Le Roi Est Mort

16 03 2014

Alright? It’s that time again, where I dip your tiny minds into the ever growing vat of hate which is the world of Paul Carter, from my novel, Paul Carter is a Dead Man. This one, Le Roi Est Mort, is a flashback to 2009. It’s a slightly deeper insight into the day that Robert Lodge took over. Please, enjoy. Links of course are at the bottom, if you want to follow the story further and buy the novel. It’s my best one yet, but the others are still pretty good too, so yeah, if you like my writing, buy my writing!

 

Le Roi Est Mort

 

This is what they want. Five words which created his argument. His justification, for being there. This is what they think they want.

Where there was, was Downing Street. Number ten. His hands gripped tight around the Prime Minister’s neck. Measured breaths. Calm. Eyes closed. This is what they want.

Behind him stood his closest friend. Watching on as he squeezed the ever diminishing life from coward’s body. Behind his closest friend stood two others, guns in hand. When the Prime Minister stopped breathing and his heart gave up, one man’s eyes flickered with the slightest hint of a satisfied smile, the other showed no emotion. This is what they need.

Outside of the building there were more. Soldiers. Police. Teachers. Labourers. Call centre operatives. Window cleaners. Prostitutes. Children. The noise was cacophonous as the people cheered loudly when he and his closest friend carried the corpse of the Prime Minister from the door. This, is what they think they want.

They bundled the body into the back of the van. No ceremony here, just a job which needed to be done. No men spoke as the van made the journey from Westminster through Newington and Southwark. Around them car horns bleated. Victorious fists pumped in their direction. His closest friend nodded and blinked slow acknowledgment to all that offered them support. He himself stared straight ahead, wary of the nature of the growing support in recent days. The blanket of hate. The ignorance of the uneducated. The blinkered masses. But. This is what they think they want.

 

As the hatred grew, the more sporadic and without focus it became. The people. They needed a leader. They needed a voice which held more sway with important people. They needed a voice that had access to a larger vocabulary than only text-speak and coarse vulgarities. The reservoir of animosity needed a tap which could focus effort in places where it might make a difference, instead of being left as an ignored message on some ridiculous social network. A derided and misinformed opinion. He saw his opportunity to become that tap. That focus. That leader. 

In the months prior to now, he spoke out through the newspapers. He forced them to bear continued witness to the horrific images from that day, when the bomb went off. Images of royalty, decapitated. Women butchered. Children, maimed. He asked his government, his employer, what they planned to do to satiate the country’s thirst for revenge. No answers came. He questioned the sanity in the continued practise of leaving the troops overseas, in countries that wanted no help. Countries whose own populations hated the British, and the God damned Americans, who foisted help onto them like a bad Christmas sweater from a despised relative. No answers came. The support of this voice. His voice. It grew so much, and so quickly. Television broadcasters invited him to say his piece live to the country. He said it. The words he spoke with so much ferocity and resolve, they filtered into the minds of every man, woman and child and they worked into their hearts. Their desires. Their every waking need became consumed by one Robert Lodge, and the sense he seemed to speak. This, is what they think they want.

Now, is the time for change, he’d said. Now, is when we take back this once great island, and we make her great again. It is time to show the rest of this disease riddled planet that we do not need them anymore. We can survive perfectly fine on our own.

The protests in his favour steamrollered those against him. He was the man who would carry the country into a new age. The age of New Britain. Of course, the liberals and the socialists would cry that anything he proposed would breach every kind of human right that each person held. Robert Lodge simply told them that if they didn’t want to be here, then they knew exactly where the nearest airport out of there was. The support grew ever still, and it became almost bigger than Lodge himself. It became so words were useless. They demanded action. They demanded that the Prime Minister be deposed with immediate effect. The leader of Britain refused, he clung on to the slimmest shreds of hope that the situation would blow over. He’d managed to ride out the scandal of his sending pictures of his erect member to the married, and quite heterosexual Chancellor, and had somehow survived Mars Bar Arse-gate, so was sure that he would surf this latest wave of disillusion and come out of the other side unscathed. How wrong he was.

Today was March sixteenth, 2009. Robert Lodge spoke with his increasing team of recruits. Boys, this is the most important day of your lives. Of my life. Today is the day we make this country what its people want it to be. Today is the day that we make history. After today, there won’t be a Britain. After today, we will be a new Britain. His men cheered. They each updated their Facespace statuses to call every person who supported the cause to come with them and witness a new dawn. They climbed into the van, and made their way slowly through the riots to Westminster. Thousands of people greeted them, and cheered as they smashed their way into the house of who would soon be the former most important man in Britain, and killed every person in there.  

 

“Robert, you’re going to be a fucking legend, do you know that?” asked his closest friend as the Tower Bridge appeared in the distance. Robert Lodge shifted uncomfortably in his seat, and turned to his friend with a disapproving scowl.

“Do you really need to use such coarse language, Garner? It’s most unbecoming. It’s part of what I hate about this awful country. Vulgarity has managed to squeeze every last drop of beauty from our mother language.”

“Sorry mate, I didn’t think you felt so strongly about it.”

“You can give the mate a rest too, Garner, this is my country now, and you’d do well to remember that. I think you can address me as sir, from now on, okay?”

His closest friend was visibly horrified by him. The body of the Prime Minister was still warm in the back of the van, and yet somehow Robert Lodge had convinced himself that he now owned the country. There was still a long way to go. He would do well to remember that.

“I said, okay?”

Harry Garner shook his head, and turned his attention back to the people outside, he wasn’t getting into this now. They all had much bigger fish to fry, and this was not the time to bicker. Robert Lodge venomously glared at the side of his closest friend’s head, through outrage at the cheek of the man, but also silently conceded that now was indeed not the time.

 

The cheer broke out once again as they exited the van. Pulling from it the heavy corpse of the Prime Minister. Cars were halted by the mob. Told to move no further. Anybody that thought to argue was dragged from their vehicle and beaten senseless, before having their unconscious bodies cast into the murky depths of the Thames. Two or three of these and car doors were locked. Engines shut off. Tears cried. Prayers muttered. This was huge. It was bigger than all of them. No amount of fight could stop it. No amount of will in the world could halt the million man mob, with their unofficial and glorious leader, Mr Robert Lodge.

“People of New Britain,” he shouted down from the upper levels of the bridge to yet another cacophonous cheer, “this is what will happen to all who get in the way of making this country great again!”

He and his closest friend strapped the legs of the former Prime Minister together, and lifted the corpse above their heads. Robert Lodge turned to Harry, the warmth that he may once have held behind them now gone, having made way to a cold glare. He nodded, and they launched the corpse into the air, for it to free fall from the upper level of the Tower Bridge, toward the road. Some people ducked or flinched as the ropes with which he was tied pulled taut and the body swung, like a pendulum through the air above the ravenous jackal-like members of the New British public, all yelling in delight, throwing bricks and wood, and ripped-off wing mirrors at the oblivious corpse of an Eton educated sycophant who had a distinct, and retrospectively fatal lack of empathy for the working classes, and what they wanted. The man that stood above the corpse, the bringer of death to those who didn’t truly understand what Britain was about anymore, he knew them. He knew what they wanted. This, was what they wanted. Action, not words. Fight, not flight. Robert Lodge was their leader now. They would follow him wherever he may go. They would accept his word, because he knew them. He would ensure that they followed the right path for a better life. For a better Britain. A New Britain. He couldn’t fail. How could he? This was what they wanted. This is what they thought they wanted. The Prime Minister was dead. Long live the Prime Minister.

 

 

The above story is a glimpse into the world created in Paul Carter is a Dead Man which you can get on paperback and for Kindle. The rest of my works can be found here.

 

 

 

 





JStones99

8 02 2014

Alright?

It’s that time again. The release of Paul Carter is a Dead Man has come and gone, and it has received a superb response, praise all round. I knew it was my best work yet, but it’s great to hear that people agree. It’s better than I could have ever hoped, I’m really proud of it. So anyway, enough gushing about stuff I made. I’m here to introduce the second exclusive story from my 2014 Project. It’s called JStones99 and is another warning about the kind of country we’ll probably become if social media and the mob combine to get its way. It’s a slightly different device to what I usually use, but it’s one that’s worked well for others in the past. So here it is, please enjoy, and if you’re intrigued by this, why not buy the book and see what the hell Robert Lodge has done to Britain. Links at the bottom!

 

JStones99

 

 

Username: JStones99

Password: *********

Private & Confidential Diary Log 08.02.14 (12:02)

 

Dad’s gone. They took him this morning. I tried to stop them but they said they would take me too so he made me go into the kitchen with mum while they arrested him. Mum was leaning on the worktop with both of her hands, her head down, just staring at the sideboard. I was crying. She wasn’t doing anything except look down. I tried to comfort her but she pushed me away. She started muttering something, sounding really angry. She wasn’t upset, just angry. I don’t know why. Out in the hallway there were voices. All the men who came to take dad away. In the kitchen mum was still just staring and we heard the door go. Then nothing. Mum was hardly breathing, just muttering angry words under her breath. I was going to say something but she just turned round and looked at me. The look in her eyes. I’ve never seen anything like that before. It was like she wasn’t my mum anymore. Then she walked past me and out of the kitchen without saying a word.

 

They took him for nothing. My dad’s always been a good citizen. He always pays his taxes, I know this because he spends a day every month sitting at the table with paper and a pen. Actual paper. He counts how much he’s earned and then he writes where all of our money is going to. He’s a good citizen. He has a photo of Robert Lodge up behind where he sits in his office, so that the other people on The Network can see how much he supports the government. I hate Robert Lodge for what [AB Violation 001: Alert] country. When I was ten mum and dad were going to take me out, to Ireland, but I wouldn’t let them. My best friend Finn was staying with his mum and dad and I wanted to stay. They got us packed up to go so I ran away. I didn’t want to go. I was gone for two days before I came back, and they weren’t angry at me, just relieved. They said we would stay if I really wanted to. They said that we’d make it work. They said that we’d stay in the country for me. Their only child.

 

Username: JStones99

Password: *********

Private & Confidential Diary Log 08.02.14 (14:22)

 

Mum’s still not speaking to me. I think she’s in shock. Dad’s judgment has come up on The Network now. They said he was guilty of attacking somebody at his work. They said he just lashed out because he was stressed. I think they’re talking shit [Profanity Violation 001: Alert] seemed stressed to me. He was always a good dad, and a good citizen. He loved me and he said he loved the country. He loved his job. They’re all wrong. They said that he needed to have less than half a million votes to be free to come home. I think he’ll be okay. He’s got to be okay. I don’t know what me and mum will do without him here. He’s the only one with a job. He buys me Fruity Basher credits every Saturday so I can play out with my friends. Finn’s dad doesn’t buy him Fruity Basher credits. He spends all of his money on Finn’s sister Jenny. She’s a fucking slag [Profanity Violation 002: Alert] pants for anybody. He couldn’t buy me the credits today because they came to arrest him before he could. Now I have to play the free games that all of the tramps play. I hate the free games. You spend more time watching adverts than playing the games. You can’t even skip past them. You have to watch them for about sixty hours before you can play again. I hate them. I wish he’d bought me my credits before they took him away. I might ask mum in a bit if she can buy them for me. That’s if she’s talking to me by then. I’m hungry. Mum’s usually made the dinner by now, but I suppose it’s understandable that she hasn’t.

 

Dad worked at a bank before Robert Lodge took over. He was the manager and we had a lot of money. For my birthday every year we would go to Disney World. Not the Paris one, all the tramps went to that one. We went to the one in America, and I loved it. Some years I was allowed to take Finn with us, and Dad would pay for it because Finn’s mum and dad are poor compared to us, and I wanted to Finn to come with us, so Dad paid, because he loves me. That’s how I know he loved me, because he paid for everything, for me. After Robert Lodge they made Dad work in a coal mine. They said there was no use for people to manage banks anymore. They said banks would all be electrical. They said if he wanted to stay then he would have to learn new skills that would help the country. He told me once, when I was 11 or something, when he was drunk, that he didn’t want to stay, but because I wanted to, we did. That shows you how much he loves me, that. I just a little bit wish he didn’t though, because then he would have made us go, and we wouldn’t live in this stupid country anymore [AB Violation 002: Alert] and I would still be able to go to Disneyworld.

 

Username: JStones99

Password: *********

Private & Confidential Diary Log 08.02.14 [15:55]

I tried to ask Mum if she was going to make me something to eat but she shouted at me and I left the room before she could shout anymore, so I had a bag of salted crisps. Stupid salted crisps. I hate them. They know I prefer prawn flavour ones. I like tangy crisps. Not stupid salted ones. Only tramps eat salted ones with no real flavour. There’s no point of a crisp with no flavour. Dad was going to do the Sustenance Order today too. I wonder if Mum will sort it out or if it’s going to have to be me. I don’t know why she’s so angry. She should be upset like I am. What are we supposed to do without Dad? I looked at his Judgment counter and a lot of people think he’s guilty, but I know him better I know he wouldn’t hurt a fly. I don’t know why they’re lying about him being stressed, I don’t know what he’s got to be stressed about. I hope they don’t make him guilty. Mum wouldn’t be able to handle it, she’s the stressed one right now. She’s been in that same chair watching Dad’s judgment since it started. I don’t want to sound bad or anything, but there’s nothing we can do about it. I’ll have a look every now and then to see how he’s doing but it will only make it worse if I keep staring at his face. I know he’ll be back. He’s a good citizen, the people will see that. I wish I could play Fruity Basher, that would keep me busy, instead of being here writing a stupid shitty [Profanity Violation 003: Action Taken] talking to nobody. I suppose it gets it out of my head and off to nowhere. I’m surprised that we’re allowed to have secret private places on The Network really, because it’s not like anything else is private. They’re watching us all the time. My friend Mark’s mum got sentenced to death for stealing her neighbour’s milk from her Sustenance Network delivery. Milk! Can’t you believe it? I can’t, I mean, what kind of tramp steals milk? Mark’s not really my friend anymore, not since that. I wouldn’t be seen dead with somebody whose mum steals milk. It was only after
that, that I noticed that Mark wears all of his brother’s old clothes. Tramps, the whole family. I can’t eat these crisps. They’re horrible. Mum really needs to think about my wellbeing and make me some dinner.

 

Username: JStones99

Password: *********

Private & Confidential Diary Log 08.02.14 [17:01]

This is probably the last diary entry I’ll ever make. They’re coming for me. They’re coming for Mum. I’ve locked my bedroom door and I can hear her banging on it. Shouting at me. What happened is I went to ask her about my dinner and she just snapped. She threw the computer on the floor and she attacked me. She grabbed my hair, and she pushed me to the ground, and she kept punching me in the head. It really hurts. She said it was all my fault that we’re like this. She said if it wasn’t for me that we’d be somewhere else. Somewhere safe where they treat people properly, instead of like stupid robots, or tramps. She said she wished she’d never had me. I tried to tell her it wasn’t my fault but she turned me over and started strangling me. I’ve never seen her like this. She closed her eyes and she squeezed tight. I couldn’t breathe. Weird black spots were making my eyes go funny, and then the telephone in the house rang. It never rings. She stopped. Her hands weren’t as tight on my neck and I punched her in the boob and wriggled away and ran to my bedroom and locked the door. I heard her answer the phone, and then a minute later she started screaming at me, saying I’ve broken the rules. I tried to push my bed in front of it but I wasn’t strong enough, so it’s just my locked door that’s stopping her from killing me. She’s out there, shouting that I swore on my diary. That they gave me three chances, but I couldn’t help myself. She’s shouting that they’re always watching us, that I should have known better, but it says private and confidential, they’re not allowed to look at this are they? She’s saying that Wrecking Ball are on their way. They didn’t care if I was only 14, they still had a job to do. They can come for me, but they’ll be coming for her too because I’ve just informed on her, for attacking me. They’ll see my bruises and they’ll feel the lumps on my head, and they’ll take her too, hopefully they’ll kill her. That’ll teach her for saying and doing those things to me. Her only child.

I can hear them now. Mum’s gone away to the door and she’s screaming. Telling them she hasn’t done anything. I don’t have long. They’ll be through the door, they’ll take me away. I don’t care, my Dad will sort this out. He’ll get away and he’ll make sure I’m safe. He’ll pay them to let me go. He’s a good dad. I hate this country though. I wish he made us leave. I’m sorry dad. You did the best you could. If they’re going to arrest me for swearing I might as well do some actual swearing. Shitfuckshitfuckshitfuckshitfuckshitfuckshitfuckshitshitshit. [PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL DIARY LOG FROZEN. PROFANITY VIOLATION. STAY WHERE YOU ARE. YOU ARE TO BE ARRESTED.]

 

Username: TStones79

Password: ********

Private & Confidential Diary Log 09.02.14 [20:02]

I know you’re reading this. I know that nothing is private. You took my wife and son away from me. I was judged not guilty and they perished. You took my life. I hope you’re proud of yourself Robert Lodge. My blood is on your hands. You don’t care though. I’m just another idiot that you can push around because all of the other idiots thought you were a good idea. You’re not though. You’re just a cunt. [Profanity Violation 001: Alert]

 

 

To buy Paul Carter is a Dead Man or any of my other books, please find them for UK at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ryan-Bracha/e/B0095JOQWA/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Or for US readers, here: http://www.amazon.com/Ryan-Bracha/e/B0095JOQWA/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1391871798&sr=8-1





Ryan Bracha Interview

19 01 2014

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An interview with Paddy’s Daddy Publishing associate author, Ryan Bracha whose new Novel, Paul Carter is a Dead Man has just hit the shelves.

1) Tell us about a typical days writing for you.

I tend to get one day a week to write, and when I do I really go for it. My wife Becks goes out shopping or seeing friends and I sit down in front of my computer with 4 beers and some music. I don’t plan anything in advance at all, other than a targeted word count for my time, which is usually around 7,000 words. If I’m not feeling it as far as whichever novel I’m working on I’ll just write an opening line, it could be a piece of speech, or what I’d deem a cool sentence, and if it grabs me I’ll go with it, see where it takes me. Most of my shorts are born this way.
If I’m in a novel kinda frame of mind then I’ll have a loose idea of my next plot milestone, and just write until I get there. My writing is essentially structured improvisation, I rarely edit a plot once it’s written. I like to trust in myself enough to know that what I’ve written is the best I’m going to get out of my brain at that point. I’m lucky enough to have hit more than I’ve missed so far but I’m under no illusions that I’ll never write something that’s universally loathed.

2) what inspired or sparked off the idea for Paul Carter is a Dead Man?

Facebook. Twitter. Print media. Society. We’re not all lucky enough to have been blessed with self awareness and a filter in our brains that stops us from spouting crap denouncing the latest hate figure du jour on our social networking feeds. I know I can talk some trash but it’s mostly borne out of a desire to entertain. I wanted to take what a small percentage of the people filling my social networking feeds seemed to want and push the idea to its limit but retain a degree of feasibility to it. I wanted people to relate to my observations. So I had the world created up in my brain, I just needed somebody to take exception to it. Enter Paul Carter.

4) there’s a strong social commentary running through the book, but it entertains rather than preaches. was this difficult to pull off?

Not really, I’m not a preachy person, at least I don’t think I am. I just tend to make observations from my own perspective and leave it there. I think the book is the same, it makes observations without giving too much of an opinion I think. It brings certain issues to your attention and leaves you to do your own judging. Some of the characters give opinions on the place that New Britain has become but, to be honest, they’re only opinions that any sane person might voice.

4) The quality of the writing in PCIADM is very high, have you considered approaching literary agents or mainstream publishers.

I have, and I think that if any of my books were to capture the imagination of a wider audience then this one might be it. The thing is, just because I’ve written a potentially popular book, it doesn’t make me a mainstream writer. I tell stories that I hope will entertain those that read them, but they’re told on my terms.
I do my own editing, my own covers (my good friend Gavin Wiggan illustrated the comic style characters from the cover of Paul Carter) and I intentionally write to divide opinion. I know how I work, my next project isn’t necessarily going to be anything like this one. If I make it into mass market publishing I promise to be the enfant terrible.

5) what’s next for you as a writer?

Busy year this year. I’m working on the second book in the Dead Man Trilogy, I can’t divulge the title as it’ll give something away from the current book. It’s what happens in the following 2 days after Paul Carter is a Dead Man. After that it’s the final book. The trilogy will basically cover a single fortnight.
Other than that I’m publishing a different free to read short story on the PDP blog every month for 2014, which when put together will create a prequel/companion piece to be released at the end of the year. I’ve only worked in association with PDP so far, a bit of mutual back scratching and what have you, the collection will hopefully be an official release through the publisher, because I’d like to see what my man Mark can do with it.

6) What books are you currently reading?

I’m reading a short collection by one of my favourite new indie authors Craig Furchtenicht called The Blue Dress Paradigm, it’s bizarre but I like it. Also I’m reading the latest book by Jedediah Ayres called Peckerwood. It’s from the new publisher Broken River Books, I’m really into their style, seriously it’s brilliant, I’m a little jealous. And last but by no means whatsoever least, I’m previewing book one from Mark Wilson’s dEaDINBURGH series. I think he might have struck gold himself on this one, it’s great.

7) Will we see more from the world of New Britain?

Aside from the aforementioned projects I don’t know, I think after 2 more novels and the collection I’ll be ready for something new. I fancy taking it in the opposite direction, maybe romantic comedy, Bracha style? Who knows?

8) who would play Paul Carter in the movie?

You bastard! Uhm, if it was taken to America then Edward Norton. We’ve just been getting into Sherlock in the Bracha household so I’m gonna say Benedict Cumberbatch if it was picked up by the Brits, I think he’s got the right kind of detachment to his demeanour. He’d work well. But knowing my luck Danny Dyer would get the job. I’d let Danny play Ben Turner.

You can find Ryan and his books at Amazon and at Paddy’s Daddy Publishing





On location in dEaDINBURGH

19 01 2014

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Mark Wilson has recently completed his fourth novel.
DEaDINBURGH is book one in the dEaDINBURGH series and will be released through Paddy’s Daddy Publishing in March 2014.

Recently Mark was in the city with Paul McGuigan of PMCG Photography shooting key locations from the book.

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Scorned.

4 01 2014

I’m Ryan Bracha. Author of Strangers are Just Friends you Haven’t Killed yet, Tomorrow’s Chip Paper, and a collection of stories that I’ll just refer to as Bogies. I work very closely with the Paddy’s Daddy head honcho Mark Wilson, and we like to bounce ideas off of one another, say when something works and when something doesn’t, it’s good to have an honest opinion from a fellow professional. Although I publish everything myself, I’ll always acknowledge PDP and what it stands for, which is quality stories by quality writers. I like how we roll and I hope it continues for a while yet. When I was writing my forthcoming novel, Paul Carter is a Dead Man, which is a dystopian satirical thriller set in a world where Britain has closed its doors to the world after a terrorist attack, and lives are led on a distorted version of Facebook, I made a decision to write a series of short stories that would be free to read for whoever wanted to take a look. They’ll be set in the world that I’ve created, and I will release one short story every month for the whole of 2014. I stole the idea from a band I went to see a couple of months back, and it seemed like a really good way of doing things. I approached Mark with the idea, and asked if I could use this blog as a platform from which to send these stories into the world. He loved it, and said ‘Aye, course ye can ye wee bawbag,” or words to that effect. So here I am, introducing both me, my books, and the year of Paul Carter. The following passage is the exclusive first short story – Scorned – which is a sneak peek into the whole new alternate reality I’ve created, and will hopefully get you revved up for the release of Paul Carter is a Dead Man on Friday January 17th 2014. Please. Enjoy.

 

Scorned

I log in to The Network. Two communication alerts. Big deal. One is an advertising notice. Hi FREDDY, based on your recent Network browsing history, we would like to take an opportunity to offer you 50% OFF THE RECOMMENDED PRICE OF SMITH’S WEIGHTLOSS POWDER. Click here. I’ve received this same offer twice this week already. The other communication is from Claire. Nothing special. Either the notification, or Claire. It’s just a belated response to something I said in the Fruity Basher forum before I retired to bed last night. I remove both alerts from my communication folder and put it away.

Claire’s one of those people that needs to respond to everything, and as a result I can have a throwaway comment turn into a four day conversation. If I don’t respond within an hour or two I’ll receive a carbon copy of the last communication. She panics that it hasn’t sent properly or something. Needy, is one word for her. I’d remove her from my connection list but for two reasons. One, I’m a nice bloke. Two, she lives in a flat two floors above me, and sometimes we get together to combine connections in more ways than The Network can offer us. Okay, technically that’s three reasons, but she’s not my girlfriend. She will never be my girlfriend. I think she knows this. I’m sure I’ve told her.

For obvious reasons I avoid the Fruity Basher forum just now, and have a browse of the Crime Network. It seems like a lot of people have been bad over the last day, as there are currently ninety people being held for judgment across the country. This is quite a high number. I don’t like to judge people from my own region too much, just in case I bump into them. It’s not like I go out much. It’s just, well, you never know. I open the Devine Law Enforcement synopsis and browse the London criminals. Wayne Sables, of the Wayne Sables Dance synopsis. Apparently he’d reached the end of his tether when a ten year old failed to exactly replicate the move that he was performing on his teaching broadcast. Spewed a barrage of foul language. Threatened her life. Threatened the lives of her parents. Of course he’s up for judgment. He’s begging us for forgiveness. Says he’ll never do it again. It was just a momentary lapse of concentration. He’ll pay the family a huge compensation. Now, I’m thinking that the family are hoping we let him off, they could maybe do with the money he’s talking about. But that’s not the point. The point, is that he’s broken The Guidelines. What kind of animal would swear in front of a child? Not me. I told you, I’m a nice bloke. I condemn Wayne Sables and his unpredictable temper, and judge him guilty. I’ll keep an eye on that one.

Aside from the dancing maniac, there’s a murderer by the name of Adam Bamforth. He killed two women in a fit of rage after they’d rejected his Connection Combination requests. He has huge curly hair, and this makes me laugh, so I click him not guilty. The next man, a Pretend British by the name of John Smith (definitely not his birth name), looks out from his judgment chamber with bright red eyes. He’s uttering a language I’ll never understand or acknowledge. He’s doing himself no favours. We’re a united New Britain, and he’s making a mockery of it for us all to see. Guilty. I don’t care what he’s done, or what he hasn’t done. He’s offending me here and now.

Claire Thompson: HEY FRED xxxxxxxxxx

Claire. A private message. I sigh. Contemplate ignoring it. The thing is, she’ll be down the stairs in a flash, under the pretence that she was checking I was safe since I hadn’t responded quickly enough.

Freddy Chambers: Hi Claire

Claire Thompson: No kisses? :( xxxxxxxxxx

I sigh again. Blink slowly in annoyance. At myself more than anything. I know how she gets. It was a weird thing to start with. It happened after we’d slept together the first time. She’d stick a couple of x at the end of a sentence. I’d return them to be polite. Then she’d push it and add a couple more after the second time. Up to six after the third time. Luckily for me she limited it to ten. I asked her about it once, she said more than ten would be weird. I curse inwardly and type out ten kisses for her. She responds by way of a colon and a closing bracket to denote a smiling face. And then another ten kisses.

Claire Thompson: :) xxxxxxxxxx

I return my attention to the Crime Network and-

Claire Thompson: So what you looking at on Crime? xxxxxxxxxx

Freddy Chambers: London, a bloke who swore at a ten year old! xxxxxxxxxx

Claire Thompson: No way? Did you judge him? xxxxxxxxxx

Freddy Chambers: Of course :) xxxxxxxxxx

Claire Thompson: Good :) xxxxxxxxxx

She says nothing, so I minimise her messages and try to continue, but the fact of it is that she’s thrown me off now. I can’t concentrate. Sometimes there’s nothing more fun than browsing Crime for hours and judging others. It’s one of my favourite things about The Network. About New Britain in general. We can really make a difference now. Before, all we had to do was complain and watch nothing happen. Robert Lodge really knows us. How we think. What we want. We wanted our country back. We wanted capital punishment. We wanted our decisions to make a difference. He gave it all to us and asked for us to simply follow The Guidelines in return. I think we got the best side of the bargain to be honest.

Claire Thompson: What you doing now? xxxxxxxxxx

Freddy Chambers: Not much xxxxxxxxxx

Claire Thompson: Want some company? ;) xxxxxxxxxx

She means, well, you know what she means. I’m tired though, in more ways than one. I type a carefully thought out rejection. I’m tired. Maybe later if she’s still up for it. That kind of thing. I even put twelve kisses on the end and a smiley face. She says nothing. I sigh. She’s not my girlfriend. I definitely told her that. I think.

I click onto Fruity Basher, but now she’s burrowed into my head. I know how she gets. Three games pass without word from Claire. Admittedly they are games which end quickly as I struggle to concentrate. I click open her message window and still there’s nothing. She can be such a child sometimes. Usually when she doesn’t get her own way. The silent treatment. I consider typing a retraction, get her downstairs and do what I need to, but no. She is not my girlfriend. I’m seventy five per cent sure I told her this. I should tell her.

Freddy Chambers: You know I’m not your boyfriend, don’t you? I told you didn’t I?

No kisses. Not yet. I need to know that she knows where we stand.

Claire Thompson: No Fred. You didn’t. x

She disappears from The Network. Logs off. Nothing. She didn’t know. I’m sure I remember telling her. It was one night, in the early days. I told her I wasn’t looking for a relationship. That I was happy being single but it didn’t hurt for two single people to find fun together. I told her this. She said it was fine. I’m sure it was her. Another message.

Sally Cutts: Hey handsome, wanna get together for a little no-strings fun again later?

Sally. Oh God. It was Sally that I said it to. It was Sally who was just after the same thing as me. I’m such an idiot. There’s a knock at the door. My heartbeat kicks up a gear as I approach it. I have no idea what I’m going to say. What I’m going to do. I can see her through the eye-hole to the corridor. Her chubby face and lank greasy brown hair. It looks worse when I open the door.

“Claire, I’m glad you came down. Look, listen, I-”

I take a full blown ball of spit to the face. I deserved it, I guess. I don’t know what else to say. We stand looking at one another briefly, before a malevolent smile writhes uncomfortably onto her face. I don’t like it. It doesn’t suit her. I need to break the tension but I’m not used to thinking on my feet. On The Network I can type carefully constructed responses to everything. In person I’m useless. I’m not sure it was always that way.

“Okay, I deserved that. I’m sorry, I thought you knew it was just sex, all of the other girls do-”

I’m so bad at this. I reach out to her but her hands slither from my grasp.

“I’ll show you what you deserve, you slimy bandstand.”

THUMP.

Her face smashes hard into the wall.

“No! Freddy! Don’t!” she wails, “Please!”

THUMP.

I hear her nose break.

“Freddy! Please let me go!”

THUMP.

There’s a crimson face mask against the dirty cream wallpaper. An identical imprint of Claire’s visage.

THUMP.

I haven’t touched her. She’s done this to herself. She stumbles toward me. Pulls me close and embraces me. I’m covered in her blood. It’s on my clothes. My hands. I feel cold as a breeze tickles the sticky moisture all over me. Suddenly I push her away from me, horrified, and she turns, crying, and clambers up the stairs slowly, leaving a sticky deep red trail of her own blood behind her. I have no idea what just happened. What did just happen? I can smell the subtle metallic odour of her blood all over me and it threatens to dislodge the non-brand noodles I had for lunch from my stomach. Her face, it was battered. Why did she do that to herself? I don’t know. I need to clean myself up. I need to speak with her. She’s a mess.

I return to my seat and open up her message screen. She’s back on The Network.

Freddy Chambers: Claire, we need to talk

Network Automated Response: It is not possible to send a Network Communication to a citizen who has made a Crime Network Allegation against you. Please desist.

Freddy Chambers: Claire?

Network Automated Response: It is not possible to send a Network Communication to a citizen who has made a Crime Network Allegation against you. Please desist.

My world comes crashing down around me. I know what she’s done. I stand up. Pace the room. Think. Surely not. She wouldn’t do that. I return to the computer and search my name on the Crime Network.

Freddy Chambers, twenty four, is wanted by Tough Justice on one count of vicious domestic assault against his loving girlfriend, Claire Thompson. Should he attempt to contact you then you must send a Network Communication to Tough Justice, or any other government authorised crew. Failure to do so will result in lawful detainment, and your punishment put out for the standard twenty four hours. The maximum punishment permitted will be death.

My mouth is suddenly dry. My breathing shallow. I can feel my legs weaken. The room spins. I could run. I’m innocent. I should run. I’m innocent! But there’s no point. They’ll get me. They always get you in the end. I feel my backside drop back into my seat, and I light a cigarette. Feel the nicotine course into my blood. It doesn’t help my focus, but it feels nice. I relax. I’m not going to run. Like I say, they always get you in the end.

 

 





dEaDINBURGH – On Location and Chapter 12 Preview

23 12 2013

From Mark Wilson, author of Head Boy, Naebody’s Hero, Bobby’s Boy and the upcoming dEaDINBURGH Trilogy

Having spent a day shooting locations from the book with Paul McGuigan of PMCG Photography, it felt like a good time for another update.

Lyrics from Unified Zombie Republic used with  permission of Gavin Bain of Hopeless Heroic and Silibil-N-Brains

At this point in the book, Alys and Joey have reunited after a three year absence. Alys has convinced Joey to enter a no man’s land in the South of the dead city, beyond the inner fences in search of a cure and a madman.

The following excerpt is from dEaDINBURGH by Mark Wilson and is copyright of Mark Wilson and Paddy’s Daddy Publishing:

Chapter 12

 

A sudden push against the bus sent it wobbling to one side. Alys and Joey both snatched their weapons up and stood to look through the misted windows.

“Didn’t you have a check around before you arrived?” she snapped at Joey more out of shock than genuine anger.

“Of course I did.” He said calmly.

Both turned their eyes back to the winnow, Alys stepping forward to rub some of the condensation away with the sleeve of her coat. She gasped as she looked out onto Canonmills. Joey pressed his cheek against hers to get a better look through the gap she’d made and let out a little sound of his own.

The bus was surrounded by Zoms. Every panel, front, sides and rear was being pushed upon by a herd of them, three deep in parts. Each of them was completely fixed on the bus, lips drawn back from snapping teeth.

“Where the hell did they come from?” Joey asked. “You ever see that many in one place?”

Alys shook her head.

“You?”

Not like that.” He replied. “They’re all pretty fresh.

By fresh he meant fast, vicious, dangerous, and of course, hungry.

There was little chance of them pushing the bus over; they simply didn’t have the strength or coordination for that, unless they got lucky. The greatest risk to them was that the hands that had begun to slap against the windows would eventually break the glass. Neither of them was particularly worried about a zom climbing through a broken window, the panels were too high for that, but the broken window would definitely mean exposure to the bitter winter wind howling louder than the Zoms groans outside.

“Upstairs.” Alys told him, leading the way to the top deck.

From the top they gained a better view of what they faced. Alys guessed maybe sixty Zoms, all fresh, had surrounded the bus. She rubbed her temples, thinking, what the hell brought so many of them here?

Canonmills was outside the inner fence, but only just; and generally was fairly clear of the dead. Those she had encountered recently in the area had been older ones, slow and part-frozen with the winter frost.

Glancing along the aisle of the bus towards Joey who had his face pressed against the rear window, she gave him a sharp whistle. When he turned, she pointed up at the ceiling, eliciting a conspirational grin from him, followed by a quick nod of approval.

Stepping on Joey’s interlocked hands, she boosted herself up towards the skylight, pushed it open and climbed through, out onto the snow-covered roof, before dangling her arm through to help Joey up.

“I’m cool.” He told her. As Alys withdrew her arm, Joey’s hands grabbed the skylight and his feet suddenly shot through followed by the rest of him, head last. He landed lightly on his feet in a crouch.

“Show off.” She shook her head at him. “Let’s see what we’ve got.”

She said, heading towards the edge to lean over. Her sudden presence above brought a surge of hungry groans from below.

“You think you can shoot them off? Maybe just clear a section for us to break through?”

Joey had a quick peek over.

“Na. Too few arrows; too many Zoms. How about we go back to the lower deck and just start braining them through the windows after they’ve broken through?”

Alys scowled.

“Too risky; too easy to get grabbed or bitten whilst reaching out.”

Joey’s face suddenly broke into a wide grin. Hooking his bow over his back, he went through his ritual of checking his weapons, tightening his laces and pulling his hood up, before cocking an eyebrow at her and flashing an even wider grin.

“Back in a minute, Alys.” He laughed and leaped from the bus’ roof onto the nearby bus shelter, from where he did a tight sideways somersault, landing on the roof of a phone box several feet away. With a final cartwheel-tuck, he span off the phone box, landing catlike two feet behind the row of Zoms who still faced the bus.

Launching into a song, he took off up the hill towards a burnt put Esso petrol station, Sixty-odd dead shuffling behind him like a grotesque parade.

“Searching for answers and finding more reasons, not to believe in the bullshit they feed us….” Joey sand loudly and out of tune, laughing as he ran, tumbled and span his way up the hill, away from the bus.

He’s entirely too full of himself, that boy, Alys thought, supressing a smile.

Returning a few minutes later, Joey had doubled back around the Zoms who were still headed up towards Rodney Street. Joey was walking towards her, arms wide in a what you think gesture. Alys shook her head, “Nice singing, Joey.”

He laughed loudly. “You like that? Jock taught me it.”

Joey launched into another verse, ducking as she threw a right-hander at him.

“Shut up, idiot. You’ll have them back down here.” She nodded up at the herd of Zoms. Some of the rear ones had lurched around and were looking in their direction, teeth bared.

“Okay. Let’s go tell your mother that we’re running away to find a cure at The Royal Infirmary, which is by the way, surrounded by murdering madmen who worship a Zommed-out footballer. That’ll be fun.”

Alys cocked an eyebrow at him. Deadpan she said. “Okay.”

On location in dEaDINBURGH

End of Excerpt

You can find Mark and his books at Amazon, US; Amazon, UK and at Paddy’s Daddy Publishing.

You can follow Mark’s progress on dEaDINBURGH on twitter at dEaDINBURGHbook





dEaDINBURGH: Padre Jock’s Journal

14 12 2013

 

The following excerpt is from Mark Wilson’s dEADINBURGH novels, scheduled for a 2014 release from Paddy’s Daddy Publishing:

 

Rather than slow down the pace of the novel with backstory I chose to launch straight in to my main characters’ (Joey MacLeod and Alys Shephard) lives and insert little passages from Joey’s mentor’s Journal throughout the narrative. This is a sample giving details on how the city became quarantined. Hope you enjoy.

 

All text copyright of Mark Wilson and Paddy’s Daddy Publishing 2013

<strong>Padre Jock’s Journal</strong>

 

 

In 1645 the bubonic plague (or the Black Death) raged through the populace. Millions had died worldwide and the city’s residents were beginning to feel the effects of the disease. In a desperate attempt to isolate the infected and to save the remaining residents, the council leaders forced the sick into the underground streets of Mary King’s Close and sealed them in. Beneath the cobbles of old Edinburgh the infected, begged to be released, suffered and were eventually forgotten, dying inside the crypts below.

The plague mutated underground for hundreds of years and some survivors became something other than human. Undead, shuffling through the dark crypts racked by a 400 year hunger.

 

 

 

On New Year’s Day 2015, the city leaders opened the Close, with the intention of erecting a memorial to the ancient plague victims and using the Close for tourism. The Close’ residents poured out from their tomb and spread the new plague through the city. Edinburgh was full of partygoers and New Year celebrants. The plague spread quickly.

 

Within a day, many of Edinburgh’s residents were infected. Within a week, the UK government, recruiting the armed forces had erected a huge and extensive fence around the circumference of the city bypass, quarantining the city. Edinburgh was declared an official no-man’s land; a dead zone, its residents left for dead and to the dead.

 

I had a chance to leave, before they sealed us in, but stayed to help the survivors. I never thought for a second that they, the world outside, would leave us here and forget about us. For that first decade of isolation, I always believed that sometime, they’d find a cure, that they would release us. I should have remembered my history.

 

<strong>End of Excerpt. </strong>

 

You can find Mark and his books at <a href=”http://www.paddysdaddypublishing.com/mark-wilson.html”>Paddy’s Daddy Publishing</a> or follow Mark’s progress on the dEaDINBURGH series on twitter @dEaDINBURGHbook <br /><br /><a href=”http://markwilsonbooks.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/20131214-115700.jpg”><img src=”http://markwilsonbooks.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/20131214-115700.jpg&#8221; alt=”20131214-115700.jpg” /></a>








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