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The Stars Want Her Back

When I first got to know her, She was fully formed. A woman with life, and humour and Dreams. And in the gaps between the dark times, She talks about her dreams, And all the reasons they never happened. But now we have a fight on our hands, For she is slowly leaking back Bit by bit, thought by thought, To where she came from. … Continue reading The Stars Want Her Back

How Could You Be Anything Other Than Beautiful?

So you’re not as thin, nor as fat as you wanted to be, Or as tall, or as short, or with a little more hair, You’re not as clever or wise as they said that you were, Or have looks that have people chasing you there. And you’re not that great person with so many friends, Or as famous or rich as you dreamed life … Continue reading How Could You Be Anything Other Than Beautiful?

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The Ice Ghosts

  based on a true story  She could taste the sea on her lips as she drove her Hudson Super Six towards Summertown, Nova Scotia on a day that only God could have made. Amy and Ben, her grandchildren, whooped and hollered as they stood on the automobile’s back seat, arms flapping wildly in the wind. “We’re eagles, Grandma, look we’re flying” “No, we ain’t” … Continue reading The Ice Ghosts

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Lincoln’s Watch

I’d been working in Washington D.C. for a few weeks in the late fall of 1947 when I decided to visit Georgetown. One of the guys had told me about a little book shop near Dumbarton Oaks Park which sold old books about the District. The guy who run the store, Grankin Wilson, must have been about sixty back then, knew every book or story … Continue reading Lincoln’s Watch

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No Two Ways

I guess the first thing I’ve got to say is – to do the things he did, you really have to believe that you are going to live for ever. Which isn’t exactly true: now is it? There was no two ways about it, least not at the start. At the beginning, he was expected by those around him to take the common road, and … Continue reading No Two Ways

The Disappearance of Esther

The wind couldn’t decide which way it was going that day, neither could she. Esther had only just got herself the way she liked (the way the boys liked) when she stepped out through the door, and a gust of Sheeba desert sand blew in her eyes. “Ma eyes, Mama, they’re stinging. They’re hurtin’ so bad.” And then she flapped her hands like she was … Continue reading The Disappearance of Esther

The Girl In The Corner

Once upon a time she had been called Chiquitta, and once upon a time there had been a family in the house. But they had gone now, and she had felt a little comforted knowing that she wasn’t the only one in her position. It wasn’t that she was unloved, if something like her had ever been loved, it was just that it had come … Continue reading The Girl In The Corner

The Proof of God

He could do nothing but stare at the paper. Then he re-checked it and checked it again. He was trembling. I mean really shaking. The way you dreamed of something really good happening and then it does, and it never feels real. He had woken with the numbers in his head – not that he remembered going to sleep with a problem that needed solving. … Continue reading The Proof of God

Thing and His Song

Thing was never going to sing at the Paris Opera but that wasn’t the point; he sang because he liked it. It made him happy. Thing’s father was always whistling a tune and he did it so often that most times he didn’t seem to notice. “What’s that tune?” Thing would ask. “Heck, if I know,” said his dad. Thing’s mother would also ‘tut’ at … Continue reading Thing and His Song

The Music of the Spheres

for David Bowie – the man who let me hear the Universe – thank you. It had always troubled the boy why he liked some music and not others. Why, songs which hit him around the face, making him want to scream out in happiness, didn’t even cause a flicker in some eyes. That was a mystery all right, and it had bothered him all … Continue reading The Music of the Spheres

ALICE – 1. Weird Wednesday

  You go to sleep at night and who’s to say that everything will be just the same the next day? During the War, folks would go to sleep in their shelter and awaken to a street flattened by bombs – but that’s not what I’m talking about, here. I’m referring to a night where you really do fall down the rabbit hole. That’s what … Continue reading ALICE – 1. Weird Wednesday

Never Ever Let Them Get You Down

1.Just ‘Cause You’re Breathing Just ‘cause you’re breathing, Doesn’t mean you’re alive, Just ‘cause you’re clever, Doesn’t mean that you’re wise, Just ‘cause you’ve faith, Doesn’t mean that you’re kind, Because you can see, Doesn’t mean you’re not blind. Just ‘cause you’re loving, Doesn’t mean you know love, And by sitting in church, You don’t speak for Above, Just ‘cause you’re hurting, Doesn’t make you … Continue reading Never Ever Let Them Get You Down

Santa is a Weirdo

Sometimes you just do and sometimes it ain’t happening; and that pretty much explains my life and everyone I know. I honest to goodness don’t remember what started it all off – I honestly don’t, I swear on the biggest stack of comics – I just remember my ma telling me I wasn’t getting a bicycle for Christmas, ‘cause Santa couldn’t get it down the … Continue reading Santa is a Weirdo

Me and Buzz and Grooviness

When me and Buzz were about 15 years old, Buzz turned to me one day and told me, straight in the eye like, that he had ‘an itchen’ for a hitchen’. “Let’s hitch right across the country to… well, the end,” said Buzz not sure where the end of the country was. “Then what?” I asked just to see what he’d say. “Why then we’ll … Continue reading Me and Buzz and Grooviness

Can’t Stop This Gun From Crying (a Black Mirror type written before Black Mirror)

It had been welcomed by the scientific community as a life saver, as the next step in metal technology and a new generation of those shining babies was about to be unleashed on the world. The team that had developed the idea at Los Alma had received the Nobel Prize that year and were ready to be courted by every large manufacturing company. They had no … Continue reading Can’t Stop This Gun From Crying (a Black Mirror type written before Black Mirror)

The Titanic In New York City – 3 stories

  Wednesday April 17th, 1912 Pier 60. NY,NY. After a successful maiden voyage across the North Atlantic, the Titanic berths in New York. Annie’s Story She was born with the name, Annie Constantine and from the age of nine, she had worked tirelessly as a kitchen maid in a large house on the south coast of England. Annie could not settle for a life in … Continue reading The Titanic In New York City – 3 stories

If All Of This Were Up To Me

If all of this were up to me, My gifts would be of other things, The son to spend an afternoon With a father long since gone, The granddad seeing his offspring grow, As his life goes on and on, The children gone before their time, Would come back home and ring the chime, And chances lost would be our choice, To try just one … Continue reading If All Of This Were Up To Me

The Man Who Never Was

Perhaps I brought all this on myself by staying away from the others, by hiding in my room and dealing with my own struggles rather than being a part of everyone and everything else. Maybe this is a punishment or perhaps it is justified karma? The process started just like it did when I began to lose my hair. I had looked in the mirror … Continue reading The Man Who Never Was

Be Kind

The night of him looking at the stars was the night that everything changed. That night as the planets danced overhead, a thought grabbed him and then shot right up his nose and into his brain, almost taking his breath away. Here he was abandoned in Space, a traveller – and whatever the dimensions of this universe there could only be so many travellers. He … Continue reading Be Kind

The Man Who Mended Broken Hearts

He had spent most of his young life wondering where he fitted into things. He had tried football, but he wasn’t a footballer. He’d tried being popular, and he was worse at that than he was at football. He had tried singing, acting, comedy, knitting (yeah, that was a disaster), writing, driving, working in a factory, and he succeeded at being useless at all of … Continue reading The Man Who Mended Broken Hearts

Thing and What He Learned

Now as you know by now, Thing was always looking out the mouth of his cave waiting on his family to return. One day his mother went away and promised to come back but Thing hadn’t even seen her shadow or smell her warm scent on the wind. And maybe if his mother had stayed, he might have found out sooner rather than later what … Continue reading Thing and What He Learned

Three Thousand Miles of Heaven

They had first gone there when the world was a more complicated place and their lives were just plain and simple. Everything they wanted or needed, seemed easier to get back then. They had married in a small church in Big Indian, a town snuggled in the beautiful Catskill Mountains. When Tony had suggested that they go on a honeymoon, he had been thinking more … Continue reading Three Thousand Miles of Heaven

The Man Who Smiled At Stars

To all those who look at the night sky and smile. Where we lived doesn’t really matter much, ‘cept to say that you could spit into another State from our porch. That was where my granddaddy sat thinking most days and most nights. He just cogitated – “yep, I’m sitting here just running things about my great big head,” was how he’d usually greet me. … Continue reading The Man Who Smiled At Stars

In a Heartbeat

In a heartbeat, The car turned the corner too fast, and turned over, The last thing the mother did was scold her Son for chewing loudly.   In a heartbeat The lonely girl bumped into the guy – who was leaving For good – and she wasn’t lonely any more “It’s funny how we met,” she told her children.   In a heartbeat He smiled … Continue reading In a Heartbeat

This Year’s Love

This year some people will leave your life And new ones will enter This year some dreams will vanish And others, not thought of, will come out of the sun This year you’ll make mistakes And you’ll survive them all This year you’ll win some things and you’ll lose some things This year some friends will fail to understand And some will grow to love … Continue reading This Year’s Love

The Troubadour

Stories. That was all she had, that was all she would ever have. The ability to create worlds, and fill them with colour and life, and give those listening something near hope. The saddest thing about her ability was that she could create alternative lives, so clear in her mind that they could almost be real, and in those lives were another her, another more … Continue reading The Troubadour

Skiing In Central Park

I don’t think there was a precise time when you could say that they actually met; instead it would be more accurate to say that they rubbed against each other’s lives from the moment they were born. Kitty and Jethro were born in the same week to families who lived next door to each other. They grew up together, sat in the same school rooms, … Continue reading Skiing In Central Park

Waving At Trains

Before we drifted into the dark times, long before then; when the sun still shone on human faces and made them smile – those years were the greatest days of our lives. In later times we feasted on those cherished memories, hungering for stories and thoughts of back when life was a joy, an ecstasy even. Visitors would come and go from our little huts … Continue reading Waving At Trains

THING and the BIG BLUE SEA

It was inevitable that it would happen. Thing had started to grow up. Sure he still sat at the cave mouth every night on the chance that would be the very moment his mother and father returned. Yet something deep down told him that they weren’t coming back, and that he was on his own, and he’d better do something about it. He knew that … Continue reading THING and the BIG BLUE SEA

Goodlands

Everyone knows where Goodlands is. It’s not too far from where you’ve been and not too close to where you’re going. It’s the kinda place where you find what you’re looking for, one way or another. And so it was on that Saturday, “Jalopy Saturday” as the Sheriff called it. “Always frightening those damned horses, what with all their tooting, and smoking and noise of … Continue reading Goodlands

The Shoreham Stories – 1

THE SHOREHAM WILD ONES I suppose it all started on that wet Wednesday, at the cinema on St John’s Hill. Mavis had been walking up towards town when it had started to rain and had nothing to keep her head dry. Mavis had never been into one of those racy films before, certainly not one with an X certificate but she liked the look of … Continue reading The Shoreham Stories – 1

A Place Called Hope

‘What makes anyone do anything?’ That was what she thought as she stepped off the bus. She hadn’t meant to get off at that particular stop, but the large woman by the window seat had asked to be let out. The funny thing is that the large woman looked out the window, tutted, and sat down at another seat. Karen was already standing and so … Continue reading A Place Called Hope

The Fireman

In the early days of the next war, a story arose, an urban legend, about a person they called the Fireman. He had been given that name because of the stories of him putting out fires which had spontaneously erupted in the Mohawk Valley; that was the night that the mushroom cloud had first appeared over Stone City, a place about fifty miles away. Lit … Continue reading The Fireman

Our Home by the Railroad

If I’m being real honest, the house wasn’t as grand as you see it now. Back then it was built with love, sweat and tears and over the longest of times; if I’m guessing, I’d probably say nearer seven years than six. Christopher Lawson made his money from a store in town – one that he and his wife lived above – and one, that … Continue reading Our Home by the Railroad

Weird London – Three Stories

The Private War of Bobby Falkirk Which war he went to (and came back from), isn’t important here, it’s just important to know that Bobby came back in one piece – well almost. His head was intact, as was his body – but it was a plain and simple fact that his brain and heart didn’t really communicate that well with each other. Whose does? … Continue reading Weird London – Three Stories

The Last Cowboy (the start)

His spring and summer were now only dust on the bonfires of life, and as he looked out at the horizon, he knew more and more that it would no longer stretch on forever. He had been young and vital once, and his dreams would have powered a city, but the lamps had dulled, and the curtains were drawn and it was going to be … Continue reading The Last Cowboy (the start)

The Legend of Little River

It was always the strangest of little towns, neither being a 100 miles from somewhere or a 100 from anywhere else. Folks mostly found it by accident is what I’m saying, no one ever really went looking for it. It was like a large hole in a road on a dark night – you just kind of just fell into it. That’s not to say … Continue reading The Legend of Little River

Cracked Hearts & Walking Wounded

Cracked Hearts She washes her mother with water and with love. Gently caressing the body that looks like someone she once knew, but her mother’s mind has already gone ahead and waits for the soul to return. She cleans away the saliva from the mouth that once used to chastise and kiss and smile. He dreads the sun coming up as it means another day … Continue reading Cracked Hearts & Walking Wounded

Mister Brilliant (for Lily on her birthday)

His real name was Cuthbert Dogoody but to everyone else he was simply known as Mister Brilliant. He’d never had the easiest of lives, had Cuthbert. When he was five years of age his father ran away to sea – at least that’s what his mother had told him – the truth of the matter was that his father moved in with a young blonde … Continue reading Mister Brilliant (for Lily on her birthday)

Cycling To Shoreham 1901

Whenever Tommy was excited or stressed, which to be honest was most days, he’d put the word ‘chuffing’ in front of everything. For instance, today was going to be a blooming chuffing day with loads of chuffing hills to cycle up and when we got to the ballyhoo top well we’d chuffing have a pick nick. You see what I mean? Tommy was a good … Continue reading Cycling To Shoreham 1901

The Doll

I can’t honestly remember who first called her, ‘The Doll’. If memory serves me well (and it usually doesn’t) I think it was her Aunt May “You, young‘un, are the sweetest, kindest little doll, I ever did see,” she’d say, then kiss her on the lips. So the name stuck, and although she had two more sisters (just as sweet), she was the one always … Continue reading The Doll

The Boy Who Loved To Handstand

Charlie lived in grey house which stood in a grey street which weaved its way through a grey town. He wasn’t an unhappy kid – on the contrary, Charlie saw the world both as beautiful and crazy all at the same time. But where Charlie was alone was in the way he looked at the world. He knew that there was more to life than … Continue reading The Boy Who Loved To Handstand

The Rain Country

“You think that a wall as solid as the earth separates civilisation from barbarism. I tell you the division is a thread, a sheet of glass” . The Power-House ,John Buchan , 1913 He dreamt of letting his hand dance under the cool water which flowed freely from a tap and then watch as the unwanted liquid disappeared into the hole. He awoke with a … Continue reading The Rain Country

A House of Many Windows

“The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us.” Robert Louis Stevenson In his diaries the Reverend Aston was a meticulous recorder of Coldharbour’s weather and in the winter of 1869 he made a note in a margin intimating that it had been the very worst of conditions within living … Continue reading A House of Many Windows

The Vagabond Saints

Where the sky welcomed the road at the far edge of town stood large monoliths of rock pointing straight at the stars; perhaps in an earlier time they had names of gods or demons but these days they were simply known at the Vagabond Saints. My Grandfather had told me a story that they were the remnants of men who had idled too long at … Continue reading The Vagabond Saints

Me and Buzz and Flyin’

The first time that me and Buzz attempted to fly, Buzz broke his arm in two places: in the yard and on the driveway. Yeh, Buzz didn’t think that joke was funny either. Now you’re going back to read it again in case you missed something ‘cause you didn’t think it was so funny. The truth of the matter is that Buzz’s arm was good … Continue reading Me and Buzz and Flyin’

The Boy Who Lost Himself

The boy looked younger than his age, but for all that he was still full of the life force. The kid loved nothing better than running to the top of a hill and shouting out – ‘This Is Me!’. On one very sad and bad occasion the world tried to smash his little heart into pieces, and although there would always be a scar – … Continue reading The Boy Who Lost Himself

Captain Oates’ Last Walk

There wasn’t much he could see ahead of himself. It was cold and it was unclear and that was his future; he had never been more certain of anything in his life. Before he’d set off, things had been good, probably better than good. They’d spent time, all of them, together on the west coast. A small Scottish town called Greenock, the birthplace of Birdie … Continue reading Captain Oates’ Last Walk

Two of the 100 word stories

Americana – 1969 It was early evening in Strasburg and the July heat was still causing him suffocation. It took all of the energy he had just to lay still. He counted to ten and then he stood, somehow lifting the window that opened on to South Decatur Street. After hearing someone on the sidewalk shout that Neil Armstrong was just about to step on … Continue reading Two of the 100 word stories

“You’re Not From Around Here,Then?”

Now I ain’t one to lie or even kid (if it comes to that), but sometimes a thing happens to you that’s so far out there that even your closest kin would swear you were talking with a crazy tongue in your head. But you all know me and you know I ain’t the lying sort, so you’re gonna have to come with me on … Continue reading “You’re Not From Around Here,Then?”

The Decision at the Bottom of the Stairs

The only thing that had surprised him was that the snow had fallen so early that year, and as he walked up Hope Street, he decided to take a tram as far as Charing Cross. Glasgow was bitterly cold and even although he had on his brother’s best coat, it didn’t seem to keep out the freezing air. He had intended to take the tram … Continue reading The Decision at the Bottom of the Stairs

Two Fingers in the Salt,One in the Sugar (3 screenplay intros)

1.CLOSING DOORS – THE LAST DAYS OF TONY HANCOCK   (Warning – Strong Language and Adult Situations) “ONE BY ONE HE SHUT THE DOOR ON ALL THE PEOPLE HE KNEW, THEN HE SHUT THE DOOR ON HIMSELF.” SPIKE MILLIGAN ON TONY HANCOCK This is just the first few pages of an early script about the last days of Tony Hancock  (British Comedian) Tony went to Australia … Continue reading Two Fingers in the Salt,One in the Sugar (3 screenplay intros)

Mole Hills and Mountains

Olivia had been playing out in the yard when she’d heard a door bang in the house. As she got nearer to the porch, she could hear her Grandpa hollerin’ about this and that but mostly about Old Chief Makkawaw who lived up on Old Creek Road. Then her Grandpa slammed the door again. This kind of thing wasn’t like her Grandpa at all, so … Continue reading Mole Hills and Mountains

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Murder at the Mermaid Inn

  He had just bent down to tie his shoes laces and this is what probably caused him to disappear behind the large box. It wasn’t that he was being nosey, it was the act of him bending down which had caused him to accidentally overhear the conversation. “Who is going do it?” asked one of the men. “Looks like it will be me,” said … Continue reading Murder at the Mermaid Inn

Shoreham, Christmas, 1958

They had called her, Elizabeth, after the Queen, since she had unexpectedly turned up on the day of the Coronation. Now Elizabeth considered herself grown-up, having turned six years of age a few months earlier. She was packed to the brim with the life-force itself, God couldn’t have pushed any more into this particular package. She was a tornado. If tall monsters existed back then, … Continue reading Shoreham, Christmas, 1958

BAIRD: 50 Shades of Grey: Two Scenes from the birth of television

BAIRD: Intro FLORENCE – Logie Baird’s secretary. She is late teens/early twenties. Florence is pleasant with a somewhat nervous disposition. It was reported about his secretary that on first seeing the ventriloquist’s dummy head, she let out a scream and fainted.  BAIRD – John Logie Baird is 36 and never in the best of health. He has a faint Scottish accent. This is a man … Continue reading BAIRD: 50 Shades of Grey: Two Scenes from the birth of television

Screenplay: Dino and Frankie

A couple of pages out of a script written for a US kids’ animation EXT.DINOCAVE. DAY DINO (pronounced Deeno) the young dinosaur is watching his father (his hero), FRANKIE brushing his hair in the mirror. Dad likes what he sees. Next to the mirror is a photo of a dinosaur who resembles Dean Martin.   FRANKIE Did I ever tell you how your mom and … Continue reading Screenplay: Dino and Frankie

Daisha Is The Mountain Person

Written for US educational group. Washington DC. Used with permission.  For grade 3 (8-year-old readers).  It’s a real scary thing living next to the tallest mountain in the world. All I have to do is look out of my bedroom window and there it is, Mount Everest, standing there in all its splendid magnificence, just behind the gas station. Both my daddy and my granddaddy … Continue reading Daisha Is The Mountain Person