Simon Fairbairn

“But more advanced, behold with strange surprise
New distant scenes of endless science rise”


Frankie the Farmer

"And it's an long walk to town with scratched out eyes."
"And it’s an long walk to town with scratched out eyes."

Last week I published a picture of Frankie that could be interpreted to suggest that he is greedy and demanding. Frankie has now seen this and he has let me know (mostly through his claws) that he found my depiction of him to be deeply upsetting and unfair.

I sincerely regret publishing the image and unreservedly apologise to Frankie and all of the animals at the farm for any harm I may have caused.

I hope this new depiction of him as an overbearing, power-hungry farmyard dictator will go some way to reparing the unintentional damage to his public image.


Illustration: Angry Hungry Frankie

We’re currently looking after three cats at our housesit in Andalucia, Spain.

It doesn’t matter how much you feed them, the moment they stop eating they’ll be around your feet, mewling for more.


Short Story #20: June, 2018

29th June 2018

This snow-covered countryside has never looked so sinister.

Tiny icicles hang from the bare tree limbs, glinting like rows of teeth in the shadows. Patches of red lie scattered across the whitened ground, a grotesque dotted blanket over a wretched planet. Sometimes the bodies of animals—rabbits, sheep and, once, a deer—claim ownership of these claret-coloured spots.

I can get used to the sight and smell of the rotting flesh of animals, but not that of humans. The revulsion is the same every time: my gut feels like it’s being pummelled by a heavyweight boxer and I gag sharply, desperate to be anywhere else, to not be a witness to the devastation. If there is a body on the floor, it means that there is not enough of it left to rise—mauled beyond all recognition, limbs scattered, heads destroyed. These deaths are not peaceful; never do they invoke the comforting image of eternal sleep.



Short Story #19: War

Private Brown stepped off the shuttle, unclipped his face mask and wiped his brow with the back of his hand, shifting his heavy helmet backwards in the process. He took in a deep gulp of the cool mountain air which tasted impossibly clean and fresh after a day breathing through the mask’s chemical filtration.


Short Story #18: Desperation

Jeffery Jenkins turned his silver BMW into the gravel driveway, switched off the engine, and sighed.

Streetlights hadn’t yet been installed on the freshly laid brick road that led to his house and the moon was new so as he killed the car’s headlights he was plunged into an oily darkness.

He sat in the soft leather seats and stared at the house—no longer a home—that gradually came into focus as his eyes adjusted. His was part of a sprawling new development and the only one currently occupied on the long cul-de-sac. It stood detached and alone, a monstrous square visage, screaming back his loneliness at him.


Short Story #17: The Decision

Silas Damon was kicked out off the boat last night after E caught him rifling through her stuff. Frankly, he’s lucky that she didn’t shoot him right then and there: she’s killed for a lot less.

Instead, she marched him to his quarters, a tiny windowless cabin on Deck Three, where she had graciously allowed him to collect a few things.


Short Story #16: Elephant

There’s nothing quite like having an elephant charge at you. Its grey, tree-stump legs slamming against the hot concrete; its lumpy, hairy head bobbing up and down, trunk swaying from side to side as it runs. It seems to move in slow motion—a lumbering charge that feels more like a truck reversing than a speeding freight train—although its size means that it is, in fact, covering a fair distance with each stride.


Short Story #15: The Meeting

“Man, I need a drink,” said Raymond, massaging the back of his neck as he entered the dressing room. His ripped Pixies t-shirt was still soaked in sweat and there was a dirty white towel draped over his shoulder. “Any beers left?”

The small, windowless dressing room was covered in graffiti and smelled of stale beer and staler BO. Mags, their striking twenty-one year old drummer in a black tank-top and jean hot pants, was lying across a beaten up red arm chair in the corner, reading her phone with one hand, an open beer in the other.

She looked over at Raymond, moved her choppy black hair out of her eyes and smiled. Without taking her eyes off him, she drained the can she was drinking, crushed it and threw it across the room at him.

“All out,” she said.


Short Story #14: The Janitor

At four thirty in the morning, Drake’s tiny, fitted earphones start playing a fugue by Bach and a large rectangular section of the wall that butts up against the end of his bed slowly fills the room with a soft orange light, gently waking him up.

After a quick shower, he puts on a black suit, white shirt and black tie and sits back down on his bed to eat his breakfast. His windowless studio on the 37th floor of the apartment complex is small. The bed takes up one corner and a kitchenette occupies another. An old, beaten armchair sits in a third and his bathroom—a wet room no bigger than a decent sized closet—takes the fourth. He has been living here for three and a half years.