Tag Archive: short story
They sat at the bar. An attractive blonde woman beside them. There was scrabble board in front of them.
Kim placed a tile, an ‘E’ above a lone ‘W’. ‘EW’. Jim began laughing. ‘That’s not a fucking word.’ turning to the blond woman for confirmation.
Falling into contemplation the woman disagreed and began to suddenly metamorphose into a mass of piss, vomit and foetal shit.
The smell reminiscent of a bookshops unpulped self help section.
Also by David Noone: The Girl in the Window
I just wrote a review of my short story ‘The Vertigo’ on google books. Does that make me a bad person? In my defense I have had a few whiskys. Or is it whiskeys? I only gave in 3 stars – and that’s an honest review. I can do better. 😉
As a bonus the review also includes a paragraph from the short story i’m working on at the moment.
EDIT: I’ve just been informed that the review isn’t there. Maybe it’ll be there in the future, but for amusement value here it is:
I writ this. It’s alright it is. a bit old, and i’ve moved on to stranger and more interesting places as a writer since but it’s got a cool twist. Actually, after i wrote this i started on a novel which, although I haven’t touched it for a few years, I still think about all the time. This was published last october (2011) and since then I’ve been working on a follow-up (unrelated) in a very lackadaisical fashion. It’s really not a good way of working for someone who wants to make a living from writing someday. Still, i’m totally digging it. Here’s a preview:
” The bus was lit up like a department store display. From the outside it made you feel like you were a scientist watching human specimens behind a two-way mirror. Once you past the threshold and dropped your fare into the waiting slot it was more like being in a kitchen sink remake of a Warhol film. Nothing happening very slowly. The journey took 40 minutes, out of the city to some forgotten corner of suburbia. The factory was hidden from view by a manmade microforest of young Norway Spruces. Like every day was christmas. Mathias was glad he couldn’t see them in the failing light that filtered through his goggles. It was part of the reason he had changed over from the dayshift; seeing that in the sunlight was just a reminder of how devoid of affectation he had become. ”
I’ve given ‘The Vertigo’ 3 stars because, well, I wrote it. It’s not that I don’t like it – I think it is well written, quite well structured, it’s just I know I can do better. Still, you could do a lot worse for the price.
it can be found in multiple formats here -> http://jms-books.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/vertigo-by-av-cheshire.html
Be seeing you…
A. V. Cheshire
A gentle, well written and surprising piece of flash fiction. Another from the Pygmy Giant, because I think I might be falling for them, not because I’ve sent them some stuff of mine in the hope they’ll publish me. 😉
The last removal truck winds its way down the drive and peace settles once again over the avenue. The rooks, which have congregated in the elm trees throughout the day, occasionally rising into the air in dark clouds of agitation, begin their evensong.
I see cardboard and wrapping paper drifting idly around the bushes, and the odd toy flung unnoticed in some remote corner of the garden. A cool breeze stirs the raspberry bushes, laden with fruit that will remain unpicked this year, and daisies droop on the overgrown lawn.
They’ve gone, this family who have been the focus of my attention for the last twenty five years, moving on with scarcely a backward glance at me.
For days I look out, wondering if one of them might come back for some forgotten item, or perhaps to say goodbye properly. They never said they were leaving, but then, who am I to figure in their plans? How could they know how central they were to my existence?
Sometimes, if I listen carefully, I think I hear the children at play in the garden, running along the drive with excited squeals and giggles. Dogs bark, stirring the leaves of the rhododendrons as they go in frantic pursuit of imaginary cats or rabbits.
With little else to occupy my time, I admit I’ve deliberately snooped on them, involved myself in the minutiae of their lives. I watched dubiously when the young couple first moved in, but my reservations turned to joy as they brought their first child home from the hospital. The baby cried all night that first week, and they shushed her repeatedly, no doubt worrying about the neighbours, but for me the sound heralded hope for the future, maybe some kind of permanency.
Three more children were to follow over the years, together with a succession of noisy, enthusiastic dogs who dug up everybody’s gardens. It didn’t matter. There was such vitality in this family, you’d forgive them everything.
Everything except leaving.
::::::::::::::: Follow me for the rest :::::::::::::
Sandra Crook’s other work can be found here, where she also takes the opportunity to remove your will to live with her photos and cruising reports from the French waterways.
Fellow JMS Books publishee Clare London is having a free fiction link fest over on her livejournal to celebrate her birthday including a well messed up short story of mine called ‘The Curious Adventures of Lord Fuckington.’
JMS specialises in queer romance and erotica so if you’re squeamish about a lil male on male literary action you might wanna give Mrs London’s free fiction love-in a miss -but if you’re a straight woman (like the majority of the authors of gay male lit-porn) or a gay man who would like a lil titulation I urge you to check it out! Here’s the link to the page with my story on it. I’m sure you can find the rest for yourself!
Samuel O’Neil has a life most people would commit horrendous crimes to achieve. He is an international playboy, acclaimed businessman, and esteemed academic … it seems he can do no wrong. Yet on the eve of what should be the zenith of his career, something doesn’t feel right. Certain somebody is messing with him he turns all his attention to finding out who and why.
But as he begins to unravel the mystery, he realizes he is in danger of also unraveling himself.
Ye Gods! It has finally happened. After many many years of writing and honing, toiling away in obscurity and waiting for the great artistic myth of being discovered to be thrust upon me, it actually has been! Through a series of accidents involving chatting to complete strangers online my work is now available for purchase!
Through the good grace of one J.M. Synder, and her lovely small press J.M.S Books my short story “The Vertigo is available for digital download. Shit, it’s even on amazon and a bunch of other places! ( US link / UK link )
Right now I am working in a prawn factory. From 5pm till 2am I arrange prawns on a conveyor belt to be mooshed and deshelled, or i pick through prawn meat removing bits of shell that have escaped the process. It is, if i’m honest, back breaking and somewhat disgusting work. It does (or will) though pay the bills. It’s not good for my mental state though, oh no, not good at all. Some of the people I work with are… well, they’re assholes. Worse still, they’re stupid assholes. Also, I’m not exactly awesome at the job. In fact, I suck at most of the jobs I’ve ever had.
The only thing I even begin to approach not sucking at is writing. The only thing that actually stops me from going on a murderous killing spree which inevitably ends with me taking my own life is the knowledge that, some day, I will make a living from writing. Self delusion is a powerful thing.
But maybe it doesn’t have to be self-delusion. Maybe I can make a living from writing. Hell, maybe you can even help me achieve this dream!
Please, have an excerpt:
Last night, all he’d felt was a lonely vertigo. A vertigo he’d been compelled to throw himself into. Samuel did not like this feeling, this giddy desire for oblivion, had never felt it before in his life. This morning it felt like all he’d ever known.
He rose from the large, luxurious bed and padded across the faux-marble floor to the dumbwaiter that served the privacy of whoever could afford the $1,000-a-night price-tag. Sensing his proximity and its current load, the hatch slid silently open to reveal a silver cart which held a breakfast of coffee and croissants, both kept at optimum temperature by the dumbwaiter’s heating element. The morning’s Times lay beside the meal, sealed in a milky material shot through with veins of what looked like copper, designed to keep it cool. Samuel rolled the cart out of its enclosure.
Sitting in the lounge area of the open-plan penthouse, Samuel poured himself a coffee and, taking a bite from one of the croissants, turned his attention to the newspaper. Unwrapping it from its hermetic cocoon, he was struck by the anachronism of the ritual. He could get more up-to-date and varied information from feeds online, but he enjoyed his morning ceremony far too much to be bothered by its antiquity. In fact, the idea that his actions had been repeated by hundreds of thousands of people all throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries gave him a sense of peace, of being connected to something larger than himself. He imagined the feeling was similar to believing in God and, at the moment, it was a feeling he so desperately needed.
On the bed the woman began to stir, possibly roused by the aroma of food that had begun to diffuse through the room. He paused in his routine and tried to recall her name. He could not. Pangs of sadness flooded his system, but he quickly dispelled them as he pulled the paper free of its wrapper, unfolded it with a flick of the wrist, and took in the lead headline.
“Your life is not your own.”
The vertigo enveloped him, filled every part of him. His head spun, sank, swimming in treacle he felt himself plummet. Images and moments he’d never seen or experienced tripped and stuttered through his mind’s eye like an over-cranked newsreel.
He dug his nails hard into the plush leather of the sofa and fell back into it. He craved warmth, comfort, the sanctuary of his mother’s womb. He felt himself regressing through his life, through every stage, every person he’d ever been. His thoughts began to collect in pools, silently vocalising a question that had been struggling to break free from the murk of his unconscious since yesterday.
It was never really a question he’d ever asked himself, always being so secure in its answer that it didn’t even warrant a second thought. The question was this:
“Who am I?”
You want more, don’t you? I can see it in your eyes… Unless i’m mistaking that glint for absolute boredom. Go on, buy it anyway. It’s only $2.99 – for those in the UK that’s not even £2. As we used to say at another job I sucked at that wouldn’t even buy you a coffee at starbucks. 50% of all net profits goes to yours truly. If you buy it at amazon they’ll take some of that money and put it into their giant evil money hole but I cannot compete with the convenience of it being sent straight to your kindle, so I forgive you. If i sell enough copies maybe I can buy that artificial heart I so desperately need (family history of heart disease, don’t you know).
I wish i could spend more time on this post, I really do, but those prawns won’t arrange themselves on that conveyor belt. 😉
POST SCRIPT: The myth of being discovered will actually destroy your soul. My advice to you is to submit as often as possible in as many ways as possible. I had my own reasons for waiting this long to get published and only some of them have to do with self-esteem issues. 🙂
Kat drops another blankie. suddenly, it’s just like the first time. This could be forever. Curtains closed to the sunlight, just those dusty echoes caught in the skybeams. Onceuponatimes that never were, not no more. Peeling herself from the armchair she rises. It stings, leather against skin. Everyone has gone home, staggered in morning dew along the broken pavingslabs. All apart from garbriel. He’s curled up against the floorboards, wrapped in dolphin blue. She wishes she could lick him, bring him into her world, where every second is virgin white. He says he has too much to remember. That’s why he dreams, swallowing down mouthfuls of light between gasps of want.
She would take him by the hand, if she could remember. Lead him not into temptation, but beyond. She could only wish for a garden, show him how everything burns. He’s not really interested, but she sees something in his eyes. Something that wants more than that which once was.
Walking about the debris of the night, every step vacuum fresh, she leaves the room, steps out into the unknown. Before her stairs that weave on corners. She wonders about those that weave, wrapping each moment upon itself in a pattern that reaches the great beyond. It’s all so clear.
This is the kitchen. She knows not what she does, only that it smells of delight. She runs her sticky hands along the sides, between the dirty pots and pans. Each sensation and texture a revelation. Residues of eternal truths. They mean more than most will ever know.
She falls upon the window pane, grooves of skin disrupting a delicate film of perspiration. Kat is gasping that forever sigh. Beyond the filth that has grown on the outside of the glass like sympathetic fungus, down past the accidental balcony, in the alleyway where the darkened cinders of a stolen car soak up the dawn, the figure of a man, dripping crimson, has curled himself up into a corner – hiding as if from the slowly creeping light.
Kat wants more. Will not be content with residues, contained by fungus. Wants to let the outside in.
The door is a rubix cube, can only be solved by touch, esoteric knowledge. She feels her way along the cold, hard edges of the lock, releases the catch and feels herself rushing through the cracks as the door creaks open, mingling with the chill of the air. Barefoot she navigates the rust downwards.
Kneeling before the man, his shallow breath like a tide lapping gently at her toes, she feels him all over, touching the red and licking it from her fingers. The flavour of time itself. Somewhere in the distance she hears a voice creaking, spluttering, slowly unravelling. Becoming nothing.
The man in the room is not all there.
It is difficult to see him – different parts of his anatomy slipping along increasing lines of soft focus. When he speaks his words are those of a detuned radio, fuzzy and indistinct. Every now and again the frequencies align and a single word will leap out with crystal clarity.
The room has no door,
no windows. There are no light fixtures either. despite this the room is bathed in an autumnal glow that is everywhere at once.
There are no shadows in the room.
Apart from yourself and the who who is not exactly there the room is empty but for an old school blackboard. The man is no help – corporeal but more like a statue than a person. You have more luck talking to yourself. Memories crawl behind your eyes. You know who you are just not how you came to be. For a while you stand listening, making sense of what words you can hear, but for every third that comes through the static and whine you forgert the first.
You approach the blackboard. Finding a piece of chalk in the gully you begin to write the words out. Excitement creeps as a narrative begins to unfold bfore you. Sign and signifid amassing. Meanings spreading between one another like roots. A tension begins to build inside you.
Getting to the bottom of the board you flip it around on its hinges urgently.
On the otherside are the words you have just spent the past hour writing out immaculately.
Bubbles like nitrous pop in your mind. You spin it around again. The words are still there. You reach out and touch them, rubbing the palm of your hand back and forth on the rough surface, expecting the words to blur and disintegrate, but they don’t.
You can feel chalk dust on your skin regardless.
Panic sets in. You are losing more and more words with each passing moment. With no more blackboard real estate you drop to your knees and begin writing frantic on the floor. You try your best to write in short, straight lines but they quickly become crooked. Soon sentences stretch and sway as if caught in a hidden breeze which freezes them on the spot. Your kneecaps begin to ache as you move across the floor, like a child drawing rainbows on the summer pavement.
When you run out of floor you turn your attention to the walls. You become aware that when you run out of walls you will have nothing else to write on. The thought like a lead gets stuck in your throat.
You don’t know how many days you have been in that room
when you reach the final wall but you ache from head to toe.
The end is coming.
As you squeeze in one more word everything becomes silence.
The man is gone
and you are alone
with nothing but the words
to keep you company.
Many eons ago there was an underground goldfish bowl that many historians refer to as `Glasgow`.
The fish and their wives (commonly known as “fish wives” ) who dwelled in this urban landscape struggled to notice the huge simularities in each other.
Instead they would focus on marginal differences hoping to gain a mythical status of “Top Fish”
many historians belive this myth was popularised and perpetuated by Bea Smith in Prisoner Cell Block H who used the iron press more than the rest.
The fish used a method of chinese whispers barked at ludicrously sky high volumes usually under the influence of a poisonous liquid known as alcohol many of the fish were addicted to.
These stories made their way from house party to taxi driver within minutes .
read the rest ::HERE::
The train tracks beat their rhythm beneath Tobias’ feet in 3/4 time – manifestations of the frantic waltz of his recent life. For weeks it seemed all those silent patterns on which a person is constructed had been spilling out of him, co-mingling with his environment, changing it with subtle, phantasmagorical strokes and reflecting his innermost back at him. He could see it all around; in the ebb and flow of human biomass on busy Glasgow streets, the murmured words of strangers in the bar he liked to frequent, alone, after rehearsal. Even now in the flicker of sunlight passing through the leaves and branches of trees alongside the tracks as he made his way to his childhood home.
It wasn’t her fault but she was definitely the flash point. He didn’t even know her name, didn’t really know her, but yet he saw her everyday. Sat huddled in a doorway across from the concert hall where he played with the orchestra every day that summer. Noticing her that first nervous morning, as he made his way towards the rehearsal space, hand clutched tightly around the handle of his trumpet case, rucksack hanging from his shoulder. All in the eyes, dusty and far away. He only caught her gaze for but a moment. He learnt real quick that the city streets were full of the homeless – would stop and talk to them ocassionally, buy a Big Issue, give them change, but never before had he seen suck eyes. Eyes that had seen everything that had ever been; before, beyond and betwixt. Gave him shivers.
He hurried onward. Gave her no more thought – like the great expanse she had opened up in his head had swallowed itself. Until lunchtime, as he spilled out into the sun with his new friends; A basoonist with spikey shoulder length haircalled June, and a black violinist who’d everybody had taken to calling ‘token’. He took the nickname with good humour wrapped in a sense of menace – an affectation born from his life growing up on Edinburgh streets. As they walked to a cafe June knew it was as if that expanse had opened again and Tobias couldn’t help but turn around and look at what he took to be her huddled form in the distance. Again, he shivered, walking the entire way in a daze, lost in that expanse. As soon as they walked through the doors of the cafe it left him once again, leaving only absence.
That’s when he started noticing the strangeness of things, those unconscious interconnections of the everyday, the daisy chains of his own thoughts. He could suddenly see music for what it was; an algebra of need, driven by those things that lived not only beneat the surfaces of people, but beneath everything, abstract and mundane. A cosmology both inside and outside of itself.
As the train swayed Tobias got unsteadily to his feet. Reaching above his head he pulled his trumpet case down and placed it on the table before taking his seat again. Working the two brass clasps he opened it up, letting his eyes fall inside. He knew that it would never be filled again but that he would carry that case with him till the day he died. A reminder of the absence at the heart of all things.
Made of ache, satuated and creaking, the transient caretaker dragged his bones around the large hall, pushing the wind brim before him in skittering, jumpy movements. Everytthing was gone. They had taken all but vapours, and he had let them; had instigated the whole thing.
It started with a key, a whole bunch of keys really, their multiplicitous nature acting as an amplifier, each one an ambient tuning fork for esoteric signals. 23, they numbered, 23 keys of different sizes and types woven on interlocking rings and finally attached to a mountaineering clip. Each key opened a lock in the community centre. That was the assumption, but he only knew of locks nine of them opened, leaving fifteen a mystery.
At first he carried them in his pocket, tangled up with the detritus of his day to day life, but the bulge was cumbersome; the keys digging into his leg, working holes into the lining of his trousers. Soon the lure of the clip was too great; tarnished pink steel, springloaded mechanism. He started hooking them onto a belt loop, let them hang there. He liked their weight pressing against his hip, the way they swung and jangled as he went about his duties. That was enough; the weight and sway, gentles stainless percussion. A gentle soundtrack to his day.
Then it wasn’t. He began to steal glances, stopping mid-step, ‘tween sweweps, admiring their dull gleam, jigsaw teeth.
[to be continued]
To skip all this disclaimer bollocks and get straight to the curious adventures click here
I have, very recently, completed a short story, whose title you can see above. Ordinarily, i would attempt to get it published, sending it around to magazines both on-and-offline, and hold out for the one that offered the best rate (this has never actually worked). But even I, with my optimistic smoke-filled eyes, can see that I could shop this around to a thousand publications, over the course of a year and a half, and still be rejected. Alot of them, most of them, want exclusive electronic rights – so in all that time it would languish on my hard-drive, unread.
Why though? Why am I so certain that it would be rejected? I shall tell you. It is without a doubt the most perverse thing I have ever written. It is sick. It is twisted. It is likely to offend. It’s also quite funny, in my opinion.
The list of the kinds of people who may be offended by the words and narrative contained within is long; too long to be included here. A brief overview would likely include feminists, masculinists, liberals, conservatives, vegetarians, vegans, the upper-middle classes, the lower-middle classes, the lower-upper classes, the upper-upper classes, those with a sensitive disposition and most probably anybody with any kind of moral compass.
So, I guess this is a disclaimer. It is not my intention to offend, only to amuse and illuminate. Please don’t read much further if you are likely to descend into a rabid furor of outrage. Actually, please feel free. You will probably find it a cleansing experience.
When i started writing it I conceived it as a satirical reflection on the works of the Marquis de Sade with Cronenbergian overtones. There is perhaps an undercurrent of feminist thought and a critique of society, although these may in fact be accidental. I may, in fact, be suffering from delusions of granduer.
If you read it, and after giving it some thought I have changed my mind and in fact urge you to read it, please – share it. Throw it up on facebook, your blog, your twitterstream. Email it to friends. Mention it on the forums you frequent. Leave me horrified diatribes in the comments. Let me know if you like it, if you hate it, if you want more. There can be more. If you want it.
I’m not usually one to be so forthcoming. I’ve been blogging on and off for a decade – i’ve seen the raise and fall of traffic, the waxing and waning of interest. All the while I’ve played it cool. There’s nothing worse than some whiny prick begging for attention on his blog. I’m making the exception here though, because i think that ‘The Curious Adventures of Lord Fuckington’ is worth the possible backlash.
I started writing this is a lark, a piece of amusement for myself and friends. Something to write after a several month long lapse of creative output. I throughly enjoyed writing it and as i showed it around to a few people i realised that people throughly enjoyed reading it (even those that were somewhat disturbed by it). So, I figured, why not throw some effort of promotion behind it? If it sinks unnoticed beneath the surface of the internet so be it, but at least I will of tried.
So, i bequeath you to read. And link. And comment. And if you want more let me know. There is a very possible long-form narrative for this. Get to the end and you’ll see an inkling of what i mean.
Oh yeah, one more thing. Although I have strived to correct spelling mistakes, it is somewhat unproofed. Just so you know.