Some stories written by Moose.  Hope you enjoy them.  They will change so come back another time to read some more.

Clarkson's Army

Here’s a short story I tweeted a few years ago, presented in its original form.

In the end more than 500 farmers agreed to take part in the plan. They donned their Jeremy Clarkson clothes and masks, and brought the…

ready-to-hatch duck eggs into the warm and dark. Other members of the family were dismissed during that night. The volunteers sat in the…

warmth and darkness with their precious charges. Throughout that long night the little ducklings emerged from their shells. And who was the

first person they saw? Jeremy Clarkson, of course. Or “Mummy” as the little balls of fluff preferred to think of him. For the next few days

the farmers spent every minute with the little army of ducklings, ensuring they were completely imprinted. And then, at the agreed hour,

They climbed into their various landrovers and four-wheel drives and drove through the night to arrive at Clarkson’s doorstep at dawn.

Before they released the ducklings from their little cages, they donned 21st Century clothes and took off their Clarkson masks. Quickly they

ran from that place, as the agitated throng of ducklings began to quack with ever increasing vehemence “Mummy!”, “Mummy!”, “MUMMY!”.

A bleary-eyed Jeremy stumbled from his bed to his front door unable to identify the cacophony outside. As he swung it open, they, however,

were more than able to identify the big silly duck standing in the doorway. Mummy! To this day Jeremy Clarkson is followed by a horde of

ducklings who will fight to the death to protect him, their mother. Clarkson and his duck army.


Some Jesuses

As an ex-Catholic atheist I find Jesus a fascinating character. On a couple of occasions I have improvised stories about him on twitter. By which I mean I start with the shell of an idea, and write it live, warts, typos and other literary infelicities and all.

Here they are, as tweeted.

I Had No Idea I Was Jesus

When I first came out of the desert I had no idea I was Jesus. I awoke already walking, aware at first of a grinding thirst and a dull ache

of limbs grown used to the pain. I thought at first of my wife waiting for me, the comfort of our marriage bed, the sound of the children

playing with beetles in the shade of the courtyard. So weary I would just fall asleep once more to the sound of trickling water.

But as I walked across the dry hard ground and followed the ruts into the village, the fear grew in me that she had gone away. I found it

hard to picture her face. My children, run out of the gate, left banging on its hinges. I heard their laughter fade as they ran away.

Eventually I stood by the well in the main street of our village. Dried and cracked and matted, unrecognisable. A few figures staring

my figure swimming into focus, back into their memories. Thought gone these forty days and forty nights, and suddenly dawn in that

mid-afternoon, the dawn of dread. All gone. For I am Jesus. I am alone. I have no wife no children. And my father too is dead.

This was Satan’s finest wrought work.

* * *

A Jesus

During the many long, undocumented years of his adult life, Jesus fought with himself on a daily basis.

He bit down on his drinking, the surging love he felt inside him, his anger. But it rose with the bitterness of bile in his throat.

He revelled in his apparent ability to speed up the processes of nature until they seemed like magic,

and then he felt shame at the child-like awe of those who followed him. He didn’t want to earn faith with tricks.

He pushed up against the dead weight of nepotism. The “You will do this for me”. The “If not for me, then do it for them”.

If not for them, then for yourself. One day you will have everything.

He wept, then swathed himself in robes and stepped out into the night, walked amongst the men and the women of the villages.

By day he preached and by night he fought and drank and cursed his father.

Slowly, slowly he gave in, gave up all of himself. Until at last he felt so calm, so light and empty that he could just step out of the door
And float away.

Now he waits, in silent halls, the only sound the soft pad of his feet on marble floors, the sighs lost in silken drapes.

Man’s idea of Heaven. And he fears that he will never come again.

Or that if he does, man is no longer the same creature in whose image he was made.

They will turn their blank eyes on him and devour him.



How I Met My Wife

The day I met my wife I took my lunch in a cafe I had visited several times before, half full of people just like me.

Either lunching alone with a book, the paper, or in small groups. I ate my sandwich and lingered over coffee, then headed to the loo. When I came back I noticed with a shock that my coat had gone from the back of my chair. Or, more precisely, had been swapped.

Shit. My wallet, mobile phone, car keys, everything was in my pockets. What an idiot. But, why swap it? I picked up the other coat. Not a bad coat either. I went through the pockets, expecting them to be empty, but no: here was a wallet, a mobile, keys, just like mine. And in one pocket, on its own, a folded up piece of paper with a name and an address. Lisa. And an address in a pleasant suburb.

I should have been heading back to the office, but instead I took another cup of coffee and had a think about what to do. By this point I must confess all sorts of ideas were swirling round in my head. Not a straight forward theft. Something else, tantalising.

I whiled away the afternoon in a sort of daze, wandered the streets for a while, then returned and stood outside the cafe, wondering if the coat's owner had returned. Nobody about, the cafe all locked up, dusk descending, people leaving work to go home.

I took the car keys out of my pocket and pressed the door release button. There was a chirrup of a car unlocking just up the street. I grabbed the door handle. Opened it, got in. Started the engine. Pulled out, started driving. Curiosity driving me on towards that suburb.

40 minutes later I pulled the car into the driveway and turned off the engine. I sat for a while, trying to find a way to make a decision. And then I decided not to decide. I just got out, walked up to the front door, slotted in the key. I pushed the door open and walked in.

A woman of my own age was just coming down the stairs into the hallway. She stopped at the bottom and looked at me. The expressions on her face told me the whole story. At first blank puzzlement. Then, slight panic. Then cooler, assessing, looking me over. Finally a sort of warmth, accepting and slight pity. "Lisa" I said. She came forward and took my hand.

"Oh, George" she said. "Not again".

I rested my forehead gently on hers. And that's how I met my wife.


I Start Counting

Last night I awoke with an idea fully formed in my head. I would start from zero and see how high I could count before I die. Just little bits every now and then. Write the number down each time I finished a section so I knew where to start again.

I looked at the clock. It was 2am. Too late, I thought. I'm 50 this year, I should have started when I was a child. I lay there chewing it over, the adrenalin still coursing through me. Eventually I got up and stole into my son's room.

I woke him and held him in my arms, whispering my idea into his ear, like a lullaby, as he drifted back to sleep. I wasn't sure if he had taken any of it in, and in the morning neither of us mentioned it. Today it seemed to me like an odd dream, hovering at the edge of my consciousness, almost forgotten.

I have just read to him and sat a while watching sleep take him once again. I stooped to kiss him and saw his hand lying across his chest. Still with a little of a toddler's fat to dimple the fingers. But there, in crudely formed numbers on the heel of his thumb, the number 79.


The Queen

I remember when I was a small boy my dad took me to Buckingham Palace and I met the Queen. 

We drove for ages down the country lanes and eventually got to the car park outside Buckingham Palace. “Wait here” Dad said and went in.  I looked at her picture on the sign outside the palace and wondered if they would replace it with the King's head when there was a King.

After about half an hour he came out again with a packet of crisps and a glass of coke. “The Queen sent you this” he said and left again.  Every now and then he would bring me another drink. After a while I poured them away because I was feeling hot and sick in the car.  I wanted to walk around London but he said “Stay in the car, there are robbers and knife gangs about”.

Then a lady came out of Buckingham Palace. She came up to the car & said “Are you John's boy?”. Her breath smelt sweet & scary, like dad's.

“Yes” I said. “Are you the Queen?”. She laughed and said “Yeah. I'm John's Queen alright”. She leaned on the car.

“You don't look much like your picture” I said, pointing at the sign. She laughed again. “Yeah. I kept moving about. But I am the Queen”.

She got out a packet of cigarettes and lit one. “See?” she said. “Had these made specially for me, didn't I?”.

She went back into Buckingham Palace. I didn't see her again, but later I saw Dad round the side of the Palace with a man.  He gave the man a bag and the man gave him some money. The man went off on a bike and dad got into the car.  He looked happy, a bit blurred maybe, but he smelt sweet and scary like the Queen. “Who was that man?” I asked. “Prince Philip” he replied.  “What was in the bag?” I asked. “Dog food” he said and drove out of the car park towards home.

I slept on the way back. At one point he woke me and said. “Look – your mum mustn't know I know the royals.  She doesn't like all that stuff. Tell her we broke down, never made it”. He gave me a pound note.

“Ok Dad”, I replied and sat half dozing, wondering if next time I would meet Prince Charles.



Every few weeks Nicole ties her lover to their bed. She uses the strongest, softest cord they can find.  Once she has bound him in place he cannot move. His fingers, were they to strain for the knots, would founder.  Even the strongest jaws could not tear through the threads. He is there until she releases him.

She sees in his eyes the thrill, the terror of what awaits him. She kisses him gently on the lips, bids him "Good night" and leaves him.

She shuts the door and walks down the passage to the spare room where she in turn binds herself to the bed. Round and round with the rope.  No purchase anywhere, except her nimble fingers, she trusts, can still grasp that final thread, tug it and pull the last knot towards her.  It is a delicate operation, not one for ham fists, clumsy paws or the strong thick fingers of her lover.

The room is dark, deepest black, no chink of twilight escapes through the heavy folds of curtain.  Secure in her place, her thoughts turn to the night, to her lover locked away in the other room.  She thinks she hears a moan, a gasp, a plea for release. Theirs is a passion that, untethered, would devour itself.

And though no light reaches her, she feels in the quickening of her blood, in the pricking of her palms and the bristling of her hair,

the full moon rising.