Tag Archives: david finn

Drowning Boy

David Finn is a renowned artist in Coldford. From the first sketches he made to the images of Julia Harvester he created that will be forever etched in history, his work is synonymous with talent tearing through circumstances. He is a rare individual to meet in that he is genuine. Despite his struggles he is unspoiled by the ruthlessness that could have consumed him. He doesn’t see the might of the great towers of City Main. He doesn’t see law or religion. He sees the blend of colours that make up such a landscape and through the city’s eyes he paints them. I am reporter, Sam Crusow, and this is the ‘drowning boy’.  

David Finn’s Muse Collection


“Why don’t you swim?” 

“Why can’t you swim?”  

“Where you never taught to swim?” 

“If you moved your body you could, you know.”  

David lost himself in swirls of dark blue. He could feel the pressure pressing down on him.  

“Just keep trying. There’s a surface to reach somewhere.”  

The blue became darker as more black was added. The black was diluting the soft blue more and more as the swirls grew larger and larger.  

“Why don’t you swim!?” 

There was breathlessness as all colour fell to nothing. The black was so deep in the centre it reflected a little of the light above. You could reach up but what would you find? You had fallen into blackness now. It was too late. Even in a consuming mouth of water all roads lead to the same place in the end.  

David finally took a breath. He looked up to observe his piece. The central figure was genderless and without feature. It could be anyone caught in the whirls of darkness. Even without features it was clear the figure was in distress.  

“Can’t you swim?”  

“Why can’t you swim?”  

David could still hear the voices of his vision ask him. The sculpted heads on the shelves beside him had varying reactions to his latest work. There was one he called the screamer. They were always shocked at what was produced. What was art though if not shocking? There was the comedian who laughed through the worst of it. A great chuckle was their response no matter how black the paint got. Then there was the crier. They wept as the images revealed themselves on canvas. So beautiful, so tragic, so pleasant, it didn’t matter, it all brought a tear to their eye. Then there was the sculpture named Arthur who at full size stood watching over his shoulder with a contemplating hand on his chin and searching expression that seemed to change to suit the mood of the room.  

“Well done, David,” the statue seemed to say.  

It didn’t matter if he could swim or not, art was about throwing yourself in the deep end.  

Da\vid contemplates his latest piece.


David had a strong vision but sometimes it become cloudy. His talent became apparent to a high school art teacher named Mr Cassell. Cassell could see the raw flare in David and he sought to encourage it as much as he could. He was worried that David would become a product of his environment and would be swallowed up in a poverty trap and the images he could produce would be forever unseen. He was already falling to drugs and it was only a matter of time before his loosening grip as a teacher would break completely and David Finn would fall into the pits of society, another lost soul.  

“It would be a tragedy,” Mr Cassel had insisted at the time. “It would break my heart when I know what David Finn is capable of.”  

For David though, travelling through a world if images the colour blends became blurry. Sometimes it was such a striking use of form it drew from its darkest depths. Needless to say, try as his art teacher might, David fell into those murky waters and started to drown.  

“Tragedy,” Mr Cassel insisted. “An absolute tragedy.”  


Those murky waters of his life were cold and the current was strong but David had those around him who were willing to help pull him free. Having been raised in an almost feral environment by an uncaring mother David had spent his life seeking the positivity of life outside of his home. Luckily he found it when he stumbled upon the Ferrald family. Alex Ferrald was his closest friend. Alex was opposite to David in that he was raised in a caring home. Dr Graham Ferrald and his wife Stephanie welcomed David with open arms. He found the positivity he needed there and safety where his artistic vision could be nurtured.  

“I cannot wait to see it,” Stephanie announced of his latest painting that was to be unveiled at the Dalway Lane gallery in Main that very evening.  

David looked up from the stain he was trying to wipe off his shirt.  

“You’ll need a good jacket,” Stephanie decided.  

“This is my good jacket,” he stated.  

“Hmmmm,” Stephanie was disapproving. “I’ll fetch you something of Graham’s. I know you artists like that no care aesthetic but it’s a big night. She took the shirt from him and looked over the stain. “What is that anyway?” She asked.  

“Pizza sauce,” David assumed.  

Stephanie shook her head with a smile of exasperation. “I’ll see what I can do with it.”  

What she could do with it was throw it out. It was an old shirt but since it was what David had held his favourite it had some sense of sentimentality.  

When Alex arrived on scene he was dressed in his best jacket. His hair was neatly combed.  

“I forget just how handsome my boy can be when I get so used to seeing him look such a scruff,” Stephanie teased.  

Alex rolled his eyes. A Coby games T-shirt and jeans was usually more his style. Stephanie went off in search for good jacket for David.  

“I’m really looking forward to seeing this one,” said Alex.  

Most times when there was a particular image David was wishing to create, Alex would be told to wait for a grand reveal when it was done. He didn’t like showing a working progress. More often than not though David would be so excited by his piece he would describe it and the young veterinarian would play a game with himself as to how close the image in his head matched the final product. David’s descriptions were apt but the only way to capture the true beauty was to see it with your own eyes.  

“Thanks, man,” David said. “I’m nervous.”  

Alex patted his arm. He would be nervous. He always was with any kind of unveiling but he had been clean now for a while. His body was rejecting those murky waters from itself and that caused a lot of psychical pain. 

That was where the Ferrald family would find a suitable jacket for him. It would be thrown to him like a life jacket in a storm.  

Now dressed in one of Dr Ferrald’s blazers but still carrying the grungy artist underneath, David had Stephanie’s arm around him as she pulled both he and Alex closer.  

“Don’t the boys look so good?” Stephanie asked Dr Ferrald.  

Dr Ferrald, eminent cardiologist, gave a smile of approval as he finished affixing his bow tie.  

From the warm family home in the upper Mid West the murky waters flowed to City Main and the Dalway Lane gallery, passing underneath the tunnel of David’s career.  


David Finn was a raw talent. There were many who had hoped to hone his skill but the artist felt it was best he be free from the restrictions of learned technique. He was a true artist in the sense that the only value he saw in his work was from people who appreciated the vision. There was no coin required. His friend, Harper Lane, did though. She was an artist of note herself but unlike David she had swam the waters of society a little more carefully, relying less on her vision and more on astuteness. Art fed the soul and that was okay by Harper but only coin fed the mouth so she was willing to accept the need for business in the art world. Showing David’s pieces was a boon to both of them. It was a fine balance of colours with each cup filled equally.  

With warm embraces Harper met David and the Ferralds in the rotunda of her gallery. Her long, dreadlocked hair had been wrapped in a yellow and black Subalan head scarf.  

“Everyone’s so excited,” she said to David in an aside. “It’s all that everyone’s talking about. I’ve heard there’s some Penn reps in tonight so … please no outbursts.”  

David had been clean and sober for a while now but Harper was such the big sister type she would always show him which way the river was flowing so he wouldn’t waste time swimming against it.  

David took a deep breath. 

“I’ve got it. I’ve got it,” he said, more to himself than to Harper.  

Harper smiled with a natural radiance. “I know you do,” she said and she kissed his cheek.  

“I have some fan mail for you,” she said passing him two hand written notes.  

The first read as follows: 

I am sorry I can’t be with you tonight. I wish you every success. I’m so proud of you. Vincent. 

The second was more scribbled.  

I wish I was there, honey, but I’ll get up real soon. Take lots of photos. I love you. Tee 

David smiled. He folded the notes and pushed them into his pocket. There were some other people like his rehab mates, Tawny McInney and Vincent Baines, who had their own murky waters submerging them but they were there for each other. Even just having their encouraging words made David feel a little better.  

Harper led him inside.  

“We’ll get you some orange juice,” she offered, noting he was looking a little sickly.  

David Finn’s ‘Taking the Bait’


“Ladies and gentlemen. We’ve come to know David Finn’s work to be hard hitting, provocative and bold. His latest piece promises to be no different. Speaking to David earlier he said to me this particular piece could have been one of his longest to complete. It reflects life as a journey down a river from the calm pools to the rock filled rapids so it would never be truly finished for we’re always turning and changing and life flows on. That being said David felt it was time to climb out of those waters and find clearer, fresher ones, but the journey so far will be forever imprinted. I am most pleased to present, David Finn’s – Drowning Boy.”  

The curtain fell. The observers gasped. Upon a large canvas a wash of blues and blacks fell upon them. The central figure reached out in such a way it was for the observer to decide whether it was pulling you in or pleading for you to pull it out. The image plummeted towards ever darker depths.  

“Astounding!” Was one exclamation.  

David, bashfully received his applause.  


Alex and David had taken a return trip to gallery the day after the unveiling. They were looking at the drowning boy again. David was busy thinking of the true journey that the image represented. It fitted his own experiences well but there were so many people out there who he knew would understand. He maybe couldn’t pull all of them free. He couldn’t stop them drowning but he could express himself in such a way that showed without a single word uttered that he understood.  

“Don’t get too keen on that hanging there. It’s off in the morning, like,” these were the words of Reggie Penn. He was bounding towards them quite excitedly.  

Reggie had always been a fan of David’s work from when Harper Lane first displayed. The painting had been one called ‘This Child Bugs Me’. Reggie’s morbid curiosity of the great fat woman with a fly head throwing a baby had captivated him.  

“I need to have that,” Reggie had told his influential family.  

The image was one of horror but to look deeper there was a tale of inhumane selfishness that surrounds us at all times. It’s a greed that will never be filled. The child represented discarded potential so easily cast aside as the flies of society pick at the shit of what’s left behind.  

“I know all that,” Reggie insisted, when Harper’s partner, Gabrielle, explained this to him. “I get the depth. It’s a real cool story but it draws your eye too.”  

Drowning boy had caught his attention again but this time it was to be put to auction. He had come personally to see it in the gallery.  

The Penn family had something of a notorious reputation. The patriarch Reginald Penn was hailed as the King of Main. Reggie and his two brothers were met with a reverence and respect and the Penn family responded in kind. They had a certain nobility about them that earned them their would be titles. In order to keep them their reputation was also a violent one. With this in mind, as Reggie greeted David with familiarity, Alex was rendered tense.  

“How’s it going, Alex?” Reggie greeted the vet who had been responsible for treating some of the rats the quirky triplet kept.   

Mild mannered, upper Mid West, Alex found Reggie intimidating enough but he was considered the most personable of the Penn Triplets. Alex was something of a deer in the headlights when he turned and noticed Reggie had been accompanied on this day by the middle triplet brother, the boxer better known as Punchline Penn.  

“You’ve not been logged in in ages,” Reggie was saying of an online game he had been playing which he had invited Alex to.  

Reggie considered he and Alex bonded over their mutual love of video games. Alex did love video games but he considered them bonded over his fear of the triplet and now his more muscular and aggressive counterpart, Simon, was in tow.  

“I’ve been busy,” Alex said, “but thanks for the invite. I really look forward to it.”  

The situation would probably have been much easier on Alex if it hadn’t been for David fanning the flames for his own amusement by saying things like, “I heard one guy beat Reggie in a game once and he ended up disappearing.”  

“He did not,” Alex shook it off but there was always a ‘what if’. With the Penn triplets that was a big ‘what if’. 

Simon was observing the painting. He leaned his head back to get a good look at it.  

“It reminds me of the ‘Ripples’ by Gourdy that hangs in Luen,” he said. His upper lip tightened. His gaze narrowed. Then he nodded. “This is much better, like. It’s more real. ‘Ripples’ could be any old art you find but this one stands out.”  

David beamed. “Thanks man, I appreciate it.”  

“I knew you’d like it,” Reggie told his brother. 

“I do,” Simon said. “It’s a good one. I’ll talk over the details with Gabby.”  

The Penns went about his business, Reggie lingering a little behind his brother observing the paintings again as though it was the first time in seeing them.  

Alex breathed a sigh of relief.  

David chuckled. 

“You’re such a wimp,” teased the artist.  

“I can’t help it. I think it would be easier if they were mad at me. Then I would know what to expect. For some reason it’s much worse when he’s trying to be my friend.”  

“Reggie’s a good guy,” David assured. “Marcus is really to the point but he’s sound too. Besides, if they were mad at you do you really think you would know what to expect?”  

Alex shuddered. “Better a friend …”  

“I heard they once gave some guy the death by a thousand cuts treatment.”  

Alex frowned. “Shut up. They did not.”  

“I’m telling you man, it was brutal. The guy only asked for directions.” 

Alex’s frown deepened. “They did not. Shut up!” 

“I’m kidding,” David said. “It was because he tried to hit on their mother.”  

Alex shook his head. “I don’t believe you.” 

“You can take the chance if you like,” David offered.  

Alex gave it some thought. There were worse things than having a Penn pal he supposed. Then he thought about it some more.  

“Hang on,” he said. “If you’re so knowledgeable about that then you won’t mind discussing it with Simon.”  

David shook his head. “Would I fuck, man. I’m liable to get my face smashed in. It’s different for me. I’m not one of the inner circle like you.”  

Alex’s eyes widened. “That’s not how they see me.”  

“Put it this way,” David explained. “They love my work. They’ve bought loads from Harper and Gabby but I still ain’t been invited to Reggie’s Lonesome Nights server.” 

Alex gave another shudder.  

THIS CHILD BUGS ME: David turns his childhood misery into a striking piece of art.


When they returned to Alex’s home in Caroline Apartments, the vet made a point of accepting Reggie’s request. He had stayed offline since then but he was comforted in the knowledge that at least Reggie would know he was making effort in their seemingly blossoming friendship.  

Alex and David lost themselves in other video games. Alex was forced to hit pause when his phone rang.  

“Might be the clinic,” he said.  


“Hello, Alex? It’s Reggie Penn.”  

‘Oh, no, why?!’ He thought. 

“I’ve been trying to get ahold of David but the number we have isn’t working. Harper said he’s probably with you.”  

“He’s here,” Alex explained passing the phone.  

The two engaged in a battle of whispers and expressions before David finally answered.  

“Hey, man,” he said cheerily. “What’s been happening?”  

“We had your auction,” Reggie informed him. “We got your buyer.” 

“That’s cool, man. Who?”  

“A City Main collector. He’d love to meet you. Could you maybe come in so he can say a few words before he takes the painting away?”  

David agreed. “Sure. I’ll get up as soon as I can.”  

“One of us will be here all day anyway so just let us know when you’re here. Oh, and tell Alex I got his acceptance. I’ll see him on the server soon.”  

Ringing off from Reggie, Alex scowled at him.  

“I’ve got no phone,” David admitted. “They couldn’t get me.”  

When the details of the call had been divulged Alex said, “that’s good news about the auction. Maybe now you can get a new phone.”  

“It’s never the first thing I think of,” David admitted.  

The murky waters of life can carry us many different places. Beginning in the slums of the Shanties, David had struggled through the undergrowth to find himself in the great wide mouth of City Main. It was an unexpected journey and no knowing how the tides would turn but swim on he would. He had come too far to still be the drowning boy. The drowning boy was now to stand as a symbol of perseverance in the hands of a collector who’s eye it had caught.  


The light and setting of the auction house made the ‘drowning boy’ painting seem more ominous. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and such a beauty as the grim desperation of the drowning figure was viewed differently depending on the mood. The darkness of the auction house store where it had been moved offered an abyss for the figure to fall into. On the other hand it could look as though the figure had managed to climb to the greatest heights. City Main was after all considered the greatest of heights in Coldford. There were many peaks but City Main was where it all came together. There ‘drowning boy’ could fall into concrete pools of aggressive business and ruthless politics. It was a different kind of murky water from the poverty of the Shanties but it was no less able to drown.  

Looking at the painting again gave David some doubts. Should he maybe have waited for this piece? He had admitted that his journey was still ongoing. There were still struggles to be had and dangerous waters to swim.  

 “Good morning, David,” a familiar voice drew him from his thoughts. 

“Mr Cassel! I haven’t seen you since …”  

“Since high school, yes,” Mr Cassel said. “That’s longer than I care to admit.” 

David had been so taken aback by seeing his old art teacher. He was flustered in a way that was akin to a child seeing their teacher outside the classroom. He looked different. He looked older, a little more casual in dress but he was smiling warmly.  

“Did you come to see the painting?” He asked.  

“I came to take it home. It now belongs to me,” the teacher told him with pride. “When you were my pupil I hoped upon hope that you would make a success of yourself. The success would of course fair you well but I hoped too because I just new people had to see your vision. It’s fearless, it’s encouraging, it’s humbling, it’s all those things and more. I promised myself that when you did I would have one of your paintings and here we are. Alex had mentioned this to Reggie Penn and he kindly gifted to me. I couldn’t not be more proud of what you became. I know it wasn’t easy but you got there didn’t you. This painting is even more significant to me because as your teacher I could only instruct you on how to swim. I always worried those waters would get far too choppy but you had it in you. You swam and you emerged. I can hang this painting with pride and know that you did it.”    

David laughed with joy. He wrapped his arms around his old teacher and embraced him tightly. The emotion spilled from his eyes.  

“I’m glad I did you proud, man,” he said. “I’m glad.”  


We all have that drowning figure within us. The rivers that swamp us are different but struggle is a universal experience. We all struggle from time to time and the ‘drowning boy’ painting stands a vivid representation of that. The purpose of art is to provoke. It provokes emotion and it provokes discussion. Seeing the image had me thinking how our world would be if we acknowledged that we all struggle in the water of our lives from time to time. Drowning comes from our own being no longer being able to struggle. The water enters the lungs despite all resistance and we are consumed. But what if we stopped trying to struggle and we helped each other out of the water instead. What kind of picture would that paint then?                                    


Art is subjective and will always live on.

“No Davey, No!” where the last words he heard him cry. It took some time for him to remember his childhood but now the artist’s ‘tortured boy’ piece is ready, thanks to his latest muse. 

Available now.

Trauma, obsession and addiction are just some of the reasons to seek refuge at Harbour House rehab clinic. The world outside can be a scary place after all.  

Case File 2802: DEFECT

Laura Doyle AKA Defect 2802. Sister to the fiercest sitting High Court Judge in Coldford.

Former beauty queen. Crowned KINGSGATE Queen in  #### .

Defect showed signs of liver failure, glaucoma and cell death in the heart and lungs due to a prolonged addiction to heroin.

Whilst vital organs were of little use for transplantation, Cerebral tissue was taken for further studies at FILTON University Medical School (my own alma mater) as well as gastrocnemius muscle tissue. Details of the transaction are enclosed within.

A costly upkeep. Defect 2802 has become more problematic than useful. Her future will be discussed at the next meeting of the HARBOUR HOUSE Board. Given her familial connections discretion in her care is of the utmost importance.

Signed: Dr G. Winslow

COMING 2020.

The Harbour House rehab facility is the brain child of the eminent Dr Winslow. When a notice from the High Court asks him to open it’s doors transparency may be a little problematic.

Words Cut Deep (A Muse Extract)

Never had grey looked so vibrant. Light and dark battled for centre stage as greyish faces watched the artist from the shelving. Some were finely carved, almost human. Most were still waiting for their features. They had survived the abortion of the carver’s knife.

The artist looked at the shelf above him. Another clay face smiled back knowingly.

“You will just continue to fall downhill.”

The words WASHED UP were carved across it. The shame of this realisation was deeply embedded. The artist ignored it at first. He lifted the carving knife and reached for the clay in front of him, unborn, formless. He wet his hands in the bowl. The cool water did nothing to relieve his intoxicated mind. He reached out and caressed the clay carefully, searching for the curvatures.

“You are nothing.”

Three identical masks observed him, perched high. Each of them bore the word DOUBT. The artist leaned back on his stool but his drug-addled mind was too far-gone to keep his balance. He leaned back too far and as he jerked forward he knocked the water bowl over and cut his finger on the scalpel he used to carve details into his creations.

“Fuck!” he exclaimed as the vibrant red began to gush from the wound, spilling onto the grey. His vision was blurry. He didn’t normally feel this way after a hit. Joe must have gotten purer than usual.

At age twelve the artist had turned to smoke. The calming effects saw him through pre-pubescence. It calmed the storm of his teen years. He tried powder and pills along the way but when he reached his twenties only needles would do. He had come off them for a while as his career as an artist took off. He had it all then but the high of life shook him, gave him unrealistic expectations, sucked him dry then left him with nothing but the needles for comfort. His friends encouraged him but no matter what he did, his work could never reach those heights again.

The needles didn’t think he was washed up. They were always there to make him feel better. They even numbed the pain as he put a deeper cut in his hand as he tried to grasp the scalpel again.

“A pathetic excuse for a human being.”

The artist looked at a clay face that lay discarded on the bench. The word FRAUD was embedded into it.

The artist swung his legs round but it threw off his balance again. This time he tumbled to the floor. He looked up towards the window. A figurine of a slim woman was hanging by it’s feet.

“He’s just a little down on his luck.”

The figurine spun around on the wire that held her captive. Her face was flat. It had no features yet. Only her buttocks had any detail. The words HAS BEEN were written into her.

“Fuck off the lot of you!” the artist cried, climbing to his feet. “What do you know about it?”

He swung his arms in a meaningless gesture but it caused him to fall into his bench. The corner caught his hip painfully.

A hand fell on him. He shrieked. The clay digits clasped his shoulder.

“You had it all. It’s gone now. You are nothing. You had no real talent.”

The artist cried out. Hooks, shelves, walls, more clay faces and figurines watching him, accusing him. Whatever he did have it was gone. His artistic vision was gone and all the needles in the world would never numb that kind of pain.

The faces closed in.



“A talentless junkie that got lucky!”

The artist hated that he had become a tortured cliché. He hated even more that everything he turned his hand to lately fell flat. It wasn’t inspired. It wasn’t bold. He struggled to get even those closest to him to give a second look. He was an artist cliché without the talent. He thought he was giving birth to kings and queens whose reign would be spoken of for centuries. Instead he held still born after still born. So he hung them, scraped away at their skins and occasionally, when provoked, he smashed them to pieces. Paintings, carvings, models, all deserved incineration. Burn them all. Never let those failed experiments see the light of day. They would tell everyone how uninspired their creator was.

The artist turned on his stool. Dizziness overcame him. A large male figure was looking down on him from the shelf. He had no legs and was leaning on muscular arms. The muscles in the arms and abdomen were painstakingly clear and well-defined. As strong as the figure looked, he would never have those legs. Below his waist would remain as absent as the creator’s mind.

“Why bother even trying?”

The question startled the artist. He stood up again and kicked the stool over. The eyes of the legless figure had more life in them than the artist’s own. The last time he dared look in a mirror his face was vacant. He looked dead. He might as well be. The dark roots were showing through greasy, bleached hair. His lips were grey.

“Leave me alone!” he warned them.

He stumbled out of the workshop, falling to his knees on the sodden grass as he missed the last step. He looked back up. The statues would always be there. They would always mock him for the ridiculousness of their existence. David Finn’s career as an artist was all but over.


David’s work speaks for itself. When he meets a new Muse the words change their tone.

When David discovers his friend’s baby has been taken getting through rehab becomes critical. Coming 2020. Welcome Resident 1310 to Harbour House.

Character Profile: David Finn

It’s about the emotion. It’s about the art.

Age: 23

Occupation: Artist


David didn’t have an easy childhood. Coming from the poorest part of the city, an abusive mother and facing a childhood trauma he would never get over gave him a difficult journey into adulthood. The odds were stacked against him but with the help of his friends and a steely determination David defied those odds to become one of Coldford’s most promising young talents.

THIS CHILD BUGS ME: David turns his childhood misery into a striking piece of art.

One thing that could never be taken from his was his natural artistic ability. to cope with his past he lost himself in his vision. His reputation spread but his focus became lost. The art was still speaking to him but the words started to echo the negativity he was trying to bury. The words were lies he had tried to ignore but it was no use.

NEGATIVITY: It’s a heavy burden to carry.

Like so many fallen before him drugs – heroin or needles as they are known on the streets of the Shady City – brought him relief when the art couldn’t. When the thrill of being at the top faded the needles were always there to distract.

David is the product of his rough neck upbringing but wrapped in a hardened outer shell is a genuinely sweet disposition. He has a fondness for helping others but lacks the execution. In short he tries hard but without the right support he is destined to fail.


David finds his vision again with the help of a coy, farm girl. With his new MUSE he is making shades in the city again.

When David discovers his friend’s baby has been taken getting through rehab becomes critical. Coming 2020. Welcome Resident 1310 to Harbour House.  

#amreading @VivikaWidow and I’m ready for rehab! #harbourhouse2020 😏

Resident 1310: Welcome to Harbour House

We’re all a little addicted.

Driven to distraction, sanity evicted.

Some may feel the cost is too high.

But there are others who don’t understand why.

For those who want to be freed of that inclination.

Harbour House can rid of your fixation.


Coming 2020.

Bring me your sick. Bring me your troubled. Bring me those that society can no longer cope with. They will always have a home here at HARBOUR HOUSE.

A City In Shade

Filth, scum and lives led low.

The hungry hordes chase wherever you go.

The light you see is the flames of corruption.

It will swallow the very last of the souls soon.


Those eager eyes watching you fall,

waiting to devour your goodness whole.

You lose a bit of yourself stepping over the city line.

But those demon tongues will make you feel fine.


She comes in the form of a beautiful woman.

She will take all you have, leave you less than human.

She is the Shady City and she has a hunger for flesh.

Once she is finished she will come back for the rest.


Enjoy this?

David Finn was once described as a Coldford’s most promising young talent. An addiction and a self destructive nature caused a very public fall. He knows better than most how the City can eat you up. In order to reach those lofty heights again he’ll have to leave behind his negativity with the help of coy farm girl, JULIA HARVESTER. His latest MUSE.

Click HERE to read.


Coming 2020.

When David discovers his friend’s baby has been taken getting through rehab becomes critical. Coming 2020. Welcome Resident 1310 to Harbour House.



That Place

When will I ever get out of THIS PLACE,

Running back and forth, just beating the chase?

The winds are strong pushing me on,

but I can’t see. My motivations are gone.


It doesn’t have to be this way with such beauty around.

But it takes a sacrifice to see the colours so profound.

Carrying negativity can be such a heavy load.

Leave it behind. It is support you are owed.


As you move on from this place to THAT,

and you take with you the emotions you tried to combat,

Remember it is your presence that continues to live on.

The art and joy you created will never be gone.


In Loving Memory of D Laigo.


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David Finn was once described as a Coldford’s most promising young talent. An addiction and a self destructive nature caused a very public fall. In order to reach those lofty heights again he’ll have to leave behind his negativity with the help of coy farm girl, JULIA HARVESTER. His latest MUSE.

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Coming 2020.

When David discovers his friend’s baby has been taken getting through rehab becomes critical. Coming 2020. Welcome Resident 1310 to Harbour House.



Vets, Pets and Lonesome Nights

Coldford Veterinary clinic was the busiest new recruit Alex Ferrald had ever known it. Fresh out of Vet School Alex found himself thrown in the deep end. He had just sent Mrs Rowsely home with her boxer dog in a fresh cast. The appropriately named Fussy just couldn’t stay out of oncoming traffic. Luckily it had been a bike that had hit him this time and not a car.
“You really should keep him on a leash,” Alex warned her.
As he leaned over to check the cast Fussy licked him. He could feel Mrs Rowsely’s stare so he kept his head down.
When she was gone Alex gave a sigh of relief and dropped himself into the plastic clinic room chair. He looked at the clock. Appointments had been cleared for the next couple of hours but just as he began to contemplate the tuna fish sandwich he had packed into his bag the vet nurse Kayleigh opened the door.
“We’ve got an emergency, Mr Ferrald. All the other vets are busy. Can you take it?”
The girl in his room made him bashful – more reluctant than under the glare of Mrs Rowsely.
“The name?”
“Penn,” she explained.
“Penn? As in the PENN AUCTION HOUSE? Is it Rita?” He asked. The family were well known. Rita being the mother and her triplet sons being the main rulers of City Main.
“Reggie,” Kayleigh confirmed. “One of the triplets.”
“I … errr … “ stammered Alex. “What’s the animal?”
“Rats. Two of them. He’s already filled in the paperwork.
“You better send them in then,” Alex resolved taking a deep breath. “I’ll have a look.”
Just as Kayleigh cleared the entrance her petite frame and braces, laced smile was replaced by a much larger, looming presence with a mop of blonde hair, dressed all in black.
The Penn triplets had a reputation. Most people in the Shady City knew them. Violent, wild, respected. Their reputation had been passed down from their father – Reginald – the so called King of City Main. So when Reggie pushed a carrier holding two fat rats into Alex’s arms the mild mannered vet was taken aback.
“Can you help them doctor?” He asked. “Some low life fucker has given them poison.”
Alex was thinking vets aren’t generally titled doctor but who was he to correct one of the triplets?
He opened the carry case. One was darker than the other. One was still on it’s feet, sniffing the air. The other lay down breathing harshly. Both were clean.
“Are they pets?”
REGGIE frowned. “What else would they be?”
Alex focused on the sicker of the two rodents.
“I just mean … erm … where would they have come into contact with poison? Do you know what kind of poison it was?”
“Some fucking scumbag playing silly beggars. I keep them at the warehouse normally. It was broken into. They only got as far as those two. Sick fuck …”
Alex handled the sick rat softly. He turned it in his freshly gloved hands.
“Do you have some time to wait? I’ll put them on an IV and I can give them a transfusion and see how it goes.”
Reggie was smiling but to the rat rather than the vet. He looked up and when he noticed Alex was watching him he confirmed. “That one’s name is Smash.”
“After the lonesome nights character?” Alex responded without thinking.
Lonesome Nights was an online video game his artist friend, David Finn, had introduced him to. It involved hunting prostitutes and stealing cars. Whilst Alex found the idea of theft and prostitution distasteful there was something quite therapeutic about wandering aimlessly around the virtual city. The latest release from Coby Games had made it look a lot like Coldford.
“You play?” Reggie asked as he anxiously watched Alex take blood from Smash and lay him gently in a cage.
“A little,” Alex replied as he opened the carrier for the second rodent.
The second rat still had the energy to run and made a break for it the moment the door was opened.
Reggie’s palm clashed on the table catching the rat by the tail. He pulled it back and clutched it by the body.
“This one is Jacket. You see how his fur is a little darker around the top of his body? It looks like he’s wearing a jacket. I never used to name them. It was easier when they didn’t have names.”
“Uh Huh,” Alex replied, unsettled. He took the more boisterous rat and extracted blood as quickly as he could.
“I’ll have the bloods checked so we can know what type of poison it was. I’ll put them on a drip in the meantime and see how the fair.”
“Thanks doctor,” Reggie replied with genuine gratitude.
“Errr,” Alex averted his gaze. “I’ll have to give them a few hours at least. I can call you when I know more.”
Alex felt a tremble as Reggie brushed the mass of blonde curls back from his face and looked behind him with a cool stare.
“Take care of them. The girl at the desk has my number.”
He drew his phone from his back pocket and busied himself with a text message as he left the room.
When alone with the rats Alex gave another sigh. This time it wasn’t relief. Jacket seemed fine. Alex was confident with some treatment he could go home. Smash on the other hand was sniffing very closely to that eternal rat trap.
Could timid Alex really be the one to tell one of the Penn triplets he had lost their precious pet under his care?


“They back doctor?” Reggie Penn came bounding in the following morning.
For the third time Alex resisted the urge to correct the towering presence of the youngest triplet.
He had called the clinic three times the previous afternoon to check up on his rats. He finally gave up when he spoke to Alex himself who explained he was going to keep them overnight for further observation but both (thankfully Smash took a turn for the better) were fine and looking well.
Alex laid the carrier on the examination table. Both rats were squeaking with delight. The vet was glad to have them off his hands. He thought Reggie would have taken the carrier but instead he opened it up and plunged his long fingers and drew the rat out. He sat Jacket on his shoulder and held Smash out in front of him.
“I thought you were a goner,” he cheered, tickling the rats twitching nose. When he noticed Alex was watching him the vet averted his gaze.
“Luckily the rodenticide used was slow acting. I gave a few transfusions for Smash to flush out the poison and one for Jacket to be safe,” explained the vet.
“Slow acting, huh?” Reggie kept his focus on the rats.
“I’ll give you some Vitamin K1. Keep giving them that for the next month and they should be fine.”
Reggie put them back in their carrier. His phone bleeped again. He pulled it from the back pocket of his black jeans, checked it and stored it away again.
“I really owe you.”
Alex’s eyes widened. “It’s just my job. No worries.” He took a deep breath. “Happy to help.”
The last thing. He wanted was to have a Penn indebted to him.

Lonesome Nights is the most popular game in Coldford.


By the time Alex got home he was looking forward to washing off the day.
“Alex! Wait up!”
Alex turned. His chest tightened as he caught sight of blonde hair. Luckily it wasn’t a Penn. It was the unkempt bleached hair of his friend, DAVID FINN.
“Thank God it’s you,” Alex gasped.
David narrowed his gaze. “Who else would it be?”
I had one of the Penns in my clinic today.
David asked, “which one?”
“Reggie. The one with all the rats.”
“I bet that was an experience,” David jested as they slowly started to climb the steps.
The Penn Auction House had shown some interest in David’s work. The sent one of their acquisitions agents to liaise with the Harper Dalway gallery that held most of David’s pieces but he hadn’t met the triplets personally.
“Luckily I managed to save the rats.”
David laughed. “That’s good. You might have ended up in one of the cages.” He stuck his tongue out and made a comical imitation of a man dying.
Alex punched his arm good naturedly. “It’s not funny,” he said but he was now laughing too.
His phone beeped so he stopped on the steps to check it. It was a notification from the Lonesome Nights game.
“Fuck!” Alex exclaimed. He showed David.
David shrugged. “You better not ignore it. Do you want to have rats put up your arse?” Alex stared at him in horror. “True story, man,” the artist confirmed with a shrug.
Alex accepted the request. Just has he made to store his phone away it beeped again.
Alex had been given a generous amount of credit to use within the game. A message followed.
David laughed more heartily when Alex showed him the new development.
“Can you believe this?” Alex exclaimed.
David grinned. “You should ask him for real money or a real prostitute.”
The both continued joshing until entered Alex’s apartment. Alex’s mind turned back to why the rats had been poisoned in the first place.
“Why would someone do that?” Alex wondered.
David picked up the copy of the Coldford Daily the downstairs neighbour put through the door as she did every day when she had finished reading.
“Those guys have enemies. People out there are sick.”
Alex dropped into the sofa.
“Well I hope it doesn’t happen again. I don’t think I’m cut out to be Reggie Penn’s personal vet.”
David had been flicking through to the sports pages for the latest news on the Coldford Athletic football team when he stumbled on an article from Sam Crusow.
“Well I don’t think they’ll be doing it again anyway.”
He showed Alex the headline that caught his attention.
MAN FOUND DEAD IN A NORTH SIDE LOCK UP. Coroner’s report confirms death by rat poison.
Coincidence? Not very likely.

#amreading a #thriller by @VivikaWidow

Alex Ferrald is a kind soul. No matter what people tell him about his friend, David Finn, who is descending into drugs he always stands by him. He knows the truth behind David’s addiction.

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