Posted in Creative Writing, Haiku, Poetry, Writing

Swift

By Scott Bailey © 2016

Swifts swoop and dazzle
Aerobatics in the sky
Still, we watch in awe

By pau.artigas (Falciot #2 Uploaded by Snowmanradio) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
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Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, General, Mankind Limited News, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Mankind Limited – Succumb

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Would all the earth succumb to the concrete blanket of mankind? Was that the best legacy they could leave? Was their vision that limited?

One day there would come a time when it would be more profitable to tear these trees down than to leave them. Then there would be no power on earth that would save them. Even concerned consumers couldn’t stand in the way of profits anymore.

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Read an excerpt here.

Available as

Kindle

or hardback

from Amazon

or CreateSpace

 

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Poetry, Writing

Footsteps – #writephoto

Trying Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt for the first time – simply because I have a poem I think fits the photo very well. Hopefully, I’ll continue each week though as I need plenty of prompting!

This is the picture

Here’s my poem from way back – fits nicely I think.

Footsteps

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Footsteps on the dusky beach
Holes left by those gone by
Empty.

The tide turns, creeps back in
holes become pools
shining in the sunset

Peering in beyond my reflections
the shining water
teems with life

Originally Published in “A Spring of Dreams“.

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 on 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, Writing

Assay

By Scott Bailey © 2018

Where is the litmus test?
The assay
Of our leaders
Mettle
Why must I strive
To prove
My worth
When they
Enjoy
No scrutiny
In their ancient
Empty halls
With their ancient
Empty way

Image from Pixabay

 

In response to the daily prompt Assay

#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, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Writing

Compromise

By Scott Bailey © 2018

 Compromise
Hope
That feels like
Betrayal
Can it be that
Our future
Is simply the
Best deal we can
Broker

When we can step
Aside
From the demands
Of one side
And the
Other
Then
We can have
Peace

Image from Pixabay

In response to the daily prompt Compromise

#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


In response to the daily prompt Present

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Writing

Sound Box

By Scott Bailey 2013

There are empty spaces
left as people move on,
of the spaces of places long gone,
of times gone by

There is a link between present and past
an energy, a potential,
strung between the memories gone
and the living yet to roll on

The link hums with the tension
and the empty spaces echo back the thrum
deep rich reverberation
layered on the past, the present, the future

Such is the music of life.

Guitar sound box
Image from Pixabay

In response to the daily prompt Present

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

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.

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 on 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, Mankind Limited News, 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, JusJoJan, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

His and Hers Towels

For SocS

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “his/her(s).” Use one, use both, bonus points if you start your post with one and end with the other. Have fun!

A real stream of consciousness today. Typed the first line and went from there. A bit teen angst like  – but hey.

By Scott Bailey © 2018

His and her towels
Is where it all falls down
Just towels
Please
No pink or blue
No exclusive clubs
No glass ceiling
Consign the establishment
To the shelves
Build anew
But build it together
No more him and her
No more black and white
No more straight and gay
Just people
Friends and lovers
Colleagues and partners
Helping hands

Image from Pixabay

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, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Writing

Confined

No time to write tonight. So recycling.

Image from Pixabay

By Scott Bailey © 2015

Space. It stretched out before him – endless, dark, enticing. The stars were faint and blurry through the thick glass viewport, moving in a slow arc across his vision.

He could feel the endless nothing all around, calling to his soul, a siren’s whisper.

Float with us. Float with us forever! Float and forget.

The dark song was as endless as dreams.

He shook his head, fighting off the draining sensation.

He needed to concentrate.

He turned away to look out the only other viewport.

This one was dominated by the dark shadow of the dead ship. It was only visible against the deeper blackness due to the fading embers of molten metal fragments of its destruction.

They too fade from sight to and die.

Like everyone inside.

He shivered.

Looking out that viewport was hurting his neck. He faced forward again. He was too cramped. He could only move his head left and right and his arms enough to use the control by his hands and the keyboards before him.

He was stuck.

Daydreams had led him here – he couldn’t let them end him here.

A beep from the computer brought his senses back to proper alertness.

It had started. The attacks were coming.

He had anticipated it, though not so quickly and not all at once.

Float….

Concentrate!

“Update”, he commanded.

The computer’s calm voice responded.

“Interceptors are on the way they will arrive in precisely 623 seconds.”

“They must be responding to the distress call from the prison,” he muttered.

“That would seem a high probability.”

Dammit! He hadn’t been able to cut that off in time.

The computer went on.

“We should send our own distress call, they will be equipped to rescue you.”

“Do not!” he commanded. “Keep radio silence!”

“Affirmative.”

They were not only equipped for rescue. They were heavily armed. Once they learned the truth – and very soon they would – weapons would their first response.

“And our firewall?” he queried.

“The outer defence has been breached but the systems have not yet been compromised.”

That wouldn’t last much longer. The authorities were suspicious already –  the presence of such a strong firewall did not to allay those suspicions – so they were hitting the firewall with the best they had.

“And my program?”

“Approximately 800 seconds to completion.”

Not enough time!

He swallowed hard and took a deep breath. There was too much at stake here to fail.

He needed more time.

“Instigate firewall program 42!”

The computer complied and ran the program for him.  That would keep the cyber attacks at bay for a little longer.

He shook his head. He had the nagging feeling that this was all just too fantastic!

Only a year ago the only thing he did on a computer was check social media and chat! Spaceships were a thing of science-fiction! Now here he was a master programmer and a fugitive from the authorities flying in space. It all seemed too unreal.

It was the stress of the situation he told himself and he could not afford to be distracted by it.

Besides he wasn’t actually flying a spaceship right now. He was drifting in what was little more than an escape pod.

But the ship he had escaped from was real. As were those bearing down on him. And these were not the only truths he had discovered lately.

He looked at the countdown on the program he was running.

“OK,” he told the computer, “prepare a distress call. But inject the virus I prepared.”

“That is against regulations,” the computer informed him. He barked an override code at it and it proceeded to prepare the distress call.

It was amazing what you could learn in prison. Hacking, override codes. The truth about the universe out there.

Putting him in prison had been their mistake.

Daydreams and curiosity had led him to that prison. he asked too many questions and that had got him into trouble at work and with the Government. That alone would probably not have condemned him but he had also an inventive streak. And a paranoid one.

When they hauled him for questioning he had snuck in a crude listening device.

It had not worked very well but he had caught snippets of conversation.

“He seems immune..”

“Is he any harm though?”

“ … control …    inherited or just a ….. “

“He is a dreamer, not a revolutionary.”

“There we go then. We make him a believer…”

Unfortunately, the listening device was discovered – and that sealed his fate. He was shipped off to a deep space prison ship.

A deep space prison ship! One day he was in a world where the space shuttle was the most sophisticated space vehicle man had created and smartphones where the best man seemed to be able to achieve – the next he was in a world of spaceships – and space police!

It was a culture shock, to say the least.

He was dumped into prison and forgotten.

And that was the strangest thing of all. In prison, he flourished.

On earth – in his old life he had been Mr Average Joe to a T. Prison should have broken him. Yet he found that he had more freedom stuck on this ship than ever before.

He learned the truth for one thing.

There existed on earth (and space) a super élite far above anything anyone even suspected existed. They had science and wealth beyond the imagination of most people.

The rests of the population were kept in drug-induced ignorance. Cattle whose sole purpose was to provide this élite with their lifestyle.

Knowledge seemed to flow freely in prison and he absorbed it all. He learnt to program and how to hack computers.

He had vowed to expose the truth and free the world.

So he had concocted his escape. It had cost him the lives of everyone on that ship – and probably his own life too but he didn’t care.

He was filled with fury. He wanted to free the enslaved population of the human race for sure. What he wanted more though was to see the smug bastards who ruled them get their just deserts.

“Distress call is ready to send.”

He nodded, he was about to tell the computer to send it when it preempted him.

“New contacts.”

“What?”

“There are two more ships, coming in from the direction of Saturn.”

“More interceptors?”

“No. They bear all the signs of space pirates?”

Space pirates? Pirates? How could pirates exist? That would imply ….

He shook his head. There were too many questions threatening to distract him. He had to concentrate.

“Program completion has been suspended.” the computer announced.

What!?

He flung his fingers at the keyboard and dove into code. They had not yet got full control but they managed to stop his program.

Which implied they knew or guessed what he was doing.

He glanced at the other screen. The pirates would get here quicker than the interceptors! And they would shoot first!

He didn’t hesitate now. He called up his virus and made a few changes, then he told the computer to prepare it again and send it.

Then he dove back in and started a counterattack against the hackers. He managed to regain control and get his program running again. He then spent the next few minutes  both fighting the hackers off and keeping his exit channels open.

While he did this he also watched as his virus took hold of the interceptors and turned them towards the pirates. They would be forced to fight each other for a bit.

The program was also done. The hackers came on in full force. He struggled to hold them back.

A fireball briefly bloomed in space. All the pirate ships and interceptors signals went dead. They had destroyed each other.

Almost there.

Now the hackers could see the program running even if they couldn’t stop it yet.

A signal flickered back to life on the screen

One interceptor had survived.

It was closing in, weapons charged.

Almost.

“Program completed!” the computer announced.

“Run it!” he shouted.

He watched the screen as the truth – all the truth – was sent out to every single person on earth.

The lies were exposed.

Come now, float with us…

No!

The interceptor would be in range soon.

He breathed easier.

He had done as much as he could for the world. Now he had to look to his own survival.

He was stranded in space, with limited resources and little time. Air and supplies running out and no hope of rescue.

After the years and years of confinement, he welcomed the challenge – relished it.

“Now this,” he said, with an almost feral grin, “is living!”

In response to the daily prompt Suspicious

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in General, Poetry, Writing

Yet

An old one – especially for the love of my life.

Yet

By Scott Bailey © 2014

Standing on a high hill
Greenfields rolling away beneath my feet
Off into the hazy horizon.
Strong breeze blowing through my hair
It exhilarates me – makes me feel
I could step forward and fly
Yet
It is nothing to the way you make me feel

Laying in the sun
In the lush deep grass
Sparkles dancing on the water
Blue skies in great expanse arching high
Warms me – happiness safe in my heart
Yet
Cold compared to the warmth you bring

A word of praise from peers
Or reward for long hard work
A beer after a trying day
Shoring up my worth
Yet
Nothing makes me better – more the man I should be
Than having you by my side forever
My love
My wife
My Rachel

 

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, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Writing

Lessons

Image from Pixabay

 

I had a few good teachers but not many. And those that tried were wading against a tide of social programming. So school was not that productive for me. I left with few qualifications and no direction.

I drifted – pushed by financial necessity into work before I could begin to dream about what I might want from life.

So who were my best teachers?

They were my friends. They didn’t sit me down and lecture me they did two vital things.

They believed in me.

They believed in themselves and acted on that belief.

Watching them follow their dreams whatever the outcome – taught me the best lesson in my life. To take control of my life and start steering my own destiny.

The best teachers are like the best writers – they show they don’t tell

 

 

In response to the daily prompt Lecture

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Writing

Deep Recall

Memory is an odd thing. Things you thought you had forgotten can still be in there buried deep.

I can remember the first book I read – I mean the first proper storybook rather than just a kids picture book or short fairy tales.

It was an Enid Blyton one – probably not so well-known as her others but the title and the cover stuck with me ever since.

It was Hurrah for the Circus!

hurrah-for-the-circus

Of course over my childhood it eventually got lost – maybe passed onto my younger brothers. Whatever happened to it I always remembered the feeling I had when I finished it. Like a loss. It sold me on reading for the rest of my life.

Even up until now I could remember the first line of that story.

Oddly though – nothing else – not the story, the characters – nothing!

About 10 years ago – maybe more, I spotted it in a second-hand bookshop. An identical copy of the one I had! I snapped it up!

It sat on my shelf for years. I never reread it – well it was a kids book and I had way too long a list of other books to read.

I would, I thought, read it to my kids one day. If they wanted me to.

Well, last night was that night. My son wanted me to read to him I had exhausted his many books – most of which involve Minecraft and lack any real story content. Tonight I decided to read him a proper story.

I still had no idea at all what it was even about – completely forgotten.

But as I read it – nearly every single sentence was instantly familiar. Though I could not tell you what came next – I remembered what I was reading with a vivid recollection! Remembering where I was when I first read it and how I felt and the images that were being conjured then came flooding back! It was incredible.

I only hope that my son gets the same from it, that it gives him the same passion for reading, though I suspect he is already there on that score.

 

In response to the daily prompt Conjure

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Writing

An attempt at Opera!

This is something different. I was digging around my old files and found a full libretto I wrote for an opera that never got off the ground. A good friend of mine actually wrote a lot of the music to go with it but in the end it was too ambitious for us.

We ended up writing a shorter one – adapted from a short story of mine. That was less ambitious in that it was written for a string quartet and two singers. It was finished but never got performed. These days we could get it out on YouTube but back then even the internet didn’t exist!

I have been playing with the idea of publishing a set of longer poems and thought I might include this as one of them. But not sure – it’s more like a script than a poem.

So I thought I would put a taster here and see what people think.

So – here’s the first part.

The Golden Man

Part 1

Upon a mountain top, in a cleft between its twin peaks lies a lake. In the centre of this lake is an island. At the centre the island are the ruins of an ancient temple. A roof held up by pillars but no walls. In this ruin stand five figures on the points of a pentagram, silently facing inwards to a conspicuous empty space in the centre.

It is the dead of night. They begin to chant.

SKY– From the shadows of the valley deep,
To the starlit white of highland peaks,
On a night when the silvery sphere is bright,
We gather here to proclaim our rite.

CERISE– With purpose dread of high renown,
Calling all the powers down.
Power sets our passions free,
So ancient spells we here decree.

LINCOLN– Secrets held within our flesh,
Combine to weave a mystic mesh.
Long guarded secrets we do share.
Long lost charms we do declare.

SAGE– From our cities and our homes we come,
To do here now what must be done.
To ease the path we have to tread,
To speak the words that many dread.

RAVEN– To finally tear down walls of fear,
The path of victory is what we hear.
So we can defend the weak,
Spells, enchantments, rites we speak.

SKY– We conjure a spirit to defend our land.

CERISE– We conjure a spirit with a golden hand.

LINCOLN– We conjure a spirit who shall not tire.

SAGE– We conjure a spirit with a burning fire.

RAVEN– We conjure a spirit who shall not fall.

ALL– We conjure a spirit to serve us all!

SKY– With the breath of hope.

CERISE– With the echo of a sigh.

LINCOLN– With the light of the flesh.

SAGE– With the warmth of the sky.

RAVEN– With the scent of a sword.

ALL– With the shape of our word.

Pause

SKY– All our power we put forth in thee. To bring you here to set us free.

CERISE– All our wealth shall touch your hand. To bring you here to save this land.

LINCOLN– All our health dispels death’s throes. To bring you here to destroy our foes.

SAGE– All our dreams will be your goals. To bring you here to ease our souls.

RAVEN– All our strength shall steel your arm. To bring you here to ward off harm.

ALL– Come!

The light dims as a cloud descends and obscures vision. When it is clear again the five are still in their positions but lying in the centre is the Golden Man lying deathly still with his hands crossed upon his chest.

In response to the daily prompt Conjure

#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, JusJoJan, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Empty Tales

For SocS

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “tail/tale.” Use one, used them both, you decide. Enjoy!

Kind of used my lack of inspiration today as the subject.

 

Empty Tales

By Scott Bailey © 2018

I have no tales to tell
Rather
I have
But the retelling of them
Empties them
Of their worth
Tales of today
Seem
The same

Image from Pixabay

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, 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, Writing

Fury and Wonder

By Scott Bailey © 2014

We need fury and wonder
to fire our song
But the fire is dim
the spark long gone
So sift through the ashes
for an ember that glows
To tend and to blow
through the wind and the snows
And build from the ashes
a new song, a new light
That burns with new fury
to banish the night

Image from Pixabay

In response to the daily prompt Tend

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk