Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

On Promotion this week

On Promotion this week, Cosmogonic Marbles .99c (exc. tax)

Chromhelm Garglehammer let out a furious roar and charged down the small hill toward the gateless entrance to the city. He didn’t realise it at the time but his eyes were closed. He half expected the guards at the gate to smack him in the back of the head with an axe, or the sentries on the towers to riddle him full of bolts before he got more than a few feet inside.  But none of that happened.  He began to swing his mighty battle-axe in a figure of eight, cutting down any enemy in his path, but there were none.  He put his head down so as to butt his way through the ranks of soldiers protecting the King. He would use his sheer bulk to force a way through to his prize, but there were no lines of soldiers and there was no King.  Chromhelm Garglehammer smashed head first into a wall and hit the ground, his tiny legs still running in the air.

After a few moments fighting nothingness with his fists he opened one eye.  He was alone in one of the wide open spaces of the ruined city.  Around him was scattered the remains of a large military camp, tents had been half struck, broken weapons lay in piles and food rotted in the sun, covered in hordes of horseflies. 
“Where is everyone?” he said to himself risking a second open eye and getting up to his feet with some difficultly.  Across Acerii there was an eerie silence punctuated only by the call of crows, Chromhelm lifted his heavy axe.  “Have I won?” he said to himself.
“I doubt it,” came the voice of the God.
Chromhelm-Garglehammer spun on his heels and faced his axe toward the Apple-god, who stood more resplendent than before, just behind him. 
“What trickery is this?” asked Chromhelm, his axe still raised.
“My apologies dear hero,” spoke the God like honey as he pushed Chromhelm’s axe away from his perfect face with his fingertips, “plans have altered, more advantageous opportunities have come to light.”
“So you mean to deceive me, I should have known better than to trust a God.” Chromhelm spat on the ground, a tiny shoot of an apple seed sprouted where his spittle landed. 
“No deception was intended my beautiful hero, but in light of recent discoveries,” the God pointed his arm across the courtyard where several of Vortigern’s men were moving a large object covered in cow hides onto an equally large cart, “you and other plans have become redundant.”
“Re-dun-dant,” worded the Hero and he tried to grasp what was going on. 
“The time of Heroes is over.”
“Oh,” said Chromhelm, his mind beginning to have some understanding of the word ‘redundant’.
“Farewell little hero, I have to travel with Vortigern to safeguard my own salvation from idleness, but I fear it is too late for the likes of you.”
The God walked away from the Hero and toward the men at the cart.
“But what will I do now?” asked Chromhelm, his axe falling to the ground with a disappointed clang.
“Find a girl, build a nice house and settle down,” the God called back. “Oh, and grow some apples, make some cider and get drunk. By the time the Gods have left this world there will be no one here to fight, Chromhelm Garglehammer, no one at all.”

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Snippet from Chapter 17 of Cosmogonic Marbles

The office was an immense disappointment for him. On television shows, posh college Dons always had real wooden floors, real fires, surrounded themselves with great ancient books and lots of exotic things collected from darkest Africa and deep in the Amazon jungle, but there was none of that here. The office was a small square of linoleum with a school desk, a couple of grey metal filing cabinets and a print of Lake Windermere hanging crooked on the wall.
“Bum,” whispered the Postman to himself.  He glanced back down the corridor. It was quiet as a morgue, so he slipped into the office and pressed the door closed behind him. 
On the desk, opened, was a large folder of writing and drawings; he took a quick look at it.  Mostly it was meaningless to him, foreign languages and strange beasts.  He lifted one page and turned to another, more of the same, then another and another. 
He was about to turn away when he spotted something in the corner of the page. Just crossing the margin was a clear sketch of a Tiger. It was leaping over something, but he found it difficult to define what it was. It could be just a stone but it looked more animated than that.  There was a sentence scribbled beneath in a language he didn’t know.  That’s one of the languages I don’t know, he thought to himself, and then added, one of all the languages apart from English that I don’t know.  He spelt out the letters with his finger, Curabitur adipiscing ultio de signifero. 

            He turned away from the stack of files on the desk and was about to give up when he spotted a sheet of paper sitting on its own on the seat of the office chair.  He picked it up. It was immaculately hand written.  Dear James, I hope you find everything in order in your office. I’ve left Professor Hancock’s most recent notes out for you, the rest are in his (now your) rooms, first door, second floor of the Chester wing, but of course you know that. If you have any questions my door is always open.  D.’
He carefully put the letter down where he had found it and made his way to the door.  “Fingerprints!” he shouted.  “Oh dear.”
He rushed back to the letter.  He quickly brushed it with his hand.  “Oh that’s only gonna to make it worse.”  He blew on it, but realised that was no good either.  “I’ll have to burn it.”
He brought the letter over to the wastepaper basket and using his Zippo lighter set the corner of it on fire. When the fire had spread sufficiently through the page he dropped it into the wastepaper basket and turned his attention to the large bungle of files on the desk which he had also handled.

“Bugger,” he said to himself. “I’ll have to steal them and burn them somewhere else, in the woods.”  He mind raced through various resulting permutations of his fingerprints being found in this obscure Professor’s office.  A thought seeded in the back of his mind, it stayed there for five milliseconds not yet strong enough to override his thoughts of arson upon the files, but soon it sprouted and blossomed, ‘Wait a minute,’ it said, ‘why would a little-known almost-Oxford professor even bother checking his mail for fingerprints.’
“Ah,” said the Postman to himself, “I’m being silly again, aren’t I.” 
He sighed. At least only the letter got destroyed and not this mammoth pile of important historic notes.  He turned around to see the flames from the wastepaper basket lick their way up the partition wall and spread like ….. emmm …. fire!
“FIRE!” he screamed as the college alarms went off.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


The Ghost of St Anthony (poem) from The Pagan Field
FREE on Amazon until 15th Nov.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Christmas at Christchurch

            I feel translucent
            a man of marble skin
            as if dreaming my motions
            every step a tread in water
            each reach of my hand
            a ghost grip touches
            but nothing holds and yet
            I clutch these stones and
            iron spear barricades
            as a sea-snail would the bedrock
            for this is my folly
            to hug close the masonry of charity

            I feel nothing
            no remorse runs down my arms
            to my useless wrists
            no rage
            twists my mouth into rabid snarl
            no pleasure lifts my face
            from the footfalls
            of those celestial beings
            bustling above

            not even a soaked black wall
            on which I am a shadow
            penetrates my deadened hide

            I feel grotesque
            I am a gargoyle of flesh and bone
            sown into the fabric of these
            towers with closed doorways
            that form broken arch homes
            for broken things

            no longer am I broken
            I have embraced
            the cold and hunger
            of my mouth and my soul
            I am free of this place


            here I am still
            here for you to see
            if you can stomach
            to see me

From The Pagan Field (print 1996, eBook 2013) available FREE until 15 Nov. at