Saturday, 26 August 2017

Funny Business

Funny Business


Copyright© 2017 By James Sykes.

Funny business
By James Sykes.

Ronny Kausebarten Is standing on stage wearing his brightly coloured costume, enormous shoes and tufty bright hair sticking out from under a miniature sized felt bowler hat. He honked a brass antique car horn in the air.

“Roll up, roll up and take your seats! You've paid your money for your ticket, expect to be delight and bamboozled. Now you are ready we can begin! Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any disease that could be passed on by a sneeze or a cough. When laughter is shared, it blinds people and binds us together. Unites us with magical power as it increases, vibrating every cell in our mortal bodies with happiness. Real now, in the moment.”

He bends over to pick up his stage showing his large arse to the audience. His horn honks loudly and Ronny peers round looking embarrassed.

“Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy and protect you from the damaging effects of stress from the world around you. This priceless medicine is fun and free. Laughter is a powerful and mystic medicine for the mind as well as for the body.”

From his suitcase, he pulls out an enormous string of comedy sausages. There are so many of them as he keeps on pulling, that he has to drape them four times over his shoulder.

“It’s time to feed the crocodile!” He takes a large stuffed crocodile out of the case.

“This is Jim.”

And puts Jim back in to the case. The case is open towards Ronny and the audience can only see the back of the lid. Ronny Throws the end of the string of sausages into the case and at great speed the are pulled in, supposedly being eaten by Jim. At the end there is a large juicy belch and Ronny slams the lid shut.

“Laughter is the best Medicine. Unless You're sick, then medicine is the best medicine.” He takes his bow to rapturous applause.

Ronny's Wife Wendy had worked for many years in a hospital, so she knew that laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Laughter makes you feel good. And the good feeling that you get when you laugh remains with you even after the laughter subsides. Humor helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss.

More than just a respite from sadness and pain, laughter gives you the courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope. Even in the most difficult of times, a laugh-or even simply a smile-can go a long way toward making you feel better.

She knew this and her husband Ronny, the funniest person she had ever met, knew all this. But somehow underneath, they still weren't happy.

Life had become a nightmare for the Kausebarten family since they had moved to the Cliff-Top council estate. Ronny and Wendy had moved to the coast five years ago after their life had been disrupted by the most horrible disaster a family could endure. They didn’t live in one of the local apartments that had beautiful seaside views, standing proudly next to the seaside hotels. Instead, the Kausebarten family had moved into a towering block of flats overlooking the coast on the outskirts of the town of Mare-gate.

Mare-gate was a seaside town with a spooky reputation. A few years before, the local themed amusement park, the Fantasy Playground, closed its gates after a horrific day of madness, where a few people lost their lives and some kids disappeared. The locals speculated that this was for the last time, as the park had been falling into decline for years. The final showdown had been reported in the local papers and presented on the regional news. Then, just as it had always happened over the years of tragic events of the Fantasy Playground, the event faded quickly in people’s minds. It was like it had never happened. Nobody was surprised, or even seemed bothered. They locked up the gates with chains and gradually stopped talking about it. Nobody asked any questions about the children, staff members, or police, who died or simply vanished. It was as if the park was protecting itself and the town just blocked the event out of their consciousness, to protect their sanity.

Now, with the credit crunch, and small coastal resorts like Mare-gate losing their attraction, the future of the local tourism was beginning to look bleak.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Empire of the Dead

Empire of the dead by James Sykes.

Empire of the dead.
Underground in Paris.

On the 14 October 2016 Twins Tyrone and Kenzie’s Teacher Mrs Salisbury was Planning a school trip and was still very much undecided on the destination.

She looked on the internet for ideas. Sam being a romantic kind of girl, twenty six and still single. All of her friends were married and having children and posting all of it continually up on Facebook for the world to admire while she sat single in her flat. But she was still on the shelf. She yearned for romance in her life. Eventually her dreams and romantic side got the better of her. Her idea of finding love took her to thinking about visiting the city of romance, the city of love. She thought about visiting Paris. According the indulgent website in front of her on her computer at work, it was  the most popular destination for European school trips, and with good reason.

Ah yes Samantha Salisbury was pleased with her self and thought dreamily about the prospect.
She thought: not only is travelling from England to Paris an easy journey: There are ferries and The Eurotunnel, offering a quick and simple route, but Paris is a beautiful city with countless Historical and educational landmarks and a fascinating, eye-opening culture that will broaden the mind of even the most stubborn of her students and she had two very difficult boys in her class. The twins Tyrone and Kenzie.

"Paris has something relevant for everyone; something relevant to our school group’s national curriculum." She told her boss, head teacher Mrs Saul

Paris has a vast and vibrant history, featuring landmarks such as, The Arc De Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre and many others! There was even, Disneyland near by meaning that Paris has something relevant for everyone; something relevant to our school group’s national curriculum, so planning a school trip to Paris will give you plenty of options for our itinerary she begged. Trying not to sound too needy about the idea over the phone.
Aside from its beautiful landmarks, Paris is widely considered to be one of the leading fashion capitals in the world. Home to many world-famous brands, such as Chanel, Givenchy, and Jean Paul Gaultier.
Okay you can take them to Paris.” It was done.
She announced it to the class the next week after sorting out the travel details.

Death in Leamington Spa

Death in Leamington Spa
James Sykes
Thursday, June 1, 2017
He died in the upstairs bedroom
By the light of the twinkling stars
That shone through the double-glazed window
From over Leamington Spa

Beside him the lonely guitar
Lay patiently and unstrung,
But the fingers that would have played it
Were dead and his song still unsung.

his mother came in with the tea-things
she had carried the tray up the stairs
But she was alone, lost in her thoughts
And her thoughts were alone, lost in theirs.

She closed the big round window
and let the blinds unfold,
She looked at the clock the mantle,
it had stopped and the time was old.

"Tea!" she said in a tiny voice
"Wake up! It's nearly five"
Oh! Chintzy, chintzy cheeriness,
Half dead and half alive.

Do you know that the stucco is peeling?
Do you know that the heart will stop?
From those yellow Italianate arches
Do you hear the plaster drop?

She looked at the silent bedstead,
At the grey, decaying face,
As the calm of a Leamington ev'ning
Drifted into the silently in to the place.

She moved the table of bottles
Away from the bed to the wall;
And tiptoeing gently over the stairs
Turned off the lights in the hall.

The sensation Tristan felt was like vertigo. His mother, Shirley sat at the kitchen table with a cup of tea in front of her.She had just welcomed Tristan back home and had delivered the terrible news to him directly.

A tear dripped over her bottom eye-lash and painted a blue line down her cheek. Just to clarify, she repeated. “Your brother’s dead. I poisoned him this afternoon. He’s lying on his bed upstairs.

Tristan had understood why she had done it, so there was no need to ask. His older brother Dennis had been addicted to drugs his whole life and everybody knew that an overdose was just around the corner.

He was in a state of never ending intoxication and abuse. The intoxication was with drugs and alcohol and the abuse, he inflicted on everybody around him breaking them all by taking to feed his addictions and to stay alive. He was absolutely incapable of supporting him self, so he was obliged to rely on other people’s generosity. As long as he continued his cycle of taking, this was his life style.

“What now? Do we phone the police? Maybe we should wait until the morning and tell them we discovered he’s O.D.
Tristan was sad, a cloud of depression had fallen over him, but he was still able to think rationally. He gripped his mother’s hands across the table and wept with her.

“I have cancer.” Shirley wept, “Just before I die I’ll admit the truth to the police. I’ll tell them that I did it and I’ll tell them why. Either way I’ll be too sick to be punished by law.”

“I’ll help you bury him.”

“No, I don’t want you implicated in any way.”

“I’ve got to, Mum. Please let me, you don’t have to tell them that I helped you.”

“Okay. I’m going to need some help to bury him. It’s true.

“have you thought about where?”

“On the allotment.”

“okay. I’ll make more tea.”

“Thank you.”


Sunday, 4 June 2017

The Little Merman

The Little Merman

By James Sykes

Once upon a time . In The deepest, darkest part of the bluest ocean, there stood a splendid palace of beautiful coral. Inside lived the Sea King; a wise old Triton with a long flowing white beard. He lived in a magnificent palace, built of gaily rainbow coloured coral and seashells, together there with his five children. They were all very beautiful mere-people, who lived a secret life at the bottom of the sea.
Aerio, the youngest and loveliest of them all, also had a beautiful voice, and when he sang, the fish flocked from all over the sea to listen. Their hells gaped wide, showing their pearls and even the jellyfish and sharks stopped to listen. The young merman often sang, and each time, he would gaze upwards, seeking the faint sunlight that scarcely managed to filter down into the depths.
"Oh, how I'd love to go up there and at last see the sky, which everyone says is so pretty, and hear the voices of humans and smell the blossoms and flowers!" He wished as he listened to the enchanting tales of the land of the humans from the  merfolk below.
"You're still too young!" said his mother. "In a year or two, when you're old enough and responsible enough, you may visit the surface of the ocean and gaze upon the wickedness of the human world. Then you will see how lucky we are to live underwater. Only then will the King let you go up there, like all your brothers and sisters have!" Aerio spent his time wishing he could visit the world of The humans, he listened to his brothers and sisters' stories and every time they returned form the surface, he would ask them many questions, to satisfy his ravenous curiosity.

Saturday, 3 June 2017




James Sykes

June 1, 2017

Magic shoes and retribution



In the spring time of a French countryside, a man's wife became sick, and as the years passed, she became weaker and weaker. When she felt that her end was drawing near, she called her only son Ashley to her bedside and said, "Dear child, be honest and good your whole life, no matter how difficult things may get. Then our dear God will always protect you, and I will look down from heaven and I will always be near you." With this she closed her eyes and died.
The boy went out to his mother's grave every day and wept, he made a promise to himself that no manner how difficult his life would get; he would try to stay honest and good for the rest of his life. No matter what would happen.

When winter came the snow spread a white cloth over his mother’s grave and when the spring sun came and melted it all away Ashley’s farther decided it was time to look for another wife. He was becoming old and needed somebody to help him take care of the house and help bring up Ashley. So he started to socialise in circles hoping to find somebody to keep him company and chase away his loneliness and the sorrow he felt for his dead wife..

But lonely people can go towards desperate measures when somebody offers them a chance of happiness. But she seems so loving and supportive... But she had two children similar to Ashley’s age... But sometimes she can have moments so quiet that you wonder what she might be plotting behind those cold, calculating eyes.

He chanced to meet a lady called Miss Macromane and although he didn’t know it this woman was a Scheming, sly old snake of a woman.

This wife brought two sisters into the house with her called Nigela and Alexa. They were beautiful, with fair faces, but evil and dark hearts.

No sooner were the ceremonies of the wedding over but the stepmother began to show herself in her true colours. He could not bear the good qualities of this pretty boy, and the less because they made her own daughters appear the more odious. He employed her in the meanest work of the house. He scoured the dishes, tables, etc., and cleaned madam's chamber, and those of misses, her daughters. He slept in a sorry garret, on a wretched straw bed, while her sisters slept in fine rooms, with floors all inlaid, on beds of the very newest fashion, and where they had looking glasses so large that they could see themselves at their full length from head to foot.
Times soon grew very bad for the poor stepchild.


Monday, 29 May 2017

Nowhereland.   By James Sykes.

James Sykes 
A dark fantasy adventure

April 14, 2017.

Breaking into Nowhereland.

Growing up is something that some people are forced into with hesitant, frightened steps. Some people spend their lives running away from growing up and having to manage adult pressures and responsibilities their whole life.
Anybody can step back into the landscapes of their childhood imagination at any time, for any reason. With out the need to feel guilty about it.

Wendy Dorling knew about these pressures by the time she was just coming to the end of her teenage years. Her farther worked in I.T. and knew about such things as internet stocks and shares. He knew which ones were going up and when to invest and he knew which ones were going down and when to sell. This had impressed Mrs Dorling so much that it had filled her with admiration for her clever husband.
Wendy’s Mother, Angie who been the chief of the household was now starting to pass on some of her adult pressures and anxieties down to her daughter Wendy.

Wendy still shared the largest bedroom in the house with her two brother’s: Jimmy, who was four years younger than her and Dillon who was the oldest but life had decided that Autism would keep him held captive in a state of childlike innocence while his body continued to age without him.
Dillon spent all his time watching Fantasy Kingdom DVDs and following the adventures of Rico rat and the Princesses. When he spoke, it sounded like he was trapped inside the programmes that he had been watching on the television. His eyes were looking at you while he spoke. But his words didn’t match the programme like some body had forgotten to change the channel.

Wendy was still reading a bed time story to her brothers when her mother came in to the bedroom. Her face was flush with rage. “I Told you to make sure the boys were getting washed and dressed for bed over an hour a-go!” She pointed her finger at Wendy, stabbing thin air with each accusation. “I also told you to help them tidy up and the place still looks like a shit-tip.”
Wendy’s Mother, Angie was and had to be an ambitious woman and she lead their house hold with militant discipline. Her mouth was her arsenal. That mouth that once kept secret kisses hidden in corners of lips enticing, sweet and ripe as luscious cherries. Begging to be kissed. Lips that now spoke sarcasm as fluently as second language.

Wendy begged her mother for sympathy with her one final excuse. So true, that it was barely even an excuse at all any more; just a pitiful truth. But her mother was annoyed an this is the time adults stop listening. “Dillon was talking along with the television again mum.”

“I suppose he was reciting Shakespeare when we’re not around too. Funny that, every time either me or your farther are about Dillon now seems to be the right little chatter-box!” Angie shook her head sadly. “I’m going down stairs to book an Uber. I want you three ready for bed by the time I get back. Be warned. Oh and Wendy, if you could sort out your dirty sports kit instead of leaving it just dumped down there in the hall way. I’d be eternally grateful.”
With that she slammed the door, hard. She rushed downstairs and booked a taxi for her and her husband Antoine to go to the important conference, where they would both give their latest speeches about the future of the internet and its effects on society. All very serious adult stuff. Stuff that the inhabitants of that bottom right hand ground level flat gave not two chuffs for that night.
“Okay, guys. If you get ready for bed now, I’ll tell you one last story before we go to sleep.” Wendy slid up open the sash window and the breeze blew open the net curtains with a burst of wind. It felt nice, the room had been hot as hell. It was just the end of may and they had sweated through 35° already that day.

Dillon and Jimmy both put on their Pyjamas and their teeth. They sat up obediently in their beds waiting for Wendy to read them all one last bed time story. She was good at making up stories and this promise of one last one, was both a trick and tradition; inherited from her mother to speed up and motivate the nightly final bed-time procedures.

They heard the taxi driving off to take their parents off to the conference, where Mrs Dorling would be taking about the future of sustainable future technology.

The night lights glowed like fading stars in the corners of the room and Wendy could hear the boys soft breathing as the passing cars sent ghostly shadows dancing over the walls. Had the Dorling’s old cat Nina been a kitten still, she would surely be chasing them. Wendy thought about this as she tried hard to catch a dream that would take her off to her special place in her mind. Every child has one and as we grow up, we sometimes forget how to get back to it.

That was when she first heard the rumble,crash and tearing noise from outside the window. He mother had told her to close it before going to sleep. It was the child minder Liza’s night off. So she hadn’t come in to check that they were closed.
Wendy crept to the edge of the window and looked down the three foot drop to their part of the shared garden that lay behind the house. She leaned out carefully and held her breath. There was a soft weeping sound barely audible in the twilight.
“Boy...?” She whispered. The boy looked up at her, at first with fear and then suspicion.
“Boy.” She whispered again. “Why are you crying?”
The young male jumped to his feet and thrust his fists on to his hips in a proud defiance.
“I was trying to catch my shadow! Besides I wasn’t crying.” Wendy was surprised by his answer. She leaded further out of the window and looked at the wall below.
“I can’t see it.”
“Of course you can’t see it from there girl. Jump down and I’ll show you.”
She Jumped down and introduced herself. “My name’s Wendy she said and held out her hand.
“I didn’t ask. He replied while waving his arms over his head, so that the street light, shining over the top of the garden hedge silhouetted his image in shadow onto the wall of the side of the house.
“Watch this.” He waved his right arm and the shadow waved back two seconds later.
Wendy gasped. “What’s your name?” She asked, a slight tremble and hesitation in her voice.
“Peter Pan.” He replied and he leapt to catch his shadow, who flew up the wall avoiding his grabbing fingers. When the shadow was a safe distance away from the boy, the shadow put both hands to the sides of its head mocking you can’t get me. This angered Peter and he stamped his feet in frustration.
“The problem is: He’s fast. Almost as fast as me. Which isn’t surprising, because its my shadow.
“Why were you under my window?” Wendy enquired.
“Me Stink and Lance were listening to the story. That’s why of course.”
Wendy was quite taken aback by this comment. She had not imagined that her bed time stories that she had been telling the boys for the past few year could ever be enjoyed by anybody else. Let alone a boy as... curious as this Peter.

He was dressed in camouflage green combats rolled up to just below the knees and his long sleeved camouflage t-shirt was rolled up to his elbows. A small leather satchel hung at his side.

“Why were you listening to my stories and where are the others?”
Peter sniffed the air and pointed to the bushes. “Stink is over in the bushes having a crap and Lance is collecting the bikes, so we can go back.
“Back where?”
“To Nowhereland of course, girl.”
“can You call me Wendy, please. This is my last night sharing the same room with the boys, so tomorrow there will be no more stories.”
“Okay, Wendy... Why is it your last night telling stories? We love your stories. We listen to them here and the we go back and tell the boys on Nowhere island. How many stories do you know?”
“I know lots of stories.”
“Stories about me?”
“They aren’t really about you, Peter.” She said and then seeing that this news upset him, she quickly changed her mind.
“But they could be. I could tell you a different story every day for a year and never repeat a story.” She said hoping that he wouldn’t challenge her to prove this outrageous claim.
“Then you must come with us, you can cook for us, sew up the holes in our clothes and socks and tell us a different story, every night for a year. Afterwards we will let you go.”
“That does sound wonderful.” She said, her eyes were misting up with tears.”
“Why, what’s going to happen to you?” He asked, sneering with contempt.
“I’m growing up. I’m moving away to college after the summer. Where do you live?”
“I live where growing up isn’t allowed. Well that settles it. You are coming with us.” He whistled with his fingers, it was a loud, high pitch that made Wendy’s ears hurt. Four faces appeared, two at the window and two from the bushes. When Peter saw the faces of Jimmy and Dillon peering down, their faces painted with curiosity; he drew out a small sword and spoke in a harsh voice. “Who are they?” he said pointing with the miniature cutlass in his hand.
“I’m Jimmy and this is Dillon. If your going somewhere, then we’re coming too.” He said and they both started climbing down.
“No way.” Said Peter putting his sword back into the scabbard.
“They’ve got to come, Please” Wendy begged. “I’m supposed to be looking after them, where I go, they’ve got to come too.”
“Okay.” Peter said Let’s go!”
“But how do we get there, you’ve all got bikes and we haven’t.”
“Don’t worry about that, we can fly.”
“Fly where?”
“Second to the right, then its straight on.
“Straight on to where exactly?”
“To Nowhereland, of course.” Peter replied, taking out a small pocket of mysterious looking powder from his satchel. “Lick you finger and stick it in here.”
First Jimmy did and sucked the powder off his finger.
“Yum! Sherbert!”He said. Next Jimmy had a taste.
“Hmmmmm popping candy!” He said and tried to get another dab, but Peter snatched the bag away.
“now for you Wendy.” He said offering her the bag.
What is it?” Wendy asked, “I don’t eat glutin...”
“just have a lick and stop being chicken. She did and her nose wrinkled up. “Sour fizz!” She announced. “I love it!”
“It doesn’t look like it from the expression on your face!”
“I call them smiling sweets. Because they make you smile weather you want to or not! What is that stuff?”
“Fairy dust. It helps you fly. Now jump on the bikes with us, we’ll give you backies down.

They all hopped on the bikes with the boys and they rode out of the garden and down the steep sloped road that took them away from the Dorling’s house and down to the riverside. They accelerated with terrific speed as the descended, the wind in their faces, making their eyes stream with tears. It was like being on a roller-coaster. Wendy held on tight to Peter as he expertly stirred them down the perilous slope that lead to the river bank. The last bit was so steep Wendy had to squeeze her eyes shut to stop herself from being afraid. She could feel the muscles of Peter’s arms and shoulders, he felt strong and Wendy felt protected.

They raced down along the river side, going deeper and deeper into the woodland, that created a green canopy above their heads. The place felt enchanted, somehow sacred. The ride took them over bumps and jumps, the boys seemed to know every corner and curve of the route. Finally they skidded to a stop at the base of a tree that was so wide at the trunk, that Wendy guessed that it must have been hundreds of years old.
“We’re here. Get off.” Peter said and he side stepped off his bike and gave Wendy a hand dismounting. Jimmy and Dillon looked up at the tree in awe. Jimmy’s eyes widened as he looked for the top of the branches. A huge smile crept over his face as he gazed up. “You have a tree house!” He announced, thrilled.

Peter Whistled again, a shrill noise that penetrated the skulls of Jimmy and Dillon standing next to him. After a minuet, a rope ladder was lowered from above and Lance and Stink hurried up the wooden rungs.

James Sykes LGBT horror stories from Warwickshire

James Sykes presents new scary stories! ...