creative writing, fiction, short fiction, women

A Bridge For The Furies: A Bit Of Improvisation Never Hurt Anybody


Iria was on her feet when Cara suggested that they get out of there. Drea was one more glass away from alcohol poisoning, and Gloria struggled to control the pull that playing God had given her. Olivia was amicable enough, but that was down to a mild case of future shock. It might as well have been Heaven or Hell, for how disparate and alien it all was.

Iria had already been extensively modified before she started and joined The Church of The Leviathan. She came from a point in history where modifications were as mundane as piercings or tattoos. Before she left, the average teenager on the street had laser pointers grown in the ocular tissue, or one of those biological grafts onto their vocal chords that let them make hyena or gorilla noises. Which was great fun when you were having an orgasm, to start hooting like a silver back gorilla defending their offspring. Iria thought it was an amusing extrapolation. She had gone for the combat modifications, at first, then once she knew that she would be exploring deep space, basic survival modifications such as having a stack of bacteria in lieu of a stomach, oxygenated clay in the lungs to produce slow releases of oxygen and the solar wings that were housed in hollow apertures under her armpits, which extended to twenty feet either side of her, powerful enough to see her through the journey that led her, in an indirect way to here.

She raised her left hand, pulling her hand backwards as the skin around her wrist split open and a small creamy dart flew out with a wet spitting sound.

Cara did not hear it, but Drea staggering next to her, turned and plucked at something from the air with a nonchalance borne from equal parts earned bravado and awe-inspiring drunkenness. She turned it over, and Cara went to scream for them to drop but Iria had never been one to allow an opponent any time to act at all.

She emptied the reservoir of ammunition housed in her forearm, generated from the weird carbons that infested her bones, hollowed out to include a clip of custom ammunition loaded with a toxin that served to give a humanoid physiology an instant and lethal dose of rhabdomyolysis, which gives a cardiac arrest reserved for the perfect storm of viagra, elderly millionaires and escorts who can ride a man into Valhalla and chew gum at the same time. Either way, it was clean and quick so long as it entered the bloodstream.

Rather than being pinched between Drea’s callused fingers, which was what was happening. Not just once, but repeatedly and all of it done with an expression of bemusement as Drea set them down on the table next to her as though she were puzzling over a complicated knitting pattern.

Olivia had pointed her right hand towards Iria. She frowned and turned her right hand outwards, activating a secondary weapons system that had been evolved from jellyfish, specifically the cynidocytes, cells that produced the venom that made them such effective predators. Iria gave a thin smile which faded when she saw the gun that had appeared in Olivia’s hands, shining and eager to go about its work.

Iria raised her hand to whip the tentacle forth, aiming for the soft skin of the woman’s throat when she felt the air shudder around her, then looked and realised that she was not in the bar anymore. She looked down at the mud, churned and bloodied with whatever had occurred here. Then she raised her head, staring into the faces of bearded, vicious warriors with pitted, black metal blades that were pointed at her.

‘Halt, in the name of the Crow King.’

She whipped the tentacle around, its length slicing at the faces of the men before her, leaving deep cuts that flayed skin back to bone and left a payload of agonising poison wherever it struck. Too little reward for too much effort, she thought and used her enhanced senses to search for the four women that were her targets.

Nothing. She saw the stone building, read the inscription and grimaced with frustration as she saw that there were more men hidden behind the walls, and they would be as welcoming as the dead men at her feet were.

She sighed and started to walk towards them. A woman’s work was never done.


Olivia slid Walter back into the pocket of nothingness and adjusted the brim of her hat.

Cara stared at the three of them in awe.

‘Holy shit, that was amazing. We’ve had one montage and you were all just -‘

She made vaudeville kung fu moves and screwed her face up.

‘Think it’s a bit of shell shock?’ Gloria said to Drea.

Drea nodded and looked at the small shells on the table. She picked one up, the dental texture of each made her uncomfortable with how slick and warm they were.

‘I didn’t have time to freak out. Which is probably for the best, considering.’

Gloria pressed her fingertips to her eyelids and winced.

‘Think I can take these out for a while? They’re starting to burn.’

Cara nodded, and gestured to the bar for a drink.

‘Yes, I’m guessing you did something to put her, erm, not here?’

Gloria pinched the lenses off her eyes in turn then set them back into the case. She sighed with relief and rubbed her eyes before plucking off the nails and replacing them alongside the lenses.

‘Yes, she’s now in my second act climax. Not sure who long it will hold her, but it was the best I could do in a pinch.’

Cara laughed and applauded.

‘That was fucking brilliant. I won’t ever be angry with a bit of improv now and again.’

Olivia glanced over the three of them, lower lip trembling and eyes damp with confusion.

‘Is there anyone who’s going to explain what that was about?’

Cara took in a deep breath and gestured around her.

‘No, which is probably not doing wonders for your confidence right now. It’s definitely not doing anything for mine.’




beauty, creative writing, fiction, short fiction, short stories, strength, Uncategorized, war, wisdom, women, writing

A Bridge For The Furies: 4.


Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3


Olivia stood there, looking up at the luminescent cloud that moved against the prevailing gravity with the liquid insistence of a jellyfish. Each time it spoke, it produced flashes of brilliant light that stripped her of comprehension, such was the awe with which she beheld it. Since she had crossed the bridge, she had seen enough wonders to last her a lifetime, although she had arrived unaccompanied.

Drea backed up against a wall, her hands pressed against it and found that it flexed like a muscle against her. She turned around, ready to throw a punch. She kept telling herself that this was all simply a dream. She told herself that again and again, until the words were robbed of meaning.

Olivia felt quite proud of herself. She had not immediately lost her mind or control of her bladder. It might have been the presence of the rifle, even though everything around her was on a scale that made her wonder if a bullet would do anything other than embarrass her, rather than wound or kill anything. She had not seem Heimdall since she agreed to cross the bridge.

‘Sorry about the ceremonial stuff. There’s a lot of protocol around this sort of thing, so we have our work cut out figuring what the best way to get someone over is.’

The three women turned their heads to follow the source of the explanation. She stood, with her hands up in front of her, dressed in a black suit, tailored to accommodate her lean hips and long legs with a white shirt and a black bow tie. She had short, black hair that was combed away from a high, regal forehead. On her fingers were an assortment of rings, that each gave off a soft glow, in a myriad of colours that caught the light and did wonderful, interesting things with it.

‘Who are you?’

Gloria was the first to say it. A headful of stories gave her something of an advantage in adjusting to whatever and wherever this was. She had seen a man make a bird of fire with a single phrase.


It sounded like a shaman clearing his throat, and she found herself saying it in her hand like a mantra, hoping that this would all start to make sense. Part of her wondered if she hadn’t simply broken something in her head, laid there at the side of the road, flesh dimpling with the cold and the rain in her eyes.

‘I’m responsible for the three of you being here.’

Drea narrowed her eyes and examined the woman’s face, cast in a perfect mask of polite embarrassment. She was waiting for her to stop making sense and go inscrutable like the white haired woman had. ‘Sob carefully, the headwinds will cost you tears’ She wondered if there was meaning in that.

‘No, I had some girl with white hair that she smacked me around with and I was in the, I don’t know, future or something.’

Olivia guffawed and shook her hair out.

‘I was taking the scenic route home, came across a bridge, turned out to be magic, who knew?’

Gloria smiled and realised that if this was all a product of her broken brain, then it was at least worthwhile and quite well realised. She hoped that she would live to write about it. There was at least a book out of it, which was an unkind but honest phrase that she used with every rejection and tragedy.

Until the last one.

‘So, I met someone who was named after the god of stories, you -‘ she pointed to Drea.

‘I’m dreaming.’ Drea said and shot a harsh look around the room to challenge anyone who said different.

‘OK, so you are in a dream where you fought some trope from wu shu cinema and I pretty much had the same experience as-‘ She looked at Olivia and smiled at her. Olivia blushed and gave her name, in a voice gone smooth and soft, like whipped cream from the earnest look and the smile that Gloria gave her.

‘I’m Drea, pleased to meet you two.’ She shook hands with the pair of them, tight, dry handshakes that spoke to a desire to wake up now please, even if it was all couched in a polite, awkward play of manners.

The fourth woman clapped her hands together.

‘Ok, so I am Cara and this is a good news, bad news situation. You all know that something big and horrible is supposed to happen and you’ve been asked to come and lend a hand.’

Drea folded her arms and smirked.

‘Is that the good or the bad news?’

Olivia chuckled and winked at her. She had spirit, which Olivia always liked in anyone.

‘No, it’s a preamble. The cloud up there is a diplomat from the Klee, who are a species of gas based lifeforms. Very intelligent but they communicate in chemical signals and the translation software we use makes them sound like that. However, what it’s referring to, is what’s coming.’

Gloria remembered the word. Leviathan. An old testament word, even writing it down made it look it was carved into stone or word. Big fish, she remembered, in that way that made writing fun but the rest of her life awkward and uncomfortable.

‘So, the bad news is that the leviathan is really bad?’ Gloria said.

Cara grimaced and pressed her palms together.

‘Well, it’s a lifeform that someone created just before the heat death of a universe, and it then starts travelling backwards through time and space. Eating everything in it’s path.’

Drea put her hand up, realised that she was beginning to experience the onset of a tension headache.

‘When you say everything, what does that mean?’

Cara’s face grew serious, which made the three women very nervous.

‘Time, space, everything. Mostly though it eats stories.’

Gloria fought a burst of nausea at the thought.

‘So, I get that this is a problem but we won’t be around to see it happen, I mean, time and space, are pretty big. Infinite kind of big.’

Cara frowned and gestured towards the klee cloud.

‘So’s the leviathan. We’ve been feeding it to see if there was a way to poison it or anything but it’s relentless.’

Olivia looked at the rifle in her arms, the care and attention in hours of polishing and oiling it, making sure that each part worked with clarity. She experienced the sadness of how impotent it was, here on this scale. She looked up.

‘It won’t stop, will it?’

Cara shook her head.

‘No, it won’t. But I have an idea.’

Gloria looked up at the klee cloud again.

‘And I take it, seeing as there are alien diplomats, that there’s a bit of a problem getting between your idea and actually doing it?’

Cara pointed at her and grinned.

‘Six points for Gryffindor. Yes, so I thought I would just go ahead and do it.’

Drea sighed and raised her eyebrows.

‘Do what?’

The woman’s smile widened in a way that made the three women nervous and excited at the same time. A smile that promised trouble, the spontaneous, hilarious kind. For the three women, that meant individual experiences and regrets, but this was a woman who spoke intimately about the scale of universes and stories with an exactness that convinced each of them that insanity, a brain haemorrhage or a simple dream might have been preferable.

‘We’re going to fucking kill it.’




comics, Uncategorized




Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a former Special Forces operative who now works as a mercenary. His world comes crashing down when the evil Ajax (Ed Skrein) tortures, disfigures and transforms him into Deadpool. The rogue experiment leaves Deadpool with accelerated healing powers and a twisted sense of humor. With help from mutant allies Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and Colossus (Stefan Kapicic), Deadpool uses his new skills to hunt down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

At some point, the comics industry needs to come out and accept that kids aren’t reading comics in the same numbers that they did back in the golden/silver age. Especially superhero comics and what was wonderful about Deadpool is that it’s cheerfully and openly adult in it’s humour, scatological and awash with dark jokes, sight gags, continuity references and fourth wall breaking observations that had me giggling when the film did not have me open mouthed with surprise and delight.

Ryan Reynolds is a classic leading man, handsome and self aware with an independent sensibility and an awareness of the ridiculous that fits perfectly within this milieu. Even his voice performance is wry and amusing, his chemistry with Morena Baccarin is brazen and sensual whilst having an endearing sweetness that makes it palatable.

The film works so well because it understands and embraces the spectacle of the comic books, fights and gore that defy physics and biology like a live action Looney Tunes. It’s a million times better than the grim-dark earnestness of Man of Steel and the upcoming Dawn of Justice. It has Gina Carano in it, TJ Miller as a comedic sidekick is wonderful and Alex Skrein as a physically appealing and morally reprehensible antagonist.

Go see it, because I want a sequel. It’s funny and appealing in all the ways that matter.


Hot Springs

There’s a mythic quality to it and I like how Hunter plays cheerfully fast and loose with history as well as showing a passionate detail for guns, the USMC and hunting. 

I like Earl Swagger a great deal,  he’s a more interesting protagonist than his son Bob Lee who appears here in utero and Hunter tells his story with fury and panache.  Its a pleasant pulpy read and I like the clipped reserve and how it contrasts with the vulgarity and excess that Hunter uses to show the genuine sociopathy of his antagonists.

I enjoyed it and I will be rereading Pale Horse Coming and Havana again at some point. 



This is such a beautiful film, combining a delirious fairytale aesthetic with a brutal, almost nihilistic action movie that deals with the machinations of government agencies. It’s an unseen and underappreciated film, which always tend to make me more loyal to it, in the same way that you like a band that few people have heard of. It was directed by Joe Wright, stars Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett, it’s a heady film, and it has someone from Downton Abbey getting their neck broken, which probably will appall some of you, but will appeal to others. 


Sifting Through Dreams

I keep a dream journal by the side of my bed. I’m not precious about ideas but as I have been giving up smoking, and wear a replacement patch, oftentimes I forget it’s there and leave it on at night which leads to some insanely intense dreams. Normally, most people would stop wearing the patch in favour of a less troubled sleep. 

But not me, no, I get a journal, a Game of Thrones mug full of pencils and then I go to work on that motherfucker. 

Results have varied, some interesting images and so far, one solid idea that made me chuckle to myself at 7am which coincidentally was the best action movie I ever saw, and it was inside my skull. 

No part of the animal goes to waste for me. I take writing seriously, but not myself. No, I work on being a good man, stoic in some ways, a dreamer in others but I try to do the right thing as often as I can.