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.

Shipwreck

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. Others 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.

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……

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

The Urban Jungle – Thirteen Tales

The Urban Jungle

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

The Urban Jungle

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. Others 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.

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……

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

Softly Softly

Softly fear creeps – more chilling than any scream.

Get further under the covers and turn another page – if you dare

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. Others 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.

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……

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

Fear

We have a love/hate relationship with it.

We do not want to be afraid. We want safety and comfort.

Or do we?

Underneath, secretly we crave it. The thrill of fear, the arousal of danger.

So turn off the lights. Open the pages and delve in.

Find the thrill in the words.

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

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?

Fire and Ice

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. Others 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.

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……

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?

Playground Laughter

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

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

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

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

Snuggle in the dark – with a ghostly tale or two

13talescoverc

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Others 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.

A paperback version is being worked on 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……

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

The Church – Thirteen Tales

The Church

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

The Church

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. Others 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.

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……

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.

Suspense

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.

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……

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

A Ghost Sighting – Thirteen Tales

A Ghost Sighting

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

A Ghost Sighting

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.

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……

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

Mother – Thirteen Tales

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

mother

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. Others 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.

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……

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.

The Valley

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. Others 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.

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……

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

Terminal – Thirteen Tales

Terminal

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

Terminal

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.

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……

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

Earl – Thirteen Tales

Earl

A bitter young aristocrat seeks revenge on the spirit that disinherited his father. Not all though is as his young eyes assume.

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. Others 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.

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……

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

A Ghost Scene – Thirteen Tales

A Ghost Scene

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

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. Others 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.

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……

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

Cycles⁠ – Thirteen Tales⁠

How will the bravado, bluff and hormone-fulled ignorance of youth hold up against harsh truths, like death? Will this group of friends grow up or repeat the mistakes of youth?

Find out now – read Thirteen Tales (of Ghosts) now.

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

Winter is coming and the ghosts

As the nights draw in, settle down in front of the fire, get comfy and enjoy some spooky tales!

13talescoverc

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.

A paperback version os being worked on 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……

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

Get into the Halloween mood.

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts. Settle down in the dark and lose yourself in fear….


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.

Available on Kindle and paperback 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……

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

Thirteen Tales – Cycles

Cycles

(Originally published in Thirteen Tales)

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

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

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.

Shipwreck

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. Others 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.

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……

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Science Fiction, Short Stories, Technology, Writing

Confined

By Scott Bailey © 2015

Space. It stretched out before him – endless, dark, enticing. The stars were faint and blurry through the thick glass view port, 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!”

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

The Urban Jungle – Thirteen Tales

The Urban Jungle

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

The Urban Jungle

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. Others 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.

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……

Posted in Creative Writing, Short Stories, Writing

The Man in the Meadow

By Scott Bailey 2017

She had brought it on a whim at a garage sale. The woman who sold it had practically thrown it at her when she enquired, took only 50p. With bloodshot eyes, she spat the tale.

“She must have brought it for him! I have never seen before.”

She, it turned out, was some mysterious floozy who had apparently stolen her husband. He had disappeared one night leaving everything behind. His wife had found the picture hanging in his study. She assumed it was from her.

Now it hung in Suzanne’s hall. As she looked at it in greater detail it did not seem a likely love gift.

It was a simple landscape.  A green field of swaying grass and in the distance a lonely figure. A man she thought but there was no telling why.

A simple image but compelling. The nuances of the colour were subtle and lifelike. She could almost feel the grass swaying. She wondered where the man was walking to. He seemed to be disappearing into the horizon.

A simple picture that had drawn her eye from the moment she saw it.

And so it continued to. As she went about her daily business she kept passing by and stopping to appreciate her new find.

In fact, she realised that she was finding the least excuse to pass that way more and more often. She laughed at herself. What a silly obsession!

But she did not stop.

Finally, she went to bed.

She could not sleep. The picture played on her mind. There was something about it. Something she was not seeing. There must be some subliminal symbol or hidden message that was trying to call out to her.

She tried to ignore it and get to sleep.

She could not.

There was something about the picture!

Something wrong.

She got out of bed. Went back down to the hall and stared at it.

It was mesmerising. The brush strokes were so fantastically real.  Had she stumbled on some forgotten or lost masterpiece? The grass almost seemed to be moving, rippling like water in the wind.

No! It was moving! And the figure, the man. He was closer! Holding out his hand in invitation….


He had not noticed the picture in the catalogue. But now, here in the auction room, it drew him. The fact that it was from the house clearance of a mysteriously missing woman somehow added to his desire for it. It seemed to have no worth. It was described simply as “Man and Woman in Grassy Meadow”. Artist unknown.

He had to have it!

He would pay dearly for it!

Image from Pixabay

By Scott Bailey © 2014

She came out of the store just in time to see her young son playing on the sidewalk directly in the path of the gray, gaunt man who strode down the centre of the walk like a mechanical derelict.

The boy looked up at her once the man had passed, saw the fear, the hatred in her eyes.

“What’s up? What is the danger?”

She looked troubled by his questions, as if he had stirred something in her she did not wish to confront.

He seemed to be seeing this a lot lately.

“He is a leper,” she answered curtly.

“And that makes him dangerous?” the boy asked. She stared at him as if wondering where his curiosity was coming from. And well she might.

That was not important to him now, he wanted answers. The time had come for them.

“You might get it, I don’t want anything to hurt you.”

“So why is no one helping him?”

She shrugged,

“I don’t think anyone can. It’s not curable.”

“So why is he allowed to wander around?”

“I don’t know,” she snapped.

“But why do you hate him so much?”

“Because he could hurt you! You might get it!”

“Wouldn’t it be better the try to help him rather than hate him?”

“Look it’s too complicated for you to understand! I am not a doctor!”

“But you know doctors?” he frowned.

“Look that’s enough young man – let’s get you home and get you a bath.”

The boy frowned. She would not be drawn any further.

He was quiet on the way home. He had come to a conclusion. The mother he had chosen was not adequate – not in respect to answering his questions. Well, there was nothing he could do about that now. That decision was made.

But he could direct his questions elsewhere. He was going to be forced to. If he didn’t get any better answers soon it was not going to bode well for the human race.

The first line is from my favourite book “Lord Fouls Bane” by Stephen R Donaldson, the first part of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.

In response to my daily prompt Call Me Ishmael 

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Questions

Posted in Daily Prompt, Fiction, Short Stories, Writing

Devastation

By Scott Bailey 2017

By Francisco Sanchis Cortés (Music at an exhibition) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Francisco Sanchis Cortés (Music at an exhibition) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
The God of War awoke. Stirred from his long slumber and stretched. He gave a few swings of his hammer and yawned.
“This is it!” His voice rolled through the thunder clouds like a promise.
His minions had had their fun while he slept. Keeping the family business running so to speak.
That was over. The was The War. The Big One.
Those puny little tyrants and heroes would not know what hit them.
The God of War flexed his neck, rolled his head and shook the sleep from his long, flowing hair.
Lightning gleamed dully in his armour.
He looked to his left, to his right. Stretching out on either side were the flanks of his sisters. Mounted – their wings shining in the rain.
The God of War raised his hammer and with a mighty swoop bore it down on the earth.
Lighting smashed open the clouds and unleashed hell.
People were confused. Thrown off their kilter. They could not understand the petty battles, the conflict after conflict. No one seemed able to stop them. No one seemed to care.
The rich and powerful holed up with their gold. The poor were starved and eaten.
The God of War kept at it. Smiling with fury. This was his purpose, his being, his goal. His end.
So confused and fearful the people did not see, the chances they had slip away. The weapons they might use be consumed by war.
While the battles raged the earth burned. And burned and burned. The forests turned to ash and cities fell. The seas boiled away.
Beyond repair, this was the final battle.
After the long age of suffering the God of War surveyed the devastation with satisfaction. He had won. Nothing survived. The earth was too warm for life, nothing breathed.
He had won. And so now he burned with the earth. Raised his arms in fury and triumph in his final pyre.
With no players, there was no more war.
Peace descended. The earth would rest in it until the end.

In response to the daily prompt Devastation

#DailyPrompt

Posted in Creative Writing, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Writing

Folly

By Scott Bailey © 2016

She stared at the artefact. It reminded her of a flower. Well, reminded was the wrong word. She had never seen a flower – there were no more left. They had died out long before she had arrived.

Everything had.

But in the last few months, her colleagues had managed to decipher and read the ancient data they had found here and there. They had pieced together a rough history of this dead place. Not much but enough – enough to know what happened.

Enough to know it could happen to them.

Enough to know what a flower looked like.

Before they had died – somebody had carved a final message on this artefact.

‘Man’s final folly!”

She wondered at that. She could not fathom its reasoning.

It was beyond doubt now that this giant metal flower had been the instrument that had called out to them so long ago. Sent its message to the stars.

And they had heard. 20,000 long years ago she and her colleagues had boarded their ship and started on their way.

In all probability, the flower was still broadcasting then. The carver of that message was still breathing good air.

No more.

There was no more good air. There was nothing left to breathe it.

What puzzled her more was the fact that the remaining histories made it plain that it was foreseeable. Preventable even.

Yet she could also see that their own masters back home could easily make the same mistake. As advanced as they were the path was familiar.

So it was that she and her fellow robotic explorers had taken the decision to delay their trip home. It would take them 20,000 more years to get back with the warning.

This – folly – could send the message quicker. So here they were trying to repair it get it working again.

A desperate battle to avoid the fate of these long-dead people who called themselves human beings.

Photo by Igor Mashkov on Pexels.com
Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Softly Softly

Softly fear creeps – more chilling than any scream.

Get further under the covers and turn another page – if you dare

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. Others 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.

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……

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

Fear

We have a love/hate relationship with it.

We do not want to be afraid. We want safety and comfort.

Or do we?

Underneath, secretly we crave it. The thrill of fear, the arousal of danger.

So turn off the lights. Open the pages and delve in.

Find the thrill in the words.

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

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?

Fire and Ice

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. Others 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.

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……

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?

Playground Laughter

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

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

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

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

Snuggle in the dark – with a ghostly tale or two

13talescoverc

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Others 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.

A paperback version is being worked on 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……

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

The Church – Thirteen Tales

The Church

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

The Church

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. Others 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.

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……

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.

Suspense

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.

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……

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

A Ghost Sighting – Thirteen Tales

A Ghost Sighting

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

A Ghost Sighting

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.

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……

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

Mother – Thirteen Tales

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

mother

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. Others 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.

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……

Posted in Creative Writing, Fantasy Fiction, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Dip Into Something New

Slip away for a few hours, into other worlds – away from all the troubles of this one.

Perhaps into the future – a near-future – dark and disturbing and yet – so close. There, follow the fates of four people worn down and broken, angry with the system. Who break out of it, try to break it. Who question why they did and falter in their resolve only to be thrown back into the fray. Who discover the truth within themselves. A tale that questions rebellion and its motivations while railing at the oppression around us.

Mankind Limited

Mankind Limited Cover

Or if not the future – then other worlds – supernatural ones – that impinge onto ours from – where? Some other dimension? The afterlife? Our own minds?

Where ever they come from – try these Thirteen Tales of the ghostly variety.

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts Cover

Or forget them all and take a moment each day  – to read a little poetry and think. 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 and much more

A Spring of Dreams

A Spring of Dreams Cover

Or take in something longer, deeper and more considered. Buck the trend for quick gratification and enjoy something epic.

The poems in this collection were written over a long period and for different purposes. They are varied but they are all long. And they all represent challenges. Each was a challenge to myself, to sustain a quality of writing for a long period and within tight constraints of form while still telling a story. They also represent and challenge to the reader. The throw off the pressure of everyday life, the pressure to hurry, hurry, hurry to take the time to read something, absorb it over time.

Such effort needs reward, these poems should not be a one-time quick fix. If the reader is going to put that effort in then there should be a payoff, they should be able to continue to get something from it afterwards. Whether that be from contemplation of what they have digested or from revisiting, rereading and seeing things they missed the first time around. So the final challenge to me was to provide this depth of content – not just quantity.

Andervayne’s Dream and Other Poems

Andervayne's Dream

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.

The Valley

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. Others 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.

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……

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

Terminal – Thirteen Tales

Terminal

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

Terminal

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.

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……

Posted in Andervayne's Dream, Cinquain, Creative Writing, Etheree, Fantasy Fiction, Fiction, Haiku, Mankind Limited News, Nonet, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Senryu, Short Stories, Tanka, Thirteen Tales, Writing

All my books are now available in Hardcover

Yes, if you fancy a bit more luxury, you can now get all four of my books in hardcover format!

For quick links to them all jump over to my Amazon Page.

Or read on.

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.

In a world obsessed with measurement and success four rebels question everything – including themselves.


Andervayne’s Dream

In these times of quick gratification and short attention spans, I decided to try and buck the trend and present something not only with greater length but also depth.

The poems in this collection were written over a long period and for different purposes. They are varied but they are all long. And they all represent challenges. Each was a challenge to myself, to sustain a quality of writing for a long period and within tight constraints of form while still telling a story. They also represent and challenge the reader. To throw off the pressure of everyday life, the pressure to hurry, hurry, hurry to take the time to read something, absorb it over time.

Such effort needs reward, these poems should not be a one-time quick fix. If the reader is going to put that effort in then there should be a payoff, they should be able to continue to get something from it afterwards. Whether that be from contemplation of what they have digested or from revisiting, rereading and seeing things they missed the first time around. So the final challenge to me was to provide this depth of content – not just quantity.

Something not only with greater length but also depth


Thirteen Tales (of Ghosts)

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.

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


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.

The result of a year-long challenge to write a poem a day for a year. Raw and accessible poems of many moods.


Enjoy!

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

Earl – Thirteen Tales

Earl

A bitter young aristocrat seeks revenge on the spirit that disinherited his father. Not all though is as his young eyes assume.

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. Others 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.

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……

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

A Ghost Scene – Thirteen Tales

A Ghost Scene

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

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. Others 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.

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……

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Writing

Anticipate

By Scott Bailey ⓒ 2017

I anticipate
The dissipation
Of the all
The scattering
Of goals
The rise of dreams
To ride
Upon the mists
To be blown
Upon the winds
To reside
In clouds
And hide
In trees
To sleep
In earth
Drink water
Sup sunlight
Weep rain
And sigh

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com
Posted in Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Cycles⁠ – Thirteen Tales⁠

How will the bravado, bluff and hormone-fulled ignorance of youth hold up against harsh truths, like death? Will this group of friends grow up or repeat the mistakes of youth?

Find out now – read Thirteen Tales (of Ghosts) now.

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Short Stories, Writing

Storm

By Scott Bailey © 2018

Tyrant storm rages
Lashes the land in fury
Still, the flood brings hope

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

Winter is coming and the ghosts

As the nights draw in, settle down in front of the fire, get comfy and enjoy some spooky tales!

13talescoverc

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.

A paperback version os being worked on 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……

Posted in General, Short Stories, Writing

The Jellyfish That Froze

By Scott Bailey © 2014

The jellyfish sighed, in a jellyfish way. It wobbled awake.

Another day after another rough night.

The little jellies were disturbed, heavy currents last night. They had needed lots of comfort. He had wrapped himself around them and rocked them to sleep against the waves. Mrs Jellyfish had bumped up against him, squishing his comfort and rumbled fitfully. Bad dreams, turbulent waters.

He stretched out, taking in as much of the early morning sunbeams as he could, building up energy for the coming onslaught…

The jellyfish swore. Riding the busy jet stream he had just missed crashing into a hard-shell and getting himself shredded.  He had survived the morning scramble, the sleepy then crazed, energised little ones. The rush, the noise.  Now he was squeezing and twisting himself in and out of the flow. Avoiding the less considerate travellers. Collapsing himself sliding like and eel. Rolling up like a ball to barrel through the wake of those speeding by way too fast. One day his shifting and gyrating would not be enough. He would get hit.

The jellyfish quivered. He shook himself more awake and aware. Had to concentrate more or mistakes would be made. The others didn’t help. The one who needed to be high up to avoid the sand. The one by his side who couldn’t help bumping him with every list and move. The on behind who kept expanding and contracting. He was only here because he could adapt, shift his shape to accommodate.

Another day. And tomorrow yet another. And the day after.

The suddenly the alarm. Shark! Here! that was new. It was almost exciting, but he had all the other jellies to think of, to return to, to bear up and settle down. He could not enjoy this. Not without guilt.

They scattered. All of a sudden he was alone. Alone in the deep. No shark, no one.

Sunbeams drifted down through the undulating waves. Debris floated gently on the eddies and sway. It was silent for once. Peaceful

He basked in the peace and dreamed. This he could enjoy.

There was a sudden surge of cold. A surprise current swept in and took him. He curled up and rode it but he was at its mercy. No control.

He pulsed with, fear. And excitement.

This was out of his comfort zone, out of the everyday routine and out of his volition. Therefore he was not responsible.

He let go – he could enjoy this.

The water got colder, He suddenly noticed looming, dark shapes above him. Icebergs. He has heard of them, never seen one. They looked imposing. Hard. Unyielding.

He watched them for a while as they crashed through everything in their path.

And then he made his decision.

He froze. It was a simple act of will. He became as rigid as the icebergs. Shaped himself how he wanted and never shifted his outline again.

He returned to his home. Now, everyone had to shift their stances, adjust their positions and accommodate his new shape. They had to as it was crowded with sharp points and hard corners. He was not comfortable to be near.

Now the world was shaped around him instead of the world shaping him.

He was pleased. So please he did not notice how far everyone drifted from him.

He was frozen and would stay so.

No one had ever told him that even icebergs melt.

Image from Pixabay
Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Thirteen Tales – Cycles

Cycles

(Originally published in Thirteen Tales)

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

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

Get into the Halloween mood.

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts. Settle down in the dark and lose yourself in fear….


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.

Available on Kindle and paperback 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……

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

Thirteen Tales

Softly fear creeps – more chilling than any scream.

Get further under the covers and turn another page – if you dare

Posted in Andervayne's Dream, Creative Writing, Family, Fantasy Fiction, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, NaNoWriMo, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Less Noise, More Action

That kind of sums up my approach to 2020, particularly to writing.

2019 was not overly productive for me. I curated and edited some old work into a new collection – Andervayne’s Dream. I also continued to try and market my existing books, Mankind Limited, A Spring of Dreams and Thirteen Tales of Ghosts. Not to much success.

All this has mean that along with the demands of life, many family illness and dealing with a son with Autism, I have not had much time to actually write anything new. I have kept my blog alive by reposting old work daily.

I tried NaNoWriMo, but again, due to life commitments and stress, did not complete it – though I did come out of it with five drafts of short stories.

So. New years resolutions!

Firstly, it should be noted I have 100% failure rate on these. I can make goals and get there, just not new years resolutions. I think this is because I tend to try and make big life changing ones.

So this year I am going to do two things. One, I am making them public, here and now. Hopefully that will give me kick up the backside to actually complete them. Secondly, I am making them a bit more modest.

So this is my plan for 2020.

One poem a week.

One short story a month

Enter one competition or submit to one publication per month.

These are reasonable and well within my capabilities. 52 poems and 12 short stories. I have done far more that that in a shorter time before.

The other big difference will be that I will not be posting them on my blog. I am keeping them unpublished so I can use them to submit to competitions and publications.

Which means, this blog will be a lot quieter this year.

Less noise, more action.