Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Western Fiction for FREE

A short story excerpt for the day
The Commanche didn't wait to form up, their rifles firing from the grass were occupying the men in the wagons. A surprise attack wasn't the element, the force stormed the hill and rampaged across the plain, their war cries chilling the blood of the men as they tried to take aim.
Jonas took a quick glance at the situation and yelled, "Clem, can you and your men cover the rifles in the grass? If you can keep their heads down, we may get out of this."
Clem looked across at his friend and replied, "We ain't got many guns and little ammunition, but we'll do what we can for you, Jonas. Sgt. Dawkins, take some men over to our left and fire at the rifle flashes. Make each shot count, this could be our last stand!"
Dawkins saluted and signalled for four men to follow him as he jumped from the wagon. It didn't take long for the rifles to fire at the small group, Dawkins called out, "Make for the hill to the left, we'll have a slight rise to shoot from!"
Jonas surveyed the small group of men in his charge and said, "Mr Mabey, can you spread some of the troops as you see fit to cover our flank. We need to keep the Indians off guard, and the only way is a cross-fire?"
Mabey glanced at the storming band heading for them and replied, "Out there is a good a place to meet my maker as trapped here like a coyote in a snare, I guess."
Mabey signalled, and four men followed him to a small rise to the left of the main group, "Now'd be a good time as any to ask your Lord for help, boy. We won't get much time later if we live. Beleive me, where we're heading this is only the start of our troubles. I don't know what you did to deserve this but someone, somewhere, doesn't like your officers, and we'll be paying a heavy price."
Carter looked scaredly at Mabey and asked, "What do you think is in front of us?"
Mabey scratched his beard then replied, "It ain't what I think, it's what I know. Where we're going is a gulch, the natives don't fight over it because they believe it to be filled with ghosts of the past. We'll be trapped, Commanche to the North, Kiowa to the West and Apache to the South. They hate each other, but they hate us more. If they don't kill us, the desert will."
Carter wiped the sweat from his eyes as he viewed the Chief sitting astride his horse directing the warriors on the slope, "What do you believe, Mr Mabey?"
Mabey wiped his face with his dirty hat and replied, "I believe if we survive this, we'll be lucky. As for the ghosts, I've lived among the people too long not to respect their beliefs, plus I have witnessed things in the valley that I cannot explain, or perhaps I don't want an explanation for them as that could be worse than not knowing. Tell me, Mr Carter, why were you of all people chosen for this train? The prisoners I can understand, the officer in charge has upset someone, but why you?"
Carter winced as he recalled the incident, then said, "I didn't get chosen, it was either this or being discharged for striking an officer. It was in the heat of the moment over a female prisoner we'd taken. I needed to defend her as she was being raped and I couldn't let it happen."
Mabey smiled, then commented, "May the Lord be praised, in all this horror there are still a few gentlemen left. You should be proud of what you did, son. It took courage to stand up for an Indian woman, nobody will thank you for doing it, but you have your honour."
Carter looked out from his spot on the wagon, then said, "If we get out of here, can I join you as a frontiersman? The Army won't have me after this incident."
Mabey patted his friend on the shoulder and replied, "If we get out, it would be an honour for me to have you by my side. For now, we need to think about holding this position for as long as we can, which I don't think will be that long. They have more rifles and ammunition than we do and there are bound to be more warriors nearby to join in."
As if on cue, the rifles in the grass began to fire, "Clem, how are your men doing?" called Jonas. 
Clem waved his hat and shouted, "You keep the body of the attack, and we'll take care of the horns, won't we Mr Mabey!"
Mabey waved his hat and replied, "That we will, sirs!"
The Chief on the hill stood up in his stirrups and yelled. 
Mabey, Clem, and Jonas looked at what they had with them, and Jonas called out, "This is it, men, make every shot count!"

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

RAF ghost stories

St. Eval, Devon
This story is fiction but the crash was real.
The two friends were enjoying an evening meal when Dave said, "Do you think you are able to take a trip to an old RAF base, Alec?"
Alec thought about his deteriorating health and replied, "Yes, where did you have in mind?"
Dave commented, "Have you heard of St. Eval in Devon?"
"I can't say I have, but as you say it's in Devon and most of Devon is near the coast, am I to assume it is a Coastal Command Airbase?"
"You are right, it is Coastal Command. I had a call from a friend of mine last week, he says he thinks he saw a ghost walking the airfield dressed in a USAAF uniform. I know you believe in spirits trapped in this realm as you write a lot about the subject . I was wondering if you'd like to pay the area a visit to see if anything is happening?"

"You know me, Dave, any spiritual exercise and you can count me in. If it weren't so far, I would have liked to visit RAF Montrose in Scotland, but the journey is too much for me now."
Dave commented, "I didn't book us a room as I was unsure if you were up to the journey, but at this time of year we'll have no problem getting one, as it's off-season. I'll call my friend and see what information he can dig up for us."

A couple of days later Dave confirmed the booking at a guesthouse in the area. The journey involved both a long train trip and an equally long bus ride as the base is on the North coast, and the nearest train station is on the South coast many miles away.
On arrival at the guesthouse, the landlady showed her guests their room, as requested, they had the downstairs room because of Alec's condition. "There'll be a pot brewing when you are ready, gents," she said as she turned and closed the door.
Dave asked, "I know it's early to say, but what do you think, is there a chance of a ghost at the base?"
Alec replied, "Th answer is yes. It is a bit early, but I did some research, and my thinking is that there are ghosts there. Your friend probably encountered one of the several spirits I feel is trapped at the base."
Dave was aghast and asked, "What makes you think there are several spirits trapped there?"
Alec replied, "I can't be sure yet, there may be more incidents I haven't heard of. In 1943 there was a crash on the runway between two bombers, and there were no survivors."
Dave asked the question he thought should be asked, "Why do you think they are trapped?"
"I have my theory, but I will need to see the spirit to confirm the theory before I say more, Dave."
"I understand, you could always use this journey for one of your ghost stories."
"The idea has crossed my mind, Dave."

The friends left their lodgings and went along the coast path to the former airbase, along the way Alec kept looking out to sea. He longed to travel further, but he knew his health wouldn't allow it, so he contented himself with his memories of old journeys. One, in particular, was to Canada and had inspired a spiritual story .
"Do you miss the travel?"
Alec shook his head to clear his mind, "Sorry, I was miles away in another time then, Dave. I did for a while, but I am not envious of people who can travel now, I had my time and saw places and things I never thought I would see. All in all, I had a good time."
Dave smiled and commented, "I'll take a wild guess; eight years ago in Canada?"
Alec smiled then replied, "Correct on both counts. I still miss my friend, Faye. Right, here we are. Shall we see what we can find?"

The base had been out of use since the late 1970's so there was no fence, only the remains of the control tower and the last few broken bits of the runway showed what had once been there. As they stood silently, Alec said, "I sense there is a presence here. Someone is trying to cross but needs our help, Dave."
The friends watched the air move across the broken tarmac, in the stillness they saw a slight shimmering, "I've come to help you," Alec called.
As if on request, the shimmering became solid, and a young man in a USAAF uniform appeared, "Hello, I'm Bombadier Mike Collins, who are you, and where are my crew?"
Alec had to think how to approach the subject, "Hi, Mike. I have some bad news for you. Your crew died many years ago, and your spirit has been trapped on the base since 1943."
Mike blinked and replied, "What do you mean since 1943, what year is it?"
Dave replied, "The year is 2017, Mike."
Mike looked around at the station he had known and said, "That explains why I can't see them, they passed on and I was trapped here. What happened?"

There was a pause, then Alec commented, "There was a crash on the runway, your Liberator was hit by a Whitley carrying depth charges. The heat of the fire caused the bombs to explode and kill both crews."
Mike thought about the incident, then recalled, "I was in the bomb bay when I felt the bump, the next thing I recall is being trapped under falling fuselage sections as the flames tore through our plane."
Alec patted Mike on the shoulder and said, "The station commander couldn't send the fire crew to the scene because of the risk of the bombs exploding. Once the fire had died down, the others were taken out of the planes, but you're trapped under the fuselage and got forgotten. It was an accident of fate, but it meant your spirit has been trapped here for all these years. Now we're here, you can cross over to the other realm in peace; we will inform the authorities about your location."
Mike smiled and said, "Thanks, guys, finally we can be together. It's been lonely all these years down here." With that comment, his image faded into the mist.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Was this me?

Bristol's award-winning writer
With falling e-book sales, it is hard for me to remember that I once wrote an award-winning story

​ That was five years ago, in what seems to me to be another life.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Nine years worth of writing

400 short stories
At the end of last year, my editor asked me to judge how many short stories I had written, the idea was to convince me that my writing has value. 

At the time of the question, I had written close to 400 short stories, and only thrown two out. As I haven't written much this year because sales have continued to fall, the figure is about the same.

At the going down of the Sun

We shall remember them.
From Elgar to Vaughn Williams is a short story I wrote to commemorate the fallen of the many wars. 
My late grandfather was saved by his helmet after being bayoneted in the trenches. 
The lark ascending by Vaughan Willams is a tune that always brings tears to my eyes, it exemplifies the massive changes that #WW1brought to the UK. So many large families lost heirs that the workforce returned to the farms and left the big houses in ruins.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Short story for the day

Short stories on Disqus
I am continuing to write a series of short stories on The main character is based on me and what is happening in my life.

Is there a point to blogging?

A blogger for nine years and nothing to show
I have been blogging for nine years, and I have yet to see the point; other than giving my stories for free. 
So, I ask, what is in it for me?

The answer - nothing, zip, nada, zero.

Friday, 3 November 2017

My Legacy

Relying on charity

As Remembrance Day nears, people are reminded to think of those who never came back from the wars, there were so many who never came back from WW1 they were called the Lost Generation
You don’t need to be killed or severely wounded to have the need of charity from the forces. I was injured during my time in the Royal Air Force, although my injury is not severe, I carry my own reminder of my time in the services
My injury is only a torn tendon but it has left me disabled, and I am now relying on charity to remain independent to some degree

Tuesday, 31 October 2017