult. It's a great place to go for a jolly-up, the beer is always cold, and with the wind coming in from across the sea, so are your bollocks.


Once my sister went on holiday with a friend and I was stuck at home all on my Jack. My mum and dad took me for a day out at Chester Zoo and the most amazing thing that day was not the elephants, or the orang-utans or even the reptiles. It was the fact that my mum had managed to pack a picnic into a bag that was like a banquet. My mum always had a knack for all things food, like a lot of mums I guess, there were sandwiches, cakes, crisps, fruit and god knows what else everywhere on the table we sat at. I remember thinking back then she had intended to feed the animals as we walked around but had forgotten so me and my old man had to polish off a few dozen rounds instead aaah those were the days indeed. In many ways it's a shame that we have to grow up at all aint it, and some might argue that I still haven't.


Once on a trip to Wales my dad was recovering from thrombosis. He'd had a blood clot in his leg and had had to have an operation to remove it. That's a warning to you all, don't smoke! He was having trouble walking so we decided to take a week away in Prestatyn and Colwyn Bay and ended up walking his legs off more than ever. My dad though was a good sport and doddered around the place, up and down the beach with his walking stick and never moaned (too much anyway). I still have pictures of him standing in the sea as the tide lapped in with his trousers rolled up to his knees and him spinning the walking stick round like Charlie Chaplain. Great pictures they still make me laugh even after all these years.


Archived comments for Bio: Childhood Holidays
niece on 30-09-2008
Bio: Childhood Holidays
James,
I remember a longish pit(appeared more like a chasm at that age) , dug for irrigation purposes, probablythat that separated my father's ancestral home from his aunt's nearby. She used to keep goats, so it was always exciting to cross the pit to see them. Unfortunately tho' my cousins used to get a kick out of jumping across, I used to get petrified by the thought...I think I've even fallen in once, unless its a fiction of childish imagination that appears real at this age...

It's always great to write about the past and definitely a great way to warm up before taking on bigger stuff...interesting holiday this...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Hi Niece! Thanks for your memory too. Glad that this has reminded you of some happy times of your own. It is good to write about the past, be it good or bad.

Thanks for reading.

Sunken on 30-09-2008
Bio: Childhood Holidays
Hi Jay and no mistake. I like this. It has a refreshing simplicity about it. The line about your bollocks creased me up for some reason. It just seems to come out of the blue. Good to see you writing and posting again.

s
u
n
k
e
n

also available in huddersfield

Author's Reply:
It works well when you use a well placed swear word! I like it too. The entire thing is so clean cut and sensible that slipping the word "Bollocks" in just once is hillarious. Thanks for reading it and I'm glad you enjoyed it, nice to be subbing some bits and pieces again.


(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 16 (posted on: 28-01-08)
The word count of this chapter is 2144 (that is text only not including headings etc) Enjoy.

Kerry knocked on the captain's office door gently making a light metallic tapping sound. The door slid open. The captain sat at his desk beckoned her in.

''Hi Kerry, how are you,'' he said in a heavy, commanding Russian accent.

She quickly entered the room, smiling beautifully she said, ''I'm very well thank you.''

''Please sit,'' he pointed at a chair with one hand as he tapped at the computer before him with the other.

''I can't stay long. I was just having a chat with Jimmy and we thought it would be a good idea if we all got together for a drink, you know, 'cause we won't all be together up here for much longer, do you fancy doing that later''

He paused in thought and continued to work away at the computer, for a moment she thought that he had forgotten the question then he said, ''That sure is a great idea. Of course I'll come for a drink. It's a rare opportunity, you know, that we can sit around and enjoy the fact that we in spinning around in space. We could even open up the canopy over the mess and sit under the stars and watch the Earth rise every ten minutes.''

''That sounds great to me.'' Kerry beamed, ''I'll sort us out some nibbles too. I'm sure that we have some Pringles left and a couple of bags of Bombay mix hidden away somewhere.''

''Great I get peckish when I'm having a beer. I've just got to make first contact with the shuttle. It's not too far away now. I just need to confirm their cargo inventory and tomorrow we've got to make sure that we can get it all into the hold here. We might have to jettison a few of the empty supply containers from our arrival because we haven't used as many supplies as was expected.''

''Well I could put on a buffet tonight instead then.''

The captain laughed, ''You could. That wouldn't go amiss with anyone. It would make a change to all of the usual boring routine of station life.''

Kerry stood up, ''I'll get off then and start getting things sorted out, I'll see you later captain.''

''You sure you don't want to stick around and say 'Hi' to the relief crew?''

Kerry was already walking towards the door as he spoke, she turned, ''No thanks sir, I'll be off. I'll speak to them when they get here if that's OK.''

''OK, I'll see you in a while. Keep a few beers on ice for me!''

''OK.'' Kerry acknowledged him with a slight wave and walked off down the corridor, her feet making a soft shuffling sound as she went.

Vladimir picked up a headset and sat it carefully on his head. He tapped at the keyboard and waited. The screen display flashed, ''Attempting Connection' he drummed his fingers impatiently on the desk as he waited for an answer. It seemed to him forever then suddenly the flashing stopped and a pixelated image of a human face appeared.

''Captain Chegov here on board the international space station, are you receiving me OK, over?''

There was a long pause, then a clear, loud response, ''Good day Chegov, Mike Hanlon here. I'm hearing you loud and clear, over.''

''Great. How's the flight going captain? You guys aint getting sick or nothing are ya!''

Again another lengthy pause, ''Haha no not at all, we're all in top shape and can't wait to rendezvous with you guys. I hope you've packed all of your dirty linen.''

''Yes, don't worry you aint gonna find a pair of my old pants drying in the engine room. The reason for my call is just to see what your ETA is. You guys still on course to get here on time?''

''Yes. Everything has gone to plan so far. If the remainder of the journey goes as well then we should arrive exactly as predicted. Maybe another forty eight to fifty two hours to docking. It shouldn't be any longer. Of course any changes and we will notify you but so far it has been the usual boring, textbook flight.''

''Textbook and boring is all we want Captain Hanlon. I'll speak to you again before you arrive. I'm gonna go, my beer will be getting warm.''

''Yeah true. I know what you and your crew are like when it comes to alohol Captain Chegov. I'll see you soon, over.''

''Over and out.''

Vladimir switched off the computer, got up and left his office.

*

The rest of the crew had already gathered together by the time the captain arrived. Ian sat lolling back on two legs of his chair swinging forwards and backwards, his glass of beer in hand, a few empty cans on the table before him. The roof was already open and the beauty of space and its stars shone above them. Kerry sat next to Jimmy sipping a glass of red wine despite her earlier comment that she didn't really drink. Jimmy sat telling her a story waving his arms around as he spoke. The captain walked over to the sideboard and removed himself a can of beer from the fridge and opened it. It frothed a little overflowing and dripping on the floor leaving a trail in his wake. The sudden, brief sound of the can fizzing caught the attention of Jimmy and Kerry, Ian continued to stare outwards as he always seemed to do these days, and concentrated on the constellations.

''I see you guys haven't wasted any time in starting without me.''

Jimmy raised his glass, ''Cheers everyone, here's to a happy last few days and to a safe journey back home. I dunno about you guys but I can't wait to get back and see the wife and kids.''

Ian looked down at his colleagues and forcing a smile he raised his glass. Vladimir took his seat at the table and everyone leaned in clinking glasses and saying 'Cheers.'

Everyone sat back.

''You've been quiet in the last week Ian is everything OK?'' asked Vladimir.

All eyes turned to Ian, he felt them staring at him, it made him uncomfortable. He shuffled his feet nervously and uncomfortably then sat forward putting his beer down and leaning with his elbows on the table top.

''I'm OK. I'm the same as you guys. I want to get out of here and get back to see my family, well what's left of it anyway.''

''Your kids probably can't wait to see you.'' Said Vladimir. ''They will be so proud when they see their dad the space man. The other kids are going to be really jealous of them.''

''I doubt it.'' Ian said, ''My ex told me that she'll never let me see them again. She said that she'd be moved by the time I got back and I'd never see them again. They probably don't even know that I'm up here at all.''

Kerry joined in, ''I'm sure they'll know you're here and anyway she probably said that to get a rise out of you, their probably aint any substance to it at all.''

''I dunno,'' said Ian, ''She's a bitch and she'd do anything that it took to make me unhappy. She even spends my maintenance on holidays for her and her boyfriend. I dunno why I bother paying it at all.''

''Surely not. Is that even legal?'' said Jimmy.

''Well she must do. I earn a pretty penny in this job. She is out of work and her chap is a fucking window cleaner but they went to Hawaii on holiday last year, you tell me how that works if they aint doing that?''

''Well you're doing the right thing, your kids will realise that when they are older.'' Said Jimmy.

''You aint got kids have you Jimmy?''

He paused, ''No I don't.''

''Well let me tell you this, kids only know what life portrays to them. They don't see the money I send them. As far as they know I don't even send any. Do you think when they are eighteen she is going to say to them, 'actually your dad always tried to stay in touch and do the right thing, he always sent you your money every month but I spent it on sexy holidays for me and Geoff' that's not going to happen, they'll just think I'm a waste of time.''

''Well you can only do your best,'' said Kerry, ''and you are you have a job and you never know. Some day you could meet someone else and be happy and maybe have another family.''

''True, but I'd prefer to see the one that I already have.''

The conversation stopped, an uncomfortable silence fell on proceedings. Vladimir's eyes wondered as he thought of something else to say, he wished that he'd never approached the subject in the first place.

''Well I for one can't wait to get back.'' said Vladimir, ''It's tough for me because my family are back in Moscow. Julia will be waiting for me when we get back but my mum and dad and kids are still back in Russia''

Jimmy interrupted, ''It's tough but you chose this job and I'm sure as you sit their right now thinking about your family, looking out at space, you don't regret it.''

Vladimir looked up through the canopy at the heavens, the Earth slowly began to disappear out of view, ''I chose it for a better life for my family. I could never have earned the money that I earn in the space corporation if I had stayed at home herding cattle with my father. Despite what you might think you know life is still tough back home. A lot of poverty still exists, all of the money, the power and influence is still with a small few.''

''It's the same everywhere,'' said Jimmy, ''America offers you the freedoms to chase your dreams, to work, to have a retirement and own your own home but when it comes to making a difference, or wanting to be super rich and super successful it's not going to happen to people like us, not these days anyway. Those guys at the top do what they have to, to protect what they have. It's not 'free market' or fair but I guess you can't blame them for wanting to protect their own interests.''

''That is human nature aint it, self, self, self. I suppose we are all selfish at some level.'' Said Kerry, ''I'm not a bad person but if someone gave me the opportunity earn a lot of money and be comfortable for the rest of my life it'd be hard to turn it down, what ever it was.''

Jimmy smiled at her, ''What ever it was aye,'' he raised an eyelid. Vladimir laughed.

''No, no, I take it back. I would do almost anything. Jeez what is it with you guys. All you ever do is think with that thing in your pants. Scientists and astronauts are the same as sparkies and plumbers and as a woman who has had to put up with her fair share of all of them I know.''

''Yeah but seriously if you could be assured the cash you'd at least have to consider it, wouldn't you?'' said Jimmy.

''I dunno about that. An indecent proposal doesn't appeal to me, plus I can earn my own money thanks.'' Kerry picked up her glass and took a sip.

Ian stood up, ''I wanna go to bed.''

''Hey come on don't you wanna stay for one more drink?'' said Jimmy.

''No, I don't wanna be antisocial but I'm not really in the mood for all of this. I guess I'm not looking forward to getting home as much as you guys.'' He walked out of the room without speaking another word.

''He aint been himself for a while now.'' said Vladimir.

''I've noticed that myself. He was a little distant earlier when I was chatting to him. He was miles away starring into space.'' Kerry said between more sips of wine.

''Well you heard what he said about his situation. He's just got a lot of things on his mind. I'm sure he'll be fine when we get back down to Earth. Once he sees his kids.'' Jimmy sounded confident of what he was saying.

''Yeah, if his wife hasn't already upped and gone with his kids. You heard what he said. She wants him out of their lives and whilst he's been up here their has been nothing he can do about it. If he feels that he has lost all hope no one knows how he might react. He could turn into a wreck.'' Said Vladimir.

''That's right,'' added Kerry, ''We should all keep our eyes on him and make sure he is alright.''


Archived comments for (WANIAY) The End - Chapter 16
Sooz on 05-02-2008
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 16
Right Jay, strugled a bit with this one. The writings good but because I've come into it so far in I dfound it difficult to engage with . But I'm sure a couple more chapters in when I know who's who and what's what I'll get in there. Looking forward to the next chapter.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting Sooz. I think it will be hard to engage with the characters at this point in the story - although this set of characters were only introduced in the previous chapter, so maybe if you read that it might help but they are linked to what has been going on since Chapter 1 so it'll be hard to get a grip on what is happening. A lot has happened before this point has been reached. (Although technically this bit of story is running parallel to what has already happened.. it's a bit complicated)

Cheers for taking the time to read me though.

Ginger on 08-02-2008
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 16
Like Sooz, I think I need to go back and have a read at the previous chapters. I do like the feeling that something bad is going to happen - or its that just me? One thing, about the captain, could you make his accent, speech, more Russian? You mention an accent at the beginning, but he sounds American or English.

I remember the synopsis on this one, but I will go back and have read of the other chapters.

Lisa

Author's Reply:
Hiya! Thanks for dropping by this way. I will of course take a look at the Russian accent thing. So far though I wanna get it written. I think technical stuff and re-writing can wwait until later. Something is going to happen but you must read on to find out what. (It happens on the space station and not Earth).

I hope you get chance to read it all eventually. I need feedback on this first draft desperately.

Jay.


Bio: A few childhood memories. (posted on: 15-10-07)
Just another bit of autobiography written during my barren word famine.

Childhood is a great time in anyone's life. I have so many memories of growing up that are excellent. I remember holidays clearly. Back in the 80s we were not very wealthy. We did OK for ourselves but we never could afford big, lavish holidays and never went abroad. But this never stopped us going away as a family and enjoying the old fashioned British holiday. We went most years to North Wales. Wales is one of those places that is so easily dismissed and underestimated as a nation but is in fact a place of extreme beauty and although Welsh people never support England in the World cup the country does actually have a lot of very nice people indeed. The holidays were always caravan ones. I clearly remember going several times to the Golden Gate caravan park. It sticks out for having a huge circular clearing in the middle that was just a park for kids, with swings, and slides and the like. It also had two peacocks that ran free amongst the caravans. Sometimes I and my sister would go around and collect feathers from them and for many years we actually had a large collection of peacock feathers at home which was probably not the most hygienic hobby to have. There was also a railway that ran alongside the caravan park between it and the beach. Over it was a huge, green, steel framed bridge. The boards beneath the feet being made of wood and having gaps in between so you could look down and see what seemed an enormous drop on to the tracks below. I've always had a fear of heights and I remember this part of the holiday very clearly. I felt like Indiana Jones crossing a rope bridge over a canyon when ever I crossed that bridge but thankfully it never gave way and I always made it to the beach and back safely.

We used to collect shells too on the beach and again for a while had a large collection of shells, to go with the peacock feathers, in the garden back at home. In fact some of those shells are still in the garden and are in an amazingly good condition. My dad also cemented some as a border around the outhouse shed near the back door and some of those are still stuck fast there today.

Another great thing from childhood was trips to Blackpool. One very clear memory I have of Blackpool is riding the donkeys along the beach. Me and my sister must have been around six or seven years old at the time and I can remember getting on to the donkey near the pier and being slowly lead away at a very leisurely and safe pace. Then we reached a point that I think was marked with cones or a post and as the donkeys turned around this to head back towards where we started they began to run. Now looking back I guess they were just trotting a little faster but back then I feared for my life, holding on tightly hoping not to fall off and die underfoot the donkeys that were behind me (yes I was in the lead, Lester Piggott eat your heart out). Since then I have learned the pleasures of Blackpool as an adult. It's a great place to go for a jolly-up, the beer is always cold, and with the wind coming in from across the sea, so are your bollocks.

Once my sister went on holiday with a friend and I was stuck at home all on my Jack. My mum and dad took me for a day out at Chester Zoo and the most amazing thing that day was not the elephants, or the orang-utans or even the reptiles. It was the fact that my mum had managed to pack a picnic into a bag that was like a banquet. My mum always had a knack for all things food, like a lot of mums I guess, there were sandwiches, cakes, crisps, fruit and god knows what else everywhere on the table we sat at. I remember thinking back then she had intended to feed the animals as we walked around but had forgotten so me and my old man had to polish off a few dozen rounds instead aaah those were the days indeed. In many ways it's a shame that we have to grow up at all aint it, and some might argue that I still haven't.

Once on a trip to Wales my dad was recovering from thrombosis. He'd had a blood clot in his leg and had had to have an operation to remove it. That's a warning to you all, don't smoke! He was having trouble walking so we decided to take a week away in Prestatyn and Colwyn Bay and ended up walking his legs off more than ever. My dad though was a good sport and doddered around the place, up and down the beach with his walking stick and never moaned (too much anyway). I still have pictures of him standing in the sea as the tide lapped in with his trousers rolled up to his knees and him spinning the walking stick round like Charlie Chaplain. Great pictures they still make me laugh even after all these years.


Archived comments for Bio: A few childhood memories.
Hazy on 15-10-2007
Bio: A few childhood memories.
Wonderful to get these memories down on paper sometimes, Jay 🙂 Enjoyed reading about them.

'tis so nice to look back on them in years to come.

Hazy x

Author's Reply:
Its so true. I think the older we get the more we want to look back at these moments in our lives. Cheers for reading and commenting. Take care,

Jay.

Jolen on 28-10-2007
Bio: A few childhood memories.
I too enjoyed this, Jay and hope you will share more of them. They are well written and interesting.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Hi Jolen,

I hope I get some more writing done of any kind! It seems these days I never have the time to do any and I try and try so hard to fit it into the days and it never happens. It is so damn frustrating and its destroying my imagination. Thanks for dropping by and reading this though. Its much appreciated.

Jay.


(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 15 (posted on: 15-10-07)
It has been a struggle to get this written but I hope its the start of a lot more chapters to come before the New Year. Claire - The actual word count of this chapter is 1328. (Thats text excluding headers, description etc) Enjoy.

In the blackness of space a tiny spot was visible, spinning fast like a jenny without thread. The coloured lights of the space station were barely visible against the reflecting glare of the sun on its metallic exterior. A couple of astronauts stood together chatting and looking out into the universe.

''Look at it! Space! It's the most beautiful place. There may be beauty in abundance back on Earth but its nothing like this.''

Ian King stood upon the gantry inside the small observation tower and looked out. To his left the giant globe of the Earth shone brightly, ahead of him he could see deep into light years of the cosmos. Kerry Spooner stood next to him listening as he spoke. She held a container of milk in her hand. She raised it to her lips and took a sip as he continued. A small droplet slowly formed at the end of one of her lips and she gently drew it into her mouth with her tongue.

''Look at that beautiful constellation, Perseus.''

Ian's face beamed with enjoyment.

''Which one?'' she asked looking vaguely around at dark space.

''There see that collection of stars?'' he waved his outstretched hand, finger pointing, in what seemed like a random, aimless way.

''Yes.'' Kerry lied and continued to drink.

''In Greek mythology Perseus was a hero, a great hero in fact. He was the first of the great Greek heroes, according to the legends. He's the man who killed Medusa.''

There was a pause.

''She was the woman with the snakes for hair, turned people to stone? How'd he do it?'' asked Kerry taking another drink.

''He cut her head off Wack!'' He drew his hand down hard into his other, a loud echoing slap rang around, ''and then he gave it as a gift to Athena.''

''A gift!'' she recoiled slightly at the thought.

''Yes, a votive deposit.''

Kerry fell silent not fully understanding what he was saying. She looked at him, he stared with awe. The light that shone from the Earth glimmered in his eyes; he was trance like in state. His demeanour was often unusual at best but tonight he seemed to be miles away, his head up in the stars as usual but with an oddness that was even too weird for him.

''What is a votive deposit?'' she gingerly asked.

''It's something that is given or left as a sacred item, used for ritual or prayer.''

''I see,'' she said, ''So it's like leaving a penny in a wishing well?''

''Yes,'' he said shocked at her sudden understanding, ''That's spot on Kerry. Your intellect surprises me so often.'' He looked away from her to look back out of the window.

''Oh be quiet! You are silly sometimes you know that?''

He stayed standing their silent.

''I'll leave you for now. I've got a few things down in the laboratory to sort out before I turn in for the night.''

Without a reaction Ian continued to stare, unresponsive and silent. Kerry turned and slowly climbed down the stairs and disappeared.

Ian raised his hand and pressed it against the cold domed glass that protected him from the vacuum of space, ''God, you are so beautiful.''

Kerry walked down the long space station corridor into the laboratory. Jimmy Allen, the chief scientist. He sat carefully on a tall stool next to a huge desk upon which lay instruments of all kinds, he was leaning forward and looking into an electronic microscope. Unaware of Kerry she stood and looked at him for a moment. He was a very mysterious man, Kerry had found herself training and working along side him during her entire time with the space agency and was in awe of him and his ability. His abilities with chemistry, physics and biology were amazing. He'd got the brains of ten men she thought. He could have been a doctor or a surgeon earning hundreds of thousands a year but he had never been interested in that and had selfishly followed his first passion, astronomy and space. He was a lover of everything celestial, metaphysical and philosophical. Together they had sat for many hours and discussed the greatness of the universe, the absurdity of existence and the insignificance of life on Earth as but a mere speck of dust existing in an infinite cosmos.

She placed her glass down gently and let out a small cough to draw his attention. He looked up at her and smiled.

''Hey there, how are you?'' he said with the sincerity that made her wish other men in her life had spoken to her so caringly.

''I'm fine thanks,'' she spoke quietly.

''It'll soon be time'' he said.

She paused, ''time for what?'' she asked. Dreaming for the answer to be 'For us to become husband and wife' but she knew that would never be the case. She almost made herself laugh every time she thought about it and him. They were the best of friends, they worked well together and hard as colleagues and that was something that she would not want to ruin or change. But the idea of being with a guy like him was appealing to her, but she assumed it must be appealing to all women too.

''Time to go home again,''

''Aaaah of course. Yes not long now. It's been a great mission though but it's gone so quickly. Six months sounds like such a long time but when you are enjoying it so much

'' time flies,'' he interrupted, ''I know, it's a shit isn't it?''

His swearing made her laugh, ''It is,'' she replied, ''What are you doing there?''

''Well I'm just checking on this experiment. I've been trying to introduce DNA into a bacteria which is known to target human cell tissue. I'm hoping that instead of attacking the cell and killing it I can engineer it to attack cells that are negative such as Cancer cells then it can destroy just those and leave the healthy cells alone.''

''That sounds like such great work better than the stuff I get to do.''

''Now, now,'' he said, ''that's not true. You know you do valuable work. Your discoveries and research are for the benefit of the space agency and all of your colleagues and you know it. Those new gravity boots that you helped are revolutionary, isn't it true that people can wear those now instead of having a complete artificial gravity system fitted to every space craft. That is such a great cost saving to the space agency and also helps private space travel to become more affordable, which is not to be sniffed at.''

''yeah. I guess but I'm still not saving lives.'' She moaned.

''Yes but you are changing lives and bettering them, that is a great thing. If someone is ill and you can cure them it's a good thing. Do you agree?''

''Yes of course''

''And if someone has a low quality of life and you improve that, that's a good thing too. Yeah?''

''Yeah it is I suppose.''

''There is no suppose about it. We are both doing what we can to make life better for everyone. So don't put down your achievements. You have made a difference in this universe and that is a very important thing. Don't ever forget it.''

''Thanks, you always know what to say to make me feel better.'' She said.

''I'm just calling it like I see it, nothing more. I'll be finished in a while if you want to we can go and have a drink with Ian and the captain. A little treat! What d'you say?''

''Well I dunno, I don't drink much''

''Well have a coffee.'' He interrupted again.

''OK then.''

''Great, can you go and tell the others for me and I'll meet you in the mess in about thirty minutes.''

''Yeah, if I can pull Ian away from the Observation gantry for long enough,''


Archived comments for (WANIAY) The End - Chapter 15
eddiesolo on 17-10-2007
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 15
Hi James,

Liked this chapter-not a lot going on but the visual impression it gives is really good.

Only line problem for me is: 'Jimmy Allen, the chief scientist. He sat carefully on a tall stool next to a huge desk upon which lay instruments of all kinds, he was leaning forward and looking into an electronic microscope.'

I found it clipped- 'Jimmy Allen, the chief scientist.' Then you start a new line.

'Jimmy Allen, the chief scientist sat carefully on a tall stool next to a huge desk upon which lay instruments of all kinds, busying himself with the image in an electronic microscope.'

Or something like that lol.

Enjoyed the read very much.

Si:-)



Author's Reply:
Hi Si,

Yes I never noticed that. Thanks very much for pointing it out. I'll be adding it to my notes for this chapter so I can make the changes when I've finished and begin editing. Thanks for reading!

Jay.


Bio: Writing For The First Time (posted on: 07-09-07)
I have been a bit of a stranger around these parts of late. I've had some terrible "writers block" I hope everyone who attended UKAlive had a great time. I've seen some of the videos on youtube, they are great. (Check out Dutchbonnet aka Sirat if you haven't already). Also I'd wanted to have completed my WANIAY before now but sadly I've been stuck on 30,000 words now for several months, thankfully the lovely Claire has given me until December 31st to get completed. As an exercise in writing during periods of severe word famines such as the one I'm going through I sit and write biographical stories. I have published a couple of things on UKA about moments in my life (when my Dad died, the suffering I did as a child with mouth ulcers and a time that I got my arm trapped in a coach door as it began to drive away) and this is just another one of those. I have a few of these stories and will probably be sticking them up in the coming weeks if the writing drought continues. I hope my bio-shorts don't bore you, xx Jay xx

Writing is a weird thing. Pretty much everyone in the modern, western world can read and can write but most people don't call themselves 'writers' I mean I had been writing since around 1981 when I was three years old and I certainly was not a writer back then. I can remember as a kid aged about eight or nine writing comic strips, little stories of four or five pictures (badly drawn by myself) usually telling a joke with the punch line in the final pic. I can very clearly remember drawing strips about two worms who were best mates. They were unusual worms though, because they had arms, still that's creative license for ya aint it! As a teenager at school I often drew pics of my peers and myself and often made up crappy little stories and comic pictures again in the same style as earlier, only these were more graphic and often insulted my mates looks, or penis size, or god forgive me their mums and dads. Anyway they were the only things close to writing that I had done in my life until I was 20. In December 1998 I did start to consider myself a writer and began to write (cus that's what they do). Weird isn't it? Despite the previous seventeen years of being able to write at some level I never was one, but suddenly overnight, I was. But why? What happened to change this? Well I sat down and wrote on a piece of paper, Chapter One, and then I proceeded to try and put together several hundred words with characters, plot and dialogue. So why even go to that extent? Well it all breaks down like this, and I promise you this is not how a writer is made, this is simply the chain of events that lead to me starting to write. In January of 1998 I left my first job as a plumbers mate and spent the next five months completing a psychology diploma which I had started whilst at work. After I completed the course I got myself a full time job as a media monitor in Bilston. It was kind of an interesting job. I've always been a big watcher of the news and reader of newspapers and follower of current affairs and politics, simply to keep up with what's happening in the world, and so this job was perfect. The only problem with this job was the hours. I worked 1pm until 9pm, Monday to Friday and this seriously effected my social life as I'm sure you can imagine. Often I would get in from work and by the time I had showered and eaten it could be 10pm and to late to be considering doing anything, and who wants to do anything at that time anyways! Most of my mates had to be in bed then so they could be up at 7am for their normal jobs. As a result I had to find myself pastimes and hobbies to kill those hours late at night when I was still up and awake. I remember watching loads of films. I used to go to my local branch of Woolworths during my break and spend tons of money on videos in their three for fifteen quid section. But after a few weeks of this I decided to slow down watching movies after I had filled a shelf in my tiny bedroom with about thirty films. Instead I began to read. I found that I was a relatively slow reader at first and so a book would last me about three or four weeks and was only the price of a video that would keep me entertained for a few hours. This was great! I had tapped into something that I had long forgotten about. I remember as a child reading a few books by Enid Blyton and loving them but being a child of my culture books took a back seat to Atari computer games and Nintendo's as I grew up. Some of the books I read early on were not that great and I can remember thinking to myself as I edged my way through their stories that 'I could do this' and 'I could write better stuff' But one of the strongest influences on why I started to write was Stephen King. Their was a fantasy shop in Bilston and I remember popping in their once when I was on my break from work and just seeing shelves of books with a sign saying 'All books 50p each' so I randomly grabbed several books, paid for them and left. Among the few that I had randomly grabbed was a book called 'The Dark Half.' It became the first Stephen King novel that I ever read and it was amazing. Such a great read I enjoyed it from start to finish and have read it several times again since. I remember finishing it and thinking to myself, 'I want to make readers feel so pleased at the end of a story.' Also among the books I had bought was Carrie by King and I read that after The Dark Half and again was not disappointed at all. So after this moment of inspiration coupled with the 'I could do this' thoughts I sat down at my Commodore Amiga 500+ and began to write a story. I wanted to write something that was very similar to Stephen King. I'd admired his story telling skills in the book's I'd already read and so ended up penning a story entitled 'The Unforgiven Misery' and for a first ever effort it was not bad. The story was a bit far fetched, the grammar and spelling was dodgy in places but by the time that I had completed the first draft, two years later in December 2000, I had managed to write about eighteen thousand words. It was awful but still to this day I have the original copy that I printed on my louder than loud daisy wheel printer and the so called 'final draft' which is basically a slightly tidied up version of the original. The story 'The Unforgiven Misery' was actually untitled for a long time. Whilst I was writing it, it never had a title at all. In fact titles have always been a very difficult thing to come up with. It's so hard to give a piece of writing a title that fits or does not give away too much about the story before it's been read. The thing is though that it's the first thing that a reader sees and therefore if it seems too dull you'll probably fail to get any readers at all. I named this story one night when I was listening to The Black Album by Metallica. I was lying down on my bed one evening relaxing and the words jumped from the back of the CD case, Track 4: The Unforgiven, Track 11: My Friend Of Misery. I'm hopeful that one day I can resurrect the basic idea for the story and the characters and write it as a proper story. I hold it dear as it's my first ever attempt at writing anything but I can appreciate that in its current state it's rubbish. But hopefully one day it will be a coherent and tidy story. I think though it'll need a better title when I do rewrite it as the original title now means to me, ''To try and fail.'' Since then many more ideas for stories and novels have come and gone. I've begun to write three other novels (entitled Curious, The End and The Sanner) and all have fell by the wayside and again they are all stories that I want to go back to and finish or re-write. They aint bad stories at all, the problem is the amount of time I can spend writing. If you are writing a novel you really need to write every single day to keep the story fresh and alive in your mind. I have often failed to do this and simply lose track of what is going on. At the moment I'm simply trying to master the short story and get some of them published. The rest will simply have to wait for now.
Archived comments for Bio: Writing For The First Time
Kat on 07-09-2007
Bio: Writing For The First Time
Keep the faith, Jay! You express things that many of us feel or have felt - I hope you find your mojo again soon - but don't be too hard on yourself. I like your open pieces! :o)

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Hi Kat, I aint too hard on myself these days. I let things happen and if they aint happening, I'll wait until they start to!

Cheers for reading.

Jay.

e-griff on 09-09-2007
Bio: Writing For The First Time
The art of writing autobiographically is to make the piece interesting for a reader. Many people write a simple account of events; I did this/I did that, with little or no thread between. The other great put-off is when they write self-justification about how everybody else was foolish or bad, and they were always right. Their girl friend left them, and they recite all her faults and then how perfectly they themselves had behaved. (Believe that, you believe anything)

You haven't done either of those, you have put together an coherent account, letting us know your true feelings - which is what keeps us interested and what makes this good. You enable us to see things from your point of view objectively, without trying to bias us or point us any particular way.

Your piece is not too long, it is focused, has a theme and a conclusion. What more could anyone want in a story, never mind an autobiography? That is good writing. Well done.

I've been a bit despondent myself lately, but today I accidentally found a thread from a writing site where I first started writing (fiction) myself five years ago, I hadn't written anything before then (except at school), but there was a challenge to edit someone's story. I tried it, and the author was really pleased with the result. That gave me my first evidence that I could actually do things with writing, and encouraged me with my first stories. It kinda cheered me up.

Hope this does the same for you. 🙂 JohnG

Author's Reply:
Hi Griffy,

Yes thanks, this comment has cheered me up - even though I was happy anyways! Thanks for the comment. I do find that writing memoir style is easy and fluid, the most fluid and easy writing I've ever done.

Take it easy,

Jay.

Jolen on 16-09-2007
Bio: Writing For The First Time
I agree that this is a very fine bio piece, and I hope you continue doing things like this. I really enjoyed the read.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jody, I'll put some more bits up soon.

Jay.


(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 14 (posted on: 04-06-07)
Feedback and crit welcome. My overall word count at this stage is 28,600 approx.

The president walked into a silent oval office. He sat down at his desk and put his head into his hands. A woman walked across, ''Mr President Sir, we need to begin recording the message now, can I put this on your lapel?''

She held out a small microphone and wire.

He rubbed his face and looked up at her. ''Yes go ahead madam,'' he sat back and let her attach the wire, which she did gently, to his jacket. She moved out of the way and he shuffled his chair forward and sat with his arms on the desk in front of him. He looked around the room. It was full of people. Aides, cameramen, technical and sound people, they all looked at him longing for him to say something, and do something that would end all of this, to stop it all from happening. He felt numb inside knowing what he'd just ordered his military to do.

''OK we are going to begin recording in 60 seconds, then we are evacuating the building does everyone understand?'' shouted one of the aides. Silent nods of acknowledgement Mexican waved their way around the room. The president picked up a glass of water that sat before him and took a huge drink.

''God I wish that was Scotch, can someone get me a Scotch?'' he said waving the half empty tumbler.

''I'm on it,'' shouted John who quickly disappeared, eager to please like a puppy with a stick its mouth. A woman walked over with make up and tried to apply it to the Presidents sweaty brow but he pushed her aside, ''I don't think that that's necessary. Please do yourself a favour go home and pray,'' he stood up, ''in fact all non essential people should go home to your families right now, that is an order from the top. You should all be with your loved ones, if you aint here to film my speech GO!''

Nearly everyone left, making the President feel a little awkward at first as if they were all going home. A cameraman, the sounds woman and the make up lady stayed. The president called the make up lady over, ''I'm sorry for being sharp with you, but you understand the pressure I'm under.''

She nodded, ''It's OK sir, I understand''

''We need to start now Mr President, we need to get you away from here soon.''

''OK let's get this over with.''

John walked in with the Scotch a few seconds too late, the red light appeared on the camera and the president began to speak,

''My fellow Americans, as you are aware today has seen an unprecedented series of events carried out by terrorists around the globe. We too have not been spared by the evil doers. Many thousands of people have been killed and many countries are turning against each other. I speak out to our nation's allies to let them know we are taking action to quell this tit-for-tat violence. I have ordered our nations military to begin nuclear strikes against those nations that have encouraged, funded and armed terrorists and directly attacked us also. As we speak our air force is delivering justice upon them. Pyongyang, Kabul and Tehran, countries that we have so long tried to encourage into being democratic and fair societies, have, as on so many occasions fallen into the hands of extremists and ideology that threatens the safety and even the future of the world. I have made this decision reluctantly but it is a necessary tactic to bring things to a halt, I call upon all nations and all terror groups to convene at the United Nations in New York for global peace talks. Diplomatic immunity is available for all such diplomats so we can begin future security negotiations. God bless America.

The red light went out and the president sighed.

''That was the most difficult speech that I've ever had to deliver.''

John quickly stumbled over to him handed him the Scotch, ''Maybe that'll help.''

The president took it and swigged it back, then sucked through his teeth as the whiskey slowly burned its way down to his sickly feeling stomach.

''Is their anything else you need Mr President,'' John sounded eager to please.

''No, thank you. You should do as the others have done and go home. We'll all be out of here soon.''

''Yes sir, thank you.'' John turned and headed for the door.

''Oh and John''

John stopped and turned his head, ''Yes sir.''

''Take care old friend.''

*

Pete sat finishing off the last of his tea when his mobile phone began to ring, he looked at it ''Home'' flashed across the screen as it rang out.

''Hello babe,'' he answered.

''You need to get home quickly, everyones going crazy cus of the news.''

''What do you mean?''

''They are beginning to loot, you know the Khan's shop on the corner, well they've been almost completely cleaned out. A mob of lads have just gone in and dragged them out and begun loading food by the van load and driving off''

''Slow down'' John insisted but she continued.

'' and it's just been on the news, it's beginning everywhere. People are going nuts the police are being sent out in force but their just aint enough of them to keep the peace, please come home I'm scared.''

''OK, listen. I'm coming home. Just close the curtains, don't get drawing attention to yourself by waving you head around the bay window and make sure the front door is latched and locked. I'll call you once I'm outside.''

''Ok.''

''I love you babe.''

''I love you to.''

*

The sun beat down hard on Grozny with many people staying indoors or hiding beneath the shade of trees and bushes to try and stay cool. Mostly people went about their business oblivious to the trouble that was engulfing large parts of the rest of the World. Used to being left to suffer the sense of terror and fear that they had lived with for many decades made them hardened to tragedy, and even a little grateful that for once it wasn't them.

In a small restaurant a tall, olive skinned man in an all black, baggy fitting suit sat carefully sipping at his iced water. His gold cufflinks and tie pin glistened in the afternoon sunlight. He placed the water on the table and sat back in his chair watching the news on TV. Occasionally he rubbed the sweat from his forehead with his napkin or scratched at his stubble with his finger nails making a rough rasping noise.

The man listened as more news filtered out, India and Pakistan were toe to toe and poised to strike at each other. He laughed out loud, and then raised his glass, toasting the TV set.

''Excellent, excellent.'' He said with beaming smile. A restaurant worker who sat bored at his counter gazed at the man in wonder at his laughter, unsure of what was so funny.

The man shouted over, ''Please can you fix me another of these iced waters? I need to visit the bathroom.''

''Straight away,'' he replied.

The man got up and disappeared into the adjoining bathroom.

A few moments later he reappeared, wiping his hands on a paper towel, as he looked up he noticed that his water was on the table and he now had a guest.

He walked over and sat down, picking up his drink and taking a sip.

''Hello Sheik.'' The guest said, ''It's nice to see you looking so well.''

He set his water back down, ''I'm feeling good. What can I do for you? Didn't I tell you to disappear now that the job was done? Our association ended with these bombs, we aint working together anymore.''

''Well you see it's Mikael.''

''What about him?'' said the Sheik in a nonchalant fashion.

''He says he hasn't received his payment into his account. He says he had an agreement Five big ones in cash wired over as soon as the first bomb explodes.''

''Yes well what is he going to do about it huh? Find another nuke and send it my way hahahaha, such a fool.''

''Yes Sheik, but a deal is a deal. He has our Moscow agent hostage, he says he will kill him if we don't''

''Let him kill him. I've got what I want. That is all that matters to me.'' The Sheik again picked up his water and sipped it, starring always into the eyes of his cohort, ''Now I'll reiterate my point once more.'' The Sheik sat forward and leaned on the table. ''Look around you carefully. I have body guards stationed in every direction, so no matter which way you leave I can have you shot. I only have to give the signal. Now disappear and never contact me again. You have your money don't you?''

The man nodded, ''Yes Sheik. I have every penny. It's here in this bag with me, one million dollars cash.''

The Sheik eyed the satchel, ''Well then go, get out of here, take your wife and your family and get lost. Forget about Mikael, and try not to bump into him.''

The man got up and reached out to shake hands, the Sheik raised his hand and waved it several times in a circular motion. Their was a rush of wind as the snipers bullet sliced through the mans head. He fell to the floor with a sickening thud. The restaurant worker dived for cover, smashing several trays of glasses and bottles as he went.

Calmly the Sheik stood up and picked up the satchel. He opened it and removed a few notes placing them on the table next to his glass. Then he calmly strolled out of the restaurant into the scorching heat of the sunshine.


Archived comments for (WANIAY) The End - Chapter 14
e-griff on 05-06-2007
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 14
Blimey! That's one hard sheik!! seems to be coming along nicely.

There are a number of small tidy-ups needed here, but I'm assuming you are doing the same as most and simply gritting your teeth and getting the story down before going back and editing, so I'll not list them.

Just one point, though. You refer to the scotch as 'whiskey' - that's the term for Irish , Scotch is 'whisky' - a small thing but one we pedants jump on!

best, JOhnG


Author's Reply:
Hi John,

The Sheik is one of the best characters I've ever come up with. Such good fun writing about a selfish and evil mastermind - he's my Baron Greenback. I dunno about you but I love the bad guys more than the good (unless the good are flawed of course)

Upon re-read I agree that this could do with a lot of work. At the moment I'm just putting my head down and trying hard to hit my word count for the WANIAY deadline - although that's not so important to me. WANIAY has gotten me writing regularly and if it takes an extra month or two after the 12 months are up I'll go on with it just to get the first draft done - then the hard work will really start *sobs*

Thanks for the Whiskey reference - as a drinker of whiskey/whisky I should have spotted that. I guess I should not have a glass in front of me when I write aye!

Cheers for the comment though,

Kind regards,

Jay.

shackleton on 05-06-2007
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 14
Ah, Jay... this is the way the world will end: not with a bang but a wimper. Interesting stuff, matey - good writing. How're ya gooing these days?

Author's Reply:
Hi Shacks,

First of all it's nice to hear from you. I'm so glad that you are still around. I'm very well thank you. Life is good, work is good, the beer goes down easily enough, so I can't moan too much! I hope that you are doing OK, you still in Birmingham are ya? We should stay in touch as we are both from the salt of the earth area of England - The West Midlands!

As for the end of the world I don't believe that it'll happen and if it does it wont be terrorists, probably be mother nature if anything, but its our own fault. Glad that you enjoyed it. I'm hoping to write more and more as time goes on. I've another subby for Friday but its a poem not another chapter but check it out if you can. I need all the support I can get!!

Kind regards,

Jay.


(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 13 (posted on: 14-05-07)
Feedback and crit welcome. My overall word count at this stage is 26,900 approx.

My fellow Americans. It is a sad day for us and many other nations around the world today. We have seen acts of pure evil perpetrated by cowardly and hate filled people. Many tens of thousands of lives have been destroyed and hundreds of thousands more people are ill or injured after a series of deadly and deliberate terrorist acts. The world is reeling from a terror that we had never dared to consider as being possible. The hunt is on for the groups and the countries involved in planning the attacks, supplying the terrorists or protecting them. We in America, along with our allies worldwide have agreed, as ever, that we'll make no distinction between the terrorist who carried out these acts and those who harbour them. Our retaliation will be swift and just and in equal proportion to try and quell the terrorist elements who may threaten us again. We have lived with this threat for many years but, today, we have seen a new kind of attack, a new kind of threat, and we have to meet it head on and defeat it. The survival of the world literally hangs on our victory; we simply cannot, and simply will not fail. My prayers are with you all at this time, God bless America.

The TV screen dissolved into blackness for a moment of contemplation, before the usual array of adverts for teeth whitening products and family saloon cars flashed their way into the hearts and minds of unsuspecting viewers.

Back in the oval office the president sat still as the aid removed his microphone, ''How was that, John?'' he said to his PA.

John stood smiling next to him, ''brilliant, short but brilliant Mr President.''

''I hope so.'' He took a deep breath and sighed, ''It won't comfort anyone though, not this time,''

John continued to fumble with the microphone, wrapping the wire around itself, ''Nonsense, people need to see their leaders taking a stand at times of crisis.''

The president stood up, ''It's not that simple, not this time, we have let our people down, we have let the world down. How the hell could something so catastrophic be allowed to happen.''

''Sir... it's not your fault is it, you've always done everything you can''

The president looked squarely at John, his eyes watery and red, ''Yeah, but it wasn't enough and now I have to do what I've never, ever wanted to do in my life. I have to order a nuclear retaliation. I don't want to use these weapons anymore than anyone else but I have to.''

''Really sir, do you really have to use them though?''

In walked a tall man in a dark suit, he stood next to John. He held a collection of papers in his hands.

The president wiped a tear from his eye before it had time to begin running down his face, ''Yes. I have to use them.''

''Sir we have the culprits sir,'' the guy handed the papers to the president. He took them and looked at them for a moment.

''Holy shit, the usual suspects aye?''

The man nodded, ''Yes sir, it's not going to look good hitting these countries hard sir.

''It won't look good in Asia and the Middle East, but it will look good here, I've got no choice. Put all nuclear facilities on red alert and await further orders. I'll reconvene the cabinet and we'll make a decision as soon as poss, ok?''

''Yes sir.'' The guy turned and briskly walked out of the room watched all the time by John.

''So it's going to be nuclear war sir?''

''Yes, and hopefully, it'll all be over soon and there'll be someone, somewhere left alive to tell the tale.

A second guy came walking in, ''Sir you have an important call from Mossad.

''OK, can everyone leave for a moment. You can leave the TV equipment where it is. I'll call you guys back in once I've finished.''

Everyone stopped what they were doing and filed out of the room.

''Even me?'' said John pointing at his chest.

''Yes John, for now. I won't be too long. Maybe you can fix me some coffee and maybe a sandwich.''

A smile spread across his face, ''Yes sir, anything you want.''

''Make sure you get yourself something too,''

He president then beckoned him out of the room with a few hand gestures. He picked up the phone,

''Ok I'm ready patch it through.''

Their was a pause, enough time for the president to take a pen and notepaper from his desk and ready it for any note taking.

''Hello Mr President,'' the voice carried a thick Israeli accent.

''Hello,''

''Hi, my name is Inbal I am the new director of Mossad.''

''I see, what's happened to Jacob?''

''Well sir their has been a terrible incident in the centre of Tel Aviv and he was killed, most of the city is devastated, it appears to be yet another nuclear strike.''

''Holy fucking shit, what about the government, do you still have one in place?''

''Yes fortunately most of the government were not present at the time of the attack, but sadly the Mossad headquarters and most of our men were, and they are all dead. It looks like we could have upwards of one million dead, it was a huge explosion. Probably the biggest one yet, we fear that they are only going to get greater,''

''Well'' interrupted the president, ''Only if there are any attacks left to take place. That could have been the last one, maybe in their sick was they saved the largest until last.''

''Maybe that's so. But I'm, calling you for assistance, we simply cannot cope in the face of such an attack, the devastation to our security, our medical services, our police and military is quite huge.''

''Well let me tell you now that you can back on the support of the United States, and I'm sure all of our allies will be willing to help you too. Can I first offer my condolences, and the condolences of Americans, at such a terrible unnecessary tragedy?''

''Thank you very much. We do already have intelligence that is pointing at an Iranian backed and funded terrorist cell. We believe the perpetrators only entered the country a few months ago and we fear that the bomb may gave been smuggled in longer than that and was looked after by a yet unknown cell.''

''So what do you plan to do in response to the attacks?''

''We are preparing our fighter planes to carry out nuclear strikes on Tehran exactly as we did a few years ago to try and destroy their nuclear framework.''

''Well I wish you well, and I hope that together we can quell this terrorist uprising sooner rather than later and with the minimum loss of life.''

''We'll deter any more attacks Mr President, we won't show any mercy. The people of Israel have suffered enough in the past, it's time to draw a line under it once and for all, we can't let these indignations go on for ever and Mr President, thank you as ever for you unequivocal support, on behalf of my nation let me tell you we truly appreciate it.''

*

Location: 'Jeans Caf,' Wolverhampton, England.

Pete swished the bread around his plate mopping up the baked bean juice. He carefully crammed the resulting mix into his eager, salivating mouth. His eyes stared at the TV on the wall above. He, like everyone else, could not believe his eyes.

''This is so bloody unbelievable aint it mate,'' a voice opposite him said in a thick Black Country accent. He stopped chewing for a moment and looked down to see an oldish looking man in denim overalls holding a mug of tea in one hand and a slice of cheese on toast in the other.

''You can say that again.''

''This is so bloody unbelievable aint it mate.'' He repeated. Pete stopped chewing and stared at him not sure what to say.

''It's OK,'' said the old man, ''I'm just joking with ya. Sometimes you need a joke dow ya to help ya forget the terrible things like this,'' he pointed up to the TV.

''Well yeah, but it's hard to laugh when so many people are being murdered aint it?''

Their was a pause, not a silence, it was never silent in the caf. Then the old man leaned forward, ''It wuz a joke mate, I day mean to offend ya, me names Dave, I'm from Bilston, d'yow know it?''

''Yes, I plastered a few houses in Bradley a few years ago.''

Dave took a bite from his cheese on toast and spitting crumbs and baring cheesy yellow teeth said, ''Oh are. Yow a plasterer then are ya?''

Pete looked disbelieving at him, ''No I'm a chippy, plastering's just a hobby.''

Then again, a familiar sight appeared on the TV screen. Everyone began to shush each other, waving arms and putting fingers to lips as they did so.

Breaking news, we have just received reports from the Jordanian capital that more explosions have been detected across the region. Nothing has been confirmed yet by witnesses or satellites but they are confirming more seismic activity similar to that detectable when a small to medium sized nuclear explosion occurs. They have not pinpointed them exactly. The locations for the explosions appear to be wide apart with estimations that they have taken place in both Israel and Iran. There are now suspicions thatIsrael has attacked Iran in reply to the earlier attack and that Iran has responded. That is speculation at the moment, we await more news from Washington and the United Nations regarding this disastrous day of events. Back to the studio

The caf fell into another stunned silence. Dave turned away from the TV set and looked at Pete. ''Yow interested in plastering my bathroom, I'd pay ya like.''


Archived comments for (WANIAY) The End - Chapter 13
Whale on 23-08-2008
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 13
What's sad about this piece is that you have the ability to write. You have told a story that is way beyond credibility, much more than incredulous. I don't mean the nuclear attacks. This is believeable and what we here, in Israel, fear a lot. But the Preisdent of the United States telling a TV cameraman or whatever that he intends to use nuclear weapons and then starts to cry in front of him is way beyond belief. Or that Israel will allow a nuclear attack (which is doubtful) and then wait to tell the President before retaliating. No one will take this seriously and the trouble is you do.

One other comment - you don't have to transliterate Cockney, at least not to the extent you have. It makes for difficult reading. Just tell us he's Cockney bloke and with a couple of 'yer's and 'ave's you will convince us.

My rating of 3 is because you were gifted with the tools to write and because you wasted them on this childish nonsense.
I am being tough with you for that reason. You can do a lot better - unless you are still on the wrong side of 18 years of age.

Author's Reply:
I'm currently re-writing this entire story so I appreciate your feedback. I was just wondering, have you read all of the story thus far or did you just dip in at this chapter? If you have any feedback on the rest of it I'm more than ready to listen to criticism, especially as I'm doing the re-write. Yes I'm over 18, but I don't mind the story being a bit juvenile.

Thanks for saying that I have the ability to write. It comes and goes though believe me!


(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 12. (posted on: 05-03-07)
Feedback and crit welcome. My overall word count at this stage is 25,000 approx.

The news broke first on international networks. The Cable News Network was first to report seismic quakes picked up in London familiar with a small nuclear device exploding, these reports were at first unconfirmed but were soon picked up by every news network globally. People across the United Kingdom began to panic at these rumours, people began to flee from Birmingham and Manchester fearing a second explosion, traffic jams became chronic. Bottlenecks ground to a halt and didn't move for hours. Then reports came in that the news reports earlier linking North Korea to a terrorist plot had seen the entire cabinet and houses of parliament evacuated. Then the civil contingencies committee or Cobra was enacted. Prime Minister Bradshaw, it was announced was preparing to make a statement to the world.

Location: 'Jeans Caf,' Wolverhampton, England.

The newsflash was spread across the TV's screen. No one could believe what they were seeing. The caf owner walked over and turned up the sound on his TV, many of his customers gathered around to watch.

''We are receiving reports that a huge explosion has been reported in the centre of London. We haven't got any eyewitness reports yet but seismologists have reported it measuring as four point five on the Richter scale. Experts are saying that such force could only be created through one of two ways, an earthquake or a nuclear explosion. Communications are down in the area of the explosion there are now some unconfirmed reports of a mushroom cloud of smoke spotted over the capital city.''

Two men stood wide eyed at the TV set.

''This looks bad, don't it?''

The second guy took a swig from his mug of tea, ''I think we should wait and see. You know how mad the news goes when things happen and then it all calms down when the facts are known.''

''Do you think that it could be terrorists again, I mean they aint been shy to bomb London in the past few years have they?''

''Yeah, more than likely is, but a mushroom cloud? That's either an over exaggeration or the start of world war three.''

The TV was turned up again by one onlooker. It was now so loud it drowned everyone else in the caf out, ''we can go live now to one eyewitness. Peter lives in Peckham in East London, what can you tell us Peter?''

Through a crackly line the guests began to speak, ''A lot of windows around here have been broken or are cracked, there are house alarms ringing all over the place. Their has been a massive explosion west of here. We saw a flash momentarily before the boom and then we were hit by the force of the blast. It was like a powerful wind that lasted only a few seconds.''

''Do you have any idea what might have caused it Peter?''

''It was a nuclear explosion, maybe a power station failure, who knows, it was big though. Their will be thousands of casualties. There are many walking wounded here, people with cuts and bruises, some people have sight problems, and others are just shocked and stunned. It's absolutely chaotic.''

''Are you injured badly?'' said the reporter.

''Yeah, I've got burns on my chest and my face and some of my clothes have been torn and burnt. I've got to go, people need help''

The line fell dead, ''Well now we can go live to the Prime Minister speaking from the Cobra bunker which sadly has seen all too often speeches about these kinds of terrorist incidents, but it seems this time that our worst nightmares have come true the PM is about to speak.''

The live picture feed showed a thin, long pale faced man in a loose fitting suit. Unusually for the prime minister his tie was loosened too and his shirt button open.

''Good morning, today our nation's capital, our people, and our very way of life has again been attacked by a faceless evil ideology that aims to destroy our values, our freedom and our way of life. But unusually the threat we have learned to face was not from hijacked aircraft, suicide bombers on our trains and buses, or explosions in ground floors of tower blocks, it was nuclear. It has been confirmed to me already this morning from satellite and aerial surveillance, as well as from seismic and radiological measurements taken in the aftermath of this most cowardly and evil of attacks that it was caused by a small nuclear device.

These acts of terrorism are no longer caused by belief in a warped fight for freedom. These acts of terrorism are nothing more than murder on a mass scale that achieves nothing but sadness and leaves our nation with an unyielding anger. The people responsible for this deadliest and most brutal of atrocities will pay for their crimes, justice will be served.

Their aim is not just murderous, it's designed to spread fear around the globe, effect our sense of security in our homes and as we go about our daily business. For a short time they may succeed but ultimately they will fail.

The functions of government continue without interruption, the military are on standby to retaliate, our punishment will be swift and effective. The people responsible for this outrage will pay with their blood and freedom will once again reign supreme across out noble land.

Those people, away from the capital, who are not affected by this should carry on with their normal daily routines. All travel around Greater London and in surrounding counties must be limited. People must return home, the roads must be kept clear for emergency teams only. More information on these contingency plans will be available locally in the coming hours. Thank you.''

The caf had fallen silent; the owner walked back over to the TV and turned the volume back down. Everyone sat shocked and stunned unsure what this might now mean for their future.

One guy picked up his tea and swigged it back then said, ''I guess we don't get the day off work like those lucky bastards.''

Others turned and looked at him in disbelief. His smile dissolved, ''I'm sorry, bad timing aye?''

*

The British base in South Korea, built as a deterrent and quick response in the Asia-Pacific region, went into red alert. Soldiers began to prepare for an attack by North Korea on the base to repel any response to the attack, but it never came.

Group Captain Robert Avery issued his orders Flight lieutenant Mark Stevens and his navigator Sam Beauford.

''Hello men,'' he saluted suddenly holding it for a few seconds. The flight crew saluted back and stood to attention in the dusky atmosphere of the group captains muggy office.

''I'm sure you have heard the news guys. The threat that our intelligence officer received earlier today has been confirmed as coming from Pyongyang, no one knows why this attack has happened in the clear and obvious way that it has but that's not our issue. Our issue is the response. You guys have a serious mission, we've never wanted to drop a nuclear bomb in anger ever on anyone, but now the time has come for us to do what was, before, unthinkable. Are you guys up for it?''

''Yes sir we understand what we have to do, may I speak frankly?'' said Mark.

''In the circumstances I'd expect nothing else.''

''It'll be my honour to make those bastards pay for what they have done. If I get even a twitch of conscience I'll just think of all of those innocent men, women and children who burned alive in London earlier that will drive the mission on for me, sir.''

''That's what I wanna here, do you have anything you wanna say Sam?''

''No sir, I just wanna get this over and done with. We have to make sure that these bastards know they can't do these things without consequences.''

''Remember,'' said Robert, ''We're the good guys, we never asked for this.''

The pair of them nodded in agreement. The group captain saluted once more, ''You're dismissed. Good luck.''

Together they left the room and headed down the corridor towards the hanger.

''This just doesn't make any sense Mark?''

''What do you mean?'' Mark sounded genuinely confused.

''Well, I know we've had our problems with North Korea but for them to carry out an attack like this seems ridiculous.''

''And what makes you so sure that it's ridiculous?''

''Well,'' continued Sam, ''Us being here in South Korea for a start. We can respond in a matter of minutes of the order being given, and they know that we have nuclear weapons based here.''

''Yeah and'' Mark seemed unconvinced by the chat.

''Well why would they run the risk of us nuking them, it's obvious that we'll respond, an eye for an eye and all that.''

''I see, but orders are orders and we have got specific intelligence that a threat was made before the blasts happened.''

''Yeah but if North Korea was going to attack the UK why not attack us here as well to stop a response or at least delay it whilst planning the next move? Why hit a target thousands of miles away and not consider the danger on your doorstep, that's all I'm saying.''

''You've got a point, but I'm sure that the intelligence guys know what's what. Do you really think that the Prime minister would allow us to nuke a country without the accurate proof?''

''Well I dunno, we've never been nuked before. That has changed everything aint it.''

The pair of them walked into the hangar and before them stood their mark six Euro Jet fighter. It's nuclear payload assembled and ready. They paused, in awe and with slight trepidation and fear at what they were taking to the skies, then they carefully climbed aboard and readied for take off.

*

The phone rang in Group Captain Avery's office. He picked it up with urgency.

''Yes, speaking'' he paused for a moment.

''That's the news that I wanted to hear. So both bombs exploded ten miles apart on the city of Pyongyang? Excellent news, that'll send out the signal we wanted. Nobody is gonna fuck with the British.''

Suddenly the door to the office flew open. In walked a short, shy looking warrant officer. Avery continued to speak, ''Can you keep updated on any developments, I'll be here for a while. Thanks.''

He slammed the phone down, ''And what do I have to give the pleasure of this visit sonny? You just heard the news too?''

''Well sir yes but this isn't about that.'' Sweat ran down his red, puffy cheeks.

''Go on'' said Avery.

''Well sir I'm afraid I have some very bad news.'' The warrant officer handed over the piece of paper that he was carrying to Avery. He looked at it with horror:

United Nations Emergency Response: Reports have been received that two more nuclear explosions, other than the London and Pyongyang attacks, have been detected. The first one in the centre of Nagasaki, Japan and the second over the South Korean city of Jinju. These were carried out by North Korea in response to what it has called the ''Western Aggressors'' strike. North Korea has made it clear that it reserves the right to defend it's borders and it's people.

A complete cessation of violence is being requested by the United Nations to decide what action should be taken next. Member countries are being asked not to respond to attacks, even upon themselves, at this time. This is to avoid any unnecessary escalation of the violence. The United Nations does not agree with the British intelligence that the attack in London was carried out by the North Korean State and so the attack by Britain was misguided and unjustifiable. An emergency meeting of the Security Council is to take place as soon as is possible.

Message Ends.

''Jesus on the cross, is this a fucking joke?'' shouted Avery.

''No Sir, it's not a joke.'' The warrant officer shuffled his feet awkwardly.

''They've fucking nuked Nagasaki, again, I can't fucking believe it. No city is so unlucky as to get nuked twice surely''

''It seems that way, I guess it was chosen for it's ironic status as a''

''I can see that,'' interrupted Avery, ''Just get out of here man.''

''Yes Sir'' he said turning and walking away quickly. As his hand reached the door handle Avery spoke again.

''Oh and kid, have you got a girlfriend?''

He released the door knob and turned around, ''Yes sir,''

''Well if I was you I'd go and find her and fuck her one more time, cus at this rate it aint gonna be long before we all get fucking nuked.''

Shaking with fear he simply said ''Yes Sir,'' and then disappeared with haste from the office.

Avery took out a cigar from his drawer and lit it, ''I was saving you for a special occasion, but fuck it.''

*

Location: 'Jeans Caf,' Wolverhampton, England.

The patrons still could not believe what they were seeing. The waitress continued to hurry around the place, dressed in her dark tight mini skirt and white blouse with caf grease stains, serving the pies, bacon sandwiches and pots of tea with her usual smile and good grace.

The news continued to break across the screen with an unnerving regularity:

''Well as you are seeing there, that is a very disturbing live shot from our news satellite which is orbiting above the Asian Pacific region and we can clearly see the explosions that have taken place today in Pyongyang, Nagasaki and Jinju. Now we are getting reaction from the Japanese authorities''

The news channel went blank for a moment then reappeared, ''We can go live to the Japanese foreign minister who is speaking on a visit to The United Nations for an Environmental summit at the headquarters in New York.

Again the screen went blank, people in the caf sighed, a few of them got up and left as they suddenly remember that they should be at work. The screen re-appeared and a Japanese voice was speaking quietly, followed by an interpreter:

''the attack today on the glorious and peaceful nation of Japan was totally uncalled for no aggressive acts were committed or even threatened against the North Koreans as a result of today's attack we can do nothing other than declare war on the aggressors We have already begun speaking to our allies in the region as well as those world wide we would like to thank the United States of America and Great Britain for its immediate support and offer of assistance later we will be taking part in the emergency security council meeting at the United Nations and we'll be asking for global support for an invasion of North Korea to topple it's ruthless and barbaric regime and free the people of Korea from decades of slavery and tyranny we will make a further statement as soon as we can thank you

The press conference ended and the remaining caf patrons continued to sit and watch. They were helpless voyeurs to a global crisis that seemed to be snowballing out of control.

*

Doron sat on a bench in the Tel Aviv sun. It was hot, an unusually hot day, it had been ninety eight degrees for most of the afternoon. He'd removed his T-shirt and tucked it into the belt strap and it hung loosely around his knees making his leg sweat a little where it lay. He leaned forward and removed a bottle of water from his bag; opening it he took a huge drink before pouring the remainder over his forehead and hair. He tilted his head back and for a moment enjoyed the coolness that ran down his face, neck and back. The sun beat down on and he could feel it burn the side of his cheeks.

A guy came over and sat down on the opposite end of the bench, he too was carrying a small rucksack.

Doron turned and made eye contact, ''Hot isn't it.''

The man ignored him looking away and wiping sweat from his brow. Doron noticed the guy was sweating profusely. He opened his bag and removed another bottle of water.

''Would you like some of this?''

The man ignored him.

''Don't you speak English sir?'' Doron slid along the bench a little towards the man. He turned to face Doron.

''Yes I speak perfect English,''

Again Doron offered the bottle of water, ''Can I offer you a drink?'' he waggled the bottle before the man. He leaned over and took it and without a word opened it and took a huge drink. He replaced the top loosely and stood the bottle up on he bench between the two of them.

''Thank you,'' he said almost sarcastically.

''You're welcome,'' said Doron.

A moment of silence fell amongst them. Doron sighed to himself, and watched as the man opened his rucksack and removed a small suitcase, placing it carefully on his knees.

Doron tried to make conversation again, ''Man it's been a hot old day aint it.''

The man nodded, and then said simply, ''Yes it has.''

''I can't see how it can possibly get any hotter, I mean it's gotta be nearly one hundred degrees.''

The stranger started to laugh out loud, ''It can get hotter, and it will get hotter.''

Doron stared at his company, ''Will it? Are you a meteorologist or something?''

The stranger slowly opened the suitcase before him, ''No, I'm nothing.''

Doron smiled, ''What, are you serious? That's a silly outlook. Nobody is nothing. You gotta have a profession or something you wanna achieve.''

''Yeah there is one thing I'm going to achieve soon, paradise.'' The stranger tapped into a keypad as he spoke.

''Paradise, so you're like me. Dreaming of that huge lottery win, that simple life of luxury. Well I can't fault you.''

The stranger picked up his bottle of water and took one huge drink, ''Aaaahh that's nice, thanks for showing me some kindness, it's a shame that more of your people aren't like you.''

Doron sat and thought about what the stranger had just said, then he turned and watched as the stranger slammed his finger down hard on the keypad.

The code was accepted and executed.

*

Location: 'Jeans Caf,' Wolverhampton, England.

Patrons came and went. The chatter was of nothing else but the nuclear war which seemed to have broken out in Asia. Despite the terror and the threat people were still hungry rushing in to order sausage and tomato sandwiches, cheese on toast and jacket potatoes. The pots of tea were disappearing quicker than ever, it seemed to the owner that the fear of imminent death made people want to eat, but he had no idea why.

The TV blared away, continuing to spew its bad news at all who dared tune in and listen:

We have more breaking news here, absolutely unbelievable. We have received reports that a huge explosion has rocked Israel, the centre of Tel Aviv to be more precise. Initial reports from neighbouring Jordan are suggesting that the blast was detected by the University of Amman. Geological professors their report a seismic explosion which suggests yet another nuclear explosion if true that would take the number of explosions globally to five.

''Where the hell is this all going to end, I mean we don't know if there is a terrorist hiding near hear with a nuke, they don't have to be in the same room as you with one of those bastards, they can wipe a town off the map in a matter of seconds.''

The caf patron's comments caused a rush of phone calls like everyone all at once realised the reality of the situation, wives girlfriends and illicit lovers all told how much they were loved.

Then the screen flashed yet again, ''Hey everyone,'' shouted the same guy, ''Something else has happened, look.''

He pointed up at the screen, the room fell silent.

''We are now getting unconfirmed reports that there has been an explosion of a large device here in New York, we can actually go live to our reporter Todd who is up on the studio roof, what's the news Todd?''

''Well from here I can clearly see in the distance a mushroom cloud, it's unreal. I haven't seen anything like this in all of my life. It's off the coast out to sea. Maybe it's exploded prematurely; we obviously cannot know that at the minute this is surely to be something that is going to affect the city. I cannot really gauge how far away it is but it's clear that it's aimed at the USA.''

''Thanks Todd, well it's clear to everyone that the free world is under attack, our very existence is under threat. We can only await the response to this escalating crisis from the president. May God watch over us all on this tragic day.''


Archived comments for (WANIAY) The End - Chapter 12.
Claire on 08-03-2007
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 12.
Hey hun, I'll comment as I read.

First para -- too telly for me, I'd rather you showed us the newsreader.

You mention an earthquake--if a bomb has went off surely they would know for certain and not suspect an earthquake.

A nuclear bomb has went off in London--would west london still be standing? You mention a mushroom cloud too--this makes me think of one hell of a big explosion. I dunno what is what with bombs, so I could be well wrong here. I suggest researching the different sizes of explosions, including how far those around it would be effected.

Avery's swearing seemed off to me too, I wouldn't have tool him as one to curse so much.

Well it looks like earth is fucked!

Not a bad chapter, full of action.

One suggestion: Your last chapter was based on the bomb going off, and now this one, the aftermath. I would have placed a chapter between them, maybe base it on the guys up in space.

Author's Reply:
Hi Claire,

First thing first. I like tjhe idea of a chapter in between these that goes back to the action in Space. That is a really great idea indeed. It never crossed my mind to do that even though I like to switch the angle of the action so much and introduce new situations all of the time! A nuke takes out several miles but not really everything. A bomb in London would not wipe out the city it's far too vast but of course would cause major issues and problems for 100s of years. I will research it though and change what needs to be changed.

Thanks for everything. Earth may be fucked, but you gotta look on the bright side - it'll stop Chelsea being so damn good at football hahaha (I'd have said Arsenal but after the last few weeks they've had it'll be poitlness - losers hahahahahahaha)

Just kidding Arsenal fans....

Jay.


That True Brit Spirit (posted on: 02-03-07)
A short piece of flash fiction that I've found on my computer whilst sorting out my word files folders.

The old transistor sang out the lyrics,

''Pack all your troubles in your old kit bag,
and smile, smile, smile!
While you've a lucifer to light your fag,
Smile boys that's the style!
what's the use of worrying?
It never was worth while
So, pack all your troubles in your old kit bag
And smile, smile, smile!''

As I lay there. In my trench, dying. The artillery had taken out our bunker and I was left alone. Everyone else had died. I simply lay, with no legs, splattered with my own guts. I'd already reached out in the darkness for the tranny so I could smash it, but it was nowhere near. I had the overwhelming feeling of needing to go to the lavvy but I knew it was just my bodies way of tricking me into normality. I reached down anyway, hoping to release my genitals so I could take a piss but all I felt was blood and mush. I lay back and began to sob,

''Take me now, Lord, please fucking take me now.''

He ignored my cries.

I lay there and sobbed. Their was no pain, which you would expect, nothing but euphoria. I felt high as a kite but the smell of intestine was too much. And the need to take a piss, - unreal, despite the fact I had no way of ending it. I wanted to cut my own throat, if I'd had the knife I would have. But all I could grasp was dirt, dirt and guts. So I lay there a little longer and sobbed a little more. I wanted death, but it seemed death didn't want me.

I raised both my hands and tried to throttle myself but all I did was faint. I awoke a few moments later and again cried at the situation I was in. I knew I was going to die but the decision of how was still with me. I reached for a rock but again found goo and splatter and so gave in. I decided to put my hands together and pray for the end.

''God, take me now. I never wanted to suffer like this, please.''

Then out of the mistiness of the night, came my friend Jacob. He'd been with me throughout the war. I looked up at him and didn't need to speak, he knew without doubt what to do.

I thanked God for sending Jacob to me that night. I never heard the bang of his rifle but I remember seeing him put it up to my head.


Archived comments for That True Brit Spirit
Rupe on 02-03-2007
That True Brit Spirit
Courageous to attempt something like this, because who knows what that moment really feels like? Whenever I feel fed up with life, I remind myself that my problems are nothing compared to what they might have been if I'd been born in 1896.

I was intrigued by the fact that you've written this in the past tense. Which means...

Rupe

Author's Reply:
...it means that the character is telling us this story from beyond the grave. I guess I was visualising this as a movie when I wrote it as that is the feel it had when I re-read it prior to submitting.

I think you are right about our modern problems being much less than those of people in the past. This is just something I wrote after reading the beginnings of a story called "The Hell Of War" by Claire.

Cheers for taking time out to read it and leave a comment,

Jay.

KDR on 02-03-2007
That True Brit Spirit
Hi Jay,

Hmm... Not much 'writing what you know' there - at least I wouldn't have thought so. 😉

Interesting subject. Waiting to die, knowing you were terribly injured...would you really welcome the moment of mercy when it came, or would the survival instinct make us want to cling to life - of any sort and no matter how painful - for just a while longer?

Looking at Rupe's comment and your reply...I don't think our problems are less than theirs, really. They are definitely different. I sometimes think that a person from the early years of the last century would be horrified by some of the things we see as normal today, such as the level of crime, the general lack of community spirit, etc.

Author's Reply:
Certainly no writing what I know hahaha - unless its a past life regression piece. This was written a while back and inspired by a war story. I was just thinking about the horrors that people had to face and just wondered how I might cope with it. I think I'd wanna die in this situation and would be thankful to anyone who ended it.

I agree that they would be horrified at today's world. But generally the world is full of nice people, its the few knobs and crooks who ruin it for everyone else. Cheers for dropping by and reading.

Jay.

josiedog on 03-03-2007
That True Brit Spirit
A difficult subject, generally well handled.
Although it is flash fiction, think it would read better for trimming some superfluous words, ie...
"cried at the situation I was in" could be "cried at my/the situation"

and "I decided to put my hands together..."
might be sharper as "I put my hands together to pray for the end."

I only say this because I liked the piece, and they are only suggestions, hope it doesn't sound arrogant. Please feel free to ignore!

Author's Reply:
Hi Josiedog,

I'm sure we haven't crossed paths before so let me say Hello!

I think your comment is very constructive and not at all arrogant. Thanks for taking the time to read it and leave your suggestions, thats the whole point of comments after all. In my defence this is a piece of flash fiction that I haven't edited but I agree it could be made into a tighter bit of writing with a quick edit.

Take care,

Jay.

Claire on 05-03-2007
That True Brit Spirit
Hey there hun, with a little more work this will be a top story--it is a hard subject to write about, I think you've fairly well with this.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for the comment Claire. I'm pretty pleased with the response this story has got. Amazing really for a tiny piece of flash that took a couple of minutes to write.

Jay.

delph_ambi on 05-03-2007
That True Brit Spirit
This is an impressive piece. Maybe it could be tightened here and there, but not significantly. The aspect that raises this head and shoulders above other similar stories, is the way you haven't gone the 'easy' route down agonising pain. The very lack of sensation here is chilling.

First rate writing.

Author's Reply:
Hi delphi, you're comment is very nice. I never really thought when I wrote it that the pain aspect would matter cus if you are gonna die anyway and your injuries are so severe then I think the brain would find a way of making you feel sorta ok. I'm glad though that the lack of pain is chilling. Thanks very much for such an encouraging comment.

sirat on 05-03-2007
That True Brit Spirit
I was intrigued as to what war this was. "Pack up your troubles" was a song of the first World War, possibly sung again in the second one, but the transistor was not invented until December 1947 (by John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain at Bell Laboratories) and not used in portable radios until the early 1960s. It would have to be the Vietnam War, or one later than that.

Sorry, I know I'm being picky. It's a suitably unpleasant bit of writing about a very unpleasant subject, related from beyond the grave as has been pointed out. Strong stuff.

Author's Reply:
You'r right, the song is WW1 and the tranny was not invented until later, but to be honest I never researched this. It was a moment of flash that I never really thought I would post here or get as many reads. I wouldn't say you were picky, as your comments are often helpful to me. Thanks for taking time out to read it.

Jay.

niece on 06-03-2007
That True Brit Spirit
Very chilling, Jay...though I was tempted to stop half-way through, I couldn't. It was as gripping as it was scary...!

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Well it's nice to write something that makes someone wanna stop reading... but they can't! Glad it had an effect!!! Cheers for dropping by.

Jay.

erniewall on 06-03-2007
That True Brit Spirit
A decent read, not many short stories have that old song in them do they!

Author's Reply:
Cheers for that.

uppercase on 07-03-2007
That True Brit Spirit
This could not have been an easy write. I could smell the stench and hear gunfire in the distance. I loved it...love erma

Author's Reply:
Hi Erma, It;s so great to see you around again! I hope you are OK. I hear on the grapevine that Will is back in town. I'll check him out asap. Thanks for reading me! Hope you are writing lots and life is treating you well!

Best wishes,

Jay.

len on 07-03-2007
That True Brit Spirit
Powerful message, Jay..War is only glorious for those who don't have to get in the trenches and fight them. Plenty of glory for Generals as they plot the game back in the war rooms..len

Author's Reply:
War is never glorious but sometimes neccesary. WW2 was a good war for what it did in freeing the world from evil bastards like the Nazis. Modern wars seem to be an extension of Capitalism.

Cheers for the read!

Jay.

TheGeeza on 08-03-2007
That True Brit Spirit
Jay
I have to say I found it a tad clichéd. It seems an easy subject as feelings seem obvious and there's plenty of action that you can introduce. I think it's probably the hardest thing to write - precisely because of what some others have said, in that, unless you've been there and done it, how can you describe/feel it? Who knows what you would think, sitting in your battered and soon to expire body? Would you think about the past, or would you be frozen with panic/fear?
I do think something else needs to be introduced, something different and original to a piece like this, to make it stand out.

As an aside, I remember this song from an old Saphire and Steel episode about ghosts from WWI in a railway station! Good that was - stayed with me for years, that one...

Cheers - Steve.

Author's Reply:
From one geeza to another, cheers.

I understand what you are saying - I wrote this a while back and never intended to subby it, then when I did I never expected many hits or comments, now I'm just running out of things to say about it cus it took no effort to write. It aint supposed to be good, bad or anything, just a bit of messing around when a little drunk. But I'm pleased its got some kinda reaction. Cheers for dropping by guy!

jay.

Flash on 08-03-2007
That True Brit Spirit
Hi Jay

I concur with Steve on this one, in that nothing really stood out for me. It was a solid readable piece and at under 500 words , you have to be commended for writing with some economy and getting across a good piece of writing.

Wish i could write 50 words without getting distracted!!

Flash

Author's Reply:
50 words - surely your comment is that long nearly! I hope you get writing soon Flasher as I miss your stuff cus it was really, really good stuff. As I said to Steve, this was Flash, I've done many of them, but I choose not to subby them all as they are just moments of messing around with ideas. Cheers for dropping by though, I hope you are keeping well and life is treating you well. Take care friend,

Jay.

ChairmanWow on 10-03-2012
That True Brit Spirit
Whoa, this was disturbing and moving. Gets to the true horror of the 1914-1918 holocaust in Europe. Might want to make the song played by a phonograph instead of a radio.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading and commenting. Yeah I agree, I was wrong to call it a radio but it was a moment of flash fiction from many, many years ago now. I might re-write it and re-sub it and see how it goes that way. The Holocaust was 1939-45 but I think I know what you mean, 6m dead in WW1 is pretty much another Holocaust. War is always a terrible thing and it's innocence and truth that always get lost in it's fog first.

Jay.


(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 11 (posted on: 02-03-07)
Feedback and crit welcome. My overall word count at this stage is 21,500 approx.

The sunlight outside the hotel room was still barely visible as a morning dusk grey. The gentle singing of a song thrush cut through the almost-silence which was only broken by the rasp like snoring of Tariq as he lay asleep on his bed. The song thrush outside fell silent and quickly fluttered away skyward. Tariq gently began to turn over as the dawning of his consciousness took over him. He rubbed his eyes and stretched his arms above his head, punching his fists into the pillows and against the headboard making slight bumping sounds as he did so.

He got out of bed and walked over to the window and looked out, on the sill a half full can of flat, warm cola sat. He picked it up and took a swig as he watched a couple of people down below going about their business. A tall man in a suit walked out of the newsagents across the road with a copy of the Daily Express tucked under his arm and a plastic wrapped cheese and onion sandwich. A young woman wearing a shell suit rode her bike with vigour down the middle of the quiet street. As he swallowed the cola he winced a little, pulling a face as the sweetness of the tepid drink soaked his tongue and throat. He took a second swig as the woman on the bike turned and disappeared out of his view then he threw the empty can into the corner of the room, it clanged as it hit the skirting board. He gently rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He turned around and looked at the suitcase which sat on the dresser among the mess of his clothing and discarded food containers and grinned. The sound of the Sheiks voice rang in his head, 'be creative, but above all be murderous.'

*

Kelly sat holding her mirror in one hand and her lipstick in the other, carefully she applied it to her lips before rubbing them together and pouting at herself in the mirror. On the fire place before her stood a large picture of herself and Mike on their wedding day, the image taking pride of place like a centre piece to her entire sitting room. The sofa next to her was covered in clothing which was scattered randomly. She stood up, wearing only her thong and bra and freed her hands of her make up dropping them too without care or attention onto the chair.

She carefully rubbed her stomach with both hands, smiling to herself as she did. Then she turned and grabbed her dark red dress and slipped sensually into it. Her slender but curvy figure was hugged almost perfectly within it. She picked up her handbag and opened it removing a piece of paper:

Bibs,

Bottles,

Steriliser,

Teddy bear,

These things will be a good start

She smiled to herself as she read. She knew now what it felt like to be pregnant, it was nothing like she had expected; it felt so good. Her childhood dreams were coming true.

She checked herself once more in the mirror, grabbed her hand bag and slid on her long, flowing coat and headed out.

*

Mike sat back in his seat as the thrust kicked in. The shuttle slowly edged its way out of its docked position on the launch pad. The entire shuttle shook viciously making everyone on board stare wide eyed with fear and a little child-like happiness at the prospect of flying in space.

''God this feels so fucking good!'' Mike shouted at the top of his voice but he was drowned out by the roaring of the engines.

Carrie sat back in her chair, clinching its armrests tightly with her eyes firmly shut.

*

Tariq dressed in his favourite dark grey trousers and his shoes with the Cuban heels. He slipped on his white shirt that bore a blue embroidered lion across the left side of his chest, then slipped his black bomber jacket on over the top. He slipped gel through his hair and removed his ray bans from the jacket pocket gently sliding them on to the end of his nose. He waked over to the phone that sat on the cabinet next to his bed and picked up the phone dialling downstairs. As he listened to the phone ringing he admired himself from afar in the mirror,

''Hello, it's me,'' Tariq paused waiting for a response.

''I need more towels, bring some up,'' he slammed the phone down.

Suddenly a door slammed downstairs and then the thud, thud, thud of someone on the stairs could be heard. Tariq turned his head to face the door.

Bang, bang, bang.

He walked over slowly and unlocked the door, it flew open as the landlord let himself in. he walked in and threw a pile of greying towels onto the bed.

''You wanna learn some fucking manners. Here's your fucking towels, I guess you wanna wrap them around your fucking head.'' The landlord gestured with his finger at his own head as he said this.

Tariq slammed the door shut and stood in front of it, ''What the fuck did you just say?''

The landlord stepped backwards, ''You fucking heard me,''

''Yeah I fucking heard you, you fucking racist piece of shit.''

The landlord laughed, ''I suppose you've never said anything racist about us have you?''

''Us? Us? Who the fuck is us?'' Tariq pushed the question with confidence back at him.

''White people,'' said the landlord.

Tariq stepped towards the landlord making him step back again, ''Do you think I hate white people?''

A long silent pause ensued as the landlord gulped and fidgeted at the situation. Then Tariq continued, ''I hate your system, I hate selfishness, I hate oppression of my people. I don't hate you because you are white. I hate you because you blindly accept the system you live in. A system that makes people like me suffer, a system that once raped my home land of its wealth then turned its back on us when it was all gone. You fuckers have earned the retribution that I bring.''

The landlord stood for yet another moment in silence, then began to laugh out loud.

''Hahahaha, what the fuck are you talking about you crazy camel fucker.''

Tariq reached into his pocket and lurched forward. The landlord was too slow and too fat to react quickly enough. Tariq raised his hand and slammed it forcefully into his neck. His knife pieced the flesh with a squelch and made an audible thud as it struck bone. He pulled it back out and stepped back and watched intently as the landlord fell to his knees clutching at his neck.

''You are all the same,'' said Tariq, ''as long as you are OK everyone else can go and fuck themselves.''

The landlord coughed and spewed, kicking out and shaking on the floor. Blood was running down his body and across the floor and spraying in all directions.

''I'm not a racist like you, you fat fuck. I'm a freedom fighter freedom, remember that word. It's something you think you know all about.''

Tariq threw the knife on the floor next to his writhing victim and turned to fetch his suitcase. Then without even another glance, he ignored the gurgling and the spluttering and casually and calmly walked out of his room into the London morning.

*

Kelly walked along the busy high street briskly. People were everywhere, she slowly weaved her way through the masses of bodies towards the Mothercare store who's large imposing sign stared at her over the heads of the people who blocked her path. A large group of lads, maybe twelve of them, in dark hoods and baggy jeans that hung down close to their knees walked past her knocking her suddenly as they did. She held on to her purse tightly as they sent her almost crashing to the ground. She stumbled and fell into a tall, grey-suited man. He turned his head and scowled at her for a second then catching her eye he reached out his hand and smiled, ''Are you OK miss?''

He walked her to the side of the road and she leaned against the glass window of a department store, ''Yes, thanks you. I'm fine. It's a bit busy today isn't it?''

The grey-suited man looked back at the group of youngsters and shook his head with despair.

''These bloody hooligans. Youngsters have no bloody respect anymore,''

Kelly continued to lean against the window, as she did she reached down and fumbled with her shoe.

''I think I've got a brick in my shoe.''

''Here let me help you ,'' he said and before she could respond to him he slowly went down onto one knee and removed her shoe completely from her foot.

He tipped it upside down and out fell a tiny piece of grit, it bounced off his leg and fell to the ground silently. He then looked up at her, staring for a second at her legs, her flat stomach and her breasts before meeting her eyes again.

''Their you go miss, that should do the trick.''

She froze for a moment as he took hold of her foot and slid it back onto her foot. His touch as gentle, she closed her eyes and enjoyed it then slowly put her foot back to the ground. The man stood up to face her.

''Thank you very much,'' she said smiling.

''It's my pleasure to help out such a beautiful young woman.''

Kelly laughed out loud, she couldn't help herself and started to go a little red cheeked, ''Oh dear me, I bet you say that to all of the ladies?''

''Not all of them, only the beautiful ones.'' He smiled back at her.

''Well I've gotta get off, things to do,'' Kelly pointed over her shoulder towards the Mothercare as she spoke.

''Please, can I buy you a coffee or something?'' he asked.

''I'm sorry, but I have to go, I have some important things I wanna take care of.''

''Well OK, but that's a damn shame.'' He said. He took a card out of his suit pocket and handed it to her, ''But if you ever change your mind give me a call, yeah.'' He winked at her.

She took the card and looked at it, it read, ''Peter Smith, Law Partner.''

''If I wasn't married, Peter Smith, but I am'' she said.

''Well I can arrange the divorce if you want.'' He laughed at his comment, then said another simple, ''Goodbye'' before turning and disappearing off into the masses.

''I've still got it,'' she said to herself as she chucked his card to the floor.

*

Tariq bore an evil grin on his face as he sat aboard the number forty-seven bus. It was absolutely chocked full of passengers. In the isle next to him an old woman swayed around as the bus jerked through the capitals busy streets. He almost laughed out loud several times when she came close to falling. The old man whom he was sitting next to gave him a scowl each time that he did so. Tariq turned and noticed him, ''What are looking at old man?''

''A young man such as you could give up your seat for an old woman like her couldn't you, aye chief?''

The old woman had heard this and turned and smiled at Tariq. Her old wrinkled fingers gripped tightly on to the bar that ran to the ceiling with such force that her skin was white with the pressure.

Tariq leaned towards the old man and then gestured for him to come closer to which he carefully did. Tariq whispered into his ear, ''Listen to me old man, I don't take orders from anyone. I don't care about that old woman anymore than I care for you and if this bus wasn't so busy right now I'd cut your throat so deep your head would be hanging on by a thread.''

Open mouthed the old man fell back into his seat and began to struggle to get his breath, ''uuuughhh Oh dear, Oh dear me, what on Earth, uuuuhhhh, that is so awful to say such a thing to an old man''

Tariq turned and looked at the old woman, ''You aint having my seat you old bitch.''

She too looked stunned; a few other people on board the bus heard this and began to shout out at Tariq,

''You bastard,'' one of them shouted, ''You should learn some respect,'' another called out. Before a melee could break out he got up and walked to the front oif the bus gently pushing the old woman as he past her. She fell into his empty seat and let out a brief whimper. A few passengers stood up and walked over to her and helped her into a seated position. The old man who'd been sat next to Tariq regained his breath and composure and comforted the old lady with a peppermint and a gentle arm around her shoulders.

The bus stopped and Tariq got off, he was sweating and beginning to panic. He looked down at the suitcase in his now damp and trembling hand. He looked up at the window of the bus and as it moved off the old man who he'd been sat next to gave him the finger.

Tariq took no notice, his mind was on the matter in hand. He loked nervously up and down the road. He was in a street of the capital that he was unfamiliar with. He spotted a small number of people on the opposite side of the road all walking in the same direction. They were all well dressed, men in smart designer suits, trouser suited women and women in short skirts with tied back hair and dark rimmed glasses all carrying their brief cases, and i-pods and laptops.

He wiped his top lip, it was soaking. He then ran his hand across his forehead and flicked his wrist casting the sweat in tiny droplets across the floor. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, then exhaled slowly, ''Come on Tariq, get a grip of yourself, paradise is close,'' he whispered these words quietly to himself then he calmly crossed the road.

He walked along behind the businessmen, all of them oblivious to this sweaty, nervous man behind them who trembled with fright. All of them too simply busy chattering into their mobiles and playing with there tom-toms.

Ahead he spotted a small crowd of people all stood outside of Currys all standing around starring at the TV screens. As he passed by he overheard the vopice of one man speaking, ''Oh my God, this is awful.''

Another man piped up, ''You know what the government are doing, they are scaring us as always, there aint a week goes by that they aint telling us about another terrorist plot.''

Tariq stopped in his tracks. He walked over to the group of people and tiptoed to get a view of one of the TV screens. Their he saw on the news, scrolling across the screen, 'The cabinet office confirms that it has received a credible threat from a terrorist group that hasn't been publicly named that North Korea has given a nuclear device to terrorists planning to target the United Kingdom or its interests.'

Tariq stepped away from the group of people and began to walk briskly down the road again, in the distance he could see many of London's famous and not so famous shops and stores. He took a seat on a nearby bench and for a second time slowly began to regain his composure, he sat there for what seemed like ages, but could have been only minutes. He picked up the brief case and opened it, before him was a keypad, he started to pray as he typed in the code. As he finished praying his finger hovered nervously over the execute button.

*

Kelly stood and watched as the shop assistant carefully folded and bagged up the baby clothes that she had just bought.

''Thank you for your business.'' The smiley shop assistant said as she gestured for Kelly to remove her credit card from the payment machine.

Kelly took the card and lifted her bags from the counter.

'You are going to look so beautiful dressed in these,' she thought to herself, 'I can't wait to dress you up in them; you'll look like an angel.'

As she stepped outside into the fresh air she took a deep breath, ''God what a day it is, so gorgeous. I think I'm gonna treat myself to a cappuccino and a nice cream slice.''

In the distance she noticed a brilliant white flash, so bright it hurt her eyes. In the fraction of a second it took her to put her arm up to shield herself from the brightness she was hit with the sudden and ferocious force of a nuclear blast. Kelly didn't stand a chance and neither did her unborn child.


Archived comments for (WANIAY) The End - Chapter 11
Claire on 04-03-2007
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 11
Okay, I have big probs with the pregnancy, the first trimester is the worst. Yes, we're happy cos we're having a baby, but us women are very moody, our bodies are changing vastly, we're tired all the time, sickness, cravings, mood swings and being/looking sexy is usually the last thing on our minds. LOL
And... even though there is no bump we auto think we're fat cos we're up duff. ;^)

Next, Tariq has just stabbed a guy in the neck and he leaves straight away -- surely he'd have blood on him. I'm no expert, but I reckon if I stabbed someone in the neck it would bleed quite heavy and spurt, especially when I pull the knife out.

Now Kelly, I'd like to see some of her thoughts, her hubby is off in space, surely she'd be thinking of him. You also ain't explained why she hasn't saw Mike lift off.

And finally, you don't need that last line.

Gripping chapter. ;^)

Author's Reply:
Hi Claire,

I think that I need to go back and re-write parts of this chapter(after I've finished the first draft of course;-)) I agree with the comments that you and David have left a lot. Maybe I could have spent time going through this before submiting it but I never did cus I was going along at such a pace I just wanted to get the words down. I agree about murdering his landlord (maybe he should strangle him instead cus he aint got time to shower and change lol)

Kelly is in London and her hubby is launching in USA and she simply hasn't been able to travel. I will need to add a bit about this to the chapter and a chat with Mike maybe earlier in the story so they at least have some contact before he goes.

As ever thanks, all of these comments will be a great help when I re-write this book.

Cheers,

Jay.

sirat on 05-03-2007
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 11
Hello James. I'm going to be very thorough with this one which may come across as a bit picky and negative, but my aim is to help you to make your writing better.

I think the structure of this chapter is good, the build-up of tension and the separate threads which come together in the nuclear explosion. If it really was a nuclear device and she was standing as close as that I don't think she would have time to perceive anything at all. She would be vaporised at the same instant that the light from the explosion reached her. But we can perhaps allow you some poetic licence there.

Here are a few more detailed comments.

The opening sentence contains some grotesque and frankly almost meaningless sentences, e.g.: "Tariq gently began to turn over as the dawning of his consciousness took over him" and "The sunlight outside the hotel room was still barely visible as a morning dusk grey". I don't think you need much of this opening preamble at all. You could just say: "Tariq awoke to a dull grey morning", or something equally straightforward, and then continue to the significant stuff. A lot of the second paragraph seems redundant too, and unconvincing. For example, if Tariq's room is on the first floor level or higher, how is he able to tell that the man is carrying the Daily Express, or a cheese and onion sandwich? In describing anything you need to pick out specific details, but they need to be details that the observer whose POV you are taking is actually able to see or know about in some way. All you want here is a simple description of a very ordinary scene ending in the striking phrase about murderous intent.

Another very clumsy piece of phraseology: "...freed her hands of her make up dropping them too without care or attention onto the chair". Why not just "casually dropped her make-up onto the chair"?

I trhink "slipped sensually" into a dress is a very odd turn of phrase. There is something of the peeping Tom perspective in it. I would leave out "sensually". As Claire has pointed out there is something awry about the woman thinking of herself as sexy and seductive. You need to talk to a woman about how pregnancy feels, this account doesn't ring true even for a mere male like me.

You say that Tariq "...picked up the phone dialling downstairs". The meaning is not immediately clear, it sounds as if the downstairs phone was "diallling", whatever that might be. Re-phrase.

Like Claire, I was surprised that Tariq could just walk out after knifing the man in the neck. The man would have been spraying blood like a garden hose. Tariq would be drenched in the stuff.

"Their you go miss" - should be "there", and "Miss".

"I wanna take care of" - "wanna" sounds wrong.The rest of her speech is in standard English.

“Well I can arrange the divorce if you want.” This struck me as a good line.

"she chucked his card to the floor" Wouldn't that be on to the street?

"chocked full of passengers" - Should be "chock full"

"...a street of the capital that he was unfamiliar with" - A street with which he was unfamiliar would be better.

He could see "many of London’s famous and not so famous shops and stores" This seems odd. He doesn't know where he is so how does he know that he is seeing famous shops? Also shops and stores are the same thing, are they not?

Finally, I agree with Claire about dropping the last line.

I hope all this is some use.

Best,

David.







Author's Reply:
Hi David,

As ever you have pulled out all of the stops with this detailed look
at my chapter and as ever I'm grateful to you for that. You have made some great
comments. I will incorporate a lot of what you have said when I re-write this.
Some of the errors are simple and obvious and I should really have avoided them
but you know how it is when you get going, its a pain in the arse to keep
stopping and going over each sentence, it slows the flow.

Maybe I will drop
the last line, as no one seems to like it! I'd like to go into detail more about
what you have said but I fear I'd be here for an hour or two (but thanks for
your support and help, tis appreciated a lot) Regards and thanks,

Jay.

jay12 on 06-03-2007
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 11
Hi David,

As ever you have pulled out all of the stops with this detailed look at my chapter and as ever I'm grateful to you for that. You have made some great comments. I will incorporate a lot of what you have said when I re-write this. Some of the errors are simple and obvious and I should really have avoided them but you know how it is when you get going, its a pain in the arse to keep stopping and going over each sentence, it slows the flow.

Maybe I will drop the last line, as no one seems to like it! I'd like to go into detail more about what you have said but I fear I'd be here for an hour or two (but thanks for your support and help, tis appreciated a lot) Regards and thanks,

Jay.

Author's Reply:


(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 10 (posted on: 19-02-07)
Feedback and crit welcome as usual. My Overall word count at this stage is 18,950 approx. My expected word count by the end of Februrary is 25,000 which is half of my overall total. At the moment I'm a little behind and am expecting to hit around 22,000 maybe 23,000 at best. I'm hoping to catch up soon enough though. Enjoy!

Carrie lay awake in her bed staring into the darkness with fear. She longed for the night to last for ever, the day that lay in the dawning of the morning was not one that she hankered for. She turned over and buried her head deep into the pillows and sighed, ''Oh God.''

Her thoughts wandered as ever. The long sleepless nights, laying alone, with what seemed like all of the time in the world to run things over and over again and again in her head:

'Why did I do it why did I allow myself to be taken in by such a man? I knew he was married, I knew that all along. I can't believe I fell in love with him so quickly. Anyone else would think me crazy if I said to them that I had fallen in love with someone so suddenly it was all so fast. The hardest thing is I knew he was married when I met him but I wanted so much to believe him when he said that I meant more to him than she did. I wanted him to be mine. I wanted him to take me in his arms and whisk me away to a perfect life me and him together for ever that is what he promised me. A life that was not perfect but happy and contented. That was an appealing thing it was appealing because I loved him and he loved me, or so he said, God this is all so hard now I hate him too and I love him I knew he was married, so fuck me is this situation all of my own making? Have I simply been very stupid? I should have told him to leave her if he wanted me you know to call his bluff all he wanted was to have his cake and eat it and that's what he has been doing he'll never leave her she's going to be the mother of his baby she's the one he wants to be with for fuck sake he married her all those years ago didn't he. He'll never give all that up for me you can't base a relationship just on sex but the sex was good. Oh my fucking God it was so good, the feeling of his flesh on my flesh and the warm gentle breeze of his breath against my neck. That was all so fucking good that it made me want to melt into the moment and never recover But wait, I can't think like that. The guy is a fucking shit, a fucking shit who has done nothing but hurt me but I love him. I still fucking love him so much, his touch, his voice, his laughter. It gives me an appetite, clearly an appetite for destruction, but an appetite nonetheless God I hope he leaves her I hope we can get that life together when we return I don't care that he's a fucking shit, I hope he chooses me.

Carrie's mind carried her away to a realm of nightmares and she fell into a deep, uncompromising sleep. She awoke with the same thoughts still racing through her head but she knew that she had to pull herself together. She got up, got dressed and picked up her bag. It was time to go into space.

*

Carrie, Adam and Dean sat in the green room with their personal assistants. Carrie looked at her watch, paused a moment, then looked at it again.

''Where the hell is he? How can he be late for the take off?''

Adam raised an eyebrow, ''I'm sure he'll be here in a sec.''

''Let's hope so,'' said Dean, ''I wanna get away from my problems for a while, I don't wanna end up going home later. The fucking paps are still sat outside my house, taking snaps of the milkman and the postie, it's a fucking joke.''

Adam's other eyebrow raised at this, ''I don't think running away into space will solve our problems.''

''Of course it will,'' said Dean, ''We'll all do ourselves a favour being in space buddy. No matter if your problems are sex scandals like me or what ever it gives us all a break to spend time relaxing a thousand miles from anywhere.''

''Us normal people,'' Adam said pointing to himself and Carrie, ''don't have problems. You see we don't shag around and make fools out of ourselves, aint that right.''

He turned and faced Carrie. Her cheeks had flushed only slightly, ''Yeah that's right'' she lied, ''Where the hell is he''

Suddenly the door burst open, the PA's sitting silently around the room jumped with shock. The crew turned around to see it was Mike, out of breath and sweating slightly.

''Hello guys, I'm sorry I'm late. I went to see Dan for one more time last night and got back pretty late.''

Dean laughed out loud, ''You bloody drunk, I hope you had one for us.''

''I hope not, I don't drink,'' said Adam. Dean turned and scowled at him. Carrie ignored them.

''I'm afraid I did, in fact I think I had one for everyone working on the space programme.''

Mike walked over and shook hands with Dean, ''Nice to see you looking so fresh and eager, let make the most of this.''

He stepped across and shook hands with Adam, ''I hope you enjoy your time in space Ad. I want us all to enjoy it, we know what we have to do, so lets get on and just do it.''

''Yes Captain Sir.'' Said Adam.

Mike almost expected him to salute, ''You know the drill Adam, lets keep the formalities to a minimum aye?''

''Yes Captain Sir,'' he replied grinning.

''Fuck me. I never knew you had a sense of humour,'' replied Dean.

''Why don't you shut up Dean. You've been yapping all morning.'' Adam spoke with a noticeable aggression which made Dean smile and put his arm around Adam, ''I'm just fucking with you buddy.''

Mike slowly meandered with some sheepishness over to Carrie. He held out his hand to her and stared at her intently. She looked down at his hand which he was about to withdraw when she held out her hand and limply shook it.

''Aren't you going to even look at me?''

She raised her head and glanced at him, ''Yeah happy?''

''Let's have a good mission Carrie.''

She pulled her hand free from him and without reply glanced back downwards towards her feet. Mike stood there for a second then said, ''It's going to be hard not to speak to me. We're gonna be trapped in a tin can in space for months. You're the doctor, what if I get ill, what happens then?''

She looked up, ''I dunno, I don't care. I guess I'd do what I have to under the hypocratic oath.''

Mike and Carrie's chat went unnoticed by Dean and Adam who continued to bicker like schoolboys.

One of the PA's stood up and spoke, ''Excuse me everyone but it's time to go, please gather your things and follow me.''

The PA got up and walked out of the room. Together and silently they picked up their bags and left, followed by the other PA's.

One hour and one countdown later they were all on their way.


Archived comments for (WANIAY) The End - Chapter 10
Claire on 04-03-2007
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 10
Hey there hun, well I've finally got here!

Short chapter, could do with a little more added to it--I dunno what though!

Off to peek at the next chapter.

Author's Reply:
Hi Claire,

I kinda wrote this because I hadn't written anything for a while and was falling way behind. I'm sure I can re-write it once I've finished the first draft. Thanks for reading.

Take care,

Jay.

Whale on 03-09-2008
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 10
Jay - as a rule, never, never, never put up a first draft and certainly never admit to writing something as a 'fill-in' because you leave yourself open to a lashing critique. I shall say no more on that. You write as though you care neither for your subject nor your characters. You drop in fuck and fucking to create realistic chat but they serve only to show a lack of respect for the language. Characters have to be real and your readers have to be convinced they act in the way they do because they are motivated to do so. Here's a tip - characters are formed by what they say, what they do and what others say of them. Every word you write should reveal character or push the story forward. Cut out every extraneous word. We are all guilty of overwriting but that is what editing is for, and that is why you should not put up something for critique until you, yourself cannot improve it. Then you get some good critiques as they will help you in things you could not see. This way, you are told the obvious - things you should already know. So you do not get the extra edge to polish and make your book shine.

Author's Reply:


Plenty More Fish In The Sea (posted on: 09-02-07)
This is the most unsubtle metaphor I've ever written.

I stood on the bows of the deck and looked at my fishing rod. On it was the biggest fish I had ever seen in my life. With some effort I managed to pull him up almost into the boat. The skipper walked over to me and said, ''That's a fine catch you got there me hearty!'' I turned to him beaming and proud, ''It is sir, and it's just the one that I'd hoped to catch so beautiful and elegant - even flopping around on the end of my line. It looks like it's dancing for me.'' ''It does that son, it does look kinda elegant. You'll be gorged so full tonight on that you'll burst, think of the satisfaction.'' My mind wandered for a moment at the thought of the happy feeling I'd have once this beautiful creature was ready for its purpose and I drooled. In that second of my thought, the creature whipped its tale suddenly, twanging the line. It somehow fell free and gracefully, like an Olympic diver scored a perfect 10 as it plunged back into the depths. ''Noooooo!'' I screamed as my daydream disappeared beneath the waves with it. The skipper walked over and stood next to me, putting his arm around my shoulders. ''Don't worry there are plenty more fish in these here seas.'' ''But I wanted that one.'' I whispered pathetically under my breath. ''Yes son, but I guess it just wasn't to be.'' I reeled in my line and packed it away. ''So you're gonna give up are you?'' he asked me. ''Yeah,'' I replied, ''I've suddenly lost my appetite.'' And that I had, until later that evening as I ate bread and cheese I sat opposite skipper with his plate full of cod. Then I realised that sometimes it's easier to accept things and simply keep on trying.
Archived comments for Plenty More Fish In The Sea
bluepootle on 09-02-2007
Plenty More Fish In The Sea
I liked this. Quite tongue in cheek, but very approachable. I'd cut the last line though.

Author's Reply:
Thanks for reading Aliya. The tongue was very much in cheek when I wrote this. Twas just a bit of flash as I haven't written for a while and was just playing around.

Jay.

Claire on 09-02-2007
Plenty More Fish In The Sea
James this is an excellent read. Very creative, a damn good way to get your point across.

Never give up... there's plenty more fish in the sea. ;^)

Author's Reply:
My maggot never seems to attract the fishes, I dunno if I'm waggling it wrong! Thanks for reading and commenting as ever!



Jay.x

Kazzmoss on 09-02-2007
Plenty More Fish In The Sea
He, He, James! Quite literal, plenty more fish in the sea! Very tongue in cheek! Good bit of fun and well written - Kazz

Author's Reply:
Glad you liked this bit of silly flash!

Jay.

KDR on 09-02-2007
Plenty More Fish In The Sea
You're right; the metaphor is a bit unsubtle. But it's still good. 🙂

Karl

Author's Reply:
Subtle aint my bag, bud! Cheers for popping by, aint seen you around for ages. I'll check out your latest subbies when I get chance.

Jay.

Kat on 10-02-2007
Plenty More Fish In The Sea
Jay, like what you're saying here - well-rendered!

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Hi Kat, cheers for popping by. I wrote this when I thought I was gonna get dumped and I was feeling really bad about it.

Jay.

Flash on 10-02-2007
Plenty More Fish In The Sea
Nice one Jay. Perhaps more of these short flash stories, will help you build on your writing techniques?


Flash

Author's Reply:
Hi Flash, yeah I think that these little writing exercises now and again will help me try different and new things. Thanks for dropping by and reading me.

Jay.

orangedream on 10-02-2007
Plenty More Fish In The Sea
Jay - I really like this and I think the metaphor adds to it. It is so unsubtly amusing. Appeals to my sense of humour anyway. A good piece of flash.

Tina:-)

Author's Reply:
Hi Tina, glad you liked it. I dunno what I was aiming for with this as I wrote it in a negative and sad (feeling sorry for myself) state. I'm glad you think it's amusing but I never intended for it to be funny. Cheers for reading.

Jay.

niece on 11-02-2007
Plenty More Fish In The Sea
James,
A very interesting read...and very very motivating! Good imagery, especially the one where the fish escapes...!

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Hiya, I'm glad that you dropped by and took a peek at this. You say it's motivating, I'd love for you to elaborate on that more. If maybe it motivates you to get on with your life as "there are plenty more fish in the sea," or it motivates you to write, then its good enough for me!



Jay.

niece on 13-02-2007
Plenty More Fish In The Sea
Jay, when I said motivating, I meant the subject...but I guess, any good bit of fiction is indeed a motivator and it can be taken in that sense too...I think this is an exceptionally good bit of work and the best thing about this story is the way it's been told...sharp and to-the-point...

Regd,
niece

Author's Reply:
I like things that are straight to the point. Thanks for replying to my reply.

Jay.

erniewall on 06-03-2007
Plenty More Fish In The Sea
Not a bad bit of fiction if I say so myself.

Author's Reply:
What ever you wanna say Ernie, you're the boss.

Hulda on 21-01-2011
Plenty More Fish In The Sea
There are plenty of fishes in the Sea, my guess, maybe i am wrong that you were not talking about fishes in general. You will find your special fish, maybe you will eat it or let it go again, it was a lovely, little story- thank you, hulda. p.s. I nearly felt the smell of that fish, my father was a seaman and he had this special smell on him when he came home and guess what, we ate fishes most of the time!!!!!

Author's Reply:


(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 9 (posted on: 08-01-07)
Feedback and crit welcome as usual. My Overall word count at this stage is 17,750 approx.

Tariq walked around his room, he kept rubbing his hands together nervously, licking his dry lips with his dry nervous tongue. He washed his face so many times to cool and calm down he'd had to call his landlord for more towels. He sat on the edge of his bed and switched the TV on, then sat flicking from channel to channel trying to find something to take his mind off tomorrow. Nothing worked. He felt physically sick with nerves then the door went, he took a deep breath and quickly got up to open it.

''I hope you aren't planning on stealing these.'' His landlord said as he held out a couple of thick, white towels.

Tariq paused for a moment and then laughed at his suggestion, ''I aint gonna steal these, I aint got no use for them where I'm going tomorrow.''

The landlord's jaw dropped for a second and then he choked for a second, ''Tomorrow, when you said you were going soon I never thought it was going to be that soon. You'd better pay me now for the room.''

Tariq sighed, left the door open and turned around. He threw the towels on his bed. When he turned back the landlord had moved forward and was now standing in the doorway. He stared straight into Tariq's eyes.

''So, how much do I owe you?'' Tariq said calmly.

''Er well its thirty five pounds a night and this is your fifteenth night so er you owe me'' he hesitated as he thought.

''Five hundred and twenty five pounds.'' Tariq said. He walked over to his coat and removed a large padded, envelope which he hid from view. He slowly counted out the twenty pound notes, ''Their you go, there is five hundred and forty pounds, I don't have the correct change.''

The landlord grabbed the cash from him, ''I'll go and sort out your change.''

''Keep it,'' said Tariq, ''buy yourself some fucking deodorant.''

''You cheeky bastard'' the landlord fumed but then, not wanting to seem ungrateful, he fell silent and simply turned and walked out of the room.

Tariq laughed out loud hoping the landlord would here him, then he slammed the door shut. The altercation had calmed him down. So much so he felt calm enough to have a nap, he took a deep breath, laid down and calmly fell into a deep sleep.


*

Commandant Anderson gathered all of the crew in the room at the back of the press conference stage.

''Thanks everyone, for taking part in that bloody ridiculous press conference. I'm sorry to you Dean for the question they asked you. I dunno what the hell these vultures want to hear. Some of them can be animals''

Dean laughed, ''They are just doing their jobs, and you can't blame rats for being rats sir.''

''That's true But I mean it when I say I want to thank each and every one of you personally,'' he looked around the room at all of them as he spoke, ''I think that we've assembled the best possible team for this job. I'm proud to be able to call you my colleagues. I wanna wish you all the best. I know we have had our ups and downs, especially recently,'' the commandant winked at Michael, ''but I want you all to know the cracks have never shown themselves at all and they won't now anyway. Go and do your job now and above everything else, enjoy it.''

Mike replied, ''I can only speak for myself sir. I'll do the best job I can but I won't enjoy it, and you know the reason why without me spelling it out for you. The cracks might not be on show but only cus we paper over them with all of this kind of media bullshit.''

Dean and Adam looked awkwardly at Mike, not entirely sure what he was talking about.

''Well I'll enjoy it,'' said Carrie trying to lighten the mood.

She smiled at the commandant who blatantly looked her up and down without embarrassment, ''Well I'm glad to hear it. I'll see you all tomorrow at the departure ceremony. Goodnight each.''

''Goodnight.'' they uttered.

Mike sighed, ''Our last night on Earth for six months anyone fancy a drink. We won't get another chance to have one.''

''I fancy an early night,'' said Carrie without looking at him.

''Yeah I should get back too, you know, sort out a few things, say a few goodbyes,'' said Adam.

Mike turned to face Dean, ''Have you got an excuse?''

''Yeah, I've got a three-in-the bed planned. Sorry.''

''Wanna make it four?'' Said Carrie.

Dean looked at her for a second then laughed, ''Maybe another time.'' They laughed together. Adam looked uncomfortable and Mike walked away.

''I could do with getting a few creature comforts packed too, I'm gonna get an early night too,'' said Dean.

From the distance Mike called back to them, ''Well have a good night I'll see you all in the morning.''

*

Dan picked up his whiskey and took a huge gulp emptying the shot glass in one go. As he always did he winced as the alcohol warmed the back of his throat, and then he closed his eyes, enjoying the warm glow as it slid towards his stomach.

''We'll have to stop meeting like this.''

Recognising the voice straight away, eyes still closed, he said, ''Pull up a chair buddy.''

Mike took a seat next to him and they both shook hands.

''What are you drinking captain?'' Dan waved his shot glass.

''Just a beer for me, I can't have too much. I just wanted something to help me relax. Those god damned press conferences are a pointless stress.''

''Just a beer, no shorts, wow you are getting responsible now that you're a father aint ya. Barman gimme a beer and another one of these.''

The barman, busy doing nothing, slowly wandered over and began pouring a pint. Mike longingly watched and then as he took hold of it took a huge drink making almost half of it disappear at once. The barman screwed his face up with disgust as he did so.

''How did it go?'' Dan asked.

''Usual shite. Nothing of any real substance. One guy asked Dean about his private life.''

''Ouch, I bet that went down well.''

''He was OK with it, but the commandant ended it soon after that. I think he realised the triviality of the whole thing. Between me and you it was always a waste of time. We aint celebrities so why do a press conference? The agency should just issue these guys a statement and leave it at that.'' Mike took another huge drink finishing in one, ''Another pint please,''

The watching barman poured his second and slammed it down in front of him.

''I hope you don't mind me saying this, but I've noticed you can certainly put the drinks away when you want to Mike.''

Mike turned to face his tutor, ''I'm drinking to forget, it's never worked in the past. But who knows, it might this time.''

''The press conference can't have been that bad can it?''

''It wasn't so bad at all. My problems run deeper than that.''

''Come on mate, you aint having reservations about becoming a dad are you?''

Mike paused; he took another drink of his beer and sighed.

''I'm sorry mate I didn't mean to be so blunt.'' Dan shuffled awkwardly on his stool, rubbing his earlobe as he spoke.

''It's OK, it's not that. I can't wait to be a dad it's just''

He took yet another drink of his beer, ''I've done something terrible.''

''Do you wanna talk about it? Get it off your chest before you get shot off into space.'' Dan said trying to make light of the situation

''If you wanna listen to me moaning again a day before I achieve my life's ambition.''

Dan simply said, ''Shoot.''

''Well you know yesterday when I told you about the other woman that I had been seeing?''

''The other love of your life, yeah of course I remember, you can't forget a thing like that in twenty four hours.''

Mike listened to these words and was unsure if he was being sarcastic or simply expressing his shock, he continued, ''well it is someone we both know and if I tell you, you'll be shocked.''

''So don't tell me.'' Dan paused, ''I'm kidding, if you wanna tell me, tell me.''

''Will you keep it a secret?'' Mike's voice lowered as he spoke.

''Everything you tell me is in confidence Mike, as it always was when you were studying under me.''

''I've been seeing Carrie Conti. She's the woman Dan. Now can you understand my problem? Yesterday you told me I could get away from my problems in space, but I can't.''

Dan placed down his glass and held his head in his hands. Mike turned to look at him, ''I shouldn't have burdened you with these problems. I'm sorry.''

''You've done the best thing sharing this problem and getting it off your chest but maybe I wasn't the best person to tell. I mean you asked me only a few days ago if I would keep an eye on Kelly whilst you were away. I'll still do that but it's gonna be so much harder now that I know what I know.''

Mike looked horrified for a moment, ''You won't let slip what I've said to you, will you?''

''No, no of course I won't, but if she finds out about the affair AND that I know about it, it's not going to make me look very good''

''Yes, I know,'' interrupted Mike, ''But she's not going to find out. The only person that knows about it is you.''

Dan paused for the longest time, took a sip of his whiskey and replied, ''You're completely wrong about that Mike. Carrie knows. And how do you know that she hasn't already told someone about it too, just like you have?''



Archived comments for (WANIAY) The End - Chapter 9
sirat on 11-01-2007
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 9
Hello again James.

The first scene, with Tariq and his landlord, I liked. No problems there I think except technical ones. e.g. “Their you go" (should be "there") and "hoping the landlord would here him" (should be "hear")

The short section with Anderson is again okay, but I can't make my mind up about Carrie. She seems to have adjusted very quickly to rejection from Mike, and is actually making jokes about sex with Dean. This may have been another swipe at Mike but it seemed to me a bit crude and out of character. Maybe it's just that I can't quite grasp Carrie's character or fully understand her motiviation.

The scene in the bar is a tiny bit stereotypical (barmen hear more than priests in confessionals, etc.) but otherwise okay. I presume it ties in with some later part of the plot. If not it's merely telling us things that we already know.

On a final technicality, you have used this odd word "cus" again: "... only cus we paper over them". I have not seen "because" abbreviated in this way before. I think it would be "cos", and you would have to put an apostrophe in front of it too in place of the missing letters, thus: 'cos. I noiced that Anderson's speech pattern in particular is mostly quite formal and correct and then suddenly a shortened word like "cus" or "aint" will crop up. I think you need to get this a bit more consistent so that he either uses slang and lazy forms or he doesn't.

Apart from those points, all seems fine.

Author's Reply:
Hi David,

The story about Tariq I have enjoyed writing immensely. It seems that bad guys are much more interesting, especially when they are really bad ones. I know about a few of the silly errors and they'll be sorted out when I get five mins spare.

Carrie may well have a motive. I wanted her to try and appear as if she was over him now, but later I want her to admit to being hurt and wanting him to love her, of course I'm not 100% sure where this story is going and where this relationship will end up. Making a joke with Dean is meant to make Mike feel a little awkward and maybe upset she could even joke about such a matter. I hope her character will become more clearly defined in future chapters.

The bar scene may be padding, I might have to edit this to change the reason it's in the book at all or maybe lose it altogether. But i feel that if you liked a drink and you had 6 dry months ahead of you, you'd probably take a chance at a last tipple or two. I know I would.

"Cus" is a problem and again will be rectified at a later date when I re-write and edit the chapters one by one.

Thanks again for your attention to detail and helpful comments, I'm glad someone is reading me!

Cheers,

Jay.

Claire on 21-01-2007
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 9
Hey there again, the strongest part of your novel is when Tariq is mentioned -- you seem to have a natural feeling for these sections.

The other sections are good, but not as strong, reasons for this... you have introduced us to several different characters which are not as strong as Tariq, they don't have their own unique voice yet -- I'm sure as time progresses you'll get a good feel for all of your characters.

Story wise, this is coming along good. I think David has mentioned some valid points above, especially about Carrie.

Keep at it!

Author's Reply:
Hi Claire,

First of all sorry I've been online less and less but work has been knackering me out and my spare room where the computer is has been so cold with the recent weather I've dodged it like the plague!! I'm too tight to heat it hahaha

Anyways, thanks for the comments. The fact that the terrorist side of the story is so strong is making me wonder if after this I should concentrate on a story just about that kinda thing and see how it turns out! Thanks for the comments too, sorry I'm late replying!

I gotta get off soon I'm freezing!

jay.x


(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 8 (posted on: 04-01-07)
Feedback and crit welcome as usual. My Overall word count at this stage is 16,100 approx.

Mike tapped on the door of Carrie's quarters and waited. He looked up and down the corridor smiling awkwardly at the people walking past. They stared and smiled back with awe recognising him straight away as the man they all wanted to be. Mike could feel their adoration in their looks, 'if only they knew the man beneath the skin,' he thought.

The door slid open and the light from the corridor spilled into the darkness. Mike leaned forward, sticking his head inside and looking around.

''Hello, Carrie are you there?''

In the darkness he spotted her slender form turn over on her bed, ''What do you want now?'' she whispered.

''I need to speak to you Carrie.''

''I've said everything I wanted to. You know how I feel now so leave me alone.'' She turned back over and buried her head into her pillow.

''Please Carrie, just give me five minutes. I need to chat to you.'' He felt his patience thin a little.

She turned back over again and spoke softly, ''Five minutes then, come in, close the door and switch the lights on.''

He did as she asked. The light flickered a few times before coming on she squinted at him, he could see from the redness around her eyes and cheeks that she had been lying there crying.

''May I sit down?'' Mike pointed at the foot of her bed. She nodded and he lowered himself. Her feet touched his back for a moment before she pulled her knees up away from him, a gesture he noted. She held his gaze for only a second at a time, looking away, then back at him.

''What do you want?'' she asked.

''It's Kelly. I I've just spoken to her. She's pregnant. We're gonna be parents.''

Carrie let out a brief laugh, ''So what do you want me to be happy for you, to say congratulations to you both? I don't think so. The one man I love more than anyone else is telling me his wife is pregnant. So I guess we're no more, for sure, then. Great Mike, just great. But if this is supposed to make me feel better it aint.''

Mike looked at the mess he'd created. This tear sodden, broken woman was only like this because he'd made the mistake of letting himself cheat on his wife. He thought to himself, 'I don't deserve either of these women.'

''I didn't want to hurt you Carrie. I know you must feel used but I never wanted any of this. I never wanted to cause any hurt.''

''You know what Mike, I said I loved you, and maybe I do, but it's a lucky escape that I've had here. Despite how I feel I'd never come back to you because I couldn't go through all of this ever again.''

''I don't expect you to. I mean my wife is pregnant, I have a family now''

Carrie interrupted, ''Yes you do, and you'd better take care of them because that's all you'll have if you treat people like you've treated me. Your wife and your child, no one else will want to know you.''

''Listen!'' Mike shouted, his raised voice startled Carrie making her wide eyed and a little fearful, ''I've had enough. I came here tonight to sort this out. As your captain I'm ordering you to forget all of this. We have a job to do and we're going to do it. I cannot change the past and neither can you. I never meant to hurt you but what's happened has happened. We've got to get over this, and fast.''

A long pause ensued, and then Carrie said, ''Yes captain. If that's what you really want.''

''Yes,'' he replied, ''That's what I want.''

''Well that's what you'll get, just remember this though. Is it your child she is carrying, cus if you can cheat she can too.''

Mike stood up and walked over to the door, ''She'd never do that to me.''

''You'd like to think that wouldn't you, just like I bet she thinks the same about you.''

Mike opened the door and as he stepped out said, ''I'll see you at the press conference tomorrow morning Carrie, don't be late.''

*

Dan picked up his whiskey and took a huge gulp emptying the short glass in one go. He winced as the alcohol warmed the back of his throat, and then he closed his eyes, enjoying the warm glow that slid its way towards his stomach.

''Mind if I join you for one?''

Dan placed down the shot glass on the bar and opened his eyes.

''Hello Mike, pull up a seat.''

Mike grabbed a nearby stool and slid it across taking a position at the bar, sitting down Mike gestured to the barman, ''Two more of those please,''

''You've been making quite a few waves these past few days Mike.'' Dan spoke nonchalantly.

The barman walked over and slammed down a shot glass next to Dan's and started to pour out the dark liquor. Mike ignored him and sat silently watching the barman, he then picked up his drink, raised it and said, ''Cheers bud.'' Before Dan could respond Mike had tipped it back down his gullet, ''Keep 'em coming,'' he said. The barman nodded with what appeared to be appreciation as he filled the glass, this time almost to the brim.

''Hey, I'd take it easy.'' Dan looked a little shocked.

Mike picked his glass but this time only took a gentle sip, ''I will! It's nice though aint it bourbon. It kills the pain warms the cockles and makes the problems disappear''

Dan turned to look at his friend, ''You're looking a bit ragged mate, what's up?''

''You won't believe this, cus I should be smiling from ear to ear, jumping up and down like a madman with joy Kelly is pregnant. I'm going to be a dad.''

''That's great, so why the long face?'' Dan's voice sounded low, as if he was disappointed in Mike's obvious lack of enthusiasm and energy.

''Because'' Mike paused briefly, ''I've seen another woman behind her back recently. I think I'm in love with her.'' Mike picked up his whiskey and took another drink. Dan picked his drink up too, hoping that it would give him time to find something to say.

''You know over the months I've got to know you Mike I've always liked you. You're an honest bloke, a good guy, so why would you do such a thing across your wife. I mean you've got everything anyone could want, a career, respect from your peers, a beautiful wife and now a kid on the way. What gives Mike?''

''I dunno. I love my wife as much as I ever did, but I've fallen in love with this other woman too.''

''I don't know if you can love two people at once.''

''Well you can, trust me, and it's horrible. I can't cope with it, I hate the lies and the deceit and the sneaking around like I'm doing something wrong. I just hate it.''

''Does this other woman know that you are married?'' Dan ran his finger around the top of his glass and tapped his foot anxiously as he asked.

''Yeah, she does.''

''Well at least you aint lied about your wife, it might not count for much but I guess it counts for something'' Dan said trying to put a positive spin on things.

Mike sighed, grateful to have shared his terrible burden.

''anyways Mike, look on the bright side. In a few days you'll be away from all of this and you can concentrate on your time in space. Maybe time away from all of it will help you to sort things out, you know, see things more clearly.''

''Yeah maybe,'' Mike said unsure whether to spring the secret of who his lover really was. He picked up his whiskey and with another swift gulp finished it. The warm feeling sank to his stomach but the aching and anguish he felt didn't fade into it.

''Thanks for having a drink with me Dan, but I'd better call it a night.''

Dan raised his glass, then as he gently ran his other hand through his hair he said, ''You're welcome, here's to a safe trip, I wish you all the luck in the world.''

*

Location: American Space Agency HQ.

Press Conference: 10.25am.

Commandant Anderson sat at the table before him the gentle click, click, click of the photographers digital camera's and video recorders could be heard like the annoying tick of a clock you catch yourself listening to as you lie in bed trying to sleep; their was also the odd flash of brilliant white light making the commandant blink each time it occurred. As the chattering and shouting of the journalists lowered itself he began:

''Good morning to you all. You have all been invited here today as we introduce to you the crew members of the maiden voyage of what is likely to be the most important mission that mankind has ever undertaken. You will all be aware of the space programme, and its main aims to improve our knowledge of medicine and to help with security and economic issues. What you won't know so much about is who will be kick starting this most important of missions. First may I introduce you to the captain of the mission. A man who's expertise and ability has been proven to us over recent months and years with us here at the academy. His name might not be immediately recognisable to those of you outside of the space programme but he's certainly a man of huge importance to the United States and the free world. Please welcome Captain Michael Hanlon.''

Mike stepped from behind the screen and out to a cheer and a huge round of applause. The cameras began to click and flash again. Awkwardly he strolled across to the table and took his seat next to the commandant. They shared a momentary awkward glance at each other, and then they shook hands and smiled for the gathered press pack.

''Thank you very much for such a warm welcome,'' Mike said over the noise, the hacks and snappers all fell quiet and gave him their full attention, ''It's an honour and a great pleasure for me to be able to take part in such a great mission. It's a proud day for me and for all of my family and friends back home in England. It's been a lot of hard work and effort to get where I have today but it's been worth it. I hope I can repay the great experiences I have had with loyalty and success. Now may I now introduce the three other people who I will be undertaking this trip with, please welcome to the stage Adam Chapman.''

Again a round of applause ensued, this time a little more measured and calm. Out stepped a tall thin man, with short curly hair and pale skin, dressed in his academy issue blue overall. He sat next to Mike and smiled, almost smugly.

Mike continued, ''Adam is our co-pilot and also a science officer. He'll be helping us get into space and then will conduct experiments as part of his tour of duty in space.''

Adam nodded his head and continued to smile. He didn't speak.

''Secondly, welcome Dean Aldar.''

Another round of applause went up and out walked a talk, dark, handsome man with stubble and dark black hair and bright white teeth. He too was dressed in the same blue overall as his colleague but making it look like evening ware.

''Adam too is a scientist but primarily is an engineer. He'll also be our chief pilot'' Adam sat down next to Dean and looked down at his hands which fidgeted awkwardly. The cameras hung on him longer than previously, continuing to flash away almost as if the snappers were enjoying capturing and causing his obvious discomfort.

''and last but not least our medical officer Carrie Conti''

Carrie stepped out and looked gorgeous. She smiled at the cameras with great confidence as she walked with great pride towards her chair. The cameras again flicked away. She flicked her hair slightly as she went. He overall was much tighter than the others and hugged tightly against her buttocks and breasts, the top unbuttoned enough to show a peep of her cleavage.

''she will be working along side the scientists and will monitor the astronaut's health and well being whilst in space.''

She took her seat next to Mike. She looked at him for a second and smiled, then looked away to face the waiting press pack. He knew her expression was for the cameras, the entire charade was for the cameras, he suddenly realised he didn't want to be there with Carrie chatting about the mission. He wanted to be alone with her again so they could chat about their future, as friends. 'Beam us up, Scotty' he thought.

Commandant Anderson opened up the forum, ''Thank you Mike OK that's the crew. Now do any of you guys have questions for them?'' he paused as the hands showed themselves then pointed out one journalist near the front.

''Jerry Jones, ABC News. Captain Hanlon can you tell us what you bring to the role as captain and as someone who has never flown in space before do you think that you are ready to be taking such a prominent role?''

The room fell silent and everyone's eyes and cameras looked upon him. His thoughts of being alone with Carrie were lost. He felt nerves yet again and sat silently for a second pondering his response.

''Well to answer your first question I clearly don't bring any hands on experience, but as someone who achieved some of the best grades and commendations during my training I feel that I bring absolute professionalism. As for your second question I feel ready, and the commandant feels I'm ready too. I wouldn't have got the job if anyone thought I wasn't up to it.''

''Absolutely.'' Agreed the commandant with a big, cheesy smile on his face, ''Next question you,'' he pointed.

''Hello, Jackie Smith, The New Yorker. What is your own personal aim from this mission?''

Mike pointed at his chest, ''Is that question for me?''

''Yes sir,''

''That's an easy one I'm aiming for a nice and easy desk job when I return to Earth, with lots of pay and very few hours.''

The room filled with a gentle laughter. Mike smiled and turned to look at the commandant. Now, like Carrie, he too bore the false smile for the cameras.

''No seriously. Just to get the job done. This is the start of something big and it's really great to be here at the start to get the ball rolling. Success is key and that's not just the aim of the mission, it's my personal aim too.''

''Next,'' interrupted the commandant.

''Adam Fulham, Sky News UK, My source at the academy has told me about rumours of a rift between yourself Captain Hanlon, and Commandant Anderson is their any difficulties between the two of you?''

This drew a long, silent pause, Mike looked across at the commandant, ''Do you want to take that question or shall I?''

Again, their was an even longer pause. The commandant leaned forward on his elbows and pointed at the journalist, ''I'll take it Mike. Listen if their was a problem between us we wouldn't sit here now playing happy families. Their have been some times of stress which have caused tensions but only professionally and never to the detriment of our work. We are good friends, we are professionals and their certainly are no problems between us now.''

Again their was a long pause, until Mike leaned across and put his arm around the commandant, ''I love this guy, he's been like a second father to me.''

This broke the tension in the room as a few people laughed. The journalist who'd asked the question scribbled notes down furiously and he even looked a little red faced that he'd asked the question in the first place. Mike took his arm back and everyone regained there composure.

''OK, a couple more questions and we're done, you at the back''

''Hello, I'm Keith Hastings, National Enquirer. My question is for Dean. Are you a suitable role model for the millions of youngsters who follow the space programme after the scandals in many of the tabloids regarding your drinking and womanising?''

''You don't have to take that question Dean,'' the commandant interjected.

''No, no it's fine. I'll answer it.'' Dean shuffled around on his seat a little, then cleared his throat, ''I don't think that I've actually done anything wrong''

''But three in a bed, all night drinking'' interrupted the journalist.

''Hey'' Dean interrupted back, ''you asked me the question let me finish. I have done only what thousands and thousands of single American guys, and girls, do every day of the week. I've never broken the law. I dunno if you knew this but I'm over twenty-one so buying and consuming alcohol is no big deal. As for the womanising it's all consenting between adults and again is not illegal. If I was married and I was caught doing cocaine with a prostitute in a seedy hotel then you can judge me. Until then I think people should let me live my life my way. After all aint you ever done some of the things that I have? Or perhaps you write and talk about it because you want to do it but the chance has never come your way.''

The journalist looked smugly at Dean as he spoke, revelling in the fact that he'd made him defend his behaviour. Dean sat back in his chair and folded his arms. His anger was visible for all to see, including the commandant,

''ErWell on that question I think that'll be your lot for now, we've got a lot of last minute things to sort out. I'm sorry if you haven't asked all of the questions that you had wanted to. Maybe next time you'll be a little more constructive with what questions you do ask. Thank you everyone.'' Commandant Anderson picked up his papers as he spoke and got up and walked away. Suddenly a tirade of questions was shouted out as the journalists hoped in vain they might get an answer. The crew looked at each other and collectively got up and followed the commandant from the stage.


Archived comments for (WANIAY) The End - Chapter 8
sirat on 11-01-2007
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 8
Hello James.

In general terms, I think the first scene between Mike and Carrie could be a lot stronger. This is a highly emotional scene between two of your characters and it gives you the opportunity to let the sparks really fly. I think Carrie would have been a lot more hurt and angry and would have made a much better attempt to wound. My guess is that she would mock Mike's commander status, and when he "ordered" her to "forget all of this" (if he was stupid enough to come out with such a thing) she would have gone completely ballistic. I just didn't think the scene was charged with enough emotion on either side, or enough intimacy. Carrie would know Mike's weak points and attack them. The bit about suggesting his wife might have been unfaithful too was her only point of attack and Mike seemed to shrug it off very easily.

I was unsure of the intended purpose of the Press Conference scene. The centre of interest for me, having just read the previous scene, was how Mike and Carrie would react to one another, meeting in this more formal context, but that didn't seem to be covered at all. She just smiled at him I think. Instead you used the scene to give Adam a chance to defend his lifestyle and rumoured personality conflict with Mike. I think you could do a lot more with this scene, bring out tensions between the three crew members, let us observe how they interact and let them display their various character traits. My feeling was that you hadn't really thought about why the scene was there or what function it was intended to fulfil. Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh.

On the more minor details, when you quote something that is thought but not spoken you don't need quotation marks: ‘I don’t deserve either of these women.’

I don't think "cus" works in the sentence "cus if you can cheat she can too..." I would just make it "because".

“Does this other woman know that you are married?” Here the opposite problem. It's a bit too formal for spoken language. I would say: "Does this other woman know you're married?"

"...the photographers digital camera’s and video recorders..." It should be "... the photographers' digital cameras and video recorders ..." You have interchanged the possessive and the plural. Incidentally I think "digital" is redundant.

" ...main aims to improve our knowledge of medicine and to help with security and economic issues" Struck me as comical. Surely if those were your main aims you would be putting your efforts into medicine and economice, not space travel? This is a good opportunity to explain to your readers what the aim of this mission is, or if those really are its aims how going into space will further them.

"Now may I now introduce ..." Too many "now"s

"...please welcome to the stage.." There's something a bit Old Time Music Hall about this. I think a Press Conference usually begins with all the participants following the chairman(chairperson?) onto the platform in a line and sitting down together. Then the person in the chair makes the introductions. In this case Mike could be both the chairman and main speaker, but I think you can see the general idea. It isn't really a show with a stage. "Secondly, welcome Dean Aldar..." same comment.

On a more subjective point, I think the Press would have taken a lot more interest in a pretty young female astronaut. Yet she didn't get a single question. There was a great opportunity here for somebody to ask her an inappropriately personal question (as someone undoubtedly would) that throws her because of what's going on in her life at this moment.

"... if their was a problem between us" Should be "there".

Overall comment: lots to come back to and improve here IMO but for the moment it's probably more important to get the first draft finished.

I hope this is some help.

Author's Reply:
I agree with you that the opening scene could be a lot stronger and when I re-write each chapter I will hopefully spend more time on scenes such as these. Of course writing to deadlines is not always ideal, having to try and get 4200 written and tidied up every month may not sound like a lot but fitting it into my life is sometimes hard. Once the first draft is complete I'll work much more slowly and thoroughly to ensure that chapters are fleshed out with as much story as possible, and I'll cut the padding that might be making the story feel a little slow or tedious in places.

The idea of the press conference was simply to introduce all of the characters that we will see a bit more of later in the book. I felt it was a simple way of introducing a couple of characters that have not yet appeared in the story. Pretty much every character that will be in the story are now mentioned (apart from a couple of people who will be aboard the space station itself) I agree with the "old time music hall" comment as well. After reading this chapter again and reading your comments I can see some obvious errors (and some not to obvious) and I too agree that the chemistry between Carrie and Mike, and Carrie and the press, would be much more obvious and needs to be explored. Again this is something for the edit and not for the first draft.

As ever I'm in your debt. Thank you very much for reading and leaving me so much to consider regarding this chapter. I know we all have limited time online each day due to other commitments and I'm really humbled that you choose to spend so much time reading my writing and leaving such detailed criticism. If this book ever gets published I'll have to put a thank you note in the front and you'll certainly be among the names on it!

Cheers David!

Jay.

Claire on 21-01-2007
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 8
Hey there hun, I know, I'm awfully late with this, but what the hell! I'm here now... I can't add anything that David ain't already said, well I can, would this work better if all the scenes were separate chapters and you could maybe elaborate more on them too? Just a wee thought.



Author's Reply:
I agree with you and Sirat and would like to thank you both for your support as ever. Thanks for the read and comment. I might try and elaborate more but I dunno if I'd have enough to make seperate chapters.

I was wondering, cus my target is word-based and not submission-based each month I thought would it be OK if maybe I re-wrote a chapter or two (making them longer) and just edited my current subbies. As long as I let you know that should be OK, right? I was going to leave the re-writing until I had finished but I think whilst this part of the story is so fresh I should go back and take account of your comments while the iron is hot. What do you reckon?

I'm struggling to hit January's word count, damn Xmas and New Year put me behind when I had been so far ahead!

Jay.x



(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 7 (posted on: 27-11-06)
Feedback and crit welcome as usual. My Overall word count at this stage is 12,950 approx.

The dust on the desert path threw up into the air as the youngster sped along it on his bicycle, leaving a cloud in his wake. He peddled hard, small rocks and grit crunched beneath his wheels and his small school satchel swung loosely from his shoulder. He hit the outskirts of his village and skidded to a halt, stepping off he walked the remainder of the way home pushing his bike along with him.

''Hello Tariq,'' shouted the women who collected clothing from their washing lines and the men who returned home from work. Tariq smiled a huge beaming smile back at them, ''Hello'' he replied in his quiet boyish way.

He arrived at his home and leaned his bike against the wall carefully, then he ran through the front door to greet his mother. He threw his satchel on the floor and embraced her.

''Hello mum,''

She planted a kiss on his forehead, ''Hello son, have you had yourself a good day at school today.''

''It wasn't too bad today. The soldiers stayed away.''

''That's good.'' She smiled at him, a forced smile, ''You pick your bag up and go and get yourself changed, we'll be eating when your dad arrives back from the market.''

He did what his mum said without a moan or a peep. The door opened again and in walked Mohammed.

''I just saw him come rushing in, how is he?'' he said.

Samir turned to face her husband, ''He's OK, how are you?''

''Not good, the soldiers came to the market today. They are looking for more so called insurgents. We told them that we were just normal people, but they didn't want to listen. These Americans think we are all terrorists, they judge us on this.'' Mohammed pinched his arm indicating the colour of his skin.

''I asked Tariq when he got back, they haven't been searching the school again.''

''That's good. It's getting tense. A lot of the guys at work are sick of it. I mean they are searching houses at all hours of the day and night. You know Samir, the Bedouin who works on the fruit stall near the mosque, he said that whilst he was at work last week and his wife was home alone six soldiers burst in and tore his home apart. His wife was held at gunpoint on the floor whilst they ransacked the place. They even took what little money they had saying it was contraband because it was American dollars. The situation is going to explode; they will make insurgents out of us all.''

*

The shouting and screaming woke Tariq. He jumped up in his bed and looked around, then rubbing his eyes he slowly inched his way out of bed and towards the door. It was slightly ajar and he could see out down the hallway to the kitchen. He saw soldiers, torch-lights flashed around the hall, for a second they shone straight at him and lit his face up but there was so much commotion they never spotted him.

''Search the other rooms.'' A loud American voice said.

''Yes sir.''

Tariq watched as a team of them moved room from room, one by one, kicking doors open, shouting and pointing there guns.

He knelt down. Fear flowed through him, his thoughts wandered to his mum and dad. 'I hope they are OK' he thought to himself. He began to pray for them.

After a few minutes the door flew open, ''There's one in here, freeze.'' Tariq could not understand them, his English was very poor and he'd missed that day's lessons as he and his class mates had spent the day clearing up the glass, shrapnel and other debris from the soldiers visit to his school the previous day.

He opened one eye and was blinded by the light. He could make out the shadows of three people pointing rifles at him. He began to cry. Someone shouted, ''He's just a kid.''

Then he heard someone further away shouting, ''Get him in here with these two, search the room, these fuckers will protect insurgents with kids. They don't think we'll shoot kids.''

Another voice grunted an evil snigger then said, ''Yeah right, we'll shoot whoever it takes, kiddies to grandmas.''

Someone grabbed at Tariq's ankle and in the confusion he kicked out,

''Aaaah the little fucker kicked me,'' then everything went momentarily black for Tariq as the rifle butt slammed against the bridge of his nose. He could feel the trickle of blood down his face. He put his hands up to protect himself from more attacks. Then the hands grabbed at his ankles again but this time he submit to them. The soldiers dragged him into the kitchen and flung him into the corner next to the stove where his mother already cowered. She grabbed him and put her arms around him, ''Tariq are you ok?'' her voice trembled.

''Yes,'' he said, he lowered his head to hide the wound to his nose. She rested her cheek against his forehead and he could feel the dampness of her tears against his skin. Two solders stood over them pointing there weapons at their chests.

''Where is dad?'' he asked his mother.

One of the two soldiers guarding them stepped forward, and waved the gun at Samir, ''Do you want me to shoot your mummy?''

The other soldier laughed, ''Do it, man. Fucking do it. These fucking sand niggers deserve no better.''

The soldier waving his gun suddenly shouted, ''Boooom!'' and Samir screamed, the soldiers laughed.

Mohammed was brought in from outside, his feet dragged behind him. His face was bruised and battered. His left eye was so swollen he couldn't open it.

''Mohammed, God save us, what have they done to you?'' Samir screamed.

The American's translator walked over to Samir and Tariq and knelt down, ''Your husband is coming with us, he has just admitted planning bomb attacks against the coalition. He's under arrest. We'll send someone to let you know where the trial will be and what prison he'll be held at so you can visit him.''

''He's done nothing wrong, you've searched the house, their is nothing here.''

''He's admitted his guilt. That will probably go in his favour, so he won't face the death penalty.''

''Wwhat, he's a market trader, he sells dried fruit, nuts and bread that I make. He isn't a terrorist, he's just my husband and his father.''

Tariq got up and ran towards his father and hugged him tightly.

''I love you Tariq,'' his fathered whispered into his ear. Tariq burst into tears and began to scream out, ''Father no he's not guilty you pigs this isn't right you have no right''

''Get him off,'' one soldier screamed, as another one pulled him off and again threw him into the arms of his mother.

The translator leaned into Tariq, ''If you do that again you'll get shot.''

''Then you'll have to shoot me,'' said Tariq defiantly, now holding back his tears.

The soldiers all stood around, ''Come on lets go, we've got more houses to search.''

They lifted Mohammed to his feet and attempted to frogmarch him from his home, he could barely stand. He stumbled slightly and almost fell. The soldiers held him by his shoulders and again dragged him this time towards their vehicles.

The soldiers left the house, Samir told Tariq to stay in the house and as always he did what his mother said. She left and went outside, pleading with the soldiers,

''Please, check the house again, there is nothing here. Why do you do this to us, we never asked for any of this, we are simple people, we don't hate you, we just want normal lives again''

Tariq stood at the doorway and peered out at the scene before him. He could not believe it. A helicopter hovered overhead and shone its spotlight down at them all. Several tanks and land rovers were lined up outside, the soldiers headed towards them. He watched his father begin to struggle the soldiers holding him shouted, ''Keep still,'' but there voices were almost drowned out by the sounds of the helicopters rotors. Mohammed wriggled free and with what little energy he had left in him he turned and ran towards his wife.

''He's free, he's free, bring him down.''

Tariq put his hand to his mouth with shock as he watched most of the soldiers raise there guns and start shouting, ''Halt, on your knees now, hands above your head.''

Samir instinctively ran towards the only man she had ever loved and as they took each other in there arms, the guns began to rattle out loud. Shells flew out in every direction.

Tariq froze on the spot as he watched his mother and father collapse, in embrace, to the floor. There bullet ridden figures lay still. The solders stopped firing and one of them walked over screaming out, ''Hold your fire.'' He turned Mohammed over and spied the exit wounds on his face. ''He's dead.'' He shouted. Then he turned Samir over. Her breathing was laboured, blood sprayed like a vapour from her mouth and nostrils, and even more blood poured from a wound to her throat.

''She's still alive,'' he screamed removing his magnum from his belt. He pointed it straight at her face and pulled the trigger. Tariq fell, passing out with shock.

The soldier put the magnum back into his belt, ''She's fucking dead now.''

*

The entire village turned out for the funerals. Tariq was carried in the arms of his uncle who was now his guardian, together they lead the parade as dozens of townsfolk carried the coffins of his mother and father to there burial position in the cemetery. People chanted out and screamed anti-Western sentiment. Reprisals were in the air, Tariq felt it. His childhood and his innocence were being carried in those coffins too. He knew that he'd never be the same. He could feel the thud, thud, thud of his heart and knew that the pain would never dull if he simply accepted all of this. He couldn't accept it. His childhood ended the day he watched the occupiers carry out murder.

As the bodies were laid to rest and the dry desert soil was piled on top Tariq turned to his uncle and spoke for the first time since that fateful night, ''How do we make them pay?''

His uncle smiled at him, ''We'll make them pay, I'll teach you everything I can, I'll show you how we can make them pay.''

*

Ten years later.

Tariq lay in the sand very still. He looked through the scope of the sniper rifle slowly moving across the horizon from left to right. His uncle, Abu, stood behind him with binoculars also scanning ahead of them.

''OK Tariq, when you are ready you can begin,''

Tariq took a moment to scan the horizon one more time then opened fire, once, twice, three times. Only a few seconds had passed, he placed the gun flat on the sandy ground and stood up.

''Well?''

Still scanning the horizon Abu spied the manikins that he had placed earlier.

''Fucking unreal, that has to be the quickest time I've ever seen. You hit each of them clean in the forehead. Well done Tariq, your training it seems is almost complete. You have to do one more thing though.''

''I know what do I have to deal with the hostage?''

Abu nodded, ''Yes, you have to kill him, but you have to do it your way. The Sheik will fund you and accept you like a son but you've gotta prove your worth to him. Prove to him you are worthy of his backing and you'll get the revenge you've wanted for so many years now. Your revenge is close.''

''Well I've got it all planned, I'll need some stuff a digital video camera and I'll need explosives. I'll make a video for the internet that will send our message around the world.''

''What ever you want Tariq, it's yours.''

*

Tariq walked into the small, dark room, before him sat a tall, thin man in a suit, the Syrian millionaire known only as the Sheik. He was nervous, it was his first face to face meeting with him. He knew he had to make an impression to get the funding he needed.

''Hello Tariq, please come over here and take a seat.''

Tariq did as he was asked.

''Thank you Sheik for your time, I do appreciate it.'' He held out his hand and the Sheik reached over and shook it. Before letting go Tariq leaned forward and kissed him on the back of his hand.

''I have a DVD for you to see.'' Tariq reached into the pocket of his suit and removed a CD in a clear, plastic case.

''I've heard good things about you my son, your uncle speaks of you as a great man. He says you want to be a warrior, a freedom fighter for your people.''

''Yes sir that is correct, I need to avenge my parents' murders.''

The Sheikh paused, staring at Tariq.

''May I play the DVD for you now Sheik?''

''Please wait a moment; we have time to see your video. I want to see what kind of warrior you want to be. Do you know what martyrdom is?''

Without hesitation Tariq replied, ''Yes, it's to die with honour, for your people, to lay down life for a noble cause.''

''That's right, and are you willing to sacrifice yourself?'' the Sheik spoke matter-of-factly.

''Yes sir,''

''Good, then let's watch your video then and see how good you really are. Stick it in the machine over there.''

Tariq stood up and walked over to the DVD player and inserted his disc. He pressed play and sat back down. The Sheik removed a remote from the table before him and switched on the TV screen.

The image at first was grainy and out of focus, then it became clear what the camera was trained on. A man sat in a chair, arms and legs tied tightly so he couldn't get up, or move at all. The man was clearly a soldier and he spoke with an English accent:

''I denounce my government and its wars. I announce my conversion and denounce my Christianity.'' The man is clearly speaking with pre-prepared words, hoping, without hope, that they might save his life. He falls silent and the camera begins a close up, scanning up and down his body. The victim is kitted out with a suicide bombers belt. A wire runs from it and disappears out of shot. As the camera pans up and down, up and down; the hostage begins to cry and he begs for mercy. The camera concentrates on his face for a few moments then a voice off camera says, ''Are you finished?''

The hostage lowers his head and sobs, then suddenly explodes in a sudden and swift detonation. His blood and guts appears for a second as vapour and then it simply all fades away as it falls to the ground in a rain of red. Off camera the voice repeats over and over, ''Allahu akbar.''

The Sheik clapped his hands furiously and grinned with glee, ''Excellent, that's excellent. It'll be copied many times,'' he says, ''I'll pay for your residence, your travel and your weapons. The planning and style of the attack is down to you Tariq, be creative, but above all be murderous.''



Archived comments for (WANIAY) The End - Chapter 7
Claire on 03-12-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 7
Hey there hun,

I thought this was a brilliant chapter, yeah it could do with an edit and the wee bits and bobs tidied up, but I think you've done damn well with this chapter, plus the editing malarkey will come when you've finished getting the novel down.

Anyways, this is a great insight to why he became a terrorist -- I don't blame him! That section is shocking, I felt so sorry for him.

Looking over it again, the last bit seems a tad rushed, could be me. You've put quite a bit of detail in the rest of the chapter, and not much at the end.

Author's Reply:
Hi Claire,

Thanks for your comments. Your advice on the ending will come in useful when I re-write it once the first draft is completed. Glad you liked it.

Jay.

sirat on 04-12-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 7
I found this really gripping. It would make an excellent short story just as it stands. There are oner or two minor proof-reading faults (e.g. "their" "there" and "they're", a DVD that for a moment turns into a CD, a couple of mixed tenses) but none of that matters at this stage. This might even work as the first chapter of the book, it gives an excellent hook. Great work.

Author's Reply:
Hi Sirat,

Thanks. Glad it was gripping. The CD reference was just a reference to the DVD disc, I'll sort that no probs. There/their are a lot of problems with these. I just don't stop to catch my breath when I'm writing and I'm not really editing these at the moment. I'm just trying to get the first draft down and then I'll go back chapter by chapter and iron out the obvious mistakes. I might consider making this the frst chapter but as I said, not until the edit begins next year.

James.

Flash on 08-12-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 7
Hi Jay

This is the more interesting half of your story, regarding how your two main characters lives are panning out. Still reads like a paceypot boiler/draft for tv, but it's very readable if a predictable over done theme.

I noticed the problem with there/their/they're throughout the piece too, but you're already aware of this.

I think the line below needs to have submit extended to submitted.

*Then the hands grabbed at his ankles again but this time he *submit* to them. *

And in an American refers to children as *kiddies*, to me that's more a word a Brit would use,but again i doubt even a British soldier would use it. A lot of the dialogue has a neutral voice to it, but i think you might have to be careful in stopping English slang and phrasing creeping into your dialogue where Americans are speaking.

And to some extent, i think you have to watch this with your dialogue regarding your Arab characters too. It slips from formal English translation into to everyday common English phrasing.

The murder at the end? Considering the victim is being filmed in a room at close proximity, i'm puzzled that the camera, film and cameraman survived the explosion?

Anyway, best chapter so far.IMO

Flash





Author's Reply:
Hi Flash,

Thanks for the read and the comment. I will take a look at the voice in the re-write but for now as I have said before I will not be looking back yet too much. Your comments are important cus I'll be going through them when it comes to re-writing for the pointers and advice so keep reading and commenting, even if I'm making no changes at the moment.

I dunno how to voice the Arab or American without slipping into negative stereotypes which I want to avoid as this story aint about making any particular people look bad. The reason for showing a flashback of the terrorists life is to show he is just a person despite what he does and that it's not simple blind hatred that drives him but a more deeper need for revenge. (Even if his revenge is misdirected)

As for the murder at the end, the camera has a zoom, so it could be safely out of distance. A suicide belt would not need a lot of explosives to make it deadly for the wearer and in an open space it would have little effect if you were standing several feet away (unless of course it was packed with nails or glass etc) thats why suicide bombers in Israel often get onto tighly packed buses.

Anyways, thanks for your help as ever Flash,

Jay.


(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 6 (posted on: 10-11-06)
Feedback and crit welcome as usual. My Overall word count at this stage is 10,400 approx.

Mike sat on his bed and leaned forward placing his head into his hands. It seemed everything was falling apart around him, a few hours before the most important moment in his life, he felt sick. What should be the happiest day of his relatively young life felt to him like a dire nightmare and now he wondered what it would take to make things feel right again. He wanted to believe that things could not get any worse but he soon dismissed that thought in case he was tempting fate.

Suddenly the telephone on the wall began to ring and he wondered who it may be as he wasn't expecting any calls. He knew who it probably wasn't but he didn't want it to be Carrie anyway. He got up slowly, walked over and feeling slightly nervous picked up the phone fearing who might be on the other end and what they might have to say. The last thing he wanted at this time was people from the canteen sticking there nose into his business, probing him to see what had happened during breakfast. He also knew that the press were interested in the mission and the last thing he needed was negative headlines.

''Hello,'' Mike said, before a moment of silence that lingered and lingered a little too long, making him feel extremely uncomfortable. ''Hello,'' he said a second time, he raised an eyebrow, removing the receiver from his head a moment and looking at it with confusion, he was about to hang up when he finally got a response.

''Mike, this is Commandant Anderson, I'm glad you're in your quarters. For a moment back there I thought you might have walked away from the programme and already be on a flight back home. That was quite an outburst back there. I'm terribly sorry that it had to happen the way it did.''

Mike, who was expecting a reprimand was surprised by the commandants words, ''Me too commandant, I don't know what came over me,'' was all he could say in the face of such sincerity.

The commandant let out a slight laugh, ''I've never had such an awkward walk out of the canteen in my life. Every set of eyes in there were on me.''

''Again commandant, I'm sorry, but I stand by everything I said. I just wanted you to know and hopefully, try to understand my concerns. But you simply didn't listening.'' Mike was now beginning to brim with a confidence that he had never before felt when chatting to the Commandant, he even felt better than he had felt earlier over coffee, he felt like he had the upper hand in their relationship for the first time.

''I was hearing you and I do understand your concerns,'' the commandant genuinely sounded humble, his voice quiet and calm, Mike almost wanted him to burst into tears but knew that such a high ranking officer never would, ''but this entire mission is too far down the road now to change it. So much money has been spent already. To change the programme might see it collapse making it yet another huge white elephant to be paid for by the tax payer. We simply can't stop now, can YOU understand that Captain?''

The commandants words were music to Mike's ears, he knew the weight of the entire space programme was sitting on his shoulders and he hadn't properly felt that yet, but now he could and it was heavy. He knew he'd be letting down too many people if he backed down. ''I can understand in a way, so I guess we are all screwed. I still want to do this,'' Mike sighed, ''but not because I want to, because I have to.''

''No, I'm the one who's screwed. I should not have said that the programme would go ahead with or without you. We need you Mike, you are the only guy ready, and the only guy I trust to make this mission a success.''

''I'll do my best commandant you can have my word. We need to put this behind us now and get on with the job. But I'll be making it my first and last mission. I don't want to continue with the space programme afterwards.''

''What?'' Despite the mornings, events the commandant sounded shocked at this. ''Well it'll be a shame to lose you Mike,'' the commandant's voice sounded sincere and a little upset. ''I'm really disappointed that you feel like this and I'm sorry that you want to leave. I hope that your time in space will make you reconsider. You have a bright future you know.'' It sounded like the commandant was on his knees ready to beg.

Mike ignored his pleas, instead, thinking about Carrie and there disagreement earlier. ''I don't want you to blame yourself for my decision commandant, there are a few reasons for it. I've been considering what's important and I wanna spend more time with my wife.''

''Well, it's a free country but you won't mention this at the press conference before launch will you?''

''Of course not sir. We need to get this mission underway smoothly and avoid any more embarrassing situations. And of course, the sooner it starts, the sooner it'll all be over.''

''Thank you Mike, and thanks for your honesty too. You know most people are sycophantic and would never have spoken out so frankly. I admire that, and I sincerely hope you have a change of heart about your future.'' The commandants voice now suggested that he had accepted that Mike could not be swayed.

''Well thank you too sir, I'll see you at the press conference tomorrow.''

Before the commandant had time to reply Mike placed down the receiver, the red light on the handset had begun to flash indicating another incoming call. He expected it to be Carrie, and after sorting out one mess, and feeling much better as a result, he wanted to sort out another. The phone rang immediately as it was placed down and he picked it straight back up.

''Hello,'' he said almost saying, 'Hello, Carrie is that you?'

''Hiya babe, it's me,'' shocked he didn't reply straight away. Expecting Carrie, but hearing his wife. For a moment Mike thought he was going crazy then realised such a thought might mean he wasn't. Her timing made him feel so uncomfortable he almost physically squirmed with unease.

''Hello? Mikey are you still there?''

''Yes Kel, I'm here, I think it's a bad line. We're having a lot of maintenance done at the moment and the damn internal phone system is playing up,'' the lie slipped off his tongue with an ease that made him cringe as he realised what kind of man he could be sometimes. He closed his eyes as he spoke to avoid his reflection in the mirror on the wall opposite him. He hated lying to her, but he'd done it so many times before that each time it got a tiny bit easier, but he couldn't look himself in the eye as he did it. To say it and hear it was one thing, but to watch himself being so callous was another.

''How are you doing anyways, babe?''

Mike sat down at his computer and opened his eyes back up. He moved the mouse, turning off the screen saver, and stared at the image of his wife. It was the one image of her that he loved more than any other. That picture of her lazily relaxing on a sun lounger in Southern France made his heart warm. It was back before his indiscretion with Carrie and a time that he was the happiest man in the world. He'd never even look at another woman back then with the longing eyes that he now cast over Carrie when they were together and despite the mornings row with her, he couldn't stop thinking about her too. She was like Pandora's box that he'd opened, unleashing feelings that he thought he could never have for anyone other than his wife. He was torn between two beautiful, young women and knew that no matter what he decided to do, someone, maybe everyone, was going to get hurt.

''I'm good Kel, I'm just killing time really. The closer it gets to the launch the longer the seconds take to tick, it's that Christmas eve as a kid feeling,'' again he lied.

She laughed, ''You are a big kid at heart Mikey that's why''

Mikey warmed inside at the sound of her laughter and a small wry grin appeared at one side of his mouth.

''but I've got something to tell you that might make you grow up.'' She didn't have to say any more, he knew exactly what she was going to say. They had spent so many years trying and trying with no success, but he wanted to hear the words from her mouth.

''Go on'' he said. His grin turning into a smile, his thoughts of Carrie dissolved.

''I'm pregnant.''

Mike filled with awe. He wanted to scream out 'Yes.' But simply couldn't muster the will, maybe it was the shock, maybe it was the sudden realisation of a responsibility like no other, or maybe it was simply because he was going to be thousands of miles away in space when all he felt like doing right now was holding his wife in his arms.

''Oh my god Kel that is wonderful news. I I feel like coming home right now''

''No, you can't,'' she interrupted, ''that's not an option. I mean you'll be back home around the time the baby will be due. You won't miss out on anything. I don't want you to jeopardise anything. Go and make us proud, be a great spaceman then come back and be a great dad.'' Her use of 'us' sounded good.

He suddenly realised what he'd got with Kelly and what he had put at risk that night with Carrie. He felt an overwhelming need to tell her the truth, to get things out in the open before they started a new life, a family life, but he knew he couldn't do that. Carrie would have to be one skeleton he'd have to bury deep in the closet of his mind and hope it never burst free. He knew that would be hard to do, when he was around Carrie he felt amazing, he felt love. Maybe it was the sex, the fact she did things that one night in bed that he'd never want his wife (and mother of his child) to ever perform. What ever it was, he knew it would be hard to return to a normal life as a husband and a father, especially after the lies, and spending six months in space with his lover, the lure of her eyes and the loneliness of space could only lead to one outcome. Despite his good news, Mike already knew he wasn't strong enough to resist.

''I love you Kelly, I love you so very much,'' Mike whispered gently to her and he really meant it, he meant it more so than ever before in his life, ''You've made me the happiest man alive. God I can't believe it. I'm gonna be someone's daddy!''

Mike sat there and wished he could turn the clock back and change everything he'd done wrong, instead of having to live through it, 'At least a baby can be a fresh start,' he thought.

''I love you too,'' she said and with that he again wished he could be honest with her.


Archived comments for (WANIAY) The End - Chapter 6
Flash on 13-11-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 6
Of the the two interchanging stories, i find the terrorist's more interesting and pacey. Even if a tad predictable.

This is a bit one paced, even static. Needs some juice fired into it, to give it an original slant.

Flashy

Author's Reply:
Hi Flash,

As you are a bit of a sadist/psycho/misogynist/etc I guessed all along you would prefer the evil and twisted happenings of the terrorist story. I do agree though that the other story about the spaceman and his wonderfully complicated life could do with being stirred up but these two stories are going to collide eventually - that's the point of them. I'll find a nice big syringe full of juice and give this story a damn good jabbing though and hopefully it'll pick up an original slant or two.

Cheers for reading,

Jay.

Claire on 22-11-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 6
I thought I had commented on this... or was it on msn?

Anyways, a little of spice added, very nice, a baby, a bit on the side... nice combo.

Keep at it hun.

Author's Reply:
I think I sent you a copy to read when I completed it and you commented then in an email. Anyways, thanks for reading and leaving a comment. I think Bacon and eggs is a much better combo myself, as this combo can lead to all kinds of problems!!

Jay.


(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 5 (posted on: 30-10-06)
Comments and crit welcome. My word count at this stage is 8400 approx.

The taxi came to a halt outside the Spirit of Derrington, a small bed and breakfast on the outskirts of the city, its tall dark walls and rotting window frames made it look cold and uninviting. The taxi driver turned around to face his fare who sat stony faced in the back staring at him with an apparent and unexplainable disgust.

''That'll be nine pounds sixty please, mate.''

Tariq sat motionless for a moment. The driver gulped, unsure what to do or say next, then Tariq slowly reached into his pocket and took out a black, leather wallet. He carefully opened it and thumbed through a large wad of notes until he found a ten. He slowly removed it, and gently placed the wallet back into his trousers before slowly leaning forward to pass it to the driver through a small opening. The driver, now relieved he'd paid, turned back to face front and began to fumble with his change in a pouch that sat on his belt. Before he could count out the cash the door was open and Tariq was stepping out.

''Oi mate,'' shouted the cabbie with a thick cockney accent, ''your change.''

Tariq walked away, ignoring the taxi driver who didn't need a second hint as he drove away quickly with his haul of forty pennies.

The greying stone steps outside the B&B were covered in patches of a thin layer of moss and dirt. The large oak door, scarred with years of weather and neglect, loomed above them. Tariq took his keys from his pocket and opened the door. He stepped inside and shut the door carefully behind him.

''So you didn't cut and run,'' a voice said. Tariq looked down the corridor towards the kitchen and standing there was his landlord. A tall, white, fat man in baggy, ill fitting jeans and a tight t-shirt stood there with a smouldering cigarette in one hand and a copy of the Daily Mail in the other.

''No, I'm still here,'' Tariq spoke quietly, ''but I'll be checking out soon and don't you worry I'll be paying you.''

The landlord lifted his cigarette and took a long hard drag making the end glow brightly in the dull light of the hallway, ''You'd better, two weeks rent isn't something that I can afford to go without.''

As the landlord spoke he spied the suitcase in Tariq's hand. Smoke from his mouth escaped upwards as he spoke making him squint and tears well up in his eyes.

''What you got there, huh? You a businessman now?''

Tariq held up the suitcase, ''This this is nuclear bomb that I'm going to detonate in the city tomorrow. I'm gonna blow myself up and thousands of people too, what do you think of that?''

Tariq gave the landlord his trademark stare before starting to smile, his gold tooth glinting a little as it caught the light from the hall. The landlord cracked up laughing out loud, ''Yeah, ok sonny. You've got one hell of a sense of humour aint ya. Just make sure you pay me for the room.'' The landlord held out his hand and pointed as he spoke. A little ash fell to the floor as his fingers waggled; he noticed it and rubbed it into the carpet with the sole of his slippered foot. He then began to cough hard, before taking another long drag from his cigarette that seemed to quell the hacking.

Tariq ignored all of this and walked over to his room and disappeared inside. He slammed the door shut behind him, ''Stupid mother-fucker,'' he gently whispered to himself as he carefully placed the suitcase down on the kidney shaped, mahogany dresser that sat in the corner of the room. He went into the bathroom and ran the cold tap, cupping his hands he leaned forward and washed his face. As he patted it dry he caught his reflection in the mirror. He leaned forward and looked at himself intently. Then suddenly, as if snapping out of a hypnotic trance, he stopped dropping the towel onto the side of the bath he walked back into the room, switched on the TV and lay down on his bed. He lay there for a few minutes flicking through the channels before stopping on the Sky News channel. He lay there, concentrating deeply on the news as images flashed across the screen of poverty and death and suffering, interjected with adverts for luxury holidays, new homes, affordable but quality cars and fine eating.

Suddenly his phone rung, calmly and slowly he took it from his pocket and answered it.

''Hello.''

''Hey there Tariq, its Ali,'' the voice replied with a strong Arabic accent.

''How are you feeling my brother?''

''I'm fine. I'm just calling to see how things have gone. Did the contact bring you the merchandise as promised?''

Tariq grinned, ''Yes, I'm looking at it right now.''

''That's excellent news. So now all three of you are ready. Your brothers of jihad are in place to deliver some retribution too. But you understand I cannot go into any more detail than that. It's simpler to give individual soldiers, individual tasks when behind enemy lines.''

''Of course I understand Ali. I hope that God blesses them, paradise beckons for us all. I hope that our people taste victory and are blessed by our actions.''

''They will be Tariq. You're mission is the first one, you know what to do. We'll wait for a sign on the news that you achieve your aims before proceeding with the second wave.''

''Don't worry, I won't fail us. Please make sure my family are OK and they get my final will and testament. And please remember me always.''

''I will brother. Next time we speak it'll be in paradise, Allahu akbar.''

''Allahu akbar, send my best regards to the Sheik,'' said Tariq.

''I will Tariq. Good luck.'' Ali hung up and Tariq threw his phone down on the bed beside him and continued to watch the news trying to imagine what the headlines might be saying tomorrow. He hoped he would be received as a hero by his people back home, but for a moment he also feared the retaliation that they may have to suffer as a result.

'In my heart I know that God will keep them all safe and I will be rewarded for my actions in paradise, and my family and people will all be rewarded by God eventually too,' he thought.


Archived comments for (WANIAY) The End - Chapter 5
Claire on 02-11-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 5
Oh now this is a hard chapter to read hun, I so much want to grab Tariq by the neck and shake some sense into him!

Fast paced chapter here. Maybe when you edit you could show us more of what Tariq's life is like, maybe some flashbacks of his home and family, at the moment we don't know anything about him, he may be just in a few chapters but he's doing a major part in your novel.

Author's Reply:
Hi Claire,

Having read your WANIAY I think this is easy to read, its no where near as graphic as yours - yet! Although my story is going to have a terrible incident in it. Actually a terrible few incidents. I might reflect on his life a little nearer to the time he decides to end it I dunno yet. If I do it'll be a tragic outcome to maybe a promising young life.

Take care and thanks for reading and commenting,

Jay.x

Flash on 13-11-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 5
pacey, and reads like a tv drama piece might.


Flash

Author's Reply:
Cheers Flash. You always seem to be telling me my stories seem like TV drafts or the like. Maybe it's because I try to visualise the action happening on a screen in my head. I can see the characters and there surroundings clearly when I'm writing so perhaps thats why this story seems like that. Glad it seemed pacey.

Jay.

niece on 11-01-2007
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 5
A very interesting and engrossing read, James...!

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Hiya again!

Thanks for reading and commenting, see you around UKA!!!

Jay.


(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 4 (posted on: 23-10-06)
Constructive criticism/advice welcome. My overall word count is 7350 approx at this stage.

Mike sat back and sipped at his second cup of coffee, his breakfast sat barely touched before him. The commandant scoffed away at his with all the etiquette of a pig at a trough. Small droplets of baked bean juice scattered themselves across the table and a few even adorned his jacket and shirt. He salivated and slobbered as the bacon awoke his taste buds to its greasy treat.

Mike put his cup down and broke the silence, and the slobbering.

''Do we have to do this?''

The commandant paused from his feasting and looked up at him. His gaze appeared slightly angry, more so for disturbing his eating, than the actual question.

''What do you mean?'' he said with a little surprise in his voice, spraying a little more baked bean juice and pig fat over the table.

''Sir, may I speak frankly for a moment?'' Mike straightened his seated position into a more upright and confident one.

''Yes you may.'' The commandant again sounded angry, as if chatting meant he wouldn't be eating, and that was not what he wanted.

''Sir I don't think that the mission is a good one.'' Mike stared into the eyes of the commandant.

''Are we still chatting about that? You know your problem Mike. You care too much. The world eats people like you up. You have to look after number one,'' as he said this he tapped his thumb against his chest, ''I always have looked after number one and look what I have achieved. I'm a success man. I'm running this fucking show.'' His tone was now clearly very angry and the gaze he returned to Mike menacing and intense. There was a long pause, an uncomfortable silence for several seconds, then the commandant looked back down at his plate and continued to eat, with his fork he squished a large piece of sausage covered in tomatoes and mushrooms into his mouth.

''Well if I may be so bold, I think that it's the people such as you that are the problem sir. You know I've always wanted to be an astronaut, but I never wanted to be conducting my space career in such a manner. I want to do something decent, something honourable. Finding a space germ to kill our enemies with isn't right because like a nuclear bomb it won't discriminate, it wont just kill the bad guys. It'll kill everyone innocent men women and children. They'll all pay the price in a biological war, is that right? And for what will it gain, money, power. They are just things that lead to corruption and suffering.''

The commandant continued to chew, his mouth too full to reply straight away. Again the two sat staring angrily at each other. The commandant gulped hard, he picked up his coffee cup and took a long drink to help the huge mouthful on its way.

''Well I'll tell you what Mike, while you spend your life caring, I'll be up here at the top of the ladder enjoying the view, whilst you will languish on the bottom rung forever with all the other losers. Do you want that Mike, do you? Think about your future, your family. This mission will change your life for ever, especially financially. And that is the only thing that matters these days. Cash is king and the sooner you wake up to that the better. Your conscience will be the death of you and your career.''

''You are not listening to my concerns commandant this is a mission I'm happy to be part of but I don't want to be doing some things that I find morally reprehensible.'' Mike slid his breakfast away from him then placed his elbows on to the table leaning forward as he spoke.

''I think this is deplorable Captain Hanlon,'' the commandant spoke with a little more control and respect. He composed himself, wiping his chin with a napkin and placing his knife and fork down on his now empty plate, ''You are right to let me know about these things that bother you but don't think you are irreplaceable Mike. Your attitude is wrong, why have you waited until such a late time in the planning of this mission to suddenly open your mouth?''

''Are you threatening me commandant?''

''If you like, yes I am. This mission will go ahead Mike with you, or without you. This is the last time I'm going to discuss this. Captaining this mission is a once in a lifetime opportunity that others would kill for. You can fly or you can keep your feet on the ground. Now which will it be?'' The commandant placed his elbows on the table too and leaned forward so the two of them were now nose to nose, only inches apart.

Mike trembled with a little with anger, and he ground his teeth to show it. The hundreds of things he wanted to shout out now ran through his head, all of which he knew he couldn't say if he wanted to fly in space. He suddenly swiped his hand, the commandant flinched initially unsure if he was in the firing line. Mike's plate flew from the table and crashed across the canteen floor spraying the contents of his breakfast in all directions. Silence spread throughout the room as people stopped what they were doing to look round to see what the noise was about. He stood up and walked briskly out of the canteen. Commandant Anderson sat back in his seat and smiled to himself. Then he took a cigar out of his jacket's breast pocket, lit it up and took a huge drag. From the canteen queue a woman placed down her metal tray and jogged out, ''Mike,'' she shouted as she ran.

*

Mike continued to stride briskly down the corridor towards the elevator behind him he could here the woman shouting his name but he ignored her and continued going.

''Mike, stop please.'' The woman's voice was getting nearer. 'I hope that I don't have to wait for a lift.' he thought to himself.

He arrived at the lifts and pressed the button. Nothing happened, then a light came on over one that said Floor 16, then after a short pause it said Floor 15. 'Damn these lifts. Why does the canteen have to be on the ground floor?'

The woman arrived next to him, panting a little, ''Mike, I was calling you. Couldn't you hear me?''

Mike stood silently.

''What's up Mike, what happened in there?'' she raised her hand and pointed her thumb over her shoulder back in the way that she came, ''is everything alright?''

Mike looked up at the light again, Floor 7, then he turned to face her. He paused before he spoke, her dark brown eyes captivated him, they always had captivated him and he expected they always would.

''It was nothing Carrie. Please don't worry.''

She put her hands on her hips and looked curiously at him, ''Mike, I know you, and I know you don't go throwing plates of food around for nothing.''

Mike squirmed uncomfortably not wanting to give too much away, but her gaze again took hold of him and he relented. 'God she's beautiful,' he thought to himself.

''Look I've a problem with the mission OK, if you want to know what it is I'll show you. I've received something in my email that you won't be privy too. I think you might want to see it. Then you'll understand.''

*

Carrie exited the lift first and Mike could not stop himself from looking her up and down concentrating for a brief moment on her ass.

''Just on the left down here, Cabin seventeen.''

''Yeah I remember it,'' she said.

At the door Mike pressed his thumb against the keypad. The red light turned green and the door slowly opened. A computerised voice said, ''Welcome Home Mike.''

''After you,'' said Carrie, ''Age before beauty.''

Mike smiled, 'God aint that true,' he thought. They walked in and Carrie pulled the door closed manually from inside.

''Wow this place never changes, you sure you don't spend all day cleaning it?'

''No,'' he replied, ''and we aint here to discuss my domestic habits. Please sit down.''

Carrie walked across to the bed and sat down. Mike walked over to his computer and also took a seat. He switched the computer on and turned to look at Carrie.

She smiled a beautiful, beaming smile at him and then gently bounced up and down on his mattress, ''Wow this is more comfortable than I remember.'' She bit her bottom lip and gave him her big brown come-to-bed eyes. Mike knew she wanted him, he wanted her, but he simply couldn't do it to Kelly again.

''What ever happened back there I can make you feel better,'' Carrie patted the bed next to her beckoning him over.

''I can't. Not now please there's a lot going on right now.''

Her smile fizzled slowly from her face and was replaced with the unhappy look of a naughty, spoilt child. Mike noticed this and felt bad, he'd ultimately created this situation, he'd created the situation in the canteen and now he wished he could turn back the clock and change it all.

''A lot going on right now? We've all got a lot going on right now. We are about to spend six months together in space. Don't you think that's gonna be tough, you know, after what we did together?''

''Yes'' Mike replied

''Don't interrupt me Mike. We spent that night together, and you have hardly spoken to me since. Why is that Mike? I told you how I felt and you said you felt the same then we oh I don't understand men sometimes''

''They want to get there hands on a biological weapon,'' Mike said, ''That's the ultimate end game of this mission. We are laying the foundations of what could be something awful.''

''What are you talking about?'' said Carrie.

''Watch this and it'll all be clear, but you gotta keep this under your hat. We can't do anything about it. Commandant said any dissent will see that person removed from the space programme. In his words - don't think you are irreplaceable.''

Mike pressed play and they sat together and watched the video.

''I thought we were going to mine minerals.'' Carrie was shocked.

''We are publicly, but that's just a mask covering all of these plans. It's about creating the ultimate weapon, making money and making powerful people even more powerful.''

''Yeah but if it makes our homeland safer it can't be that bad can it?''

''It doesn't make my homeland safer,'' said Mike, ''and I gotta think about my wife.''

Carrie stood up, ''Did you think about her that night we were together, huh?''

''Please Carrie, let's not argue. Can't we just put that behind us, at least for now?''

''No I can't Mike, I can't forget it. I can't forget that I love you and you took advantage of that.''

''I I didn't use you it wasn't like that.''

Carrie walked over to the door, opened it and turned back to look at him, ''I must be mad for still caring about you, but at least now I know how you feel. I hope when we get back you have a happy life with your wife.''

She turned and walked out.

''I do love you,'' he whispered, ''but I love my wife too.''



Archived comments for (WANIAY) The End - Chapter 4
Claire on 29-10-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 4
Hey there hun, I'm impressed, there's a vast improvement to this -- the story is really picking up, best chapter yet!

Can't think of anything to help with this story-wise -- a few commas needed in places, nothing major though.

Deffo looking forward to seeing your next chapter.

Author's Reply:
Hi Claire,

Thank you very much for this kind comment. I've been taking the comments that I've received regarding the structure and characterisation and have tried to incorporate them into my writing. I too feel that this is the best chapter so far and will be aiming to increase the characterisation so we can at least understand their motives and feelings regarding the situations they are going to find themselves in.

The next chapter is subbed and will be online tomorrow. It isn't as good because its largely about a single character, not a lot of interaction. In fact I had to add a taxi driver and a landlord just so there was some dialogue. But you'll see that when you read it.

Take care,

Jay.x

reckless on 01-11-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 4
This seems much more together than previously, and very enjoyable to read. I like the way Mike's character is being revealed, and I like the idea that there's at least one character with a moral centre. One small thing: “They want to get there hands on a biological weapon,” : it should be "their". Other than that, good work and developing well.

Author's Reply:
Hi Niece,

Thanks for the read and the nice comment. I was glad you enjoyed this chapter certainly for me it was the best so far to write and re-read back through. I've taken the advice of some of the people who have so far left comments and it seems that there input is helping. I'll sort out the there/their when I get 2 ticks, thanks for pointing it out!

Cheers,

Jay.

reckless on 03-11-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 4
hey! Just a minute! My name's not niece!

Author's Reply:
oooops!!! How "reckless" of me

Sorry about that - I gotta give up the sauce!!!!

Jay.

niece on 11-01-2007
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 4
James,

Great chapter!...Will be defiitely catchng up with the following chapters...

Regds,
niece

PS: My name's not niece either!!!

Author's Reply:
Hi niece, (sorry what's your name again?)

Thanks for the read and comment. If you ever see anything that needs changing please give me a crit or point out what might not work too well for you. Once this story is finished I'll be editing each chapter one at a time and the comments I get on each one will be critical to help me achieve the best possible story.

Cheers!

Jay.


(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 3 (posted on: 16-10-06)
Constructive criticism/advice welcome. My overall word count is 5400 approx at this stage.

Kelly lay awake in her bed watching the seconds tick around on the clock next to her bed. She slowly shuffled her feet around as she waited for the alarm to go off to signal the start of another day. Her mind wandered, as it almost always did when she was alone, to Mike. Her love for him was so great he occupied her every thought and moment when he was away and filled her with joy and pleasure when he was around.

Eight seconds.

She blinked with a tired slowness as she stared at the finger as it quickly tick-tocked its way towards the top of the hour. She watched intently, it felt like it was ticking slower and slower each time.

Seven

She stopped ruffling her feet and raised her hand from the bed to scratch her nose. She felt the tiniest of spots on the tip and gently teased at it with her nails.

Six

She closed her eyes and enjoyed the disappearance of the itch and the feeling of her nails on the unwanted facial addition.

Five

Her thoughts turned yet again to her husband. She always wanted to look good for him. She was glad he wasn't around to see it.

Four

And she thought about his long mission into space, the dangers and the rewards. And oh how great there life was going to be when he returned.

Three

She thought long and hard about the last night they were together. His touch, his words, and how much she would miss him.

Two

She suddenly felt sick. She rarely was sick but this morning she was up before the alarm and that never happened.

One

She loved her bed, she always woke up with the alarm, or with Mike kissing her neck.

Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep

She paused from scratching the edge of her nostril and pressed the snooze. She sat upright and ruffled her hair, and yawned.

''I feel ill,'' she whispered to herself.

She dragged herself out of her pit, to her feet, then into the bathroom. She sat down on the toilet, lifting her nightdress and holding up under her armpits as she began to urinate.

Her stomach churned and she felt a little queasy. She quickly held her hands up to her face fearing that she was going to vomit. She continued to urinate. Then she burped. She held her hands tighter over her mouth to try to quell the sickness. As she did this her nightie feel free and part of it disappeared into the bowl.

She continued to urinate.

''How long is this gonna take?'' she wondered to herself as she sat there relieving herself and making a huge mess in the process.

She finished and stood up, flushing the toilet. The wet fabric of her now dirtied nightdress slapped and stuck against the back of her calves. She winced, felt like vomiting again, then slowly lifted the nightdress over her head and dropped it on to the floor. She knelt naked next to the toilet expecting to be sick at any moment. She leaned, one hand on the toilet seat, the other gently rubbing her stomach.

Minutes passed, and then moments, before she knew it about twenty minutes had passed. She stood back up and walked over to shower and turned it on. The nozzle spit and spluttered as the air cleared from it and the hot water spewed out into the bath below.

She got in and bathed herself slowly enjoying the warmth of the shower against her chilled skin. She turned off the shower, got out and gently towelled her body dry, watching herself in a mirror as she did so.

She spied her pregnancy test on the side of the sink and paused, then she fell to her knees and vomited a thick yellowy bile. The suddenness meant she missed the toilet bowl, but the floor was spared by her already soiled nightdress.

She pulled a few feet of toilet paper from the holder and wiped her lips, gently dabbing the wetness from her lips and chin. She dropped it into the toilet and pulled the chain again. She got back to her feet, walked over to the sink and washed her hands and face in cold water, again spying the pregnancy testing kit. She knew she was pregnant, she needed confirmation.

She took a few big gulps of water, picked up the tester box and removed its contents and said, ''Soon it'll be time to piss on you.''

*

Kelly finished her breakfast and cleaned up then retired upstairs to the bathroom. She dropped her jeans and g-string quickly to her ankles and sat down. She held the tester kit in her hand and sat for what seemed like hours, but what was only a minute, just looking at it.

''My future is in your hands,'' she said, before pausing again for a while. She thought about the call that she was allowed to make every afternoon and evening to Mike and imagined seeing his face on the screen as she confirmed what they had wanted for so long a child who was theirs.

She then opened her legs a little and slowly reached her hand between them. Then carefully she began to urinate, the slow trickle of water ran over the tester and sprayed in all directions causing a tiny pitter-patter sound on the surface of the water in the toilet bowl.

She removed it and held it out before her. A few droplets fell to the floor and dribbled slowly down her fingers.

Eight

She'd examined the box thoroughly during breakfast. It said that blue was not pregnant,

Seven

And red was pregnant,

Six.

It also said, ''The test was ninety-nine percent accurate,'' but of course that is not always good enough. Her hand trembled; she bit her bottom lip, her heart fluttered with excitement and uncertainty.

Five.

It was that accurate only forty eight hours after sex and insemination,

Four

She crossed her fingers with anticipation,

Three

The off white tester began to change colour, at first it was not clear which way it was going. 'Come on you reds' she chanted in her head like a Liverpool fan screaming out from the Kop.

Two

Her eyes widened with anticipation, the last second barely came and went quickly enough. She closed her eyes

One

And when she opened them the strip had began to glow, bright red.


Archived comments for (WANIAY) The End - Chapter 3
Claire on 19-10-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 3
Hey there hun, well I'm really surprised this ain't had more reads... but uka has bee slow these past few days.

So, we've seen a view from the bombers, one from Mike and now the wife... I'm curious what comes next. I presume the baby is gonna be good news though.

Author's Reply:
I don't know where this is going entirely yet myself. I think there are more than likely going to be some twists along the way. I hope so! The baby is good news - of course but will the future all be smiles and roses.. hmmmmm I doubt it!

I'm getting a bit concerned about the amount of hits that UKA is getting lately, tis very unsettling. I think we need a "UKA Reading Day" where we all pop on and read/comment on at least 5 pieces! We need to support UKA more and not take it for granted. So we should all start clicking on the google adds every time we log on 😉

This aint a lecture - I'm as guilty as anyone regarding neglecting UKA lately.

Jay.

Flash on 22-10-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 3
Hi Jay

i read all three chapters before commenting, and my thoughts are rather than a novel it has the feel of a writer, writing in the style of someone who wants their work to be put straight onto tV pr cinema. So it's more like an outline for a spy/war/political thriller.

To me it's too direct and pacey, and skims over detail. A bit more guile and craft is needed alround i think personally, in description, speech , character. It's a bit one dimensional at the minute.

Also think this work is dipping in quality as you proceed, that rushed feel becomes apparent i think chapter 3.

Anyway a huge audience is interested in this genre, so i can't say this hasn't potential, i just think it's very raw outline of a type of story...where in the market place, the competition is severe.

But you might very well be the next Grisham or Clancy, who knows.

Flash

Author's Reply:
"rushed," as if I would rush!!! hahahaha

Well I feel that keeping up with the deadlines I have to try and churn out something and that might be why Chapter 3 was a bit crap. I agree with the character and speech. Maybe need to go back. Want to keep writing forward at the moment. If I go back I'll end up losing interest in the story.

As for Grisham or Clancy - "Are you havin' a laugh? Is he havin' a laugh?"

Jay.


jay12 on 22-10-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 3
"rushed," as if I would rush!!! hahahaha

Well I feel that keeping up with the deadlines I have to try and churn out something and that might be why Chapter 3 was a bit crap. I agree with the character and speech. Maybe need to go back. Want to keep writing forward at the moment. If I go back I'll end up losing interest in the story.

As for Grisham or Clancy - "Are you havin' a laugh? Is he havin' a laugh?"

Jay.

Author's Reply:

reckless on 25-10-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 3
Actually I thought this ahs more to it than the previous, certainly in that there is more of a focus on one character. I think that's what it needs at this stage, more characterisation, it's nice to learn kmore about a character, helps the reader to empathise. Keep it up!

Author's Reply:


(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 2 (posted on: 29-09-06)
This is Chapter 2 of my WANIAY attempt. My overall word count at this stage is 4372. Helpful suggestions and crit welcomed, Jay.

The sound of footsteps tapped on the concrete of the pavement coming to a standstill at a small group of tables and chairs outside a small coffee house. The man, dressed in a black t-shirt and ripped blue jeans, sat down and removed his shades placing them with great care on the table before him. The waiter spotted him and walked over to him with his notepad and pencil in hand, and a cheesy grin upon his face.

''Hello Sir, I'm Jason, your waiter this afternoon. Can I get you anything?''

The man looked up and silently thought to himself for a few moments then replied, ''Yes, I'll have a mineral water please, make it a large one, I'm feeling a bit dry.'' The man raised a disgusting, hairy hand to his throat and rubbed it as he spoke.

''Of course sir, do you want still or sparkling?'' The waiter watched the mans hand as it moved backwards and forwards grazing against the stubble on his neck.

Again the man paused, ''Errrrr still, please.''

''Will there be anything else, sir?'' was the sycophantic sounding response.

The man nodded and the waiter hurriedly walked back inside. He sat back in the chair and stretched out his crossed legs. He watched the world as it passed him by. Glancing to his left, he saw a woman in short, tight denim jeans and a tight pure white t-shirt walking her dog, her huge breasts bouncing as she strode along confidently, glancing to the right, a tall man in a suit blabbed away on his tiny mobile phone carrying a laptop underneath one arm, he moved so fast he looked comical and unnatural.

The man scanned the street up and down for several more moments until his concentration was broken.

''There you go sir,'' said the waiter as he placed down a silver tray with a single glass of water upon it. He lifted it and sat it on the table next to the man's shades. Standing uncomfortably close he said, ''And if there is anything else that I can get for you please gimme a shout.''

''Thank you,'' the man replied. The waiter gave him a cheeky wink as he turned and walked away. The man's face twisted with anger and disgust for a second, then he picked up the water and took a sip.

''Hello, Mikael.''

The man leaned forward with surprise, nearly spitting the water out. He swallowed it quickly to avoid any embarrassment then looked up to see who had spoken.

''God damn you Tariq sneaking up on me like that, you fucking imbecile.''

Tariq walked around the table, as he did he tried to hide his grin, he sat down opposite Mikael.

''I'm sorry friend. I never meant to startle you.'' Tariq waved at the waiter who quickly rushed back across to the table. Mikael avoided his gaze.

''Get me an orange juice.'' Tariq spoke with contempt before the waiter had a chance to speak first, then he waved him away as quickly as he had called him. The waiter did as he was asked and vanished again inside.

''So have you sorted out the money yet?'' Mikael asked, urgently trying to avoid chit chat.

''Don't worry yourself about the money. You'll be paid and you'll have chance to get yourself away to a safe place before we attack.'' Tariq smiled as he spoke revealing a gold tooth on his upper left canine. ''We've been looking at the merchandise and we're quite happy with what you have supplied. My associates have asked me to tell you that they appreciate what you have done and they have agreed to pay you this more adequate sum.''

Tariq put his hand into the inside pocket of his jacket and pulled out an envelope and dropped it on the table, then he slid it across slowly towards Mikael. The waiter reappeared and put the orange-juice down on the table. He spied the envelope and looked across at Mikael.

''Your birthday is it sir?''

Mikael reached over and took the envelope. ''Yes, it's my birthday.''

''Many happy returns,'' said the waiter, who promptly disappeared to a nearby table where an elderly couple with several bags of shopping had stopped to catch their breaths.

''You will think that all of your birthdays have come at once when you see the offer they're making you.''

Mikael ripped the envelope open and removed the folded card from inside looking at it intently before beginning to smile.

Tariq spoke, ''So, are you happy?''

''Yes, I'm happy.'' Mikael raised his glass, ''Cheers!''

''Cheers,'' replied Tariq as he too raised his glass and clinked it with Mikael's. They both took big gulps.

It's a shame that we didn't order something stronger,'' said Mikael.

Tariq gulped down the remainder of his drink then said, ''You know I don't drink comrade, I'm a man of good virtue.''

This made Mikael laugh out loud, the other patrons turned to look at him as he almost fell from his seat.

''Good virtue. So tell me why would a man with good virtue want with a nuke in a suitcase?''

Tariq stood up and held out his hand, Mikael took it and shook it.

''You don't need to know the why's and the who's. You've got your money and now you have two days to get out of dodge.''

''That's plenty. My flight to Moscow is tomorrow morning. I'll be long gone.'' Mikael said.

''Thank you for everything Mikael. Take care of yourself.''

''And you.''

Tariq walked away from the coffee shop and hailed a black cab. He climbed in and Mikael watched as the vehicle disappeared down the high street. He then looked a second time at the card. It read:

$5,000,000 will be wired to your account upon successful deployment of the weapon.

Yours respectfully,

'The Sheik'

Mikael called the waiter over. He left the elderly couple who by now had settled down and came across.

''Can I have the bill please?''

''Certainly sir, it was two drinks wasn't it.'' The waiter quickly flicked through his notepad, ''Ah yes, hear we are. One mineral water, one orange juice, that'll be'' The waiter paused for another few seconds as he added the bill up in his head, Mikael impatiently drummed his fingers on the table and sighed.

''That's three pounds fifty please.''

Mikael dropped a five pound note on the table, ''Keep the change,'' he said as he got up and walked away, again avoiding eye contact.

''Thank you very much sir,'' said the waiter, ''you have a good birthday now.''

''Thanks,'' Mikael replied in a mumble under his breath as he headed back to his hotel to begin packing for his flight back home.

Tariq took his mobile phone out of his pocket as the taxi wound its way slowly through the busy London streets. He dialled a number and placed the phone against his ear. He made eye contact for a second with the driver in the rear view mirror. He sat back and turned away. Whispering he said, ''Hello Sheik, no he never flinched, broke sweat, nothing. He's genuine, nave but genuine, your worries it seems may be unfounded. He seemed happy with the deal, no cash until we've had our explosion.''

Tariq paused as he listened to the reply.

''Of course I am ready Sheik. It is going to be a great honour for me to be the one to bring some retribution onto these filthy dogs. Like great martyrs of the past I will be remembered for ever in the hearts of our people for all time. We have suffered enough. It's time to show these animals the kind of suffering they have always shown to us.''

Again he paused, and then he said, ''Allahu akbar.''

As he spoke he again caught the drivers' eyes watching him in the rear view mirror. He hung up the phone and stuffed it back into his pocket, continually staring at the driver until his eyes returned to the road ahead.

''Avert your fucking gaze you infidel son of a whore,'' he whispered to himself.


Archived comments for (WANIAY) The End - Chapter 2
Claire on 29-09-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 2
Hey there hun,

At this stage I can't see a connection to the first chapter -- so, this deffo urges me to read on and find out.

Author's Reply:
Hi Claire,

Nice and concise comment - I like that! I'm introducing the bad guys here - these 2 guys are the ones who are going to effect the rest of the story.

Remember this - Mike is from England, these guys met in London. Hmmmmmmmm

I'll stop there, I've already said too much!!!!

Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Jay.x

niece on 30-09-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 2
A few repeated words and phrases...minor correction which can be put off till the final draft...I noticed this in your earlier chapter too. Otherwise the story is going just fine...tho' the reference to a certain community did startle me...Over here we try not to say it aloud lest we offend some people...
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Hi Neice

First thing I must say, it is not a reference to a certain community. It is a reference to the character and that's it. The vast majority of Muslims are peaceful people. My character is one of those few poisoned and warped. His view is not ideological anyway, its pure revenge for what the West has done to his country in the future. Him saying "God is great" is no different to a Christian saying "God Bless You" or "praise be to God." (When you say 'over hear' I assume you are American.)

A few people have said that I have repeated words over and over so this will be something that I will be looking at in detail. Thanks very much for your crit and advice. I look forward to taking a peek at yours as soon as possible.

Take care,

James.

glennie on 30-09-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 2
Hi J. Everything's spining along nicely and the current chap seems to be flowing better. A few minor points: watch for repitition of words in the same sentence; who's and why's don't require appostrophes, and the first para of a chapter should be unindented. Enjoy your writing! Glen.

Author's Reply:
Hi Glen,

Yeah you aint the first person to point out that I'm repeating words so I know I have to work on that in future chapters. Some of the sillier errors such as apostrophes in why's and who's is simply down to rushing out the draft and not going over it properly before subbing. In September I have rushed out the 4200 words I needed just to hit the target (I didn't start until the 10th) but excuses aside I'll take more care in future.

Thanks for reading and commenting too.

Jay.

reckless on 01-10-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 2
It's certainly pacy, and I'd echo the above comments re: repetitions. It's always worth taking some out. Personally I'd flesh out the characters a bit more, add a few hints at inner motivation maybe, but then I like knowing what makes people tick. Plus, hate to be presumptious but I hope you go on to avoid a too sharp delinetaion between good and bad, because in real life it's rarely like that. Enjoyed the read.

Author's Reply:
Hi reckless,

The line between good and bad will be blurred don't worry. These two guys are just the spark that ignites the aftermath which I'm hoping will be so rediculous and absurd it'll be hard to know who is good or who is evil, hopefully you will just know that everyone involved was wrong - whether good or evil.

The story isn't going to revolve around these characters anyway, they are just pawns in my story. But without them my story idea cannot go ahead as planned.

take it easy,

Jay.

sirat on 05-10-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 2
I've nothing against the way the plot is developing. I think this change of scene follows on well from the first chapter. Again my main criticism concerns characterisation. In fact I found it a bit confusing as to which was which. Surely Tariq should be the Islamic terrorist and Mikael the unofficial Russian arms dealer. But Tariq, the one already seated, seems to be the one who alarms Mikael on his arrival.

I think that (as with the conversation between Mike and the Commendant in Chapter One) you haven't really entered the minds of your characters or distinguished between them clearly enough. The prospective martyr should be a very interesting character to explore - totally sure of his cause, no self-doubt, contemptuous of Western culture with its consumerism, godlessness, immodest women and shallowness; proud of the part he is going to play in its annhilation. I think he would be mild-mannered, cold and polite, totally committed to what he was doing, unflappable. I know you have said above that "The story isn't going to revolve around these characters anyway, they are just pawns in my story" but that is no reason to make them one-dimensional. I would make Tariq's words bland and businesslike, but give the reader his internal thoughts as the transaction is completed. His views of the woman with the big breasts and the short skirt would be quite enlightening.

Everything is still on course but (inevitably) there will be a number of revisions and rewrites before you get it just right.

Author's Reply:
Hi again,

More great ideas in your comment! Again I dunno if I totally agree. I don't think that stereotypes are my cup of tea. Why can't Mikael be alarmed when taken by surprise by someone he is selling a WMD to. Also - despite his obvious Islamic ways I want to portray Tariq as a freedom fighter. He's going to kill the westerners for turning there backs on his countries after the oil has dried up. His motivations are these - his family and friends in his country are dying and starving not because we are interfering but because we have stopped interfering and have simply turned out backs.

I like the idea of offering Tariq's thoughts on the big breasted woman though.

I agree though I will need to re-write chunks of this and even whole chapters. But will continue for now with the first draft.

Thanks for your advice,

Jay.


(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 1 (posted on: 25-09-06)
This is Chapter 1 of my WANIAY attempt. My overall word count at this stage is 3028. Helpful suggestions and crit welcomed, Jay.

The setting sun lit the sky with a beautiful red shimmer as far as the eye could see, making the skyline in the far distance blur into it so you couldn't see where the ground ended and where the sky began. Mike Hanlon sat at his desk, before him a mess of paperwork that he had long since given up on. He leaned back in his chair and stared out at the evening sky.

''Excuse me Mike, I need to lock up now.''

Mike was startled by the voice; he turned to see his tutor standing there with his hand in his pocket and his other gently stroking the end of his chin.

''Sorry Dan, I was miles away.''

Dan walked over and smiled. ''You'll be miles away soon Mike.''

''I can't wait,'' Mike said, glancing momentarily out of the window at the sky again.

''What is it, forty eight hours until launch?''

''Forty three, I've been counting down the hours now for ages. I've been trying to kill some time going over these mission directives, but there's only so many times that you can read them over and over before you get bored.''

''You should try and relax a bit in your quarters, read a book or have a nap, you know, while you can.''

''Yeah, you're right. I'll let you close up here.''

Mike gathered together his huge pile of papers and stuffed them into a folder and slipped it under his arm.

''I'm gonna miss you guys when you go. I hope the mission is a successful and safe one Mike. With you in charge Mike, I'm sure it will be.''

''I'll do my best, I'm gonna miss Kelly. Actually mate, can I ask you to do me a favour?''

''Of course.''

''Can you keep an eye on her? Just give her a call once a week and make sure she's doing OK.''

''Yeah, that's no probs, don't you worry, she's going to be fine. You'll be back in each others arms before you know it. Six months sounds like a long time, but it'll soon pass, and then no doubt when you get back you'll probably be given a cushy desk job somewhere in the agency. Now that'll be sweet, aye?''

Mike smiled. ''Sounds sweet, you better watch your back though. They might give me your job.''

Dan laughed, and slapped Mike on the shoulder. ''You can have it mate! I've always wanted to captain a space shuttle, we could do an exchange.''

For a second Mike thought about his wife home alone whilst he was away and considered an exchange. He'd dreamed of this mission all of his life, but understood now that it was not so important, she was. He shook hands with Dan, they said their goodbyes and Mike headed for his quarters.

*

Mike threw the folder onto the table in his quarters and sat down on the edge of his bed. He sighed and looked at the clock which read ten o'clock pm. The second finger appeared to be slowing almost to a standstill.

He stood up, opened his wardrobe door and removed from it a beige coloured shirt. He hooked it on the door and stood looking it up and down. The name tag on the pocket read: Mike Hanlon: Astronaut. On the left shoulder there was a thick gold stripe with Captain embroidered through it in dark black cotton and on the other shoulder a small union jack demoting his nationality. He rubbed the flag with his hand, he felt pride at being the first astronaut from Britain to be made captain of an American mission.

He sat down at his computer terminal and flicked on the monitor. The screen burst into life showing his desktop, an image of his wife lying on a sun lounger on holiday in Southern France. He ran his hand slowly across the screen and stared longingly at the image. In the many years that they'd been together they'd never spent more than a few days apart. He smiled to himself, but hurt a little inside too.

He opened his email and noticed a new message sent earlier that afternoon by Dan. He opened it:

Hi Mike,

I've attached the space agencies latest corporate video for you to take a look at. It looks at your mission to the space station and also talks about the corporate and military reasons why we are working towards a permanent human presence on Mars. I hope you find it interesting,

Best wishes,

Danny.

Mike clicked the attachment and his video window opened and began to play. The screen was black at first then titles rolled up, ''Why The West Needs Mars.''

Then amongst the video and still images that played the narrator of the video explained everything.

''Here at the American Space Agency we pride ourselves on the advancement of technology for a better and healthier life for all Americans. We also pride ourselves on our close work with the US Military to help keep our country and its people safe from harm and terror. Since the financial collapse of the European Space Agency we have worked closely with our western allies to form an international pool of experts, scientists and astronauts here at the ASA.

Now the dawn of a new space era is upon us. Ever since it was discovered that molecules of single celled organisms were apparently present in the equatorial rock of Mars mankind has vowed to uncover life other than that on Earth. These life forms may be useful in the human and Earthly environment. They could be used as vaccines for illnesses and disease, they could be used to increase fertility or even simply as a dietary supplement for humans. These applications would be worth billions of dollars and could create thousands of new jobs.

Military experts also say that the Mars strain could also have a more important effect. The Mars strain could be deadly to humans, but if a vaccine could be found for it, it would make it an efficient and deadly biological weapon that could be used in the protection of America and her allies.

The Mars Strain Project will be the first ever scientific study conducted entirely in space. This is to ensure that the Mars strain is fully understood before ever being allowed to enter the atmosphere of Earth.

The future for the human race is a bright one, America and the ASA are leading the way forward. Eventually it is proposed that settlements on Mars will be established for the industrial farming of this life if it is indeed beneficial to do so.

You are part of a unique and special group of pioneers and we wish you all a safe and pleasant mission. God bless you and may God bless America.

Mike closed the window and sat with his head in his hands. He got up and walked up and down the tiny floor space of his quarters, he then sat back down at his computer, opened his email and began to type:

Dear Commandant,

May I request an audience with you as soon as possible? I hope you can see me tomorrow.

Regards,

Captain Mike Hanlon.

Mike switched off his computer and got into bed, he lay thinking about Kelly. In moments he was fast asleep.

*

The following morning arrived with its usual quickness. Mike's alarm began to gently hum, then rose in volume to a loud and annoying level making his ear drums cry out for it to stop. Mike grudgingly opened his eyes and looked across at it for a few moments. Then he sat up, pressed the alarm and it stopped suddenly. The silence was beautiful. He closed his eyes again for a second and sighed before stretching. Then after a few yawns and sighs he inched his feet out of the bed towards the cold floor. The phone on the wall was flashing, he walked across to it and pressed the playback button.

''You have one new message Mike,'' the computerised female voice said in a husky, almost sexy voice, then it clicked and the voice of the commandant began, ''Hello Mike, I received your message late last night when I got back in. I'm free all day today so if you give me a call we can meet up and discuss what ever you need to talk to me about. I hope all is well, see you tomorrow, bye.''

The phone clicked again and the husky voice returned, ''To save this message press one, to delete this message press two. All unsaved messages are deleted after seven days.''

Mike pressed two.

''Message saved.''

He picked up the phone and dialled the commandant. It rang several times before he answered. Mike was about to hang back up when he spoke.

''Commandant Anderson.''

''Hello Commandant, it's Mike''

''Hello there young man, you got my message then. What's the problem?''

Mike shuffled his feet as he replied, ''Well, I'd like to have a chat with you about the mission face to face. Can we meet up later for a coffee and a chat and I'll raise my concerns then, please?''

''Of course, I hope you aren't getting cold feet captain.''

Mike laughed out a little, ''Oh certainly not sir, I can't wait to get going, just want to get a few things clear in my head before hand.''

''Well what about breakfast, have you eaten yet? We could meet up in the mess.''

''I haven't eaten yet sir, so that would be great.''

''I can be down there in thirty minutes.''

''That's not a problem, thanks.''

''I'll see you there son, in a little while.''

The commandant put down the phone. Mike stood there still holding the phone to his ear. ''Bye,'' he said to the silence.

*

Mike walked into the mess which was pretty quiet. He could see the commandant sat with his back towards him half way down the hall. He walked down towards him and stood next to him quietly. The commandant was reading a newspaper and drinking a cup of coffee. Opposite him was another cup of coffee, still steaming. It took him a moment of glancing across the pages before he noticed Mike. He turned and looked at him over the top of his small glasses that balanced on the end of his long, pointy nose. He smiled; his set of huge white teeth gleamed.

''Hello, Mike.'' They shook hands as Mike moved slowly around the table and sat down, the commandant continued, ''I've already ordered for us, I hope you are hungry. I ordered two of their largest breakfasts with all the trimmings. You have to enjoy it while you can Mike. You'll miss it when you're eating pureed meals out of tin foil packets at zero gravity.''

Mike smiled and pointed at the coffee cup. ''Is this mine?''

The commandant nodded, mike picked it up and took a huge swig.

''So what is so important to you about the mission that you need to chat to me urgently about, or are you just after a free meal?'' the commandant laughed at his own dry sense of humour. Mike sat and looked a little awkward unsure if he was really joking.

''Well, yesterday I received a corporate video from Danny, my tutor, you know Danny?''

''Yes,'' the reply was forthright.

''Well I watched it and I was just a bit taken back about the way that the ASA are portraying this mission.''

The commandant folded up his newspaper and placed it on the table next to him. ''Do you think it was good or bad?''

''Well it's just the whole 'we can make the lives of us better' and the idea of 'farming alien biology maybe for killing our enemies' I was kind of hoping the mission was going to benefit the world not just us.''

This question caused a moment of uncomfortable silence. Mike rubbed his now sweating hands together beneath the table as he waited for a response.

''I see what you are saying son, but that utopian view, a great grand scheme to save all people in all countries simply isn't reality''

''But surely it could be if we wanted it?'' Mikes enthusiasm for what he was saying cut the commandant off mid sentence.

''Do you know how the ASA is funded?''

''Well yes through the governments taxing''

This time the commandant interrupted Mike, ''That's not really the case. You want to know the economics behind it I'll tell you, you might not want to hear it but it is the truth.''

''Yeah I want to know, I want to be sure that I'm part of something I agree with.''

''The world's economy is fragile. The government off the United States doesn't want to spend any more than it has too because it has other financial obligations, welfare, basic healthcare, defence, so all nations involved make small donations to keep the agency going. But the real cash,'' the commandant paused before he continued in a hushed tone. ''The cash that pays for these Billion dollar missions, such as going to Mars, comes from big corporations. They invest so much money, but it's not all done for the greater good. To them its an investment. They want to see returns on this money if it's at all possible. Yes it's donated for research and scientific exploration, but the small print explains that any profit that can be made from that research has to be shared and distributed amongst those initial donors the big corporations.''

''So they give money in the hope that they will get it back and then some, but are willing to risk losing it, because the possible return on that investment is so good?'' Mike said.

''That's it, son. But their money allows you to do your job, you are well paid aren't you? And you get your dream to captain a mission and experience space for yourself. Without these corporations you might be just another guy in just another dead end job.''

''That's true sir - that's very true.''

''And of course, the world is not a safe place at all. The Middle East is a mess ever since the oilfields ran dry. Those bastards are invading and killing each other even at the rumour of oil being drilled somewhere, look at last year when Iran invaded Kurdistan because the Kurds claimed to have discovered fresh oil fields. All the governments in that region want to get there hands on it no matter what the cost,'' the commandant spoke with hostility in his tone. He paused again and took a deep breath before continuing, ''We might need a biological weapon one day because we have all the technology to make energy and they need it. What if they eventually decide they don't want to buy it from us but want to take it from us by force? At the end of the day they hate us, they hate the fact we've drained away all of their oil over the decades and they hate the fact that we have everything whilst they are left with nothing. Charity begins at home and we've got to make sure that the West is safe, secure and well defended. We've got to do it for our kids Mike, and all of our futures. One day you could have kids and you'll want the best for them, won't you?''

Mike thought about Kelly and him, sat on the sofa at home with a baby of their own, he nodded his head in agreement, ''I suppose you are right, sir.''

''Of course I am,'' he replied sternly, ''and when we have the weapons to defend ourselves against any threat, then peace will become the norm. The world will have to tow the line or face the consequences.''

Mike picked up his coffee again and took another huge gulp.

''So, I guess this is all about the United States becoming the one and only superpower again really.''

''In a nutshell Captain Hanlon that's it. We just want to be the best again. Along with you Limey's of course.'' Commandant Anderson began to laugh again at himself and again Mike smiled, hoping he was humouring him without it being too obvious.

He stopped laughing suddenly and looked around the mess hall, ''Where the hell are these god damn breakfasts?''


Archived comments for (WANIAY) The End - Chapter 1
Claire on 25-09-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 1
Hey there hun, nice start to the novel. I see Hanlon has many concerns about his mission, I can only presume that he is happy with what he's been told as we all know he does go off into space, unless he's threatened and forced to go... just a thought. So, is he really happy with what he's been told? I suppose I'll have to wait and find out.

Only other thing I can possibly add, I would posh up the commandants speech, he sounds a bit on the common side... well I think he should be a snob. ;^)

Author's Reply:
Hi Claire,

I still think I can make this chapter better but if I linger too long on it I'll never get chapter 2 or 3 or any more written. I'll worry more about editing when I'm finished, if and when.

As for the commandant, I was worried about making him a stereotype, I prefer gruff and a bit grumpy over being a snob as most people in power I find are very unhappy and miserable most of the time.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Jay.

niece on 26-09-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 1
Quite enjoyable, Jay...look forward to the next chapter.
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thanks neice, please don't be shy to point out bits that you think need work or maybe need looking at again.

Jay.

sirat on 05-10-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Chapter 1
I agree with Claire that the Commandant doesn't sound quite right, nor does the way he relates to his fellow officer. The characters in general need more work - the chapter is very plot-heavy. I think you are too anxious to make your reader understand the details of the mission and background information very quickly, to the detriment of the other vital element, namely getting us to care about the characters.

Now you may think this a bit off the wall, but I think it might be a lot more interesting if you made Mike a more contemplative and "hidden" character, presenting the right face to his superiors in order to get chosen and given responsibility etc., but full of private misgivings that his wife suspects but which he won't share even with her. What I'm getting at is, could we have a more interesting central character? He seems a tiny bit bland so far.

My other worry is the technical stuff, especially about exploiting this "life form" on Mars. If we had discovered some kind of useful micro-organism on Mars surely we would simply farm it here on earth in controlled "Martian" conditions. Why go to all the expense of doing it in situ? I think the reason for wanting to go to mars is the same one for wanting to go from Europe to the New World in the first place - the urge to explore and see new places. There may be some expectation of gain but I don't think it's the primary motive. Again there is scope here for tension within Mike's character - perhaps he subscribes to the "economic possibilities" argument publicly but in reality believes that nothing they might discover could possibly repay the cost of the venture.

In general, I think you should try going a bit more slowly with the plot and concentrate more on things like character and atmosphere.

This is only a first draft of course and is going to be rewritten many times if the book makes it to print.

Author's Reply:
Hi Sirat,

I must not have made it very clear. The life on Mars is expected to be there but not known. Science has predicted it. The idea of going to Mars is to get it. I do love your comment though - you say I could make Mike publicly into the commercial side of things but in private totally opposed. Now that is a great idea and is certainly something I'll be looking at in detail. As for Mike putting on a face to get where he wants too - that doesn't really work for me. I want him to be "what you see is what you get" even to those in authority. I want him to obey orders because thats his job but always willing and able to speak about the things he dislikes or disagrees with.

I like your comment though. Food for thought to make me gorge, like Henry VIII would at an all you can eat banquet.

Nice one David!!

Jay.


(WANIAY) The End - Prologue (posted on: 18-09-06)
The first bit of my WANIAY story.

Sun shone down through the window of the bedroom scattering its light over the bed and across the flesh of the two figures that writhed around within each others grip. Mike Hanlon forcefully thrust into his wife who lay back and moaned gently into his ears. The feel of her breath against his lobes pleased him and teased him in equal measures. He leaned into her neck and kissed it as he slowed himself down. ''Fuck me harder,'' she whispered to him. He raised his head and stared into her eyes, she looked back at him with an expression of devilish lust, her pupils glassy. Her flesh lightly sparkling with perspiration glimmered in the sunlight, her hunger for more was obvious to him. He took her in his arms and rolled over, she sat upright and straddled herself above him and began to thrust up and down, each downward motion making him jerk a little with delight. He reached upwards and caressed her breasts as she seemed to gather the momentum of a steam engine at full pressure. She moaned again gently and shook with pleasure, his breathing became laboured and he let go of her breasts to take a hold of her hips. He couldn't hold back any more and let his orgasm go; she slowed down as his cock began to relax from its hard state. She then leaned forward and kissed him for a few moments before lifting herself off and lying next to him. Sweaty, tired and satisfied they lay together getting their breath back. She turned to him, ''I hope that worked.'' Mike turned to face her, he paused a moment before replying. ''God I'm gonna miss you so much.''
Archived comments for (WANIAY) The End - Prologue
Ginger on 19-09-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Prologue
This is great, left lots of questions to be solved. To be honest, I was so intrigued, I had to go back to the forum to see your synopsis, as there's no hint in the prologue.

Lisa

Author's Reply:
Hi Lisa,

I'm please it asks more questions than it answers. I hope to ask a lot more questions in the early chapters too. As a novel I wanna stretch the story a long way so I aint gonna give away loads and loads at once (hopefully)

Jay.

Sunken on 20-09-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Prologue
I see you were a victim of the recent hacking too young Jay of 12 persuasions. As I said originally, I'm missing her already (-; Good luck with the project. A very promising start and no mistake.

s
u
n
k
e
n

sponsored by ham

Author's Reply:
I have been a victim. Bloody hackers - I get precious few comments too!!!

Cheers for the re-comment though Sunky.

Jay.

sirat on 05-10-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Prologue
I think this does what the first few paragraphs of a book are there to do, namely hook your reader. It doesn't matter at this stage whether it advances the plot, introduces the scene or the characters, sets the mood or period or does anything else whatsover - all that matters is that it makes us want to read on, and in this it succeeds. No complaints so far.

Author's Reply:
Hi Sirat, first of all thanks for coming along and reading all 3 of my submissions so far for WANIAY.

I'm glad you liked this and didn't find much fault with it. It's the one part of the story so far that I did work hard on. I actually did have in mind when I revised it: hook the reader, make them want to read the next part. of course like any of my first drafts it could probably be better but I want to keep complete re-writes until after I have finished the complete first draft.

Jay.

SugarMama34 on 22-11-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Prologue
Hiya jay12,
A very erotic and lustful start to the prologue, I like it lol. It has good imagary for the reader and it hold the question at the end - Why is she going to miss him? Who is going? Greast description from the start.

Hugs,

Sugar.xx

Author's Reply:
Hi Sugar,

I must have overlooked this comment. I do apologise. Thanks for reading!

Jay. x

nicholas on 31-12-2006
(WANIAY) The End - Prologue
Hi

I think as others have said this leaves a question in the readers' minds. As long as there are questions to be answered then readers will want to read on.

On a seperate note - how detailed would you like comments / critique to be? I'm quite new to this but I've chosen your novel as one of the ones I'll read for the year. There are some words I'd change or rearrange the order etc but I don't know how far the 'comments' should go...

nicholas

Author's Reply:
Hi Nicholas,

First, its nice to meet you. I'm flattered you have chosen my novel to read. I don't mind detailed comments, point out any grammar or spelling errors and any suggesiouns about where the plot might have gone or could have gone is welcome too. As long as its constructive I'm cool with what ever comments you choose to leave.

Take care, have a happy 2007,

Jay.

Jolen on 29-01-2007
(WANIAY) The End - Prologue
I agree Jay, you got a great start here and I look forward to reading the rest. One quesion: Shouldn't you have a comma after 'God' in that last sentence?

blessings,
Jolen Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Author's Reply:
Thanks very much! I agree about the comma, needs one for sure!

Cheers for reading!

Jay.

Jen_Christabel on 19-11-2007
(WANIAY) The End - Prologue
Steamy stuff, I will have to read on...
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
Cool! I don't seem to have any constant readers of my WANIAY. I'd love some feedback on the 30,000 words so far. It's now become write a novel in 2 years! Hehehe

Thanks for reading!


Inasnum (posted on: 07-08-06)
Clowns... you either love them or hate them.

Beating the shit out of this guy who had just bumped into the back of me at the lights was great until the police arrived. Those god damn shit heads never wanna listen. The law says if you go into the back of someone it's their fault, right? But not when you lace their forehead with your shiny, nobbly knuckles! Then it's you who gets arrested. I tried to tell them that I never phoned them and was willing to sort it out and go home but they just laughed. Well bad cop laughed and good cop just said, ''Take it easy mate, you aint doing yourself any favours. As they booked me into the station I felt like a murderer. They took away my wallet, counted the contents, and then logged it. Then they took my watch and rings, and logged them too, before sticking the lot into a bag. Then they walked me down the long yellow/off white painted corridor to my holding cell. As they opened it they asked if I was diabetic and I said 'No' They pushed me into the cell then demanded I take of my belt and shoes, in case I tried to hang myself with the laces or attacked them with the buckle next time they opened the door yeah right! I only beat up twats who drive into the back of me on the street. The door slams shut before I realise that sat on the floor next to me is a guy in a clown outfit. He stares up at me with the most miserable look I've ever seen adorning the face of a kid's entertainer. I sit down and his eyes continue to follow me. ''Must be a busy night if they've made us share a cell.'' I say but he never speaks. He just continues to stare at me like I'm a turd on the side of a plate he's been given in a restaurant. His gaze makes me uncomfortable; I run my hands up and down my lap as I wonder what to do. ''Why are you staring at me for?'' I say now staring back at him with the same forceful gaze he offers to me. He doesn't reply. I stand up in front of him, ''What's your problem you fucking prick? I'm no happier to be in here than you are.'' Suddenly he starts to laugh out loud. I step back with surprise. His laugh is continuous, like those laughing policemen I used to watch as a kid along the tourist-tat-shop-front in Rhyl. His eyes are closed but the laugh is more penetrating than the stare, I scream out, ''Shut up, shut the fuck up.'' And he does. He stands up slowly and starts to stare at me again, then he steps forward and head butts me hard on the nose. I fall to the ground and begin to scream out loud. The hatch on the cell door opens and through watery eyes I notice the glance of the bad cop. ''What the fuck is going on in here?'' ''He he just hit me.'' I spurt out. The clown is still standing aggressively close. ''Just keep it down you fucking imbecile'' the screw says, before slamming the hatch closed. I look up to the clown thinking 'What the hell is this mad house I've been sent too.' Then I realise that I can't hold my hands up to my nose anymore, and the burns on the side of my head are beginning to get sore again. The clown slowly dissolves away, giving me a sarcastic wave as he does so. I look around the room again and it's all white, the floor feels so soft. I lay there for a few more moments then try to get up and can't. My hands are fastened securely to my chest. Then I remember. It all becomes clear as day. All of that was not today, it was years ago. Life aint so great in the Sanner but at least I'm still alive. But then again I wonder sometimes if death aint the escape I need. Many of my fellow inmates have gotten that. I sometimes think it's the only freedom I'll ever see, freedom from all of this shit.
Archived comments for Inasnum
qwerty68 on 07-08-2006
Inasnum
Enjoyed that. You've really put this together well.
I've always found clowns a bit creepy, they hide themselves in all that costume and paint on false emotions. And as for those seaside laughing policemen, they still give me the willies.

Author's Reply:
Hi Qwerty

Thanks for reading this piece. Tis a bit of Flash fiction. I aint subbed for a while so had a go at Flash fiction and a poem for today to see if I had lost my touch. It's been so long since I really wrote any prose at all. Glad you enjoyed it but I'd like to say this was just an exercise to make myself write and not a serious attempt at a story.

I'm glad that you enjoyed it anyway and you are right Laughing Policemen are creepy!!

Jay.

Claire on 07-08-2006
Inasnum
Hey there hun,

You deffo should work on this one more -- this could be a great story. At the mo it's good and I see a lot of potential.

I found the ending rushed and weak. It slides from this point: Then I remember. It all becomes clear as day.

The overall idea of a clown being part of the story scared the crap out of me... detest the buggers ain't the word.

Author's Reply:
Hi Claire,

This was an exercise in writing for me to try really. I hadn't written anything for many weeks and decided it was time to sit down and try and write some prose and even a poem. I'm glad I managed it first of all, you know what it's like when you aint written anything for a long time - very daunting (at least that's what I think).

I think you can tell that I was aiming at horror with both or at least a touch of terror. I'm glad that you liked it and that you see potential in it. I can see what you mean about the rushed ending but that was more down to me wanting to get it finished and subbed late on Sunday night than anything else.

Glad overall with this though, and thanks for your comments.

Jay.

PS I've also written a few pages of that comedy script that I told you about, seems OK so far.

niece on 08-08-2006
Inasnum
Good bit of flash fiction, Jay...I agree with Claire about the rushed ending...you should try and work on it...
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Thanks for your comment Niece. Glad you stopped by and read and left your kind words. I'm sure you can see what I've said above so I wont repeat myself. I will have a touch up of this in due course.

Many thanks,

Jay.

Flash on 14-08-2006
Inasnum
hmmmm, just the same really, always get the feeling you get bored or impatient to finish things, spoiled the finale.

Hey but it was easy and fluid to read. So more good than bad.

xxxxxxx
Flashy

Author's Reply:
Fluid is good; but the rest of your comment gives me food for thought. Even though this was just a little challenge I set myself I'll consider what you have said about the rushed ending.

Cheers matey,

Jay.

Romany on 17-07-2007
Inasnum
I think this has definite potential too. I agree about the weaker ending, but this is worth revising imo. it reminded me of a book I read a while back (had to force myself to finish it for various reasons, but I won't go into that here!) It was written by Charles Bronson, not the actor, but the mentally unstable criminal who took his name. That's what hit home about this for me - you've given a very real feel and voice to your main character, one if confusion, aggression, bitterness and a whole myriad of complexities. You should definitely go back to this one!

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Hi Romany,

Thanks for the read and the lovely comment.

This is a story that is an offshoot from a novella I began writing almost 5 years ago. The actually novella was called "The Sanner" and never got finished, I think I reached 12,800 words (Although I'm tempted to try it again for WANIAY 2 next year - anyways...) This was just an exercise to try and find a voice that I could use whilst writing that original story. I'm glad you liked it. I'm hoping one day to get to write this particular story properly. It's not the first offshoot writing exercise I did for that novella I also wrote another story that is here on UKA called Web of deceit (http://www.ukauthors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=12374) A character in that called Steve is a protagonist in the novella itself.

take care,

James.

Romany on 17-07-2007
Inasnum
Sorry, that should read 'of' not 'if' - I hate it when I do that!

R.

Author's Reply:


All Moving Towards The Real Matrix. (posted on: 10-07-06)
A rant.... Energy is the giver of life, but what kind of life?

It's been said a thousand times, and it's true. Why did the United Kingdom and the United States decide to invade Iraq in 2003? It was of course for oil. It wasn't because of the threat of weapons of mass destruction and that is for sure. If it was why aint the West invaded Iran with its nuclear aspirations or North Korea with its Nuclear Weapons???? If we feared nukes, chemicals or bio agents we would have done all of these countries and more. Was it luck that allowed the Taliban to flourish, was it luck? I dunno. The US knew that their guests al Qaeda posed a threat to them but they did nothing, why? Because they wanted to run an oil pipeline through the country of Afghanistan but knew the ruling Taliban would not allow it. So the 9-11 attacks gave them the permission to invade, topple them and get in the 'Democracy' that would allow them to build the oil pipeline. The mad thing is the US probably expected al Qaeda to attack but not in such a huge way. But whether al Qaeda had attacked with jet liners as on September 11th or whether one loan terrorist had blown up a simple package and killed just one American life that would have been enough. The US wanted to invade and get there pipeline, they just never expected the attack to be of such a massive magnitude. The US Government although not aware of the September 11th attacks, I'm sure, allowed terror suspects to act with impunity so that they could justify there war that they wanted with the Taliban. What's to say that the FBI didn't know about the threat, or the killers on US soil, and did nothing hoping they would detonate a silly little bomb. All the US wanted was an excuse to attack Afghanistan, 9-11 was what transpired. I'm not saying that the Americans allowed 19 hijackers to kill 3000 people but what I am saying is the US held back from arresting these people because the threat they posed allowed the American administration to justify their invasion of Afghanistan they wanted an attack, but expected something much smaller. ''Well the war is retaliation for an attack on us, and has nothing to do with the political and strategic significance of the country of Afghanistan, honest, you do believe us don't you?'' Can you imagine a US official saying this, I can. The governments of the UK and the US don't give a shit about their populous. They only are interested in keeping the 'jobs for the boys', keeping the money that they earn by the skip load flowing from the crooked, corrupt system that we live in. The more that flows through the coffers, the more they can cream off. Radical Islam and Right Wing Arab feeling is created by our attitudes towards them. We live in a capitalist system but they live in a more religious one, plus they don't like being exploited for oil! They don't live in a global world, we do. But the global world we talk about often is just the West. America, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Poor nations of the Middle East and Asia are only of interest to us because they have natural riches we can exploit for capitalist reasons. We have exploited them for many decades. The reality between us and them is simply a culture clash, that and oil. In the West you can be Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Black, White, Gay, Straight, a man or a woman and it doesn't matter and the reason for this is simple. We really truly, as a society, don't care about that stuff, as long as you can work and pay taxes it doesn't matter. Because the system needs you to work. Needs you to pay taxes. Needs you to have expendable income so that you can spend it on other luxury items that are taxed to the eyeballs. Our society really does revolve around money, money is important without it you are reduced to poverty, money is king, money and oil. Without oil we cannot run our cars, our planes, our businesses, without oil we cannot have fresh food, we cannot hang out in our bubble of happiness. The West depends on oil to exist as it does. The only trouble with that is the vast majority of oil comes from countries that are not Western. A lot of Arab and Muslim countries have oil though (Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran) and other countries that have alliances with Arab countries or are independent enough not to care (Venezuela, China, Russia). The UK, US and Canada all produce their own oil but not in such quantities to be significant. The largest oil reserve in the world is Saudi Arabia but although seen as good friends of the United States they actually have the United States by the balls. The second biggest oil reserves are in Iraq and America have made sure that they can get their hands on that since the invasion and toppling of Saddam Hussein. Muslims and Arabs see us in the West as the enemy because we simply invade their countries, kill their people and take advantage of them. But then how would people in the UK or US feel if say Afghanistan had become a safe and secure secular democracy after the 2001 invasion and then decided itself to invade the United States to liberate the people from George Bush because he had started a rumble with Saddam in Iraq. In 1945 Nazi war criminals were charged with ''waging an illegal and aggressive war'' nothing more. What's the difference between that and the war in Iraq today? Not a lot. Surely Bush and Blair could be tried on that charge, or even for war crimes. But that will never happen because the West would never allow it too. The West has all the money, power and influence at the moment but for how long? The oil fields will run dry one day and when they do the foreign, western forces that want control of them will simply disappear, leaving countries that are scared with years of war with no way of supporting themselves because there one natural resource no longer exists. This situation should bring about the downfall of Western society but it won't. The energy companies such as BP, Shell and Texaco will already have the replacement fuel ready to go. Companies that make billions from a resource that is so obviously going to run out won't just sit back and let it run out. They will already be looking at the next generation of fuels, they may already have them. They will have the formulas and recipes that make them up and will hold a monopoly over us all. This might end wars but will simply increase the migration of asylum seekers and cause untold hardship to people simply trying to get into a Western country. Most of the poor people in poor countries will probably suffer (again) and die out, the rest of us, in the West, who had it so cushy for ages will be slaves to these corporations. We'll be forced to pay what they want us to pay and we will, or we'll die. They will truly rule the Earth. The Matrix films were right but it won't be technology and robots that farm and control human beings, it will be these energy companies. So don't fear terrorism, because terrorists won't win anything they are just blind victims of the current situation. Don't fear nuclear, chemical or biological attacks, just fear the day that the oilfields run dry cus it'll be the end of everything as we know it. We'll truly be slaves of the system. Big Brother eat your heart out.
Archived comments for All Moving Towards The Real Matrix.
niece on 11-07-2006
All Moving Towards The Real Matrix.
Jay,
Good write...and extremely interesting...believe me, these kind of things start of the grassroot level...everybody is taking advantage of the people who are immediately below them...and the politicians take the cake for being the best at it...
There are a few punctuation and spelling errors you need to fix...otherwise this is a fine read...
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Hi Niece,

I'm glad someone has finally read this!!! So far in nearly 48 hours it has had only 6 hits!!!! Must be the fact it's non fiction. I might steer clear of it in the future as I post to get feedback usually lol.

Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for leaving a comment too!

Jay.x

Jolen on 12-07-2006
All Moving Towards The Real Matrix.
Oh fuck me Jay! I could spend a week on this one baby!!!! Firstly, let me say that I am beyond mortified at my country, and it's bullshit all the way down the line before the attack on the towers and since.

I have read every transcript of that day and before that has been made public and I have to say, yes, I agree, they knew it was coming and let it happen. I have seen to much to disprove it and you are right too, we care more about money than anything and keeping the power in the hands its in. OHhhhhh fuck! Did I say that already? Oh, okay, you know that I do much policital and social poetry, rants, etc. And you just set me off.

Yes, it is a travesty of the highest order when human life, any human life is less important than power for the mad. And our president is mad, make no mistakes about it.. Anyone who believes that he does 'Gods' work, and will stamp out something he helped to give power too is insane, and you got Bush! I hate that fucker and all he stands for.

How much space does this server have? I have a feeling I may be here awhile. Anyhooooooooo When Clinton got a blow job, the world went nuts.. but hey, send thousands to their death and squander a two billiion dollar surplus to a mutli billion deficeit and the republicans yell 'hoooooooooraaaaaaaaah' fuck that! I am so pissed I could puke.

This past memorial day I did a post on my other site where I linked to a page that had the pictures of all people who had been killed in Iraq, from all countries. Reading that made me sick, as most all of this does. You better know that the west desided they would benefit from that oil and the control of it and to hell with anyone or anything standing in their way. WE learned nothing from Viet Nam, or the Russion/Afghanistan war, it seems.
I am a warrior for causes I believe in but there is no way that I can condone this shit. Our country is now using terrorist tactics and torture, like the countries we say we are trying to fight, what bullshit!

I did several anti war poems and the whole thing actually, the money issue is another one, as you say, they want us poor saps to keep on supporting their finery and personal wars. I for one am sick to death of it.

I tried to do my part, I speak out, I vote, I boycott things, and still they continue and will as long as they have something to rouse the empathy of the public masses, like how conveinant was it that the number two man of the Al Quida was found and killed when Bush and Blairs asses were up agains the wall this last time.
I found that another amazing coincidence, but maybe I'm just paranoid. I remember telling people we'd be at war with Iraq and them telling me I was insane then, so maybe I am. But I believe in libertry not force for oil and profit..

In closing, as I have to close before I go on all night. I have stories to finish, or I would continue. I will leave you with this, 'toward' not 'towards' and here is one poem that I did, you may enjoy.


It's called "Eminence Front" after the song by the Who..




I grew up saying the pledge of allegiance,
Believing in one great nation-America.
A country founded by people with pride,
Principle and a spirit that would not die.
What happened to this country?
We are becoming a fascist state,
Ruled by liars, greed, and hate.
Where whoever has the best toys win
Belief in the all mighty God-MONEY.
If it wasn't so damn sad, and sickening,
We could all laugh, but it isn't funny.
Young people have nothing to do,
So they cut their skin, and kill for sport.
Dead eyes staring at the video screen,
Praying for someone to hear their scream.
Millions are dying from Aids worldwide,
Most of us turn away, others hide.
Hiding behind new cars, designer labels,
Families no longer meet at the dinner table.
How's your portfolio? My shares are up.
People are lost, without hope or trust.
What the hell are we fighting for?
Oil! Deranged, wealthy leaders
Always wanting more, more, more!
Spin doctors know how to play the game
Dress sharp, smile, and shift the blame.
When it comes down to the brass tacks,
Our country is sinking fast--
One thing remains true...
People forget.


Copyright ©Jolen
Inspired by the Who song "Eminence Front"


Well Jay, there's my Bad Pennys worth..... Write on !

blessings,
Jolen
And
Truth

Author's Reply:
That is a rant and half!!! I thought it was never gonna end!!!! lol

Glad to have stirred you into this comment. The intention of writing this was to get people to think about things from another point of view. I hate al Qaeda and what they stand for but we play into there hands with the way that we are dealing with the threat they pose. You cannot fight terrorism with armies - Britain found that out in Northern Ireland over a few decades. You need to look at the root causes of the problem and not simply deal with the situations that sprouts from the root cause.

Also Nice poem!

Jay.x

sirat on 12-07-2006
All Moving Towards The Real Matrix.
This whole debate reminds me of the anti-war movement of the 1960s when the youth of the whole world including America became disillusioned with the Vietnam war and the behaviour of the US on the world stage. Remember the My Lai Massacre ? We expected more of the nation that had effectively freed Europe from Fascism, we began to wonder when it invaded Korea in the 50s and then our worst fears were confirmed in the "pre-emptive anti-communist" wars of the 60s. For fifty years and more America has lost its way morally. An old-fashioned word that. It means that might doesn't equal right, that you don't just kill people because you disagree with them, want what they have or think it will serve your class interests. In fact the US invasion of Iraq seems to have been a disastrous misjusgement (oil prices haven't exactly gone down, have they?) as was Vietnam, but who said that the likes of Bush have sound judgement? A godawful mess has been created in Afghanistan and the Middle East and the people of America and the West will probably go on paying for it for at least a generation to come. The only hope now is that we may be able to stop Bush and his clones from making it any worse.

A fine thought-provoking article, though it needs proof-reading and could perhaps be improved by more cold analysis to accompany the passion.

Author's Reply:
Hi David,

I agree with what you say. We have created an awful mess in the Middle East and Afghanistan and the recent attacks by Israel in Lebanon are making the entire situation in that region extremely dangerous. I do wonder sometimes if we need to rethink our close relationship and support of Israel because when they act with agression they use American weapons and know they have us on side if things get ropey. If we cooled off that support we could maybe force them to sort out the Palestine issue once and for all. Because without our (and American) support they have no choice but to talk with their Arab neighbours. I know the Jewish people have suffered throughout history but we did give them what they wanted, a nation of Israel, so in return it seems only fair that they try to offer us a lasting peace in the region. (The PLO and Hezbollah and similar groups also need to play their role too of course.)

Jay.

e-griff on 12-07-2006
All Moving Towards The Real Matrix.
Familiar topic to those on Reckless's thread, 'Sick America' where there has been much discussion.

The future is nuclear! Trouble is, we can't buy those nice American reactors because they produce the wrong kind of power - nucular - which is incompatible with our nuclear ones. Sad really ... 🙂

Author's Reply:
Surely you aren't suggesting George W. Bush can't talk properly!!!! I thought he just couldn't read and write very well. Oh well myabe he has trouble speaking too!!

Thanks for your comment, nice to read a light hearted one, tis getting really serious out there!

Jay.

Linear on 12-07-2006
All Moving Towards The Real Matrix.
As long as we dont end up eating soylent green I'm sure it wont be all that bad 😀
A very interesting monologue/artical. Politics and religion, picking the soft topics are you?

Author's Reply:
Hi Linny,

These topics aint so soft are they! I think they need to be highlighted now and again so we don't forget that we do live in a dangerous world. Shame is we can make the world safer by making simple changes to our foreign policies but that will never happen whilst we rely so heavily on foreign means of support such as oil and gas. Sad thing is the only alternative is nuclear and unless guaranteed to be 100% safe we can't really go down that path either.

We might be the last generation to enjoy the luxury of 24 hour electricity and gas!!!

Jay.

shackleton on 14-07-2006
All Moving Towards The Real Matrix.
Good old-fashioned rant, Jay. Your piece reminds me of a song by Bob Dylan. Ahead of his time, so he was, so he was...

WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE by Bob Dylan

Oh my name it is nothin'
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I's taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And that land that I live in
Has God on its side.

Oh the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young
With God on its side.

Oh the Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I's made to memorize
With guns in their hands
And God on their side.

Oh the First World War, boys
It closed out its fate
The reason for fighting
I never got straight
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side.

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.

I've learned to hate Russians
All through my whole life
If another war starts
It's them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side.

But now we got weapons
Of the chemical dust
If fire them we're forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God's on your side.

In a many dark hour
I've been thinkin' about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can't think for you
You'll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.

So now as I'm leavin'
I'm weary as Hell
The confusion I'm feelin'
Ain't no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God's on our side
He'll stop the next war

Us Yanks and Brits, Jay... with our hands on our guns and God on our side. Good job we ain't from Iran or China or North Korea or... a hundred other nations.

Enjoyed your piece. Good that young men like you can still try to make a difference with your writing. Keep the faith, Kiddo. Take care now.

ps. Ain't you going to the UK bash? I was hoping to meet up with you.

Us Midlanders... you know?


Author's Reply:
Hi Shackleton

First thing. Sadly I won't be going to the UKA Live this year. The reason for this is its a week before I go to the Reading music festival and I simply cannot do both ( I'm going for the entire weekend and will need the cash for beer and herbal remedies)

As for having God on our side - I don't think anyone has God on his side when it comes to war. Something tells me if there is a God he never created us to kill each other in such ways. Don't get me wrong I'm not anti war, but wars like WW2 are justified by what they achieved and the people they freed and saved. Modern wars are purely based on capitalism and politics and not, as Sirat mentions, to do with morality. War can only ever be justified morally, when you try to justify it any other way it never can be right.

'Oil' and 'the issue of oil' has probably killed more people over the decades through war than most other causes of premature death. Now that truly is scary.

Jay.


2045AD - A GRANDPA (posted on: 26-06-06)
The future's bright, the sky is orange...

''I swam with these once, you know, it was great.'' I fumbled with the plastic storage container that I had bought from B&Q all those years ago, back in 2006. The lid popped off easily enough and exposed my trinkets from many moons ago. I lifted a cache of photographs from the container and my only grandson sat down on the floor next to me in awe. I fumbled through them for a few moments then removed my favourite from amongst them. It showed me in a huge pool with a dolphin's nose sticking out towards me, flipperesque. ''Wow, grandpa, what were they like? Did they tickle?'' my Grandson asked. I didn't know what to say to him. It was bad enough that they had died out some ten years before he was born, but I answered anyway. ''They tickled a little when they swam close.'' He paused, ''Was they clever, like I read at school?'' Again I didn't know what to say. I wanted to say, 'Not clever enough to avoid the drift nets Sonny Jim, not that clever.' But I couldn't. ''They were clever. They swam around us and prodded us and nudged us around and clapped their flippers and did all kinds of stuff.'' He smiled at me and said, ''That sounds so great Grandpa'' Then he paused. ''Why did they all go?'' He'd asked me a question now that I didn't want to answer. So I paused. It was all very awkward. ''They just all ran out,'' I said pathetically. ''Oh,'' he said, ''Why don't other things run out Grandpa?'' I had no reply. I looked into his innocent and youthful eyes and had no reply for him. I wanted to tell him how destructive my generation had been but I knew it would break his heart. I'd be telling him why he can never be tickled by dolphins and I knew it would upset him so much. ''They They just had their time,'' Yet again, how pathetic of me. What the fuck did that mean, especially to such a young person. ''Will we ever stop having our time grandpa?'' I wondered why he asked these question but realised he was an inquisitive child, as all kids are, with their ever inquisitive questions. He was young but not stupid; he knew that if dolphins could die out so could we. ''I dunno, son'' I paused, then said: ''We won't stop having our time son, don't you worry yourself'' I ruffled my fingers through his hair and smiled at him. He smiled back at me then ran off to play. I knew that his future was likely to be scarred by my generation but there was no point in ruining his childhood with that kind of information. I sat there and watched him staring through the glass covering of the bubble we now called home. Thankfully the bunkers were built before it finally happened. The nuclear winter outside the glass continued its destruction of our home. It was only time before we all finally died out. But we never told the kids. They played with their stickle bricks, as we prayed for all of our lives.
Archived comments for 2045AD - A GRANDPA
ruadh on 26-06-2006
2045AD - A GRANDPA
A frightening future that's all too real I fear. (Typo at end there - their)

ailsa

Author's Reply:
Hi Ailsa,

First thanks for reading and commenting on this short bit of flash. I've modified the error you pointed out. I seem to have a blind spot when it comes to their/there sometimes. As for the reality of the piece, I dunno if the world will ever come to this but if it does it will only take a small number of people with there fingers on the button to ruin it for everyone!!!

Cheers again,

Jay.

niece on 27-06-2006
2045AD - A GRANDPA
Jay,
This is really good...the ending was a complete surprise and quite eerie too!
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Hi Niece,

Thanks for your kind comment. I might have a re-work of this after reading some of the comments. Has been useful subbing this piece.

Regards,

Jay.

Claire on 28-06-2006
2045AD - A GRANDPA
Hey hun,
This is deffo a canny piece for one so short. Makes you think what we're doing to the world... I can really see this wee scene happening in the future.


Author's Reply:
Hi mate,

I dunno if this will happen in our lifetimes. I personally think we are more likely to die out from eating ourselves to death on food laced with preservatives that cause terrible illnesses. Anyways, thank for your comment on this little short. Take care,

Jay.x

sirat on 29-06-2006
2045AD - A GRANDPA
I enjnoyed the read, very atmospheric. But as a reader of science fiction there were a couple of things that bothered me. Firstly, if the world was as presented in the last few sentences, wouldn't all non-human living things have "just had their time?" Wouldn't it be an accepted fact that the world had been laid waste and sterilized of all non-human life by the folly of our species? Why would the father and the boy single out dolphins in particular? Secondly, I think the nuclear winter scenario is less likely and actually less scary than the prospect of the simple suicide of the human race through over-breeding, over-consumption and runaway global warming. Nuclear devastation I associate more with the "Dr. Strangelove" MAD (mutually assured destruction) era of the 1960s and early 70s.

In a very small number of words you achieve a lot here but I think if you made it longer and went into a bit more detail and didn't just rely on the sting in the tale to give the story punch you could make a really powerful tragedy out of this material.

Author's Reply:
Hi David,

thanks for your great comment. You have certainly given me a lot of fod for thought. I take on board what you are saying about 'why dolphins?' Although the kid mentions studying tham at school so maybe that could have brought it up. I take what you are saying that the story is more fit for the paranoia of the 60s and 70s and the mindset of the world back then during the cold war. I'll have another go at this when I can and see what else I can come up with.

Cheers for your help,

Jay.

Jolen on 30-06-2006
2045AD - A GRANDPA
Jay, I think for a short piece you sure gave us a scare and a very real possible vision. Well done and I too would love to see more of this one.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Hi Jolen,

Like I've said above, I dunno if this scenario would ever happen in todays world to such an extent. It seems a few people have liked this story but say it needs a bit more effort on the reason overall for the story. Cheers for reading, I'll post any re-write I get as soon as I can.

Jay.x

sirat on 30-06-2006
2045AD - A GRANDPA
I need to come back to clarify what I was saying. I didn't mean that "the story is more fit for the paranoia of the 60s and 70s and the mindset of the world back then during the cold war". I was just referring to what you had said at the end, that "The nuclear winter outside the glass continued its destruction ". I assumed you meant this literally, that there was a nuclear winter going on outside. That is the climate change caused by nuclear explosions, where dust in the upper atmosphere blocks the sun's rays. It's pretty well the opposite of what we expect now, namely carbon compounds in the upper atmosphere not allowing the infra red portion (the heat) of the sun's rays to radiate back into space. That's the greenhouse effect, it causes heat. The "nuclear winter" effect causes cold. It was the one we worried about in the 60s and 70s. I just wanted to make myself clear.

Author's Reply:
Clear... that's crystal matey!

Take care,

Jay.

Flash on 01-07-2006
2045AD - A GRANDPA
Very very close to being an excellent piece of short fiction.

a few tweaks, and hey presto, you got a beaut.

Good stuff.
xxxx
Flashy

Author's Reply:
Very very close!!!!!

It aint that good Flash surely. You must be getting soft in your old age and being over generous! I was going to call this story Grandpa - 2006 in your honour grandad-flashy. Only kidding mate. Thanks very much for reading this piece of fiction. I'm glad it entertained you. Hope you are doing OK mate.

Take care,

Jay.

Linear on 04-07-2006
2045AD - A GRANDPA
Very, very Nice bit of writing here Jay. The self-destructive nature of humanity and the almost inevitable outcome has been discussed a lot. But this was short and sweet and interesting.
Great job 😀

Author's Reply:
Hi Linny,

I think it has been discussed a lot and I've written a few stories about it. I agree with some earlier comments that nuclear disaster is probably never gonna happen but if humans do di eout it will be because of other factors like diet or disease.

Thanks for stopping by and reading this little short of mine. I hope your writing and your life is moving along nicely!!! Keep in touch.

Take care,

Jay.

e-griff on 04-07-2006
2045AD - A GRANDPA
A good and enjoyable piece for what it was intended to be. Without going into the intracacies of reality (this is a small moral tale and therefore can be simply imaginative) I would have found it definitely more credible with just a small switch to getting rid of the 'nuclear winter' reference and its associated stuff (good literate word that :-)) and just have him staring out of the dome - you don't even need to explain why or even mention 'dome' more than once - that's the denouement! We will get it - (I had been preconditioned by the 'orange sky' to expect that anyway) 🙂 That way, you will remove the objections of a proportion of your readers (the 'scientific' thinkers such as David and myself) while losing nothing of the story, and thereby swell the proportion of 'happy readers' overall! 🙂 best JohnG

Author's Reply:
Hi John,

Nice to hear from you. After your help in previous months I'm glad to say I'm moving along with my writing - so thanks for your encouragement in the past. As for your comment, I agree totally. Giving away too much doesn't always work. I show my hand too easily in my story but in my defence it was a piece of flash fiction and not something I had sat down and planned to write. Thanks for your comment though, I'll consider your comments along with all the others if/when I re-write this to tighten it up.

Cheers,

Jay.

ClareHill on 07-07-2006
2045AD - A GRANDPA
Absolute classic of a last line. I enjoyed the rest, too! Chilling, firstly imagining being a grandparent in the future (arrghh) and secondly what the hell the world will be like by then.

Author's Reply:
Hi Clare

Thanks you for your very kind comment. I don't think I'll ever be grandpa, the thought of ever being a dad one day is scary enough!!! I don't think the world will be so bad in the future. We'll be a lot better off once Dubya Bush is out of office. He can't stay there for ever, then the world will get better.

Take care,

Jay.x

genova on 20-07-2006
2045AD - A GRANDPA
Hullo jay, this is the stuff that (science)fiction ought to be made of, and yes, dolphins were the right choice. More please!

Author's Reply:
Hello Genova,

Firstly nice to meet you! Thanks for nice comments, it needs a bit of work still though IMO. I chose dolphins cus I think they are something we would miss if they died out, it doesn't work if you use a less liked creature such as a gnat or a wasp etc etc 😉

Take care,

Jay.


The Sceptre of King Hammurabi (Ch.3) (posted on: 15-05-06)
This is a first draft. I initially took it down because it's a work in progress but now that it's on permanent hold because of WANIAY I've put it back up. Enjoy.

 

    The darkness of the Kuwaiti desert was immense, but above it twinkling like diamonds on black velvet the stars and the Milky Way glimmered, offering very little light to the ground below. In a sudden flash a huge area of desert lit up as the explosion of a missile pounded hard into the ground sending sand and rock into the air and a loud boom across the allied soldier's camp. The missile had completely missed them, but not by far, it was the nearest that the Iraqi national guard had come to drawing first blood.

    British and American troops were stationed side by side ready to fight the next leg in their war on terrorism hoping and praying that the controversy that raged around the world over the war would abate eventually after the war.

    In the British military compound the soldiers were split into several groups. Some of them where preparing weapons and readying themselves for the invasion that could begin at any time, others prepared logistics to follow behind the invasion and set up checkpoints and camps for the rest of the soldiers to follow on there way to Basra. Other soldiers were told to sleep ready to take over from the soldiers who worked the night shift in the allied camp and to be ready for the invasion.

    Lee Carpenter was supposed to be sleeping ready to fight for freedom the following day but he couldn't sleep. The sounds of the war that had already begun kept him from getting any rest. He tossed and turned and jumped every time there was an explosion, no matter how distant. He looked around the sleeping quarters at the other beds. There were twenty of them and they were all empty apart from one. Most of his company were busy already preparing for war. He looked over at his colleague, Martin Richards, who lay eyes closed and very still on his bunk.

    Lee sat up and stretched, ''Mart, are you awake?''

    Martin opened one eye and looked at Lee, ''What's up?''

    ''I can't sleep.''

    ''What have a large scotch it always works for me.''

    Lee smiled, ''I know what your idea of a large Scotch is, I'd end up downing a pint of Glenmorangie.''

    Martin closed his eye again.

    ''I guess you can't sleep either Mart,''

    ''Yes I can.'' He opened his eye once again, ''well, I can if you let me. You should try and rest as well''

    Lee lay back down, ''Yes, of course buddy. I'll shut up.''

    Together they lay in silence for a few moments, ''Are you sure you can sleep?'' Lee said again.

    ''YES!'' snapped Martin, ''I can sleep just fine.''

    ''Through all of this noise??'' queried Lee.

    Martin sat up and sighed, ''What noise, all I can here is YOUR bloody voice.''

    ''What about the bombs, you can't kid me that you can sleep through that lot?''

    Martin stood up and stretched, ''This is pointless aint it. I can't understand you Lee mate, you've been in this biz for years. What are you worried about? You must have dodged more deadly bullets than Saddam himself.''

    Lee got up and sat on the edge of his bunk, ''You never get used to it, and there is always the time when the bullet dodging skills let you down.''

    ''You are such a happy person when you've had no sleep, this aint a war it's an argument between the biggest kid in the playground and a tiny, little, weakling, speccy kid who likes to try and push people around.''

    ''Nice analogy'' said Lee.

    Just then their commander, Tony Daniels walked into the room, ''Aaahh good, you guys are awake.''

    Martin gazed with angry, staring eyes at Lee for a moment then said, ''Yes sir, refreshed after forty winks.''

    ''I need you guys to go out and look for the wreckage of that last attack by the Iraqis.''

    ''Yes sir. But why?'' asked Lee.

    ''We think it may have been a Skud. We can't have him firing those at us.''

    ''A Skud, but I thought he hadn't got any?''

    ''Yeah that's right, so if it was a Skud we win a moral and PR victory straight away. He'll be using weapons he says he aint got and will be contravening UN resolution fourteen forty one. It'll give us the high ground and should win over some of those damn anti war supporters back home.''

    ''Yes sir, of course. We'll get on it as soon as day breaks.''

    ''Day break, you are going now.''

    Martin looked angrily again at Lee, ''Now sir''

    ''Yes, you'll need your bio-suits. If it was a skud and he's lied, he could be lying about chemical weapons too.''

    ''Yes sir, thank you sir.''

    ''Oh, and don't take too long guys. You are going to be needed in either the first or second wave. We'll be going in during the day tomorrow I'm almost certain of that. OK guys, I'll let you get on. There's a Land Rover waiting for you at the gates. You'll meet our chief weapons expert there. He'll drive you two to the impact zone. Good luck.''

    ''Thanks.'' They repeated.

    Lee sat down on the side of his bunk. Martin walked over to his locker and opened it removing his bio-suit and sighed, ''For fuck's sake Lee, why didn't you just let me sleep?''

    Lee laughed, ''He'd have woken your lazy ass up anyway.''

 

*

 

    The Land Rover was driven steadily out of the base gates and out towards the east by weapons expert Dave Smith. The sky was still dark mostly but a slight hint of sunshine was beginning to appear on the horizon ahead of them. They sat silently together as the vehicles crunched its way across the desert ground turning up dust that was barely visible in the early morning dusk.

    Martin broke the morning silence, ''Do you reckon there is any danger to us out here?''

    ''What do you mean?'' replied Lee.

    ''Snipers or hidden infantry soldiers.''

    Dave interrupted, ''No chance of that, the Iraqis aint got the kind of trained soldiers to cross the border to attack us first. Plus even they aint stupid enough to send there men into an area that they are shelling.''

    ''Why not,'' said Martin, ''The yanks often shell there own side.''

    Martin smiled at his comment for a moment but no one else did, it was a sensitive comment, because it could happen to them. They sat again in  silence for the rest of the journey. Within ten minutes they had made there way to the impact site. The Land Rover slowed down and then stopped a few feet from the crater in the ground.

    All three of them fastened up there bio-suits and attached there helmets, then got out of the Land Rover. Dave picked up a radiation counter from the dashboard as he left the drivers seat. Lee and Martin stood back and let him go first. Dave edged towards the hole and  began waving the counter every which way. He walked all the way around the hole several times and they came back over to them.

    ''OK, who's making notes.''

    Lee raised his hand and pointed to Martin, ''Got your notepad bud?''

    He placed his hand in his pocket and took out a small jotter and pencil.

    ''OK get this,'' said Dave, ''The impact is very small, about fifteen feet across, I doubt it was a skud. There's no wreckage and I'm only picking up background radiation. There is nothing here to suggest a Skud or anything nuclear.''

    ''What about mustard gas, or a biological attack?'' queried Lee.

    ''I won't know yet, I'll take samples and a few pieces of wreckage to examine back at base. Let me just get the gear from the car.''

    Dave turned around and headed back over to the Land Rover.

    ''What's that noise,'' said Lee.

    ''I can't hear a thing, bud. Are you sure you heard''

    Suddenly there was a brief whistling noise followed by a whoosh of air, then a huge explosion. The Land Rover burst into flames and flew apart. Dave was hit by the force of the explosion and flew twenty feet through the air. Lee and Martin fell to the floor and covered there heads with there hands.

    When they looked up they could see the shell of the Land Rover burning bright and intense. It was completely destroyed. They both stood up, the light from the flickering flames lit them up like Christmas trees.

    ''Holy shit, where's Dave?'' said Lee.

    They looked around then Dave pointed and began to run across the desert, ''There he is.'' Lee ran behind him.

    Dave lay on his back, his bio-suit had been ripped almost clean from him by the blast, just the helmet and the boots remained on him. A large piece of shrapnel from the rocket was embedded in his chest. Blood was flowing from him, like water over a waterfall. His eyes were wide open, staring upwards.

''He's dead.'' said Lee. He knelt down and removed the helmet and closed his eyes.

    ''We gotta get out of here, it's too dangerous to hang around,'' said Lee, ''We can send a recovery team for Dave later, we aint gonna be able to carry him back.''

    ''OK, so how far do you reckon we gotta walk back to base?''

    ''It was about seven miles I'd say, It'll take about two hours to do. We should set off now, if the sun comes up we are gonna be fucked without water.

    ''Ok, lets go.''

    The pair scanned the wreckage for a few moments to see if there was anything that they could salvage for there walk but their was nothing, just a blackened charred mess. They took one last look at Dave as he lay lifeless in the dusky Kuwaiti morning and then began to walk back along the trail that had led them there.

    After walking for about half a mile in silence Martin broke it. The sun had barely begun to appear above the horizon but the sky was beginning to fill with beams of sunshine.

    ''Lee, do you ever get used to it?''

    He paused, ''What?''

    ''The death. Do you ever get used to it?''

    ''Well. Not really. This is the first active service that I've done and what happened back there was bad. But it's part of the job. You've gotta forget that it's a man with a wife and kids and treat it as an occupational hazard. I've seen a few people die during accidents on maneuvers and a couple have even killed themselves on barracks, and you never get used to it. I wouldn't want to. If you get used to it, it means you are seeing it too much and I don't want to have to see it any more than necessary.''

    ''I guess so,'' mumbled Martin. He paused and they carried on walking, then he continued, ''Why did you join the forces mate?''

    ''You gonna talk my head off all the way back or something?''

    ''No I'm just making conversation,''

    Lee laughed, ''I'm joking buddy....''

    ''So you gonna answer me?'' Martin sounded sharp, seeing death, and the desert walk was beginning to bother him already. Lee raised his arm and patted him on the back between his shoulders a couple of times.

    ''Cool down mate, you wanna stop for a sec?''

    ''No let's carry on going.''

    ''OK anyway. Your question. I joined cus I wanted to see the world. I never guessed in a million years that the world was gonna become this crazy and dangerous a place.''

    ''I don't think it is a crazy place, not really. Just a small number of crazy people in the wrong jobs. But as a professional it's not my place to start talking politics''

    ''We do our jobs, we know that when we sign up to serve matey,'' Lee sounded upbeat, ''We do our duty and then we retire with a lovely pension with a bit of luck.''

    Lee winked his eyes and smiled to himself at the thought of his retirement, ''Anyway Mart why did you sign up?''

    ''Me, Ideology.''

    Lee laughed, ''Ha, Ha, the wrong reason I'm afraid. The reality can never live up to the fantasy. Anyway, what ideology was that?''

    ''I believed the hype, you know. September the eleventh and the threat from terrorists. I dodged the trip to Afghanistan, just. But didn't dodge this one! The strange thing is I wanted to fight the Taliban. But I don't wanna be here, today, doing this. I just wanna go home.''

    ''Go home!! You'll change your tune when we are greeted as liberators and we disarm that madman.''

    ''I suppose.''

    ''Of course, you just got what actors call 'first night nerves' once you are out in the theatre fighting you'll be OK.''

    ''Yeah, but then I'll have no choice.''

    ''You'll be fighting with me. We just take care of each other and it'll be over in a matter of weeks. I'll watch your back, you'll watch mine and before we know it we'll be back in Blighty supping beers at the bar in the barracks.''

    ''I hope so,'' said Martin.

    ''I know so.'' Said Lee.

 

*

 

    As Lee and Martin arrived within eye-shot of the gates a Land Rover was dispatched and came racing towards them at high speed. It stopped about twenty yards from them and out got the driver and two soldiers, all armed, pointing their guns straight at them.

    ''Hands in the air and identify yourselves. Now.'' There American accents gave them away. The thought of friendly fire raced through Lee's head again. They both stopped walking and stood there in there army issue bio suits, with hoods taken off, hanging behind them, and raised there hands in the air.

    ''My name is Lee Carpenter and this is Martin Richards, British Armed Forces.''

    ''On your knees, both of you.''

    Lee and Martin looked at each other and sighed, ''Fucking yanks,'' Martin whispered under his breath as they slowly lowered themselves down to the ground.

    ''No talking,'' screamed the American soldier as he walked over to them. He got to within a few feet of them and said again, ''Identify yourselves.''

    Again Lee replied, ''My name is Lee Carpenter and this is Martin Richards, British Armed Forces.''

    The American paused for a second, then took a small note from his pocket and read it to himself, ''Yeah you are the guys, you come with us, we'll take you back to base.'' He lowered his gun, turned and headed back to the Land Rover, ''OK guys back in the truck, we got our men.''

    Lee and Martin lowered there hands to there sides and slowly got back to their feet and joined there comrades who drove them the few hundred yards back to camp.

    Upon arrival back at base they were escorted to Commander Daniels office.

    The American soldier rapped on the door then said, ''You're OK now guys. Your commander is waiting to see you,'' then he disappeared back down the corridor whooping and hollering to fellow soldiers as he went. It was obvious he was excited for it all to start.

    ''Come in.'' shouted the commander and they both entered.

    They both saluted him, and he returned the gesture.

    ''Please sit down men, tell me what happened out there.''

    The commander walked around his large desk and took his seat, opposite him Lee and Martin rested in two small, red, leather seats.

    ''Well,'' started Lee, ''We came under attack. It was all over in a second. Our vehicle took a direct hit and was completely destroyed.''

    ''I see and what happened to Dave?''

    ''He's dead sir, he took a large piece of shrapnel in the chest and there was nothing we could do. Everything was destroyed, even the first aid kits, but they would have been useless anyway. His injuries were too severe.''

    ''Shit. The fucking war hasn't started and we already got a fatality any news on the attacks, did you get any evidence from the scene?''

    ''Not really Sir. Before he was killed Dave examined the first blast area and was pretty sure it wasn't a Skud. He also checked for radiation but again he picked nothing up. He didn't have time to do any more tests when he was killed.''

    ''Oh well. We had to check it out. I'm sorry we had to lose a guy doing it though.''

    Martin spoke up, ''When will he be recovered?''

    ''Soon enough, why do you ask?'' the commander was caught a little off guard by the comment.

    ''It's only fair, you did send him to his death today.''

    ''How dare you say that,'' shouted the commander, ''he was doing his job, I was doing my job. You are dismissed soldier. Don't say anything else, you wanna go in the front line, aye, do you?''

    ''No sir,'' said Martin, ''I'm sorry. I didn't mean to''

    ''Just go now, both of you, and get yourselves rested and ready. You are dismissed soldiers.''

    Lee and Martin got up and left.

    ''What the hell was that about?'' asked Lee.

    ''Nothing, I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything by it. I'm just a bit tired and a bit I dunno, shocked by what happened.''

    ''Well, just be careful. The commanders won't stand for insubordination, especially in the field so close to a war breaking out. You gotta be more careful. If they fear mutineers they will crush you. Your time here is gonna be bad enough, you've said that much already, don't make it worse for yourself.''

    ''I won't Lee, it's just no one had mentioned recovering Dave's body. I just wanted to make sure they didn't forget.''

    Lee put his hand on Martin's shoulder and lead him down the corridor, ''Come on, let's get a shower and have us an hour's kip. I might even let you get some sleep this time too.''

    ''Well, thank God for that,'' said Martin sarcastically,

    ''Yeah, sleep might make you less grouchy.''

 

*

 

    Later that day, when the soldiers awoke they were given there orders. They were to go out and fight with the first wave of attacks. They prepared the gear they would need to fight in the field. They would be heading through the demilitarized zone and into Iraq. Lee and Martin would be part of the company that would head to Umm Qasr and capture Iraq's only deep water sea port whilst the rest headed up the Al Fau peninsula towards the city of Basra.

    That afternoon as they packed there rucksacks HMS Ark Royal, which was stationed in the Persian Gulf began shelling the Southern border of Iraq along the demilitarized zone. A small number of elite American and British units started to move forward slowly. Behind them troops, including Lee and Martin loaded up there transports, and their weapons, and prepared to fight in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

 
Archived comments for The Sceptre of King Hammurabi (Ch.3)


Claire on 18-05-2006
The Sceptre of King Hammurabi (Ch.3)
Hey there hun,

Looks like you've tidied this up since the last time I saw it. You already know my thoughts on this so there's no point in me repeating myself.

Still having probs moving forward? Maybe you should pop it away in a drawer for a month or so, work on something else, take your mind from it.

Author's Reply:
I've not done a lot to this chapter Claire. It's almost the same as the one I sent you just slightly tidied in a couple of places. I am still having a struggle moving forward but I have started to go through the first two chapters and alter and edit things and even re-write chunks so that it reads better. The grammar also needs a lot of work so I've still got some things I can get on with. Once Ive done that I will put it away for a few weeks and then go back and re-read it and try again!

Cheers for your comment,

Jay.

Flash on 23-05-2006
The Sceptre of King Hammurabi (Ch.3)
hi Jay

To be honest m8, i think you're beginning to struggle, my own opinion on this chapter is that doesn't work at all. Aside from typos and grammar... i thought the dialogue to be totally unconvincing...unrealistic. The plot and layout is also getting shakey.

Perhaps a wee rest, a re-think, then re-writing the first three chapters again. This one i think needs a complete overhaul.

xxxx
Flashy

Author's Reply:
Hi there!

I am currently taking a rest from all writing for a week or two. Wanna get my Twisted Tongue interview sorted for Issue 3, that is my main priority now. But I will need to re-write all of this again from scratch. The thought of doing it is heart breaking as I have spent a while already writing what I have but as E-Griff says in an earlier comment - what work I put in now will save me a lot of hard work when I'm finished.

Cheers Flash,

Jay.


The Sceptre of King Hammurabi (Ch.2) (posted on: 05-05-06)
This is a first draft. I initially took it down because it's a work in progress but now that it's on permanent hold because of WANIAY I've put it back up. Enjoy.

 

    The limousine pulled up outside a huge palatial home. It was built out of red bricks with white windows and a big double, front door. The drive wound down to it from the front gates where a security guard patrolled outside a small security hut. The walls were high and several cctv cameras stared out on twenty four hour watch. The door opened to the limousine and Yousef stepped out. He turned and held his hand up to the heavies.

    ''No you guys stay here, I won't be long.''

    The heavies sat still, there gaze upon the floor continued. Yousef turned and walked over to the gates. The security guard saw him approach and leaned inside his hut pressing a button which slowly began to open the gates. 

    ''Afternoon Mr Mahmood'' the security guard nodded his head as he spoke.

    Yousef nodded back in acknowledgement but never spoke. He darted between the gates before they had finished opening. The security guard watched, made sure he was through and leaned back and pressed the button again to close the gates.

    He walked down the driveway towards the house and could see the twitching of the curtain at the window to the left of the front door. His mother was waiting impatiently for his arrival. The door opened and an old woman appeared, slightly hunched forward and very short. She held out her arms in anticipation. Yousef put his arms around his mother and she pulled him tightly against her squeezing him tight.

    ''Oh Yousef, I'm so glad that you are here. Come on in.''

    They finished embracing each other and Yousef followed his mother, who waddled slowly, into the hallway. The hallway was long and spectacular. To the right there was a large spiral staircase leading to the next floor. On either side of the corridor, which ran down into the bowels of the house were doors to various rooms. Pictures of Yousef and his mother and father were on every available space on the walls.

    ''How is he?'' Yousef said.

    His mother's eyes welled with tears, her expression turned to upset, wrinkles appeared on her forehead as she frowned.

    ''He's not well at all. The doctor has said he probably has not got long.''

    ''Did they find out what it was?''

    ''Yeah. The doctors found Cancer in his blood stream but they can't isolate it to anywhere inside him. They can't do anything for him now. The Cancer is secondary and its gonna kill him eventually.''

    ''So there is no hope for him?''

    ''No son.''

    ''Oh mum, this is terrible.'' Yousef put his arm around her.

    ''I know son, only God himself can save him.''

    ''I don't think even God can save him now mum. I want to go and see him.''

    ''OK son, but leave him if he sleeps, the rest does him good, makes him feel better.''

    Yousef kissed him mum on the forehead and walked upstairs. He moved slowly and precariously from step to step, unsure of what faced him behind his parents bed room door.

    He reached the landing and paused before going in. He took a deep breath and prepared himself to see the man who he'd had in his life for ever clinging to his own life. He turned the handle and gently tiptoed inside.

    The room was huge and bright. The eggshell coloured walls reflected the brilliant sunlight that shone through two huge windows at the far end. To his left was a king sized bed, above the head board a huge portrait of Yousef's mum and dad in a solid gold frame. Laying, eyes closed in the bed was the thin and gaunt figure of Yousef's father. He walked over and sat on a small ottoman next to his father and placed his hand upon the hand of his father.

    His father opened his eyes slowly, he squinted at the sunlight, then smiled as he focused upon the face of his son.

    ''Aaahh, my lad. Come to see this old fool one last time.'' He smiled as he spoke.

    Yousef felt tears begin to well up in his eyes and he rubbed them with his hands. He did not know what to say, he felt that their was nothing he could say to change anything. He felt awkward.

    ''Dad, how do you feel.''

    ''Like shit son, like shit.''

    His reply was so blunt and out of character. It stunned Yousef a little, hitting him off guard. Their was a moment of silence then Yousef's dad spoke again.

    ''How is business son, treating you well?''

    Yousef looked down at his feet and said nothing.

    ''That bad is it son? Surely not for a businessman like you?''

    He looked back up, ''Things are going great father, really well.''

    ''Are you sure son you seem very coy?''

    ''Please father, don't worry about me. You have to worry about yourself. This is not a time about business it is about you.''

    ''Help me to sit up Yousef.''

    Yousef stood and took his fathers hands pulling him upwards, his father struggled upwards and sat forward while Yousef plumped his pillows behind his head. His father fell slowly back and sighed with what sounded like pleasure.

    ''Thank you son, I feel much better now.''

    ''Your welcome father.''

    ''So has your mother told you about my predicament?''

    ''Yes dad.''

    ''And how is she coping?''

    ''She is a strong woman dad, but this is testing her. But you cannot worry about anyone but yourself''

    ''Son'' Yousef's father interrupted, he waved a single finger as he spoke ''I do worry and do you know why?''

    Before  Yousef could offer a reply he continued, ''because I am a father and a husband and it is my job to worry, to make sure you are OK. I always have and I always will. Whether I have a week left, a month or a year. I love you and your mother and I will not stop worrying about you. Me I've had a good life. There is no point in worrying about me, in fact it is stupid; we know the outcome of this illness'' Yousef's dad tapped his chest, ''I'm going to die. But without this illness I'm still mortal and I'm not getting any younger. Yousef you will be the eldest man in the family and it will fall upon you to take care of your mother. I know you will do this and do a great job. I have faith in you to do that.''

    Yousef began to cry, he leaned forward and held his head in his hands. Yousef's father stroked his head.

    ''Please do not cry for me son. I will be in a far better place than even this beautiful home. I have been lucky in life, professional and personal, but I will be rewarded after death in a way far greater than any man. The richest man on Earth is equal to but the poorest man in God's care''

    Yousef lifted his head from his hands and gazed into his dads eyes. His father smiled back at him with contentment and happiness.

    ''I love you dad and I cry because I will miss you so much.''

    ''You must let me go son, it is Gods will to take me. Nothing more, nothing less. I love you too son but we'll see each other again some day''

    Yousef held his dads hand and wished that he had as much faith as his father. Yousef realized that money had been his religion all of his life, but right now it was offering him very little comfort.

    ''Father, I must go now. I have business to attend to. But I'll be back to see you I promise you that.''

    Yousef leaned forward and kissed his father's head.

    ''Thank you for coming son, God bless you.''

    Yousef nodded at his father and tried to smile through his anguished expression and tears. Then he got up and walked out of the room. After wishing his mother a good day and promising her too he would soon return to visit he left to carry on with business, haunted by the vision of his sick father which refused to leave his minds eye.

 

*

 

    Yousef sat in the back of the limousine in silence with his heavies. He'd ordered the driver to take him back to the cellar where Mohammed sat chained to the wall. For the entire journey he sat in silence, his companions sitting in silence staring at there feet.

    Upon arrival at the small brick building that housed the cellar beneath he ordered his men to stay put. He took the key from his jacket and left the car, entering the building alone.

    The door creaked open and Yousef slowly stepped inside. The daylight shone in behind him casting his shadow long before him. He saw Mohammed in the corner. He held his free arm up to his face to shade his squinting eyes from the light.

    ''Who is there?'' Mohammed called out.

    ''It's me.''

    ''What do you want with me now? You think I have come up with an idea in about an hour to get you your money?''

    Yousef walked over and stood next to Mohammed's disheveled, dirty form and looked down upon him.

    ''I'm here to set you free.''

    Mohammed looked up and the two men stared at each other for a few seconds in silence, disbelief appeared in Mohammed's eyes.

    ''Why,'' he said, ''Why do you choose to set me free now? You wanted to kill me earlier for five hundred thousand dollars,''

    ''Yes I know, you still owe me the money, I'm giving you the chance to get it.''

    ''OK so what's changed in an hours time Mr Mahmoud?''

    Yousef lifted his trousers a little and knelt. He took the chain in his hand and with the sound of a tiny pop he opened the padlock and it fall to the ground setting Mohammed's hand free.

    ''My father is dying,'' he said.

    Yousef continued to sit in stunned disbelief, ''What's wrong with him?''

    ''Cancer there is nothing they can do for him.''

    ''I'm so sorry Mr Mahmoud,'' despite his ordeal Mohammed felt pity for him.

    ''Mohammed, I can't kill you over a silly debt when my father is so ill. Even if you paid me the money right now it would not change a thing. It cannot buy my father his health back.''

    ''Yes sir, I understand. Than you for your compassion. I appreciate it greatly.''

    ''Please call me Yousef, and I apologise to you too. All of this was a major overreaction, lets say I give you time to pay me back lets say a year. Do you accept?''

    ''I think paying you back might not be so hard, Yousef. I accept.''

    ''What do you mean?'' Yousef queried.

    ''Well the war has begun in Iraq and I have a few, lets call them 'friends' who are planning to make the most of this terrible situation.''

    ''Go on'' Yousef said.

    ''I have a cousin in Baghdad right now with three friends of his. They anticipated the war. It was obvious that it was going to happen, so they have been scouting libraries and the National Museum in the city for artifacts that could fetch a tidy sum on private markets abroad.''

    ''You mean they are looters, thieves?''

    ''Well'' Mohammed paused, ''they can be described like that yes.''

    ''I don't deal with common criminals.'' Yousef stood up, he sounded disgusted.

    ''If you want your money, it's the easiest and quickest way and its better that we get our hands on the things of value. Some of those people in the city won't have a clue. They will loot priceless artifacts and swap them for a couple of donkeys. They are idiots.''

    ''Can you get them out of the country safely?''

    ''er yes, maybe, I dunno without speaking to my cousin.''

    ''I tell you what, you come with me tonight, I'll put you up in a hotel in the centre of Damascus. Tomorrow I'll sort out transport to the border, you should be able to get across without trouble into the Syrian desert, I can get you a satellite phone too so you can contact me or your cousin at any time.''

    ''OK thank you. Thank you so much.''

    Mohammed got up and stood, a little stooped, he offered out his hand and Yousef shook it firmly. They walked out together and got into the Limousine which slowly drove off towards the city.

*

 

    The following morning Mohammed was picked up bright and early from his hotel room. He dressed in white trousers, a grey shirt and sandals. He was taken down to the lobby by a guide who had been sent by Yousef to take care of him until he reached the border. The guide was a Bedouin with very dark, leathery skin and long flowing clothing.

    Together they got into the car, never chatting once. The guide had tried to strike up conversation once but Mohammed decided not to say anything as he was unsure what he knew of the mission. They drove west for about two and a half hours when they stopped at a tiny house in the middle of the desert. Parked outside was an old land rover vehicle. The guide got out, followed by Mohammed. The guide took a set of keys from his gown and opened the boot of the car.

    ''In here, if you look carefully, you will see everything that you will need to survive. There is your cell phone the charger should be in the glove box. Here you have a bosh of water and some tinned food and dried fruit. This should last you until you get to Baghdad. The tank is full of fuel and their should be four thousand US dollars inside a packet in the glove box also. Any questions?''

    ''Is the border open, will I be stopped?''

    ''Not here,'' the Bedouin replied, ''The border is very porous around this part because it only leads into Iraq's desert. There is not much for hundreds of kilometers.''

    ''OK'' said Mohammed.

    ''Any more questions before I go?''

    ''No sir, that seems to be everything.''

    ''Well I bid you farewell and a safe journey, you must be crazy going into that country, everyone else is trying to get out,'' the guide laughed out loud to himself then handed the keys over, ''the border is about three miles away. Just keep driving along this road,'' he pointed at the dusty dirt track that head off into the desert and the distance. Mohammed nodded, ''Thanks,'' he said.

    The Bedouin guide turned around, got back into his vehicle and drove away. Mohammed took the cell phone from the boot and slammed it shut. He got in and placed it on the passenger seat. He opened the glove box to check that the charger was there. It was, as was a pair of old sunglasses. He took them and put them on. He started up the engine and began to drive down the road to Iraq.

 
Archived comments for The Sceptre of King Hammurabi (Ch.2)


e-griff on 05-05-2006
The Sceptre of King Hammurabi (Ch.2)
mate, I will go back and read the whole, with my picky eye switched off, and comment on the spirit of the work. BUT if you ever hope to get your work accepted, you HAVE to get some of the grammar right.

eg: Built out of red bricks with white windows and a big double front door.

IS NOT a bloody sentence! (meant kindly) 🙂

off to read all..................

Author's Reply:
Just for you Griffy I've done a temporary patch up job on this sentence.


e-griff on 05-05-2006
The Sceptre of King Hammurabi (Ch.2)
grammar, punctuation, need attention. Plotting/exposition...

I would say, in a friendly way: my best advice is to write some short pieces and start getting them right before embarking on a novel.

that's what I had to do to learn things when I started (not long ago) (whatever I know now).

blunt advice, but honest, OK?

Author's Reply:
Your comments seems to be saying 'I've failed already so why bother.' I take your critiicism on board but feel that writing short stories aint the same as writing a novel. I'm trying hard and I know it aint enough. I won't be subbing any more of my rubbish novel after this piece anyways so you are saved from that.

Cheers for taking the time to comment before and after reading.

Jay.

Claire on 06-05-2006
The Sceptre of King Hammurabi (Ch.2)
Hey there hun,

First off, don't be daft and post your next chapter when you're ready. You ain't failed.

I couldn't help but read egriff's comment - he is right with one thing 'grammar, punctuation, need attention' it is a stage that all writers go through - I think it's a stage we never fully grow out of, I'm forever learning new things about this writing lark.

I disagree about his advice on getting short stories correct first. There a loads of writers out there who NEVER write a short story but hit it on the head with novels. And of course there's the writers who never write that novel, all they write are short pieces.

Actually, I did read an article, can't remember where, that said writing short stories is harder than writing novels... I'll have to try and find it, it was very interesting.

Anyways, I think egriff could have pointed out one or two of your bad mistakes (bad egriffy) he normally does, he's helped me heaps since I joined UKA. I believe it was him who said to me when giving out negative always give something constructive...

Enough of that, why don't you PM him and ask for further advice, his bite ain't that hard.

Forgetting the grammar and everything else, I think you have a very complex story, which does need further work, BUT it is a first draft, and for a first draft I think it's not bad at all. It does have the makings of something decent, which with several edits, yes hun several we all have to do it, it can work.

I've also read that novels can be wrote in several ways and one of the ways is to write the first draft without worrying about mistakes, once the plot is sorted then you worry about what needs fixed.

Keep going hun, don't let one comment put you off - as a writer you gotta accept that there will be negative steps on your way... just change them to something positive. ;^)

Author's Reply:
Hi Claire,



I am going to turn over a new leaf and take on board the criticisms. I have PMed Griffy today to explain that I felt he was taking a bite out of me so I had a bite at him too. Is silly I know. I'll be leaving submitting anymore of the novel for now. I'll wait until the first draft is finished and edited a bit better. I understand what Griffy and you are saying. So I will be working harder on my novel from today. Sadly it'll mean I have less time for UKA, especially as I have commitments to Twisted Tongue magazine [issue 2 now available at Lulu.com ;-)]



Thanks very much for your comments and advice.



Jay.x

e-griff on 07-05-2006
The Sceptre of King Hammurabi (Ch.2)
Having read my comment: First I do apologise for being blunt and peremptory. My only excuse is (unbeknownst to me at the time) I was becoming ill (see journal). My deep thanks to Claire for partially redeeming the situation (I hope).

I should have been gentler, and I have answered your PM to explain. (my respect in that while your PM was forceful, it was polite and reasonable) I just saw a guy who at first sight was ploughing on with a whole novel when he could get it right (or almost) at the beginning and save ten times the work to polish it at the end.

I have said to other writers before - the key thing is having ideas, imagination and a story to tell - not everyone has that. Getting the technical parts right may be a bore, but it's not that hard - anyone can learn it! So I'm not saying give up - I'm saying take a bit of time out NOW and save yourself a lot of unecessary work later.

As to the short story - OK, maybe I mean let's see one chapter polished up and presented. At the moment the lack of presentation is obscuring the story, so it's hard for me at least to comment on the story itself.

best JohnG

Author's Reply:

Flash on 23-05-2006
The Sceptre of King Hammurabi (Ch.2)
Hi Jay

The Western jargon you use in conveying an Arab's mode of conversation is a little off putting, when he talks to his parents and guards for instance.

I thought this was weaker than the first part, rushed and so directly written, it feels as if you're impatient when writing sometimes.

But the rushed technique is still making me visualise this as a comicbook/novel.

Certainly don't give up.

xxxx
Flashy

Author's Reply:
Hi Flash,

You are right, this was rushed, I dunno how you can tell. I need to go back as you already said on Chapter 1 and re-write the thing. I'm not too bothered about it being comicbook/novel. In fact that idea makes my story come alive better than trying to write it too seriously! I won't give up Flash, not until I've exhausted myself trying!

Jay.

Jolen on 28-05-2006
The Sceptre of King Hammurabi (Ch.2)
Hi Jay,
I am glad to hear you aren't giving up, but as they said, learning things now will help in the long run. I can't tell you how many times Len and I have both rewritten pieces. Each time we learn more. I think you have an interesting story.

I hope this finds you well.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:


The Sceptre of King Hammurabi (Ch.1) (posted on: 24-04-06)
This is a first draft. I initially took it down because it's a work in progress but now that it's on permanent hold because of WANIAY I've put it back up. Enjoy.

 

    A man hung upside down by his feet from a long rope secured to the roof of a stone cellar. The cellar itself was huge and freezing, the cold grey walls were dusty in places and dank in others. It smelled of death. Bones lay in a corner that resembled human arms and legs. The south side showed a huge long corridor that ran down to a huge steel door. The man was alone. He swung from side to side as he struggled to try to release his hands which were secured behind his back with a tightly fitted plastic tie wrap. Sweat ran up his forehead and dripped to the blood stained floor below.

    A sudden squeak then crash of steel marked the unlocking of the door. Its steel frame flew open and slammed against the wall of the corridor making a huge crashing sound which caused the man to scream out, ''Aaaaahhhhh.''

    In stepped a tall man in an electric blue suit. Arab in appearance and extremely frightening, his face scarred with knife wounds below his left eye. His gaze was harsh, his eyes like slits and his mouth was straight and serious looking. His cheeks were covered in stubble. He walked with a slow confidence along the corridor flanked by two burley looking men both muscle bound and equally as angry looking and menacing. Only the suit separated the first man from the other two.

    As they entered the cellar chamber, both of the heavies stopped and flanked either side of the corridor like bouncers of a nightclub. The suited man walked across and stood a few feet from the man hanging like a chicken in a butchers shop window. 

    ''Mr Mahmoud, please cut me down. I can't take this any more.''

    Mister Mahmoud held his hand out.

    ''Where is my money?''

    ''What?''

    ''You heard me, where is my money?''

    The man hung upside down and a confused look appeared across his face as if he had been asked why he had chose to hang there at all.

    ''What money, I don't owe you any money.''

    ''Mohammed, don't make this any harder for yourself than it has to be. Please co-operate my patients are running thin.''

    ''But Mr Mahmoud I don't know what you are talking about, are you accusing me of stealing? I haven't ever stolen a cent from you.''

    ''How long have I employed you Mohammed?''

    Mohammed looked even more confused, wondering where all of this was leading.

    ''Twelve years'' he replied.

    ''I think you will find its nearer thirteen years. And I have always treated you well, like a brother, so where is my money?''

    There was an uncomfortable silence for a few seconds.  Then Mister Mahmoud lowered himself slightly, almost to the floor, pulling his trousers upwards with his hands slightly so his knees didn't leave creases. He crouched eye to eye.

    ''Mohammed, please don't make this harder than it has to be. Now, where is my money?''

    The question now began to ring in Mohammed's ears, he wondered how many times Mister Mahmoud would ask him the same question over and over before he too became tired of it.

    ''I don't have your money.'' Mohammed began to feel sick with fear.

    ''You don't have five hundred thousand dollars that I cleared for you last week?''

    ''You gave me that money to invest, and I did what you asked, it's lost.

    Mahmoud looked perplexed, he furrowed his brow, ''Lost, how is it lost?''

    ''Your investments, Yousef they''

    Mister Mahmoud raised his hand and slapped Mohammed across the face silencing him, ''Remember your place, you dog, You call me Mr Mahmoud.''

    Again there was a moment of silence then Mohammed replied, ''Yes Mr  Mahmoud. I apologise''

    ''OK I'll ask you one more time, where's my money?''

    ''Mr Mahmoud, your investments failed. The companies you asked me to put your money in are struggling.''

    ''I don't want to hear excuses. I just want my money back.''

    ''But Mr Mahmoud, the bombing has started in Iraq. What could I do? Markets everywhere are falling as a result, there was nothing I could do to save your money.''

    Mohammed began to swing slightly with greater fear, ''I can get your shares sold, but I can't get all of your money back, its impossible. There value has fallen so much. It would take years for them to rise to there previous levels.''

    Mr Mahmoud raised his right hand and placed a single finger on his lips, ''Shhhhhh, I told you I don't want to hear such things. You've had your chances Mohammed, thirteen years of them. I've been like a brother to you, and you allow something like this to happen. Five hundred thousand US dollars is a lot of money. I can't afford to lose that.''

    Mr Mahmoud paused, ''So how are you going to repay me?''

    Again an uncomfortable silence filled the cellar.

    ''PPPlease don't kill me Mr Mahmoud. I beg for you to spare me. Please''

    Mohammed held his hands together in a praying motion and waved them, he began to cry. His tears ran up across his forehead and dripped one by one to the floor landing in the dried blood.

    ''I tell you what. I'll give you twenty four hours,''

    ''What can I do locked up in here Mr Mahmoud? I can't get you your money whilst in here?''

''Well you got twenty four hours - then you can tell me how you are going to repay me, if you have nothing for me then, you will die.''

    ''Ttwenty four hours. I need more time. Please''

    ''Twenty four hours is my offer, take it or leave it. Or I could just kill you know? I'll leave you now to think.''

    ''Pllease don't do this Mr Mahmoud. You said yourself we are like brothers. Brothers don't do this. Please I beg you.''

    Mr Mahmoud ignored  his pleas and turned to one of his heavies, ''Cut him down and chain him to the wall like the dog he is and lets get out of here.''

    The heavy walked over and produced a knife from a sheath strapped to his ankle. For a second he taunted Mohammed, pretending to stab at his face and throat. Mohammed struggled to pull away from the taunts and screamed out a few times, Then laughing the heavy sliced easily through the thick rope. Mohammed crashed to the ground with a sickening thud, bruising the side of his face and his ribs. The heavy grabbed his ankle and dragged him across to a manacle that was bolted firmly to the wall. Mohammed felt too weak to put up a struggle and knew it would be fruitless to do so anyway. The manacle was closed tightly around his ankle and the key removed. The heavy walked back over to Mr Mahmoud, who stood watching with no emotional expression, and handed him the key. He placed it carefully into the inside pocket of his double breasted jacket.

    ''This time tomorrow you'll die if you cannot come up with something, I need my money Mohammed and you need your life.''

    Mohammed remained silent, staring with concerned wide eyes at his captors.

    ''C'mon let's go.'' Mr Mahmoud turned and walked back down the corridor followed by his two heavies. The huge metal door slammed shut behind them leaving an echo that seemed to resonate for minutes. The heavy bolt lock slid and clicked into place with a loud metallic thump. Mohammed was alone with his thoughts again, slowly the dizziness of being hung upside down began to subside and he wondered what he was going to do.

 

*

 

    Yousef climbed into his dark black limousine, his muscle bound heavies struggled inside and sat opposite him like two identical Toby jugs, both sitting legs wide apart and hands together between them. Yousef sat alone opposite them. He leaned forward and held his hands in his face for a few moments as the driver started up the engine and the car pulled away down the busy Central Damascus road. Yousef rubbed his face several times then leaned back, sighing.

    ''I don't want to kill him. But I need that money back. It's my fathers. I was investigating it for him. I dunno what I'm gonna tell him now. He aint been too well lately and this will sadden and upset him. I don't wanna let him down.''

    The heavies just sat staring down at the floor of the limousine. They were not ones for small talk and they knew there place well. They did not answer Yousef back even in conversation. They were there to listen only.

Suddenly Yousef's mobile phone began to ring and he pulled it from his pocket and answered, ''Hello mother.'' He paused and listened intently for a few seconds. His face became distorted with shock, his mouth fell open and his eyes widened, ''I shall be there as soon as I can, take care of him.''

    Yousef closed his phone and leaned forward to speak to the driver.

    ''I need to go to my mother's house urgently.''

    ''Yes sir.''

    The driver put his foot down and the car gathered speed.

 

   
Archived comments for The Sceptre of King Hammurabi (Ch.1)


Jen_Christabel on 24-04-2006
The Sceptre of King Hammurabi
I thoroughly enjoyed this and am waiting for the next chapter.
Good write Jay, kept me interested.
Jennifer :o)

Author's Reply:
Hi Jen,

Thanks for your kind coment. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. Thanks also for the email, crit is welcome always and I don't mind you making it public - after all what you said in the email was not crit really it was correct and I loved the fact you took time to email! 😉

Don't be shy in critting me on UKA. I don't mind!

Jay.x

HelenRussell on 25-04-2006
The Sceptre of King Hammurabi
This held my interest to the end, and I am curious what direction this will take.

Couple of points, I think 'patients are' should be 'patience is', and I noticed confusion between there and their a couple of times.
I also wondered if you could find an alternative word for 'heavy' - I realise it was referring to the same person, but it was used several times within the same short paragraph which jolted a little for me.

Hope this helps, this has the makings of a good story.
Regards
Sarah


Author's Reply:
Hi Sarah aka Helen

Thanks for your comments. I've re-read the story and have noticed the "patients" error, how stupid!!! I agree with the other bits too. Heavy is used a lot in that one paragraph, I'll have a tidy up of this piece and re-sub it. I might try sticking the edit on the uka-yahoo crit site and you can have another look at it then.

Jay.

Claire on 25-04-2006
The Sceptre of King Hammurabi
Hey there hun, it's good to see you posting your novel on here. I hope you get all the feedback you need.

It's not bad for a first draft, yeah there's a few typos etc, but all those can be ironed out at a later date, when you sit down and edit and then re-edit...

The first chapter is deffo interesting, so far it's working well.

Keep it going hun.

Author's Reply:
Hi Claire,

Cheers for commenting, I know you've already had the first few chapters to read for a while now, and I know your thoughts. Nice you come back to comment though! The same old errors have been made by myself it seems, so I need to keep an eye on those. I'm glad it's enough to hold the interest of the reader. I hope chapter 2 aint a let down for everyone who's enjoyed this first installment.

Jay. x

niece on 26-04-2006
The Sceptre of King Hammurabi
I think this is a veryinteresting first chapter- Good work! Looking forward to the following chapters!
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Hi Niece,

Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad that you enjoyed it. So far I only have 4 chapters complete, about 10,000 words, so I will be subbing those but as for the rest I'm afraid it'll be a case of "time will tell!" Writing a novel is the hardest thing I've ever attempted.

cheers again!

Jay.

Jolen on 05-05-2006
The Sceptre of King Hammurabi (Ch.1)
Hi Jay.. I agree, this held my interest. I enjoyed it. A few things seemed to be overdone in descriptions, but over all a very enjoyable read and I will look at the next chapter asap.
I hope you are well.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Hi Jolen,

It seems that I have a habit of overdoing the descriptions sometimes and this can make the story drag a little. It's something I'm hoping to sort out once the first draft is complete. Which wont be for a few months/years yet. It's hard work finding the time to sit and have a good go at writing. Don't enjoy it too much though, chapter 2 is likely to be the final chapter I submit.

Jay.x

wfgray on 07-05-2006
The Sceptre of King Hammurabi (Ch.1)
The story gets better as you read it. The story line is good and topical. It had me interested from start to finish. Will

Author's Reply:
Hi Will,

Thanks for reading and leaving such a nice comment. It's still a very raw piece of writing and needs a re-write or at least a lot of editing to get it up to scratch. But I'm glad you liked it.

Jay.

Flash on 23-05-2006
The Sceptre of King Hammurabi (Ch.1)
Jay it does need editing and cleaning for mistakes m8, but it was quite engaging and held my attention. A bit like a cheesy Indiana jones adventure would.

I think this might have potential for a comicbook/novel rather than a conventional novel...i felt the description and plot was a bit cliche, and has been done before.

Still interesting tho

xxxxx
Flashy

Author's Reply:
Hi Flash,

Indiana Jones was the inspiration for this story actually. The idea for my story I have had swishing around in my bonce for a while. I agree it is more comic book novel than serious novel and I agree that the work is raw and needs a lot of work. But this is the first draft and I have already begun to tidy it up bit by bit. As for cliche - that's my middle name 😉

Cheers for the feedback!

Jay.


British Psycho (posted on: 10-04-06)
I wrote this in response to the forum thread "Where is everybody" posted by Helen. It's a little something I knocked out Friday evening after a crap week at work and few large glasses of Brandy.

The figure removed the DVD from his computer and laughed. ''What the fuck is that?'' He looked down at the DVD cover, reading 'America Psycho' ''Always crap yanks what the fuck they know about the world. A country about three hundred years old. On a planet billions of years old! Wake up. Call that a psycho!'' His mind wandered to the primeval thoughts of human kind, 'Were they like us years ago,' he thought 'Were they the same? Different? Maybe, maybe not? Is a modern psycho really that scary? Have humans ever been really bad? Individually, what are humans capable of - one on one? Can we sink lower than the lowest thoughts of our own mind?' his mind danced with these thoughts and he felt confused. He lifted the knife from the belt of his underpants and looked at it against a small light bulb that hung above him in his twilight bed-sit. ''I could cut a thousand heads off with this.'' He said then he smiled, trying hard not to break into a laugh. He walked over to his CD player and hit the play button, a slow whirring sound was replaced with the first few chords of Metallica's 'Wasting My Hate' he stood back and gently mimed the words to himself. He turned and removed his dirty cotton t-shirt from his back and threw it across the room, catching on the light bulb. The bulb swung making shadows dance in the dullness of the room. The music sung out loud enough to shake the windows. ''America, America!! Who the fuck.'' His voice tapered off and he fell to his knees and began to sob. ''Those bastards, fuck them'' He jolted awkwardly and stood up, wiping the tears from his face he shouted, ''Friendly fire, what the fuck does that mean, my brother never heard of that he didn't stand a chance'' He stood up and turned to face his kidnapped American tourist. The tourists eyes wide and tearful with fear. He raised the knife above his head and jumped upon his captive screaming his brother's name. ''God bless you brother, I spill this blood in your name.'' He brought the knife down as hard as he could, the first cut to the throat pumped blood over his own face and chest as he continued to stab, over and over and over again. Each time with as much ferociousness as he could muster. After death, and out of breath, he cleaned up and put on BBC Three. Then hoped he'd get another one before he was caught.
Archived comments for British Psycho
Flash on 10-04-2006
British Psycho
Hi James
Already given my view to you on this.So just a couple things i spotted later.

Below you switch from third person narrative to first, the character becomes the narrator rather than the observed, and starts talking to us directly in mid sentence.

*His mind wandered to the primeval thoughts of human mind, ‘Where they like us years ago, where they the same? Different? Maybe, maybe not? Is a modern psycho really that scary, have humans ever been really bad? I don’t mean like the Holocaust. Don’t misinterpret me. That was a bad thing. No people, like the Jews have suffered before them so much. But individually, what are humans capable of one on one? Can we sink lower than the lowest thoughts of our own mind?’ *

In the sentence below i think * On a planet billions year old,* sounds better than "On a planet of billions of years old."

“Always crap… yanks… what the fuck they know about the world. A country about three hundred years old. On a planet of billions of years old! Wake up. Call that a psycho!”

I know this is a flash piece of fiction, but i think you could extend it to a 1.000 words and improve it. A promising atmospheric beginning was marred by i thought by an abrupt frenzied ending.

xxxx
Flashy





Author's Reply:
Hi Flash,

Cheers for reading. Some very good points made by yourself young man. Thanks for taking the time to pick over this. I'll take into account what you have said and make the changes I think suit.

Thanks for commenting.

Jay.

thehaven on 10-04-2006