Excerpt from “Steph’s Gold Medal” – John Clay

Look at that 20-mins-due flash, the bad news all lit up there in little red L.C.D. blocks. See it?

I know. Shame. I’m disappointed for you miss. Really, I’m incensed. And I can’t be easy company, can I? I smell, I know. But forget what pop culture tells ya. I don’t have to be touting the Big Issue to have a friendly chat with my fellow citizen, do I?

Thanks, and yeah, exactly, I AM NOT my lack of accommodation. Thank you. I’m a street orator, actually, and it looks like you’re stuck here…

Sod’s law, Missus. Bloody busses. Bloody English weather. Believe me, there is no way you’d catch me wandering London through this spill. It’s like God himself has only just realised he’d got his Creation business perfect but then screwed it all up with Adam. And now he’s switched on his hundred and forty-four thousand mile plasma, watched five minutes of the Iraqi death toll on CNN and has lost almost complete faith in judgement. He’s weeping rivers. ‘Not had a crisis like this since the flood’, sing the angels, who’ll mop it all up. Just like last time. Look at the hail-stones pelting down so hard. I swear they’ll split pavement.

Heh, sorry. Saw the Burqa and thought I’d let rip at the enemy. Take it you’re a convert right, you being white and christened Susan or something? You kneel five times a day and all that? See, that’s where I’d fail Allah. And don’t ask me what I believe. I write fantasy fiction, I’d only make something up. A cantankerous-narcissist-god with fire for hair. Or something. So, Susan or something. I’m me and you are?

Steph. Of course you are. Lovely name, nice to meet ya… I’m… Well let’s see: I’ve answered to arsehole, Oi you, tramp, loser, Boleraam, John Clay…

I’ve got quite a few. Call me Spiderfingers.


Yeah, loads. Did a lot of Babushka Doll stuff actually. Nothing publishable though. Oh well eh Steph?

You’ve NEVER heard of Babushka Doll Lit?

Wow. Really? That’s like saying you’ve never heard of Nirvana. We’d better do something about that then. Babushka Doll Literature: more of a game than a series of stories. Hope you’ve a good memory.

O.K, whilst we still agree I’m not the type of tramp that believes in monsters and chats to daffodils, I’ll tell you about an adventurous boy and his rather unenviable position. Maybe if you like it, you could tell someone else? It’s not too hard to remember. If you enjoy a story enough, all the details should be like the clothes on your body. With your eyes shut you can recall every last item clinging and hanging off of you. Hey, I know you see this crusty-bearded ball of faded Technicolor that’s trying to befriend you, and under there, you’re preparing to politely grin away through some navel-gazing ordeal. But life dealing this tramp shit for cards? Not the subject for an opening story of mine.

I call it Bradley the Boy Wonder. But that could change. He Normally Spits is a close second choice. And hey, you may’ve heard this yarn before but don’t you dare stop me if you have, ‘cos no one, I mean not even Atlas tells it the way I could.


Bradley, the Boy Wonder

There was this kid who had two ‘gifts’. The first was a rather unique offering, a rather unusual gesture by the deities of biology. Kid could fold himself in half. Now, in lesser versions of this urban myth, where filthier imaginations have filled in plot holes and whatnot, you’ve probably heard that four of his ribs hadn’t developed properly, and that his lower spine was missing two vertebrae. But that’s all complete bull-crap. Wank Boy, as some mediocre orators call him, Wank Boy was all about the yoga. Really, this high school kid, we’ll call him Bradley – American – this kid Bradley was raised by his single mum who, apart from being a filthy rich Californian, had a penchant for extreme Venksai-Yoga. She’d been teaching Bradley Lotus spreads and Frog stretches ever since age three. And yes, I spoke of two gifts and yes, you got it Steph; this lil’ urban myth (every word as close to the truth as I could possibly take you), relies on Bradley boy’s second gift. Y’see, Bradley was big. Enormous. Would have been called Vlad the Impaler had he made it to college. But Bradley dies at the end of this.

He’s 13, alone in the house one hot Californian Sunday morning. Its summer holidays again and so, my god, how Bradley let those crazy hormones run him wild. See, Bradley’s mother skips outta their tidy piece of beachfront, hops gaily into the SUV and just sits for a moment, smiling about her impending book signing. This latest highpoint of subsequent media intrusion and path of re-invention has left her giddy. And if you were Bradley’s mother, ready to pull out of the driveway, if you’d chosen to crane your neck up at the kitchen window, well. You’d see Bradley watching you. Spying the cloud of fluffy happiness, the one you woke up inside this morning. That white candy floss nesting your hippy brain as you finally pull out the drive on a full tank of unleaded. You’re blissfully unaware of your little wonder running upstairs to his room. You have no idea that he’s using his ‘gift from Venksai’ in an erotic fashion, bent double and over on the bed, jacking his head up and down. Like some kind of human oil pump. What d’ya call em? Geysers? Or is that the hot pool things in Iceland? Doesn’t matter. You get the picture.

Bradley’s found a seriously fucked up way of combining the two gifts Mother Nature’s dropped in his gene pool.

But Bradley’s shit scared of the noise, the hormonal moaning gushing from inside his throat, so full of himself. He doesn’t wanna alarm old lady Docherty next door, even though next door is a whole house away. So the kid’s playing a Best of The Doors album. He’s lighting his own fire so to speak. He’s sucking away to 60’s pop… And then… He becomes inflamed with a wild idea: he could get (as Jim’s just crooned) much higher. And when he manages to slide himself in-between the gap of old oak wardrobe and the far wall of his room, when he gets to thinking of Jim Morrison taking it from behind, getting concrete hard so that he HAS to breathe through his nose, 13 year old Bradley is in his own very private heaven.

Till he gets stuck.


John Clay, he’s a London based author who routinely submits fiction to his online writers circle. He vents his thoughts on the mythology of rock and roll monthly in ‘Spiderfingers’. 

With obscene regularity, his characters negotiate the fields of sex, violence and faithlessness in a world where god exists but has deep seated emotional issues.John however and by his own admission is a well-adjusted and fully functioning member of society. He also believes the royal family are cold blooded lizards from a dead planet called Tu-Tu.’