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I am a writer of novels, plays and film scripts. I live in Manchester England with my partner Andy and our teenage son Jack. Andy and I started my Newsletter Raw Meat and began publishing with Rawprintz in 1999 to showcase my work. Some of you may be confused by my continual references to Ziggy, that’s my wheelchair! Both Andy and I are writers. I’ve recently lost my sight – hence the continual reference to my being confused! Thanks for visiting.

My Comrades...


Writer's Island Triumph

The prompt at Writer's Island this week is Triumph.


“Just look at me sitting here - I’m not a pretty sight, not that I ever was in fact. People used to tell me to stand up… and then realised I was already doing so. Standing next to the beautiful Josephine, I could barely reach her shoulder - oh yes, she was a tall one but even so… little wonder then, that I much preferred being on horseback where I could safely tower above the common mortals. And of course I looked down on them… I always looked down on my people. Though that’s not to say I didn’t care about them… of course I did, The People were everything to me, I put my life at stake because of them. Though that seems far behind now, all disappearing fast as if it’s all being shut up inside a telescope. My glory days have all receded from me, so far away… all diminishing, those famous people I used to have conversations with - Robespierre, Barras, Jacque-Louis David… all diminished to tiny figures trapped inside the telescope, which has been left behind somewhere on a desktop in Paris.

I’ve got the old stomach pains once again - they plague me from time to time, reminding me of my own mortality. Now-a-days it’s an effort for me to get up and cross over the road to get a loaf of bread from the only bakers that exists on this bleak island in the middle of nowhere. The sharp wind slices constantly across my face, once again reminding me of my own mortality. These days that’s the only thing I can be sure of… my own mortality. Those glory days of triumph blinked back at me from an oh-so-distant-spot that is becoming more hazy as every second ticks by. I take out my pocket watch and glance at it impatiently… the gold around the edges is becoming tarnished now, but it’s the only reminder left to me that I once was a force to be reckoned with.

I think I’ll die on this island… I think I’ll curl up and greet my death with passivity, clapping it in the shoulder like an old friend. Death holds no fear for me any more - in fact I think I welcome it’s approach. I lift my face into the wind and watch the skeleton approach slowly across the wild and bleak beach. The icy sea is choppy, and the waves slop constantly against the sides of my mind… the vision of my glory days won’t leave me, won’t leave me at all. I can sit down here on the edge of the beach amongst the seaweed and watch the icy waves receding from me, diminishing into some remote spot I once occupied. My days of triumph are far behind me now, and getting smaller all the time. The Paris I designed and help build… the Champs-Elysées stretching out for a whole mile, strait as a ruler - and the ruler I was, so that I was able to see the approach of an enemy. And the Arc de Triomphe arching over me as I sat on my horse below. My glory days, I held all the triumph in my hand… I held everything at my feet - where is it now?

I stare at a distant spot on the icy grey waves as they turn over and over, battering against the sides of my mind. Absorbing the memories, completely absorbing them so there’s nothing left now, nothing at all. After my death what will be left of me? Will they take my tiny skeleton back to Paris I wonder, or will I simply rot here, on Saint Helena. There’s no way of telling… I don’t suppose that it matters now, for my days of triumph are over.”


Writer's Island Wondrous

The prompt at Writer's Island is: Wondrous


Lying stretched out to full extent on my bed, I’m staring at the steel toes of my boots and listening to the howling winds buffering the sides of the tent as though trying desperately to get inside and freeze us all solid in a mass. Beside me lies the captain, breathing slowly and laboriously. To him every breath is an effort, a measure of time passing, minutes ticking away. On my other side is the still form of Doctor Wilson, already dead. At least that’s what I imagine – I can’t actually see him, as my neck won’t allow me to turn my head far enough… or maybe some part of the heavy clothing I’m wearing prevents me. Or maybe the doctor has not been there at all, maybe we left him somewhere outside, wondering across the icy wastes, searching for a way back through the blizzard, battling against the horrors of frostbite, always searching for a way back… though it is too late now for the winter darkness is already upon us and there is no hope now. We lost, all three of us, we reached the south pole some months ago but found it was useless, we were too late. And so what was there left to do but to come back? But even then, we knew there was no point… we were already lost, even as we set out to return.

I turn my face very slightly to the left, framed by the furred edges of my hood I can just make out the form of Captain Scott, his face ashen white against the brown canvas sides of the tent behind him. his face seems frozen and stiff, even though he’s still living – or at least, I think he is. Upon his face I can see the traces of the wondrous sights we have seen, the light fantastic. Such sights can never be forgotten, they leave their mark upon his pale skin… which twitches a little to string together a few words.

“Bowers… is Wilson… dead?”

Several long moments pass before I can muster up before I can force myself to speak, for my own lips are so dry now.

“I… think so.”

I think I’ve said those words, but I may be wrong… maybe I said nothing at all. The captain doesn’t seem aware anyway, his smile is fixed in place, to no one in particular. When he speaks once again, his words float across the frozen spaces between us, as if suspended there by the cold.

“I have seen… such wondrous sights that will never leave me…”

He’s silent then. I lie there and listen to the wind… I’ve never felt so frightened, so completely alone. I will be the last man to die.


Writer's Island Quest

The prompt at Writer’s Island this week is : Quest


George looked carefully at Bart and Elvira, her eyes narrowing in suspicion.

“Wait a moment… Did you say you were wizards?”

The magic duo exchanged glances, then Bartholomew shook his head.

“I don’t believe we said any such thing – where did you get that idea from?”

George shrugged, reaching into the top pocket of her shirt and drawing out a piece of yellow parchment.

“I don’t know… it just seems to fit in with the story, that there should be some wizards or magic around. Anyway, maybe you’d care to have a look at this… something I found beneath Kirren Castle during the last adventure of the Famous Five, I don’t know if you’ve read that one.” George pushed the parchment into Elvira’s hands, and proudly traced the outline of the island on it with her finger. “There must be some buried treasure or something like that. This is an adventure for certain, another juicy quest for the Famous Five. I’m not quite sure about the title of this quest yet, for it hasn’t been written at this point… but I’m sure it will be. Perhaps when we’re old and grey maybe even pushing up daisies.”

A dark shadow was cast over the parchment as the tall, bespectacled figure of Uncle Quentin stood up and snatched the map away.

“I’ll put a stop to this little mystery before it even reaches the publishers hands… give that to me, Georgina. Thank you very much.” Slowly he folded up the parchment and placed it in his inside pocket with great care and deliberation. All the time his face was set, the mouth harsh and unsmiling. He switched his tiny blue eyes over to Elvira and Bartholomew. “Now then, would you care for a cup of tea? I’m sure that could be arranged without the story even being written yet.”