Read The Dog Walker in Surreal Nightmares II / Editor’s choice award

Two pieces of awesome news in one here!

First up, Surreal Nightmares II (published by James Ward Kirk Publishing) – containing my short story The Dog Walker – is now available on Amazon in print and on kindle.

It sits in good company beside other surrealist horror stories and mind-bending poetry.

Secondly, The Dog Walker was selected by JWK Publishing for an editor’s choice award!

SNII editors choice award

One prose and one fiction piece from the anthology were picked for the prizes by editors  Sebastian Crow and James Ward Kirk. I was pleasantly surprised to have my story chosen. 

You can read Surreal Nightmares II here, and an excerpt of The Dog Walker is below. A man wakes up in Queen’s Park, Glasgow, and something isn’t quite right…

The Dog Walker

I was dreaming of you, April, when I woke up to a sheet of opalescent cloud that hid the sky and stifled the sunlight. For a moment I didn’t know where I was – looking at that alien sky I might have woken on Venus or Mars. Nor did I know what time it was, though from the light it must have been dawn or dusk.

I remembered only snatches of the dream – your hair, your face, your white dress (what a vulgar joke!) I was sweating, maybe from the dream or maybe from the unnerving sky. I sat up, leaning against a tree where I had fallen asleep. The air smelled of rain but it was yet to come. The grass under my fingers felt like unwashed hair. It came to me that I was in Queen’s Park, where I had gone for a walk on a nice June day and lay against a tree to rest – the return of reality meant the loss of the dream. But it was about you, April. If you said anything to me I had forgotten it.

I was atop the hill with the flagpole, a vantage-point where you can usually see the entire cityscape and all the way to the hills of Loch Lomond. But there was nothing. The distance had been painted out in a sheet of water-colour. What strange storm was coming?

Now that I looked around I saw that everything – the grass, the trees, the foliage – was tinted by the strange light of the sky. The blades of grass were not quite green, the black wing of a swooping swallow not quite black. The swallow landed among its fellows who peered curiously at each other as if they too had noticed something peculiar about their plumage.

I stood and stretched, working the sleep from my stiff joints. I supposed that I should head home before the rain came on, and as if in answer a fat drop of water landed on my shoulder.  I held out my open palm and caught another drop that shone like a rainbow and burst like a flashbulb. The sky was falling, then. So be it.

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