Monthly Archives: December 2016

SundayPix Special–#SUNDAYPIXtwanta

Twanta ClausIt’s CHRISTMAS! Well, nearly. All of this year’s Twantadors have proved worthy and sent a gift across the miles, often to a complete stranger. As I write this there are just nine presents still in transit, although a few of those might already be safely at their destination, yet unreported. After such a bumhole of a year, this has done my ancient paper-dry heart a world of good. Thank you, you lovely sods.

On Christmas Day (yes it’s on Sunday!) we’ll have a special edition of SundayPix. Post a photograph of your pressie on Twitter using the hashtag #SUNDAYPIXtwanta, and I’ll tell you who sent it. If you don’t want your identity revealed to your Twantee, let me know and you can remain forever a Secret Twanta.

@lgh95's Alfie taking a very strong liking to her presentYou can check the hashtag throughout the day to join in with the seventh year of Twanta’s special blend of comfort and joy. There’ll also be a Pinterest board building up throughout the day, and probably a Twitter Moment if I can work out what the hell that is.

Happy Christmas, everyone x

Familiarity (part 1)

A very short piece that promises more. For Snowflake’s Challenge.

Snowflake's Challenge logo“It is remarkably foggy out there. What if she is just lost?”

Sebaster gave her a look, then curved his body so he could lick his backside.

“She’s a witch, Johannah,” he said between licks. “Witches don’t get lost. They can do location spells and shit.”

“Well, something untoward has happened!” She eyed the cat with distaste. “Do stop doing that. It’s ghastly.” She gave him a sharp jab with her beak.

“Oi!” Sebaster hissed. “Leave me alone, you scabby old crow.”

“I am, as you well know,” Johannah preened, “A raven. Corvus corax. We are far superior to—”

“Arseholes,” Sebaster interrupted. “You’re all the bloody same, you corvids. Ravens, crows, same thing.” He licked his haunch where the bird had pecked him. “I think you’ve broken the skin, you bag of shite.”

“Oh do cease your foul-mouthed prattle. Are you not worried?”

“I’ll tell you what I am – I’m fucking hungry.” He eyed the bird for a moment, considering, then shook his head. “Nah, you’d taste shite, all stringy and cracking bones. You’d get stuck in my throat.”

Johannah looked down her beak at him, then cocked her head sideways. Her bright eyes peered into the thick fog, searching for movement. It was unusual for the bird not to tell Sebaster off for swearing, and he softened his tone a little.

“You’re really worried, aren’t you?” he asked.

“I am indeed,” she said. Sebaster sighed and stretched.

“Come on, then, buggerlugs,” he said, and jumped down off the table. Johannah fluttered down beside him.

“Where are we going?”

familiar“We’d best go look for Natty G, since it looks like she’s got herself caught up in some shite or other. Do you know where she went?”

“Oh, she was going to a wondrous place of magic! A shining city to the south that o’erflows with mysterious marvels and strange, astounding things.”

“What’s this amazing place called?”


Lindenbane (part 1)

Horror BitesA very short piece for Laura James’ ‘Horror Bites’ challenge.


What was that? Rick looked up from his laptop. The uncurtained window was dark, but for a light grey smudge: a small moth fluttering against the other side, bathing in the butterscotch glow of his desk lamp. He watched it for a while, but the soft wings brushing the cold glass made no sound. Rick went back to his writing.


windowThere it was again. The whisper of something small scratching against the window, out in the spider-black night.

<scrit scrit scrit>

It was becoming impatient. He sighed, saved his Word document, then pushed to his feet. His reflection approached ghost-like in the glass as he neared the window, and he wondered briefly if the tapping had been this ghostly doppelganger trying to get his attention.

<scrit scrit scrit>

click here to see the rest, and maybe consider becoming a patron of the Wombat arts.

Goodnight, Sunshine

Erica Margaret Fairs, 1948 - 2016

The winter sun poured a light like iced honey upon a corner of the cemetery that was sheltered by a thorny hedgerow, wherein flitted piping robins. Around twenty souls, Wombats included, had gathered around a wicker coffin suspended over a deep hole recently dug in the rough turf. We were there to celebrate the life of, and say goodbye to, one of the most caring, humorous, witty and downright mischievous women I’ve ever known. I met Erica Fairs in real life but once, though I knew her as a good friend for eight years, exchanging laughs and support and the occasional music recommendation regularly on Twitter.

The celebrant caught her life well, speaking to the importance to Erica of family, and of friends not only locally but all over the world through social media. He also spoke to the ultimate destination of the human form – gone, yes, but continuing not only physically in the genes of Erica’s children and grandchildren, but also  virtually in all our memories. I hope that her husband John, son Dan and daughter Laura (and the rest of her family, of course – her sisters look remarkably like her, and hugging them felt eerily like hugging Erica again) understand that she will also live on around the world in the memories of friends that she made in cyberspace, too. Hundreds of us, as evidenced by her Twitter profile.

Later at the wake we listened to a song that Erica herself had introduced to me, Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters”, and ate sausage plait in her honour – she made the best damned sausage plait in history, apparently, as well as stunning roast potatoes. There were readings from Beowulf, suggested by more online friends Aven and Mark in Canada, and a slideshow of photographs from Erica’s life. She seemed to be smiling in them all.

Back in Eashing Cemetery the robins had continued their dance of life as the coffin was lowered, leaving the bright sunshine behind. Those gathered let fall flowers into the grave. As my own petals settled on the wicker lid I whispered for one last time the words that I had said to her so often over the years. “Goodnight, Sunshine”.

Peace, my heart

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