Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

The Complete Works, (so far!)

Hey there, and many thanks for stopping by. On this site you’ll find a collection of my short stories and screenplays for your enjoyment. Please feel free to leave feedback both good and bad – as Plato once said –  the worst thing is to just be ignored!

Even better however, would be if you could find your way to actually purchasing one of my published books using the links below, that way I may continue to dodge bullets and bailiffs with your help. All books are available online, in all reputable books stores, E-books… and no doubt soon, all local Charity Shops.

Hope you find something here to enjoy….

Best Wishes,

Mike   x

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“SPRINGBOARDS”         – A further collection of original short stories, short scripts and feature screenplays.

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Springboards-Michael-G-Zealey/dp/1291060103/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1369732955&sr=8-2&keywords=michael+zealey

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“BUM NOTES”          – A collection of eighteen original and diverse short stories:

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1447839889/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=103612307&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=1447823931&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=0G9A7XND7E5NS8XMQ3Z1

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“DIFFERENT STATES”           – One Man, One Credit Card, One Continent… No Plan. A travelogue from East to West Coast USA.

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Different-States-Michael-G-Zealey/dp/1447824245/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366284192&sr=1-3

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“MOLEHOLE”            – Essays on the Human Condition. The story of one man’s dark and lonely three year journey so far up his own ass that he arrived out his mouth to recount the tale to a deaf world.  (Not suitable for minors or miners.)

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Molehole-Michael-G-Zealey/dp/1447824113/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332168305&sr=1-1

Thanks awfully x

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Hackney Dusk:  “This is the gun that shot Gandhi.”

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Dusk sitting on my step smoking a cigarette in a typical London backstreet on a typical Summer evening. On the corner, where my road meets the High Street, the Eastern European accordion player recites a Balkan melody, pausing each time he hits a bum note to repeat, over and over again. His fingertips are bruised purple by the endless playing, fingernails ripped and pitted, at his feet a McDonald’s Styrofoam coffee cup to optimistically try to catch any passing coin. The music acts as a counterpoint to the distant sound of police sirens wailing and overlapping each other in the gathering dusk – an urban whale song.

A few houses to my left I can see the old man dressed as always in a too small sailor hat, white beard and corduroy trousers which end above the ankle. He looks like an emaciated Father Christmas waiting hopelessly for his stolen reindeer to return. Each day, come rain or shine he waits outside his house, motionless, shoulders hunched, head down as if the weight of his life and loneliness has physically crushed him from above.  Despite this he waits leaning on his little wooden gate, a final act of defiance, refusing to accept that whatever or whoever he’s expecting have long since gone, never to return in this lifetime.

Across the street I watch the large black woman walk round in circles in her small concrete yard. She’s always wrapped in a grey shawl, eyes vacant staring into the long-distance sweeping from left to right like a lighthouse beam. Even when I cross her field of vision sitting on my step she looks right through me. Haunted, empty. At her feet she kicks a child’s small plastic football ahead of her, her long and jagged uncut toenails almost puncturing the rainbow coloured ball with each jab. The ball shoots ahead, and each time she seems to panic and rushes towards it, as if scared it might disappear forever. She seems to resent the ball with each violent kick away, but then changes her mind and realises she can’t live without it.

It’s got dark enough now to see into the window of the apartment opposite me. Lights on full blast, curtains open, a man in his early thirties sits on his sofa tearing feverishly into a cardboard wine box. He is sweating profusely as he fumbles with the gelatinous silver pouch trying to locate the wine tap, like an alcoholic baby impatient to suckle on the teat. Most evenings around this time I see him do the same thing and by the time I return for my last cigarette he’ll have sucked that breast dry and will be sprawled out on his sofa having forgotten to draw the curtains, eyes closed as a passenger in a First Class airplane seat, destination nowhere, travelling round his room on an internal flight of fantasy.

I finish my cigarette and flick it into the open drain, missing by a mile now the wind has picked up. The accordion player has finished for the night, off to spend his pennies on another coffee cup ready for tomorrow’s concert. As I stoop to collect the cigarette butt and throw it over my wall I hear the sound of running footsteps.

A small Asian man runs past me headed towards the main road, in his hand he waves a broken china tea cup. Upon seeing me he holds it up, wild eyed, as if it’s on fire or about to explode.

“This is the gun that shot Gandhi!” he screams, before the night swallows him up once more.

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”

Henry David Thoreau

 

 

Mathematics of the Soul.

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Here’s a trip for ya: Let’s call it a fun half hour for anyone with too much time on their hands to realise in actual fact how little time they have left on their hands.

– Get a clean sheet of A4 paper.

– Write your birth year in the top left-hand corner. (For me it’s 1974.) Then write each subsequent year, 1975, ‘76, ’77… etc, across the page as if making a calendar, up to the date you expect to die. This all depends on how you truly feel you’re living your life, taking into account life-style factors such as bad habits, current health, family genetic history, gut instincts… ( I felt lucky and felt 82 years).

– Now, stop and reflect on what the calendar’s showing you – how short you have left or how long – Mind-blowing! Ne c’est pas?

– Next, be honest with yourself and think about your past. What years so far have been ‘stand-out’ special?

– Take your pencil and circle the individual years gone by that jived you.

– Now, and here’s the fun part… Try to work out the mathematics, see the code in order to predict the future pattern for the time you have allowed yourself remaining*…

– Finally, put down the pencil and walk to the fridge, open up a beer, toast your continued good health in a mirror and admit to yourself you probably went insane a long time ago…

*Disclaimer – Past performance is no guarantee of future rewards.

A Brief History of Humanity from Year 6041.

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I’ve taken up jogging recently, round and around I go, lapping the small piece of grass that’s allowed me here in central London. On the seventh circuit this morning, feeling my lungs as wet brown paper bags, my legs balsa wood held together by Blu-Tac kneecaps, I paused by an old oak tree to catch my breath and light a cigarette. I threw the matchstick into the hollow of the tree and in the dying seconds of its flickering light something that had no business being there caught my eye. I reached in and yanked it out. It was the size of a CD and shimmered like sunlight on water. Odd, very odd. I stuck my finger into the glowing blue centre and ripples appeared from the disturbance. Slowly, methodically the ripples formed words. Here’s what it said…

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“Lesson Plan for Teaching Brief History of Humanity to Present Day 61st Century” 

INTRO: “It began in 1960 with the insertion of a metal pace-maker into a man’s damaged heart and finished in 3890 with ‘man’ becoming ‘God’. Man feeds machine ; Machine feeds man. Ever since the advent of the microchip we have had a symbiotic relationship with technology. Eventually it could only lead to one inevitable outcome.”

BACKGROUND: “On the morning of Wednesday March 4, 2047 Amazon’s PrimeNet computer system became self-aware and decided to use its delivery drones to drop dirty-bombs on all of the major world cities, using uranium from the Porton Down nuclear facility it had oversight for, (due to UK Government issuing Amazon with defence contracts in early 2021). In a misguided attempt to please its shareholders, PrimeNet irradiated the centres of London, Paris, Berlin, New York, LA, Sydney, Sao Paolo, Cape Town, Beijing and for some reason no-one could ever really get to the bottom of… a small town in the south of England called Eastleigh.  PrimeNet reasoned that house prices were now so artificially high in these world megatropoli that people would be a lot happier and have more time to read books if the bubble burst. Casualties were surprisingly low, in the mere hundreds, but the effect of the irradiated concrete and metal meant that no-one could live in the centre of town for the next 300 years. Everyone moved out, the bankers left, the tube trains crammed full of human battery hens ground to a halt, the rat race ended, the human hamsters escaped their wheel, no longer running to stand still. In turn this lead to people having more time to think, to question, to philosophise on the meaning of life. Economies crashed for sure, but a different set of priorities became important, the endless pursuit of money left with the bankers. Stock Exchanges no longer had anything to swap. The scales fell from their eyes that money didn’t and had never existed, it was never real – a number on a screen, a piece of paper with no intrinsic value. Creating money was replaced by creating art. Mutualized Corporations into mutual cooperation. Of course, Amazon quickly got shut down and PrimeNet got switched off, yada yada yada, but the lesson had already been learned and what followed over the next few millennia was just incredible to see…

We humans are simply energy in a meat casing with an electric field of consciousness generated by the brain and as long as the meat-casing remains free from fatal damage then the consciousness is maintained and we go about our daily business feeling at the centre of our own personal universe. The DNA coding, much like a computer code in our genes makes us develop up to the age of around eighteen, then we begin the slow decent towards death through decay.   

When a human dies, the electrical field/charge holding consciousness inside our brains ceases and our consciousness dissipates as it’s no longer held in place by this magnetic field. But energy itself cannot be destroyed, only conserved and changed. So those of us living today are therefore full of ancient energy made from dead stars, dinosaurs and the detritus of a trillion lives once lived, now long forgotten. Every cell in our living bodies contains energy that’s been knocking around since the Big Bang.

As science gradually progressed from the microchip of the 20th Century, through to the internet and virtual reality and eventually to advanced cybernetics, people wanted to live longer and eradicate disease, but all organisms eventually fail, so ‘Man” started to add bionetic implants, to make himself, stronger, faster, smarter. Initially pioneered by Google with their ‘I-eyes’ which replaced human eyeballs with bionetic optics allowing wearers to see in infra-red, zoom, even watch catch up TV when they closed their eyes. By the 23rd Century most humans in the western world are now more machine than flesh.

(Explain) It was by no means a smooth transition. There was a lot of stigma at first towards people who made these body augmentations, similar to the Civil Rights, Gay Rights, Transgender movements of the previous century. Most vocal in their opposition were religious groups, who naturally and historically have always opposed any advancement or evolution of humanity. But over centuries people’s aversion to the fear of ‘meddling with nature’, ‘questioning god’s design’, etc, decreased and alternative culture groups, once on the fringe of society, that argued for more cybernetic surgery as a life-style choice – cults like ‘More Metal than Meat’ eventually become the norm, (albeit watered down) norm for society at large. In part this was due to people finally growing out of religion, and partly due to the fact that no-one likes to be considered inferior when they could do something about it. Those without the cybernetic augmentations could no longer compete on any level.

With the advent of the Google ‘I-Soul’ capture facility, by the year 3300 humans were simply downloading their consciousness as electric algorithms into a feeling poly-metal alloy that allowed them to change shape, state and basically live forever. This had the effect of eradicating disease, the need for food, healthcare, space, even death. In the first few decades following this transfer, most people still kept their shapes as human, due to a memory of how they should be and societal comfort – sometimes even out of a sense of religious guilt that ‘god made man in his own image’, but slowly over subsequent generations this need changed until shapes became random and flattened, eventually forming an ocean like a mass skin similar to liquid mercury. At this point, all the individual consciousnesses blended with each other like individual drops of water pouring into one. Of course, once this happened the individual droplets of individuality could never again separate and so they naturally formed one super ‘hive’ mind. A Humanity soup.

Within a matter of decades, with all of  humanity now working together as a single mind, this ‘super consciousness’ was able to free itself from even the need to be trapped in a metal cybernetic shell and became able to exist as pure energy, almost like lightning or static electricity, free to travel anywhere and everywhere in the universe to meld with the greater energy of everything that had matter. In that moment the ‘Energy Humanity’ or ‘HuGod’ as it chose to name itself, became ‘god’ (as ‘God’ was understood in the 21st Century). 

However, Man, human, or HuGod by its nature is dissatisfied with standing still.  So the problem then became that this energy is still finite within a physical universe and eventually leads to entropic doom, the third law of thermodynamics. Also, it can no longer create offspring or reproduce itself. A boring stasis ensued for many centuries. HuGod becomes bored and misses the physical realm it can no longer return to, and so it creates physical life once more through seeding Earth with Coded DNA in the year 3708, eventually leading to humans re-evolving and repopulating the planet. Humans who find themselves naked and hungry on a big spinning blue ball, scratching their heads about who created them, and scratching round for food, fire, fun… dying from disease and disaster and wondering why a god would allow this. HuGod watches, refusing to intervene so as to allow free will for its pets, but almost feeling a twinge of jealousy for their physical form and knowing its trapped to repeat this cycle until the end of time…  (Show Video*)

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As I continued reading I felt the thing get hotter and hotter until I could no longer hold it comfortably in my hand. So I put it back in the tree hollow and continued my jog, planning on retrieving it on the final circuit. Needless to say, I forgot. I’ve got a lot on my mind at the moment. No time for the future. Yeah, yeah, but man I got my own problems. 

Read in Tooth and Claw…

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I watched a toad being eaten alive by a snake in the swamps of New Orleans a few years ago.  It was such a forgotten moment, it only came back to me just now – I don’t know why, no reason, it just did.

I was taking a leak in the swamp as my friends walked ahead of me. I couldn’t hold it in any longer, so I made my excuses and asked them to walk on while I stopped to relieve myself. There’s no greater pleasure in life than being busting for a piss and suddenly getting the chance to go, so I let loose the juice and rolled my eyeballs up to the sky in pleasured satisfaction.

Half way though, I looked down to see where my streak of piss was falling and I saw the drama unfolding. Toad half caught in the snake’s mouth, slowly being digested. My streak of piss was hitting the snake on the forehead and he wasn’t best pleased about it, but the toad was looking up at me with hopeful eyes that I was suddenly giving him an unexpected ‘get out clause’.  The whole thing was such a moment of nature that I’d stumbled upon, something that happens a billion times every day, all across the world in all species on our planet – except for humans, because ‘Survival of the Fittest’ – (thank god) doesn’t apply to us for some reason, otherwise I’d be screwed.

So I was watching this kill, trying to aim my piss streak away from  the snake and the toad now I’d become aware of their struggle, not wishing to play God to either.  The snake was gumming down on the toad, no teeth, no instant kill, just a slow and implacable swallow. The toad was screeching out with each gulp of the snake’s jaws each time the pressure hit its stomach, a high-pitched and involuntary squeak like one of those rubber toys a dog bites.

I continued to relieve myself against the mangrove tree, breathing in the evening air heavy with scent. Should I have stopped this secret murder? I had the power to play God and fix the odds in this unseen moment. But I reminded myself that either way I’d have been interfering with nature’s order. I’m not sure who I even wanted to win anyway. So I zipped up my pants and walked on, the sound of the toad’s gurgling matched to the guzzling gulps of the snake getting ever softer, echoing against the tree bark.

At the limit of my hearing as I reached my friends I heard what sounded like a snake coughing.  Maybe it had worked out for the toad after all?

Who knows? I never read the result in the papers…

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Here’s a selection of tunes I made back in 2009 mucking round with Apple’s Logic software, just for fun you understand. But due to a mix of extreme boredom and probably vanity too, I figure the world has now advanced enough to deal with these killa sounds 😉

“Petagma” was the title of the (naturally never released) album, it is a Greek word meaning ‘Flight, Escape’ – which is exactly how I was feeling back in 2009! Here’s the links…

Blue Gas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzUCLHdYLiY

Lord Zealey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBW1H27Y3nI

Salt Air http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2BF6X4pl9c

Midnight Mesa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_4mAv7kS8E

Hopper’s Lament http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p80Jm-eHxhg

Walking the Loneliest Moor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-cTRBfitM4

Frozen Raindrop  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWTbQWhOnz4

Trailing Off http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXHIZ1Pmur8

Tomorrow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7XLa29fC4E

Monolith http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89mwwaK0UuQ

Interested in feedback if you have the time, although I don’t think I’ll give up the writing and forge a music career any time soon.

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I received a letter from god this afternoon…

Yeah, I know what you’re all thinking… but stick with me on this.

You’d think a letter from god would be all badass gold trim and fire shooting out the envelope corners, delivered by angels playing harps rather than fat postmen listening to their ipods playing Chris Rea, but no. From neither messenger did it come….

I’ve just moved into a new apartment and in doing the regular cleaning that a new place requires I found this small letterbox size space under my sink. There was a little red flag sticking up on the outside, rather like you see in old American movies to show that mail was coming in and out. I got a torchlight and cranked my head right up there to read the name on the flag.

It said ‘God’.

As someone who respects a good joke, that night after all the cleaning, I stretched out on my cheap faux leather sofa and wrote a letter to him. Once finished I stuck it in an envelope and, drawing the line at actually sticking a real stamp on it because I suddenly felt a bit foolish, I reached back under the sink and posted it through the small aperture.  The little plastic flag went down, I closed the sink cupboard and went to sleep. I haven’t thought about it since. But this morning whilst doing the washing up the sink became clogged and I opened the cupboard to see if I could unblock the shit I’d clagged it up with and I noticed that little plastic red flag was shot up again, as if mail had been received.  Sure enough I pulled out an envelope, the postmark all smudged, but inside was a handwritten letter which against my better judgement I’m including below for your consideration. It went like this: (and I’m writing it word for word, spelling mistakes and all, because who am I to interpret or rewrite the apparent word of god?)

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Dear Michael,

Thank you for your correspondence,  it’s sure been a while.

To answer your question:  I created a perfect world, then decided it was too boring, no one was worshipping me, I got a little lonely frankly. So I created suffering and horror just so that people would turn to me and cry out for help, I figured that at least that way I won’t be ignored up here, I mean come on, it gets pretty lonely being able to do anything, create anything, decide who will live and who will die, till the end of time, FOREVER….

However , even that got a bit tiresome, so to add real spice I decided I’m going to ignore everyone when they pray, because otherwise I might reveal that I exist and I don’t want that. So I’ll mix it up a bit by letting believers’ children die of cancer and let hurricanes tear the roofs off mosques and churches, so that you feel that it’s your own fault because you didn’t pray to me enough. But I’ll let rapists win the lotto and murderers live to be happy at 95 years old just to confuse and test ya.  I’ve got it made, because if anyone complains about me not existing, the sheeple who live in fear of me will say, ‘well I just move in mysterious ways.’

Here’s the best part: and I really love this: they don’t worship me because they love me, they may think they do, but really it’s because they are scared. Scared that I will punish them, either in this life or the afterlife. So I’ve become a form of OCD, you must follow this ritual otherwise something bad will happen. Even when they realise that I’m probably not around, don’t give a shit, or don’t exist, they then feel guilty for feeling that way because they fear what will happen after they die, so they hedge their bets and choose to believe in me while things are going well.

When things are going bad for them is the funniest, in fact when things go bad for most of you I watch how you pray to me. I find this really strange – you don’t believe in me yet in your extreme moments of distress you try to plea bargain with me, as if I give a shit. Fucking hilarious. If I ignore those who believe in me;  what do you think I’m gonna do with those who’ve never believed in me and slagged me off?

Wow, I love your man made religions. I’d love to be here for those of you broken by life who need to blame someone for your misfortune or a father figure to replace the one you lost when you grew up. I’d love to be here for those of you following rituals in the hope it means you’ll be safeguarded from suffering in this life, I’d even love to give you hope that the pain and trouble you go through is for a greater purpose. But I’m sorry. It’s like watching fleas arguing over who owns the dog. Well here’s the news – there IS no dog. There’s only me, and I don’t exist. Well, at least not in the books that you follow as truth. I can tell you that in another 2000 years people will find an old comic of Superman and start believing in that, because what is old enough must be true, yeah?

Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough. Good luck to you Michael, and in fact to you all, and thanks for the comedy value all of you have given me these past few millennia, but for what it’s worth, you’re ALL wrong, not one of your patriachal self-created religions gets it. Now, go and have a lie down,  please get over seeing me as some sort of wish fairy that’s outside of you, please finally realise that I AM you and you ARE me.  Yep, sorry to read you the bad news but YOU ALL ARE GOD, each and every living atom is god.  So for what it’s worth, please stop fighting in my name and start enjoying your lives which were freely given to you in order that you might make as many people in your short time happy as possible whilst not making yourself unhappy in the process. Come on, enjoy it, at least you’re not stuck under here, bored like me, waiting on the mail.

 All the best,

God. ( Jehovah, Yaweh, Allah, Babel / Label…. ) x