Category Archives: Short Stories

Short Stories what I have wrote

The Song and Dance Man

. The Song and Dance man.

[This was published about a year ago in an online publication called ‘The Cracked Eye. They even paid me for it. However they ‘lost their benefactor’ and so are no longer publishing. That’s sad, but not uncommon. It’s a nice story and quite personal to me, and as it’s no longer available I thought I would put it here. x

….and yes, I resisted the temptation to edit. (almost) Michael]

‘So he calls himself Mr Bob Jangles….the song and dance man.’ said Matt.

‘Does he, does he, does he now?’ said Luke.

‘He does.’ replied Matt.

They were sitting in the snug of the Hemlock and Cup, a bar exactly halfway between their places of work. On their way home. It was a venue fought for by each. Inched towards, and agreed that it would suit both. A victory that could be shared. Occasionally they would wonder if it was a greater conquest for the other.

‘I’m taking the long walk.’

‘Ah, the outhouse beckons.’

‘Don’t call it that.’ said Luke, visibly bristling.

‘That’s what it’s called.’

‘I just, can’t stand, y’know, names for that place.’

Matt reminded himself that euphemisms were a pockmarked minefield with him. Only some were permitted.

The toilet was the long walk. That was ok. It was down a long chilly corridor. And you could, should you wish (and if the window was open), go eyeball to eyeball with anyone passing by on the street, whilst peeing.

Matt ate some peanuts joylessly and wondered when Luke had stopped calling it the outhouse. He definitely used to. He scanned the place. Busy enough. Tuesday night: for diehards, try-hards, and the lost and lonely. That’s what they all used to say. Back in the day.

A group of guys, around his age sat in the corner chatting animatedly. Their look was familiar for the area. In Noho, just north of Soho. Whatever. They were sporting satchels and glasses that were remarkable but not odd. Definitely media types, stuck between ideas and management and cleaving closer to the latter he reckoned.

A group of Dark-Suits bustled in laughing, braying at some joke which Matt was certain was at someone’s expense.

Luke returned and stood over him, the way he did sometimes. He would often just stand and look at him or all around, with something like ostentation. It was an unfathomable pose that perhaps suggested a promise unmet.

‘Success?’ said Matt, breaking the stalemate.

‘I am ignoring that comment.’

‘City boys.’

‘Eh?’

‘Over there.’ Matt motioned to the Dark Suits that had gathered around a fruit machine. They watched them for a minute. They were all on their toes, rearing at it and barking orders respectfully to the little one in the middle punching at its lights. To Matt it looked a little obscene.

‘Let’s go to the hole.’

‘The snug?’

‘Er, yeah. Can’t be bothered with that lot.’ said Matt tilting his head towards the fruit machine.

‘Oh they’re alright. Just a bit exuberant.’

It was at that point they roared as one at a win and the machine played a bugle chorus whilst spewing out pound coins. Matt stood up and Luke followed him down to the back dragging his heels as he went.

Matt liked it there. It was detached but attached. Down there they could see across the rest of the bar, albeit at a funny angle.

It was just after seven pm, in their pub. They were moving onto their second pint. Perhaps anything was possible. There was a sense of a delicious, mischievous idling. It could be a lot like being young, the pub. But that feeling was less common now, than before.

He thought about his plan. And more specifically about the objections his friend would raise. It seemed to him sometimes that Luke thought it his role to oppose. To contradict. Years ago he had stood and watched him do it to so many of their colleagues and mutual friends. It was only recently he realised that he was now regularly directing his fire at him.

‘Yeah Mr Bob Jangles, the song and dance man.’

‘Oh. Back on that are we? I’m going to stick my neck out here: you want to go see him.’ said Luke.

‘Yep.’

‘And you want me to go too.’

‘Yep.’

‘One of your, adventures.’ And he twisted himself and their history around the word.

‘Spose so.’

‘I don’t know. I mean, no, let me rephrase that.’ He lifted his pint, half way to his mouth. ‘Na. It’s not me.’

He took a budgie sip and set it back down on his beer mat carefully. Matt said nothing. He’d smoke him out with waiting. Luke lifted the iPad and vaguely pointed at the venue, the clapping people and the disco lights. ‘I mean heelo. I live in Crouch End.’

‘You live near Crouch End.’

A pause then as they considered their next moves.

‘What does he even do? This chappie, Bob Jangles.’

Matt’s eyes widened. Normally it was the other way round. He looked at him long and hard, relishing the moment. ‘Bob Jangles, the Song and Dance man, what does he do?’

‘Oh god.’ Quietly as Luke lifted his pint again, seeking solace before the onslaught.

‘He sings!’

‘And he dances! Right right right!’

They both took a proper drink.

‘Dick.’ Matt said it quietly, almost out of obligation to form.

You’re the dick.’ Luke replied out of the corner of his mouth, with the same nod to propriety.

This is what they had done, for a long time. The years were beginning to gather up. They had history these two. They had different eras and jobs and girlfriends to sift through. Ignominies to reheat, triumphs to replay.

And Matt still found it fun. This barbed banter. Mostly. But it could often escalate. Suddenly become too sharp. Or too prolonged. It could become a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Assume the shape of the burdens of their lives and their frustrations which were farther apart than ever before and filling up with pressure. Only the pub, made it look like the old days. Although there was just the two of them now, more often than not.

‘And you think this is the guy for your 35th  birthday thing then, do ya?’ said Luke.

‘Could be. Could be a laugh.’

They said nothing for a bit. A silence less than completely comfortable.

‘Amateur drinkers.’

‘Eh?’

‘Those two.’ Luke nodded towards a couple of guys who stood chatting at the bar. This was his phrase for anyone who he deemed a time waster.

‘Maybe.’ said Matt noncommittally.

‘Balls. They’ve got Home Counties calling to them, after one pint.’ He held up a stiff finger as he spoke, stared at it intently.

Luke pointed towards the iPad and a close-up of the singer. ‘Come on let’s go and see this guy for shits and giggles.’

Luke lifted the iPad and examined the website. The singer’s head was thrown back, he was lost to the music; a study in affected melodrama. Most ridiculous. He held it close to his friend face and peeped out from behind it.

Why?

‘I like that era, is all.’ said Matt and he took a quick sip of his drink. ‘And kitsch is cool.’

‘Kitsch is cool. I know that. I live in Crouch End.’

Near.’

Exactly. Even cooler.’ He shifted round in his seat to face him. Things were getting serious. ‘Look, I have my doubts about this man’s credentials.’

Matt smiled at that.

‘He’s performing in Croydon on Friday.’ Matt dished out his toothy grin, and sent his eyebrows up slowly, expectantly.

‘Croydon. Jesus H! I am not going to fucking Croydon.’

Matt managed somehow to get the eyebrows even higher.

‘I live in Crouch End.’

They got the 19:07 out of Victoria to Croydon East stopping at Clapham Junction. All the way Luke said he’d never ventured farther than the Junction before and to prove it he drank deeply from a can of Stella whilst breathing into a rolled up copy of the Evening Standard.

‘It’s an adventure.’ said Matt, and he meant it.

‘Ha, so’s going to the toilet in the middle of the night.’

‘Blackadder Series 3.’

Luke paused, lifted his head out of the newspaper. ‘Series 2, dick.’

They headed towards a pub called the Spreadeagle where Mr Bob Jangles (the Song and dance man) was performing. Matt was excited. This guy looked almost the same age as his Father. Maybe this one would be the link. Maybe he would know him.

They sat through the first song [Chicago.] in a kind of blizzard of astonishment. He sounded like he was constantly clearing his throat, and his face was the colour of an elbow, and just as wrinkled.

‘Ok. Can we move further back.’ said Luke.

‘Yeah. Let’s retreat a little.’

‘Yeah, at least as far as Clapham.’

‘No, we’re staying.’

They moved to an alcove, where he could be tolerated. Just.

‘I thought opening with Chicago – my kind of town, Chicago, was bold on any number of levels.’ said Luke leaning back into his comfy seat. For all his talk he could make a home anywhere. He was like a cat.

‘I’d have to agree. And playing with the lyrics at the end, my kinda town Croy-on-don! was, audacious.’

‘How did you find this guy?’

‘Ah, well the internet I suppose.’

‘Ok.’

In the background he laid into ‘Please release me’, with some gusto.

‘But why, I suppose, is the real question.’

‘Beer?’

‘Go on then, I suppose it’s a novelty.’

Matt went to the bar and surveyed the place as he waited. It was a proper pub. A handsome, sturdy Victorian Gin palace, with an ornate back bar and high ceilings. Everyone was taking Bob’s performance as seriously as Bob himself. They’d even (with some ceremony) turned off all the fruit machines when he took to the tiny stage.

As he waited to be served he wondered if he could tell him why they were there. He wanted to tell him. He wanted to be able to.

‘Yes fella, what can I get you.’

He stared at the barman a moment or two before he remembered what to say and how to say it. Whilst behind him on stage and with a deft change of the disco lights, Bob segued into ‘You’ve lost that loving feelin.

They were on their way back to civilisation. Headed for the Junction, Victoria, the tube and home.

‘He didn’t dance I noticed.’ said Luke.

‘Eh?’

‘Bob, the song and dance man.’ And he performed a fey little mime with his hands. ‘No dancing. A distinct lack of rhythmic gyration.’ And then he sipped from his hip flask neatly.

Matt didn’t say anything.

‘Anyway why are you worrying about your birthday, it’s ages off. You are still a roarer, a puker, a rodgererer, you know a gay bachelor.’

‘Well I suppose I do a bit of rogering from time to time, but I am thinking about it.’

‘You think too much.’

‘And you don’t think enough.’

They were both right of course, in that way that old friends are.

‘That place reminded me of home.’

Luke nodded. ‘Yeah, bit.’

They were from opposite ends of Yorkshire. But there was something about the pub and its people. Their smaller horizons. There was the same parochialism. They had each been surprised that the borders of Metropolitan London could run out so swiftly and so definitively.

Luke turned to him, ‘You still say home.’

‘Yeah.’

‘For Yorkshire.’

‘Yeah,’

‘But this is home surely?’

‘I suppose.’

As the train pulled away from the busiest junction in England Matt looked out his window across the glowering approach to London proper. The pools of orange light and the dark recesses, the trains lines turning left and running steady onwards to Victoria. And as he did he thought about the night his Dad left. And whether he had actually heard him whistle as he went up the garden path. He thought he could remember that. But perhaps he only imagined it later. It was just another thing he’d left him wondering about. He was always whistling, that song and dance man.

They rolled into Battersea Park which Matt always forgot about. As usual no one got on, and only a few got off. He watched two girls, who looked too young to be out, alight and scurry down the platform giggling in heels and holding each other, arms locked together, the way he thought girls only did up north. They looked so close.

He tried to remember if he’d ever told him about it. Luke. He’d told so few people. An old girlfriend, someone he’d thought he’d been close to. And yes, maybe Luke at the end of some vodka fuelled party as they faced oblivion together. Yes in that flat in Camden. He’d told him of the abandonment, the confusion, and the burgeoning guilt that over the years seeps in to fill all the gaps. How all he could do sometimes was look back and imagine. Hopelessly.

‘Do you want to punch him or hug him Matt?’

That’s what he’d asked him. Back then. When they’d still used each others’ names. Back when Luke would still show some curiosity about him. Back when they didn’t know each other that well and so could talk, and learn about the other.

How had he answered him? Through the pumping Born slippy that shook the walls.

‘That’s what I want to find out Luke.’

And that hadn’t changed.

On the approach to Victoria, as he stared through the derelict, neglected and crumbling upended table that was Battersea Power station, he wondered why had he no longer talked about it with his oldest friend in London. How his Father had just gone. One night. Off, whistling into the fog. It was possible to do that then. In that era. Harder now. And easier to track people down, of course.

That’s what he had been doing half-heartedly for the last few years, now that he had caught up with the internet and slowed down with the drinking, which had taken so much of his time for years.

Bob Jangles, when he had approached him, had clearly no clue what he was on about. At first Matt thought he was drunk. Really drunk. But then he realised he was just old and a bit odd. And they had turned the music up. It was a struggle to be understood. Regardless of what Matt said he kept asking him if he wanted his autograph until out of sheer frustration he had said yes fine, yes give me your autograph. But finally, he’d got his point across and he’d said, no son, no, he’d not heard of his Dad. But he’d ask around and could he have a drink at all for his trouble? He’d asked him apologetically. And Matt had got him one with that same awkwardness.

And now he just felt stupid and confused. Nothing really changed.

They tolerated the Victoria line in silence but there was something incessant about the journey. And then, outside Finsbury park – that late night tube stop par excellence – as people poured out and parted around them as if they were boulders in a river bed, they stood and looked at one another absently with a silence pooling about them.

‘Is this about your Father?’ said Luke, looking him in the eye for a change.

‘Happen it may be.’

‘He’s gone.’ As he flipped out his phone and checked for signal.

‘I know. I know.’ said Matt quickly.

And he got it. At last. Suddenly it was over.

‘Maybe we’ll do the Hemlock next week.’ said Luke. He wasn’t looking at him anymore. He still examined his phone closely. He started to sidle off and Matt noticed he was nodding as he went. A steady stream of tiny, almost imperceptible, movements.

Matt nodded, just the once.

‘Maybe Luke.’

‘Tonight was…. different.’ His parting shot, over his shoulder.

Matt watched his old friend head off to get the W3, meandering his way round the determined sway of this last late drunken commute.

People continued to part around him like he wasn’t there until he walked up the Stroud Green road which was teeming as usual with taxis and kebab shops and drunken squabbles of people his age and younger, all heading home suspended under the street lights, and the flashing neon of London’s counterfeit night.

At the corner of Ennis road, with its perpetually interfered with sign, he stopped and rooted for the flyer in his pocket. He took it out and looked at Bob Jangle’s autograph and email scrawled in spider black, child-like capitals. And then he just let it slip into the wide waiting mouth of some London bin.

He walked quietly up the steps to his flat.

Inside, at the kitchen window he saw the slipshod, haphazard roofs that cluttered the view across his little slice of North London. It looked peaceful. Homes and lives were hidden out there. And this was his. He’d been there six weeks, but his life lay all about him in unpacked boxes. He sensed them, bristling behind him, with something like yearning.

He blinked, ran the tap, filled a glass of water and drank it. Straight up and down. Then another. He looked up again, but this time he saw his own reflection ghosted in the window. He fought past it to look out across the city again.

‘It’s Series 3. You dick.’

Just into the night. With no particular fervour. With no more ado.

Tomorrow he decided on the stairs, he’d move in properly, at last.

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Maudlin House

Maudlin House is “is slushy words and bathetic prose all wrapped into one mawkishly nostalgic literary journal. Maudlin House is a monthly literary publication that welcomes unsolicited flash, poetry and fiction submissions by both emerging, and established authors. We admire all forms of transgressive, absurdist, and minimalist literature…. ” Sez here…. http://maudlinhouse.net/

They are based in America (fancy) and they took the very wise step of publishing a piece of flash fiction of mine in their 14th issue…

You can read it here.

http://maudlinhouse.net/it-is-feeding/

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, but why’s it called The Cracked Eye….

I was published. Again. Dammit, but they even paid me. I am proud of this story. It’s quite personal and I am very pleased to see it in The Cracked Eye along with some very nice artwork. If you want to read it you can buy it on the link below. I am in Issue Two. Or you could even subscribe to The Cracked Eye – it’s a great magazine and full of short fiction, cartoons, graphic serials …  have a look-see. https://crackedeye.com/

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An Honest Ulsterman.

The Honest Ulsterman…..

http://humag.co/

From their website: ‘Chancing upon a copy of The Honest Ulsterman in the early 1970s, the poet Philip Larkin was said to have gasped in horror, “Good God, do we subscribe to this?” Some would take such a dismissal as an insult; to The HU, it was and remains a backhanded compliment.’

The Honest Ulsterman is a long-running Northern Ireland literary magazine that was established by James Simmons in 1968. It was then edited for twenty years by Frank Ormsby. Those published in those early years came from the great and good of Irish and International writing and included Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley and Derek Mahon. It also provided an early, often the first, platform for subsequent waves of writers such as Paul Muldoon, Ciaran Carson, Medbh McGuckian,[Si Law] and numerous others.

It returned as an online publication in April, 2014 and is edited, I would say carefully curated by a rather well read chap by the name of Darran Anderson. I am very proud to have a Short Story included in its second edition.

http://humag.co/prose/recursion-to-the-mean

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Short Story: The Kitchenaid

This is strictly speaking, ‘Flash Fiction‘, or short short fiction…..

This was published in Number Eleven – an Irish Online Literary magazine. Always nice to get published in Ireland, I sometimes think the standard’s even higher there…..

http://numberelevenmagazine.com/the-kitchenaid/

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Short Story: The Story of the King and Queen

…. I wrote this in a kind of frenzy. It just sort of happened. Its a Fairy Tale….. I could try and find somewhere for it, but sometimes you just can’t be bothered with all that. So here it is…..

*

The Story of the King and the Queen.

Hello I’m a storyteller. And I’ll spin you a tale, although every word is true.  To be quite honest, I’d just wandered in this place for an ale. Yes, before So, Ho. Hello, hello, Soho. Oh yes I’ve travelled in your realm before. But that’s another story…. to business.

Once, (oh yes), there were a King and a Queen. Well no, that’s not quite right. Once, before that, there was a boy and a girl. They grew up on two sides of a river, a stone’s throw apart (if you were very strong), but there was never any stone throwing. They were a good match these two. No, a perfect match as is the way of things sometimes, if you’re very lucky. Which they were. But not always. No one’s lucky all the time.

So they met, these children, and played and fought and loved one other before they knew what that meant. Before they’d tasted how sweet and bitter a thing it could be: love. And each of us must learn this.

But the years floated idly by. Until later, on the cusp of adulthood they were at a dance together.

Like brother and sister they were then. Teasing and laughing and looking each other square in the eye, like they were always on the brink of remembering something. Oh to be young again.

The day was faltering into a long languid fading of high summers gift to us: that feeling that you’re amidst something magical and timeless. It was a night and day, really like there had never been. Oh, I was there myself. Yes, I saw it: the moment. When it was like they were meeting for the first time. I say a moment, but you could see it building.

They had watched each other all night, curious as to what exactly was amiss. He, this sinewy, glowing specimen fresh from the fields of harvested corn. She a flaxen curl of teenage beauty that had, it seemed, blossomed with the most consummate of timings. And the light conspired too. Ah, when it came, that moment low it went sweeping across the fields like a message of golden hope sent from the past and showing the way into the future. It caught her, held her in a new frame, ringlets falling on either side of bare shoulders, and he reflected back, his awe matching her beauty in the gloaming.

And then they just danced. Better than anyone had or ever would, ever after. Yes, I was there. Me and my beady eye you see.

And from then on it was always like that: a first rush of youth and vigour, their, what is it you say here, their relationship was just prefect.

But anyway, in the way of these things they became King and Queen. You’ll have to read about that elsewhere. Time is of the essence. I have an assignation. But they did.

And further and in pursuance of that fact (and in the general commitment to his commitments, the King went off to fight another King. And he beat him.)

But on his return weakened and distracted by the thought of seeing his love again after six months of siege and campaigning, he was tricked by a water sprite. The very worst kind. Some say the war, was all about that; when he had reached down into the stream for a cooling quench and this evil spirit took him. Bewitched him so that he fell into a walking sleep. Lost. Locked up within himself, and left to wander the deep dark forest with his face changed, his mind utterly clouded. He could you see only sometimes guess at who he really was.

The Kingdom fell. Or most of it. The Queen was besieged from without and within. A pack of curs at her door night and day looking for her love and the empty throne by her side. And armies to the North and the East mounting, waiting to strike with a full force when the time was ripe. Dark Days indeed travellers.

She fought back, of course. She was a country girl and used to feuds. She became a Warrior Queen and wily. She fought them on every front. Pushing back at the keening sadness that touched everything she did. She took her burden, her grief (a thing that had made her hollow) and used it. She fired it all in a kiln within…..until she had forged a rage that she fed off. It kept her going. And it made her ruthless…

*

What was the right answer today? The King wondered and damn quickly. She was a woman, a Queen, not to trifle with. The last man who had was in pieces. (of course friends he didn’t know he was the King. But he’d made his way to her Court, drawn irresistibly by a force greater than all of us.)

‘What’s your name Traveller man?’ She asked him this every day. And each day he told her a different name. Sometimes it amused her. ‘Or do you want to end up like him.’

She pointed towards the man’s head stuck up on the side of the wall in the courtyard. Opposite, on the other wall, his legs were dangling, kicking in the wind. Oh, he wasn’t dead. He was in two. She had magic you see. A limited supply, that was diminishing.

‘At least he can see the river.’ said the man.

She followed his eyes to the river glistering with a thousand twinkling sunpennies that dazzled the way the kingdom used to, in the old days.

‘I said, Raggedy man. Who are you?’

‘Not a spy your majesty.’

‘Well you would say that wouldn’t you?’

‘I would. But look into my eyes.’

‘I do Raggedy man. I do.’

‘And tell me what you see. Because I’d love to know.’

‘You would order a Queen?’

‘Not likely ma’am. Not this Queen.’

She stood closer, faced him squarely and peered. Her few loyal courtiers moved nervously.

‘I see that you are bedraggled. Mostly.’

‘Aye mainly bedraggled and begraddled, but loyal and honest too.’

‘And a name?’

‘Just Jack. That’s all I remember.’

The Queen. Mad, bad and dangerous to cross pondered a while. Thought about this man who confounded her and wasn’t quite what he seemed. Why had she spared him? Why, when he looked as odd and quirsy and begraddled had she not just had him thrown off the battlements a long time ago. They were both equally confused about that.

‘I call him my yawning backside traveller man.’ And she motioned to the poor fool who’d tried to fool her.

‘Your backside, your majesty.’

‘You will push me too far Raggedy man.’ Airily and warily delivered.

But there was something behind that regal countenance. She turned to her courtiers. ‘From this angle he looks like he is smiling doesn’t he?’ pointing but not looking upwards, at the dangling legs, and the rest….

‘Yes ma’am.’ They said quickly.

Yes ma’am!’

And she laughed that mad, bad laugh of hers and swept out with her dwindling retinue in tow.

Yes a little magic was all she had left. And magic’s like ale. The stuff at the bottom of the pot is not as good as the stuff at the top. And everyone knew it.

*

Later that night when the feasting was over.

‘I’ll ask you again, fool. What is your name?’

‘Your Royal Highness, I don’t have the fullness of the knowing of that. But I can say my few friends from the forest call me Jack.’

‘Yes Jack. Jack.’ She said the word like she’d never heard it before. ‘Jack the traveller man.’ And she flashed him a look as a frisson of something went around the court that was milling as usual with the flotsam and jetsam of a kingdom at war with itself.

‘I have a challenge for you ma’am.’

‘Ah! You would test the monarch?!’

‘No Ma’am your highness and Majesty.’ He stood still. Let her settle.

‘Tell me Jack, what have you heard of me?’

‘Mostly? Scary stuff, your highness.’

She strode out a few paces, pointlessly. She looked magnificent when she moved, just like he’d imagined. Like a great ship cruising. Effortless, imposing. Rather glorious.

‘What is this challenge then?’

‘Just that you might dance as well as I had heard. I heard you danced well long ago, with someone.’

At this latest audacity what little of the courtiers who remained fell silent. And then he saw the thing that she could feel. A lightening. A thin slip of the past like the rays of a long gone dawn, rising out the corners of her mouth. A mouth he realised he’d seen before. Long, long ago. And he let slip a smile, balling it up quickly and dropping it behind him. But she noticed and he noticed her noticing. Oh yes.

It seemed very important to him then to get her to dance. It seemed that his own life, the safety of the Queen and even the kingdom depended on it.

The raggedly man went over to the Minstrels, kicked them to wake them and asked if they knew an old waltz. Something from way back.

‘Aye. A long time ago I danced well enough. Come then, and take what may be your last dance.’

But they looked into the other’s eye and it was something like spring then. ‘And you are quite sure you aren’t an assassin?’

‘Aye, sure enough.’

‘Then let’s dance wild, raggedy man.’

And they did. They floated round the floor. No one had ever seen anyone dance with such grace. Apart from me. Even to see it was like a gift from heaven itself.

She was smiling. Smiling! And he was changing before our eyes.

The scoundrels fled (they’d get their desserts later) as these two dipped, melted into their past and snatched it back. They were returned. Becoming as they had been, and all of elicited through the prefect steps of a country waltz. Oh my wasn’t it a thing!

‘My darling, can it be you?’ said the Queen. She had stopped and was holding his face that was shining, like hers.

‘Can it be true?’ he said. ‘That I am who I have dreamt of. I am the King?’

But he was not quite there yet and so the Queen followed her instincts and kissed him long and deep and hard.

‘You are my King.’ she said as the last of her icy tears fell down her cheek.

‘Yes. And you are my Queen.’

They embraced and then she said, ‘My darling, what do you say we go to our chamber and we do not come out until we are fully reacquainted.’

‘Oh you are a thoroughly modern monarch.’ He replied as he took her hand before they walked off to do just that.

We’ve time for a moral before Soho. Just this….

That love, along with a little bit of wit, can conquer most anything. Even a broken, frozen heart can be melted and a king deposed within himself can be saved, returned, brought home.

The past is truly another country. Where there are things unknown, mysterious and perhaps beyond us. But sometimes something sticks. And I feel privileged to have been there when they met on that thick summer’s evening – and when they met again, in the empty court of the Queen Louie and King John, when she melted in wonder at the sight of her long lost love returned at last.

And finally brothers and sisters they went on to rule with, benign wisdom. They raised two of each, and lived to a ripe old age, through what came to be known as a Golden Era. Or I suppose you could say, for the purposes of brevity… that they all lived happily, ever, after.

[bows].

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Short Story: A Very Important Meeting.

A little while ago I had a story accepted and performed, or ‘declaimed’, at the Liars’ League.

From their website….

What is the Liars’ League?

Writers write. Actors read. Audience listens. Everybody wins…

Established in April 2007, Liars’ League is a themed monthly fiction  night, where professional actors (from our company of around 100) read new short stories by writers from around the world. Events are held at The Phoenix pub in Cavendish Square, Central London, and readings are filmed in HD for YouTube and podcast for free download: currently, our online archive holds over 300 stories.

We also have Liars’ League franchises in New York City, Hong Kong, and Leeds.

*

It was all very exciting. And drunken.

What can I say about the performance? Two things. Firstly, please read before watching it. And they did it better in rehearsal.

That’s all.

Here is the link to the story. It’s sweet.

http://liarsleague.typepad.com/liars_league/2013/02/a-very-important-meeting-by-michael-carey.html

And this is the Liars’ website. Go see them – the standard is very high and you won’t get a better night of culture in the centre of London…. All for a fiver too. Support them.

http://liarsleague.typepad.com/liars_league/

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