Fiction, The Billingham Challenge: The Gap between the Willow trees


Sudo One loves a contest, so he set a challenge. A writing challenge. He writes an opening paragraph of a story for me to complete and I write a paragraph to start him off. He named it the Billingham challenge in honour of Mark Billingham the crime writer, who did the same thing for a competition in which I came second. You can see that effort here.

So here is my Short Story with Sudo one’s opener in brown. I’ve called it ‘The Gap between the Willow trees.’ Enjoy…

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The Gap between the Willow Trees – A Short Story by Gary Shaw (AKA the Resident Weebler)

The Willow Trees (Monet)

She waited with baited breath.

With any luck the groundwork had paid off. Tonight was the night it was all going to come to fruition, the stars in the inky night sky were, she hoped, aligned. She deserved it, didn’t she?

It was time... her time, Annie’s time.

Annie had been told about the creatures by Freda Percival, a long time resident of Hillfrome, her place of work, over two years earlier. At first she disregarded the stories as flights of fantasy, even madness. But after what had happened to Freda, what she’d seen with her own eyes, they must be able to do to her what they did to Freda.

Waiting in the woods, which surrounded the Hillfrome Estate, she watched the space between the twisted misshaped willow trees.  It had been a year ago today that Freda had gone missing from the home and Annie had found her here. A year ago today that the creatures had come through the gap in the trees and she had seen those black creatures crawl over Freda.

In her fifties now, Annie had regretted how her life had turned out. She had no real family to speak of. An only child, her parents passed on, she had no children, and the man and life she had always dreamed of had never arrived. She had so much love to give, and now nearing the autumn of her own life, only had the residents of Hillfrome to pour it on.

It was Freda that Annie had warmed to the most. The two ladies would often sit on the wooden bench at the rear of Hillfrome house on warm evenings, looking down on the vast wood that lay at the foot of the hill.  They talked of older, better times and how they both wished they were younger. Annie was reminded of her mother’s kindness as they spoke. So when Freda started to speak of magical creatures in the woods that could make them young again, she felt a terrible heartache. She remembered how her mother had started saying nonsensical things before her mind decayed, and how Annie had to look on as the mother she knew slowly disappeared. Read more of this post

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Spending a Penny, but for how long?


BritishOneNewPenny

The copper in the pre-1992 pennies are worth much more today than the face value of the coin.

Decimalisation in the UK began in February 1971, and the UK penny, or new penny, as it was then known, was there from the start. And now in the same month as it is celebrating 42 years in its current state, Canada has ditched its One Cent coin. Why? Simple. With ever increasing inflation on goods and services, it costs more than its outward value to produce the coin. Thus saving the economy of Canada money in the long run. Read more of this post

The Resident Evil has left the building


Resident evil Ah, better times.

Now, I don’t play video games that much, but one I have always liked is the Resident Evil games. It’s part of the influence behind me calling myself ‘The Resident Weeble’ (I’ll let you figure out the other influence yourself).

So when I popped in to the doomed HMV today and finally used a gift voucher I’ve had for about a year and a half, and I snapped up a copy of Resident Evil 5 at a highly reduced rate.

It’s probably worth pointing out, the reason I hadn’t got it before is I was waiting for the price to come down. I’m not the sort to rush out, motivated by hype, and pay full whack for a new game. I’m like this with most things actually, my new phone is generation behind too, it works out cheaper and I get to wait and see which one is popular and bug-less.

Anyway, my gripe is that the Resident Evil franchise has moved away from the survival horror / puzzle game I loved and just blended in with all the hundreds of other first person shoot em ups available. Read more of this post

Sudo One Weeble!


Again in honour of our 28 days writers union and because he didn’t ask me, I have immortalised Sudo One as a Weeble! I also drew the picture of him you’ll find as his icon and in his blogs header, but he’s bulked up here for weebling purposes. So here he is, as happy as a monkey with a peanut machine, showing off his very precious ‘iPhone’ of which he blogs about (he bloody loves everything apple mac), along with his opinions on football, religion, and all sorts of exciting stuff. He also has some fabulous poems and short stories. Check it out here.

Sudo One

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Remember to enjoy my fellow ’28 Day Writers’ blogs today. Not only Sudo One but also  A Piece of Pandemonium

A Piece of Pandemonium Weeble!


In honour of our 28 days writer union and because she once asked me to, I have immortalised ‘A Piece of Pandemonium’ as a Weeble. So now when you read her blogs about Olympics, foot rubbing, tidiness and absorb her very graphic opinionated pieces. You can marvel that this sweet demure looking Weeble is responsible for this rich ensemble of life, lust and wrath.

A Piece of Pandemonium

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Remember to enjoy my fellow ’28 Day Writers’ blogs today. Not only A Piece of Pandemonium but also Sudo One 

Not Snogging in Cinemas to Courtroom Films (Top ten list)


sommersby in court

When I was a teenager of about 14 or 15 I went on a date to the cinema with newest girlfriend of the time. The movie got underway and about quarter of the way through she wanted to do the whole snogging in the cinema thing. Well I was having none that malarkey. I’d paid to see this film, and I was getting into it.  We could do snogging nearly anytime, so I told her to knock it off.

Looking back, maybe I missed out on one of those classic moments in life, but really I just find it funny that I was as into movies then as I am now. Read more of this post

It’s Sad sometimes, being Big and Scary


hagrid

I was walking home from swimming the other day, and a mother and her kid were walking about 50 yards ahead of me. I noticed the child every so often looking round at me. I was walking at a faster pace than them. As I gained ground, the child started tugging on his mother’s arm with a distressed look on his face. Then as I neared, the child actually made his mum stop move to the side of the pavement as he hid behind her legs.  She apologised to me as I passed, as did I for apparently terrifying her child.

Now, I admit I’m a big fella with a lot of hair and a beard, so I understand the child’s fear. And this wasn’t a fluke, this sort of thing has happened before. Once I was round a friends for a bbq and his daughter just started crying when she saw me.

These instances do upset me, as I am nice guy and wouldn’t hurt a fly, as my friends, family, girlfriend, and I reckon anyone who’s met me will tell you. I suppose I do see the funny side too.  I know the parents do. Read more of this post

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