Despite getting Buffalo Bill's seal of approval little really changed except for the presence of Miss Arta. She always seemed to be visible whenever I left the quarters set aside for the Lakota. She was ready to intervene whenever anyone outside the circle of those 'in the know' threatened to come into contact with me.
'How come you were in an orphanage in Hull, of all places?' Miss Arta asked during one of the few moments when we could speak freely. I was on deck tending the ponies with Laughing Waters.
'Hull's where I was born, Miss Arta.'
I shrugged and shovelled more steaming horse droppings into a bucket. Funny how I didn't mind this task anymore. I hated doing it when Jolly Rodgers sent me out into the Hull streets to gather it for the orphanage garden.
'How come?' She was still puzzled.
'My father met my mother there when he came from Africa.'
'Africa! Ain't no Indians in Africa!'
'Father came from there. Cape Town he said ... wherever that is. He was an orphan too!'
I stopped shovelling for a moment and leaned on the spade.
'Well, lordy!' She scratched her head in disbelief.
I told her about his shipwreck and how he must have swum ashore. I'd still not given up hope.
'Well, the United States is a mighty big place to try an' find somebody.' She bit her lip and paused for a moment. 'Maybe he'll come to see one of our shows. Reckon everybody will come sooner or later.'
I nodded in agreement, not realising she was only trying to be pleasant. Discovering the sheer enormity of everything about the United States still awaited me.
'Anyways, you'd better get finished tendin' these critters.
I reckon there's a storm brewin'.'
Complicity is the new crime-fiction novella set in Hull featuring
Detective Sergeant Coleman and Detective Constable Maynard.
The thisisull.com serialisation is accompanied by the stunning black and
white photography of Roland Standaert, which illustrates the story and takes a unique look at the city.
Complicity and other stories are available for free.
Fiction - The M1 McDonalds Girl and the Most Suitable Bloke By Andy Bilton
So I'm heading home. Heading north. Eighty, on the M1, just south of Sheffield. Pissing it down. That horizontal stuff that totally obscures your view, your only safe option being to get in to the inside lane and follow the red cat's eyes. Not ideal weather conditions for a must-get-there-quicker sort of situation such as this.
I should slow down really but Helen's already been on the mobile
Fiction - Gloomy Sunday By Joe Hakim
As we got closer I could see it framed against the horizon. From this distance it just looked like a huge black shape, like a giant lump of coal or something. "Jeezus, it's huge," I said. "Yeah, I'm guessing it's a male," Mike said. "Could be about fifty tonnes of whale washed up down there." Mike was a marine biologist.
He'd been given the task of studying
Fiction - Kat Out of the Bag Chapter Thirteen By Steve Rudd
I remembered the ring simply because it wasn't the type of ring that a man would usually
choose to include in his pro-macho jewellery box.
The rare stone at its heart shone like a bewildering beacon demanding attention in the
pits of hell, while its subtly alluring design was elaborately detailed yet delicate.
To all intents and purposes it looked like a lady's bridal ring, and thus the plot thickened.
Fiction - The Burden - A Short Story By Joe Hakim
I step out into the sun and close my eyes, letting the light wash over my face.
It's cold, and the wind pinches my cheeks but I feel complete, for the first time ever.
Today the world is different. Today is the first day of a new beginning.
Everything feels real and vivid, and I bathe in it, taking it all in like a child
seeing a painting for the first time, judging the angles and
Fiction - Welcome To Hellville - Part 16 By Rich Mills
"What music are you into, man?" The American exchange student who had earlier introduced
himself, without any regard for Alan's need to be alone, suddenly threw a curve-ball
of a question like this in his direction.
"Well I listen to..." What followed was a definitive list of bands from Alan's
wide-ranging rare vinyl and CD collection, he even
Fiction - The Guy Who Had All The Time In The World By Joe Hakim
Sometimes it gets to be a bit too fuckin' much, I decide, after another day spent wandering the streets aimlessly.
The sky is still bright purple - the colour of a fresh bruise - and the streets are still completely silent; not even the sound of birds chirping or distant traffic in the distance.
Aside from that, everything seems to be much the same, at least on the surface.
There's no visible
Fiction - Two Extracts from The Shintae - a Novel by Brian R Hill
Fiction - Zero and the Neighbours Part 1 - Demo version 0.1 By Joe Hakim
Frank was one of the regulars. From the first day I started dealing poker on the tables, Frank was there. To look at, he was your typical moody old man - old in the Father Christmas sense - white hair, a huge white beard and a round gut that hung out of his shirt and over his belt. You could imagine him sat in a grotto in the bottom of Princes Quay with some mewling
Fiction - Just like Eddie by Bob Spence
I don't know exactly when I got into it but there you are.
Like most lads, I suppose it was the thought of being Bristol's answer to
Elvis that was some kind of inspiration.
Yes that was always there in the back of my mind, but the accent never sounded
quite right to be fair.
Anyway. The South Deans Village Youth Club was a right place back then and we used
Fiction - The Wall by Darren Sant
Sometimes your best is just not enough.
Panic stricken and panting I arrive.
There it is, a fucking huge wall. An obstacle blocking my progress.
A visible representation of all that I can't achieve.
Nervously I look behind me. I lash out at it, kicking and punching but to no avail.
It is rock solid. I jump but find it too high. I take a running jump
Fiction - Divine by Blair Ashworth
"Mein Führer? Mein Führer?" The old man in the long grey coat was bent over the body slumped in the chair.
"Give it a few more seconds, Henry," said the doctor. "Do you speak any German? It might lessen the shock." No, Henry didn't speak any German and he didn't much care about any shocks he might deliver.
Behind the heavy oak chair,
Fiction - Scissors, Paper, Stone! By Bob Spence
The Lord Nelson was your typical run-down seventies pub. The decor was in disarray, with half a mind to venerate the Royal Navy's biggest hero or to catch the eye of the potential clientele with the latest fashion. In this manner it achieved neither.
Mickey was the prototype glass collector for every
Fiction - Drowning, Swimming By Joe Hakim
Keith sat and stared at his wife, who was holding his daughter and staring at the
28" Philips Widescreen TV situated in the corner of his house, on his laminate floor,
flanked at either side by his Sony sound system and his X-Box.
He was sweating and his head was throbbing - the general effects of the weekend
Fiction - Any Instructions? By Denis Price
It wasn't the first time he'd missed the bus. From the Mess to the monitoring hangar was only a quarter of a mile walk, something he relished during the central European summer as the airbase had been carved out of heavily wooded countryside teeming with wildlife.
Fiction - Second Chances by Nick Quantrill
Available now, Second Chances is a crime fiction novella set in Hull that is
already attracting praise from readers.
Influenced by crime fiction heavyweights Ian Rankin and Hull's Robert Edric,
Second Chances is set to be a great success.
For a taster, see the extract reproduced below, only available
Fiction - Invasion By Bob Spence
Moody just couldn't stop scratching. His shirt was far too stiff at the edge of the collar
and the coarse material was driving him to distraction.
You could also say that Moody was distracted anyway. He was waiting for a letter from his fiancee
and there was none.
Fiction - The Death and Birth and Death of a Legend By Bob Spence
Goober liked to be busy. Some people could handle doing nothing, not Goober Walton.
Running the tidy but ancient gasoline concession suited. Suited well.
It was orderly and everything clearly had its place.
Some would say it looked almost military in its order and for that it
Fiction - Feller's in Cut By Maurice Fairfield
Well that's her gone. You don't remember me do you?
I'll have a pint while you're thinking about it.
It's me Jack, Harry Fergus's son. Here for the funeral.
Thought I'd see her get put under. Not sure why.
It's always a laugh though, watching a parson doing a
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