Love Amongst Strangers: Margaret Thatcher in Hell

Oh ho, ho, we’ve been waiting for you. Please take a seat over there, just next to Ronald Reagan.”

Ayesha Swanson struggled to keep her lips tight, her hands clasped behind her back.

“That’s not funny, Mister Mo,” she said quietly, trying to keep their conversation from the assorted police officers gathered in florescent jackets, anxiously watching the crowd of revellers as they gathered in the streets.

A sign fluttered in the cooling breeze, a makeshift banner exclaiming the simple phrase, ‘The Bitch is Dead‘. She watched it for a moment, tracking it with her eyes, listening to the sound of shouts and cheers, the first strains of impromptu music filling the air.

Apparently there were a couple of fellows with a double bass and guitar up the road, chanting and singing proclamations of the passing of the former Prime Minister.

Mister Mo laughed merrily to himself.

“Come on, little bud, you know it’s true.”
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Angels Over Albion: Harrowing

The dry dust gathered beyond the solemn gates, the embers of the eternal fires far, far below the city dancing in the air like obscene fireflies before him.

Snorting with flared nostrils, Wall watched the scene with dispassion, his swollen black eyes taking in the scene beyond the city gates.

For the longest time, the gates had stood against the surrounding lands, an ornate symbol of the principality beneath the soil, its regal status as both kingdom and gaol. Housed within Pandæmonium were the foulest of the foul, the ugly and interminable locked away forever from the blistering light high above and hidden deep, deep in the ground.

He snorted again, a shiver running through his ugly frame, the coarse hair that lined his body rippling as the dry wind stirred further about him.

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If we had met as children, then perhaps this feeling would not be so big. If we had met as children, then perhaps we would still be together, you and me; and you and me with the stars in our eyes, with the dreams in our hearts.

I want to remember the time we danced stupidly beneath Chinatown lanterns and Soho night lights. I want to remember how you wouldn’t take my money because we weren’t boyfriend and girlfriend, but we still laughed and joked like maybe we were, maybe we would be one day, maybe, maybe, again and again, and again, and again.

I told you I’d be a famous astronaut some day. I looked up at the stars beyond the haze, your hand in mine, and I promised you one day I’d go into space and I’d take your picture with me. Like a framed portrait of a famous actress or a celebrated saint, I’d carry you with me beyond the pale clouds that drifted so high above us. With your picture, I would go into orbit, upside down, inside out, the earth turned upon its side and it wouldn’t matter because we’d kind of be there together.

That day it snowed in the city, heavy dust of white falling down on Piccadilly like the clouds themselves had come down to kiss us goodnight and wish us on our way. I told you that everything was signed and sealed by this change in the weather. You just smiled and nodded your head.

I used to love the way you never told me the truth, never thought it would be the one thing I’d learn to resent you for.

When we first met we talked silly things about how we’d change the world, how we were undefeated, boxers coming home with bruised and broken lips to home made dinners and warm milk from loving mothers. We were the champions of being out of place and out of time, we were world famous, world renowned, with all the time between here and daylight savings.

Yet those silly things never came to pass, the streets in which we danced grew up to bury us. The city shrugged, and we lost our grip.

We let go of each other and, having found ourselves apart, we found it surprisingly easy to go on, one with the other.

If we had known each other as children, if we had been born twins, wrapped up in the womb, arm in arm, face to face, then I wouldn’t be watching aeroplanes leaving without you.

If we had known each other as children, I wouldn’t be here alone. If we had known each other as children, I wouldn’t have let you go.

It’s Clear to See That I Love You More Than You Love Me

She stood anxiously before him as he sat on the step, her head bowed, warm almost strawberry hair hiding her expression. Around her neck a red winter scarf trailed despite the summer heat and over her shoulders she wore a nondiscript grey hoody, almost Jack Wills but not quite.

Her feet were awkward in trainers, box pleat skirt moving gently with her movements as she shifted her feet and diamond patterened Tabio tights unwillingly drawing his eyes down.

About his ears, the curl of his dirty blond hair, he felt a burning sensation of pain, a quiet fire of a truth that could not be denied.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, “I just can’t.”

Reaching out, she took his hand and placed within it the sole token of his misguided affection and then rushed past him, the imposing white front door of her house slamming behind her.

He sat quietly for a moment, token in hand and skateboard at the bottom of the steps and then, his limbs like dead weights, lifted himself up.

Turning he saw an older man at the window of the neighbouring house, reaching with spider leg fingers to push open the window, his blue eyes full of embarrassment and cruelty.

Their eyes met and the boy offered only the gaze of someone caught up in events beyond his understanding, the victim of a natural tragedy.

In the other’s face was a sense of cruel tragedy, a rejoicing in the failure of youth’s tender affection, the reminder of an old scar opened once again and the keen desire to see his own suffering reflected on the world around him.

He turned away and the boy, with nowhere else to go, placed one foot upon his skateboard, pulled his hood up closer around his ears and allowed forward motion, the same sensation that had not carried him forward into the absent girl’s heart, to carry him away with the cracks in the pavements and the setting sun.

The white door of her house remained silent and imposing.

Evening Tea Society: A Caucus of Martyrs 0.1

“A Caucus of Martyrs”

The Year 19xx,

Heavy clouds stagnated like swamp water across the sky; a scummy grey skin settling over the surface. The traveler had watched the skies curiously since he exited the steam engine. Secretly he plotted for rain. Were he much for the folly of his religious youth, he might pray to god. Instead, he left it the hands of science – meteorology to be precise – and diagnosed the symptoms; surely it would rain. When he was proven correct and gaps were punctured through the thin jelly overcast, spilling a gentle tide of dihydrogen monoxide, he craned his neck upward; his lips splitting, satisfied.

The air in his lab was always a suffocating blanket of thick, stifling steam and swarthy, metallic blow off from the messy graveyard of machinery he was known to birth and then frankenstein later; left operating in some crippled existence. It stunk of fried metal and boiled electrical components, no doubt cooked too long.

The world after a virginal rain was a most sweet perfume, something he cherished more than the fragrance of any flower. To say rain had a unique smell all it’s own wouldn’t be true. Instead, it smelled as if all everything had been soaked in a soapy bath with a concentrated extract of Mother Nature; everything fresh, more pure.

He had never been this far north nor this far west, but it reminded him of his compound in Colorado. How he wished to lament his grandiose notions, his damnable tower, which invariably forced him to scuttle the compound and sent him back to New York, for good. Nevertheless, the city and society, sadly, had its conveniences for a man like him. Irregardless, he was determined to enjoy his sojourn completely and spare any moment he might to just take a deep breath.


NOIRLEANS: Dire Wolf, pt. one

A couple ribs gave; exploded like braided firecrackers, one after the other. Damn things. Never hold up under scrutiny.

Scrutiny had a name: Jack-of-all-Blades. A heavy for the bigs in Noirleans. He’d done tours with Mock Turtle, Plaster Gangboss, and, now, apparently The Haberdasher. That wasn’t here nor there. This wasn’t business. No, this was payback. This was a twenty year hard-on for Connor Frey. And Jack had skipped foreplay. Straight to the rough stuff.

All over spilled milk.


Jack Derveger and Connor Frey spent intimate years together as youths at The Dubreuil de Villars Retreat for Moral Readjustment. Fancy talk for a loony bin; a prison for deranged little shits.

They were too young for cigarettes and porn to be valued commodities. For them, it was milk. Forced to drink skunky tap water three meals a day, seven days a week and the kids of Dubreuil would drag a plastic butter knife across their bunkmate’s throat if it meant getting milk.

Milk little Jack had and Connor wanted. He skipped his fist across Jack’s eye socket until it splintered, then bashed his brains against the cafeteria table. Jack’s little nose split like peas, spilling puss everywhere. The milk lost.

He swore he’d kill Frey, and connecting the dots, Conney Frey to Dire Wolf ain’t tough. Just google one and you’ll find the other.

Now, here he was, damn close to snuffing out Frey’s vigilante persona, Dire Wolf. It didn’t matter that that was two lifetimes ago, literally. That Frey had died twice since then. That Frey and Dire Wolf were two different entities. Jack knew the two as the same and was hellbent on needing a third headstone.

Jack wasn’t much for fighting pretty. He was a beaut with a knife, nothing else, but he was at least six paces quicker than Frey and about three times as strong. He didn’t move like a human. Despite looking it, there was something else going on under the hood.

Another blow to the upper body, this time, the small of the back. No ribs to break, just a kidney. It ruptured like a frozen pipe, drowning his insides with spilled matter. Dire Wolf coughed violently twice. He gagged hard on the sour metal taste that filled his mouth. Blood. Another cough, thick syrupy gore dribbled from his lips and tongue. Blood soiled dark with bile seeped through his lips, tainting his chin a dirty purple.

Dire Wolf collapsed to his knees.

“Look’s like you’re fucking dead, Nancy-boy.” Jack showed a pleased, fanged grin. “Told you I’d kill you.”

“Looks like it.” Another cough. More blood this time. “I’ll either bleed out or suffocate on it before long.”

Jack clapped his massive paws across Dire Wolf’s shoulders, tossed him to his back. He steadied the sole of his boot on the ball of Dire Wolf’s right knee.

Jack-of-Blades tsked. “I’ll just have to be damn quick about breaking every bone in your body, then.”

His boot hung off the bone; his pupils faded into large whites and then the sole found floor again, shattering anything between.



‘My name is Flavius Furius Aquila, first born of Vibius Furius Aquila and lately of Camulodunum in Britain.

I have served for several score years in honour and valour with the Legio II Augusta, that most noble company of men who, under the command of the young Vespasian helped bring order to the shores of Britain some 285 years previously.

This epistle, scratched hastily on a sodden scrap of parchment, is to comprise my final words…’

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The Plot Device, 0.0

Let me introduce you to the team.

The man sitting by himself, playing a game of solataire’s named Red Herring. He’s alone because nobody trusts him. He’s a deceptive little prick; the best grifter I’ve ever seen. First met him on the streets of Monaco, though, he swears it was Geneva. Whatever, it’s not important. What is important is that there’s nobody he can’t con. Even his grandmother would believe he’s a twelve year old girl pushing scout cookies. This pied piper has everybody zigging while we zag.

At the table beside Herring, is Leitwortsil. I think he’s OCD, ADD, some nonsense. He just sits there babbling the same rubbish over and over again. Got him caught in Luxembourg when he explained a thirty million dollar art gallery heist to the insurance company. In all the years I’ve known him, he’s never shut the fuck up. Maybe five minutes tops. He’s here for one purpose and one purpose only: He’s a Rain Man. Ten Minutes to Wapner, all that. However, you give the guy a con, a heist, anything, and he’s able to boil it down to what’s absolutely vital, what you need and the most efficient why to execute it. I make sure to keep him muzzled.

Over my shoulder’s Chekov’s Gun. He’s got his uses, but I’ll explain those later.

Beside him scribbling notations on the whiteboard, trying his damndest is Anticlimax. He’s a bit of an idiot, I admit. Good kid, overthinks stuff. He’s here for one reason: He’s my brother, and I don’t trust anybody else to take over when I retire. He needs a heavy hand, but he’ll get there. I hope so. Christ, I hope he doesn’t let me down.

Moving on, stage right, rehearsing her part of the plot is the sole woman on the team. Just watch her move, lithe, tensile motions like a Rockette. Got legs like one too. Great tits. her skin’s an exotic cinammon color, long black mane the color of coffee, smoldering opal eyes. Personality to match. What I wouldn’t give for just one night with her. Mary Sue, she’s my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, she’s more than just wank material. She’s the perfect thief. If Herring were, I don’t know, the Red King, she’d be the Black Queen. No safe she can’t crack, no laser grid she can’t samba through, no object she can’t steal. She could lift the hair piece off Donald Trump, him none the wiser. Hell, she could make a whole island disappear off the globe.

Guess that just leaves me. You can call me MacGuffin. I’m the boss; I put the pieces in play. The team, the mark, that’s my doing. These characters, they’re pretty much worthless individually, but as a team, unstoppable. I keep everything greased and churning, keep everything from going pear-shaped. That’s all you need to know.

So, what is our con? A bank, a museum, maybe a private citizen? Well, wouldn’t you like to know. I’ll save that for another time…do believe that’s called a cliffhanger.

x-posted at Neville, Nevilleland