The Galwegian Haggis Wraith

Frank Schott

“12:31” by Frank Schott (2011)

Once more from the obscurity of my strange mind comes a weird (yet informative) article on a creature which most people probably think doesn’t exist.  What’s that?  You’ve never heard of the Galwegian Haggis Wraith either?  Well you’re in the right place for an enthralling crash course education!  Written on the 31st January 2017.


The Galwegian Haggis Wraith

In Galwegian folklore (not to be confused with Glaswegian folklore), a haggis wraith is a supernatural entity that appears as a deformed and/or ferocious-looking lump of fur. Haggis wraiths are the ancestral spirits of long dead haggises, and are regularly seen flying around graveyards, forests and beaches at night in a whirlwind of pure, undiluted Scottishness. The fact that they fly at all is quite interesting, as living haggises and their forefathers (such as the woolly haggis, sabre-toothed haggis and iron age hamster) were never capable of flight. The earliest cave paintings depicting their ancestors reveal that the closest they ever got to air propulsion was when Galwegian cavemen threw them at each other in lieu of snowballs. It is believed that their new-found ability to whiz through the air like hairy frisbees is due to either as-yet discovered paranormal reasoning, or possibly the ignition of methane from their characteristically long, drawn out expulsions of wind.

Haggis wraiths are usually described as “hairier than sin” (according to Hangman’s Bestiary, the authoritative scholarly text on wonderful creatures that may or may not have existed). Their hue can range from the most vibrant of ginger to the inkiest of black and includes many shades of grey, white and the occasional patterned variant, much like the common household cat. It has four legs, though they are so tiny they could be considered inverted and are therefore not worth considering at all. From a distance they could be mistaken for large, mouldy sausages or black puddings which have been left outside in the rain too long, and from up close they are regularly mistaken for dishevelled hedgehogs that got into a fight with a bag of wool.

The creatures are known across Galloway for being supremely ferocious and many herds of the famed belted Galloway cattle have been reduced to mere bones by their ilk. They also have a propensity to gnaw at the ankles of fishermen if they fall asleep at the rod after dusk. In 1678 such an incident occurred to attest to their ferocity that the creature was subsequently placed on the National Register of Heathenish Entities, that being when the entire population of the village of Broadstone was wiped out by an infestation of haggis wraiths when a local clergyman discovered a nest in the church’s bell tower and poked it with a bible.

The haggis wraith is an exceptionally patriotic creature of legend, and as such will only yield in its attack (especially if it is swarming with other members of its hive) if the person or animal being set upon cries for leniency in a decidedly Galloway-Irish accent. This behaviour goes some way to explain why infinitely more foreign people die of haggis wraith attacks in the region than locals. Currently, the ratio stands at ten to one, with only one Galwegian dying from an attack for every ten outsiders that fall victim to their infamous rage. According to Archibald McLean’s Scots Folklore Bible, haggis wraiths sometimes carry a rare strain of malaria. Though this is merely conjecture (allegedly an attempt to keep highlanders out of the lowlands), a lot of people believe it to be fact and as such the Tourist Information Board of Scotland has had to inject huge resources into an awareness campaign to inform potential visitors that malaria in Scotland died out with the kelp bears in the late seventeenth century.

Ebenezer Hangman identifies haggis wraiths as “one of the most memorable and distinctive figures in Scottish folklore that look like hairy, spectral sausages”, and observes that they are “strikingly fluffy” and often exhibit “borderline genocidal tendencies”. Hangman also speculated that if provoked enough, a haggis wraith is capable of spontaneous combustion as a last resort defence mechanism, though as yet no fatalities have been recorded regarding this extreme behaviour. Despite this, it must be noted that a farm near Leswalt was once blown up by something that the insurance policy holder insisted was a free-floating haggis of indeterminate origin and disposition.

The haggis wraith’s influence stretches far and wide. Romanticised depictions of it have appeared in many novels and poems, with the first reference to it in literature occurring in 1412 in John J. Harg’s Horror of Clayhole. In this groundbreaking historical novel, Harg mentions the haggis wraith many times and makes note of it being both the “scourge of the Rhins” and the “matted beastie of St. John’s Chapel”. The haggis wraith has also been portrayed in other forms of media, most notably in Touching Cloth Pictures’ 1972 film noir classic, The Teased Bishop.

In summation, the haggis wraith of legend is an entity to be both feared and respected. If the tales are to be believed then it is the cause of more than thirty thousand untimely deaths, the wiping out of eleven villages and the destruction of more farmland and forests than the bubonic porridge louse during the Lowlands Renaissance. A creature of almost stoic mysticism, it will remain an icon of Scottish lore for as long as there are tartan tongues to speak of it, dancing and flitting in the evening gloaming between the ancient tombstones and pines of the majestic Galloway hills.

The Bogle

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“Haunted Forest” by Slava Gerj

The bogle is something which has fascinated me my entire life.  A ghost or elemental being from Scottish folklore, it has featured in many of the stories I read growing up.  And so, this poem is my own take on the ominous entity.  Originally written on the 17th June 2016.


The Bogle

Moss-clad byways, ancient haunts of man,
The bogle stalks ancestral lands.
That’s what it does, as it always has,
Hunting the lost, with outstretched hands.
Country roads, isolated and forlorn,
A dying forest, through moonlight torn.
Dwelling in fractures, wandering alone,
Gathering strength with the coming gloam.
Waiting is nothing, nor is there end,
To the haunting of that which never transcends.
It never lived nor died, it is something else,
As old as man and as real as self.
Up and down those forgotten lanes,
The hedgerows, forests and quiet plains.
Over hills and shores and restless borders,
Meandering without end the desolate corners.
Transcending legend, traversing yore,
The silent concierge of death’s grim door.
A silent stalking phantom, seldom seen,
Yet sometimes felt in light’s dying gleam.
Sullen hearts of ice, lonely and afraid,
Out of the gloom emerges the shade.
Glacial fingers delivering death’s touch,
Casting victims into the clutch.
And in the distance, an old kirk bell chimes,
And the bogle resumes its wandering,
The avenues of time.

Spark in Time

Michael Conrad Hirt -  Vanitas Still Life (1630)

“Vanitas Still Life” by Michael Conrad Hirt (1630)

A poem about mortality, art and legacy.  Written on the 2nd July 2016.


Spark in Time

These numb fingers and this rusting brain.
This yellowing parchment and raptor’s mane.
Words of power, wisdom and change.
On tablet immortal by window pane.
Lines unending, scrawled in time.
Moments captured, verse and rhyme.
And when fingers and brain no longer tick.
When candle on sill is reduced to wick.
The words remain, poignant and strong.
Immortal on paper, when author’s gone.

The Old Sea Chest

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“Elm, Leather and Iron Bound Chest” by Period Oak Antiques (c. 1500)

Originally written on the 26th May 2016, this poem was an entry for a 50 word fiction competition.


The Old Sea Chest

Crumbling sea chest, time is thine enemy.
Where once clung a trusted latch,
Now peel rusted bones.
When the brittle roof falls
And the cabin sighs its last,
An old container spills its secret.
A life long extinguished,
Liberated but for a moment.
Before being imprisoned forever,
Beneath collapsing timber.

The Deity in Tartan

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“Shadow Warrior” by Andrew Hillhouse (2000)

This is a short story, a fairy tale almost, about the Scottish people having their very own god, and the incredibly stereotypical things that He did for bonny Scotland.  Written on the 9th May 2016.


The Deity in Tartan

Made out of kelpie-grade haggis, the Alpha Scotsman was the physical embodiment of all that is Scottish. He was not born, but rather came into existence when a large shipment of battered haggis accidentally fell off a cliff and had been struck by lightning at the exact same moment it impacted with an Irn Bru factory below. The combination of the impact, burst of raw energy and that fact that “Real Gone Kid” by Deacon Blue had been playing at full volume in the factory at the time resulted in the single most powerful surge of pure Scottish energy in history. Out of the mighty tartan explosion, which sounded like 10,000 bagpipes filled with selkie fart all erupting at once, emerged the 50 foot Alpha Scotsman.

According to scribes, His first words were “Get it richt up ye!”, presumably directed towards God, for His existence was clearly never supposed to happen. God, unavailable for comment at that time (or any other since for that matter), did nothing to stop the towering Alba golem as He flung Himself across the turbulent seas in a highland jig so perfectly executed that it caused salmon farms and oil platforms to sprout in His wake. The mighty Scotsman soon landed in the Outer Hebrides, where He allegedly took a dump so magnificent that it became a lighthouse powerful enough that it was the only one ever needed for all of Scotland thereafter.

After this fleeting visit to the storm ravaged shores of the western coast, the giant proceeded to break physics by caber tossing Himself all the way to the beautiful isle of Skye, where His porridge-flavoured sweat became premium whisky and His copious dandruff was presented to the local crofters, who in turn baked the pieces until they became black puddings, worth their weight in gold.

The Alpha Scotsman was revered by many, loved by all. Except the English, that is. They, for whatever reason (no doubt dating back to the outcome of the second Scottish War of Independence in 1357) seemed to loath the fact that their neighbours to the north now had a living, resident and quite magnificent deity providing them with all the happiness, success and tourist sex appeal a country could ever need. The jealous nation south of the border simply could not let the Alpha Scotsman live, especially when their own attempts at creating an Alpha Englishman proved fruitless. As it turns out, dumping a shipment of teabags and crumpets off a cliff onto a red telephone booth in a thunderstorm does not create a supreme being. It only makes a mess. The English therefore hatched a sinister plan.

But the Alpha Scotsman was no ordinary Scotsman. He was a super Scotsman. He’d eaten all the porridge in the country and it had expanded both His stomach and consciousness to such a level that He could read other countries’ thoughts. As He sat sunning himself atop Edinburgh Castle one day, He suddenly sensed that the dastardly English were planning to bomb his kilt off, rendering Him nude from the waist down. They had assumed that the Scotsman’s subsequent embarrassment would be such that He would run away from Scotland forever. They were dead wrong. The Alpha Scotsman smirked when He discovered this devious plot, He would teach them not to mess with His bonny kilt and country. The proud giant waited patiently for the English to get their act together and execute their ill-fated plan.

The following summer, as the Alpha Scotsman refilled the North Sea oil reserves with His mind power and eliminated heart disease amongst the population by developing a health and exercise program for school children that they actually enjoyed for once, the bitterly jealous English finally made their move. Scotsman had just finished performing stand up comedy for the first time at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival when a squadron of English fighter jets tore up Princes Street, scaring young children and international dance troupes in the process. The Alpha Scotsman immediately somersaulted onto Arthur’s Seat and bellowed at the screaming metal wasps advancing towards Him, “’Mon then, ye wee beasties!” And ‘mon they did.

The attacking jets fired their guns which had been preloaded with bullets filled with tea and crumpets in addition to the more traditional gunpowder. The Supreme Leader of England had assumed that tea and crumpets would be the Alpha Scotsman’s kryptonite. They weren’t. To the Scotsman, they were less dangerous than midges. Never the less, the screaming bullets tore through the air and obliterated the Scotsman’s belt, dropping the giant’s colossal kilt to His ankles, exposing His Scotch saveloy.

However, far from being embarrassed and running off never to be seen again, the Scotsman started laughing and swinging His dong around like a Glaswegian windmill. You see, what’s under a true Scotsman’s kilt is Grade A highland beef and that’s something to be proud of, not embarrassed. The exposed love organ was the exact same length as one of the giant’s arms, though twice as ripped and intimidating. The sight of such a thing caused the fighter pilots to crash their planes into Princes Street Gardens, where they went up in a giant tartan fireball.

The Alpha Scotsman knew it was now time to put an end to the English people’s jealously once and for all. He did not hate them, nor did He really care what they did, unless it encroached upon His bonny lands and people. A terrorist kilt attack in the middle of the Fringe Festival was just that. So, not bothering to find a replacement kilt, the titan caber tossed Himself down to London in one fluid thrust. Once He landed, the Scotsman did His best not to blind anyone with His gargantuan third leg, but casualties could not be helped. He quickly located and tore the roof off 10 Downing Street, pulled the Supreme Leader out of his office where he was engaged in trying on bowler hats, and told him to leave His beloved country and people alone, lest he wish doom and gloom to befall his own nation. The Scotsman promised to create an army of haggis golems and send them to England with orders to turn every house into a bothy and every man, woman and child into a wee Scottie dog. He’d turn all their crops into highland toffee and Tunnock’s teacakes, making all their teeth rot and fall out. It would rain every day and night for all eternity and He’d even batter and deep fry the Houses of Parliament. The Supreme Leader, through tears, agreed to the Scotsman’s fair terms.

The great tartan titan put the trembling man down and then whisked Himself off to His homeland once more. He had secured Scotland’s future and His people would be free to enjoy the more Scottish things in life, without the threat of an English tea and crumpet invasion ever again. The giant icon of Caledonia smiled, His glistening teeth sending out vibrant rays that caused all the crops in the countryside to spontaneously reach maturity and harvest themselves.

Deciding upon a temporary rest from public view, the Alpha Scotsman made His way to Arbroath, where He created a battered Mars bar so big that it could, and did, feed the entire town for the next five generations. He also made a second one, this time for Himself, and legend says He took it with Him into a secret cave somewhere to the north, where He remains to this very day, waiting for the time when His faithful Scottish people need Him once more.

Transformation

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“Reborn” by Naomi Walker (2011)

A short story about rebirth.  Written on the 9th June 2016.


Transformation

The metamorphosis had begun with the warping of ancient tissues, the mutation of prehistoric genes. The phoenix was tired and longed to emerge from its worn, ashen bed.

The time had come for change. The decision was made by others, when the bombs dropped and the oceans evaporated, when the trees ignited and the mountains imploded. That was the moment of clarity. A return to innocence was in order, long overdue and inevitable in nature. The celestial had said “enough”. And so it began, again.

Rebirth. Expelled from the womb of rapture, protected by the placenta of purity and nursed on the flawless teats of celestial innocence, the second chance commenced and blossomed into an aeon of timeless silence and contemplation.

It was a beautiful age, the timeless one. One without damage or scarring, one without thought. It lasted until its peace was inevitably shattered once more by the advancing tide of humanity which had spawned upon that innocent, soulful thing. A world of change had come once more. As the sand began trickling through the hourglass, the rupturing of that purity began anew. It was slow at first, just as before, and as the tumultuous shores passed through the glass and filled its bottom, there was less and less left to expend.

The bombs would come again, of that there was no doubt. The oceans would vanish. The trees would erupt and the mountains would collapse into nothing. The decision would be made again. As it always will.

Adieu

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“Hands, Aged, Elderly, Old, Senior” by Pixabay (2014)

A short poem I wrote about old age, its inevitability and those affected by it.  Written on the 27th May 2016.


Adieu

Her veins are cerulean,
She’s growing cold.
Her hands are shaking,
They’re getting old.
Her smile is withering,
Her years unfold.
I say my goodbyes,
To this hand I hold.

King of Rhins Isle

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“Skull Island from King Kong” by RKO Radio Pictures (1933)

What happens when an intrepid group of filmmakers and sailors explore a mysterious and uncharted island in the middle of Scottish waters?  What gargantuan horrors lurk within its dense forests and thick fog?  All will be revealed in this exciting tale, written on the 11th May 2016.


King of Rhins Isle

In windswept Stranraer harbour, Rab McWheesht, famous for making dirty films in remote and exotic Scottish locations, had chartered Captain McNulty’s ramshackle ship Sleekit Bastard for his latest and greatest project. However, owing to the fact that there were next to no aesthetically pleasing women in the near vicinity, he had been unable to secure an actress beautiful enough for the lead female role. This upset the man greatly, for he had already arranged for the ship to sail the following day. The filmmaker was not one for planning ahead.

Desperate, McWheesht scoured the rain-slicked streets of Stranraer for such a lady for many hours. Eventually, he met a talentless, unattractive and penniless wreck of woman named Eryn Dunbar, and, seeing as he had little choice at that point, convinced the ill-smelling wretch to join him for the adventure of a lifetime. The promise of a battered fish supper sealed the deal.

After a bit of confusing paperwork, which was confusing only in that Eryn didn’t know how to spell her own name, the Sleekit Bastard soon got underway and puttered off into the murky grey waters of Loch Ryan.

During the arduous voyage, which was made all the more arduous by the fact that the captain was a prolific drunk with a secret stash of Curdled Slug brand whisky in his cabin, the surly first mate, a Mr. Jock McWhirter of Killantringan, gradually fell in love with the mentally and hygiene deficient Eryn. After weeks of sailing around in circles in Loch Ryan, McWheesht finally told Captain McNulty and McWhirter that their destination was to be Rhins Isle. Neither man had ever heard of such a place, and so they shouldn’t. It was a secret island. The kind that only exists in fairy tales or the middle of small sea lochs, permanently obscured by an impenetrable mist.

Upon questioning McWheesht further, the filmmaker explained to his crew that Rhins Isle lay somewhere in the middle of Loch Ryan and that no man had ever seen it, let alone set foot there. It was an uncharted island, shown only on a map in McWheesht’s possession. He realised that this made no sense but nevertheless produced an old map which allegedly proved its existence. McWheesht also spoke of something monstrous that resided there, a legendary entity known only as the “Big Yin”.

It didn’t take them too much longer to find the island which had so far managed to elude absolutely everyone who’d ever sailed in those waters. When McNulty had navigated through the dense fog and only hit six reefs, they anchored off the mysterious rock’s uninviting shore. From the deck they spied a native village. It was separated from the rest of the island by an enormous wall made out of discarded Buckfast bottles and moss-clad pit bull bones. A landing party, including the filming crew and Eryn, witnessed a group of native neds about to sacrifice a young single mother as the “bride o’ the Big Yin”. The intruders were soon spotted and the ned chief angrily stopped the ceremony. When he saw the blonde Eryn, he offered to trade six of his unkempt, heroin-addicted women for the “golden burd”. They declined his offer, laughed in his face and made several on-point insults about his haircut and fashion sense. After a brief scuffle in which the neds shouted a lot but kept running away whenever they got within striking distance, the film crew returned to the Sleekit Bastard.

That night, as the crew slept after a particularly indulgent drinking session whereby all of the captain’s Curdled Slug was consumed and the previously unmentioned cabin boy fell overboard and drowned, a band of native neds crept onto the ship and kidnapped Eryn from her bunk. She was bound and gagged, tea bagged and taken back to Rhins Isle. Once there, the neds dragged her through a colossal wooden gate in the great wall. Against her will, she was tied to a stone altar carved into the shaped of the Nike logo and offered up to the Big Yin.

After a brief ceremony in which redundantly repetitive trance music was played on bongos, the pine trees parted and the Big Yin himself emerged from the darkness. He was a giant haggis. With two gleaming black eyes and a mouth lined with razor teeth, the Big Yin was the most terrifying haggis Eryn had ever seen in her entire life. She tried to scream, but couldn’t on account of the sports sock in her mouth. The gargantuan haggis snatched up the petrified woman and carried her off into the dense forest.

By this point, the annoying trance music had roused the sleeping crew from their drunken dreams and they discovered Eryn to be gone. In a panic for her safety, they gallantly and awkwardly jumped into the inflatable canoe and made for Rhins Isle. They only capsized eight times but they reached the shore in the end. Once on the island, the crew removed some glass Buckfast bottles from the great wall and bottled the shrieking neds into submission. Once they had been taught a lesson and their bongos smashed, the bloodied ned chief explained that they had given the golden burd up as a bride to the Big Yin. The towering gate was opened and McWheesht, McWhirter and some brave volunteers entered the foreboding forest in search of their missing leading lady.

Not long into their journey, it became quite clear that there were other giant creatures on the island. Upon discovering a mound of excrement the size of a council flat, they were attacked by a giant battered sausage. It wriggled and rolled towards them like a worm in the throes of ecstasy, roaring into the night sky like an angry demon. Fortunately for the group, one of them was carrying a flare from the ship and fired it into the beast’s head, killing it instantly. Later on, when they attempted to cross a foul swamp in a makeshift raft, a colossal tartan sheep came crashing through the water and capsized their supplies, even killing some of the men. Out of sheer luck, one stick of dynamite was saved from the waters and used to blow the brute apart, sending tartan and mutton flying across the island.

Fleeing through the forest of horrors, they soon meet the Big Yin himself. The shambling tower of haggis immediately tried to stop them from crossing a ravine by shaking them off a fallen tree that the crew had been using as a bridge. Only the filmmaker McWheesht and the first mate McWhirter, on opposite sides, managed to survive the encounter with the enraged monster.

Meanwhile, a giant Belted Galloway bull had picked up Eryn’s scent, for it was strong and hard to miss on account of her soiling herself multiple times. The snarling bull found Eryn in the Big Yin’s nest and decided to make a meal out of her. But before it could pounce, the Big Yin returned from the ravine and killed the creature by tearing its head clean off and punting it like a football over a distant mountaintop.

Back at the now impassable ravine, Jock McWhirter and Rab McWheesht agreed upon a plan of action. It was pretty awkward to do, considering the distance between them and the fact that they had to shout really loud to be heard. McWheesht would return to the ned village for more weapons, knowing full well that neds would be stockpiling all manner of sadistic weapons with no realistic reason for owning. While he was doing this, McWhirter would stay behind and follow the Big Yin and Eryn.

Upon arriving in the Big Yin’s lair in a far off mountain cave, the huge haggis beast put Eryn down and left to go look for food. While her captor was gone, Eryn was terrorised by a mountain dwelling Scottish Terrier. It barked incessantly and even though it never actually bit her, it did annoy her greatly. In fact, it didn’t even attempt to physically attack the woman even once, it simply barked and tried to be as annoying as possible. The wee Scottie dug’s audio assault was to be its undoing however, as the Big Yin heard it and quickly returned to dispatch the yappy monster, snapping its spine before throwing it into a distant valley.

But the obnoxious terrier was not to be the only beast to attack the haggis titan’s lair, and the silently approaching McWhirter would take full advantage of that fact. For while the Big Yin was distracted killing a monolithic seagull that had tried to fly away with Eryn, McWhirter reached his love and together they clambered down the cliff face on a length of dangling vine. When the Big Yin had finally liberated the seagull from the binds of life, he quickly noticed that his bride was escaping and so started pulling the vine back up. In no mood for another encounter with the giant haggis, Eryn and Jock said a quick prayer and let go, plummeting into a deep lagoon far below. Luckily, they survived the fall unscathed and were soon running through the forest before eventually making their way back to the native ned village. Upon arrival, they were greeted by McWheesht, McNulty and the surviving crewmen, who were waiting with an array of highly illegal weapons.

Infuriated, the Big Yin tore after them, howling and roaring like a dinosaur with a sore throat. Smashing the great gate to pieces, the monolithic haggis immediately embarked upon a supremely bloody rampage throughout the village, consumed with raged that his bride had been stolen from him. Many cowering neds were converted into splodges and smears and many more were eaten or thrown like frisbees into the sea. On shore however, Rab McWheesht was concocting a plan. He was now determined to bring the Big Yin back to Stranraer alive, in order to exhibit him for monetary gain. Utilising the gas bomb that he had conveniently found in the ned chief’s weapon stash, the crew managed to knock the haggis giant unconscious and quickly wrapped him up in chains before securing him to the back of the Sleekit Bastard and setting sail for Stranraer, leaving the horrors of Rhins Isle behind forever.

A few weeks later, wherein the crew kept the creature subdued by giving it regular injections of heroin stolen from the ned chief’s stash, the ship arrived back in port. Subdued and shackled, the Big Yin was later presented to a Millennium Centre theatre audience as the “Biggest, Fiercest and Most Powerful Haggis in the Known World”. Eryn and Jock, now married, expecting their first child and proud tenants of a refurbished council house, were brought on stage to join the monster, followed by an invited group of local press and amateur photographers. During the impromptu photo shoot and selfie session which followed, the Big Yin, believing the ensuing camera flashes to be an attack, somehow managed to summon the strength in his haggis body to break loose from his chains, whereupon he completely lost the plot. Panic ensued.

The petrified audience began screaming and fleeing in absolute terror as the Millennium Centre was destroyed by the rampaging monster. Eryn was quickly whisked away by security to a hotel room on a high floor of the George Hotel, but the Big Yin, scaling the decrepit building, soon found her and snatched her up. Carrying the terrified woman in his huge haggis paw, he rampaged through the small town, killing, maiming and demolishing as he went. After levelling most of the town centre, he ultimately spied and subsequently scaled the tallest structure in all of Stranraer, the Castle of St. John.

Upon reaching the lofty heights of its ramparts, the Big Yin climbed to the very top of the castle’s flagpole where he roared to the sky in triumph and defiance. Surveying the smouldering wreckage that was the town around him, the Big Yin looked to his bride, cowering in his paw. But before he could do anything more, he was suddenly attacked by a squadron of radio controlled airplanes with homemade bombs strapped to them. They were controlled by local neds, who had been texted by their surviving relatives on Rhins Isle about what had just happened in their homeland. The Big Yin gently set Eryn down and began battling the whizzing planes, managing to swat one of them out of the air, sending it exploding into the Ryan Centre. But the raging haggis behemoth soon tired, and finally succumbed to the radio controlled bombs, whereupon he was blown apart like an over-microwaved sausage or a haggis that had been pressure-cooked into oblivion. The monstrous giant’s shredded carcass fell off the castle and landed with a mighty splat on the cobblestones below.

After the monster’s spectacular death, Eryn and Jock were reunited and embraced, both covered in bits of steaming hot haggis. Rab McWheesht soon arrived and pushed his way through a gathering crowd of townsfolk surrounding the Big Yin’s mangled body. When a policeman remarked that the neds’ radio controlled airplanes had gotten him, McWheesht slapped the man in the face and corrected him, “Oh no sir, it wasn’t the planes. It was questionable beauty that killed the ugly, brutish bastard. Now someone fetch me a fork, this haggis was made for eating!”

Dance of the Infernals

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“Carina Nebula” by ESA (2010)

A short story about the end of time.  Written on the 25th May 2016.


Dance of the Infernals

The great titans sprung and stomped, leapt and twirled as time crumbled all around them. It was armageddon; the coming of the end.

None had predicted that it would happen this way, with the arrival of eight giants of fire and magma. They had come from the stars, and left blackness in their wake. Our planet was next, the latest stop on their catastrophic pilgrimage of dissolution.

In silence they performed their duty, dancing upon the surface of the world as it boiled and evaporated like forgotten soup. The living dissolved and their souls burned into nothingness, as did the liquids, solids and gases that made up the once blissful rock. The dancing continued, the eight icons of destruction unwavering in their charge. The skies fell and the battered core imploded, annihilating one more island in the vast sea of rupturing time.

There was no pause to bow, no moment to catch their breaths. The advancing tide of annulment waits for nothing. The eight took off once more down the collapsing corridors of space, unto their next appointment. It would be their last and it would be upon the brightest and grandest stage of them all. Lit up for the dying gods to see, the grand finale on their whirlwind tour of undoing would be their most powerful yet. A fitting end to the dance of the infernals. There would be no encore.

The Seed

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“Seedling” by USDA (2014)

Today I decided to give myself a 100 word challenge.  No topic, no prompt, just a hundred words.  Written on the 25th May 2016.


The Seed

The green column soared skyward, mountains falling away to either side. As it turned out, Earth was a cosmic seed and the column was the sapling which sprouted from it. 4.5 billion years is a long time to wait for life. The vacuum of space is a slow incubator.

What would it become? A tree? Perhaps. Maybe it would produce the fruit which would become new galaxies, ripe and fertile.

Perhaps it would become a lily, blossoming in the twilight of time. A final expression of beauty before everything turns cold and black.

Whatever the case, none would ever know.