Thursday, 24 December 2020

Inside the cave lived a fox


The very talented, and lovely lady, Cindy Vaskova, has at last made her latest novel available to purchase on Amazon Kindle. The book has been a while in the pipeline, and I'm really happy that it has finally been published.

The novel is entitled “Inside the cave lived a fox”, and follows Neave's journey towards insanity, as, with the help of two strangers, she returns to old surroundings to confront a dark and powerful force from her past.

Over the years I have read many of Cindy's stories, from very short literary flashes, to much longer, and sometimes serialised works, and enjoyed every one of them. Cindy's forte is horror, and she has a darkly delicious descriptive style of writing. Although it doesn't bring the word “Horror” immediately to mind, the reason for the title becomes clear as the story progresses.

The book is available on Amazon Kindle here:-

Good luck with the book Cindy, and any future projects you should undertake.

Best wishes.
Steve. X.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Bossy boots

Erica almost squealed with delight when she first saw them in the shop window. Thigh-length, black leather, with a deliciously sexy-looking five inch stiletto heel and a horizontal strap and buckle across the top. The bright steel zip at the side gave them a real gothy look. They would go very nicely with the skimpy, short leather outfit that she wore on her dominatrix singing telegram jobs.

She rushed inside the shop brandishing her credit card.

Just over an hour later Erica burst excitedly through her apartment door, after placing the package carefully on the sofa she hurried into the bathroom, showered quickly, then into the bedroom and dressed herself in the sleazy, slinky, naughty-looking leather dominatrix outfit. The whip draped around her neck was too soft to do any damage to flesh, but it looked the part, and she wanted to get the full 'mirror-mirror on the wall' effect once she had the boots on.

She pasted her sultry look on her face, and slinky-walked her way back into the lounge, wearing something like this always had this effect on her, role playing was her bread and butter, and each outfit had its own look and walk to maximise the impact.

Erica took the boots out of the package and looked at them appreciatively. Caressed the smooth leather. Ran her fingertips up and down the shiny zips. Oh!... she was almost swooning.

Just inside the boot tops, whilst stroking the smooth, satiny lining, she discovered a tiny label that she hadn't noticed in the shop, a rather cool looking red devil's head logo encircled by the word “Servus” Not a brand she was familiar with but the boots were definitely top quality, the name had an Italian ring to it, and so was quite possibly a subsidiary brand of Gucci or Versace, or one of the other desirable makes.

Finally, no longer able to restrain herself, she slid her left foot into the first boot, it fit like a second skin. Taking a delicate hold of the zip she slowly pulled it upwards to the top, savouring every inch along the way. The boot fit her perfectly, as though it were tailor-made to suit every contour of her leg.

She slid her right foot into the second boot, and as she reached down for the zip it twitched...

Erica froze in alarm, not quite believing what she had just seen.

She sat still for a few moments, and had just about managed to convince herself that it was her imagination at play when it happened again...

Cold fear flooded Erica's whole being, she reached down and grabbed the boot in both hands, but before she had time to pull it from her foot the zip slid smoothly and rapidly all the way to the top.

With a snickery whisper the straps quickly threaded themselves through the buckles and locked themselves in place.

Erica panicked, screaming and thrashing, with fear-strengthened fumbling fingers she tried to pull the zips down, to unfasten the buckles, to bodily tear the leather from her legs, all to no avail.

Soon, she lay back on the couch, her energy spent. She took several deep breaths, and contemplated her predicament.

“There must be some logical explanation for this.” She told herself, in a rather unconvincing inner voice. “I must have pulled the zip up and fastened the buckles whilst daydreaming or something.” She said to herself, her inner voice becoming even less convincing with each word.

Remaining as calm as she possibly could, Erica tried again to remove the boots.

Each boot in turn, she took a firm hold of the zip, and pulled hard and steady. No movement at all.

She turned her attention to the buckles and straps. It was as though they had melded together with the boot material, there was no give in any direction.

Next she tried to slide the boot down from the top. It definitely felt just like a second skin now, as though it had been super-glued in place.

Fighting down the urge to vomit, Erica walked into the kitchen and took the scissors from the drawer. She would cut the damn things off then.

Try as she might, she could not force the blade of the scissors between the leather and her own flesh. After many unsuccessful attempts at various angles, she had managed to score several deep, and very painful scratches along her thighs, but made absolutely no progress towards removing the goddamn boots at all. She tried to cut off the straps, but again met with the same result.

Erica was sobbing uncontrollably now, she threw the scissors into the sink, and glanced feverishly around, looking for something else that may work.

Erica's gaze fell on the knife rack.

She pulled the very sharp carving knife from the rack, it had a thinner, wider blade, maybe that would help.

Before she could even try the knife, the boots set off walking of their own volition, taking Erica along with them.

Jerkily, and puppet-like, Erica was walked involuntarily towards the bedroom. She frantically grabbed the door frame on the way past, but was unable to resist, the boots were stronger than she was.

As she began to lose her grip on the door frame she tried to free up her other hand by dropping the knife, but it stuck to her palm as hard as the boots were stuck to her legs.

Erica's short walk ended up in front of the full-length mirror next to the wardrobe. With tears streaming down her face, she stared at her reflection, her mind refusing to take in what she saw.

The woman in the mirror brandished the knife with malevolent intent, and stared back with an unhinged maniacal look in her eyes, and a vicious sneer on her face.

Erica watched the reflection in terror as the right boot toe separated itself from the upper, baring rows of gleaming, sharp teeth. A forked crimson tongue flicked out.

“Hello slave.” The boot whispered raspily. “Welcome to your new existence. Now, let's go find someone to play with.”

©2019 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 14 June 2019


Another day... or night?

Sun burns... or moon?

Hard to tell. Blinds closed.

Bottle to lips. Throat burns.

Cigarette to lips. Lungs burn.

Ash falls to carpet.

Vehicle goes by. Time goes by.

Dead TV. No power. No energy.

Bottle to lips. Cigarette to lips.

Needle to arm. Veins burn.

Rat slithers past. Time slithers past.

Bottle to lips. Cigarette to lips.

Pills to mouth. Tongue burns.

Thoughts of you. Heart burns.

Picture of you. Eyes burn.

Bottle to lips. Cigarette to lips. Needle to arm. Pills to mouth.

Moth flies by. Time flies by.

Empty bottle. Empty pack. Empty needle. Empty pill box.

Empty life.

Sleep. Dreams burn.

Wake. Soul burns.

Love burns. Hate burns.

That's all there is.

Without you.

©2019 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Rhythm and Blues

In the beginning there was much debate on where the music originated. Many different theories and opinions. Some said Latin America, others China, Russia, The Philippines, West Indies, the list was diverse and endless.

There were many conspiracy theories too.

Some believed it was the government's doing, which was laughable really, unless every government in the world were all involved in the same dark plot together. I can just see North Korea and the USA getting round the table with the Russians and the Chinese to pull this one on the people, and besides, the politicians were affected just as much as the man in the street.

Other favourite scapegoats were The Illuminati, dissidents, radical factions, the alien conspiracy, which was my own personal favourite, was quite popular too.

The question of where the music had come from was soon to be overshadowed by other, more important issues.

The beat and tempo of the music seemed to shift and change subtly, making it difficult to define as one particular style or another, and not everyone who listened to it seemed to hear exactly the same tune.

The first DJ to play it on the radio swore he played the rock classic “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, but that was definitely not what came over the air.

Before long the music had infiltrated television and radio archives, internet scores, juke boxes, and even private collections, under the guise of almost every genre of music imaginable.

The one thing that was undeniable though, was the effect...

This music was poison to the mind.

No-one played this music intentionally, in fact no-one knowingly owned any, but the infiltration was deep now, hidden and unpredictable.

And when the notes played...

People wept openly, uncontrollably. Depression, anxiety, and anger ran rife. The murder and suicide rates increased tenfold. Families and friends turned on one another.

The hospitals and prisons were soon overflowing, and governments commandeered schools, warehouses, and even churches to accommodate the overspill.

Many thousands of temporary, barely trained nurses and police were drafted in to help cope with the crisis, but these too were also affected, severely limiting their effectiveness.

The music was analysed in studios and laboratories throughout the world. No subliminals were found, no hidden messages, no vibratory notes that may affect the central nervous system. Nothing!

One by one the music radio stations shut down and went off air. Youtube fought the system but eventually went under after some military intervention.

There were CD and cassette bonfires in the streets. Tech companies soon began to fall by the wayside due to lack of custom. Games consoles, stereo systems, PCs, anything that was capable of producing the sounds disappeared from the stores, which in turn led to rapidly escalating unemployment, and of course, all of this had a massive knock-on effect on the national, and global economy.

The world was sliding towards anarchy.

The slide became an avalanche. Unstoppable, irreversible.

I was only young when the fall came, but somehow I survived.

That was seventeen years ago.

Now, as I squat by the entrance to my cave, the carbine resting across my knees, an old, half-remembered tune drifts into my mind.

Involuntarily my fingertips begin to tap along on the butt of the rifle...

And I feel the tears rise in my eyes...

©2019 Stephen. J. Green.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Saving Bernie

It's strange the thoughts that pass through a man's mind when he is about to die.

I mean, there's Bernie, knelt on his lounge carpet, staring into the end of a .45 barrel.

Now, if the positions were reversed, my mind would probably be racing along avenues of pleading, begging, crying, bargaining... maybe even threatening.

But not Bernie, all he said when I asked if he had any last words was “Who will look after my hamster?”

I looked down at him, trying to work out if this was some kind of joke or not.

I've been in this game for a long time now, clipped a lot of guys along the way. Mostly crims and hoodlums that deserved what I delivered. A few corrupt business men who thought they were untouchable, and some corkscrewy politicians. Hell, some of THOSE guys I would have done for free too.

I have to admit, this is the first time I ever had a response like this. Almost to a man, the only thing the marks I offed were interested in saving was their own skin. I would have put Bernie in that class too until now.

Bernie stared up at me, there was no fear in his voice when he spoke. “I don't have the money.” He said. “I know the rules, and I guess I knew it was gonna go this way. But please, when you leave, take my hamster with you. He's kinda... special.”

The only thing I heard in his voice was concern, not for himself though. Who would ever guess a tough guy like Bernie would spend his last breath pleading for the life of a hamster?

I mean... Jeez, what the hell was Bernie doing with a hamster in the first place? I would have tagged him for being a rottweiler or pitbull owner.

Faint squeaking and scratching sounds came from my left.

“Don't move.” I said to him. I kept the gun pointing in his general direction as I walked over to the hamster cage sat atop the coffee table under the window.

Well, I tell you, this is the weirdest thing I ever did see. The hamster, a cute looking brown and white piece of fluff was sitting on its haunches staring back through the cage bars at me, it's front paws pressed together in front of its chest. I swear, for the life in me, it looked like it was praying... or begging.

And then I looked into the hamster's eyes...

I felt my senses drift as I was drawn into the honeyed, caramel depths of its stare. Now you may think me insane when I say that I felt I was being hypnotised... by a hamster?

Despite being aware, I was powerless to resist. Down, down and ever deeper down I sank through treacly thoughts and flittery imaginings.

Until I hit soft bottom.

I felt I was lying on the silty bed of a molasses lake.

Something inside me shifted, melted, rearranged itself.

I began to rise, slowly, slowly, until I broke surface and found myself once more staring through the cage bars at the hamster. No longer praying, but both tiny arms extended toward me, sharp tiny claws undulating, like a continuous minute mexican wave.

A sharp click of claws brought me back to the present.

I shook my head a few times to clear my thoughts.

What the hell? It felt like a different person talking when I opened my mouth to speak.

“Bernie.” I said. “The contractor doesn't know I've been here yet, so I'm gonna go home and get some sleep, when I come back tomorrow and find you gone, well... I never missed a mark before, but there's a first time for everything, right? sometimes they get away, you follow me?”

I slid the gun back into the shoulder holster as I walked out the door, and just before the door closed behind me there came a few quiet squeaks from the window side of the room, and I swear to this day that they sounded awfully like a very high pitched “God bless you”

©2019 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 27 March 2015

As it fell

Oh, how we loved.
Hard and fast.
In any place or where.
In any when.
And as we loved, the world fell.
But not for us.
It wouldn't dare.
Our love was feverish.
Unlike the virus.
Cold and creeping.
It took most everything.
From most everyone.
A world left weeping.
Our only tears were ecstatic.
Post orgasmic crying.
The world was dying.
But still we loved.
With maniacal fury.
As was right.
As was our right.
To be.
As we wanted to be.
As it fell.

©2015 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Recycle day

There was no real need for me to visit the recycle centre today, other than it was warm and sunny, and I just felt the need to get out of the house for a while.

The few items in my shoulder bag chinked and rattled slightly as I made my way the couple of hundred yards from home to where the recycle skips sat in the corner of the supermarket car park, luckily no-one heard, or if they did they chose to ignore.

I slipped the bag from my shoulder and began posting the items through the holes into the separate containers.

A Coke bottle, a coffee jar, two crushed beer cans, a tuna tin, a soup can, and two corned beef tins.

Hardly worth the visit really, but it certainly was a beautiful day to be out and about.

I slung the bag back over my shoulder, glanced at the ruined mass of the supermarket. No point in even looking in there for anything. Nothing left in there but inedibles, armed scavs, and rats the size of dogs.

I set off back towards home, quietly making my way from one burnt out car hulk to the next, keeping low, eyes and ears working overtime.

There was no real need for me to visit the recycle centre today.

Maybe I am insane.

I prefer to think I'm clinging to the hope that maybe one day everything will go back to how it used to be, and someone will turn up to empty the skips.

©2015 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Swamp Child

When Daddy passed away I let him sink into the deep part of the swamp, right alongside Mommy's marker.

It's not very far from the shack, but it was hard pulling him there. I did it 'cos I think he would have liked to be next to Mommy again.

I don't remember Mommy, Daddy told me she passed away when I was born, but Daddy always told me what a good and kind person she was.

Sometimes he would tell me stories about the things him and Mommy used to do.

Where they lived before they came to the swamp they had things called Sinny Mars, and Dry Vins, and Daddy told me he used to hold Mommy's hand in these things sometimes, and watch something called Moo Vees.

My Daddy used to cry sometimes when he talked about Mommy.

I don't understand why he used to cry, no-one was hurting him, there was no smoke or nothing, and the marsh gas don't do that to the eyes.

Sometimes he would kiss me and hold me real tight. He used to cry then sometimes too.

The fire don't work no more now Daddy's gone. I miss those flames, and it's cold in the night.

I caught a snake yesterday, ate it without even pulling its head. It squirmed some, but quieted before I finished.

Last night I heard the splish-splash as one of those Zom Bees went by. It seems they come by more often these days. Maybe Zom Bees like the water. Maybe they like to eat snakes too.

I ain't never seen a Zom Bee. Daddy told me him and Mommy came to the swamp so they didn't have to live next to them.

Daddy told me that Zom Bees were people who are different from us, and he always told me to cover my eyes and lie very still and quiet until they had gone away. I don't know why 'cos they don't make much noise, and they don't bother us none.

I really miss that fire.

I wonder if Zom Bees know how to make the fire work again?

I really miss my Daddy too, more than the fire even.

I wonder if one of them Zom Bees would like to be my Daddy?

Next time one comes by I'm gonna go and say hello.

©2015 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Widening the gap

Author's note:

I was inspired to write this story after reading a short, and powerful piece written by Ally Atherton entitled “INCHES” which was Ally's debut story on the Friday Flash site, and it carried an impressive punch. I liked the story very much, the concept was somewhat offbeat with an underlying darkness, it stuck in my head and rattled around in there until I decided I just had to create something with it.

Although “WIDENING THE GAP” is not a clone of “INCHES” and takes a different direction, it was Ally's story that provided me with the spark.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


I used to love him... I was supposed to love him, and he to love me. That's the way things should be... Isn't it?

It is... Isn't it?

The bond between flesh and blood to bring unconditional love, the embrace of father and child strong and comforting.

As the years passed I began to realize that his was not love, not affection, not how things should be... not how others lived.

Some days were harder than others, but none of them easy, none of them painless.

Yet still it took time to break those feelings. To finally accept that maybe... just maybe, I was worth more than the life I had, the life he allowed me to have.

I escaped.

I fled to the only haven I could, inside my own mind.

I don't sleep much now, outside time is too precious to waste in slumber.

I spend every moment I can in my own special place.

There, I am far away, untouchable, free to be... whatever I want to be, to live the life I want to live. Though that is imaginary too, for I have never seen that life... I can only imagine.

At first I was often dragged from my special place, jolted back by the sound of the door slamming open, and the rapid, heavy footsteps, the alcohol breath, the shouting, and the sting of his palm.

And the other things...

Each time I visit my own special place I feel further away from this world.

Further from him.

But not closer to anything else.

Closer, it seems, does not become me, closeness being something never shown me.

And so...

And so with usage, the skill grew, the gap widened.

I could look down on the room, on myself, experience the detachment, savour it even.

Came the night that he went the step too far, and took the life from me, the gap between what I used to be and what I had now become was so wide, that had he known about it, he would have made his own distance.

But what he had, is now gone. It lies lifeless amid a tangle of soiled sheets.

I am still here. The gap that kept this part of me safe from him now serves to shield him from me.

I will soon be leaving my special place.

I am angry...


My turn is coming now.

And the gap between us will be closing.

©2015 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 20 February 2015

A cool breeze

Dyson sat on the edge of the cliff, swinging his legs and savouring the cool breeze.

His headgear lay on the scorched ground several feet behind him, and beyond that trailed the rest of his protective clothing, discarded over the last few yards of his existence.

He held the pistol between his hands, much as he would have held his wife's hand over the table sometimes.


A long time ago. How long ago? He couldn't recall. A tear trickled down his cheek, forging a meandering path through the encrusted dust

He couldn't even recall how long it was since he last saw another human being. A month? A year? A decade? Maybe he never had.

He wasn't sure how to tell the difference between memory and imagination any more, or even sure if he ever was able to.

Behind him the sun was setting over the mountains. A beautiful sunset, multi-hued with every shade of red, pink and purple.

He knew this without the need to turn his head to see it. Every sunset was the same now, the contamination had seen to that. What it took in life, it returned in those sunsets, the one beautiful gift it gave.

Dyson checked the load in the pistol once more, then laid the weapon down on the ground beside his thigh.

He listened intently for a while. No birds chirrupped, no insects droned, just the faint lap of the ocean on the rocks far below his feet.

And the feel of that cool, cool breeze on his skin.

He had been wrapped in the sweaty confines of the suit so long he had forgotten just how it felt. Just how so, so good it felt.

He was paying for that cool breeze with every exposed second, with every unfiltered breath.

He didn't mind.

He wouldn't suffer like so many had before him. He had the pistol.

He allowed himself to fall backwards and lay on the ground. He stared at the sky. The brightness of it hurt his eyes. The blue of days gone by replaced with an almost unfettered harsh glare. There were no clouds any more either, another contamination casualty.

Before long the heat from the ground began to burn into the bare skin of his back. He pushed himself into an upright position and stared out to sea once more, the cool breeze flowing over him.

He leaned forward and glanced down at the sharp rocks far below, considering whether to just close his eyes and lean further forward until he reached tipping point.

The sea would welcome him, he had no doubt of that, just one more piece of dead meat to mingle with all the other dead it already contained. Another ingredient in the soup.

Dyson breathed a deep sigh.

He stared out to sea until his vision blurred.

Until his thoughts wandered.

Until his mind's eye found what he had lost. What had been taken from him.

For the last time in his life he experienced the love of a good woman. The joy of holding his new born baby. All happy, beautiful memories flooded his thoughts, coursed through his very being, bringing the deepest joy he had felt for such a long, long time.

As the happiness inside him strengthened, so did the feeling of violation in his skin and bones.

The pain within him grew as his organs strove to function effectively.

Dyson resolved to carry those happy memories and emotions with him on the last leg of his journey.

As he reached for the pistol he called his wife's name over and over.

No-one would hear him.

Just as no-one would hear the sound of the shot as it was carried away on that cool, cool breeze.

©2015 Stephen. J. Green.