dark humour, fiction, flash fiction, funny, short story, writing

Heist the Buller

It was a matter of fact, not opinion, that this was not going at all well. They were now half an hour into the job and still no closer to the prize. Starmy wiped drips from his brow, chucking down the industrial saw in anger.

“It’s no good, he huffed. This outer layer looks like a house of straw but it’s tougher than Kevlar. It will be a miracle if we break through this”

“I told you we should have brought Lambo with us on this one, his accomplice said. He’s the muscle in this outfit”

“Shut it, I’m in charge here, Nando” he fired back, digging in his pocket for a dribble free hankie. Finding none he rubbed his blue jacket sleeve around his face, lamenting that it had all come down to this. He stood up slowly, arching his aching back “Where’s Ed? We need him”.

“He said he would wait in the car; you know how he’s always one for a quick getaway. Nando paused, her tone changing slightly. You know sometimes I think you like him better than me. She pouted a little, hands on hips. She could feel the outline of the Dictaphone in her blazer pocket. I’m always here to listen” she added. She felt they trusted each other, it was just, insurance.

He chose not to respond. Starmy’s plan was crumbling round his ears. I don’t have time for this he thought. Time to be a strong leader now. He rubbed his hands together then placed them firmly on Nando’s shoulders, staring her straight in the eye.

“This is not a robbery its’s national service he declared. I need to see where your loyalties lie”

Nando looked confused at the concept. Frustrated, Starmy let go of her. Anger boiling over he could only hiss through gritted teeth.

“Tell Ed not to trip as he goes down the steps”. Nando moved towards the moonlit window so she could text the getaway driver on her burner phone.

What a useless crew Starmy thought. Although he admitted it was a good idea having the burner phones. He was just a bit surprised that they had all got one spare before he’d even mentioned the plan. That was a bit weird.

He wished he’d brought more tools with him.  He had always played by the book, tried to do the right thing till now. Patience had worn to a threaded hole in his ambitions. When would he get to wear the number 10 shirt?

He hated to admit defeat, but it was time to move to plan B. Or to be more accurate, plan D. The last thing they could try. Time to dance with the devil. Time to call in Dom. The loot whisperer.

Starmy was about to place the call when, out of the shadows a scrawny paw laid itself on his cold shoulders.

“No need to call Dom simpered, I’m always around”

Starmy tried not to let Dom feel him shudder under the clammy grasp.

“I’ll find a chink in this armour he offered with a sickly grin. I’m an expert remember”

He laid his rucksack on the ground, rummaging in the contents. Starmy and Nando exchanged a glance as they witnessed a brief reveal of Dom’s knackered boxers as he bent over the bag. As if feeling the gaze, Dom attempted again to tuck the back of his shirt in and failed. He withdrew a small bottle with a cork stopper from the bag. Deftly removing the cork, he wafted its contents under the subject’s nose.  The subject snorted a little but otherwise remained calm.

“Just a little lubrication Dom explained, loosen him up a bit”

Starmy got a brief whiff of the tincture in the stuffy room. It smelled like old money, and pig blood. The feelings of helplessness, like in the old place came over him in waves. He had to press home how important this was. How it mattered.

“We’ve got to get this right Starmy proffered, everything we need to know is in there, all the… secrets

Dom nodded sagely and waved him away as he leant close into the ear of the subject. He turned for a second.

“You can’t break in here with those crude tools he said pointing at the vast array of power tools scattered on the plush carpet. This will take stealth”. He gently stroked the flabby chops  of the subject and smiled again as if reminiscing. “That’s right my pretty he said. They’ll not get through this rhino hide like that”

The eye of the subject flickered briefly. There was a semblance of recognition, half a memory. A borrowed pair of glasses, a postcard from a family trip to a castle.

He leant in once more. The subject’s mumblings grew louder as Dom whispered softly in his ear.

Starmy heard almost incoherent words from the subject. ‘Hands, face, buller buller buller’ it seemed to garble. Reaching a crescendo, Starmy quickly closed the gap in the door. The noise had reached such a pitch he was worried they might disturb the Moggy, peacefully perched in its basement dungeon.

The garbling stopped abruptly. A scraping noise like a long-forgotten hinge cracked open the thatched lid of the Prime Minister’s head. Out rolled a pig skin purse, gilded with dusty swan feathers.

‘Remember you owe me now’ Dom uttered and melted waxy into the shadows of the cabinet office.

With a trembling hand Starmy picked up the bag as the hinged skull shut its door once more.

Stitched in italic gold on the side of the bag were the words ‘The Truth’

Starmy stuffed the bag into his inside jacket pocket. Nando collected their belongings and together they rushed out to the waiting saloon. Ed attempted to rev the engine, forgetting it was an electric. He pushed the pedal to the floor and sped off inaudibly into the London night.

The Prime minister, snorted in his sleep, oblivious to the raid. Only the darkness was now left to witness the midnight blathering, spewing nonsense in its slumber, all its secrets spilled. Inside the skull, the memories, the mistakes, squirming like a forced apology, spilling their way out of the open mouth.

“Hands, face, buller buller buller”.

First published by Punk Noir magazine as part of the ‘Heist’ prompt.

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In the Dark with Gavin Turner

Hi All,

Hope you are well, enjoying reading, writing and stuff. In between posting poems and short story links on my website and sharing these with you I have been doing a lot of updating and broadening my scope so to speak. I will be doing a monthly newsletter to share what I have been up to and some exciting projects I have been working on.


I have been working on some collaborative pieces recently. It has been really interesting and exciting to work with some great writers who I have met via twitter and through publishing in journals. The first of these was a collaboration with Tiffany M Storrs who is Editor in Chief at Roi Faineant press and Melissa Flores Anderson. Roi Faineant is one of the first magazines to publish my work and is a great supporter of new and upcoming writers and poets. I would highly recommend checking out their work. The whole magazine has a great vibe and they have recently extended their editorial team, moving on to bigger and better things all the time. You can link into what they do here https://www.roifaineantpress.com/

The piece we worked on is called ‘Curbing the Appetite’. It’s a kind of horror based romance story which combines all our writing interests in one place. We were really excited to see this accepted at the first try with Icebreakers lit, a new magazine that focusses on publishing collaborative pieces. They have a really enthusiastic team and support writers to find other people to collaborate with. Why not check out this piece and some of the other great writing there at https://www.icebreakerslit.com/

The next collaboration will be published in 2023 which is a piece I worked on with a relatively new friend of mine Kellie Scott-Reed. Kellie is also part of the Roi Faineant team and interviewed me for ‘A word with’ this summer, shortly after my debut Chapbook, The Round Journey was released. More to share about this piece nearer the time but suffice to say we both think it rocks!


Yesterday I attended the Wigan Write out loud poetry event. I haven’t been able to get down recently so it was great to see the range of excellent poets sharing their work with a friendly and supportive crowd. I performed two poems that I have shared on the site recently, ‘A need to read’ and ‘Johnson’s Tarantella’. I have a Christmas poem ready for next month so looking forward to getting down there again. If you aren’t local they also run a zoom meeting which has poets from all over the world on it. Just google Wigan write out loud for all the details.

Short stories

I will share the links to most of my published short stories on the site. A few of the recent ones are on there already. Some of my work is shared via my Substack page where I am looking to build a following and self publish some of my stories and flash fiction. It seems pretty unusual to get a high level of feedback about your work from publishers so I would really encourage people to add their comments, thoughts etc. I always try to provide a response and am keen to meet new people who enjoy literature as much as I do.

Fifty styles of grammar

Sometimes I like to put something together that most people will think is, how can I put this, stupid. Part of being a writer is to experiment with things that bring you joy. So I put together a little parody site of the infamous Fifty shades books, only in this version, Crispin Grammar (Christian Grey) is really into…books, and the protagonist, Amistakia, has never, in her whole life, read a book.

A short sample:

“I guess you never met anyone who does his own book binding before” he smirked.

I felt the blood rush to my cheeks. I’d never even seen a chapbook before, and here he was, explaining how you might self publish.

“I’ll ask Bobby to ring it up for you”

Crispin didn’t say anything this time, he just glared at me, the way he does. With his eyes. Once all the items had been paid for he crinkled the paper bag in his strong fingers, seductively.

“Goodbye Amistakia, perhaps our paths will cross again”

My inner passive voice squeaked a bit.

“There’s a book fair next month and I might be a little short on binding glue” he said knowingly.

“Oh, I said, and is that for?”

“Yes, he grunted, for sticking the pages together”

Check out the first three parts here!


The Round Journey – debut Chapbook

I released The Round Journey with Alien Buddha in May 2022. I have been delighted with the experience of getting my first book into print. This short collection is a series of poems all linked to specific places, objects and sites around the village I live in. But it goes deeper than that. The circular journeys of life we all go on, our history, our future is all wrapped up in a round journey. I like the idea of being able to read the pieces and physically see the places I was talking about when I wrote them. I took all the photos used in the book and am really proud of the cover. Alien Buddha did an excellent job helping put this piece together. You can purchase a copy from Amazon or if you would prefer a signed Author copy I can arrange this also. I like to add a little extra poem in for direct purchases and I can send to the UK for £10 or $20 US. Send me a message direct if you would like one.

Recommended Reading/ Writers

I want to do a shout out in each of these letters about either recommended magazines or writers that I have come across who I have connected with. This month there are a few that I would like to highlight, particular those with new books coming out.

Mathew McGuirk

Matt’s debut book ‘Daydreams, obsessions, realities’ was one I reviewed recently. It is a heady combination of poetry and short stories. I thought it was an excellent book and would recommend it. He has just recently announced the publication of his second book ‘Oils stains like Rorschachs’ so I’m really looking forward to getting hold of a copy.

Barlow Adams

I loved this piece recently published by Reservoir Road review. Barlow’s work is raw and unflinching. His writing really connects with all aspects of what it means to be human and he puts it out there on the page. The link below takes you direct to his piece ‘Tell me if I stop’


Courtenay Schembri Gray

Courtenay’s substack site The Maple Moon is a treasure trove of poetry and stories. Courtenay also writes commentary pieces on her experience of being a writer. By subscribing to her page you can get access to a wide range of free stuff and for a little extra you can access the full site for all her ongoing work. Her poetry collection The maggot of Maple street is due to be released in January 2023 and can you can get a sneak preview below!


On the socials


You may have picked up on the purchase of twitter recently and some nervousness about what it will become in the future. You can still connect with my on there via @gtpoems and I intend to keep my account open for the foreseeable future. There are other options available which I am exploring but this is where I post most of my updates. Would love to get some more followers if you feel like joining in the conversation.


You can find me on Facebook – just search Gavin Turner Author to find my page.

Hopefully get another of these out next month. Would love it if some of you got in touch. Let me know if you enjoyed the recommendations, if you’ve written something you’d like to me to share/ talk about or anything else to be honest. Enjoy reading and writing and I’ll catch you In the dark somewhere.


about, featured, fiction, flash fiction, humour, short story, stories, writing

Frimmelstein’s diary – short story

You can’t exactly end up more dead, can you?

A short story borne out of a writing prompt from the excellent Voidspace magazine. I have included the full prompt below in case you fancy giving this a try! Would love to hear your feedback on this tale which has been well received so far.


Read the first question, set a timer for three minutes, and write every thought you have. Repeat with the next question when the timer rings.

What was your first intrusive thought?

Why is poetry the language of the dead?

What was the reason you woke up this morning and are you sure you are awake?

Does your best friend know you?

Is everything a lie?

How do you know you are alive?

What did the last spider you kill say?

What do you look like to an ant? What about to a vulture or to a whale?

Do you regret being born?

What should this question be?

fiction, flash fiction, humour, short story, stories, writing

Short story – Heist the Buller

Hi All,

Not many posts recently due to holiday and working hard on a number of pieces!. This short story was recently published by the excellent Punk Noir magazine, selected by guest editor Scott Cummings. Scott is an excellent poet, with a couple of chapbooks out at the moment, including ‘A chapbook about nothing’ so please check out his work!

The theme for this prompt was ‘Heist’. Love to hear your thoughts on this one.

Till next time


about, featured, fiction, flash fiction, short story, stories, writing

Short story publication – Classroom Embers – Roi Faineant press

Hi All,

Just wanted to share with you a first short story publication of mine in the ‘Heat’ edition of Roi Faineant press with guest editors Francois Bereaud and Melissa Flores Anderson. This is a really special publication with a selection of excellent writers showcasing their work. I would love to hear your comments and feedback on this. Hope you all enjoy the heat!


about, fiction, flash fiction, news, short story, stories, writing

Short fiction – Green Strategy

Delighted to have my short piece published with Void space Zine. This was part of the Crash this prose prompt and my first published fiction piece. Void space is a really excellent site and I would encourage you to check it out!