The Poor Man, the Rich Man & the Blind Old Weaver of Fate.

ratsOnce upon a time many, many years ago in a world long since forgotten, there was a country called Anywhere. And in the land of Anywhere there was a fine and prosperous city called Anyplace. One fine summer’s day a Poor Man was walking to work. Now this man lived in a run-down house in one of the Deprived Zones that encircle the Bustling And Golden Financial District of Anyplace, which is called The Anytown, and to get to his place of work (for he was employed at as a cook at The Asylum For The Strange And Different) he had to cross The Thriving Hub Of Finance.

So there he was, a Poor Man, strolling along the affluent pathways of this wealthy area. As he walked, he whistled, for the sun was bright and the sky was blue and there was Happiness In His Soul.

Coming in the opposite direction, walking towards the Poor Man, was a Rich Man. He was a trader in the new Financial Product that had taken Anywhere by storm in recent years, the HORFIOD (Highly Opaque and Risky Financial Instrument Of Death) and, as such, was a member of the families of The One Percent and lived, like the rest of his kind, in a Vast Mansion high in the hills outside Anyplace.

Now today was not a good day for the Rich Man for he was particularly weighed down with the Troubles And Cares Of Wealth and was running frantically between business meeting and business meeting and he was not happy, not happy at all.

He was somewhat affronted, then, to see the Poor Man. After all, here was this chap coming down the street towards him, smiling, whistling and obviously In Love With The World, yet from his Demeanour and Ragged Clothes he was equally obviously a Poor Man of No Means And No Money. What right had he to be happy? What possible cause could he have to be happy? Unacceptable. He determined that he would Find Out What Was Going On with this strange fellow, this Poor Person

With this thought upon his mind and being by now in a Very Bad Mood, the Rich Man, upon drawing level with the Poor Man said:

“You, Poor Man, stop!”

And the Poor Man stopped, looked the Rich Man in the eye and, smiling in an infuriatingly pleasant way replied, “of course, sir, how may I help you?”

“Well, I’ll come straight to the point. I found your obvious happiness an effrontery and most annoying and I wish you immeadiately to cease smiling and stop whistling. You have no right to be happy, I can tell simply from looking at you that you’re a Man Without Money And Means and as such your position in life should be one of abject misery.”

“But, sir,” replied the Poor Man, “respectful of your position and all as I am, I have to beg differ. You’re right, of course, that money is a constant worry but I have a roof over my head and food on the table and a job of work. I have a wife who I love very much and who loves me and I have two beautiful, healthy children who are the apple of my eye…these things are Jewels Beyond Price, why would I want more?”

“Harrumph!” Harrumphed the Rich Man and, concluding that there was no reasoning with this insolent fool of a man, span on his heel, walking away, leaving the Poor Man to continue his journey.

What a deluded idiot! Good grief, “why would I want more,” how stupid, after all one always wants more, getting more is the point of everything. What kind of life can one have if one doesn’t have more? And yet…he can still hear that stubborn, insolent stupid, happy Poor Man whistling as he walks away down the street. Happy. Happy. Hah, happiness is wealth, plain and simple.

But with that thought, something strange happened to the Rich Man. Maybe it happened because he was having a bad day, too much stress, too much to do, or maybe it happened because a passing Fairy observed the conversation between our two protagonists and offended, perhaps, by the arrogance of the Rich Man, decided to bestow upon him one of those Notoriously Double-Edged “Gifts” that Fairies are so fond of Bestowing…

Whatever the cause, the Rich Man was suddenly struck by an intense bout of Insight: something which people of his class and wealth are normally Blissfully Free Of. He saw his life for what it was. His pretty, younger wife. Married not for love, but as a trophy. He didn’t love her. And she didn’t love him, not for a minute, his touch repulsed her. But she did love his money, the clothes, the parties, the house, the jewels. The two children. They were far from being the apple of his eye. In fact he barely knew them, certainly didn’t love them: they were just something that had to be produced by a Man In His Position, and to his wife giving birth to them was part of the financial contract that was their marriage. Raised by nannies and governesses his children were growing up unloved and unwanted and would become Troubled And Difficult Adults. And that big, beautiful mansion of his. Upon reflection it was big, but not beautiful, rather a cold, empty space devoid of meaning and feeling.

All he had was money. Lots and lots of money. But money can’t share a joke or a confidence with you, it cannot be your friend. It cannot hold your hand, or kiss you or hold you near.

With this shock of insight the Rich Man suddenly felt very alone. He felt a sense of rising panic and anxiety, of sorrow and loss. He stopped walking. He felt hot and sick and dizzy and…at that point his heart, weakened by years of Stress And Rich Living decided to give up the struggle and ceased to beat any more.

The Rich Man fell to the ground, aware of an Absence Of Motion in his chest and An Inability To Breathe. This was it, he was dying. This could not be for surely he was Too Rich To Die?

And just before the Rich Man made the Final Journey from this world to the other, his insight suddenly widened (in my mind this points to it being Fairy-inspired Insight, but I suppose we could debate that point until the Trolls came home..) and he had a vision of the very inside of his Soul, and his last living feeling were ones of endless and deep despair. He saw his Soul for what it was: a vast, empty, barren desert in which there was not a living thing except a myriad rats, scuttling pointlessly and desperately back and forth in search of something they didn’t even know they were looking for, and across the the thick, black fur of each of these rates was emblazoned, in blood red capital letters, the word GREED.

At this point the Rich Man’s existence passed into the Fog Of Forgotten Stories which makes up so much of history.

And the Moral Of This Story is very simple. When the Blind Old Weaver Of Fate decides to spin together the last few threads of your life, not even all the money in the world will help you. Only Love endures.

 

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Customer Reviews

“I Really Really Want It is a riotous and deeply dark romp through the world of celebrity, it is both hilarious and at times desperately sad. ‘I Really Really Want’ to read a sequel.”

“IRRWI is a well-written and thought-provoking read. Plan ahead. You will not want to put it down! This book is insightful, intelligent, and vibrantly engaging. Highly recommended.”

“There are many excellent and well written characters in this book that deserve to be on the big screen. I was particularly taken by the spectacularly obnoxious Shelley and the book’s hero, Andrew… I also love the clever twist of the reader them-self being given a role in the book. Overall I Really Really Want It is a great read and I would definitely recommend it.”

Synopsis:

“I am incredibly wealthy, I am a fixer, I am a press agent, I am a re-packager and reviver of damaged celebrity. I know where all the bodies are buried. I know who did what to whom. I am a powerful and feared man. Don’t fuck with me…”

Andrew Manning is one of celebrity’s back room boys. He’s spent twenty years repackaging and reviving celebrities whose careers have been overshadowed by scandal and is now the very special agent to a stellar list of stars. Andy is a wealthy and powerful man. He knows where the bodies are buried.

Shelley Bright, chart-topping singer, fashion icon and foul-mouthed homophobe wants a divorce from her closeted gay Premier League footballer husband. She calls on Andrew to organise it. Reality TV star Joey Camp’s career goes into free-fall after he launches an expletive-laden attack on The Queen on live television: he needs Andrew to save him. And Janey Jax, international Pop Goddess…well, what she wants is so twisted and bizarre that it shocks even Andrew.

And as Andrew’s partner and lover, Johnny, begins a descent into celebrity-induced psychosis and a blackmailing paparazzi appears on the scene, things look set to become even more complicated.

With lashings of suicide, murder, drugs, blackmail and general bad behaviour, “I Really, Really Want It” is a dark, irreverent and no-holds barred take on celebrity obsessed culture.

Get it now, for free, and before they get me….

 

A Ragged Man Sang from his Soul, and a Kingdom Trembled.

tearsOnce upon a time many, many years ago in a world long since forgotten, there was a country called Anywhere. And in the land of Anywhere there was a fine and prosperous city called Anyplace, and in this city there was a park. Now this park was generally considered to be not only the most beautiful in the city of Anyplace but, indeed, the Most Beautiful in the whole of Anywhere.

In this park was a bench, ideally situated near the lake, giving a pleasant view out over said lake and to the thronging ducks and swans who inhabited the lake’s warm and fertile waters.

One day, an ordinary summer’s day, a man sat alone on this desirable bench. He was a man of unremarkable appearance and indeterminate age. If you were an ordinary citizen of Anyplace, upon seeing the man you would notice only two things about him. You would have been surprised by his clothes for they looked Ragged and Poor, and poverty had been banished from the land of Anywhere many years before you were born, and you would have been drawn in by the Ragged Man’s eyes for they were large and of the deepest, Most Striking Blue and had a quality that suggested that what they were seeing was Not Of This World, but something else, something far beyond.

Then suddenly, completely without warning or apparent reason, the Ragged Man began to sing.

Sitting on his bench, sitting upright, hands on his knees, staring straight ahead with those remarkable eyes that viewed something in a different time and place, the Ragged Man opened his mouth. And from that mouth, the mouth of an Otherwise Ordinary and Unremarkable Person, came a song. It was a song of such beauty and redolent of such sorrow, sung in a tone that was like honey to the ears, that people walking by the Ragged Man stopped to listen and people elsewhere in the park, hearing a thing so spell-binding hovering upon the soft summer breeze, made a bee-line for him and his bench.

In no time at all, a large crowd had gathered around the Ragged Man. Oblivious to the commotion he was causing, the Ragged Man sang and sang. His song seemed to consist of two verses and a chorus and no sooner had the song come to an end than he would start it again. And again and again.

The crowd were spellbound. Silence reigned as the listeners let the ragged Man’s sorrowful singing caress their ears and senses. Nobody knew for sure what the Song was about, for the Ragged Man sang in a language they had never heard before, yet somehow, on some level they knew exactly what the words of the Song meant. Then, as one, the crowd understood completely. The Ragged Man was singing from his very Soul, and the language he sang was the Language of the Soul. And as the Ragged Man’s words traveled from the his Soul to the Souls of the people of the crowd they saw that his song was so deeply beautiful because he sang of the loss of love, and that loss was a thing of rare and precious beauty, something more valuable than diamonds, a loss that could be clutched to the chest forever like a huge, warm, glowing nugget of gold. The song was a song of tenderness, memory and deepest affection and it created a  pain so exquisite and intense as to be irresistible, a pain that would remain part of a person, every day of every year, until the day they breathed their last.

As word spread throughout the city of Anyplace that a thing of Such Rare and Naked Beauty was Issuing Forth from the Soul of An Otherwise Unremarkable Man, the crowd grew and grew and several hours later it was so large that it stretched out of the confines of the park into nearby streets. And still the Ragged Man sang.

At this point the authorities, fearing for the Everyday Commercial Life of Anyplace and the Possibility of Civil Insurrection, decided Something Had to be Done about the Ragged Man and a detachment of Police Officers was dispatched to the park. After much struggling to find a way through the huge crowd, and another hour just standing around listening to the seductive Song of his Soul, the officers gathered the Ragged Man into a black van and, as previously instructed by The Powers That Be, drove him north of the city to be incarcerated in The Asylum for The Strange and The Different.

And the Ragged Man sang his mournful, intoxicating song. He sang as the officers put him in the van, he sang on the way to The Asylum, he sang at The Asylum and when placed in a cell, he sat on the bed provided, hands on knees, striking blue eyes staring into Another Place and he carried on singing.

The Ragged Man spent six days in The Asylum for The Strange and The Different. During those six days he never stopped singing, nor did he eat or sleep. And nor did fascination for his song wane. Large crowds of ordinary people made the trip out of the city to The Asylum, gathering outside its high walls, where the Song of the Ragged Man’s Soul could be faintly heard. The great and the good of the city of Anywhere bribed and bullied their way into the Ragged Man’s cell to see and hear this extraordinary phenomena with their own eyes and ears, whilst the guards smuggled in their friends and families by night.

And then, at the end of the sixth day, the Ragged Man stopped singing. He sighed, closed his eyes, fell silently to the ground and died.

His death was witnessed by several people. They have since told me, though I cannot confirm this, that his death seemed to be very peaceful, that in death he was smiling, his face wearing a look of contentment and tranquility, that he looked like a man who was going home.

Fearful, as such types always are, of something that could inspire Such Emotion in Ordinary Folk, The Powers That Be had been secretly planning to smuggle the Ragged Man’s body out of the Asylum and bury it quietly in an Unmarked Grave. However, an unknown and brave journalist leaked the plan and, as a consequence, the city of Anyplace was convulsed in two days and two nights of ferocious rioting, the like of which hadn’t been seen in the land of Anywhere for a hundred years.

Fearing revolution, The Powers That Be relented in their plan and the Ragged Man was buried in the Great Cathedral of Anyplace  with Full Honours, the city turned out almost in its entirety to mourn the passing of a man about whom they knew nothing but his Song.

Some month’s later, a massive bronze sculpture, paid for by Public Subscription, was raised in the park in memory of the Ragged Man. At the base of the sculpture was the simple inscription: “For one day we must all sing his Song.”

Is Obama’s meddling in Ukraine leading us down the road to Nuclear War?

nuclear-bomb-explosionFirst off, this post is not a criticism of Americans. Truth be told, I’ve never met an American I didn’t like. They are warm, friendly, open-hearted, hard-working and dynamic people.

Rather this is an attack on the clique of plutocrats, corporate leaders and Neo-Con madmen who seized control of and subverted American democracy way back in the 80’s (some would say 70’s). These are the people who now run (current front man & puppet-in-chief, the JP Morgan funded and groomed Barak “kill-list” Obama) the American government, ably assisted by elected “puppeticians” and an in the pocket “presstitute” media. The aim of that government is exclusively to enrich the already rich. And sod the rest of you.

To this purpose, American foreign policy has two driving forces: the Wolfowitz Doctrine and “resource extraction.” The Wolfowitz doctrine states, broadly, that no other nation should be able to rise to a position of power that might threaten American Hegemony (read, the American Corporate Hegemony).

“Resource extraction” is about destroying central governments of resource rich nations (read oil & gas) to crack open and loot their natural resources: weak governments can’t negotiate favourable terms with Multinationals. Thus US funded attempts to overthrow the Venezuelan government and the destruction of national governments in Libya and Syria (where the US armed and funded extreme Islamic groups to do its dirty work) are about looting oil and gas. And Iraq. Poor bloody Iraq. That was always about oil. Freedom. Nonsense. Democracy. Nonsense. Instead you have the grotesque situation that as that sad country comes apart and descends into utter chaos, oil production is at a thirty year high.

And so we come to the Ukraine. Ukraine is a Neo-Con Holy Grail. It is resource extraction and Wolfowitz Doctrine all rolled up into one juicy package.

So what exactly is going on in Ukraine and why is it so very, very dangerous for the world?

Earlier this year, the democratically elected government of Ukraine was overthrown by a cabal of anti-Semitic fascists (encouraged, financed and resourced by the US government), which then began a war against the sizeable Russian population in the east of Ukraine who had (predictably) democratically voted in a referendum to split away from a Ukraine now ruled by people whose forefathers fought with the Nazis. The Neo-Cons’ thinking was that at this point Russia would invade Ukraine to protect its citizens. Russia could then be portrayed as an aggressor state, operating outside international law and a series of economic sanctions could be applied to damage the Russian economy and Russian resources would be further drained as it got dragged into a war. Bish bosh, a potential threat to American power removed. As an added bonus, Ukraine, too, would descend into economic and social chaos with its government entirely dependent on US financial and material support and corporate America could swoop in for some lovely resource extraction: in particular in Ukraine’s case, shale gas. Funnily enough US senator Joe Biden’s son just became a director of Ukraine’s largest gas producer…

Unfortunately, Putin didn’t rise to the bait and kept his troops firmly on the Russian side of.

Time to up the ante. So, just as Assad used chemical weapons in Syria (no, he didn’t, turned out it was Qatari financed Islamic rebels), just as Saddam had chemical weapons (enough said…) Russia would commit a terrorist atrocity. It would shoot down flight MH17, killing nearly 300 people.

So, on that particular, fateful day, Ukrainian air traffic control instructed flight MH17 to divert its route 300 mile north and somebody shot it down with a surface to air missile.

And it was Putin that did it. Or at least that “fact” was never disputed by the Western presstitute media, who pinned guilt on the Russians from minute one. And the evidence? Let me see, there was a Youtube video of a conversation between a Russian “military commander” and a Russian “separatist in” which they discuss shooting down the flight, but it was uploaded the DAY BEFORE MH17 was shot down. And then there was the satellite picture released by the US State Department that subsequently turned out to be an image from 2010 with a line photoshopped on it. And then there was…well nothing. In fact there’s not a shred of evidence to support the assertion by Western governments and media that Russia shot down MH17. Strangely the US government has never got round to releasing evidence that could be conclusive…the real satellite pictures taken over Ukraine that day which it has in its possession. Wonder why?

So, ante successfully upped (and unquestionably parroted by our so-called “journalists”) America’s Neo-Con nutters got to work, presenting Russia as an international pariah, imposing sanctions designed to hurt Russia’s economy. Sanctions were also set in place by Europe, led into the charge by America’s lap-dog in chief, the United Kingdom. The fact that these sanctions will hurt European economies as well as Russia (and that’s even before Russia gets round to switching the gas off this winter…) does not matter. European politicians are just as much the willing puppets of big money and big business as their American counterparts: they have no patriotism for their country or connection to the people they supposedly serve, they just want to get their snouts into the most lucrative position around the plutocrats pig-trough.

Right. This is where stuff gets very dangerous. This is where the law of Unintended Consequence comes in. You see, plutocrats and Neo-Cons, in their unholy alliance, are blinded by two things: ideology and greed. They want what they want NOW and this makes them very poor at taking a long-term view of their meddling in other peoples’ countries. They consistently fail to allow for unintended consequence, or “blow back,” if you like. For example, they financed Islamic extremists in Afghanistan to fight the Russians, and created Al Qaeda. They financed ISIS in Syria to overthrow Assad. Now the Neo-Cons are panicking because ISIS has gone (very successfully) into Iraq and is perilously near the Kirkuk oil-field (hence the recent “humanitarian” air-strikes by the USAF).

So what potential “blow back” is there with the Russia/Ukraine situation. The worst: nuclear war.

Russia is progressively being backed into a corner. Its economy is being undermined by sanctions, its leader is being pilloried by Western politicians and media, it is being accused of being a terrorist and supporting terrorism. In short, Russia sees the same approach to itself by the US and its allies as was taken to Saddam in the run up to the Gulf War. The demonisation before the invasion. They see the US an out of control, ruthless, hegemonic, militaristic empire that is prepared to do anything, to commit any atrocity to get its own way: looking at the calamitous effect American policy has had Libya, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Egypt, who can blame them.

Senior Russian officials now talk openly of their fear that America will hit the country with a nuclear “first strike.” Meanwhile the sanctions get tighter and the demonisation continues on a day by day basis. This has created a tinderbox atmosphere that is one unfortunate incident away from a war that could quickly turn nuclear.

We are living in very, very dangerous times. Keep your fingers very firmly crossed.

And don’t think for a moment that no-one would be stupid enough to start a nuclear war. The Russians might do it from sheer desperation, sincerely fearing that American first strike. And the plutocrats and Neo-Cons? The Neo-Cons are true nutters, Dr. Strangeloves on crystal meth: they include in their number people who sincerely believe that the birth of a red heifer in Israel signals the start of the “End Times.” And the plutocrats? They’ve grown so obscenely rich over the last thirty years or so that their arrogance has become overweening, they believe they are untouchable. They are certain that they could sit out a nuclear war in splendid isolation, emerge after the last missile has been shot and the last ordinary person has died, rake through ashes and make money doing so.

 

 

 

 

 

The Gruesome Story of the Parents who Killed their Own Child & ate the Evidence.

stew

“…the stew really was extremely comestible!”

Once upon a time in the land of Anywhere, in the city of Anyplace in a world long since forgotten, there lived, in one of the finest neighbourhoods of a fine city, a Respectable Couple. Both husband and wife had Well Paid and Responsible jobs in the Public Services and were well-regarded for their Professionalism and Competence. In short, they were Pillars Of The Community.

The Lovely Couple had two Beautiful Children and, to all intents to those looking in, this was the perfect family.

But, as so often in life, there was a worm wriggling around in this particular beautiful apple.

For the Lovely Couple Adored And Worshipped the first of their children who was graceful, polite, courteous and well-behaved, a real Credit To The Parents. But the second child? Well, the Perfect Parents were not at all sure about this second child. Unlike its sibling, the child was clumsy, apt to question instruction and had an annoying habit of saying the Wrong Thing At The Wrong Time. On more than one occasion the second child had caused the Lovely Couple embarrassment at Social Functions, something which they regarded as completely beyond the pale.

So, our Respectable Couple set aside time in their Hectic Schedule to talk about the future of the second child. They came to the conclusion that Something Had To Be Done about their disappointing offspring. The simple fact of the matter was that people like them, people of their Important Social Standing simply could not afford to have a child of this nature, its behaviour was unacceptable, a real let-down to its Perfect Parents and a possible threat to their Hard-Won Place In Society.

The Loving Parents came to the only Sensible Conclusion. The child had to go.

How to achieve this aim was the subject of much discussion. They could take the child out of the city and abandon it, but the child might be found and returned to them. Or perhaps they could sell the child to the Savage Pirates who plagued the remote and wild east coast of the land of Anywhere, for it was well known they had an insatiable appetite for slaves, particularly if young, attractive and healthy.  However, perhaps the child would be rescued in one of the Governments on-going and frequent anti-piracy raids, that would not be good and then Questions Might Be Asked.

For a few short minutes, the Doting Parents even considered having the child committed to The Asylum for The Strange and The Different, but the Social Embarrassment resultant from such an occurrence would of course be unbearable.

The Lovely Couple eventually came to the Obvious Answer. The child had to vanish and vanish without trace, with no possibility that it might be found at some point in the future. The child had to die. That was it, they would kill the child, dispose of the body and claim that it had been abducted by one of the gangs of Trolls or Fairies who wandered the land of Anywhere and often stole human children for their own Nefarious Purposes.

Of course it was unfortunate that the child had to die, but if the child were an adult it would surely understand that its parents Social Position And Respectability were far more important than its life and, indeed, upon such understanding would probably do the Decent Thing and kill itself thus saving its parents the work.

Now the Professional Couple regarded themselves as being People Of Action, so, that very night, as the child lay sleeping, they snuck up to its room and smothered the life out of the child with a pillow made of the Finest Goose Down.

But now what to do with the body? How to ensure it vanished without trace? The Lovely Couple were Forward Thinking people and had already thought of a solution to his thorny issue. They were going to eat it.

Together, the Industrious Parents carried the child’s body down to the cellar of their Beautifully Furnished Home. There, they broke the body’s bones with a hammer and chopped it into small pieces with sharp knives.

The bones were further smashed with the hammer and fed to the family dog, whilst the flesh and organs of the body were cooked up into a big stew flavoured with red wine and basil.

The next morning the Lovely Couple reported to the Police that their child had disappeared. When Officers arrived at the couple’s home, the Perfect Parents voiced their fears to them that a Troll, or perhaps a Fairy, had entered their house at some time during the night and carried their child away. The Officers nodded sagely and agreed, for this was a Wide-Spread Problem in the land of Anywhere and why would such a Respected Couple tell them anything but the absolute truth? They even partook of some of the delicious stew offered to them by the Lady Of The House and complimented her on her outstanding Culinary Abilities, for the stew really was extremely comestible!

After a long and fruitless search across the length and breadth of the land of Anywhere, the child was considered to be officially lost, probably dead, the evil-doer no doubt being a Troll.

The Lovely Couple played the part of Grieving Parents with Consummate Skill and saw their already considerable Social Standing Considerably Enhanced, now their lives had been Touched By Tragedy. They even set up a highly successful Charitable Fund in the name of their Sadly Taken child (which they would later, with the advice of one of the highly skilled lawyers who worked for the Greedy One Percent, legally but immorally plunder, using the money “released” to live the High Life).

The child who had been murdered and eaten was forgotten about, slipping silently and unnoticed into the dense fog of Forgotten Stories which makes up so much of history.

And the moral of this story is: with a modicum of wealth and a degree of respectability, you can get away with anything.

I Really, Really Want It.

eBookCover-IReally-FullSizeFinally…I’ve done it! After much fiddling around, editing and general buggery nonsense my book, I REALLY, REALLY WANT IT is available to buy as an ebook (print version coming next week).

IRRWI is a darkly funny tale that explores the troubling nature of celebrity. It is a work of fiction, or is it?

Andrew Manning is one of celebrity’s back room boys. He’s spent twenty years repackaging and reviving celebrities whose careers have been overshadowed by scandal and is now the very special agent to a stellar list of stars. Andy is a wealthy and powerful man. He knows where the bodies are buried.

Shelley Bright, chart-topping singer, fashion icon and foul-mouthed homophobe wants a divorce from her closeted gay Premier League footballer husband. She calls on Andrew to organise it. Reality TV star Joey Camp’s career goes into free-fall after he launches an expletive-laden attack on The Queen on live television: he needs Andrew to save him. And Janey Jax, international Pop Goddess…well, what she wants is so twisted and bizarre that it shocks even Andrew.

And as Andrew’s partner and lover, Johnny, begins a descent into celebrity-induced psychosis and a blackmailing paparazzi appears on the scene, things look set to become even more complicated.

With lashings of suicide, murder, drugs, blackmail and general bad behaviour, “I Really, Really Want It” is a dark, irreverent and no-holds barred take on celebrity obsessed culture.

Available from Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/I-Really-Want-ebook/dp/B00MDHSNQQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1407077921&sr=1-1&keywords=i+really+really+want+it

 

When Class & Wealth make Good Love go Bad.

knifetrollOnce upon a time in the land of Anywhere, in a world long since forgotten, there lived, in the fine and prosperous city of Anyplace, a charming young couple. The couple were not yet Married or even Living in Sin (for this was as common in the land of Anywhere as it is in your own time and place), rather they were Courting with a view to Getting Married.

It was agreed by the people of the neighbourhood that the young couple were indeed a very handsome pair who seemed very happy together, Much In Love and, oh, what beautiful children they would have.

So, all was well with this charming young couple. Until.

Until Class and Money raised their ugly heads.

You see, there was a considerable difference in the Social Standing of each half of this particular Lovely Young Couple. The Boy, who we shall know as Frederick, was of humble origins, for his parents were farmers. He, himself, had come to the city of Anyplace at the age of eighteen to pursue his love of Painting, which it was generally agreed he was really rather good at. One day, maybe, he would be a Rich and Famous Painter. But maybe not, for few of those Equally Blessed and Cursed with an Artistic Temperament learn to Monetise Its Value. At least that’s the way the parents of The Girl, who we shall know as Isobel, thought.

Isobel’s parents were Concerned Parents who considered themselves to have their daughter’s Best Interests At Heart. They did not approve of Isobel’s relationship with Frederick for the boy’s chosen occupation and humble background simply were not good enough, he was an Unsuitable Suitor. Isobel’s parents were Wealthy And Successful merchants who had made a fortune trading and selling insurance against Troll attacks, Troll Depredation Insurance as it was known in the land of Anywhere. They considered it entirely realistic that within a decade or so, given more hard work on their part and a Good Marriage on Isobel’s, their family could join the ranks of the Truly And Extraordinarily Wealthy One Percent and live in one of the Fine Mansions in the hills outside Anyplace.

For this reason, they decided that Isobel’s romance with Frederick had to come to an end. The parents had believed that Isobel would grow out of Her Infatuation with the boy, but over a year had passed now since the two had met and still that had not happened. The girl obviously needed a Talking To, she had to be made to see The Error of Her Ways.

And so the Concerned Parents sat Isobel down and explained to her The Way Of The World. They explained to her that her boyfriend, though very handsome and talented in an artistic way was, given his chosen career path, unlikely ever to have Real Money. Who then would buy her all the Gorgeous Dresses And Shoes, from the chicest shops in Anyplace, that she was so fond of? And the jewellery? And the exotic perfumes? And where would she live? Did she really want to live her life in Frederick’s poky little rented flat in a Poor Area of the city? And imagine, if they should have children, there would be no money for a nanny and she would have to raise them herself! Oh, the indignity of it all. How her friends would laugh at her!

Isobel sat there and listened to her parents. And at this point I know you want me to say that Isobel weighed her Love for Frederick against all the Shallow Concerns that her parents had raised and came down firmly on the side of Love. I’m afraid not. For Isobel was truly her parents’ daughter. She was shallow, and she was obsessed with money and position. Instead, she concluded her parents were right. Frederick had to go, he really was an Unsuitable Suitor. She had to make a Good Marriage. That way she would get all the Good Things from life that she deserved so.

The very next day she sent one of her father’s servants to the lowly area of town where Frederick lived to deliver him a letter. In the letter, she told Fredrick that she did not love him and never had, he had been but a Diversion that had Run Its Course and she no longer wanted to see him or even know him.

Poor Frederick was heart-broken. He knew he and Isobel had indeed loved each other. Why had this happened? He did not understand.

Lovelorn and lost, Frederick took to waiting outside the house where Isobel lived. He would wait until she left the property and follow her around the city. He did not do this to stress or distress, for Frederick was a Truly Good Man with nothing but Love in his Soul, rather he did it because he still loved her intensely, despite her Brutal Rejection. Even to see her from afar filled his heart with joy.

Unfortunately, Frederick’s Sad And Lost behaviour did not go unnoticed. In fact his following of Isobel’s every footstep became the Subject Of Gossip. When this Gossip reached the ears of Isobel’s father he was Deeply Disturbed. Fearing that such Gossip may damage his daughter’s chances of making a Good Marriage, he decided that Something Had To Be Done.

Now, Isobel’s father had, like all wealthy people, a dark little secret. You see, the market in Troll Depredation Insurance in the land of Anywhere is fuelled by the on-going and continuous nature of Troll attacks and general Troll-related mischief. Unknown to the public, though, the majority of said Troll attacks were instigated and paid for by Isobel’s father to keep demand for his insurance services buoyant. This was a vital constituent of his business’s marketing strategy.

For this reason, he had Extensive Contacts within the Troll community and decided to use these to “warn off” Frederick.
One night, a particularly large and vicious Troll (with a hefty payment from Isobel’s father in his pocket) snuck into the city of Anyplace under Cover Of Darkness. Stealthily, the Troll made his way to Frederick’s small flat. Skilfully and quietly he broke in, found his way into Frederick’s bedroom and bundled the hapless fellow into a Large Sack he had bought with him for just such a purpose.

Throwing the sack, kicking and screaming Frederick and all, over one burly shoulder the Troll made his way back out of Frederick’s flat and ran through the streets of Anyplace at that incredible speed that can be attained by a Troll in a hurry, that being slightly faster than the animal that you know in your world as a cheetah.

Soon, the Troll and Frederick were outside the City Limits, the Troll still running. A few minutes later and Frederick and his kidnapper were deep within an isolated patch of forest.

The Troll stopped. He dropped the sack from his shoulder and shook it until Unfortunate Fredrick fell out. Then taking a hammer and a sharp knife, before the Dazed And Confused Frederik had time to react, he sliced deep cuts up and down the poor man’s face and used the hammer to break every finger on both of his hands.

Bewildered, shocked and in deep pain Frederick lay there in the dirt of the forest floor still unsure as to what had just happened. Then all came clear. As Frederick laying crying and bleeding, the Troll crouched down next to him and told him to stay away from Isobel: if he did not then he and Frederick would meet again and that meeting would make this one seem like a cosy chat between friends.

Standing up, the Troll threw his head back and gave a long, loud and evil laugh (more for effect than anything else as Troll’s are very given to the Dramatic Gesture) before sprinting away.

Frederick is left there, in the dirt, mud and leaves, sliding in and out of consciousness, slowly bleeding to death from the wounds on his face for the Troll (for one can always have faith in the ability of a Troll to mess things up) in his enthusiastic violence, had cut far too deeply, turning what should have been a warning into a Potentially Fatal Occurrence.

And bled to death he would have done if, at that exact point had not Fate, the Blind Old Spinstress who weaves together the Threads of Our Lives, decided to intervene. For along came a Fairy.

Now, in the land of Anywhere, Fairies are pretty much universally feared. This is for two reasons. The first is that they can see deep into the Human Soul and define a person’s nature in seconds. You can hide nothing from a Fairy. The second reason is the Duality Of Their Nature. Fairies are capable of using their Not Inconsiderable Powers Of Magic for either Great Evil (their tendency to steal human children for nobody knows what purpose, for example) or Great Good. Unfortunately, Fairies have a naturally mischievous nature so they tend to come down on the evil side. Needless to say, then, people in the land of Anywhere try to avoid Fairies at all costs.

So how would this duplicitous and untrustworthy by nature Fairy choose to react to poor, injured Frederick?

Fortunately for Frederick, this particular Fairy had a Story. What you would not know in your world, is that Fairies live for precisely 897 years and 13 days. And then, they simply de-materialise and cease to exist. Now on that particular day, our particular Fairy had reached the 897th year and 3rd day of her existence. During her life she had been a particularly Mischievous Fairy and, to not mince words, she had never used her powers for good, not even once. Staring down at Frederick, now completely unconscious, she examined his Soul and saw that there was nothing bad there, he was a Truly Good Man who was full of only Love and Beauty, a man who was a painter and a True Artist, and she was moved: she could help this Good Man, and finally do a Good Thing in her life. In doing so she could not only Redeem herself but also pay tribute to the Beloved Memory of her Fairy life-partner who had reached her 897th year and 13th day just the year before and who had been, as much as it’s possible, a Good Fairy.

Seeking Her Redemption, the fairy hovered above Frederick, closed her eyes, spread her arms and opened her mouth, from which came a low humming noise followed by a cloud of glittering, golden dust which gathered around the Fairy’s head before streaming off in two directions, half of the dust cloud coating Frederick’s bleeding face, the other half his broken fingers. The wounds glittered and shone, the Fairy closed her mouth and opened her eyes, the dust disappeared and Frederick’s wounds were healed: his face was scarred and still mutilated but no longer bleeding: his fingers were knobbly and twisted and deformed, but no longer broken.

Frederick would not now die of his wounds, but the fairy was aware that there were limits to her restorative powers. Frederick would no longer be a handsome man, indeed his face would be something that, on dark nights, would scare Small Children. And his hands. His battered hands. He would never paint again. So the Fairy decided to give this Good Man one more gift. From this day on, as long as Frederick held a paint brush in his hands, Fairy magic would do the rest and he would be able to commit to canvas the beauty that was in his Soul. As a final caveat, and just because she didn’t want to besmirch the reputation of Fairies by seeming too nice, Frederick would only be able to paint the Beauty of His Soul for as long as he remained a Truly Good Man.

Her job done and feeling very Righteous, the Fairy went on her way. Now she had done something good she could spend her final days being especially bad: she was off to torment some Trolls and maybe steal a human child or two. What fun she was going to have!
Eventually Frederick awoke and found his way out of the forest. Back at his humble home he sat down and cried. What had happened to him? He remembered the Troll’s warning and the savage attack. But after that? How had his wounds healed so quickly? Somebody must have helped, but who? And why had they bothered? He had lost so much. He knew he could never see Isobel again, not just because the Troll would kill him but also because what woman would be interested in a man with such a hideously scarred face? Just as bad, Frederick realised, looking at his twisted fingers, that he’d never paint again. What was the point in living?

For some days Frederick lay in his bed trying to die but frustratingly unable to do so.

Suddenly, like an alarm clock or a small bomb going off, he was filled with an Over-powering and Irresistible urge to paint. But that was ridiculous. What could he do with his crippled fingers?

Nevertheless, within a few short minutes Frederick found himself in front of a blank canvas and a selection of paints. Awkwardly, he clasped a paint brush and gasped in amazement as his hand and arm took on a life of their own, painting a picture unbidden and unaided. He passed into a calm and warm trance, awaking only when the picture was finished. And what a picture it turned out to be. It was completely abstract in nature, shot through with beautiful colour and shapes that pleased and enticed the eye, soothed the mind and raised the spirits. Frederick saw he had just done something no artist had done before. He had created a picture of the Beauty In His Soul.

From that day Frederick would carry on painting and after a number of years was immensely rich and well-regarded, his paintings being seen as things of True Beauty, Much in Demand and Highly Valuable. And despite his physical short-comings and loss of his Beloved Isobel, Frederick became happy with his life, he would eventually move into a fine house in the Best Part Of Town and become a Noted Society Figure.
Meanwhile, things had gone badly for Isobel. Her family’s business had collapsed when a member of one of the families of the One Percent had spotted the potential in Troll Depredation Insurance and had started up a Highly Geared Business that priced Isobel’s family out of the market with Predatory Pricing.

The family’s wealth vanished like Fairy Mist on a summer’s morning and Isobel’s parents had to throw themselves upon the Government and move into Social Housing. Upon finding out that Isobel was no longer wealthy all her Fine Friends deserted her and her husband (who had turned out to not be such a good catch after all) threw her and their two children out into the street and had the doors to his fine home barred against them.

Seeking Shelter for her and the children, the Devastated Isobel went to her parents’ dilapidated Government tenement down a dark and dirty ginnel. They decided they had more than enough of their own problems and told her and her mewling brats to seek shelter elsewhere.
Desperate, Isobel could think of only one other place to go. To the home of a man who was now a Rich And Famous Artist: a man she had once loved, a man who, in her heart of hearts, she still loved. A man who perhaps still loved her.

And so Isobel appeared on Frederick’s doorstep.

Upon opening his door and seeing Isobel there, Frederick found himself lost for words as all his old feelings of love for her came flooding back. She explained her circumstances to him, begged his forgiveness for the way she had treated him and appealed for help, if not for her at least for the Children.

At that point Frederick nearly, nearly, took Isobel back into his life. But suddenly his heart hardened. He thought of the pain and physical damage she had caused him. He could not forgive her. He just could not do it. Quietly he closed the door in her face and she and her Children slunk away to be lost in the Fog Of Forgotten Stories that make up so much of history.

For a few moments, Frederick stood in the Grand Hallway of his Grand Home and thought maybe, just maybe, he should have forgiven Isobel and taken her in? Perhaps, even at this late stage, they could have built a life together? No, she had been too cruel to him, he had done The Right Thing.

Later that night, Frederick decided to try and improve what had been a bad day by painting one of his Much Desired artworks. Frederick sat in front of a blank canvas. As usual his hands and arms began their work and he lapsed into his familiar trance-like state. And then he awoke. And what was before him was a disaster. The canvas was black, just black, an expanse of flat, dead, emotionless, meaningless black paint. It was a nothingness, bereft of Beauty And Soul. In a fit of panic, Frederick grabbed another blank canvas and tried again. The result was another dead mass of black. He tried again and again, working through the night but nothing changed and by the morning he had accumulated a collection of eight worthless, pointless, lifeless black canvases.

Frederick collapsed to the floor and sobs racked his body. He knew that he had made a bad decision, done the Wrong Thing and that something inside him had died, a thing of Great Beauty had left his life for ever, a Precious Gift had been taken away and would never be returned.