In Las Vegas it’s odds-on your luck will run out. Sadly.


We struck it lucky on our last Las Vegas trip,
There we saw an historic bit of showmanship,
From our front row seat at Siegfried and Roy's
We saw a Grand finale from those two old boys.

They've entertained us all for untold years...
So, now a touch less boyish than first appears;
Note the lush leonine manes of layered dyed hair
And those fixed faces, half botox, half Tupperware.

As the big cats prowled their cages
Roy rattled on, much as he's done for ages,
The tigers bared their teeth, growling loudly
'Pussy cats in my hands' Roy thought proudly.

I wonder, did Roy take his routine too lightly, pray?
Perhaps the tiger wasn't feeling too bright that day?
Call it overfamiliarity, call it a catastrophic oversight
Whatever, Roy got a deep insight into a tigers underbite.

After thousands of shows without an accident
Into retirement, with wounded pride they went,
The Mirage's management terminated their run
Just because Roy entertained a bit of armless fun.

This tasteless offering was going to be for a short poetry prompt but it kinda sorta took on a larger life of its own. Perhaps, as Siegfried and Roy found, sometimes you can’t rein things in, it all starts to get away on us and before you know it everything’s running uncontrollably amok. 


A slightly perverse offering for Lucy’s Works/ Horror House Wednesday flash fiction #4. (Another one to toss into the Shlock Mock Horror vaults.)

(The prompt as supplied; ‘Isn’t this… romantic?’  “You’re a psychopath.”)

Work In Progress.

‘Isn’t this… romantic?’
You’re a psychopath.”
‘I’m trying to be empathic
So let’s not make this a bloodbath.’

‘What my psychiatrist proposes
Is I indulge in empathetic thinking-
So here’s a bunch of wine and roses
For your nose and for our drinking.’

‘Your eyes look wary and distrustful
Even as my finest Cabernet you sup,
Do my cold eyes turn red and lustful
As I see scarlet dripping from your cup?’

‘I’ve prepared a five-star meal,
Fois gras, truffles and sirloin steak,
My culinary eye can scarce conceal
The chef’s made an all too rare mistake.’

Her sweet face taut with leaden lividity,
Her tender mouth ceases its idle talk,
My eye falls with a dreaming avidity
Upon her gleaming knife and fork.

‘I swore I’d strain to show restraint
But you see the truth, you know I lie,
Now you look like you’ve seen a haint-
Now the knife points out your blind eye.’

It’s the nature of the beast
To take a lamb to slaughter,
My famine has turned into a feast
And my loves blood flows like water.



What started as a short Little Willie poem somehow took on a life of its own: A short one, but a life nevertheless.

Sea Salt Air.

Crusty Ol’ Salt Willie, lighthouse keeper,
Chronic somnambulist and heavy sleeper
Wishes the circular stairs had been slightly steeper-
Then he might not have stumbled on the Grim Reaper.

When he reached the top
And the railing bid him stop
Why did his salt-lashed eyeballs not pop
Before the sphincter clenching long drop?

Pressed up against the trusty railing
Did Willie hear the rusty bolts failing?
Down went Willie, arms and legs a’flailing;
Willie, beware of ragged rocks when sailing.

When dawn and a bright brand new day appears
Do Willies wife’s searching eyes hold grave fears?
From high up on yon tower down she peers…
Willies wife’s eye’s well up with shallow tears.

As ‘oer the jagged rocks the sea gently swishes
Maritime Assurance remains mightily suspicious
As to how and why Wet Willie swims with the fishes,
But still, they gotta grant the widow a million wishes.



Shlock mock horror! A quick look at an old horror flick. Alien, the concept, the movie, encapsulated.

Alien, The Cliff Notes Cut.

A richly laden space craft returning to far off earth,
A motley crew roused from their deep sleep berth,
Duty bound to wake in the middle of the long haul,
To answer something in the nature of an urgent call.

Touching down on a bleak and windswept planetoid
Crewman Kane makes a contact you’d pray to avoid,
Back on board the crew wonder if he will live or not-
Well, let’s face it, that’s one ugly kisser Kane has got.

Then when that foul face mask falls, all appears hunky-dory-
But Ridley didn’t make this a happy ending story, it gets gory,
After swallowing that alien dish it’s a wonder Kane’s able
To face a Damn thing that disgraces the breakfast table.

Kane discovers his hidden guest
That had snuggled down in his chest
Cause’s heartburn and a cardiac arrest.
(Some find this scene tough to digest.)

After busting Kane’s heart and finding it’s lost face,
That bloody little alien disappeared without a trace,
The crew peer up stairs, down shafts, a long corridor
Only to find the ‘Find The Alien’ plan contains a fatal flaw.

There will be only one winner in this game of hide and seek,
That’s one drooling beast who’ll never lose its nasty streak,
Soon the loyal crew are terminated, all bar a slippery one,
Sadly for Ms. Ripley, a psycho killers work is never done.

Pausing only to toss the ships cat in a carry cage
Ripley decides to pull the pin and leave the stage,
She set a time for the ol’ atomic pile to self-destruct-
Screw Wutani’s Destruction of Property Code of Conduct.

But in the escape pod Ripley found
She was a world away from safe ground,
And as the stowaway alien slowly unwound
Our spunky space-girl made a gibbering sound.

Trapped in the confines of her space-suit cocoon
Her trembling hand chanced upon a handy harpoon,
One second it was looming there before her, salivating,
The next, a harpoon to the chest left it hyperventilating.

From gross green rotten eggs through to face hugger
That nasty bit of work was proving a persistent bugger,
A pest of a problem and a proper nightmare to dispatch,
The only solution was open up the door, down the hatch.

Even out in airless space the beast was not yet spent,
It crawled up, coming to rest up up an air duct (or vent,)
So the sole survivor gave the rocket engine a quick blast
And the alien slipped away aft, toasty and crispy-assed.

She sets her course, sets homing beam,
A sedative courses down bloodstream,
Her eyes close, perchance to dream…
In deep sleep does she silently scream?



Seeing too many old movies means it’s time to have a stab at a gripping old ripping yarn.

Low Ebb.

Back in the bad old days, in Old London Town
A mist sprung up, a heavy fog rolled down,
As the good God-fearing Victorian folk slept
Into seedy Whitechapel that damned fog crept.

At the end of a dark dank Dockside alleyway
A lady of the night decided she’d call it a day,
It had been a profitable night for an enterprising maid;
But there’s no profit being alone in the dark, in her trade.

She headed for home with bone weary tread,
After a night on her back she longed for her bed,
But she was mistaken to think she was all alone,
In the fog muffled footsteps echoed her own.

In the confines of Bucks Close the fog thickened,
As those steps sped up her heart-beat quickened,
From her trembling lips her breath came wreathing,
Then, on her neck she felt a hot and heavy breathing.

For a girl who regularly walked the street
This was no man she had wished to meet,
He seized his lapels, opened his greatcoat wide
And the size of his weapon left her terrified…

No, this was no ordinary flasher,
Yes, this was the Docklands slasher!
In a flash her days (and nights) were done,
Then ’twas the Rippers time to cut and run.

Down towards the Thames he blindly ran,
Washing his hands of the crime being the plan,
But the infernal fog hid the embankment railing
And into the dirty old river the Ripper went sailing.

Weighed down by a voluminous greatcoat
Jack the Dipper struggled vainly to stay afloat,
He and his cries for assistance were lost in the mist,
And so the Ripper himself wound up last on his list.

Though the man(iac) in question has long gone
The myth and mystery of his identity lingers on,
The name of the Ripper no-one can provide
All known remains, lost to time, and to tide.



Shlock mock horror! A tribute to classic movies, in the tradition and vein of Mel Brooks ‘Young Frankenstein.’ Well… sort of.

A Dark Day.

What a great night the old Count had had,
There’s something awfully good about being bad,
On her side the poor pure pallid virgin lay,
Well… she had been unsullied yesterday.

How had she fallen for this old mountebank?
Had he spiked the drinks she drank?
That sly old dog had pulled out all the tricks
Once she’d removed purity ring and crucifix.

Towards well earned sleep he began to sink,
Daybreak came, revealing her in the pink ,
Then light disturbed his slumber and he awoke-
And the new day and his waters broke.

For it dawned on him, he had overslept
And from a deeply satisfied sleep he leapt,
He snatched frenziedly at the flimsy curtain-
Drac’s no morning person, that’s for certain.

For to be up and awake at daybreak
Could prove to be a grave mistake,
This was the finest sunrise Dracula had seen
Since contracting morning sickness back in 1517.

It’s a cruel cruel world every soul must learn
And Drac’s old poor pupils began to burn,
With mounting fear the Count was gripped,
Then mortal terror as the curtain ripped.

Clear and bright the sun was shining,
No black clouds, no silver lining,
How the old roue rued his dinner date
But Dracula’s last regret was- too late.

When Drac was ‘entertaining’ some fair maid
Ironically a ‘Do Not Enter’ sign was displayed,
Behind the door, snoring in sweet surrender
One lay, young and slender, neck slightly tender.

Now Igor, Count Dracula’s idiot servant
Was slow and simple but not unobservant,
Igor was charged with Castle Housekeeping
And assumed Drac was somewhere sleeping.

Dracula had long been bit of a rover,
Igor thought he must be sleeping over,
And Igor decided, while the bat’s away
He wouldn’t bust his hump today.

It was only as the dark shadows crept in
Igor returned and conscientiously swept in,
As usual, the Counts bier was a bloody mess,
No Count, only a comatose damsel in distress.

The Counts chamber left Igor disgusted,
Just last week he’d had it done and dusted,
Now he’d gone off, but left behind a filthy cleaner
Wondering if White Spirit might shift this patina?

Igor took a dark look around the room,
Then, teeth gritted, started pushing broom,
Last weeks hard work looked hardly worthwhile-
Though by the window he saw he’d missed a wee pile.

Since the dirty Count was beyond caring
He’d give the Castle a damned good airing,
Boy, that backwoods bumpkin went to town,
Igor even turned the belfry upside down.

He transformed a last resort for the unwary
Into a sun-drenched dream home, light and airy,
He made a cold creepy Castle into a keeper
Unless the prospective buyer dug a little deeper.

But since Drac has gone to his dark lord
His helping hand grows lonely and bored,
Now the sparkling Castle is oppressively still,
With no more Drac chat Iggy has time to kill.

Igor misses the old master’s companionship
So he drops into the village tavern for a nip,
In the darkest corner Igor will gloomily sit,
The villagers tend to shy away from him a bit.

Igor casts a sad, tragic and lonely figure,
He has just one friend, butt uglier and bigger,
He has a battered mug, he’s a bleedin’ nightmare,
When it comes to ghastly looks he’s had his share.

He causes quite the stir down at the Shtup Inn,
Striding through the door and shambling in,
Before he begins one of his monstrous binges
He’s already blown the door off its hinges.

This poor creation has been badly built,
With more stitches than a patchwork quilt,
Any good Doc would stop, then start again,
Well… any decent Doctor with half a brain.

But just as long as the tab gets paid
They get a warm welcome from the barmaid,
For it’s with a prodigious thirst both are blessed;
It’s gonna get wetter and wilder than Oktoberfest.

Big Bertha became one busy busty fraulein
Taking the pilsner out to that ugly Stein,
But sadly the more good spirits they uplifted
The more downbeat the mood shifted.

The conversation Igor totally dominated,
His offsider couldn’t be less animated,
Frankly, all he could do was silently nod,
He’s lost his tongue, the poor sod.

It would take twenty thousand volts
To get a grunt out of that bag of bolts,
He’s strong, he’s silent, he’s big and dumb,
But give him 1.21 gigawatts and hear him hum!

Soon the gruesome twosome were knockin’ it back
Tossing out toasts in memory of dear old Drac,
For despite the dark life the Count had had to live
He always tried to turn A Negative into B Positive.

First comes far too many ‘Cheers’
Then come the maudlin tears,
Over this not-so-pretty pair
Settled a funereal air.

Now it’s Igor who silently sits
While his beer buddy falls to bits,
Is there any sight sadder than
A big blubbering Bitter man?

In the olden days those tears would invoke
Laughter and jeers from the towns volk,
And with pitchforks they’d be pointedly driven away,
Now this odd miss-matched couple are here to stay.

Thanks to the terms of Dracula’s will
Igor gets to keep his Castle on the hill,
The peasants long to burn it to the ground
But Igor owns all the farms for miles around.

So there won’t be any torches lit,
No rowdy unruly mob pitching a fit,
Any fiery outbursts, Frank will stomp ’em out,
Peasants, his presence means- no arson about.

Now in a room once cold dreary and eerie
Igor sits by a blazing fire, bright and cheery,
His serfs remember Dracula as vile and hateful;
When Igor stirs the ashes he remains truly grateful.



Shlock mock horror! All these movies about evil rising up and trying to chase down the brave survivors. Why can’t we see it from everyone’s point of view?

Lost In The Shuffle.

It’s no fun, waking in the shoes of the walking dead,
To see the living see then flee you with dawning dread,
One look at my shambling gammy gait and off they sped,
My food fast running out on me sure makes me see red.

There’s no spring in the step of the walking dead,
Perversely, we zombies are plagued by a ponderous tread,
Soon my quarry teased to a crawl, one tantalising step ahead.
And, oh, the frightful cutting biting stinging things they said!

With bellows blood-lusty enough to rouse the dead
The news of one slow and simple lost soul rabidly spread,
Soon even the old and lame returned from whence they had fled,
Now I wish I’d never raised my creepy head from my death bed.

I fear there’s no future in being a slow-witted dead
As it’s back up my own garden path I find I’ve been led,
Where choice pitch-forks and hatchets line my implements shed,
But I can’t help seeing that whacking big pick-axe, in my head.



Nothing like a word prompt to get a story started. Blame Brian at Bonnywood Manor for this light and dark offering.

Last Night.

Hugo approached the final room slowly,
His heartbeat flickering along with the one remaining candle he held aloft,
In the dark corridor his guts grumbled lowly,
His fruitless search for a hidden chamber would have flummoxed Lara Croft.

Perched high on a mist-shrouded mountain top
The old chateau had looked a delightfully romantic place to stay,
A memorable, if unplanned overnight stop,
Now within these walls ‘twould be sweet relief to see a new day.

The room he sought came to light,
Turning the dusty rusted key in the door, it groaned in its cobwebbed lock,
What should have been a welcome sight
Had the rank air of abandonment, Hugo saw with awwwww, then shock.

His nose wrinkled at the ancient stink,
The room filled him with disgust, but what made his hot blood run cold
Was in the cracked mirror above the sink;
A crazed sight no human being would- should- could wish to behold.

In his heart he felt the dread,
He held the candle to his face and felt his fine young face fill with misery,
His red-rimmed eyes, flat and dead
Strained deeply in the darkly reflected shadows, yet there was nothing to see.

His hand went to his tender throat,
He hoped to wake in the morn, put this down to a close shave,
He held to that hope, desperate, remote,
Till his hand came away, bloody and cold, cold as the bloody grave.

How he’d been welcomed by his host,
The Count had celebrated, feted his arrival like a long lost friend,
Hugo had stood for toast after toast,
He recalled swaying, and saying he hoped the night would never end.

But what kind of half-life is it to lurk
In the shadows, in the twilight till another endless day is done?
Hugo is no fan of night work
So he stands, face to the east, yearning, almost burning to see the sun.



A little rework of the Lizzie (Bloody Berserk) Borden axeident-waiting-to-happen story. Not a family friendly story, Lizzie.

Whack Job.

Lizzie Borden took an axe to her dear old Dad,
His constant cutting her down drove her mad,
Yet even as he fell victim to foul patricide
He felt for his wild child a slice of paternal pride;
She’d proved she came from hard-working Irish stock,
With a chip on her shoulder, a real chip off the old block.

Maw was not best pleased with what she saw,
She stood, in bits and pieces, looking over Paw,
Stepmum looked appealingly at step-daughter
Hoping Lizzie would settle for manslaughter,
She hoped to survive and to head off any scandal
‘Cause Liz and the axe had both flown off the handle.

But Lizzie produced from under her pinafore a hatchet-
Lizzie had her plan and she planned to despatch it,
She did not hear her stepmums pleas of ‘Stop! Stop!’
Lizzie was keen to get stuck in, chop chop.
What a pity dear old Dad, so recently laid to rest
Didn’t see Liz working away like a woman possessed.

But since the trial our Lizzie is doing well,
No longer constrained in her padded cell
She’s free to glumly walk the guarded grounds,
She dourly nods at the Doc doing his rounds,
That tragic face rarely bears an authentic smile,
But sometimes, as she lingers by the wood pile…



Late at night, trawling through the channels and I fell upon this tender offering from the past. So serious, so silly, so… If any fans feel distraught about this all I can offer is, ‘sorry- grow up.’

The Vampire Diatribes.

First Entry.

The full moon shone down, bright and clear
As she left the pub full of cider and good cheer,
When from out of the shadows ol’ Dracula did appear
She gave out a cry as down her thigh ran a…frisson of fear.

This sure put a dampener on the nights atmosphere.

The Count slid towards her with a lecherous leer,
She feared this was her dying day as he drew near,
As his fangs grazed her neck she whispered in his ear
Bitter words no salivating vampire ever desires to hear.

Immodest confessions no fair Catholic maid could volunteer.

She has developed quite the reputation round here,
Has an accommodating nature that’s sure to endear,
Her maidenhood hadn’t withstood her sixteenth year,
She’d long laid her honor to rest, and not shed one tear.

So while she’s lying safely abed, Drac’s crying in his bier.