Tassel Filled Follies – Dead Deer

Tassel Filled Follies

The old stone building stood on the crest of a shallow hill, far from the house. It was domed and it was useless. Up there, it was a presence you wanted to forget but could not, like a leaky tap in a back room.

For the first time since it was foolishly built by the third earl a century and a half ago, however, it had a purpose. A shoestring company of dubious and shadowy origins had used the house for filming the last hurrah in its rickety lifetime. It was an all or nothing final fling, make or break. Needless to say, it broke.

The vision was an epic. Big, over the top, colourful, loud and with a cast of thousands. Taking Samuel Goldstein’s absurd quote literally it had hundreds and hundreds of scantily-clad showgirls for the mammoth opening and closing numbers.

Needless to say the production hit problems and the money ran out. Before clearing out hurriedly they stashed all the costumes and props in that old folly, on the crest of a shallow hill, far from the house.

Today I wrote from 20:19 to 20:29. I was prompted by an idea here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here


Hold Your Hankering Horses – Dead Deer

Hold Your Hankering Horses

The desire was too much to contain. Zoom in as everything else around that troublesome target loses focus, becomes fuzzy, indistinct and eventually disappears. Ceases to be. Hence it is that all around is torn down, laid to waste, gone to waste. Decaying or destroyed, it is all the same. A full-on desperate charge toward this fatal, foolish whim.

Inside, though, it is uncontrollable, unstoppable. Nothing, but nothing, matters. Everything and everyone can go to hell, and do.


Turning the corner, a corner like any other, out on the country path and suddenly face to face with it. Let us get on thing straight from the off; horses are big. This one had steam in its nostrils and blood in its mane. And it was angry. The shimmering, rock hard muscles rippled and strained as it reared and snarled.


“What did you do to contribute? To help?”

Can you respond? What did you do? Drink and complain? Rant and read? Did it help? Did any of it help? The distant sun revolves softly and gently sinks. You are left in the dark of the dusk and the silence of your soul. You failed. You know you have failed and all that is left is to stare at that realisation of who and what you are, amongst the bleak ruins of a longing that is long-lost. You did not make it, you see now, you did not hold back yet neither did you succeed.

A waste. What an all encompassing waste. Too much, too late.


Today I wrote from 13:46 to 13:56. I was prompted by an idea here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here

Loose Laces and Tight Triumphs – Dead Deer

Loose Laces and Tight Triumphs

Untying the laces they loosened all the way along her back. A sigh escaped in the midst of her deep breaths. Gradually working down they made exciting progress before the last is breached and her warm body is finally released, a glistening sheen of moisture revealing her thrilled anticipation.

She turns and faces him as she pulls his shirt off his rippling torso, he grins as it catches on his face. That grin. His strong arms tense, his beautiful forearm muscles crease like a marble statue as he lifts her onto him.

They groan, in unison, a perfect triumph of biological engineering operating as one.


Today I wrote from 13:06 to 13:16. I was prompted by an idea here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here

Feb 12th – Smuggling, snuggling, or struggling?


February 12th – Smuggling, snuggling, or struggling?


The tunnels led directly to the shore from the basement of the inn. The went quite a long way, and took quite of bit of work: The Coach and Horses was three-quarters of the way up the biggest (and only) hill in the town, and the beach was just over a mile away. The tunnels, one main one and then a couple of smaller, crawl-only, emergency escape routes, were dark, and damp, and unlit. You carried your light with you.

The ships, mainly from Holland, would drop anchor in the bay, and then a lighter would row the barrels in to the waiting shoresmen, where the transaction would be made, generally in the early hours of the morning, on a moonless night. The contraband would then be taken across the shingle and the grassland to the concealed entrance of the main tunnel, and then the laborious, hour-long task of dragging the barrels back up to the inn would commence. It was hard, dirty, dangerous work, but well rewarded.

Everyone in the town knew it was going on. There was no organised police force, of course, not then, but the Customs men were the ones you had to look out for. The port men said nothing, took their cut, and went on with their work. But the Customs men, sent down from London, were a different animal. They could not be bought, categorically, and it really wasn’t worth trying: even if there was one among them you could persuade to turn a blind eye to the late night transportations, finding him among the zealots recently appointed in the name of the King was next to impossible. So nobody tried: they just kept a constant eye open.

The Johannes Van Zeeland was due to drop anchor that night. And the Customs men knew about it: someone had tipped them off, and the coastguard were keeping watch. At the first sign of the vessel gliding into the bay, sails furled, runners were sent to rouse the Customs men, who took up positions behind the shoreline, watching. The fire in the inn was lit, and the landlord, Harry Masters, was preparing the cellar, moving the heavy chests that concealed the hatch to the tunnels. What they were bringing in was not his concern: tea, wine, wool – it didn’t matter. He was paid handsomely, and always skimmed a little of what he stored to provide his pension.

The ship signalled: a single light from the bow, which was answered from the shore as the lighter took to the water. The customs men stayed silent, watching, snuggled into the shingle or the sea-grass, watching.

The loading of the lighter took some time. Still the customs men watched. This was a big cargo, the stuff that careers are made on. A simple capture, arrests, and they were made men. Each customs man carried a club, several with pistols. They worked in the name of the king: collateral damage was irrelevant.

Struggling to load the lighter, one of the shore crew glanced behind him at the exact moment that John Barker, customs officer of the crown, to alleviate his wait, lit his pipe. The flash of his match was seen and matched with a cry.

“Customs! Shore!”

Their position revealed, the officers could only watch as the contraband was quickly loaded back onto the ship, and the lighter made its perfectly legal empty journey back to shore. Behind them, seven men walked up the hill to have a drink in the inn.


Inspired by a prompt from here



Elevator Love – Dead Deer

Elevator Love

Arriving home Mark entered the front room and was startled and concerned by what he saw.

“Claire! What on Earth…… CLAIRE!”

He rushed forward as she crashed to the floor with a sickening bump. Whilst a heavy landing this couldn’t, surely, be responsible for all the injuries he could see across his wife’s body. Her beautiful eyes were fuzzy, dazed and unfocussed.

“Mark,” she half whispered dreamily, concentrating hard, “Claire. Mark and Claire.”

“Yes love, that’s us. What? What happened? Where does it hurt?”

She smiled, and giggled. “Everywhere.”

“Had you tripped?” he asked, “You seemed to be in the air when I came in”

“Tripped…” she repeated, looking blankly far away. “Yes, I tripped. Then… then I was ….floating. I was thinking of…. of, oh….. who? Was it Jim? I don’t know a Jim. I was just thinking, do I know Jim? Who is Jim? Are you Jim? Who am I? I’ve forgotten again.”

“I’m calling an ambulance.” Mark stood up and pulled out his phone, “Well, yes there used to be a Jim out over the other side of the common. I haven’t thought of him for yea … Oh yes, ambulance please. Yes for my wife. My name?”

By now Claire’s name had well and truly escaped her and she’d left the floor a little, gently hovering, her crooked limbs gaining some rest bite as she floated upwards. Mark turned to look at her; something seemed odd. Is she? Yes she is! Dumbstruck he called out to her, long and slow he drew out her name.

Once more poor Claire crashed to the floor.

Today I wrote from 22:54 to 23:04. I was prompted by an idea here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here

If you are interested this old prompted writing came to me when I saw today’s prompt. Might make more sense of this one if you remember that one

Feb 11th – Macaroni Madness


February 11th – Macaroni Madness


Yankee Doodle was probably right. It was getting out of hand.

They were streaming over in their hundreds, crossing the channel from Dover to Calais, and then heading south. Fresh out of university, and with privileged pockets full of family money, they were on their way to becoming gentlemen. With the obligatory Grand Tour to fill in the gaps in their education that Oxbridge had neglected to furnish them with.

Obviously they didn’t speak French. Not well enough, anyway, but there was time enough for that in Paris, an essential stop on the way to Geneva. In Geneva they learned to fence, and dance well enough to set them up for the balls ahead. Then, from Geneva, it was across the Alps and into Italy, some of them carried by their retinue of servants when the coach had to be disassembled through the Great St. Bernard Pass, their guides and good-time tutors leading the way.

It was in Italy where they got really annoying. Their predecessors, earlier in the 17th century, had developed a taste for Maccaroni, something delicious and exotic and other, and they had shipped this taste back along with as much of the pasta as they could get their hands on. With this, unfortunately, they shipped back the word, which became their catchphrase, a byword for anything exotic and fashionable and just a little bit outré.

They became, informally, and then more formally, members of the Maccaroni Club, a club of which Horace Walpole wrote,

“”the Macaroni Club, which is composed of all the travelled young men who wear long curls and spying-glasses”

It was the wigs that were the biggest problem. As the fops got foppier and foppier, the wigs got bigger and bigger, and more and more ridiculous, as the Grand Tourists tried to outdo each other with their displays of wealth and extravagance. Top heavy toffs teetered precariously in pointed toes while they whispered to each other about the women of Venice, those women who, as Sir James Hall noted, were

“more handsome women this day than I ever saw in my life,” also noting “how flattering Venetian dress [was] — or perhaps the lack of it.”

It was the Venetian women the Macaronis whispered about most, their more liberated dress sense and enlightened experience to sex being a highlight of many Grand Tours.

And still the wigs got bigger, and the bewigged nobles and gentlemen of breeding wore them prominently, out and about when the wind wasn’t blowing, and at home as they posed with the portraits of them posing with the ruins of ancient Rome.

Which brings us back to Yankee Doodle, satirised for thinking a feather in his cap was outré enough to make him one of the Macaronis of his aspirational dreams. Maybe it didn’t, but it probably left him with less of a headache and a more solid set of vertebrae in his neck.


Inspired by a prompt from here

Peach coffee and hazelnut tea

Warming their hands on the panic-ordered speciality drinks, they try to hold eye-contact across the unpolished wooden crate, this café is calling a table.

Blushing from their five-second gaze, they turn their attention to and sip their drinks…

Mirroring each other, they distance their cups from their lips, looking at them with uncertainty, before slowly placing them back on the crate and pushing them to one side.

For them, meeting up today wasn’t about the place or the drinks ordered, it was about sharing a moment with each other.  And blushing.


Prompted by this link.