Bryceless

August 11, 2017 at 6:37 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Bryce Courtenay

 

This writing advice from Bryce Courtenay is the best I’ve ever received.

My intensely supportive wife (who knows me as Feisty) stood long in a line to reach him.

She told him how I wanted to write, but didn’t know how.

Bryce’s candour was a bit of a shock to her.

She worried how I’d take it.

But it was precisely the boot up the arse (ass) I needed.

So, my deepest thanks to these remarkable people.

May my efforts be worthy.

And may I not waste time.

 

Brought to you by Imagine Day the book.

 

 

 

Imagine Day – The Book!

March 26, 2015 at 8:39 am | Posted in Short Story | Leave a comment
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The great unboxing. I cried so many tears of joy I couldn't read the dedication!

The great unboxing. I cried so many tears of joy I couldn’t read the dedication!

This post is dedicated to my dedicated readers and subscribers.

Your past actions have suggested you enjoy this blog.

Well, now you can hold my creative content in your hands!

In a fair dinkum, read on the bus, book book.

A 20-year dream realised at last!

A 20-year dream realised at last!

Prepared in total secrecy by my wife and friends for my 50th birthday, this tiny tome collates 19 of my surreal short stories for the first time in print.

This first edition, strictly limited to just 200 copies, will be the only one featuring dedications written with my Magic Red Pen.

Email paul@thefeistyempire.com to order your personalised copy.

Thank you for reading yet again.

Kind regards,

P.

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Star of wonder

December 25, 2013 at 7:22 am | Posted in Poem | Leave a comment
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How did I get so lucky?

Lucky.

From the darkness

To the light,

I ain’t so good

At Silent night.

But in the void

A star appears:

Pure as diamond;

Bright and clear.

It is your heart.

You are my guide.

You have my life.

You’re on my side.

And though I dwell

Apart from most,

You are the one

Who brings me close.

Shane the slug

January 28, 2013 at 7:41 am | Posted in Short Story | 4 Comments
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5107038796_1e18266125

Commuters on two train stations heard
Fon’s scream …

Feisty and Fon married and bought an inner-city cottage.

It was warm and humble, with hand-made bricks, a kitchen fireplace and 13 types of vermin.

Though these were not evident until some time after the auction, Feisty calmly resolved to combat them by humane, environmentally responsible means.

As it turned out, this was not always possible.

When a plate-sized huntsman spider in the bedroom ignored his well-reasoned arguments, Feisty persuaded Fon to take the only remaining course of action.

She smashed it with one of her Doc Marten’s ten-ups, on the understanding that he would handle all similar transgressions by reptiles and tigers.

The next day, on their walk, Fon tested Feisty’s resolve by shouting ‘Snake!’ and leaping into his arms. He immediately rushed towards the indicated area.

‘What the hell are you doing?’ shrieked Fon.

‘I’m gonna club it to death.’

‘What with?’

‘Your Reeboks.’

Fon struggled to her feet in disgust. ‘That’s not what I had in mind.’

Despite her best efforts, Graham the Jack Russell terrier failed to impact the mouse population.

She lay snuffling for hours in the pot cupboard (and once accidentally overnight) as a robust clan devoured box after box of poison.

Feisty bought a mousetrap and experimented with cheese, salami and corn chips.

Only when he tried pre-softened Kit Kat fragments did he meet with success.

The victims stared bright-eyed up at him in a highly unsettling manner, strengthening his resolve to encourage Skat the cat to take a more active policing role.

Though she toyed mewing with the tiny corpses hurled on the roof, she steadfastly refused to source her own.

It was a wet autumn. As the house gradually slipped into the ancient sewer beneath it, cracks opened in the walls.

Worst affected was the shower. Week after week, Feisty watched the tiles diverge, until one night he found himself gazing right through the ceiling at the evening star.

‘This is crap,’ he observed to Fon, who vehemently agreed.

‘I hate the mould. It’s gone out of control since the recess broke. We’ve got to get it fixed.’

But they’d spent all their money on furniture and celebrating.

The toadstools appeared shockingly, literally overnight. Pale and spindly, they felt horrid even through the wads of toilet paper Feisty used to pluck them. When flushed, they spun lazily to the surface and clung to the bowl.

‘Jesus,’ moaned Feisty. ‘This wasn’t in the brochure.’ He lifted a broken tile to reveal rotting wood smothered in more fungus. Then a huge, febrile centipede shot out and reared angrily, startling him into the shower door with a crack.

Swearing and trembling, he fetched his silicone gun and glued the tile fragments to the best of his modest ability.

Though this worked for a while, the mould became worse than ever.

The couple took it in turns to scrub, but the stains went too deep. Soon the shower resembled a gritty wire-frame model of itself.

When it seemed it couldn’t possibly get any more hideous, the slugs arrived.

Commuters on two train stations heard Fon’s scream.

Feisty flew from their bed to find her rooted to the spot, clad only in her sparkly shower cap. Through chattering teeth she wailed, ‘Feisty, there are f*cking SLUGS in our shower!’

Feisty followed her bloodless finger and recoiled as four of the fattest gastropods he’d ever seen pulsed nonchalantly across the walls and floor.

Losing all sense of karma, he mounted the cubicle, reached in and turned the hot tap on full. Aiming the showerhead like an Indonesian water cannon, he blasted the writhing intruders onto the drain hole and into oblivion. He then hosed the surfaces repeatedly as Fon regained sufficient motor control to retrieve her robe and retreat to the kitchen.

A few days later, two more slugs appeared. Ashamed of his former reaction, Feisty gingerly plucked them with disposable chopsticks and threw them in the garden. They returned the following night. And the next.

He didn’t want to kill them, but could find no merit in allowing them to stay. Then, completely by accident, he encountered an enchanting article on slugs in New Scientist.

A naturalist in ever-damp Sydney, on observing three species of slugs in his shower, had discovered that they loved eating mould.

Through a series of experiments, he had even determined that the Great Grey Slug (limax flava) exhibited the optimum combination of appetite, light aversion and territoriality.

He provided a ceramic oil burner, to which his ‘leotard’ of slugs returned every morning. In return, they cleaned his shower nightly – growing up to nine centimetres long in the process.

‘No f*cking WAY!’ replied Fon to Feisty’s carefully worded suggestion.

To her eternal credit, she eventually capitulated under his intensive lobbying and agreed to a trial.

Elated to at last be dealing with critters in an holistic, non-violent fashion, Feisty installed his own oil burner and waited for results. Sure enough, the mould began to recede, particularly in wet, hard-to-get-at places like the door tracks.

Though the switch from daylight saving caused several fatalities, the program proved a success. So much so that during one full moon, a baby slug appeared.

Feisty was amazed to find that his revulsion had turned to acceptance.

Fon was markedly less enthusiastic and declined his invitation to name the new addition.

‘How about Séamus?’

‘I don’t care.’

‘Sly?’

‘I don’t care, Feisty.’

‘Simon, then?’

‘I really don’t give a damn what you call it. I am not bonding with the slugs the way you obviously are.’

‘Shane?’

‘Yes; Shane. Fantastic! Shane the Sh*t-eating Slug. That’s the one; let’s run with it, shall we?’

Feisty regarded her narrowly. ‘You’re not just saying that? You really prefer Shane?’

Fon unmuted the TV and concentrated on a ‘Toilet Duck’ ad.

‘We’re the germy germs, under the rim … ‘

Feisty stared at the screen, and was struck with a sudden thought. ‘I wonder if they really could be trained to clean toilets.’

He jumped up and ran an eclectic keyword search on Google, only to stump it for the first time ever.

‘Trial and error it is then!’ he declared excitedly.

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Pic by SleetDro.

The Fonnie Flower

October 26, 2009 at 6:22 pm | Posted in Poem | 2 Comments
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The Fonnie Flower.

The Fonnie Flower.

This flower is called a ‘Fonnie Flower’ because:

It’s very hard to find.

Once you see it, you want to look at it all the time.

It’s modest, yet breathtakingly beautiful.

It doesn’t compete with other flowers.

It thrives in dark, barren conditions.

It turns an ordinary patch of clover into a tiny paradise.

It opens itself to the world, regardless of risk.

It’s the pinkest thing ever.

The closer you look at it, the more you see.

It sums up all of nature’s genius and goodness.

It rolls up tightly in cold weather.

It has a golden heart that’s full of light and empty of evil.

The beautiful Fonnie Flower!

 

A Husband’s Thanks for a Home-Cooked Meal

September 9, 2009 at 12:35 pm | Posted in Poem | Leave a comment
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20060816 010 Wok Fire

Light my fire!

I’m your bok choy baby,

You can call me Green Pea Paul.

I’ve got grinnage from that spinach

And that’s not bloody all.

I’m a lamb ramming psycho

Who never took a leek.

I’ve had a hit of gravy

That’ll last me till next week.

So thank you wife so precious

For an ace and decent feed.

You’re smart, cool and pretty,

And you fill my every need.

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Chasing Fon

September 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm | Posted in Song | Leave a comment
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I got her!

I got her!

‘Feisty, come and play with us!’

My blokey best mate said.

‘We’re going out to drink and smoke –

We haven’t been to bed.

Come right now, or if you like,

Join us later on.

‘No way,’ I thought, with secret smiles,

‘I’m busy chasing Fon.’

 

‘How old is she?’ my father asked,

‘This girl of which you speak.

Your Mum and I are quite concerned;

You’ve not been home all week.

A warning, boy, before you go:

Walk before you run,’

‘I’m sorry, Dad, all due respect,

but this girl’s name is Fon.’

 

We ate and drank and smoked and kissed

And talked and loved and slept

And woke and dressed and drove and strolled

And bought and watched and wept.

It’s Sunday night and I’m still here

The weekend’s almost gone.

And though we’ve covered lots of ground,

The chase has just begun.

 

I seem on track, I’ve not f*cked up

We’ve done some groovy things.

But I must take it easy, for

A boy waits in the wings.

She is so grand, I’m so beset

The pull is so damn strong

But caution is the watchword

If I’m to stay a long

 

Time with the lovely Fon.

Fon is Strong

September 2, 2009 at 11:07 am | Posted in Song | 2 Comments
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Fon is strong!

Fon is strong!

Fon is strong,

You’d be surprised;

The power in

Those gorgeous eyes.

 

Her life force brims,

Soon to spill,

As she prepares

To drink her fill.

 

Woebetide

You greedy ones

Who drag her down

And spoil her fun.

 

She will exult

And triumph yet,

And dance on high

Without a net.

Imagine Day

August 29, 2009 at 1:07 am | Posted in Short Story | Leave a comment
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Imagine Day Title Small

Feisty gripped Fon’s shoulder excitedly.
‘Choose a day!’

Feisty and Fon were power walking along Melbourne’s Yarra River. It was a hot summer Saturday, nearly lunchtime. Having trekked from Armadale, Fon was feeling they’d bitten off more than they could chew. Fitzroy was still five tortuous kilometres away.

Feisty decided to distract Fon from her cruel blisters and protesting calves. He pointed at a tall poplar tree.

‘Look, Fonnie; see how that branch is dying off?’

Fon raised her sweat-soaked brow and squinted into the blinding sun. ‘Yeah.’

‘Imagine being a leaf on that branch, watching the dieback heading toward you. Chances are, you’d forget all about the view and how groovy it was to be a leaf. You’d be consumed with the fear of death. Paralysed. Unable to think of anything else.’

‘I guess so,’ replied Fon wearily.

‘The thing is,’ continued Feisty with mounting enthusiasm, ‘poplars are deciduous. That leaf is going to fall off months before the dieback gets to it. When it goes, it’ll have spent its whole life worrying about something that never posed a true threat.’

Fon concentrated on the baking asphalt of the bicycle path. ‘Uh-huh.’

Feisty beamed at the blue sky, pleased with his keen eye for nature and powers of philosophical interpretation. The couple walked in silence for a time.

‘Fonnie.’

‘Yes, Feisty.’

‘This is a great walk, isn’t it?’

‘It’s a bit longer than I thought it would be.’

‘Sure, but it’s great to be out, isn’t it?’

‘Yes. It is.’

‘Imagine if that whole freeway were covered in those dimpled concrete tiles they use in car parks.’

‘What?’

‘You know, the ones that have little recesses, like egg cartons. You lay them down and cover them with topsoil. Then you sow grass. When the grass grows, the concrete foundation stops cars from sinking into the earth or tearing it up. Beats the sh*t out of a normal car park surface.’

‘Oh, yeah. I know the ones.’

‘Well, imagine if the whole South Eastern Freeway were paved with them. Imagine the extra oxygen. It’d look great. Man, it’d be fantastic, don’t you think? Fonnie? Why don’t they do that? What’s your theory?’

Fon regarded the noisy freeway. Her poorly fitting sandshoes squelched with perspiration. A relentless trio of flies strafed her face, effortlessly evading the angry swish of her arms. Her armpits chafed and her head throbbed. She drew a deep breath.

‘Feisty.’

‘Yes baby?’

‘Can we please stop imagining things until we get home?’

Feisty looked at her, surprised and hurt. His brow furrowed. ‘Why?’

‘I’m really hot and tired. I find it hard picturing all the things you describe. Especially since you’ve had me doing it all week.’

‘I have?’

‘Yes. On Monday we had the farting biting cat, as well as bride-sniping from that penthouse next to the Fitzroy Gardens. On Tuesday, it was the slate tiles from Mars and the clothing that hurts people if they don’t look good in it. On Wednesday I had dinner with Debbie, but as soon as I got home, you told me all about the piano-wire banana lounge that slices people into bits if they don’t lie on it properly. Then, on Thursday, Steven came over, and both of you went on for ages about camouflage bean bags getting lost in the garden. Finally, yesterday, after a really sh*tty week at work, I came home to your idea for a dining table with a built in hologram unit that can record and replay the events that occur around it.’

‘I see,’ said Feisty, crushed. He was easily crushed.

‘It’s not that I don’t enjoy your ideas, baby,’ explained Fon carefully. ‘It’s just that it’s easier for you to invent them than it is for me to picture them. And when, like today, I’m hot and tired and thirsty and uncomfortable, I don’t really enjoy the experience as much as you obviously do. Do you understand what I’m trying to say?’

‘Yes,’ mumbled Feisty, sulking.

Please don’t think I want you to stop imagining stuff. I don’t. I just need a breather now and then.’

‘So you don’t want me to stop completely?’

‘No, baby. Of course not. I love your ideas. I wish I could think of them myself. Well, not all of them; some of the stuff you come out with is pretty weird. All I’m saying is that I can only handle your imagination in small doses.’

‘I see,’ said Feisty, recovering. ‘What if we had one day per week when I could tell you all my sh*t? I could save everything up and hit you with it on the weekend, when you’re relaxed.’

‘That could work.’

‘Yeah? You wouldn’t mind?’

‘No, not at all. I’m just too tired during the week. If you gave me a break for six days, I’m sure I’d be fine on the seventh.’

Feisty gripped Fon’s shoulder excitedly. ‘Choose a day!’

Fon thought carefully. ‘What about Saturday?’

‘Does that include today?’

‘No. I’m too hot. We’ll start from next Saturday, OK?’

Feisty was momentarily disappointed. They were approaching a pontoon bridge. He’d already invented the troll who lived beneath it and was bursting to tell.

🙂

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

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