To celebrate World Book Day 2022 Here’s the story of Fred Biggs. Be careful. Fred loves books so don’t do anything to upset him.
I love to read.
I love to read. See the words on the page come to life. People and places I will never meet, or travel too, are here. Right here, at the end of my fingertips as I turn another page. Wonderful stuff. It’s my love of books that prompted an author to write a book all about me.
Fred Biggs. The Library Killer
That was six years after the fire that destroyed my local library. Mindless vandalism the police called it. Murder the judge called it and sentenced me to life, three times over.
Three murdered fire starting teenager’s one side of the scales. Balancing out the burned books, and adventures I would never enjoy on the other.
They burned the things I love. So I burned them. Ironic really that so much unpleasantness should lead me to a literary paradise. I have all the time in the world to enjoy my books now.
I’m the prison librarian.
To celebrate World Book Day 2019 Here is a thought provoking little snippet. A reminder that we should look out for our neighbours.
Disabled by the advancing years and unable to move unaided, Tamice sat quietly in her wheelchair for three weeks. Gathering dust like the rest of the ornaments. The only movement in the bedroom, a fat black spider walking across the yellow woollen shawl draped over her knees. The only noise a gentle buzz from overhead. Out-side the world rushed by doing what the world does, but inside the tiny one bed flat the world belonged to Tamice and the fat spider, and neither of them asked the world for much. They had all they needed. Tamice a place to wait till someone from the care agency realised they’d forgotten her, and the fat spider, a place to spin the web that would trap the flies buzzing gently above the seated woman’s lifeless remains.
Its Valentine’s day today so what better way to spread a little romance than with a vicious little snippet that some will love, but most will hate. For all of you husband’s lucky enough to be loved. A grisly reminder that love tolerates all things. Wives do not
Guess Who ?
I cut my best friends head off after I killed her. Parcelled it up in a heart shaped box, and sent it via a bicycle courier to my husband’s office. When he opened the box, a shower of little red balloons floated out and sprinkled glitter over his desk.
The cellophane bow wrapped round the cheating sluts blonde hair, poked through the red shredded paper lining the box. Hiding a card and present beneath. When my husband pulled his present out the box, his girlfriend’s dead blue eyes stared straight back at him through the blood-smeared cellophane.
The Valentine’s card, sprinkled with my favourite perfume, was a nice touch I thought. “
Happy Valentines darling. Guess who?
Helping to spread the world that literacy is an empowering gift everyone should be able to enjoy. Here’s a little something to get you’re teeth into to celebrate International Literacy day 2017.
Sally Mitchell sat quietly on the hard wooden bench, knees demurely together. Plain grey dress smoothed over her slim legs. Hands clasped together, long fingers interlaced. Her rubber slip on shoes, spotless white against the burnt orange floor tiles. Only the frown lines on her forehead, just below the straight cut blonde fringe showed any outward emotion.
“I followed that recipe properly. I know I did. Bought the best ingredients I could afford on the housekeeping Ronald gives me. Set the oven to the correct temperature and made a lovely gravy with the meat juice. I even marinated her for three hours. A little red wine, tabasco sauce, pepper and salt and mixed herbs. I’ll have to have another look at my cookery book when they let me go home, but I’m sure I didn’t miss anything.”
“Hmmm.” The frown lines deepened and the pink rubber identity bracelet flexed slightly against the pale skin of her wrist.
“I do hope Ronald’s calmed down. He took it very badly. I suppose I must have misunderstood him, but he was always cuddling Paula when he came home from work. Making her giggle when he pulled her little vest up and blew kisses on her tummy.”
“You’re good enough to eat like roast beef. Good enough to pop in the oven for daddy’s dinner.”
To celebrate the many 2017 Pride parades up and down the country, taking place under the Rainbow banner, here’s a nasty, thought provoking little piece to enjoy. And we wish good luck to everyone in the LGTB community.
“Dirty little queer. Mincing about like The Fairy Queen. If I had my way you’d be six foot under, and that’s a fact.”
The queer in question – much younger than the old man shouting at him – sat quietly waiting for the storm to blow over.
“Bloody disgrace, the lot of you. All tight tee shirts and jewellery. I don’t know what the world’s coming to when boys like you wear makeup and fanny around in public like drag queens. Look at that poncey jacket you always wear. Bloody pale blue. I ask you, what sort of man swans around in a pale blue jacket all day? Men were men in my day and women were glad of it, and you can wipe that smile of your face. You cheeky little bleeder.”
The smile remained as the younger man wearing the pale blue carer’s uniform stood up and walked behind the older man and grasped the handles of the wheelchair.
“Time for your nap, I think.”
“Bugger off, Twinky Boy. I’m not tired.”
The old man bristled as the chair rolled through the exit door of the residents’ lounge and into the lift.
“I’m not tired, do you hear?”
“No, you’re not,” agreed the young man in the carer’s uniform, “But you’re going to rest anyway because you soon will be.”
The older man swore loud and long as the lift smoothly arrived at the third floor and the wheelchair pulled up outside his room.
“I could march twenty miles in full kit when I was in uniform, you know. Twenty miles. I know when I’m tired and I am not bloody tired now, you stupid little faggot,” he shouted. Spit and saliva ran down his bristled chin.
“No. You’re just your usual tiresome self. All bitterness and bile, but I’ll care for you anyway because no one else does.”
“I don’t want you touching me, you pervert. You keep your hands to yourself.”
The younger man smiled as the old man gradually ran out of steam like he always did, and nodded off in his wheelchair. All day, every day, the same old abuse. Same old homophobic ranting. Interspersed with arguments with his long-dead wife, and nowhere-to-be-seen family. Soft old bugger.
The young carer leaned over and gently kissed the old man’s forehead.
“Dementia’s tearing you apart, you old queer basher. But this little queer won’t let you suffer any longer.”
The young man stroked the grey haired old head and pressed the pillow tightly over the old man’s face and nose.
“Goodbye, old soldier. Let’s hope the angels are not all Twinky Boys like me.
To celebrate World Book Day 2017
A Flash fiction tale of sibling rivalry
Marvin the Monster
Loisa Elaine carried the marks of her elder brother’s insanity for all the world to see. No amount of counselling and corrective surgery would make them go away. The deep triangular scar on her forehead exactly matched the pointed end of her mums clothes iron, pressed into her baby flesh by seven year old Marvin, because he was bored and angry.
“ I can’t take you to the park, Marvin. I have all this ironing to do and your sister will need feeding soon. I don’t have the time son. I’m sorry.”
Marvin wasn’t impressed. Mummy had time to go downstairs and answer the door when the postman called. Mummy had time to feed his baby sister, but she didn’t have time for Marvin.
“Right,” shouted Marvin. “I’ll amuse myself, then.”
The scream from the upstairs flat froze the blood in the postman’s veins, and sent Marvin’s mum Janice running back up the stairs as fast as her legs could carry her.
“Dear God. What’s happening, Marvin?
”The words died on her lips as the smell of burning baby flesh filled the tiny kitchen with a sickly sweet odour. The next few minutes were all confusion as the postman pounded up the stairs behind Janice. He burst through the entrance door to the flat to find Janice wrestling with a young boy. The pair of them were wreathed in stinking smoke, as she tried to pull the clothes iron from his hands.
Marvin spent a lot of time being amused after that. Doctors, social workers, counsellors. Everyone wanted to talk to Marvin. Everyone except Mummy. She couldn’t bear to be around her son. Not after she’d tried and failed to prise the hot iron out of his hands as he’d pressed it harder and harder into his baby sister’s forehead.
“I can’t forget it, Doctor. The smell of burning. The baby screaming. Thank heavens for the postman. He grabbed hold of Marvin and pulled him off or Marvin would have burned his sister to death. Now I can’t forget the look on Marvin’s face. He enjoyed every minute of it like it was the best game he’d ever played. My little boy’s a monster, always laughing at the screaming going on inside my head.”
To Celebrate World Book Day 2016
A short story of every mother’s worst nightmare.
Missing In Action 1916
Mum never accepted Billy was gone. Missing in Action left the door open to hope, and hope springs eternal in a mother’s breast. She died in her early forties, a widow broken by forlorn hope in a sea of grief. Billy was gone. A casualty of war. Now mum was gone, another casualty of the same war. A blessing in disguise was most people’s view. Night after night she cried for her lost boy, red eyed and exhausted in the mornings. Shaking with emotion so badly she couldn’t pour her own tea.
“You’re a good girl, Alice. Don’t ever leave me, like your brother. I’d be lost without you.” Pity was, Mum was lost with me so I never felt I made a great deal of difference really.
Shame, because Billy used to come to me at nights. Smiling over me while I lay listening to Mum’s cries. I asked him why he never went to comfort her?
“Do no good Alice. Mum’s heartbroken at losing me once, think what she’d be feeling if she had to lose me over and over again. No, I can’t bear the thought of it so it’s best I keep my distance. Remember your promise Alice, don’t ever tell will you?”
I swore I wouldn’t. Billy was content with that. Besides, who would believe a girl of thirteen if she told?
“I say, do you know the ghost of my dead brother appears in my bedroom most nights and we have a chat about this and that? Yes, that’s right, the soldier boy missing in action somewhere in France. I may be young and naive but I’m not stupid, and letting this cat out of the bag wouldn’t do anyone any favours.”
So, it’s Billy and me. Or, at least it used to be, until the night Mum died.
“I shan’t be calling on you anymore, Alice.” Billy smiled his lopsided smile. “I’ve a place to go now that Mum’s ready. You’ll be on your own I’m afraid, but Aunt Vera will take you in and care for you.”
I cried a lot at the idea of losing Mum, especially as Dad had died when I was only a baby. She was all I had left but Billy urged me to be brave.
“Chin up, little sister. It’s all for the best. Mum’s coming with me now, then when It’s your time we’ll be waiting, Mum, Dad, and me, and we’ll be together again.”
“That’s a long time to wait. Are you sure you won’t forget me,” I asked tearfully.
“Forget you?” Cool hands cupped my crying face. My dear sweet Alice, I promise I won’t forget you.”
I never saw Billy again after Mum died, but his shattered body was recovered from a desolate battlefield in France that very night. I think Mum’s ghost led a recovery party to the spot. Missing in Action was never good enough. She never gave up hope.
It’s April 1 celebrated as April fools day here in the United Kingdom. So what better way to celebrate, than with a little something to show that you can fool all of the people some of the time.
The sound of the hand bell and shouts of “Undead, undead, make way for the undead,” had the Saturday afternoon shoppers in the pedestrianised area outside the town hall clearing a path as the strange procession passed by.
A tall, well-groomed bearded man wearing a dark suit and incredibly shiny black shoes led the way. A hand bell in one hand, which he rang every three paces, and a black leather dog lead clipped to a length of rusting chain in the other.
“Make way for the undead.” Without shouting the man’s deep baritone voice carried over the staring crowd as his measured stride kept the chain taut.
The eight shambling creatures followed behind, drawn along by the chain attached to the steel loops on the dog collars worn around their necks.
Bringing up the rear, a slim woman wearing the female version of the tall man’s dark clothing brushed a strand of blonde hair from her face,as she held the other end of the rusting chain securely in her black-gloved hand.
On either side, two teenage boys passed out flyers from leather satchels worn across the chests of their black suits.
White text on a black background informed the crowd that the local council had declared April 1 official “Undead” day. Where suitably escorted members of the undead were allowed the freedom of the city, for no other purpose than to do a little sightseeing.
Surprise and uncertainty gave way to laughter as the undead, five men and three women, shambled past. The mouldering remnants of burial clothing flapped like rags over their gaunt grey-skinned bodies. Amused shoppers recorded their passing on phones and tablets, to share the joke with friends on social media.
An hour later, having walked some three miles from the cemetery to a secluded lock up under a set of railway arches, the laughter had long since been left behind. The eight undead, destined for a never ending existence of hard labour for the highest bidder, were securely chained to iron rings set into the brickwork of the curving arches. The tall man changed out of his smart suit and shiny shoes into jeans and blue trainers. While the woman shook her black hair free from the blonde wig, and changed into red jeggings and a white tee shirt. Both the boys sported replica football shirts over jeans and trainers.
“Look at this dad.”
One of the boys waved his phone at the tall man.
“We’re all over the internet.”
The man laughed, the zip closing up on a suit bag hiding the dark suit within.
“No we’re not, son. Someone is.”The beard pulled free from his shaven chin and went into a shoe bag with the shiny black shoes. “But not us. If anyone thinks they recognise us, then they’re mistaken. We don’t know about any undead smuggling ring.”
The woman smiled as she pulled a hairbrush through her hair, staring at the eight pathetic creatures chained to the wall.
“Doesn’t matter who says what, does it? The undead don’t exist, so it must be an April Fool’s stunt. You can’t bring the dead back to life in real life, can you?” The woman’s fingers snapped and the eight creatures sank to their knees in unison and sat, silent as statues.
“Great way to move them though.” The boys’ phone glowed as video footage played across its screen. The crowd lapped it up and never suspected a thing.
“Like I said all along, son”. The tall man ushered his family through the exit door and snapped a heavy padlock closed to lock the door securely.
“Choose the right time, hide in plain sight, and you’re never easy to see. Mess about in the dark shoving corpses in the back of a van, and you’ll be caught in a minute. Parade the dead through the streets and let Joe public join in the fun, and you can get away with murder.”