Foolish Incantations – Dead Deer

Foolish Incantation

Welcome aboard this Airline flight today. Please pay careful attention to the following safety instructions:

Please make sure that your hand luggage is securely stowed under the seat in front of you or in the overhead bin.

This aircraft has four emergency exits, all marked with ‘EXIT’-signs: two in the front, and two in the rear. Please locate your nearest exit, which may be situated behind you.

Emergency lights on the floor show you the way to the emergency exits. Fasten your seatbelt whenever the ‘Fasten seatbelt’ sign is on. The belt is closed and opened like this. For your own safety we advice you to keep your seatbelt fastened while seated.

In case of loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will be automatically released above your seats. Pull down the nearest mask, place it over mouth and nose and secure it with the elastic band. If travelling with children please secure your own mask before assisting them.

Your life vest is located under your seat. In the event of landing on water, place the life vest over your head, fasten the straps at the front of the vest and pull them tight. Do not inflate the vest inside the aircraft. As you leave the aircraft, pull down the red tabs to inflate the vest. If necessary the life vest can be inflated by blowing through these tubes.

We hope you enjoy your flight.

Today I wrote between 22:43  and 22:53. I was prompted by an idea here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, my tweets here, and my book here.


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Mar 10th – Bristly, yet sensible

March 10th – Bristly, yet sensible


Heads were turned at the closing weekend of Seville fashion week with the opening of Manolo Panolo’s Autumn/Winter 2020 collection.

Panolo, for Langoustine, sent out his models in an array of outfits inspired, according to Panolo himself, by the infinite variety and subtle effervescence of woodland life.

Browns and muted tonals were the dominant colours, augmented by splashes of iridescence inspired by the trout of Panolo’s childhood, shimmers of colours reminiscent of the scrape of scales resting gently on a light granite work surface in his Milanese grandmother’s cottage in the dying days of autumn.

Outerwear was led by daring asymmetrical uni-collared coats, in synthetic acrylic, featuring badger and ocelot motifs and faux-lynx buttons. Those of us lucky enough to have front row seats were able to marvel at the detailing, buttons reminding one of water voles in an early frost, and dormice at play.

Langoustine are known for their risk-taking approach to daywear, and this was year’s collection is no exception: one-armed jumpers were matched with one-legged hosiery, accessorised with Langoustine’s signature triangular day bag and diamond-soled heels. Several models were draped with this season’s must have shawl, gossamer thin and evocative of dying leaves and wood mulch on December 16th, just after the rain. Samples of these were included in Langoustine’s promotional packs, on of which your reviewer was lucky enough to receive (I am wearing mine as I type).

The highlight of the show, however, and the moment that proved Panolo has lost none of his wow-factor, was the head-turning appearance of Belgian supermodel Silke Verkeeft, taking to the runway to the sound of EDM wunderkinds MaX4’s thumping hit Enlightenment (Part Deux) naked, save for Langoustine diamond heels and Panolo’s take on the Ushanka, dubbed by those fortunate to get an early preview, The Hedgehog Hat. Verkeeft oozed the confidence that can only be brought about by having your head wrapped in something the designer himself, in customary understatement, described as bristly, yet sensible, while your much-vaunted body in its glorious nakedness, serves to highlight the wonder of such a hat.

Manolo Panolo himself took to the runway himself at the end of the show, applauded to the end by models and a standing audience alike, while Silke Verkeeft, still in the woodland ushanka, but now swathed in Panolo’s gossamer shawl, presented the designer with the customary bouquet of neon sunflowers, one of the symbols of the Langoustine brand.

A triumphant close to a spectacular week.

Marie Bloom, for Stylish Magazine, Seville.



Inspired by a prompt from here.

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Mar 9th – Pandemonium of a new kind

March 9th – Pandemonium of a new kind


mid 17th century: modern Latin (denoting the place of all demons, in Milton’s Paradise Lost ), from pan-‘all’ + Greek daimōn ‘demon’.

With the Miltonian version a little outmoded now, the demons were on the lookout for somewhere new. They’d tried a few places, on short term rentals, with the option to buy, but nothing was quite right.

The road bar in Nebraska had potential, at first, even if on the initial inspection it was a little small: there were quite a few of them, after all. The owner had assured them, however, that the outbuildings (a couple of barns and a sort-of shed) would be more than adequate for their purposes, and apart from actually knocking them down, they were free to do whatever they liked with them.

And so they’d moved in, all of them together, hiring a couple of trucks and a professional removals company to deal with the big stuff. Mastema and the Nephilim had put up some curtains in the bar, and re-clothed the pool tables with the dreams of the unworthy, which, they had to admit, was a particularly smooth move, and made putting swerve and screw on the ball a lot easier. A couple of the fallen angels manned the bar, working in shifts, and the rest of them strung up the fairy lights.

Pandemonium, they called it, and they opened on a Thursday afternoon, ahead of the weekend. They’d secured a supply deal with a local brewery, and even tapped into the emerging craft beer market, with a couple of rotating guest ales and some quirky IPAs. It was all looking good. Or as good as a demon-run establishment can look.

And it all would have gone swimmingly, if it wasn’t for the people. Ironic, really, that in a bar full of demons, it was the people that were the problem.

The bikers were fine. The first to arrive, they took in the new surroundings, slapped some coins down on the pool table and commandeered the impressively stocked jukebox which proved, once and for all, that the Devil does indeed have all the best tunes. Yes, the bikers were fine. They sparked up conversations with the resident demons, who were eager to share their knowledge, and the bikers regaled them with stories of life on the road: two gangs of outcasts who found something in each other worth holding on to.

It seemed like, finally, the demons had found somewhere that was actually going to work.

Then the others started coming in.

People passing by, with nothing to say for themselves, expecting food. They were just about tolerable. And then the locals came.

Drawn by the new bar in the neighbourhood, they came in their denim and their pick-ups, ready for trouble. And beer. Because trouble and beer are fine companions.

The demons didn’t want trouble. They could handle themselves, of course, but they weren’t actually looking for it. All they wanted was to get on with running the bar, and to see if they could really make a go of it. But when it all kicked off that first Saturday night, they just couldn’t help themselves.  The bikers, who had offered to help, could only sit back, awestruck, as the Nephilim ripped off heads and threw them out into the car park. The locals weren’t trouble for long.

But the authorities were. It seems that you can’t rip off heads from the shoulders of troublesome customers and be expected to keep your licence.

And so, less than a week after taking possession of the property, the demons were on the move again, looking for another Pandemonium, of a new kind.


Inspired by a prompt from here

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Cover 1 paperback

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