Fiction, History, Writing

The Death Strip’s first review…

cover in colour

The first Amazon review is in. 5 stars and articulate, generous words. Thank you so much T.T Thomas. You are an angel.

Breath-Taking Suspense

From the opening lines to the final paragraph, this lean, taut story of suspense and choices made is memorable. Beautifully written, the style is at once sparse and filled to the brim with feelings and emotions. What does a man caught between two wrongs do to escape the torment of his choices? The author has achieved a masterful grasp of building a story with a pace and tension that keeps the reader on the edge while quietly building the characters’ inner conflicts to match the narrative action. It was a parallel universe of two men, two conflicts, two dramatic outcomes. The novella was as much neo-Noir as political thriller, and the author did justice to both genre. Highly recommended.

Why not check it out and maybe download a sample here. Have a taste with no commitment and see what you think!

Thanks in advance!


Fiction, Humour, Writing

A Rich Blend.

A RLich Blend Image

This is a little piece I wrote in one of my creative writing classes. We were asked to set it in a coffee shop in an airport and experiment with dialogue.

I enjoyed the refuge that Camilo’s place provided. Refuge from the plague of tourists outside. Tourists documenting their lives with images. Images that lie. They’re just passing through.

Camilo welcomes me.

“Eh!!!… Mister Tourist!



Coffee for Mister Tourist!…

How are you this evening Mister Tourist?

How is your woman?

She is happy that you are out of the house.

Heh heh heh!

That reminds me of a good joke…

A woman walked into a joke shop…

She didn’t get anything!

Heh heh heh!

Do you like it?

What time is it?


You will want to eat too…


His lunch too!…

I apologize Mister Tourist!

She is getting old, slow, deaf and fat…

I will have to get blind to stay with her.

Heh heh heh.

One moment please.

I will get the coffee”

The coffee is good. It always is. Lorena makes it.

“Mister Tourist, tell me, why do you stay in this country?

Why not go home?

There is nothing here.

Do you stay for the women?

I don’t think so…

The women are ugly.

Look at Lorena…

Heh heh heh!

Do you stay for money?

This country has no money…

You can get more money at home.

I think I know why you stay.

You stay here because you run from home…

Is this it?

Are you a criminal at home?

They will put you in jail if you go home…

Heh heh heh.

This must be it.

There is no other reason.

Mister Criminal Tourist…

Heh heh heh!

They should make a movie about you Mister Criminal Tourist.

That will be the name of the movie…

Mister Criminal Tourist…

Heh heh heh!

Do you like it?

We can make it.

I will get my camera.

You can play the part of Mister Criminal Tourist.

Starring Mister Criminal Tourist,

As Mister Criminal Tourist,

In Mister Criminal Tourist…

Heh heh heh!

We will make millions and then we will both get out of this country…

To a country with loads of beautiful women…

Heh heh heh!

Do you like it?


Where is this man’s lunch?”

The food is good. It always is. Lorena must have been born in a kitchen.

“Mister Tourist.

Are you finished?

Are you leaving?

I will see you tomorrow if I don’t win the lotto.

Say hello to your beautiful woman for me.”

Now I’m sitting in a cafe in an airport. It’s bright. The coffee is burnt, overpriced and served with a smile. A smile that some man in a suit has scared onto this girls face. “Sandra” her name tag reads. Sandra burns my toasted sandwich and serves it to me with a smile. When I’m finished she overcharges me with a smile. She takes my money with a smile, she thanks me with a smile and she wishes me a nice day with a smile.

I pay for the memories, not the service.

Fiction, Writing


Moving image

Sorted, organised, boxed, sealed and labelled; our things ready to come with us on the next adventure in our lives. The old and broken are committed to disposal to the displeasure of our nostalgia. From simple things like a foot high plastic Christmas tree that we have convinced ourselves we will never use again, to old and torn t-shirts, jumpers and jeans  that will be donated and forgotten. Years from now we will look back on old photos and see a couple smiling in front of a tourist attraction, draped in the same clothes whose style will have since been allocated to a decade that will make us cringe. We look forward to it.

It’s a strange feeling that we have, seeing our belongings gutted and compressed liked this. The logical part of the brain says there is nothing here. Nothing only things that were manufactured in a factory in some part of the world, sold in a shop half a world away and eventually hoarded in our home another half a world away. But the emotional side of the brain has attached a memory and a feeling to each piece of cutlery, each old shoe and each bottle of never-worn-before-nostril-invading aftershave. What should stay and what should go? Logic versus emotion? It’s a careful balancing act.

We stand in the doorway, holding each other, after taking one last look at the empty rooms we had filled with life for so long. It’s time to move out and move on.

Fiction, Humour, Writing

The Ferry

The Ferry image 3

The sun came out to turn our car into an oven and spoil the small bottle of milk that we had brought for our tea. We rolled down the windows to let the cool air and camper-van fumes in, sweating while we eagerly waited for the long line of traffic to edge forward as each vehicle verified with passport control that passengers were who they said they were and ‘illegal immigrants’ weren’t crammed in as tight as commuters on the tube at rush hour, sweltering as their shirt collars and neck ties strangle them, and their collective body heat and deprivation of ventilation inebriates them.

One look at our one litre, two-door car and a brief glance at our passports was enough to satisfy the uniformed lady with the hard stare; one Caucasian female and one Caucasian male, driving a car so small that a litre bottle of sour milk is considered ‘luggage’. We probably seem like the least threatening of this bunch of ferry-goers, who are mostly pairs of pensioners, eager to whittle away a couple of weeks on foreign soil, in a slightly warmer climate, in the comfort of their air-conditioned vans and a safe distance away from their adult children, who incessantly demand babysitting duties.

We move and we stop and we start and we sweat and we wait for our turn to drive our four-wheeled snack into the gaping mouth of the ferry-beast, within whom we will spend the next sixteen hours; either stretched out across a couple of bar-stools, desperately trying to evade insomnia as the rumble of the giant engines vibrate the pits of our stomachs and the gentle swaying of the sea dizzies us into a state of silent, numb and apparently eternal boredom, while the darkness of the post-closing-time hours ticks past us; or stretched out upon the deck, letting the sun turn our skin a gentle shade of blister, staring into the ocean with the hope of spotting dolphins or sharks or sea monsters, eventually seeing nothing but a seagull, nipping at the surface of the water and signifying our journey’s end.

Fiction, Humour, Writing

Open Mic

Open mic image

They stare up with their naked faces and observe the long-haired, round-faced young woman, her hands shaking with nerves, shuffling through pages, squinting through the bright stage lights and sweating under their heat. The expressionless faces waiting to be encouraged this way or that, a frown, a smile, a gasp, a giggle, a tear; just one will do; it will make the multitude that the young woman has poured over her paragraphs seem a little less useless. All they want is content. Coherent content that they can soak up and process, through those brains, between those ears, behind those eyes; that glare up with so much focus; gazing through the young woman’s naked soul.

A pair of lungs get cleared and the sound echoes and rumbles through the room, deafening for the young woman, inaudible to the audience.

She lowers her focus to the pages that she shuffles through her hands and she tries to think. She knows what she must do. She must deliver herself from this moment of stomach wrenching pause. She must transport the audience away from reality. She must bring them on the journey that she once traveled in a dream life. She must show them the butterfly effect that caused these organised smudges to form letters, that formed words, that now crawl from her mouth, and grow wings, and flutter through the air, and perch on each of the ears in the room.

For a moment, they smile; a momentary indication of delight at the sight of words that metamorphose. But this pretty exhibition of pixie magic is not enough to satisfy their demonic appetites as they grab the butterflies from above their ears shove them between their teeth and munch on them like dragons on horse bones, preferring to feed on the girl’s pain and labour than to gaze upon her creations with awe.

She returns from her pages to the polite applause of the audience, their facial expressions still unstirred, no smiles, no frowns, no tears; not one. She descends from the stage and returns to her seat amongst her demons.

It was the content. It was too sweet. She shouldn’t have sugar coated the butterflies. It’s a lesson learnt and another dagger through her heart. That doesn’t matter now. It’s her turn to throw the daggers.

Fiction, Humour, Writing

To Do

To Do Image

1. Wake Up


2. Get out of bed


3. Get dressed


4. Eat breakfast


5. Solve the mysteries of life


6. Achieve eternal happiness


7. Write easier ‘to do’ list

8. Fail to complete new ‘easier to do’ list

9. Write another new list

Fiction, Humour, Writing

A Quick Nap

A Quick Nap image

His eye lids are heavy. He can’t keep them open. His neck goes limp and his eyes blink hard. He straightens himself. He can feel the air around his eyeballs. His head begins to move in circles. Around and around. He tries to fight it, but Nature rolls his eyes back into his brain and commands him to sleep. Finally, his head rests down on the keyboard and a string of drool stretches for the letter ‘k’.

Now he’s bidding at an auction. He bids five hundred on an old sega mega drive game that reminds him of his youth.  He is outbid. He bids again. This time six hundred on a set of first edition ‘Sherlock Holmes’ books. Again, he is outbid. He keeps bidding but someone keeps outbidding him. He remembers that he might have to wait three to five days for delivery and decides he can’t wait.

Now he’s at a zoo in China looking at a panda and her cub. The cub sneezes and gives the mother a little fright. He captures the moment. He takes the moment to Australia and shows it to some friends there. They like it. He takes it to America and shows it to some friends there. They like it. He then takes it home and shows it to some friends there. They like it too. It quickly becomes stale. So he stops.

Now he is at the races. He reads all the form on all the horses and he knows what the outcome of all the races will be. He places his bet. He bets on five horses in an accumulator. They all win. He wins a lot of money but not enough to retire. So he puts all his winnings on a horse in another race. That horse falls, breaks a leg and is shot. He loses his winnings.

Now he is in Vegas playing Texas hold ‘em. He gets pocket aces. He moves all in. He gets called. His opponent has pocket kings. The flop has an ace. He is winning. The turn is a king. He’s still winning. The river is another king. He loses. His opponent takes all his chips, all his money and all his pride.

Now he is in the company of a woman. A beautiful woman, who begins to undress. While she is undressing a second woman walks in. She too begins to undress. While she is undressing a third woman walks in. She too begins to undress; And then another; And then another; And then another…

He opens his eyes. He lifts his head. He feels the print that the keyboard left on his face. He observes the long squabble of letters, numbers and symbols on the screen. He wipes away the drool. He stretches his neck and back and sits upright. He cracks his knuckles.

Then he bids.