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A murder on the streets of Ostere isn’t headline news
A vagrant robbing a body is common place
But the police want a word
As do the killers
Ben Jackman, 20 year old vagrant by day, hunter of road kill by night, isn’t the man to take the fall
Proving his innocence-obvious
Finding the killer-Not so easy
So Ben needs a gun, a big gun, because the streets of Ostere have a new breed of criminal and they aren’t looking to take prisoners.
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No More Heroes
Of snow, Christmas & Trouble
At three pm the clock in our town square chimed four deep tolls. Festive faces turned to the town hall looking at the clock in confusion. The juggler dropped his blades, the girls behind the veils stopped with their gyrations and Santa’s Ho became a Ha as his bell fell silent.
I retreated into the frigid dark of Smelly Alley and collided with old Fred the fishmonger. His large metal ring of keys fell with a sharp clatter to the worn cobbles and he stumbled against his shop window. I grabbed his arm and steadied his gait. He hauled a gold watch from his waistcoat, shook the time piece and placed it to his ear.
‘Yer making me late, you good for nothing pup.’
Seriously? Pup? Late? How could he possibly know? The silly old bugger walked with a white tap-tap-tap stick and the town hall clock was arse up.
The wind rattled at the drawn shutters and litter cavorted with the folk heading for the celebrations in the square. I stooped to retrieve his keys and he snatched them from my hand.
I pulled my coat tight and brushed at my hair. I was eager to enter the town square and chance a meeting with the bar maid from the Old Poet public house. The butcher’s boy blocked my path. He carried a dead pig across his narrow shoulders and seemed intent on sharing his burden with me.
‘Easy, eh?’ I said. ‘You closing early?’
I sidestepped his blood stained apron, alarmed by the manic look in the dead pig’s eyes.
‘It’s anniversary, isn’t it,’ he grunted. As he turned into his shop he tried to smack me with the dead pig’s trotters.
What bloody anniversary?
A shout greeted the fish monger’s entrance into the square, causing me to flinch, jump even. Man I hated random noises. My nerves were pretty crap to be honest. My mate Tommy said it was my diet being inadequate. He reckoned living on cigarettes and vodka had to play havoc with your nerves. Tommy was no intellectual but my diet did lack fiber for sure.
I pulled the hood over my head and followed the old boy’s steps. Fairy lights shone in the afternoon gloom. Sad droopy loops of tinsel glittered between the stalls. Vendors in Santa hats called out their wares and folk traipsed the frozen dirt bartering for a deal. In the corner beneath the video screen carol singers armed with a battery of flat sounding tunes shared their festive bliss. Faces beamed with Yuletide cheer, welcoming the snow bloated clouds lumbering across the sky. The weatherman had promised all good citizens a merry and white Christmas.
‘Bugger their perfect bloody Christmas,’ I muttered. I was well aware my tatty coat and I stood no chance of surviving the festive season if snow dumped on our town.
About the Author:
Roo I MacLeod was born in Croydon, Australia on an excessively hot, humid day and fought three doctors, two midwives and the utilities type person against his entry into the world. This desperate attempt to remain womb bound, according to his mother left him with the ugliest mug yet to have graced the austere corridors of Nan Org Bush Hospital. Roo offers attached images as proof that his mother might be exaggerating, and finds it difficult to believe they’d let a utilities type person loose with a set of birthing forceps.
Time was served at a variety of schools before it was suggested he give living and working in the real world a go. So began his long sojourn trying to find the best and cheapest means of living. The Volkswagen beetle proved cheap, but uncomfortable for a man of such tall stature. In Darwin he found solace in a one bedroom house with 18 travellers (more commonly known as a squat) but found cohabiting with his own deranged thoughts hard, but 18 tourists caused neurotic tics, a dependence on alcohol and prescribed drugs and left him wandering the deserts of Australia totally unhinged.
A two man tent offered independence, until a tribe of angry locals burnt it to the ground. No one took the blame but Roo suspected the lads living in the dry river bed. They’d thrown rocks at him late one night when he wouldn’t share his hooch.
No More Heroes was conceived in a quaint English church when he took shelter from the rain. He stumbled into a funeral and found he’d doubled the mourners present. The vicar, a friend to this day, invited him to pray and sing a few tunes, and he, Roo and the young lady in black chucked dirt on the deceased come the end of the ceremony.
He now lives in West Sussex UK and has spent the last couple of years volunteering at homeless centers. He is barred from two of the five pubs in town for the same attitude that wreaked havoc in his school days and vows to antagonize the remaining four pub Landlords by the end of the year.
He is a passionate supporter of the Richmond Tigers, The Arsenal and any sport Australia are participating in. He has a partner, who doesn’t read or write or support any of the above teams.
He has two children from a previous unsuccessful attempt to cohabit.
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