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Disclaimer: the views expressed by the characters in these works may not necessarily represent the views of the author. Got that? Good.

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Friday, 15 January 2010

#FridayFlash: Messrs Swazzle, Pogmorten and the U.C.F.

Twinkle was pissed off. It just wasn’t fair, she thought as she trudged along, hands stuffed deep in her pockets, hood pulled well over her face. Why did she have to be the youngest?

And why did she always get the crap jobs?

Pausing for a moment, Twinkle tightened the laces of her 14-hole Doc Marten boots. Even her Cloak of Humanity was a hand-me-down and didn’t fit properly, her wings were beginning to chafe already. The boots were a nice touch though, no one wanted to mess with a girl in boots like those.

A group of youths sitting on a garden wall on the other side of the street, jeered at her as they drank their late night cans of cheap super-strength lager, though none of them had the courage to abandon the safety of the pack and face Twinkle directly.

‘Fuck off!’ she snapped back at them. One look at Twinkle’s expression silenced them instantly.

That’s right, Twinkle fumed to herself, tonight is not the night to be acting like idiots and picking a fight with me. I have work to be doing.

All Twinkle wanted was to be like her sisters, to be a proper Urban Combat Fairy, instead she was stuck with this crappy job because none of them wanted to do it. Ok, Ok, if she got it done, they’d let her join, but honestly, what a job. Didn’t they realise how difficult it was to track Christmas Pixies at the best of times, but in the middle of January when they ought to be hibernating? It was almost impossible. Everyone knew that. And rogue Pixies could be especially tricky.

Twinkle patted her pocket for reassurance, feeling the comforting bulk of the Banshee pistol under her jacket. Her sisters had given it to her, but the ammunition, that had been down to her to acquire and had taken some finding at this time of year.

Didn’t the Big Folk realise how valuable those things were? What the Little Folk used them for, and what they could fetch on the open market if you had the right contacts? So why, oh why, did they festoon their Christmas trees with them and throw so many away after New Year? Crying bloody shame, thought Twinkle.

It had taken her ages to hand carve each of the candy canes she’d found in a bin behind the shops, but now six bullets nestled in the pistol’s magazine. Twinkle wasn’t even sure what range they’d have on them being past their sell by date, but they were all she could find – six, finely crafted, red and white striped points of death. She’d just have to get close. Real close.

Now, she thought, all I have to do is find those bloody Pixies.

* * *

Nearby, dangerously nearby had they known it, Messrs Pogmorten and Swazzle were settling down for the night in a wheelie bin. Normally they would have been hibernating, but being on the run had a strange way of concentrating the mind towards not falling asleep for too long in the same place, at least according to Mr Pogmorten.

‘What was your worst ever Christmas present?’ Mr Swazzle asked.

‘That bag of used cat litter,’ replied Mr Pogmorten with a yawn.

‘Really? I thought it was quite tasty,’ replied Mr Swazzle, tucking himself into a carrier bag of soiled nappies for the night. Suddenly he froze.

‘You hear that?’ Swazzle hissed.

‘Nope,’ replied Pogmorten dreamily.

‘There’s somebody out there,’ Swazzle insisted, ‘or something. Go and have a look would you, see who it is.’

‘Get stuffed! You look, I’ve just got comfy.’

Swazzle, grumbling, was on the point of crawling out from his bag of nappies when there began a rapid banging on the outside of the bin which sent both him and Pogmorton reeling.

Their ears were still ringing when, a few seconds later, Twinkle whipped open the lid of the bin.

‘Gotcha!’ she exclaimed with grim satisfaction before emptying her full clip into their still stunned bodies.

Swazzle took a round clean through the forehead, killing him instantly. Pogmorten took two in the chest, the second of which pulverised his dark little Pixie heart.

* * *

Twinkle swaggered along the street whistling cheerfully to herself, the bodies of the two dead Pixies swinging from her belt. Contenting herself with the thought that her sisters would have to accept her into the UCF now, she did allow herself a passing thought as to why the Pixies had been declared rogue in the first place.


I hope you enjoyed the story. Don't forget to check out the rest of this week's #fridayflash stories by searching the #fridayflash hashtag on Twitter, or by visiting the #fridayflash Facebook page.

While you're at it, you might, if you haven't already, like to read and vote for your favourite story in the #fridayflash 2009 Reader's Choice Award poll over at Mad Utopia. Seven great stories are nominated, including "First Foot" by yours truly. I'm sure all the authors would appreciate your support.



Cascade Lily said...

Take that Pixies! Ya don't stop for sleep when you're being tracked by a gal in 14-holers.

Loved "Urban Combat Fairy". Great concept.

Not too sure - can you have a 'tirade' of something? (And you have 'here' instead of 'hear' just after the jump.)

Cute post-Christmas caper. I also liked your last line a lot. All is not what it seems? LOL

Anonymous said...

Interesting story as for me. I'd like to read a bit more concerning this theme. Thanx for sharing that information.
Joan Stepsen
Hi tech gadgets

Gentian said...

I wear 14 hole Doc Martens boots too :)Great story. I always enjoy reading them.

Michael Solender said...

Great concept - very funny!

Sam said...

Cascade Lily - LOL, glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for spotting that dratted typo, now fixed. You're quite right, you can't have a tirade of something, I just couldn't think of the word I wanted - I have now. :)

123 123 - Thanks for your comment.

Gentian - Aha! Glad you enjoyed reading this story. So, you don't happen to have a Banshee pistol about you too, do you? ;)

Diandra said...

Hell, I liked that story. Very interesting idea.

Skycycler said...

That's one mean mother fairy. This made me laugh, Sam. Poor pixies!

Marilyn said...

Great story, Sam. I enjoyed reading it, it made me laugh a few times. I'm not sure what my Pixie friends will make of it though. :-D

phonelady said...

Okay sam Im saying this again my friend you missed your calling and you should write a book and actually publish it . you entertain and that is great and please work on that book . Your friend across the pond as they say .

Laura Eno said...

OMG, too many separate items here to even comment on! I loved them all. Extremely funny!

Marisa Birns said...

What is impressive is that you wrote this after losing your previous work with your computer crash!

Wonderful story! Loved the humor, the concept, the execution haha.

Hmm. It would be lovely if you continued her story!

peggy said...

The Doc Martins and the Banshee Pistol were just two of the details that made this tale pop off the page.

This was a fun read, and I too, want to know what made those pixies rogue.

mazzz in Leeds said...

I was going to order some 20-tie DMs, I wonder if they'd let me in the UCF...?

Great fun this was, I love the mixing of fairy stuff with Docs!

And leaving us hanging a little at the end works very well too :-)

Scott King said...

"Fuck off!" felt out of place for me. I don't shy away from cussing and I get why it's there, but looking at the whole piece I'm not sure it's necessary. Twinkle's personality and mood are made more than clear without the cussing.

That being said, the style, the tone, the urban fantasy setting... is exactly the type of thing I enjoy reading. It was fun with just a tad bit of angst/drama.

Emma Newman said...

I loved this, I really did. You're just getting better and better. Lovely grumpiness, nice touches (the bag of soiled nappies), just ace. Thank you xx

Laurita said...

I was sold at the mention of Fairies. UCF is a wicked concept. Loved it.

Anne Tyler Lord said...

That was so cool! I love these characters! Since I don't know what they did, I don't know if the Pixie's deserved to be taken out, but my vote is yes if they eat dirty cat litter and sleep in dirty diapers - Ewwww.

Twinkle is very fascinating - would make a good serial.

If this is what you write at the last minute after losing all your work to a computer virus, all I can say is - Wow!

David Masters said...


This was captivating throughout. Fairies always win me over, alas, even fairies that hunt down pixies.

Loved the candy cane rifle/pistol too.


Deanna Schrayer said...

Oh Sam, I'm so sorry about your computer - I had no idea. I hope you saved your work somewhere else because this world definitely needs it.
This was absolutely hilarious. Little Miss Twinkle was so easy to picture, and highly amusing. Please say her adventures will continue!

John Wiswell said...

Urban combat faeries? Fabulous.

Draco Torre said...

Go Twinkle! Killer boots and everything. She looks like UCF material to me. Kick ass fairy.

Eric J. Krause said...

Interesting story idea and well executed. I enjoyed reading this one!

Julie (Okami) said...

You left us hanging!!! I want to know why they were declared rogue!

Another great story, Sam, keep them coming.

Caroline said...

I knew there had to be a better use for candy canes. Pesky pixies, I think they deserved what they got. As Anne said ... eeewww!

Urban Combat Fairies are an absolutely ace concept. I really, really want to be one. Doc Martens an' all.

Linda said...

Fun read -- and yes, why were the Pixies declared rogue? Still LOL at the fairy in Docs... peace, Linda

Anonymous said...

Urban Combat Fairies, with Doc Martens! Brilliant. Love the story, and hope there's a next instalment :-)

Estrella Azul said...

Such a fun read, Sam! I really enjoyed this line: "Twinkle swaggered along the street whistling cheerfully to herself, the bodies of the two dead Pixies swinging from her belt." :)
Everyone is cheerful and excited when they get the job done :)

CJ Hodges MacFarlane said...

I laughed out loud at Urban Combat Fairies. The details are wonderfully imaginative in every way. I want more adventures of Twinkle - okay? Right.

Carrie said...

Hahah. You are a variable storyteller. I like that very much. From vampires to Combat fairies. Fantastic. Dead pixies made me laugh just a little. Don't ask why. >.>

Good one Sam!

Aleta said...

Well, I'll never look at a candy cane the same way again! Great story, left me wanting to read more!

Melissa said...

What an amazing, creative concept. Like the others, I want MORE! Please, pretty please?

Sam said...

Thanks to everyone who commented, I really appreciate the feedback, and apologies for not thanking you sooner - it's been one of those weeks!

Yes, yes, OK, (you've twisted my arm!) guess I'll have to write another UCF story. :)

Donna Carrick said...

Very imaginitive, Sam. I especially liked the detail of the hand carved candy-cane bullets. Nice touch -- peppermint points of death.
Well done.

Sam said...

Donna Carrick - Thanks Donna. I hope you enjoy the other stories in this series as they appear over at The Penny Dreadful. :)

Kim Batchelor said...

Well, Sam, I'm making a serious effort to start the story from the beginning, though this isn't labeled number one. Never mind: I enjoyed it regardless. Love the used cat litter, although it did spoil my lunch a tad.

Now, on to the next...

Sam said...

KIm - Thanks for your comment and support. This was originally going to be a one-shot but somehow the Pixies got inside my head and wouldn't leave!

Julie Lewthwaite said...

Fantastic - what a cracking start! Twinkle is a great character - I love the attitude and the look. Looking forward to reading more - I'm going to treat myself to a couple of these a day until I catch up. :)

Sam said...

Julie - Thanks so much, kidda. This episode was a lot of fun to write. I hope you enjoy the others as much, the tone changes gradually as I start to get the hang of this writing lark. ;)

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