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

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November 2015 – inside out – The Eyes of Mork Tyran by Martin Bolton

The Eyes of Mork Tyran

by Martin Bolton

The prisoner stirred as an icy gust of wind caressed him, finding its way through his tattered rags and and probing at his thinly covered bones. The furs that hung in the cavern entrance were thrust aside. He counted the foot steps and could tell that a single man had entered.

A pregnant pause reigned as the heat from the cavern’s lava pit chased away the insurgent chill. The hiss of the newcomer’s sword sliding from its scabbard broke the silence. This was followed by a metallic clink as the warrior placed the sword’s tip on the stone floor.

“Who appears before the twin druids?” Continue reading

July 2015 – broken bones – Maledictæ Puer Persistit by Martin Bolton

Maledictæ Puer Persistit

By Martin Bolton

I was five years old when I experienced my first insidious impulse to murder.

I can still see my reflection; a chubby-cheeked pup, his vast, ocean-blue eyes gazing back at me as they undulated on the rippling bath water. Innocent, crystal clear pools of aquamarine. One moment uncorrupted by darkness, incapable of malice, untouched by the storm. The next, devoid of remorse or pity.

Something spawned in the depths.

My mother had called me into the bathroom and I ventured forth into the tranquil steam where she lay soaking in a hot bath. For the first time I noticed her distended belly.
Continue reading

May 2015 – hedge bottom – It Was Me by John Pilling

It Was Me

by John Pilling

“May I have a word sir?”

“Of course Ted, come in.” With some relief Chief Inspector Brian Ames pushed aside the pile of overtime dockets he had been studying and looked up at his deputy, Inspector Ted Harvey.

“How can I help?”

“It’s this murder case in Hanover Street sir.”

“Ah yes, bit of a feather in your cap that one Ted… a quick clear up like that, looks very good on the crime figures.”

“I suppose so sir… but frankly I’m not too happy about it, I think we could have a problem.”

“Really? In what way? I understood you’d obtained a confession and the killer has been charged and is in custody.” Continue reading

April 2015 – lucky number – Not Without a Fight by Martin Bolton

Not Without a Fight

by Martin Bolton

Since the age of sixteen, Sparrow Brokenspear had been better known as Shortstraw. That’s to say, since he was attacked by a bear, which was not his first piece of evil luck.

No one knew how he survived the mauling he took. The bear swiped its massive paw across his front, near disembowelling him. Damn thing should have killed him, but folk said life wasn’t finished knocking him about yet, and maybe they were right. Instead of giving up the ghost like any sensible man might, he hovered somewhere painful between life and death for more than a year. Continue reading

April 2015 – lucky number – Toffee Crisp by Simon Evans

Toffee Crisp

by Simon Evans

I still shudder whenever I think of the Toffee Crisp incident. The mental scars are still very much with me, even though the horrid, beastly, terrifying incident took place many moons ago. So, sit back, relax and let me tell you the tale of an event so terrible it turned by ginger hair white.

I had just finished my A levels and my friend Dennis was flush for cash as his lucky number had come up in the lottery bonus ball sweep stake at the Sheep’s Head Inn.

A celebration was in order, so Dennis and I decided on a weekend of revelry at a holiday cottage at Badgers’ Cove, near Pixford, on the Oldenbury coast. Continue reading

February 2015 – high road – Richard by Martin Bolton

Richard

by Martin Bolton

I forgot to cry when my parents were murdered. My eyes were busy. Busy recording every detail of the horror they beheld.

Those eyes remained busy for ten years. Too busy to sleep. Too busy to see the world in which I dwelt. Too busy replaying the scene that defined me, frame by frame, in minute detail. Busy gazing into the future and seeing only vengeance.

The day after they died, or maybe it was a week, or a year, I found myself in a psychiatric ward. White walls, white floor, white sheets. A dazzlingly bright room with the sun streaming through an open window. A cool breeze delivering the scent of flowers in a vain attempt to distract me. This was a bribe from nature itself. A ploy to tempt my mind from its path. Continue reading