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Writing Prompt: chocolate

Willy Wonka is a cunt. Maybe even a bigger cunt than Black Friday for a postal worker. Never mind the benevolence and philanthropy of the eccentric chocolatier. That’s a sham, and a con job worthy of the voices rattling around in Trump’s eggshell head.

I am not orange, and I’m not short unless I’m dealing with telemarketers at dinner time. In fact, that whole movie set our cause back decades, and that cunt Wonka lapped it up and extolled the virtuoso performance by the great Gene Wilder. But Gene wasn’t to know he was starting in a propaganda piece for the greatest autocratic monster in the chocolate business. Forget Nestle; their level of evil pales in comparison. Willy Wonka is next level diabolical. …

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Image by Carlos Gabriel Morales Toro on Pixabay

My daughter will be the death of me. I love her unconditionally, and her very existence is probably in the top three things to happen to me, but I regret not pulling out on days like these. She fails to realise that I am just a taller, hairier version of her with a hangover/come down that could end William Burroughs. It used to be Mandy, Molly and Candy; now it’s beer, a few puffs of a joint and the occasional tramadol for my sore back. I can’t handle it anymore. I really should retire but over thirty years of peer pressure and I still fold. It’s only a joint, ya pussy. It’s only a beer, ya pussy. It’s only a wee bag of mushrooms, ya pussy. The peer pressure used to come from others too. …

Writing Prompt: doorbell

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Image by Manolo Franco on PIxabay

My brother was the last thing quinoa saw before meeting a brutal end. It took a while for me to realise he was a full-blown hipster, but a hipster he was. The Karl Marx look was one thing, trying to learn the accordion another, but the doorbell that played Arcade Fire was when I confronted the inevitable. It wasn’t even a song from their debut album; it was one of their more experimental numbers from an album only hipsters think is their best.

‘Do you like new doorbell?’ he asked me. ‘Arcade Fire!’ I could see every delivery guy’s expression in my mind’s eye. As a DPD worker myself, the urge to hit him was genuine, but I listened to him speaking at tedious length about a great lentil soup he bought at a market and wondered, what had happened that night he took acid and locked himself in a cupboard? He called it a transformative experience, but all he did was hug a hoover for the best part of a working day. …

Getting in and out of jail in a few easy steps

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Image by rihaij on Pixabay

It doesn’t pay to be working class when we’ve transitioned from the salt of the earth to troglodytes unworthy of a living wage. Maybe it’s always been that way, and I’ve wasted my short life romanticising the past. ‘Smell this fart and tell me if you think ah need a dump.’ Romance is dead. Not that you want too much romance in a jail cell with a copper you’ve just met. He farts and laughs with the other soft hat.

‘Smells like bacon,’ I say. …

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Image by Theo Crazzolara on Pixabay

Writing Prompt: pumpkin

After you’ve trapped Satan up a tree, it’s impossible not to gloat by flashing your arse at him and taking another drink from his bottle of whisky. ‘Get rid of those crosses.’

‘You’re in no position to be making demands.’

‘You duplicitous swine.’

‘Ah, you love me really. One more drink and you were all set to bend over for me.’


‘Aye, and don’t you forget it.’

‘I’m still taking you to Hell as soon as those crucifixes disappear. You’re claimed.’

My reputation was the stuff of legend in Hell and Satan couldn’t resist coming to see this guy who was stealing his thunder. His jealousy was his undoing; that and threatening to take me to Hell when I’m on a promise from Angie O’Connell. Any other day and I would’ve gladly left home for Hell given the weather about here, but Angie O’Connell could even have soaked Mary Whitehouse’s seat. …

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Image by Donations_are_appreciated on Pixabay

James watched the final reminder from the gas crooks burn off the cooker ring until he singed the hair on his fingers. The smoke detector magnified his stupidity, and he waved the red dish towel in front of it like a washed-up matador. The noxious fumes made him cough and open the window to view the endless grey. He imagined sliding off his boxers to fly majestically above all the world’s problems. Why he was naked, he did not know. It was best not to question every thought he had, even when his mind wanted to dwell.

He shut himself away in his claustrophobic bedroom again and removed a bit of cereal from tufts of hair trying to scramble their way to a complete beard. The silence was unsettling, but he could no longer listen to music without lyrics taunting him or igniting catastrophe in his fertile and paranoid imagination. Even inoffensive pop songs as deep as an ant’s grave were becoming apocalyptic prophecies demanding immediate attention. …

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Image by Gordon Johnson on Pixabay

‘God’s missing, and it’s your fault,’ Martin said. ‘You can only hear that so much before it loses all meaning. But the aliens won’t force me to genuflect to their intergalactic plutocracy. I told them, it’s not my fault I helped God escape the clutches of their wee cabal on Polycycle. My guardian angel summoned me to the battle because I’m a human/angel hybrid.’ Claire was beginning to regret swiping right on Martin’s profile. First Tinder date since lockdown and he’s certifiable.

‘What’s Polycycle?’ was all she could think to ask.

‘It’s a planet that uses us for reality TV. Lots of world leaders know about it, but they’re in cahoots to keep us ignorant. I helped stop them from taking over Heaven, but treachery’s afoot again and God’s AWOL.’ …

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Image by stux on Pixabay

Writing Prompt: bookmark

‘World war three shouldn’t start over a bookmark,’ Mum said.

‘World war three already happened indirectly between the Soviet Union and America in countries like Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan…’

‘Do you ever tire of being a twat?’ I asked my brother, Barry.

‘You’re the one that better fits that word.’ He really was this much of a twat.

‘It’s a bookmark,’ I said. ‘Fold the page like a normal person, and stop pretending you’re some nineteenth-century aristocrat. Or, better still, get a life.’


‘Man, it’s like you’re begging to get smacked in the face.’

‘Stop it,’ Mum said. ‘James, give your brother his bookmark.’ …

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Image by Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay

Writing prompt: pasta

Wee Paul, ginger hair, pasty complexion, Glaswegian accent, always told me he was Italian, but using Just for Men to turn your hair blacker than tar and making sure the carpet matched the drapes came off a bit desperate.

‘Paulo McLeano? Gies peace, ya throbber. You didnae even know tae look for the kinky boot on an atlas tae point tae your favourite country.’

‘Ah knew that was Italy,’ he said.

‘Why did you point at Sri Lanka then?’

‘…cos…fuck off, ya prick.’

Paul got a poster of Italy and brushed up on his geography. He took to eating pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a readiness that bordered on certifiable. Only the truly sinister have a hatred for pasta, but that doesn’t mean you eat it like it will make Rhianna run towards you with her knickers and a million-dollar cheque made out to you in her handbag. …

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Not a real man

Writing Prompt: chain

And now piss warms my legs. Hanging from a chain is no way to spend your engagement celebration. I know I’m with the wrong woman. She’s an adventurer, a thrill-seeker, suicide-by proxy. I was just playing the part of the intrepid daredevil, and now I’m literally in over my head trying not to look at the gushing water below. How can she be so calm?

He’s a good actor, but he’s no Jack Nicholson. Going by the piss and futility, his pulse is racing like a greyhound with its dick in a knot. It’s a pity. He’s cute, but he’s just like most men when they face this test. They all talk a good game but piss themselves when hung from a chain above Niagara Falls. …


John Tinney

The Idiot's idiot, modest genius, Glaswegian.

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