What Pegman Saw : The gravedigger


Gordie skidded to a halt, front wheel throwing up dirt and twigs. He jumped off the bike, let it drop. A crow flapped up into a nearby tree, cawed once and hunkered down.

There was the pile of twigs he and Chris had stacked to mark the spot. The thought of his friend made Gordie’s eyes prickle, but he couldn’t think of all that now, couldn’t cry.

Falling to his knees, he pushed the twigs aside, heard the thump of wood hitting dry leaves, a layer inches deep. Once the twigs were gone he began to dig. It hadn’t rained for days, so the dirt was still loose and dry, easy to scrabble away.

His fingers hit something hard. Clearing away more dirt, he saw the dull sheen, felt the cool metal as he lifted the thing free.

For Chris, he thought, tucking the revolver into his belt.


Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Street View as its inspiration. This week we are in the Basque Region of Spain. Choose an image, share, read and comment. See here to join in.

If you think those names ring a bell, then you’re right. For some reason, that discarded bike reminded me of the great coming of age film, Stand by me, which was of course based on the Stephen King story, The Body. Chris and Gordie are two of the main characters in the story.





October is coming, and you’re invited (again!)

For any of you out there who love to read or write a spooky story, here’s a fun opportunity not to miss. The very talented writer Walt Walker is running his fourth annual ‘Waltoween’ festival. It’s an opportunity for you to stretch your mind towards the eerie, the creepy and downright terrifying. Walt will be sharing selected stories all month, so get your fright pants on!


Just say it; let it clunk about in the back of your throat: October. It’s the coolest name for a month, and the coolest month by far. The earth itself (the top half, anyway) is literally cooling down, the air getting damp. Spiders are spinning webs, skeleton hands clawing their way through moist earth towards the night. Coffins creaking open, full moons shining, wolves howling. Good times.

Yes, Halloween is coming. Spookiness will soon be afoot. It’s the 4th Annual…



The month of October will once again be a month of Halloweeny fun here on Waltbox. I love a good horror story now and again. Not too often, mind you, because I scare too easily and I’m slow to recover – which may be why the genre doesn’t run too terribly deep in my writerly bones. But by way of celebrating the season I will be trotting out a…

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FFfAW : The barman and the golden girl


This week’s photo prompt is provided by Michelle DeAngelis. Thank you Michelle!

The beachfront’s infested.

I see’em on every slipway, bumping their asses against the fencing. On the beach tangled in fishing nets like red snapper.

I found a pair behind the bar this morning, making out on a crate of Bud Light. Thought it was raccoons going through the trash again.

Meg used to laugh at my bitching, shake her head as she sliced lemons for the evening. ‘Leave ’em in peace. They’re only young once.’

Maybe that’s why I’m angry. Cos that used to be me and Meg rattling beer bottles, slipping into warm, gritty sheets of sand, waking when the sun seared the backs of our necks.

Now I’m here tending bar, slopping out drunks at closing, getting turned over at least once a season by some junkie too glass-eyed to see his way to the register.

And Meg’s in an urn in the back room, my golden girl stored in tarnished plastic.


Written for Priceless Joy’s FFfAW. See the pic and write a tale. Don’t forget to share, read and comment here.


Weekend Writing Prompt #72 : Shell



Lipstick, mascara, hairspray, her shell was complete. Her real self hidden. Protected.


Written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #72. No, it’s not the weekend, but I thought I’d sneak in and scribble an offering anyway. See here to join in the fun.

Online anthology goes live

Ever stuck on the bus, longing to escape the nose to tail brake lights and cloud of body odour and halitosis emanating from the man pressed slightly-too-close beside you?

Tired of reading about celebrity cellulite/ nose jobs/ make ups/ break ups and seeing endless pics of your cousins’s perfect kids smiling on the beach/ in their school uniform/ at ballet, tap, taekwondo, Brazilian capoeira classes on your social media feed?

Would you like to escape to snow capped mountains/ run away to join the circus, travelling chainsaw jugglers, vacuum salesman/ find somewhere magical, terrifying or beautiful to hide, if only for a while? Then I’m delighted to announce, I have good news.

The tireless and tirelessly imaginative Sammi Cox has launched a new anthology on WordPress,

Outcast and other words.

The anthology has 52 themed chapters and brings together contributions from a year’s worth of her weekly writing prompts. There’s poetry and stories on every subject from Shadows to Colours, Remedy to Moonstruck, Ragtag & Wanderlust.

I’m delighted to say, I have two shorts in the collection – see Chapter 11: Guardian and Chapter 44: Fallen if you need a short fiction fix.

If your need is for something longer, Sammi’s Oathbreaker is available to read on Wattpad, in fact, it’s just been included on the Watty’s 2018 long list …

Eleri, priestess of the Green Lady, has waited for so long to marry her tribe’s champion, Celyn. Finally, the date is set for Midsummer’s Eve, when the tribes have gathered in the valley to celebrate the longest day at the stone circle perched up on the hill. But nothing is as it seems…

A glimpse of a bird circling over the stones foretells of doom…and maybe even death.

An oath is made. An oath is broken. And Eleri’s life changes forever…

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

And Sammi’s weekly prompt is ongoing, so if you’d like to join in for some inspiration, pop along to her blog, here.

Happy reading and scribbling, folks!




FFfAW : In search of other colours


This week’s photo prompt is provided by wildverbs. Thank you wildverbs!


I rub my palm on the misted bus window, clearing a porthole of clean glass to peer through. Lawns stretch along straight roads, dust-dulled grass cut by grey tarmac, grey houses, grey pavements.

There’s a man mowing his lawn, stooped back turned towards me, grey head down as he follows the straight line in the grass. His cardigan flaps in the breeze, the colour of gunmetal. He could almost be my dad, bent under the weight of geometric lawns, pub and pint Saturdays, roast beef Sundays, back to work Mondays.

The bus passes on and leaves the man behind and I begin my search for other colours.


Written for the FFfAW Challenge. See the pic and write a tale, share, read and comment. See here to join in the fun.

The image of green and grey through a gloomy window reminded me of one of my favourite New Model Army songs, Green and Grey. The song is all about someone who escapes a small town life … and the people they leave behind.

Win a Doodle! Hooray and Huzzah!

This is a fun way to have a chance of winning a doodle by the very talented Mike Allegra. Do read the other entries – some are truly jaw dropping!


I really like hosting blog contests!

And I really, really like doodling!

And I really, really, really like the fact that some people like my doodles!

So it is time once again for my semi-annual


Who will be the lucky winner? Will it be YOU?

The grand (and only) prize will be a custom made, one-of-a-kind, Mike Allegra doodle of ANYTHING YOU WANT!

“Anything?” you ask.

Yes, anything—provided that “anything” isn’t perverted. I’m a children’s book author, after all, so get your mind out of the gutter!

Otherwise, yes. ANYTHING!

Past contest winners have asked for all kinds of doodles. Like exotic birds…

(Click to enlarge.)

A caffeine gnome…

(Click to enlarge.)

A raven shapeshifter (whatever that is)…

(Click to enlarge.)

A woman doing yoga and holding a pen as the ghost of her dearly departed dog looks on…

(Click to enlarge.)

And (of course) that…

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