Friday, 29 October 2010

These days, it's all about the Ramones

I've discovered that one of the joys of issuing a short story challenge is that you get introduced to new writers and new blogs. Jeff Chon over at Chonsense has written a brilliant short called PET SEMATARY. Check out some of the stories and poems he has linked to on his blog. I loved STAY PUT.

And the lovely Rob Kitchin puts a whole new spin on things as he actually references the Ramones in his story DEATH OF ME. Great stuff.

I'll put a full list up on Monday and post stories people without blogs have sent me. Thanks all, for playing, I'm loving reading the stories :o)

In the meantime, since I'm not yet up to posting normal Scottish crime fiction news - and I've got carried away and written three Ramones stories - rather than post them all on Monday, here's a stupid one (really stupid), based on something I've done before (ie, it's cheating, but it fitted nicely with the title).


She was a three-eyed, dome-headed beauty from the planet Bolgan and I knew she was trouble. When she walked into my office that day I was sitting with one foot up on the scratched desk top, one resting on the upturned waste-paper basket, and the third tapping gently on the floor to the sounds of the Ramones - an ancient old time punk band from the planet Earth.

The bright red glow from the two Zogian suns outside the window of my office shone through the window, causing my visitor to narrow all her eyes and squint at me in that slightly accusatory way that the Bolgans have. At that moment, the famous old adage, 'Never get involved with a three-eyed, dome-headed Bolgan beauty' passed fleetingly through my brain. I wish it had stopped for a while, pulled up a brain cell, and rested its weary feet. They say hindsight's a wonderful thing. At least, they do on the planet Mirmar where they have eyes in the backs of their pointy little heads.

Anyway, when she walked into my office I was taking a pull on the bottle of Grogon juice that I keep there to while away time on the slack days. Unfortunately, this year has been 842 slack days long. You'd think as the only PI on the planet Zog, I would be inundated with work. But no. When they sent me down to Earth to live among the pasty faced ignorant humans for a while to pick my future career path, I should have remembered that there's no crime on Zog, and focused instead on nuclear physics. In popular Earth culture classes, when all my fellow Zogians were sniggering uncontrollably over episodes of Star Trek, I was devouring the works of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers. I took up smoking, learned how to knit, insisted on being called Lord Peter, and bought a fedora. I should have bought two, since I have 2 heads, but, hey, I'm killing time by knitting myself another one from baby blue wool.

"Aratsafar Zabalagorian?" said the beauty. "Private Investigator?"

"Thatsh me shweetheart." I said through several almost immobile lips, with the slight lisp I'd cultivated (did I mention culture classes also included Humphrey Bogart films?)

I took another swig of Grogon juice and winced as it burned its fiery way down my throats. "But this stuff," I waved the glass at her, "is almost as much of a mouthful as my name. So I've changed it. My name I mean."

On my return from planet Earth, battered and well-thumbed paperbacks in hand (well, they would have been well-thumbed if I'd had thumbs, but, of course, being a Zogian, I don't), I'd decided to change my name - call myself something more in keeping with my heroic ideal of the rumpled PI with an eye for the dames, a cynical swagger, and a trusty .38 special.

"So?" she said. "What do I call you?"

"The name's Marple. But you can call me Miss."

The End (mercifully)

I'm so, so sorry, dear reader. And if you want to hear the song, it's here:


  1. Ba daaah! Nice one! I thought you didn't like sc-fi!

  2. Thanks again for all the kind words (and for curing my "writer's block"). I really like that Brain Drain songs are getting their due.

  3. Marpelous story! I can see you are getting better.

  4. Donna- I just put my entry "Danny Says" up on my blog. Thanks so much for doing this. Had a blast writing it!

  5. MJ - thanks - just silly fun :o)

    Paul - ah, but sci fi mixed with pulp fiction is different :o)

    Jeff - glad I managed to cure writer's block!
    Brain Drain is one of my favourite albums.

    Dorte - I think it's the high temperature :o)

    Jools - cheers m'dear!

    Sean - I loved it - thanks! I'm glad you had fun writing it, I've certainly had brilliant fun reading them all.