Monthly Archives: August 2015

Playing Pools at Wally Wagtail’s (A Poem)

This poem was a tribute to the graphic art of American artist Arthur Sarnoff.

It was Friday night at Wally Wagtail’s Pool Hall,

Where the hustler dogs of Pawston come to play.

The mutts chugged local brews and smoked their woodbines

And a fug hung round the ceiling, thick and grey.

Tonight promised to be big for Stanley Kibble;

The old bulldog was just raring to begin.

He was playing Ralph De Begall for five Benjamins;

An opponent against whom he’d surely win.

“OK fellahs, grab yer cues,” said Wally Wagtail

(Looking dapper in bow tie and bowler hat).

Stanley broke and got the twelve-ball in a pocket,

Then sank three in quick succession after that.

Stanley soon became the hero of the evening;

Poor old Ralph was just too easy to depose.

Once Ralph even made the cue ball jump the table,

And it struck Ambrose O’Colley on the nose!

Not long after, no more stripes were on the table

And for Ralph, it seemed, there was no last hurrah.

Stan was lining up a shot to pot the eight-ball, when…


In came Stanley’s poodle wife (her name, Griselda),

Yelling raucously and threatening assault.

Stan was led away in shame, to gales of laughter,

And Ralph became the winner by default.


A Consequences Science Fiction Story

Last one, I promise you.  I had to embellish what goes on it, but this one, I feel, was the funniest.

The three of them fearfully observed the monitor that lay upon the President’s desk. On the screen, a quartz-flecked asteroid could be seen hurtling through the sky, plunging towards Gotham City.

“What the Hell is that?” breathed President Brett Lowery.

“It’s the Quartzoid,” replied Professor Brainstorm, “Said to be the vessel of a life form known as Gorizillar.

“And what is this Gorizillar‘s purpose?” asked Lowery.

“When it reaches its Earth,” said Brainstorm, “It will rise out of the Quartzoid to release its deadly Cruelty Curse upon Gotham City. And then… upon the World.”

President Lowery‘s jaw tightened. He turned to his most trusted military commander.

“General Goatgruff,” he said crisply, “Have you taken measures to counter this threat?”

“Yes, Mr. President,” growled General Goatgruff. “At Professor Brainstorm’s advice, I have transported the Zylonsphere Projector to the target area so that its Pussy Glamour should be able to stop the Quartzoid before the Gorizillar even pokes its head out.”

Should be able to?” said the President sharply, looking hard at Professor Brainstorm.

“I’m afraid the Zylonsphere Projector isn’t fully tested yet, Mr. President,” the Professor trembled. “The Pussy Glamour may not be powerful enough to stop the Gorizillar, or even have dire consequences of its own.”

“And if that happens?” Lowery snapped.

General Goatgruff looked down at his boots.

“Then God help us all.”

A Consequences Mystery Story

One more after this…

A strangled cry resounded throughout the dark house. There came the sound of something large and heavy slumping to the floor, a man’s high, mocking laugh, then maybe a minute later, a terrified scream.


It was Maisie, the maid, who had screamed. She had been first to discover Lady Cynthia Gristlethwaite-Cordel lying lifeless on her side upon the bedroom floor, a broken glass of best quality Bolivian brandy beside her.

Maisie‘s scream brought the entire household running to see. They too were equally shocked, and it was all Agatha Christie could do to stop Lady Gristlethwaite-Cordel’s daughter Clarissa running to her side.

“Don’t touch the body!” Agatha implored. “Don’t touch anything in the room. It could disturb vital clues.”

“Who could have done such a thing?” Clarissa wept.

“Who couldn’t have done it?” sniped Lady Gristlethwaite-Cordel‘s niece Blowzabella. “Nigel is her chief benefactor, and it’s no secret he’s in debt after that property deal went wrong!”

“ME?!?” retorted Nigel. “What about Clarissa over there? Poison’s such a lady-like way to murder someone, and Mother knew all about her scandalous little affair with that Lord High Commander on the Riviera!”

“Well what about Bertram?” snarled Clarissa. “He’s never forgiven Lady Cynthia for getting him dismissed from Parliament.”

“And let’s not forget Blowzabella herself!” piped up Bertram Fitzwilliam. “Let’s not forget that winter when her best friend fell through the ice when Lady Cynthia was supposed to be watching her!”

“Enough, all of you!” bawled Agatha. “Murder has been committed and it has shocked us all. But I, Agatha Christie, will find the killer. Rest assured, I shall not fail to do that.”

A Consequences Adventure Story

It’s time to post story number two!  This one promises derring-do…

I summoned my good friends Buster and Jezabel to my study one evening. I bolted the door, closed the curtains and switched off all the lights except the one on my desk.

“What’s with all the secrecy, Indiana?” Buster asked.

Buster, Jezabel,” I grinned, “Do you know what this roll of parchment on my desk shows?”

They carefully studied the item in question.

“It seems to be a map of the Tower of London,” Buster said darkly.

“And what do you make of this symbol, here, near the top of the map?” I persisted.

Jezabel gasped when she recognised it.

“Why, that’s the Cross of Kchli the Mysterious!” Jezabel squealed. “Indy, do you mean to tell us you’ve found where the Shining Grondlebar is buried?”

“Exactly,” I replied.

“We’ve got to get there right away and excavate the site!” shouted Buster.

“Quite right, Buster,” I said grimly, “But not so the name Indiana Smith can be in every history textbook on Earth. I hear that Sparkle Balls is after it.”

Buster and Jezabel gaped in horror.

“Good lord!” Jezabel said shrilly. “If Sparkle Balls gets hold of the Shining Grondlebar…”

“The consequences will be horrendous,” I agreed. “That’s why we must get to the Tower of London and the Shining Grondlebar first.”

A Consequences Romance Story

I did a variation on my Consequences stories for a recent party with my writing group.  Four stories were made in all.  This is the first.  More to come.  Anything in italics below was added by the participants.

Twenty-five years have now passed since I met Mr. Juarez Istavan near the subway train, where we tumbled into each other. We married, raised a family, became the envy of all our friends, until just three years ago, he was mutilated by a combine harvester.

With that, all I knew seemed to come to an end. It was as if I had been stranded on a desert island, actually surrounded by people but feeling alone and disconnected. Whoever thought one could miss somebody so much?

All I have now is my memories, those little trinkets about the house that still remind me of him, and my three children James, Edward and Emily, in whose faces I still see Juarez’s features.

I wish to tell the tale of how Juarez and I came to meet and fall in love, for it makes an extraordinary story. It all began during the American Civil War, at which time I was a Doctor of Biological Uncertainties.

Yet our love might never have survived had it not been for Juarez’s dear friend Cecil Herbert Trevelyn, who in spite of his misgivings, ensured we remained together by reporting our deaths to the Secret Police. I will be forever grateful to him for this.

May you all have a friend as true as Cecil, and may you all find a love as great as the one I knew with Juarez.