Below are a few extracts from various novels and plays I have written.

Beware The Penguin

Chapter X

Ritalin Boy

Ritalin Boy stood under the warm water and urinated. As he watched the yellow trail run the short distance from just beyond his feet to the plughole, and then spiral into the circular abyss, he wondered whether he was the only hero in life that pee-ed in the shower? The cubicle in which he stood was an old noisy makeshift unit, which his Uncle had welded together from bits of tin and aluminium and installed himself. Old copper pipes ran from the head to the wall and then disappeared through a hole, never to be seen again. This was no plush, luxury item procured from a DIY shop on a lazy Sunday afternoon, but a crudely fashioned, yet fully functioning object with all the aesthetic value of a junkyard, from which its components had been liberated. Ritalin Boy never considered the technical wizardry his Uncle had employed in order to install running water into a building which rotated 360 degrees, nor the painstaking task the elderly relation had to champion for the water to be heated before it was diffused, and remained transfixed by the gradually dissipating stream he had created.

The boy opened the metal, windowless door, which warped slightly as it moved and his naked body was met by the gaze of the Penguin. The Penguin blinked. Water dropped from Ritalin Boy’s nose, chin and other extremities, leaving small puddles on the dirty white-washed floor. Liquid footprints gathered in his wake, as he stepped past the Penguin to fetch a dry towel. He pulled the nearest one from the wooden handrail, which ran the length of the walkway around the circumference of the windmill, wrapped it around him and padded at his arms and legs. Removing the towel he dried his short, fine hair before finally wiping the remaining droplets from his face. He draped the soggy cloth back over the railing and turned to see the Penguin stood in the shower unit, looking up at the water source, then to Ritalin Boy, then back up to the dull copper plumbing. The Penguin blinked. As Ritalin Boy walked towards the stairs he rotated the oversized brass tap inside the metal box and kicked the door-to.

Sitting at the small circular table, waiting for the two crumpets to pop out of the toaster, Ritalin Boy probed at the inside of his nose with his thumb. By applying sufficient pressure with his curled index finger on the outside he found he was able to scrape all the irritating detritus from the inside wall, and transfer it to under his nail. He examined the mixture of crusty and sticky crud of various green hues, before sticking his thumb into his mouth and swallowing the thick gooey snot, chewing it twice for good measure.

He watched the small wisps of smoke start to coil out of the grill and disappear into the air as the familiar burning smell invaded his nostrils and made his stomach rumble. Forcing the lever up, Ritalin Boy carefully dug the smouldering crumpets out of the slots with a butter knife and quickly transferred them onto a plate, burning his fingers a little as he did so. He dug a large chunk of margarine out of the open container and smothered his breakfast with it, and then, whilst the hot fat was dripping down through the hundreds of perforations, he carefully unscrewed a new pot of Marmite and satisfyingly cut a large slice from the rich, smooth, even surface. He looked across the table and met the eyes of the Penguin, sat opposite him, beads of shower water sprinkled across its feathers. The Penguin blinked. Ritalin Boy stood, fetched the towel from the banister, returned and threw it over the Penguin’s head so that it draped down the back like a bridal veil. The Penguin blinked. Ritalin Boy pushed the plate across the chequered Formica table surface, allowing it to rest under the Penguin’s beak, from which a single droplet fell. The Penguin blinked. Ritalin Boy pulled the last crumpet from the packet and placed it into the toaster, then returned his thumb to his nose and patiently waited.

Mornings were always like this.


Experiments in Human Behaviour

Chapter Three

Coitus Gratis

Negotiating my way back into the hotel room was proving to be something of an impossibility. The only response that I could get from inside was loud Dutch heckling, or the occasional high-pitched phrase of idiots’ English. At this rate I was going to have to break the door down, or alternatively (and more likely) sleep in the hallway overnight. I could see my popularity with the hotel manager, who was a tall, lean man with a thin face (and a nose you could open a tin with) developing into an uncomfortable spell of incarceration. I knocked gently on the door in a fashion not too dissimilar to somebody flailing all their limbs in a potentially homicidal manner. I had become the unknown entity that drives the loner to step over the parapet of rationality, and jump off the top of the multi-storey car park of sanity, towards the crowded streets of kersplat. The drugs were wearing off and my stash was the other side of a painfully sturdy door and was guarded by two loons with a selective comprehension of the English language and an uncompromising thirst for humiliating sad thirty-something men with inexplicable sexual tendencies. I wiped my head on the robe that I had borrowed from the strange librarian with the hard gums, who was presently soaking her bits in the communal bathtub, and I knew that I would have to kill someone soon.




Chapter Twenty-Three


Financing her tuition had been a problem. Working was the first logical solution that she had come up with. As her education demanded more of her time, she found that she would need to find a quicker way of making the money that was required. The expenses of her course were escalating and working in a supermarket on minimum wage was not enough to cover them. So for a while she had been toying with the idea of selling her body for the money; she was young, single, attractive and more importantly she was desperate for an alternative method of earning the cash that would project her towards a prosperous career. It was the only method that she could see to earn the huge amounts of money that she wanted.

That was until one of her fellow students mentioned an alternative to her. It was just as illegal, but not as high-risk. At first she was not sure that she wanted to get involved with the scheme, but after an introduction by her colleague to her new potential boss she had been charmed into it. She had been shown the fringes of working for him; he wined and dined her, taking her to all the best restaurants that the city had to offer. They mixed with all of the highbrow names in town, for although his operations were illegal, he had successfully maintained a legitimate front. She knew that such an expensive pitch by him meant that her services were indeed very valuable. He needed her, and more importantly she needed the money that he was offering. It was more than enough to pay for her education, in fact she had thought that it was probably more than she would actually make when she was fully qualified. She remembered mentioning to him that she might consider discarding the course in pursuit of working for him full-time. At this off-the-cuff remark he had flown into a rage. He told her that she had to become qualified in order to sustain the fraudulent façade of his legitimate business, that if she quit the course she would find herself unemployed. In fact she may very well find herself worse off than just unemployed… Much, much worse off... He had emphasised the importance of what he had been saying by walking out of the restaurant, leaving her to pay for the uneaten meal.

After that she had continued with her studies, as well as doing the occasional job for her boss, but she never stepped out with him again. Instead she had used the contacts that she had made through him, as well as the money he was paying her, to make the most of the nights that she was not working or studying. That was how she had met the young, successful solicitor… And his wife.