Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Afterparty

The Xeroverse is a year old... The celebrations are all but over. It's a party you can still be fashionably late to, however; it's a party gone, but drifting forever on the capricious winds of the web.

I always intended the Xeroverse to be about different places, different times, different states of mind, and the guest flash fiction over the past week has had all of that.

For me, personally, it's been a great honour to host such awesome writing here in the Xeroverse. So I want to say a massive thank you to all the contributors, for making the Xeroversary something special for me, and thank you to everyone who stopped by to read, and everyone who took the time to comment, it's much appreciated.

The Guest List:

Five Voodoo Polaroids of Five Haunted Places by David Senior
A sublime exploration of narrative as association and suggestion. Packed with evocative imagery.

Monster in Mind by Roswell Ivory
A beguiling look inside a mind most murderous, where creative block can affect even the darkest of hobbies.

Journey II by Kate Ferdinand
My sister takes us on a helter-skelter hallucination of a bus ride through a world that is just like ours but different in almost every way.

Cosmic by Xeroverse: 101
OK, by me... ;) A science fiction murder mystery extravaganza in only 101 words.

The Dark Place by Magaly Guerrero
Even trees tell horror stories. Wickedly funny, dark and thoughtful, just like its author.

Caldera Rats by Aidan Fritz
Brilliant, cyber-styled, rat-infested, rustic science fiction. All of that and more.

The Bird Garden by Dee Harding
Beautiful and poignant neo-myth. A more than worthy end to the party.

The room is wreathed in a smoky haze, the music has drifted to chilled, ambient tones, people are trying to remember the world-changing epiphany they had only a few happy hours ago. It's time to call a cab, or find a comfy corner to curl up in as your sleepy eyelids droop.

The Xeroverse is going dark for a while, friends. To give me a chance to get on top of things again, go visit mes parents en français, write some longer pieces... but fear not, fellow fictionauts, the gates to the Xeroverse will re-open some time in August.

In the meantime, here are some of my favourites from the past year.

This Pale Stranger
Keeping zombies down in the old west...

This Infernal Waiting
A familiar kind of hell.

Cold Snap
A fantasy of Nordic proportions.

This Crumbling Bastion
An old man bemoaning the passage of time.

Gunship Afterlife
A post-apocalyptic zombie flash, without the zombies...

A wild dystopian tragedy. I think my favourite piece of writing.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

The Bird Garden

Welcome to the Xeroversary! From Sun 3rd July to Sat 9th July we celebrated 1 year of the Xeroverse with guest flash fiction posted every day. Join the festivities, enjoy the fiction, say hi. =)

The Xeroversary is over, all that remains is the afterparty... (with full guest list)


The Bird Garden

by Dee Harding

Pleione is a nymph. She is maybe Indian, maybe Chinese. Her name is Greek. It goes up at the end, like her nose. Like her glasses when they slide down. She spends a lot of time reading, writing, staring up at the stars. She tends a small garden, cramped with orchids, and she names things. Not the flowers: They proliferate and change faster that anyone can count.

Sometimes she leaves her garden to search for secondhand books, and she knows now that even Darwin gave up, back in 1862. There are more than twice the number of different orchids than there are different birds, and she can barely keep up with the birds. Still, she catalogues the avian content of her garden, listens to their song, peacocks and all, and writes letters.

A long time ago, much longer ago than you would guess from how she looks, she had daughters. It is a sad and tiring story, but it comes down to this: The constellations are graveyards for those most adored by the gods. It is her lover that holds them up.

So Pleione writes letters. The birds carry them to the highest heights, to the pillars of the world. Her catalogue records each and every one in their flight. She copies out what she sends, and takes dictation from her winged companions on their return. In moments of extreme loneliness she plucks an orchid from the earth, grinds the twin bulbs to flour, and combines the powder with milk and the vanilla she grows. The brew is a powerful aphrodisiac. It sends her into dreams of how her daughters were made. Her own hands become those of Atlas. He lifts her up, and it is like it was before he took every burning orb into his reach, before Pleione was left alone.

There are other types of orchids in the garden. Orchids that would kill Pleione within the hour. But she has been promised a place in the night sky. It is a threat, that she will become a burning thing in the cold, and her weight will add to Atlas’ burden.

Instead she tends her garden. She labels birds. It is a kind of quiet resistance. It will last forever.


Dee Harding used to be an urban legend, but worked out a little bit, and can now touch things and push furniture around. You can find more of Dee's work at, but it's almost impossible to know where it comes from. Maybe French speaking Canada, maybe the Atlantic, maybe Norfolk... semi-retired myths are tough to pin down.

Xero says: Time past, Dee and I collaborated on a flash fiction project called Hidden Tracks. We would critique each other’s work and his influence on my writing, both conceptually and structurally, is undeniable.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Caldera Rats

Welcome to the Xeroversary! From Sun 3rd July to Sat 9th July we celebrated 1 year of the Xeroverse with guest flash fiction posted every day. Join the festivities, enjoy the fiction, say hi. =)

The Xeroversary is over, all that remains is the afterparty... (with full guest list)


Caldera Rats

by Aidan Fritz

Separated from the clan, Hekili found the mind-silence brought memories of before the melding and left him on edge, hyper-alert to the scuffing noise picked up by his primary-senses. He synced with Lua'lolo's second brain, but it wasn't like the others of the clan, rather, a distant echo. He sifted through the disparate data, each morsel with its own taste, an inflection of thousands of minds and Hekili couldn't understand how they were so different from each other. Yet the differences -- the challenges -- drew him to Kilauea Iki Caldera where Lua'lolo had crashed his space boat. Lua'lolo's second brain had a vast pool of memories that you needed to learn how to search through, that differed from the shared pool that had been passed from parent to child at the melding.

The ship's brain held a wealth of knowledge on mathematics and programming and Hekili discovered a paper by Dijkstra on structured programming, many of the terms not making sense, but there was a puzzle and it caught his attention. The clan knew of the game chess, but they'd lost the puzzle of the eight queens. It was a simple problem. Place eight queens on a chessboard such that none of the queens can take any of the other queens in one move. There were twelve solutions but he'd lock the knowledge away in secure storage, so the clan could enjoy the puzzle.

A noise clicked behind Hekili, the sound deafening when he only had his primary senses and none of the other clanmates sensory perceptions to flood his system. A rat stared down at Hekili from a wrecked girder, red eyes shining inside the dim light of the spaceship. He couldn't understand how the rat had gotten there; he should've heard static from the rat's transmissions. One rat was not a problem, but the herd would consume him. Where one rat haunted, others would curse soon enough.

The rat's eyes followed him as he tore through the crushed entranceway, tearing his malo, or loincloth, in his hurry to escape the ship. The transmissions of the herd came from the western side of Kilauea Iki Caldera. Hekili fled east and attempted to sync with the clan, but the caldera walls blocked his transmissions. Primary senses picked up the clicking of nails over the cracked caldera.

Running the switchbacks, he cut the corners short. Glancing down the cliff wall, he saw rats clambering in a writhing mass straight up the cliff walls, not needing the switchbacks. Hekili dislodged a boulder and it rolled down the cliff, smashing a path through the rats.

It bought him enough time to get to the top of the cliff, but not enough time to get to camp. He synced with the clan. His senses transmitting, a brief burst of data leaving him woozy and he shutoff the direct transmission as soon as he heard the chatter of his clanmates. Running through the forest, kicking a rat that nipped at his heels, he followed the descent down Kilauea's shoulder.

It started with one or two rats leaping ahead of the pack to land on his fleeing body and Hekili swatting the beast away from him, but eventually, they overwhelmed him, knocking him to the ground. Their bites penetrating his skin.

Through secondary senses, he perceived his clanmates riding their horses at a gallop towards the summit where they knew Hekili had fallen. His squirt of information acknowledged. He rolled across the ground trying to dislodge rats from his body. Knowing that the clan would arrive soon, but also knowing the rats consumed flesh quickly.

His classmates yelped as they crested a rise in the path and he saw a squirt of their view of him lying face down in the dirt, shaking ferns surrounding him where the rats disturbed the vegetation.

The horses trampled rats with their hooves and his clanmates hammered the beasts with long-handled sticks. A man jumped from the back of a horse and lifted him onto the saddle, Hekili lying limp, the man jumping behind him as they turned to flee home.

Thank you, squirted Hekili.

You are part of the one, responded the clan in chorus.

I found a new puzzle, said Hekili.

We know. The clan chuckled.


Aidan Fritz is a director, architect, keeper living in the San Francisco bay area. Interested in: writing, people, hammer dulcimers, and all things swedish. You can find his writing at: Aidan Writes.

Xero says: Aidan was one of the first writers I came across in the #fridayflash community who really hit the spot for me on every level; creating interesting and wildly creative worlds week after week. =)

Thursday, 7 July 2011

The Dark Place

Welcome to the Xeroversary! From Sun 3rd July to Sat 9th July we celebrated 1 year of the Xeroverse with guest flash fiction posted every day. Join the festivities, enjoy the fiction, say hi. =)

The Xeroversary is over, all that remains is the afterparty... (with full guest list)


The Dark Place

by Magaly Guerrero

“People said the house was haunted.” Weeping Willow whipped his branches wildly and continued telling the story. “But The Child knew better.”

“A child is a human sprout!” shouted Violet.

“It is,” Weeping Willow chuckled. “And this particular child was smarter than many—she could see the things that were there. One morning she told The Mother.”

“Mommy,” she said while they sat at the eating place. “The daisy in my bedroom doesn’t like you cutting her flowers.”

“Oh darling,” The Mother smiled at her little girl. “Would you ask the daisy why?”

“Sure Mommy.”

The next morning, The Child walked into the eating place. “Mommy, what’s a human animal’s genitals?”

“What!” The Mother squeezed The Child by her upper limbs and asked again. “What did you say?

“My daisy,” the child whimpered. “She said cutting her flowers was like chopping off a human animal’s genitals.”

“This freaking house is haunted man.” The Mother’s male sibling nodded repeatedly as he stuffed nutrients into his eating hole.

“Shut up!” The Mother shouted at him. “People around here are crazy!” She turned away from her sibling, inhaled some oxygen, and caressed her child’s reddened epidermis. “Sorry I scared you, baby. Did a stranger teach you that grownup word?”

“What’s a baby?” Violet’s leaves looked a bit droopy. She was the youngest flower in the meadow, but she disliked other plants thinking she didn’t know as much as the tallest tree.

“It’s a seedling, Violet!” Daisy twisted. “And stop asking silly questions!”

Daisy seemed withered and that worried old Weeping Willow. Daisy had always been the freshest of all flowers. “That wasn’t very nice Daisy,” he said. “You were once an inquisitive seedling yourself.” The flower didn’t perk up, so Weeping Willow reconsidered. “Human animal myths can be frightening, should I stop the storytelling?”

“No!” Begged every weed, flower, and even some old oaks.

But Weeping Willow wanted Daisy’s response. “Well?”

“I’m sorry,” Daisy smoothed her petals. “Please go on.”

“Alright then.” Weeping Willow wiggled his roots and went on. “The Child answered The Mother’s question,” he said.

“My daisy is no stranger, Mommy. She talks to me while I sleep.”

“That’s so freaky!” The sibling’s eyes widened. “Ghosts for sure man.”

“Get out!” The Mother shook a limb at her sibling. “And don’t come back until you grow up!” She waited for her unrooted sibling to leave the eating place. Then she said, “Darling, flowers don’t think, feel, or talk. Let me show you something.” She grabbed the potted daisy she kept at the center of the eating place. “I’ll ask this flower to change its petals from white to red. If it changes color, I’ll never cut it again.” The Mother hesitated for a second or two, but decided it would be best to nip the problem once and for all. If the petals don’t change, you and I will take the plant outside and burn it, okay?”

The Child just swayed in silence.

“Plant, make your white petals red!” The daisy remained white, so The Mother yelled louder. “Make your petals red, right now!” The daisy remained as white as nature had made her. “See baby?” The Mother grabbed the flower pot. “It didn’t do anything, so we’ll take it outside as we agreed.”

“But, but,” The Child’s eyes were shiny with sadness dew. “You say people don’t do things for nothing. Maybe you should give a thing to the daisy or make her a promise.”

It! Not her! Daisies aren’t people for god’s sake.” The Mother ran the tips of one limb through her canopy, and blew carbon dioxide and oxygen on The Child’s face. “Fine, I’ll give… I’ll promise something, but if it doesn’t do it—”

“You’ll take it outside,” The Child mumbled. “I know.”

The Mother placed the daisy on the ground and stared at it. “Daisy, if you change your petals from white to red, I’ll…” The Mother looked around the eating place and finally saw a meat pounder. “If you turn red I’ll beat my face with the meat pounder until I’m as red as your new petals.”

The Mother and The Child watched the daisy for a long time; nothing happened.

“You see baby?” The Mother squatted to match The Child’s height. “I asked. I made a promise too. The daisy didn’t change colors.” The Mother saw sadness dew seeping down The Child’s face. “I know this is hard, but we need to keep our promises. If we don’t, we go to the dark place. I’m doing this because I love you baby.”

The Mother straightened to her full height, yanked the daisy out of the pot, took it outside, and burned her to ashes while The Child wailed.

“The end,” said Weeping Willow, extremely pleased with himself. Human horror stories were always a hit; every young flower, and many old trees, had shriveled with fright. “Alright,” he added. “Settle down and let Moon’s light guide you into dreamland.”

Daisy couldn’t settle down. The idea of burning until she was no more than a pile of ashes was terrifying. She closed her petals and prayed. Please Moon, make me red. I don’t want to be chopped and burned; make me red.

The Mother was resting the morning The Child walked into her sleeping place, holding her overnight crimsoned daisy. The Child was stumbling; her hands were too small and the flower pot was heavy. She put the daisy on the ground, and wiped her face with her free hand. She climbed on The Mother’s sleeping spot.

The Mother opened her eyes. “You’re up early, my—”

The Child had been holding the hammer over her head. She shrieked when the first blow cracked The Mother’s temple. The Child pounded, pounded, pounded… When The Mother’s face was a white, pink and dark red meaty mess, which The Child thought looked nothing like a daisy, she dropped the meat mallet. “I love you Mommy.” The Child sobbed. “I keep you out of the dark place.”


Magaly Guerrero is a writer who embraces the darker side of fiction. She is the author of Pagan Culture, a blog about everyday life through the eyes of a dark fiction writer.

Xero says: Magaly was very supportive and welcoming when I first joined the #fridayflash community, and even reposted some of my early 101s on her blog. She has a great generosity of spirit and an amazing touch for weaving natural-feeling magic into her fiction.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


Welcome to the Xeroversary! From Sun 3rd July to Sat 9th July we celebrated 1 year of the Xeroverse with guest flash fiction posted every day. Join the festivities, enjoy the fiction, say hi. =)

The Xeroversary is over, all that remains is the afterparty... (with full guest list)


Today's guest post is from my other flash fiction blog... Xeroverse: 101


A universal mystery.

Who pulled the trigger on the Universe Gun?

With everything set spinning in friction-free space, time would last forever. That was how it was supposed to work. Now Entropy growls about the edges, snapping, snarling.

A silken shaft, loosed from a bow of dark matter, whispers backwards to the dawn of time. It struck the foetal Existence, dripping sickness and friction like the darkest of poisons.

A Doom Cannon with the death pangs of the universe as gunpowder, firing the very idea to create itself back through time. An insidious idea that spider-crawls through history: The End.


Xero says: Is it a bit cheeky to have a guest post from my own alter-ego? Hey, it’s my party! ;)
Xeroverse: 101 is strictly 1 word of title, 100 words of story.
Many of them start out life as entries into Lily Childs’ Friday Prediction, and this was the only piece of mine that had ever won, until last week (yay!). Lily’s Prediction is a great way for a flash fiction writer to challenge themselves; the competition is stiff, there are lots of talented writers there, but the atmosphere is really friendly and it’s a lot of fun taking part. I’ve definitely grown as a writer from the experience.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Journey II

Welcome to the Xeroversary! From Sun 3rd July to Sat 9th July we celebrated 1 year of the Xeroverse with guest flash fiction posted every day. Join the festivities, enjoy the fiction, say hi. =)

The Xeroversary is over, all that remains is the afterparty... (with full guest list)


Journey II

by Kate Ferdinand

A young lady sat at a bus stop in the desert waiting for the No49 bus to take her to the ice cream parlor. Opposite her drawn onto the blue sky was the façade of an enchanted castle with turrets. The Castle door opened and through it a kudu came charging, bringing with it the undergrowth it had been charging through on the other side of the castle. It landed on a bed next to the bus stop. The No49 bus pulled up. She got on it. A foal was sat on every seat so she stood. The conductor asked her for her ticket, she gave him a receipt for brussel sprouts. He gave her half a pound of Coyote in a square blue noodle box. The bus pulled off into the river that flowed to the Chilli Part II ice cream parlor. As the bus pulled up she could hear the clatter of knives and forks on plates and empty bottles made of pink tinted glass being dropped into a bottle bank. She walked into the ice cream parlor where there were no lights on and an owl sat with indigestion.


Xero says: Ladies and gentlemen... my sister! *^_^* What more can I say...? This strange talent for observing the surreal in the everyday was a side I never really saw in her as we grew up, ain’t it awesome?

Follow @KateFerdinand on Twitter for more of this in bitesize chunks. =)

Monday, 4 July 2011

Monster in Mind

Welcome to the Xeroversary! From Sun 3rd July to Sat 9th July we celebrated 1 year of the Xeroverse with guest flash fiction posted every day. Join the festivities, enjoy the fiction, say hi. =)

The Xeroversary is over, all that remains is the afterparty... (with full guest list)


Monster in Mind

by Roswell Ivory

It had made the front page again. I had made the front page…

That’s a lie. I would have made the front page if I'd been sharp enough to think of doing it that way- but no. Someone else, with his knives and his ropes and his intriguing-but-impossible clues had taken my place, and he hadn't even the guts to sign his name to his art.

I could imagine it perfectly- she would have begun the piece dainty-breasted, blonde, fairylike- and ended it curled into a safe private womb in her mind; a bloody seed. Beautiful. And here I had all the tools for my own masterpiece, but creative block.

Another night, passing with conveyer-belt speed: get dinner, read today’s paper, get coffee, read my headline in paper nine months old, get light switch, plan my next piece. She’s here, walking around- bright, copper-headed. A minor local celebrity living just a few dozen walls away. Jenny…

And all the while She, Her, The Wife watches shit on telly downstairs. The thought of making her into my latest artwork had passed once or twice, but Hell no. Too obvious. Too damn cliché. And she doesn't have that mystery. I know the exact curve of the scar on her thigh when she dropped the secateurs last August. I know the precise shade of the mole above her right eye, the creases that are beginning to show between her breasts. Her! Never.

When I work, I want us to discover each other as we go. I'll find some of the infinite things to do with something so fragile- the ways in which a person can belong to you when their life is literally held in your hands. And I’ll take my time holding it there in front of her, shifting it like a tangible thing in my palms. And she’ll discover everything I am capable of- my potential- until I finally see the realisation in her eyes, that I am a monster. I am a monster. I have ended lives- I have ruined lives, and like a true monster, I don't regret a single thing.

I pad downstairs, stand behind The Wife, squint until the television blurs into two garish diamante visions. This talent show farce reminds me of some sick party, everyone dressed as a glittering insect, feeding on nectar and on each other. I walk to the door.

She looks at me, face pouching into a seduction attempt: "I was just going to bed, if you care to join me?" She is somewhere between average and mildly unattractive, yet she disgusts me as if she were the picture of Dorian Gray.

It's dark outside but that's the point- it‘s peaceful. No one disturbs a man of my size at night, not even for directions. And it's fragrant, wonderful Monday: the slick greasy smells of the street’s takeaways have a night off. The smells of earth and honeysuckle take over. And I walk. I know every garden, and every house that will have lights on at eleven on a school night- students, layabouts, night owls like myself.

Jenny’s house never has lights on: much less, an open door. I know her house- I can smell her presence... No, that’s a lie too. I saw her leave one morning for the radio station.

The door is open. I enter. Like in a game, you have to take what is offered. You have to pick up the treasures you find, you have to talk to the people you meet, and you have to enter the open door. The stairs ahead are lit for me- she's in her room. She’s waiting.

"You're right on time. Do I look the way you imagined?” She’s fully clothed on her bed- one knee bent, back straight- as if she's posing for something.


“What were you planning on doing to me?”

“I was going to make you drink something that would still your body but leave your mind awake, and I don’t know where to go from there…”

“Don’t ask me! It’s your murder!”

“But you invited me up!”

“I didn't care what you did to me.”

“So what then, I should act like a monster?”

“If you like.”

I had brought my tools with me, in a stupidly optimistic move but even if I had known what to do, none of it fit this woman- and so I wished I hadn't- that I could use the excuse that I don't have anything with me…

“There's a kitchen knife downstairs, first door on the right. I think there might be some rope in the shed but if possible, I'd rather you didn't strangle me. It's not the sort of thing I imagined. Not very tragic heroine…”

“Do you want to die?”

“It's supposed to happen.”

“What are you trying to say?”

“That you should leave now and come back when you know what you’re doing!” Her face had a hint of mischief about it.

And now I know. I have the perfect masterpiece set out in my head. Oh, there will be blood, there will be bone sticking through rent skin, there will be tragic messages written on walls for the help that will arrive that one second too late. All I had needed was a first draft.

And there it is on the notepad in front of me, crammed with my hideous spiky scrawl. Cold coffee to my left, spent pen to my right, dawn light revealing the first long shadows of the day. There, right there- is the greatest intrigue I‘ve ever written. Jenny, as I wrote her, would get everything she wanted, in 400 pages of bestseller-smashing glory, my glory- and as I see the exposed bones of her story dripping onto the page in my hands, the mirror behind me shows the back of a monster's head. As The Wife begins to snore in the next room, my giggles turn manic.


Roswell Ivory is a writer and model, living in the UK with many books, an impressive collection of clutter and several imaginary cats. She likes long conversations, wildlife, the paranormal and eight-inch heels. One of her greatest achievements to date is meeting David Attenborough and not uttering the words "I'm your biggest fan!"

Look at her website which contains her articles and modelling work, and subscribe to her blog, which is just awesome...

Xero says: Roswell and I studied creative writing together and it’s great to see her making a name for herself out in the big, bad world... =)

Be warned, Roswell’s blog & website have some NSFW content...

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Five Voodoo Polaroids of Five Haunted Places

Welcome to the Xeroversary! From Sun 3rd July to Sat 9th July we celebrated 1 year of the Xeroverse with guest flash fiction posted every day. Join the festivities, enjoy the fiction, say hi. =)

The Xeroversary is over, all that remains is the afterparty... (with full guest list)


Five Voodoo Polaroids of Five Haunted Places

by David Senior

An old worn shoebox beneath a bed. Generations-old photographs are piled inside, fading, pale, curling at the edges. The faintest smell of must.

Fingers remove five pictures.

#1. The reception desk of a derelict hotel. Torn electrical sockets gape like death in the walls and wiring hangs loosely from the ceiling.

Items left on the counter: unidentifiable paperwork, a rusting desktop bell, a third-full bottle of viscous-looking brandy with the cap removed. A picture calendar featuring the image of an orchard remains on the wall behind.

Photograph taken at dawn.

#2. A stretch of urban waterway beneath an access road overpass. Dim orange streetlamps are reflected in, and ripple across, the dark canal surface. Indecipherable graffiti tattoos the concrete pillars that elevate the road into the night air. Undergrowth stuffed with litter recedes into the murk.

The first police would not arrive until 6.40am.

Photograph taken some time between 2am and 4am.

#3. A shot of shattered ceramic tiles. They remain fixed to a wall, but no wider context is provided.

The tiles appear to be a faint lime in colour, a subtle chalk texture design patterned across them. The splinters and cracks emanating from the bullet hole in the centre of the picture allow, at this close distance, a spiderweb association.

Some sharp pieces of tiles are missing altogether. Dead grey dried adhesive is revealed remaining on the wall beneath.

Photograph taken at 2.40pm.

#4. Photograph taken in an office building ready for demolition and disused for over a decade. A shot of a long grey windowless room. All fixtures and furniture removed years ago. As with image #1, electrical wiring exposed like bloodless arteries.

Against one wall are propped seven doors, all at a rough 80° angle. Standard wooden internal workplace doors, all feature a strip of horizontal window on the right hand side. All said windows have been smashed, leaving only the wire mesh beneath.

The shattered fragments of glass are scattered across the floor of the room.

Photograph taken shortly before noon.

#5. The charred shell of the Funland amusement arcade. Three of the individual neon letters fell off the sign during the blaze, so only the word ‘UNLA’ remains.

The large windows that made up the entire front of the building are missing entirely. The brick immediately surrounding these empty frames are particularly blackened and charred.

Burnt rubble and arcade machines can dimly be seen inside the premises. Screens shattered, plastic melted in the intensity of the heat. The fire is long since extinguished yet the force of violence and noise remains apparent.

Photograph taken at around 6pm.

More photographs are removed, examined, shuffled like a Tarot deck. Years, places, stories rearranged, reorganised. Placed beside one another to fuse new narratives together. Some of these pictures are the only remaining images of places long dead and long forgotten.

Eventually, they will return to their shoebox. For now, though: look.


David likes custard and pickled eggs. He does not like mushrooms or wafers.

Xero says: I work with David. He’s very driven to his photography projects these days and it’s easy to see that influence here. You should definitely check his blog out; his photography makes me wonder if the apocalypse hasn’t already happened, and we didn't just carry on in blissful ignorance...