Title: The Curious Case of the Tufty Club Killer
Word count: 614
‘Good Lord, Holmes, the stench … it’s unbearable!’
‘Come now, Watson, this is hardly a time for squeamishness.’ Holmes pressed a lavender-scented handkerchief under his nose and nodded for McKeith to continue.
She leant closer. ‘As you can see, gentleman, the evidence is firm, has good texture,’ McKeith prodded at it with her pen, ‘a strong ruddy complexion and very little mucal residue.’
‘Fascinating,’ said Holmes.
A guttural hacking noise escaped from behind Watson’s sleeve. ‘I’m sorry, Holmes. I’m afraid it’s giving me the boke.’
Holmes tutted. ‘Is there anything else you can tell us?’
‘Not really, not without getting my hands dirty. It’s a fascinating specimen. Quite small, yes, but no less intriguing. Whoever left this behind certainly has a good diet. Lots of fibre.’
‘And what do you make of these, Miss McKeith?’ Holmes said, pointing at little whiteish yellow nuggets that peppered the offending article.
‘I’m not sure.’ She teased the specimen apart with a ruler. ‘They look to me like … hazelnuts?’ The amateur scientist’s shrew-like face creased with incomprehension.
‘Indeed they do. And have you ever examined evidence that was inundated with these before?’
A fat blue bottle buzzed irritatingly nearby.
‘No, never. I’ve studied thousands of deposits in my time, but never one so … nutty.’
‘Precisely. A fact that leads me to conject that The Tufty Club Killer may not be a man at all!’
‘Surely you’re not suggesting a member of the fairer sex could perpetrate such horrors, Holmes!’ Watson blurted.
‘On the contrary. I do not believe our suspect is a woman at all, or a man.’
‘Good heavens, Holmes, whatever do you mean?’
‘Let us consider the facts. Lord Topic was killed in the reading room of the now infamous Tufty Club, as was lord Treat, and Viscount Toffee.’ Watson nodded.
‘In this instance, the window to the reading room had not been forced, although a small gap was in evidence where the late Lord Topic had allowed some fresh air to circulate.’
‘A blow dart!’ Watson declared excitedly. ‘He was poisoned after all.’
‘Poisoned indeed! But not by a blow dart.’
‘Then what, Holmes?’
‘Did you observe the tiny scratch marks on the victim’s neck?’
‘Why, no!’ Watson cursed his lack of rigour. Holmes’ ability to absorb the minutia of a murder scene bordered on the preternatural.
‘Scratch marks that would be consistent with those of a small mammal.’
‘What on earth are you suggesting, man?’
Miss McKeith had returned to her evidence, sniffing it tentatively.
‘It is my belief that a trained animal, its claws coated with contact poison, was responsible for Lord Topic’s untimely demise.’
‘A trained animal?’ Watson was plainly astonished. ‘Surely not another ophidian assassin?’
‘No, a creature far less exotic. Sciurus carolinensis, to be precise. Or to you and I, the grey squirrel.’
‘A squirrel! But that’s preposterous! How can you be so sure?’
‘The scratch marks are entirely consistent with those of a small rodent and the gap at the window could not have given egress to a larger mammal.’
‘A rat, then?’ Watson opined.
‘Possibly, but the Tufty Club reading room is on the second floor. No rat could have scaled that exterior wall.’
‘What’s more, intelligent a rats undoubtedly are, training them is notoriously difficult. Unlike the common squirrel.’
‘But how can you be so sure?’
‘One final piece of evidence. The proof that convinced me my gut instincts were correct … the stool.’
‘Only one creature in the United Kingdom subsists on hazelnuts in suck quantities: the grey squirrel. This ruled the rat out entirely.’
‘Holmes, that’s astounding. Such erudition!’
‘Nonsense, my good fellow, you flatter me. It was alimentary my dear Watson, alimentary.’
A temple of rock teetered behind the café’s sugar-glazed clear plastic counter; pink, red, blue, every colour. She swatted away a buzzing supplicant and stared at the postcard. She’d got this far: Gill McDonald, 74 Ocean Drive, Prestwick, Ayrshire, KA9 1NX.
Margaret put the pen aside and looked across the beach. A low autumnal sun filtered across the brown sea and mustard-coloured sand. A man was leading donkeys off the beach and the kid’s ball pool was putting on shutters. She could smell chips. The emptying arcades were a swell of bleeps, ditties, ka-chunks and sirens. By the water, a figure swept a metal detector back and forth in slow deliberate motions.
Dear Gill, she started. The pen was thick in her fingers. She’d bought it earlier from a seafront gift shop. It said Scarborough on the bottom half, and the other had a picture of a hunky man wearing black trunks. She tilted the pen and watched as the man’s trunks slowly disappeared.
Dear Gill. Was that right? Surely that’s the only way to start a postcard? But maybe now was the time to break with tradition. She’d come this far. She turned the postcard over and looked at the front. A wee hen-pecked bald guy was talking to an equally feeble looking specimen. A gargantuan woman stood scowling at the one Margaret assumed was the husband of the pair. If all brides are beautiful, the husband was saying, where the Hell do ugly wives come from?
She’d chosen it on a whim. It was probably the least offensive or twee. She wasn’t sure why she’d picked it.
Do you want another tea, luv, the man said. He nodded at her empty mug. Please. You Scotch? he asked, smiling. She nodded. We get a lot of Scotch here. ‘Specially works weekend. She smiled again. He came back with another tea.
Dear Gill, she read back, formulating the next line when she was startled by a group of motorcycles speeding along the front. Scooters. Some of the bikes had more mirrors than they needed. One sported a foxtail on an aerial. Its rider wore an old army coat and a tie. She stared after them.
We’re closing soon, luv, the man said. Mmm? Closing. In about ten minutes. Thanks, she said. He smiled apologetically. Margaret got up, stuffing the postcard into her pocket. She looked at all the sweets on display, the rock dummys, candy canes, toffee apples, and what looked like a fried breakfast on a paper plate made entirely from rock.
We can write anything inside them you know, the man said. We’ve got a machine. Anything? Anything that’ll fit, so it has to be short … or a real big stick of rock. Most people like names, kids and that. How much is it? she asked. For one? £2.00. Takes about ten minutes.
The man chuckled as he handed her her personalised stick of rock.
Fuck you, Gill, the glistening pink text read, glad you’re not here.
She might even post it tomorrow.
Title: Butt boy and Fag Hag get laid
Word count: 1,800
Published in One Magazine issue 1 as Up for it
‘Ony Fliers? Fir roach. Cheers. Aye, d’yi ken the lassie, eh?.. No? Yi must ken her, man, she’s nae exactly hard tae miss! She wis there the Saeturday afore last, at Luvely, ken? Wi they lassies thit cum thru fae Bathgate? Yi ken the shower? Yi should ay fucking seen her but man. Set the fucking place alight. What a fucking boady, what a fuckin erse… An her hair, man, ken? It was fucking right up tae here? Bleached acid blonde, but wi all these fluorescent threads weaved through, ken? Aw changing colour as she danced aboot. Man, she was blinding. What a ride. Pure fucking gorgeous. She had this toap on an aw, camo, but wi black pvc through it. Wankfuckintastic.
So onyroad, she’s dancing awa wi all these benders, and the DJ’s giving it some, likesay, pure hard as fuck house stuff. No bad really. Pretty banging. So ahm up dancing beside her, fuckin swivelling ma hips aboot, pumping ma airms in the air. Ahm off ma nut onyways – yir man hid come through wi pills and charlie, ken? So ahm doing aw that fag dancing. Pure sweating too, running doon my face, in ma eyes n that. So ahm mincing, totally fucking flashing my eyelids, pouting, the fucking works. Ahm gay as fuck, man. Ahm like a boy band, totally getting intae it, doing they thing aw the poofs do, with their airms ken? Like this? So these dinner mashers beside me are giving it wee smiles, looking over. An yi should have seen me. Ah deserved a fuckin Oscar. This muscley cunt starts chatting me up, gies me a blast ay his poppers, keeps looking over n that, asking me aboot my tattoo, running his fingers over it, pure leering. Man, my fucking skin crawled at the thought ay where that mining bastard’s han’s had been, but it’s aw pert ay the game plan, no? So ah just flirt back a wee bit, for show likesay. Slick as fuck. I could see a few ay these sad bastard straight boys aw standing aboot roond the edge ay the dance floor, scowling, resenting the poofs, fucking hating thim for being better looking, hating thim cos aw the birds they’ll niver pull are melting thir draws at the thought ay being pummelled by one ay them, hating the cunts cos thir happier. You could feel the fucking resentment on the edge of the dance floor. Sad cunts.
So then she wis looking over at me, seeing me getting perved by all these bent cunts, and I could see in her eyes that she’s thinking he’s fucking gorgeous, but nae such a prima dona queen that he’d be unapproachable, no the kind of fag that’s so fucking up himself that if his cock wis a wee bit longer, it’d niver be oot ay his own arse… Eh??? Who they fuck are yi callin Bogart, yi shylock cunt? At least ahm no a fuckin top-loader. Pass us wan eh they tinnies then. Cheers.
So she starts dancing wi me, grinding herself up against me, and the tatt stroker’s looking a bitty pissed off. And here’s me tryin ma best nae tae crack a woody an aw, thinking nasty thoughts – yir ma being shagged by Brian Clough, shit like that – but it’s nae working and ahm starting tae rise tae the occasion. But ah cannae give the game away jist yet, if she susses me ahm fuckin dead meat. So ah tell her ahm awa tae sit doon for a bit, thit ahm knackered and want tae chill fir a whiley.
So there we wir man, sat by the edge of the main dance floor, sharing a bottle ay water. You’d ay been well impressed wi me. Just chatting, ken? Birds are so relaxed wi poofs. They just treat yi like another lassie. It’s cool too, cos yi see a side ay thim ah swear yi just niver normally get tae see as a guy, and it’s a shame too, cos thir so much cooler and less nippy when thir like that. Fuckin brutal but eh? She’s asking me aw aboot the tatt stroker, who he is, ken? Whither ah fancy him or no, aw that. So ken, ah play up tae it a wee bit, making oot like ah think he’s no bad, and ah ken him a wee bit, that ah’ve seen him around. Snogged him before. Just shite like’s. Ah steer the conversation back ontae herself, ken, ah’d wasted enough time setting the scene. So ah’m sussing her oot a bit. Checking oot who she’s here wi, whither she’s goat a boyfriend and aw that. What she’s dropped. And it’s looking fuckin sweet. Her fellae’s away oot wi his mates tae Mad Dogs. She says he hates fag music and him and his pals winnae even set foot in a club like Luvely. I ken the type. Mair fool them’s all I say. Dance wi the herd and dinnae be surprised when yi wake up beside a heifer.
So there ah ahm, and she’s feeling aw safe wi me, so ah reckon the time’s right tae play ma first card.
‘Ah just dinnae ken sometimes’, ah says. ‘Steven’s really nice tae me, he’s a great guy, gorgeous’ – made sure I’d alridy telt her my man was awa oot wi other mates tonight – ‘But sometimes ahm just nae even sure if ah fancy him anymore, ken? It’s no that I fancy anyone else, it’s just the whole thing… The gay scene, it’s so fuckin false? Ken what I mean?’ – ahm sayin, and she’s totally lapping it up. Aye, yi might laugh yi cunt.
But ahm saving the ace up ma sleeve for just the right moment, when ah’ve been whinging on aboot my sexuality and ma love life fir aboot haif a fuckin oor, aw my doubts, aw ma heartache. Man, I wis going tae be gutted if she didnae go fir it the amount ay ground work. So aefter a while she’s stroking ma hair, looking intae ma eyes, totally fucking wanting gagging. So ah’ve just spun her the ‘Ah’ve niver even kissed a girl before,’ line, when she pulls me towards her and starts necking me. Wi made off pretty sharp aefter that, back tae her flat. Yi ken yirself thir’s nae way ah could huv taken her back tae mine, she’d ay sussed ah wisnae a turd burglar as soon as she opened the fucking door, n aw the effort wid ay been fir fuck aw.
The rest, as they say, is history ma boy. Waiverin Davy strikes another blow for straight guys iverywhere.
Aye, we went tae Luvley… Nah, it’s at the Liquid Rooms now. Hadnae been for a while – too many wee straight cunts trying to fire in. Fuck’s sake, ken, that’s why we go tae these places: Tae gat away from nippy wee neds wanting in your pants… Aye, ah ken, fuck’s sake. You wanting the rest of that?
Onyroad, we had tae queue for fucking ages cos that daft wee cow Nicola – ken Nicola? Wee hinger that’s shaggin Marty Blaine? Aye, tight curls and too much make-up – she’d gone and forgotten her fucking ticket. Left it in her other coat or something, so we end up standing ootside freezing our tits off for nearly a fucking hour. Ah wisnae well chuffed likes. Anyway, we wir meeting Sparks, Coaly and Andy inside. They’d aw been away doon at The Street wi thir mates. But it was worth it when we finally got in the place. That Nicola took everyone’s coats too, saying sorry likes. Suited me, we didnae see her again for nearly another hour. Poor bitch must have had tae queue for ages again. Mind you, it wis her ain fault.
Took a wee while for Donny’s pills tae kick in, but, but when I was up it was fucking mental. That boy, him that does nights at Bugged Out wis playing, guest DJ and that. It was pretty good, housey maistly, but it got a wee bit too hard house near the end, bitty too fast for me, but it was cool watching aw they gorgeous poofs wi thir shirts off, aw muscles tattoos and sweaty boadies, ken? Jist how we like it. Ken…
Talking ay fit poofs, ah seen that boy again, Gregor simbody, ken? The boy thit eywis wears one ay those Cyberdog t-shirts, the ones wi the rubber bits on? He is sooo fucking cool. What a shag. Aye, ken! What a fucking waste of a good man. He wis dancing wi this wee guy for a while, one ay those ned poofs – kind of cute in a desperate sort ay way. It so looked like he was trying to fire into Gregor. The wee neddy boy wanted Gregor’s cock up him something bad. So did ah, but. Onyroad, Gregor was pretty much just fanny-baiting again, ken, coming up and dancing with me, rubbing his packet up and down my back. I could feel his cock and balls pure squashing against me. I swear my knickers were soppin. So the evil bastard is getting me all horny and ahm totally wanting him, but this wee neddy poof that had been chatting him up suddenly starts dancing with me, doing the same, and I swear he cracked a stiffy so here’s me thinking thir’s mair tae this one than meets the eye… Nah, he wis pretty nice looking but you could tell he wis trying his best not to look gay. It wis a shame really. So anyway, ah end up sitting wi this guy, Danny or something, and we get chatting. And you ken me when ahm pilled up, talk tae any cunt. And he seemed pretty nice anyway. He starts going on about his crap love life and that, but ah wisnae really interested, ah just wanted tae ken how he knew Gregor. See what the gen was on him. The boy said he’d snogged Gregor before, and he knew him a bit, but the cunt said his name was Gary. Said he’d tapped off with him before too – that’ll be shinning. But, yi ken what they say, ‘Any port in a storm.’ And let’s face it, any port in ‘sailor boy’ harbour is better than Leith docks. So the poor guy is whinging on aboot his boyfriend and ahm feeling myself going off the boil and ah just fire intae him – just tae give the cunt a kick start mair than anything else.
So that wis that, took him back tae mine an converted yet another wayward wanderer from loves hairy back alley… Nah, he wis a bit of a shit ride tae be honest. You could tell he hadnae iver been wi a lassie before. Had tae practically guide the cunt tae mah clit. Ended up finishing myself off aefter he fell asleep… Couldnae get the cunt oot ay the flat fast enough in the morning.
Next weekend? Is it no Joy? Bet Gregor’ll be at that. Can you get whiz sorted? … Aye, ken, they aw end up succumbing tae ma charms in the end.
Aye, it was an okay night. Och, I dunno though, it’s no really the same these days. It’s aw straight guys and fag-hags. Aye… You got the lighter? Is this your weed or Gavin’s? Cheers darling. Ah mean, it’s no as if the cunts dinnae have enough clubs of their own. Even Joy’s getting like that. Aye. Mind when the straights first started turning up? The bouncers would ask the guys if they were gay? They schemeie bastards might have been bent, but they wernae fucking gay. If they were poofs I’m Mike Tyson … You’d be so lucky, darling. I’ll maybe bite your ear off.
Then they started telling them it was a gay night and they’d just say ‘Aye, I know’ and come in anyway. Last I heard the bouncers don’t even bother asking anymore and just let them straight in.
Paul got us in on the guest list but we still had to prick about finding Emma to check our names off. Had you had much? Ah’d only had half an E and a couple of lines. Took a wee bit in with me too, for emergencies. Had mah poppers of course. …Aye, mah boady’s a temple during the week, but it moves tae Baghdad on Friday night.
So anyway, there I am dancing away, checking out the talent, getting the usual come-on’s from fag hags, when this cute wee neddy poof starts giving me the eye. Dinnae think I’d seen him around. Anyway, he asks me for a sniff of ma poppers, so I give him some and start fingering his tattoo – testing the water. To be honest I thought he was straight at first but you know what they say: The difference between a straight guy and a gay guy’s about five pints …Aye, well, maybe eight in your case.
So there I am, dancing away with this guy, but then he starts flirting wi that straight lassie? Ken the one, with the big hair? From Livingston or some oot-west shithole. Aye, she knows Sparks and Coaly? That’s her. Bit desperate, but nice enough I suppose. Anyway, I’m thinking this is no fucking good, what’s the story here? Is the neddy boy batting for the Best or is he batting for the Rest, ken? So I’m thinking he better no be one ay those greedy bi cunts. So ah say to myself this is one boy that’s got to decide which fucking side of the fence he’s on, you know? So anyway, I dance beside them for a wee whiley, and then they go off and sit down by the back stairs. To be honest I forgot all about him for a whiley cos Marshall Amp came on to do his set and he was fucking blinding.
Anyway, cutting a long story short I go for a piss and the bogs are pretty busy but who do I see at the urinal but this neddy boy, Donny or something, so I squeeze in beside him and say hi. Make sure he clocks me checking out his cock …Eh? Aye, okay I suppose. Bit veiny though, ken? One of those knobs that wouldn’t look out of place in a basket with a bottle of red wine. So anyway, I ask him if he fancies a line of coke, in one of cubicles, so he’s like okay, and follows me in.
So I squeeze in beside him and offer him another blast of poppers. He fucking snorts it doon and cracks this big cheesey grin. So then I take a sniff myself while I’m chopping out the Charlie and my head’s like whoa! So I grab his hand and put it against my chest and go Can you feel my heart pure racing? And he’s like Aye, but he disnae pull his hand away, so then a look straight at him, right in the eyes, and start guiding his hand down to my cock. Sure as shit, he disnae try and stop me, and the next thing he’s got his hand on my cock, which is just about bursting out of my jeans. Can you feel it throbbing? I says… Ha, ha! Ken, Fucking Don Juan or what? And he gulps, and he’s like Aye, so we start necking. Then I says to him, Have you ever had a swiss roll? And his fucking eyes narrow and he’s like A swiss roll? All cagey like. So I pull out my dick and sprinkle a line of charlie along it. Next thing the boy’s on his knees gamming me. Didnae let me bolt in his mouth though.
So here’s me back oot on the dance floor, feeling smug, sure this boy had been set back on the bent and narrow, when what do I clock out the corner of my eye? Half an hour later the cheeky wee cunt’s leaving with that acid blonde bitch! Just goes to show, but, eh? …Aye, Fucking waste of good coke, though.
This is a bunch of daft wee B movie trailers we did for the last Bloc show. Thought I’d post the here as they’re nice and short. Would love to write more of these though and will add some new ones as and when. If you have a great idea for a title, drop me a line and I’ll write it up for you.
Asad thought he knew terror, thought he’d seen the worst the world had to offer. At the age of five he’d watched as his mother was shot and his father bludgeoned to death before his very eyes. At seven he was press ganged into the ranks of the local warlord’s personal militia. By the age of ten Asad had killed three men and could strip and reassemble his AK47 in less than a minute. But nothing could prepare him for the supernatural, alien terror that was about to tear his world apart.
It had been a normal day of terrorising refugees, drinking with his buddies and hanging recklessly from jeeps when the first victim appeared.
‘AAHHH!’ Ghedi screamed, peering into his pants and running amok around the compound. The men jumped to their feet. ‘It’s gone! Someone has taken my juju!’ A hush descended on the camp. How could this be? Comrades grabbed for their shorts and Hijabs, terror graven onto their faces as madness erupted in the desert. Only Asad held his own.
Burning Tyre Films in association with Scottish Screen bring you the new movie from maverick Scottish director Mad Mick McNab.
Can you face you worst fear in THE INVASION OF THE BOABY SNATCHERS!!!
Aye this hotel isnae what it used to be. The Overstretched they ca’ed it my day. Noo the ainly way I can get a show is if a look aefter the place over the winter. Sanofy big, gloomy place. But it lets me get on wi my rehearsing, sketching oot ideas. Fir my new comedy show, Here’s Stanley. All work and no play an all that. Just got tae get it in front ay those wankers at the BBC. Yon erse – God rest his soul – Fulton was oan ivery Hogmany! Talentless cunt. I’m a pro. Aye, pour us another. Awfy big empty ballroom this mind, but I’d ay filled it back in ma day, oh aye. Whit? Room 237. Ahm no feart ay that bludy place! A wis Mr Fuckin Majeika! Scared? Ahm a buggery! I’ll go up there right noo! Then we’ll see who’s the scaredy! . . .
Hello? Hello? Onybidy there? Ahm comin in. Slowly likes. Are yi in the bath? Whae is that? Is there someone in the bath? – ahh ya bastard!!!!!
Any man can face the challenge of a failing career, the scorn of his peers, even a dead end job as a hotel caretaker. But can you face the unholy, blood vessel popping terror that is STANLEY BAXTER’S – THE SHINER!!!
Kelsie had been to more warehouse parties than you’d care to mention. Him and his buddies skelped around every orbital road in the central belt in search of the next big set. Generators, cammo nets, bonfires and dogs on strings. None of these things held any fear for Kelsie and his boys. Only the unwelcome attentions of the fuzz could dampen their party sprits.
This particular night had seemed just like any other. Sitting in the pub, necking a couple of eckies and chasing them down with brandy and Kronberg, fingers blurring texts back and forth across the ether. The stash was stashed. The carry out was in Brian’s car, and Kelsie’s ipod was crammed with banging tunes. Noah the Bam killed time by prerolling spliff after spliff and stashing them in a tinnie under the table. Then the text finally came.
A log cabin in the woods wasn’t exactly what they’d expected, but they’d partied in stranger places. The sounds were kicking and a bunch of punters milled about on the porch toking and dancing. The bevying eventually took its toll and Kelise wandered off into the woods for a slash. That was when he saw it. The body. A dead woman, naked and hanging upside down in a tree. Kelise screamed.
Can you stand the repetitive rhythms and gnarly comedown that is I SPIT ON YOUR RAVE!!!
‘Haggis is a cut throat business,’ Macsween told me. The knife he was sharpening hissed seductively as it ground against the lathe. He hummed some unrecognisable ditty. There was something gleeful and, if I’m being honest, a little disturbing about the guy, but he was disarmingly charismatic too. Macsween was beyond reproach. Guardian of the finest haggis recipe in Scotland, Macsween’s wears were toasted at Burn’s suppers across the globe. Gordon Ramsay himself confessed that ‘nothing goes better with swede and potatoes than that cunt Macsween’s haggis.’ Even celebrity jack-the-lad Jamie Oliver had agreed that Macsween made ‘pucka’ haggis neeps and tatties. But there was something here that just didn’t sit right in the stomach. I’d been on the trail of a killer the papers had dubbed ‘That offal Man’ for three long months. He stalked the capital’s streets leaving behind a grisly signature of gutless cadavers. And somehow that trail had led me here.
‘Have a seat inspector,’ Mcsween cooed. ‘This is my speciality.’ I took up my knife and fork and was overpowered by the most mouth-watering aroma I’d ever smelt. Mcsween deposited the plate in front of me. Buttery mash with just a hint of chive, lightly peppered mashed turnip and the piece de resistance, the most delectable, oaty, spice laden haggis I’d ever tasted. Immediately my stomach began to churn like Corryvrekan.
‘Ah, that sound, there’s nothing like it.’ Macsween said listening to my gastronomic contortions. ‘Only the most agitated of intestines can produce such sweet melodies … or indeed, that flavour.’
Suddenly I felt cold steel against my throat…
Be sure you don’t empty your bowels with fear when you come face to face with … MCSWEEN’S TODD!