Emhoola’s Gibbet

MJG Fantasy, Stories 4 Comments

Emhoola peddled magic. He sold it by the cartload, and everywhere he went it was bought with self-deceiving gusto. He sold it in cheap brass compasses that no longer worked, in the shriveled corpses of pack donkeys whose heads lolled flea-bitten against the sales-rack strappings of his wagon, in straw dolls and dried frogs and mosquito paste and all variety of herbs and medicinal fungi. He was a collector of all things collectible, and he purveyed these wares with a rag and bone man’s pitch few could resist. ?Freedom,” he’d call out, as he strode the dusty main streets of …

Isidro’s Furnace

MJG Stories, Surreal Leave a Comment

Isidro’s furnace demanded FBI agents, but he only fed it limestone and coke, sometimes Rice Crispies if it was good. In return, it fed his insanity. Neither got exactly what they wanted, but it was a happy enough arrangement for the both of them. “FBI agents!” it would roar down the phone at Isidro, who often held a towel to his other ear to keep the noise in. “Out there, in the lawn, take your blunderbuss to the cheeky lot of them!” Isidro would look out at the lawn, see only squirrels. “They look more like squirrels,” he would say, …

Hunting Ground

MJG Science Fiction, Stories Leave a Comment

REN, TEKALUS, LORIE They pick up the blip off the bait drop corner, burning bright green on the inner screen of their visors, flashing with a rapid-fire heartbeat, scouring afterglow trails into their eyes. It’s the strongest they’ve ever seen. Each blood beat swells across their visors like an explosion, waves spreading and lapping over the in-screen maps, washing out grey line buildings and buckled black roads beneath it. “He’s a fat one, eh?” shouts Lorie happily, plumps out his black armoured arms before him like they’re resting on a vast belly. Ren and Tekalus wince at the static burst …

On the Raft

MJG Stories, Surreal 6 Comments

I know you remember this. I woke up on the raft. I’d been sick. I’d been sick for weeks. Everything before was a delirious nightmare. The murders. The container. You. It was all merged into one with her singing lullabies over the top. Her spoon-feeding me. Her weeping at night and stroking my face and telling me everything was going to be alright. I felt better. I felt clearer. For the first time I felt I could control my body, my mind. The fog was lifted. And I realized I was starving. My stomach thrummed with pain. I realized I …

Caterpillar Man @ Shelter of Daylight!

MJG Books, Stories 4 Comments

One of my stories, Caterpillar Man, has found its way into print. I don’t really know how this happened. I don’t recall the magazine editor checking in with me about the story, though I do recall them asking me how I wanted to be paid. Hey cool, I thought, and who are you? Back from my UK holiday I found my contributor’s copy waiting in the post-box- my story is the last in it. The magazine is a biannual anthology, I think I submitted the story to a sister publication about a year ago. You can buy it here. Or …

Leanna Drew the Moon

MJG Stories, Surreal 2 Comments

Leanna knew she was a special little girl, because the moon spoke to her. She knew that it shouldn’t, and that she shouldn’t listen, but none of that stopped it from happening. She drew pictures at school of her talking to a big moon face, and the moon saying things like “try eating those soap suds, Leanna,” or “that dog wants a bite of plasticine, go on,” and in the pictures she would go ahead and do it. The moon, after all, was her friend. But it wasn’t always so nice. She was 5 when it told her to kill …

Storm Watcher

MJG Stories, Surreal 2 Comments

The storm-post was made of crumbling old red brick. Ragged weeds grew up its chipped and tattered sides, through its paving stones and round the observation platform binoculars on its roof. The grindstone railings that once prevented tourists from falling over the edge had collapsed inwards in a landslide a long time ago. Its windows were all broken or cracked. At night the long low mountain winds rushed cold down its halls draped with autumnal leaves, crinkling in the dry air. Stockrooms filled with ancient paraphernalia all had a low white carpet of snow. Once it had been a place …

Route 66

MJG Science Fiction, Stories 3 Comments

Black highway snaking through an empty desert, star-studded midnight sky overhead, reflecting on the polished blacktop. Constellations dot to dot across the shiny old road, here and there disturbed by the central glint of refracting cat’s eyes, forming new and curious imaginary beasts on the black surface, the earth’s alteration of the heavens’ map. All around blocky sandstone buttes loom from the darkness, like giant gardeners tending to the strip of alien stone set through their territory. Somewhere, perhaps on the peaks of the gloomed out outcroppings, a wolf howls into the night. Image from artbypavel.

One Eighty

MJG Science Fiction, Stories 3 Comments

Dray wakes up with the message light on his mobile phone flashing redly in his eyes. He rolls over on his futon, reaches out into the cold, and pulls it under the covers, flicks it open. Time is 11:00, 2 hours ‘til work. Checks the last message, sees it’s from his girlfriend, and plays it back. It’s not what he expects. Her voice is frantic and she sounds terrified. “Dray,” she cries, connection hissing fuzzily. “Dray, you have to get here, I’m going crazy, there’s a, argh! (thudding booms), man at the door, remember I told you, he’s trying to …

Tanglewood

MJG Fantasy, Stories Leave a Comment

On the southernmost fringe of the tanglewood forest, beyond the kingdoms of men, in the midst of a purgatorial wasteland blighted with perpetual winter and savaged by endless storms, there stands an inn where the battle-lines between sanity and madness meet. Here, where soul-consuming demons walk freely as men, where nightmares parade their garish hues like common whores of the street, where only the boldest or the most benighted seek to tread, our story is enacted. Image from here.   Focus on your writing while you make money using the video poker dictionary , video poker software , video poker …