The Soldier and other Stories is a collection of 13 short stories. They were inspired by my love of obscure history, politics, science, dogs and Salford, the City of my birth. It is a place unlike anywhere else, a hive of crime, villainy, dignity, honor, and unbreakable spirit. I hope you enjoy them.
Rage is a superpower (Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester. Next year)
Homeless. Penniless. Forgotten. A man who lost his way finds new purpose in the most unlikely of places.
‘Frank lifted the scaffold pole from the ground and walked slowly from one to the other, pounding it down on their heads until even the blood flowing from them had stopped moving.’
The Soldier (Poets Estate, Salford. November 2000)
A series of brutal murders spreads across Salford. What could be the link between them?
‘Dane had no education and could barely read, but he knew people. He knew them in a way that no Doctor of Psychology could ever comprehend. He knew people like a hunter knows its prey. He saw their needs and their weakness. He knew how to become the shape that would fill the emptiness in their lives.’
The Cripple (Richmond, Yorkshire – or somewhere similar. Any time soon)
Society made her a victim. She turned herself into the perfect instrument of revenge.
‘The funeral was even better than she had imagined. She smiled proudly at the image of the crucified Jesus amidst the hymns and the flowers, content that the pulverized bones and organs poured into that coffin would never exploit another trusting child.’
I am Pipp (Little Hulton, Salford. The near future)
Many of us spend our final years in lonely, desperate isolation. Will robots be able to help us?
Thank You Osbourne (Medina, Washington, USA. The near future)
How will rottweilers fit into the world of the future?
The Harmony of the Three (The edge of the Galaxy. A long time from now)
A stranded overcrowded spaceship, a beautiful trusting alien, a species with 3 genders. What could possibly go wrong.
The World in Harness (Rome. 24th August 410AD)
Advertisers spend fortunes to change our behaviors and re-align our values. Could it be that someone is directing it all?