Tag Archives: Short story

How to be Bicycle now available to read in The Honest Ulsterman!

I am pleased to announce that a story of mine

Freddy Bike

entitled

How to be a Bicycle

is now available to read in

The Honest Ulsterman!

Turtle happy

Click this link and hey presto!

 

http://humag.co/prose/how-to-be-a-bicycle

 

 

Rik V

 

happy cat

Advertisements

Living Under a Helicopter published in The Lonely Crowd – D’You Know What I Mean? Yeah, Yeah

Oasis 1

I am pleased to announce that a story of mine, entitled,

Living Under a Helicopter

Oasis 2.png

is now available in the new issue of

The Lonely Crowd!

YEAH YEAH

lonely-cover-humberto

Follow this link and hey presto!

https://thelonelycrowd.org/online-shop/

There’s some great writers in this issue as well

Check it out!

A million young poets
Screamin’ out their words
To a world full of people
Just livin’ to be heard
Future generations
Ridin’ on the highways that we built
I hope they have a better understanding

Check it out
Goin’ to work on Monday
Check it out
Got yourself a family
Check it out
All utility bills have been paid
You can’t tell your best buddy that you love him
So check it out
Where does our time go
Check it out
Got a brand new house in escrow
Check it out
Sleepin’ with your back to your loved one
This is all that we’ve learned about happiness

Check it out
Forgot to say hello to my neighbors
Check it out
Sometimes I question my own behavior
Check it out
Talkin’ about the girls that we’ve seen on the sly
Just to tell our souls we’re still the young lions
So check it out
Gettin’ too drunk on Saturdays
Check it out
Playin’ football with the kids on Sundays
Check it out
Soarin’ with the eagles all week long
And this is all that we’ve learned about living
This is all that we’ve learned about living

A million young poets
Screamin’ out their words
Maybe someday
Those words will be heard
By future generations
Ridin’ on the highways that we built
Maybe they’ll have a better understanding
Check it out
Hope they’ll have a better understanding
Check it out
Maybe they’ll have a better understanding
Check it out
Maybe they’ll have a better understanding
Check it out
Hope they have a better understanding
Check it out…..

 

happy cat

Rik V

 

 

The Future of Auntie Wah-Tah now available to read on The Scum Gentry!

My pro anti-water taxes fiction

Flying Pipe Band

is available to read at the below link

http://www.the-scum-gentry-alternative-arts.com/literary-fiction-magazine.html

See also below –

 

The Future of Auntie Wah-Tah 

 

Steve was standing up this time by sitting down at an anti-water tax protest but the police charging from without had already drawn blood with their batons.

‘He has epilepsy, that’s why he’s punched you in the face, officer, and that’s the reason why he’s shaking uncontrollably on the ground in a grand mal epileptic fit. Please believe me, he’s my big brother.’

Six of us then rushed to shield him with our bodies because we were one hundred per cent determined that stand-up Steve would defiantly stand up once more.

Blood was seeping from my skull when I heard the mighty power of the bagpipe for the first time that day. The sound flew towards us from a Ryan Turbridy shaped black cloud just beyond Ballyfermot Civic Centre. I was dead or hallucinating.

But I wasn’t. Because let me tell you this straight to your gaping fish-face; you haven’t lived a single authentic second on this planet until you’ve heard Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart being played on the mighty bagpipes and machine-gun drums by a twenty strong pipe band flying towards your head at an anti-water tax peaceful protest.

Steve was still shaking quite violently on the ground. I couldn’t allow myself to be distracted. Whatever the hubbub. Anyway, it was probably a police helicopter flying low to put the fear of Jesus H Christ into us and ease the baton-wielding foot-soldiers’ path into our midst. But no, it was twenty human beings wearing twenty green kilts and twenty red jackets, brandishing twelve sets of bagpipes, five snare drums, two tenors and a full-stop bass drum in their dead centre. Thump. Thump. Thump. In the sky. A flying pipe band floating and marching in a circle, around and around, sinking lower and lower in my peripheral vision. My brother still having a fit on the ground.

There seemed to be more room now. I was able to hold his hand, wait for him to come back. It’s alright Steve. I saw the police person nearest me putting her hands on her hips and trying to do her best highland fling, dancing off away, away, away from us, baton dropped to the bloodied pavement below with a jazzified clang bebop bop clang.

Joan Burton, government minister, then came out of the Civic Centre swamped in skin-tight security like reinforced concrete. But the bagpipes and drums only seemed to wax louder and skirl sweeter in a higher register. Two octaves above. Steve was still in a fit. And then it happened. Just like when you become aware of something new and exciting in your life for the very first time and then the very next minute, almost immediately, it happens smack bang kaboom right in front of your face. And it was definitely happening smack bang kaboom boom boom right in front of my face. I would read a strange word, look up that word in the dictionary, and then not two hours later I would hear someone on the telly or in a newspaper or in my family using that very same new word. Spooky. It happens all the time. As if I’d wished it into existence, a Nietzschean will-to-power. The smack, bang, kerboom, boom, boom, boom was this; I’d watched a Joy Division documentary on BBC4 only the previous evening and it could have been Steve, my big brother, whereas in actual fact it had been Ian Curtis of Joy Division.

His former band members said that they were travelling home from a gig in the back of a van, the entire band. Steve was still jerking violently, he didn’t want me to let go of his hand. I held it tighter, even though, yes even though it felt grotesque and awful in doing so, having to look on helplessly and watch him suffer without being able to do a single thing to ameliorate it in any way, even though, yes even though. Ian Curtis, lead singer, Joy Division, stood up defiantly in the back of the van in the BBC4 documentary and grabbed a sleeping bag off someone in the band into which he wrapped himself and lay motionless for a period until snap, crack and indie-pop, he jumped up and started punching people and screaming expletives in a drum-and-bass-like torrent. The van had to be stopped and Ian needed to be carried out from the back where they had to hold him down on the side of the road to jerk and twist and splutter out his epileptic fit to its natural conclusion.

And of course, the day after watching such a documentary Steve does the same thing at an anti-water tax protest – minus the sleeping bag of course. No way, we won’t pay. No way Jose. No way, we won’t pay. No way Pedro.

The flying pipe band had landed on the concrete pavement beside us and more and more police people danced backwards out of our close proximity, dropping their bloody batons as they went. Dancing. Humming along to the bagpipes with rubber legs. It was true. They were smiling. The mighty power of the bagpipe had conjured some sort of miracle that as a result I nearly let go of Steve’s hand, but managed to grip tighter at the last moment before it could flop anywhere near the concrete.

The mighty bagpipes impelled more and more police people to dance exuberantly by themselves or gregariously together in groups around the perimeter of the jumbled up crowd of protesters all still sitting down – or trying to – but protestors who were now staring agape at fluttering green kilts and dancing riot helmets surrounding them in the wind for the ten minute duration of Love Will Tear Us Apart bagpipe cover version.

I now had more time and was able to take out a hankie from my pocket and dab the blood away seeping from Steve’s head, from my own head too. To be honest, I felt like dancing gregariously myself. But Steve needed me, or didn’t need me, still no sign of his seizure abating.

A piper from the band peered right into my head at the moment the pipes waxed dithyrambic yet sweeter still and kissed my mind better. Much better. Two police people three metres away had stopped shouting the c word at some women on the protest and had unbuttoned their jackets. They were now dancing at each other and laughing within the bagpipe penumbra quite gloriously. I smiled. Bagpipe music had tamed the savage beast and it was beginning to look and feel like a proper sit-down protest all over again.

A female police person who was struggling violently against the dance moves she’d been unwillingly bag-piped and snare-drummed into performing jerked to a stand-still when King Connie-Wonnie, Drum Sergeant of The Flying Superhero Pipe Band, for his name was written on the outside of his snare drum, dropped a drumstick.

It rolled towards her. King Connie-Wonnie, however, plucked a spare stick out from inside his white sock with green frills and continued with the tune in a steady manner. The police person, however, watched the dropped drumstick as it rolled in front of her toes and sucked it up greedily into her hand. She raised it like a Hitchcockian psycho-knife above her head and then stabbed towards Steve and my general direction in the somewhat calmed centre of the protest.

‘You will never punch authority again my lads,’ she said, ‘never, never, never.’  But the head piper, the Pipe Major, Jeremy Jump, for it said so on the outside of his bagpipes, raised his fist and let out a crazed grunt. The band thus segued from Love Will Tear up Apart into a lively hornpipe I don’t know the name of, if it bears a name. Probably too hoppy for anyone to pin down with mere words. Before she could stab her drumstick anywhere near our throats though, she was back dancing again, robotically, to this sprightly Bothy-bandy tune, when it gained the second part. She loves the bagpipe now you see. She loves the mighty power of the bagpipe. We all fucking do.

The protesters began standing up like planks one by one chanting in harmony with the dulcet bagpipe sounds and drones and moans uncontrollably. And as each individual protester stood up I urged Steve to stand up too. Because he’d done so, so many times before and would do so again. I held his hand tighter willing it.

Stand-Up number one came when Steve was six years of age and he’d broken his neck and collapsed into a coma. Hereditary. The doctors said he’d never walk or talk again. He stood up, walked and talked before he was seven. They also said he’d never live at home. He stood up, walked and talked out of that hospital and all the way home when he was eight. They said he wouldn’t live past 12, 16, 18, 21, 28 years of age, yet each time he stood up with more bounce and walked and talked on down the hall waving to his medical Cassandras with a smile and a handshake as he strolled, always talking, always walking, enthusing everybody, especially the staff. And now everyone was standing up around him. In his bad fit on the ground. A person who had to actually break his neck to get here.

The police force had danced off into the sunset around the nearest bend at this stage and the entire crowd of protesters hummed along with The Flying Superhero Pipe Band who then came to an abrupt stop. With no trailing drones or spilt stick-work. The protesters took their cue and everyone bar me and my brother stood up in silence on the concrete path outside the Civic Centre. The Pipe Major, Jeremy Jump, came over to me.

‘Tell Steve that not only have The Flying Superhero Pipe Band learned how to fly but we’ve also been able to slip through a crack in the space-time continuum – we’ve seen the future. I’ve got wonderful news.’

He gulped and then out loud to everyone.

‘You’re all heroes in the future folks. Can you believe that with blood on your heads here today, eh? They’ve made sculptures and statues to you in the future for doing what you’ve done for this country.’

The stand-up protesters gathered themselves up like dirty ragdolls all misty of eye and nostril, dabbing blood and pain from their weary bodies. They sat down in a comfort circle around Steve and I. The rest of the pipe band in a concentric circle hugging around us all.

‘Folks, I’m Jeremy Jump of The Flying Superhero Pipe Band and I can only tell you so much of what I’ve seen in case I jinx it. But believe you me, everyone hated Ghandi when he was doing his thing and everyone hated Martin Luther King too especially when he was sneezing his anti-poverty anti-inequality same thing big time into the mouths of everyone who’d listen in the months before they shot him. But they all love him now. Even the ones that killed him. Splattered his brains. Watch them grovel at his feet. You too folks. You too!

‘Ice sculptures in O’Connell Street and Grafton Street no less. Swing-top ice sculptures. The people’s ice sculptures. The people’s anti-water tax ice sculptures. Projects for asserting the new. They’ve built tunnels under the centre partings of O’Connell Street and Grafton Street and put blocks of ice in contraptions at street level.

‘If you want to sculpt an anti-water tax protestor in art in the near future then all you have to do is get into the tunnel beneath it, on O’Connell Street or Grafton Street, and chisel upwards into your block of ice. When you’ve completed the bottom part of your ice sculpture – it doesn’t have to be figurative – doesn’t have to be abstract or conceptual either – it swings around and you can then chisel into the top half. It’s all bottom up artwork folks – and it’s very popular in the future. They have to ration tickets in a lottery system each week to keep up with public demand. It uses a lot of ice. All free thanks to you and so world-renowned that it actually earns the country billions in cultural cachet – and revenue of course.

‘The internet and the art galleries of the future are crammed full of pictures of anti-water tax ice sculptures – and buildings too. Oh my God, I haven’t told you about the buildings yet.’

He gulped and gulped again.

‘A new architecture has burgeoned in your futures: Anti-Water Tax Architecture, known as Auntie Wah-Tah. Many streets in Dublin and every other city and town and rural district in the country are dotted and cut with buildings whose facades are based on a mould of a famous anti-water tax protester – or at the very least a loving caricature. The Jobstown protest of 2014 in particular is very popular for nose and ear buildings in Dublin.’

Jeremy had to stop to draw breath which was a good thing too because each protester was finding it harder and harder to keep up with the mental pictures of their own future history as well respected world states-people without getting all clogged up and weepy– especially since not fifteen minutes ago a gang of police people were calling them the c word and raising and lowering batons to their heads. It was all too much really.

Big-eared and big-nosed buildings were cantilevering out of the protesters’ minds before him in salty tears and hot snot rivulets like El Lissitzky’s Prouns. Bittersweet. It would all apparently be worthwhile if we could just believe Jeremy whose band had just saved us from the police. This was all fine and dandy and right-on mate, yeah man, but my brother Steve was still deep within a violently exhausting seizure.

Jeremy said to me, ‘I’ll get the band to play another tune, the mighty power of the bagpipe can bring him out of it – it’s worked on everything else up to now, so why not Steve? Eh? More power lads. It’s just a question of which tune.’

But the portion of the future Jeremy didn’t want to reveal and illuminate to any degree was this: Steve dies. And I couldn’t let that happen. He becomes a martyr to the cause today. That was the only reason we won the future. I could feel it in my bones for this was the untold truth of The Flying Superhero Pipe Band. I couldn’t prove it, I just knew. Because when I thought it, Steve squeezed my hand and went into a deeper grand mal fit. I knew. I just knew. Off by heart. He’s leaving me right now. Dying. I had read it in school history books many, many times over. We all have. Off by heart. Backwards. We have to lose to win. Spill blood to gain our daily bread and water. And he was only thirty-three years of age. A tragedy.

I knew the tune, ‘Raglan Road, Jeremy. Play, Raglan RoadThe Dawning of the Day, please. For Steve.’

Air pumped into their mighty bagpipes, holes were fingered, lips smacked, drum-skins tightened and two three-pace rolls ripped the day like rusty razor blades. ‘Rolls, one, two,’  and they blasted into Raglan Road, The Dawning of the Day, a soundtrack not to five minutes ago when the police were calling the female protestors the c word and lowering batons to their heads, but to the future of Auntie Wah-Tah herself.

The police came a marching back down the street towards us, batons raised. The band had attained the second part twice through when Steve let go of my hand with a powerful fling and stood up one more time.

happy cat

Rik V

 

 

 

 

The Lonely Crowd and the Assassination of Edna Kenny (After Hilary Mantel)

I am pleased to announce that a fiction of mine, entitled,

The Assassination of Enda Kenny (after Hilary Mantel)

slum landlords

will be published in

Issue 3 of

 the Welsh Lit Mag, The Lonely Crowd!

New Lonely Crowd 3 Front Cover

Available here –

http://thelonelycrowd.org/the-lonely-store/

 flying pig

Is it illegal to kill somebody in fiction?

Surely not?

Hang on,   I have to dash,

there’s really, really, really loud knocks

coming from my front and back doors

at the moment.

fingers pb

Getting louder.

cat please

And louder.

Gulp.

Surely not?

big eyed baby

And louder.

The Pervert’s Guide to Modern Fiction and The Stinging Fly

Sting

A fiction of mine, entitled, The Pervert’s Guide to Modern Fiction, will be in the summer edition of The Stinging Fly!

More info available here –

http://www.stingingfly.org/issue/summer-2014

Have you ever wondered about modern fiction?

And, like me, have you ever suspected that there’s something not quite right with it , that you just can’t put your finger on?

The journalist Mrs Pimple has done  the research.

So Neo –  are you going to take the red pill or the blue pill?

morpeus

Take the red pill and read Mrs Pimple’s Pervert’s Guide to Modern Fiction in this summer’s The Stinging Fly. Out now.

The question is –

eyes popping

 

Can you handle the truth?

 

 

These are a few of my Imaginary Things – Number 3

My writing group is called Inksplinters.

THE INKSPLINTERS ANTHOLOGY 2014  HAS GOT ITS HAT ON AND IS COMING OUT TO PLAY VERY SOON INDEED.

my favourite things

That’s not the cover by the way.

A few advance copies have been given to various “individuals” for review and comment.

The third review is now in.

——————————————————————————————–

Imaginary Things I Think People Might Be Saying About Inksplinters Anthology 2014 In The Near Future. PossiblyNumber 3 .

“This anthology is dynamite, it blew my brains out and smeared them all over my living room walls” Paddy Tarantino.

——————————————————————————————

Praise indeed.

Tune in next time to hear more.

If you wish

or dare to dream.

Camillus John.

Eric Earwig Flashes in Public singing Free Nelson Mandela

Howie B

Hello World! Howie here again and I’m glad to report straight from the horse’s mouth, that one of the residents of Janey Macken Street, Eric Earwig, had a flash fiction of his entitled, Free Nelson Mandela,  chosen to be read out at Big Smoke Writing Factory’s International Flash Fiction Day event, Flashbulbs, last night at Arthur’s pub, Thomas Street, Dublin, Ireland, with Dave Lordan,  Nuala Ni Choncuir and others. It went well.

Eric told me afterwards that, after his biting flash analysis of modern society in less than 500 words,  it should now only take another three days for capitalism to crumble into cornflakes and some sort of utopia to spring up in its place.

Eric Earwig has now left the building.

See pics  –

He’s the one in the stupid hat. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151698441120801.1073741826.151259955800&type=1

By the way, big sellers in the Fiver Shop on the Californian Hills this week are –

  • Badger Chips
  • Salted rat-brain shavings
  • and pickled eel-fingers.

Ge them while they’re hot – and remember – Everything a FIVER!

You know it makes horse sense.