Welcome to my Friday Guest Writer Spot. This week’s guest writer is someone who has appeared on my blog a few times. Murray Clarke certainly has a talent for a cracking story, so sit back and enjoy his Guy Fawkes tale. Here’s a little bit about him:
Murray Clarke has a real passion for writing short stories – and began putting pen to paper when he was only eight years old (which is more years ago than he cares to remember!) He has had many flash fiction stories published, mainly in small press magazines. After a lifetime working in the broadcast television industry as part of a video crew filming on location (he was one of the first people to work on ‘Countryfile’ and ‘Top Gear’, for example), he now owns, along with his wife, the franchise to three estate agencies in the East Midlands.
Every day he writes the details on the web for many of the properties on sale, and takes professional photographs. In his spare time, he writes. Last year, being keen to improve his writing skills, Murray enrolled on a Comprehensive Creative Writing Course with The Writers Bureau, under the watchful eye of Esther Newton. His ambition, one day, is to have a book published.
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
Spooney awoke in the early hours of the morning with only one thought on his mind. Today was the day he’d been planning for several weeks. He’d hardly slept a wink all night, worrying. Nothing must be allowed to go wrong.
Since an early age, he’d shown a keen interest in explosives, gunpowder and pyrotechnics. Only a handful of people knew what he was about to do – and this was his chance to prove himself.
Of course, Spooney wasn’t his real name. I mean, what kind of name is that, dear reader? The nickname ‘Spooney’ was bestowed upon him many years ago by friends at school. His real surname was Fawkes. But why the strange pet name, I hear you ask? Well… knives, FORKS and spoons. Spooney – simples! The name stuck with him far into adulthood.
He had a large suitcase which was kept hidden and securely locked in the cupboard under the stairs, and every day, when he was sure no one was around, Spooney unfastened the padlock and carefully counted the contents. He checked everything off against a long list he had prepared earlier – just in case someone had stolen something overnight – which, to be frank, was highly unlikely.
It was all going to happen that evening – under cover of darkness.
He had a light tea, too nervous to enjoy it, and, gripping the heavy suitcase firmly in his hand, stepped outside. He tapped the pocket in his trousers to make sure he’d not forgotten the box of matches. That would have been a disaster. So much to remember and think about.
His transport was delayed by over half an hour and he was in danger of being late. A cold sweat broke out on his forehead just thinking about it. The journey into London was tortuously slow, seeming to take ages, and Spooney didn’t relax until he saw The Houses of Parliament towering over the city rooftops. Not long now.
Finally, he arrived at his destination – only a little while after the agreed time. A small group of men waited there to greet him.
“Hey, Spooney! What time do you call this, eh?” his best friend William joked. “Thought you weren’t going to make it!”
William glanced down at the suitcase. “Got everything?” he asked.
“Great. Follow me.”
They joined a much larger group of people on the common: men, women and children – all wearing thick overcoats and scarves to ward off the damp mist that hung motionless in the cold night air.
“Hey, everyone,” shouted William. “Look who’s arrived – the star of our show – my old mate, Guy Fawkes.” He turned to Guy. “We’ve lit the fire already. Put your box of fireworks over there, away from the flames, and let’s get this party started!”
A cheer arose from the assembled crowd. Spooney reached for the first firework, lit the blue touch-paper and stood well clear. He smiled to himself. After all the weeks of meticulous planning, the bonfire was going to be a great success.
Have a Happy (and safe) Bonfire Night everyone!
If you’d like to see your work in my Guest Writer Spot, please contact me here or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. I accept stories, poems, articles – in fact, anything and everything. All you have to do is make sure your prose is no longer than 2000 words and your poems no more than 40 lines.