Stories 2020

Welcome to the newest section of the blog – this will list the short stories/ features/ novellas that I have created.

All these stories exist in a Universe where they all hang together, which I call My Creative Universe (MCU) – hope no-one else has used that acronym 🙂

The first draft of the MCU can be found below (it’s too big for a post 🙂 )

The first ones are:

The Girl Who Came Back

1936, Puerto Maldonado, the gateway to the Amazon Jungle. The Leschenne sisters have disappeared, swallowed up by the jungle they wanted to explore and embrace. Clem Godley, a part-time PI and spy, has been tasked to find the sisters, dead or alive.
When the youngest sister, Lorelei, emerges unscathed from the jungle, Clem thinks his prayers have been answered – but has she returned alone?
The local priest, plagued with doubts about her true nature, confines her to the church. Fearing for her sanity, Clem frees her, and they escape to London, but there is something in the darkness that is never far behind, evidenced by a trail of bodies and blood.
Will Clem solve the mystery before he, Lorelei and his friends suffer the same grisly end?

The Gauntlet: The Bullied Kid

The Sixties, Roswell, New Mexico. Luis was nervous but excited about his first day at work. He soon discovered that the Roswell facility was full of strange characters – such as the bullying staff sergeant and the strange hooded creature. What other wonders and challenges awaited in the underground laboratories? Luis was eager to find out. However, becoming economically active drew the attention of the Gilbert Giancarlo gang, and Luis feared for his life.
After an accident in the underground labs, Luis thought he’d found a way to escape the bullying – but his actions caused events to spin out of control, threatening his family and friends.
Had things gone too far? Could Luis ever control the forces he had set in motion and would he survive the ultimate confrontation?

Is there any such thing as a quality British Tradesman?

This post is written as I am left reeling by yet another encounter with those ephemeral, will o’ the wisps known as the Great British Tradesmen. I am obviously talking about the semi(?) skilled workers that build the UK infrastructure (such as bricklayers, plumbers, decorators, and such-like) but focussing in particular on those who ply their trade (?) preying on the unsuspecting great British public.

I have been (un)fortunate enough to have had to depend on their services several times in the past few years – and every experience has been a horror story – I’ll share just a couple here to avoid boring you all to death.

The first ‘incident’ involved remodelling our bathroom – the ‘tradesman’ in question quoted a fixed price for the work, then proceeded to drag out a job that should have taken two weeks at most to a three month ordeal, and on top of that he announced at the end that because of ‘extra work’ that he’d had to do – the price would double! So much for fixed price eh?

The second example happened just last week. We engaged a small local company to remodel our garden so we could ostensibly fit a bigger shed. All started well but then towards the end of the week it started becoming a rush job, and items I understood were part of the job got ‘descoped’ – or ‘that’ll cost you extra mate.’ So now I have (in my eyes) a half-finished job, no shed and looking at extra cost (again) to get to an acceptably finished job.

So my (simple) question is – is there any such thing as a quality British tradesman? My criteria would be:

  • Reasonable estimate based on customer requirements (NOT gimme three grand and I’ll sort it chief – sort what, I ask myself? Probably clearing out my bank account 🙂 )
  • Fixed price, letting the customer know beforehand of any additional, unexpected costs – and to discuss and agree on possible solutions with the customer as well
  • Pride in their work – see a job to the end and finish it to a standard they would be proud of

Are those things too much to ask for? So far I have struggled to find a ‘tradesman’ who meets any one of the above criteria, let alone all three. I guess I’ll just have to keep looking …..