Two Hemingways met each other in the elevator at the hotel.

Hemingway thought it was a good chance to weigh-up the competition, he smiled to himself; he was a far more convincing Hemingway, more grizzled, more masculine.

The other Hemingway grew in confidence too, he thought his beard was far more Hemingwayesque, he also had an unhinged quality and knew the right way to smoke a pipe.

Both exit at the 6th floor, grumbling, just like Hemingway would have done.

At 5pm, the look-a-like competition was held in Sloppy Joes bar. The judge was the real Hemingway’s brother, Leicester.

At 8pm, the triumphant Hemingway was celebrating; he planned to drink himself stupid. The other Hemingway was locked in his hotel room, staring at his beard in the mirror. Leicester was in a taxi on the way to the airport.


Frater Ra-The Divine Blacksmith, placed the Sacred Helmet firmly on the effigy of Mokosh.

Someone at the back giggled.

Frater Ra spun round. A sea of masks stared back at him.

He resumed the ancient ritual by loosening the brass teats of Zoria.

A full blown laugh.

Frater Ra was quicker this time.

“Frater Oroboros! Maybe you’d like to share with the rest of the brethren what you find so funny?”

Frater Ouroboros stood in a petulant way, wearing his robes in the modern fashion. A quiet slapping noise echoed around the Temple of Anubis. Frater Ra narrowed his eyes.

“Are you chewing gum?”


Today I become a hermit and live in solitude for the rest of my life, people will ask themselves, where did Spencer go?

After a hard trek through the forest, I found the perfect cave. It felt good to look upon my new home. I imagined myself fully bearded and dressed in animal skins.

I buried my mobile phone.

Inside the cave I sat on a comfortable rock, it was the perfect fit. I put on the fake beard and settled down to some serious musing.

A family arrived in the afternoon. They said it’s always been their favorite picnic spot. I told them of my quest for solitude and my new life as a hermit, I tried to look wise and refused the offer of a sausage roll. It’s not becoming of a future old man of the forest to accept food from just anyone (Although I did have a couple of cheesy ‘Knick Knacks’).

After waving goodbye to the Walsh family I vowed to move further in to the wilderness tomorrow. I could feel the cold breath of civilization on my neck.

I dug up my mobile, no messages.


We were all lounging in our room, Lord Waldrem, Lord Quintin and I, when the usually calm Bishop of Durham rushed in; he was shaking from head to foot.

“I forgot to nod!”

Now, to the ordinary commoner this doesn’t seem like a terrible offence, but to a peer nodding is damnably important; on entrance to the lords we’re all expected to nod in the direction of the chair where the queen sits. Not to the chair of course, or the absent queen, but to a queer piece of fabric that rests on the arm of the chair. Ask not what for! Anyway you have to nod at it otherwise you’re in dreadful trouble, and in the H.O.L this means a trip upstairs to get a tongue lashing from Mr Phips.

“You should leave the country!” suggested Lord Waldren.

The Bish’ said he would, but his sister was getting married this weekend so he had no choice but to stay in Blighty.

“Slip him a back hander.” piped up Lord Quintin. We ignored him; he was so old fashioned when it came to a crisis.

There was a pounding on the door.

“Quick!” I cried, “In to the cupboard.”

The Bishop folded himself inside and I squeezed the door shut. We all held our breath.

After the pounding stopped in marched Lord Sugar. He asked to borrow a cup of sugar. What an ass!

That evening at supper, the Bishop of Durham was summoned to Mr Phips’ office. We all looked down at our soup as the condemned man shuffled by. Lord Sugar threw a bread roll at the back of his head.

The Last DJ

The last surviving DJ on the planet woke early. He watered all of his plants methodically; they were stunted but growing, that was the main thing.

At 12 noon he sank into his seat and flicked on the mic.

After talking for three minutes he picked up the only record left undamaged and placed it on the turntable.


As the sound of the funky baseline carried over the deserted city, he wondered if anyone out there was listening, or if he was just broadcasting to the void.

After signing off, he checked the perimeter and went to bed early.

He was sure he had checked the perimeter the night before, so he was a little surprised to find the intruder standing before him in the studio.

The DJ had never been good with ages but he thought the boy was about 17 or 18.

He was wild looking. Daubed in paint and wearing rags, a large concentric circle tattooed across his chest. He was armed with a sharp stick.

“Awandawai” clucked the boy.

The DJ hadn’t spoken to another soul for over 50 years.


The DJ was experiencing a serious case of the yipps. He hadn’t dried up on the airwaves before but this was different. His brain was frozen.


Suddenly the room was full of savages. They advanced on the DJ and before he could gather his wits, a cloth bag was forced over his head and he was bundled from the studio.

When the bag was taken off his head it took a while for the DJ to get his bearings. He hadn’t left the studio for years.

Rubble, scorch marks, vegetation covered the buildings. He was in the centre of the old city.

Hundreds of chanting savages surrounded him, flinging their arms around and grinning.

The crowd parted.

The Head Savage strolled toward the DJ. He had a transistor radio dangling from a cord around his neck and was dragging a large axe behind him. A hush fell.


The DJ despaired, they were obviously trying to communicate with him but he was at a loss to understand.

Somewhere a clock struck 12.

The Head savage grabbed the transistor radio and clicked it on. The crowd leaned in, listening.


The crowd began to murmur.

The Head savage grew uneasy, shaking the radio, confused. His attention turned on the DJ.


The crowd turned nasty. A couple of burly savages grabbed the DJ and held him down.

The DJ struggled as he watched the axe being dragged towards him.

Suddenly it came to him, these savages were his audience. They were waiting to hear his show! Just before the axe connected with his neck the DJ was truly happy. Someone was listening!

Eccentric No 1. Francis Henry Egerton,
8th Earl of Bridgewater

My twelve dogs eat with me everyday. I’ll be damned if I’ll suffer any other company. The table is set and the servants lead them in. My dogs and I share the same gusto when it comes to the consumption of our supper (English boiled beef and potatoes), no knives, no forks, no dainty patterned plates, just all that god gave us, hands and mouth, the faster the better. I can well remember my Aunt Julia’s face when she observed my mastication, you don’t get that kind of eye popping from a Doberman.

When I die I shall leave them nothing. Damned if a dog needs money. They can have their shoes; I’ll give them that, their shoes and their napkins. My servants? They will each have a mourning suit, a cocked hat and three pairs of worsted stockings; I’ll not have them say that Francis Henry Egerton, 8th Earl of Bridgewater wasn’t a generous man.