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Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Lidless eyes

Lidless eyes

Mary puts her dusty trophies in to a box with all the other stuff that had been pushed to the back of her shelves. She looks round her bare pink room which hadn't been painted since before she had won those trophies in the under twelve gymnastics championship. the door bell rings Mary walks out of her room and in to the living room where her dad and sister are arguing “I'll get that then” Mary opens the door “hay Liz come through” Elizabeth comes in to the flat “ your not shaving your head” Mary's dad and sister don't same to even notice Mary and Elizabeth “ you don't stop me shaving everything else” “I don't want to know what you shave” “good”  she grab her transparent handbag from the sofa and storms out of the flat. Mary and Elizabeth disappear into Mary's room and reappear holding a box each . “I'm off to my new place dad I'll be back after work to pick up the rest of my stuff” “ok I'll see you later”

The double decker bus stops and Mary and Elizabeth struggle down the stares and off the bus with the cardboard boxes. they walk through The Old Pond Estate to the last building. The lobby of Blind Man's House was painted an off white but most of the paint had flaked off or had been painted over with graffiti. The girls start walking up the stares to Mary's new bed-sit on the 50th floor. The door swings opens and the girls enter and drop the boxes Elizabeth looks at her watch “is that the time we need to be leaving for work” “we've only just got here” “well the it took us three quarters of a hour to get up the stares”

Mary and Elizabeth arrive at work 10 minutes late “were have you been” Berty the owner was behind the counter and a very large queue for the time of day  “bus was late” Elizabeth said “what's wrong had to do some work for a change” Mary added “you don't buy a dog then bark your-self” “are you calling us dogs?” “just get to work and I need one of you to stay later were still short staffed and Rosey just called in sick” the girls put on their aprons and start serving quickly clearing the queue. Mary shift passed slow and her lunch break which she used to unsuccessfully shop for some curtains passed too quick.

“oh love spare some change” a man with dirty blond hair and a matching dog approached Mary as soon as she got off the buswith a box of here stuff “sorry no”  “you just moved in round here?”   “just got the keys today” Mary replied “well I should show you round, fill you in on all the gossip I'm Kip by the way” Kip held out his hand Mary's hands were full and she was glad of this fact because Kip's finger were covered in blood  probably from scratching his left eye which was swollen  and dripping a translucent yellow liquid. Kip lowers his hand. Mary start walking and kip walks along side her at her hurried pace  “all these shops are empty a part from that one” he points at a shop with his blood stained finger. “ it's a human rights group in that one spend all there time standing on street corners complaining about those things” he swings his arm round to a CCTV camera that was following them down the street with a quiet hum . Mary felt a little relived at the site. The two kept walking kip tryed to be informative but there wasn't much to tell Mary about. a suicide where some girl had thrown her self off on of the building, some police raids mostly on the home of members of the human rights group and a guy who went missing, they get to the entrance to Mary's building Kip and the dog follow through the door and walk along side her up the stares “he was one of them human right nutters too.” Kip said picking at a scab near his eye. Mary could no longer here the hum of the CCTV camera she hope this junky wasn't going to follow her all the way to her door “sorry who was” the guy who went missing, soon after that bomb it was I don't think that's a coincidence” they reach floor 50. “this is my floor” Mary opened the fire door and Kip said buy and continued up the stares. As Mary walks down the long corridor she keeps looking over her shoulder to make shore Kip wasn't following her.

Mary lays in bed having only unpacked her bedding so she could sleep her alarm clock so she could get up and her kettle so she could have a “Instant porridge pot” for breakfast. She looks at her alarm clock the glowing green digits informed her its 1:75 in the morning but the light was already filling the room. Then she herd a humming turning to the window she sees a CCTV camera facing in drop out of  view. Mary flings the covers off and peers out the window the camera was no were to be seen. Mary goes back to bed and tries to forget it.

Elizabeth walks up to Mary's door drops two large plastic plant pots one inside the other and knocks on Mary's door. Mary opens the door dressed in just a extra large t-shirt. “you only just got up” Mary looks over to her clock which was claiming it was 1:63 am “we must have had a power cut, come in” Mary took two steps from her front door and was in the kitchen area. She fills the kettle up and plugs it in. once it has boiled Mary pours the water into the “Instant porridge pot” Mary stirs the grayish slush “so where do we start” Mary put a spoon full of the slush in to her mouth and swallows “Well we need to get the pots filled up first” Mary puts Down the porridge pot and fishes into her jacket pocket which is hanging on the back of the door “what with” she takes out a hand full of sugar packets and starts poring them in to her porridge “ well rotted bird shit”

when they got to the roof Mary didn't need her key the door was already open. Mary and Elizabeth walk out on to the roof covered with solar panels and pigeons. The nearest solar panel was smashed and a woman was sweeping up broken glass and used syringes with a dust pan and brush. “Doing some planting?” asks the woman seeing the plastic plant pot “yeah I've just moved in i need to get growing before I spend the larst of my money on food” “we have free food at our meetings if your interested” she pulls a small pile of flyers and hands them one each “am Danika I started the grope with my friends Gilda & Arthur” her voice trails off a little. Am Mary and this is liz” Danika tips the broken glass into tin bin than shakes their hands. “well I hope to see you at our meting” she picks up the bin and makes for the door  “can you make shore you shut this door when you finish a junky got out here last night and tripped the power” then Danika disappears down the stares. Mary and Elizabeth start shoveling the bird droppings into the plant pots .

Mary steps out of the shower and grabs a towel and raps it round herself. She opens the bathroom door and the camera was back outside the window pointing straight at her. It hung in air for a moment then turned and quickly went on its way. Mary decided to get dressed in the bathroom. once dressed she grabs her bag and heads out for her free meal. Outside a number of people was hanging around chatting outside the shop Kip had pointed out to her yesterday. Mary felt a little guilty because they all had trays of food and she was empty handed. Another thing that maed her feel uncomfortable was they were all dressed in baggy trousers or long skirts and hooded ponchos all in earthy colors were as she had on a yellow hi-viz pleated skirt with litalle flowers embroidered on it and a matching top

when she picked out what to ware she thought she was dressing down the skirt was almost down to her knee and she was showing hardy any cleavage at all. “hay your not going in there are you” Kip had come up behind her “free food is free food” “no free food is just a way of getting you through the door so they can play with your brain” Kip scratches his bad eye “I'm new here I need to start making friends” she walks off  kip call after her “I'm your friend”

she walks In to the old shop, people are stood round in small groups. Mary stands to one side behind her was a table with food on most of it in airtight tubs. Danika comes out of a door at the back of the shop and claps loudly “lets get started” everyone sits down cross legged in a large circle Mary joins them but chooses to nil. The meting wasn't very interesting but after Danika had finished everyone helped themselves to food and sat around in groups eating and chatting. Danika sat down with Mary “good to see you came what did you think of the meting?” Mary unsure how to answer simply said “ it was interesting” “ your right it was dull I just can't holed peoples attention like Arthur” “who's Arthur” “he set up the group with me and Gilda” “so where are they” asks Mary “ we got a dvd in the post and it seemed to show Arthur planting a bomb out side the Effecter building but he was with me and Gilda Arthur went missing soon after. Then Gilda jumped off the roof I miss them both so much” “any idea where Arthur would go” “ Chagos Archipelago, Ascension, Saint Helena, Gough island, any where he can go with out needing a lot of paperwork ”

the shop slowly emptied as the food run out. When the Mary and Danika was the only people in the shop they headed out. As Danika locks up the shop a camera floats over and follows them across the estate. “do you fancy a ice cream” Mary asks seeing a ice cream van parked on the end of blind man's lane

Mike sits in the ice cream van reading “Mr Baker's golden brown adventure” which Robin had left in the van. Mary and Danika appear at the window “two 99s please” Mike starts making the first ice cream “ are the cameras here always so intrusive” Mary said looking at the camera” it's a very intrusive technology” “ but looking in peoples windows is just bit too creepy” “looking in peoples windows ?” asked Mike handing over a ice cream “twice I've had one looking through my window” “do you use alibi?” “No I don't have a computer yet I shared with my dad and sister until i moved out” Mike hands over the second ice cream “ hold on” he ducks down Danika and Mary exchange looks as Mike bangs about in the van. He reappears with a laptop in his hand. “ I think this one is working now” “I can't afford that I only just scraped a deposit together for the bed sit I can barely afford the ice creams” “who said anything about paying”  “ so your giving it to me?”  “Yeah I don't sell any computer me and my brother are rag and bone men...and ice cream men” he added unnecessarily “we sell on what we can apart from the computers which I fix up and give to those who need them. Everyone to needs be able to see what the watchers are watching.” “wow thanks” as Mary said this Kip comes up behind her and Danika and put his arm round Mary “hay do you want to go for a picnic in the woods” Mary removed his arm from her shoulder” Danika chipped in “there are no woods we cut them all down” “oh so where do them little people with the wings live now” kip's good eye was dilated and his voice calmer than usual so Mary and Danika ignores him “ thanks again for the computer” Mary pays for the ice cream and she heads off with Danika followed by the camera

“ do you want me to put some antiseptic on that eye”  “fairy or is it Pixies” "get in here" said Mike opening the back of the van Mike know from experience that the affects of the Uv42 will ware off in ten minutes or so. “I'm guessing you didn't get that done on the GHS” Kip didn't reply as he climbed into the van” Mike moved his laptop which was recording the feed from the nearest camera as it moved up the building watching Mary and Danika through the stairwell windows off the passenger seat and on to the freezer “ sit down”

when Mary opens her door the camera was already out side her window Mary and Danika sit down on the bed with there backs to the window “ i'll show you that dvd" Mary didn't really want to watch the dvd but talking about  Arthur seemed to make Danika happy. She takes a the disc out of her bag and puts it in Mary's new laptop.  on the screen Protesters march up and down slowly the protesters drift away as the sunlight fades a man walks on to the screen and stops by the bin  “is that Arthur” “yes I think it was cut from a protest a month or so before” “I think i've seen him” “Do you know were he is!” “ I know someone who might he was with Phil”

on the screen Arthur takes something out of his bag and puts it In the bin then walk off in the direction he come from five minutes later the bin explodes”

Monday, 21 March 2011

mum run

Blodwen sits on her motorcycle outside the hospital and drinks black coffee out of  a thermos. She hated her coffee black but needs to conserve her soya milk ration. Her eyes idly moves round her surroundings a crane lifts a large still beam into it's place as part of the new Neptunian library which is being built opposite the hospital with a large sculptor of a Venus figure sunk into the ground in between them

Grunt staggers around before sitting down with a bump. He tilts his head back and looked up. charles grey stands over him a top the monument high above him “How do you do” slurred Grunt the statue doesn't reply. he falls back into the snow and in seconds starts to snore.

“Grunt wake up” he opens his eyes “Grot is that you” Grot a skinny man with a crooked nose from being punched in the face on more than one occasion pulls Grunt up“yes it's me lets get you back to my office, hay that tattoos new” Grot takes Grunt down some steps and on to a train to Sunderland.

In the hospital canteen Blodwen Cues behind three heavily pregnant women waiting to be served by the not so pregnant woman behind the counter. She knows them all by name and there due dates she was even at the scans of the three heavily pregnant women. One of these women will be the first to give birth on Neptune and it's Blodwes job to make shore everyone is kept up to date. Blodwen is the owner, editor and sole reporter of the only newspaper on Neptune. The three women walk off with plastic trays full of food. “just a minute Blodwen I need to take the weight off my feet Before they brake for lunch over the way.” “take your time Judy I'm in no rush” Judy leans against a tall wooden stall not having the energy to lift her self on to it “so it's zero hour tomorrow” “so the doctors think. I'm going to start camping out here  so I don't miss any thing” Judy  returns to the counter “what you having” “the lasagna look good” Judy cuts a slice of vegetable lasagna and slides it on to a plate “ there's a bit extra for you there, your all skin and bones love” “thanks” Blodwen hands Judy a crumpled note and her ration book.

Grot carries a coffee over to Grunt who is slumped on Grot's warn fake leather sofa “here drink this lots of cream lots of sugar just how you like it, except no vodka” Grunt takes the mug and gulps down the hot brown liquid. “so how long had you been in Newcastle for” “since Boxing day I woke up on the underground” “so you were drunk before you got up here” Grunt shook his head painfully “no someone hit me from behind. I knew I shouldn't of taken that job but I needed the money. They don't deserve to be hunted down like dogs there just trying to live there lives” he fills his old friend in on what happened  Christmas day and his financial problems. “will if you need money do a mum run or two so you can at least pay your rent” “you know I don't do mum runs”

when a woman has a baby without a license someone needs to do time this is usually the baby's father but if the mother is unwilling to name the father she must report to a police station on the child's 18th birthday to be sent to a penal colony. Most don't turn up and a bounty is put on there head.

Blodwen wonders round the sculptor in front of the hospital and looks down at the figure's round belly. The lights on the glass sky (high) above her head grow to there day time brightness. She Continues wondering round kicking her feet. Judy walks round the corner says hi and disappears into the hospital. Blodwen heads for the hospital door. she smiles at the pregnant receptionist and walks in to the canteen. Judy was perch against her stall resting after her journey to work. “so no action last night then” Judy switches on the coffee machine her stall having been positioned to allow her to make tea and coffee without needing to hold her self up. “Nope” Judy hand Blodwen a coffee

Grunt sits at Grot's desk munching on some toast and clicking on Grot's computer through a list of wanted individuals. He moves the mouse over a name Carys jones and clicks. Grot comes out of his store room that doubles as his bed room and switches on the TV.on the bottom third of the screen banner appearers with the headline Mars terraformed. On the top tow third shakey fotige of a liever oozing out of the top of a red volcano. “what this” grunt looks up from the computer at the TV. it cuts to the news reporters behind a desk “for those who a just joining us we a waking up to the news that the UN have started the terraforming of Mars we haven't got a lot of detail there is expected to be press conference later today but they have released this footage ”the footage of the volcano starts again. “this eruption was triggered by a asteroid demolition warhead detonated under Alba mon”grunt and grot watch the news report in amazement and after the news readers runs through the other head lines they watch the report again. after watching the report tow more times and a some interview with experts who didn't know anything grunt downloads Carys details to his click board.

The canteen was full of men eating there breakfast before starting work on the library Blodwen decides to leave before any of the workers come on to her. she gets on her motorcycle rides off in the direction of janus square. She didn't wont to be away long but there no point missing a story because your sitting around waiting for a sprog to drop. She stop and dismounts her bike and walks down the steps and across to the entrants to the Neptunian forum to pick up the oxygen levels

Grunt knocks loudly on a door in a grim looking corridor. This is the last known address for Carys daughter. The door opens and two police officers point taser guns at him “hands against the wall” grunt follows the instructions and one of the officers pats him down and takes out his wallet from his pocket. The officers looks through it “he's a bounty hunter” he press a button on his radio “ can I have a BHL check name Nicolas Raynton license number DD.43.Q.879.” “i prefer grunt” “get in here” they pull him in to the bed sit. the radio crackled “the license is valid” the officer let go of grunt “what are you doing here” “I'm tracking down Carys Jones this is the last known address of her daughter Blodwen Jones” the officers sit down by the window next to a camera pointing out and grunt sits on the bare mattress on the bed. “so do you know what's happened to Blodwen” “she's moved”

“can you tell me where to” “Neptune” Grunt gets up “fine don't tell me” were not lying” “she lived here and could afford a place on the helexs” “we estimate she borrow money from 400 or so lone sharks” Grunt sits back down. “your not joking are you” “lone shark started turning up a week after the helexs left” “so any clues where Carys may be” there was a long pause before “maybe” Grunt know the long pause meant he had to pay for the info. He pulls fore notes out of his wallet and hands them over the officer on the left picks up a click board “there was a empty envelope with a post mark from....” he click though inventory from the bed sit “Anguilla”

Blodwen back at the hospital canteen finishes spell checking her latest article “Oxygen Output On Track” this was about exciting as all her recent articles like “ Library On Track” and “Baby Kicks” she clicks through her photo archive to find one to reuse she had to chose between a photo of the staff of the algae farm standing in front of the algae vat or a photo of one of the big still fans that pulls the oxygen from the underground algae farm up to the surface. She opts for the big fan because the staff photo was clearly out of date the all female workforce being noticeably rounder now.

The days past slowly as she waits for the big event as women's due dates arrive they start spending all day in the canteen and Blodwen was force to listen to more talk about booties and breast pumps than is advisable.

Grunt gets off the train feeling tired. He walks along the platform and up the escalator. at the top of the escalator he puts his id on a touch pad and a small plastic gate opens. Grunt heads through the station and out in to the warm Caribbean air. Over the road from the valley station was a hotel grunt had stayed at before he books a room and checks what time sun rise is. he has 3 hours to rest before it gets light as soon as he gets in his room he collapses on the bed and falls asleep. a series rapid beeps from grunt's watch wakes him up. Grunt slips in to the bathroom for a quick shower. After dressing grunt heads out. He looks straight up at the clear blue sky framed by the tall dirty skyscrapers. Grunt needs a lead and has no idea how he's going to find it. He walks around the island heading towards the coast and stops at Crocus Bay Beach and looks out over the sea. hundreds of dirty and disused wind turbines stick out of the sea the British government had built millions of wind turbines jeering an world energy crisis round the crumbs of there once grate empire in an attempt to make money exporting energy and encourage some citizens of the overpopulated British isles to emigrate to the british overseas territories.  which worked until uv42 was developed. The wind farms became surplus to requirement so work dried up on the now overdeveloped islands. Grunt walks along the sea-front until he comes to a parade of shops the first shop he come to was a greengrocers in the window was I sign saying “good rates payed for stock” there are similar signs in all the windows. This is not uncommon most small shops buy there stock from people who grow it in there own homes if Carys is here this is probably how she's making a living. Grunt goes in to the greengrocers and shows the greengrocer Carys's mug-shot he shakes his head and grunt moves on to the next shop.

The ambulance speeds down the road Boldwen overtakes on it on her motorcycle and disappears in the the distance she screeches to a stop out side the entrance to the algae farm. she thunders down the stairs. When Boldwen herd the ambulance leaving she when to the call center to find out where the call had come from knowing she be faster than the ambulance now she is running along a metal gangway that crosses the giant vats looking for section 7G

grunt was getting closer he had found a fishmonger who said she had been in before selling crabs and lobsters so he narrowed his search to fishmongers he went in to the 20th fish shop of the day the woman behind the smiled at grunt 'how can I help you” he showed her Cars's mug-shot on his click board “yeah i know her ,I buy stock from her. she lives off Shoal bay ”

boldwen turns at a metal 7 G bolted to the wall down a long dark and damp corridor Boldwen can a see figure is lay on the floor she continues towards the figure. The paramedics pulls up out side the algae farm and get out of the ambulance carrying a bright yellow holdall they run though entrance and down the stairs.

grunt in a rented boat stops by a wind turbine and ties the boat get to the ladder he has to climes over a slightly bigger boat. He climes up the ladder and on to small a metal deck stack with wire cages and plastic boys. Grunt opens the door and there she is sitting on a makeshift bed shape to fit against the curved wall. Carys stands up suddenly dropping the cage she was fixing “your going to need to come with me” “I'm not going any ware.” “don't make this difficult I'm only trying to pay my rent” “ thats your reason for sending  me to a penal colony, to pay your rent ! Why not find somewhere without rent that's what I did next door is empty one of you scum bags draged bob off last week”

Blodwen reaches the figure on the floor “Amy are you OK is..” Blodwen there was a long pauses and looks at the baby being cradled in Amy's arms “She OK” a exhausted smile spreads across Amy's face “I think she's fine. Is she the first” “yes, yes she's the first what's her name” “I don't know any suggestions” “yeah  how about Carys” “I like it” the paramedics come marching down the corridor

grunt sits on the metal deck a fishing rod dangling over the side he looks over at a noise and waves a Carys who is unloading her boat .

Sunday, 20 March 2011


Grunt walks in to tramp tea room . Members of staff are moving tables from in front of the stage. Grunt stands at the bar and looks around the room. Elizabeth looks up from the dj both and spots Grunt waiting at the bar. She dashes across the room to serve him. He orders a Mccarthy, a coffee with a shot of vodka and takes it over to a seat in the corner of the room. Behind him on the wall was a poster which reads
“Tramp's Christmas tea dance
The fingersmiths
Monet for nothing
sketches by Boz
with dj sets
hot flush
Christmas day
band start at 8:00pm
free entry before 7:00 ”
grunt takes a clickbord out of his bag and clicks through mug shots then through a series of  gynoids specifications. Grunt chucks the clickbord back in his bag .
The Fingersmiths enters the tea room the, three piece band cary their instruments over to the stage. Elsie The Fingersmiths bass player and vocalist leans on the dj both “hay Liz do you want us to set up for the sound check.” Elizabeth looks up from a bag of music on various formats. “ go ahead” Elsie looks over at grunt “whose that guy with the tattoo” Elizabeth stacks some cassettes by her tape deck “he's a bounty hunter he use to come in a lot when the otus factory was round the corner to catch people trying to jump planet” grunt nurses his drink and keeps an eye on the staff. he recognizes Elizabeth and marry but it was new stuff he was interested in. he was tracking down gynoids and a number of them had been found working minimum wage jobs. It was thought they were there to direct newly awaken gynoids to an underground collective. grunt was far from happy about his assignment for a start it was Christmas but Effecter holds the opinion that Christmas comes round once a metric year and not every 365 days. Every time a Christmas comes round the arguments start as to when Christmas is. as always it was the religious who are the most argumental. the Catholics insisted that it should fall once a solar year this is why in most Catholic house holds the crucifix is accompanied by an old fashioned clock.where as the pagan church of Christ believe Christmas should be celebrated on the winter solstice. Other like the quakers wanted to forget about Christmas stating that it had be come inseparable from greed. Marry walks over to Grunt's table with an ink pad and a small rubber stamp. “stamp your hand?” grunt holds out his hand “i like your new tattoo where did you get it done ?” “Tokyo” “oh so that's where you've been how was it?” “i got stabbed. then I got drunk, very drunk. then I woke up with this on my neck. I don't even know what it says” “well I hope you have a better time tonight” she stamps his hand leaving a blue, blurry smiley face on it. soon people start coming through the door  regular intervals. Grunt didn't really know were to start on this job he's use to tracking down scum bags. This thing he is hunting are not scum and  they don't leave a trail of piss off associates and victims to follow. Then a guy come in wearing a t-shirt with the anti gynids slogan “ I don't dream of electric sheep!” grunt walks over to him and offers to buy him a drink.
 As sketches by Boz start there last song Elsie scribbles a set list down on the back of three flyers and hands them  to her band mates. Elizabeth runs past them and in to the dj both. Elsie heads over to the bar to get in a round.
Grunt and his new friend sit at a table “thats her the redhead” Grunt slides his hand in to his bag and pulls out his ClickBord and checks the gynoids specifications again. he finds the ones with red hair. As far as he can tell from across the room her measurements matched that of a shipment of Ten gynoids that when missing from Felixstowe container port on root to a sewage treatment plant in Australia. He puts the ClickBord back and watches the redhead. Looking for any sines that she may not be human. “she is one of those things isn't she I knew she was” Grunt turns to the guy sharing his table “why are you still here” he looks a bit hurt then gets up and walks away. Grunt attention goes back to the redhead. Monet for nothing take to the stage. the crowd in front of the stage grows and block his view so Grunt sits back and enjoys his coffee.
Monet for nothing finish there last song and pack up there kit. The fingersmiths start setting up as soon as Monet for nothing are off. The music stops Elsie stands at the front of the stage with her bass “ hi we are the fingersmiths but I think most of you know that because we share a squat in Chelsea with hath of you” a group at the front of the crowd cheer “ so you will have herd as practicing this all week this is the story of peg leg joe” the band start playing
grunt gets up and goes to the bar he see the redhead slipping out the back door. he jumps over the bar and bursts out the back door she starts to run as soon as she sees him. He chases her through the streets. She was faster then him but not enough to lose him. She turns sharply into Waltham abbey tube station and jumps the gate. Grunt turns into the station and pauses for a second he heres her running down the escalator he jumps the gate and thunders down the escalator. At the bottom he step on to the platform and comes face to face with the gynoid “sorry I have to take you in” as he reaches for his handcuffs something hits him across the back of the head and he falls to the floor .the gynoid steps over grunts unconscious body and hug the almost identical gynoid  that had just hit grunt with a large spanner the only differences in appearance being shorter hair and a missing foot. “it good to see you joe”
grunt sits up holding his head. As the train pulls in at Haymarket Newcastle but at least it wasn't tokyo  and he only had a concussion and not a new tattoo

Friday, 4 March 2011

Too cold for ice cream

Too cold for ice cream
Mike walks to the back of the ice cream van and opens the door “Can I play in the snow uncle mike” said a small girl sitting cross legged on a red sofa wedged tight in the back of the van. Mike looks down at the grey slush. Tommy turns round in the drivers seat where he is putting a steering lock on the steering wheel “ no because you'll get dirty and have all the fun and we'll get yelled at by your mum” Mike takes a clamp out of the back of the van and  fits it to the left rear wheel. Tommy joins Mike at the back and they start pulling on the sofa “well can I play with your computer then uncle Mike” Robin looks over at the open laptop next to her on the sofa “not that one wait till we get in” Mike and Tommy put the sofa down on the pavement Robin waves at a CCTV camera hovering across the street and watches herself wave back on mike's laptop. Tommy closes and locks the back of the van. Tommy and Mike pick the sofa back up and Robin stands up on the sofa and jumps into a pile of  the grey slush sending it flying in all directions
The door to the flat opens and Mike enters backwood then Robin on the sofa followed by Tommy holding the other end of the sofa. “I'm cold” “that's because you jumped in the snow” replays Tommy “I'm wet” “I know” “I'm cold and wet and dirty and I need a wash” Tommy and Mike put the sofa down in the living room full of boxes of canned drinks. Tommy walks into the bath room. robin hops off the sofa and follows him. Tommy reaches into the shower tuns the knobs till the cold water becomes warm. He tuns to Robin “don't be too long we need you dry before your mum gets back” Tommy heads back into the living room. Mike hads the sofa upside down and is pulling staples out of the bottom “she going to be OK in there on her own?” “ yeah she'll be fine” Tommy didn't sound convinced but he thought a grown man washing a young girl was a bit wrong even if she is his niece. he starts helping Mike remove the upholstery.
Robin runs through the living room raped in a towel into the room she shers with her mum leaving wet foot prints behind her. Tommy goes to turn off the shower Robin marched back into the living room with a hair dryer “who wants to dry my hair” “give it hear” Mike holds out his hand to take the hair dryer. She holds the hair dryer close to the chest and looks at him with suspicion “can you do it like mummy does so I look pretty for Santa” “how would it be possible to mack you look ugly” she hands over the hair dryer
Robin and her mum Emma hadn't lived with Mike and Tommy long. Mike had got the flat using a new start grant from the GHS. It's not easy to get a new start grant there's a lot of paper work Mike wouldn't have been able to complete it while going through withdrawal but Tommy had filled out the forms before for Emma when she got pregnant without a license and under age but her application was unsuccessful when mike's application was successful it was agreed the they would use the grant for a deposit on the largest flat they could afford and Emma and Robin would move in with them once mike had completed his rehab program.
Emma opens the door to the flat and drops a box full of fabric “are you still up” Robin is  sitting cross legged on the floor moving a cartoon mouse round the screen of one of Mike's laptops. “she said she's too excited to sleep”  Tommy is pulling a nail out of the wooden carcass of the sofa. “she's got you two rapped round her little finger” Mike looks up from a  laptop he has in bits on the floor. ”I'm not rapped any round ones finger”  “go get the rest of my stuff out the car” “fine” Mike leaves the flat “now I think it's time you got to bed I'll be in to read you a story after I've helped uncle Mike unload the car” Emma heads back out the door and down the stairs.
They come back in ten minutes later and dump there boxes next to a pile of wood and red fabric. Emma goes into her bed room. Mike nods at Tommy and they head down the stairs. In the ice cream van Mike takes a box full of vegetables out of the freezer and parses them to Tommy. Then he opens the drinks fridge the glass door of which had been coverd with posters so Robin couldn't  see in and takes out a dead skinless fox.
“ have you got any idea how to cook that thing” Mike shrugs “I'm just going to wing it” Fox is not often eaten not because tastes bad but because it harder to catch then pigeons and squirrels. Mike and Tommy had set up a trap under the ice cream van in the hope of catching something special for Christmas and it work first time so they set it up the next night and once again they caught a fox. The first fox was saved for Christmas dinner the second the skinned  and sold to a friend with a burger van.
  Emma come out of her room the holding “the hungry hungry beaver” Mike is trying cut the fox down to a size which will fit in the oven. “she asleep?” “ yeah she was asleep before the hungry beaver had eaten his way through miss browns herb garden, I'm pretty shoer all kids books are about drugs or sex” she goes over to one of the boxes she had brought back from work, digs around in it and pulls a fox skin poncho out. She lays it on the floor folds it neatly then raps it in brown paper. Mike hacks at the fox with a knife trying to remove the hind legs and Tommy feeds the off cuts in to a hand crank mincer. “so how was work today” Emma turned to Tommy “insane I cant believe how many people leave shopping till Christmas eve. I sold my best stock weeks ago. next year I may hold some back for Christmas eve and up the price, oh and I even sold that gray material with the tea stains on”
at ten midnight Mike is still struggling. he has got all fore legs off and is now hacking away at the neck and Tommy is cutting the liver to make pate despite not know how pate is made. Emma finishes put up the plastic tree and stars untangling the faery light
two long hours later the three of them sit on a sofa which has been patch up with bits of fabric Emma can't sell. Mike has put the joint of fox meat in the oven and half calculated half guest it will be roasted perfectly by round about lunch time ish. Tommy had made shore no part of the fox had gone to waste  with a variety of dishes none of which look like they were meant to and Emma decorated the living room rap of robin's presents inclining the fox fur poncho from Mike and Tommy which she had spent hours making, and put all the presents under the tree. “well I'm ready for bed” Tommy get up goes to his room “me too” Emma head to the bath room to cleans here teeth and take off her make up off. Mike spreads out on the sofa pulls his blanket over him self and falls asleep. Emma walk across  the live room and in to her bed room. The bed crick  as she lay down. “Santa?” Robin rubs her eye, get out of bed and creeps to the living room. It light by faery light which as far as she know have just magically appeared along with a tree and tinsel and  baubles and presents. She fills her lungs with air then shout at the top of her voice “ wake up it Christmas”

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Escape Velocity

Escape Velocity
Trench foot's head was killing him the noise  was  unbearable he pulls his pillow tight over his head but it didn't really help. he gets out of bed and goes in to the living section. out of the windows he can see some of the other otuss. he walks through the kitchen  and in to the cockpit and sits down in the drive seat. out of the windows he can see the sky lark . A day after the 150 stolen otuss broke out of earths atmosphere two things happen one a large ship appeared on the long range radar over the radio it was decided that the rogue fleet would switch to emergency power and t maneuver in to the ship's dragged stream. hitching a ride without the ship knowing But to do this they will need to keep radio silence. The other thing that happened was Trench foot and will started to here a cooing noise from under their floor. The nose was a familiar one that of the doorstep pigeon. this noise was what was giving trench foot a headache

The doorstep pigeon was a genetically modified pest. GMP was released by geneticists trying to stop would hunger but was brand by members of the UN and major share holders of companies in the food industry as environmental terrorists. Claiming that GMPs wood kill the food industry and billions of people wood loose there jobs. This motivated a group of workers from hydroponics food solutions to set fire to the GMP lab as a result the arsonists got 5 years in a penal colony and a number of the GMPs escaped . the doorstep pigeon was the fastest spreading of the GMP it had been engineered to lay up to 100 eggs a day about 20 fertilized 80 unfertilized which they lay of anywhere warm enough to incubate there eggs. from the point of view of the pigeon the unfertilized eggs act as a decoy for predators and food for there chicks. From the view of humans the unfertilized egg are a basic diary staple.

Trench foot stares out the windows at the large floating rock and small outss.will enters the cockpit “Want a cup of tea?” “that would be grate thanks” will go into the kitchen and put the kettle on. Will comes back in with to mugs of dandelion tea one in a tramps mug the other in a smaller ship issue mug. the two of them sit there looking out for any landmarks so they can work out where they are but the sky lark blocks most of the view. weeks past without much happening they ate, they sleep and they watch. Till one day a red orb start to appears from behind the side of the sky lark like an sideways sun rises. The sky lark moved in to orbit around mars and a fleet of ships left its hanger and headed for mars. Once they shrink and disappear into the red orb  one by one the lights in the windows the hand full of otuss visible out of the front windows  turn off once all the lights will flicks a switch and all the lights on the ship turn off. This was a prearranged signal. When it reaches outss at the back of the group they switch on to full power and they accelerate out of the sky lark's drag stream. As outss pulled away from sky lark's influence the radio burst in to life. A feeling of relief come over Trench foot for weeks he was stuck talking to will who could and would spend hours talking about subjects Trench foot couldn't start to understand like the possible link between hyper light and dark matter, or  longevity escape velocity. And when he had a moment to his self there was still the unbearable noise of the pigeons. Now the radio was back on he could have a conversation he could understand and maybe someone my have a good idea how to get red of the pigeons.

The fleet moves like a swam of bugs around the asteroids of  the main belt focusing  in on a large object on the long range radar as they get closer it comes in to sight. they move closer still and the small gray shape turns to one of the most recognizable ships in space history the heliks .

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Red Stone

Red Stone
“hand over your side arm” officer Alka Perry had just entered the captain's office and was meet by a very angry look from the captain and two of her security officers. “what?” “your side arm officer Perry now” ordered the captain. She pulls the gun from it's holster and puts it on the desk “what is this all about sir” “your being relived of duty” the captain turns round his monitor “ground control sent this up. What do you see in the photo officer Perry” “it's the pay load being loaded on a truck sir” “i was under the impression it's your job to keep our activities secret now this photo is on the front of every newspaper on earth” the captain opens a file “and now we are getting some odd thing showing up on the radar” “odd sir?” “ a number of objects being dragged by the ship have moved irregularly and there is something large moving through the main belt” “i don't see what the radar readings have to do with me sir” the captain leans back in his chair “well here my theory the objects behind the ship may be receiving and relaying messages from someone on the ship. and see as your the one meant to be stopping that sort of thing from happening your clearly not to your job properly or your the one sending the messages .so I going to lock you in the quarantine quarters so you cant jump ship and run off with who ever is waiting in the belt” he tuns to the two security officers “get her out of my site” the scarcity officers march Alka Perry out of the office
Alka Perry sits in quarantine as the ship moved in to orbit around mars. The sky lark holds a crew of 4000 as soon as it's in orbit 3500 of them head down to the planet haft head to the Hellas planitia and the other haft land at Alba mon. the team at alba mon code named stardust had the hard task of drilling down under Alba mon and digging out a bunker to detonate the pay load in. on the hellas planitia a control base is quickly assembled and the crew divide again a small team including the captain stay at control base code named the tin can. the rest code named arachnid head up the Dao Vallis valley to Hadriaca mon
the radio crackles “arachnid to tin can” a coms officer pushes a large wight button “we're receiving you arachnid, go ahead” “tin can we have drilled down reducing volcanic plug to 10% and are awaiting orders” the coms officer Writes down the message and holds it up a runner takes the massage from the coms officer and walks to area partitioned off by a glass map the runner salutes the captain and hands him the note “thanks Jenkins” “actually it's Glover sir” “oh sorry Glover” the captain takes a bottle of pills out of his pocket “send our boys back to the sky lark” the captain chucks two pills in to his mouth Glover salutes and heads back to the radio desks. Jenkins appears from behind the glass map and salutes the captain and hands him a note. The captain reads the note “ok tell stardust to set up the war head” Jenkins salutes and heads off. The captain wonders to him self if it was Jenkins of Harrison he was just talking to. this was worrying he was finding it hard to think straight. He didn't know if it was the presser of the job or the presser of the atmosphere or maybe the recycled air.
On the other side of the planet the stardust team drive a large truck like vehicle in to the middle of Alba mon with the war head on the back. It stops in the center the bunker then from the bottom of the truck six hydraulic legs lower to the red dusty ground. Ten men look up through the vises of the helmets as large metal arm lift the warhead vertical so the tip of the cone points down. Once the warhead is in place the ten men get to work running checks and geting ready to leave the bunker. One of the men presses a button the the wrist of his suit turning on the microphone in his helmet. “stardust to tin can the gnome is in place and we are leaving the bunker”.all the men it the bunker climd in to 4X4s parked round the edge of the bunker with flood lights mounted on the sides. The flood lights are turned off and the 4X4s moved round the bunker and out through the tunnel. The planet falls quiet as the stardust team head back to the sky lark.
The captain stands by the radio desks. The silence in the control room was broken by the radio “stardust to tin can we have left the atmosphere” the captain walks over to a control panel and inserts a key card. The control panel only has three switches and one button. He flicks the switches one by one 100.000 appears on all the screens in the room over live pitchers from the sky lark of different parts of the planets surface. The captain presses the button. The countdown starts everyone in the room and on the sky lark watches as the numbers tick by a hundredth of second at a time 099.100, 099.099 ,099.098 no one talks some even forget to breathe 050.100, 050.099 ,050.098. Jenkins bits his nails and Glover holds on tight to a small crucifix round his neck 000.002 ,000.001 ,000.000

Monday, 3 January 2011

dunk and cover

dunk and cover

Graham looks out over a lake and drinks a coffee. He checks his watch then walks over to a set of glass doors draining the coffee on the way. He slams the paper cup in to a bin next to the doors and he walks through them. A number of pigeons fly down to the bin to check out its new contents

the floor past the doors slopes down and curves round. At the bottom of the slope Graham enters the main hall. Sunlight shines through the lake and the massive glass bowl which makes up the ceiling of the main hall. A tore guide is standing in the entrance talking to a group of bored school kids about the glass ceiling which was a solidify crater created by the last nuclear bomb to be tested in the nevada desert. Graham heads past displays of bombs, geiger counters and numerous items all related to nuclear warfare. He follows signs until he gets to the Manhattan room . He recognizes the woman the in front of the Fat Man exhibit and he walks up to her and says "so, what have you got for me". She hands him a envelope Graham looks through the photos “ these was taken last night” the she nods "thats right about 9:70 ish". Graham hands over a hand full of worn looking notes the woman leves disappearing in to the crowd. Graham finish looking at the photos then heads for home

Graham always meets his contacts in a public place this is for two reasons one your less likely to be killed by the contact and two if you get killed before you get a chance to release the information the police will go looking for the last person you was seen with so the information should come to light. assuming the police are not behind your death.

he opens the door to his apartment goes in and locks it behind his self. Two whiteboards one covered in writing the other blank are attached to the wall he quickly gets to work scanning in the photos one by one. the photos of uniformed men loading a warhead on to a truck appear on his computers screen. He tries to work out what the warhead is going to be used for. He knows straightaway that the warhead was designed for asteroid demolition but for this a missile would be launched from the nevada bass. He puts the next photo under the scanner then grabs two books of a shelve “military weapons quick reference guide” a thick black book full of tables comparing the range and power and numerous other statistics of all weaponry currently in use, and “the secret history of nuclear weapons” a glossy hard back book with a photo of the Author “Edna Hodges” wearing safety goggles with a mushroom cloud reflected in them and a caption saying "find out about the test they don't want you to know about” he flicks through the weapons date guide to finds the stats for the warhead in the photos. His finger moves down the table till it stops on “ADWH948/543-65E” the last box in the row reads if detonated on planets surface possibility of extreme seismic activity. He puts the next photo under the scanner then turns to the index page of “the secret history of nuclear weapons” and looks for ADWH948/543-65E. It wasn't there only ADWH948/543-65A and -65B on page 987 he flicks through the pages an stops at 987 “ asteroid demolition warhead are less tested due to the expense as they have to be detonated out of earths atmosphere due to how focused the explosion is. The the blast is concentrated in one direction to do the maximum damage to the asteroid. So if detonated on earth it will damage the crust and send shock-waves round the wold . Despite the danger there are at least 7 ADWH948/543-65As and the next generation the ADWH948/543-65B is under development” was all it sad. He types up an e-mail attaches the photos and send it to everyone who will publish it or may be abel to add any information. As he is backing up the new files on to one of his many potable hard drives an envelope icon flashes in the corner of the screen. He clicks on it then on one new message and the e-mail opens up

“from :

subject: Nevada warhead

thank for your e-mail.looking in to links with un deaths. Will have something on line in the next 12 hours

thanks again love

ed x x”

after backing up his files and writing the warhead details on his whiteboard Graham decides to head down to tramps for a strong drink. He opens the door and is forced back and on to the floor of his apartment a figure steps in to the room and closes the door “your too late” the mask figure said nothing and pulls the trigger of her taser rifle. Graham's hart burst in his chest the intruder takes her finger off the trigger, graham body goes limp .two hours later, the only evidence that graham lived there was his corpse in the middle of an empty room fore small holes where his whiteboards was screwed to the wall. all his possessions taken by whoever killed him.