John Wayne’s Last Ride

  Many years ago, the band I was playing in at the time, won the local heat of the Butlin’s National Talent contest. We won a trip to Butlin’s Skegness for a week all found and a place in the Skegness Quarter Finals.

We arrived at the Camp early afternoon, we were given our chalet keys and instructed that if we wanted a lunch we had better be a little snappy. We made our way to the dining room, we had just sat down and two girls from Sheffield joined us, they were latecomers also.

We got chatting over lunch, and one of the girls, who I admit I rather fancied, mainly because like me she was tall and slim, anyway to cut a long story short  she was saying that the next morning she was going horse-riding  did I fancy going with her. Naturally I jumped at the chance.

I had been weaned on Western movies, every Sunday night my Father used to take me to see a Western at the local flea pit or Cinema as you might know it. My Father snored while I enjoyed the film. Because of these early lessons, I was confident I could ride any horse they offered me. you live and learn.

We met and went to the stables, my partner had ridden before, she was quietly confident, as was I, Until I saw the size of the horses, They were quite tall, I hadn’t reckoned on that. We mounted, I sat my horse feeling comfortable, and willing myself not to look down.Then the horses started to walk, still fine, trotting, erm ok, galloping, oh no, I looked down and saw the ground moving rapidly a long way below me. That was when my nerves kicked in, No more John Wayne, I wanted earth beneath my feet.

I knew how to start this creature but where the hell is the brake, how do you stop this mad creature that is careering across a field hell for leather trying to catch up with my partner, I dug in my heels, pulled on the reins, nothing the mad creature just went faster.

Thankfully the other horses had stopped, so he did too, pulling in at side of my friends horse, She said, ‘ For a first timer you rode really well!’ I smiled back and thought to myself never again!

We did actually win the Quarter Finals so had to return to the camp for the Semi finals, but that as they say is another story!

(c) Damian Grange 2017


Casanova – One Girl too Many ( Excerpt 6 )

  I sent Francesca back upstairs to select some clothes for the other prisoners, I couldn’t return them to their families, naked or in rags, it just wouldn’t do at all. I released them and calmed them down as best I could. I informed them that Francesca would be returning shortly with clean clothing for them as I would be returning them to their homes within the hour. I stressed to them that they must all tell their Fathers that their rescuer was Signor Giacomo Casanova.

When Francesca returned I asked her where the Lupino’s kept their wealth, and could she get at it, She answered yes! to both questions. She led me upstairs to a strong room, which she opened with a key. I asked her for three silver coins, which she handed me, I explained that her poison had rendered them unconscious but not dead, with this silver I would finish the job.

I instructed Francesca to fetch the girls and get each of them to carry a bag of gold ducato’s to the front entrance of the Pallazzo, my carriage would be waiting, as would my man, Lorenzo. I explained to Francesca that this money would buy her a home in Padua, which was where I intended taking her as soon as I had dealt with the Lupino’s.

I walked through to the hall, it was as she had described it to me, they were all unconscious. I lifted the head of the younger son and forced the coin down his throat, I then repeated the process with the elder son. When it came to the Father he stirred a little, but I managed to get him to swallow the coin without waking him.

The one sure way of killing a Werewolf is a silver bullet, but I had thought of a better way of killing these vile creatures. I intended to burn the Pallazzo to the ground and as the temperature rose the silver would melt and destroy them.

I set alight the curtains and tapestries and anything else that would burn, then ran down the stairs and set everything combustible on fire too. I just managed to get out the front doors before it all went up in flames.

Everyone was safely loaded in my carriage, I Instructed Leonardo to deliver the girls to there homes, one at a time. Then to take the road to Padua, where we would be sojourning a little while as the guests of Signorina Francesca Lupino. But as they say that is a story for another day, and Venice was a trifle warm for me at the moment. A nice outing to Padua seemed just perfect!

(c) Damian Grange 2017

Double in Trouble – Excerpt 14

  I will be with you at all times, I may not look much but I was trained in unarmed combat by a sergeant in the S.A.S. and I’m an expert shot with both pistol and rifle, and I’m also quite handy with a knife!’ was Kat’s reply, which left me a little stunned.

I thought she was just a secretary, someone who interviewed possible crank callers, pretty much like me. ‘Besides myself there will be a six man assault team on standby at all times, should any mopping up be needed!’ I must admit, she sounded very competent, I will admit, I was impressed.

‘It would appear that I have very little choice, but to agree, if I want to walk away from this intact, so, what is the next move?’ I asked, and awaited the answer warily. ‘ I will contact my chief and make all the necessary arrangements, that will include a make-up Technician who can teach you how to look even more like Palenkov, just to play safe!’

That was how she worded it, but I still wondered what the hell I had got myself in to. ‘So where do I go from here?’ I enquired, feeling more than a little out of my depth.

‘When you meet up with Mayhew and Schultz tomorrow, tell them that you are up for it on condition that your girlfriend comes with you, no girlfriend, no Palenkov, be very insistent, at this point they have come too far to have you renege on the deal, it’s not such a big thing you are asking considering the stakes,’ Kat convinced me.

‘Ok!, I’ll give it a go, to be honest i’ll be glad of your company, it’ll be rather nice to see one friendly face among all those hostiles and heretics!’ I commented and meant it. ‘Aww! you really know how to make a girl feel wanted,’ grinned Kat and kissed me gently on my cheek.

That gesture although meant in fun, completely unnerved me, I was attracted to Kat, she was totally the type of woman I would normally go for? But how do you make a move on a female of version James Bond, very, very cautiously I would imagine. This whole fiasco was starting to look somewhat interesting from my viewpoint.

(C) Damian Grange 2017


Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest



Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 13 )

  The reception was almost perfect, only one thing marred it for me. I was chatting to my parents, When my Mother suddenly uttered, ‘ I told you she was flighty!’ and pointed across the room to where my bride was embracing Roly, and then she turned away blushing, trying hard not to giggle.

I have no idea why, the three of us had been close for years, but I suddenly felt antagonism toward Roly. It all seemed so wrong, after all he was my best friend and a close friend of my bride also, I was behaving like a petulant child. Thank you Mother for ruining what should have been the happiest day of my life.

It was all over in a moment but it soured the day for me. To the extent that when Isabelle and myself were in our room together, she asked me if I regretted marrying her! I felt terrible, I was racked with guilt about my feelings of jealousy toward Roly. This was all due to my damned Mother’s meddling, I hope she is happy!

Isabelle could sense that I was unhappy, she, came to me and putting her arms around my neck, said, ‘It’s our wedding night, darling don’t you think that we should consummate the marriage?’

Needless to say, I did not need to be asked twice, this was after all my wedding night and my bride was beautiful and so very desirable. We made love for the first time, and I for my part, became utterly besotted with her. She was the one thing I wanted to make my life complete. Those were certainly my feelings at that time.

(C) Damian Grange 2017

Casanova – One Girl too Many ( Excerpt 5 )

  I sat quite comfortably in my cell, although I was chained I was allowed a certain degree of movement. The thing I couldn’t quite understand was Francesca’s reaction to my entrapment, although she had been used to lure me in to the trap. it seemed that she hadn’t done so willingly. Was she one of them or not?

My question was answered much sooner than I had expected, Francesca herself came stealthily down the stairs. She opened the door to my cell and stepped inside. She put a finger on my lips to stop me talking, then she gave me an explanation.

‘I am sorry, my love, If I had not lured you here they would have ambushed you in the street and against three of the brutes I don’t think you would have survived. I couldn’t bear to see you slaughtered in that way, I knew that once here I had a chance to save you!’

‘Where are they now?’ I enquired, concerned for the safety of all their captives, ‘they are upstairs in the hall, stupid drunk, they may not survive, I have poisoned the wine.’ ‘Why?’ I queried, ‘Because they killed my Mother and made me a virtual slave, they haven’t used me yet, but it is only a matter of time, I would sooner be dead!’ she uttered angrily.

‘But why now?’ I asked, ‘Because Giacomo, you made me realise there was life and freedom beyond these walls, I want that freedom with you!’

(C) Damian Grange 2017

Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest



Double in Trouble – ( Excerpt 13 )

  So, where do I stand? do I get the hell out of this country as fast as I can find a plane to take me, or do I stay and take the chance of becoming  one very dead hero, I can’t in all honesty say that either option has much appeal! I replied, hoping I guess for absolution.

‘I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I’m certain that if you were to try to walk away at this stage of the game, Abromski would kill you, or have you killed. They have already made a sizeable investment in you, in terms of time and money,’ replied Kat.’

‘So, what other options, do I have, if any? I asked, grasping at straws. I really wanted to know. ‘I have a suggestion to make, that might have some appeal to you!’ said Kat. ‘At this stage, all I can say, is that I am certainly open to suggestions, I have no wish to die just yet, for this or any other cause!’ I stated and truly meant every word.

‘What I was about to suggest, was that you meet my boss, and if he agrees, work this on behalf of British Intelligence. I could pose as your assistant / girlfriend and act as your go-between, naturally we wouldn’t expect you to do it for nothing, you would be paid’ Kat offered.

‘Suppose I say, Yes! what guarantees are you offering that I will come out of this in one piece, you are virtually asking me to place my life on the line!’ I stated, not without concern. ‘We would protect you totally, in your guise as Palenkov, you are an asset, even more so if we manage to locate the Warheads and neutralise them.’ promised Kat.

‘What form, would this protection take? would I have a bodyguard? or what! I need to know what’s going on, or I turn around and walk away!’ I stated angrily.

(C) Damian Grange 2017

Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 12 )

  I use the term loved, reservedly, we had hugged and kissed but never actually made love. That was something which we had both agreed upon. I wanted a virgin bride, on reflection, I often wonder, Why? To behave as society decrees, I suppose and we both came from good families.

Isabelle was fashionably late, as is the Brides privilege, it is after all her day. everything is focused on the beauty of the Bride and her accompanying Bridesmaids. And of course her father, the Dean, who was giving her away. Entrusting her to my care.

I could hear movement, and whispers coming from behind me. I think I can safely assume that my bride as made her entrance, a few seconds later she was by my side, smiling up at me through her veil. I reached out and held her hand, gently in mine.

The ceremony itself  seemed to fly by, we exchanged rings, then both swore our oaths to each other. And then I was lifting the veil, firstly to kiss my bride and seal our vows and secondly to reveal the beauty of my Bride to the waiting congregation and assorted family and guests.

And there was no doubt in my mind as to her beauty, with her pale skin and russet hair, she was indeed a beauty, and I the most fortunate of men. I felt a lump form in my throat, I just couldn’t believe that I deserved so much happiness. I have everything that I have ever wanted from my life. Now all I had to do was make a success of my chosen calling and everything would be just perfect!

(C) Damian Grange 2017


The Bogus Undertaker

  I have been requested by several of you to relate some more of my own personal homespun anecdotes …. so here goes.

Several years ago, my Son, Daughter in Law and Myself went to Birmingham on a days shopping excursion. We were all at the time, heavily in to the Goth scene and the Oasis Centre was the place to visit for Goth / Alternative, Clothing, Footwear and Accessories.

We spent a pleasant couple of hours shopping, then had a pub lunch. we spent a little more time sight – seeing then made our way to the Bus Station to catch our Bus back to Nottingham.

We were going through the Bull Ring Centre on route to the Bus Station, when I was suddenly mobbed by a dozen screaming and very excited Asian teenage girls, who insisted that I was The Undertaker, at the time I had no inclination of who or what the said Undertaker was.

At the time I was wearing a black leather ankle length Morpheus, black frilly shirt, black trousers and black New Rock boots, topped off with a black leather Stetson, at that tine my hair and beard were dyed black, I was also walking with a chrome topped cane because I had at the time a minor back injury.

Unbeknown to me, this was the sort of outfit The Undertaker favoured, and at the time I had absolutely no idea who he was, The more I denied it, the more convinced the girls were that I were their Hero. My son and Daughter in law both walked off laughing leaving me to the tender mercies of The Undertakers biggest fans.

So, to keep the peace, and escape unscathed I spent about 30 minutes having selfies taken with a horde of giggling Asian teenagers, Fortunately none asked for my autograph. As to whether the Real Undertaker was in Birmingham at the time I have no inclination. And to all the girls with photographs of the Bogus Undertaker, all I can say in my defence is that I did tell you, but you weren’t listening!

(c) Damian Grange 2017

P.S. The Undertaker is apparently a WWF Wrestler


Casanova – One Girl Too Many – Excerpt 4

  Once my captor, had recovered his wits, he guided me at gunpoint to the stairs, which I assumed led either to the cellars of dungeons. It was the first time I had entered this Pallazzo, so I wasn’t aware of the layout, but I was keeping my wits about me, so that, if given the opportunity, I could find my way out.

When we reached the bottom of the stairs, I could hear sobbing, the clicking of our shoes on the stairs had disturbed the other prisoners. I had found the missing girls, I had feared them dead, but it appeared that these vile creatures were using them for their pleasure. you may think that last remark, a little odd, coming as it does from a seducer, libertine and Vampire, but I treat my women kindly, I am not a beast, unless of course that is what the lady requests, but a gentleman doesn’t tell!

There were six girls in all, all young and attractive and in various states of undress, by the looks of terror, when they saw my captor, they had obviously been badly misused by this vile family. I made a silent vow, first to free them and then to gain revenge on their behalf on the beasts that had treated them in this way.

A door was unlocked, and I was forced in to a cell and the door locked behind me. My captor was gloating. ‘ We’ve thought of a lovely way to torture you, Vampire! We are going to let you watch my Father, Brother and I, use these Venetian beauties until they beg for death. But they won’t get it, there are other nights, if you behave we might throw you one, that’s past its best.’

‘Well Giacomo!’ I thought, ‘ There is only one way, this can end, and that is death to the Lupino’s I will finish totally this evil brood, I don’t know how, but I will!’

(c) Damian Grange 2017

Double in Trouble – Excerpt 12

‘That does make a certain kind of sense,’ She replied. ‘May I ask you a question?’ I queried. ‘Of course, ask away!, like I said, this is an informal meeting,’ replied Kat. ‘Well I suppose the thing is, do you believe me, or do you think I am some crackpot conspiracy theorist?’ I questioned, wanting to hear her voice her opinion.

‘If it is any consolation to you, I have believed everything that you have told me, we know that Mayhew is up to something, that is way out of his league,’ She replied. ‘I was given the impression that Mayhew was a big wheel at the Foreign Office.’ I stated. ‘Far from it, he’s just a minor courier, that’s how they worked the con at the Airport’s, people know him, so he get’s waved through, handy, if you are up to something!’

‘So, you don’t believe he’s the brains of the outfit?, just the man who’s fronting it!’ ‘We have an idea that Schultz, is the motivating force behind this operation, if I showed you some photographs, do you think you could pick him out?’ Kat asked. ‘I’m certain I could, after all, faces are my business!’ I replied confidently.

Kat handed me, a handful of photographs, as I scanned through them I noticed a similarity, they all looked totally ruthless individuals. Then there he was, I had him, this was Schultz, a little younger, but definitely him! I was certain.

I handed the photographs to Kat with Schultz uppermost. ‘This is Schultz, or rather, should I say, the man I know as Schultz, formerly of the C.I.A.’ I stated. ‘For your ears only, this man is Czeslau Abromski, a Polish Jew. He was with the Mossad, that’s Israeli Intelligence, but he worked some kind of double – cross and now they are after him, and a few others, ourselves included.’

‘He is a very dangerous and ruthless man, if he has managed to get his hands on six nuclear warheads, there will be hell to pay! she stated passionately.

(c) Damian Grange 2017