CitizenG Photos

Posted: December 14, 2018 in Photography

FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR MY PHOTOGRAPHY PAGE.

I’ll continue updating this as and when I get the chance to take any new ones, so keep having a gander.

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Of all the things I thought would keep my youthful spark ablaze it was the Beano comic. Every Thursday morning, throughout the 80s I would sit, waiting, feverishly, by the front door for the spotty, adolescent paper boy to push my weekly mirth mag through the letterbox. Then I would sit down at the kitchen table and read, fervently, from cover to cover whilst shovelling down my chocolate Ready Brek (which never gave me the all over illuminated glow that the advert promised). All was right and good with the world.

The other day, thirty years later, a kindly lady in a charity shop gave my little lad a recent copy of The Beano. I still like a good comic so I was eager to have a read myself. It had been so long; how different was it? Were there still some old remaining characters? Did they still get the slipper as punishment? And where the hell was my Ready Brek?! I began to read. The front cover was still home to a couple of old stalwarts: Dennis the Menace & Gnasher. It felt comforting. But as I read, something perturbed me. Dennis’s dad. He was different. He wasn’t the dad I remember, the balding, moustachioed, patriarchal disciplinarian, no, he was a much younger man, and he looked very much like Dennis (see figure 1). So I researched further (because I clearly have nothing better to do with my time). To my utter astonishment I discovered that the father of today’s Dennis the Menace is none other than… The grown-up up Dennis that I used to read way back in the 80s. Shit! I’m old!

Beano

Well, actually about three weeks ago. I saw the trailer for the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, and I have to say I was rather impressed by it… Okay, hands up. I’ll admit it, I was incredibly giddy about it and almost lost it like a blathering seven year old! Happy now?

I felt something ferociously nostalgic and sweetly wistful about the whole thing. Not least for seeing the return of the coolest smuggler in the entire Universe (and don’t wookies age well?!)

I really hope that it lives up to all of the inescapable hype surrounding it. I don’t think I could cope with another Phantom Menace sized disappointment. Those three “prequel films” were not so much a trilogy, more, three heavy sustained kicks to the lower abdomen of my inner child. So these new movies have a lot to prove, and if they are as good as we are being led to believe, I, as an avid Star Wars fan, have a suggestion for J.J. Abrams and Disney.

Remake the prequels! Remake them: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith. And not just remake them, re-imagine them. Start with a clean slate and a better, more coherent story. Polish those turds, roll them in glitter, whatever, just give us a complete and glorious narrative that can erase the dark stain on our collective fantastical imaginations and give us closure.

Perhaps, if we erased the original prequels, if we struck them down, so to speak, they would come back, more powerful than we could possibly imagine.

The Half-Eaten Boy on the Stairs

Posted: September 19, 2013 in Horror, Poetry
Tags: , ,

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The old man sat still in his cold pantry hole, he was grizzled and grimaced in fright.

His knees crushed the end of his snot-frozen nose; his arms wrapped around them so tight.

A spider was hiding inside his left ear, peeking out from its wax splattered lair.

But the man did not itch, for his gaze was transfixed, at the half-eaten boy on the stairs.

 

For seven long days sat the boy on the stairs, as still as a tailor shop doll.

His half-eaten grin peeping out from the dark, and his half-eaten eyes seeing all.

His half-eaten throat hummed a sinister tune that gargled and groaned through the air.

Neither living nor dead, with a stench full of dread, sat the half-eaten boy on the stairs.

 

Feeble from hunger and weakened by fear, the old man began to come to.

He fumbled around for a scrap he could eat, for a morsel to help see him through.

He spied half an apple all covered in worms and reached out for as far as he dared.

But his task was in vain, and he soon felt the pain, from the half-eaten boy on the stairs.

 

It began with a breath, like the whisper of wind, or the soft rolling rush of a wave.

Blackness did then start to creep ‘cross the walls, as the air turned as cold as the grave.

The old man cried out, as the darkness embraced him with hands that just sprang from the air.

Though he struggled and kicked, he could not break the grip of the half-eaten boy on the stairs.

 

“For what is my crime that you punish me for?” shrieked the man from the dark of the room.

“What pain have I caused?  What sins passed me by? How deserving am I of this tomb?”

Then as swift as it came, the darkness did cease, could it be, had the old man been spared?

But as silence resumed, he looked out through the gloom, at the half-eaten boy on the stairs.

 

How he rallied and railed and bartered and begged, for a moment, perchance, to run free.

“If you please let me go, I’ll not say what I know, and that’s the last that you’ll e’er see of me!”

“I long for the rain and the sun in the sky, and a gentle breeze waft through my hair.”

But the old man sat here, half insane with the fear, of the half-eaten boy on the stairs.

 

Then one stormy evening, the old man did stir from a dream of the world past his door.

He could scarce catch his breath as he stared down the hall at the boy who now stood on the floor.

“A question, have I!” spoke the boy with a start, and he froze the old man with a glare.

“Answer me true, I’ll no more bother you.” Smiled the half-eaten boy from the stairs.

 

The old man sat stunned and he nodded his head, as the bile burned away at his throat.

“Your challenge I’ll take, and the truth shall you hear.” The boy, then, towards him, did float.

As the half-eaten boy brushed his half eaten nose ‘cross the old man’s cadaverous face.

His stomach did turn and his eyeballs did burn, as emptiness filled the whole place.

 

What seemed like an age through the passage of time, the boy remained silent and still.

Hung in the air like a gallows tree ghost, left to rot in the mid-morning chill.

The old man did whimper and tremble with fear, his hands and feet wilted and weak.

Then from the abyss came the ghastliest hiss, as the wretched boy started to speak.

 

“Please tell me, good sir, as you amble through life, along roads that lead from there to here.”

“And standing alone on the crossed paths of fate, ‘till the way ahead soon becomes clear.”

“To which do you listen, to render your choice of direction you’re willing to take?”

“Your heart or your head? Tell me which way you’re led? The decision is now yours to make.”

 

The old man gave thought and he furrowed his brow, as he puzzled and pondered and pried.

He rattled his brains and he swivelled his eyes as the fear ate away his insides.

But no answer came, for the man had ne’er wondered about all the things he had done.

So rather than try, he decided to lie; and thought that this battle he’d won.

 

“I lead with my heart!” the old man proclaimed with a fervency seldom he’d shown.

“I stride down those paths that feel right for my soul, where my destiny remains unknown!”

“A choice from one’s head? It is not for the brave, as we gamble a future dismay.”

“An answer you craved, and an answer I gave! Now release me and be on your way!”

 

The boy from the stairs bowed his half-eaten head and extended a half-eaten smile.

“Now that I know your heart steadies your feet, I’ll be gone from you in a short while.”

“But as it’s your heart, your foundation in life, I suspect you’ll no more need much else!”

And without a word said, he tore off the man’s head, and the man was no longer himself.

 

The hapless old man watched the world tumble by as his head rolled away down the hall.

Startled and stunned by this turn of events, he soon came to rest against the wall.

He saw his poor body all gushing with blood, and its hands and feet twitching in pairs.

And the last thing he spied, as he withered and died, was the half-eaten boy from the stairs.

 

The lesson to learn from this terrible tale is there isn’t a lesson at all.

There can be no escape as the darkness flows in, like the drape of a funeral pall.

So when there are shadows that creep at your door, never brush them aside, please beware.

Always think with your head, as you hide in your bed,

From the half-eaten boy on your stairs.

 

THE END

© 2013 John Gallagher