Wednesday 9 October 2013


The crows speak prophecy and their words turn to blood. The leaves below them are rust-stained and heavy with lexical gore, they fall, flood the forest floor a sea of red-brown.

Ragged humans pick through the bones of civilisation, a manifestation of rot, consuming their host. Consuming themselves.

The crows were harbingers, heralds, now wardens of the end.

The dying sun throbs large in the sky, bulbous and hot – a one-eyed demon intent on a corpse world.

Flames catch, the whole Earth burns once more and for the final time. Raucous crows rise on wings of flame, a clamorous pyre.

The last of my drabbles that didn't make the September issue of 101 Fiction. And this was my second favourite, the closest to beating Seasons into the issue. I love some of the imagery in this. Particularly the penultimate paragraph, and the lexical gore...

And so October comes and we approach submissions for the December issue (October 15th to November 15th).

The themes will be 'winter' and/or 'undead'. The first four issues will be themed by season and then some sort of mythical element. We had phoenix for the rebirth, and I think winter is the perfect season for the undead. Cold, unforgiving, and preferably outside, while you are inside bathing in the warmth of wood fires and human kindness...

Of course, humans can be cold, and spirits may be warmer in their remembrance of a life lost, and love left behind. I hope I'll get a few classics - zombies, hauntings, corpses risen from the grave - but in the spirit of the best of 101 Fiction, I hope we'll get something unusual too, some unfamiliar twist or unusual application of necromantic powers.

Stories could also be themed on winter alone, but like I say, the two themes are not entirely dissimilar, and I think they will sit well together, if not entirely comfortably... after all, the undead are restless bedfellows...

Friday 4 October 2013


This is the final war of man. There are more warriors than can be counted, more wounds than can ever be healed, more corpses than can ever be buried.

The world is wreathed in discord. Rage, anger, pain, strain, desperation and despair.

At the centre of it all, two kings clash, wielding mighty swords stolen from an abandoned heaven. Steel rings on steel. Sparks fly. With each blow a shockwave of fire roars outwards, incinerating ally and enemy alike.

The kings fight on, enthralled, as their armies burn.

The winter of man approaches. From the ashes, forgotten gods will rise.

Another 100 words, loosely inspired by the themes 'phoenix' and 'Autumn', which I was trying to explore in a less than straight forward manner. (I know, right... me, less than straight forward? Shocking.)

For more drabbles on those themes - check out the September issue of 101 Fiction.

Themes for the December issue will be announced next week with submissions opening on 15th October.

Wednesday 2 October 2013


Here's another drabble I penned for 101 Fiction's first issue. Titled Rebirth, I think I decided it was too vague, too... intangible, even for me. Don't get me wrong, I really like it in some ways, it just didn't make the grade when put up against Seasons.

But, if I may bend your ear for a moment first... Speaking of rebirths, I'm going to say this out loud, in the hope that it will prove a catalyst to galvanise me (and other such abused scientific terms) and my fingers into tappity tapping away. Specifically, I need to get back to my short serials, Rise and Alpha, both of which have stalled somewhat.

Less specifically, I just need to get writing again. I'm in the middle of a short story that is experiencing issues, but I can see its potential and it's for a really good cause, so I really want to get it written, and written well.

I should learn my lesson and just write my own things. When I feel beholden (curiously, I was in the same position this time last year), then I don't feel I can put it down and go write something I'm more enthusiastic about, which basically means nothing much gets written at all. Bad all round.

But I promised a story, so a story you shall have. The observant amongst you will see that it shares a similar line with one of the last drabbles I posted, but it's a good line, and it fits. ;)



Everything burns.

That wondrous hungry crackle roar. That glorious dance.

I have died a hundred times. Little deaths, of heart and mind. And through fire I am born again, in beautiful purging absolution.

In time, the quiet inner flame flickers afresh. And I find someone new to nurture it, to tenderly tend to it, to share its warmth. Until they depend on it, drain it, and I feel it falter, fail, and die.

Well, then it will be time to set the world ablaze, to set footsteps in ash.

Everything burns. And each time, a little less of me returns.

And check out 101 Fiction for more tiny, tiny tales. Themes for the December issue will be announced soon!