Monthly Archives: October 2014

Halloween Drabbles


I have written, from time to time, drabbles in various ‘fandoms’. They are a form of fanfiction and I have adhered to the 100 word rule in these six examples although the titles are extra. They are all related to television programmes shown in the UK – some of them quite a while ago. They are also all based on the general theme of halloween.

I haven’t given the names of the series. Guess them all correctly (there should be enough clues) and I’ll write a couple of drabbles for you, provided I know the series you choose.

1. Callers.

Janet sighed and closed the door on yet another small skeleton. She had treated each caller with gentleness and courtesy, offering candy and remembering the real monsters out there; monsters they had met and fought. Monsters who would eat these little ones for breakfast. Surely the stream of costumed frights would stop soon and she could relax with a drink and her favourite TV series.

Another knock. But no shuffling or giggling on the step. She hesitated, wondering what waited. Then she heard a voice she knew calling, ‘Trick or treat?’ and opened the door gladly to a smiling Sam.

2. Clubland.

The canal water gleamed like mercury, poisonous and thick. For a moment Vince imagined creatures from some Cheshire lagoon or aliens from the Doctor’s adventures, boiling into the street. He shivered and drew back from the low wall. Halloween was depressing enough without nightmares like that. Then his friends spilled out of the club, backlit by the pulsing neon glow, and he was cajoled into his usual role of best mate, chauffeur and all time gooseberry. The monsters were all too real, green-eyed and menacing. A turnip lantern in a pub window grinned fitful mockery as he accepted the keys.

3. Foreshadowing.

Nick watched Wani sadly. The man had always been as sleek and as independent as a cat, dark and magical. On their first meeting Nick half expected him to leave by the window and prowl the rooftops. Now he had carelessly squandered his nine lives and was clinging to the earth by the tips of his claws. He would haunt their usual places, that was certain. Whether Nick would see him next Halloween would depend on how far he had cast his sickness along with his spell. Others would see a momentary beauty swirl through the dark streets and wonder.

4. Monsters large and small.

Trick or treat. He’d give them trick or treat. He’d treat them to a piece of his mind. Parents should have more sense. Didn’t they know how dangerous the streets were? Paedophiles and drug pushers didn’t go home and draw the curtains just because it was Halloween. Rosy-cheeked ladies offering apples might have hidden blades in the sweet flesh. Idiots, prey and predators alike.

Andy found himself hurrying, wishing he’d stayed at home. John might be trusting enough to open the door. And Theo…

He would have to trust John. Meanwhile, he growled at a small ghost who fled, terrified.

5. The Knock.

“Trick or treat, missus?”

Dipping her hand into the sweet jar, Ros threw a handful of toffees at the sheeted figure.

“Nah. Me mum says them things’ll rot me teef.” The ghost was still solid; Ros realised money, rather than sugar, was modern halloween currency.

“Shut the door and let them do their worst.” Adam’s voice galvanised her.

“Trick,” she snarled. The snick of the latch was satisfying, although she could expect jam or glue in the lock later. She went back to the bedroom.

“Thought we were the spooks,” she said wearily. “We’re no match for the real thing.”

6. Touchdown.

“The planet of Halloween!” His face broke into a creases of delight. “Imagine! Trick or treat every day and pumpkin pie after every meal!”

Donna was less than thrilled. There were shadows that loomed, stalked and flickered; flames where there should have been darkness and darkness where the sun should have shone.

“What do you want to see first?” he asked. “The Sea of Souls, the bat colony in Outer Ghoul, or the Witch King’s palace?”

She shook her head.


Donna shrugged. She had always hated things that went bump in the night. She wanted to go home. Now.

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 31, 2014 in ficlets, writing


Tags: ,

A spooky zine

glitterwolf ad

Once again I’m ‘advertising’ on behalf of a friend. I haven’t yet read any of the contents but I know her poetry and it’s good.

Glitterwolf is a UK-based literary and arts magazine celebrating the work of LGBT contributors from around the world. They publish fiction, poetry, art and photography.

This year they are also bringing out a special Halloween Issue with four variant covers to match the four main stories. The issue is full of seasonably themed fiction, art and poetry, including three poems from my friend Kat Soini, a Finnish poet.

FREE TASTER of Glitterwolf: Halloween

This year, in addition to our usual three issues, we’ve released a Halloween special full of queer, weird and dark fiction, poetry and art. We’ve released four variant covers featuring the stunning work of artist Jason Grim and featuring the work of writers and poets including Steve Berman, Tom Cardamone, Lou Dellaguzzo, Jeff Mann, James K. Moran, Evan J. Peterson, Amy Shepherd, and many more.

To download a taster of the issue, featuring roughly half of the full table of contents, you can

follow this link to download. Alternatively, just send us an email at with the subject ‘Halloween’.

If you enjoy the taster, then please consider buying the full issues, which are now available for purchase on Amazon.

If you feel like spreading the word about this in your own journal/elsewhere, that would of course be hugely appreciated.

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 19, 2014 in other writers, poetry, publishing


Tags: , ,

Birthday ficlet

birthday card

My last post, promising or threatening to upload ficlets, was well received. As it’s my birthday next week I thought this very short flashfic (posted to a Yahoo writing group in 2009) might be a suitable first ficlet for this blog. I’ve altered it slightly and added the photo. I sometimes make online cards for my friends, using my own photos of flowers and natural scenes. Then I photoshop to get special effects and this is one of my efforts. So here’s the story, all 269words of it :

Writer’s Block

It was exquisite. The paper, thickly textured and probably hand-made, was deep cream, cut or perhaps torn in squares about the size of the palm of his hand. The sheets, piled into a rough cube, were fastened with a lavender ribbon that crossed and recrossed, finishing with a sophisticated knot and softly trailing ends. The gift came wrapped in gold tissue with a card that read: ‘from Hilary, with best wishes.’

Tom phoned his friend. “Thank you! It’s lovely! But what’s it for?”

“Your birthday, of course. Duh!”

“Well, yeah, I figured that out but what do I do with it? I mean, I never use snail-mail and my phone saves all my messages.”

“You know what you were saying last week? About having ideas when you were cooking or watching TV?”


“So I thought of this. Dan Sweeney makes them and sells them in his gift shop.”

“And he deserves to do well but that still doesn’t tell me what it’s for. Is it supposed to give me ideas?”

“Stoopid!! You’re supposed to keep it in a convenient place. With a pen or pencil. It’s a writer’s block.”

Tom let his fingers caress the surface of his new aide-memoire and wished he could transfer the gesture through the phone to Hilary’s skin. “Thank you again,” he said. “You can be sure I’ll make good use of it.” He sighed happily and went in search of a suitable writing implement. It was a most satisfactory present. Somewhere to store his thoughts that would also remind him of the giver; riches indeed.


Posted by on October 13, 2014 in ficlets



A question

74. question

This is my writing blog. I use it for all kinds of things connected with my own writing, other people’s writing, and writing in general. I have another blog for more personal stuff.

I intend to use this as a kind of website – I have a website (under another name) but it’s full of fanfiction and reviews. My fanfiction is now all hosted on Archive Of Our Own and most of my reviews are either here or on my personal blog so I’m intending to scrap the website when the payment comes due again, and use this as my main site.

I’ve noticed two things about this blog. The first is that most of the people who comment are people who also connect with me on other sites or in other ways. The second is that whenever I post poetry I gain more ‘likes’ and new ‘followers’ but virtually no comments. Interesting!

I want to ‘advertise’ my writing here, as well as discussing writing, so I’m considering posting short flashfics. Some time ago I belonged to a writing group where we used prompts and encouraged each other to write. I drifted away from the group, for all sorts of ‘real life’ reasons, but I still have copies of all my prompt responses. I’ve been looking through them and think some of them might appeal to readers so I will start occasionally posting. And with some pieces I might alter them either a little or a lot. They were all written quite quickly and it could be interesting to work on them. There probably won’t be many comments because my ‘usual’ commenters are drawn from people who have almost certainly seen the pieces before. But maybe I can entertain others?

What do you think? Might people read?


Posted by on October 7, 2014 in writing