The Man Next Door

“Well the last time I spoke to Sheila said she’d been convinced that the new man who’d moved into number 56 was a wolfman”

“She’d noticed how hairy he was when she first saw him. She told me that he had one of those monobrows just like those brothers who kept fighting who were in that band from up North which her nephew Kevin liked. He’d keep himself to himself and was very handsome in a shy, quiet brooding type of way and ever so polite when you could get him to speak to you. He always looked very sad like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.  She said he didn’t seem to work and a nice young lady use to come and visit him twice a week although she wasn’t sure if it was his daughter or a girlfriend and if it was the latter he was a good thirty years older than her”

“Sheila said it was all fine until the beginning of the month. She said there was all manner of noises and howls coming from his room all night long and she’d had to put her earplugs in to get some sleep. Of course Peter at number 55 wouldn’t have heard anything as he’d sleep right through ‘The Great Storm’ even when his chimney fell into his bedroom and Glad from number 54 was away at her sisters. The next day when she saw him he was very sheepish and apologised for the noise and shot off out the door before she could say anything”

“Anyway all was quiet until the following month when it all started up again with the howling and banging about but this time she banged on his door and told him to keep it down. When she looked through the letterbox she saw him on all fours and he was even hairier than she could have imagined although she did say that she also thought it might have been huge grey dog and not him at all. Sheila thought about phoning the council in the morning as pets weren’t allowed in her block but thought she’d best speak to him first”

“Anyway she said that as she lay there awake thinking about it all she put two and two together and came up with the answer; he was obviously a wolfman and every month when the full moon came out he was having a turn. Now she told me she was none too pleased about it I can tell you and she didn’t get a wink of sleep after that”

“Well the vicar at Sunday Service couldn’t help her and even though he had a friend who could perform exorcisms that only really worked for demonic possession and Renee had a friend of her late husband whose sister was a psychic but how she thought that was helping Sheila didn’t know”

“The thing was Sheila said she couldn’t remember at first how to kill a wolfman as she’d never been a fan of the films with him; she was all about Christopher Lee and had only watched the Dracula films and the only wolfman film at the time had that Oliver Reed in and she couldn’t stick him at all. She knew that if a vampire was giving you trouble you could use sunlight or a wooden stake but for wolf men she was stumped “

“Then it came to her; a silver bullet. That’s what is was although knowing it was of no use what so ever as she didn’t know anyone who could make a silver bullet or get her a gun. Her nephew did wear one of those hoody things and liked that rap music and she’d seen on the telly that a lot of young men knew where to get one but she thought it would be impolite to ask him”

“Anyway the situation resolved itself when the nice young lady turned up and a little while later an ambulance arrived and took him away and that was that and now a nice elderly gentleman had moved in and was no trouble at all. Sheila said he was tall, pale and very handsome and a real charmer. His eyes seemed to burn into you and made Sheila come over all unnecessary, He told her he worked nights and was a sleep during the day. He’d moved in during the evening apparently but had very little in the way of possessions so was very quiet and considerate. In fact the nice Eastern European men who had moved him in only seemed to bring in a long cardboard box that seemed very heavy as it took six of them to do it”

“Sheila said she was quite taken by him and he’d actually invited her over for a bite to eat on Saturday evening so she couldn’t stay on the phone for long as she had to go and get a shampoo and set then pick up something nice to wear from Marks & Spencers”

“But it’s funny as I haven’t heard from her for a week now and I suppose she’s been swept off her feet by this new man of hers and is off galavanting about somewhere. Still I’ll give it a couple of days and if I can’t get her I’ll pop over”

“I might even get to meet the man next door “

The Law Of Attraction

“It’s like the scales have been lifted from my eyes I’m telling you”

Alan was holding court in the pub yet again and as his friends rolled their eyes and yelled “Oh here we go again” he continued

“No listen we’ve had it all wrong for years. It’s been kept secret from us by the powers that be for generations to keep the rest of us down”

Alan had discovered ‘The Law of Attraction. He’d read about how all of the greats throughout the ages had used it to bring them their success and riches. He’d learnt how our thoughts can become things and that by sending out what it is we wanted into the universe we could attract it into our life

He now realised that all of the many systems he’d tried before had been rubbish and that this was the real deal. All of the ‘fake it till you make it’, SMART goals and ‘Think And Grow Rich’ approaches now paled into comparison with what he now knew. Now he had the secret

So he set about it every night before he went to sleep

“Dear Universe I want a million pounds and to never have to work again”

He knew now he would just have to wait to attract exactly what he wanted and deserved into his life

Nobody could figure out how and why the wall collapsed on him. Some said he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Others said it was one of those ‘Acts Of God’ you hear about

The accident lawyers fell over themselves to take on his case and sued all and sundry connected to the wall to get him his money. Alan eventually got a wheel chair that he could move with his chin and a modified home

They fought hard to get him enough to cover the fact that he’d never be able to work again and once everyone had taken their cut Alan found he was wasn’t left with as much as they’d promised

In fact once all of the bills had been paid they’d left him with exactly a million pounds



buddha-1“How long’s he been sitting under that tree for now?”

“It’s been three weeks”

His mother stared out through the kitchen window whilst doing the washing up

“Three weeks since he turned up unannounced telling me he’d left Angela and the kids, resigned from his job and was going to sit under that tree until he’d found the answers to what causes suffering and how he could alleviate it”

She’d been washing the same plate for the past five minutes

“It’s never right Alice. I mean just walking out on your wife and job like that. He must be having some sort of midlife crisis or breakdown”

Her friend stood beside her looking out of the window

“Angela has said she’ll have to sell the flat because she can’t keep it going on just her wage unless he sorts himself out and goes back to work”

They both sat down at the kitchen table and tucked into the freshly baked Victoria Sponge

“I blame that corporate responsibility day for all of this when he went to that homeless shelter. He’d never encountered alcoholics and drug addicts before and it seemed to send him over the edge”

His mother dabbed at the corner of her mouth with her napkin to remove the jam

“He kept going on about money and materialism and how if he could only find a way to help human kind understand what caused their suffering how he’d be able to save them”

Her friend finished her cake and went back to look at him

“Well that’s all well and good Alice but he’s got a wife, children and responsibilities. Perhaps he could phone his boss and explain that it’s all been a mistake and get his old job back. Perhaps a stay somewhere with people who can help him and some medication would do the trick”

She went over to her friend, placing a hand upon her shoulder

“The sooner you can get him the help he needs Alice the better as putting it off any longer is only going to make matters worse”

His mother stood up and picked up the phone hanging on the wall

“I know you’re right but it doesn’t make it any easier” she said as she dialled the number

“Which emergency service do you require please?”

She wiped away her tears and took a deep breath

“Police and ambulance please. I need to get my son sectioned”


That’s Not My Name!

“And can I take your name please?”

He’d been asked this question everyday for the past three months and they hadn’t got it right once

What does it take for people to remember you? What’s the point of going on about customer service and the customer experience if you can’t even get a bloody name right?

He really didn’t need this today. The headaches were getting worse and the chest pains were coming and going with increasing discomfort. All he wanted was some caffeine to calm him down and he could get out of there

“Your name please?”

The increasingly impatient server stood poised with Sharpie marker in hand

“My name is R
on. Not Roy, not John but Ron”

He spelt it out as slowly as he could


The name was scribbled on his cup and passed along to the barista at the end of the counter


The volume of his voice caused silence to fall over the rest of the customers and staff

“What is bloody wrong with you people, it’s three bloody letters, that’s all you’ve got to get your tiny brains around”

The pain in his chest made him catch his breath

“Everyday day I come in here and you spell my bloody name wrong. How many more times do I have to tell you people that’s not my name?”

It felt like a sledge-hammer had hit between the shoulder blades. He fell first to his knees and then flat on his back. The last thing he remembered was feeling as though he was being pushed through the floor by a ton of weights

The police and paramedics arrived on the scene within ten minutes but it was already too late

“Did anyone catch his name?”

The Police Officer looked over at the staff still behind the

“I think he said it was Bronn”

The Noticer

The NoticerYou will not have noticed him but he has noticed you

He is the person on the table next to you in the coffee shop, the one behind you in the queue at the supermarket and he sits near you on the train.

He is the man who observes and listens but you will not remember him because nobody ever does

He likes it that way as it allows him to notice things

He has noticed that you like to have a large skinny soya milk latte extra hot during the weekdays but switch to decaf over the weekend to help you sleep

You call yourself a vegetarian but still eat fish, especially tuna, which you buy at least three times a week from the supermarket on the way home from work

You like the short stories of Neil Gaiman and prefer to read an actual book rather than on your Kindle

You are currently seeing a ‘Life Coach’ because you’re still trying to find your ‘thing’ in life

You are left handed but when you eat you hold your knife and fork like a right handed person would

You take the 8.10 train from platform one during the week to your office and stop off for breakfast at McDonalds on the way everyday

You like to sleep on the left hand side of your bed and wake yourself up snoring on average four times a night

You will not have noticed him before but you will

Very, very soon