Friday, 30 July 2010

Immaculate conception

I have been here many times over the years.

Observed, collected specimens, experimented, manipulated.

Yes. Many times.

But my old body now protests at the rigours of the travelling.

Though it saddens me, I know that it has to be.
When this visit is over, I shall pass the task to someone younger.

The garden still needs tending, and the animals, left unsupervised, would destroy it.

No-one lives forever. My old frame is spattered with weaknesses, and feeblenesses, and the time of my ascension draws nearer.

I have come to believe that this garden is mine, mine alone, even though many others have assisted in its building.

I am the one that has always been there through each important decision.

It was I that planted the first seeds.

And was it not I that vetoed the destruction of the higher fields?
Some of the animals prevailed the cold climate, and survived.

I saw to the irrigation of the ground, so the plants would flourish, so the animals could feed.

Yes, there were times, and my shame burns my soul when thoughts of them come to haunt me.

Times when I was unable to prevent the witherings, and the wastings.

Times when I was unable to watch over every leaf, and every creature in my care.

Times when I provided more water than was needed to one plot, whilst allowing another to sere.

Yes, I have made mistakes.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I watched my precious flock grow, and evolve. I watched the herds become larger, and breed until they covered the land.

I watched them learn to traverse the water, and interbreed, and diversify, and strengthen.

Oh, there were other gardens. I visited many, on numerous occasions.

Some flourished, others were destined to fail.

Even the most diligent gardener cannot nurture life where the soil is not suitable.

We built them far apart, to prevent cross-contamination. So that diseases and genetic weaknesses from one, could not spread to another.

Yes, there were other gardens. But this one is mine.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I chose the female with great care and deliberation.

She was strong, and of good stock. Healthy, robust, and genetically suited to my plans.

Her herd lived in an area of warm clime, this would improve the chances of survival.

I sedated the female, surgically implanted the seed, and returned her to the herd, very quietly, and carefully, so as not cause distress amongst them.

For this was a crucial time.

I watched, and waited.

The infant was born. Healthy and strong.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

My work here is done now.

In their primitive tongue, the female was known as Mh'ai'ri.

The infant was given the name Jh'ee'suz.

“Come now Gh'o'td, my old friend.” Said my companion. “It is time to leave.”

“Your son shall guide them now.”

©2010 Stephen. J. Green.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

A burglar's tale

I stood on the pavement looking at the house, weighing up my chances.

The houses at either side were dark, and lifeless, no telltale flicker of a television in a darkened room. No music drifting from any open bedroom window.

I looked at my watch, almost three am. As good a time as any.

There was no-one inside the house, I knew this for a fact, it was the neighbours that I was concerned about.

Most people, being disturbed by a sound at this time of the morning would listen for a moment, and unless the sound continued would shrug their shoulders and drift off back to sleep.

My trade had taught me this. And if I was nothing else, I was good at my trade.

But these were good neighbours, they looked out for one another, and the last thing I needed was lights going on all over the place, and the sound of closing sirens.

Well, I thought, it should be a piece of cake. I've been breaking into houses in this area since I was thirteen, never been caught, never even been chased.
It must be in the hundreds by now, and believe me, it pays well. I had the best.
Designer clothes, hand made Italian shoes, two Rolex watches.
An Audi TT and a Range Rover Sport sat side by side in my garage.

The furniture didn't come from Ikea or MFI either.

It was the bathroom that was my pride and joy. I never tired of showing it off to people.

These same people, with their nine year old Fiestas, and their shitty 'forty hour a week plus as much overtime as you like' slavish existences, who believe that I'm some kind of property inspector.

Oh yes, I inspect property, usually just before I throw it into a pillowcase for ease of carrying.

Yes, the bathroom, the taps alone had cost nearly a grand, and the tub! Oh my, It was a seven foot whirlpool jacuzzi, big enough to take up to five people.

Anyway, this reminiscing wasn't getting me inside this house was it?. No. So, down to business.

I glanced all around before setting off up the steps, no-one around.

First thing, check the doors, people sometimes forget to lock their door once in a while, especially if they've had a few in the house before setting off out on a Saturday night bender.

I remember doing it myself a few years ago, one New Years Eve I had gone to bed absolutely paralytic, and left both doors not only unlocked, but actually standing open.
I had also left all the lights and the stereo on, so I suppose any passing scrotes were either too drunk to notice, or assumed that a party was in full swing.

When I had come downstairs at dinnertime on New Years Day there were seven sodding cats in the house. It took me weeks to get the smell of cat pee out of the suite.

Okay, here goes, front door...


Around to the back. Quietly... quietly...

No good, locked too. Well I didn't expect it would be that easy.

The alarm was set, I could tell by the alternating red and blue LEDs, but if I could get to the control panel without tripping one of the PIRs It would be no problem at all.

Okay. Think! …. Think!

I checked all the downstairs windows, all closed and locked, and these were quality windows, with good locks, not your 'six for seven hundred pounds you buy one, you get one free, from a bald idiot in a stupid coat' rubbish. No, these were the Fort Knox of windows.

Back to the front... Always have a system...

Eyes roving over the front of the house... no joy with the upstairs windows either, not that I could reach them if they were wide open anyway. There were no convenient ladders in gardens around here, either padlocked or otherwise. I know, I've checked that one out before.

I certainly didn't want to start smashing my way in if I had any choice.
Now holding your coat to the glass when breaking a window minimised the noise, but any noise was best avoided.
Silence is golden in my line of work.

Back to the rear again... smiling, and singing almost inaudibly to myself.

“Naaaayyyyybours... Ev'rybody needs good naaayyyybours...”

I wasn't worried at this point, I knew I would get in eventually.

I looked up at the open bathroom window, small, but I could squeeze through it at a push.

The soil pipe, and drainpipe, ran down the wall a couple of feet to the left, Hmm... Reachable.

The window was open about two inches, latched from inside, well, it seemed like the easiest choice.

Okay. I would need something to flip the latch with.

I never carry crowbars, screwdrivers and the like when on a job, that way if I'm searched I can't be charged with 'going equipped'

On the patio was the garden furniture, through the centre of the table poked the bottom half of a sun parasol stand, Hmm, hollow, but made of steel alloy, yeah, that would probably be strong enough.

I lifted the spike high to clear the table, and pulled it towards me, when the end nearest to me went below parallel a sodding great spider fell out, washed on its way by about a third of a pint of stinking stagnant water, which went over my shoulder and straight down the back of my neck, spider and all.

I staggered backward in surprise and sat down heavily on what I soon discovered to be a huge pile of dog crap, courtesy of the mutt that lived across the way, I thought, it's the only sodding dog that lives in this cul-de-sac.

As I rolled over and started to rise, the sodding spider started to do some sort of eight-legged butterfly stroke at the base of my spine, startling me enough to fall again, this time I was lucky enough to break the fall with my hands...

Yeah, you guessed it.. straight back into the sodding dog crap...

I rolled onto my stomach and started punching myself in the back with my crap-stained fists, squashing the spider flat, bruising my kidneys in the process, I will probably be pissing blood for the next month, and pummelling dog crap into a very, very, expensive jacket.

I looked in panic at the neighbours windows.

No lights came on. No windows opened. No curtains twitched. Phew!

Right. Up the drainpipe.

What, with trying to hold the spike, coupled with the stinking slime on my hands, it was impossible to get any purchase on the smooth drainpipe. Dammit!

I looked round for something to wipe my hands on... A bush!

Pushing my hands into the soft greenery I began the task of de-dogcrapping my hands.

Within seconds I had not only succeeded in just smearing the crap around a bit, without actually losing any of it, but I had managed to pick up a few more sodding spiders too!

I patted frantically at my head and body, trying to dislodge the little sods, and managing to rub the dog crap into my hair and face in the process.

Oh, just half an hour ago life was so sodding sweet!

I looked again for something to clean myself with... Nothing!

Sod it! I took off my very sodding expensive coat and spent a few minutes cleaning what I could from my hair, face, and hands with it.

What the hell, in for a penny...

In temper I then threw the jacket onto the floor and angrily wiped my feet on it too.
My shoes a flurrying tantrum of Italian leather.
Kicking, and scuffing, until the coat was no more than a crap-stained rag...

Aaaaand breathe...

I scampered up the drainpipe with the spike in my mouth.

Which turned out to be a big mistake, it was the only thing I hadn't bothered to clean with the coat.

What the hell, I'd had so much dog crap tonight I was beginning to like the sodding stuff.

Hell, I may even have it for breakfast tomorrow.

Hmmm........ Bacon, egg, dog crap, tomatoes, and mushrooms, gave a new meaning to the term a full english!

Well, up the pipe like a sodding pirate I went.

I was just about level with the bathroom window, when a I saw a movement!

I froze. I glanced around...

It took me a moment to realize that it was yet another sodding spider hanging from a thread right in front of my sodding eye.

Damn it! I thought. I might even have some of them little sods for breakfast too.

I grabbed the spike, and pushed it forward through the small gap.

This was where I had a stroke of luck. ( That's me! Lucky lucky lucky )

The spike caught the latch on the first attempt, I pressed lightly downwards, and the window sprang open.

Not wanting to drop the spike, and risk the resulting noise waking the neighbours, and since I couldn't be arsed climbing down, and back up again, I flicked the spike through the gap, and into the bathroom.

There was a sort of quiet tinkling sound from inside the window. Followed by a fairly solid thud. Followed by more musical tinkling.

I shrugged my shoulders, reached across, grabbed the window sill, and started to drag my body through the small gap.

No problem!

My body fit through the gap easily.

My sodding clothes didn't though.

I managed to virtually rip my shirt off when it caught on the latch,not to mention scoring a sodding great gouge into my chest.

Falling forward into the room I landed heavily across the basin, grabbing hold of it in reflex, the momentum carried me forward, and downwards, bringing the basin along with me, ripping it completely from its pedestal. I landed heavily on the carpet, taking most of the skin from my nose in the process.

Luckily (That's me again... lucky lucky lucky , sod me! I'm starting to feel like Kylie sodding Minogue here) the flexible pipes attached to the taps held, so there was no water spraying everywhere.

Mind you, it might have washed off the rest of the dog crap..... And the sodding spiders...

Especially the little git that was still in front of my eye.

As I went to grab the bleeding thing, it dropped from its thread to the floor, and scurried off under an impossibly small gap between the bath panel and the carpet. Bastard!

I eyed the shower cubicle, god, I could just strip off and jump in there, it was spotlessly clean, you couldn't even tell there was glass in it it was so clean!

Hang on a mo! There WAS no glass in it! Now it dawned on me what the tinkle-thud sound was that I'd heard a couple of minutes ago.

At least I was inside now, there was still the question of the alarm...

I slithered out of the bathroom on my belly, keeping low to avoid the PIR on the landing.

Down the stairs, still on my belly, managing to wipe most of the remains of the dog crap from my hands onto the stair carpet as I pulled myself downwards.

I managed to get to the control panel without the PIRs detecting me, five seconds later it was disabled.

Walking into the darkened lounge I tripped headlong over the sodding coffee table, smashing it to bits, the momentum sent me staggering forward to headbutt the TV set, which then came off its wall mounting, and fell to the floor with yet another tinkly-thud-tinkle sound (I was getting to really sodding HATE tinkles) hitting me in the face, splitting my top lip and chipping my two front teeth on the way down.

God I need a sodding vacation!

I sat down wearily on the couch, and ran my tongue over my bleeding top lip, slicing my tongue on the chipped sodding teeth in the process.

Jesus! That sodding hurt!

What a sodding night this had turned out to be...

I leaned back into the couch, and allowed my head to roll backwards until it rested on the top of the couch...

The next thing I knew it was morning.

I opened my gluey eyes, and glanced blearily around me...

A few weeks later I was counting the cost of a night out...

Taxis to, and from the nightclub ( plus tips ) ...................................£ 17. 00
Booze, ( Christ knows how much ) …..............................................£ 120. 00
One chicken vindaloo. ( With extra chapati ) …..............................£ 14. 50
One slate grey single breasted Armani suit …................................£ 564. 99
One Saville row shirt. ( With button down collar ) ...........................£ 44. 99
one Delphini curved shower screen ( plus installation ) .................£ 720. 65
One berguna twin-tap basin ( plus installation ) ….........................£ 365. 70
One professional 'dog-crap cleaner-offer' ( Various carpets) ........£ 185. 00
One 'Classique-mode' coffee table. ( plus fragile ashtray )............£ 240. 55
One Samsung 46” Full HD Plasma TV ( free installation ) .............£ 4,999. 99
Several dentists appointments ( Robbing gits )..............................£ 563. 34

Losing my front door key in the night club........................... SODDING PRICELESS.

©2010 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Road Rage

My name is Steve,
I am fifty seven years old, happily married, proud father of two, and grandfather to seven.

Well... I’m just an ordinary sort of guy, who lives a pretty mundane life, with not many extreme peaks and troughs... but...

Let me tell you of something that happened to me yesterday...

I pride myself on being a safe driver, I drive defensively mostly, always watching for potential danger from other road users, always keeping a safe distance from the car in front.
This attitude has kept me accident free for almost forty years now.

The car I usually drive has “ please tailgate me “ screaming out of every orifice, the faithful old dog is a fifteen year old Citroen AX, with a punchy one litre engine, and an extremely lived-in look about it.

But, hey ho, forty five to the gallon, group two insurance, and in the six and a half years that I have owned it, it has never failed to start, and never broken down. (except on one occasion when the lining stripped from a brake shoe)

Yes, this is the car that I am USUALLY in control of...

Yesterday I found myself in control of something else...

Sleek, shiny, fast, the kind of machine that has more attitude than a bull terrier with a hangover.

A kind of mist descended over me from the very first second the wheels started rolling,
I couldn’t seem to control myself.

No-one, and I mean NO-ONE was going to overtake ME... NOT TODAY BABY !!!

I set off with the tyres burning, and within seconds had the engine screaming in protest...
Up a gear... up the revs... God...the sheer POWER...

Of course, before long another car appeared in my rear-view mirror, twitching from side to side as the driver fought to control the G-force that his reckless speed was creating.
I increased my speed further, laughing to myself, I wasn’t going to let him pass, I weaved from side to side to narrow his chances of getting alongside of me. SCREW HIM.

I had become an absolute monster, all that mattered to me was staying in front of him.

We hit the triple carriageway at god knows what speed, and the car started to slide on the smooth tarmac, causing me to lose some traction, and by the time I had managed to get the car straight again the prat was beside me...

and he was actually inching AHEAD.

I wasn’t laughing NOW... I could feel the anger rising within me...

He handled a slight right hand bend better than I did, and within seconds I was looking at his rear bumper.
I started grinding my teeth in frustration...


I was startled by the sound of my wife’s laughter, I’d totally forgot that she was sitting there, she seemed to find the situation extremely amusing, this just fuelled my rage more, there was NO WAY that THIS guy was going to beat ME !

The carriageway narrowed to two lanes, then one, I was still glued to his bumper, I found myself screaming in anger...


Several times I nearly lost control as we slewed round tight curves, but my wife’s giggles at my inability to pass him drove me to ever more reckless maneuvers.

A tight left hander was coming up, with a large expanse of grass leading away from the roadside....


As he slowed slightly to negotiate the tight turn, I actually increased my speed and headed straight for the grass, I was going to cut straight across the corner, and get in front again.

My wife watched intently, with her face screwed up as she tried not to laugh out loud again, she knew I would blame her if things went wrong.

Halfway across the grass was where I lost it...

The front end slid, and I over-corrected, causing the car to go into a full broadside that it was just never going to recover from...

When the front wheels hit the tarmac on the other side of the bend, the sudden grip caused the car to flip over...

It rolled over and over, finally coming to rest on its roof in the roadside ditch...

I watched with absolute fury as the other guy disappeared over a slight rise.

“DAMMIT!” I shouted, my voice almost drowned out by my wife’s uncontrollable fit of giggles.

“These sodding Playstation games don’t half wind me up."

I tossed the game control to her, and said “Here, you have a go, this level’s doing my crust in.
I’m gonna get another beer, do you want one bringing in too?”

I then set off in the direction of the kitchen as my wife scrolled down to the PLAY AGAIN option.

©2010 Stephen. J. Green.

The birth of The Twisted Quill

My blog came into existence through an odd chain of events. For several years my wife and daughter had been members of a parenting forum called Bad Mothers Club, which had, by association, become a part of my life too.
(Parenting forum is a very loose description for BMC, as the membership consists of people of all ages, from all walks of life, and covers just about every subject under the sun.)

Late in 2009 when I finally decided to get my own laptop I joined the forum myself, and started to post on it occasionally. ( Dads were also allowed, though pretty thin on the ground )

One Saturday night in July 2010, I was reading through the posts on there, and Nickie, a gifted authoress and blogger was asking for people to do guest posts for her blog while she was on holiday.

Now, being a frequent reader of Nickie's blog Typecast , and made very brave by the wine, I put my name forward, without really thinking what I was doing, I just felt that I wanted to be a part of this.

The next morning, I sat looking at my keyboard feeling slightly hungover, and more than a tad panicky, coming up with, and discarding ideas one after another.

Well, from somewhere in my wine-fuddled brain came the worm of an idea.....
I began to type, and two hours later I had the finished version of ROAD RAGE.

The more I looked at ROAD RAGE, the more I became convinced that it wasn't a half bad effort.

I sent it to Nickie, who aired it on Typecast ten days later.

I had been bitten by the bug in a big way, I had found something that I was really enjoying doing, and during those ten days whilst I was waiting for my first attempt to appear on Typecast I wrote GUILTY PARTY, partly wrote HUNTED, laid out the bare bones for AN UNTIMELY THEFT, and set the ideas brewing for IMMACULATE CONCEPTION and A BURGLAR'S TALE.

My daughter, a talented authoress and poet who has her own blog called Defective Tykewriter, had tried to prod me in the blog direction on more than one occasion, but up until now I had always refused. I think fear of failure, and lack of confidence played a large part.

The positive feedback I got when ROAD RAGE was aired tipped the scales, and two days later I set about putting the blog together.

I have always had a great liking for short stories with a twist in the tail, and this is the kind of thing I wanted to write, and so THE TWISTED QUILL was born.

I don't profess to being a good writer, and I don't profess my stories to be good, or bad, I leave that to the reader to decide, I am just doing something that I am enjoying doing, and shall continue to do so for as long as the enjoyment is there.

It is my hope that my stories give enjoyment, interest, and entertainment to anyone who reads them.

Any feedback, or constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reading.

Steve Green.

©2010 Stephen. J. Green.