Colin Alcock

It's not just the books.


• New short story •
for April/May 2018

"Harris House"
plus new flash fiction

new for you


Jack of all trades, master of some. That's my own assessment of a life where I've tried many things, done well in a few, failed in a few, but generally kept my head above water in this fast flowing river of life.

Now, I'm in calmer waters, having joined that band of retirees who can choose when to get up in the morning. Most days, anyway.

This website showcases some of my writing and some of my images and is a fluid selection, changed at the occasional whim to provide new works or older, but previously unseen material.

So, more may be added, a few items may disappear and maybe the style will change as it grows organically; for that's the serendipitous way I tend to do things.

I hope you enjoy what you find.

As for my background, click the button below for a brief resumé.

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Paul Hewitt believed he had found the perfect partner in Giules Franciotti, unaware of the missions that she and her feisty sister, Maria, kept secret from him - until he, too, was drawn into one, with a disastrous result.

As a consequence, all three lives are threatened before a disastrous finale exposes the truth.

A dark plot, but a light read.
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When Anne Grant invited her son to a Christmas Lunch at Arden Ash, without telling Edna Gray, all she had intended was to show an independence of spirit and less need for the constant guidance offered by her self-appointed mentor.

She didn’t expect the kind of interest his introduction would arouse – or that a train of events among her new acquaintances would lead to such tragic consequences.

For those who like a good page-turner.
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Some see the dandelion as an evil weed, others recall the beauty of a wildflower spread across a sunlit field.

Whichever your point of view, this compilation provides a varied collection of prose, poetry and rhyme to match many a mood.

A book that you can dip into at random.

Coming later this year:


A new thriller for those of you who like intrigue, danger and suspense.

Where's the blog gone?

My verbal ramblings have run their course and I have removed the relevant page. Any comment I choose to make in the future will appear on this page.

For a short while, archived 'Verbal Ramblings' will be available here.

An April Story
This short short story (borderline flash fiction) was written just for amusement on April Fools Day, but I'll leave it up for the month.

April the Alien

April, the Alien

I’ve always wondered if there is life elsewhere. I’ve sat and thought about it many a time, never thinking that one day I’d meet some alien that had just popped by in its UFO. But then, one day, I did. I never saw its UFO, which is why it remains a UFO, but there it was: ugly little thing, not much more than a metre high, crinkly purple skin, with green on its belly and cheeks, knobbly limbs and hairy ears. Its big teeth looked as if they could chomp through bone, so I was a bit wary, but it had a thin tail with a brush of hairs on the end that it wagged like a dog.

It didn’t look aggressive. It seemed more like a smile on its face: or was it an evil grin? And it just stood there, wide eyed, as if it had never seen a human before. Then it probably hadn’t. So I stepped a couple of slow paces forward, like when you approach a stray cat that looks hungry and nervous. It opened its mouth a little and looked shyly at me. I just hoped it was nervous and not ravenous. Then it started uttering strange words.

‘Argroocle obnoidal imscin confrapig umfaggrheetaniclsoous,’ it sounded like. It definitely wasn’t a French or German visitor – or even a Russian spy. Might have been Scottish though, now I come to think of it.

Anyway, I put my politest BBC English accent on and asked, ‘You lost or summat mate? Had a blow-out on your space bike?’

Its mouth closed, its lips turned down and its face froze, frowny like. It leaned its head to one side and considered what I had said; its eyes roved up and down me from head to toe. It crossed my mind it was sizing me up for dinner.

I went on. ‘Hungry then mate? There’s a McDonalds down the road, just past these woods. Got a bit of everything there, for you. Or there’s a Pets at Home, a mile further on, if that’s more your flavour. I’d invite you back to mine, only the missus has got her coffee morning with the real wives of Winchester and I’ve only come out to get away from that. Raucous lot they are: blind you with their bling, then come knocking on your door for a spare couple of eggs, ’cause they’ve run out of food for their three little darlings’ tea. And their credit card's maxed. No, little fella, I’ll spare you that one.’

Little greenie then rubbed its bulbous belly and let out a belch. Cripes, the stench. Makes me retch just thinking about it. Oh God, I thought, it is hungry and the only meat around here is me. Pray it’s vegetarian or I’m a goner.

Then its smile came back. And it beckoned me forward. Now what was I to do? Would it shake my hand or bite it off. I could turn and run or take the bull by the ears (this alien hadn’t got horns).

I thought, what if I just go back home? Join all those happy housewives spreading catty rumours about the ones who hadn’t shown up: quite vicious some of them. So, I took the sane answer and strode forward to greet my new friend. It took my hand straight up to its mouth … and kissed it; then it shook it so vigorously I nearly toppled sideways, at the same time letting out a trumpet blast loud enough to wake all the elephants in Africa. And a few Indian ones, too, I reckon.

My ears rang for days afterwards, but at the time, all I could think to say was, ‘Welcome to Planet Earth. Have you come far?’ Seems a bit silly now, seeing as it came all the way from out in space. Anyway, it looked at me with a stupid grin, blinked its eyes three times and, pointing to itself, said ‘Ayyeperreyl Wonnonon’, then pointed to me and said ‘Nomdenomdenomdenom?’

I guessed that last one. ‘Ted Baker’, I said, pointing to the logo on the side of my specs. 'See that. That’s how you spell it.' Well, I wasn’t going to risk my real name was I? It might have pinched my identity. There’s a lot of it about. I’ve heard of folks who’ve lost thousands. Not that I’ve got as much as fifty quid saved up, meself.

Next, everything went dark and then came this roaring sound and I saw this grey shape heading across the top of the trees. At the same time, I was suddenly drenched with liquid, running down my face, darkening my light blue hoodie and soaking into my pound shop trainers. White bullets then pounded the ground all around and I thought my number was up. I glanced back at the little green-fellow and its head had gone. Blown right off and hanging down its back.

Poor blighter, I thought, until I blinked the wet from my eyes and saw the pink and mud smeared, golden-topped blob that had taken the head’s place – and it spoke. ‘Let’s hurry back, dad, or we’ll get soaked.’

‘I already am, girl. A bit of rain and hail won’t hurt,’ I said. Then, looking up at the roaring dark tadpole above, ‘Come on Lucy. Let’s see what the Police helicopter is doing: it’s hovering over the next field. Put your head back on and we’ll go and give the pilot a fright, seeing it’s April Fool’s day. But no more of that Liquid Ass fart spray, please.’