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intheventofire

The collected works of Mr Neil D Campbell

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The Cuckoo Hole

Weird works from the black sheep pen

Trade In Detectives…

Another Alter Ego
The Formidable Detective Maxwell

So here’s a new coup…

I am very pleased to present my latest work… The voice of Trade-in Detective Maxwell. This was a great fun project and I can’t wait to blow the old trumpet about it, but I believe there is a wee bit of an embargo on the website… so until they go fully public so all I can tell you right now is it’s going to raise some eyebrows… So if you’ve never read a website’s Terms and Conditions before, then I firmly recommend you start with these…

I’ll cut the cloak and dagger act as soon as I can…

So the Webite has gone live… Please have a look at…

http://www.tradeindetectives.com

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My own column at last

Slightly Mad uncles Jacques
Advice from the sarcastic and insane is hard to ignore

This is Slightly Mad Uncles Jacques (aka me)

You can read his words of wisdom http://france.holidayhomeadvice.co.uk/french-lifestyle-tips-5-getting-to-know-your-french-neighbours-tips-from-uncle-jacques/

The brief was to write something witty and informative and well they loved the first one and commissioned a series…

My first top ten…

I created this using my alter ego Gordon Vader… He’s a great resource when I want to say things that I shouldn’t, can’t, or am just worried about getting sued over…

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In many ways Gordon Vader is my Ventriloquists Dummy… He talks and says outrageous stuff and I keep my lips shut and get away with murder…

The Cuckoo Hole by the Black Sheep Pen…

So I am writer. My career and my cause is controlling a series of words and the order in which they come…

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They might inform, they might seduce, they might make sleeping with the light on seem like the best idea you’ve had all day.

If they make you feel any way other than bored then I’m getting it right.

The thing is, not everything in black and white is, well black and white and sometimes in the middle of medium is a little quirk from The Twilight Zone,   but the trouble with tribbles is where do you put them all?

So this is the first post in my brand new category Cuckoo Hole, because unlike the normal pigeon holes the writing here doesn’t belong with the others.

It  may be weird, it might be wrong, it could be genuinely disturbing, or then again it could perhaps be about penguins…. Whatever…This is the Cuckoo Hole come in and have a look round..

Here’s is the first of the freaks.. It’s an award wining short story called Satan’s Little Helper…

I’ve seen a lot of strange things in my life, I saw Mary go home with a hobo and little Jack Martin swearing like a soldier from his crib, but I had never seen anything like him.

He was bright red, and I mean scarlet, not red like sunburn, but bright crimson like a tomato. I mean, you’d think that’d be the strangest thing right? But it wasn’t; the red I could almost handle, it was the ball gown that threw me.

I’d been drowning my sorrows. Now I know what you’re thinking, it was the booze right? No way, my sorrows have never been too buoyant and I’m a poor drinker at best and I tell you he was bright red, six inches high and wearing a ball gown.

It was pale pink and satin like a cheap prom dress. And the tiara, did I mention the tiara? Nope? Well let me tell you, he was sporting a tiny diamonte crown, way too big for his little horned head. I should have been scared, I guess, but the little figure looked so embarrassed I couldn’t bring myself to be afraid.

Just as I was getting over the shock of his sudden appearance he spoke to me.

“Ok lady,” He said in an accent he’d stolen from a New York cab driver. ” You can get the hysterics outta the way now.” I couldn’t say a word.

“Sure? That it? No comic remarks?” He flew a little closer on his little leather wings. I didn’t mention the wings? Well then, he had wings, ok? Good, I’m moving on.

“Right,” he said producing a tiny clipboard, which he tapped with his tiny claws, ”Sylvia… Sylvia… OK! Got you… I have been assigned as your fairy godmother.”

“Fairy Godmother?” I said. “Are you sure?”

“Listen lady, I don’t have all night,” he said, tapping an imaginary watch. “ Well, ok I do,… But only one night, tonight to be exact, but I still got a schedule to keep, so we better get right to it.” I stopped him.

“Hang on a minute dude,” I said. “Aren’t you a little on the red side for a fairy godmother not to mention that you’re a dude.”

“It’s always the same with you people. Look… I’m your fairy godmother and that’s all there is too it. The Big Cheese says I gotta help you.. I gotta help you, capiche?”

“The Big Cheese? You mean God.” I asked staring at the strange little man.

“Normally you’d be right, but things change and you’re a borderline case so… No not God. Lady I’m playing for the other team.”

“The Devil?” I asked.

“Give the gurl a biscuit, yes the Devil.”

“I’m not sure I should be talking to anyone working for the Devil.”

“Lady I work for the man… God, Allah, Poseidon, the Devil, the Earth Mother, Elvis Freaking Presley… Call him what you will the man is still the man.”

“You’re telling me Heaven and Hell and all that stuff is real?”

“No of course not, it’s all made up..” he said dropping his little red head into his arms. “Might I remind you that you’re the one talking to the little red man in a ball gown? Yes of course its real. Now where was I?”

“But I don’t want to go to hell.”

“Good, now we’re on the same page.”

“But you work for the Devil?”

“Right again Einstein.”

“The devil doesn’t want me to go to hell?”

“Nah, it’s over crowded, full of rich folk and besides you’d hate it.”

“But I’m going to hell now?” I asked, already knowing the answer.

“Boom, she gets it! You have so far lead an immoral life and it’s my job to steer you back on the path.”

“Aren’t you a little bit erm… Red and horny to be my path to salvation?”

“Who were you expectin? Mother Freakin Theresa? Look lady if you don’t want my help, I’ll just move on and you can spend eternity with the hounds of hell.”

“No, “ I replied, “ I think we can talk..”

“Good. Now then let’s see…” he said, once again tapping the clipboard. “ Ok, like I said, you’re borderline so it’s not all bad.” He thumbed the file on his clipboard for a minute or so before erupting into hysterics.

“You did what with Tommy Cockles in the graveyard?” Mortified, I made a grab for the tiny chart, but the little red man was too quick and swooshed out of reach before I could blink.

“Lady this is need to know stuff,” he said tapping the clip board, “and you don’t need to know… Right let’s see where you went wrong.” He muttered to himself as he looked over the list eventually he stopped.
“Holy Hindu Cow,” he said, “ you ain’t happy at all, are you?”

“Is anyone?” I asked him.

“Good point, “ he answered. “ok lady, do you want to go to heaven?”

“ I guess, “ I said, “ I hadn’t really thought about it.”

“That lady, is problemo numero uno… Look, you don’t want to end up in limbo with the atheists and the kids that listen to Marilyn Manson and think they’re vampires do you?” I shook my head.

“God I hate saying this, but you need a little love in your life.” He said looking at me with a little sad red face.

“You never made the high school prom did you sweetheart?” I shook my head again. A sudden thought struck me.

“Hey listen, does it say in there whether I broke momma’s china plates? I swear I didn’t, but I was only eight and the evidence seemed over whelming.” He looked up at me quizzically, but thumbed his board again.

“Nope, you were innocent, it was the cat.”

“ I knew it!” I said, “No dessert for a week, I paid for that, stupid damned cat.” The little devil giggled.

“What? I said.

“ Nuffin, only you said, stupid damned cat.”

“So?”

“Well you were half right, he was one of ours.”

“The cat?”

“Yup, you should’ve had a dog; it would’ve probably stood guard over the plates, even if you had broken them, wagging its stupid tail till momma got back from the mall, bloody martyrs… Anyway we gotta get you laid… Sorry, I meant in love… Last time was…”

“A disaster,” I said.

“Ouch lady, you really have to stop dating muppets.”

“ I like bad guys.”

“No Sylvia, bad guys I know. Trust me, none of these dweebs measures point one on the evil chart. You like assholes and there’s a big difference. Ok… Mark Davis was a decent guy, what happened there?”

“He cheated on me.”

“Oops, skipped that part, sorry… Dan Hume?”

“Kept calling me Mia.”

“Harry Danes?”

“Admitted he liked boys more.”

“Martin Atterly?” The name struck a minor chord, I hadn’t thought about Martin in a long time.What had happened to Martin?

“He was ok I guess.”

“Ok? His score is off the chart lady. Holy Dark Master… I hate the guy… He’s perfect…” as soon as he’d mentioned the name I did my best to ruin Martin, I thought about his negative points and focussed on every little quirk which had annoyed me during our relationship. After a while it dawned on me. I had been a fool and I hated to admit it, but the little red dude was right he had been perfect.

“He’s probably settled down with some sweet housewife.”

“Actually no it’s worse than that. Lemme see…” The little red imp read his chart for what seemed like an eternity. Suddenly he stopped and stared right at me wide eyed.

“We haven’t got a second to lose,” he said, “have you got any wheels?” I shook my head.

“Great, I hoped you would say that,” he said through a wide grin.
” Watch this! This is my favourite part of the job.” The little devil produced a wand that looked like it was held together with scotch tape and pointed it out the window. A twinkly red stream of stars flew from the wand into my front yard. I followed its path as it swished around the garden like a huge snake. Eventually it discovered my trashcan and crawled inside. The garbage can rocked and shook and then exploded. I was forced to cover my eyes. When I looked back the trashcan had changed into what I could best describe as a chopper, designed by H R Geiger and Meatloaf.

“Purrfect,” said the little red imp.“Come on we haven’t got a second to lose.”

With no reservations left and a fading sense of reality, I had no problems mounting the motorcycle.

“I’ll drive, “ said the imp. I could only shrug my shoulders as I attempted to hold on to his. Despite being a hundred times smaller than mine, it seemed to work fine and instantly we were off.

The bike seemed to have no speed limit and before long the journey became a blur. Moments later, we arrived at a church. Weirdly it had become daytime.

“Hurry,” said the imp, “ and just do as I tell you.” I followed the diminutive devil though the church doors. There was a wedding going on, I recognised the groom instantly.

The place was crowded and no one noticed us as we entered. The imp had changed into a little three-piece suit complete with a little top hat.

“Mark of respect,” he said, reading my mind. I was suddenly conscious that I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt and my tear stained mascara. I tried to back out of the church, but the imp had predicted this and the door was closed and bolted.

“No you don’t,” he said, “now wait for my cue, ok?” I nodded nervously.

The ceremony was in full swing. And the minister was approaching the vows. My heart sank as it slowly dawned on me what the little devil was planning.

“ If there is anyone amongst you who knows of any reason why these two should not be married let them speak now or forever hold their peace.” said the minister.

“You’re kidding right?”

“Nope,” the imp replied, “now quickly repeat after me… he is in love with me.”

I said nothing, but the little devil kicked me.

“Ouch!” I said and the entire church turned to look at me.

“Sorry?” asked the minister.

“He’s still in love with me,” said the imp in my voice. I was horrified. The groom stared at me and I realized in agony that he’d recognised me.

“Sylvia is that you?” I waved back, trying to coax the earth to swallow me up.

“Martin, who is this woman?” his bride said staring at me like I was made of manure.

“Can we continue please?” asked the minister. Martin’s bride swung him round as if he was sitting in a swivel chair and the Minister began again.

“She’s no good for you,” The imp blurted out, again in my own voice. I turned to look at him with a face like thunder. He looked up at me with that same sad face and I couldn’t hold my anger.

“Can you please leave,” asked the bride. I nodded and made my best efforts to open the door, but the imp was screeching something at me. I tried to ignore him, but in the end I couldn’t.

“Ok,” I said, “ you’ve humiliated me enough What now?”

“You gotta trust me lady, please, just say what I say.” There was something in his voice or maybe it was because, despite only having met her for five seconds, I hated Martin’s new bride. What ever it was, I’d decided to go along with the imp’s scheme.

He whispered his prompts and I turned to face the church. I had everyone’s attention. It wasn’t hard they were all staring at me anyway.

“You can’t marry her Martin she’s a murderer.” I stopped dead, realizing what I’d just said and turned to face the imp, who had taken shelter behind my left shoulder. The entire room gasped in perfect harmony.

“What are you talking about?” I whispered to the little red faerie, “ are you insane? I can’t accuse a bride on her wedding day of being a murderer.”

“Oh, there’s a better time?”

“She’s planning on killing you too Martin.” The imp said in my voice again. This time I grabbed him, but it was too late and the bride was tearing towards me like some great ice queen. To my utter amazement she had a knife in her hand.

Martin had obviously seen the blade too and was racing after her, but she was nearly upon me. Startled, I released the little devil and he darted between us. The snow queen could clearly see the little imp and stopped dead in her tracks.

“My kind of girl,” he said as he winked at her. Other members of the congregation had joined in and the bride was wrestled to the floor. She’d nicked me, but only a little, and Martin was quick to attend my wound. I looked for the imp, but he had vanished.

Later the police would discover no less than five bodies under the patio of her little bungalow and an axe and a fake passport in the trunk of the wedding car.

I married Martin a year later in that very same church. The ceremony was a modest affair, but we did have a very special guest, a little red imp.

I could see him from the altar, he was no longer carrying a clipboard and wasn’t wearing the prom dress. During the reception I excused my self and wandered round the gardens. It took me a while, but eventually I found him hiding in a hawthorn bush.

“What happened to the dress,” I asked. He smiled up at me holding out a little silver harp.

“ I got promoted.” He said eyes brimming with pride.

“An angel,“ I said, “ I’m impressed.”

“The Big Cheese wasn’t. I was only supposed to keep you out of hell, not stop the Bloody Bride’s murderous rampage. I think the old man had a soft spot for her if you ask me.”

“Well I’d like to thank you for saving my soul,” I said to the little red angel, leaning down to give him a little kiss.

“ Your welcome,” he said blushing, no mean feat for a little red imp.

That was ten years ago and I haven’t seen him since, but I think about him often. He was right of course the key to a good life is happiness and Martin and I are very happy thanks to the little devil…

Enjoy or endure…

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