The Fall of Perth City: Blurb

The world has fallen.

Only Perth City still stands.

The last bastion of humanity or humanity’s eternal prison (it all depends on who you ask).




A sprawling, messy metropolis surrounded on all sides by the heights of the impenetrable Wall – Perth City is shut off from what remains of the world; nobody gets in, nobody gets out. And violence is brewing…

The Long Quiet is coming to an end. The twenty-year peace has vanished like it never existed, and divisions of the Peace Keepers – Perth’s fractured mercenary police force – find themselves once again at each other’s throats, vying for control of districts, black markets and larger cuts from the Overseers in the Citadel. Continue reading

Last Dance of the Borealis

The end of the world wasn’t exactly what Leisha had been expecting. A run-down gift shop and ticket booth standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking the abyss, benches that hadn’t seen a lick of paint in at least a decade, and a strange old man wearing a dress and throwing bread over the cliff and into the darkness.

‘Tourist board cut the funding,’ William muttered, noticing Leisha’s disapproving stare at their meagre surroundings. ‘This place used to bustle. A theme park, boat rides that took you as close to the edge as health and safety permitted. Bus loads of tourists streaming up through the highlands every year.’

‘Why’d they cut the funding?’ Leisha asked as the two of them made their way along the footpath towards the ticket booth hut. ‘You’d think the end of the world would…you know…never get old.’

‘Ha!’ William laughed without a hint of humour. ‘People get bored so easily these days. As soon as the budget cuts started to bite, all the distractions up here went. The only thing remaining was the end itself. And without the noise, without the colour, without something selfie-worthy, people got over the novelty.’ Continue reading



In 2016 Scotland stands on the edge of oblivion.

Emboldened by her pact with the Forces of Darkness, Nicola Sturgeon and her minority government of separatists rule over north Britain with an iron fist. 

Free thought has been outlawed and Braveheart is the only thing shown on every television station in the land.

Against this tide of hatred and evil only one small band of patriots dares stand up for freedom (of the press).

With only a majority of journalists from nearly every daily newspaper in Scotland (as well as all the ones from civilised London), the state broadcaster, opposition MPS, celebrities, Neil Oliver, knuckle-draggers, professors and J.K Rowling to call on – this outnumbered band of heroes will sacrifice almost nothing except their integrity to free Scotland from the tyranny and oppression of the nats.

This winter – the party ends.

‘The film that Braveheart should have been.’ – The Daily Express

‘Every Scottish child should be made to watch this. This is the true face of Scottish history.’ – Neil Oliver.

‘Never have I been prouder to be Scottish.’ – Alex-Stephen McProudScot.

‘I basically wrote this entire film.’ – David Torrance

In cinemas December 15th.

[This is parody. Please fuck off if you haven’t yet realised that.]

Being utterly f**king lost in your twenties

I’ve got an itch in my brain. Maybe itch isn’t the right word – more like an anchor, a weight that tugs at everything that lies behind your eyes. That open expanse that is your mind, which, if you were going to think about it, seems to stretch forever at the back of your head. An endless expanse of identity, ideas, educations, thoughts, musings, fears, dreams and hopes; limited only by yourself.

Well I’ve got a weight dragging all that down. It’s a heavy weight that takes that endless expanse and brings it to bear on reality. The weight grounds everything. All those hopes and dreams, all that imagination, gets brought back to those cold hands of reality. A bird falls as its wings fail. A hot air balloon bursts with the prick of the real world. Down. Always down to the concrete. To the ‘real’.

I detest that ‘reality’ feeling but it’s been dogging my heels for so damned long it’s almost become part of who I am. Half a dreamer building worlds, half a regular, average, ordinary human browbeaten by how the world really is. Sadly it seems the latter always wins out. Continue reading

Reality and my f**king inability to adult like an adult.

‘How did I get here?’

It’s a question that rattles around my brain half a dozen times an hour, all day, every day. What were the choices I made to bring me here? When was the moment that I fucked everything up? And how in the name of Christ could I get it so bloody wrong?

Now, it has to be said, compared to some folk my life ain’t terrible. I’m relatively healthy and I ain’t homeless, so there’s that. But everything is relative, isn’t it? And I have to live with my own mind and that has not been a pleasant experience over the past two and a half years. Fuck it, that’s a bit of a euphemism – it’s been hell.

Plagued by serious bouts of depression and anxiety it’s felt like every positive part of who I used to be has been stripped away, one piece at a time, week after week, until all that’s left is a quivering, frail, pathetic wretch of a person. A shadow of who I was. Christ, it’s hard to even recall how I was, how I thought, how I viewed the world. And that’s the problem with the likes of depression – it takes who you were, all your good qualities, all the things that other folk liked in you, and it erodes them. Like a river gouging rock at MK II. Blink and it’s gone. Now all that’s left is a child sitting by a small fire, surrounded by darkness. And with every crackle the flames die, and soon it’ll only be the darkness left. Continue reading

The Prelude to the End of All Things

It started off small, almost unnoticeable. Yet that’s the way of things like this, ain’t it? With all our distractions and our self-obsessions, we don’t notice the little things. Our preoccupation with our own fucking vanity…well…it clouds the world from our view. We miss the details. And the details? They’re fucking vital.

This? The details barely registered. Scrolling past a few more missing person tweets and facebook posts than was normal. Christ, even a missing person became a fucking cliché, an overused trope in our social media story. So much so that we got numb to it. Our addiction to our very own Dorian Gray personas stopped us from seeing what was right in front of us. So concerned with hiding our flaws, our wrinkles, even our ideas. So terrified that someone would find out we were cursed with the most horrific disease – humanity. We age, we shite, we get fat. Our hearts fill with hate as much as love. We lived boring, meaningless, consumer-driven lives; taking the mess our our existence and shining it up like a pair of old shoes. We took our humanity and we boiled it down to movie quotes and fucking cat memes. And we were fucking cunts about the whole thing. Decrying anyone who dared point out our glaringly obvious flaws as…well…whatever we damned pleased. Continue reading

Who will write for you?

Who will write for you?

Who will put pen to paper and scrawl out letters giving form to your world? Who will embark on a quest to find the perfect word to paint that moment your child was born? You may have nothing, you may think you are nothing, holding onto a sense of self so filled with self-doubt and loathing that you could never give anything decent to the world. Yet there you are, you, pathetic wretch that is you with all your mistakes, regrets and shame that you don’t think anyone else will understand. You, who feels like they’re stealing the air with every undeserved breath that you take.

And yet there you are, holding in your hands an innocent life, a newborn, a gift so precious to the world. How could something so pure come from someone like you? How can you reconcile who you are with what you now hold in yours arms? Doesn’t the universe know you don’t deserve this?Doesn’t it know this moment of joy, like a bonfire kindled from long-dead ashes, is undeserved?And yet there you are. We all make mistakes and yet you know, with a certainty you never thought yourself capable of, that this is not one. This…this is a gift.

Who will write for you?

A million graves, the culmination of the lives of their inhabitants boiled down to a few words and a few dates. All of who you are, in less than a paragraph. Who will write for you? A working soul. Not particularly bright but you did what you did and you learned your way. You provided. You had dreams while your hands moved themselves to new callouses. You had hopes – big at first but slowly chipped away at by the world until the giant become a miniature to sit on your shelf, a reminder of how fast your life has gone by without you even realising it.

You used to dream big. You used to question everything. You used to look up at the stars on a cloudless winter’s night and try and place yourself in this mind-bending universe we abide in. Both breathlessly beautiful and utterly chaotic. Where do you fit in here? With your big dreams now small, your life evaporating with every year that passes. You never did see the world and yet you were a part of it nonetheless. You were a person. A complicated, confused mess – as all people are. Joy and hate, love and loss and heartache.

And the culmination of your whole being is a few trivial words engraved on a headstone above a box of bones.

Who will write for you?

Creativity is an utter bastard

Why write?

Why put pen to paper or fingertips to the keyboard? Why try to take that tumultuous storm of ideas that rages around your skull and attempt to enforce order on them? Why bother attempting to make some semblance of sense out of this confusing, miserable, joyful, hate-filled, meaningless excuse for an existence that we call life? What right do you have to bother doing any of this? You aren’t smart enough, witty enough, sensible enough or creative enough to write or make anything of value. What idiot is going to give your musings the time of day? Who is going to bother with anything that fills that silly little brain of yours? Give up now. Take your fingers off the keyboard, put down the pen, your words are worthless. You can’t do anything.

Give up now and do something practical with your life. Go train to be an electrician, or a joiner, or a mechanic, or work in IT and fix computers. Go stack shelves. Go work in a fucking call centre, at least there you’ll be of use. At least then when people ask what it is that you do, you can respond with something vaguely meaningful. ‘I write/draw/animate/act/paint/sculpt.’ Oh, is that right? With that knowing eyebrow lift and that sneer that creeps into the voice. People don’t value what you do. You don’t value what you do. Give up. Go home. Stop pretending that your words are of any importance to anyone else.

Nobody cares. Continue reading

The Watcher on the Loch

Loch B & W

Alexis is restless.

A quiet town resting beside a loch in the Scottish highlands isn’t exactly the beating heart of civilisation for a twenty-something. Another six months of mind-numbing work in her uncle’s office and Ailsa will have enough money to flee down to the big city, get a flat and live a life instead of merely existing on the edge of the world where nobody knows her name.

A lot can happen in six months though, and with each day that passes, her sleepy town withdraws into itself a little more. As the nights get longer the pubs become rife with superstitious ramblings. Farmers have disappeared, unnatural noises stalk the hills, and out on the water, when the sun fades, sailors tell of peculiar sights – unsettling enough to make the most hardened seafarer turn back to port.

And on the beach a strange woman, with oddly-hued skin and an accent that can’t quite be placed, has taken up residence in an abandoned cabin near the shore.

Each morning as Ailsa walks to work, the woman stands on the beach, covered in strange armour, wielding twin swords as she seems to dance through outlandish martial forms.

And each night the strange woman kneels in the sand, swords wedged in front of her alongside a single torch, and faces the loch and the sea beyond – waiting.

They say her name is Kara and that she has gone insane.

Kara, on the rare occasions that she speaks, says otherwise.

The anxiety of a creative bastard

What the fuck do you do when you find yourself in the middle of the ocean, alone on a raft, with nothing but the twin terrors of the tumultuous sea and sky for company? What do you do when you’re lost, with no direction, no plan, no hope? You’ve screamed your lungs out but nobody has came to save you. You’ve clung desperately to the raft as storms rage about you, battering you, drenching you, seeking to break your will. You’ve stared into the depths of the water as the storm passes, as the sunlight returns to mock your pitiful existence.

You’ve stared into that blue abyss for as long as you could, fighting the urge just to let yourself slide off the raft and be embraced by oblivion. It has to be better than the constant fear, the constant doubt, the never-ending sense of isolation from everything and everyone you know.

Letting yourself sink down into the darkness, well that has to be better than living any more. A clean break from the struggle. No more storms, no more terror, simply peace…and then fading away into nothingness.

That’s how it feels, to me at least, to be alive, to endure reality. It’s a constant fight, a lonely fight, against things that seem as powerful as nature itself. Nearly every day feels like a struggle to get up from that raft and look about for a way home, a way to some sort of sanctuary. It takes every ounce of determination I have left to not fade away, to not let the world go on without me.

And even on those days where you find yourself shedding the gloom, tearing off the misery and replacing it with hope, there’s a voice in the back of your head – your voice – and it won’t leave you alone.

“Why bother?” it’ll utter, quietly. “Why bother trying? You know you’re just going to fail, right? You know you’re out here alone, nobody is coming to save you. Nobody even cares that you’re out here. Nobody would even care if you let yourself slide into the darkness. Aren’t you just a pathetic piece of shite?”

You can’t escape yourself, no matter how hard you try. Being battered by crippling feelings of isolation and depression means you aren’t ready to tell that self-doubt to fuck off. You don’t have the energy, or the willpower.

“And what if that voice is right?” chips in another of the voices inside your head. The voice that’s supposed to keep you searching the horizon for hope, for land, for people. The voice that’s meant to kick you in the baws and get you moving when all you want to do is go into hibernation. That voice, it turns on you as well. It echoes your doubts, amplifies them.

So there you are, alone, on a raft, in the middle of the ocean without a hope of being rescued. And all you have for company is yourself. Of all the things you can escape in the world, your own mind isn’t one of them. It’s there, dogging your heels like a deathly spectre. Haunting you, stealing every positive, warm thought or idea and leaving nothing but icy misery in its wake.

And god forbid you happen to be a creative bastard. Hell mend you if you aspire to make anything – write, draw, film, sing, play – because you don’t stand a chance against this unrelenting misery.

The good days, the idea days, the days where you believe someone would actually bother to pay attention to whatever nonsense you’re making, well they get squashed and squashed fast. Optimism flees. Creativity withers. And those fleeting moments of happiness get drowned in this sea of anxiety and helplessness. “Why would anyone want to see anything that YOU make? The fuck do you think you are, Picasso or something? No, you’re just an idiot. Someone too stupid to see their own limitations. You’re worthless, so give it up.

And then comes the helpers:

“You no tried to shake yourself out of it?”

The outside voices the rare times you let the mask slip. Those well-meaning but utterly useless people who think in terms of broken legs, cuts, scraps and visible signs of illness. Those people who can’t see, or understand, that you’re trapped within your own fucking skull and no amount of meaningless platitudes can mend you – you’ve told them all to yourself, after all, countless times.

Each day’s a constant fight just to rise and face the world. Reality bites and bites down hard. Every night a constant state of fear as you dread laying your head down on that pillow because as soon as you do, as soon as you close your eyes, every fear and worry you have comes riding towards you like a cavalry charge.

And there’s you, cowering beneath the seemingly never-ending hooves of your doubts. Like a child, unable to move, unable to so much as cry out because who the fuck is going to listen?

These days and nights do pass though, as much as you keep telling yourself they won’t. But they aren’t gone for long and as soon as you find yourself back home safe, away from the raft out in the middle of the ocean, that’s when the voices creep up on you once more.

“You do know you’re wasting your time, right? Why the fuck would anyone want to waste time on anything you do?”