Monthly Archives: July 2017

The Wiles Of Decay Chapter One

A brief introduction – I started writing the story a long while ago, and revisited it on which is now sadly deceased. I’ve currently got eleven ready-to-go chapters, a couple more almost there, and some bits for the rest. However there’s no guarantee that I’ll get round to finishing  it, so fare warning given 🙂 And now….


Chapter One

Torn hangings dangling from the roof, twisted around tall marble columns that rose up to support the huge vaulted ceiling. Tables scattered around walls damp with condensation; dusty velvet clothes thrown across them and tarnished silver set down upon them. The first of the guests arrive; a stately woman in the party of Helios, flame-coloured dress embellished with limp rays of material as if the sun could catch a cold; clutched in her hand a small child as Mercury, feathers bedraggled and forlorn. They are greeted by a musty footman, all damp and saggy-clad. It is the Emuschion-Ball, and all must come to pay it tribute.

Cats are generally not desired, but one is loping around the ballroom with a languid interest in the scattered chairs that cluster in strange groups around its edges, and also steps in a man dressed as the king of the felines, with shaggy beard and complimenting synthetic mane. The costume itself is shabby-threadbare, the forlornness of the tail’s tassel only emphasised by the shine nearby. His friend, single-horn craftily strapped to head and white-velvet costume only mildly stained is the next to enter, greats the musty footman before that official can do the same by him, and generally goes around attempting to be agreeable. This was most disagreeable to the others, and it only stopped when the man dressed as the haunted drunkard entered the room.

His eyes bulged, red-shot and swollen, his drink-besmirched attire ruffled as it had been in the more practical scuffle, not the  genteel ‘incident’ so beloved of the  pretentious lower upper-class. The sight of him quite depressed the unicorn, who responded to this downturn of the spirit by visiting one of the velvet-draped tables in order to explore the ancient, mostly empty bottles that had been brought there. The three graces arrived after that with their mother, and it seemed that all would be good for the first dance.

A small orchestra, more  a collection of quart- and quintets that had been gathered together than any semblance of a unit- began to play, the seeping melancholy of the tune only somewhat disturbed by the fact one violin and a tuba were very much behind the tempo. The tuba itself could have been one of the guests; a large man of resounding proportions with a face that had fallen in, he wore a jester’s hat embellished with tarnished bells that gave the ghost of a jingle with every note he played. The dancers paired up and the dance began; so terrifying a prospect that sent some of the smaller children into tears of terror. More guests arrive the whole time; sad guests, haughty guests, depressed guests, cheerful guests; all dressed as something they are not, in costume imperfect.  For this is the Emuschion ball, and all must come .

It is a little past the hour, and comes the first disaster. The haunted drunk will be haunted no longer, not if his contorted face and recumbent pose is a teller of things true. It is poison of course, that age-old tradition of doing away with the one you dislike in full view of the crowd by means ingested; and the musty footman and another must carry him next door, to the ruined dining-room for the house. Here, on great stone slabs that make up the bare floor the victim can lie at peace, his identity as undisturbed as his corpse. The death having dampened the already lowered mood, a pause is declared; and all take to the tables to talk and remember not to eat. The Lion engages in fierce debate with the Unicorn, the splendid Sun is magnificent in its cruelty to Mercury who blushes under the withering heat, and the three graces are divided among the varying groups leaving their mother with none to converse. The cat, long banished by the humans’ dance, reappears to once more assert his rule over this, his fiefdom, and the most melancholy of men debates whether life is worth even the effort of chasing it away.

And now a late guest arrives, clad in the black robes of death.

The outcry is near-universal, and they run at him verbally, hurling polite abuse. The figure inclines its head as if in acceptance and withdraws, and the night’s incidents come to an eventful end.




He sat in the chair and waited for the world to end. The room was mainly white, except in one corner where the junction of walls and ceiling had turned a dirty cream. It was here that the drip dripped, each drop taking an eternity to form and fall.

‘Is anyone there?’ he asked, and the phone crackled.

‘Still no,’ the horseman said in a cheery voice. ‘Pretty sure they all drowned. Just you to go and then I can go home for the weekend.’

He sighed.

‘Where do you actually live? ‘ he asked, as a drop fell, taking a miniscule amount of the plaster with it.

‘ I don’t think I’m going to tell you,’ the horseman replied, and whistled. The phone gave up, and silence ruled the room once more.

Another drop of water fell, and then the ceiling did, and a flood of water descended.


The man holding the watering can looked at him guiltily.

‘You know, ‘ he said slowley; ‘ we may have just made up that whole apocalypse thing.’

And out of the can came the final drop.


There are few things that go under the radar as much as carpets. This is a mistake on Humanities part, as the woven mass of the downtrodden will one day rise to destroy them.

In one parallel dimension very similar to ours, this happened two years ago. To travel there is to see a grim vision of the improbable future; carpets lying python-like in suspicious mounds, suffocated corpses gently decomposing beneath them. In the houses things are even more grim; tight wads block the doors and the last echoing screams defy physics to allow the appropriate suggestion of danger. Beedy woven eyes follow you wherever you go; and the slinking rustle is to the interdimentional tourist what the sound of a steamroller is to tarmac. Don’t take my word for it; go and see it for yourself. You’re guaranteed to be floored.

Severely Odd has also published stories on Amazon. Hint hint.

Growing Pains

Jack first noticed that he’d started growing when his head hit the ceiling. How he had managed to miss the fact that he had left a dent in the lintel he never worked out, but once he’d managed to solve the equally puzzling question of how to get out of the room he made his way to the doctor.

‘ In my professional opinion,’ the doctor said; ‘you are growing.’

‘But what’s causing it?’ Jack asked

‘That,’ said the doctor; ‘is a very good question. We’ll probably dissect you when you die to find out.’

This, Jack decided, wasn’t helpful; and so he decided to leave. ‘Watch the lintel!’ Cried the doctor.

The next week was torture for Jack, at least until he stopped hitting trees. After that milestone was reached his head no longer hurt from constant bangs, although the constant climbing attempts by lesser mortals were annoying. But with the absence of pain came a new worry: would it soon be replaced with an absence of oxygen as he reached ever greater heights? We’ll, we will never know, because three days after that thought first occured Jack died, having been hacked down by an urchin who was being pursued by a giant of the fee-fo-fum variety. Luckily he had left his body to science; but all they learnt upon autopsy was that he had had a fondness for beans.


There are times when you don’t want to have to worry about what is on your head. One of these times is when trekking through the endless desert of South Musenland. There the preditors swoop down from above and scoop out the brains of their prey with sharp spoon-like claws, but that is not what we speak about here. Our tale takes place in the urban settings of Goo, in North Musenland. Here, a man with a hat strides into a club, and despite the exhortations of the butler, refuses to remove his hat. No amount of pleading can induce him to remove it, and he is eventually allowed to retain it. This departure from the strict rules of half a century is only counternanced due to his being the Prime Minister; a man whose exploits in the southern wastelands are only overshadowed by his reputation as a thinker. And indeed, if people had known, these two things were the cause of his hat habit; for his reputation for the latter could only be undermined by the legacy of the former: the hollow scoop of his egg-cup skull.

Vampire Cats

They came at night, when all was dark. Sleek, vicious shapes, teeth sharp and claws brights under the thin light of a watery moon; the unearthly howls of the wolves echoing throughout the village. Terry hated them almost as much as he hated his name, which was pretty rubbish for a Transylvanian. But it was the vampire cats that he hated more; the way they shrieked their song, the way they pounced on the unwary, and the way they left dead songbirds everywhere meant that Terry was determined to stop the scourge once and for all, and so he sat now in the early evening, waiting for what he knew would come. And then, as the last of the people in the village hurried home and piled the furniture and most expendable children against the door as a barricade, Terry lifted his butterfly net and brought it down hard. When he brought it up again a bat was struggling within.

‘Why?!’ it said.

‘Because I want to speak to you, Terry  replied.

‘So phone!’ said the bat; ‘You do this every time! It’s ridiculous!’

‘You never answer the phone,’ Terry said, twisting the net so the Bat could fly free, which it did before flapping so that it hovered opposite him at head height. ‘I want to know why the cats are turning  undead again. The Count promised last time.’

‘The Count also promised not to eat anyone,’ the bat pointed out.

‘But he didn’t eat anyone,’ Terry replied. ‘It’s strictly drinking with him. ‘

The bat looked at him with an apologetic air and shrugged its wings as if to say ‘can’t do anything about it.’ Terry sighed, and took up his stick. It was time to visit the castle again.

The castle was big, and forbidding, and foreboding, and generally loomed. It also gave off the distinct impression that it was trying too hard. Terry found the way annoying; mainly as he had to shoot half a dozen vampire cats with a crossbow that fired silver quarrels. This did not slow him down for long though, and soon he came before the door, barred and solid as the night was black. He knocked, and the door fell over.

‘What is it now?’ boomed a voice.

‘I’ve come to complain about the cats,’ Terry said.

‘And you had to knock over the door?’ Terry found himself feeling defensive.

‘I just knocked,’ he said as he skewered a cat sneaking up behind him with an over-shoulder shot. ‘And I’ts about these damn cats. You promised you’d not have any more.’

The count appeared before him in a flash.

‘Vampire cats?’ he asked; ‘again?’

‘Yes,’ Terry said; ‘are you going to tell me you didn’t make them? Because you’re the only one who does that sort of thing.’

The count looked guilty.

‘We’ll, I didn’t; I mean, not quite. you see’ –

He broke off abruptly, staring down.

‘Well?’ prompted Terry, as the Count looked wretched.

‘I think I know where they came from.’ he siad, and Terry glared at him.

‘What did you do?’ he said, and suddenly two things happened;  he felt a sharp pain in his ankle and the Count said in a guilty rush:

‘I may have made vampire mice.’

More odd stories and absurdist fiction by Severley Odd can be found on Amazon

With A Smile, Not A Bang

The way to end, most authorities agree, is with a bang. Atom bombs, for example, keep to this rule and this fact is deeply satisfying for most people except those most directly involved. This is just one case proving the validity of the rule.

However, as any abuser of statistics knows, there always can be outliers. In the case of endings, The short-lived country known as Wheinott is probably the most famous.

Wheinott came into existence as a practical joke, the declaration of independence being published in a peer-reviewed academic paper to make a point, and if a government minister with big ideals and little brains had not read it that would have been an end to the matter. But he did, and after careful Parliamentary scrutiny that no other part of the country could stand the area in question (mainly on account of it being far too cheerful for eight o’clock in the morning), it was granted independence.

The residents of the hastily declared independent country of Wheinott were suprised to discover that they were a country, mainly because none of them had been consulted on the matter, but faced up to this with their usual optimistic outlook.

‘We’ll be okay,’ said the unofficial spokesman when asked; ‘after all, how hard can it be to run a country?’

Perhaps they would have made a success of it, but we shall never know, as the previous host country, incensed that anyone could be so blasé about leaving them, declare war. And so the tanks, strike-fighters and infantry moved in, conquering the place in half a day. But the abiding  memory that the army personnel had, the reoccurring theme that psychiatrists heard time and again from the traumatized men was this- the giant billboard displaying, in cheery yellow-and-red comic-sans lettering: ‘Welcome to Wheinott, and enjoy your invasion.’


More absurdist fiction by Severely Odd can be found on Amazon