A World War One Short Story

A short story I am very proud of…

Have We Had Help?


I wrote this a few years ago to pay tribute to the seven hundred thousand Tommys’ who didn’t come home…


Runner’s Gauntlet

Albert Johnstone and his pal Dick Madison had both enlisted at the same time, barely twelve weeks after war had been declared in 1914. At the time, Dick was nineteen and Albert was barely eighteen. Since then three long and bitterly hard fought years had passed in the ‘war to end all wars’. It was now 1917 and by sheer good fortune more than anything else in the corner of hell they called home, Albert and Dick were now the only two left alive from the newly formed ‘pals regiment’ that had marched to war in that first year.

To any newcomer to their section, both men seemed much older than they actually were. The last five weeks of constant barrage by the Hun artillery plus the…

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A Brief Introduction

Nice one Peter…


All you said was “Hello” and I was lost, unable to reply: you were the young wife of a local and rather older dignitary and me a junior staff member of the charity where your husband, the patron, had arrived to share the glories of his documented kindness. He was the man of the hour: a celebrated figure and pleased to be so. You his gentle wife, and “gentle” is the only word that comes to mind when I think of you, touched my heart as you walked past my life. 

We were both prisoners of expectations formed by the world around us, fulfilling duties without regard to harboured dreams: you had that “ Trapped” quality people radiate when they become the sum of other’s expectations. I had as well,or at least I think so.

Perhaps I was wrong, but I sensed a recognition not felt by me in recent…

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Introducing the award winning Belgian/Flemish writer, Robert Van Laerhoven

Thought you might appreciate reading about my mate Bob…

Have We Had Help?


As readers if you have never heard of him before, it’s not really surprising. Until now, few of his books have appeared in the English language. Usually they are published in Dutch and French, only available in paperback and hard cover. Hopefully that will change in the not too distant future. Like all of us, all he wants is to ensure his books are read by the widest audience possible.

Bob, as he prefers to be called, is an award winning Belgian/Flemish writer. I’ve known him for years. So far he has written more than thirty books. Among the awards he has won is the much coveted Hercule Poirot Prize for his crime novel Baudelair’s Revenge, published in 2007, (paper and hard cover) set in Paris in the eighteen seventies.

A few days ago he contacted me via chat on Facebook to ask if I would be willing to…

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Goldsmiths saves the world with virtue signalling.

I’m with Jim on this – like him I hate hypocrisy!!!

Jim Webster

Yes, you can all relax. Goldsmiths, the university college which flies in 36.8% of its students from around the world, is preventing global warming by banning beef burgers.

As exercises in applied hypocrisy go, you have to admit this one is impressive. But it does raise a point. In the church there is a phrase, somebody can be described as “Too heavenly minded to be any earthly use.”
Perhaps academia has an equivalent, I would suggest it was along the lines of, “So well educated they’re utterly ignorant.”

What brought this on, other than Goldsmith’s being ridiculous, was going for a walk yesterday. It was fine. The first fine day we’ve had for a while. I noticed as I walked round the back of one village that the barley that had not been combined was looking awfully grey and sorry for itself. Combining that isn’t going to be a harvest…

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Part two of my latest short story

As promised, here is part two of the tale you read on Saturday…

Have We Had Help?


So, what’s next?

It had been two days since Ansell’s consignment had been delivered to him. His heart rate dropped to its normal level as his paranoia died away.

Every time he looked at its beautiful face, he convinced himself that it was pleading with him to be allowed to stay. So, what’s next? The world had not invaded his home. Unless he took it outside, his secret was safe. No one beyond his front door knew what he had bought because he never had visitors. Finally Ansell decided not to go on torturing himself any longer…

Having made up his mind to keep it, he spent several hours studying the instruction manual once again. This time with it sat on his lap with its head resting on his shoulder. As he read and re-read each part of the instruction manual, absent mindedly he began stroking its hair. He almost…

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…as a self-publishing author, you have to work your asterisk off in the social networks…

More from that man in the Middle East…

Seumas Gallacher

…just over ten years ago, this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler finished writing The Violin Man’s Legacy, my first Jack Calder crime thriller… frankly, I wrote it just to see if I could actually produce a book all on my own… then the scribbling addiction took over… now, a decade later, there are five Jack Calder titles on Auntie Amazon Kindle, with a sixth as Work-In-Progress… 100,000+ downloads of the eBooks makes all of my books bestsellers by the industry’s definition… along the way, there has also been a series of collections of my blog posts, a book of poetry, half a dozen ghostwriting assignments for autobiographies, two corporate commemorative anniversary books and nearly 1,800 blog posts… one of the most frequent questions I get asked from wannabe and existing fellow-authors is ‘How do you get your books out there?’… it’s a sum’times gruelling, but necessary part of…

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Whatever possessed him?

Part one of a short story. Part two on Monday…

Have We Had Help?

Image result for Question mark pic

The loud knock on his front door insured his heart rate increased dangerously. He signed for his large consignment. Thanked the delivery driver. Then closed and locked the door, before dropping to his knees in a state of anxiety. Doubts began to multiply in Ansell’s mind. Whatever possessed him to buy such a thing in the first place? Did he dare open the package? What if his neighbours found out what it contained? Worse, what if his relatives became aware of his secret desire? His aunts had always thought he had deviant leanings! If they only knew?

Because of its size it would not be easy to hide from view once activated. For months he had been debating with himself whether or not to purchase the thoroughly desirable contents of the box that now stood against one wall of his hallway almost as tall as him. In the end the…

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The Deception of Zeus: Hera and the Siege of Troy

The Deception of Zeus: Hera and the Siege of Troy

And now for a story from long ago…

Myth Crafts

In the heat of the conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans, the Gods took sides. Hera, Queen of Olympians, and Athena, the Goddess of War and Wisdom, were still offended at having lost the Judgement of Paris, though Athena was worshiped by the Trojans – until Odysseus found a way to desecrate her Trojan temple. Aphrodite, having won over the young Trojan prince with the offer of Helen, stood on the side of Troy, even whisking Paris away from a vengeful Menelaus.

Apollo, offended by Agamemnon, sent a plague that afflicted the Greeks –  in response, Agamemnon supplicated the God, but not without violating the honor of his most powerful ally, Achilles (this is actually how the Iliad opens).

Artemis, Apollo’s sister, is equally offended when the aforementioned Agamemnon kills a stag in her Sacred Grove. Agamemnon is forced to make a sacrifice – his daughter…

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A Fantasy Short Story

Another fantasy tale for you all…

Have We Had Help?


Roggan’s Tower

Everything that he had ever been told about the crumbling old tower high on the hills above the dead plains of Azurewrath was true after all.

Shivers ran up Gareth’s strong back as his vivid grey eyes took in every evil detail. The legend often told by storytellers, said it was once the abode of the last of the noble dragon warriors of old – Lord Roggan, sword master and champion of Azurewrath’s great king, Borr the bald.

Now the time had finally arrived when peace and stability across the land had been driven beyond recent memory by the tower’s current occupant the wizard Theophas. He was by far the cruellest of all the Black Order of Deighny ever to venture into the western plains. Thanks to his evil purposes, the ancient tower now became the centre of his conjured malevolence as it spread its tentacles far and…

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