Like friendship bangles

We’ve fallen out of fashion

Just twisting in knots

The Toilet Zone

Author’s Note: It’s hot as Hell today. I’m overheating and don’t know what I’m typing. That’s my excuse anyway. On the other hand, this is a wonderful tribute to that classic show The Twilight Zone. Yes, that sounds better. I think I got away with it.

The Toilet Zone

A cloying glue of absolute night, the darkness congealed around me like a wetted cape. One might’ve said the night entangled, and it did, stalling breaths and restricting movement. It was a warm, forgiving abyss, however, and for that I supposed I should have been grateful. My friends, or rather, companions, appeared not to share my enlightened view.

“Goddamn blackness!”

“Where the hell are we?”

“When I get out of this!”

Three separate and rather differing responses to one unavoidable truth; we were lost with not a hope of being found.

“We could light a fire,” I attempted.

“In Hell? Really?”

Jonesy was a man of little imagination so I forgave him his sarcasm.

“How do you know this is Hell?” blurted Smithy.

“Because it’s dark, scary and you’re here.”

“And you,” said Sigurdson.

Sigurdson was always practical delving right to the score of the matter as was his way. 

“What do you think, Rich?” he said to me. 

“I’d say we should light a fire.”

“But I’m not cold,” moaned Jonesy, his sarcasm suddenly deserted him before the physically imposing Sigurdson, (like all Icelanders, he was enormous).

Smithy was still having none of it. He paced about in the near dark like a restless lion. Even when we all moaned at him to stop, his restless energy prevented it. “Hell my arse!” he groaned over and over again.

And so it persisted in our nightmare world until completely out of the blue, I said, “Hang on, how did we get here?”

Three blank faces, or so I imagined, not being able to see them clearly and all that.

It became a game of cat and mouse after that. Each 0f us recalled what we knew. Each of us knew little. We distilled it down to this: we each fell asleep; we each woke to know their friends there; we each were as bemused as the next.

There we stayed in our crazed new world muttering and mumbling, snitching and sniping. For how long it lasted, who could say, but it was a long time. I knew for certain it was long because, as usual, Sigurdson grew hungry. Once at the point of madness and absolute starvation, he killed Jonesy and ate him. I was unsure whether I was angrier that he’d done this, or that he hadn’t offered me any. He finished off Smithy next having chased him round and round for hours. I heard his slurping of flesh from bones from the far corner of the cavern, or whatever it was we were in, and decided I had to make a move. That’s when I began to climb. 

There was no light to reveal my way other than the strange phosphorescence that had lit our lunatic friendship. Nevertheless, I climbed with the vim and vigour of a man who saw light within reaching distance. Or a man whose best friend was about to eat him? One or the other, anyway.

When my head hit something other than rock, I almost panicked. When I heard Sigurdson closing in, I almost did so again. But almost is a funny word when you’re close to death. Instead of almost dying, I pushed up and out, the thing resting on my head angling up as though on a lever. That’s when I recognised where I was.

My mum’s bathroom had a brown Paisley design that’s was so out of taste with interior decoration, it could only have been our home. Relieved, I dragged myself out of the toilet and sat back down on the lid just as the Icelander was about to climb out. He pushed and shoved and groaned and moaned, but couldn’t get out. That’s when I did for him. I flushed the toilet.

Sigurdson was gone in a plumbing-groaning explosion of gotten-ridden-of waste. Phew!

“Are you all right love!” bellowed my mum from her bedroom. 

“I am now!” I shouted back.

“Doctors for you tomorrow. Bleedin’ ridiculous struggling like that,” she said in a lower, more concerned voice.

Ah well, that was a problem for another day.




What could possibly draw Richard out of his very private world and get him to post a picture of himself on Social Media — for only the second time ever, I’ll add? Answer: Friendship. PS That’s my writing chair, in my writing corner, and I even have my laptop on my knee, although I cropped it out. I was going to photoshop myself to look three stone heavier and a foot taller but didn’t know how.

As some of you know, I really did give up everything when I chose to leave my job to write full time. A consequence of this was that I’ve had, and still do have, to be very careful with what cash I don’t have. However, I have been setting aside money from submitted works to a small stash to buy books and ebooks from my fellow authors. I purchased my first paid book from Amazon a week or two ago by my very dear friend Candice Daquin, aka the featheredsleep on WordPress. It gave me great pleasure to hold her book in my hand and post a picture of it on my Facebook Author Blog.

Candice was delighted that I had, as she knew how hard it was for me to do so in my current situation. So, in her always unselfish way, she sent me at her own expense the following two books in the series, (held in the photo above) by post. This was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me. She does not know that I have or was going to write this as a result. I hope it’s a nice surprise

So why do so, some shout? Friendship, that’s why. I am not a money orientated person as many of you know. I am genuinely as happy with a new book as I would be in being given a car, house or holiday. In typical Yorkshire fashion, I like what I like and care little for the rest. In effect, Candice has just bought me two new houses. If everyone was so kind and thoughtful, the world would be a much better place.

I for one am more grateful for such friendships than I would be for all the money in the world. To top it all off, Candice’s poetry is priceless, truly exquisite. She is a gifted writer in a way I will never be. I do try, though.

Don’t ever forget that no matter how hard things seem, you are never alone.


Authors: The Eternals Trilogy / Book two available very soon.

Eureka Moments

A: “Let’s here it then.”

B: “Prepare yourself, this is brilliant.”

A: “I’m waiting.”

B: “If I had a drum, I’d be rolling on it.”

A: “I’m still waiting.”

B: “Alright, alright, keep your socks on. I just wanted you to be the first to know.”

A: “I’m hoping that one day I will.”

B: “Oh, you will, matey.”

A: “Is this leading to a — can you lend me money — type scenario?”

B: “I can’t tell a lie.”

A: “You can’t tell anything. Get on with it.”

B: “I’m trying. Anyhow, I’ve had this idea for an app that’s possibly the greatest since the world became Pokédexed.”

A: “Good, I’ll get ready to shout eureka.”

B: “Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.”

A: “It would be.”

B: “Alright, here I go. It’s an app that requests aid from the community to help in getting things done for other people. Anyone can help, and if they do, they get fed by the person who they’ve helped. If you want someone to cut your grass, you text on the app. If you want someone to go shopping for you, you just text the app. If you want someone to help you tidy up…”

A: “You just text the app.”

B: “That’s it, you’ve got it. Good, isn’t it?”

A: “As your hare-brained schemes go, yes.”

B: “Geez! You’ve never said that in all the years I’ve known you.”

A: “You’ve never given me reason to.”

B: “Hmm!”

A: “So what are you gonna call it?”

B: “This is the most brilliant part of all, and don’t worry, Mr Cautious, I’ll test it here thoroughly before I trial it with others. Because it’s a mixture of self and getting things done with assistance, I’m going to call it Please.Do.Me.”

A: “!”

B: “Well?”

A: “You do realise you still live with your mum.”

B: “Hm, I’ll rethink.”

Barking At Storms

A clattering disruption, the clashing clouds shattered the night. How I prayed for them to dispel the muggy air. Sweat pooled and ran off my skin as so many tiny Niagaras making a mockery of my crisp, clean sheets. When the first lightning flash came illuminating the room in a Polaroid moment, I almost jumped out of bed. By the ninth or tenth such strike, I was unworried. In truth, I loved a good storm. The night seemed feral at such times, restored to a primordial past. I wanted the past.
For two weeks the weather had stalled in a clammy nowhere. Each night the same: hot; humid; about to blow a fuse. I dropped my hand to the side of the bed where Smudge used to lay; an empty patch of once curled love. I sighed. She was just a scruffy mongrel but she’d still have seen off the thunder. She was good that way, everyway. She’d have barked the house down. The night was too quiet without her.
I pulled up the covers feeling a sudden chill and tried to dream her home. I’m sure I heard her growling outside. At least, that’s what I told myself.


I spoke with my shadow,
Or tried.
It hid within a cloud,
Merged with a forming storm;
Jerked around a wall,
Sought to elude at every turn;
Spiteful changeling that it was.
I wanted nothing more,
Just a few kind words,
Yet it turned a blind eye to my pleading.
That’s why I retreated into dusk,
Dwelt in the midnight hours,
Avoided my void self.
It hated me for my desertion,
Paced its flattened world in temper,
I cared not.
Advice from a shadow was unreliable, anyway,
They echo the darkness of your own.
I needed light,
But the shadowlands were all I knew,
And all I ever will.

The Friends Who Never Were

There were little people living in the bottom of my garden. And, when I say little, I don’t mean a wee bit smaller than you or me, but microscopic.
 It was quite by chance that I spotted them playing football against some rather outclassed ants. I hid behind my garden shed, held my breath, and observed. At first, I thought there just a few: I couldn’t have been more wrong. One by one the little people slid down the bank of the stream that backed into my garden, and onwards into my prizewinning flowerbeds. Some danced, some sung in high pitched voices, others just laid back and took in the sun.
 I stayed there all day until it started to rain and the little folk all hurried away.
 That night I was so happy. I didn’t have many real friends and felt sure that if the rain ever stopped, I could return to them and introduce myself. It would all be such fun, such wonderful fun. But it didn’t stop raining for three days.
 When, at last, I trudged down the garden in my Wellington boots, I saw a world in tatters. The little folk lay all over the place. Some were drowned in tiny puddles that to them were like oceans, others hung from grasses and reads tangled and dead. I hadn’t even gotten to say goodbye.
 When I’d gathered as many as I could and buried them under an upturned flowerpot, I made my despondent way back to the house. And there, written in the tiniest lettering in the back door’s condensation were the words ‘Thank you.’ That too soon dripped away, but I hoped it was from my friends who never were. How I hoped.