Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Review, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Silver Threadings Review – Mankind Limited

Scott Bailey skillfully wove a tale of intrigue and suspense with just the right amount of dystopian dread. Bravo!

Silver Threading

  • Title:  Mankind Limited
  • Author: Scott Bailey
  • File Size: 958 KB
  • Print Length: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Scott Bailey
  • Publication Date: August 19, 2013
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EOA1RW2
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Dystopian Fantasy

In the Author’s Words:

“Trapped. In a world where everything is measured and control pervades every area of life, four people begin to break down. Instead, they break through the walls of deceit and propaganda and into a world of revolution. 

Each, in their way, vow to overthrow the established order. They embark on a journey against the forces arraigned against them, forces of the state and self-doubt.

Ultimately their paths converge on a dangerous road and the discovery of an ancient secret.

Four people, four rebels. Four journeys of self-doubt and discovery that converge on the road to revolution and the discovery of an ancient secret.”

My Recommendation:

*The author provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

I have never been a fan of dystopian novels. For me, they were always too dark and miserable, filled with human misery and oppression. You can imagine my joy then when I dug intoMankind Limited to find a book filled with characters who were well-rounded and human, flaws and all. I even found an element of hope buried within the pages that drew me further into the story.

In a time, possibly not too far in our future, the MOD has assumed complete control of the government. Nobody crosses them or even attempts to. People become automatons, there but for one reason – to earn money. Individuality is frowned upon. All you are allowed to do is work.

If you lose your job, which is considered a public failure, you are allowed to stay on welfare for only a very short time. The possibility of getting another job after that would be slim to none. Once an individual falls off the bottom of the Personal League Tables, they become illegals, forced to live on the street. Tens of thousands of illegals are shot in the act of criminal activity each year, simply trying to survive.

The government has found a way to manipulate and drug people so they can control them. The MOD believes a docile employee will work hard and earn more money. One such man, Marc, finds himself struggling to survive in this world. It is as if he cannot adapt. Eventually, he loses his job and his wife. He finds himself part of a fringe group of illegals hunting for information about a MOD program called Noah’s Ark.

Richard and Jane, brother and sister, along with their friend, William, welcome Marc into their group of illegals. One day, during a reconnaissance mission to a laboratory high in the mountains, the group comes upon a secret so deadly, it could spell the end of the world for them all. Evidence must be destroyed, so the group plants a bomb to insure the secrets are never used against humans.

As they make their escape, they discover the President is on his way to the facilities for a briefing. The bomb blows the research laboratory and the President to smithereens, branding the illegals as murderers on the run.

Now, this is where I found the story got really interesting. This series of events leads the foursome on an adventure of self-discovery. Each person deals with the trauma from their life decisions, leading the reader to a culmination of events at the explosive ending where the secret is finally revealed.

The plot and characters were superb. The only thing I found I had to get used to was the way the author switched scenes and characters within the same chapter. This was done, I am sure, for perspective and as a way to show what was happening to each character all at the same time.

I must admit, I was surprised by the ending. Scott Bailey skillfully wove a tale of intrigue and suspense with just the right amount of dystopian dread. Bravo!

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4.0 out of 5 stars

 

 

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Mother – Thirteen Tales

Mother

Parental echoes and whispers do their dirty work. A man is the sum of their parts.

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Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

By Scott Bailey

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.

Check it out at Amazon and Smashwords and other online e-book retailers.

A paperback version is now available for those who prefer the feel of the paper while huddling by the fire – on your own – in the dark – with that noise behind you……

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

Poem a day challenge #307 (Starfire)

Starfire

By Scott Bailey © 2014

Made of crystal
So clear
It can hardly be seen
The breadth of seven men
The height of the clouds
The top unseen
Inside
Sparking and crackling
Impossible
Bright and pure
It is filled with
Starfire
For miles around
The land knows no dark
Ever
The question might be asked
Why it was built
Were there anyone around
To ask it

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

Posted in General

Author Interview – Leif M. Wright – “Deadly Vows”, “Minister of Justice” & “Robby the R-Word” (Crime/True Crime/Mystery/Thriller)

toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

Howdy people.

We’ve made it to the weekend again – woohoo, party time, excellent!

(To those working on the weekend, I salute you and look forward to when you can party too and raise a glass for you).

Just a quick note before the fun and games start – I link to a lot of other articles in my posts, so WordPress users please check your Spam folders in your Setting Menus and approve any links/pingbacks that you find from me to improve the visibility of your own blog posts, as well as mine, it’s a win win for us both 😉

Now, let’s get down to those tacks made of brass.

Time to introduce you all to Crime, True Crime and Mystery thriller author Leif Wright, whose books are sure to get your spines tingling and pulse racing before the evening is over.

Here we go and thanks for…

View original post 3,759 more words

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, General, Mankind Limited News, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Mankind Limited – The Sky

quotescover-PNG-36b

 

The sky to the west was as dark as a promise of Armageddon. It was punctuated occasionally by a piercing fork of blue-white lightning.

As piercing as the eyes that watched. Mankind Ltd.

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Read an excerpt here.

Available as

Kindle

or hardback

from Amazon

or CreateSpace

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

The Valley – Thirteen Tales

The Valley

A woman alone, in a deep dark valley, finds her cherished isolation filled with creeping fears. Yet courage can lead to some surprising twists.

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Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

By Scott Bailey

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.

Check it out at Amazon and Smashwords and other online e-book retailers.

A paperback version is now available for those who prefer the feel of the paper while huddling by the fire – on your own – in the dark – with that noise behind you……

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Suspense – Thirteen Tales

Suspense

Revenge can be patient. And it can come at the most unexpected time. Old crimes, suppressed and twisted come back to haunt a monster.

Featured Image -- 7657

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

By Scott Bailey

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.

Check it out at Amazon and Smashwords and other online e-book retailers.

A paperback version is now available for those who prefer the feel of the paper while huddling by the fire – on your own – in the dark – with that noise behind you……

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Science Fiction, Work, Writing

Tailor Made

By Scott Bailey © 2017

Tailor made suits
Tailor made holidays
Tailor made experiences
Tailor made careers
Tailor made relationships
Tailor made friends
Tailor made lives

You know
No matter the tailor
Clothes just don’t fit me well
Consider me
The scruff
And happy to be

In response to the daily prompt Tailor

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Politics, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Read It! Don’t let it come to pass!

Humanity reduced to a bottom line.


Trapped. In a world where everything is measured and control pervades every area of life, four people begin to break down. Instead, they break through the walls of deceit and propaganda and into a world of revolution.

Each, in their way, vow to overthrow the established order. They embark on a journey against the forces arraigned against them, forces of state and self-doubt.

Ultimately their paths converge on a dangerous road and the discovery of an ancient secret.

One one level this is a story about how different people react the ever growing and relentless pressure of everyday oppression. It explores their journeys as they are broken and rebuilt and investigates their modes and motivations for rebelling.

At another level it is a critique on the darker side of capitalism and free markets and how that has driven us further and further away from the evolutionary advantage that gave us supremacy in the first place. It questions whether the human race has doomed itself or whether we still have the capacity to wrench ourselves from the track we have so tightly committed our society upon.

Read an excerpt here.

Available as

Kindle

or hardback

from Amazon

or CreateSpace

Now also available at Smashwords, IBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and many other reputable outlets.

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Playground Laughter – Thirteen Tales

Playground Laughter

A group of youths – exploring freedom and each other – find old fears of school creeping up on them. One is left questioning what he saw – and what he did?

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Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

By Scott Bailey

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.

Check it out at Amazon and Smashwords and other online e-book retailers.

A paperback version is now available for those who prefer the feel of the paper while huddling by the fire – on your own – in the dark – with that noise behind you……

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Science Fiction, Work, Writing

Bumbling

By Scott Bailey © 2017

We bumble along
In this universe
Buzzing with trivia and angst
While the sun roars
Black holes yaw
And starlight races by

Life bubbles up
Here and there
Obsessed with itself
As it is wont to be
The vacuum does not care

Maybe one day
While bumbling
Life will stumble
On the correct change

In response to the daily prompt Bumble

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

Posted in Creative Writing, Mankind Limited News, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

A Dangerous Rebellion

Four people, four rebels. Rejecting society or rejected by it – either way they have had enough. They have decided to fight – and they have taken on the government on its most dangerous and brutal front.

Will they survive?

And have they thought about what comes next?

Or why they are fighting?

Will their convictions be a match for the crimes they will have to commit and the guilt that comes with them?

Mankind_Limited_Cover_for_Kindle

Read an excerpt here.

Available as

Kindle

or hardback

from Amazon or CreateSpace

 

Scott Bailey is a freelance writer, author and blogger. His works include the dystopian novel “Mankind Limited” and “A Spring of Dreams” collection of poetry. His blogging ranges across family articles, poetry and short stories and even the odd book or movie review.  

Posted in Creative Writing, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

A Spring of Dreams – Distant Clattering

Distant Clattering

By Scott Bailey © 2014

A white wedge
Spotted in the corner
Of a run-down shop
Off the track
Joyful memories swell
And from the past
I hear the clattering
Of a metal bowl
Filling with a quarter pound
Of sherbet lemons

IMG_2054
Photo by Scott Bailey

 

A_Spring_of_Dreams_Cover_for_KindleAvailable as

Kindle

or hardback

from Amazon

or CreateSpace

 

 

 

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

A Ghost Sighting – Thirteen Tales

A Ghost Sighting

A blatant, carefree affair leads to some odd visions and strange happenings in an ancient cottage in the sticks.

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Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

By Scott Bailey

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.

Check it out at Amazon and Smashwords and other online e-book retailers.

A paperback version is now available for those who prefer the feel of the paper while huddling by the fire – on your own – in the dark – with that noise behind you……

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Science Fiction, Work, Writing

Buried

By Scott Bailey © 2017

In the few idle moments of the day
The few
The very few
I think
I dream
Big plans
And small
How I can achieve my goals
How I will relax tonight
A film?
A beer?
Finish my masterpiece
Find fame and fortune
And then the moment’s gone
Reality bites
Decisions are taken away
And I am the whim of everyone else again
Maybe
I should stop thinking
Stop dreaming
So my dreams
Are no longer buried
In disappointment

In response to the daily prompt Bury

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

The Church – Thirteen Tales

The Church

A dare in the dark, bravado against the fears of the night – in the most spooky of settings – was it asking for trouble?

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Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

By Scott Bailey

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.

Check it out at Amazon and Smashwords and other online e-book retailers.

A paperback version is now available for those who prefer the feel of the paper while huddling by the fire – on your own – in the dark – with that noise behind you……

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Mankind Ltd – What Right?

quotescover-PNG-23

What right had she to make decisions for other people?

What had made her think that those posters were true?

How dare she have the courage to break those chains?

By Scott Bailey 

Read an excerpt here.

Available as

Kindle

or hardback

from Amazon

or CreateSpace

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Science Fiction, Work, Writing

Cross

By Scott Bailey © 2000

Rapists come and go
like bills
grit your teeth
bear it
pay

Carry a dagger
close
no guarantee
a talisman
a cross

Hide in the woods
crunching leaves
above
beneath them
a thousand bones

Click, click
Bang, bang
You make it a film!
a song.
a hero’s theme

Click, click
Bang, bang
My mother didn’t pay
didn’t bear her cross
didn’t carry her cross
now lays beneath hers

My best suit
stained by the passing
the violent end
of my daughter
in my arms

Now you tell me
in your yellow coat
shining stripe
proud nation
Go back whence you came!

In response to the daily prompt Grit

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Meet the Characters – Marc

Mankind Limited

Marc

Marc is a model citizen, devoted to the ideals of modern society. Moderately successful in his career, climbing the ladder with a beautiful partner by his side.

So why is he plagued by nightmares? Why is he so disaffected? What is the truth that he can feel trying to poke its way through the noise of his everyday thoughts?

And where will it lead if he finally listens to that truth?

Mankindd Limited

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, General, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Writing

A Spring of Dreams – Sparrow

(Sparrow)

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Sparrow, sparrow in my way.
Briefly tell your tale today.
Tell me if my love is dead.
Do I waste the tears I shed?

Briefly now I’ll tell my tale.
Pray your courage does not fail.
You do not waste the tears you shed.
Alas I say, your love is dead.

A sharp, cold sword did spill her blood.
She tried to stem an angry flood.
But peace that day she could not win.
So fearful war will begin.

Thank you bird for being true.
Nothing’s left for me to do.
To take up arms and pursue strife.
Slay the spoilers of my life.

I bid you sir, think awhile.
Turn from this dark path so vile.
Listen to my humble song.
Step not where your lover’s gone.

Just a simple bird am I
But far above this land I fly.
And see its beauty spread below.
See ahead, where you might go.

Lay down your sword with forgiving heart.
Do not tear your land apart.
Still your rage and vengeance cease.
Follow rather a path of peace.

Humble bird I hear your song.
But my love is dead and gone.
So I raise my sword today.
And will make those killers pay.

The enemies that broke my heart.
And now have torn the land apart.
Upon their heads is all this blood.
For I must release the flood.

Then sir, I shall shed a tear.
For the future I do not fear.
Yet for now I swiftly go.
To make way for the crow.

 

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

A Ghost Scene – Thirteen Tales

A Ghost Scene

This is a play with a difference. Shakespeare’s ghost scene, the dead Dane, will never seem the same again to this band of oddball actors drawn together by their passion.

Featured Image -- 7657

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

By Scott Bailey

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.

Check it out at Amazon and Smashwords and other online e-book retailers.

A paperback version is now available for those who prefer the feel of the paper while huddling by the fire – on your own – in the dark – with that noise behind you……

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Science Fiction, Work, Writing

Caper

By Scott Bailey © 2017

The caper is up
The plot has escaped
From all those lords and ladies
In their ermine capes
We know their game
Time for revolution
Is that what we’ll do?
Or just carry on the same?

In response to the daily prompt Caper

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

Posted in General

Author Interview – Charley Daveler – Stories of the Wyrd (Sci-Fi/Fantasy)

toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

Hello there everyone.

Welcome to your Monday dose of creativity, excitement and entertainment.

Just a quick note before the fun and games start – I link to a lot of other articles in my posts, so WordPress users please check your Spam folders in your Setting Menus and approve any links/pingbacks that you find from me to improve the visibility of your own blog posts, as well as mine, it’s a win win for us both 😉

Now, let’s get this show on the road!

I am extremely pleased to introduce to you all Fantasy/Sci-Fi Author and playwright Charley Daveler to the ongoing Author Interview series, as she tells us all about her exciting forays into her wonderfully witty entrancing worlds and we explore her writing experiences.

Enjoy folks, here we go.

Hi there Charley, thank you for spending time with us here today to allow us to get to…

View original post 5,123 more words

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Shipwreck – Thirteen Tales

Shipwreck

Explorers – or pillagers? The line is thin on the high seas, in strange exotic lands. Those that operate without fear of consequence soon learn their folly. There are older powers in the world than gunpowder and steel.

Featured Image -- 7657

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

By Scott Bailey

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.

Check it out at Amazon and Smashwords and other online e-book retailers.

A paperback version is now available for those who prefer the feel of the paper while huddling by the fire – on your own – in the dark – with that noise behind you……

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Meet the Characters – Richard

Mankind Limited

Mankindd Limited

Richard

Richard burns. He burns with a fury that is too bright for him to look at. He fights the system in whatever inventive ways he can concoct.

He never asks why he fights or what his ultimate goal is. He just needs the fight.

So defeat almost crushes him, forces him to ask himself questions he has been afraid to ask all his life.

Can he survive the answers?

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Music, Science Fiction, Short Stories, Work, Writing

The Execution

By Scott Bailey © 2014

“My patience is almost spent.”

“I apologise Mr. Dickens. The situation is complicated.”

“I have been hearing that for two weeks now! And have been given nothing! No answers! I don’t know where I am. I don’t know what has happened to me. Everyone talks strange and treats me like some kind of alien or freak show. And where are my fucking family!”

For a second the Doctor looked horrified. Then he quickly composed himself.

“Again I can only apologise.  But I will explain now. When I do you will understand our … reticence. ”

“About time..”, muttered Henry.The Doctor gave him a look of pity.

“Brace yourself. ”

Henry suddenly felt cold. The Doctor went on.

“Our records show that you were in a cycling accident.”

He pronounced cycling as if he didn’t know what the word meant.

“You suffered severe brain injuries. You were put into a coma to try to protect your higher brain functions. When the swelling had subsided the medical team tried to revive you. They failed. You remained in a coma.”

Henry shifted in his chair. His voice was broken as he spoke.

“How long?”

“Ten years.”

“I have been out for ten years?”

“It’s more complicated. While you were under the world around you changed. It got worse, a lot worse. Your wife… well it seems she was a sharp woman. She saw things clearer than most. For one thing she left us plenty of notes. That’s why we know so much.”

Henry felt a growing sense of dread. But he kept silent.

“Because she saw things clearly she prepared, took action.  What I am going to tell you will be hard for you to hear. But bear in mind that with the benefit of hindsight we can see that what she did was for her family. For your children. She took steps to protect them.”

“Protect them?” His heart was racing.  “Protect them from what?”

“From war.”

“There was a fucking war?” The Doctor flinched again, but he went on.

“Yes. It was a dark time.”

“World War Three?”

“Not quite. I mean that’s what people expected.  What your wife thought was coming. But it was not and all-encompassing war like that. No one side against the other. No. What transpired was a series of many many, small wars between countries.”

He shuddered and continued.

“You might think that would have been better than a world war, but it was not.  It was far worse. With just about every country in the world caught up in their own conflicts there was nobody to coordinate any kind of peace deal. No one to talk to anyway if there had have been. So the wars dragged on, for years,  decades.”

“Decades? I thought you said ..” the Doctor stilled him with a look.

“Your wife saw the dark times coming. She took steps to protect her family.  The first of which was she remarried. ”

“She… what? She..”

“She married into immense wealth. And she used the money to protect her children and you. We know she did this well as we know they survived the dark times.”

“They are alive! I can see them!”

“No. You cannot.  They are…. let me finish.”

A lump of dread was threatening to strangle him.

“She also tried to protect you. With all the resources of her great wealth she threw everything they had at the time towards reviving you. Nothing worked. Finally, when it looked darkest and there was no guarantee that anyone would survive she threw you one last desperate lifeline. An experimental treatment.”

The Doctor paused, looked him deep in the eye.

“She put you into suspended animation.”

Henry felt chilled to the bone.

“So no, you cannot see your wife and children. They have been dead for over two hundred years. We have only just been able to awaken you.”

“No. No, this can’t be. It’s some sort of sick joke isn’t it? There’s cameras in here. Well it’s not funny! I want to see my family!”

“Please Mr Dickens, please calm down. I know this is a lot to take in and I am sorry. But there is more. There is something else you need to know.”

“Calm down? Calm the fuck down? I want my family in this room! Here and now! Don’t give me any more bullshit.”

The doctor nodded very slightly, subtly, but Henry noticed.

It was too late.hands he didn’t see took a firm hold of his arms. Held him steadfastly. He felt a cold disc of metal against the skin of his neck, there was a hiss, then he fell swirling into darkness.

 


 

“You want me to what!?”

Henry looked at the panel before him, twelve men and women, with utter disbelief.

“Mr Dickens. We understand that you have a lot to take in over the last few weeks.”

“A lot!” Henry stared. How could they possibly understand. He has lost everything. His family, his love, his world. He had seen very little of this world but he had seen enough to know that it was not his. He was an alien here.

And now this.

“We understand that you have lost a lot. You have to understand that the world has lost a lot too.”

“I have heard all about your wars. Lots of people died. Yes.”

“They were not our wars, “ said the chairman of the panel, his voice calm and cold. “And I don’t think you have an appreciation of just how many people died, or what that meant.”

Henry didn’t see what any of it had to do with him. The chairman continued anyway.

“The population of the earth was cut by 75%. You have no idea what that did to us. There were very few people left to run things. Very few who knew how to keep things running. Power stations failed. Oil wells stopped pumping. Machines broke down. Nobody knew how to rule, how to respond to the disasters. All that had been wiped away in war after war.

“The times after the wars were darker than the actual wars. The world came close to slipping into barbarism. In many places it did.”

“And you came along and saved it,” said Henry sourly.

“We survived. We were not involved – because we were overlooked. We had no wealth, no strategic value. Largely we were forgotten up in the mountains.”

He paused, letting Henry take in his words. Henry said nothing so he continued.

“We don’t really know what triggered many of the wars, people say it was largely financial – but those are theories, based on times gone by. What we do know is that as things got more and more desperate the terms of the conflicts changed. They became more ideological. In many cases fiercely religious. This was why many of them could not be stopped, there came a point where reason stopped being any part of the fighting.

“It was another reason we were not drawn into it. As Buddhists we eschewed all the arguments for fighting. But we were also no threat to anyone. Those that were bent on converting the world, well – most had forgotten us, or were just leaving us to last.

“So in the end, we survived just by being the last ones standing. We were the only thing left close to being a coherent nation.

“And we were used to living frugally. We were in a unique position to fill the niche so to speak.

“So people flocked to us. They saw our way of life working. Saw it as a light in the dark, a hope.”

“And you made them all convert!” Henry spat.

“Not at first,” replied the chairman. “That was not our way, never had been. But it was a disaster. Trying to accommodate everyone’s views, conflicting ways of doing things. Trying to keep on top of all the old tensions, historical hatreds and prejudices. Well it almost tore us apart. And we were so fragile then, we still are.”

The chairman leaned forward.

“You have to understand something. The earth is damaged. It’s worn out, and depleted. It will never recover, not in the ways we would want it to. The comforts and luxuries of generations past have gone. If we are to survive we must change our ways. And some of those ways might seem extreme to you. They are – but so is our situation.”

“So I have to convert to Buddhism! No choice!”

“That is correct. and it has to be genuine. You must live by our ways.”

“What do you do check up on me? Monitor me? Give me exams every month or something.”

“We do not need to. The way our society is structured, if you do not follow our ways, it would be obvious. If your thoughts do not flow with those around you  – it will be grossly evident to all around you.”

“So I am not even allowed to think outside of your precious bloody ways.”

“As I said, the ways are extreme, and your manner does not fit – at the moment.”

Henry snorted in derision. Did they really think he was going to take this.

“And if I refuse?”

“We cannot allow the possibility of disruption to the balance. You will be executed.”

Henry stared open-mouthed.

“You are kidding! That doesn’t sound very like the Buddhism that was around in my time.”

“Maybe not – we have had to make our sacrifices too. But we are humane.”

“How can killing someone be humane?”

“You would die happy and fulfilled. We have our ways”

“Well hoo – fucking – ray!”

 


 

“Are you sure that you do not want to change your mind?” said the monk. Henry assumed it was a monk. He looked like the Buddhist monks from his own era but he just didn’t know any more.

He wasn’t sure he cared either.

“Why would I do that?”

“So you can live,” said the monk with surprise.

“What for? My life is gone. Everything I knew is gone. My life would be as a stranger in a cage of rules I don’t want and don’t understand. I can’t live like that.”

“You haven’t given it a chance. You have no idea the peace and joy of our lives. You are judging us by your primitive standards. You…

“Enough!” A voice of authority barked from a hidden source. The monk started and looked guilty and continued preparing the elaborate machine Henry was embedded into.

Joy indeed! Henry snorted to himself. Get on with it, he thought.

The monk appeared to comply. He stepped back, nodded at the back wall and left.

The machine hummed and enclosed further around Henry like some futuristic iron maiden. A needle swung into his vision, poised at his neck and then stopped.

The voice spoke again.

“It saddens us to do this friend. But our society, mankind, must survive.”

“Yes, yes. I can imagine the tears you are shedding.”

“You will not change your mind?”

“You will not let me live among you without converting?” Henry countered.

“No.”

“Not even for a limited time – say a month, to see if you can change my mind?” The sarcasm in his voice told them all he did not expect any reasonable answer to that.

“No.”

“Then get on with it!”

“Very well. Judge! Carry out the execution.”

Henry didn’t even take a breath. He’d had enough, reached his limit. He wanted it ended.

Nothing happened. He looked up, the needle stayed poised, he could almost see the poison dripping from it.

“Judge! What is happening? Carry out the execution.”

“No.” The new voice was quietly defiant.

“What? Judge, carry out your task, execute him.”

“No!” What Henry presumed was the Judge’s voice was louder and firmer this time. “I will not. He is right. We should give him time amongst us.”

“This is not acceptable, Judge, do your job!”

“What does it say about our society if we do not trust it to be good enough to sway him? If we are scared that it so weak that a single man can topple it? We need to start our own healing, and it should start with him. We will give him his time. One month. If he is still not convinced, I will carry out the sentence.”

“This is not acceptable, Judge!”

Something stirred in Henry. Suddenly, out of nowhere he wanted what the Judge was offering him. A chance. A chance to live.

“You will accept it. I am the only one in this world who can carry out this sentence and I will not.”

“Your apprentice…”

“Will not be able to carry it out. I have already locked him out of all the processes. Only I can release the locks. He will have his time.”

 


 

“Next up, we are talking to the sensation of the age. The man who was frozen in time and has awoken to join us in the future. The man who escaped death twice and who is shaking the world. The man the leaders fear, the man who asks questions.

“Well today, we hope, he will be answering some of our questions.”

The interviewer turned to Henry while the applause of the audience died down. Henry squirmed uncomfortably. Of all the damn things to survive into this century it had to be talk shows! And he was the fucking subject.

He had to remember not to swear too. He had learnt it was considered way more offensive in these times than his own.

“Mr Dickens, thank you for joining us, let us begin with the biggest question.

“OK.” said Henry.

“We have all heard your remarkable story, it has tugged at all our hearts, we all grieve for your losses. The question we have is, why did you refuse conversion when offered at first? Why, as it appears did you choose death?”

Henry was suddenly overwhelmed with emotions that he struggled to keep under wraps. Grieve for my losses? What could they possibly understand about his losses! The very stupidity of the question betrayed how little they could understand.

How could he answer that?

The audience did not let him. A voice shouted out.

“Why didn’t you just convert!? What’s wrong with our way of life?”

Henry couldn’t see the source of the voice. He sounded like a fanatic, a tone not uncommon in this new world he had discovered.

“I knew nothing about it, you expected I would just convert, without questioning what I was getting into.”

“What’s to question? This way of life has saved us, saved humanity.”

People clapped and cheered the questioner.

“Has it? Or has it turned you all into cattle? Sheep that blindly follow ‘the way’.”

The audience booed and jeered at him, he was a little surprised. His opinions were not exactly secret, they had been broadcast around the world for the two weeks since his stay of execution.

He was the biggest news story of the time.

Hardly surprising as very little else seemed to be happening in the world.

They had peace OK. And it was boring.

“Let him speak!” another voice rang out above the protests.

The audience quietened down, shocked that someone, one of their own appeared to be supporting him.

“Let us hear what he has to say. If our society is so perfect then what possible threat could he be?”

Henry was surprised himself to hear a small ripple of applause supporting this new stance.

He spoke.

“Sure, you have peace. Your society is a model of sustainability and balance. I admire it in many ways. But it is frozen, you are so scared to upset the balance you allow no change. You have stopped growing. You might survive for now, but when change comes – when it is thrust upon you, you won’t know how to deal with it, how to adapt.

“You are like a rose, frozen in liquid nitrogen. Beautiful, preserved for all time, but dead. And easily shattered with a single blow.”

“Why didn’t you just pretend? Just convert and be quiet?” said the original voice.

Henry stood angrily now.

“I spent the whole of my old life dreaming of being someone. Of making my mark on the world. Leaving behind a legacy beyond just my genes. But I didn’t, I was nothing. I worked, I existed, I supported my family, I loved. But nothing more than what every other person was doing around me. I always dreamed one day, one day – but that day was never to be.

“And now – you expect me to just shut up and become just another cog in the machine again. With even less freedom and liberty than before? Well fuck you all if that’s what you think.”

Savage!” a woman screamed.

“No! He is right! Why can’t we question things? Why can’t we change things?”

“Do you want war to return? Do you want our blood?”

“We can question without conflict!”

Suddenly the audience erupted. Everyone was on their feet, trying to shout down each other. Henry thought it looked evenly split but it looked messy.

The aggression was rising.

The flabbergasted host turned to his assistants.

“Get him out of here!”

Hands grabbed in and he was whisked away.

In response to the daily prompt Savage

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Science Fiction, Work, Writing

Keys

By Scott Bailey © 2014

Keys can lock and jangle
Hold us safe and secure
Take away liberty or open up the doors
And the doors they can open….
Silver is the primary key
That opens up our home
We do have gold but it is worn
From use and years and time
Some keys are rows of black and white
And open up our hearts
With wondrous weaving melodies
Soaring sounds from worlds apart
But the keys that give me magic
And warm my ailing heart
Dance beneath my fingertips
As dreams flow from my art

In response to the daily prompt Jangle

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Meet the Characters – Jane

Mankind Limited

Mankindd Limited

Jane

Jane is a rebel. Of sorts. She engages in rebellious activity and she is good at it. If anyone had tracked her exploits they might say she was a genius. Because that was correct no one had ever tracked her.

But the truth was that so far in her life she had been a follower, not a rebel. She had followed her brother into rebellion and lent her genius to his to fight whatever foe he chose next.

She knew nothing else. It had been her life. And she did not realise that her heart was not in it. Not until the right catalyst lights up her passion and her anger. Then her genius is given the chance to really shine.

Yet will she rise to the challenge?

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

The Urban Jungle – Thirteen Tales

The Urban Jungle

The pressures of civilisation conflict with the urge to conserve and record. Someone – something – intervenes from with echoes from the distant past.

Featured Image -- 7657

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

By Scott Bailey

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.

Check it out at Amazon and Smashwords and other online e-book retailers.

A paperback version is now available for those who prefer the feel of the paper while huddling by the fire – on your own – in the dark – with that noise behind you……

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Terminal – Thirteen Tales

Terminal

Who is in the locked hotel room? Who is breaking into the top secret security files? And what is their motivation?

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Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

By Scott Bailey

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.

Check it out at Amazon and Smashwords and other online e-book retailers.

A paperback version is now available for those who prefer the feel of the paper while huddling by the fire – on your own – in the dark – with that noise behind you……

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Meet the Characters – William

William

William considers himself the only true revolutionary there has been. Living a life of utter destitution below the city, he leads a community of people the rest of the world sees as outcasts and losers.

His is the long game. He know’s the aim, he knows what he is fighting for.

He also knows that he will probably never see the results in his lifetime.

So when the chance to act, the chance to make a difference presents itself will he forget his principles and give up his long-term plan, or stay resolute to his goal?

Available as

Kindle

or hardback

from Amazon

or CreateSpace

Now also available at Smashwords, IBooks, Barnes and Noble and many other reputable outlets.

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Fire and Ice – Thirteen Tales

Fire and Ice

A fiery lover returns from hell with a chilling message. Will the spirit of revolution prevail? Or will it be doused in cold, hard truths?

Featured Image -- 7657

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

By Scott Bailey

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.

Check it out at Amazon and Smashwords and other online e-book retailers.

A paperback version is now available for those who prefer the feel of the paper while huddling by the fire – on your own – in the dark – with that noise behind you……

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Meet the Characters – Marc

Mankind Limited

Marc

Marc is a model citizen, devoted to the ideals of modern society. Moderately successful in his career, climbing the ladder with a beautiful partner by his side.

So why is he plagued by nightmares? Why is he so disaffected? What is the truth that he can feel trying to poke its way through the noise of his everyday thoughts?

And where will it lead if he finally listens to that truth?

Mankindd Limited

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

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