Posted in Creative Writing, Short Stories, Writing

The Avenue- #writephoto

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt

Another bit of fiction – another continuation of previous entries that I have decided to collate in one place – here.

Here Sue’s photo for this week.

 


The Avenue

By Scott Bailey © 2018

 

This was the second time Ilaria had walked down this Avenue of trees today. Earlier it had been bright sunshine and lush green grass. Now it was grey and blue in the moonlight.

Then, he had walked with her. The Count. She had learned he was a Count almost immediately. It had amused her mildly. She had followed all the clues and they had led her to a castle where a Count lived.

It has all the makings of a horror movie. Or maybe a quaint period romance.

She had no taste for either. She rarely read fiction. She preferred a good textbook, preferably history.

Somehow he had known that.

She had badgered him with questions which he deftly danced all around and avoided with politeness. As she talked, he walked. Moving at a leisurely pace. She noticed that despite his age – she guessed around mid-fifties he seemed quite fit. Moved with a strong, feline confidence.

She barely noticed that they left the darkness of his personal museum and found themselves strolling in the dappled sunlight beneath the trees.

When she did she also realised that, despite his blindness, he had not faltered once. He had been sure-footed and need no guide.

She stopped. Taking in the implications.

“You have lived here all your life?” It was the only explanation, he must know the place intimately.

“As have my family for several generations.” he smiled, amused at her question.

“A French Count.” she mused.

“An English title, my family moved here many years in the past, the title came with them and stayed.”

“And you? You have stayed here, never left?”

“Oh, I have travelled in my time, all over the world.” There was sadness in his voice now. Maybe he had not always been blind? Did he mourn the loss of all the sites he had seen?

She pushed on with her quest for answers though.

“Is that where you collected all those weapons?”

“No, that was not me. That was father’s passion. I don’t really care for the collection – it holds no interest to me.”

“Except for that sword.” There could be no denying his interest in that sword. It had pride of place n his house.
He smiled wryly, as is admiring her insight. He nodded.

“Yes, except that sword.”

“Was that one of your father’s acquisitions?”

“It was. One of his last.” he began walking again, drawing her down the avenue.

“He never knew what he had, he dies shortly after bringing home.”

“But you do?” she said. “You know what is special about it. What is it? And what are those figures?”

He stopped again, turned and faced her. He sighed and appeared to be considering his answer. Finally, he spoke again.

“I know your type. You are obsessed with facts – with explanations, not mystery.”

She bristled at this description of herself, to the way he had pigeonholed her, she wanted to dispute it, but she didn’t know what to say. She realised that he had hit the mark.

He went on.

“You want answers, explanations. I am not sure I can give you that. What I can tell you, you would not believe.”

“Try me,” she said. Something about all this had hooked her. She needed the answers in a way she had never felt before. Her calm assessment of everything that had gone before in her life seemed to have been washed away by this sudden, irrational obsession. Though it frightened her – she found she could not turn back any more.

So her heart lurched when he answered.

“No.”

She began to protest but he held up his hand.

“I cannot tell you in any way you would accept. Therefore, I must show you. Meet me here again, this exact spot at midnight.”

She almost snorted, almost derided all this theatrical nonsense. Almost walked away from it all.

But he did not give her the chance. He whirled around and stalked away from her, leaving her open-mouthed.

So she found herself back beneath the trees in the cool night, wondering if she were starting to go mad.

“Are you ready to open your eyes?”

She jumped in fright. The count had come up beside her in silence.

The air felt chill now. Yet, somehow, in spite of the situation, she did not feel any threat from him.

“What are we waiting for?” she asked, trying to keep the scepticism from her voice.

He pointed his cane down the avenue.

Where two faint white figures approached. They were misty and translucent and seemed to be sunk in the ground up to their waists.

She stepped back several paces in fear. What the hell! They looked for all the world like ghosts approaching them.

The air felt colder still.

This could not be! She whirled around looking up in the trees for the light of a projector.

“This is no illusion!” said the Count. “Take all the time you need to confirm that after, but for now – attend closely.” He nodded in the direction of the approaching figures.

She could see them more clearly now. They were indeed sunk up to their waists into the earth. But they seemed not to notice. They ran as if it were not there.

They were figures from the most ancient of times. Almost naked, wearing simple animal hides. Their hair wild. They both carried spears, wooden with flint heads.

They passed her. The nearest was a young woman, barely an adult. The other was an older, man. He looked strong but worn by time. Somehow, despite the fact that he was not eyeless, she could tell that he, like the Count, was blind.


#writephoto

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Posted in Creative Writing, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Awkward

By Scott Bailey © 2018

The awkward stance
Where does it stem from
A lifetime of toil?
Injury?
Or the weight
Of the world?

Image from Pixabay

In response to the daily prompt Awkward

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

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 outlets.

Posted in Creative Writing, Poetry, Writing

Sold

By Scott Bailey © 2013

We can make you a better parent
Just come and bank with us
We can make you a better lover
Just use our scent
We can make you more successful
Just drive our cars
We can make you a better man
Just drink our beers
We can make you young and cool
Just use our phones
We can make you healthier
Just eat our food

Give us your money
So we can fill the gaps
Of your so obviously
Empty lives

Image from Pixabay

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Aubade Two

By Scott Bailey © 2015

Dawn sneaks over the hills
Light spills through the vales
And the veils of the window

I see beauty at last
Complicated, unfathomable, mystery
But right and true

Most the world walks by
Seeing a different way
This morning gives me hope

But the light washes out
Shadows darken veils
Traditions bear down

The beauty and the mystery
The reason and the truth
Are left behind again

The door is closed again
As ancient lore and law
Return us to the night

Image from Pixabay

In response to the daily prompt Complication

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Writing

Present Ideas

If you are stuck for ideas – here are a few. They are original and different – plus being ebooks they have the advantage of not being hindered by delivery issues 🙂


Mankind Limited

Mankind Limited

Marc trudged on with life, marching in line with his fellow workers. Weighed down by the everyday burdens of life, the pressure to conform, to succeed or face destitution.

Yet he knew, in his heart that it was all wrong, the questions squirmed like fiery dragons in the pit of his heart, beneath his deepest darkest doubts.

Until they grew and burst his sanity, set him on a path of defiance and rebellion. A path that would cross three others – all like him seeking answers.

A path of danger and adventure that would see him marked as a terrorist and fleeing for his life. It would see him find love and heartbreak, hope and despair, Most of all, it would open his eye to the possibility of an ancient and powerful secret that might answer all his doubts and fears.

If he survived.

Buy Now


Thirteen Tales

As the title says – thirteen tales about ghosts. Yet, while ghosts feature in them all – not all are traditional ghost stories.

You will find the vengeful spirit but also the plaintiff one. The haunting message from the past and the playful spirits capturing the joy of their past lives.

Some of these visitors from beyond lead the haunted to peace and joy – others take them on much darker paths to places with no return.

Enjoy them – just don’t get too comfortable.

Buy Now


A Spring of Dreams

Three hundred and sixty-five poems in all shapes and sizes, sprung from dreams and emotion. Published day after day for a year. There are haiku, sonnets, katauta, lanturnes and many other forms – including free form. The moods are as varied as the forms and often reflect my mood on the day. There is sadness and grief, joy and love.

If nothing else – these can provide a small moment in everyone’s stressful lives to stop and contemplate the world in a different way.

Buy Now


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, Poetry, Writing

Chipping Away at Mountains

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Lines and words and lines
On one screen they mean this
Elsewhere something else
On paper strangely old
Before my eyes
Flashing by
Doing magic
But why
For the small ends
Of small goals
Chipping away at mountains

 

Image from Pixabay

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

Thin Fences

By Scott Bailey © 2014

Two men wake
Two men go to work
Kiss their children goodbye
Work
Earn their wages
Provide
Come home
Love their children
Make love to their wives
Sleep
One man sends the other
A bomb in a package
Nothing between these men
But a thin fence
And hate
Dressed up as ideology
As fight against injustice
As religion
As revenge
But it is nothing
But the empty
Hate
Of little men

Image from Pixabay

 

In response to the daily prompt Thin

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Poetry, Writing

Wandering Spells

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Is it enough?
These words
We gather here
From across the globe
Our thoughts thrumming
Over strands of the web
They gather and agree
Mostly
And we know
What is wrong with the world
What is right
How to behave
And with well picked word
We condemn
Or cajole
the effective ones.

But is it enough?
Just the words.

Yet once upon a time
There was a spell
A magical combination
That set me on this course
Of reason and reason-ability

Maybe it is enough
If someone somewhere
Is moved by our spells
To do the right thing.

 

Image from Pixabay

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Short Stories, Writing

The Sculptor – #writephoto

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt

Another bit of short (very short this week) fiction – another continuation of previous entries that I have decided to collate in one place – here.

Here Sue’s photo for this week.

 


The Sculptor

By Scott Bailey © 2018

 

He stood back, took in his work, and smiled.

Yes. He was getting there. He was satisfied.

He was almost finished.

He knew that nobody else would see it. No one in this place understood. They would not see what he could see. They would only see a couple of boulders, barely touched by him.

But he knew. His subtle touches revealed the shapes that were there. The two figures, watching waiting – poised. Ancient figures known now only to a few, their stories passed down through the generations.

Stories many did not believe – of wonder and dread.

Stories of The Hunter, The Eyeless Man and a magical weapon that defied time.

Northblood.


#writephoto

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

Pedigree

By Scott Bailey © 2018

The list is out
The top dogs preen
While those who put on the show
Count their gains
And the mongrels
Sniff out the scraps
On the ground

Image from Pixabay

In response to the daily prompt Pedigree

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

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”, “Thirteen Tales” – a collection of Ghost Stories 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, Poetry, Writing

Galaxy (A Nonet)

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Black hole quasar NASA
Black hole quasar NASA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Swirling, whirling milky clouds of stars
Spiralling down to the black hole
Supermassive hungry dark
Swallowing all it can
Axle of the wheel
Sparkling star arms
Shining cloud
Holds our
Home

 

 

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

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.

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, Poetry, Writing

The House of Bailey

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Heart lifts
When I lift him high
Heart skips
With her every kiss
Through darkness and troubled times
Our place has held us
I return with joy
To the walls
My son
My wife
My home

 

Photo by Rachel Bailey

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

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

Around and Around

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Electron around and around an atom’s core
Atoms around and around each other
Mass around mass and air around rock
Rock around and around rock
Moon around and around earth
Earth around and around Sun
A billion suns around galactic core
Spiralling into the dark
A billion galaxies dance their endless dance
Around and around and around

I stand still

Image from Pixabay

In response to the daily prompt Core

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

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

The Forest of Dreams

By Scott Bailey 2015

Dark, thick between the trees
No light shines off
The dull black armour
Of the horseman as he rides
Slow through the forest of dreams.

Pale the winding path
The black knight follows
His weary steed plods steadfast
As it’s burden heavy grows
Head hung low

This quest was not the glory
He dreamed of in his youth
Like the birds that flew this morning
On dreams that seemed to be
A promise of life and growth

He followed the flighty birds
As they danced upon his dreams
Into this tree locked realm
And the winding path so thin
They drew him deeper in

And the vines of need reached out
With curled dependency
Wrapped around his limbs, his heart
Sinking deep their thorns
The pain shook him from his dreams

To the vines he must cling
To keep his dreams at bay
Though they drag him deeper down
And hamper his faltering way
They are a part of him

He no longer sees the birds
Riding on his dreams
Now he knows the awful truth
That only dragons truly fly
The dragons he should slay

He could unsheath his sword
These vines to cut
Roar fire and leap to the sky
Instead he forges onward
To endure until he dies

Image from Pixabay

In response to the daily prompt Forest

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

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

A Lost Forest

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Bright flakes of light in dappled leaves
that float on down
where saplings grow
and settle low

And earthy scents rise in the air
As underfoot
leaves crunch and fold
red-brown and gold

The rusty fence that holds it in
it holds us too
back from that time
when we roamed free

Image from Pixabay

In response to the daily prompt Forest

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

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

Thirteen Tales – Cycles

Cycles

(Originally published in Thirteen Tales)

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Featured Image -- 7657

Orange light tried to sparkle off the wet tarmac. Otherwise all was still, even the three figures that lay in the road.

Two were face down by the kerb, the other was splayed out in the middle of the street. Their faces were hidden by motorcycle helmets. Leather jackets and jeans completed their ensemble.

Houses watched over them, silent witnesses. The life behind the pastel curtains was at rest and undisturbed.

A bedraggled wreath sagged at the foot of a lamppost, close by one of the figures. Notes were scattered around it, most of the writing now had run away into the gutter, the thoughts washed away.

The silence intensified, remained heavy over the scene even as the three figures stirred and slowly rose.

They pulled off their crash helmets and shook out the confusion in their heads. As they walked towards the centre point questions rode in their eyes with fear a close pillion.

Their footsteps were silent.

When they met they stared at each other, each looking for answers in the others faces.

Finally one of them broke the silence.

“What happened?”

“We crashed.”

“I know that you pillock! But…” he hesitated, “then what?

The third man spoke, rapping his helmet.

“I knew we shouldn’t have brought these knock off helmets!”

“Oh, shut up! Gary’s had loads of crashes with his!”

“Yeah,” agreed Gary, hesitantly, “but off road.”

“So we probably just bumped our heads and have lost our memories or something.”

“Well my head don’t feel like it’s got any lumps on it.”

“Tony, you wouldn’t notice if I hit you over the head with a sledge hammer.”

“Not after the amount we drunk at the party!” said Gary. The two of them laughed and clapped each other on the shoulders.

“So?” persisted Tony.

“So, what?”

“So what happened?”

Gary shook his head and wandered over to the pile of soggy wreaths. He bent down and read one of the labels.

“Shit!”

“What?” asked Tony.

“Look at this! This wreath is for the ‘Lads from the Horses’”.

“Some of our gang died!” Ray whispered.

Then Gary shook his head again and pointed a trembling finger at another card, the words almost washed away.

But still readable. Ray read it aloud.

“In loving memory of my Son, Anthony White. Died on his bike, doing what he loved and with his friends. Ride on!”

None of them moved. They stared at the flowers, at the words draining from the cards.

Then a gust of wind caught one of the cards, flicked it in the air and blew it through Tony.

They all screamed and stepped back from one another.

Then they resumed their still, shocked silence. They stared in horror at each other as the chill seeped into their minds.

“Us,” Ray’s voice trembled, “we’re dead.”

“We’re ghosts?” Gary’s voice was as frail as his expression. There was another long silence.

Then suddenly Tony stood up and straightened his shoulders.

“Cool,” he said. “We’re ghosts!”

The other two stared at him with surprise. Then they looked at each other. They seemed to be trying to make a decision. Then, at some subtle signal, they made it. They went along with his bravado.

They punched the air in defiance.

“We’re dead!”

“Right!” said Gary. “Who are we going to haunt first?”

“Hey,” said Tony, “I wonder if we can walk through walls?” He had a sly look on his
face.

“Why?” said Ray, scenting a plan.

“We can head over to Julia Davis’ house and slip inside her bedroom.”

“Yes,” said Gary, making obscene gestures with his arm, “while she slips into something more comfortable!”

“Like nothing,” grinned Ray.

They arrived. It was as simple as that. They had not travelled, they just appeared there. In that almost sacred place that many in their college had secretly wanted to visit. In some cases not so secretly.

She was there! They could hardly believe it. Before their very eyes their wildest and most perverted dreams were coming true. She began to undress.

It wasn’t a strip or erotic,she did it in a matter of fact way, but they didn’t care. They stood slack jawed as when, finally naked, she stretched her body before them and flexed her toned limbs.

“Bloody hell!” said Gary.

“Shh!” Tony silenced him, while keeping his eyes on Julia as she slipped beneath the sheets.

“Why?” said Gary, “she can’t hear us. Look, watch!”

He bent down close to her ear.

“Julia,” he whispered, “you have got a lovely pair of knockers!” He giggled and tried to stroke her hair.

His hand went straight through her head.

He yelled in fright and jumped back.

“Bloody hell!”

The other two laughed. He looked indignantly at them.

“It caught me by surprise, that’s all.”

He looked down sadly at Julia.

“Pity we can’t touch though.”

“Gary, you really are a pervert aren’t you?” sniggered Ray.

“Hey, look at this,” said Tony. He was peering at patches of ice on the window.

“So,” shrugged Gary. “It’s cold outside. So what?”

“There’s no heating in here,” he nodded back inside the room. “But we don’t feel
cold.”

They considered this.

“So, we don’t feel the cold. Or hot when it’s hot,” said Ray. He shrugged. “That’s
cool.”

“It also means,” added Gary with a leer in his eye, “that when she gets out of bed she
will be cold.”

The other two laughed, getting his implication. They huddled down next to Julia’s bed waiting.

Half an hour later they realised just how boring watching somebody sleep could be.

“Sod this!” Ray finally snapped. “Let’s get out of here.”

“Where?” shrugged Gary.

“I know!” said Tony, “let’s spirit ourselves over to the Headmaster’s house and see
if the rumours about him and Mrs. King are true.”

They appeared in the front room of Mr. Waller, the headmaster of their old school, where he was having dinner with the aforementioned Mrs. King, also one of their old teachers.

The three friends fell into fits of laughter and clapped each other on the backs in
congratulations.

“Wait until we spread this about!” laughed Tony.

Ray gave him a sour look.

“Who the hell we going to tell?”

This dampened their spirits a little but with the determination of youth and ignorance in the face of fear they forged on with their intentions.

They watched as the couple spent the meal in small talk about subjects that were beyond the three of them. Then the teachers retired to the sofa with their drinks.

The boys rubbed their hand in gleeful anticipation.

The Headmaster put on some soft music and the conversation continued. Mrs. King consumed some more spirits.

After about an hour the friends were pacing the room.

“Come on! Snog her!” urged Gary.

“Old farts have probably forgotten what to do!” said Tony.

“Well I am not waiting around to see if they remember,” said Ray. “Let’s go to
Willy’s.”

The others shrugged and nodded.

They appeared in the middle of the dance floor and immediately made their way to their more customary place by the bar.

Out of habit they tried to order drinks, then cursed the loss of another pleasure.

“Hey look! There’s Melissa!” said Gary. He shouted after her but she did not turn. The
music was loud but she would not have heard him anyway. Nobody would have heard him.

They watched the dancing and flirting in brooding silence, observing the fun they could no longer be a part of. Then they quit. They decided to go to the graveyard, after all it was where ghosts were supposed to hang out.

The graveyard was packed! In the pre-dawn air, wispy, screaming figures wandered in misery. The three of them were jostled and bumped but none of the ghosts spoke to them or responded to them in any other way. These spirits were too wrapped in the rags of their own misery to notice anything else. The air was packed with screams.

“To hell with this!” screamed Gary, “let’s go!”

They gathered to try and decide where to go next when they noticed a familiar face. It was Sam Stiles, the owner of the local corner shop that had burned down a few years ago, Both he and the shop had been a huge loss in their lives.

He sat, head in hands on a gravestone. His own gravestone.

“Sam?” The man looked up at Gary. He looked both miserable and confused.

“It’s us! The Horses! Remember?”

The man squinted at them.

“We used to come in your shop all the time, remember?” said Tony, “you did the best
doughnuts!”

“What are you doing here?” he shook his head and hung it again. He didn’t sound like he really wanted to know.

“We crashed our bikes!” said Tony, with a hint of pride. “Now we’re ghosts. Like you.”

That last part was said with less enthusiasm.

“No,” moaned Sam shaking his head more.

“What’s up?” asked Gary, trying to make light of the scene. “Ain’t you glad to see us?”

Sam looked up with fierce despair now.

“Don’t you get it? You’re stuck! In a cycle – forever! Why do you think these poor souls scream so much.” he waved all around him.

The fear finally got to them, wormed it’s way through all their bravado, pride and ignorance. They looked at each other and began to scream.

At that moment the sun rose. If their scream made a sound it was lost in the rise of the hosts own rising wail.

Then all went black

Orange light tried to sparkle off the wet tarmac. Otherwise all was still, even the three figures that lay in the road.

Two were face down by the kerb, the other was splayed out in the middle of the street. Their faces were hidden by motorcycle helmets. Leather jackets and jeans completed their ensemble.

Houses watched over them, silent witnesses. The life behind the pastel curtains was at rest and undisturbed.

A bedraggled wreath sagged at the foot of a lamppost, close by one of the figures. Notes were scattered around it, most of the writing now had run away into the gutter, the thoughts washed away.

The silence intensified, remained heavy over the scene even as the three figures stirred and slowly rose.

They pulled of their crash helmets and shook out the confusion in the heads. As they walked towards the centre point questions rode in their eyes with fear a close pillion.

Their footsteps were silent.

When they met they stared at each other, each looking for answers in the others faces.

Finally one of them broke the silence.

“Why are we here again?” Gary looked scared.

“I don’t know,” said Tony his voice quivering. “But there must be some explanation.”

“Well I don’t know what it is,” said Gary.

“Thought you were the clever one!” said Tony scathingly. This prompted an argument that escalated into a fight until Ray intervened.

“Look you twats – we’re dead right! Bloody dead! Bloody fighting isn’t going to help
anything.”

This simply aggravated the situation and the fight bloomed again between all three of them.

Then they suddenly found themselves in Julia’s bedroom.

“What the fuck?” said Tony.

“What happened?” said Gary sounding scared still, “I didn’t want to come here.”

“Nor did I,” said Ray and Tony shook is head.

“She’s not even here!” said Gary.

“For Christ’s sake, Gary,” said Ray. “Can’t you think of anything else?”

“Yeah, like figuring out what the hell is going on here,” said Tony.

This started more arguments. They argued and fought and stormed – anything to keep the tears of fear at bay, until they appeared in the Headmaster’s front room.

This brought them up short.

“We’re doing the same as last night,” whispered Tony.

“We’re going around in circles,” said Ray, his voice cracking.

In tears, the three visited the nightclub, then the graveyard. There they stayed, wailing in despair until the sun came up.

Orange light tried to sparkle off the wet tarmac. Otherwise all was still, even the three figures that lay in the road.

Two were face down by the kerb, the other was splayed out in the middle of the street. Their faces were hidden by motorcycle helmets. Leather jackets and jeans completed their ensemble.

Houses watched over them, silent witnesses. The life behind the pastel curtains was at rest and undisturbed….

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

Secret Laughter

 

By Scott Bailey © 2014

One Cara Pilkington-Smythe
A dancer once young and lithe
Left the stage behind one day
Decided on a new way
Married an Oxford star
Together they went far
He conquered financial seas
She blew in like a breeze
To the corridors of power
A bee drawn to a flower
Sipping the nectar sweet
The world was at her feet
They had all they desired
No contingency required
Beautiful homes in beautiful vales
For them, their parents, easy sale
Perfect schooling for their son
Their family secure, every one.
Parties, holidays, swelling banks
Clever accountants give them thanks
Hide away the tax they’d lose
Living how and where they choose
But then the rain started falling
When the scandal came a calling
The houses paid for with expenses
Squirreled out from the benches
Made up claims and other tricks
The media brings names and sticks
Now their lives are not the same
Now they now live with the shame
With their reputation now bereft
It would seem nothing’s left
Except the houses and the wealth
And fine wine to toast their health
And education to ensure
The offspring’s path will be pure
And the network of protecting hands
And the ever-growing lands
And the secret contemptuous laugh
That may be their epitaph

Image from Pixabay

In response to the daily prompt Laughter

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

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?

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

In response to the daily prompt Laughter

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

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

 

 

In response to the daily prompt Rebel

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, 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”, “Thirteen Tales” – a collection of Ghost Stories 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.

 

In response to the daily prompt Rebel

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Poetry, Writing

The News

By Scott Bailey © 2013

What’s behind the story
What is the reason for that news
Who gets the benefit, the prize
The envelope with the bread
The law successfully passed
The company tracked greased
Somebody’s life made easier
At the cost of somebody else

Image from Pixabay

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

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

Big Brother is Dead

George Orwell’s

1984

Showed us the nightmare vision of socialism gone to extremes

It didn’t come to pass.

Instead – we welcomed in something far more insidious.

Capitalism unmarked.

Welcome to

Mankind Limited

 

Welcome to the rebellion

Welcome to The Secret

Posted in Creative Writing, Poetry, Writing

Repeating Lives

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Taking my son to my old school
Following the bus I used to take
Still the same number
Basically the same model
The same smell of classrooms
And I wonder
Is this it?
Are we destined
To repeat lives?

It is not enough
I want more
More for my children
Than was there for me
No fear
More doors
No prejudice
More joy in knowledge

Is that too much to ask?

Image from PIxabay

Originally published in A Spring of Dreams

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Writing

Modern Times

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Primary colours or simple fruit
Clickety click click and point.
Open the way to a blind deluge
Illuminate the mind

Bright blinding highway – superfast.
On a never-ending roll
Swallow it all until we drown
Where is the straw of truth?

Image from Pixabay

 

In response to the daily prompt Rapid

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Haiku, Poetry, Writing

Snake

By Scott Bailey © 2018

Basking in the sun
The snake saw lunch in his mind
Movement brought him back

By Thomas Brown [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In response to Colleen’s 2018 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 82 – BELONG & DREAM #SynonymsOnly

A haiku this week. I have inferred the given words rather than use synonyms so breaking the rules a bit. This post was also prompted by the fact that on a country walk yesterday my eldest nearly stood on one of these – an adder – the only venomous snake on these isles. I think it was a juvenile as it was small but definitely a viper rather than a grass snake.

#haiku

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