Tales From The Town #9: The Doll’s Room

“Mum! Mum! We found a new room!”

“Another one?”


“It’s the second one this week!”

“This room was full of dolls!”

“They’re so creepy.”

“They all look at you!”

“And keep looking at you!”

“The whole time you’re in there!”

“And then you can hear them laughing when you leave!”

“One of them winked at me,” Daniel said. “And then her eye fell out!”

“Well, I always wondered where they all came from,” Agnes said. “You must have found their nest.”

“It’s behind Ethel’s bedroom!”

“You have to crawl through a little tunnel to get there.”

“There’s a door in my cupboard,” Ethel said. “That’s how you get in to see them.”

“And how they get out to see us!”

“There never used to be a door there,” Agnes said. “I’d have noticed.”

“We know, Mum.”

“We already told you this is a new room.”

“Well, don’t tell Oya and Anna,” Agnes said. “They might not want to know they live in a house that grows. It might frighten them.”

“Anna’s not scared of anything!” Ethel said.

“Well, Oya might be,” said Agnes. “You did say these dolls were frightening, remember?”

“We did not,” said Claire. “We said they were creepy!”

“They make you all shivery just to look at them,” Tina said.

“But they’re not scary at all,” Ethel said.

“Not even when they wink at you!” Daniel told his mother.

“And their eyes fall out!”

“And they start bleeding doll’s brains out of their eyeholes!”

“I really don’t think you should tell Oya,” Agnes said firmly.



1. Written on May 4th, 2021

Tales From The Town: Pocket Editions

These are little Tales From The Town booklets that you can keep in your pocket, all made from a single sheet of paper folded up inexpertly into a little book, with a cover and three tales on the first three pages, and then four more inside when you unfold it. (There’s nothing on the reverse of the sheet because the ink from the pens bled through the paper)

They are entirely pointless really but then entirely pointless things are the best sorts of things.

Pocket Tales #1

It didn’t last long. But it would be rebuilt forever. Permanence through transience. Memories made flesh.

The cages had been empty for quite some time. As fast as anyone could fill them, others emptied them. You can’t imagine what now lives in the woods.

It was a jungle in there.

It was always the hair it got wrong. .gnorw tog ti riah eht syawla saw tI


Pocket Tales #2

You could walk up its tail and slide down its neck. But no one ever did.

The longer you look the larger it looms.

It wasn’t very deep. But it was somehow irresistible.

They were having a party. They could eat anything they wanted. And they want to eat just about everything. (As long as it was triangular).


Pocket Tales #3

Its sadness persisted for as long as it lived.

It was impossible to see against the sea and the sky. It liked to believe it no longer existed.

You went inside so you could come back out. No one knew why it was there.

Nothing it showed mattered any more. The less useful it was, the more beautiful it became.


Pocket Tales #4

It was neither fun nor fair. We would never learn.

An abundance of life in little more than a puddle. Each day new marvels could be found.

Rusted Metal and barnacles. A strange romance, but an evocative one.

Unidentified Skeleton

Is there anything in this world better than half buried old bones?

The Top Of The Cliff

Look out to sea. Let the wind blow through your hair. Brood to your heart’s content.

The Hole

Things emerged from here more often than we liked. But to fill it in seemed unimaginable.

The Bottom Of The Cliff

The ruins of old civilisations.



1. Pocket Tales #1 was written on June 2nd, 2021
2. Pocket Tales #2 and #3 were written on June 3rd, 2021
3. Pocket Tales #4 was written on June 5th, 2021
4. I made these because it’s been sunny here, and I had some nieces and nephews staying, and so we made some things in the garden
5. I drew the pictures and wrote the words, but they suggested the topics for me to draw sometimes, especially in Pocket Tales #1 and #2
6. Pocket Tales #3 was an experiment with paint (which didn’t quite work, due to printer paper going all crinkly when wet)
7. Pocket Tales #4 was written all on my own because they had left by then and I missed them already
8. If you want to print some of these out yourself, you can use the images below if you want (click on them to get the full size versions)

Tales From The Town #8: David

He was unemployed.

He had been unemployed for some time.

He had been unemployed for so long it felt like he had always been unemployed, although of course he hadn’t. There were a couple of years of work in there, and some college, and school, and those years when you’re too young to go to school, and before that the womb.

He was unemployed and that’s all you need to know about him.



1. Written in January 2017
2. Long before this series was even an idea
3. It was part of an abandoned novel
4. Abandoned after four whole pages
5. But at least its found a home now.

Tales From The Town #7: The Most Disgusting Thing In The World

“The most disgusting thing in the world,” Claire said confidently. “Is swimming in the sea and a great big jellyfish comes along and it goes over your head like a plastic bag!”

“The most disgusting thing in the world,” Tina said. “Is having your eyeballs pulled out and turned round and pushed back in again so you can see your own brain!”

“The most disgusting thing in the world,” Ethel said. “Is waking up and finding maggots in your bed and you’ve been sleeping in your bed all night and you’re a maggot too and you’re made of maggots and you don’t even know you are a maggot you just think you’re normal but you’re not you’re a maggot!”

The most disgusting thing in the world,” Daniel said. “Is bananas.”

“‘Are’ bananas,” Ethel told her brother.

“Or ‘is’ banana,” suggested Claire.

“Is ‘a’ banana,” Tina said.

“Anyway,” said Claire, looking at both Tina and Daniel with a glare so intense it knocked over the ketchup. “Bananas aren’t disgusting at all.”

“They are,” Daniel said with a shudder, as he thought about bananas for a second too long. “They’re horrible.”

“They can’t be that disgusting,” Ethel said. “Mum eats bananas sandwiches.”

“I eat banana sandwiches,” Claire said.

“They’re still disgusting,” said Daniel. “They make me feel sick.”

“They don’t make me feel sick,” Claire said. “And even if they did, they wouldn’t be disgusting as sick!”

“Or maggots.”

“Or sick with maggots in it!”

“What about a banana with maggots in it?” Daniel asked. “And the maggots are being sick in the banana?”

“And the banana’s in a sandwich!”

“And mum’s eating the sandwich!”

“And I’m eating the sandwich!”

“And then someone shoves the sandwich right through your eye and into your brain!”

“And then your brain EXPLODES!”

“And then some pigeons come along and start eating your brains!”

“And then the pigeons explode!”

“And then we have to eat the pigeons!”

“And then we explode!”

“And then we have to eat ourselves!”

“And then we explode AGAIN!”



1. Written between the 1st and the 4th of May, 2021

Two Short Poems About The Park

Sitting In The Park

I hadn’t sat in the park for so long
I’d forgotten what sitting in the park was like
(It was like sitting in the park)


What I Saw While Sitting In The Park

There was a funfair in the park
It was empty of life
and entirely silent
And had been
(I presume)
for quite some time



1. Written on 26th May, 2021
2. In the park