Notes From the Wasteland No. 8 ‘Is silence the worst thing you can hear?’

Is silence the worst thing you can hear?

What do you think?

When you look at someone and all you hear is nothing.

When you ask the darkness something and get no reply.

When you hope against hope to hear (from someone) but never do.

Silence.

The sound of your skin hardening. Your ears healing over. Closing through neglect. Never to reopen. Sealed forever. Bound with the grim whisper of the tomb. Skin and bone combine to fuse and form a permafrost.

The small scald of neglect, that daily burn upon your skin when the absence of attention you expect but hope against occurs once more again. Once more. As before. And again.

The words here are like the mirror that used to hang somewhere in the house but has long since removed yet every time you pass the spot where the mirror used to hang, you still look to see your face but find yourself not reflected anymore.

When you walk the world knowing that no one has anything to say to you today or any other day. You could walk the same path with the same steps for several lifetimes and be safe in the knowledge that only silence will accompany you.

Perhaps that’s a comfort.

Some people prefer solitude. The simplicity of silence. Of not having to engage. Ask. Joke. Laugh. To share.

Some people prefer to ignore those that surround them. That fill their space. Perhaps for fear of making that space a shared one? For, they might argue, who wants to share their space with anyone? As if intimacy is a pathogen only worth disinfecting; like washing your hands instead of stroking their face.

I’m sure these people find this act of ignoring others liberating.

Others find this same act terrifying.

I know where I stand. What about you?

Notes From the Wasteland No. 6 ‘I sometimes wonder just what it is.’

I sometimes wonder just what it is.

What it is to stop and think. To evaluate. Measure. Weigh. Decide.

How do we do these things? Why do we do these things? Is there any value? What is the point? I suppose there are no answers to these questions. We do these things because they are the things we do. We have always done. We will always do.

And if this is the case, and I believe it is, then the answer to these questions, in part or whole, is that we do these things because we don’t notice we are doing them. They just happen anyway.

But, if this is the case, and I believe that it is, or, at least, might be, then the act of wondering is actually just us noticing something about ourselves; taking the time, we could say, to halt the time of our living for long enough to catch a glimpse of the automaticness of our existence.

Like pausing the moving image?

Or pointing our phone at something alive and stilling it with our lens?

These are early thoughts for early days.

VIRO – An Explanation. Or, What is it really like to be a Zombie?

No one ever asks to be infected.

The moment that you are, that moment before you turn, must be full of a lifetime remembered and about to be forgotten. That pain is brief but final. A forever pain.

There is anger. Despair. Hunger, of course. But also a notknowingness. Suddenly all thought is replaced by only instinct. Yet at the very heart of the creature there must still be the very slight and occasional reminder of a life before the virus. The twitch of an eye. A stare into space. The splinter of a fragment of a stab of a broken memory.

This is not a solitary life. Creatures gather together, swelling and swarming, driven by a collective urge to hunt and bite and rip and tear, boosting the ever-growing ranks. Swarmlike in their tendencies, they move like clouds of angry insects, their numbers forever swelling as they congregate and consume and then congregate once more. The habits of the infected are one and the same, restless and repeating, spreading, never-ending, only onwards towards the only goal, infection.

The viros look like anybody and everybody. They look like you and me. They are fully clothed. They are naked. They are ripped and ragged. Clean. Dirty. Filthy. Smeared with blood, especially around the mouth. The virus causes multiple physical reactions in its victims and this creates a wide range of possibilities for their portrayal. Aside from the blood smears, there are some common characteristics; twitches and other facial tics; a vocal range from roars to whispers to sighs and screams, all of which combine to create the chorus of some kind of horrific choir.

Dr Don’t Know wants the world to be as stupid as he is.

‘This beautifully written dynamic book is perfect for kids and adults alike. It’s quirky and offbeat with a big heart. It has all the wonder and magic of classic children’s books with the innovation of contemporary literature. Falcon Boy is not to be missed!’

9781999633271 (1)

Don’t let stupid win!

Dr Don’t Know hates knowledge.

He wants to steal the answer to every question ever asked.

Dr Don’t Know wants the world to be as stupid as he is.

We can’t let this happen!

Only Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird can save the world from Dr Don’t Know. The bad news is that they have been kidnapped. The good news is that they can’t stay kidnapped for long otherwise this story will never get started.

Will Dr Don’t Know succeed with his evil plan?

There’s only one way to find out.

Read on and remember.

Don’t let stupid win!!

Available NOW for order in all good book stores and online.

VIRO – the Book Series – NEWS FLASH

As a viral outbreak turns the world into bloodthirsty creatures, a boy with special needs looks for his missing mum.

‘The writing style is beautifully compelling, and after the first couple of pages I couldn’t put it down. The author very skilfully creates a world and characters through deceptively simple prose that draws the reader right in. It is a fascinating blend of one-after-the-other edge-of-the seat scares, alongside a haunting narrative about what it is to be human.’

‘Capturing the voice of a young character with special needs (I spent 25 years as a special education teacher/administrator), Taylor’s story of a group of young people coping with a world disintegrating in front of them; with the loss of structure and trust, and with betrayal by the adults who should be protecting them is both uplifting and horrifying. Do not be fooled by the simple language of the narrator: there are hard questions asked and realistic, unsentimental consequences to the apocalypse confronting the children, and an ending that you are unlikely to forget easily.’

‘I absolutely loved this book. Powerful and poignant, VIRO packs a punch. Sad and haunting, VIRO is a new take on the zombie genre. The characters are dynamic and interesting, finding strength despite their horrifying circumstances. Jake is a character that will stick with you long after the final page. The action sequences are thrilling. I was on the edge of my seat!’

Get your copy today – Book One FREE for download HERE

Inteachán – Book Three: Operation Turnback 3: 26 ‘a simple gasp’

Inteachán weighed up her options.

It was simple.

Move.

Or die.

Gripping the rope with one hand Inteachán reached for her belt and there was a high-pitched sound suddenly filling the shaft with blinding noise deafening bewildering and I don’t know why no one will ever know why but Inteachán pulled out her knife her sharp little knife and cut the rope she really cut the rope but she simply wasn’t strong enough to hold on with one hand she couldn’t hold on how could she and with a simple gasp she

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fell.

Inteachán – Book Three: Operation Turnback 3: 24 ‘dangling deep in a dead night hole’

To die dangling deep in a dead night hole is the not the way that Inteachán wanted to go so she began to climb back up the rope.

Arm over arm. Pulling herself upwards again.

And again.

Again.

Once more.

Again.

Gravity is happy to let you down always but does everything it can to stop you when you want to move in the opposite direction.

Inteachán – Book Three: Operation Turnback 3: 23 ‘I’ll be back when I am’

But when the crying ends there is still always  something to be done and so with a sniff and a wipe of her sleeve Inteachán thought about her next move.

She was stuck in a pitch-black hole attached to a rope that was not moving any more. She could hang in the hole for the rest of her life as far as the world was concerned as only Mac knew where she was and it would be days before he would raise the alarm.
‘I’ll be back when I am,’ Inteachán had told Mac as she headed off. ‘I won’t be back before.’

But what was bravado then was now something so much harder to explain that Inteachán decided to act rather than reflect.

Inteachán – Book Three: Operation Turnback 3: 22 ‘Tears of fear and solitude’

Fear gripped Inteachán tight like a brand new skin.

And as the enormity of her predicament threatened to wrench her free from the precarious perch of her sanity Inteachán began to cry.
Salty great tears fell from her eyes and kept falling downwards. Tears of fear and solitude. Desperation. Realisation. Responsibility. No nine year-old should be in such a terrible position.
‘What have I done to deserve this?’ whimpered Inteachán.

‘Why is it my fault that the world needs saving?’
And with the nothing of the darkness as her only answer Inteachán despaired.

Inteachán – Book Three: Operation Turnback 3: 21 ‘the darkest of lights’

Just as quickly as Inteachán descended she suddenly stopped.

The rope was caught and no amount of flicking her wrist would free it.

Inteachán hung in the darkness. Her harness began to pull tightly as her stilled weight now tested its seams.

Inteachán breathed deeply and then swallowed.

Her ears popped.

She yawned.

Inteachán breathed deep again but she couldn’t keep the fear from starting to fill her body like the darkest of lights.