Category Archives: Stories

A lesson in learning

Paul poured the fifth pint in a seven pint round.

A group of businessmen discussed the pros and cons of a new app idea as the barman keenly listened.

Everything is online now Paul thought.

The extent of Paul’s computer knowledge was somewhat limited.

He could check his e-mail, browse the internet, and make a basic website with images and text. Paul had many website ideas that he was confident could provide him with at least an income to live on, however he was held back by his lack of knowledge and financial backing.

I can’t still be working here in ten years time. If I can’t get the money to pay someone, I can get the knowledge to do it myself.

“That’ll be £25.50.” Paul said, handing over the 7th drink.

The businessman paying didn’t even make eye contact as Paul completed the transaction, handing him back the 50p change which the businessman quickly pocketed.

Right, things definitely have to change.

That night Paul was delighted to find a handy tutorial website teaching him everything he needed to know to write the code to build complex websites. As an added bonus, it was all free.


The website contained around 100 tutorials, and a platform on the site to practice what was being taught. It encouraged students not to use other programs or websites, but to stay on the website throughout the duration of the course.

If I did this every day after work for 2 hours, I could finish this course in about 2 months.

Paul was determined, and true to his word he spent his evenings taking the tutorials, following the strict instructions to finish the course before trying anything away from the website.

The two months Paul gave himself to complete the course passed, as did four more before he completed the final lesson. He felt a sense of accomplishment, not just from what he had learnt, but from his ability to stick to a plan and complete something. This is a feeling he had not had it many years.

I did it.

Keen to try out his newly found code writing skills, Paul used all of the £200 in bar tips that he had saved over the passed six months to purchase a top of the range website development program.

No expense spared.

After finding it surprisingly difficult to download and register the program, Paul opened it up to put his knowledge to the test.

There was a range of website templates that he could start with, none of which Paul liked. This did not discourage Paul, who could now build a website from nothing but writing code.

Lets start this from scratch.

Spending the next few hours writing his code, Paul discovered that none of it seemed to be working.

Why is this not working?

Going back to the tutorial site, Paul inputted the same code into one of the website’s many code testing platforms. This time, the code worked but did not produce what Paul was hoping it would.


Paul decided to have a quick search online to see if anyone else was experiencing any problems with the tutorial site.

As the results loaded, Paul’s heart sank.

“The cruelest website on the internet.”
“Don’t use this website.”
“I’ve just spent the past week wasting my time with this fucking site.”

Reality sunk in as Paul realised that he had fallen prey to one of the most pointless, cruelest, and complex pranks on the internet.

The tutorial website that Paul had been using for the passed six months had been set up anonymously by what most forums called ‘An evil genius.’ Everything being taught of the website was complete nonsense. The website’s platforms were designed to make any user think that they were learning useful coding, producing the same successful results no matter what code had been inputted into the testing platforms to match the lesson being taught.


Paul had so many thoughts, he didn’t know what to think and how to react. He was at a loss for thoughts and was completely gutted.

An alarm went off as it did every day at 16:00.

Paul sighed and his heart dropped again. He had been looking forward to starting this shift with thoughts of excitement and knowledge that he could soon quit his bar job.

Back to square one.

Each beep of the alarm was like a punch to the soul.

Back to the bar.

Determination had turned to acceptance of defeat. Paul switched off the alarm.

Back to my life

Stand down

He approaches.

Only one of us will succeed.

Only one of us will be the better man.

There isn’t room for two men on this path, it is too narrow.

The lady by his side will only elevate his determination.

As will the lady by mine.

Growing closer, eye contact is made.

We are of equal size.

The sound of drops on my umbrella resemble an anxious crowd of spectators.

He looks taller now.

He has made up his mind.

I don’t have much time, only a few steps until we meet.

Drawing first, his arm lifts.

It’s too late, he has beaten me.

Nodding as we pass, his nod is a nod of dominance.

Mine is a nod of defeat.

My umbrella ducks under his, into the space that has been gifted to me.

The door has been opened.

Held open for me.

By a better man.

Until next time.

Love Thy Neighbour

A knock at my door.

It’s my Indian neighbour.

“Are you cooking bacon?”

My flat shares an entrance with two other studio flats. There is a small washing room in between our apartments with a second door blocking my apartment off from the hallway which I always keep closed. Not with the thought of my neighbours noses in mind but due to the woman in the third flat who doesn’t quite understand that you don’t have to scream on Skype.

“Yes I am”

And no, you can’t have any.

“I don’t mean to be a pain but do you mind not cooking bacon?”


“The smell comes into my flat and where I come from, it is offensive to cook pork.”

And where are you now?

“I do try to keep the washing room door closed but someone keeps leaving it open. Are you a vegetarian then?”

“No I am Muslim, we eat meat but not pork.”

Well can you stop cooking meat from animals slaughtered in an inhumane way, the smell offends me.

“I am sorry, I will keep the window open next time I cook bacon.”

No I wont, there is no better smell than bacon.

“But, I still know that you are cooking it.”

You have to be fucking kidding.

“Look, I am sorry that I am cooking an animal that you worship. You have to understand that this is the United Kingdom and we also worship pigs but we show our appreciation in a different way.”

Was that too much?

“I have to go now.”

Slowly starting to shut the door.

“I don’t want to offend the woman in the third flat. It’s offensive to burn our bacon in the UK.”

Yea, that was too much.

Story – Broken light

I was walking to work today and I stopped at a pedestrian red light.

It takes me half an hour to walk to work so I quite like stopping here.

I always see people running across the road, dodging cars, just to get to wherever they’re going a little bit sooner.

I saw two men in suits both holding leather bound binders appearing to compete in who could walk fastest and more importantly down the road I would soon be walking down.

His expressions changed as the other man was clearly trying to explain something. He appeared engaged in the story, but didn’t once shift his gaze from looking forward, like he was more important.

I shuddered at the thought of that being my future.

Still waiting for the light to turn green, I could feel the tight shirt and trousers under my bright green hoodie which I wore as a way to disguise the truth from myself. The truth being that I too was on that same path.

It was this moment when I thought; I’m going to write about this later.

But how will it end?

The light turned green.

Everyone else waiting had already risked near death at this point, I was the only one who remained.

I didn’t move.

Is this how my story will end? Do I turn around and go home? What a great ending

Now I’m sitting here writing this story.

Checking the time.


Better start work now.

It would have been a good ending

Everyone is thinking at me

James hated walking down the street. 

My arms, what do I do with my arms?


Looking to the right at his reflection in the cafe window he looked like a soldier going into battle. Straight arms swinging, head to the side, and a serious but confused and fearful look in his eyes.


Everyone in that cafe was looking at me and my weird walk. They all saw me looking. Put your hands in your pockets and stop looking at people.
A lady approached in the distance.


My arms still feel weird. Like I’m a cowboy. Just don’t make eye contact, ignore her.
She seemed to speed up as she got closer.


It’s so obvious that I’m making her uncomfortable, she just wants to pass me. Why are you still looking at her? Look away!
Almost jogging at this point. The lady passed. He could hear the sound of her heels slow down.


I should have worn a jacket today, It’s always easier walking with a jacket.


Meanwhile, a man sat a table for two in a cafe. George hated sitting alone.


I shouldn’t have got here so early, I am always too early and everyone is always late. I look like such a loner sitting on my own.
A full cup off coffee sat opposite him. As did a notepad and pen which gave him some comfort of looking like a a student studying.


Everyone else is with someone. They all think I’m alone. That man walking past outside was looking directly at me. He looked confused that I was looking at him. I just hope she turns up.


George hadn’t met the lady he was meeting before and was only introduced to her by a friend online.


Why am I always late? I only live two minutes away.
Lana was finding it hard to walk fast in heels.


Why am I even going? He won’t like me. I shouldn’t have worn this dress it looks ridiculous and my shoes are too loud.
A man approached in the distance.


I bet he can here my shoes from there. Just hurry up and get passed him.
Getting closer Lana started to speed up.


Oh god, he won’t even look at me, this stupid dress. He looks so awkward.
Passing the man she slowed down to a stop.


I should go home to change, or maybe I shouldn’t bother.
Turning around.
I bet he didn’t even show up.