Passé romance (Tales from back of house)

Sweat beads were still forming on Marv’s brow. His reddened cheeks and heightened heart rate had begun to return to normal after the burst of energy. Suzi giggled coyly as she looked at him through her wispy fringe. Little strands of it stuck to the perspiration on her forehead.
‘Jesus that happened.’said Marv. ‘Thanks for coming in at such short notice. I can’t afford to turn business away so would have sunk like a sack of shit without you.’
‘Shit floats.’ Suzi blurted out before becoming instantly embarrassed.
‘What?’ questioned Marv as she laughed at the look on his face. ‘Errrr…yea…Ummm good to know.’ He smiled at her. ‘I need to thank Jay for hooking you up.’
‘It was busy.’ said Suzi. ‘You should be proud of yourself. Soon you’ll have to get a bigger place and more staff. ‘She laughed again. ‘The foods good and people loved it . It was very romantic out there tonight. ’
‘Romance is dead.’stated Marv as he surveyed the surrounding carnage. ‘ I’m just the cement that holds other people’s relationships together.’
‘Surely you can’t be that cynical…You must have felt love at some point.’
‘Yes I suppose I did but that was before I sacrificed myself on the alter of cooking for a living…Now I resort to hustling a buck from some smarmy wanker trying to impress his potential conquest. He’s leaving here to get laid on Valentines . Meanwhile I’ll go home, fall in love with a take away and a lukewarm beer because my fridge is fucked.’
‘I get it. Single life hurts at times like this. Me…I live in hope…Someone’s out there to sweep me off my feet.’
‘I can’t face cleaning this shit up just yet.’ said Marv as he leaned back onto the wall and slid down to sit on the floor. Enjoying the cold tiles soothing his over heated body.
‘ Aaaaaaaaahhhh.’ he sighed.
Suzi went to the fridge, grabbed two cold beers and sat next to him.
‘That’s my stock you’re steeling you know.’
‘I know but I’m sure you’ll forgive me once you drink it.’
A cool silence prevailed as they savoured the cold refreshment.
‘Hey listen. ‘said Marv. ‘You get yourself away now that the front is sorted. Once again thanks for the favour. I hope I can repay it sometime. ‘
Suzi looked into his eyes and for the first time he noticed a spark inside of them. He had been too busy earlier to notice.
‘How about I help clear this shit tip up.’ Suzi offered. ‘Off the clock… Then maybe you could invite me to a place where they serve takeaway and lukewarm beer?’
‘Ahhhhh… Yea why not.’ Marv looked into Suzi’s eyes again, smiled nervously. ‘I know just the place.’

When I look to my Father’s eyes (In dreams I talk to you)

I had the dream again…

In it I am sitting in a room. It is stark with magnolia walls and no recognisable features. The whole floor is covered with a massive soft cushion. Something I imagine would adorn a padded room if they do truly exist. I am facing the only window which has half closed blinds over it. I’m aware there is no door, however I do not feel trapped but at ease in the space. The light coming in from the window is bright which I assume is the sun. But there is a fake ness to it, the warmth is patchy. Cold spots creep up my legs so I cuddle into my mother lounging beside me. Her skin is cold to the touch.
My sister and Pat an old family friend are positioned on the floor between me and the window. The vision of them is distorted and mainly in shadow. The back light is so intense that I can barely see their features. I notice they are looking down at some kind of screen and I can now just make out gaunt, emotionless expressions on their faces.
Curiously my sister feels similar in age to me even though in reality I am a good few years older than her. I have digressed back in time and look at my underdeveloped legs protruding from my skinny body. I turn my head towards a person sitting in the corner. It is my brother playing with Dinky cars. Although he is only slightly younger than me in life he is now infantile. He is oblivious to everything apart from the toys. I realise I am weeping constantly and my mother holds out a comforting hand. The gesture appears insincere and contrived.
Pat hands me the screen. There is a grainy film of my father on it with no sound. He is young in this video and I only recognise him due to old photos I have seen. He is handsome and clean shaven. There is a sadness deep in his eye and nervousness oozing from his manner. Unknown gauntlet covered hands come into shot and harshly tie a blind fold round his head. The unseen person directs my father to the edge of a deep cylindrical hole in the ground. It looks like an old rusted pipe and it must be at least ten meters in diameter. Even with out the sound I can tell my father is listening to instructions. He holds onto a small metal rail and shuffles backwards until he is in position right on the edge of the drop. Like a diver at the end of a springboard he stands still and straight with his hands down by his sides. Once fully composed he crosses his arms over his chest and ridgedly falls backwards. At first he clears the sides of the pipe but it is a long way to fall. Rotation takes over yet he remains as straight as a pin. His head scrapes the side wall and it looks painful yet he does not flinch. He must be deep inside a mental trance. It all becomes dark for a few seconds before a different view appears. It catches me off guard and the initial change of light hurts my eyes. The camera is filming from a submerged window in a deep cylindrical plunge pool. The neat rows of white tiles are a vast contrast to the dirty brown of the pipe. Suddenly something comes torpedoing through the upper mirror like meniscus of the water. A mass of bubbles conceal the object but as they clear my fathers features can be identified . The blind fold has been ripped off by the pressure of the impact and is floating around his neck. For a few seconds he seems disoriented. He pauses to collect his thoughts and looks around for the exit. Directly opposite the viewing window is a rectangular cubicle cut into the wall. A bright green arrow points upwards to the exit. My father swims towards the arrow. I see him wince as he misjudges the size of the exit hole and catches his shoulders on the lintel. Small streams of blood swirl in the water before he disappears upward.

The image cuts to my father standing in a shower. He has his back to us and is breathing hard and deeply. I can see the welts over his shoulders where the sharp edges of tile have broken the skin. Streams of blood run down his back. Strangely the blow to the head has not left a mark. Another set of unknown hands place white padding over the injuries and apply pressure to control the bleeding. My father turns to the camera. Someone must be talking to him and he listens intently nodding his head. He then looks directly into the lens and smiles before tears of relief come streaming down his cheeks.
I look up from the screen and everyone is staring at me. I turn away from them as a cutting surge of loss rips at my gut and my heart races as I realise that he is gone. I am now alone in the room and sob uncontrollably.C30E606F-3158-4BD7-9091-15A19FCAB73E

A Burn’s supper story

Baba Ganoosh a rather large aubergine was in a foul mood. He began stomping around in circles barely looking where he was going. A punnet of raspberries almost got squished in the melee. Lucky for them a head of celery fell over blocking Baba’s route over them. “Coooolieeee!” they all screamed in unison as they rolled around laughing. Raspberries are soft and fragile on the outside. They sure pack a punch when mushed up or made into jam. MMMmmmm Yummy. None of the other vegetables found it funny though. They all tried to hide their fear. Baba enjoys seeing everyone cower before him. After all Baba was the latest self proclaimed king of the vegetable drawer.
“Don’t say a word Jose.” warned Penny his wife. She is a beauty of a red pepper. ” We dare not make him even madder than he already is.” Jose is a feisty chilli who had a short temper at the best of times. On this occasion he took Penny’s advice and they carried on regardless.
“Whats that racket? “ Baba shouted at the top of his lungs. It was hard to make himself heard over the din. A loud noise had woken him from his restful afternoon nap.
“Who dares stir me from my royal slumber?” he cursed “Do they not know I am the great King Baba…I need peace to perform my duties over my subjects”.
Baba looked over to the not so far corner of his kingdom. He could make out a round shape bobbing up and down so went to investigate.It turned out to be Nigel the neep doing a highland fling.
“Scotland the Brave” Nigel bellowed as a rather burley, bushy bearded fellow blew on a strange noisy contraption. It looked like a strange octopus and sounded like it was in some kind of pain. Baba stormed over to the offensive pair.
“I King Baba command you to halt these proceedings immediately” Baba shouted as loud as he could. His already purple skin going even darker with the effort. At first the two culprits never noticed. They were far too busy having fun.Soon they became aware of an angry mob of royal guards.They surrounded them and were about to poke them with toothpicks. A couple of potatoes who had been happily clapping along to the tune decided it would be best to change their mood to a scowl. Best not to attract the kings gaze and feel his wrath they thought.
“Now that I have your attention” began Baba “I would like you to explain your behaviour” Baba now staring down at the duo who are both grinning and slightly out of breath.
“All right you over grown puffball” replied Nigel.
“OOOOHHHH.” went the crowd. Nigel did not believe in supporting any of the self proclaimed rulers. He wanted to be free to do what he wanted to do. He just wanted to have a good time.
“May I remind you that you now address your monarch and should do so with RESPECT!” warned one of the king’s guardsman.A rather stuck up artichoke who Nigel disliked intensely.

“Pffft” blew Nigel. “Let me introduce you to a true king. A Chieftain if you please. All of you should crouch down on bent knee before Angus.” Nigel pointed to the burley, bearded haggis standing proud holding his musical instrument under his arm.
“And what may I ask brings a haggis to the lower levels of the fridge? In particular into my kingdom?” quizzed the king.
“Ahhh that is a good question”. Answered Nigel “ This is the great chieftain of the pudding race and he is here to celebrate the honourable Burn’s supper.” proclaimed Nigel.
“I have never been so insulted.” retorted Baba. “ A burnt supper? Who ever heard of something so ludicrous? It goes against the code. A burnt supper will without doubt go into the bin breaking the circle of regrowth.” Baba coughed slightly to clear his throat and took a deep breath. “For it is written in the ancient texts. A vegetable must complete a full life from seed to plate. Bringing joy and nutrition to others in order to fulfil its duty. Only then will it be deemed fit to rebirth into seedling form” preached Baba now looking at Nigel for an explanation.
“ You dim wit” replied Nigel rather rudely “It is not a Burnt supper… A Burns supper is where we celebrate the great Bard himself…The famous Scottish poet Rabbie Burns” informed Nigel “We recite his poems listen to the bag pipes and feast on haggis, neeps and tatties. There is no greater honour for a lowly neep like me.” The potatoes now realising they were part of this great spectacle began to cheer and clap. They had been trying to turn a blind eye. But as you would know readers with a vegetable like a potato this is very difficult. They have so many eyes.
“I AM THE CHIEFTAIN!” came a deep deafening voice form Angus Interrupting Nigel’s explanation. Nigel did not mind as he took a deep breath and with all his might returned the cry.
“YOU ARE THE CHIEFTAIN!” The two friends embraced and began to jump up and down on the spot followed by a little jig. Much to the dismay of the royal party. Angus being loud, energetic and full of pluck did not bode well for a nice quiet life. His big burley presence annoyed Baba.
“Chieftain?” questioned Baba. “That is another word for leader?” he mused.” I have seen enough! There is only one leader here. His name is Baba the one, the only Baba” Baba glared at a royal guard and clicked his fingers.
“Summon the Royal Flautist ” ordered the guard. A prim and proper head of corn looking smart in his green jacket appeared from behind the king. Holding his golden wind instrument up to his mouth.
“I always respect a fellow musician.” Said Angus. “But surely that puny little pipe can’t stir the emotions of a masses.
“King Baba is on the move” announced Baba himself. “But not before by royal decree I banish you haggis back to the upper levels of the fridge”.
“I was leaving any way” bellowed Angus. “As your luck would have it. I must take leave as there is much to do before our celebration tonight.”
“Platoon assemble”ordered the royal guardsman. All the tomatoes assembled round the king and raised him off his feet ready to carry him along.
“By the centre! Quick march” came the order. The corn began to play his high pitched marching tune as the royal guard carried Baba’s bulky mass away.
Angus surveyed this fellowship and smiled at the little red faced cherry tomato struggling under the king’s weight. Angus slung his curious instrument over his shoulder, put the blow stick in his mouth, puffed into the bag a couple of times and struck up the pipes. Initially the low hum of the drones pleased the king and complimented the flute. However as the chanter kicked in and began its ear piercing skirl the flute drowned out.

Most of the vegetables dispersed leaving Nigel beaming with joy as he watched his friend march up into the distance.
That evening a low mist had formed in the whole fridge. It was silent in the vegetable rack as everyone prepared themselves to say cheerio to the ones leaving them later. Baba was catching up on his rest. In mid snooze he heard a distant sound. It was beautiful and haunting. He soon realised It was Angus playing his pipes. Baba had to secretly admit that Angus playing the final lament amongst the condiments in the higher parts of the fridge was emotionally stirring.
As the ingredients left the fridge that night to join in the celebrations. Baba and Angus gave each other a knowing nod of respect. Angus had forgiven Baba for being foolish and narrow minded. Angus smiled back and saluted the crowd looking on. Nigel at his side with the largest grin on his face. For this time Nigel was more than just cow fodder.

BLURRING THE LINE a tale from back of house.


‘Close the door.’

‘Its fine everyone has cashed up and signed out, the front doors are locked. We are the only ones left in the building.’

‘Okay cool…Well then I suppose there’s no point in fucking around so I’ll just begin from where we left it earlier…Look the guys a fucking peado bastard.’

‘Well technically he isn’t. You chefs are all the same. Self righteous and extremely judgmental.If you don’t meet the criteria or approval of the little self appreciation squad you’re out on your ear.’

‘Jesus Christ Nick are you for real! Listen to your fucking self man. This has nothing to do with ego. The dumb fucker sent a “dick pic” to a fourteen year old girl!..How the fuck can you sit back and justify that one.’

‘Well she apparently looked older and was asking for trouble.’

‘That’s what they all say.’

‘Besides she should never been at the bar in the first place. Anyway he’s paid for his crime so it’s cool in my book. I’m his line manager so I can deal with him.’

‘Aaaaaaarrrrgggghh! Just because his old man had the cash to dish out on a decent lawyer doesn’t make him innocent. They spun some cock and bull story making the guy out to be some kind of victim. What about the poor girl?..I agree she was in the wrong. A little misled? For sure. Nevertheless what is that going to do for her self esteem. She has to serve a life sentence of shame having looked at that pricks junk…Surely he must have been able to tell she was young…Christ the creep would bury his own granny to save himself given half the chance.’

‘Marv I’m sorry… My decision is made and he stays. We’ll just have to agree to disagree shall we.’

‘No fucking way man. It’s not ethical having someone like him around. Fucking God help you if this all goes tits up…We have young, fairly innocent people working here. Its called responsibility you dick.Keeping workers safe from fuckups like him is my top priority. Maybe that part doesn’t get covered in your management text books.’

‘There is nothing I can do. He’s the son of one of the directors. My hands are tied.’

‘All I’m saying is that he can’t be trusted. I have seen the smarmy cunt working. He’s a lazy bastard who shirks any form of responsibility. He’s a privileged twat sailing through life on daddy’s coat tails. In the mean time he leaves a trail of destruction behind him, taking guys like you with him.You need to make him leave.’

‘And how do you propose I do that? He loves it here.’

‘Yes I’m not surprised with a seemingly endless supply of females to prey on. He’s and old letch in a young mans body. Its sickening and makes me want to boak.’

‘Well I think I can get through to him. Give him a bit of leadership. We have kind of built up a bit of a bond… He responds to my guidance. We talk about stuff…Personal, confidential things you know.’

‘Ohhh Jesus! He’s playing you… Stringing you along like a daft little puppy. Please don’t tell me you tried to get his kegs off?’

‘How dare you insinuate I would be so unprofessional… I do have some morals you know.’

‘Nick don’t make me laugh. A single man like you working like a frikken dog with very little social life outside work. Come on we all need a release. You need to get your rocks off some how.’

‘I’ll have you know I am not some desperado in the habit of shagging staff members.’

‘Hmmmm…Yet you ply them with lines of your secret stash.’

‘I don’t know what you are talking about.’

‘Don’t try bullshit me man. I know about the suppliers dropping of little brown bags of powder. A little bonus for your faithful custom.’

‘The sheer audacity of that accusation infuriates me. How bloody well dare you! I’ll have you sacked if you continue down this route.’

‘Yea?..Fuck off Nick I don’t think so. You’re in too deep my man.Did you not think for one second that your loose lipped inner circle of staff may let it slip. You absolute fool…More people know about the extra curricular powder parties than I’d care to mention.’

‘Ahh well… I didn’t realise my private life was such a hot topic of discussion. I eeerr am not sure what to say. ‘

‘Look I don’t give a fuck what you do outside of work. But you need to keep it there and find other people to socialise with. And for fuck sake quit taking the backhanders of Ching from the suppliers.’

‘I can’t do that. It is rather more complex than just cutting off supply.’


‘Robin is involved.’

‘What?..Cock Robin?.. Mister fucking dick pic himself?..Jesus man this rabbit hole is way deeper than I thought.’

‘His mate Chad owns the distribution company we get our booze from. Chad’s the one who sorted the deal out with me…As long as I keep buying enough of his stock he keeps us both going in Coke. If I stop I get ratted out and the restaurant gets smeared in the press.’

‘Christ Chad no less. Its like a posh boys club with you popping up as the spare prick. You must be like fucking catnip to these guys. They just sit back batting you about like some kind of toy.’

‘ FUCK! Excuse my French. Why did I get wrapped up in this mess?.. If this all gets out to the directors I’m done for. Robin has me by the balls.’

‘Wow!.. Don’t forget Chad. By my calculations they have one ball each.’

‘This is no time for smart quips! My life could be ruined.’

‘Yea sorry. That is a little insensitive given the circumstances… Its just that you’ve parked a gargantuan turd on your doorstep here dude…That cunt is making you eat it piece by piece with his own silver spoon.’

‘Marv… Help me… Please!’

‘Jesus Nick… I am not too sure if I can.’




Beating down bubble boy. A tale from back of house.

‘Ahhhh Charlotte. Wow! Now there was a real beauty. She had been the first proper crush and I fell for her instantly. My was belly continually going through the wringer, doing cartwheels, backflips, call it what you will. Hell my appetite was destroyed by deep pangs of besotted adoration. It cut through my gut like like a blade every time I thought of her…Which turned out to be most of the waking hours. Particularly during my insomnia ruined sleep patterns.’

Marv sat welded to the bean bag in the corner of the room. It had been a while since he had dabbled in extra curricular drug taking. Paralysed and mute he was now paying the price and remembered why he gave it all up in the first place. He had grown tired of the recurring ritual and hated the loneliness of an empty comedown. One of the youngsters at the party had given Marv a toke on his joint. Marv usually an independently headstrong guy oddly felt like he needed to save face by being cool. He took a few heavy drags of the large roll up and it spangled him instantaneously. Marv figured it may have been laced with something stronger or possibly his tolerance level had just become severely weakened. Initially the paranoid panic and tornado like head spins pushed him towards the brink of freaking out. The blood running hot and cold through his veins pushed itself to the forefront of consciousness. He could feel the pores in his face opening up to try cool the situation down. He had to take a seat before the sweat turned into a proper drencher. Or even worse a projectile spew over the rest of the revellers. Marv spotted the large expanse of retro seating in the corner and “flumped” into it. He managed to settle down and buckle in for the ride. The daemons that came to get him were swiftly fought of and boxed. Marv found it hard to keep himself from being a whimpering mess within this bubble prison but maintained focus, chewing on his lip for comfort. It was a blessing that Marv was incapacitated as an array of African artistic paraphernalia hung upon the walls in the room. Some of it sharp and vicious looking. He could inflict maximum damage to that bastard Nathan. He had caused him much grief during many pressure ridden services. How great would it be to cave the pricks face in with one of these macabre creations. “Look at him the smarmy cunt.”thought Marv. “He’s fucking looking at me the twat. Spreading his bullshit fakery. Ohhh man I’d love to fuck you up good and proper you arrogant dick.” The lid however remained firmly shut on actioning that thought and he turned his attention to Kiki. This beautiful goddess was well into her party piece now. The Dub reggae rattled inside his head as he watched her naked figure move to the echoing beat . Most of Kiki’s body was covered in tattoos and a fine suit of goosebumps, her stiffened nipples beautiful in the shadows. An ornate bejewelled vagasil twinkled in the low light thrown upon it hypnotising an already tripping Marv.

It had been twenty odd years since Marv had made the move to Edinburgh from a small town in South Africa. His outlook on life had changed drastically since then. He had been married but was alone now and had been so for a while. He tried to make a go of it with a few women but the energy always fizzled out. Marv’s work life had damaged all of his close relationships. The friends he did have outside work were too busy creating families and looking after their own to be wrapped up in his antisocial schedule. On occasions when Marv felt particularly lonely he would go to staff parties and try to fit in with the young guns. Marv’s open minded, easy going attitude helped in these situations. The world had changed. Young people grew up with a greater intensity now so he kept a lot of his judgemental opinions to himself, but would hand out advice when required.

Deeply incarcerated by his brain Marv pondered his first job in the new city. It tied in with the annual festivals happening within Edinburgh. An exciting and different experience as an influx of culture seeking tourists flocked to partake in weeks of madness. Marv had never been exposed to so many different cultures and lifestyle choices all at once . He understood what it meant to be different and the importance in having freedom of options. Marv came from a fully English speaking background. He had longer hair and dressed a little kooky so would pick up flak from time to time. Mainly from narrow minded Afrikaners who would call him out for being an individual.
One night during an impromptu drinking session after work Marv sat with his head buzzing on poppers listening to Simon’s antics. Simon fancied Marv and gave it a good crack at getting him involved in some man love as he called it.
‘Leave it out Si.’ said Anne an older chaperone type woman. She happened to be the landlady of the flat they now sat in. ‘ He’s definitely not one of you guys.’
‘Annie you can be such a cutting bitch at times.’ retorted Simon. ‘A boys got to try his luck sometime you know. If you heat a metal bar long enough it will eventually bend darling…You never know he might even like it.’ added Simon now looking at Marv and lovingly touching his face softly and stroking his hair. ‘ See he’s not scared…Do you like my touch Marv?’ said Simon as he placed his head directly in front of Marv’s line of sight. Marv said nothing and stared blankly into Simon’s googling eyes. His wide crevasse of a mouth full of large teeth made him look like a vintage ventriloquist dummy. A touch of the Marty Feldman about the protruding eyes as well.
‘Yea… Sorry Si.’ said Marv eventually. ‘I errr…I kind of had my sights set on someone else actually.’ Marv hadn’t realised how wasted he was until he tried to utter the words of rejection.
‘ Oh well your fucking loss you brute. You are all a bunch of cruel bastards.’ said Simon trying to look offended. ‘ I’ll just have to find myself a piece of ass later then. Fuck you very much.’ he continued as he got up to pour another drink. Marv had tuned in on Charlotte. A very attractive Colombian girl who had been brought up in Mexico. Her open smile and cute, flattened, guttural accent made her extremely endearing. Her dress sense a nod towards the hippyish. With her slightly olive skin tone she wore full patterned colour with conviction which suited her bubbly personality. Her thick mousy brown hair fell over shoulders and at times when she leaned forward she looked like she was peering from behind a velvet curtain. Anne had taken charge of Charlotte’s well being during her visit. They had been family friends for years and Anne had seen her grow up from a very young girl. Marv felt Anne was a little over protective but understood her concern. Anne had, had a few rough relationships with men in the past and the battle scars were still visible when she got pissed and dropped her guard. Anne had built up trust in Marv over a surprisingly short time span. She could see he was different and respectful. Anne knew Charlotte’s feelings for Marv were mutual so allowed them to get a little closer. Anne’s flat was small but she was hospitable so as the party faded she invited Marv to stay over.
‘ I’ve rented my room out for the month.’ said Anne. ‘ So we all need to bunk down here in the living room…There are cushions and blankets in that cupboard over there.’ she explained. ‘ I will take the couch.’ The three of them began sorting out sleeping arrangements.
‘Ummmm there is only enough bedding to make two beds.’ said Marv awkwardly. ‘ Maybe I should just head off.’
‘ Don’t be silly. It is very late.’ said Charlotte. ‘You can share with me. I don’t bite.’ she added before cackling away at the look on Marv’s face.
‘Well if you don’t mind… I’d be glad to stay.’ Marv said with relief. The thought of walking home at this time of the morning depressed him.
As Marv and Charlotte lay spooning in the makeshift bed he continually felt the presence of Anne sleeping within touching distance of them. Marv was a little inexperienced with the ways of wooing a female and was not great at reading signals. The language and cultural differences between him and Charlotte made Marv feel slightly awkward. Charlotte clearly liked Marv and enjoyed his touch and affection, but never indicated at any point that she wanted to take it further. Marv didn’t want to push it so they just slept. The arrangement became a common one and Charlotte curled up with Marv nearly every night under the supervision of Anne. His mind racing with the image of Charlotte seconds before the light went out. The loose crop top showing off her cute little belly. As she leaned forward to kiss him good night he could see a glimpse of her breasts soft and inviting. Her thin pants showing off what looked like perfectly formed private parts. Charlotte’s well shaped rear felt warm against his body. So close but yet so far Marv would lie with his erection nestled in her butt crack. It took massive restraint not to spoil this situation by trying to push the boundaries. “She doesn’t seem to mind feeling me.” he thought. “But she needs to make the first proper move.” Weeks went by and the two of them spent so much together after work. To Marv they felt like a proper couple in love but the relationship never went to the sexual level. They never really had alone time as Anne was always there in the background watching. Charlotte’s trip ended and she returned home leaving Marv broken hearted. It was a time before mobiles and the internet so over a short time Marv lost contact with the whole gang after that summer. He never spoke to Anne or Charlotte again.

As Kiki gyrated in front of him Marv conjured up the image of Charlotte within his mind. A conversation they had about food came to him. Charlotte spoke about her love of eating meat that had been cooked on an open fire. A favourite being ox hearts. She vividly described the taste of the flesh and how the succulent juice would run down her chin. At the time he had been slightly disgusted at the thought but never let on. Now that he was a full blown chef he could appreciate the anecdote rationally. Charlotte stood fully formed in front of him now. She wore a loose fitting white skirt that swirled around as she moved, sweeping the floor and occasionally showing off her bare feet. She was not wearing a top which allowed her pert breasts to bob freely. Her tuft of pubic hair visible through the thin material of the garment. Charlotte straddled him seductively as she looked directly into his eyes. Wow she was beautiful and the smile melted him once again. She opened his shirt and rubbed his chest seductively before plunging her hand right through the rib cage . Ripping out his beating heart she looked deep into his soul. Marv felt no pain and was not afraid as he stared at her beautiful face. In a flash his charred heart was now skewered on an ornate dagger. He watched with awe as she bit into the cooked muscle and watched the juices running down her face, dripping onto her chest, trickling down onto her nipples. Marv pushed his head forward and began to lick. The texture and taste of fragrant female skin mixed in with the metallic flavour of blood blew his mind as he succumbed to the darkness.

Marv awoke with the early morning sun blazing through the window toasting his cheek.His position in the bean bag had not altered much throughout the night. His head was now slumped back and he stared directly up at the ceiling. Marv’s mouth extremely dry, and his neck sore and stiff as he tried to move. His temples pounded to the beating of his heart. Suddenly this prompted the recollection of the vision.
“Wow I glad I made it through that one. ” Marv thought to himself as a wash of relief brushed over him. He smiled at the thought of the amazing experience. Marv summoned enough energy to eventually lift his head completely and look around. He was alone in the room full of party carnage. Looking down he was astonished to find his shirt had been ripped open and he discovered his blood stained chest.
‘What the fuck!’ exclaimed Marv as he inspected the deep scratches running over the left hand side his chest. The pain now sinking in and beginning to burn and throb. He heard some movements from a pile of blankets spread over the couch. A blood stained hand holding one of the sharp African tools appeared from under the blankets. Marv’s heart began to race but his stiff body was not ready to move yet.

‘Kiki?’ he asked nervously.


Zuzu and the mysterious muncher

It is rather miserable outdoors. The sunny summer day that had been promised sadly did not arrive. Zuzu sits perched up on the back of the settee next to the large window. Zuzu is a nosey dog and hates missing out on anything. He quietly looks out of the window at the trees. All of a sudden he barks like mad. Standing up making his small frame as big as it can be.
‘What is it?’ Quizzes Cara as the noise disturbs her dot to dot extravaganza. ‘Be quiet!’ she exclaims. ‘I am trying to concentrate.’
Zuzu continues and takes no notice. He is now barring his teeth and snarling. Cara puts her pen and puzzle pad down and goes to the window to investigate. She thinks it might be the Postman. Zuzu doesn’t care much for the Postman or anybody else outside the house for that matter. It is a shame really because Mister Dickson is a very friendly man. He wishes Cara a happy birthday every year. She always wonders how he knows it is her special day as he hands her a stack of cards. There is nobody to be seen. Cara studies the trees outside. She looks really hard. Trying not to squint her eyes. In the biggest tree right in the middle Cara makes out a mysterious shape. She looks closer and an image of a hunched up goblin appears. It looks like he is chomping on his lunch . His ragged hair lies over his collar. The goblin has a squinty nose, big flappy ears and little piggy eyes. His pointy mouth and green tongue work away rapidly as his crooked teeth chew without stopping. The wind is too wild for the birds. Apart from a few bigger ones high in the sky they all seem to be in hiding. Cara imagines the goblin would be annoyed with the birds. The more they land on the branches and peck at his head the grumpier he would become. The wind blasts in gusts so his shape comes and goes . Eventually Cara takes her eye off the exact spot to see what Zuzu is up to. The dog got bored and is lying flat out in the middle of the rug.
‘ You lazy pooch.’ Cara says when she sees Zuzu fully stretched out licking his lips. Cara checks the tree again but the goblin disappears for good in a flourish of leaves and branches.
‘I wonder if he is a good goblin?’ Cara questions . ‘ He certainly didn’t look friendly but seemed happy enough . Or was he just in love with what lay before him on the plate?’ Cara Jumps down onto the floor and looks at Zuzu.
‘ Do you think he noticed me watching?’ Cara asks Zuzu as he manages to raise his head off the floor to look at her unamused. ‘I am sure if he had seen me and was unhappy. He would have turned round and scolded me with a viscous toothy glare.’ Zuzu is still uninterested and goes back to his snooze.
‘I would like to think he is a friendly soul.’ Cara continues. ‘ One that unfortunately looks rather scary but deep down is good and helpful.’ She states as curiosity get the better of her and she wants to investigate. But the rain is still coming down in cats and dogs.

Later in the day the weather quietens down and the rain stops. Cara puts on her favourite unicorn wellies and takes Zuzu for a walk in the garden. She nervously creeps up to the tree where she had seen the goblin earlier. Disappointed he is not visible from here she listens carefully instead. The calm wind rustles in the leaves and tells her a story. She is right.
‘YAY! He is a good goblin.’ Cara shouts out overjoyed. ‘ But he is terribly lonely.’ Zuzu lifts his ears up to hear and turns his head to one side.
‘We will sit here and have my lunch under the shade of this tree every day. ‘ Cara says to Zuzu. ‘ I hope the goblin might even come down and join us. Secretly I think he is here right now but is just to shy to show himself.’ Cara is excited and cannot wait for tomorrow. The two friends head back towards the house.
‘What would grown ups say if they saw a young child and a dog having lunch with a goblin?’ Cara asks Zuzu as he looks at her questioningly. ‘ I think they are too stuck in their ways to understand.’
Zuzu barks in agreement.


Camp fires Burning (tales from back of house)

IMG_2383Most of the people at the party moved indoors. The torrential rain shower forced them to abandon the garden for the protection of a solid roof and walls. This left three of the hardcore outside to battle the elements. At the majority of staff get togethers the chefs tend to gravitate towards one another. So this was the kitchen gospel playing its self out as preordained. Besides a little rain was not going to stop these boys from enjoying the freedom of fresh air.
‘ I spend too much fuckin time cooped up in a sweat box to let a little shower get in the way.’ shouted Steve looking straight up into the sky. Instantly being blinded by heavy drops of precipitation smashing into his face. ‘I expose my balls to the god of thunder and sacrifice my scrotum on the alter of chef’s arse.’ he continued as he tried to unbuckle his belt and unbutton his shorts with wet fingers.
‘Jesus Christ keep your fuckin kegs on.’ pleaded young Pete. ‘No one wants to see your shrivelled up little cock again.’ Steve needed very little persuasion to disrobe. It was his natural instinct once he nailed a few drinks. Hardly an Adonis he flew in the face of male beauty proud of his portly stature.
‘I’ll have you know this shrivelled up little cock has pleased many a lady. ‘ Steve retorted. ‘Experience my friend…Experience! There’s been phone calls I’ll tell you. At fucked up hours of the night for a piece of this action.’ Steve had now dropped his pants and stood proudly pointing at his manhood with double open palms. Nodding and smiling at an unimpressed Pete.
‘Fuck sake Steve save the bollocks for later!’ interrupted Marv.’We need a plan to keep this fucking fire going.’
Being an innovative and stubborn bunch the three men move the BBQ and a Gazebo under some trees and go on the hunt for more wood. Luckily the logs have been stored in a little cabin near by, keeping it safe from the flood pouring out of the sky. Marv the Head chef plonks himself down on a folding chair as the two younger ones bustle around him arranging the bucket of beers with in arms length.
‘Good lads.’ praises Marv. ‘ I ain’t leaving this spot unless the roof collapses or the whole shithole goes up in flames…Or if I get struck by lightning or need to take a piss.’
Steve chops some thin bits of kindling to arrange onto the remaining embers of the BBQ. He gently blows onto the coals looking for any sign of flame. For all Steve’s harsh demeanour he does have a soft touch which he now displays with his nurturing of the fire. He has a keen artistic eye for cooking and presenting food which comes as a surprise to most folks. His thick sausage fingers are deceptively dexterous. Little puffs of smoke swirl around before the fire poofs into action and the three of them cheer. Steve waits a few seconds for the flames to take hold and then begins to load on some bigger bits of wood followed by chunky logs. Thicker smoke now billows around them but is quickly dispersed by the gusty blasts of wind. Soon the flames begin to perform their dance. Moving to the crackling soundtrack of burning. Intermediate snaps ring out as the dry logs begin to char and split. Steve keeps loading on more fuel cackling away to himself and chanting like a tripping Sangoma.
‘ Fuckin hell Steve watch what your doing man!’ exclaims Marv. ‘ Don’t set the Mother fucking gazebo alight. I am sure Jesse’s Oldman would be totally fucked off if you trashed it and not to mention the trees.
‘Ha haaaa no danger!’ exclaims Steve. ‘ I am a bonafide expert at this game. The fires of Mordor burn once more. Sauron will rise from the embers like a Phoenix.’ chants Steve as he raises both his arms skyward and stares into the heart of the fire like a man possessed by otherworldliness. They all gaze into the beauty before them watching the multiple tongues of flame lick out , gasping for breath. Deep inside the heart of the burning logs the intense hypnotic light coaxes up a myriad of thoughts in the mind of Marv. He contemplates his past and what his future might bring in the relative silence of suburban nature. The meditation is not to last for long as Steve returns from his own trance and mumbles in made up Elvish.
‘Fucking hell Steve.’ protests Pete the young man fresh faced and not long to the bizarre world of commercial cooking. ‘ Give it a rest man… Do you ever stop spurting out shite?’
‘Ahhhh my young apprentice.’ answers Steve.’ I forgive you because you are naive. That’s not your fault. You have led a sheltered existence in the pocket of Mum and Dad. It is however time to move into a new realm. One of open minded abandon which will strengthen your damp wings into tools of power. So you can fly and soar like the bird you are meant to be.’
‘What are you talking about? I’m not a fucking bird!’ argues Pete.
‘We are all birds my little friend.’ explains Steve. ‘ How the fuck you think we got here hey!.. Some kind of weird evolution?.. Fuckin Darwin hey?..Or was it God?.. Pffffft!’
‘Well.’ said Pete as he tries to interrupt the rant. Marv sits quietly and watches as he had seen it all before.
‘ Hush my young boy. Ssshhhhh shh shh shh!’ continues Steve. ‘ The bird lives inside us all. Yes the physical wings have been clipped and taken from us by a masterful wizard. He steals them before birth. They are then locked in a castle high in the unknown mountains of Antarctica. Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to get there? You can’t just get on a boat or a plane and head down there. Ohhh no you need special permission from the authorities no less. Why the fuck is that hey? Its not the fucking cold or penguin shit. I’ll tell you that for nothing… Its the secrets my little man. Secrets of mighty rulers hidden from us in an alien landscape. Playing games with our mortal humanity.’ Steve continues. Now he is on a roll there would be no stopping him so the two men sit back to watch the spectacle. ‘ But you my friend can still soar high above and search different plains in your minds eye. You just need to dig a little deeper in your soul. They don’t teach you this kind of shit at school. The powers that be want you dumbed down and content. Nothing more than a pig in a pen being fed garbage and stomping round in your own shite. Those cunts don’t want us up there soaring about in their space. The greedy mother fuckers want it all to themselves. I say fuckem the bunch of cunts. I’ll Fuckin fly where I want you fuckin twats! Do you hear me!’ Steve now staring upwards giving it large with his red face and clenched fists. Spittle flying left, right and centre. ‘I am not afraid of all your bullshit. ONE RING TO RULE THEM ALL!’ His gaze now firmly planted into the centre of the flames. He rips down his pants and bares his arse to the fire before letting rip with an almighty fart. Problem is that with all the exertion it tails off into a squelcher and he runs off like a dog with a tail between its legs.
‘ Jeezuz! What a psycho!’ exclaims Pete as the two remaining guys look at each other and laugh histericly. Once they calm down they sit in silence with their own thoughts for a while.
‘Do you believe any of that shit Steve comes out with?’ Pete asks Marv after a period of contemplation.
‘ Well it sure is entertaining. I’ll give him that.’ replies Marv before pausing and milling a full answer over in his head. ‘ Sure it sounds a bit far fetched. But he’s passionate about it so whose to say he’s completely wrong…I spent a lot of my years following what I believed to be the truth but it turned out I was actually blinded. I became awakened… More aware of my surroundings and where I fit into the picture if you like. At first I was angry and really frustrated. It is difficult to deal with when you realise how screwed up our world really is. I took to drink and drugs to feed the gaping hole in my head.Trying to block it all out…It made everything worse and compacted all my neuroses into destructive mind bombs that exploded in negative ways. Its a long story but thankfully I made it out the other side…Now I look after my own circle of influence. Waiting for the revolution that may or may not happen.’ Marv looks over at the lad feeling he might have lost him. But the young fellow still seems engaged ready for more ten a penny wisdom. ‘ The sooner you accept that we live in a world where we are all subordinates the easier it gets. There’s no such think as freedom really… There’s an illusion of freedom for sure. We live by rules and theories set out and guided by the minds of other human beings who are mostly born into privilege . We buy into a system created by some one who made them self superior. Whose to say the theories we are taught are correct. Are they lies? Has the real truth been hidden from us for their own personal gain? Greed is an all encompassing part in the nature of our species. Having knowledge to lord over someone is a powerful tool. Believe me I have used it in the kitchen in the past.’ Marv looks straight into the hole in his beer can for a second or two.’ Anyway why are you out here listening to my bullshit?..Its a wrap party man. You’ve worked hard over the festival period. Go get stuck into one of those waitresses. You may never see them again.’
‘Hmm.I’m not too sure.’ replies Pete. ‘I think I might have burned my bridges with a few of them. Besides Nathan snaked me with Suzy.’ explains Pete.
‘Nathan’s a fucking prick.’ consoles Marv. ‘But I’ll tell you one thing. He did you a favour man. That Suzy is on another level. She’s all over the shop and mentally unstable. She’s far too needy for a guy like you. She works to a different agenda.’
‘How do you mean?’ asks Pete.
‘ Just look at her Facebook posts to work that one out. Man I have never seen so many attention seeking self deprecating selfies from such a pretty girl. Plus the amount of open invitations to drunken house parties at mad hours of the day or night worries me. One day some poor sod will wake up in bed after a heavy session with her screaming rape.’ explains Marv. ‘ You dodged a bullet on that one. There’s plenty of nice girls in there. Like Lisa perhaps.’
‘ I don’t know she makes me nervous.’ says Pete.’ I feel all funny inside when I try talk to her. My brain wants to say something but my tongue won’t sound the words out properly.’ he continues as he looks nervously down at the ground. ‘I think she might think I am dumb. Maybe I need to try understand the way a woman’s mind works before I make a move.’ Pete says as Marv bursts out laughing and the confused young man looks at him questioningly.
‘Sorry.’ apologises Marv I didn’t mean to laugh. ‘ It just sounds so funny when you put it like that.’ he explains sensing the boy needs a little confidence boost.
‘Dude you’re fighting a loosing battle on that front.’ says Marv reaching for another beer. ‘We will never fully understand the mind of a woman… Men are simple creatures and ultimately try to lead less complicated lives. Females on the other hand are far more complex than we can imagine. The problem is there is no book. Even if there was one it would be a vast tome that would take a lifetime to read. If you did eventually happen to get to grips with the teachings within the book it would be useless anyway. You would be to late because the content would have changed. Pages detailing important sections and full of valuable knowledge would have been ripped out…Replaced by new reformed chapters which again would be subject to change. Basically you’re fucked and the sooner that revelation sinks in the better. You need to hang back a bit. Observe the situation and coast along a bit. The less you outwardly care the more attractive you are . Become a project. Jesus girls love an emotional fuck up. But don’t over egg it as it comes over as being weak. Girls want someone not to far gone that they can mould and change. But I must warn you this tactic is fraught with danger. Always bear in mind they probably know what you’re up to. Man those fuckers sense everything. Just hop on and enjoy the ride as long as the going is good.’ he continues with the words flowing as if this speech had been rehearsed many times for this occasion. It sounds endearing and from the heart. Pete is hooked in and listens intently as if Marv is some kind of wise old Seer.
‘ I met a girl once.’ adds Marv. ‘A real beauty… I couldn’t believe my luck. I really felt I was punching well above my weight so I worked hard to maintain status…We even married…In the end she turned out to be style over substance. I thought I was in love but it was more about infatuation. She new it as well and toyed with my deepest desires, trying to break me. She was a prolific knitter… Of anything really…Seldom was there ever a down time that didn’t involve yarns of wool and the clacking of needles. I would lie in bed young and dumb. Feeling the need to sow my oats if you get my drift. I would get fobbed off for the knitting. Christ I could go to sleep at night only to wake up in the morning with a fully knitted jumper lying in wait for me…What the fuck is that about? She must have measured me in my sleep. I still have those jumpers. I keep them all as a personal diary of the sexual roads less travelled…Ohhh and I also have a collection of intricately knitted quilts. Admittedly they do come in handy at certain times of the year.’ Marv can see that Pete is unsure of the appropriate reaction and bursts out laughing. Pete joins in not certain if the story is made up bullshit or not.

The rain stops and some of the party come back out into the open. One of the first to join them by the fire is Lisa.
‘Hey Pete.’ She says in her soft soothing voice. ‘ I hope this twisted man is not warping your young mind with bollocks. A nice guy like you must not loose his boyish charm. These bitter, cynical bastards can be difficult to love.’
‘Errrr…Aahh no were just watching the fire. Keeping warm.’ answers Pete awkwardly. ‘ We lost Steve with pooping problems.’ he says and immediately regrets it.
‘ Aaahh yes…The less we say about a grown man shitting himself the better.’ says Lisa as she begins to giggle. Pete’s heart is pumping hard and he can feel his face becoming redder. ‘ Here make space for me. I need some of your body heat.’ Lisa adds as she curls up in Pete’s lap. ‘Hold me like you mean it.’ she says as she closes her eyes and snuggles into Pete’s chest.

Pete can not believe his luck and puts his arms awkwardly around the girl. He looks over at Marv trying to be cool and not grin too enthusiastically. Marv acknowledges the boy by raising his can of beer. He winks and mouths the words. ‘Happy hunting.’



Its the miles stones man the ones that make me.
Its the mile stones man the ones that break me.
Its the mile stones man the ones that hang there heavy round my neck.

Its the mile stones man the ones that feel lighter.
Its the mile stones man that sometimes shine brighter.
Its the mile stones man that I leave in my wake and the ones I still need to get out and make.

Its the mile stones man holding me back.
Its the mile stones man keeping me on track.
Its the mile stones man forcing progression which ones are worthy to mark with distinction?

Its the mile stones man they creep up so fast.
Its the mile stones man that lay out my past.
Its the mile stones man the ones that shape me and the others that emotionally rape me.

Its the mile stones man standing ready for collection.
Its the mile stones man that guide my chosen direction.
Its the milestones man only I can change them asking the questions should I rearrange them?



Hello Dolly (tales from back of house)

Service was over and the clean down almost complete. Apart from the low continuous hum of the extraction fan, intermittent rattle of cutlery from the still room and the final high pitched spins of the dish wash rinse cycle the kitchen was silent. This made the ear piercing cry even more eerie.
‘Eeeeeeeeeiiiiaaaahhhh! She’s Fuckin’ here…She’s come tae get me!’
Most of the chefs were out in the refuse yard perched on waste bins or sitting on piles of bread crates. The ritual cooling down after a hot gruelling slog on the stoves. Some smoked, others just guzzled bottles of beer. No one spoke. All of them in mind numbing contemplation whether to get shitfaced or not. Sam and Will jumped up and dashed in to investigate the commotion. It was ‘Phsyco Phil’ lying in the fetal position at the entrance to the walk in chiller. Just inside the door on the floor lay an up ended container of Rocket. The strewn leaves slightly concealing an old porcelain doll. At closer inspection the doll looked in really bad shape. At some point the head had been cracked, possibly on multiple occasions and glued back together. Bits of the face were missing and clumps of hair had been hacked off. A lock of the hair was tied into a ribbon that now hung round the neck. Other strands of blonde hair had been glued to the dolls hands. The eyes half closed and squint with the damage. The clothing disheveled and torn had been splattered with ink, paint and brown streaks which looked and smelt like shit. A number of ornate Victorian hat pins driven through the dolls chest held a sanitary towel in place with the words SHAME written in what could be blood.
Phil an old school junior sous chef had become a casualty of the trade. Because of his nature he would never really climb much higher up the ranks. Tales of his knack for violence were renowned. On one occasion he had thrown a steel bucket at a gobby junior chef , splitting the back of the guys head open. Twenty stitches later and all bandaged up they were back on service together, running the Veg section as if nothing had happened. One Saturday night Phil scored some Ecstasy and forced the whole kitchen team to take it. Everyone including the head chef was wired for service. How he still maintained a job was beyond comprehension of most. Rumour had it that the head chef was indebted to him for life. Phil helped him out of a sticky situation in the past. To be fair Phil had calmed down a lot and no one in the present team had witnessed any major antics. Although Stacey remained tucked away behind the blue roll dispenser as a reminder. Stacey is an old carving knife that has been sharpened down both edges. Now and again Phil would reminisce about the good old days.
‘ I’ll tell you what. You cunts are soft theses days.’ Phil would threaten in a jocular way. ‘Don’t make me reach for Stacey! You’ll never be the same again after I shove her up your shiter. Ken whit Ah’ mean. Haaahaaa’
No one had the balls to test Phil’s word. His favourite was a tale of when a gang of junkies came to the kitchen door looking for a payment. A drug debt Phil refused to shell out for.
‘The pills were fuckin’ duds onnieway. Fuckin’ shite mixed in some cunts bathtub. Aye rite. Fuck off am naw gonnie pay for any o that shite.’ he would justify.
‘Stacey was on point that day I’ll tell ye. ‘ Phil boasted ‘Ah was like a Samurai warrior. Ah only needed to gash wan boy across the napper before they all ran like fuck. She got him real good ken. Slashed right from the fuckin’ boys lug, doon his cheek tae the chin man. I cood see his fuckin’ teeth throo the gap in his cheek man. Bloody poetry in motion. Hhhaaa ha. Fuckin’ junkie bastards comin tae fuck wi me…Dinnae think sae.’
Phil had a couple of hand jammers tattooed above his knuckles. Created by some scratcher with a tattoo machine at a seedy party. It happened back in the eighties and being wasted he decided it needed to be Samantha Fox’s breasts. One on each hand. For Sam and Will the image of this hard man cowering on the ground sobbing into fist fulls of wonky tits was a little unnerving.
‘Phil…Phil ….You alright man.’ questioned Sam. She was to afraid to crouch down and touch Phil’s jolting body .
‘ It’s her.’ Phil said looking up at them. His eyes glazed over with tears, wild and red. ‘Which one of yooze cunts let her in here?’ He questioned as little bits of white spittle dribbled down his chin. ‘Hey?.. Who was it?’
‘ Jeezuz…Phil what the fuck you talking about?’ retorted Sam ‘ No one saw or did any thing. We were too fuckin busy man. Whose gonna try an sneak a shitty fucked up doll into your prep during service for fuck sake?’ she said now feeling worried that she might have come across a little brazen.
‘ Well it was some cunt roon here.’ Phil was regaining his strength as the fear inside him began to turn to anger. ‘ Who kens onyway?.. Hey? Who the fuck kens aboot the doll?’ Phil’s psychotic glare darted between the two chefs.
‘We all do Phil.’ Answered Sam tentatively looking down at the floor and moving behind a bench fridge. Well out of striking distance. ‘ Everyone knows what happened… But I can assure you man. This was not one of us.’
Gossip in kitchens can be rife. It keeps things ticking over as all the cogs trundle on speeding up and slowing down through prep and service. Everyone has something on the others which means there is a code of conduct. Chefs can talk amongst themselves and dish out banter, but it goes no further. The problem with Phil was that his fucked up story involved everyone. The nattering spread out of control, beyond the confines of the kitchen walls. His only saving grace was his mental bastard reputation . Most of the workers cherished their lives so never talked loosely in Phil’s presence.

It was a few years since Kiki had gone off grid for good. She was a bit of a loner and never really fully engaged with her peers. A kooky, snooty rich kid who probably didn’t need to work anyway. A beautiful porcelain skinned goddess who liked to flirt with the common people. She played the silly air head game but had a manipulative streak which proved otherwise. Kiki enjoyed danger and pushed personal boundaries. Her aloof nature pissed most people off however she maintained some mystical air of attraction. Most of the guys and some of the girls desperately wanted to be with her. She would strip off at staff parties and dance teasingly slowly. The low light bouncing of her smooth perfectly formed curves. A few people tried to move in on her. Failing miserably. As soon as they got too close she would clam up until they walked away. Resuming her sensual gyrations once her space returned. Phil ended up getting lucky or so he thought. Kiki gravitated towards his fucked up personality and lavished in the thought that she was truly untouchable under his guard. He never thought he had a chance so didn’t pursue her like the others. He sat back and enjoyed the show. Kiki relished the fact her parents would hate him as he stood out as a beacon against everything she came from. It all started of as a bit of fun for her but Phil was imbedded in from the start. He was loved up and gave Kiki an old porcelain doll that belonged to his Grannie. This gesture was his attempt to try cage her. The free bird spirit that attracted him in the beginning soon became irksome. He hated everyone ogling his lady during her party piece . Kiki’s stubborn attitude grated on Phil yet he was afraid of losing out so got strung along. Eventually in a night of exceptional hedonism Phil lost control. He beat Kiki and locked her in a cupboard for the night. The next day he smoothed things over and normal practice resumed. The beatings became more frequent but Kiki never retaliated. Phil became more powerful in himself and started treating Kiki like a slave. Until the day he saw the doll. After every episode Phil unleashed on her, Kiki defaced part of the doll .
‘ What the fuck have you done to ma Grannies doll you fuckin ingrate?’ Phil screamed ready to lay in another fist.
‘ Don’t you see Phil.’ Kiki questioned. ‘ It’s her Phil… The doll it’s her.. Your Grannie… She sees everything you do… She hates you for it.’
‘Naw… It can’t be.’ Phil became terrified and began to shake with fear. ‘Am sorry… I never meant to be a bad boy.’ he pleaded for forgiveness.
‘ Everything you did to me is imbedded in this doll.’ Kiki explained. ‘ It’s plain as the cracks in her face that you need to look upon.’ she turned and walked out and never returned .
Phil changed after that day. For weeks he tried to rid himself of the doll. But she always returned even after he changed the locks. No matter if he hid it or threw it away this broken talisman would turn up. In the shower, on a shelf, in a cupboard, on the doorstep or on his pillow. He feared the doll greatly but could not bring himself to fully destroy it. He felt she might then attack him in dreams. Sleep became his only escape as the drugs and drink usually made the demons come.

The rest of the brigade had now moved in from outside. They all stood around waiting to see what Phil would do next. Kiki and the doll had been out of Phil’s life for years now. He genuinely thought he had seen the last of it.
‘Ah paid the price already… Damn your condescending shite!’ Phil screamed into the air now oblivious to the audience dotted around him. ‘ Ah paid the dues to ma fucked up life. Repented for what Ah did to you. Can we just naw call it quits?’ he pleaded looking into the dolls eyes. No one dared to move or speak. As long as the doll was Phil’s focus they were all safer.

Phil shuffled away past the crew around him not looking at anyone. He held the limp doll by the hand as he went. His head hanging low as if all his energy had been sapped. Only letting out intermittent whimpers as he left the kitchen a proper broken man.


Note to selfies’

note to selfies (words inspired by Christopher Baker’s installation ‘Hello world’ at Saatchi gallery)

we talk over each other and it manifests as noise
pointless social ranters desperately trying to be liked
a juggernaut of opinions incessantly poised
we parley with vigour without pause for breath
clogged wax like eardrums wain in an echo
we fail to listen ignorant of the truth
our opinions are comparable
yet we struggle with difference
focused on weakness to pin on a blame
searching for the love and acceptance of peers
a common purpose to feel valued in existence
wrecked from above by the ball of self-centred gain


  1. IMG_3049#christopherbaker #saatchigallery #pictureyourself #selfie