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Everything annoys Nigel. Gets right under his skin. He hates everyone in  a kind of silent seething way.

Thanks to Mother, he cannot stand women. Thanks to his parents’  unhappy marriage he will not marry. Thanks to the economy he shall  not move house.

Everywhere things are not right.

Take the poofters that live next door and their new giant shiny tv aerial.  Looks like a bloody illuminated arrrow in the morning sunshine. Like a  warning sign from God pointing at their house… What have they done  now?

The woman over the road was never nice to him but it was worse when  she sold the corner shop business on. At least she was white.

The kids are too loud, throw vodka bottles and fag ends into his garden  from where they sit on his high brick wall. Why don’t children work  anymore, like up chimmneys in Victorian Times? The devil makes work  for idle hands. Not that he believes in religon – what a fairy tale.

The neighbours the other side are too loud and vulgar, their music  thumps and penetrates the very structure of his semi detached house.  Since when was being professionally unemployed a lifestyle choice?

And the old biddy – a friend of Mother’s – two doors down, next to the  Jungle Music House, she won’t stop interfering with the flowers in his  front garden. She’s well old now, shouldn’t she be dead?

The phone rings, it is an acquaintance, someone who doesn’t know the  real him, because it suits Nigel to have drinking buddies at the pub.  They chat about the latest film starring the latest sexpot and matching  macho (will the blueray be any good?), bitch a bit about the rain, rant
routinely about the useless Government, and Nigel forgets himself and  makes fun of Asians…the way they talk, the way they’re stupid, the way  they coagulate the whole country.

His drinking buddy uncomfortably clears his throat. “Heard from  Ahmed?”

“No. I’ll give the Paki a call and we can go out together, alright?”

Nigel leaves the house to pick up a couple of food items, he has to walk  past the poofters’ house on the way to the shop. He splutters with scorn  at the sight of the hanging chandelier – its crystal droplets catching the  morning sun – from the upstairs bedroom. There in plain view to all on  the street because they don’t have the decency to have blinds to close!  Ostentatious poofs with their hanging chandelier – which they no doubt  swing off during bedroom antics – and their flashy red sportscar which  they rev in the drive…now tucked out of sight – probably out of fear of  the taxman – in the garage.

Transfixed with those thoughts, eyes on Chandelier, he is gaping and  gasping like a goldfish drowning in oxygen that he collides with Peggy  (who is still pleased with herself for having safely crossed the heavily  congested road). She had only begun to walk along the pavement that  fronts their houses. Had only taken one step onto the pavement.

She stumbles, falls to the ground in the unexpected collision. Silly boy!  What on earth is he doing walking into her while looking like he’d just  witnessed the young gay pair having a fiddle. Judging by his positioning  on the pavement, the stance of his body, and the directions of his eyes in  their “Look at us!” boudoir, what else would one think?

“Disgusting isn’t it!” Nigel retorts, his cheeks blazing red. Because he  knows what it looks like. And he isn’t one of ‘them’.

Peggy picks herself up from the pavement, straightens her woollen  jacket and pats down her tartan skirt. There’s now a ladder in her tights.  Her shopping bags still lay on the ground and Nigel, as usual, is  oblivious – as it wasn’t him who had been flung onto the hard  unforgiving ground.

What are the Silly Old Bag’s bags doing on the ground, their contents  spilling all over the pavement?

Peggy glares at him. How could someone as nice as his mother produce  a child like that?

“Aren’t you going to pick them up?” Nigel asks, his cheeks still hot.

“What did your poor mother do to deserve you?! I have a good mind to  stop looking after your flowers!”

“Please do!” Nigel calls out as he crosses the busy road, desperate to get  away from her.

Grinning like a crocodile he pays for the milk, eggs and bacon. Funny  how the whole family comes into the shop when he’s there, he thinks.  But then, knowing their kind, they would have at least twelve kids and  not three. The others must be other cousins and 2nd and 3rd wives. The  stupid woman – shaking in an absurdly colourful sari – dropped his  bacon and made him angry. “Paying for that?! You dropped that bacon.  I’m not buying that, get me another!”

Bloody foreigners he mumbles under his breath as he makes his return  journey home.

He crosses the hectic road, passes the Poofters’ House, spots them  through the upstair’s bedroom window. He watches them move about  the room, talking. Suddenly they amorously grab one another, then turn  and stick their tongues out at him.

Startled he drops his eggs, breaks four of the six. Rushes the last few  steps to his house with burning red cheeks and a simmering rage. The  broken and unbroken eggs, sticky, sodden with yolk and egg whites,  mixing, bumping together with the milk and bacon in the plastic carrier.

Alas at his front door is the Reverend.  He thinks it is bad enough  having the God Brigade visit, worse when the rev is a woman! Why had  Mother befriended this weird woman? She was no doubt after money  for some kind of useless charity.

Standing next to the rev is Peggy. Still with shopping bags, but now  with a smile fixed to her face.

Judging from their exchanging glances it seems they had been discussing  him.

“How can I help you Reverend?” Nigel says putting on the charm,  fumbling for his front door key.

All the time he is thinking of how the poofters made fun of him, how  the foreigners purposefully dropped the first packet of bacon, how  Peggy was not looking where she was going…and how he can rid  himself of these two.

“Nigel, I would like to thank you.” The rev begins.

Nigel forgets searching for his key. “Wha..t?”

“I mean, on behalf of the church…”

“And the new youth centre.” Peggy chimes in.

“Of course you will have already made other arrangements regarding  your late mother’s house.”

He finds it is like time standing still. Their words wash over him.

“…well, we never realised how well off your parents were, Nigel.”

“And indeed generous.”

“It still feels like your dear mother is still with us, her funereal being  only a week ago…”

“The solicitor has just been round.”

Numb, Nigel pushes past them, somehow finds and fits the shaking key  into the lock to turn it and opens the door.

Safe inside his house he leans against the door. His legs are like jelly, he  feels sick to the stomach.

Everywhere things are not right.

His parents had always scrimped and saved to the extent he had often  gone without. He had to work while attending college. Had to buy used  clothes and get grants for study books. They were always going on  about saving…saving money for a rainy day.

Only to give it all away to ‘them’.

Now that the house is no longer his, it no longer feels like such a dump  to live in.

The phone rings, cutting into the dead silence. It is his friend Ahmed.  Except he isn’t his friend anymore now, not since he heard from their  friend how Nigel had spoken so rudely of his race.

“Racist! Hypocrite! Closet gay! I always knew something didn’t tick  quite right with you! And don’t bother calling Gary, ‘cos he doesn’t want  to know you either!”

Everything annoys Nigel. Gets right under his skin. He hates everyone in  a kind of silent seething way.

Thanks to his mother he will be after all moving house. Thanks to the  economy it will have to be a bedsit.


Inside the house with the hanging crystal chandelier, two young men sit  talking in the front room.

“What was it the solicitor said to you?”

“Like I said…he said that Nigel’s mother had left us a nice sum.”

“How marvellous! We can be parents now – we could adopt an African  child!”


Horror, suspense, mystery.  Fiction from Faith McCord.


3 eBook Covers for 3 of the short stories that are soon available in It Killed The Cat: A Collection Of Short Stories For The Curious.

Ten stories of suspense, mystery, ghostly going-ons + alien worlds.



In love with the poodle next door. Immensely adored by his human mother. Out in his beloved garden, Bartholomew waters the dahlias and waits and watches, like a love sick puppy, by the hole in the battered fence. Is all well and happy in the Garden Of Bartholomew or is his rival’s jealousy now at danger point?

This Man's Best FriendTHIS MAN’S BEST FRIEND

A young man deeply grieving for his wife who has unexpectedly died, meets a strange old woman who is walking a bear of a dog. Later, through his days with Bear – a dog unlike any other – he begins to live again. Then one day comes when John faces another potential loss – but it isn’t the one he was expecting.


A woman has realised over time that the man she fell in love with is indeed something else – a loveless creature, one without conscience, and even a potential danger. However, living with a chronic illness has made her stronger. It’s about time the tables were turned and survival is a dish best served tasty.


Genre, like Faith McCord herself, is an odd mix – fantasy, adventure, folk, horror. Well, dear reader, let’s let you decide.

Fans are welcome to join this newsletter to be first with the news of latest books – inside news – and also special offers only available through the official Faith McCord Books ‘group’.

You can email the author at faith_mccord @
(don’t forget to close the space before and after the @ ).

Current ebooks are available to download through Amazon UK; Amazon USA; Amazon Germany; Amazon France; and

Twitter – FaithMcCord
Blog –


It Killed The Cat: A Collection Of 10 Short Stories For The Curious



Dear Reader, would you like to be first with the news of latest Faith McCord ebooks – inside news – and also special offers only available through the official Faith McCord Books *Newsletter? Then please click either on the picture link or click *HERE* to join the newsletter for free.

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Genre: Horror / Fantasy

Ages: Teen / adult

Ebooks to already  download: Also, Amazon UK; Amazon USA; Amazon Germany; Amazon France


* It says ‘group’ but it is a newsletter – not a forum for member posting.

Why not download the FREE short story Beetle?  Just click the picture link

Why not download the FREE short story Beetle? Just click the picture link

Horror, suspense, mystery.  Fiction from Faith McCord.

A short story coming soon.

Good old fashioned horror 😉

A dark mysterious short story about loneliness…and a toad. 

Reading age – 13+


He sat alone, his world afore him; the balance having finally toppled.

The sluggish toad with its gold rimmed eyes, stared at him from a far corner of the table. He wondered how long the now familiar creature had been keeping him company, at this place. Other than the toad he was quite alone. Completely alone. Not a soul was present. Just him. And the toad.

It must be a week now since he and the creature of the bog had made each other’s acquaintance. It must have been the day he got “let go” from working at the factory, because he’d been walking home in the sunshine, and normally he never saw the light. Normal was working the night shift. Was.

There never is much employment in a rural area. Most of the town worked at the factory, or in the care home for the elderly, or, not at all. It wasn’t an especially beautiful or striking or characterful place – Tombland didn’t dangle the tourist-carrots. Most inhabitants had moved away, especially the young, who’d left for cities that promised fun, money and open doors. An alternate world. Tombland’s present population: 301.

This life he’d had was all he knew. He had never known anything other than the factory and being lonely. He worked the night, slept the day, sometimes he saw his brother; when Carl was at home. He’d accepted these cards Life had dealt him. No questions asked.

Until the day he met the toad.

The toad is blinking it’s gold eyes, looking hungry. There are enough flies buzzing about. Surely his long, adept tongue will lash out and steal one?

He shifted in his wooden chair, the seat was hard, quite uncomfortable. In this room, the walls were packed with books, there were shelves packed with books too. He couldn’t remember coming into the library.

Apart from the annoying buzzing flies, he was quite alone.

Why wasn’t even the librarian present?

His normal route from home to work was a 3 mile walk from the old farmhouse – which had seen the lives and deaths of two generations of his farming family – down the steep hill, where barren fields flanked the narrow road, which then turned an oblique right, to run alongside the bog. The bog stank, but it’s thriving community of gnats, flies, frogs and toads did not seem to mind. They were thriving but farming here was dead. With the last farmer gone, it seemed the sparkle had been quenched from Tombland.

The bog, to the left of the road, ran on for half a mile or so into the dense copse beyond where the black trees scratched the sky. Following the road, with further empty fields either side, a mile on, to a square of houses; and a little further still, stood a small shop selling the usual daily produce like bread and such, a tiny dis-used school, and the factory. Nextdoor to the factory, Tombland’s cemetry and church.

But the cemetry had never worried him.

And yet he had never liked the bog. As a young boy of six, walking alongside his older brother of ten, on the way to school, he had even feared the bog.

Carl told him not to let the bog worry him. The bog stank, wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t a threat.

Ah, back to the toad!

Life had been staid, flat, colourless, until that day they told him they didn’t need him anymore. For the first time, he felt fearful of his future: what was he to do now? He knew nothing else. He was afraid of something else…And, it was while these thoughts jumped about inside his head, that the large toad jumped out from the bog, and sat before him, in the middle of his path, blinking gold rimmed eyes.

He had never seen such a large toad before. He had never contemplated both their ugliness and beauty before. But this one made him think.

Suddenly, he didn’t feel alone. Fear evaporated like mist.

From that day on, the toad followed him about, almost everywhere. At nightfall it disappeared, he presumed back to the bog at the bottom of the hill. At dawn it was there again, at the foot of his bed, contemplating him, above the bed sheets.

He started questioning things. Why was he here? Where was everyone? Where had they gone to? What was he to do now? And, really, WHO was he?

While perspectives alter from one being to another, and indeed shift, he had never had any real sense of being…identity…who am I?

Why the toad had brought this all on, he didn’t know.

Oh, the library is full of flies now…they are thickening the air, turning the space black – a writhing mass of tiny insect bodies – making the air too thick to breath…

Why doesn’t the toad catch them? He hasn’t even caught one.

He hadn’t seen Carl for days now. He also questioned his absence. Why? Where? What…?

The librarians told the people to make space, the doctor was called – he was in the building at the time, returning a book for his young daughter – he rushed to the man’s side and found him dead. It had been too late. No one had noticed, no one had cared. The man had been a misfit, a loner, strange and even a little frightening. Alone without family or friend, his only brother, Carl, whose fate had been the swallowing bog ten years ago.

Copyright / by Faith 2006


Copyright / photography by Darren Melrose
– – – Click on the Toad to visit his Blog!

Visit Faith McCord on Smashwords!

Visit Faith McCord on Smashwords!


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Early 2012 – Available to buy, It Killed The Cat: A Collection Of Short Stories For The Curious

BEETLE a very short story, free on Smashwords!

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