Paranoid

It’s so good to be back at Pulp Metal Magazine with my new short story Paranoid!

This one is about a man suffering from paranoia who believes he has been targeted by a religious cult. I have always found cults to be fascinating, and when I grew up as a teenager in the late seventies, cults seemed – if the newspapers were to be believed – to be proliferating everywhere!

Just like my character Frank one of these organisations had, for some reason, decided I might be worth pursuing. It went on for months, but it began one innocent Saturday afternoon while I was out shopping by myself.  This incredibly handsome young man opened a shop door for me; I was very surprised and smiled back. His eyes were mesmerising and it literally took me several seconds to notice his shaved head and orange robes…

When I came out of the shop he and several of his ‘gang’ were waiting for me. They began calling after me and following me down the high street. At the time I thought it was funny, like something from a bad Monty Python sketch … until it happened every time I went to town. The stupid thing was that I was the least likely person I knew to be indoctrinated, as I hated conformity of any sort and I would have looked really sickly in orange.

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It is true that we all have our individual perceptions  which are coloured by our memories, past hurts and special recollections. It is completely unrealistic to assume that others experience the world in exactly the same way as we do, as individuals. I imagine that given the right circumstances, everyone can experience a feeling paranoia to some degree…

 

“They would lay in wait outside of the shops at the mall in the afternoons. I would catch threatening glimpses of their vivid orange robes as they lingered in shady doorways, waiting for an opportunity to lure me away. I was already on their radar and I’m not sure how I got there. Maybe it was something to do with the weird phone calls; disembodied voices would ask for me using my name, Frank, and then refuse to speak. It felt as though they were trying to bait me, waiting for me to reveal myself to them, through my fear.

I became anxious and stopped enjoying going to the mall, or talking to anyone on the phone, in case they were listening in. I didn’t know what powers they had or what they wanted from me.” Read more at Pulp Metal Magazine

 

 

Cry Baby at Pulp Metal Magazine

My new story, Cry Baby is at the marvelous Pulp Metal Magazine today! Considering some of the fantastic stories which have been up there recently, I’m feeling really chuffed!

Cry Baby is a story about a psychopath with a dark and frightening past; who is about to evolve from a stalker into a serial killer.

I wrote this story while on the Litreactor course, “Making a Monster” where the impressive horror writer, Ania Ahlborn, was as my tutor. I found the course to be a fun, interactive experience and I feel that I learnt a lot from it, especially about exploring character development and  also advance story planning; which has never been my strong point.

The photo above is from the Spanish horror/ghost film, “The Orphanage” (2007), which I felt fitted the theme quite appropriately, although my characters dis-figuration has occurred internally rather than externally, due to his childhood experiences at the orphanage.

As maybe you have already guessed, I borrowed the title of the story from that wonderful Janis Joplin song, Cry Baby. I love Janice for her unique style and fabulous voice, and I’m hoping that she won’t mind too much, what I have done with  the title of her beautiful song.

 If you get there first, it’s very difficult for a woman to accuse you of stalking; anyway following women about, that’s for amateurs who haven’t done their homework. If you follow a women into a café or  restaurant or are seen loitering around her apartment, alarm bells will ring and she will eventually spot you, may confront you or even call the police, and this is the last thing that you need…

You can read my story, Cry Baby here at Pulp Metal Magazine

Winter Baby

You were a winter baby. Born in an ice white flurry of snow. We brought you home in our old camper van, strapping you into the baby seat that we had chosen together. I fussed about you being too hot and too cold, as everything needed to be perfect for you, my first and only child. Simon turned on the radio and we listened to a young girl who sang like an angel; and we felt blessed too. Turning to Simon as he smiled at me, there was that sense of deep knowing, that in that one single moment my whole life was complete, and as I gazed into your sweet, new-born face, I knew that you were my life; my beautiful, beautiful boy…

Read more…

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