Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Saturday Report. Stop Press

It’s Here! The Saturday Night Report.

Out on the 8.10 bus, home on the 11.10 which came at 11.13 ish.
It was a strange night. My first port of call, the Cross Keys, had so few people in the bar, it would have struggled to live up to its name if everyone inside belonged to a swinger’s club and had thrown their house keys into a wine glass for their end of evening frolics.
The next pub was a bit busier; full of fifty to sixty year olds and the odd bunch of twenty somethings out celebrating a friend’s birthday, wedding, new job or divorce. I’d never seen the DJ before, and to be honest I wouldn’t shed a tear if I never saw him again. He was in his fifties, with a thickening paunch attempting to make up for this thinning hair. For some reason, he seemed to think the mainly, elderly clientele, were desperate to listen to nonstop trance music that might have gone down well in an ecstasy-addled brain of a twenty-year-old in the late eighties, but didn’t do much for the Tramadol addled brains that made up the bulk of the gathering. Some old gals were giving it a go though, feet still, bodies swaying with open fingered hands moving in front of their faces like Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction. Then, horribly, at some unseen signal, they began thrusting their pelvises in a brutal parody of the time warp. Good luck to them, it’s all right me taking the piss, but it’s them that won’t be able to get downstairs without the help of a stair lift on Sunday morning. There will be so many cracking knee and hip joints in Bullwell, it will sound like the rifle range has opened early. Continue reading

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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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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.

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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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Preview Out of Control

Would you like to see if Out of Control is right for you? Easy. Just click the preview link at the bottom of the image and read a short preview of the novella with more than a little bit of noir.

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Trevor Forest reads Clicking Gran for Halloween.

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Clicking Gran Press to Play

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A Plea for Father’s Day

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Father’s Day

Father’s Day is coming soon
So give the kids a shove,
And get them all to buy a card
That reads, ‘to Dad, with love.’

And here’s a tip for everyone
Who thinks their father rocks.
Buy him beer or music,
Go easy on the socks.

 

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Short Stage Play, Awkward Encounter

Here, for anyone interested. Is the 15 minute stage play script of the short story I posted yesterday. There are several bits of dialogue in this version that don’t appear in the short story. If you prefer to read the short, it’s still here, you’ll find it on the post below this one. Thanks for reading.

 AN AWKWARD ENCOUNTER

A Stage Play Play In One Act

Written By Trevor Belshaw

CAST LIST

 MARTIN:        Widowed Lecturer. Late 40s Grey-White Hair and Goatee.

MAGGIE:        Team Leader in a Financial Office. Early 40s

SIMON:          Assistant Team Leader in MAGGIE’S Office. Mid 20s

BRIAN:           Barman. 30s

BRENDON:    Software Developer. Mid 20s

Old Man 1:       Non speaking Dominoes player

Old Man 2:       Non speaking Dominoes player
Act 1 Scene 1 Village pub; Lunchtime.

 

The bar is a typical village pub with original oak beams and a stone tiled floor. Polished, dark oak, oblong tables and chairs are spread evenly around the room. Two old men are playing dominoes CSL. The only other occupant is BRIAN who is busy humming to himself whilst wiping down the optics behind the counter. USC. There is a table with three chairs around it facing front DSL with a small stool nearby. Two fruit machines flash and whir to the left of the table. A door opens USR and MARTIN appears. BRIAN looks up from his work and smiles warmly.

 

Brian:               Well, there’s a sight for sore eyes. Hello Martin.

(MARTIN holds the open door with one hand while he checks his watch. He looks across to the barman, a half smile on his face.)

Martin:             Hello, Brian. It’s been a while hasn’t it? (Walks to bar.)

Brian:               You haven’t changed much, a little more white in the beard perhaps. I always said you were a dead ringer for that Paul Hollywood. You look even more like him now.

Martin:             (Laughs.) Give over; Paul Hollywood indeed.

Brian:               (Grins.) What can I get for the master baker? How about a cheeky little Chablis? (Reaches for wine glass.) 

Martin:             No, no, erm, just a Diet Coke, please, Brian.

(MARTIN checks his watch again, sits on a stool and surveys the room. Brian places the drink on the counter and waves away the offer of payment.)

Brian:               On the wagon are we?

Martin:             No, nothing like that. I’m meeting my son, Simon. There’s someone he wants me to meet. I think love may be in the air.

Brian:               Love? Oh, that old thing.

Martin:             I suppose it comes to all of us in time; even you, Brian.

Brian:               (Looks shocked.) Me? Heaven forbid; I’m far too selfish for that sort of thing. I like to come and go as I please. Confirmed bachelor, me.

Martin:             (Sips drink.) You’ve never considered going into a relationship? Don’t you ever get lonely?

Brian:               Never. I like my own company.

Martin:             You’re not a family man then?

Brian:               Family! I didn’t even like the one I came from. As for a wife, she wouldn’t last out the day… (Polishes bar with vigour.) Sorry, I didn’t mean to…

Martin:             It’s okay, Brian, the subject isn’t off limits.

(Door opens (USR) and SIMON moves into the doorway. He calls to an unseen companion. MARTIN cranes his neck to try to see who SIMON is talking to.)

Simon:              (Loudly) White wine was it? Any preference or shall we try their Pinot Grigio? Okay, see you inside. (SIMON enters the bar and makes a beeline for MARTIN. MARTIN stands and turns to face his son. SIMON grips MARTIN in a bear hug.) Hi, Dad, lovely to see you.

Martin:             (MARTIN pats his son on the back with both hands.) Lovely to see you too Simon; it’s been too long.

(SIMON releases MARTIN from his grip and looks around the bar, his eyes settle on the table DSL.

Simon:              Shall we sit over there?

MARTIN picks up his glass and follows SIMON to the table. OLD MAN 1 and OLD MAN 2 whisper to each other as they watch MARTIN walk across the room. SIMON takes off his overcoat, folds it neatly and places it on a nearby stool.)

Simon:              Can I get you a refill?

(SIMON turns and heads towards the bar without waiting for an answer. MARTIN sits down and pushes his glass of coke to the centre of the table. MAGGIE enters, (USR,) walks across the room. She comes to a halt behind MARTIN.)

Maggie:            (Sarcastically.) Well, look what the cat dragged in.

Martin:             (Stands up and turns around in one movement, mouth agape.) Maggie, what are… why? I mean…

Maggie:            (Bites bottom lip.) I was just thinking exactly the same thing.

Martin:             (Flashes a glance at the bar.) Simon’s here.

Maggie:            I know… We came in together. Do you know him?

Martin:             You don’t mean you and him are…? Continue reading

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Clarissa Crumb, Changeling

Now that Halloween Hattie is in the latter stages of production I’ve begun to think about what, if anything, to do next. So I started looking in my abandoned project folder and found this. I started this almost two years ago now, it looks okay too. Some of you might remember it.

CLARISSA CRUMB

CHANGELING

Prologue

Do you believe in fairies? I don’t mean those itty-bitty things with tiny gossamer wings and sparkly wands that spend all their days sitting on toadstools looking cute. I mean proper fairies. The fairies that live in the forest, the fairies that can do real magic, like change themselves into a bird, a cat, or a hedgehog. The fairies that are able to disguise themselves as something innocent looking, like plant pots or buckets. The kind of fairy that doesn’t like humans much and disappear when we come clomping through the trees in our clompy boots. They probably don’t disappear to be honest; they probably just change themselves into a squirrel, or a nut, or something.

Proper fairies don’t use magic dust to sprinkle over things, they just think about what they want to do, and do it. They don’t live on a diet of berries and buttercup pollen either. They actually like carrots, peas and green beans, that sort of thing. They don’t like potatoes though, and they’re not too fond of Brussels Sprouts, so, if you ever come across a hungry fairy, don’t try to give it the sprouts you hid in your pocket at the Christmas dinner table, because they hate them just as much as you do and they’ll just throw them at you. You’ll find that fairies have a very good aim too.

I know that fairies like carrots because we had a fairy, plant pilferer in our garden and our vegetable crop was disappearing at an alarming rate. I stopped its night time nibbling when I ran strands of thin, copper wire over the rows of carrots, peas and lettuce. Fairies can’t do magic if there is copper about and we would probably have seen them if they had turned up disguised as themselves. So, we did have fresh carrots for dinner, for a while at least. Unfortunately, not long after the fairies left, a few rabbits began to visit, and they aren’t put off by copper wire. I reckon the fairies got their own back by telling the rabbits where they could find a free, night time feast.

Fairies are interesting creatures. They have their babies on the night of the changelings, which only happens once every nine years. Fairy mothers don’t make good parents. They are too busy looking after their patch of woodland to care for babies. Fairy fathers do look after children, but only when they get to nine years old. They have no idea how to change a baby’s nappy or play ring a roses with it and if you showed them a rattle they would probably think there should be a snake on the end of it, so they have developed a rather sneaky strategy. They get someone else to look after their babies for them.

On the night of the changelings, the fairy mothers kiss their babies goodbye and give them to a juvenile fairy, usually a female of about fourteen. Their job is to find a human house containing a new-ish human baby and swap it for the changeling. The human baby is taken back to the wood where it is wrapped in a warm blanket and placed inside a hollow tree. The fairy mothers cast a spell over it, and there is stays, fast asleep for nine years. The amazing thing is, it stays exactly the same. It doesn’t grow any bigger, it doesn’t wet its nappy, it doesn’t grow teeth and it doesn’t scream the house down at all hours of the day and night. It just lies there, fast asleep, until it’s time to take it back to its mother on the next night of the changelings.

The clever thing about a fairy baby is, as soon as is placed in the human baby’s cot, its features will change so that it looks exactly like the baby it has replaced. It will have the same colour hair, (if it has any,) the same colour eyes, it can wet its nappy to order and it grows a pair of lungs that could out-scream a banshee with a sore toe.

The fairy baby will grow up looking exactly like the human baby would have looked. It will go to school, it will make sandcastles at the beach, it will smile a smile so cute that its foster grandmother will boast about it to anyone willing to listen. The changelings look, and act, so much like normal human children that no relative could ever tell that they had one lurking in their playpen. The changelings don’t know who they are either. You could be one yourself. You wouldn’t have any idea until you began to change, then you’d know all about it.

Your mum and dad won’t know they have been tricked either, until you reach nine years old that is, then very strange things begin to happen.

On the stroke of midnight on your ninth birthday you will begin to change. Your nose will get a bit pointier, your chin will stick out just that little bit more, your hair will begin to turn silver and you will begin to shrink. (Fairies only grow to be about three feet ten inches tal and you are probably taller than that already.) By the time the sun comes up you will have gained a little magic power but not enough to do much damage with, and it will be time for you to make your way back home to the forest.

This all sounds rather easy, but it isn’t, because as soon as the changelings begin to change, they become a target for the Hags.

‘What on earth is a Hag?’ I hear you ask. Well, if you’ll sit still for a few more minutes, I’ll tell you.

Hags are old witches, sort of. They are certainly old, a lot older and a lot wrinklier than your granny, even if your granny is really old and really wrinkly. They don’t all look old though, and that’s because some of them managed to catch a fairy on the previous night of the changelings. If you’re a little sensitive you might want to put your hands over your eyes at this point because what I’m going to say next isn’t very nice.

If a Hag is lucky enough to capture you she will put you in her big black pot with lots of vegetables and the odd spider or mouse. She will boil you for a couple of hours until you turn into soup. She will ladle the soup into a large bowl and dribble some slobber into it from her drooling mouth. Some Hags will add a bit of salt and pepper to you and spread a slice of bread and butter, but the majority of them will hold the hot bowl to their black-toothed mouths and slurp you straight down. Once they have eaten the soup they immediately begin to look, and feel, young again. The makeover will last for eighteen years, that’s two changeling cycles. If they don’t manage to catch a changeling on the second cycle, the Hag will revert to looking as old as she really is, and seeing as some of them are about two hundred years old…well, that’s a lot of wrinkles.

A Hag who caught a changeling on the previous cycle, won’t bother to chase them on the next one, it could be quite dangerous. For instance, if they were silly enough to eat fairy soup when they didn’t need it, they could end up even older than they really are, and when they are already two hundred years old, that wouldn’t be a good look. The only cure for this condition is to empty out their cauldron of the changeling soup they just sampled and catch themselves a fresh one. That wouldn’t be easy though, not when they’re two hundred years old and about to turn to dust. So you see, Hags don’t have it easy either. The big problem is, changelings are very moreish and therefore very tempting, so Hags have to be extremely disciplined or their next changeling might be their last.

If you are a changeling you might find this story useful, one day. Then again, if you are a changeling, then it obviously isn’t your ninth birthday today. If it was, you wouldn’t be wasting precious time reading this. You’d be running for your life through the forest, with a hundred Hags in hot pursuit.

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Another snippet from Magic Molly; Halloween Hattie

Excerpt from Magic Molly, Halloween Hattie.
The yew was situated in the older part of the graveyard sitting in an area of close cropped grass. A bench seat had been placed underneath. The yew was surrounded by creepy-looking granite crypts, some built like little Greek temples, others like stone sheds. Some had low, stone, boundary walls around them, while others had railings across the entrance. One had a set of broken steps leading down to a weather-beaten wooden door that hung precariously on its one remaining hinge. Moonlight filtered down through the branches of the yew, bathing the entrance to the crypt in a murky light. Molly shivered as the grey, thickening mist crept between the marble statues that stood like lonely soldiers guarding the entrance to the tombs. She tried not to think about what they were guarding and sat on the bench to drink some of the hot soup from her flask.

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A Friday Flash short. Goodbye Melissa

An old story but a new entry for Friday Flash

Goodbye Melissa

Harris sat hunched over the table, his damp grey hair sticking to his forehead. It was hot in the room; it had been a hot summer.
A single tear meandered down his cheek, he wiped it away with the back of his hand, winced, then cursed his injured knee as he forced himself out of the chair and made his painful way across the timbered floor, to the fridge.
Gritting his teeth he pulled out a cold beer and rolled the bottle up his bare arm to test the temperature. Satisfied, he removed the cap and wandered through the open door to the veranda. He sipped slowly at the beer, deep in thought. He was aroused by the sound of a car driving across gravel; a voice came from the darkness.

‘Is there one of those things going spare?’

‘Drinking and driving? and you a police officer; what sort of example is that Steve?’ Harris went back to the fridge, pulled out a beer and handed it to the uniformed officer.

Steve drank half in one pull, then wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. ‘So, is the deed done?’

‘Yes, it’s done, I killed her, no going back this time,’ Harris replied quietly.

Steve fanned himself with his hat. ‘She had it coming.’

‘I know, Steve, but it was hard to let go.’

The policeman patted Harris on the shoulder, finished his beer and walked through to the kitchen to get another. He picked up two, flipped the tops and walked back to the veranda, placed a bottle at his friend’s feet and sat on the top step.  ‘I have to ask this, how did you do it?’

‘I gave her a heroin overdose, her drug of choice. She died with a smile; I think she was ready for the release.’

The officer, sat quietly for a while, then shook his head. ‘Hell of a way for a young girl to die, how old was she? Twenty-two, Twenty-three?’

‘Twenty-three, though she looked forty in the end.’

‘That’s what happens when you get mixed up with drugs.’ Harris placed the empty bottle at his feet and picked up the refill.  ‘Where did you put the body? I have to know.’

Harris was reluctant.

‘Come on man, I know everything else, what’s the point in holding back now?’

Harris sighed. ‘She’s in the woods, not far from the cabin…’

Steve walked over to his friend and squatted in front of the distraught man. ‘You did the right thing. It was over; there was no future for her. It’s time to move on.’

Harris nodded. ‘I know, I know. It’s just so… so final.’

The cop stood, thought about more beer but decided against it. ‘Better get this over with.’

Harris walked back to his desk, picked up two large manila envelopes from the table and handed them reluctantly to the policeman. ‘It’s all there, my dastardly confession, every detail, typed double spaced, two copies; signed.’

Steve smiled. ‘Thanks for the spare copy, I’m really looking forward to reading it. I’ll make sure the other one gets to the post office first thing tomorrow. Secure post to the publisher. Have you decided on a new character for the next book yet?’

Harris nodded. ‘The next book will be about a cop, a cop who is out to destroy the filth that corrupts the innocent.’

He waited until he heard the car drive off. Then he fired up the computer. Within five minutes he was deep into the second paragraph. He hit the keys hard as he typed, this one was for Melissa.

 

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