Renee Scattergood releases Shadow Stalker: Coup (Episode 22)

 

Amazon Release Date:

today, August 2,  (Available on KU until 31 October 2019)

Expanded Distribution Release Date: 1 November 2019

Author: Renee Scattergood


About the author:

Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a storyteller by George Lucas but didn’t consider writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing dark speculative fiction.

She is currently publishing her Shadow Stalker serial, and she has published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. She is also working on a new series of novels, A God’s Deception.

Aside from writing, she loves reading (fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and watching YouTube videos with her daughter. Visit her site for more information and a free copy of Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6): http://reneescattergood.com

Contact Info

Website/Blog: http://reneescattergood.com/

Speculative Fiction Spot: https://specfictionspot.blogspot.com.au/

Promotional Team Sign Up – Renee’s Shadow Stalkers: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16rTPYCAwDq5cpyxHfphx0-x6ka9C7DWoJsdgYa2CyAw/viewform

Mailing Lists – Get a free book with each!

Monthly Newsletter: http://www.subscribepage.com/ReneeWrites

Giveaways & Goodies: https://www.subscribepage.com/reneewritesgiveaways

New Release Announcements: https://www.subscribepage.com/reneewritesnewrelease

Author Pages

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00NTJY1W2

Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/rscatts

BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/renee-scattergood

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8507658.Renee_Scattergood

Social Media Profiles

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/reneescatts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReneeScatts

About the Book

Living under the tyranny of the Galvadi Empire is torture, but Auren is determined to end the nightmare, regardless of the cost to herself.

Auren is once again a prisoner of the Galvadi on Nadiria, or at least that she wants Emperor Zavix to believe. It’s the only way to get close enough to him to kill him and then take control of the people.

To succeed in her mission, she must push her new power to the limit, but the more she uses her it, the more addictive it becomes. Unfortunately, stopping is not an option, but if she can focus on her goals, maybe she won’t lose herself.

Ebook $0.99

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VFQM7HN
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadow-stalker-renee-scattergood/1132571768
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Renee_Scattergood_Shadow_Stalker_Coup_Episode_22?id=70qjDwAAQBAJ
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/shadow-stalker-coup-episode-22-1
iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1473558101
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/949591

 

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Top 5 Most Important (Yet Least Talked About) Tips for Writing Flash Fiction – Guest Post By Marie Korman

 

If you just want to know the top 7 or 10 golden rules for writing flash fiction stop reading now, open a new tab in your internet browser and Google, “Tips for writing flash fiction.” You will find dozens of articles that talk about the same rules over and over again, with only slight variation in presentation. These are all great articles, and I encourage you to read them as you won’t find that information here.

In this article, you will find the top 5 most important (yet least talked about) tips for writing flash fiction.
The tips below are the result of reading large quantities of flash fiction for years, both as a fan of flash fiction and as an editor reviewing stories for my clients.

So here is what have I gleaned from those countless stories and gallons of coffee consumed while reading them.

1. Hook

Wait you said you weren’t going to rehash the 7-10 golden rules? Hold that thought and keep reading. In Flash fiction, you must have 2 hooks (see I told you to keep reading)! The first hook has to occur in your title. Yup, that’s right, your title has to have a solid hook too! If your title isn’t enticing, thought-provoking, or the cause of an irresistible curiosity prompting the reader to venture further, then your 2nd hook won’t matter. Many readers cruise the titles to decide which flash fiction stories even to give a 10-second trial read. So unlike novels or even short stories, if the title doesn’t grab the reader relentlessly, then you have already missed the mark. Next, you need a story hook, a very strong one right in the opening sentence. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that placing the hook in the first paragraph will suffice, even if it is a decent hook. In flash fiction, you have to grab the reader right from the very first word and yank them through the story only releasing after the last word that appears in the text. Great flash fiction makes a reader feel exactly like that. Like they were grabbed by the collar and thrust into a new world, released only at the end of the ride. If a reader pauses while reading your story, it’s the kiss of death.

2. Never start at the beginning!

Flash fiction never starts at the BEGINNING of a story. Instead, it starts at the beginning of the most critical action sequence that occurs closest to the END of the story. In flash fiction, you have to start your story when something is happening and ideally at the highest point of the story arc. Just like any narrative, flash fiction needs a beginning, middle, and end with a solid plot. But you’re not going to have subplots. Focus on one plot and one main conflict. The conflict should be the most important one that happens in the broader storyline and acts as the driving force of the story. Therefore, the main conflict needs to appear almost immediately in flash fiction.

3. Tension/Tight Writing

In flash fiction, tension has to be strong and continuous. As such, tension has to present at various levels in every sentence. Every word and every sentence must move the story closer to resolution. Flash fiction by definition is typically under 1000 words. It is a unique medium, and it requires a specific storytelling skillset. Words often have to wear multiple hats, such as creating an action while also providing vivid visual details. You must be ruthless and make every word justify its place in the story and prove that it is adding essential value.

4. Don’t tell everything!

You need a solid storyline with very vivid details that can be shared in the least amount of words with all non-essential text eliminated. That said, the best flash fiction leaves some things out. It leaves clues to possible conclusions or reasons why, without stating the answer explicitly. It allows readers to draw their own conclusions, sometimes multiple conclusions about a single-story element. Good flash fiction digs its hooks deep into the reader’s brain, causing them to mull the story around in the back of their mind even when they don’t mean to think about the story. Don’t take it too far, however. Writers that leave too much of a gap or too much ambiguity just annoy readers, leaving them to feel cheated at the end like they wasted their time. Every reader wants some sort of solid resolution, so be smart in your approach.

5. Emotional Impact

All great fiction connects with readers on an emotional level. That’s what they’re looking for, and flash fiction is no exception. This is why you need to show, rather than tell, emotional attributes. Sometimes naming an emotion has its place, but showing an emotion builds a better connection with the reader. One way to create an emotional impact is to bake it into a twist ending. Many stories have a twist at the end, and it is almost an unspoken attribute of flash fiction. Readers like a story that leaves them with a punch in the gut at the end.

Now that you know how to write amazing flash fiction here are 6 paying sites where you can submit your stories!

1. Craft Literary -They pay $100 for original flash fiction. They also occasionally have contests.
2. Smokelong – They pay $25 and publish pieces under 1000 words.
3. Flash Fiction Magazine – They pay $40 for stories ranging from 300-1000 words.
4. Lamplight – They pay 3¢ per word, $150 max and 1¢ per word for reprints.
5. The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts – They pay $50 for stories up to 600 words. Submissions are open now from March 15-June 15, 2019 and the average response time is just 3 days!
6. Haunted Waters Press – They pay $3.00 for Penny Fiction, flash fiction stories told in exactly 19 words—no more, no less!


Connect with Marie Korman:

Social Media Links:

Website: https://trehpublishing.com
Wordpress: https://mariekorman.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marie-korman/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarieKorman
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarieKormanWrites/

Tales from a Modern Dinosaur. Characters from my Past. – Guest Post Written By Merlin Fraser

Last year, sometime in October, I published a hilarious story, written by Merlin Fraser. I named it “On a different note” and the ones who read it had a good laugh with Merlin’s humor.

With this guest post, Merlin shows us that he’s not ‘only’ a great writer, and has his well known, a bit rough humor; but he is also a talented author of great sensitivity and treasures his memories with a warm heart and a trace of sadness many of us would not have expected.

I wanted to share this side of Merlin with you and I’m sure you will read his guest post and find it as valuable and admirable as I do.


“And now for something completely different,” to coin a phrase, I pinched it from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, in case you were wondering where you heard the expression before.

I’m sure you tire of my exploits with trees so a change of tack is required as I explore some of the many characters I have met during my country upbringing.

Journeying back to the 1950’s I think this character reflects a slightly cruel streak in our past due to a complete lack of understanding as to the causes of what is now considered a mental illness.

Bernie was a gentle soul never known to harm anything or anyone but to all he was cruelly known as the village idiot and to my everlasting shame I have to confess that as a kid I was no better than the rest.

To this day I have no idea what the problem was within Bernie’s brain, as I remember he was looked after an old lady at the far end of the village but as to their relationship, I have no idea. To her great credit, Bernie was always clean well fed and fairly well dressed in hand-me-downs’, presumably donated from other villagers.

Bernie would do odd jobs, take letters to the post box, that sort of thing and could always be relied on to hold one end of a long skipping rope for the girls or go in goal for a friendly football kick about. Although I suspect today’s parents would have a different view of a Bernie in the midst of their offspring and would probably demand his removal from the community, however, as I said Bernie was absolutely harmless.

For a while, he did the daily village paper rounds, until one dark stormy winter’s day all the daily papers were found thrown inside the door of the village church. With hindsight, I think that in that thunderstorm Bernie just got scared, panicked and ran home. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that was the end of the only paying job he ever had.

After that, the paper delivering job fell upon us kids, and we took it in turns to bugger it up as best we could but in a crafty way so as not to raise too much suspicion or acquire a thick ear. Whether this was a childish attempt to get Bernie his job back or just a piece of rebellion I cannot say, but in my case probably the latter. However, whichever kid had the duty Bernie was always a constant companion chattering away and pointing at anything and everything that caught his eye. Except on Sundays, his guardian always insisted Bernie went with her to church.

Not very far away from our village there was a large agricultural college and quite a few of the students had their own transport, mainly vintage motorbikes but there was the odd Ex Army Land Rover that could, somehow or another, manage to hold about ten students, more depending up the season or how drunk they were.

Back then, any such college was way beyond the means of the average family and the agricultural college more so and it seemed to be populated by the children of the landed gentry or well to do Farmers. In other words, ‘Privileged OIKS,’ who because of their often-rowdy behaviour would get banned from more and more pubs and have to travel further and further afield to get a drink. They used to invade our village pub on a regular basis. Now our pub landlord was a genial host, far more tolerant than many and more than happy to take their money, and it is the subject of money that brings me back to Bernie.

Most days, thanks to his never-failing routine depending on the time of day you could always find Bernie. If there were cows or horses in the fields close by that’s where he would be feeding them handfuls of grass stroking and talking to them.

As kids it took us ages to win the confidence of big animals, Bernie, on the other hand, was always surrounded by them. Even little birds would take food from his hands. While if it were me the little sods would sit on the ground about twenty feet away with their head cocked at that jaunty angle and that look in their beady eye that said, “you have got to be joking!”

On sunny summer evenings Bernie had a favourite seat on a wall across from the pub, he never went in unless he had found or was given an empty bottle and then he could reclaim the three pence deposit. From his perch, Bernie had a grandstand view of the pub and as he sat there in his own little world, he would sit swinging his legs and waving at all who came and went.

On the occasions when the invading hoards came from the college, some would try to engage Bernie in conversation, which was impossible. If he wanted something he would ask or more often just point, he talked, more often than not any response to your reply was never connected. Therefore, we learnt to simply listen and smile in understanding.

However, one Sunday evening there was much hilarity outside the pub close to Bernie’s wall and Bernie seemed to be in the centre of the action. To Alan, my best pal, and me it looked like the college students were picking on or making fun of him and we went to investigate. What exactly we intended to do was unclear since there was about twenty of them and only two of us and at that time there was a considerable age and size difference. Thankfully, it never came to that because as we got closer, we discovered that there was some sort of game going on and by the happy look on Bernie’s face, he was winning.

To explain the game, I have to take you back to pre-decimal British coinage, I won’t bore you with the confusing facts as to why there was 240 pennies in a pound or 12 pence in a shilling but the size of the coins of the day played a significant part in the game.

Therefore, a sixpenny piece was half the size of a shilling piece. A shilling was half the size of a two-shilling piece and there was another coin, which was called half a crown that was slightly bigger than a two-shilling piece and worth six pence more.

I’m already confused, and I grew up with this crazy system, but fear not it’s not critical because the game here is based upon size and as you can see from the above description size relates to value, all very logical, however, I doubt Bernie had any notion of logic.

The students seemed to be taking it in turns to challenge Bernie by showing him two coins of different sizes and demanding he chose one. Bernie always took the smaller coin and therefore the one of lesser value, this was the cause of the hilarity and so the game went on until the students tired of the game, they sweetly called ‘idiot baiting’ and returned to the pub to throw beer and darts at one another.

Allan and I tried as best we could to explain to Bernie the error of his decisions, even showing him the difference in size from the collection of coins he had won by playing the same game between Allan and me, Bernie just frowned and shook his head.

We gave up, well I did, Allan had one more question, “Bernie why can’t you understand?”

Bernie emptied his pockets and at a rough guess he had at least two pounds in loose change, by kids standards a King’s ransom in those days, he looked at us and said, ”If Bernie take big coin they don’t play with Bernie no more !”

I learnt a valuable lesson that day and I suspect Allan did too.

What happened to Bernie?

Sad to say I have no idea after I joined the Navy in the early ’60s my family moved away from the village. When I eventually went back for a visit a few years later he was gone. The old woman who looked after him had died and I suspect the local authorities moved in and sent him off to an institution somewhere.

Nowadays in the mad rush and tear of modern living, I often think of those far off days, it was a far gentler time, the pace of life was far slower, and I can’t help thinking the world is a sadder place without the Bernie’s and the gentle humanity of a close community.

Picture courtesy of: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coins_of_the_pound_sterling

Guest Post By S. Jackson – Child Loss

I’m not the woman I once was…I know the hurt, the battle within.

I’m not the woman I once was… I’m not the mama I once was… but I’m me, please take me as I am, full of flaws… I know the hurt, the battle within.

My own mother was devoid of feeling towards most of her children, and I was the perfect black sheep in her eyes. She wasn’t affectionate, didn’t hug, or show love as I grew up. If she did show to any my siblings, I never once saw it. I told myself that I would the opposite with my own children if I were to be blessed by God and given the gift of children.

I was blessed with three boys and one daughter (from my second marriage). My first born died in utero (inside me), labor was induced, and Shane was stillborn. I was crushed and in an abusive marriage. My second son, Gene, was born ‘blue’, but he rallied around and with the grace of God, he is now a machinist. Sam, my youngest, was born and I thought life would be good. I lavished love, hugs, and kisses on both boys, and eventually left their abusive father. However, Sam ended up passing away at age five years old. I was broken, and full of shattered shards and bits of life, as we know it.

I’m not the woman I once was… I’m not the mama I once was…

– Many of you on social media know that I’m not who I used to be.

– I’m different now… a different ‘me’. It has been this way since October 1990.

– When I remarried, my new daughter never got the chance to know the ‘me’ before the new me. Rachel – you never got to know the first ‘me’ before ‘the new me’. I’m sorry you never got to meet the ‘first me’ – you may have liked that ‘me’.

– When Sam died, and after the tubes were removed, I rocked him in my arms for about 20 minutes. My body was torn apart and I could barely even breathe.

– I kissed Sam’s corpse over and over and messed up his lips (he had been intubated and required lip filler), and nothing was ever the same.

– I’m sorry to both my kids on Earth, Gene and Rachel, and to my husband, for always being there in my physical form, but yet now ‘really there’. Imagine a zombie mother living in the house and baking cookies yet she isn’t really ‘there’. A mother going to Boy Scout events, field trips, musical events, sports games, and the like, but one part seems missing.

– As each year passes by, I am more ‘there’ but know that moments do happen and always will happen. You see change is inevitable, and some parents change even more so.

– For us baby boomers who have lost, we also never had enough pictures, and never will. Thankfully the millennial generation, have tons of instant pictures thanks to electronics. Life has taught me that if you are a parent, just love your children, say it and show it every day. Spoil them from time to time, (as it doesn’t hurt to give a little sometimes), and those are moments to treasure. Don’t let only Valentine’s Day be a day of showing your love; make every day that day. You only have the here and now so make the most of it, and you won’t be sorry.


WORDS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT LOST A CHILD/ CHILDREN

“Does it get any easier after losing a child? Somewhat…
Is it possible for a parent to be happy their child/children are perfect in Heaven above… and feel peace with that? Sure… (It took me twenty-three years for Eli and somewhat less for Joshua.)
Can a parent ever “get over” losing a child? No. This is the KING of loss. We can be happy that they are perfect in Heaven and sad at times when we miss them the most.
Bereaved parents are continually re-writing each day, as they try to cope with their new “normal.” This won’t change. We will think of our loss when other children reach milestones such as their first tooth, first steps, first words, kindergarten, holidays, best friend, graduation, prom, falling in love, first kiss, learning to drive, getting married… the list is endless. There will always be reminders of our loss.
The WORST things you can ever say to a parent who has suffered the KING of loss, even after one, ten, twenty, or more years? “You should be over it by now,” or “Move on with life.” You see, we are moving on with life. We just do it one hour… one day at a time… re-writing life as we go along.”

~S Jackson, October 2014


About the author

Mary L. Schmidt writes under the pen name of S. Jackson, and she is a retired registered nurse, who won the coveted Leora B. Stroup Bachelor of Science in Nursing Award for outstanding clinical performance, community involvement and academic achievement in Nursing Award, while at Fort Hays State University. She is a Member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators: The international professional organization for writers and illustrators of children’s literature, and Sigma Theta Tau International: The Honor Society of Nursing, which is the second-largest nursing organization in the world with approximately 135,000 active members. She loves spending time with her husband, Michael, who is also her co-author, A. Raymond; their son Gene, daughter Rachel, and first born grandchild, Austin.


Check out S. Jackson’s blog:

https://whenangelsfly.wordpress.com

Thanksgiving Poem By Larry Sells

Larry Sells, one of the participants in this year’s Halloween Poem contest, has provided us with a wonderful Thanksgiving poem. I decided to publish it here on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ as a guest post. Thank you very much, Larry.


Family Gathering
Food on the table.
Words of love enter hearts.
Hugs give support.
Tears of joy are wiped
off with love. Families
grow and get smaller.
Love becomes a tradition.
Love is more important
than what’s on the table.
The hugs, kisses, warm people’s
hearts and souls. Gratitude gets shared.
Peace joins us all; one person at a time.


Connect with Larry Sells:

http://www.larrysells1960.com/

“FANGS” – By Larry Sells


This Halloween Poem is published on behalf of Larry sells and is not part of the Halloween Poem Contest, since Larry has already participated with another poem. But I like it very much and couldn’t resist to publish it with Larry’s permission. (Please be kind and respect Larry’s copyright!)


FANGS

The wind bites flesh with invisible fangs.
Blood flows making vampires hungry. They
Swope on their human prey sinking their
long fangs into their bare throats. Adults
and children scream their fear as they die
on the streets and sidewalks. The werewolves
won’t be denied, for they smell the blood flowing
from the victims onto the ground. A multitude
of howls fills the night announcing the arrival
of the werewolves. The crunching of bones
and the sounds of lapping of blood
from the streets, sidewalks, and grounds spread fear
among the people who were handing out candy
away from the doors and windows. They called the police
and watch their heroes eaten before their eyes. Blood soaked
torn uniforms littered the streets. Tears fill candy bowls
as hope dissolves as vampires and werewolves enter homes
to quench their growing appetite. Then, the moon turns
the color of silver announcing the end of the slaughter.
A black hole opens taking all of the werewolves and vampires.
The bodies turn to ashes and the wind blows them away.


Thank you very much to the poet, Larry Sells.

On A Different Note – New Guest Post By Merlin Fraser

“On a different note” is not the title of this guest post, it’s my title. Merlin Fraser is an excellent storyteller and author. He is also a wonderful advisor, knows how to challenge me, push me a little bit, and light up my mood.

Merlin has a unique and sometimes a bit rough sense of humor, but he never failed to make me laugh.

When Merlin sent me this story, his exact words were: “I make no apologies but do warn you not to be drinking anything while you read !”

I was grateful for the warning, and herewith I’m forwarding it to you.

Have a good laugh with a funny story!


Who Farted? I Really Want to Know

 

Whichever way you look at it, this is a great question. No ! Seriously I mean it.

I know, even as I sit here trying desperately to breathe through my ears having just let one go, that there are many readers out there sniggering already at the subject matter but it is a subject that commands a great deal of thoughtful research.

There’s is no great secret or mystery as to what a Fart is, or where it comes from. We all do it, albeit some more loudly and more frequently than others and if you are of the male persuasion it is likely you take a high degree of pride in being able to clear a room before anyone can point a finger in your direction.

There are also times when it is sensible to hold back, for instance you enter the chamber and prepare to squat do not, under any circumstances, fart on your way down because you are going to descend through it and have to sit there, eyes watering, until the rest of the business is concluded. This is a lesson that should be taught at the ‘Potty’ stage of life but, as far as I am aware, seldom is !

Additionally, Farting half way down the inside of a 40 foot steel container you are unloading should be avoided as well, again this is a common sense suggestion based upon Newton’s laws of Motion, IE you will be constantly moving backwards and forwards through it.
(I should charge for lessons like this …!)

Anyway, I am again indebted to Stan, a friend of mine who asked this question because it is one area where I feel I can speak with a great deal of authority having been exposed, if that’s the right word, to some of the worlds more renowned Farter’s and until now have had no suitable outlet for the knowledge.

My first hero was Sam, a couple of years my senior in school and a Farter of, at least, Olympic Silver medal standard. Whatever the occasion he could, produce one almost on cue. So why only the Silver medal I hear you ask, well Sam was a noisy farter and was therefore limited to the classroom or other confined spaces. Or put another way he lacked the true skill of a champion by being able to produce an SBD (Silent But Deadly) in places like parents night or end of term prize giving. The Gold medal was never awarded, we had a candidate but he, like his smelly silent butt remained anonymous. (My money was on the little blonde haired kid in first year who had the face of angel but I suspect the arse of the devil).

However, Sam does rate a special mention for being the first pupil in the school’s history to attempt to ignite a human fart with the aid of a Bunsen burner.

The effect, as I recall, was a rather pleasing yellow bluish flame of approximately 6 to 9 inches long, which may have gone unnoticed by the teacher if Sam had allowed for what I can only be describes as the ‘Blow Back’ effect in his calculations.

To be honest I failed science as a subject so you will have to bear with me if I make a complete Dogs Breakfast of describing the theory of blow back.

We were only school boys, doing what school boys do, well at our school we did, therefore I can only assume there was a lot more science involved in what happened than we previously knew.

OK, first of all there is the speed of sound (The Fart) that’s 1,126 feet per second or 768 miles per hour.

Then we have the speed of light (The Bunsen Burner flame) which is 186,282 miles per second.

Plus, we needed to consider (and didn’t) the Calorific value of Methane Gas under an unknown pressure. With hindsight, perhaps we should have given a little more mathematical thought to the reaction elapse time of the following equation:

From fart generation to ignition where the source of ignition is a constant but the actual timing of the fart was a variable as was the duration of said fart. A-n-d… Now here I’m just guessing but I think it was the elusive duration factor that caused the side effect.

You have to remember I’m going back over sixty years here but if memory serves it was one of Sam’s special Knicker Rippers, or it would have been if he hadn’t been mooning at an open flame at that precise moment in time.

The resultant nasty side effect was that by producing a Fart that close to a source of ignition turns it into a naked flame, which one assumes as a source of light actual travels at the speed of light, previously indicated of 186 thousand miles per second, which by Newton’s Laws of acceleration is knocking on a bit!

In addition, I think another thing we failed to consider is that at the time one expels a Fart oxygen is displaced thus creating a mini vacuum, which may only be present for a millisecond, but at the speed of light, that is plenty long enough for the Blow Back effect to scorch your Arse. Or in this case Sam’s arse !

REPORT CONCLUSION:

To this day, I still think if Sam hadn’t screamed we might have got away with it.

However, that and the complete failure to get his pants back up in the 2.3 seconds it took the science teacher to cross the full length of the science room. Of course, by this time there was additional evidence that not all had gone entirely to plan, the room smelled of Barbecue, and there was still a faint whiff of smoke from his singed pubic hair.

Needless to say the Head Master was summoned, Sam, now in tears and shock was led away to the Matron’s office, with his pants still round his knees leaving me to face the full force of the ‘Screaming Scull’ all by myself. (This was the nickname of the School Head Master because of his facial resemblance to the one you see on Pirate flags).

You can just picture the scene, can’t you ? The full gravity of the incident had by now sunk into all assembled some prize Pillock had panicked and hit the Fire Alarm, so now the town Fire Brigade were on their way to the scene as senior members of staff led the whole school out of the building and onto the school playing fields.

The science lab was quite a large airy room, which to me seemed a hell of a lot bigger with me at one end and everybody else looking at me from what seemed then and now as an extraordinary large distance of safety.

Then the penny dropped, they thought it was me ! That I was the Bad Ass at the party and to ensure their total innocence from the shit storm we all knew was coming they had backed into the furthest corner away for me.

The Scull duly arrived took the room in at a glance, the relief on his face, that the science lab and his school were not actually on fire, lasted for about the same length of time as the time lapse of Fart to Ignition to Scream.

His eyes fell upon me, “You Boy…Come Here and Explain Yourself !”

“Me Sir ?”

“Yes You Sir !”

QUICK ASIDE : I’ve just thought of something, I have just realised that it’s probably because of this incident in my life that I look guilty even when I haven’t done anything. You know like going through the ‘Nothing To Declare’ Exit at an air terminal, looking guilty as Hell but you really… really have nothing to declare ! Just a thought.

Anyway, I should digress no further. Needless to say I was frog march out of the room with my right ear in the tight grasp of the Scull’s thumb and fore finger. He only let go because at that moment two gorillas in yellow water proof leggings and funny hats came thundering up the passageway towards us with an axe in one hand and a fire extinguisher in the other.

I won’t bore you with the exact details of what followed, other than to say I explained the entire incident in fantastic schoolboy logical detail, purely from the stance as an innocent witness’s point of view you understand.

No ! It was not my idea.

No ! I didn’t try to talk Sam out of it. It was a purely scientific experiment after all and I was as interested to find out the result as Sam was.

In addition, needless to say the Scull didn’t believe a word of it.

Upon receipt of the Matron’s report the Scull decided that Sam had suffered enough for one day. Having walked half naked through a giggling mob adding to the loss of his dignity, not to mention his pubes, that and a 6 inch long scorch mark which would probably cause him more pain and last longer than the pain I was about to receive.

Just to end upon a happy note you will be pleased to know that dear Sam suffered no lasting long term effects, and like me, probably went on to dine out on the story for many happy years. Yet, many years later I did hear from a mutual friend that in Sam’s version it was me who had the scorched arse.

He continued to impress the school with his farting abilities including a two toned one that resembled the horn on a passing diesel electric train. By the time, we left school to go on to greater things he was working on and had almost perfected the Doppler effect.

In case you were wondering, I know my loyal readers like all the details, Sam did reveal his secret and that was ‘Beecham’s Liver Pills’. I think they were a mild cure for constipation, although I never found out why he, at his age, may have been prescribed such a thing, maybe he hadn’t. Perhaps he had been pinching them off his mum…. which at one point led to wondering if she suffered the same side affect her son did…. What a Happy household that must have been, what’s that saying; “They who Fart together Stay together !” Or something like that.

Nevertheless, one thing I did find out, to my cost, was that over the years he had become immune to their laxative effects leaving him only with the side effect of his farting skills.

Why to my cost I hear you ask? Two things, you know the World War Two movie ‘The Damn Busters ? The one about Barnes Wallace and his Bouncing Bombs ! One rainy Saturday afternoon Sam and I went to the see the film… we had lunch at his house, this was the day he let me in on the secret of the Liver Pills and he gave me two to try.

Yep they worked !

We were having a whale of a time timing our farts to coincide with the aircraft bombing runs…. Remember I said he was immune…

I wasn’t !

There’s another famous British WWII move ‘ A Bridge Too Far,’ I could so easily re write that as a ‘Fart Too Many !!’

So in answer to Stan’s question; Who Farted? I Really Want to Know…

It was Sam !!!