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Short stories

‘she only felt this way when the full moon was out’

She only felt this way when the full moon was out, Mildly put out with a psychotic edge to proceedings. January wasn’t helping either, the dark evenings, short days and the ridiculous notion of ‘Dry January’.

Without booze there’s “Too many hours in the day” Her dear old dad used to say, He also said he ‘tango’d with a widow as she was running from the graveyard in 76’ .. Who fuckin’ knows?

Clearing her throat she attempts to sit down and read “The archetypes and the collective unconscious” by that nutter ‘Carl Jung’ The early part of this new year was supposed to be here to clear out that space between the ears.


Get rid of all the darkness and ‘Twat’ some light in there. Eat kale, read philosophy (Finally understand why old ‘Sigmond was a misogynistic prick) lose half a stone and stop being the kind to buy shit, they don’t need, to impress those they don’t even like, you know the type..

Six days in and the boredom of a Saturday night in really drives it home. She ponders “Who's ever really comfortable in on there own, If they’re truly honest?”

Previously the only time she craved solitude was when the hangover reached it’s crescendo, fearing the ‘White Wine Witch” may of reared her ugly head the night before.. Phone off, Door closed, Light off and Netflix on. Aimlessly searching for some sappy American ‘Rom Com’ to fill the void and batter/shake off the night before. The old routine, the whoring angel rising..

Can’t concentrate, A brew always helps. Downstairs she flicks on the kettle pulls out the Yorkshire gold and ponders how many days left before she can join the girls getting shit faced. It’s not the booze that’s missing, it’s how to kill the hours..

The ‘Darkside of the Moon’ record clock on the wall says 9:00pm. too early for bed..

The straying brain finds its way to the usual territory of the record collection, whilst stoically avoiding eye contact with that bottle of ‘Merlot’ left by Mother Red Cap.

Calm the tide’ it’s only a month, Think of the poor sods in solitary confinement for thirty days, no nothing, let alone the demon drink. Just a hundred acres of hell to be seen before check out time.

Top five albums, that’l kill some time. Whack the needle down and watch them spin.

Springsteen has to makes a appearance with ‘Nebraska’, ‘Blood on the tracks’ by Dylan’s up there, Pure Comedy by ‘Father John’ jumps out and slaps a bitch. What next?…. ‘Tapestry’ by Carole King always a worthy addition..

One more, Davie’ Boy Jones.. Brixton’s favourite son has got to be in there “Ziggy Stardust” or “Hunky Dory” tough one. The needle falls, the record spins and belts out that voice we’ve all heard in Pubs, Clubs, Cars, shopping centres and dentists over the years

The banging on the door starts again. Fourth time this week. Unconcerned as she knows its only that old lady complaining, Also well aware that HE’S two miles down the road, she can see his bloody fingers, wave and smile

Chain on the door, Close the curtains, Ignoring the outside world, Head inside your own.. Through knockouts and blackouts its the best way.

Zoning into side two, the boredom’s gone, Into the ether, along with the anxiety, stress and bollocks. “It's a God-awful small affair, To the girl with the mousy hair” belts out across the room while she sings along to her favourite ‘Bowie Song”…..

‘Good Times With Good Mates in The Smoke’

Good times with good mates in the smoke. Some philosopher once said that ‘there’s always space in the your life to squeeze a couple pints in with your mates’ – or, maybe I just made that up… quite possibly. 

Record shops. A quick bomb around Highgate Cemetery. Bert Jansch has a resting place there. Legend. No one else seemed to give a bollocks - more interested in Karl Marx. Loved and hated to this day it seems is ‘Old Karl’. 

Swift pint in the ‘The Flask’ and a debate about whether Mr. Marx was some Robin Hood-type or just some ideologue aiming for some kind of utopian society that could never be reached 

“Would never work lads. Utopia has an inherently contradictory nature.”

The Big Man takes a thoughtful sip from his pint of London Pride. 


“We’re not homogenous as a society, and have desires which conflict and therefore cannot simultaneously be satisfied.”

What is this bell end talking about? 

“What the bollocks are you on about? Why aren’t we talking about how Joshua’s gonna do Klitschko..?”

“Fair point….” 

“I reckon Joshua’s got to nullify his jab and grab style. He ain’t out box him like Fury did eighteen months ago. Slip the straight right and come up that demonic uppercut that did Dillian Whyte.”

Evil Pete looks at both his mates and shakes his head. 

“You’re both such geeky twats in your own weird ways… it’s never boring!”

The usual routine is occurring – the five or so minutes on family and work life, niceties concluded, straight onto the state of the Premiership and failing love lives. 

Over the fourteen or so years of this friendship there’s always one of the three who has fired into singledom and in the mist of some Jeremy Kyle-esque vibe.

Drink up and leave.

Walking down Highgate Hill, the air feels warm and the millionaires’ houses jump out from the street. English countryside vibe up and down all day long here. 

Ten minute walk and you’re in Kentish Town surrounded by the crazies, the piss heads and belligerent thieves. Still never quite figured out how in old London town one minute you’re in an affluent ‘Harry Potter posh-twatty’ suburb and the next you’ve found yourself in a ‘moped-is-king stab city’. 

It’s a funny old world.

Settled into the new boozer in the shit part of town with a big screen to watch the big men punch lumps out of each other with your best mates. Happy days… 

Post-war record crowd of 90,000 in attendance at sunny Wembley and about 200 at this dodgy bar in North London.

First four rounds close and neither fighter giving much away…

In the fifth, Joshua floored Klitschko... 

In the sixth, Klitschko floored Joshua… 

Eleventh, Joshua knocks him out on his feet!

Park Life blasts through the bar as pints, tables, small dogs, small humans fly through the air.

Spurs, Gooners, Tories and Corbynites are even being nice to each other. Never happens. 

Jumping all over Evil Pete as he’s wrestled to the ground while The Big Man is pulling us both up. This ain’t a normal Saturday night and it’s known.

Good times with good mates in the smoke.

‘Night on the Town’

It was one of those sunny London evenings that only come around about ten times a year. With the sun beating down hard, even the haggard streets of Camden Town revealed a certain charm that seldom shows itself to the tourists, locals, punks, drug dealers and vagabonds. It left the populace with a smile. Usually in this neck of the woods you’d find people mildly psychotic, with a general air of ‘get fucked-ness’ but today, the night felt young and there was a general understanding that this particular evening should be taken advantage of. 

He’d just finished work for the day and felt good. Jumping on his bike he cycled in the sunshine down through Kentish Town heading towards Camden and as was his custom, Jimmy called into the Black Heart for a cheeky pint of the ‘Hells’ and allowed himself a good forty five minutes with ‘HP Lovecraft’. He didn’t even know himself where this obsession with horror books had come from of late, but it always seemed more appropriate to read them in a decent metal pub with plenty of gargoyles, a premium lager and a healthy sound of doom in the background. 

After an hour and two pints later he felt his leg vibrant. Pulling his phone from his pocket, he saw the familiar screen shot of Alice brighten up his phone 

“Alright darlin’?”

Even after four years and a fair amount of hassle, headaches and heartaches, Jimmy still felt the tingle is his stomach when speaking to her. 

“Hi babe - what you doing?”


“I’ve just finished work, about to unlock me bike. Was considering calling into the Black Heart for a pint”, he said whilst signalling to barmaid to pull another one. 

“Well, I was thinking as the suns out we should have a date night?”

“Banging. Black Heart for a drink, then I’ll treat you to an Italian? 

“Can we?”

“All over it. I’ll be at the Black Heart in ten minutes.”

Thirty minutes later she arrived with a smile and found Jimmy with his head in a book and half way through his beer. She knew he’d been there for at least an hour but chose to ignore the fact. They went through their respective days and enjoyed each other’s company before heading out onto the streets of Camden. The sun had calmed down now and they spent the next couple hours enjoying the food. Conversation, as ever, flowed between aggressive debates on the state of the premiership to whether Meat Loaf could ever compete with Bruce Springsteen. Jimmy then dragged the conversation to her recent promotion before it strayed in to the dangerous territory of politics. After a beautiful meal and Alice giving him that look in regards to leaving a tip. They left and walked arm in arm back into the streets. The sun had gone now but left the humid air behind and night had fallen. 

“Can we have a quick one in the Black Cap?”



“Fuck me - alright then. It’s a good job I love you.”

Jimmy wasn’t into to the Black Cap, as it was a notorious gay bar. Not that he had anything against the gay community but it wouldn’t be his first choice. It had however been a nice evening and he wanted her to be happy.

After getting into the bar and ordering two pints of premium they got a seat. Alice smiled whilst Jimmy rolled his eyes as a cross-dressed cabaret act jumped up on the stage - all feather bows and brightly coloured corsets - then pranced around to Lady Gaga. As always one pint turns into three and Jimmy admittedly found himself relaxing and actually enjoying himself.  

A conversation was struck up with a fifty-odd-year-old guy with glasses and a lazy leg from a mining accident. With the music being loud and the drink flowing, the slightly bizarre nature of the evening had taken an unexpected and interesting turn - until the incident…    

Onstage, the cross-dressed cabaret act was reaching fever pitch - going hell for leather stripping to Night Fever. The whole bar was transfixed, clapping along as the performance was reaching its crescendo. All eyes were staring ahead, but out of the corner of his eye Jimmy saw the old miner reach over and drop something in Alice’s drink. 

He then proceeded to full-blown psychotic mode. Reaching over Alice, he tried his upmost to fucking batter the old boy. The music stopped, the act stopped dancing and every one in the bar looked over at this thirty year-old shaved head guy trying to pummel an old man with glasses and a wonky leg.

It didn’t look good from the outside in - a pretty brutal case of gay bashing in there, third degree. Alice was utterly dumbfounded that her generally calm boyfriend would flip out in such a way and no idea of the preceding incident. Jimmy grabbed the offending glass whilst assaulting a windmill of punches and refused to let go of it, whilst being dragged out by the bouncers. 

Out on the street, Jimmy was still losing it and, uncouthly trying to explain, threw a psychotic fog that the old boy had put something in his girls drink. The miner and Alice made their way outside, with her sending apologetic embarrassed looks at bouncers with a look of unbridled confusion on her face. Once the bouncers managed to make some sort of sense out of Jimmy’s insane shouting, they gathered that he wasn’t grabbing the glass to hit anyone with, but to prove his point that something had been put in there. 

The Bouncer, Jimmy, and Alice stared intently at the glass with the old miner standing sheepishly in the background with a hand covering the left side of his face. With utter disbelief and amazement they saw an eyeball staring back at them from the bottom of a half full pint of Carlsberg Export. The bouncer started smiling to himself.

“Well, that’s a new one on me!” 

“What the actual fuck? Is that an eyeball?” Alice said, in genuine disbelief.

The absurdity of the situation revealed itself to Jimmy and, along with his dark sense of humour, actually started to laugh. All three then looked at the old miner with the wonky leg who was still holding the side of his face.

“I thought it would be funny”, he said sheepishly, head down to the floor.

“Are you fucking mental?!

Why would putting a eyeball in someone you don’t knows drink be funny?!”

Alice’s own anger was beginning to rise. It would appear the miner lost an eye as well as getting a wonky leg in that accident all those years ago, and had a tendency to play practical jokes with his eyeball. 

Jimmy looked at the bouncer with a smile 

“Sorry about all that ranting and raving mate.”

“It’s alright - I would of done the same.”

He then grabbed Alice’s arm gently and said, “probably best we call it a night love?”

With one last look at the old miner, she slowly set off towards the tube with confusion written all over her face. As they were walking off they heard the old miner shout.

“Any chance I could get my eye back?”

Date Night At The Art Gallery

What’s that dopey looking thing? Mona Lisa. Mona bloody Lisa! What sort of a name is that? Mona - maybe she moans that he never replaced the toilet roll after it was finished, or that he never took the bins out!


Can never get any peace. Even at the art gallery, Always getting grief. Feck this - I’m off.

“Sharon. Bollocks to this - this Mona Lisa thing is giving me the hump…”

She starts to moan aswell...

“It’s date night? Why have you got to ruin everything, blah, blah, blah.”

It’s enough to give me the hump. I try to rationally explain that it’s clearly not my fault and that if that ‘Mona Lisa’ wasn’t whinging to me about the bins then we could have had a perfectly nice day. Same rules apply. She feckin' stares at me like a dog that’s been shown a card trick.

“Are you on acid again?”

Cheek on her! I haven’t done that in weeks and I only bastard well did it to find myself for her. Selfish her all over... I mean it’s not my twattin’ fault that the bloody unicorns wouldn’t stop following me about and banging on about how Stuart Pearce was a seminal part of the Euro ‘96 line up. I feckin' told that ‘Unicorn Gary’ and his Orangutan mate that he didn’t need to tell me that. Old psycho Stuart was a childhood hero of mine. Classic left-back!

Either way, I dragged her out and I’m heading to the Toucan. A pint of the black gold barkeep. Better chuck a nip in aswell. Whiskey helps me brain from overloading. Also gotta keep that ‘Unicorn Gary’ prick at bay. Don’t fancy discussing the merits of the 96/97 season today - and especially not in this boozer with a Unicorn.

She’s still moaning… Mona Lisa...