Douglas O’Malley – Dead Deer

Douglas O’Malley

Solidly, he walked along the boardwalk without finding any of the sidestreets he was hoping to slip down. The breeze was picking up and began to bite through his woollen cardigan. She had been a bit lost when she asked him for the favour and was pleased to be able to assist in some small way.

This, of course, was bought him on this futile trek through the city. Meanwhile she was preparing the stalls without any idea that he was failing her. She had assumed that when he agreed to take it on it was as good as done. His incompetence had the certainty and bulk of an African elephant, but he oozed the settled confidence of a casino owner, and this had carried him through.

Finally he turned and trudged wearily home. Another failed project he convinced himself was a success.

TodayI wrote between 23:41  and 23:51. 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 11th – Fact or fiction

March 11th – Fact or fiction


My name is Sarah Jones.

I am a compulsive liar.

Or am I?

Right now you’re thinking, ‘Is her name really Sarah Jones?’ and you’d be right to think that. Question everything I say. Doubt yourself. Doubt the words that tumble from my mouth like glass stones and crack at your feet.

I am twenty-seven years old. Or am I seventeen? Or forty-seven? You can see all of these if you look at me, and then judge for yourself. But if you’re just reading these words now, on the page or on the screen, then what do you believe? How do you know?

I am left-handed.

I am right-handed.

Again, that poses a problem. Which am I? Which do you want to believe?

You might tell yourself that you don’t care, that it doesn’t matter, that the games I’m playing with your head don’t matter, but the problem is, you’ve read this far, and so you’re somehow invested in this. You’re going to read to the end. You need to know.

And now you think of my first line. ‘I am a compulsive liar.’ My first line, or my first lie. Or both. It’s like one of those puzzles you remember, where one person always lies and one person always tells the truth, and you need to ask the right question to find out the right answer.

Except here there’s just me.

I’ve given you no balance, no counterweight, no-one to set my words against. Would a compulsive liar tell you that they were a compulsive liar? Would you believe them if they did?

Do you believe me?

You want to believe me, you want to frame this narrative in something, give it some sort of meaning, impose your view of an ordered world onto this to make sense of it, but what if there is no order. What if I’m telling the truth? What if I’m lying?

What if?

My name is Susan James.

I always tell the truth.


Inspired by a prompt from here

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Cover 1 paperback

Douglas O’Malley

I met Douglas O’Malley one night on my way home from work.  I stopped off at my local for a quick, but much-needed pint.  It had been a rough day.  Week.  Year.  But I kept going.  Somehow.  My local had become my second home almost.  The barman knew my name and knew the type of beer I liked to drink.  I would just need to say, Hi, as I stepped towards the bar, and he’d be pulling me a dark, smooth ale, all within two minutes.  I liked my local.

Douglas O’Malley was sat on the stool at the corner of the bar.  He had one hand on his near-empty glass, and the other thumbing through the pages of a national newspaper.  Nothing unusual, except, he wasn’t reading the paper.  He was just staring past it.

Calling the barman over, I whisper, “Is he alright?” nodding to the weathered man sat on the stool in the corner.

“Yeah, he’s just… been through some things.  He’s a great character.  A lovely chap.” The barman smiles and finds another customer.

Looking back at the ‘great character’, I tried to think about what things he could have been through.  And my heart fell thinking of the possible worst.  Shaking my head – shaking out those thoughts, I pick my pint up and walk around to the man sat on the stool in the corner.  He lifts his eyes up from his paper – or the point past the paper and smiles at me.

“Hi, I’m Heather.  Can I join you?”

“Hello, sure.  Douglas O’Malley.  Lovely to meet you, Heather.”



Prompted by this link.