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Happy Families   -By Adam Wilby From his vantage point near the top of the Skyway bridge Edward Chandler looked upon the streets of Matracea. He had never visited this part of the city before but could see how it had earned its nickname as the Ant Colony. More people than he cared to try and count swarmed up the narrow road which ran parallel with the Skyway before branching off into any number of side streets. Somewhere ahead Edward was just about able to make...
Cordelia’s Lament – By Adam Wilby Cordelia moved across to the mirror and silently gazed through it. On the other side the man approached and set a cardboard box down on the floor. Looking up his breath settled on the glass as his attention focussed on the dresser in front of him. Reaching out her hand Cordelia traced a finger in the resulting condensation. The message spoke but one word, “Remember”. For a moment she thought the man had seen as his teeth lightly bit on...
The Power of the Demented... by Carter Ossman A King now dead A city once ever so jubilant corroded Buildings with beautiful decorations now covered with thick, sickening black vines People once pleasant and gracious to each other now just rotted corpses skeletons The survivors blend in All hail the...
Christmas Requiem – By Adam Wilby CHAPTER ONE Even as his consciousness returned and he started to open his eyes Seamus grimaced as the familiar pain of the previous evening’s alcohol shot through his head. Squinting against the glare of the sun as it streamed through the window he turned over and his heart sank upon seeing the bars of the prison cell. On the far side of the bars a policeman glanced up from his chair as Seamus slowly made his way to his feet....
The First Time – By Adam Wilby The girl barely raised her head as he entered the room and he paused in the doorway as he looked at her, for her own part she was seemingly content to stare shyly at the floor. Her long brown hair covered part of her face before draping over the shoulder straps of the black dress she wore. He crossed over and placed a hand on each arm, noting the barely concealed tremble as he did so. Reaching up he brushed...
The Crypt – By Adam Wilby Kayleigh was pissed off, there was less than two hours to go before the stroke of midnight and she hadn’t received so much as a birthday card from any of her friends. Pausing for a moment at the entrance to the churchyard which she regularly used as a shortcut on her way home, she glanced upward. The last vestige of the sun was barely visible on the horizon, the rays of which appeared to cover the sky like a red...
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recent from Challenges Book of the Year for Writers – The 3AM Epiphany
  There is a man out there, a man I have never met, named Brian Kiteley. He happens to direct the creative writing program at the University of Denver, where the aspiring writer can go to receive the rarely offered PhD in creative writing. Amongst his many other accomplishments, he has written two very inspiring books for the writing student at home. If I were to seriously do each of the exercises in the book, The 3AM Epiphany, I would probably deserve a degree. Well, it would be nice to get some feedback on it, though! I have done some of the exercises in this book, and plan on posting them periodically. The goal: to do them all! Once finished, however, I won’t be done… as he has faithfully provided another book full of exercises: The 4AM Breakthrough. These exercises have it all: An explanation behind the theory of the exercise. In other words: Why do it? Clearly defined word limit Clear instructions with just enough boundary to make me want to push the envelope of creativity. Shall we have a turn with the exercises? Let’s pray to the sleeping baby Muse: Exercises coming...
recent from Books Book of the Year for Writers – The 3AM Epiphany
  There is a man out there, a man I have never met, named Brian Kiteley. He happens to direct the creative writing program at the University of Denver, where the aspiring writer can go to receive the rarely offered PhD in creative writing. Amongst his many other accomplishments, he has written two very inspiring books for the writing student at home. If I were to seriously do each of the exercises in the book, The 3AM Epiphany, I would probably deserve a degree. Well, it would be nice to get some feedback on it, though! I have done some of the exercises in this book, and plan on posting them periodically. The goal: to do them all! Once finished, however, I won’t be done… as he has faithfully provided another book full of exercises: The 4AM Breakthrough. These exercises have it all: An explanation behind the theory of the exercise. In other words: Why do it? Clearly defined word limit Clear instructions with just enough boundary to make me want to push the envelope of creativity. Shall we have a turn with the exercises? Let’s pray to the sleeping baby Muse: Exercises coming...
recent from Art Sacrilege
I can’t help but post this. I’ll probably burn for it… and for a long time, too, considering how much I enjoy looking at...
recent from My Projects Parataxis (First Exercise of the 4 AM Breakthrough)
Parataxis   You can’t.   Mom.   Really.   He’ll do it again.   He’s a bastard. A real A-Hole!   Seriously.   Mom.   What are you thinking?   Re-Marriage? Next Saturday? That’s ridiculous.   Don’t you listen?   Didn’t you see the porn in his closet? Buried in the back of his desk? In the garage?   In MY closet? And Lisa’s?   He’s scum, Mom. Scum.   You’re not listening.   Well, I didn’t think I’d have to go there. But now I do.   Follow me. Look here. Look in this box. Wait for me to unlock it.   You see those? Those are Ben Wa Balls. Not marbles, Mom. You don’t know what those are? Of course not.   Another reason NOT TO MARRY HIM. Again. Christ.   You stick them in your Vagina. Yes. Supposed to strengthen it. Make sex better.   Probably just for the guy.   You know who gave those to me?   Dad. Yes, Dad.   I don’t know why!   No, I haven’t used them.   The point is he gave them to me. Lisa got a pair, too. Ask her.   But you have to believe me. I wouldn’t lie to you. You don’t want a man like that.   I don’t care about your religion. I don’t care about the cost of an annulment. I don’t care that you don’t want to be alone.   He’s going to give you a disease. He’s unfaithful.   I’m sorry that it’s hard to believe.   Oh yes, it happened. Look at these. Yes, he gave me those, too. They look like gay magazines. Girls don’t really want to look at pictures of muscle-bound men masturbating with each other, do they? I think girls would rather look at Playboy.   And look at these. Yes, they are graphic sex...

The Penrath Chronicles : Blackest of Hearts

Spurred on from the moment she’d felt her father’s essence weakening Kendra had left the kitchen and was halfway down the hall before the coffee cup hit the floor and shattered. Kendra was halfway down the hall. The sensation of his fading image and a sense of dread being forced into her mind was one she’d only experienced once before. It lent speed to her movements and as quickly as she could she passed through the front door and down the drive dragging the car keys from her handbag as she went. With a snap of her fingers she unlocked the central locking and threw open the door before hurling herself into the driver’s seat in a single movement.   Even before the key was in the ignition she’d started to connect with the source of her father’s essence and from the moment the car headed toward the road at the end of the drive had concentrated on its source. Allowing it to guide her she drove as quickly as she dared ignoring the occasional blast of car horn from behind her as the panic she felt motivated her to take certain liberties where road safety was concerned. Fifteen minutes later the sense of dread she’d felt only increased when the hospital swung into view and she felt herself being drawn toward it. Less than a minute later she parked in the first empty space she found within the car park and disregarded the pay and display meter she raced straight through into the main entrance of the hospital. Taking a moment to stamp her feet to drive the snow from her shoes she then strode over to the reception and all but elbowed the woman standing there aside, “I’m looking for Arthur Weyland,” she said, “I understand he was brought here”. The young nurse on the other side of the desk checked the computer in front of her, “Are you a relative?” she asked. “I’m Kendra, his daughter”. By the look of her the nurse had probably only started work there a matter of weeks ago and had from the time Kendra had arrived in front of her had looked intimidated by her aggressive demeanour, “He’s been taken up to surgery,” she said. Kendra had become more than familiar...

A Ghost of Eurydice

by Adam Wilby James watched as the last of the group departed from his pub, the door closing behind them almost in time with Kirsty McColl as she exchanged reminiscences with Shane MacGowan of the Pogues. Now that they were gone the bar was now empty and he wished them a safe trip home. The wind could clearly be heard blowing a storm outside and there would no doubt be tidying up to be done tomorrow. A fresh torrent of rain lashed against the windows and as he took a moment to look round at the Christmas decorations, in less than a week they would all be boxed up and back upstairs in the cupboard, all the better for them to be out of sight and out of mind in his opinion, he only put them up because it was expected for him to do so. A new song started playing on the jukebox and he checked his watch. A quarter past two in the afternoon and given that it was Christmas Day there were unlikely to be any more customers. The rest of day could now be his to kick off his shoes and sit upstairs with his feet up. There would no doubt be the usual feel-good Christmas TV on, inclusive of a token film in the vein of It’s a Wonderful Life, intermingled with a fair dose of TV drama. As he walked the length of the bar he reached out without needing to look and stroked a finger across her photograph which had long been positioned in the same place on the wall. Tomorrow it would be three years to the day since she’d been gone and he’d unquestionably feel the same sense of shame he always did, perhaps this year the conversations he’d have with customers would be enough of a distraction. If not then perhaps this would be the year he’d take the medication he had stashed at the back of the bathroom cabinet. He’d almost reached the door in order to lock up when it was pushed open. The man who entered had to bow his head in order to enter and James took a step back as he looked upon his face. Clearly over six and a half feet tall he...

Parataxis (First Exercise of the 4 AM Breakthrough)

Parataxis   You can’t.   Mom.   Really.   He’ll do it again.   He’s a bastard. A real A-Hole!   Seriously.   Mom.   What are you thinking?   Re-Marriage? Next Saturday? That’s ridiculous.   Don’t you listen?   Didn’t you see the porn in his closet? Buried in the back of his desk? In the garage?   In MY closet? And Lisa’s?   He’s scum, Mom. Scum.   You’re not listening.   Well, I didn’t think I’d have to go there. But now I do.   Follow me. Look here. Look in this box. Wait for me to unlock it.   You see those? Those are Ben Wa Balls. Not marbles, Mom. You don’t know what those are? Of course not.   Another reason NOT TO MARRY HIM. Again. Christ.   You stick them in your Vagina. Yes. Supposed to strengthen it. Make sex better.   Probably just for the guy.   You know who gave those to me?   Dad. Yes, Dad.   I don’t know why!   No, I haven’t used them.   The point is he gave them to me. Lisa got a pair, too. Ask her.   But you have to believe me. I wouldn’t lie to you. You don’t want a man like that.   I don’t care about your religion. I don’t care about the cost of an annulment. I don’t care that you don’t want to be alone.   He’s going to give you a disease. He’s unfaithful.   I’m sorry that it’s hard to believe.   Oh yes, it happened. Look at these. Yes, he gave me those, too. They look like gay magazines. Girls don’t really want to look at pictures of muscle-bound men masturbating with each other, do they? I think girls would rather look at Playboy.   And look at these. Yes, they are graphic sex novels.   And here’s a tape he gave me. Backside to the Future. He used to put it on after you went to work. In the summer.   He’d ask if he could masturbate in front of me.   What else could I say?   He told me that it was for educational purposes. He made it seem normal. Matter of fact. Nothing out of the usual.   It ruined...

Book of the Year for Writers – The 3AM Epiphany

  There is a man out there, a man I have never met, named Brian Kiteley. He happens to direct the creative writing program at the University of Denver, where the aspiring writer can go to receive the rarely offered PhD in creative writing. Amongst his many other accomplishments, he has written two very inspiring books for the writing student at home. If I were to seriously do each of the exercises in the book, The 3AM Epiphany, I would probably deserve a degree. Well, it would be nice to get some feedback on it, though! I have done some of the exercises in this book, and plan on posting them periodically. The goal: to do them all! Once finished, however, I won’t be done… as he has faithfully provided another book full of exercises: The 4AM Breakthrough. These exercises have it all: An explanation behind the theory of the exercise. In other words: Why do it? Clearly defined word limit Clear instructions with just enough boundary to make me want to push the envelope of creativity. Shall we have a turn with the exercises? Let’s pray to the sleeping baby Muse: Exercises coming...

Dusty ole Doll

Found this dusty little doll up in the attic, and remembered. Stories! Found them all crumpled, deteriorated, half moth-eaten, the fluff of her soul. “Let’s start this again,” she whispered, her voice tart and moldy. I liked her. “Sure, why not?” I embraced her. And then a silly thing. A weird thing. Unreal. It happened. Perhaps she simply disintegrated in my grasp, but I could swear – I still feel the itch – that she diffused into my skin. I feel different now. Confident. Inspired. (Hell, I look different, too (see above)) Or maybe that’s just the irradiated half-caff, half-nuked, pure toxic get-up-and-go drink festering in my gut. Whether or what, there’s gonna be some changes going on around this old joint. 1. I declare myself the dictator of my own realm. Muah ha ha haaaaaa 2. I declare a thumb war! 3. I do declare that I will post more often. Creatively. (Or not) 4. And I will try not to...

Happy Families

  -By Adam Wilby From his vantage point near the top of the Skyway bridge Edward Chandler looked upon the streets of Matracea. He had never visited this part of the city before but could see how it had earned its nickname as the Ant Colony. More people than he cared to try and count swarmed up the narrow road which ran parallel with the Skyway before branching off into any number of side streets. Somewhere ahead Edward was just about able to make out the beginnings of a square which seemed to be where most of the people below were headed. According to the directions he had been given this was also his destination and he saw little point in hanging about. Walking slowly down the stone staircase Edward analysed the speed and depth of the crowd as he went. The sheer numbers meant that was no-one was able to move at an especially quick pace but they also meant there was a lot of jostling going on and he instinctively rested his hand upon on his money belt even as he stepped out into them. Electing to keep fairly close to the buildings on the near side of the street as he headed for the square that he’d seen earlier Edward quickly discovered that there was nowhere on the street that allowed for respite from being driven along by the crowds. It occurred to him that it was lucky that his wife Mary had not accompanied him here today as it would have been seconds before the claustrophobia she had carried ever since she was child got the best of her in such an environment as this. The moment he reached the square Edward felt able to relax as it was sizeable enough to allow the crowd to spread out. Taking a few moments to look around he saw market stalls positioned almost end to end along the outer edges of the square. Turning his attention to those nearest it seemed that they sold every kind of technological item imaginable and if Edward was to be honest most of them he hadn’t even heard of. One of the nearby traders caught his eye and Edward stepped backward even as he moved toward him with object in hand....

Cordelia’s Lament

– By Adam Wilby Cordelia moved across to the mirror and silently gazed through it. On the other side the man approached and set a cardboard box down on the floor. Looking up his breath settled on the glass as his attention focussed on the dresser in front of him. Reaching out her hand Cordelia traced a finger in the resulting condensation. The message spoke but one word, “Remember”. For a moment she thought the man had seen as his teeth lightly bit on his lower lip as he had always done when he witnessed something unexpected. Cordelia’s hopes were dashed as he took hold of a framed photograph which rested near the edge of the dresser. Even without seeing it Cordelia knew what it depicted. Two years ago the two of them had taken a trip to Devon and had stumbled upon Saunton Sands beach more by accident than design. The month of June had been upon them and the summer sun had brought out the surfing community out in force; one of whom had been nice enough to take their photo. Cordelia turned her fingernails into the palm of her hand and exerted pressure to the point where it almost hurt. Watching as the photo was consigned to the cardboard box she looked on as memories of her previous life followed. As they did so her mind went back to the events of six months ago. It all seemed so silly now. A handful of words hastily spoken and she’d stormed from the house in anger; without slowing down she’d crossed the road without looking and had only been dimly aware of the sound of screeching brakes. Afterward Cordelia could have realistically have gone anywhere but with no real family in the world she’d felt her choices were limited. In the movies there always seemed to be a way for a ghost to communicate with those who still living but in reality she soon discovered that despite her best efforts it wasn’t so simple. Cordelia’s mind was returned to the present by the motion of the man lifting the box and turning to leave the room. As he did so Cordelia’s lips formed the words, “Remember me,” and the sound was barely more audible than a whisper....

Stephen King – Under The Dome

-by Adam Wilby Just over a week ago this was placed in my hand by a work colleague following a conversation about Stephen King. My initial comment was something along the lines of “This isn’t a book, it’s a doorstop”, an observation based on it being 880 pages long. The setting for this story is the fictional town of Chester’s Mill which, like other stories Stephen King has written, is located in Maine. Consisting of a population of approximately 2500 people they are all going about their everyday lives when a ‘forcefield’ suddenly comes down and cuts them off from the outside world. For anyone who has read Lord of the Flies they might recognise the similar themes of sides being taken which, at a fundamental level, is essentially good vs evil. The protagonist is Dale Barbara, a former Iraq War veteran who quickly finds himself at odds with politician Jim Rennie over the latter’s intention to use what has happened for his own ends. At times the ‘Dome’ as it eventually becomes known is forgotten in the midst of the ongoing power struggle which, it could be argued, are lacking in the ‘shades of grey’ which so often make up human nature. On the plus side though Stephen King has not neglected to mention the outside world which begins with the efforts of US Military to analyse and break the dome and later deals with re-uniting relatives as far as they are able to do so. This is about as much as I can say without giving away too many spoilers so shall stop here, my final words on the subject shall be : Yes it is a long book but Stephen King has written it in such a way to make this interesting from start to finish. Buy a copy and read, I promise you won’t regret...

Book Review – Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

-By Adam Wilby I’ve read a number of autobiographies in my life but this is the first I’ve ever read which has made me laugh and made me want to cry in equal measures. Predominately set against the backdrop of Limerick in Republic of Ireland after Frank McCourt’s buck the trend of Irish immigrants settling in America by returning there and experiencing the grim poverty of the 1930’s and 1940’s. In writing this book Frank McCourt manages to pull off the near-impossible and find humour in a life which saw his alcoholic father regularly spend all his money down the pub thereby forcing the rest of the family to beg, borrow and steal in order to survive. As this is predominately Frank’s story he does focus on his siblings but the reader can clearly see how his life experiences shape him as a person and ultimately lead to him returning to America as a nineteen year old in a potential cliched bid to seek his fortune. All in all, a throughly good...

The Power of the Demented

by Carter Ossman A King now dead A city once ever so jubilant corroded Buildings with beautiful decorations now covered with thick, sickening black vines People once pleasant and gracious to each other now just rotted corpses skeletons The survivors blend in All hail the...