More Stories

No.11 “Daybreak in the trenches” 31 March 2010

I wake, but not to the sight of my beloved wife lying beneath the duvet next to me, but to the sight of dirt and the sound of gunfire. This is my life: killing when I wake at daybreak in the trenches. The dirt canals that are now my home are to me a fate worse than death. The rain falls onto my face, as God weeps from above, sickened by his creations’ war.

I can hardly bear to be a part of such a frivolity as this, but I must grit my teeth. I have been here for almost a year, and the trench map has been etched into my brain, acting as my eternal guide. All I hear is gunfire, with the occasional scream of a falling shell, and the likewise scream of a fallen ally. Dirt layers my face, seeping through my lips.

I travel through the trenches to the firing zone, and soon my musket is blazing as I gun down the distant enemies, in a pitiful attempt to cross no-man’s-land. I take my chance, and climb over the dirt walls, despite the several warnings from my comrades.

Several German infantry shoot, but my trigger finger’s too fast for them. An approaching enemy runs towards me, knife in hand. My bayonet finds its way into his chest, and up into his heart. My eyes water at his scream, but I can’t save him. I don’t. Jerry after Jerry dies at my hand.

I see it. The German trench. My venture into no-man’s-land was successful, yet it is a bittersweet experience. I descend into the mud-made hell, and charge. Bullet after bullet flies from my barrel and enemy after enemy falls to the ground. The bodies around me curse my bones, and the odour already creeps through the sinuses and into my mouth, and the taste of the dead lingers on my tongue.

Not only the taste, but the feeling as well. I look to my chest. A bayonet protrudes from my gut, and I turn my head. It was Uter, my former friend. A joyous occasion on any other day, but he gasps at his act. I fall to my knees, my vision blurring, and Death approaches me at last, his deathly scythe in hand. In the end, I died, not by my worst enemy, but by my best friend.

No.12 “The Vampire’s Crush” 20th April 2010

From my hideaway in the shadows I spot her. Her beautiful hair, her sparkly eyes, and her heart-breaking smile. Her very existence fills me with sorrow, for I know that she can never be mine. We come from two far too different worlds; she lives in the world of the day, I exist in the land of the night. It pains me that my blood, the very thing I need to live, is what keeps me from loving her.

Every day I challenge myself, dare myself, double-dare myself, to face the glare of the sun, and take a chance with her. But, the Vampire in me forbids me from trying it. I can hardly bring myself to gaze upon her beauty; that beauty which would beat the sun in any contest of extravagance.

I finally see why my kind can’t face the sun: the sun mocks us, with the brilliance of its shining glory, a beauty which we can never obtain. The moon, the dull, dark moon, is the only one which will accept, as we have something in common: we are both outdone by that fiery sun. All I can do is watch, and let my love-sickness eat away at my very soul. I do not need blood, not even hers.

All I need to survive… is her.

No. 13 “Stage Fright” 22nd May 2010

The day had come. My first gig. I was overcome with Stage Fright. I kept thinking to myself, ‘It’ll be fine, just remember the chords: A, A, B, B, C, C, A, C#, B#, A, A, B, A, C, D, D#, F#, then repeat.’ The crowd roared behind the curtain, as the opening act finished, marking my cue. The other members ran on stage, covering their fright. I mustered up all my courage, and ran through the curtain.

The drummer started. A, A, B, B, C, C, A, C#, B#, A, A, B, A, C, D, D#, F#, went my fingers, rubbing up and down the guitar strings at a million miles an hour. A, A, B, B, C, C, A, C#, B#, A, A, B, A, C, D, D#, F#. A, A, B, B, C, C, A, C#, B#, A, A, B, A, C, D, D#, F#. A, A, B, B, C, C, A, C#, B#, A, A, B, A, C, D, D#, F#.

The crowd screamed. My fingers burned. The strobe lights burned my eyes. A, A, B, B, C, C, A, C#, B#, A, A, B, A, C, D, D#, G#. Damn! A sour note! Did anyone notice? No, few did. A, A, B, B, C, C, A, C#, A#, A, A, B, A, D, D, D#, F#! Yet two more screwups. The Stage Fright was setting in. A few more seconds. Just get it right a few more times. Then, it’s done. Then it’s over. A, A, B, B, C, C, A, C#, B#, A, A, B, A, C, D, D#, F#. And hold!

The crowd went silent… then screamed again. I had succeeded. I had overcome my Stage Fright. Now, only nine more songs to go…

No. 14 “Malta 2010” 24th July 2010

Day 1. Our arrival in Malta. After a three hour plane journey, we collect our baggage, and pick up our rental car. After a quick trip to the supermarket, we arrive at Villa Paradise, 497 Triq Il-Qortin. A large villa with a rustic aura. The pool is excellent, the bedrooms are nice, and the rooms have a payable AC machine each. We spend a few hours in the pool, and then decide to visit the China Town restaurant. A nice restaurant, good food, great portions. Then a retirement to the villa, where we swam a little more, then went to bed.

Day 2. A relatively slow morning. We stay around the pool for a while, then we go to pick up some meat for the barbecue we planned to have with Owen, Tanya and Danny, some friends of the family. The guests arrive, and the barbecue begins. A selection of meat, fish, and wine with a selection of good friends. The barbecue stays on until the late hours. After Owen, Tanya and Danny leave, we unwind inside at retire to our bedrooms.

Day 3. A day of shopping in Sliema, the small city nearby. Visits to several clothes shops, a jeweller, and a books shop, where one discovers the little-known Darren Shan book, Koyasan. A couple of hours pass we eat at a pub with a nice atmosphere, great food and heavy portions, and we return to Villa Paradise. We get an early night, as we are expected to rise early the next day for a day of scuba-diving and snorkelling.

Day 4. A watery world of wonder. We meet Owen, Tanya and Danny early in the morning, and set sail upon the reliable S.S.Diversion. We arrive at the first site after about thirty minutes of wayfaring, and we swim. One member has an unfortunate encounter with a jelly fish. The resulting treatment leaves him smelling like a fish and chip shop, due to the large dousing of vinegar. Two members of the party descended the waters of the shore, wearing their fins, wetsuits and scuba-gear. After the day of watery wonder, we return home and lounge.

Day 5. Not much early on. We decide to stay around the pool for most of the time. In the evening, we drive to the former Silent City: M’dina. We look around, spot several horses; few of them properly cared for. We move on to the restaurant Medina. A roofless building with an indoor grape yard, a tremendous robust atmosphere and perfect Maltese food. After dinner, we experience a Maltese parade for a festival. The parade lasts a few minutes, and then we retire to Villa Paradise.

Day 6. We go down the main road to the coast. We find several rock pools filled with crabs and small fish, and they find we have nets, hooks, and bacon. We spend two hours there, and check our catch. Four small fish, two crabs, a jellyfish, a water snail, and two cleaner shrimp. We return the crabs to their homes, and leave for home. We dine on a barbecue later on, and pay a visit to the Internet Café in Mellieha. After some internet time and three games of pool, we leave for the villa, and rest up for a second water day tomorrow.

Day 7. We leave early on, as we did on Friday. Some snorkelling at first with Owen and Tanya, then Danny takes two of us down for our first deep scuba—eight meters beneath the surface! We pack some bread for the fish, and a stupidly large camera for the submersion, but the fish snatch it from our hands as soon as we show it to them. Another learning diver, Tanya delves into the waters soon after us, and practises for her course next week. Go, Tanya! We relax at Villa Paradise afterwards and retire to our beds.

Day 8. We regroup around the pool for the morning, and set ourselves up for a barbecue at Owen’s and Tanya’s. Danny comes as well, plus Owen’s brother Damien. We dine on sausage, salad, steak, and potatoes, with some lovely cake for dessert. Afterwards, the couple have a surprise for us: two DVD’s of our escapades beneath the surface, made by Danny. A compilation of photos, captions and some video footage, the DVD’s are proof that the days beneath the waves were our best days, thanks to the trio of divers. Afterwards, we return to the villa, and relax. Tomorrow is our last sleep in Malta, after all.

Day 9. A trip to the gorgeous Golden Bay. The beach is one of the must-do things of any holiday nearer the Equator, and a magnificent way to finish off the holiday. A full morning of jet skiing, reading in the dun, and to finish, a three way Para Kiting experience. The boat draws off at a horrendous speed, letting us fly off the sand within seconds. We pack up and return home shortly after, and relax around the pool for a while, and reflect on the holiday we had in Malta. We dine at Il Mi’thna, a fantastic Maltese seafood restaurant. A perfect ending to a perfect holiday.

Day 10. Pool and home. We relax around the pool for the day, and finish off at around half past four. We finish off our packing, and drive the rental car back to the airport. We relish the last few moments we have in Malta as we board the plane. Rumbling. The engines kick up. We drive, we pick up speed, we fly. Goodbye Malta, see you again soon!

No. 15 “The Lonely One” 29th October 2010

I am invisible to the world. My life seems to be just me blending in. ‘Don’t stand out,’ my mother says. ‘Go with the flow, and all will flow with you.’ Maybe I did that a little too well. My school has a uniform, so that doesn’t help at all. but, more importantly, I just seem to blend in with the furniture. I don’t have anyone who calls me a friend anymore. It’s not that they don’t want to be  my friends, it’s that they don’t notice me at all. Sometimes I appear in the corner of their eyes, but by the time they look my way, I seem to have vanished into thin air.

Lonely days are my life story. If I ever write my autobiography, that would be my title. Then again, who would buy it? I don’t know what friends are like. What they do, how they do it, when they are expected to do it, it all makes no sense to me. I can’t see how the pieces of the friendship puzzle fit together anymore. Am I meant to be invisible my whole life? Maybe. Am I meant to live a life full of friends when I’m older? I can’t imagine so. I’ve been alone for so long that I’m almost used to it, you know?

Sometimes I like to imagine I have friends. I see them, like people in a photograph, or an old movie, just standing there, waving at me, calling my name, smiling at the sight of me. And I almost believe they exist. They have to, somewhere, right? Someone like me, who has this burden and wants to share it? So, that’s why I’m here today, my face in the grass, the blades tickling my flesh as the wind blows through my hair. Most of the times I come here, like today, I fall asleep, and dream of friends, just standing there, calling my name, and smiling at the sight of me. But only in dreams.

No. 16 ‘What Goes On At These Parties?’ 29th April 2011

I guess it’s always the same, always will be. People will host a party to celebrate some great event, but the bottom line is always the same, isn’t it? An excuse to get drunk under the table, throw up a few times, play drinking games until you throw up some more, then possibly get a snog at the end of the night, or even further… Still, with all the people coming into school every other week with black bags under their eyes and hair like there’s an angry cat lying on their heads, I have to wonder, are these parties that everybody goes to all the time really that simple?

I suppose you have to be there to understand the whole ‘System’ of parties. Small-talk that nobody will remember tomorrow, crappy, shop-brand snacks in small bowls, and lots of alcohol. Lots and LOTS of alcohol. Plus music that doesn’t draw attention to itself, just suggests a good time, like the clicker to a dog being potty-trained. There’s dark rooms with weird noises coming from them, stuff I don’t want to intrude on; especially if I turn the lights on and they realise who they’re with. And, of course, at the end of the night, something expensive is more often than not gonna smash.

Eventually something will always happen, something like the parents walking in on the party, or the neighbours complaining about the noise to the police, so the party 110% of the time ends about eight hours earlier than people would want. Then, people spilt into groups and move the party to other places, and sooner or later someone’s gonna end up getting hurt, sick, or both. It’s times like this, when I sit down and think about it, that I realise two things: 1, I’m glad I never go to these parties, and 2, I’m really annoyed that I’m never invited!

No. 17 ‘Vultures, Unite!’ 18th May 2011 

*DISCLAIMER* All names, songs, and people listed in this story are completely real. I own none of the songs; they belong to VersaEmerge or Not Advised. I don’t own the names VersaEmerge or Not Advised; they also belongs to them. And, I don’t own any of the names of the members; they, too, belong to VersaEmerge/Not Advised. The story is completely true; it really happened, exactly as it is written. And I’m glad for it. Disclaimer over. Enjoy the story 🙂 *

You know how it is. After a long, stressful day, you really need something to unwind, that something varying on what made your AM and early PM such a BM. For me, that was an RE GCSE on Christian Phiolosophy, from hell. I know, ironic, right? But, enough about the A’s-E’s of the GCSE; let’s talk about the late PM. For me, the way to unwind was the ticket to my first ever music gig: Not Advised, with the headliners of the night, and the headliner of my musical taste, VerseEmerge, the ‘Versa,’ the ‘Vultures,’ whatever you want to call them, all that matters is that the music they play is good, and the lead singer is AWESOME! (As well as the other performers, but they’re all guys, so… can’t really say that much about them… sorry, dudes.)

After an awesome set from Not Advised, including my favourite N.A. song ‘Right Now,’ it was time for the main event. Not wanting to miss any the show that, because I attended, meant I, myself, was, am, a true Vulture, I made my way to the bathroom. All I needed was a quick whizz and a quick hand-wash, but on the way to the gent’s is the stairway leading to the green room, and who should happen to walk out of the door, but Sierra Kusterbeck, the lead singer of the Versa. Using every once of self-control I had, I refrained from fainting due to an almost crippling fan-crush, and said hi. All I said was that I was a big fan of VersaEmerge; I didn’t expect to feel two soft arms wrapping themselves around my chest, the words ‘That’s excellent!,’ almost all of my blood rushing from every other part of my body, each individual cell wanting to get as close as they could to Sierra’s arms. Which meant that I almost fell to the floor in a heap.

Apparently supported by some invisible… wall or something, I managed to keep my balance, watching Sierra let go of me before I could hug back, (too stunned,) and fast-walk through the corridors ever so elegantly for a rock singer, calling back, ‘You’ll wanna get up real close to the stage, then!’ Her voice was just as pretty when she was talking as it was when she was singing. Forgetting my need to pee, I rushed back to where me and my bro were stationed, detailed the events to him, and we immediately mosh-pitted our way as close to the stage as we could got. After about five minutes of getting crushed by the crowds, (still got a bad back today, but I DON’T CARE!) we saw the Vultures ascend the stage, playing their opening song like angels from Rock Heaven, the palace of the Head-Banger Gods.

I got some pictures on my low-quality phone, not good enough to do the Versa justice at all. Plus, can’t upload them; not that sort of phone, which begs the question… etc, etc. Back to the music. As the hour they played went by like a flash, with ‘Figure It Out,’ ‘Past Praying For,’ and finally ‘Fixed At Zero’ echoing through my ears, (I suspect my ears continued ringing throughout today because of the sheer awesomeness of those three particular songs, as well as all the others,) I had to fight my way past people twice as big as me and probably thrice as heavy to keep me spot where I could see Sierra well enough, double those numbers for when she got close enough to the floor of the stage for me to reach her, (if Sierra Kusterbeck does end up reading this, it was me touching your right elbow.) The end of the show came far too fast, although, a year would be far too fast for me, with the Versa leaving with a grat encore, ‘Clocks,’ (as quoted from Sierra, “Not to be confused with the common word ‘Cocks.’) The fans dissipated, I bought a Vultures poster, (currently hanging above my bed, my first merch item, as well,) and proceeded to have it signed by the other three Vultures, (my first autographs from a musician,) until I was able to reach Sierra one last time, completing the collection of ‘Sharpied’ signatures.

And, of course, the end of my time at the venue came too quickly. Before leaving, though, I did manage to have a little chat with Sierra upon her signing my now beloved poster, (first chat with a rock star ever, which is why I hope she some day reads this!) after which she bid us and the other stay-behinds, (in other words, just me and my broseph,) adieu with what I hope will one day be her signature goodbye, the hands pressed together with a slight bow, and the words, (pre-quote, pardon my French please ) “Namaste, motherfuckers!” Then, we had to leave, as the little hand had reached eleven, and the big hand had made that worse by adding a nice, solid 45 to it. Now, to conclude, I have only two words to say to any readers out there who just so happen to be Versa-fans as well: “Vultures, Unite!”

No. 18 ‘Mortal King’ 22nd May 2011

Alright, I got to thinking a little while ago, that all of my stories on here, besides Cornelia, have nothing to do with fantasy, what my writing is all about, so I thought I’d give you all a little extra taste of the swords-and-shields ideal that completely runs my mind and soul. That’s right, it’s a little Cornelia-esque thing I came up with to share directly with my readers. Please note, this mini-story is not actually associated with Cornelia; it’s just a random red-and-black story, set in a random Arthurian-style world.

The palace is extravagant beyond belief. Apparently this pompous-arse King iss not familiar with the phrase ‘Wasting Money.’ And, to add insult to injury, it wasn’t even his money to waste. King Reyul is well-known for putting his extremely heavy taxes on his poor subjects, and anyone who didn’t pay, has their life taken away from them. They themselves aren’t put to the sword; it’s everything else. His family, his home, his precious possessions, everything. Then he’s cast out, without even a shirt to keep his back warm during the night, nor a cloth to keep his loins from being burned by the hot sun. That was what began my quest to take him down. All it took was one gold coin, dropped from a hole in the bag that I gave the tax collector, one coin. As punishment for ‘attempted cheating of royal taxation,’ he was ordered not to just take away everything I had, but to make me watch while it was all burned, the screams of my wife and the cries of my children drowning out the roar of the flames.

When I was cast out, I knew that someone had to take revenge on him, and if nobody else had the guts, then it would have to be me. I was already an experienced fighter; nobody could take the knowledge away from me. I spent a year perfecting my skills as an assassin, in order to finally rid this world of a rotten King. That was what led me here, to the palace of stolen gold and spilt blood where he sat on a throne of steel and silver, his arse gaining another sore every day. I’m here on a mission, and no one will stop me from fulfilling it. The one thing about palaces is that the paranoid monarch inside would always pay the extra money to have secret hidden doorways and passages placed in every corridor. It’s simply a matter of finding them.

Leaping from shadow to shadow, the torches on the walls both making the shade grow and making it shrink, I ascend along the way that the spy had told me to go. The axe of the second coat of arms on the left, he said. That would open an escape route to and from the throne room. Once I reach that particular spot, I grab the axe and pray that the gold I paid the scout wasn’t wasted. Pulling hard, the axe slips free, and the doorway in the wall, unnoticeable to anyone who didn’t know what to look for, opened without even a creak. Good. The thing I love about enemies is, when you meet someone who hates them just as much as you do, then anything’s possible. I slip through the passageway, and close the door behind me.Wouldn’t want anyone else to stumble upon an open doorway, would we?

The corridor was dark, very dark. Still, with the right tools, one can do anything. Small sticks that, when one end is rubbed against a rough surface, catch fire, was my tool of choice. Drawing one out, a strike it on the wall. The flame catches, and there is now enough light to see by. I hastily make my way through the doorway, emerging though a door just behind the throne. There’s nobody nearby, except his hatefulness himself. This should be easy. A quick, clean kill, no blood, no noise, and a quick getaway, that would be all it needed. Thankfully, modern poisons, which themselves were pretty expensive, were very advanced. This one was the most expensive, which is why I’m glad I tested it first. One drop on the nape will cause the muscles of the heart to convulse in three seconds; simply, a heart attack in a bottle.

The back of the chair is riddled with dents and worn down spots that nobody had ever bothered to fix. Thank God. Silently placing my hand in one very high hole, I hoist myself up the back of the chair, getting a perfect vantage point of the King’s nape. Dampinging a rag with the poison, I rub the venom on his skin. Feeling the disturbance, the King turns around, but I am already gone down, behind the chair. Turning away, I count the seconds. 3… 2… 1… The King shifts, grabbing his chest. I cover his mouth with my hand to stop the screams as he gently falls to the floor. As his eyes roll into the back of his head, he catches one last view of me, looking down on him, smiling with a sadistic grin. The thing is, king or not, this guy was mortal, and there’s one thing about mortals that all assassins love:

Mortals die so easily.



No.1 “Jerry’s Last Words” 24th July 2009

Jerry lay in the small bed in the hospital room. He knew that he would soon be dead. His young daughter, Lauren, was sat next to him, holding his hand. A single tear ran down her right cheek, and fell onto the floor. She looked at him and spoke softly to him; “Father, please don’t go. I have called you father for 31 years, and my life will never be the same without you. All those days we spent lying on the hill, watching the sunset, will be only sweet memories. All those times that you smiled at me, and told me that everything would be alright will fade away like water on a hot day.

“All the memories of you will be the only part of you that I have left. I do not want to let go of your hand, like I did on my first day of school. All my life you stood by my side and said to try my best, and to get back up when life got me down, and that nothing good in life ever happened unless you made it happen. Those words will only carry on the wind, and I will never hear your voice ever again. The voice that gave me support, courage, and the willpower to carry on.

“My life will never be the same without you.”

The old man’s eyes opened, and he said to the girl “Lauren, my life only became complete when you were born. Now, my life will end, but my love for you will last forever.” He closed his eyes once more, and the sound of the heart-monitor flat-lining told Lauren that he would never open them again. She stood up, picked up her bag, and left the room, leaving a trail of tears on the floor as she left.

No. 2 “The Thing Called ‘School'” 25th July 2009

I walk through the jaw-like gates that concealed the thing called ‘School.’ I walk into the stone prison, and see the prison wardens, who called themselves ‘Teachers’, cramming my fellow convicts into ‘Classroom’ labelled cells, where they teach us lessons as punishment for all our crimes. They force us into a large room, filled with large tables, and ugly women who ladle out slop and make us eat it, lest we starve for the rest of the day.

Later, we go outside, where they make us do exercise, the only fun part of the prison sentence. The running around on the brownish green grass makes us sweat and smell wierd, and when we go inside, we can’t concentrate on the lesson the warden gives us.

What seems like two months later, a large bell goes off, and the other convicts get their coats, and bags, and leave the thing called ‘School’. Yet, I somehow know that the next day, I will return, voluntarily, to the prison known as ‘School.’ And, in a wierd way, I’ll enjoy it!

No. 3 “The Dog and the Hoodie” 31 July 2009

James walked down the pathway to the small cottage, wearing his jet black hoodie. He took a look at the thatch-roofed house, and imagined what the people inside looked like. He began to feel anxious about it, as he agreed with his parents that he would pick out a puppy from the litter inside to be the family pet. He took a deep sigh, and pressed the small button on the door. The echoing ring filled his ears, and a shadow crossed the opaque glass on the door. The door opened to reveal a large woman, with brown hair. She looked at James and said “You must be the boy, come to pick out a puppy. Do come in.” He smiled slightly, and entered the house, his hands deep in his pockets.

He heard the yipping noise from the puppies as he came through the room. He saw the large pen, where half a dozen dogs stood up, stared at him with soulful eyes, and wagged their tiny tails. He picked one dog out, and sat down with it on the hairy couch, and stroked it. A minute later, he stood up and put it back. It just didn’t feel right to him. He picked out another, and another, and another, until five of them had been refused.

He picked out the last one, with large brindle patches on her back. He sat down once more, and waited. The pup opened her eyes, sniffed the boy’s face, and licked it. This made him chuckle. She started to climb up into his hood, and sat around his neck like a feather boa. She made a small moan, which reminded him of a bluebird’s song. The dog closed her eyes, and fell asleep. James took her out of the hood, and said to himself “She’s the one for me.” He gave the woman a few small pieces of paper, and carried the dog back home. He called her ‘Doli’, which means ‘Bluebird’ in Navajo Indian, and he never stopped loving her, even when her ashes were placed in the small box on the window sill, fifteen years later.

No. 4 “The Cat’s Night Regime” 2nd August 2009

The small flap on the door, the entryway into the night. Hm… They make this all too easy. It takes me moments to crawl through it, and escape the hell-bound prison that I live in. The face on the moon looks at me with dread, fearful of the thought of me taking my leave into the dark-shroud night. Finally, I have escaped, and am free to chase the prey of my choice, be them mice, raccoons, or birds. I jump onto the stone wall that surrounds the prison, and leave for the road. The light of the moon is accompanied only by the light of the lamps by the paved track for the small, automatic chariots.

Alongside mine, many more captivity cells line the horizon, containing my feline comrades, but I know in my heart that as I have, they will soon break out of them. Catching mice and rats as I go, I stalk the wandering humans, hiding in the shadows, watching them, researching my enemies. Having done so, I stagger onto a high wall and plan my grand scheme.

Soon, the sun, brother of the silver moon, rises over the land. I run, back to the domicile, lest my identity be uncovered. I crawl through the plastic flap, and rush onto the pillow where I ‘sleep.’ As I close my eyes, finishing my disguise of innocence, I chuckle under my breath, and envision the world to come, once my grand plan is finally put into action, and the Age of the Cat doth begin.

No.5 “The Theft” 2nd August 2009

It was one year ago that we got it. The family had saved up cash for a treat for me and my sister. A 32″ flat screen HD-Ready Sony, with Picture-In-Picture capabilities. We spent a ton of cash on the thing, plus a matching surround sound and Blu-Ray DVD player for a bargain price.

Over the months, me and my sister had changed. We had become fat, slovenly pigs who only got up off the sofa for snacks, the toilet, and seven hours of sleep. Our faces were sweaty, and we were covered in bedsores. We had forgotten the feeling of wind on our faces, as we rode our bikes into it, and our skin had become white, missing the kiss of the morning sun, as we played outside with friends. It was all because of the T.V. sitting on the wall. We had become slaves to cartoons, sports, and Big Brother. We were the dread of our parents, who had felt guilty about unleashing the horrible screen upon us.

Last night, though, it all changed. A loud ringing filled our fat ears, and we climbed the stairs to see a man holding the T.V. over the balcony, wearing a ski-mask, and a black jogging suit. He threw it off the balcony, and we heard it shatter into a thousand pieces. The man escaped, and we tried to wake up our parents, although our dad was out on a night-jog. When the police arrived, he walked through the door, and heard the news from my mum. I am thankful of the man in the jogging suit, as he had broken the T.V’s hypnotic spell over me and my sister. Curiously, the jogging suit that the man wore looked a lt like the one my dad was wearing when he came in. Hm.

No.6 “Flinn and the Fox” 26th August 2009

Foxes. The ultimate threat to dog-kind. They conspire to overthrow us, and take our place as Man’s Best Friend. And, finally, I’ve got one in my sights. I approach with care, and plot my kill. The undergrowth rustles around my feet, and the birds chirp overhead, attempting to warn him of his imminent demise. A twig snaps beneath my foot, and the fox turns to see me. He dashes for the open area of the forest.

I give chase, running through the brambles, and following the orange menace. The clearing of black lines emerges, and the fox turns around to run back to its original sanctuary, hoping to lose me. I follow him, and lull him into a false sense of security, hiding in the bushes. He notices me still, and runs again. My four small legs cannot keep up with his, and I lose him. I tire, and rest in the shady undergrowth.

Soon, a high whistle fills my ears. A deep voice yells “Flinn!” calling me towards the source. A lay in the shrubs for a while longer, and rest more. My ears open to the sound of rustling plants. I jump out, hoping that the scared fox and returned to his grotto, thinking I am not there. Instead, I see a man. A tall man, wearing n, and a white shirt. I recognise him as the houser, the provider, the man who calles himself “Jason.” He picks me up, and smiles. He takes me out of the forest, and I catch the glare of the elusive fox, and scowl back, regretting my failure. I plan for the next attack…

No. 7 “The Mouse’s Diary: Page 1” 3rd October 2009

Today, my time in the prison known as the “Pet Shop” came to an end. My entire life, since the day I was born, and was left to attract the giants who take us away in boxes, I have lived there. Now, I join my brothers, and have been put in the box, taken by the giants. A small girl giant, compared to the other two, examined my fellow mice, and picked me out of the cage.

Then, they took me to a larger, silver box and we all entered it. Soon, it was as if we were moving through space. In a matter of minutes, the box had transported to another domicile, where the girl brought me inside, and up a flight of stairs, into a huge prison cell. There were images on the walls, of the giants, in wooden squares.

She took me out and put me into a bigger box, with a clay bowl filled with delicious pellets, and a small house to sleep in, and a wheel to run in, and to sleep in some more, plus a large bottle filled with water. I tried not to be seduced by the luxury, but could not defeat the temptation. I ate, drank, ran, and slept for hours on end, and now look forward to my life in this plastic… home.

No. 8 “The Rainy Day Accident” 12 November 2009

DING! goes the bell, signaling the end of the day at my school. I rush to the locker, and fill my empty bag with books, folders and binders. I leave the school building, and to my dread, it’s raining. I have two choices: run home through the town, or wait in an unsheltered bus stop for a half an hour. I choose to run.I dash through the school gates, and instantly I’m on my way home. The water barrages my face, making me automatically look down, taking the odd glance up to only see the people who I would otherwise walk into.

The cold rain runs down my nose, and drips down my cheek. I breathe through my mouth, as my nose forbids me from doing anything else, lest the water climb up through my nostrils. Crossing roads, passing trees, and hearing only the pitter-patter of the rain, and the tyres on the road. I take whatever shelter I can, in shops to cut across my route, buying chocolate just to stay inside a sweets shop to regain heat. I am soon nearing my house.

As I cross another road, I see it: the light from the lamps outside my house. All that separates me is a triple way road. The cars in front of me are stopped, so I take my chance to cross, and imagine that the cars behind me are at a red. As I’m crossing, a loud horn enters my ears. I turn, and I’m instantly staring Death in his face. I see him in all his chrome, German-made glory. I raise my arms to the headlights, and all that I hear is the sound of brakes, and the sudden stop of my heartbeat.

Death never sounded so ominous.

No. 9 “Typical Teenagers” 6th March 2010

Everybody told me about teenagers. The changes that they go through, the new experiences, new ambitions, but most of all, the attitude. As they change from day-to-day, their attitude changes as well. With every new inch of height, a new inch of angst is added. Sarcasm, abusive behaviour, and scowling. And, all those years ago, I swore to myself that that would never be me. I’d never let my mind, heart or soul change as my body did.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened. I let my attitude shift from good to bad, and from bad to worse. And, every day, as my smile changed to a frown, my mother would say “Where’s that nice, sweet, sensitive little boy I once knew?” Then, as I changed further, I realised something:

My life is a choice; every word, every movement, every expression or emotion, it’s all up to me. I knew that the excuse ‘I’m a teenager; it’s what I do,’ wouldn’t work. I realised it now. Just now. So my advice to you is this: as your body changes from day-to-day, don’t let your way of life change as well. Growing up is no new trip, but the same daily routine, only seen through a different perspective:

The perspective of an adult.

No. 10 “Charity begins in London” 7th March 2010

They say that the streets of London are paved with gold. That’s what you believe if you’re not living on those streets. Every morning, I wake up to the sounds of a train leaving, and I grimace at the rising sun, climbing into the sky, as I fall closer and closer to death. I sit up, and get out the broken coffee cup that I use for begging. I find whatever I can to eat for breakfast, whether it’s a chip that the pigeons ignored, a stale sandwich, or a Millie’s Cookie that someone bought, then regretted wasting the money on it.

Hour after hour I sit on my old, worn-out coat, hoping that someone would put but a single coin in my cup. The other hobos around me have no better luck. I decide that I must move to another spot. I pack up my few possessions: my coat, my cup, and my blanket in my old rucksack, and walk away from the train station in London. I see a good place already. I move to the alley next to a quaint sweet-shop, and feast on the stale fried eggs and flying saucers in the bins.

Days pass, and not a single coin in my cup. The only water I have to drink is the rain I catch in my mouth. But, today was Saturday, the day when the children come to the sweets shop with their mummies and beg them for a bag of jelly babies. Still, no one puts a thing in my cup. Then, I see a boy. A tall boy, with blond hair, jeans, and a rugged jacket. He glances my way, and stops for a second. He runs into a nearby Pret, and comes out with a tuna baguette, and a cup of steaming hot coffee. He dashes across the road, and hands them to me. My heart is swollen with happiness. I thank him, and he goes away. I relish the food that boy gave me, and I shed a tear for every bite and every sip.