Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Story: Cut Me Up

Posted: November 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

A dark and miserable dusk crept over the city’s suburbs like a shroud. The full flow of the evening rush-hour was easing off, rivers of light flooding from the city, reflecting on the wet tarmac. For cyclists and pedestrians outside of the car’s warm embrace, the dull roar was painful after a few minutes, echoing in the bones and chambers of the inner ear.

Black was soaking wet, despite the snug-fitting lycra. The stench of exhaust-fumes burned the inside of his nose. The sodium-orange glow shone on the grey clouds above, whenever he glanced upwards in search of respite from the hiss of passing cars. The bike wheels zipped through kerbside puddles, throwing up spray onto his exposed shins. His feet were soaked through. He was in a hurry to get home, whizzing along at twenty miles per hour, nearly as fast as the traffic, which was thankfully thinning out.

The cycle lane ended just ahead as the road narrowed. Black glanced backwards. There was a gap in the traffic, headlights a rainy blur some distance away, so he eased out into the road. He was making good time, and pushed hard on the pedals, slipping the gears downwards to gain speed.

A guttural roar echoed behind him. His heart sank. Boy racers. He snatched a rearwards glance and saw the dirty white car roaring towards him, ignoring the speed limit. He looked ahead. The road curved in the distance but did not widen as it weaved through the outer limits of suburbia. His only options were to pull over or to continue. The driver revved the engine behind him. Well, fuck them, thought Black. If they weren’t such twats, I would pull over.  He pedalled faster, slipping the gears upwards, and he reckoned he was doing thirty miles an hour or so, just within the speed limit.

The speed limit did not concern the car behind him. The horn beeped, lights flashed and he could nearly feel the bumper nudging the rear wheel of the bike as the car roared behind him. He looked backwards and glimpsed two scumbags in the car, shaven heads, tattoos and gold chains. Their mouths roared in feral outrage, eyes narrowed to slits.

Bollocks, thought Black, it just isn’t worth it. He pulled over to the side and the car roared past, forcing him onto the roadside. But he made sure he gave it the finger, middle digit upraised in the universal gesture of “Fuck You”.

Then the car’s brakelights flashed anger-red and it screamed to a halt. The doors opened and two men poured out on either side, ignorant of the pouring rain and

“Wot you saying, you facking cant,” roared the driver, his England football shirt darkening with raindrops. “You reckon you’re facking hard, you facking twat?” His finger jabbed like a knife and the other fist clenched.

“I’ll facking DOO YOO,” grunted the passenger, his eyes and mouth bulging in outrage like his stomach which strained against his poloshirt.

Both men walked towards Black.

Ohh fuck…. he thought. He reached down for the bicycle pump strapped to the frame, a short-handled stubby object.

The two men stopped short of Black, raindrops plinking on their shaved heads.

“Wot the fack you gonna do with that, mate?” laughed the driver.

“I’ll stick it up your FACKIN ARSE!” spat the passenger.

Black pumped it once and then bent the handle backwards at an angle. He pointed it at the passenger and it spat with a brief hiss.  The man’s left eye vanished in a burst of blood and he fell to his knees.

The driver froze, his mouth flapping like a fish. “Wot …. wot …”

“Wot wot indeed, you twat,” said Black, as he reached into his pouch. The combination spanner glinted in the headlight glare. One edge was sharpened and Black slid his fingers through the spanner-holes, turning the tool into a razor-sharp knuckleduster. “Two-two calibre rimfire, dickhead.”

Black wheeled towards the driver and slashed, slicing through forearms and throat. The man collapsed forward onto the roadside, blood pouring from his neck-wound in a crimson rush.  Traffic began to queue up behind them, and a puzzled driver rolled down his window.

“Teach you to cut me up,” he hissed at the dead men, and then he pedalled away, just a cyclist in black, as the police would later be told.


Cats … coming soon!

Posted: October 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Here’s a preview of Cats. This novel will be written in November as part of National Novel Writing Month in November. It is a tribute to James  Herbert’s early stories, especially The Rats, and intended for fun as an ebook release. There was a novel by Nick Sharman called The Cats, released in 1977, that wasn’t well-received by critics, who saw it as an attempt to cash in on Herbert’s genre of natural phenomenon horror.  The plot is quite simple … natural bacterium occurring in cats, which subverts human behaviour, is genetically modified with dire consequences. Toxoplasma gondii occurs in cats and has been linked with cat and human behaviour, including schizophrenia (about half of humans apparently carry the bacterium worldwide). They didn’t have genetic modification techniques back in the 70s otherwise it might have been seized upon by Herbert and those he inspired at the time.

James Herbert is a good and underrated writer, worth a read even if you don’t particularly like horror.

Thanks to Lesley Carus and David Cooper for the graphic.

Rock Opera TO2C!

Posted: October 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

My Rock Opera concept! A Tale of Two Cities, or TO2C The Rock Opera…. on ice!

Come on Lloyd Webber, phone me back…..

Latest news March 2011

Posted: March 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

My story ‘Scavenger Hunt’ will appear in ‘Rhonny Reaper’s Roadkill Cafe Anthology’ which is due out soon

Plus the zombie anthology by Wild Wolf Publishing has been finalised, with some famous names including the co-writer of Night of the Living Dead and tne brains behind the film ‘Pontypool’. My own humble effort ‘Storm Coming Down’ is in there, probably near the end! A whopping 500 pages!

My story ‘On Christmas Eve’ has been accepted by Morpheus Tales for their Christmas Special!  Just 300-odd days to go!

I had great news this week.  My story ‘Cat Bite’ is to be published in the DEADication anthology.  This is published by Panic Press, a new small press which specialised in horror, and also publishes House of Horror … formerly an e-zine, now in print!

These are exciting times for horror writing…it’s about the satisfaction of creating something, and seeing it in print…then on to the next story!  The small press market is a really dynamic community, both in the UK and worldwide.

The ‘Cat Bite’ story is about a man who is bitten by a decaying cat. Over the following days, he degenerates, rotting from the inside out, transforming into a walking corpse with a growing desire for blood…  Based on a true (ish) story….

My story ‘Phenomenon’ won second prize (£250) in the last Dark Tales competition of 2010.  The story is about a bizarre power cut that leads to an electrical surge engulfing the planet.  Oops!  Think I spoiled it there!  Sorry!

This is great news indeed!  Morpheus Tales is a cutting-edge magazine, full of horror, dynamic and well-respected.  The Urban Horror Special will come out at some point in early 2011.  My story, ‘Preacher Man’, features a sinister preacher on the gritty streets of Glasgow.

The current MT issue is number 11…the story ‘Kusozu’ by Gene Hines was particularly enjoyable…featuring rotting corpses in Japan.  It has inspired a story of mine called ‘Kusokan’ set in historical Japan, with yet more corpses!

My Japanese horror story ‘Mira’ will shortly be published in Dark Tales vol XV.  This story features a Yokohama schoolboy who stumbles upon a haiku relating to an ancient mirror ritual, which he attempts to re-enact…with dire consequences.  Set in modern and feudal Japan, it is inspired by the stories of Akutagawa and also the films of Kurosawa, as well as the wonderful Kwaidan film.  I also visited a couple of times, and have fond memories of spending time in Yokohama and Kamakura, which inspired this story – and others.  The sinister monk Obuko returns in other tales….

Dark Tales is a quality publication well worth buying.

Mauling Zombie

Posted: February 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

This was me, acting as a ‘mauling zombie’ on the outskirts of Edinburgh back in August 2010.  It was in a trailer for Remy Porter’s excellent zombie novel ‘Dead Beat’…published by Wild Wolf Publishing.