Broken Cycles & Vital Signs



Suggested Audio Candy


Hirax “Hellion Rising”



In just a handful of moons, Keeper is set to undertake another expedition. That’s right, I’m hitting the road again, packing my ruck sack, and heading for the hills for a most welcome change of scenery. It’s not that I don’t like my tool shed; many fun times have played out within its four damp-ridden walls and a multitude of garden slugs have been befriended and, later, accidentally decimated as I have made the place my second home. The problem is that it is only ever me, myself and I residing there and not exactly the hive of activity or most sociable hangout. I sit and freeze in conditions often below freezing while polishing off enough Benson & Hedges to make Melanie Griffith sound like Barry White. Refreshments are key and that is why I stock up on cheap energy drinks in an attempt at slowly corroding myself from the inside out. One day I shall possess my own fully furnished study but, until that time comes, I shall keep on keeping on in the one place offering the solitude I require to scribe.


It would be easy to assume that I haven’t come far within the past twelve months as I was doing the self-same thing back then also. However, shiver as I may as another cold gust shoots up my trouser leg, at least I’m not one step from hypothermia. Endeavoring to tap away on one’s qwerty board may seem like an effortless pursuit but it’s not as simple when frost bite is threatening and your fingers are beginning to discolor. That’s where I was at winter past; perilously teetering over the illness chasm and losing my foot hold fast. I was desperate to locate some higher ground and there seemed no better way than packing my satchel and taking the eight-hour jaunt up north to visit a man I had never met previously. A little change of vantage would no doubt do me good and it actually did far more than that. I turned up at Bolton little more than the fragmented shards of Humpty Dumpty and left there ten days later put together again, albeit haphazardly.


By that I mean that I wasn’t out of the woods yet by a long chalk but, considering I arrived in possession of prescribed depression medication and left with the same amount of pills in my pop box, I’d say I was on the right track. While I would never be foolish enough to advise others to skip their meds without first consulting their physician, I would certainly state with frankness that it worked for me and that bubbling rage and self-loathing inside me began to dissipate. We didn’t consciously set out to defy my doctor; it was just organic. You see, I didn’t sit sobbing on his shoulder like the broken man that I actually was, instead we formed a bond that will stand the test of time and still have seconds on the clock. I already knew that we would be brothers; the way we met convinced me of that way back upon primary introductions. But it’s one thing knowing and quite another showing. He showed me in no uncertain terms that he would walk through a blazing inferno to fetch me a slice of toast and I implemented faith, an emotion which had been slipping for some time since the edges first came creeping in.


C. William Giles is a manly man; almost Nordic, the kind that wipes his ass with passing bunnies and brushes his teeth with an anvil. This isn’t the guy you wish to cross as he would think nothing of grinding your bones to make his bread. Yet, behind those clenched knuckles and pulsating forehead veins, there is a colossal heart. We fast-tracked from passing ships in the night to two tight tug-boats as we sat in our own funk, drank caffeine and ale, and watched all manner of scary movies. To offer some form of enlightenment to this man’s commitment to my cause, he even watched Curse of Chucky with me, despite only desiring to return the Good Guy back to factory settings. Giles despises Chucky; a man bred on a staple diet of Hammer and Amicus has no place for incontinent dolls, Dourif or no Dourif. I can’t say I blame him although I adjusted my expectations accordingly before pulling his cord. Not many burly Nordic warriors would endure Chucky for me; that proved categorically that he was prepared to eat glass for me. I liken it to glass as he winced throughout the duration and charged to the kitchen at the close to spew blood forth into the sink.


As I prepare for my forthcoming return to the Land of The Giles, it will be of great relief to him to learn that the stuttering Child’s Play franchise has ground to a temporary halt. It would appear the entire world has decided they are tired of waiting for Charles Lee Ray to grow some testicles and I’m inclined not to disagree. Thanks Chucky, we had some fun didn’t we? If nothing else you gave us a porcelain version of Jennifer Tilly to leer at suggestively. This time we shall watch manly films, plough ourselves with manly alcohol, chest bump in a manly manner and take showers the manly way… with one hand against frosted glass, flexing our biceps at our own reflection like Patrick Bateman. Speaking of which, there will be no Sussudio; death metal will form the symphony of madness. I like Phil Collins but he can piss off for nine days as I plan to wear the same jockeys for three days straight and become intoxicated by my manly odor.


Of course, there will also be business to attend to. 2015 is the year that Rivers of Grue gets funded; which coincides tidily with the fact that C. William Giles’ second novel will hit the shelves during the same period. His first …of Tortured Faustian Slumbers was an exquisite read from cover-to-cover which grabbed you by whatever currency you possess between your legs and twisted until your best falsetto rang out. For the record, I believe it would make for a most splendid film. The totally unrelated follow-up The Darkness of Strangers, with its dystopian tinge, is about to blow some head gaskets; let me absolutely assure you of that. I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it. I have received intelligence that his novel will drop into my grasping hands the very moment I reintroduce myself to my old friend…the couch. The couch and I became very close, practically inseparable after seventy-two hours without a loafer. This time will be no different as I settle in for my bedtime chapter…or two. Aside from offering comfort, the couch also keeps me plugged into that wonderful worldwide web which pleases me much as my appearances online are vaguely similar to whack-a-mole at present.


Sounds good right? If any of you are sick to the back teeth of Keeper then I offer my commiseration but alas, for these nine days, there’ll be no escaping me. Whack me with enough force and I shall scurry to another hole and pop my head up there instead. There is a giant network before me, filled with glorious nodes all sparking in unison. I’m no evil mastermind; but it’s still my life’s work to wire these together somehow. If you are reading this now then you’re already involved; those who wear #Grueheads on their Twitter banners are duly noted and those who don’t aren’t ever liable as I’m not a fucking fascist. I know who you are, there is nothing to prove to Keeper other than that your soul is good. Freedom to operate, to digest, to express, and let that manifest; that’s what I’m talking of here. Knowing that, should you be having a particularly shitty day, somebody is there to make that shitty day pass a little less uncomfortably; that’s what really matters.


Pure undeterred freedom to operate at all times; no ties that bind only threads we share freely. Much of my readership now consists of bloggers and that thrills me to my pip as folk are finding their voices at the very same time. Every time somebody presses that Like tab at the foot of each article, cheap shot I hold my hands up, it sparks my fuse a little more. While I am drinking the volts, others are quenching too, which may put pressure on the bladder, but it does wonders for one’s soul. Take it from Keeper; I write unapologetically now without fear of defeat and banana skins sliding across my varnished floor. One of the reasons I am still sat here now, in odd gloves (one fingerless), sending smoke signals like a Cherokee and making up pet names for gastropods, is C. William Giles. He will always have a place at the very top table and he has known of my solemn vow and trusted it throughout my turbulent rise as a scribe. I haven’t quite sussed out the riches yet and where they come into play so I guess it wouldn’t be unfair to label me as something of a jerk. However, my rags admittedly fit decidedly well.



Dedicated to my dear friend, my first general of grue, my brother in blood – C. William Giles



Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,


Keeper of the Crimson Quill

Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2014





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