The room was pulsing with white noise and euphoria. Giles was positioned behind the sound booth, stupefied by the scene on stage: five Burberry clad men thrashing manically at their instruments, their sixties feather cuts flicking through the damp air.
A final power chord growled through the Marshall stack, reverberating triumphantly and the lead singer raised his fist at the crowd in a gesture of solidarity and benediction, announcing;
"We've been The Duffal Cotes, you've been awesome- check us out on Myspace - goodnight!"
Giles was stood, much like everyone else in the crowd - sweat dripping from his forelock, hands blurred before him in rapturous applause, until the houselights glared down, shedding clarity on five hundred or more people cheering at a vacant stage.
"More!' was the cry "Encore!"
The crowd had begun to dissipate into the cold floodlit car park when the band bounded back on stage. They took up their instruments in a flurry of inexhaustible enthusiasm and launched into another number, ensuring the firm rooting of the remaining audience.
"There was a time when ya used to be my bay-beeeeeee...."
People surged back inside - a tidal wave of humanity - all thoughts of cigarettes, taxis and al fresco carnality being lost in its swell.
"You're all I need, so just please just come and save meeeeee..."
Leaning awkwardly against the bar was a solitary woman, who glanced alternately at the clock and the jostling punters. Having witnessed the band sweep once more into the backstage area, she threw the beer towels down over the pumps.
"Time at the bar, please!"
She was barely audible over the noise of the exiting throngs. Still, Giles, his throat dry from appreciation, cautiously meandered towards her, an assumptive winning smile spread across his flushed face.
"I don't suppose there's any chance -"
"Well it was worth a try," he said, flinching back diffidently. "I was going to get a pint in earlier only, what with The Duffal Cotes being so awesome, I lost track of the time".
The barmaid eyed Giles wearily. "That lot were the biggest crock of shit I've seen in a long time - and believe me, I've seen some shit in here," she said, locking up the till.
"Catch you later, Mandy!" came a cry from over Giles' shoulder, addressing the girl behind the bar. She nodded briskly in response, pushing her mousey hair back behind her ears, as though any attempt at engaging in discourse with her impinged severely on her time.
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - The Prescription By The Silver Fox
The pen flashed across the pad like a magic wand. Jeff watched, appropriately spellbound. The prescription was pushed across the desk with neither comment nor eye contact.
"Not much of a bedside manner."
"This isn't a bedside."
Pain sent a stinging retort flying to Jeff's lips; need bit it back.
"Not funny," he mumbled, leaving.
After an agonising moonwalk
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Kids Like That By The Silver Fox
The abuse, though muted by the noise of the engine, was clear and vile in the thick afternoon air. It poured onto the bowed head of the smaller boy; rank as his sweat and tears. He pressed down upon the accelerator and the car shot forward, elongating the bully's last insult into a thin scream.
He was out onto the hot road before the broken bundle had rolled off of the bonnet.
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Who's The Daddy? By Catherine Horlax
I heard footfalls; hollow thuds echoing down the corridor, and drew my knees up so my boots wouldn't be visible. He'd said he'd be there. A tap gushed.
I noticed the door was inscribed with idiocy, and calmed myself with the fact that
'Lisa Hyde stuffs mashed potato up her cunt'.
At least I'd kept my word - I'd said I'd be there too. I laughed because, barring crying,
Fiction - 3 Phones, 300 Words By Joe Hakim
She smiled as she handed him the bottle. He took it from her and poured himself a glass.
'So what do you think?' she asked.
'I'm not that bothered,' he replied.
He was pretty drunk by now and he attempted to think of something to say, but the silence remained stagnant. She took a gulp from her glass,
Fiction - Lessons Learnt By Nick Quantrill
DS Richard Coleman pulled into the lay-by and headed towards the flashing blue lights. An hour later it would have been someone else's problem. But it wasn't. An articulated lorry had been isolated from the other vehicles, cones placed around it, linked together by barrier tape.
A mobile generator providing power to the small floodlights
Fiction - Mr Keith Fortner By The Silver Fox
In assessing the nature and worth of Mr Keith Fortner, it helps to be acquainted with one or two salient facts about his background. This is true of anyone, of course; understanding can rarely come without some awareness of their past experiences and emotional development after all.
Even the vast majority of people who tend to exist in a very limited context - the parameters
Fiction - After The Rain By Joe Hakim
He noticed there was another crushed snail by the doorstep. It was the third one he'd found this week. It was funny because he could never recall standing on the snails, but there they were.
He opened his back door and lit a cigarette. He'd been in this place for a month now, but it still didn't feel like his home, just a place he was staying in for a while.
Fiction - The Suicide Park, Self Surgery And Brutalised By Affection By Christopher Skolik
Dennison followed Snaith from the road, through trees, to a wire fence. Snaith slipped through. Beyond the skeletal
trees, Dennison could see a smoky illumination. Snaith and Dennison walked around as if inspecting a gallery.
It looked like a derelict industrial estate from a distance. Only when he got closer could Dennison hear the sound
of 22 engines humming.
Fiction - Off To See The Wild West Show Part 2 Chapter 4 By Frank Beill
'There, there bai'n. It's o'right now. The bad man's gone away.' Sal walked up and down her bare living room, hugging her sobbing baby.
'Sorry, Sal. I shouldn't have done that.'
'Don't matter, Sammy.' She kissed the child's tearstained cheek. 'He deserves a good hidin'!'
'What was it all about? Sounded as though he was up to no good.'
I put two large lumps of coal
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Rosemary By Merle R. Stone
"Have you the time?" she asked. As always when our eyes meet, my thoughts turn to tender things.
Cuddling naked by the fireplace, chilled chablis in hand. Her charming giggle rising above
the crackle of the flames. Twenty-five years married and still we idle like teens, content
in each others' embrace. The children grown, grandchildren on the way.
How long we have
Fiction - Off To See The Wild West Show Part 2 Chapter 3 By Frank Beill
The red brick Board School stretched for nearly half the length of the street. Did Sal still live 'somewhere opposite'? My heart sank seeing all the doors to be knocked on especially after the Westbourne Avenue experience.
Fortunately, shops and other businesses occupied most of the buildings facing the school.
One caught my attention: Henry Tiplady,
Fiction - Smooth Operator By Edward C. Lynskey
Kenny was a thief. Nothing big. He'd only rip off the 'swag' owners wouldn't miss right away: CDs, auto parts, jewelry, tools, handguns from nightstands. Yeah, he was a smooth operator, nickelling and diming 'ditch-digging chumps.' A pawnshop run by his pal (never mind who) did a bang-up business, too.
Why did Kenny steal? Can't say. Could be he swore the world owed him
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Shipwreck By Michelle Dee
I sat on a shipwreck, the proud bow pointing at the river slowly drifting by. Most of the ship had rotted away long since. I sat there wondering what lay ahead, what life had in store.
The afternoon sun warmed the wood, until hot to touch. I sat longer.
The water lapped against the vanishing timbers. I sat until the sun dipped the water; waves turned gold,
the air turned cold.
Fiction - Merry Christmas, Here's A Present By Nick Quantrill
Brett 'Razor' Rawcliffe; 'Razor' to his friends because they thought he was sharp as a tack. He was 16 years old but he'd already built a rapidly expanding drugs empire specialising in supplying his schoolmates and friends. It was one day away from being Christmas Eve and he was sat in a city centre pub with his trusted side-kick, Stevie.
The Christmas CD compilation
Fiction - Fighting the Drink By Jose Escobar
My opponent stands before me, tall and proud. We size each other up, bare knuckle fighters circling each other in the ring. He feints towards me but I don't flinch. Then one move and combat begins. The rules the same as always, last man standing wins.
I make the first move, one quick slug and the rasping and burning in my throat begins. Discover an old ulcer
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - One Shot, One Kill By Merle R. Stone
I watched him every day for two weeks. I learned his habits; where he slept, how he spent his days, his favourite watering hole, his acquaintances. Every aspect of his life did I observe, as my years of experience in this line have trained me to do. Not once did I sense that he suspected anything. Not once did he peer over his shoulder in my direction,
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Justice By Merle R. Stone
There was never a time when Al wasn't my friend. Children learning music together. Adults sharing liquor and time. He had a special beer glass for me, and placed it by the tap when he sensed my approach. We agreed to disagree about everything as we grew into wise and ancient men. We would live forever.
Five crackheads robbed the bar where we would meet and shot him dead