Flash Fiction – High Horn

Posted in Flash Fiction with tags , , , on July 12, 2009 by coconutbadger

He pushed his shades up onto his forehead and strained his eyes in an attempt to focus on the small hand but couldn’t – he guessed around 3 hours had passed in the blink of an ecstatic eye. The club was a big open space with a cold industrial feel and the dance floor spinned round him like a whirlwind of exposed breezeblock and dull metal banisters. The throbbing base line wanking his spine would release its grip soon and lights would expose those who had sought to change themselves in the safety of darkness. Taking in the scene around him he prepared to slip into his usual comedown from wherever he had been, unaware a high horn was about to consume him.

He considered himself to be neither attractive nor ugly by the admittedly low standards back home and his fleshy Glaswegian frame and pasty skin wouldn’t have got him much in the way of female attraction – where it not for his substantive sprinkling of personality. His arrival alone in a new city on the other side of the world only yesterday had been motivated partly by a desire to travel before his 30th birthday (in 4 months) and also as a result of bumping into an old school friend last year. The friend admittedly was likely to be classed higher than he in the food chain of attractiveness if there were such a thing – but nonetheless he was adamant that the woman he had encountered on his travels in South America (and in particular those in Santiago Chile) were disproportionately enthused by the sight of any European non Latino type men (gringo’s).

Now that he had fully arrived back in the here and now from the luxurious numbness of his pill and booze induced haze the immediate and primal necessity was one of fast and urgent sex. He had no preference between sex of a casual nature or even black tie but it had to be tonight. The likely language barrier removed the safety net of awkward small talk and clumsy exchanges of phone numbers were totally out of the question. He required a signature on the line which is dotted and he required it tonight – there would be no contractual cooling off period either.

His body automatically moved into predator mode beneath him and suddenly the club opened up into the wide green expanse of a far away savannah at dusk. As the sun hovered gently vibrating on the cusp of the stretched horizon he knew he may not be the only hunter in the grass and began to focus on the area around him. Unfortunately those within swiping distance were either with partners, in packs or too alert and somehow aware of his presence and the associated dangers. Ready to flee their fate in a heartbeat. Not for them an early morning stranger fuck followed by a restless sleep and then the inevitability of being discarded, thrown into a waste bin like a razor full of hair – no longer of any use.

It was then that he saw it in a shadowy crevice to his right its elbow leaning on a speaker. It looked to be sufficiently drunk but still able to stand and had a demeneaour he hoped might have an air of post argument within it. It was older but still clung on to its youthful exuberance in a sad and desperate kind of way and seemed to be almost invisible to everyone apart from him. It had an indigenous look with shoulder length wayward brown hair framing an oval face of substantive cheekbones and black marble eyes. The smudged mascara and cherry red lips accentuated a strangeness against the backdrop of younger women who avoided makeup in such sweatily pointless conditions.

It was crucial he beat the lights and get out in the cover of darkness. There should be no opportunity to reconsider compliance and the inevitable stares could induce a cognizant jerk – so he made his move quickly. Like a great cat he moved through the elbows and shoulders between them balancing the need for both urgency and stealth. Within a flash he was there and it seemed startled then he was relieved when that initial look quickly faded into something between pleasant surprise and curbed enthusiasm. The smile slowly opened up a genetic window into Manco Capac’s legendary dynasty but the neon purpleised teeth seemed to veil a somewhat sinister look. This produced a sudden stab of fear in his chest as he now proceeded with caution into unfamiliar territory. Something didn’t smell right. The savannahs of Santiago never give up a meal without so much as a Fandango and if it does there is normally a good reason. He knew then that he was the only one who had taken the scent and there would be no need to chase this ageing Impala, no need to swipe at the fishnet ankles to knock them off balance. He was worried by the lyre shaped high horns and felt there may be something strangely familiar to him and yet to be revealed under the surface. One thing he knew for sure – either way – the hunt was over.

male impala


The Hallway

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 10, 2009 by coconutbadger

It’s late, he knows he should be in bed as it’s a school night. Something random on the box has caught his attention as the dark room’s walls dance around him in the jagged TV light. He will forgo morning freshness for an extension of his evening and leaves the room to get some juice from the fridge. He returns and tries to settle again but soon feels the twinge and knows he must go to the bathroom, but he is anxious. The kitchen is fine at night as it is the first room down the hallway from his living room but the bathroom is at the far end and involves passing the darkened rooms where he knows it waits. Since it’s appearance he has periodically been pissing in the kitchen sink so as to avoid passing an empty room but has stopped that, concerned at the implications on food preperation. He switches the hallway light on in the knowledge it won’t help, it only makes the dark rooms even darker to either side of him. First he passes the kitchen to his right, as he expected it is there. In his peripheral vision only, if he turns to look into a room it will be gone, but as he passes any room at night it is there and has been for a few weeks now. It is thickly black and tall, hooded perhaps but he can’t pick up such detail. Next he passes the guest bedroom and again it is there. Finally he reaches the sanctuary of the bathroom where he diverts his stream away from the water and on to the porcelain, loud splashing noise doesn’t seem appropriate. Then there is a flush and a wash of the hands before continuing back up the hallway past the guest bedroom on his right, it is there. Finally past the kitchen on his left, it is there. His eyes are soon on the TV but his thoughts are on those rooms. Why now? There have been several explanations he has come up with but the most obvious and plausible is that the figure is death and he is soon to die. What other reason could there be for a tall, black, probably hooded figure living in the peripheral vision of his unattended rooms. Tonight is different from previous nights though. A feeling of heightened awareness and terror washes over him unchecked as he powers down the TV and this time in complete darkness moves down the hallway toward his bedroom, past the kitchen on his right first, it is there. He stops at the guest bedroom on his right and stands motionless, it is there, he tries to focus on it as best he can without turning. It seems to move slightly in a forward and backward motion as though readying itself to dissapear when he turns to face it.

‘I don’t want to die.’

His words echo around the stillness of the hallway with it’s wooden floors. Perhaps it’s just a ghost, or better still simply his overactive imagination. Finally he can resist no longer and he turns to face the now empty room. He knows if he walks back down to the kitchen it waits for him in his peripheral vision but he is scared and plans to beg for sleep. His head twists and turns on the pillow for what seem like hours when the smell comes to him. He raises himself on to his elbows and looks at his closed bedroom door in the knowledge it is standing directly outside.

The Figure

London Bias – Again..

Posted in Scotland with tags , , on July 8, 2009 by coconutbadger

I read an interview with Lorraine Heggessey (former BBC controller) she said she was saddened by TV Production being so London centric and that she was committed to ‘nuturing talent in Scotland’. So how confused do you think I was when I heard recently that a new BBC commission was to be produced in Glasgow (called Hole in the Wall and is a shit Japanese rerun but that’s a seperate issue) the presenter of the prime time Saturday night show is Antonio Du Beke and he will commute from his London home to Glasgow to do the filming. So basically Lorraine there are no established/capable TV presenters living in Scotland, or even an emerging talent in need of that nurturing you promised?



Freedom of speech

Posted in Glasgow Specific with tags , , , , on July 2, 2009 by coconutbadger

Lord Carloway has brought the judiciary into line with Parliament in a blatant example of why I’m beginning to doubt the independent status of sections within our once highly respected legal establishment. Apparently he has upset quite a few libertarians in the past with other controversial decisions. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/8109359.stm

Politician or Judge?

Politician or Judge?

I have been a Rangers fan all my life. I am not and have never been anti catholic or anti republican. I have however sung anti catholic and anti republican songs at matches (not recently though as a result of political censorship). In this blog entry I would like to try and explain why someone like me would sing songs of this nature. Football is an entertainment (using the word entertainment when refering to the Scottish premier League is a stretch i know) and our stadia is the theatre where the drama is played out. Fans have always had a role to play as the revered ’12th man’ and that is to generate as much atmosphere as possible, the only tool fans have at their disposal in this regard is their voices, this atmosphere can on occassion encourage your team and hopefully intimidate the opposition. We all know 99% of Rangers and Celtic fans live their lives outwith the stadium with no interest in bigotry or intolerence, most have partners or friends from the opposing side and they live in harmony. I myself have many friends and aquaintences who are celtic fans and or catholics. I do however defend the right of both sets of fans to sing whatever they like in the context of sport/theatre combined with our constitutional right to freedom of speech. This is simply a post 9/11 bandwagon that Holyrood politicians jumped on to be seen to be stamping out any form of of racism or bigotry but it was a knee jerk and vote winning strategy which has done nothing but create a problem that didnt even exist befor their meddling. Of course both football clubs have a small minority of trouble makers but no one believes for one second that censorship will any way disuade them from seeking out confrontations.

If Rangers and Celtic fans are banned from singing lyrics relating to charcaters or events from actual historical events (wether intolerent or not) then whay are the English allowed to sing ‘rebellious scots to crush’ in the sixth verse of the English national anthem. I’m Scottish and i find the idea of being crushed as pretty extreme/intolerant. So Lord Carloway how about it, a bit of parity, or would that be too much to ask for.

Freedom of information act – My arse

Posted in Children with tags , , on June 27, 2009 by coconutbadger

For previous posts click on children category to right>

Having requested data relating to demographics and also exclusions over the last 20 years (under the freedom of information act) I received the response below from East Renfrewshire Council Education Department. So as requested in the email I telephoned Mary who really didn’t like my attitude at all. Mary suspects she will be unable to fulfil my request and didn’t take kindly to my insinuations she was involved in a cover up (is that a paper shredder I can hear in the background Mary?). She suspects she can can only get me 2 years worth of data (I asked for 20 years worth), she also reckons that the 2 years worth she ‘might’ be able to get me is in St Ninians High School itself which is locked up for summer holiday’s. On top of all that because of the ‘nature’ of the request she reckons I will have to pay for the information. I asked what she meant by ‘nature’ but she really doesn’t like being asked questions. I explained I would await her predictably uncooperative response prior to pursuing other avenues (higher authorities/appeals/panels etc). I suspect East renfrewshire (like me) are fully aware that the stats they are unwilling to release will illustrate their attempts (succesfull to date) to exclude children from socially excluded areas in order to focus on those from affluent areas and the associated benefits for their impressive league tables. Because we all know scheme kids are thick right.

Council Email

Tartan Stereotypes

Posted in Scotland with tags , , on June 22, 2009 by coconutbadger

In tonight’s episode of Eastenders the writer (Gillian Richmond) let herself down badly in my opinion by reinforcing all the old biscuit tin stereotypes that we all do our best to avoid. One of their characters (Ian Beale) and his family spend a week in Scotland and he comes back decked out in tartan announcing he has claims to the chieftanhood of some obscure clan or other. First off it’s extremely far fetched but more importantly it implies that tartan and clans is pretty much all you get on a trip to Scotland? It’s just lazy, unimaginitive and pretty condescending, come on guys get a grip. If you bothered your arse to actually visit (Oh shit nose bleeds north of St Albans) you would see that the Scottish culture is cosmopolitan, vibrant and were worth a lot more than that bollocks. I propose to the writers of River City that they should send a Glaswegian family to London for the week and have them arrive back in Glasgow with pearl buttons sewed on to their kappa tracky’s, eating jellied eels and singing chas and dave songs. Gillian Richmond you really are a twat.

Hello there we are from London!

Hello there we are from London!


jimmy hat

West Highland Way Poem

Posted in Scotland, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 19, 2009 by coconutbadger

It would be fair to say I was moved by the west highland way. I’ve been fortunate enough to do a fair bit of travelling to date but the landscape was like nothing I have come across. I’m a bit ashamed that it took me 37 years to make a journey that starts on my doorstep when I met people who had travelled thousands of miles to do it. If you want to see more pic’s add me on facebook (Mark MacNicol). I could probably write a 2nd novel using the trek as my inspiration (I may well do that, I have an idea about a contemporary retake on the Glen Coe massacre) but I wanted to do something quickly while I still have the smell in my nostrils and the blisters on my balls. So I wrote a poem and used as my inspiration the section between Rannoch Moor and the Devil’s Staircase. Eerie would be an understatement and many new friends I met along the way all agreed the place ‘felt’ a bit funny. We told some great ghost stories around the campfire that night drinking warm cider and eating monkey nuts, especially ones about the Fingalians who lived on the land 1700 years ago and had many famous battles with Vikings..

Breathe on me oh Fingalian..

Breathe on me oh Fingalian..

In tribute to West Highland Way June 09

The other place’

 We walk in your shadows across the floors of moss and heather

You don’t see us, but we are here

We protect you from those who fester and decay in the other place

This is our home, we are as fearless as we are Fingalian


Your pampered feet touch the same that once we could feel beneath us

Our breath is your wind and Norseman’s tears your rain

Death and hell has raped this land in the name of paper

The land always believes it belongs to the sky


We Fingalian lay claim only to our souls

In the darkness and in the light, we shall protect you

We walk as giants in this world, as in the last

For when the great Fingal Horn sounds, we will rise again


Mark MacNicol