Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Writing

Flight

By Scott Bailey © 2018

Swallows fly freely
Soaring high in summer skies
Earthbound fox watches

Image from Pixabay
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……

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

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……

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

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

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……

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!

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

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

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

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……

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

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

Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Haiku, Poetry, Writing

Creaking

By Scott Bailey © 2018

Calcification
And aches, these creaking old bones
Have seen better days

Image from Pixabay
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
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. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

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

Check it out on Amazon.

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……

Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Writing

Flight

By Scott Bailey © 2018

Swallows fly freely
Soaring high in summer skies
Earthbound fox watches

Image from Pixabay
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……

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. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

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

Check it out on Amazon.

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……

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

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. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

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

Check it out on Amazon.

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……

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
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. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

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

Check it out on Amazon.

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……

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

Creative Writing, Fantasy Fiction, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, 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

Cycles
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….

Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Haiku, Poetry, Writing

Creaking

By Scott Bailey © 2018

Calcification
And aches, these creaking old bones
Have seen better days

Image from Pixabay
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. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

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

Check it out on Amazon.

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……

Creative Writing, Fantasy Fiction, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, 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

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts
Creative Writing, Fiction, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Thirteen Tales – Cycles

Cycles

(Originally published in Thirteen Tales)

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Featured Image -- 7657

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

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

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

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

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

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

Their footsteps were silent.

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

Finally one of them broke the silence.

“What happened?”

“We crashed.”

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

The third man spoke, rapping his helmet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“So?” persisted Tony.

“So, what?”

“So what happened?”

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

“Shit!”

“What?” asked Tony.

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

“Some of our gang died!” Ray whispered.

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

But still readable. Ray read it aloud.

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

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

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

They all screamed and stepped back from one another.

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

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

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

Then suddenly Tony stood up and straightened his shoulders.

“Cool,” he said. “We’re ghosts!”

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

They punched the air in defiance.

“We’re dead!”

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

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

“Why?” said Ray, scenting a plan.

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

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

“Like nothing,” grinned Ray.

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

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

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

“Bloody hell!” said Gary.

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

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

He bent down close to her ear.

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

His hand went straight through her head.

He yelled in fright and jumped back.

“Bloody hell!”

The other two laughed. He looked indignantly at them.

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

He looked down sadly at Julia.

“Pity we can’t touch though.”

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

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

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

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

They considered this.

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

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

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

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

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

“Where?” shrugged Gary.

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

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

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

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

Ray gave him a sour look.

“Who the hell we going to tell?”

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

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

The boys rubbed their hand in gleeful anticipation.

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

After about an hour the friends were pacing the room.

“Come on! Snog her!” urged Gary.

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

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

The others shrugged and nodded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It’s us! The Horses! Remember?”

The man squinted at them.

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

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

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

That last part was said with less enthusiasm.

“No,” moaned Sam shaking his head more.

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

Sam looked up with fierce despair now.

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

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

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

Then all went black

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

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

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

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

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

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

Their footsteps were silent.

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

Finally one of them broke the silence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then they suddenly found themselves in Julia’s bedroom.

“What the fuck?” said Tony.

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

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

“She’s not even here!” said Gary.

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

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

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

This brought them up short.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Thirteen Tales – Cycles

Cycles

(Originally published in Thirteen Tales)

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Featured Image -- 7657

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

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

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

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

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

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

Their footsteps were silent.

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

Finally one of them broke the silence.

“What happened?”

“We crashed.”

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

The third man spoke, rapping his helmet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“So?” persisted Tony.

“So, what?”

“So what happened?”

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

“Shit!”

“What?” asked Tony.

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

“Some of our gang died!” Ray whispered.

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

But still readable. Ray read it aloud.

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

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

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

They all screamed and stepped back from one another.

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

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

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

Then suddenly Tony stood up and straightened his shoulders.

“Cool,” he said. “We’re ghosts!”

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

They punched the air in defiance.

“We’re dead!”

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

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

“Why?” said Ray, scenting a plan.

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

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

“Like nothing,” grinned Ray.

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

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

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

“Bloody hell!” said Gary.

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

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

He bent down close to her ear.

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

His hand went straight through her head.

He yelled in fright and jumped back.

“Bloody hell!”

The other two laughed. He looked indignantly at them.

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

He looked down sadly at Julia.

“Pity we can’t touch though.”

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

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

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

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

They considered this.

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

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

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

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

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

“Where?” shrugged Gary.

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

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

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

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

Ray gave him a sour look.

“Who the hell we going to tell?”

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

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

The boys rubbed their hand in gleeful anticipation.

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

After about an hour the friends were pacing the room.

“Come on! Snog her!” urged Gary.

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

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

The others shrugged and nodded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It’s us! The Horses! Remember?”

The man squinted at them.

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

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

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

That last part was said with less enthusiasm.

“No,” moaned Sam shaking his head more.

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

Sam looked up with fierce despair now.

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

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

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

Then all went black

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

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

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

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

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

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

Their footsteps were silent.

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

Finally one of them broke the silence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then they suddenly found themselves in Julia’s bedroom.

“What the fuck?” said Tony.

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

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

“She’s not even here!” said Gary.

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

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

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

This brought them up short.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s that Noise?

Behind the door?

Was it something moving?

Someone?

Just ignore it. Dive back under the covers, carry on reading…

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

By Scott Bailey

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

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

Check it out on Amazon and Smashwords and other online e-book retailers.

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

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. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

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

Check it out on Amazon.

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

Creative Writing, Health, NaNoWriMo, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Writing

NaNoWriMo – Shall I?

I have been in a writing rut – in that I have done nothing new for ages. Life circumstances have been against me.

It’s time to take a stand against all that. I should set myself a challenge again and give myself the proverbial kick up the arse.

So I am considering going against all the odds and partaking in NaNoWriMo this year. I have completed it once but failed the following year due to some serious illness in the family.

These days, all the demands on me mean I don’t get any time to sit down and write – event doing this today is a very rare occurrence. I have been reduced to reblogging old content.

Well, those demands are going to have to take a back seat for a while. They will need to for my own sanities sake.

My plan is not to try and create novel, novella or even a part of one as I did last time. This time I want to use the push to create 10 drafts of short stories. Each around 5000 words long. I will then use these to enter some competitions with – maybe eventually publish them as a collection as well.

Well, that’s the plan. Let’s see how it goes. Lately, my plans don’t see the light of day – this is a last-ditch attempt. I need some success.

Image from Pixabay

Creative Writing, Fantasy Fiction, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, 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

#NationalReadABookDay

Creative Writing, Fantasy Fiction, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, 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 – or angry with the system. Who break out of it and try to break it. Who question why they did and falter in their resolve only to be thrown back into the fray to discover the truth within themselves. A tale that questions rebellion and its motivations while railing at the oppression around us. Try it.

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.

A Spring of Dreams

A Spring of Dreams Cover

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. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

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

Check it out on Amazon.

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

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts
Creative Writing, Fiction, Review, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

A Cracking Five Star Review

For Thirteen Tales

See the original here or read below.

I was very eager to acquire and read Thirteen Tales, by Scott Bailey, as I’m familiar with his writing from his blog. I like everything about his book–the cover art is spectacular, suggestive of Poe’s “Raven”; and the stories read quickly as you hunger for the next one–but try to slow down, and savor each one! I’m glad to have added Scott’s book to my home library–and highly recommend it. It makes a great gift too!

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

Check it the book for yourself here and see if you agree.

And many thanks to R Ryan – also known as Ennle Madresan over at Abandoned Amenities for the review and kind words.

www.scottandewbailey.uk

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. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

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

Check it out on Amazon.

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

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. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

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

Check it out on Amazon.

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

Creative Writing, FTS, Short Stories

FINISH THE STORY — THE CIRCUS PART 3

c32e9cf5-b0fc-46a5-817c-a5629f2ce0b4Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, has started another one of her intriguing stories where she gets things started, tags another blogger to pick up where she left off, and then that blogger picked someone else to keep it going.

Fandago was second, and he tagged me as the third. So here goes.

To get us started, here’s what Teresa wrote:

Andy sat in the front row every night and watched the small family circus perform. There were clowns, acrobats, dog tricks, and even a high-wire walking monkey. His favorite though was the juggler. Andy watched as he threw balls, flaming torches, rings, and knives in the air and caught them with ease. Everyone in the circus seemed so happy and nice. He longed to join them.

Late one night after the final performance, Andy mustered the nerve to find the circus owner who traveled with them.

“I’ll do anything. Please let me join you.”

Mr. Tall looked at the scrawny boy and scratched his chin. He walked around Andy and looked him up and down. “What could you do for us?”

Andy spared no time to think. He blurted out a laundry list of menial tasks he could do.

“I have plenty of people to do that.” Mr. Tall shook his head and stared at Andy. “I asked what you could do for us? What are your talents? Your secret talents?”

Andy gulped. Few knew his secret, but those who did knew it immediately. Could Mr. Tall be one of them? Could he risk telling the truth? Not telling the truth? Andy took a deep breath and swallowed his fear. “I could …”


Fandango’s addition to the story:

…change my appearance.”

“What do you mean you change your appearance?” Mr. Tall asked.

“I’m a shapeshifter,” Andy said.

“You mean that mythological crap about being able to transform your physical form or shape?” Mr. Tall said. “Get out of here, kid. You’re wasting my time.”

“I can transform into anything I want,” Andy insisted. “Think of something you want me to change into. Don’t tell me what it is. Then close your eyes and I’ll let you know when to open them.”

“This is stupid, but fine.” Mr. Tall thought for a moment. “Okay, boy. Now what?”

“Close your eyes until I tell you to open them.”

Mr. Tall closed his eyes and waited a few seconds. He then heard a voice from overhead instructing him to open his eyes. Mr. Tall looked up, but all he saw was a red-tailed hawk perched on the high wire near the top of the tent.

“So?” the hawk said, looking down the shocked circus owner. “You thought of a hawk, right?

“Am I hallucinating? Did you slip something in my drink?”

The hawk opened its wings and started circling above, slowly working its way back down to the ground. By the time it hit the sawdust covered floor, Andy was, once again, a scrawny, human kid. “So, Mr. Tall, can I work in your circus?”

Mr. Tall just stood there for a minute or two before he found his voice. He looked at Andy and said …


Now mine..

“Come with me!” and he hurried off into the night.

Andy rushed after him, eager to pursue the chance he had been longing for.

Mr. Tall brought him to the centre of the campsite, he stopped in a ring of caravans, the doors looking inward. Andy felt suddenly like he was on trial. The brightly coloured caravans seemed like elderly matriarchs, stern but hiding an impulse to burst into laughter.

Except, one. There was one dark caravan, unpainted and in disrepair. It was completely out of place in this bright court.

Mr. Tall caught the direction of his gaze and then looked abashed. He ducked his head as if to hide his shame or some other emotion not meant for Andy’s eyes.

‘I shouldn’t have brought him here,’ Andy heard his thoughts. ‘He will not resist that place and we will be discovered.’

Then he spoke.

“Listen lad. There’s no doubting your talent, we can use you. I am just not sure how. My people here, they. Well, they are an old fashioned bunch. Give them bearded ladies, conjoined twins and they’re fine. But you – you show them that and they will freak. And you and me won’t last five minutes. As for the audience. Well, we have to be subtle. Show them a trick that looks impossible in a way that they can believe it’s all smoke and mirrors.”

Andy stared at him. Was he going to give him a job or not? Was he going to bow out at the last minute? Lose his nerve?

Mr. Tall glanced at the dark caravan again, then back at Andy. He took a deep breath as if drawing his strength.

“OK. Wait here! I have an idea, let me introduce you to my partner. He will know what to do.”

With that, he swept off into the darkness between the caravans.

Andy stood, suddenly unsure what to do. Should he just wait? What was going on here? It was all very strange.

But then it was a strange situation he had engineered. And much of the strangeness emanated from him.

He smiled wryly at himself. Wasn’t this exactly what he wanted?

Then he caught sight of the dark caravan again. It seemed to draw his attention. What was in there. What was Mr. Tall afraid of? Ashamed of?

What would he discover behind that tatty door?

He found that he had already walked up the steps to that door. He looked around, something was warning him not to go any further but he found he could not resist. He pushed the door open.

It was dark inside. He stepped forward into the darkness. He took three steady steps and then there was a click.

Too late he sensed a trap. There was a clash of metal. The darkness fled as the sides of the caravan fell away to reveal he as inside a cage. A cage with fine wire mesh sides.

He could transform – but not into anything that small.

“So! You could not resist?” Mr. Tall. “You read my mind! At least as much as I wanted you too. And could not resist my bait.”

He smiled strangely.

“You are not the only one with talent.”

Before his eyes, Mr. Tall seemed to shimmer and he transformed. Not into an animal but into a young girl not much older than himself.

“We have been waiting for you to joins us for quite some time,” she said.

“Indeed we have,” said another voice. And out of the darkness came another man. Broad, long-haired and bearded, dressed in an immaculate suit.

“What shall we do with him?” asked the girl….


 

Teresa’s rules for Finish the Story are:

  1. Copy the story as you receive it.
  2. Add to the story in some fashion.
  3. Tag another person to contribute to or finish the story.
  4. Please use FTS as a tag so Teresa can find it or link back to part 1.
  5. Have Fun!

I tag – Ritu who is a vey talented blogger who is sure to take this a surprising way (no pressure there then 🙂 )

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

What’s that Noise?

Behind the door?

Was it something moving?

Someone?

Just ignore it. Dive back under the covers, carry on reading…

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

By Scott Bailey

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

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

Check it out on Amazon and Smashwords and other online e-book retailers.

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

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

 

Creative Writing, Fantasy Fiction, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, 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 – or angry with the system. Who break out of it and try to break it. Who question why they did and falter in their resolve only to be thrown back into the fray to discover the truth within themselves. A tale that questions rebellion and its motivations while railing at the oppression around us. Try it.

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.

A Spring of Dreams

A Spring of Dreams Cover

Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Poetry, Writing

Fleet

By Scott Bailey © 2018

The prancing gazelle
Being fleet of foot evades
The red rending jaws

Image from Pixabay

In response to RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #232 Foot&Mouth

#amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk