A collection of short stories written by Gareth Davies author of novels Maggie’s Milkman and Extraordinary Rendition. Over 800 free short stories and 100 poems. Please note all works are first drafts. Enjoy, leave comments, share on social media and be inspired.
Check out the details of my novels here
Monday, 1 February 2016
Bread and Funerals
For any newcomers to the blog, Steve is a recurring character who likes to rant to his long-suffering friend Johnny about the little things in life. Here is an example. For audio click here
“Bread and Circuses,” Steve settled into his chair. “Bread
and Circuses that’s what it is.”
What on earth did that mean Johnny thought, but he had the
feeling he was about to find out.
“Go on,” Johnny said.
“Well you know all these deaths; famous people, Bowie,
Rickman, Wogan?” Steve said.
“Yeah, sad innit?” Johnny took a moment to pull his best
“Well no, not really, old men die, that’s life.” Steve said
“but I won’t got there today.”
The today sounded ominous
to Johnny. He obviously had that to look forward to.
“But I’ve got a theory.” Steve took a long sip.
“I thought you might.” Johnny sighed.
“What if all these deaths are just the government’s way of
averting our attention from their shitty policies. There’s all this bad news
around, but it’s being papered over by the death of a rock star or a TV
“Seriously,” Johnny played with a beer mat. Steve moved into
his real ranting position.
“Just think about it; normally they would have a royal
wedding or birth, but Kate’s just had a sprog , and Harry isn’t likely to want
to give up the single life, so they’re in a pickle. It’s not like England are
going to win a World Cup. So they need a new way to distract our attention
while they sell of the NHS and let multi-nationals off their tax bills.”
“Steve, take a moment mate, what are you saying? Do you
think these people are all dead already but the government is saving up dead
people and only announcing their deaths when they have bad news to bury?”
“No I hadn’t thought of that, but I wouldn’t put it past them.”
Steve looked thoughtful for a moment. “That’s even better than my thought.I thought the government were actually
killing off celebs so we won’t notice that the Bedroom Tax was ruled illegal.
“Nonsense Steve. Not even this bunch of immoral bastards would
“Believe what you want to,” Steve said. “But you have to
admit that there’s been so much grieving going on this year, that the
government have been able to get away with murder.”
“Yeah metaphorical, not literal, that’s the difference.”
“Still they must have been rubbing their hands with glee.”
“I am sure you’re right that they take advantage to hid bad
news but causing the bad news? Really? That’s too paranoid even for you Steve”
Johnny stood up collected the two empty glasses and headed for the bar.
Meanwhile in the bowels of Westminster.
“Blast and botheration.” The PM thumped his hands on the
desk. His Principal Private Secretary took a step back; he hated the PM in this
mood. Where was the Chief of Staff when you needed him? The PPS had just handed
the PM the latest polling figures that showed his approval ratings were down
for the third month running.“Those
fucking do-gooding lefties,” The PM thumped the desk again. “If we are not
careful, they are going to get elected.” The PM stared at the ceiling for a
moment while the PPS shifted from foot to foot listening to the Prime Minister’s
heavy breathing. “Get me the palace,” he barked to the PPS.
“Yes Ma’am, I understand perfectly but if Harry doesn’t get
married we are faced with the real possibility that the Labour party could be
voted back in… I know he’s not the marrying type Ma’am but ... Okay, well how
about another Grandchild? …” The PPS could tell by the look on the PM’s face
that the Queen was having none of it. “Yes Ma’am I know Kate swore she was
never going to go through that again but it’s for the good of the country?” The
PM held the phone away from his face as he listened to the reply. He rolled his
eyes in defeat.
“And you are sure it’s a no on both counts?... Thank you Ma’am.
Thank you.” The PM slammed the phone down and let the desk feel the force of
his fist again. The PPS was a little taken aback at the violence of it all.
“Bitch,” he shouted. “What’s the fucking point of the
fucking royal family if they won’t procreate to keep the masses happy. That’s
what they are fucking there for. Everyone knows that when the government is in
trouble the royals have babies; it’s the way of the world.”
“Sir, if I may.” The PPS winced as he said the words. He
hated interrupting a prime ministerial rant but he had an idea.
“Sir, there’s something else that might just work.”
The PPS leaned in and told his idea to the PM.
“Sir, what do the masses like just as much as a big wedding?
A big funeral. It doesn’t have to be a royal, just someone famous. Remember
when Bowie died? All people did for weeks was listen to his records; the
papers, the news bulletins were full of it. We released loads of bad news that
week and it didn’t get a snifter in the media.”For the first time in weeks a smile spread over that increasingly podgy
“My good man, you might have hit on something there.” he
said and slapped the PPS on the back.
“I’ve got a friend of a friend sir; Mikey Highnote they call
him. He can get dodgy cocaine to just about anyone in the business; it’ll kill
them in minutes. You say the word sir, and we’ll have them grieving in the
“Good work old chap. But who shall it be?”
“McCartney sir, or Jagger? Dame Helen Mirren? Dame Judy
“By George no. It’s not that serious. If your man Mikey can
get to anyone let’s leave those names until we’re really buggered.Let me think. How about the lead singer from
that god-awful band, um Coldplay.”
“Really sir? Martin? Well if you wish sir.”
“You’re listening to the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 and
if you are just joining us, it has been announced that Coldplay lead singer
Chris Martin has been found dead in a flat in London.”