The Flowerpot Man (a short story by Gary Shaw, aka The Resident Weebler)


Another writting challenge with Sudo One next. We have both written a begining of a stroy for one another for the other to finish. Here is my effort from what Sudo one wrote in green. Check out his effort on SudoOne.Wordpress.com

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Desert Highway

The Flowerpot Man

Hugh shouldn’t have been there, watching the heat haze shimmer off the road in front of him. He was from Oxfordshire; the closest thing you got to heat haze in Oxfordshire was when you turned the Aga up too high.  

As he walked he knew now for certain that the cowboy boots and Stetson had been a mistake. He’d been in Texas for only 5 days, not only had he discovered that everything in the Lone Star State was indeed bigger, but he now knew that cowboy boots were inclined to give one blisters and a Stetson would make an Englishman look foolish.

His feet and foolishness were the least of his worries, he was nervous the gun in the holster on his left hip would go off if he so much as looked in its general direction. One of your own bullets in the toe is not ideal when you are trying to get a job done, or indeed kill a man.

He must have been lost in his own thoughts, for when the truck pulled up beside him, he hadn’t heard it coming. Hugh looked along the length of the shining silver monster of an articulated truck it big bright red lettering on the side of the cargo hold it read ‘Big Bills Haulage’.

He walked up to the cab, the driver was looking at him from his window, and he wore a grin as Hugh approached. ‘Well howdy there partner’ said the driver. ‘D’ya get lost on the way to a fancy dress contest?’ The driver started laughing so hard at what he’d just said that he started coughing. Hugh maintained a pleasant smile until the driver had finished hacking up.

‘Thank you for stopping, Are you heading anywhere near La Plata?’ Hugh asked.

The driver’s happy demeanour shifted somewhat at the mention of this town. ‘La Plata’ the driver said. ‘That’s 50 miles from here, were thinking of walking all the way there boy?’ Hugh looked at the road again and saw that’s all there was, disappearing as it was in to the distance. ‘To tell you the truth’ Hugh said.’ I don’t know what I was thinking, I’m not even sure I want to go to La Plata any more’.

‘Well Cowboy’ the driver said. ‘It just so happens that I am heading through La Plata, so if you want a ride you are welcome’ Hugh looked at the road again and then looked back at the way he had come and saw it looked just as desolate. His decsion made, he climbed up in to the cab, thanking the driver as he did so.

The cab was air conditioned and Hugh felt such relief for coming out of the heat. It also smelt very pleasant; it had clean surfaces and not a mascot in sight. This truckers environment was very different from what Hugh had seen portrayed in the movies.

The driver himself looked more typically movie-esc. He was a rotund man with stubble you could light a match off of. He wore a red and black plaid shirt and had a light blue peaked cap on with Oilers written on the front.

The truck growled as they drove off.  The driver spoke first ‘So what’s your name Cowboy?’ Hugh wasn’t sure he wanted to tell this stranger his name given what he was considering doing. ‘It’s Michael’ Hugh said. ‘I bet I can guess yours’. The driver looked round at him with a slightly worried confused look. ‘Really’, he said. ‘It’s Bill’ Hugh said. A look of realisation came over the drivers face and he smiled and chuckled. ‘Right, I see what you’ve done there. No, my name is Ben. Big Bill is just my employer, but it’s only the two of us who do this.’

Hugh couldn’t help but smile at this ‘so what do haul?’ ‘ Read more of this post

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Flash Fiction – Yearning


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There once was a man, who spent his days basking in the sunlight and relaxing in the park. He had no boss to push his deadlines, he had no deadlines. He had no money worries and had many friends he could share his time with. Everything was easy and fresh and oh so awful.  How he yearned to be inside a stuffy office, he would stand in the park sometimes and just stare up at an office window and try to see through its reflective glass. He thought he could make out a cubicle, with in tray full of papers. Oh the yearning.

There were days where the sun was out and he had a picnic blanket laid out on the freshly mown grass with a champagne lunch. Whilst sharing joke with a friend, he would laugh so hard his head would tip back a face the warm blue sky, but as his head came back down, his eyes would catch another office vista, this time a meeting room, with people in uncomfortable clothes, looking stressed and mutely mouthing words of anger at each other. How his heart ached to be there. Read more of this post

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

The Envelope – Short Shory – By Gary Shaw (AKA – The Resident Weebler)


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It came in the post on a Saturday. Yardley barked at the door, as he always did when post arrived. We heard him sniffing something; he let out a low whimper and trotted off towards the back of the house.

The whole family were gathered in the lounge watching The Show, it was my younger sister Lybena who’d picked the large dark red envelope up from the mat after hearing the dog. She announced to the room, ‘It’s for Oliver.’ She brought it over to me on the sofa, passing my mum and dad next to each other in their individual chairs. They saw the colour of the envelope and their attention shifted from the telly to the journey of the envelope towards me. When I had it in my hands they sat forwards on their seats and stared at me. ‘Turn off the telly Brian’ my mum said. My dad fumbled about for the remote, hit a button and the telly muted. ‘Turn it off I said!’ She lent over to grab the remote. ‘I meant to, I meant to’ he said. ‘I just hit the wrong button is all. Calm yourself.’ He was holding the remote at arms length from her and continued, ‘although you know we’re meant to be watching this, there could be an update, it is the rules after all. What if an Enforcer pops by?’ Read more of this post

‘Something’ – 2nd Place at the 2011 Reading Festival of Crime Writing


This is my entry in to this years Reading Festival of Crime Writing, Short Story Competition. My entry have won 2nd place! Yes! I am most happy with this.

The competition rules had a famous author write an original opening paragraph to a story. The challenge for all entrants was to write a crime story in 1,600 words using that paragraph as your opener.

Mark Billingham was this years famous author. Mark Billingham is most famous for his ‘Thorne’ detective novels, two of which were turned into a TV series on Sky1. Although Mark’s fame for me, will always remain in my childhood, when he play Gary the Norman in ‘Maid Marion and her Merry Men’. Ruddy loved that show.

My story was short listed from all the entries, and then the top three stories were chosen by Mark Billingham.  So with out further ado, here is my story. Enjoy.

Something – By Gary Shaw (A.K.A. The Resident Weebler)

They say that you always know when you meet the ‘one’.
You’ve seen it in countless films and read about it in books. There’s usually some combination of the mouth going dry, sweat breaking out, the heart thumping like a drum/thunder/the wings of a captured bird etc.
I’d always thought it was nonsense.
That was before he walked into the shop. Before the sweating, the dry mouth and – since you ask – a heartbeat that felt like a racing engine about to tear itself out of my chest.
Before I clapped eyes on the one I was meant to kill.

The bell on the door tinkled as he closed it behind him. The man who’d walked in was Read more of this post

Fringe Review Diary – Day 2 – Asli and Ashley: Audacious and Angry (Free Fringe)


Day 2 – 6th August 2011

Asli and Ashley: Audacious and Angry – 21:00 – The Banshee Labyrinth (Venue 156) – Music Room

VENUE

After the success of ‘Don’t Mess’, me and the Girl thought why not stick around here and see what’s on next. Read more of this post

Fringe Review Diary – Day 1 – Isy Suttie: Pearl and Dave


Day 1 – 5th August 2011

Isy Suttie: Pearl and Dave – 17:00hrs – Pleasance Courtyard (ABOVE)

VENUE

This was the one me and the Girl had been really looking forward too.   Read more of this post

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