December 2015 – the end – Four Shreddings and a Numeral by Martin Bolton

Four Shreddings and a Numeral

by Martin Bolton

The waiter at the Swindon Travelodge was strangely nervous. Sweat glistened on his twitching brow.

“I’ll have the lasagne,” said Simon.

“The… the lasagne,” the waiter tugged at his collar with one bony finger and gave a maniacal, high-pitched cackle. “You’re… you’re absolutely sure you want the lasagne.”

“Yes please.”

“I recommend the fish and chips,” argued the waiter. Perspiration poured freely down his face.

“The lasagne please.” Continue reading


September 2014 – blood line – Reflections of a Plumber by Simon Evans

Reflections of a Plumber

by Simon Evans

Knock Knock Knock


The huge black door swings open revealing a hunchback.

‘Yes?’ says the hunchback. Well actually it was more like ‘Yeeeees?’ as he drawled out the word.

‘Hello mate I’m Nathan from SDO Plumbing about your boiler?’ says Nathan Thomas from SDO Plumbing (Lincoln) Ltd.

‘Boiler?’ replies the hunchback. The hunchback is called Igor. He is from Bulgaria and always wears a dusty black cloak over a threadbare black suit underneath which is a frilly white shirt. The outfit is completed with yellow underpants and brown socks and dusty black boots of unknown origin.

‘Yes mate. I’m here to service your boiler? You’ve rung the office about a boiler?’ Nathan Thomas wears a blue polo shirt with the SDO Plumbing (Lincoln) Ltd logo emblazoned on it. This logo is the letters ‘SDO’ on an arrow, wrapped around a planet. He also wears jeans, sports socks and tight boxer shorts and white pumps (Sports Direct £29.99). He carries a toolbox and has a clipboard under his arm. Continue reading

July 2014 – something nasty – Stand by Paul Evans


by Paul Evans

“Did you leave something nasty in the toilet Matthew?”


“Only leave it if it’s wee.”

“In the toilet.”

“The printers won’t work unless we put material back into the system.”

“Flush it …”

“… unless it’s a wee. We’re nearing our grey water ration limit.”

Eighty-four year old Claire Baxter cast her iBall at the crapper: her retina display registered an eight per cent remainder for the next two days. It didn’t really matter. She allowed a smile of affection at the thought that, despite his mental decline, her husband still dropped the toilet seat after use. Although the peripheral splash marks made her suspect that he no longer lifted it. Continue reading

July 2014 – something nasty – Darlings by Simon Evans


by Simon Evans

Darling? ….Darling?

Yes Darling?

Darling could you please pass me my pink cravat?

Of course Darling, do you know where you popped it down?

I think it’s on the portmanteau Darling.

The portmanteau in the parlour or the portmanteau in the music room?

Oh it’s OK Darling, I’m wearing it!

Oh how funny Darling. You really are a perfect prize silly.

I really love you Darling!

You too Darling!


Yes? Continue reading

July 2014 – something nasty – Burn Thy Neighbour by Martin Bolton

Burn Thy Neighbour

by Martin Bolton

Sherman sat cross-legged on the brow of the hill, looking down Victoria Park’s grassy slope towards five houses. 50-54 Hill Avenue. Sandwiched in between Marmaduke Street and Monmouth Street. He took another swig of ale.

The sun was setting behind him and the sky was purple, rimmed with orange. The street lights were coming on one by one. From his vantage point Sherman felt as though he was on the surface of a dark pond, with bioluminescent creatures winking into life on its bottom. He saw that vision through new eyes, because Shermon had been reborn. For the first time in his infuriatingly monotonous life, he felt content.

Sherman’s house was number fifty two, the centre one of the five houses he now gazed at, waiting patiently for the seeds he had so carefully sown to bloom into bright, hot flowers.
Continue reading

July 2014 – something nasty – The Road to Hell by John Pilling

The Road to Hell

by John Pilling

“Hells Bells” Stephen stared in horror at the twisting spitting ball of fury slowly revolving in mid air beneath his apple tree.

Designed to catch a pair of marauding magpies, his homemade net trap had worked only too well and enmeshed his neighbour’s tomcat, an evil tempered animal currently emitting a continuous low snarl that boded ill for anyone who approached.

“What the blazes do I do now?” He muttered, “If I go near that thing it’ll claw me to pieces.” Thinking hard, he returned to the house and phoned the local veterinary centre. There was a pause then a man’s voice said cheerfully.

“Vet here, can I help you?”

“I hope so.” Stephen said. “The thing is, I made a net trap to catch some magpies and I’ve caught my neighbour’s tomcat instead.”

“Oh dear.” said the vet. “Is it injured at all?”

“I don’t think so but it’s going mad, I can’t get anywhere near it to free it. I wondered, if I brought it in, could you sedate it for a few minutes?”

“I see.” the vet said sympathetically. “Yes, probably best to bring it to the surgery …what’s the matter?”

“I’ve just remembered my wife has the car.”

“Not to worry, just pop the whole thing into a bag and use the bus, it’ll be fine.”

Thirty minutes later Stephen was regretting following that advice. Continue reading