Jingle Bells, Shotgun Shells @ Punk Noir Magazine

“It’s Christmas Eve and I’m standing in the middle of a stash house in Hookhills, bleeding from one ear and trying to work out which one of the hired hands I should shoot first: the skinny guy in the soiled Sexy Santa minidress or the fat fuck in the scuffed-looking ballistics vest.”

Thanks to Paul D. Brazill for running this year’s Paignton Noir Christmas story, JINGLE BELLS, SHOTGUN SHELLS, at Punk Noir Magazine.

This is a heart-warming festive romp involving firearms, fuckwits, Fentanyl and food banks. You can read it here.

And if you want some added Christmas cheer, why not check out my previous Christmas stories here?

Down and Out in Paignton and Torquay

“In 2017 Torbay was identified as one of the coastal communities with the worst levels of economic and social deprivation in the UK, as well as being ranked as the local authority with the ninth lowest average wage in the entire country. Last year the synthetic drug Spice arrived in Torquay, and the situation degenerated so quickly and hideously that the mini-epidemic even piqued the interest of the national media.”

This month Tess Makovesky – author of Gravy Train (out from All Due Respect this month) – invited me to write a guest post as part of her ‘Where The Heck Wednesday’ series. Naturally, I wrote about Paignton! I wanted to step away from the stylised Paignton Noir universe I have created and shine a light on the real town, and how it has inspired my work.

You can find the feature here.

Oozy Rat In A Sanitary Zoo @ Spelk Fiction

The toilet attendant looks unconscious. He is slumped on a barstool, the sunken shoulders of his black jacket layered in big asbestos-like chunks of dandruff.

I kick his foot, and his eyes flicker open. He gestures lazily towards the tray of toxic-looking aftershaves next to the basins.

“No splash/no gash …”

I shake my head.

“No Lynx Java/no how’s your father …”

“Just soap, pal.”

He squirts bright pink lather on my bloody hands, but the hot water does little to remove the coppery stink.

Last month saw a new piece of flash fiction go live at Spelk: OOZY RAT IN A SANITARY ZOO.

Big thanks to editor Cal Marcius for running the story – my 11th hosted by the reliably excellent Spelk!

Sloppy Operator @ The Flash Fiction Offensive

“Her real name is Carol Cummings, but she prefers to be called Khandi Kane. She likes to tell people she works as a glamour model, but as far as I know she only ever made one topless calendar—for a local petrol station. She is better known as ‘Snow White,’ after she fucked a couple of midgets while shooting a video for a smut-freak called Caruso back in the ‘90s. She was supposed to fuck all seven but the others were too drunk and sat around in the background, wanking and smoking noxious-looking cigarettes.”

Last month I had a brand new Paignton Noir story featured online at the Flash Fiction Offensive: Sloppy Operator, Big thanks to editorial tag-team Rob Pierce and Hector Duarte Jr. for running the story!

I’ve had a whole bunch of stories online at the F.F.O. since making my debut on the old website way back in August 2009 with Triggerman, and it is always a real pleasure to be featured on the site.

Switchblade Issue 1 Out Now

“Loomis laughs to himself and spits in the gutter, before hobbling towards the child prostitute on his busted knees. He tells people that he lost a kneecap during a riot at Pelican Bay, but I know the truth.  He actually blew his knee trying to fuck a pre-op hooker in the shower of an Oxnard trick-pad.”

My degenerate noir story The Stooge is included in Issue #1 of the brand new US crime publication Switchblade, edited by Scotch Rutherford.

You can buy it here (UK) or here (US).

The Guns of Brixham @ Akashic Books

“The skinhead wipes the rain out of his eyes and cackles.

“I’m glad I’m not the poor bastard that has to try and identify your body.”

His pump-action shotgun is wedged against my throat. He is going to make one hell of a mess…”

In November last year my story The Guns of Brixham was featured in Akashic Books’ ‘Mondays are Murder’ series. This was my third Devon-based Akashic story, after Paignton Rust and The Graveyard Shift, which was set in Plymouth.

I love the long-running Akashic Noir paperback series, and it is always a pleasure to be featured on the website.

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The Carny @ Liars League Hong Kong

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Late last year my story The Carny was selected by the Hong Kong offshoot of cult literary event Liars League for their ‘Rich & Poor’ event. The video has now emerged online, and you can find it here. The actor, Aaron Kahn, adds a great new dimension to the story, and I think his Americana-fuelled take on my Paignton Noir yarn is fantastic. Check it out!

Jailbait @ Near To The Knuckle

“I twist the screwdriver out of his neck, and it makes a sound like a sloppy kiss. To his credit, he doesn’t even flinch.”

UK webzine-turned-publisher Near To The Knuckle has been serving up essential reading for fans of short crime fiction for quite a while now, and it is always a thrill to have a new story published by Darren and Craig.

My latest short, Jailbait, went live at the weekend – I hope you enjoy it!

Jailbait Tom Leins Near to the Knuckle

Devil In Sports Casual @ Sein Und Werden

“Flies buzz contentedly around the creamy yellow fat oozing out of the wound in Serge Gabriel’s stomach. He is 48, but looks closer to 65. He is a thick, squat man with big hands, and they shake as he nervously re-lights his cigarette and raises it to his lips – lips that are cracked and outlined with white scum. He is unlikely to make it through the afternoon, let alone the night. Ray could have phoned for an ambulance three hours ago, but would prefer to allow the grisly scenario to play out in its own time.”

I have a new story – part of the All Is Swell In The Grinding Light narrative – on Sein Und Werden, included in the ‘Not Quite Human’ issue. It is called Devil In Sports Casual.