Gray Wolf

“I met a Gray Wolf, once.” said the old grizzled man at the bar. He drank deeply from his mug of beer, swallowed, and wiped his mouth with a dirty sleeve.

‘You never did,’ said the buxom young girl. She was wiping the bar with a rag, with little conviction.

“I did. I was tradin’ furs up in the North, and he was lookin’ for some kinda ice beasts or… can’t remember.” He looked at his mug accusingly and took another gulp of beer. “He wore a wolfskin, bigger than any wolf you ever saw. Big scars, like clawmarks.” he ran his clawed hand diagonally across his face, grimacing. “One dead grey eye, the other as near as black as I’ve seen. Scared me shitless, he did.” He finished his ale and waved the mug at her.

She filled his mug, and he grabbed it, beer slopping over the rim. He raised it and said, “To the Gray Wolves.” She raised a solemn toast in return. “To the Gray Wolves.” And they drank.



The Owl Man

The owl men were a strange and aloof tribe who populated the remote highlands of the America’s for centuries, scattered sparsely across the mountain-tops. Creatures of great wisdom, and long life, they were a source of medicine, prophecy and advice for those American tribes that knew of their existence. Happy with their lot away from the humans, it was the early 19th century before white man first laid eyes upon an owl man.

Lightly feathered, and possessing no beak, the owl man Avitheth was an outsider, and eager to leave his ancient tribal homeland. This was unusual for the owlmen, but they valued free will over all, and nobody stopped him. He traveled for several months, visiting frontier towns where he was treated with suspicion and fear. But the stories flew in his wake, and one night on the road, he was kidnapped by a particularly unsavoury circus master named McCreavey. He was soon just another freak in the crowd.

Exerpt from: Strange Days in the New World, 1876


I am taunted by the God of the flies

I am taunted by the God of the flies. At least, I was. I heard Him whisper in every malignant drone past my ear, and laugh at every fruitless swipe.  

I first knew there was such a deity at a young age. From then on, every time I heard or saw His creatures, His voice would get a little louder, a  little more insistent. Eventually, I took precautions. I don’t see too many people these days, but that’s OK. At least I don’t have to listen to that bastard in here. 

Getting in here took cunning, I must tell you. I had to convince a great number of people that I was crazy. It isn’t easy for any sane individual to play the madman. There were times when I thought that even  I might be going crazy, but then I remembered my purpose, and my mind returned to its usual clarity. Like I said, clean, sterile and definitely insect-free. I don’t see anyone in my saferoom, but I don’t hear Him laughing, either


The Scratching

The cats and dogs were the first to react. All over the world, pets went crazy, barking, yowling, generally freaking out for no discernible reason. Then people started to hear it too. The scratching. Almost inaudible, coming from everywhere and nowhere. It took only a few days for social media to catch on, and fear and confusion swept the globe. It was everywhere. Soon, tiny scratches were appearing on every imaginable surface. Buildings, trees, cars, electronics,nothing was safe. Soon, the world was in chaos, as no remedy was forthcoming for what seemed an otherwordly ailment.


Then people started to be scratched. Tiny marks, at first, not even splitting the skin. But as the days went by, hospitals began to fill with lacerated and terrified individuals, bleeding from innumerable tiny wounds with no source. Other animals were affected too, but nobody cared any more. The world died in pain and bewilderment. No answer was forthcoming as the scratching consumed us all.


The Follower

This is an exerpt from a short story I am working on.

Deep in the darkness above, an emaciated creature stared blindly with huge, limpid eyes as the small human made its way into the darkness. It sniffed the air lustfully through slitted nostrils on its otherwise featureless face, almost drooling at the power that wafted through the dusty air. The creature waited a few moments before scampering down the pillar silently and following in the boys footsteps, clear in the dust.

As it crept forward, 20 or 30 metres behind and matching pace with the boy, it siphoned fears and memories from the child’s subconcious. As the non-descript creature learned, it changed. Soon it walked confidently after the boy on two human legs, mouth twisting in a smile that belonged on no human face.



The Institute for Advanced Hindsight

‘Institute for Advanced Hindsight’, the sign above the doorway read. As I stepped from the fading industrial zone into this nondescript building , I knew that my time here would be useful.

“Hello, sir,” said a bright and cheerful secretarial voice. ‘I see that you will enjoy your stay.”

I crinkled my brow a little, and looked around the room. The secretary sat off to one side, exactly how I expected her to look. And everything was just as I remembered it. But… I was so sure that this was the first time I had been here. Strange, I thought.

Dr. Abramov stepped through a door that may or may not have been there when I arrived. “How are you feeling, Sean? Comfortable?”

“well, if I had known how I would fit in here, I would have arrived long ago.”

He smiled a knowing smile. “Just so. Now, shall we skip to the end?”


The Saviour Machines

With thanks to the inimitable David Bowie:

The boy sprinted into the dusty, desolate village, yelling.

“The saviour machines are coming,” he said, terror and exhaustion cracking and squeaking his voice like a broken child’s toy. “They’re coming!”

As if to emphasise his statement, the clanking roar of the machines could suddenly be heard in the distance. Everywhere, people dropped what they were doing. Children were scooped up by wide-eyed parents and corralled at the other end of the town. A few teens started to lead them away towards the town’s secret enclosure.

The older members of the community stared, resolute, toward the approaching cacophony, and several headed out into the dust bowl without a word. They had seen it all before, and knew it was their turn. The machines came on relentlessly, mindless missionaries of a false idol. The god must have it’s pound of flesh.