Just me and my words
Most of what you find on this, my personal, website has been produced in my years of retirement: part of an effort to keep my brain from atrophying. How successful I've been, you'll have to judge for yourself.
It's a showcase of my writing efforts, presenting a selection flash and short stories, some previously unseen, some from my books or previously published on other websites. Plus a little poetry and rhyme.
Most months, I will add a little more, sometimes a few items may disappear, to save bloating the website: all in the serendipitous way I tend to do things. Hopefully you will enjoy what you find this time and pay more than one visit to discover the latest additions.
My books span everything from stories of just a few words
to full length novels.
Watch out for another new book, next year.
Click images above for more information.
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2021
A dark story, lower down, to start a bright New Year
If you sense my presence, don’t ever turn around
Colours in Darkness
Colours in Darkness is my third collection of short works and draws together a new selection of flash fiction and short stories, with some that bridge the two genres. Some have appeared on this website, some through the portals of Reflex Fiction, The Cabinet of Heed and Ad Hoc Fiction, but there are new stories, too.
Between them, they reflect many aspects of life – past, present and future – in a variety of writing styles. Stories range from the emotionally dark and spiritually macabre to fond memories and pure humour.
This book is a reader's real pic'n'mix collection, intended to add colour to the dark days or thoughtful reflections and simple entertainment to enliven brighter moments. The light, the dark and the sheer sinister, all cheek by jowl, in serendipitous order.
If you sense my presence, don’t ever turn around
You read this knowing it’s from me. But how? It’s not my spider scrawl on crisp bond, you recall so vividly to mind. Written with the gold Parker pen you gave me. Nor those sharp clear letters dancing across your screen. You’d scattered earth across my coffin long before you bought your first laptop. But who else knows the secret name I had for you?
Once, we were young, untroubled, making the most of becoming adults. Not caring what the future would bring. Arguing about afterlife. You believed; I was sceptic. And a promise was made that summer’s night, spent under the stars. Naked to nature, locked together in sublime ecstasy, never wanting to be parted from our close union. With death a far horizon. But should that happen, the first to depart would find a way back, to tell the truth of what they found. I’m keeping that promise.
The soft breath that just tickled across the back of your neck was me. But don’t turn around. Read on. It is not yet time.
You were right. I’m sorry it took so long to come back. It’s a different way on the other side, locked into a dimension I never believed existed. You cannot cross easily; only the few breakthrough. But I am here. In your room. The messenger you craved. And I must tell you that all is not the sweet path to heavenly pleasures you once pictured for me. There is no separation between heaven and hell. Just a world of extremes. Unbelievable wonders of beauty alongside nightmare terrors you’d never imagine; ones you should never know, before your time comes. That’s why you must not turn your head.
I stand behind you. But peering, as you are, into your screen, you’ll see no reflection. You would not recognise my form even if you could. For we are not of earthly realm. Yes, we. For my guardians accompany me to ensure that I return. Evil creatures that grab and grasp with taloned hands. Ugly, scaly, brutes whose spirits envy your very flesh. Creatures of night who, if you turned to see them, would peel that flesh from your bones, without thought. And it is the law that if you see my face, then you must follow me. That is not why I came. Why you must not turn your head to look behind.
There was the other promise, too. To love each other throughout eternity. A promise I’ve kept. I forgive you your transgressions; I left you alone. Unknowing. My passing so premature. You need the comfort of others. Though, in your heart, I still see the flickering flame we once shared. That is enough. It flickers in my spirit, too. I shall always watch over you.
Now, my grisly, hellish, guardians, wrinkled of skin, with eyes of doom, paw at me to return. While my own body, gaunt and fleshless, aches with desire, waiting just a last few joyful moments.
Yes, I am here. But must go.
And if you sense my presence again.
Don’t, ever, turn around.
A new book of poems by
John Alcock (1937 - 2018)
This new collection of poems, by my late brother, has been posthumously published by Cannon Poets Publishing. Amongst its pages you will find the expression and reflection of many moods and observations. There's an interesting review of the book at http://www.margroberts.co.uk/blog.
Amongst its 90 pages, you will find the expression and reflection of many moods and observations, plus a brief biography by his wife, Barbara Alcock.
Priced £7.50, it is available directly, by post, from:
Cannon Poets, 22 Margaret Grove, Harborne, Birmingham B17 9JH, United Kingdom.
With Colours in Darkness, the latest release, there are now six books published. Three Novels and three collections of shorter works. Click here for details of these and a link to them all on Amazon.