Author Archives: Trevor Belshaw

A Poem for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Poem

When I look at your face
My heart starts to race
My passion fires off like a nuke
When I think of your lips
My tummy does flips
I love you so much I could puke

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Tracy’s Christmas Special.

Miniblanchepocheszippes01Hi Emma

How was your Christmas? I bet it was a bit weird spending it in Cornwall. Their accent is hard enough to understand when they’re sober so it must be just about impossible when they’re pissed. I met a bloke from Penzance at a party once, he spent all night betting me that I couldn’t handle his scrumpy. He was only about five-foot two and his trousers were so tight they hid nothing, so I’m pretty sure I could have. I wasn’t really interested anyway; he was drinking homemade cider, it looked like baby shit in a glass.  It was full of lumpy bits, I think he must have dropped his Cornish pasty in it.

My Christmas was okay, Mum got a bit drunk and Dad and Gran had their usual three rounds of all-in verbal wrestling. It was better entertainment than those crappy 1970’s reruns of Morecombe and Wise though.

Neil was playing the hero at the police station on Christmas Eve, saving us all from gangsters, drug dealers and other, scummy, low life, so he couldn’t come out with me. I was going to go to Tossers with Pauline Potts and her sister, Tia, but Pauline had a dodgy curry on Tuesday night and spent all day Wednesday on the lavvy. She was gutted because she had to miss her office party at work and Tia pulled the bloke that Pauline’s been lusting after for the last three months. Tia texted me to say she was going out on the piss with him on Christmas Eve, so it meant I had to make alternative arrangements. I rang around a few people but most of them were going to Spanners, that garage music night spot in the precinct. It was all ticket and no one had a spare. Continue reading

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William Hackett VC

William Hackett VC

vcwilliamhackettThe battlefields of France saw many an heroic act as the British and German armies bombarded each other from their trenches during the insane slaughter of World War One. Above the ground, wave after wave of senseless attacks saw men die by the thousand as they attempted to gain a few yards of muddy ground.

Deep beneath the mayhem and slaughter on the surface, a second, secret war was being fought; a war that the vast majority of people know nothing about, even today. Deep beneath the killing fields of France, miners from Britain, New Zealand and Australia, dug their silent way towards the enemy lines in an attempt to blow up their trenches from below.

Up to 20,000 men, on both sides were engaged in this activity. The men toiled away in conditions that would have made the cramped galleries of the coal mines at the time, seem almost luxurious. One such man was William Hackett.

William was born in the 11th June 1873 in the aptly named, Patriot Street in Sneinton, an inner-city area of Nottingham. William never learned to read and write and scraped a living as a miner, working the dangerous seams of the Nottinghamshire-South Yorkshire coalfields.

In his early 20’s William moved to Mexborough in South Yorkshire where he met his bride to be, Alice. They were married in Coningsborough in 1900 and had two children, a boy called Arthur and a girl, Mary. Continue reading

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A Ghost Story. The Vicarage

The Vicarage

Part One

victorian-vicarage‘Will you at least have a look? It might be interesting and you did say you need ideas for the new book.’ Maggie tipped her head to one side and gave me her best smile. ‘This is really freaking her out.’

I grimaced. ‘I don’t know, Maggie, ghosts aren’t my thing. Isn’t there a paranormal society in the area? She could ask them. Maybe the church could help… anyway, I write about Zombies, not spooks.’

Maggie picked up her steaming coffee mug, wrapped both hands around it and took a sip. ‘It’s high time you took a break from bloody Zombies, Sam, they’re boring, and here you have absolutely everything you need for a story under one roof. Creaking floorboards, drawers opening on their own, lights dimming and flaring, voices in the attic, you have to admit, it’s intriguing.’

‘I like Zombies and so do my readers. You may find them boring but they pay my rent.’ I looked around my cramped, one bedroomed flat. ‘Dead Dawn gives me all this.’

If Maggie was impressed she didn’t show it. ‘Doesn’t it pique your interest, even slightly? I thought you writers were open to all sorts of influences. She’s not asking you to perform an exorcism, Sam, she just wants someone with an open mind to talk to. Anyway, she won’t go to the church, you know what she’s like with any form of religion. She crosses the road if she spots a nun on the pavement.’

I nodded. ‘I know, that’s why I could never understand why she bought an old vicarage.’

‘She didn’t buy it. The house belonged to her grandmother, she left it to her in her will.’

I thought about it for all of three seconds. ‘I don’t have time, Maggie, I have a deadline on a short story for Gothic Tales magazine and I haven’t written a word yet.’

‘Don’t they publish ghost stories too?’ Maggie wasn’t going to give up easily.

I nodded slowly. ‘They do, yes, but I don’t write them; I have my own audience.’

‘Oh, come on, Sam, it could be fun.’ Maggie bit her bottom lip and leaned forward. ‘You’re not scared, are you?’

I snorted. ‘Maggie, I make my living out of blood and gore, remember? I’m not scared, I just think there’s about as much chance of finding a brain-munching Zombie hiding in her attic as a ghost.’

Maggie sipped more coffee. ‘Just talk to her, Sam. Please. She’s my best friend, she just wants some reassurance. I can’t help, you know me, I totally believe in that stuff and she needs an alternative viewpoint. Look, I’m going to see her on Saturday, why don’t you come with me?’

I scratched the three-day stubble on my cheek and reached for my own drink. ‘Saturday?’ Sorry, I’m going to the match. We’re playing City, it’s the biggest game of the season.’

‘Then come after the bloody game. I’ll meet you in the Red Lion, she only lives around the corner.’

‘Oh, I don’t know, Mags, I…’

‘We can go back to mine after.’ Maggie tipped her head again and winked.

I groaned and rolled my eyes heavenward. She had me, and she knew it.

 

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The Zombie Poets (extended version)

As Halloween is coming up soon I thought I’d share my story; The Zombie Poets. This is the extended version rewritten for a Creative Writing OU course I took a few years back.  The original version didn’t include Ant, Dec and Cowell.

zombie-dance

The Zombie Poets.

Journal: 1st November. 2012.

I’m sick to death of these bloody Zombies, they are everywhere now. I can’t walk down the street without being accosted by them. They’re in the library, my local pub, and the gym. When I’m at home they squash their faces up against my windows and peer through my letterbox. I can’t escape them. They don’t want to bite me, eat me or rip off bits of my body. It’s much worse than that. They want to recite poetry to me. Continue reading

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The Curse of Cranberry Cottage Published

Kindle CoverBook 8 of the Magic Molly series, The Curse of Cranberry Cottage has been published in both Kindle and paperback formats.

The book follows Molly’s adventures as she travels with her family to the house of her Great Aunt Willow. Molly is intrigued by Cranberry Cottage, a securely fenced off property on the outskirts of the village. The Cottage has a history. The legend says that a Black Witch, Belladonna Blackheart lived in the house hundreds of years ago. Belladonna cursed the house and anyone entering it after the local villagers, angry at a series of crop failures and soured milk episodes, tried to drive her out. The story tells that Belladonna didn’t die of old age, but cast a spell on her deathbed to allow her to live on as a Wraith Witch.
The Book Blurb.

Magic Molly Miggins and her family are spending a weekend on the coast at the house of Granny Whitewand’s sister, Willow. Molly is intrigued by the legend of Cranberry Cottage, a house so creepy that none of the villagers will go anywhere near it. The legend says that hundreds of years ago, Cranberry Cottage was cursed by the Black Witch, Belladonna Blackheart who still lives there in the form of a Wraith Witch. Molly, despite constant warnings, decides to get a closer look. When her arch enemy, Henrietta Havelots turns up, things get more than a little serious. Molly discovers that Belladonna is planning to open up the dark, mysterious, Void so that the evil witch, Morgana can return to the world. Can Molly remove the curse and put a stop to Belladonna’s plans, or will the Wraith Witch succeed in her quest to release Morgana and make Molly and Henrietta her slaves.

Kindle Price. £1.99 Paperback. £4.99Kindle Cover

Kindle Version Available Here

Paperback Version Available Here

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Firstborn

warriorHere’s something I started a while ago but left unloved and alone in a folder on my computer. The chapters that might follow are set hundreds of years into the future and none of the characters in this scene appear again except in name. This is just the prologue to what might be a full fantasy novel.

FirstBorn

On the morning of his execution, Morrain Bur-Belir woke to the sound of a tolling bell.

The priest got to his feet, brushed the filthy, damp straw from his blue robes and rubbed his aching right shoulder with the palm of his left hand. Outside the sun was up, Morrain could hear the clattering of carts and the murmurings of people as they trudged past the court house. There would be a good crowd today. He smiled grimly and stretched his neck to look out of the high window but the only thing in view was the top branches of the Hanging Tree. Morrain made the sign of the blessed one across his chest, closed his eyes and prayed silently.

Five minutes later, a heavy iron key rattled in the door lock and three, long-bolts were drawn. The thick, studded oak door was eased open and two guards wearing leather vests and helmets walked into the cell. They were accompanied by a priest in coarse, red robes. He wore an amulet bearing the image of Osurn on a chain around his neck and carried a skin-bound copy of the Krah carefully in his hands. The guards took up position either side of the open door as the Red Priest stepped forward.

‘Morrain Bur-Belir, you have been found guilty of heresy. You have been sentenced to hang. I am here to offer you one final chance of redemption.’ He held the Krah out in front of him with both hands. ‘Renounce the false Goddess, Uhati, return to the bosom of the Red Goddess, Osurn and you will be spared.’ Continue reading

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Extract from Magic Molly, The Curse of Cranberry Cottage

cellar steps     A small extract from Magic Molly, The Curse of Cranberry Cottage.
Molly is at the gates of the cottage, at midnight, with Wonky, her ancient old wand…

Molly was transfixed by the beauty of the cottage. She could feel the wand’s uneasiness and knew that she should really make her way back to Aunt Willow’s house, but she found that she couldn’t summon up the will leave such a wonderful place.
Then she saw something move.
She thought she’d imagined it at first. She could easily have been mistaken – It could just be a trick of the light – just a shadow, cast by the moon as it shone across the lead-lined, small-paned window at the front of the house. But then she saw the movement again, in the window on the other side of the porch. Molly narrowed her eyes and peered through the gate.
‘I wish I had some binoculars with me,’ she whispered to herself.
She suddenly found she didn’t need binoculars.
The shadow in the window began to get larger. It started in the small pane at the centre of the window, but grew rapidly until it covered all sixteen panes. Then the shadow began to solidify. Molly’s feet seemed glued to the spot. She tried to drag her eyes away but something more powerful than her own will kept them fixed on the window. The ghostly shape grew lank, white hair, a pair of narrow eyes and a hook of a nose. Then a cruel mouth and a long chin were added to the vision. The window flew open and a thin, sinewy arm stretched out. A long, skinny finger with a twisted, broken fingernail made a beckoning motion. Molly tried to concentrate on her wand, but a voice filled her mind, a cruel voice, an insistent voice that shut out all other thoughts.
‘Come to me,’ it said.

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Magic Molly; The Curse of Cranberry Cottage. Chapter One

Maggic Molly pumpkinMagic Molly; The Curse of Cranberry Cottage.

Chapter One

‘Molly Miggins if you aren’t downstairs in five minutes flat, your breakfast is going into Harold.’

Molly rolled onto her back and looked at the ceiling. She wasn’t sure if Harold, the new in-sink monster she had conjured up a couple of weeks before, liked Wheaty Flakes or not. He seemed to like salad and vegetables best, anyway, she still thought Harold was a silly name for a former Compost Heap Monster. She had originally called him, Fang, because of his sharp little teeth, but Mrs McCraggity, the housekeeper had changed it to Harold.

‘Fang doesn’t like Wheaty Flakes,’ she shouted.

‘HAROLD, will eat anything if he’s hungry enough.’ Mrs McCraggity’s head appeared around Molly’s bedroom door. ‘Anyway, Harold’s eating habits are irrelevant. Have you forgotten that you’re going to stay with Great Aunt Willow this weekend? Granny Whitewand is up and about already, she’s really excited about the trip.’

Molly leapt of out bed and showered and dressed in record time. She slid down the banister to gain an extra few seconds, slipped off the end and bounced on her bottom twice before coming to a halt just in front of the hat stand.

Molly was still rubbing her bottom when she walked into the kitchen. Her packet of Wheaty Flakes was on the table next to a jug of milk and her breakfast bowl. Continue reading

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Excerpt from Tracy’s Celebrity Hot Mail: The Royal Baby.

TRACY'S CELEBRITY HOT MAIL COVER  The Royal Baby

Hi Emma,

Did you see the news about the royal baby?

I’m really pleased because it means we might get a reality program set in the palace. It will be great to see Kate changing nappies and burping the baby. I think she’ll be a brilliant mum. She could get celebs like Katy Price and Chloe Simms from TOWIE to share their child rearing tips with her. I’m thinking of sending her a pair of fake, Ralph Lauren baby shoes, they’ve got them down at the local market. I reckon she’d really like those. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to see him at his Christening wearing a pressie I sent him? I bet Kate gets lots of presents sent to her when she gets home, but those shoes are really classy and she likes quality stuff. Continue reading

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