Life is a race against time, didn't you know? Sometimes I'm worn out by my own energy, but as we four
walked first towards Langtang, right on through the cosy cluster of weather-beaten buildings and
then so far past the village that even the strangely surreal flicker of
in-house candlelight could no longer be detected, I didn't feel a thing.
Physically or mentally, I didn't think a thing.
We came to a cave and the men gave me a wave. Beckoning me to sit on the cold ground in the cave opening,
I prepared to slump down just as the sun came up and over the mass of surrounding mountains that put the
small valley into harsh perspective. Let there be light, I thought, and I fought again just as the
man who seemed to be in charge turned his back on mine.
I swung round and clipped his right cheek, yet upon turning back around to face me he instantaneously
stood stock still with his already stern expression seemingly ten times worse than before.
He didn't try to hit back; in my mind the thought of doing so never even crossed his.
So, it was my turn again, but as I was in full swing one of the other men lunged my way with
bedazzling grace and caught my fist as it flew forward.
He held my fist in his hand.
I was at their mercy now like never before and I let out a limp whimper, subtly praying for
forgiveness and wondering what on earth I could have been doing right then if only
I'd been back at home in sweet old England.
I could have been mowing the grass, or taking the dog for a walk... even getting ready to go to work.
On sudden second thoughts I was somehow glad that I was in Nepal.
For so long I had craved excitement and adventure of this unforeseen calibre, and as I coolly
considered this I began to chuckle to myself without even noticing I was doing so.
When I did realise and brought myself to task over the matter, I stared long and hard into
the eyes of the man who held my life literally in his hands in order to gauge his reaction to mine.
His expression remained unchanged.
A spirit level-lying pair of lips gave nothing away, so I tried a sneaky smile to see if
he might react to such a thing. And you know what? He did.
In fact all three men began to smile. So I let go, purely in a metaphorical sense, and I grinned
the biggest grin that I could humanly muster given the circumstances.
And, to my amazement, the man who held me let go. Literally.
His arm actually dropped down to his side momentarily before shooting back up, into the
fray and towards my stomach.
Naturally I flinched, until I realised that what we all had here was a truce materialising
out of a wickedly tense mutiny.
The man simply wanted to shake my hand for God's sake,
and so I gladly obliged.
Fiction - Welcome To Hellville - Part 4 By Rich Mills
Addict vaccine, social behaviour training, helicopter strafes overhead, government propaganda
drenched lo-fi media docu-slice-of-life info-mercial broadcast, fed straight to your hole.(Written on a Planet Coffee branded paper napkin.)
The napkin referred to above was
Fiction - Fishheads By Michelle Dee
Monstrous silver and blue -green severed fish heads emerged at the forefront of her mind.
Open, close, open, close the gaping mouths. She fancied there were others behind it.
Each time the razor sharp teeth were bared she looked into the blacker than
Fiction - Kat Out of the Bag Chapter Seven By Steve Rudd
Time spent away from the daily grind forces you to assess where, in life, you have been - and
where you would like to go.
Back in England, perversely, I had always wanted to return here to Nepal, but now I was back here,
Fiction - Welcome To Hellville - Part 3 By Rich Mills
Boring! It's far too wet and miserable to venture outside for a good few days now. Six months and that's it - I'm out of here. Eight at the very most!
All depends on how fast I can save to get myself over to the Southern Hemisphere.
Fiction - Firm but Fair By Mark Pollard
Cry-Baby Jim Breaks. He pioneered it, they say.
And the hushed, almost ecclesiastical tones of Ken Walton had heralded it's
entry into Saturday afternoon folklore: the bright lights of
Blackpool and Great Yarmouth, down to the lesser reputes of Ilfracombe and
Skegness had all borne witness
Fiction - Puzzles By Denis Price
I've got a really nice room, when the door's closed I feel ever so safe and warm. It's quiet as well,
just the swish of the wind in the trees outside. I like the trees; they hide the big tall fence.
My watchers say the fence is there to keep me safe, and that's their job too, they're always there
Fiction - COLD WAR TALES- THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS By Denis Price
The piercing insistent wail of the siren woke him. `For Christ`s sake now what!` Over the tannoy the
smooth expensive voice intoned languidly that this was only a drill and that all personnel
should continue with their normal duties.
He groaned and thought, this is my normal
Fiction - Kat Out of the Bag Chapter One By Steve Rudd
Above all else it was ignorance and arrogance that helped me pack my bags.
The ignorance and arrogance of myself, that was, and everyone else.
I was only interested in people and past-times that furthered humanity. And what was wrong with that?
Fiction - Scrawls Of The Unexpected By Mark Pollard
Professor Colin Pillinger, lead scientist on the Beagle II programme, was calm but well pissed off
inside. He had been clinging to the idea that his £35 million Mars Probe was stuck in a crater,
waiting for some narrow rays of sunlight to banish the shade for a few precious hours each day
in order that
Fiction - A Short Story - The Beaver Stalker By The J.E.M. Cult
I stepped out into the cold frosty air.
I pulled my muffler tighter round my hands and crunched across the frozen grass. Today was the first day of the beaver season- and by golly, I was sure gonna get me one.
I love beavers. I can't help it. There's just something about stroking that damp fur that sends me
Fiction - The Art Of Being Alone In A Crowded Bar By Rich Mills
What music are you into, man? The American exchange student who had earlier introduced himself, without any regard for Jean-Paul's need to be alone, suddenly threw a curve-ball of a question in his direction.
Well I listen to... What followed was a definitive list of bands from Jean-Paul's wide ranging rare vinyl
Fiction - Old Tired & Completely Rucked By Martin Dale
Of course, I used to be big league me. Right up there with the bigwigs I was. Every game I'd be out there, working my socks off for the club.
I'd be at the bottom of every ruck, in the thick of every maul, I'd cover more of the pitch than anyone else on the team.
Pretty good really, now that I come to think about it,