Sunday, 27 February 2011


Here's the details of Patti’s challenge; Scarry Night.

And here's my story:


Priest stood in front of the mirror, flinching at the patchwork of raw slashes.

I really don't mind the scars. It’s betrayal that cuts to the friggin’ bone.

Until this was settled he knew his constant companions would be a junkies craving for revenge and anger in the pit of his stomach burning like a pus filled ulcer.

Razorblade kisses I’ll wear for the rest of my days.

He’d been double crossed after a successful little tickle in leafy Surrey. Beaten senseless and carved up like a greasy kebab by Nick the Nonce and his goons.

Left for dead, amongst the mud and the cow shit.

The sound of car tyres on slick tarmac interrupted his reverie.

Priest snuck into the garage and unscrewed the light bulb. Rain beat a tattoo, cleansing the Saturday night detritus. A torrent of water flushing all the piss and puke and blood from the London gutters.

Could it purify my dark soul?

The garage doors swung up. A BMW saloon edged into the garage; came to a halt and the engine died.

“It’s bloody dark in here, Ernie.”

“Shut it you tart. Where’s the bleedin’ light switch?”

Ernie Bradshaw, the Nonce’s six-foot-six enforcer, got out of the motor.

“Switch the headlights on, Razorblade I can’t see a fuckin’ thing.”

White light blazed. Priest swung the Louisville Slugger; splitting Ernie’s skull down the middle like a walnut.

“Timber!” said Priest, pointing a Glock at Razorblade. “So much as sneeze and I’ll blow your swede clean off. Get out!”

Razorblade got out.

“You’ve got this coming, Razorblade,” Priest said. “Tell me where the Nonce is and I’ll do it quick. Boy Scout's honour.”

“You know the boss don’t like that name.”

Priest threw a hammer of a punch, spreading Razorblade’s nose like strawberry jam and dumping him on the floor.

Razorblade spat claret and, “At the club but he’ll be here later.” A dirty laugh came out as a whimper. “We came ahead with a little something in the car boot.”

“Who’s gonna be with him?” Priest said, pushing the pistol into his waistband.

“Phil the Greek.”

“I’d best get ready then,” Priest said, hefting the Slugger. He beat Razorblade to a pulp and added; “Now that’s what I call a homerun.”

Priest dragged Ernie and then Razorblade through to the utility room, stuffing the two bodies into a chest freezer. Sat down and sparked up a Silk Cut. Puffing hard and wiping sweat from his brow he said, “Blimey, it’s all go around here.”

He made a pot of tea and a cheese and pickle sandwich. Ate half and supped his brew in the dark thinking dark thoughts.

The blade sunk deep. Grazing cheekbone and paring back a long ribbon of stubbly skin; a fat maggot wriggling out from beneath-

Priest jolted awake, sheathed with perspiration. He’d only closed his eyes for a few seconds. But it was enough. He drank deeply from a bottle of Chivas Regal, berating himself for his carelessness.

Razorblade kisses I’ll wear for the rest of my days.

Night was turning to day when he heard the revving of a throaty car engine; a Porsche reversing into a parking space on the other side of the mews.

The gang’s all here.

Five minutes passed. Phil the Greek entered the darkened room. “Boys. You there?”

“They’re both on ice,” Priest said, cutting Phil’s throat from behind with a bread knife as easily as slicing a peach.

The Nonce was coming up the stairs talking into a mobile phone. Priest’s smile was wolverine. “Hello, Nonce. You’ve got something of mine,” he said and swung a steel toe cap. “And I want it back.”

The Nonce came to, bound to one of his Georgian dining room chairs. Naked save a pair of soiled budgie smugglers.

“A fine morning for it, Nonce,” Priest said.

The Nonce spat broken teeth and, “For what you fuckin’ hooligan?”

“A spot of pruning,” Priest said, snipping off the Nonce’s left little pinky with a pair of wire cutters.

The Nonce roared curses; wailing like a tight fan belt.

“Swallow the pain you pussy and grow yourself a pair,” Priest said, shredding the Nonce’s discarded shirt. “You’re gonna take this like a man and then you’ll tell me where those gems are hidden.” Stuffing cotton strips between the Nonce’s swollen lips he added; “So cowboy up partner.”

Whistling ‘This Little Piggy’ tunelessly, Priest trimmed the right pinky at the knuckle. The Nonce bucking and squirming did his best to swallow the gag, passing out as his bloody thumbs fell onto the shag-pile.

Priest sucked a Silk Cut down to the filter then slapped the Nonce around until he revived.

“Now for the tiny todger,” Priest said.

The Nonce peed his pants and started to blub. When he was finished Priest said, “Back in a jiffy.”

The jewellery was in the safe along with a pile of cash. “It’s all gravy,” Priest said, scooping the lot into a holdall. He poured a large glass of whisky to celebrate and ate the rest of his sandwich.

Sated and with the swag counted Priest returned to the dining room.

“Nice doing business, Nonce,” Priest said. “I’d shake on it but you’re all fingers and thumbs.”

The Nonce croaked, “You can’t leave me like this you fuckin’ psychopath.”

“Too right,” Priest said, and in a heartbeat put a bullet into the Nonce’s canister. “No loose ends or happy ending.”

On the way out Priest heard muffled sounds coming from the garage. He popped the boot of the Beamer with the ignition fob, pointing the semi-automatic.

Trussed up like a Christmas turkey a young girl stared up at him with big, teary eyes.

Just like my own precious daughter.

Cracking what he hoped was a warm smile he gently helped her out. Looking up to the heavens Priest said, “Okay, just this friggin’ once.”

(c) Alan Griffiths 2011

Friday, 25 February 2011


An invite from Ed at Byker Books:


How the devil are you? 2011 getting on your nerves yet? Well I’ve got just the thing…the launch date and venue for the latest edition in our short story collections - the mighty ‘Radgepacket 5’.

Now then, the previous four 'Radgepacket' collections have shaken up the established literary order and this one will be no exception. With twenty different stories of madness, murder and mayhem Radgepacket Volume Five will be launched on Saturday 19th March at ‘The Back Page’ in Newcastle upon Tyne between the hours of 15:00 and 17:00.

We’ve tweaked the format slightly from the first four volumes and have made the last story something of a novella (‘The Estate’ a cracking read from Danny Hill) yet Radge5 is still very cheap at only £5.99. It features contributions from 'up and comers' like Ian Ayris, Carol Fenlon and Paul Brazill and, of course, our usual mix of the unsigned and the unhinged!

As you know (or maybe you don’t!) Radgepacket was conceived and set up to promote those authors who write 'industrial strength fiction' but who never get a look in because they haven't been on Big Brother or had their bits out in the paper but we also want to produce a quality publication that gives the reader value for money and we think we've done that. In fact in this austere day and age it’s probably a crime not to buy something that works out at about 30p per story – it’s for nowt man!

For those of you who don’t know it ‘The Back Page’ is one of Britain’s best (if not the actual best) sports book shops and carries a massive range of books and other sporting paraphernalia, not to mention the friendliest staff you’ll ever meet anywhere…ever!

The full address is:

56 St. Andrews Street
Newcastle upon Tyne,

So come along, have a drink with us (might even get some nibbles – I said might…) get a copy of the new and improved Radgepacket, get it signed by the contributors in attendance and hear a bit of spiel from my good self – and hopefully a mystery guest speaker - what’s not to like?




I’m thrilled to be one of the unsigned and the unhinged!

Thursday, 24 February 2011


Very sad to read this today; an actor and television series I remember fondly...

But, very happy to read this today; can’t wait…

Saturday, 12 February 2011


I treated myself to this cracking looking book today – Truth Lies Bleeding by Tony Black.

The cover is terrific and I’m looking forward to finding out where Tony Black takes a police procedural. Tony is an author I admire tremendously. His Gus Dury novels are brilliant; Tartan Noir at its very best.

Have you treated yourself to a good book lately?

Enjoy the weekend folks!

Sunday, 6 February 2011


Naomi Johnson has kindly put together a very nice and very thorough review of Discount Noir.

Check it out over at The Drowning Machine - HERE.


I’m probably a little late to the party (usually am) but browsing around the blogosphere this morning I came across a brash new kid that has rocked-up in town.

Check out the terrific looking Pulp Carnivale HERE.

My congratulations go to the Editor in Chief, Tracy Austin. I hope Tracy gets all the support needed to make a success of this fine project – knowing the online writing community I’m sure Tracy will.

There are a couple of nasty but nice pieces of flash by Ian Ayris and Charlie Wade over there, which you really need to read.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend folks!