Category Archives: Pulp Metal Magazine

Train In Vain at Pulp Metal Magazine

PULPLOGO (1)I have a new yarn up at Pulp Metal Magazine.

It’s called TRAIN IN VAIN:

Seatown train station was certainly a lot better looking than I remembered it but it still smelled of puke. And shit, And sweat. Well, it did now that Smiffy was there. He’d spruced himself up a bit, slicked back his hair, put on a double-breasted pinstripe suit. But his rancid stench still oozed out. I hadn’t really seemed to notice it when we were boozing together in The Cobble Bar but out here in the fresh air it seemed overpowering.

A small group of football fans, watched by an equal sized group of bored policemen, snaked out of the station, through the streets and toward the town centre. They were quieter than I expected but then I’d never been much of a football fan, even as a child. I assumed supporting a football team was something you just grew out of although a few of the fans looked as if they’d grown a bit too much. Especially around the stomach area.’

Check it out, if you fancy.

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#FRIDAY FLASH: STOP ME IF YOU’VE HEARD THIS ONE

The Last Laugh paperbackGINGER RONNY HAD told Burkey about the murder towards the bitter end of one of their occasional raucous Tuesday night drinking sessions, as the dawn had desperately begun to grasp for life and Malcolm Duffy was grumpily getting ready to close up Le Duffy. But it wasn’t until the cusp of Wednesday evening—as Burkey struggled out of bed to start his night shift at the slaughterhouse—that the reality of the situation finally melted into his consciousness, like ice cubes in a glass of Jack Daniels.

‘Jude Walker,’ he groaned, as he sat on the stained and wobbly toilet. ‘Jude friggin’ Walker.’

He put his head in his hands as he pebble-dashed the inside of the toilet bowl with the residue of the previous night’s boozing session and tried to force a tear or two with the same passion that he’d shat. But he couldn’t. Despite all Jude had done for Burkey over the years, the man had been a nasty twat who’d had payback coming to him for donkeys.

Burkey showered, dressed and left his flat, a hovel that was above a closed down dirty book store and had been advertised as being a ‘loft-style apartment’. He started to have a nagging feeling tugging at him as he limped down the stairs, and it wasn’t just the need for a little eye opener before he started work.

As he shuffled into Le Duffy’s dimly lit bar, adjusting his eyes as he negotiated his way through the closely stacked tables, he realised what the problem was. Ronny had confided in him, Burkey. Or Gimpy, as Ginger Ronny usually called him. Of all of Ronny’s dodgy cronies and neo-incestuous family members he’d confessed a murder to Burkey.

Although they occasionally got drunk together, Ronny and Burkey had never been friends, as such. Even back in school he’d been worse than most of the other kids when it came to cruel jibes. Ronny had taken great pleasure in taking the piss out of Burkey’s limp. They were bound together by a love of the booze, though.

Malcolm served Burkey his usual pre-work shot of peppermint schnapps. He hated the taste but it didn’t smell of booze, they said. He sat at the bar, knocked it back and ordered another. This Ronny situation was a quandary and a conundrum, as his old granddad used to say. What the hell was Ronny up to?

He ordered another drink and tried to piece together what Ronny had actually told him about killing Jude.

It went like this: Ronny was in his Ford Granada in the car park outside The Bongo Club getting a blow job from Skinny Minnie, one of the club’s barmaids, who gave extras when it came close to her rent day. She was dressed as a schoolgirl since, although she was forty if she was a day, she had the skinny, petit body of an anorexic teen which boosted her earning capacity.

After she eventually swallowed his load, Ronny loosened his grip and allowed her to come up for air. He pulled a wad of notes from his Wranglers and peeled a few off. Most of the cash he used to pay her was counterfeit but there was so much of it in the town these days that it was becoming accepted currency.

He sat and smoked a joint while Minnie cleaned him up with baby wipes and there was a knock on the window. Well, more of a bang. Ronny wound down the window to see the massive form of Jude Walker shouting and screaming about something or other. Ronny had no idea what he was on about. Not that it mattered since Jude had a tendency to completely lose the plot over any old thing when he was snorting the crap coke produced by the same Russians that made the fake cash.

Ronny knew that there was nothing he could do to placate Jude and began to wind up the window when Jude stuffed a massive hand through the gap and grabbed Minnie by the throat. Well, Ronny, ever the gentleman, couldn’t allow that to happen so he pushed open the car door sending Jude sprawling backwards until he crashed his head against the breeze-block wall that everyone used to piss against when they went outside the club for a cigarette. Ronny walked over and saw that Jude was out for the count. And then, before he could do anything about it, Minnie turned up with a brick and proceeded to smash the shite out of the unconscious Jude’s big fat head.

Ronny apparently grabbed the brick from Minnie and slapped her till she calmed down. Then he started to hyperventilate. Jude Walker was an old school-friend, for sure, but he was also the off-white sheep in a very dark family. A very loyal family indeed.

Burkey looked up at the cracked triangular clock that hung behind the bar and realised that he was going to be late for work if he didn’t get a move on. Fuck it, he thought. This was serious stuff. He ordered another drink. A proper one this time. A double Jack D.

The bar had started to fill out without him realising it and he was in his pots, singing along to the Pina Colada song when someone tapped him on his shoulder. He could almost taste the sour breath.

‘Burkey, I need you,’ Ronny whispered in his ear. Burkey turned and saw Ginger Ronny, high as a kite, wearing a cagoule and covered in all sorts of mud and shit.

‘What do you…want?’ said Burkey.

‘I need you to help me bury him.’

***

‘Get a friggin’ move on Gimpy,’ said Ronny, as it started pissing down.

Ronny must have thought that using Burkey’s old school nickname would motivate him. Far from it. He was starting to realise that Ronnie was just manipulating him. Using him to do his dirty work.

Burkey forced a smile. He was getting soaked to the skin in a vandalised cemetery after spending the last half hour digging a grave, and Ronnie was going on and on at him like fingers down a blackboard.

Burkey stopped, the pain in his bad knee getting worse and worse in the cold and wet weather.

‘Give me a minute or two,’ he said.

‘Oh, for fuck’s sake, Gimpy, I friggin’ told you…’

Burkey swung the shovel without thinking about it and it smacked Ronnie square on in the head. Ronnie just stood there, an unlit cigarette in his hand. A blank expression on his face that reminded Burkey of a cartoon character.

So Burkey twatted him again and Ronny fell forward, joining him in the open grave. There was a flash of lightning, followed by a rumble of thunder as Burkey managed to drag himself out. He paused to catch his breath and got down to covering up the bodies with renewed enthusiasm, safe in the knowledge that he’d make it back to Le Duffy in time for last orders. But he’d keep himself to himself tonight, that was for sure.

(This yarn first appeared at PULP METAL MAGAZINE and is included in my collection THE LAST LAUGH)

Yesterday’s Wine at Pulp Metal Magazine

PULPLOGO (1)I’m over at PULP METAL MAGAZINE with a little yarn called ‘Yesterday’s Wine.’

Pauline Williams really hadn’t wanted to talk to her brother. Not for a while, anyway. She’d been giving him the cold shoulder recently. She’d had more than enough of Billy’s shenanigans over the years, so she started to ignore his text messages and calls. She’d even unfriended him on Facebook. But when she found out he’d been in an accident, her resolve soon wilted. Family was family, after all.’

Check out the rest here.

I’m Flashing At Pulp Metal Magazine and Near To The Knuckle

CHELSEA GIRLS is at PULP METAL MAGAZINE

Chloe left the money and took the guns. She couldn’t carry everything and she knew that cash would be a hell of a lot easier to come by than a couple of AK47s that was for sure.

and

THE TALL MAN is at NEAR TO THE KNUCKLE

‘I sit on a bench in the darkened park and watch The Slug get out of his car. I am dressed head to foot in black and holding a black briefcase. The Slug walks up to an apartment block and opens the front door with a key. He doesn’t leave a real trail of slime behind him, of course, just a metaphorical one.’

CHECK EM OUT!

#FRIDAY FLASH: Seven Minutes To Midnight

 

Hinkson’s tired, dog tired, but he can’t fall asleep. Can’t let himself drift off into the warm, comforting womb of his unconscious. It’s seven minutes to midnight and the brothers will be here at the witching hour, for sure. Same as last night and the previous night.

The motel room is dark except for the faint light from an old transistor radio that is tuned to a classical music station. Hinkson sits in an old rocking chair, eyes closed. A sawn-off shotgun across his lap. A half-empty bottle of whisky on the table beside him. He opens his eyes, leans over and unsteadily lifts the bottle to his lips. Takes a little sip. Closes his eyes again for a moment. Drifts away.

The slam of a car door drags him back to reality. He peels back the blinds. The motel’s neon sign flickers. Snow falls like confetti and the brothers stand in front of their battered BMW. They’re dressed in black, as always. Overcoats, flat caps. Black leather gloves. They are illuminated by a string of Christmas lights that encircle the car park. They take something out of the car boot, slam it shut then slowly trudge across the snow smothered car park, looking like shadows.  Larry leads the way. Lloyd and Lee either side of him, as usual.

Hinkson rummages in his jacket pocket and fishes out an amphetamine tablet. Pops it in his mouth and washes it down with the whisky.

A church bell chimes.

*

Lloyd span the BMW into the side street, narrowly missing an old woman with a tartan shopping trolley as she dragged herself across the street.

Lee, his massive frame jammed into the passenger seat, giggled.

‘For fuck’s sake, that was close. Nearly got ten points,’ he said.

‘Only five points for a coffin-dodger,’ said Lloyd.

Harsh winter sunlight was pouring through the shattered windscreen and he was sweating like a pig.

‘Focus, lads,’ croaked Larry. ‘Focus.’

He was slouched in the back seat, blood pouring from a shotgun wound in his stomach. Hinkson had covered the wound with a towel but it was already soaked red.

‘This’ll have to do for now,’ said Hinkson. ‘Fucks knows what I’m doing, though.’

‘Thought you were medically qualified,’ said Lee, his speed-freak eyes dancing a tarantella.

‘First Aid certificate from when I worked at the swimming baths,’ said Hinkson.

‘Beggars can’t be choosers,’ said Lee.

Sirens screamed in the distance as they pulled up in front of The Royal Oak. The pub was stained with graffiti, its windows boarded up. A rusty metal shutter was pulled down over the front door.

Lee rushed out of the car and pulled up the shutter while Lloyd dragged a black holdall out of the car boot. Hinkson eased the groaning Larry out of the car and into the darkened pub. Lloyd followed, struggling with the holdall.

‘I’ll hide the car round the back while you phone Doc Holloway, then,’ said Lee.

‘Most sensible thing you’ve said all day,’ said Lloyd.

Lee stopped as his hand gripped the car door handle. He glared at Lloyd.

‘Do not blame me for this, bro,’ he said. ‘Understand?’

‘Whatever,’ said Lloyd. ‘Just get a move on’

He pulled down the shutters with a bang.

*

The radio’s batteries are dying and the music and lights are fading. The brothers are outside the motel room’s door now. Hinkson can hear Lee trying to suppress his giggles. Larry is breathing heavily. Hinkson pats the holdall.

There is a knock at the door.

‘Three strikes and you’re out,’ rasps Larry. ‘I’m growing impatient. I’m not a well man.’

The radio dies and the room is completely dark, silent. Except for the sound of Hinkson’s heartbeat which seems loud enough to make his head explode.

*

The day had melted into night. Lee and Lloyd were crashed out on the sofa, bottles of vodka drained and littering the floor. Larry was knocked out by the morphine administered by Dr Holloway. A police siren dragged Hinkson from his slumber. Seemed to be getting nearer. Hinkson looked at the black holdall and did what he always knew he would  do. He picked it up and left.

*

The hammering on the door is getting louder. Hinkson opens the holdall. Pours the last of the whisky over its contents. Takes out a lighter and sets fire a toilet roll. Puts it in the bag and puts the bag in front of the door.

He stands and picks up the shotgun as the front door bursts open.

‘Bring it on,’ he says, as he presses the trigger.

(Seven Minutes To Midnight first appeared at Pulp Metal Magazine)

Nun With A Gun at Pulp Metal Magazine.

PULPLOGOI have a new yarn up at PULP METAL MAGAZINE.

It’s called NUN WITH A GUN– which, I realise, sounds like a Vic Reeves character.

Anyway, it starts off like this:

The light from the full moon guided her way as Sister Lara walked down Roseberry Hill using her father’s rifle as a walking stick. Lara’s Day-Glo Dr Martin boots gripped the slippery, muddy surface. Her nun’s habit flapped in the night wind like a bat’s wings.  

Halfway down, she stopped. She could see the occasional lights of the cars cutting along the road below. She waited until she saw the big truck’s headlights. When it got close enough, she said a prayer and fired three shots, hoping that she’d hit something in the dark. The screech of tires told her that she had.’

Read the rest here.

 

 

Short, Sharp Interview: Jason Michel

the death of 3 coloursPDB: Can you pitch THE DEATH OF THREE COLOURS in 25 words or less?

A dark and surreal tale of organised crime, betrayal, the nature of evil and one man’s obsession with the Mexican folk saint, Santa Muerte.

PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows do you wish you had written?

Barry Adamson’s Moss Side Story, They Live!, and Twin Peaks.

PDB: Which books do you think would make great films or TV series?

Well, I am thinking of writing a screenplay for TDo3C, but I’d love to see a version of The Dice Man on the screen. Or The illuminatus Trilogy.

jason 2016.PDB: Who are the great Italian novelists?

Well, Umberto Eco’s the big one, of course. D’Annuzio is a controversial one, part of the Decadent movement and the works I have read show a mad artistic genius there. The kind that doesn’t seem to exist today. There’s also the current of “Giallo” literature, one I need to learn more about…

PDB: Is blogging killing journalism?

Maybe it should.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

Chaos and misfortune, knowing my luck.

Jason Michel is the dictator of PULP METAL MAGAZINE. He lives in Italy.

 

I’m Back at Pulp Metal Magazine

PULPLOGO (1)With a little yarn called Spectre vs Rector.

‘I’m just a walking cliché,’ growled Rector.

He sat at a table in a dark corner of The Essex Arms. His black clothes melded with the pub’s shadows. His bony hand reached out of the darkness and scratched his unshaven face.

He took a sip of whisky.’

Read the rest here.

A Story For Sunday: THE STATE OF THE CHURCH OF BOWIE IN 2525 BY K. A. LAITY

PULPLOGO (1)My beloved in Ziggy—transplendent be his name!—there are some troubling trends of late in our nation. Despite the ubiquity of our faith—it’s rare to see anyone not wearing a lightning bolt, admittedly, whether on a chain around their neck or in a discreetlapel pin—I am hearing reports from the periphery of our great lands that give me pause. Not since the great Pope of Pop laid his head down for the interval of rest has there been such dissension, or at least not since the great Reformation when we reconciled the Duke with the Starman and all was hunky dory once more from Colorado’s coast to the great basin of Beijing, cool as the ocean that is our heart.’

Read the rest here at PULP METAL MAGAZINE.

A Tissue Of Webs at Pulp Metal Magazine

PULPLOGO (1)A few years a go I wrote a slice of flash fiction with ‘a western theme’ for Gary Dobbs’ The Tainted Archive blog.

Well, I rediscovered it again recently and thought it was a lot of fun.

So, Jason Michel has kindly put it up at my second-home, Pulp Metal Magazine.

Check out A Tissue Of Webs here.

A Story For Sunday: Waiting To Take You Away by Jason Michel

PULPLOGO (1)‘ Dark.

Light.

The man blinks five times. Twice slowly with effort. Three times fast. His eyes are adjusting to the light of the room. There is no sunlight here. The sun has gone a long, long way from here. There is the smell of damp from the aged and tired wooden table to the side of me. The natural whiff of decay.’

Read the rest HERE at the ever splendid PULP METAL MAGAZINE.