Train of Thought

As a train races through the countryside, a man is disturbed by his thoughts as he sees his life passing him by. Is his despair borne of grief or madness?


The 10.15 East Coast train snaked wearily from the station as Andrew stared out of the window lost in thought. Stretching out along the tracks the city of featureless grey buildings rushed urgently from view clearing the way for a yawning expanse of green and yellow fields. Feeling he had space to think his mind travelled back a million miles to yesterday, a day when he had a destination in mind and a direction that seemed to matter. Now his journey was an aimless, random action; the instinctive movement of a drowning man afraid to sink beneath the surface of his despair.

Sitting back stiffly Andrew looked down the carriage and back across the aisle. A young Japanese couple embraced silently their hands eloquent and tender as they shared glances and smiles with ease. He saw Sarah-Jane in those smiles and touches as he saw her in most everything; the memory of her former intimacy his silent travelling companion.

Behind the Wall of Sleep

When your dreams can betray you, how do you live? How can you?


When I allowed myself a 20 minute respite, sleep came quickly but dreams were relatively rare, almost as though my brain could not stand to waste the chance of a complete rest. Sometimes there were nightmares, but it was hard to match the one I was living. In what seemed no time at all, I felt myself age at an alarming rate, as though I was burning my candle too bright and too long. My body ached and bowed, my mind strayed, leaving for ever longer journeys. Memories came and went, like tides of consciousness lapping against the dry sands of my history.

Cold Feet

Over time, even the steady mundanity of life can exhaust and overwhelm you.


It started with cold feet. Nights were never relaxing, with work on the horizon, and the baggage of a weekend’s entertainment to deal with. Bed had proved a good option at this point but Paul’s feet were cold, as cold as ice in fact, as his girlfriend Katrina was forced to mention. The relevance of this fact would seem minor as many people have cold feet, and more besides, but in many ways this was just the start of something bigger. Paul woke at 5.30 much to his own disgust and with the alarm clock looming decided to bury his negative thoughts in a dream, in much the way that an ostrich buries his head in the sand. This seldom worked and it was no surprise, and certainly no comfort, when the alarm burst into life seemingly seconds later. It was 6.45. With the speed and accuracy of a striking cobra, the snooze button was activated. “Oh no” Paul moaned as he lay back and tried to make full use of the extra ten minutes at his disposal, “Why the fuck isn’t it Saturday yet”. It was Monday.



Away from the violent, fury of battle, Paul takes shelter in a wrecked old house. Tired and scared, he struggles to sleep or rest, relying on cigarettes to relax. Out of the shadows, a stranger called Adrian joins him. Ageless and untouched by the ugly stains of war, he raises uncomfortable questions about life, faith and death. Who is this man and how does he know so much about Paul?


The circuit of the room was resumed in silence, save for the rumble of heavy artillery; a man-made thunder that caused the ground to shake. Paul put it from his mind. He ignored the grotesque light show that lit up the sky, pacing on in search of a future. Gripping the gun handle tightly he hoped to stop himself from falling. Lord please take me away from all of this. Please just get me home. Away from this hell, this room, this stranger with his riddles. God please help me now. Eyes squeezed tightly closed, he pushed his back against the wall and slid down until he sat.

The man seemed not to notice this; if he did he showed no interest. Hand on the window pane, he gazed into the distance.

‘I can never get used to the sound of war. The speed and light of it.’  His voice trailed off and he shook his head, a half-smile on his lips.

‘What did you say?’ Paul was returning to present once more.

‘Oh it’s not important.’

‘You were talking about war. Not getting used to it? That’s right isn’t it?’

‘So you did hear? It was a passing thought; I should maybe have kept it to myself.’



In Victorian England, John prepares for a birthday celebration. The celebrant, Victoria Jane, gazes down into the room, from a magnificent portrait on the wall; bewitching and haunting him in equal measure. A storm rages outside, whipping the rain against the windows. A maelstrom matched only by the furious tempest raging within John’s mind.


He balled his fist as his voice cracked and then drank to calm himself. Behind him the picture seemed to be larger, closer; her beauty surrounded him but stayed beyond his reach. Keeping his back to the room he felt his shoulders heave and he sobbed. No matter that he held himself tightly, his tears were beyond control.

‘I’m sorry, so, so, very sorry. It was all for you my love. It has always been all for you.’

The windows rattled loudly as the storm blew ever more fiercely and John shrank in the window, a shaking silhouette of a broken man. Searching for words he leaned in towards the glass and spoke breathlessly.

‘It was love, always love. It is love. Now as much as ever. Don’t you see that my darling? Surely you see that?’





Well progress can be slow, but it is something of a relief when it is achieved. It’s only baby steps for now but I finally have some work available (in a marketplace where people can buy it). I have finally managed to put some stories on Amazon.

Two short tales A Picture of Beauty and Nocturn are now on the site, along with three short stories combined as Tall Tales, Short Stories.




There is also a (supposedly humorous) book called Undressed to Kill: The Investigations of Ralphy.

Please take a look and see what you think?



If at first you don’t succeed, why not fail at something else? No it’s not more self-pity or defeatism, it’s an attempt at humour. This leads me to my point, in as much as I have one; I have branched out to embrace comedy, whilst trying not to squeeze the life out of it.

An old project, revamped, has surfaced titled Undressed to Kill: The Investigations of Ralphy. I have opened a new blog to deal with it and it can be found here:-


UNDRESSED TO KILL: The Investigations of Ralphy