Archive | August, 2011


29 Aug



                The bugle sounded. Jarvis turned to his troopers and delivered his orders.

                 “Second troop. At the trot, by sixes, forward.” 

                The men kicked their mounts and as one the column of horseman made their way into the valley. Swords were drawn, the rasp of steel resounding through the ranks as men prepared to do battle – bright, flashing, curved blades with razor sharp edges that could cleave a man in two. The troopers rode shoulder to shoulder the horses jostling one another as the soldiers fought to maintain their spacing. In order to ensure maximum devastation among the enemy it was necessary to attack en masse. The physical shock of hundreds of mounted men crashing into a fixed formation would destroy its resolve, turning staunch, disciplined, defenders into a panicked rabble, making them easy prey for the lancers who’d skewer them like rats. Back in Pickerington they’d practiced for weeks, charging line-abreast, the locals coming out to watch them, as they raced their horses across the common ground. Children waved and cheered as the regiment dashed across the green fields with nothing to bar their way except an invisible enemy. Today would be different. The enemy they were about to meet wouldn’t be quite as forgiving as the hay-stuffed sacks they’d attacked back in Yorkshire. 

                “Keep it together lads. Steady as they go,” he spoke with authority; wary of maintaining the line, he coaxed his soldiers forward. The jangle of harness and thud of hooves filled Jarvis’ ears.  He could feel Butcher breathing easily beneath him, the animal’s brute strength fortifying his own courage. He heard a distant thud followed by a whoosh. To the front of the cavalry formation a pillar of dust erupted from the valley floor, a glut of dirt and sand that hung in the airless hollow of the valley like a dirty brown specter. Soon there were more, and as they trotted forward the artillery strikes came thick and fast. 

                “Steady lads, steady.” 

                The cannon fire would be merciless once the barrage enveloped them and the killing began. Recognizing the danger ahead he braced himself for what they were about to experience. With a mile of open terrain to ride before they engaged with the Russians, they end of the valley was still barely visible. The bugle sounded once more, ordering the riders into close order.

                “Push together Yorks. Don’t give the bastards any room to breathe.” 

                They were ready for the off, the riders willing the bugler to blow the charge. Months of harsh, arduous training had taught the troopers not to waste their mounts, to save their energy and momentum until they were upon the enemy. Scared to death, but brave as lions, men cursed and urged their horses forward. 

                “Stick ‘em the Yorks,” went up the battle cry, as men gritted their teeth, grasped their weapons tighter and leaned into their mounts. 

                The first rounds crashed into the cavalry, the screams of the wounded and dying tearing at the air. The terrifying whoosh followed by the audible splatter as cannon balls ripped through bone and sinew, leaving nothing but a fine mist of blood that coated those lucky enough not to be hit. 

                 “Push to-bloody-gether. Fill the gaps you bastards,” screamed a smoke-blackened Sergeant covered in the blood and guts of a fellow trooper. Men screamed, horses whinnied and all around riders and animals ploughed into the ground. Huge swathes opened in the ranks of charging men as the guns carried off four and five troopers at a time. Red clouds hung in the air where only moments before riders had been. 

                The bugler finally sounded the charge and soldiers spurred their mounts. 

                 “Ride you buggers. Fucking ride.” Screamed Jarvis.

                Now they were off, a mad dash, a pell-mell of horse and warrior headed towards the Russian guns. The smoke from the spent charges was so thick that it was impossible to see more than a few yards in front – the expelled cannon fire, and the dust it created, clouded the valley offering the riders an imaginary protective barrier. If they couldn’t see the Russian gunners then they couldn’t see them. Unfortunately the iron balls that decimated the ranks and wreaked havocs on the bodies of the cavalrymen didn’t need eyes, and ruthlessly sought the horseman out anyway 

                At the bugle the lancers had lowered their weapons, and racing ahead of the horses was a steel tipped hedge-of-death that would rip and tear the gunners. They’d make the bastards pay for what they’d done. Jarvis kicked Butcher harder and as one they moved forward, man and beast coming together in one fluid motion, running for their lives, racing for the torment to end. 

                “Come on boys.”

                “Onwards, onwards.”

                “Close ranks.”


                 The rider to Jarvis’ left suddenly exploded, the sticky slap of flesh and brains coated him but it didn’t matter, it was too surreal. Death rode with them in the charge; the more the merrier, they’d need his sword when they reached the end of the valley. Behind them lay a carpet of corpses, dead and wounded men disemboweled and limbless, crushed under their horses. Lame and crippled animals dragged their flanks through the dust as they tried to rejoin the charge. Loose horses were everywhere, scattered throughout the ranks trying to force their way into the gaps wrought by the guns. Several times he’d had to use his sword to fend them off to prevent himself from being dismounted.

                 “Get back, damn you,” he cursed as he brought the flat of his blade down onto the neck of a rogue horse, that quickly sprinted from the fray. 

                They could just about make out the gunners now, see the Russians sponging their weapons and loading their shot. Grey coated figures that rushed in and out of the smoke, the bright flash of cannon as they erupted directly to their front, the scream of man, the splash of flesh. 

                As black as night, smoke billowed around the remains of the brigade, who undeterred powered forward, driven on by instinct, hate and a lust for revenge. Butcher jumped through the fog of war, beating the solid packed earth beneath his hooves.

                Breaking like waves on rocks, the lancers crashed through the abyss and out the other side. Suddenly they were among the guns. Men were shouting and screaming and running for cover, the horses pounding the stragglers beneath their hooves. A face leapt in front of Jarvis and he bought his saber down in a bone-crunching stroke. The man’s face split open, the skin peeling back to reveal the skull as the blade sliced through blood and sinew. Everywhere the men of the regiment were fighting for their lives slashing, and stabbing, thrusting and blooding the blades that for so long had remained sheathed. Gripped in mortal combat the Light Brigade killed. 

                He pulled on Butcher’s reins and the horse responded instantly. A Russian with a raised musket about to fire collapsed as Jarvis leant forward in his saddle and speared him through the neck. Without a sound the man dropped to his knees and fell face first into the dust. The Russians were in completed disorder jumping the barricades and running for their lives. Some hid beneath their gun carriages only to be sought out by lancers who with their mean, vicious, shafts stabbed and skewered them where they cowered. A Russian with a large moustache grabbed Butchers bridle in an attempt to pull him down but the horse simply turned, opened its mouth, and bit down on the man’s face, turning him into a bloody screaming mass. The ride was forgotten the battle euphoric as the men of the Yorkshire Horse sought out and killed those who’d killed them. 

                 “Stick it to the bastards. Come on the Yorks!” Went up the cry.

                Jarvis found himself in the eye of the storm. The melee of weapons and uniforms that had surrounded him was suddenly gone as Butcher carried him through the line of cannon. All around him men were fighting to the death, gripped in mortal combat, the screams of the wounded and the clash of steel was terrifying. Russians tripped over great-coats as they rushed to escape the killing ground, the insatiable blades of the British offering them no quarter. Their blood lust was up and the Russian bastards would pay for putting them through hell. 

                A trumpet sounded but it wasn’t a call Jarvis recognized. From their front came the thunder of hooves as the Russians cavalry counterattacked. Outnumbered he pulled on Butcher’s reins, kicked its flanks and headed back into the smoke. Once again he was amongst the dying; the sound of steel beating against steel rattled his teeth and pounded his brain – only the guns were silent. A man in a red-coat with white cross belts appeared out of the mist. Unswerving Butcher crashed into the rider’s horse. Nearly falling but managing to regain its footing, the great horse maneuvered its way up and around the Russian cavalrist. Jarvis felt the blast of heat and saw the flash of flame as a pistol was pointed and fired at point-blank range. He felt the stinging sear of powder as it coursed across his cheek, the rush of the bullet’s passage as it missed its mark. He swung his sword arm and felt the weapon bite. The Russian screamed in his face, the stench of tobacco and strong black tea thick on the dying man’s breath. He twisted the blade, felt it come loose and spurred the horse. 

                “Come on lads. Let’s get the hell out of here.” 

                 The bugle sounded the retreat and joining together with the remnants of other charge survivors Butcher accelerated away in the direction from which they’d come. Before them, Jarvis saw the wraiths of the enemy and of smoke-blinded and bewildered men, some on foot some on horse, stumbling and screaming for help men begged for help. But there was no charity to be had that day, it was every man for himself and Jarvis new they’d be lucky to make it out alive. Blood dripped from a wound above his eye and his arm ached from where a Russian sabre had hit him as he’d raced through the guns. 

                 Behind him he could hear the thud of hooves and the clatter of equipment. Not knowing if they were Russian or British Jarvis didn’t look back. It was a hell-ride of panicked fear as the remnants of the Light Brigade did their best to escape the revenging hand of an able foe. Just when they thought they were safe and beyond swords reach the guns started up again. 

                The Russian artilleryman had run back to their positions, picked up their tools and were loading and shooting their cannon into the smoke as fast as they could, not caring whether the crashing shells hit their own cavalry or that of the British. The horrendous swoosh and splat of flesh once again filled his ears and Jarvis gripped Butcher with all his might. 

                Two Russians appeared before him. There was no choice he had to go through them.  He raised his arm, sabre in hand and screamed his derision. Spittle flew from his mouth, his eyes fixed, his lips curled in murder. It was them or him; 

                 “Stick ‘em the Yorks,” he bellowed.


22 Aug


An empty bottle rolled from the alley way, across the pavement, and into the gutter. Dustbins and  cardboard boxes, discarded from the various bars and restaurants, filled its dark confined spaces. The shadows shivered, and a feral, bearded, face peered out from the gloom. 

“Bollocks, arse, tits, and cunts!” 

Boris dragged himself out from his one-man cardboard paradise, braced himself against the brickwork and pulled himself up. A forlorn figure, in what had once been Sunday-best, he stood and stared at the crowd mingling outside The Slug and Cabbage, cleared his throat, spat, and scratched himself with vigor.

The problem with sleeping rough, apart from the cold, rain and the bloody coppers, was the damn noise. No sooner, had you got your ‘ead down then some idiot was smashing bottles ,singing and dancing, or even worse, puking and pissing over your prime real-estate. 

“Pricks, shit, boobs,” he shouted into the night. 

His mouth was dry from the aftershave he’d shared with one of his down-and-out brethren and although they’d prepared it using the tried and tested shoe-lace method, and mixed it with some orange-cordial they’d borrowed from a supermarket, the taste of musk was still heavy. Better than nothing though and besides, aftershave was a delicacy and such a rare find these days. 

 He lifted one of his legs above the cobbles, and let rip. A rumbling, roaring, earthy-fart, worthy of royal patronage, blasted passed his cheeks. He giggled to himself, mumbled a few words to an invisible admirer, and fingered his beard. 

“Penis and vaginas,” he screamed at the top of his lungs. 

With warm kitchen grates to lie on, and plentiful leftovers still in take-away food cartons left by the Friday-night drunks, this spot was better than most.

 Amateurs all of them, none of them could hold a candle to him when it came to booze. Bloody professional, thats what he was! 

He picked up a box and popped the lid. A half eaten burger complete with chips, that’d been carelessly tossed and forgotten.

 That was the trouble with the today’s youth, didn’t know they were bloody born Never had it so good. What were they thinking throwing good food away? What was bloody wrong with ‘em?   

“Cunts,” he screamed again at nobody in particular. 

Hungrily he stuffed the meal into his mouth, grunting with satisfaction. Best thing about the weekend was the variety of food left to waste. Normally he found so much he couldn’t eat it all at once and so had to carry it around in an old one-handled leather shopping bag . It was a varied diet and Boris enjoyed the cuisine of India and China as well as the plethora of miscellaneous European fare. Fish and chips was his favorite, but unfortunately there was never much of that left around, and what scraps there were he’d to fight the cats for. It wasn’t worth the effort nor the scratches although, belching and scarring a couple of night-clubbers, he did enjoy a bit of Haddock, and Cod certainly had its place. 

“Farts, arse-wipes and bloody willys,” he mumbled through smacking gums. 

Up until a month ago he’d been sleeping down by the river but the police had moved him on. Once those bastards got an idea into their heads it was hard to shift. Bunch of idiots, poncing about in their blue uniforms, picking on the homeless and less fortunate than themselves. George street was closer to Saint Mary’s anyway, and it was only a hop, skip, and stumble from there to the out-patients clinic where he collected his medication. Not that he always remembered to go, but when he did they always seemed pleased to see him. 

 He took another bite of mystery-meat and masticated slowly, pressing the soggy bread between his gums until it was soft enough to swallow, the salty juiciness filling his mouth.

Although, Nurse Susan was a bit of a looker  – she alone was worth the visit. 

“Nuts and testacles ,” he bellowed, throwing the now empty container to the ground. 

A group of lads across the street pointed at him, laughed and shouted abuse. He was used to it – the wankers were all the same. He stuck two fingers in the air and jumped up and down.

Made him mad it did when they took the piss .Wasn‘t his bloody fault he was the way he was – the doctor had told him so, and so had the officer down at the Salvation Army hostel. An unfortunate accident of nature was how the bastards had put it. All right for them to say, they weren’t the ones who were bloody unfortunate. 

Thirsty from dinner he picked up a beer bottle abandoned, and balanced on a window ledge.

 John Smiths Bitter – loved the stuff.

 He put the bottle to his lips and drank deeply, then coughed and spluttered, spraying the liquid out in a wide arc as fast as he’d ingested it. Bloody piss! He hated it when that happened.  He dragged his arm across his mouth and rubbed his tongue on his sleeve. Dirty little bastards. 

Music was pounding from The Slug and it was starting to upset him. Loud noises and bright lights always had that effect. 

“Knickers and tits,” he cursed pressing his hands to his ears. He’d once had a pair of orange ear-protectors, stolen from some council worker who’d forgotten them on the side of an electrical cabinet – Finders, keepers, losers, bastards ,bastards – that he wore constantly until he’d swapped them for something liquid. Good ones too, with the lining and an adjustable strap. He regretted the exchange. 

“Fanny and dick!” Spittle flew across his face as he wrapped his tongue around the words – enunciation was the key, clear and concise articulation of each and every syllable that issued from his mouth. It wasn’t his fault he used profane language, but because he did, he was determined to do it with fucking dignity, style, and panache. 

It was the loneliness that affected him the most. Some days he could really use a good old chat, an exchange of opinions, a little social intercourse, however, the only people he ever conversed with were the nurses and doctors at the clinic. Them and the voices, of course – they were with him all the time. That being said there was always some do-gooder trying to press him with a cup of coffee or a sandwich, but that was hardly what he called conversation. A non-interested enquiry into how he was doing, coupled with a fleeting God bless. 

 God-bloody-bless his bollocks! 

How the hell did they think he was doing? Bloody wonderful, thank you very much ; love sleeping in the bleeding cold and getting pissed on anything I can find. You should try it yourself mate, bit of a change from your lah-de-do bottle of French plonk and your two-up-two-down in bloody suburbia . Idiots!


            Before the accident life had been normal, even happy. He remembered a house and a woman, maybe his mother, but he didn’t think so. Probably dead by now anyway – but how would he know? 

             Standing with his fists clenched and staring into the street he recalled how once he’d been the same as those on the inside, not as he was now on the fringes, sleeping in doorways and eating shite. The memory fizzled, the cold air biting at his shoulders. It was getting to be that time of year. Soon he’d have to find himself another spot, somewhere warm and dry, far from the idiots walking the streets. It wasn’t safe for a man in his condition to be out by himself. 

He opened his mouth to shout, but caught himself and fought to control the involuntary action. The c-word was softly whispered and rolled off his tongue with a subdued, almost poetical, delivery. He was trying, but it was fucking hard! 

The noise had finally stopped and he looked around trying to gauge what had just happened, the silence now screaming  as loud as the music ever had. Turning back to the alley he crawled into his nest of cardboard, and prepared to bed-down for the night, his second attempt at a peaceful night’s sleep. He grabbed the newspapers and stuffed them inside his jacket, the bag full of left-overs and second hand delights, he put behind his head to use as a cushion. The cordial-paco-rabanne cocktail was starting to take effect and he felt his eyelids grow heavy as sleep washed over him. 


            Whistles pierced the night, car doors slammed, and dogs barked. The night came alive with the machinations of lithe young men in blue uniforms . Shouts and screams, the sound of radios crackling, the blue and white strobes from the police vehicles flashed across his face. 

            “ Arse, wank, tits, hand-job,” he screamed as he rubbed his eyes and peered into the night. Coppers were everywhere, their size tens pounding the pavement and rushing towards the pub. He could hear screams, the crash of glass and the rumble of furniture being either thrown or broken. He’d barely shut his eyes and yet what appeared to be world war three had suddenly broken out in front of him.

Fucking coppers didn’t they know when to give it a rest? He needed his, he’d to be at the clinic the following day for his medication. A little one on one time with Nurse Susan. 

A pub side-door, in the alley where Boris lay, suddenly burst open. Crashing wood rend the air, and bright light streamed out into the darkness. Boris stared in horror at what stood before him as the shadow, cast by the figure silhouetted in the doorway, washed over the cobbles and crawled up the walls. Piss rolled down his leg and he felt the unwelcome warmth of urine soaking his trousers. Covering his eyes from the light he crawled into a kneeling position, clasped his hands together and began to pray – something he hadn’t done for many years. Tears rolled down his face and he shook involuntarily as abject fear turned what little spine he’d left to jelly. 

            Boris bowed his head – hoped for the best but expected the worst. 

            Mother fucker!


19 Aug


                The radio squawked causing Chief Inspector Pinkney  to startle awake. The coffee he’d been nursing, in an attempt to stop himself from nodding-off, flew around the inside of the vehicle.

                “Bloody hell- fire, God damn it,buggeration, what the…!” Coming back to reality with a start, coffee dripping off the end of the nose and staining his crotch, he wasn’t a happy man. He grabbed the radio -mic and depressed the send button.

                “Bloody radio silence you idiots!  There is no go, until I say. Do you bloody well understand?” Nobody answered. Not exactly radio protocol, nor what they were teaching these days down at the police training college in Hendon, but it got his point across.

                 The radio blinked in silence and he felt in his pockets for a handkerchief. Retrieving the dripping rag, he gave it up as a bad job and resigned himself to the pleasure of luke-warm trousers and the sickly-sweet smell of latte that filled his nostrils. He hated stake-outs. He was getting too old and far too close to retirement to be messing around playing silly beggars at dark o’clock at night. This was something the younger officers should be doing, those who’d something to prove, them as thought they were going places.

                After nearly thirty years on the force he’d done and seen it all. As the youngest inspector ever on the East Yorkshire Constabulary he’d more than made his name. Wasn’t it him that’d cleaned up the gangs down Coney Street, wrapped up the prostitution ring on Lendel  Bridge and who’d busted the deviants and perverts down at the Kings Head. Although, he mused, times were different now and the pub’s clientele he’d chased through the shadows of York were now sitting at the bar enjoying the companionship of like-minded males. This was his last shout and probably the last collar he’d feel, before going to Bridlington to enjoy retirement with the wife, to live out his days on the static-caravan camp-site they’d chosen together. Sea-breeze and fish-and-chips, there was nothing like it, he could hardly wait. Didn’t he deserve it after all the crap they’d put him through?

                York wasn’t like it was. Times had changed and the liberalization of society hadn’t necessarily been for the better. Gone the days when couples courted and the uniform commanded respect. People didn’t give a damn about the police anymore and now it was hard to tell the difference between the working girls and the regular women out for a night on the town.  Bloody slappers with their skirts half way up their arses and the hooker heels they tottered on as they staggered from pub to pub. But apparently just ‘cos they dressed that way inferred nothing of their character whatsoever, didn’t mean a bloke could assume anything one way or the other. It was that kind of rubbish that made him glad he was off to the coast, leaving the bleeding heart liberals and their bloody politically correctness that blanketed all and comforted no one.

                The unmarked police vehicle sat on George Street outside The Slug and Lettuce public house. Part of what used to be the old warehouse district that catered to the river traffic and coal barges that used to ply its length.

                 All that was long gone now.

                 The only coal that was burnt in Yorkshire these days was either mined in Russia of shipped from South Africa of all places. Apparently it was cheaper to put on a boat and sail it half way round the world, than it was to mine it in Selby just down the road. Bloody unions had killed the country, he thought to himself.

                 He watched as the Friday night crowd, wandered up and down the street  – drunk  as monkeys the lot of them!  It wasn’t just the lads they were arresting for drunkenness and lewd behavior but the lasses as well. How often had seen women crouched between cars or in doorways with their knickers around their ankles, dark strains spreading across the pavement and puddling into the road. Lad-ettes was the term they were using. If they weren’t bloody peeing they were puking and fighting. The weekend drunk tank down at the station used to be full of blokes now it was mixed accommodation. They’d had to open another cell just for the women!

                As Pinkney looked through the windscreen, a white stretch limousine pulled up to the pavement outside the Slug – Minster Cabs. The door opened and a group of women fell out the back and spilled into the road. Women dressed in what passed for club attire, that as far as he could make out was more suitable as underwear. Screeching and laughing he could hear them through closed glass and grimaced. If that was his daughter he’d give her what for, but she lived down in Leeds these days with a husband and a couple of teenage daughters.

                 Society was going to the dogs. It didn’t matter how many coppers they put on the street there was no saving mankind. Civilization, far as he was concerned, was doomed. He watched the obviously drunk women mount the pavement and make their way to the pub. Music had started playing, and the heavy throb of guitars rattled the windows. The girls were wearing angel’s wings – probably part of a hen party that was doing the rounds – women of an age that should have known better, pub-crawling and carousing – as obnoxious as the louts he’d met, when he’d walked the beat himself back in the day.

                 A big man exited the pub and stood silhouetted in the pub doorway. Dressed in a tuxedo, the size of a brick shit-house, he was clearly the doorman. Pinkney smiled. That was his man. He was the reason they were here tonight, and if things didn’t go to plan, he’d be the one that bloody paid. The Chief-Inspector had approved overtime for the twenty constables who even now surrounded the building, sitting in cars ready to go soon as he gave the word. Soon as he got the signal from Harrison he’d give the go ahead and then they’d storm the place. A raid that would the end the nonsense and make him a bloody hero; plastered all over The Pickerington Times and The Evening Press for the last time – a final farewell.

                 He watched as the doorman stood aside and the group of fallen angels made their way into the pub. Nice set of legs on most of them and not too shabby from the back either. Admired a decent looking lass did Pinkney – not adverse to a little social intercourse himself. After nearly forty years of marriage he was allowed a little dalliance here and there – nothing the wife needed to know about. The silhouette disappeared back inside the doorway. He reached for the radio and pressed the button.

                 “Not yet lads. Wait for my word. Soon as I get the signal we’ll turn the bloody place over, until then sit tight.”

                Fellow policemen nodded in the darkness – waiting for the word – eager to break some heads and dish out some justice.

                Looking up from the radio he heard singing, and what looked like a rugby team coming down the street. A bunch of lads dressed in red and white hoops headed for The Slug and Lettuce. Drunker than they ought to be they’d fat chance of getting passed the bouncer. One of the blokes was being carried between two of his mates, his feet barely touching the ground. There was something odd about the man, something attached to his waist but Pinkney couldn’t make out what it was. He saw the lads stop at The Slug and saw the bouncer walk outside. Now they’d get what for, smiled the Inspector – a quick flee in their ear and before they knew it they’d be heading for kebabs and taxis. As he watched, he saw the doorman stand aside and the lads walk into the pub.

                Bugger me how did that just happen? The jammy sods, he thought. Nobody gets into a bar at this time of night when there that drunk.

                He watched as the bouncer glanced at his wrist and stared out into the darkness.

                Pinkney fingered the radio. Soon as Harrison gave him the nod they’d be in. He waited in the silence of the vehicle but there was nothing. Harrison deliberately shook his head and disappeared back inside the pub. What the bloody hell was going on?

                The coffee in his crotch turned cold – the thick material of his uniform trousers started to itch. He reached down and gave his bollocks a good scratch, trying to relieve the sugary stickiness that had spread about his thighs.

                His meeting with Harrison earlier that day was the reason for their nocturnal observations. Their investigations had led to The Slug and if it hadn’t been for Harrison’s arrest for affray they’d probably never have clicked that this was where the problem was emanating from. For months they’d been on the investigation and yet not a dicky-bird until Harrison had spilled the beans.

                Pinkney was excited, more so than this morning when he’d paid a visit to little miss you-know-who. A different kind of excitement of course but either way it put a big cheesy-grin on his face. He smiled his curly teeth into the night as he remembered the illicit pleasure he’d enjoyed and the professional pleasure he was about to. It was hard to say which gave him a stiffer dick, the soft touch of his latest squeeze or the bite of handcuffs on hardened criminals.

                Ten minutes passed and the music from the pub had gone quiet. Whatever’d been going on inside had obviously drawn to a conclusion. Probably some local skiffle band – a bunch of long haired lay- abouts that played music for a pittance and pints at the weekend.

                Harrison came back to the door, waved his arm in the air and disappeared.

                This was it, the moment he’d been waiting for.

                He grabbed the mic and screamed into the hand piece. “Jack rabbits are go! I say again, all cars, Jack Rabbit is go!”

                 He imagined radios squawking in other cars, the waiting officers coming to life. Within seconds of his broadcast he saw car doors opened and uniformed figures race towards The Slug and Cabbage. A canine unit holed up in a white painter’s van burst out of the back doors and headed for the doorway, the dogs barking as they ran ahead of their handlers. He sat back enjoying the chaos he’d created on an otherwise normal Friday night.

                Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war, he mumbled remembering some random text from his prehistoric school days. Reaching into a pocket he felt for his cigarettes. He deserved one and  already knew how good it was going to taste. His fingers gripped the packet and he cursed once again.

                 “Bloody hell, not me fags!” The packet dripped liquid and the cigarettes were limp from the drowning they’d endured.  No coffee, no fags, now he was really pissed off.

                He opened the car door and stepped out into the night. Grabbing his hat and his night stick from the passenger seat he smoothed his hands down his uniform jacket and steadied himself for the moment.

                Pinkney was looking forward to this – this was going to be good.


18 Aug



    Urine cascaded onto discarded burger boxes – piss splashing off white styrofoam and spotting the shoes of errant street pissers. They stood in the doorway of what by day was a corner shop, selling newspapers and cigarettes to commuters, whilst at night it magically transformed into a public toilet. Just hidden around the corner from The Slug and Cabbage, an ideal unloading point for bursting bladders, a role-on-role-off terminal for those with better things to do than queue outside full bathrooms and conform to the social niceties of public urination. They stood line abreast, their weapons pointed down range, moaning with relief at the ectasy of muscular relaxation.

                “Bloody needed that,” said a man-mountain dressed in the red and white hoops of the York Railway Rugby Club.  “Thought I was going to piss meself. Never would have made it to the Slug.”

                 Zipping up and wiping their hands on their jerseys, they turned to confer and revisit the night’s plan of action. So far they’d made it half way up the High Street, and although not attempting to drink at every one of the forty pubs along its entire length they’d chosen a few select hostelries to quench their thirst. The lads were rat-arsed , drink having got the worse of them. Despite their intake of curry and kebabs, the age old of formula of using grease to pacify alcohol, they were fighting a losing battle.

                “Bloody hell, that’s lovely,” said Mark pushing the last of the mystery-meat into his face. A donor kebab – a bread blanket drowned in hot sauce, and covered in glistening spam-textured flesh.  He puffed his way through the last mouthfuls as he fought off the lava sensation of liquid napalm dripping from his chin. Finished, he used his throwing arm to dispatch the container as far away from the council provided rubbish bin as possible; a cast-iron edifice burgeoning with last meals and discarded plastic. “That’s was fucking good. I’m ready for a drink.”

                The other lads nodded and smiled. Dressed in rugby shirts and jeans, they were trolling the streets of York for booze and whatever tail they could get their fingers into. When they’d first met down the club, earlier that evening, there’d been ten of them. Several had hacked off along the way, or fallen prey to the lipstick-promises of nameless housewives out on the pull without their husbands. Evil women with evil on their minds!

                One of the team members was getting married to some bird from the nursing college and this was their chance to show him exactly what he was giving up. No more the freedom of weekend booze ups, one night stands, and visits to the clinic, but instead the staid-and-steady of 2.5 kid purgatory. The supplicant to marriage had started the night off well, downing his drink with the rest of them and standing his rounds. It wasn’t until Big Bill started spiking his beer that things had gone from fun to worse. Now collapsed on one of the cities wooden benches and lying next to some poor bugger who’d been abandoned by his mates and left for dead, his trousers round his ankles and his mouth agape, moaned the man of the hour. A continuous wave of heaves and retches buckled his body as he fought to contain his guts, the fluorescent-green bile dribbling from his lips betrayed the fact there was nothing left  to expel and was failing miserably.

                 Smeared in curry sauce and smelling like a urinal, the groom-to-be cut a pathetic figure. As if his distress wasn’t bad enough, his accoutrement added to his shame. A large, pink, strap-on-penis jutted out from his jeans, a gift from the stags who’d insisted he wear it for the duration of the night. It had seemed like a laugh at the time but now the sight of a man dying whilst unable to curb a twelve inch solid pink erection was utterly hilarious. Earlier in the evening it’d caused him to be the center of attention with various birds, in diverse bars, grabbing him and even putting the pink phallus in their mouths. Photos had been taken, telephones flashed, as his embarrassment had been preserved for posterity. Smiling, gaping, mouths encircled the plastic monstrosity, whilst strange, willing hands had gripped his nether regions. Now he was caste as untouchable – a heaving mass of sick and piss with a dripping plastic willy nobody would poke with a ten-foot barge pole.

                “What about him?” Asked Bill, pointing to the aroused leper “We’re never going to get him into the slug.

                “ Course we will. Just stick him between the two of us and we’ll carry him. Besides we know the bouncer,” said Mark

                Frank had been on the team a few years back and had played center half, a big bastard with a quick temper who couldn’t play a match without getting into a brawl. After beating several of the opposition, teams had refused to play if he was fielded. Such had been the demise of his promising rugby career.

                “Alright then pick him up,” ordered Mark, the team captain. The boys dragged the groom from the bench, the drunk hanging like Christ on the cross between two of the biggest boys. The lads couldn’t help but laugh – it was hard not to when faced with a man that had a dick you could hang a towel on.

                “Mum, mum,” burbled the drunk.

                “I’m not your bloody mother, now shut up and come on,”

                He wretched once more, and the support of good friends he thought he had dropped him in order to avoid the green-goo erupting from his mouth. Saved only by the plastic-dong from a face-first interception with the pavement his body lay elevated on the ground, the huge penis acting like a shock absorber and suspending his body slightly above the paving stones. The lads were beside themselves, creased with laughter, as they watched their mate sway back and forth on his fifth appendage.

                “Got to get a bloody picture of that. That’s fricking priceless!” Bill aimed his camera, flashing and framing the groom’s body.

                “Come on lad s get him up. If the bloody coppers see us well be for it,” warned Mark. The police were out in force, searching for random pissers and pukers to throw into the drunk tank, and they’d already seen a couple of patrol cars.

                 John was the poof for the night, the designated driver who was supposed to ensure that everybody got back safely – no man left behind. Resigned to an evening of pineapple juice, it was a task that none of them relished. Although not enjoying the fun, it was always the poof that had the best stories to tell the next day. Able to distance himself from the alcoholic mayhem that surrounded the drinkers, the poof was able to piece together the night-of-the-morning-after for those suffering from killer hangovers. Who did what with whom, the dogs they’d kissed, and the disasters they’d barely avoided.

                Picking themselves up, they staggered like drunken sailors towards The Slug and Cabbage, their final destination before hitting the burger-stand and getting themselves home. The music from The Slug was bouncing off the windows and rolling down the street, a live band were playing inside which probably accounted for the crowd outside. Normally they wouldn’t have a hot dogs chance at a lesbian convention of getting in, but with their old team mate on the door it should be a doddle.

                “Now then Frank how’ve you been?” asked  Mark.

                Frank put his finger to his lips, “Shut the fuck up you drunken bastards. At least try and look like you can bloody dance or they’ll throw you out soon as you get in there!”

                 Hands were shook, backs were slapped and the rugby shirts greeted their old mate.

                “Don’t get too close you dirty buggers, don’t want none of his puke on my Tux,” said Frank holding the groom at arm’s length.

                “Any birds in there, Frank?” asked Bill.

                “The place is full of totty tonight boys, you can’t go wrong.” Looking down at the lad with the pink dildo strapped to his pants Frank pointed and laughed. “Don’t know about him though. That looks like more than a mouthful to me!  Alright fellas get yourselves inside. Last orders have just been called so get over to the bar sharpish”

                “Cheers Frank.” Smiles, waves, thank-yous and goodbyes.

                Frank  watched as the stag-party staggered into the pub. Drunken bastards, he thought. Good bunch of lads, just didn’t know when they’d enough. The bouncer glanced at his watch and creased his brow. A look of concern crossed Frank’s face.


                Propping themselves at the bar the Stags tried to attract the attention of the bar tender – a slimy looking bastard with gelled, styled hair, wearing designer clothes. Mark had hoped that the blonde with the big tits would serve them, but she was engaged with several admirers down at the far end.

                 There were people everywhere, the place was packed. The music was deafening, strobe lights flashed from the stage. The stags could barely hear themselves think and had to shout their order to the bar tender. Bloody great! This was the place to be. They should have got here earlier.

                “Aright lads. Stag night is it?  What can I get for you?” asked Sherlock Holmes.

                They listed off the requisite alcohol and the mandatory pineapple juice.

                “You the driver then?” asked Sherlock.

                “No he’s the poof.”

             The bar tender smiled and busied himself with their order.

                Mark tapped his fingers on the bar and stared at the  perfect orb of the blonde bartenders arse. Wouldn’t mind a bit of that, he thought.

                Sherlock returned with their drinks. “Lot of birds in here tonight mate. If you boys are looking, theirs a hen party just walked in. Bunch off lasses in their underwear wearing angels wings.” He pointed to the front of the bar where one of the angels was being helped onto a table by some lads – their hands all the way up her legs as they tried to stabilize and grope her at the same time. The angel didn’t seem to mind a bit. Judging by the smile on her face was enjoying every second of it.

                “Wilco wing-commander. Bandits at  three o’clock!”.

                 The lads picked up their drinks and headed for the front of house. A moan came from one of the tables and the Stags quickly returned collect the groom they’d forgotten who sat  caressing his plastic penis. “Don’t want to leave him behind now do we?”

                The bartender smiled.

               Just another Friday night at The Slug and Cabbage.


17 Aug



Next step is to try to find an agent. WISH ME LUCK !


11 Aug



George glanced into the rear view mirror. He’d been driving limousines for the past ten years and what he hadn’t seen happen in the back of the luxury vehicle would stretch his own imagination. From rock stars and groupies, reality-wannabes and footballers with too much money in their bloody pockets, to out-of-control housewives on the razz, he’d seen it all. He could write a book; a kiss and tell first-person exclusive. Only problem was nobody would believe a word of it. From the bare arses pushed up against the glass partition that separated him from the clientele to the forgotten pills, bras, and panties stuffed between the seats, he could start his own lingerie store and drug distribution centre. Instead he sold the pills and powders to the kids at the pub he went to on a Friday night with the missus. Money was money and he wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth. His wife enjoyed the naughty additions to her own underwear collection Once they were washed and ironed you’d never know the difference. 

This was his fourth fare of the evening. A bunch of girls – a hen-party dressed as angels. Amateur weekend pole-dancers, who in reality were daytime pot-washers and kid-catchers. The middle aged still deluding themselves they were eighteen and hot-to-trot – the eighteen year old pretending they were oh-so sophisticated with their dark eye liner and too short skirts. 

He had to laugh, stupid beggars. Course he was always polite, “Yes madam.  No madam. Can I do anything for you ladies?” Just another  bunch of slappers looking for trouble and who’d probably find it as well. Earlier in the evening he’d had a boat load of airhostesses followed by a car full of naughty school girls, now it was winged angels dressed in stockings and pink body tops. Amazing what a pair of stripper heels and a set of fishnets could do for a bunch of chubby housewives. Unleashed, the old dogs had left husbands glued to couches, watching videotaped soccer games. Left to fend for themselves with a couple of cans of lager and  take-away curries. Yeah, they were well out of it. Best place for them and probably the safest on a night like this. 

The redhead looked like she was a handful. She’d grabbed his dick getting into the car and had already stuck her lipsticked face all over the bloody windows. He’d have to wipe that up before he picked up the next lot of scantily clad soon to be happily-ever-aftered. So long as they tipped well he didn’t much care. Looking in the mirror again, he was just in time to see a set of boobs being arranged inside a push-up bra. Nothing he hadn’t seen before and went back to concentrating on his driving. 

Mothers of York lock up your sons and husbands. The angels were on the prowl and judging by the size of the lasses in the back they were hungry. 


“This is a bit posh in- it?” squealed Brenda, the red-head, at no one in particular. The leather upholstery was beautiful. Her bare arse cheeks stuck to its smooth surface and it was cold to the touch. There were drinks in the cabinet and George, the driver, had told them to help themselves. He’d also offered a little extra if they were interested. All they had to do was pick up the telephone in the back of the car, speak to him on the intercom and he’d sort them out. Big man was George, probably a bit of a looker in his day. Had a nice package on him too, she thought remembering the cheeky squeeze shed given him when they’d climbed into the sleek, stretched, limousine 


The inside was thickly carpeted, beautifully upholstered, mirrored and tinted. They couldn’t see the driver but George could see them. Unbeknownst to the passengers the interior was more utilitarian than it was luxurious. The leather was easy to wipe down and the scotch- guarded synthetic carper was faster to clean. Given the seminal fluids and excess alcohol that was sprayed around its interior it was a wonder anybody wanted to ride around in mobile cess-pool. What George didn’t see in his mirror the camera in the corner recorded for posterity. A side line in porn that the owner was selling to some internet savvy kids. Limousine debauchery – Housewives gone wild or some such? 


It was Sarah’s hen party; she was the one who was getting married the following week to a nice-enough lad, and the father of the three month old she was carrying. Although her boobs had started to swell she hadn’t started to show, and so with a bit of luck and some help with the zipper should fit snuggly into her wedding dress. 

The Angels all worked at the plastic factory in Stanton Bridge and had known each other for years. Friends of friends, mothers of friends, friends of mothers. When there was trouble at mill it was usually one, or all of them, who were at the centre of it. One of the girls fired off some indoor fireworks, the angels screamed at the noise, the colored streamers spreading like multi-colored tendrils throughout the back of the car. The girls squealed, clinked their glasses of complimentary champagne and chatted incessantly about the night ahead. There were ten of them in total all dressed identically. Sweet but slutty is what they were going for and much to Brenda’s approval their look was a triumph. White basques accented with arm length gloves, short skirts, and stockings. The skirts just brushed the bottom of their arse cheeks and so they were bound to get the attention they deserved. 

Sarah, the wife-to-be, had a large red learner-sign pinned to her back and a plastic board hung around her neck that said kiss me quick, fuck me slow. They’d taken all the photographs back at the house, adopted page-three poses, lifted skirts, and flashed stocking tops. Like proud graduates from the Mrs. Simpsons school for angelic strippers they’d smiled their crooked teeth for the camera and preserved their proudest moments. 

“Last night of freedom lass. Better grab you some dick ‘cos the only one you’re ever going to see again will be you hubbies.” 

The girls screeched in delight. Brenda picked up the phone. “Ay, George. Have you got that little extra you was talking about?” 

“Certainly madam,” came the cool, calm, voice from behind mirrored glass. The limo coasted to a halt – the sound of the electric motor as the partition slid down and revealed the driver. George passed a small plastic bag back to the ladies. 

“Remember just one. You don’t want to be to wasted and get yourselves into trouble.” He said with fatherly concern. 

“Thanks George. You’re a lovey” cooed Brenda. The glass slid back into place. 

 “Alright then, who wants one?” screamed Brenda. The bag was filled with small blue pills stamped with smiley faces and passed around the car. Each of the girls took one and held it in their hands. 

“Alright then,” said Brenda, “after three!” The pills were thrown back and chased down with cans of extra strength lager. “Here we go girls, a night to remember. Whatever happens we stick together. What happens in York stays in York.” 

George turned up the music in the front of the car. There was only so much screaming he could take, the shrill cries from the back of vehicle grating on his nerves. Worse than lads they were once they got going. 

Brenda swallowed the pill and flushed her mouth with the last of her champagne. There was still one pill left in the bag. She grabbed it greedily and swallowed it down. It had been a while since she’d been on the town. Ever since her husband had left her for some slag down at the railway museum she’d been by herself. Well if that’s what he wanted, some fuddy-duddy troll to walk around and look at steam engines with, he could bloody well have her. Good bye and good bloody riddance. 

She was determined she was going to have some fun and tonight was as much hers as any bodies. You only lived once so you might as well enjoy it, she justified. Pulling the lip stick out of bag she peered into the mirrored glass and reapplied the previous application now plastered to the champagne glass. As she stared at her own reflection she thought she could make out the imprint of a bum in the mirrored glass. 

The angels were singing at the top of their voices, a couple of them with their heads out of the window waving to anything in trousers that had the misfortune to walk by. “Get your kit off. Show us your willy. Give us a shag!” Good girls gone bad. If only their bloody mothers could see them now. Brenda knew some of their mothers and the apple, so to speak, hadn’t fallen too far from the tree. 

A voice came over the intercom. “Here we are angels. The Slug and Cabbage. Thanks for flying with Minster Limos and we look forward to seeing you again. Have a great night and remember be safe. Oh, and good luck to the bride” 

“Thanks George, ta George, see you later lover.” They chorused. 


 The girls climbed out of the limousine and onto the pavement. Long legs hemmed in by fish netting, the click-clack of high heels on cold stone. 

“Aye up lads, look what we’ve got here. Look at the tits on that.” 

“Fuck off you dirty bastards.” bantered the angels with lads who were already in line to get in the bar. The slug was always busy and they could hear the music inside throbbing through the windows. 

“ We’ll never get in,” complained Sarah.

“ Hold on a mo,”said Brenda. “I’ll have a word with the bouncer.” Brenda pulled up her top, licked her teeth, pulled the wedgy out from between her cheeks and tottered over to where a big man in a tuxedo stood at the front of the line. She’d use a bit of the charm she was famous for. She’d get the angels into the pub. 


George pushed the button and looked back into the rear of the limo, the seats awash in glitter, confetti, and streamers. Empty plastic champagne glasses rolled on the carpet and lipstick smeared the windows. He reached down for the tip jar at the back of the seat. There was a fifty quid and a pair of knickers stuffed into the container. Good girls, he thought, they’d done him right. He sighed at the state of the inside of the vehicle. He’ better get a wiggle on as he’d another pick up in an hour. Best be ready if he wanted a decent tip.


6 Aug



On the other side of the ocean, in a country I like to call my own, rests a man quite still and at peace. Mourned by family and friends in a room filled with empty tea cups, half-eaten sandwiches, and hushed conversation. Where soft tissue dabs at cruel tears and laughter ripples to fond remembrance. Murmured voices change painful subjects, as the subject himself listens with deaf ears. Gone the worries, the pains and complaints, gone the insurmountable stairs.

Larger than life, a man who greedily lived his own ten times over, now lies compacted and crated in pine. A colossus who bestrode the world, shielded family and defended Empire, now resigned to a cold churchyard plot. Final prayers and sad farewells – forced to endure the poignant tone of Last Post and the whisper of unfurling flags.

Now we talk of the man in the past tense when only yesterday we were complaining bitterly in the present. The sacrifice required of loved ones who can barely take care of themselves let alone care for the sick and infirm. How if onlys  and what ifs were replaced with adequate facilities and shorter hospital waiting lists – wishes that would enable beggars to ride. Those concerns are gone now, replaced with funeral arrangements and time tables, telephone calls and whispered voices. What’s best for Jack? What would Jack want that’s best for us? A man available to all, now fitting his after-life into our busy schedules.

Not exactly a knight on a white steed, more a welcome flat-capped face on a squeaking, rusting, bicycle. Scalded for dirty boots and errant household ways he’d endure the wrath of marital bliss, accepting blame for things he hadn’t done. If the Japs couldn’t get him what chance did his wife and kids have of scratching that tough exterior? An armor plated veteran in slippers and a cardigan, the epitome of Englishness, a son of Yorkshire – an inspiration to us all.

Grandfather, uncle, husband, father and friend – a man who answered to many names. A multitasking genius and juggler of renown; a Jack of all trades, who’d seen it, been it and bought the holiday home. A man who could weave a tale like no other, talk the hind legs off a donkey and yet there were some stories he wouldn’t tell. Stories alluded to by the blue-black ink on shrapneled hands that would remain with him forever. Briefly shared but never explained, an outburst of emotion and a flood of tears – a softer side to a man of steel.

Gone but not forgotten. Nature abhors a vacuum but the space he occupied will be hard to fill. The house will hold him forever and our  hearts are fuller for having known him. The empty chair by the television, chocolate bars in the fridge, and the myriad pill bottles he refused to open.

“Bloody doctors, what do they know anyway?” What did they know about healing a man broken on the inside? What did they know about plugging a heart the size of a planet? Advice taken but wisely ignored.

A soldier who’s gone on to greater things – standing to attention in Elysium’s pantheon. No longer in a world carved by bullet and bomb, but one turfed and flowered, treed and hedged. A place fit for heroes and dead grandfathers. A warm welcome from comrades passed. A seat by the home fire and a welcome brew. Now he can rest that pack and throw down the rifle that needs never be fired again.

“What took you so long Jack? We’ve been waiting for you forever!”

“I was busy lads. Stuff to do and family to look after you know…Can’t just run away and leave it for others now, can you?”

Knowing smiles and nudges.

Aye, that’s the Jack they remembered. Bloody hero is our Jack.

Don’t hear that much in these days of reality drivel, where a man stands out for his qualities rather than the way he looks in name-branded shoes on the front page of some random gossip magazine.

A man’s man, a woman’s man, a family man. A man to be remembered and to emulate.

Dear Jack. I’ve dried my tears and mended my heart however, the hole you’ve created in a life a thousand miles from where you lie will be hard to fill. The red barrier tape and flashing lights that surround the crater you have left will serve as memorial, where the very depth of memory echoes in the pitch blackness of our recent loss.

Memories of a man who cried upon arrivals and goodbyes, who held one transfixed with his one good eye.

I love you Jack.

Goodnight sweet Prince.



5 Aug


“Scuse me love,” said Steve pushing passed the barmaid. The confines of the bar forced the bar staff to shuffle past each other like commuters on a subway. Wasn’t all bad though, made for a cozy experience as he brushed his crotch passed the latest Barbie lookalike John had hired. He smiled his recently whitened teeth into her face, enjoyed her response, enjoyed how good she smelt and felt an electric tingle in his trousers as his nether regions passed within inches of hers. To date he’d an eighty percent success rate. He’d know within the first couple of days if he stood a chance with this one.

Usually he took them up to John’s office and did them on them on the couch. If John ever found out he’d go bloody bananas. Fat chance of that happening though as he was always occupied somewhere else. Not the quickest on the up take was old John – didn’t have a clue. That was the way with John, never had his eye on business. Always distracted with his perfect family or some piece of random fanny he was chasing. Of course getting his dick wet with some big-boobed-blonde-bimbo on his boss’s desk was a thrill but the idiot had no idea he was taking him for a small fortune as well. Supplementing the pathetic wages John paid him and more than making up for the long hours he worked. Bloody slave labor is what it was. If it wasn’t for the French benefits he’d probably go and find himself a real job.

“Hello lover. How’s about a kiss?” said a redheaded angel surrounded by lookalikes in white basques, stockings and suspenders. Another hen party, probably the fourth he’d seen here tonight. Young girls and middle aged office colleagues walking around the town like marauding prostitutes in their undies.  Selling bride’s kisses or offering to suck lollipops for sixpence. It wasn’t exactly original and had become a regular sight. If it wasn’t the stags drunk off their arses fighting in the street, it was future brides and bridesmaids crying in doorways with mascara running down their well-fed cheeks.

“What can I get for you ladies?”

The redhead proceeded to list a dosage of alcohol that would kill a small horse but which would probably just tingle the toenails of these Northern girls. Obviously the chief conspirator, she looked like she’d worn out the pavement with the number of times she’d been around the block. The young girls with her looked slightly more demure but, compared to the whore of Babylon ordering the drinks, that wasn’t hard.

 He turned his back to get the drinks, heard the comments, “Show us your prick as well you dishy bastard!”

Nothing new, nothing he hadn’t heard before. If you couldn’t score in this pub then you were probably gay, and if you were gay then you wouldn’t go home alone. It was a smorgasbord of delinquency. The Slug and Cabbage catered to all tastes. If you couldn’t cop-off here then you were probably eighty and blind. Although, looking at the amount of make-up old red had smeared across her face, she’d probably blow the octogenarians for bus tokens in the bathroom.

“Here you go ladies. Who’s the lucky bride?”

A plump brunette with angel wings was pushed to the front of the bar by her mates. A sign hung round her neck that said Kiss Me Quick, Fuck Me Slow. He leaned across the bar and kissed her on the cheek. “All the luck in the world darling.”

She blushed and her mates cheered. “Go on give him a shag,” they shouted.

He collected their money and heard his favorite phrase, “and have one for yourself.” That was cash in pocket, the tip he’d just worked so hard for. He wasn’t stupid. He knew John suspected something was going on. The newly-installed cameras betrayed his suspicions. Just another nuisance he had to circumnavigate when pilfering from the boss. No point in being greedy – a little here, a little there. It all amounted to the same in the end. The Slug and Cabbage was a big fat dairy cow waiting for her udders to be squeezed, not unlike its clientele.

At the start of shift when no one was around he’d dabbed the camera lenses with olive oil, an old trick that worked every time. If John ever took the time to learn how to work the video recorder in his office all he would see were blurred shapes moving around the bar. He went to the register and pressed the NS button- No Sale – meaning nothing went on the receipt. The cash drawer flew open. He pretended to put in the cash before pushing it closed. John was a frigging idiot and would never cop to the scam. He deserved to be taken advantage of. The sun was shining and Steve was making a little illicit hay. Ready cash that enabled him to dress in the manner he’d become accustomed. Gaultier aftershave, Polo shirts, Louis Vuitton brogues. He certainly looked like he was in the money. Only his bank account said otherwise.

It’d been a bit of a shock when the new girl had walked in to the bar to see him balanced on a chair doctoring the cameras. She’d said nothing but he got the feeling she knew what he was up to. Have to keep his eye on her and not just her figure either. If he used a little of his well-practiced patter then hopefully he could bring her on to his side. Who knows, maybe join forces? Two on the scam was better than one.

Suddenly there was a cacophony of sound. The bloody band was back on stage again. Bunch of aging rockers John had found through some newspaper ad apparently. Lots of noise, not a lot of class. If it had been his place he’d probably have a couple of the local bands in. There was a lively music scene in the city and he’d use the place to showcase some of the local talent. He smiled as he saw the redheaded angel climb onto a table. A bunch of blokes surrounded her with their arms in the air. What was it with middle aged women and a couple of vodkas that turned them into table dancers? The old slapper!

He turned to John to point out what was happening, but he was nowhere to be seen. He looked through the crowd to see his boss disappearing with some young thing into the bathroom. Never one to waste an opportunity was old John. The new barmaid was touching up her lipstick and pushing her up her tits, readying herself for the onslaught once the band finished.

Seizing the moment he took two bottles of whisky from the bar. The expensive stuff – Johnny Walker Blue – and concealed them in the cupboard under the sink. Had to be quick though, an opportunity like this wasn’t to be wasted. He’d get fifty quid apiece for those from the pub down the road. He got up to to see jugs smiling at him, her hands on her hips, her short skirt showing off her fantastic legs. He put a finger to his lips and she rubbed her fingers together. Clearly she wanted in on the deal. He gave her his best smile – he’d sort her out later. She blew him a kiss and went back to her adoring audience at the bar. Damn, he had to be more careful. It was one thing getting caught but having to share his ill-gotten gains as well. Not good, especially with things the way they were.  Right now he needed every penny he could get his hands on.

“Hey mate.  How about some drinks? Dying of bloody thirst over here, think my throats been bloody cut!” A bunch of lads dressed in rugby shirts looking the worst for wear were propping up the corner of the bar. Obviously a stag party.

“How’s it going lads? What can I get for you?”

“Six lagers, two vodka and cokes, and a lemonade for the poof.” The poof grinned – obviously the designated driver.

‘Who’s the lucky lad then?” Steve asked.

The stag in yellow and red hoops pointed to a lad slumped over a chair. Lipstick marks covered his face and a giant strap on penis stuck out from his trousers. “He is. Tomorrow at three. Poor fucker. Another good man lost forever.”

The lad with the pink rubber penis waved and smiled. Three o’clock, really? It would take a bleeding miracle if he made it. “Lot of totty in here tonight mate. You might want to hook up with the angels over there. Bound to get your end away with those birds.” Steve advised.

A smile spread across the rugger lads’ faces. “Wilco wing-commander. Bandits at  three o’clock!” The stags picked up their glasses, grabbed rubber dick, and made for the angels. Steve scooped the beer-soaked cash from the bar and put it straight into his pocket. If he was a gambling man, and he was, he’d lay odds that Prince Penis wouldn’t make it to the reception.


4 Aug


The door crashed open and the boys from the band crowded into what passed for a green room – a utility closet at the back of the pub just big enough for a couch, a couple of chairs, and a wash basin. The men were on a high, laughing and shouting. They’d just left the stage from what had been their third and final encore.

“That was fucking amazing! We’ve still got it lads,” laughed Briggs the drummer. “Did you see that red-headed tart at the front?”

“What, the one that was wearing these?”  Izzy brandished a pair of knickers that he stretched between his fingers and sniffed to the delight of the band members.

“You fucking dirty bastard. Wouldn’t say no meself  though,” Oz said.  The men hooted their approval. This is what it was all about – the high life. The booze, the birds, the elation that came from performing before a live audience. There was no drug like it.

“They fucking loved us! Did you hear them scream for more? Got a funny feeling this won’t be our last time here boys, maybe we can even get a regular gig out of it.”

“Where’s the booze?”

In the center of the room was a table with pints of beer and a plate of sandwiches. John had thrown in a couple of bottles of vodka and a few cans of coke. He’d really splashed out. They’d made him a fortune and there was nothing wrong with showing a bit of gratitude.

Izzy picked up one of the pints and held it aloft. “Here’s to us lads and metal mayhem.”

“Metal mayhem!” they screamed in unison before downing their own drinks. Calendars of playmates of the month and page three girls decorated the walls covering up the shitty paint job and damp stains that had seeped through the ancient brickwork.  Didn’t matter and it didn’t detract from their moment in the limelight. It wasn’t quite the big time but a definite whistle stop on the way.


They’d been phenomenal; the crowd went wild when they realized the band was coming back on stage. As far as the punters were concerned the show was over and they’d given them a good long wait before reappearing. Briggs the drummer had spoken to one of the bouncers standing by the stage and given him a heads up that they’d be back on, and to turn off the juke box in exactly ten minutes. They’d stood eagerly in the shadows, waited for the pop screaming out of the speakers to finally dissipate.

Finally the machine went  silent.

“Come on lads!” screamed Izzy. The band raced on to thunderous applause. Beer rained down on them from happy punters. The band stood, dripping in the unexpected November shower and plugged back into the amps – their guitars thumped with power as they sprung back to life.

“Are you ready York?” shouted Izzy at the top of his lungs.“Are you fucking ready?”

 The crowd replied with equal enthusiasm. Izzy stared out at the sea of eager, drink-reddened faces, the Friday night crowd who were clearly up for anything. Rude and crude and out for a laugh. He saw the drunken arm sweeps as lads in the audience began to play air guitars, the smiles on girl’s faces stood at the front of the stage. It was electric. It was as though they’d just injected adrenalin into what was turning into an after party.

Girls were jumping up and down, their too short skirts riding up their thighs and revealing the commandoes in the audience. A pair of knickers hit Izzy in the face. Not missing a beat he grabbed the waspy material, dragged them across his face, and stuck them in his pocket. The girl who’d thrown them was stood on a table with her skirt around her waist. Although she already had, a group of lads with their arms in the air were chanting for her to take them off. A momentary goddess in a sea of lust -a magical moment she’d remember forever. Male adulation at the slip of elastic.

Looking past the heaving sweating mass of bared breasts, naked flesh, flushed faces, and wide-eyed inebriation Izzy looked towards the bar. John the owner bestrode the bar like a colossus with both thumbs raised and with a grin the size of the Humber Bridge on his face.

Chords twanged, guitars hummed and the drums crashed. It was tribal.  An ethereal meeting of the mindless.  A religious epiphany – the slap and bash of fret boards bringing the congregation to prayer. They’d played just two songs. The trick was to leave them wanting more. The band had unplugged, drawn together at the front of stage, linked shoulders, and bowed to the crowd.

“Fucking amazing. More!” screamed the crowd.

There was nothing quite like it. The day jobs they each had didn’t hold a candle to being a Saturday night rock-god.


The band collapsed into the cushions of the couch, passing the bottles of vodka and swigging the balance of payment whilst adding to their own adrenalin rush. Izzy dug into his leather jacket pocket, pulled out a plastic bag and emptied the contents onto the table. Ludes, blues, rainbows and uppers spilled across its surface. A couple of joints and some white powder he’d been saving for a special occasion.

“Help your fucking selves,” he said grabbing a couple of pills that he swigged down with some of John’s Russian fire-water. Leather gloved hands grabbed at the contraband, greedily feeding faces with the necessary chemical enhancement. Somebody hit the play button on the tape recorder and the small room reverberated to the beat of hard core rock and roll.

“Take all you want lads,” said Izzy generously, “there’s more on the way.

“Where do you get this shit Izz?” asked Briggs pushing a pill into his mouth. “It’s classy bloody stuff,” he mumbled.

 Izzy rubbed a knowing finger along his beak like nose. “Never you mind sunshine, never you mind.”

Izzy had been dealing with Frank for years, ever since his earlier boxing days. Back then it was roids and  H.G.H. however, the party had left the gym and moved into the clubs and pubs. Different kind of punter, different kind of cash crop. With Frank’s connections and Izyy’s salesmanship they’d done alright for themselves more than supplementing the meager incomes of both vehicle mechanic and supermarket meat packer.

 It wasn’t what you did, it’s what you were. If anybody asked, Izzy was a guitarist in a rock and roll band not a nine to-five drone in a blood smeared butchers coat. Frank was supposed to be meeting him after the show. The last encore had been a bit of surprise and so Frank was probably even now dealing with the anarchy they’d just created. Saving young girls from themselves and lads from kicking the shit out of each other as they fought to protect the tarts honor. It was a crazy world  you dove into when you drank the demon brew.

The pills were starting to kick in, the chatter amongst the band animated as they relived their finest hour. Blow-by-blow accounts of the action they’d just participated in.

Izyy kicked back, closed his eyes and felt the sails of the good ship ecstasy unfurl. He felt the swell of the waves as his own personal trip gathered speed and headed for the horizon. Light, airy, and full of grace – his face in the sunshine, the heat of the moment tanning his skin. There was nothing like it. It was pure rush. A couple of the boys had stripped to the waist and were singing along with the tape. Briggs was drumming his sticks on a couple of cans. The noise inside the small room was deafening.


There was a knock on the door. “That should be Frank now,” thought Izzy. “Hold your bleeding horses mate,” he screamed as he struggled to push himself up off the couch. He felt his body sway, felt the rush of blood to his head and reached out for support. Managing to right himself he stepped over Briggs. His chains and straps clinking against his leather trousers, he staggered to the door. Grabbing the handle he swung it open.

“Frank baby……”

It wasn’t Frank. To his surprise a group of women dressed in white stockings and angel outfits holding half-filled glasses and fresh bottles stood before him. Not believing what he saw he rubbed his eyes. Realizing he hadn’t died and gone to heaven he ushered the scantily clad party crashers into the room.

“Ladies meet the band. Band meet the ladies.”

The men screamed their approval, the women giggled. The party was on. This was going to be a fucking night to remember.


4 Aug


Frank stamped his feet on the pavement. It was starting to get bloody cold, either that or he was getting too old for this game. He’d worn a vest underneath his dress shirt to keep out the damp – his cough had started to get worse. It was probably all the bleeding cig-smoke he inhaled every night in the pub. Never smoked a fag in his life and yet he’d probably die of fuckin lung cancer. How’s that for bleeding irony, he thought. Hours spent in the gym to perfect a body that was slowly going to seed, only to be struck down by some invisible black shit creeping through his lungs. He coughed again, spittle rattled in his throat. The radio clipped to his lapel came to life.

“Hey Frank this is Billy did you hear anything from Mike? It’s fricking packed in here?”

There were only three of them of them on duty tonight. The menace of tuxedos, black ties, and shiny patent leather shoes, the uniform of authority, was supposed to keep the drunken masses under control. Mike had called in sick and he had a brown sticky feeling that Tony had found work elsewhere. He’d told John a million bloody times to raise the wages or he’d be losing the boys. The tight fisted bugger was more interested in lining his own pockets and fucking as many of the tarts that came into the place than looking after the staff.

He’d known  John for years and despite his protestations his marriage and his kids hadn’t changed him a bit. Still the same randy old sod he ever was. The younger the snatch the better he liked it. He talked a good line but preferred to put his silver tongue to other uses. How many times had he walked into the office only to find some young girl on her knees or bent over the table with Frank thrusting into them or with his trousers around his ankles staring into space. Frank had a lot to thank him for. He’d been loyal and stood by him, besides it was him who was supplying him with the little blue pills that enabled his extracurricular activities. If John’s wife ever found out what was going on she’d kill the both of them.

Standing by the front door of The Slug and Cabbage he kept his eye on the  crowd that was lining up to get into the pub. The band had brought them in. There must have been at least fifty people trying to sweet talk and bribe there way inside. Two young girls had already flashed their tits and one lad had forked over a tenner all three of whom were now probably fighting for space at the bar and gagging on cigarette smoke inside. Divine Justice he mused.

He pushed the button and spoke into the radio. “No nothing. Looks like it’s just us. Keep your eyes open. Any sign of trouble call for help. Don’t be a bleeding hero you get me.” The radio hissed and he heard a muffled affirmative. Kids!  All they wanted to do was bloody fight. Get some ale into them and they were all bloody heroes.

“Hiya, stud,” said a woman in her thirties -dyed red hair, covered in make-up, looking for a shag no doubt. Part of a hen-party – bunch of young girls dressed like sluts with angels wings pinned to their backs offering to suck lollipops for fifty pence a go. Bloody brazen is what it was. When had underwear become outerwear? The stockings and suspenders on the plump thighs of the bride-to-be left nothing to the imagination.

Music started to play and he popped his head through the door. The band was back on the stage. A sea of heaving bodies jumping up and down and swaying to the music. It was a madhouse. Thank god there was only a couple of hours left of this, then they could leave. He’d a lot on his plate and he needed to get home as quickly as possible. He saw John wave from behind the bar and he waved back. Dirty bastard had two girls at the bar hanging onto his every word. Dressed in summer dresses in November, the no- knickers variety that he’d probably have squealing in the bathroom before the night was over. If his wife caught him she’d chop his bloody dick off.

“Come on babe. Let us in and I’ll show you me tits,” said the red-head.

He ignored her and reached into his pocket. The plastic bag was still there, filled with the pills he was supposed to give to Izzy the guitar player. Only problem was the silly bastard was back on stage pretending he was Jon- Bon-bloody- Jovi. He’d known Izzy for ever, since school and it was Frank who’d given the idea of band-night to John. Izzy and the boys put on a good show and weren’t expensive. In fact they were bloody desperate for the work. Given that the last record they’d made was ten years ago they weren’t quite the success the posters claimed they were.

He hadn’t seen the tart behind the bar before, she must be new. Good looking girl but looked a bit of a handful in more ways than one. Thought he recognized her from somewhere else but probably didn’t. They were all clones anyway – big tits, blonde hair, short skirts, and no fucking brains. He pushed the bag back into his pocket. He’d see Izzy later and give him the pills.

More money in pills these days than there was in bouncing and since he’d been laid off from the garage it had become a necessity. He’d still to pay child support and couldn’t rely on that wanker his ex had hooked up with to take care of his kiddies could he? When he thought about it, it made him fucking mad but what could he do about it now? He’d had a quiet word with the fucker, given him a slap, but that had just gotten him into trouble with the law and lost him his job. Stupid bugger, what had been thinking? He should have done it on the sly. Got somebody else to do it for him. He wasn’t thinking, must be all those steroids he’d done back in the day that were slowing down his brain.

The radio crackled. “Bloody hell Frank there getting frigging naked in here. It’s going to turn into a riot.”

“Stand back and don’t intervene The bloody band will be finished soon and they’ll go back to drinking. Whatever you do, don’t dive in. There’s not enough of us and they’ll frigging kill you. Enjoy the show.”

“Aye I will bloody that – perks off the job ,eh!” The radio went silent.

Frank could envision it. Girls with too much drink inside throwing their knickers at the band and flashing their tits for drinks. Same old same old, just another regular night at the Slug and fucking Cabbage. It’d had been a lot of fun was he younger – free booze, all the totty you could handle, and cash in your pocket to boot. Now though he was starting to stiffen up, wasn’t as quick as he used to be and didn’t recover quite as fast from the scrapes he got into. Luckily he was still built like a brick shit house and so intimidation was his weapon of choice.

 The red head at the door had her hand on his crotch and had started to massage his balls. “Alright alright,” – he unclipped the rope and ushered the winged angels of the wedding party into the pub.

The red head grabbed his cheeks and planted a chapped-lipped kiss on his face. “Thanks darling. See you later?”

“Not if I bloody see you first,” said Frank. The crowd outside were getting rowdy.

“Hey, that’s not fuckin fair.”

“Quiten down or you’ll never get in.” the rabble settled.

He looked  at his watch, it was ten o’clock. The music came to a sudden stop to be replaced by applause and shouted screams for more.

He spoke into the radio. “Billy get your arse to the door, there’s something I have to take care off.”

“Will do boss. Be there in a jiffy.”

It was time to do the deal with Izzy. Drop the pills and hopefully get the bloody coppers of his back. He needed this job and he couldn’t afford to lose it. Sod it. In for a penny…