Jan 28th – As they chatted away, he needed to find a way out

January 28th – As they chatted away, he needed to find a way out.


The walls were closing in on them.

Not in a claustrophobic way: he was sure that the walls were actually closing in on him. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the white walls were edging across the white floor, shrinking the white space.

She seemed oblivious.

She talked on, about nothing and everything, about this wonderful installation, and how clever the use of white space was, and how people didn’t ‘get’ modern art because they were afraid to open their minds.

The walls were closing in on them.

If this was modern art, it was terrifying.

How could she not notice? His replies were short, distant, disengaged. Where had they come from? He tried to look behind him, to see if there was a way of retracing their steps, but everything behind was just as white as everything in front, and to the sides. They had been shown in through a door, a heavy door, he was sure of that, that swung inwards into the room, but everything was seamless. If there was a door out, he couldn’t see it, in the same way as he couldn’t see the door in.

She was still talking about white, as a colour, as all colours, of how clever it was to be everything and nothing at the same time.

Yes, he said, for want of anything else to say.

The walls were closing in on them.

Panic was building inside him like a river against a dam. For now he was holding it in, staying rational, aware that they’d got in here and so they could get out of here, and that this was a gallery, of sorts, built inside a disused warehouse, that they’d paid to come in here, to see the art that enthused her so much.

He thought of asking her if she’d noticed anything, if the room felt smaller, if they could leave. She was still talking, though, lost in appreciation nothing while he needed something to hold on to. He reached for her hand. She smiled.

The walls were closing in on them.


Outside, the artist was holding a glass of champagne, talking to a small group who were watching events in the white room on a huge monitor.

The people’s response is my art, he was saying, I merely facilitate.

There were nods, knowing smiles, a raising of glasses. The screen changed to a mosaic of faces, expressions of panic, fear, distress spread across the wall. It changed again to a shot of the room. Wide-eyed terror, and on her face, a creeping uncertainty.


The walls were closing in on them.


Inspired by a prompt from here

And completely by mistake, the switch was made.

It was just one of those things that happens. It wasn’t really anybody’s fault. The technology had been created decades ago and had simply been forgotten about as the cold war ended, the Berlin Wall fell, communism collapsed, and other world events unfolded.

It had been discovered completely by accident, back in the fifties when a scientist working in a government nuclear facility, hidden deep in a bunker in the middle of nowhere, had made a simple mistake with his calculations and there it was, in the middle of the room, the tiniest of holes in the fabric of spacetime. The trouble was, it didn’t stay tiny for very long, it grew exponentially, getting bigger very quickly. Luckily, the clever boffin realised exactly what he had created and managed to do something about it. He couldn’t fix it, or reverse what he had done to get rid of it. This was real life, not the movies, complicated sciency things just didn’t work that way.

However, what he did do, was create another one. This had the effect of sucking the first one into the second one but didn’t stop the second one from growing the same as the first, albeit a little slower as it digested the first one. So, he created a third to swallow the second and a fourth to swallow the third and so on and so forth until the growth of the hole was sufficiently slowed to give him an hour or two to devise a better solution. Which he did, a rather clever one in fact, he sealed the hole in a rather cleverly constructed quantum box. Far too complicated to explain in ten minutes, but suffice it to say, it was a very clever solution and it worked perfectly. The hole in the fabric of space time was contained and the whole of reality was saved from being sucked into it as it grew and grew.

What should he do with it now? The container itself needed containing, so he popped it in on a table in an unused room and put a sign on the door which simply read “DO NOT ENTER”. He wrote a report to his superiors on the whole incident and carried on with his work.

Over time the need for the facility waned, and it was eventually shut down, the bunker was forgotten about and after several decades, all that remained of its existence was a decaying slab of concrete hidden in the undergrowth of the woods that had grown around it, the buildings containing the hidden entrance having long since collapsed into rubble and been pilfered away.

Eventually the slab collapsed, and a hole appeared, it was then discovered by a couple of boys playing in the woods. A hole in the woodland floor with stairs leading down into the dark. The boys slowly descended the stairs, one of them sliding his hands along the damp wall for stability in the dark when his fingers inadvertently flicked a switch and the whole of the underground lair lit up, the decades old self-sustaining power system being still operational. Emboldened by the sudden illumination, the boys ventured on, eventually finding a door with a big “DO NOT ENTER” sign on it. Surprisingly, the door was unlocked, and they ventured in, discovering a very odd-looking box on a table. One of them lifted the lid and peered inside, reached in and lifted out a strange wobbly ball. They played with it for a bit before leaving, promising each other they would come back tomorrow, taking the wobbly ball, which seemed a bit bigger than before, with them.

That night, in the bedroom of Robert Bobfrey, aged 12, of 10 Wilmington Avenue, and completely by mistake, the switch was made. The whole of spacetime collapsed in on itself, turning all of reality inside out as it did so. No one seemed to notice, even though everything was backward, they just carried on doing their thing the opposite way around in their newly created reverse reality. If only the scientist had locked the box.

Prompted by this page


And Completely by Mistake, the Switch was Made – The Writeycorn

And completely by mistake, the Switch was made

So it was Christmas Eve and we were getting into bed all excited and had hung our stockings up and the Christmas tree was covered in presents. The new Nintendo Switch was out and because we had never had any electronic toys (well big ones) before we didn’t think it would be one.

It is Christmas morning and there were two big presents left: one was a Nintendo Switch case and the other was a Nintendo Switch !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Inspired by a prompt here.

And Completely by Mistake, the Switch was Made – Dead Deer

And Completely by Mistake, the Switch was Made

This is where I come in. I was asked to cover for a sick colleague. All I had to do, they said, was stand still in a corner and watch. Which I did. The problem was I didn’t know what I was watching for. So I just watched. People mainly, coming and going, circulating in the party. It was interesting yet unengaging. Little did I expect anyone to approach me.

He was tall and unkempt, but you could see beneath it and in the voice (that voice!) that he was clearly a distinguished person. He asked me an extraordinary question regarding an otter. Unfortunately his accent and smooth (so smooth!) tones led me to misunderstand initially. I thought he was talking about a rotter, which I could not grasp, then I thought the subject was Ray Liotta. I dare not ask him to repeat yet again, it was becoming embarrassing, rude. Was he Ray Liotta? He could be, older of course, maybe in character for a part? I found myself staring.

“Is that a red otter?” was the repeated question. I had no idea, of course, there being no otter in this swanky party I was quite sure. I knew a thing or two about otters,  though, so started babbling about the number of hairs per square centimetre that they boast. This is an astonishing fact, that has never previously failed to amuse and fascinate. Not Ray (sorry, it wasn’t Ray Liotta, I keep forgetting; in my mind it was, and always will have been)

I made my excuses and stuck out my hand to shake it. My temporary works badge was in my hand, I had forgotten. His eyes lit up, and he placed his hand in mine, and put his other on my shoulder. He took my badge. He slipped a gun in my jacket pocket.

Why, Ray, Why?

Today I wrote from 15:21 to 15:31. I was prompted by an idea here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here


Click here to buy the paperback version of Dead Deer’s Prompted writing

Jan 27th – She did exactly what she was told never to do

January 27th – She did exactly what she was told never to do


‘Can’t touch this’, MC Hammer categorically stated.

She touched it anyway. It was disappointing, ultimately, and not what she would have expected, had she thought about it at all, although to be fair, it wasn’t something that (to her knowledge) had ever crossed her conscious mind. But she had touched it anyway, because she’s been told not to. She was like that.

And it wasn’t as if MC Hammer, he of the poorly-conceived trousers, was categorically telling her not to touch it in the first place. ‘Can’t touch this’ might just as easily have been saying ‘You can’t touch this, you mere mortal. It is beyond you and the reach of your arms, because it is untouchable.’ If that was the case, she had chosen to ignore this potential meaning, and go with the more direct, ‘You can’t touch this, so don’t touch it, OK?’

As has been established, she touched it anyway, and was underwhelmed. MC Hammer’s response was, as far as we know, unrecorded.

Touching it was not the first time she had acted in direct contravention of a musical message. Many would probably agree with her stopping Queen, once they had brazenly and bombastically come out with the provocative ‘Don’t stop me now.’ Preventing the spaniel-haired Brian May from leaving the baker’s shop was another triumph in her catalogue of perversities. Not perversities, obviously: she didn’t catalogue those, but if anyone on the radio told her not to do something through the medium of song then you could be sure that she was going to do exactly what they had instructed her not to do.

‘Don’t stop believing,’ instructed Journey. She stopped. She didn’t believe in them any more. To her they became no more than a primitive belief system, an outmoded deity in a changing world, left behind by enlightenment. Again, Journey’s response was undocumented. The Beatles’ ‘Come Together’ took the pressure off in the bedroom. Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Relax’ was particularly stressful. Simple Minds’ ‘Don’t you (forget about me)’ rendered Jim Kerr obsolete.

And the list went on.

And it would have gone on longer, had she not been browsing the record store when all three minutes and fifty nine seconds of The Prodigy’s 1996 number one single ‘Breathe’ was played by a Saturday boy with freedom of the decks.

And that was that.


Inspired by a prompt from here


A Simple Reason Was All She Needed – Dead Deer

A Simple Reason Was All She Needed

An unfeasibly long drawn out explanation was forthcoming (my uncle is worse) yet all that was really required was something that could be thrown off in a couple of lines.

It had all started, of course, with her absurd attempts at ghostly behaviour. “The bones are unsettled” she would wail, a promising start. Not long after however she was testily stating, in quite a normal voice, that “all horrors would be seen before long in front of the Super-Saver”, a most un-ghostly vision. She had even got hold of some chains to rattle, but being of the white plastic variety dread was not instilled.

So why, I hear you ask, these attempts at spooking us? The explanation was simply that she was bored, the only excuse she needed for anything (remember the incident with bedsheets, broken hinges and almonds in Consdorf? Who could forget)

Yet she would cut out her tongue before admit that. Hence her hour long description of an increasingly unlikely series of coincidences that she, quite erroneously, led to her stumbling around the High Street at half past five on a Tuesday afternoon declaring “The fetid remains of long forgotten Guinea Pigs will return at midnight”. Luckily no one was around to see her and soon she settled down to sleep, at home, in a box marked “Maxwell House, Premium Blend 24 x 250g – NOT FOR RESALE”. By morning she had done with ghosts and went for a fairly uneventful five kilometre jog.

Funnily enough, some rotten undead Guinea Pigs did return to that village, but not until a couple of weeks later.

Today I wrote from 13:57 to 14:07. I was prompted by an idea here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here


Click here to buy the paperback version of Dead Deer’s Prompted writing

A simple reason was all she needed.

She wasn’t asking for much.  She just needed to know – for certain – that this was why she was sent down this path.

Just because…

This is how it’s going to be from now on…

You don’t require a reason…


This wasn’t what she signed up for.

She wanted to grow within the path.  To watch the seeds generously bloom along on both sides.  Not to be tamed and fenced in to one secluded spot.

She was going to suffocate.

And for no reason.

No simple reason.


It wouldn’t be too long before she uprooted completely and found the place where she could be nurtured – appreciated – for who she was and for what she could offer.


Maybe she was asking for much… But underneath, she deserved it.  She was worth it.

And all she needed was a simple reason for her to stay.


Prompted by this link.

Jan 26th – Time was running out and his watch had stopped dead

January 26th – Time was running out and his watch had stopped dead


When he was very young: four,

or five, maybe, he clocked

his grandfather’s watch on the

old man’s wrist. Solid, chunky,

his father’s father in metal,

hooped in steel around weathered

skin. He liked to play with it,

toying with the heavy bands,

slipping it up past the elbow

of his slender arm. One day,

his grandfather smiled, this

will be yours. He didn’t understand

the answer to his innocent words,

not then; how could he?

His grandfather would always

be around, and he was, until the day

he wasn’t. He wanted you to have this,

his father said, days after they

turned him into smoke,

the old man who had always

been around. And now that watch

was his, a relic of the past,

seven countries away from the

sitting room with pictures of ships

and charts of the world.

Along with the watch, he was left

restlessness, a longing for places

across the fold of the map.

The sea called him, always,

even when the mountains

of home rose to the sky

and pierced the clouds with unforgiving

peaks. The sea called him, again,

when the only waves tumbled

across cornfields and rippled

through the trees. The sea called.

The watch stopped. There’s nothing

I can do, the jeweller said,

in another language, in another home,

I’m sorry. He kept it on his wrist,

the dead watch from a dead man,

and measured out his time

in seasons. And still the sea called.

And still he found his home far

from the shore, where traffic

navigated the channels, and

curved glass buildings sailed to nowhere.

And still the sea called. And still

he looked at the dead time

on his left wrist, and spoke again

of moving on, charting a new course.

I must go down to the sea again,

To the lonely sea and the sky,

the words went, and he knew,

as he had always known, that

he would one day find himself there.



Inspired by a prompt from here

Slipping through the seams, there was no turning back

She placed the small piece of paper, imprinted with a pretty rainbow onto her tongue and lay back on her bed, her eyes wide open, waiting for something to happen. And then it did. One minute she was there on the bed. The next she wasn’t, slipping through the seams she tumbled down.

She thought something felt funny when she noticed the bed was getting bigger. Not just the bed, but the bedclothes too, along with everything else around her. The windows were getting bigger but further away, the door was further away and growing as well, and as for the cat, well, the cat was huge and getting bigger and louder, the murmur of it’s purr as it lay half asleep on the bed had become a thunderous roar, taking on the sound of the most frightening flying machine imaginable. And the sound was getting louder. In fact all the sounds around her were getting louder, and louder, and LOUDER. There was just a raging cacophony of so many sounds intermingling as one, an incomprehensibly massive noise, which as she shrunk became quieter and quieter, until it became nothing but a background hum as the noise grew imperceptible to her.

Now she was aware of other objects surrounding her, everything that had been her bedroom was now lost to her vision. Instead she could see giant mountains and great canyons around her, but not like any mountains or canyons she was familiar with. There were strange long bridges interconnecting everything, and great towers, columns, and monoliths all around her over which clambered the most fantastic of creatures she had ever seen. They were both horrific and fascinating as they too grew larger before her eyes, great big magnificent beasts towering over her, until they began to blend into her surroundings and disappear.

After a while, well it felt like a while to her, but would have been no more than the blink of an eye to us, everything around her became darker, merging in to everything else as she started to float, as if in the darkest areas of outer space, great spiral galaxies whizzed by her, just like they did in those old animations she remembered from science classes.

And then with a thud, she stopped floating and landed. Although she couldn’t see were she had landed, or what she had landed on, she had simply stopped and was now surrounded by nothing but blackness, a terrible blackness that was engulfing her and bearing down on her, a pressure that should have pressed her into nothingness but instead just held her where she was. Completely motionless, with complete nothingness preventing her from moving, from seeing, from hearing. There was no turning back. The dosage had been too high for her mind to cope with, although her heart beat on as strong as ever. What should have been a quick trip through a beautiful and colourful psychedelic world had become a never-ending journey into the void.

Prompted by this page

Slipping between the seams, there was no turning back – Dead Deer

Slipping between the seams, there was no turning back

Seemingly too late she rushed at the building and managed to push through the throng to the front. Shouting over the voices, waving her hands in front, she secured a ticket somehow and ran out the back. The doors of the bus were closing but she banged on them and the driver, in no hurry himself, opened them.

It appeared considerably more probable that the people squeezed inside would burst out the door than her entering, but somehow she did. There’s always room for one more, the driver chuckled. It occurred to her that this could not possibly be true but at least she was on board, and they were off. It was extraordinarily uncomfortable.

It ought to have been a blessed relief to get moving, the still air thick with heat and sweat. However as the bus picked up speed the open windows served only to move the thick sweaty air around.

Well, this was it. The ticket had cost her the majority of what she had left. No chance of a return ticket. Bridges burnt, like so many before her she found the city beckoning. What awaited her she knew not.

Waving her granddaughter off several decades later she thought back to that day. Full of promise it was, but she hardly could believe that it was she that had taken such a plunge. It worked out, of course, eventually. The first years were hard, horrific even. No, don’t think about that time. Think about what came later.

There was no turning back then, and there was no turning back now, from the fresh horrors awaiting her in her beautiful old home. She was so worried for her granddaughter as she set off the thought that she should be worried for herself could not have been further from her mind.

Still; Go, know.

Today I wrote from 13:57 to 14:07. I was prompted by an idea here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here