Circaidy Gregory titles are available as ebooks.
Find an indie bookshop near you with the
Have you read something new and special? Please tell us about it - visit
The Circaidy Gregory Review of Small Press and Indie Books
All Circaidy Gregory books can be ordered from libraries, bought from independent bookshops or direct from the publisher by post: Circaidy Gregory Press, 45 Robertson St, Hastings, Sussex
Find an indie bookshop near you with the
Jung’s People by Kay Green
...They met at the top of the road. Tall, henna'd and bedecked with silver charms, Bettony was the sort who attracted attention. Jess always felt comfortably invisible when they walked anywhere together. They kept their chat inconsequential as they headed across the estate, their faces golden in the setting sun. Anyone with the skill to see such things would have remarked upon the shadowy little figure that trotted ahead of them, glancing over his shoulder from time to time, for all the world like a dog keeping tabs on his walker. If the girls saw it, they made no comment. Ten minutes later, they turned onto a dusky track behind the playing fields, and fell silent until they reached the field gate.
"So, the lost soul has returned," said Bettony.
"He certainly has," said Jess. "But it's scary. They're still two people, only instead of Marcus going all dreamy, and saying he's been with Mokey, Mokey's here. Like a poltergeist or something. And you know what they can be like."
"They're only dangerous if they're denied," said Bettony.
"Which is precisely what mum does to Mokey."
"Then the sooner we fix it, the better."
"You're really sure it'll work?" asked Jess, looking sideways at her friend. "S'funny, but I'm worried what he'll be like."
"A fiend from Hell's the plan," said Bettony...
From Time To Learn
you go again!" Gordon slapped the steering wheel in exasperation. "Why
time travel Ju?" he groaned. "It's illogical, impossible,
sorry Gordon," she soothed, "but I'm a scientist – I just know it
can be done and I have to prove it."
I give in," he said, starting the car again. "I just hope you crack it
before we get married and then we can settle down and be normal – I don't want
to have to explain to my kids that mummy's just blown herself to bits whilst
trying to reach the sixteenth century."
laughed silently to himself. Was he beginning to believe she might succeed?...
leaned forward and kissed him tenderly, raising what looked for all the world
like a pink gin. He watched her put this ordinary-looking glass to her lips and
drain it, her eyes glinting with excitement. He watched anxiously for any effect
as she replaced the glass on the counter and brought him a pencil and pad.
know they were wrong about machines dear," she smiled, pushing the pencil
into his hand. "Even I was wrong, when I was four. We don't need a machine!
Now watch closely, and when it's over write down everything you notice, and then
we'll make history!"
last words had a hollow, bloodless ring to them. She felt as though she was
fading fast. She heard Gordon cry out her name. She was alarmed to see him throw
the note-pad carelessly away and try to grab her arms….
From Love Hurts
told herself. Fifteen minutes to go, then you'll be safely on the train.
her teaspoon leapt from her saucer and smacked into her face. Her well-trained
reflexes caught the cup before it could follow.
she laughed aloud, seeing faces turned her way. "I'm always doing
the stinging pain in her cheekbone, she fumbled her things together and prepared
to leave. There were two possible explanations for the lively crockery – she
had picked up Sacha's emotional kinesis, or else Sacha himself was nearby.
Either way, she wanted nothing more than to be on that platform, bending her
will to the speedy arrival of that train!
was on the street just in time to see Mrs Parry's car screech to a halt in the
station car park. As she whipped round the corner, she caught sight of Sacha
leaping from the car, and heard him calling her name. Closing her ears, forcing
down shutters in her mind and heart, she sped through an unfamiliar alley,
across another street, and into the park.
well-worn urban lawn spread down the hill ahead of her, and beyond it the belt
of trees which protected the green space from the dirt and noise of the main
street. Emma glanced from side to side. Her mind echoed with the urgent beat of
pounding feet. If she made it to the shelter of the trees before she was seen,
could she work her way back towards the station? She glanced at her watch. The
train would arrive any minute now.
plunged into the open space and ran. Her coat slipped from her shoulders,
flapping and tangling at her elbows. Her tired, cramped fingers struggled to
control the case which crashed cruelly against her legs.
this is what it's like to be hunted! she thought, as she punished the
pain in her lungs with an increased burst of speed. Rubbish and gobs of
leaf-mould, uncommanded by the wind, leapt into her path as she reached the
You must STOP!"
glanced back. Sacha was crossing the lawn in long, loping strides. She darted
into the trees, seeking the thickest cover, weaving her way towards the
anonymous rush of the town centre ahead.
Where are you?"
voice was desperate, uncertain. She could shake him off. She burst
through the last line of trees. There was freedom! There was the station! But
she had forgotten about the fence. Between Emma and her goal it stretched, an
unforgiving barrier of cast-iron rails. Five feet high, tipped with vicious
spear heads, its Victorian message spoke out as clearly now as it had a hundred
years before – Everything in it's place! No unprincipled short-cuts here.
was the gate? She heard the rush and clatter of the approaching train. She sped
towards the sound, black railings flashing past her as she ran. She was all but
blinded by pain and despair.
voice was close behind. Her tear-filled eyes told her the railings were leaping,
shaking their spears at her. The gate! Less than fifty yards away now! She
stumbled on, forcing herself to ignore the railings which, twisting and
screaming, dragged themselves from the earth and flew with her, overtook her...
sickening accuracy, a plunging spear thrust its point into the grass at her
feet. She circled, ran, dodged a second, then, mad with fear and anger, she
turned to face Sacha.
me GO!" she shouted. "I'm NOT your property!"
forest of spears fell to earth behind her, blocking her retreat. She resisted
the desire to cringe. She looked into Sacha's fevered eyes, at his twisted,
From Facing The Dark
prejudiced against poor Old Nick, my friend?"
don't see how it's prejudice," complained Pete, "to turn down an idea
that obviously could only make things worse." He passed the joint to Hugo.
said Steve. "So that rules out, say, drinking, smoking, flirting..."
it doesn't," said Pete, "they all have their good side."
bongos stopped. "And a pact with the Devil doesn't?" asked Ash,
stretching out a hand for the joint. Hugo offered it with a grin.
you go," he said, "and I apologise for my friend. It's his Christian
upbringing getting the better of him."
snorted. "I didn't have a Christian upbringing!"
then, conventional English," conceded Hugo. "Secular Christian."
to reason," said Hugo. "People like you lot, you're on the best of
terms with Tibetan demons, mythological dragons, anything from outer space, and
yet you are so sure the C of E's old bogey man is off limits."
have you ever, ever heard of a pact with the Devil having a happy ending?"
you ever heard of a pact with the Devil that actually happened?" countered
Hugo. "Where's your evidence?"…
air was hot and still.
had become of the others? There was nothing but his miserable
– a universe made up of a man, weight and weariness.
weariness, and Ash's voice: "Look up, brother," it said.
a force greater than man or beast dragged this man's head up and back. Bitter
smoke filled his defeated lungs, and with extreme reluctance, with a dread
greater than he had ever known, he looked up into the face of the Devil. In the
unforgiving light of a torch like a burning club, the Horned One sat, his
bird-like feet perched on a low black monolith. A thin line of light, sharp as
toothache, scribbled an inverted pentagram on the darkness, and lent a white-hot
gleam to the Beast's contours. And the gaze of the Beast penetrated the man. And
the man collapsed onto the ground prone, eating gravel, gaping like a grounded
fish. Time passed. No relief, no sound, no change. At length the man's battered
ego accepted this new low as reality, and slowly, he rose onto all fours once
more, and surveyed the scene. A heavy iron ring fixed to the front of the
monolith tethered a naked man and woman…
From Good Mother Gosse
leggy, adolescent boy plants his feet firmly, a yard apart, and braces his hips
against his mother's corpulent body. Instantly, crackling waves of white
petticoats swallow him from the waist down.
is that boy doing to his poor old mum?" exclaims a passing soldier.
players, who have been running around in various states of hysteria, stop to
whoop and screech at the spectacle. It's as if the boy's about to fall into a
storm-drifted ravine, as if his birth is about to be reenacted, only in reverse.
your hands, my son!" scolds the mother loudly, "Any more of that, and
I'll be laying more than eggs tonight!"
the boy's high-pitched shrieks and the mother's deep guffawing ribaldry, they
lift and push her huge and wayward breasts, first the left, then the right, into
the cavernous receptacles of her corsetry….
is often said that men who take the role of pantomime dames are a throwback to
the times when women weren't allowed to perform on stage. Oh really. So why do
they make no real attempt to hide their gender? And why do they play opposite
female principal boys who are equally blatant with their true gender? I'll
tell you why...
From Glorious Peace
Peace watched over the girl as she slipped languorously into
sleep, then he extracted himself carefully from the coverlet, and reached for
his clothes. Despite every caution, his sword hilts rattled as he buckled his
belt. He paused, watching her attentively, but no more than the merest murmur of
complaint passed her lips. He hadn't really expected her to wake. She was a
professional, and she knew how he enjoyed leaving her in that dreamless slumber
of sated desire.
getting old and cynical, he thought, as he shrugged his cloak and hood
into place. Why not accept that she was, indeed, happy and at peace. Surely
someone must be! Cheered by the thought, he descended the stairs into the smoke
and jostle of the public rooms.
voices were raised above the general noise. Their owners sprawled against the
bar, inflicting their drunken opinions on the sweating landlord. Glorious Peace
hid a wry smile behind his hood. He knew it was a hard job for an innkeeper,
fielding the excesses of out-of-work soldiers. He also knew that old Grubbins
was good at it, and there should be some banter worth listening to. But his
quiet amusement cooled rapidly as he tuned in to the words the men spoke...
what kind of half-wit calls his son Glorious Peace?" hilariously cried one.
second flung his arms wide, to draw attention to the drama of his reply –
"One who's got such a grip on power that no-one will ever dare advise
left prudence behind a long time ago!" responded the first. "Riding
into battle at 20, riding wenches into trouble at 40, and..."
that's no more than natural," put in the landlord hastily.
Very well, but riding a bottle into Hell ever since?"
at our expense!"
landlord waggled his head, his eyes, every mobile part of his face, in that
time-honoured signal which reads, There's a big bloke with a sword right
behind you, and you just made him mad. The two drunks turned slowly, their
feelings of foreboding confirmed by the looming shadow of the cloaked figure…
From Jacob’s Ladder, Lilith’s Pool
was a slithering, scraping retreat I made, only half controlled, and causing me
many bruises and scratches. I let myself drop the last five feet or so and
landed, cursing and clutching my elbows, almost on top of the man.
yelled and cringed away from me, then slapped at my head with a flailing hand as
he turned to flee. But of course, there was nowhere to run to. He skittered to
and fro for a minute, then settled for crouching at the far side of the cave,
glowering at me.
reaction can't have helped him. Unmoved by his fear, and unused to company, I
simply gazed at the promising cushions of his lips as they worked, searching for
"What d'you want with me?" he growled.
sound of his voice made me jump. Exhausted and shocked as I was, I'd forgotten
about speech. I didn't think to answer at first. There was something familiar,
something hugely exciting about the sound of his voice. I was impressed also by
his features, so fine and regular after the random patterns of the rock I was
used to – and his eyes! Rich and deep they were, deeper even than my central
pool, and what beautiful hair! Those flowing, golden brown tresses were such a
wonderful embellishment to the shapely cave-wall.
d'you bring me here for?"
sounded both frightened and cross. I shook myself, and endeavoured to prepare an
just appeared," I said, pausing to savour the effectiveness of my own
voice, "...and then you did."
grunted suspiciously, and there followed a series of groping questions and
non-answers, which proved only that neither of us knew very much about anything.
We were growing more familiar with sharing our cave though, and moved gradually
closer together, until we had ceased to stare at each other, but stood instead
shoulder to shoulder, voicing observations on our surroundings.
used to be something else," I ventured at last, "a place that wasn't
and anger glittered in his eyes as he considered this, and I returned hastily to
the safer subject of that which was, but my idea must have gained ground in his
mind because next time the conversation lagged, he said: "There was food
trees, and babies," I prompted.
cars, and clouds – trousers, there was."
clutched my arm fearfully as he spoke. We were both giddy with the endless
possibilities which flooded our minds…
From Old Magic In A New Age
the day you discovered that Father Christmas didn't exist? Bit of a let down,
wasn't it. You thought: Oh alright then, so it was just a game – but I'll
miss him. No shock, no real trauma, just the end of a nice dream. Kids don't
really swallow all that
imagine the opposite. Imagine you are suddenly faced by something you'd been
quite happy to play with as long as it stayed in the shadows of
From Newman’s Bible
did you manage to cut yourself there?" she exclaimed, a half-laugh
her consternation as she took in her husband's clay- and blood-smeared torso.
looked down, spreading his hands in mock surprise, but even as he blushed he was
re-forming his features into a mask of dignified assurance.
man has to suffer for his art," he quoted.
is it going?" she nodded towards the brushwood screen he had erected to
shield his latest effort from the sun's heat.
is the biggest, most magnificent one yet," said her husband proudly,
"and he'll be finished in a day or two."
attempted to peer through a frayed gap in the screen, but he stepped defensively
in her way, catching himself on a tangle of ivy as he did so.
old you!" she laughed, as the stubborn vines rasped against his torn flesh.
"Come down to the spring now, we can bathe and wash your wound. You need a
she knew from the distracted flicker in his eyes that he wouldn't tear himself
away from his work for some hours yet. With a sigh she left him and strolled up
the hill to her beloved orchard, the home of her earliest thoughts. Her concern
for him deepened as her own confidence reasserted itself. Exactly when, she
wondered, had he ceased to trust her?
bowed her head as she climbed, comforted by the easy rhythm of walking. She
watched her pink feet rhythmically rising, skimming and then sinking into the
warm grass, and wondered how they were hers. If they were, then was the grass
less so? A mist of thought abstracted her vision. The scented breeze, the
dappled light skipping between bright leaves, even the promise of ripening
fruits – all these had seemed less than part of her recently. With a new
self-consciousness, she was questioning her place in the garden.
had all begun as a joyous, instinctive dance. They had created the sun and moon
together, before they had drawn any distinction between his limbs and hers.
Words had come, born to praise, describe, name, attach meaning, and then, when
they knew each other, children.
Pausing mid-stride she saw her guilt in the damage done to him. How had he felt
when they had become distinct, when she had produced something he could not? She
didn't know. That was her mistake. A night of blood and mystery, the first child
born of man and woman, and then she'd been occupied with first one, then two
little despots, bless them! Could she have drawn him in more, made it easier for
picked a ripe, golden apple from her favourite tree...
From Challenging Myth
young prince sat under his tree, bathed in the light of universal compassion. A
beatific smile enlivened his face.
I see," he said.
the things he saw was an old man, hunched and sobbing.
sorry," the old man sighed, wiping the tears from his rock-like face with
his sleeve. "It's just that you've made me so very happy. Usually, it's
prince reached out a gentle hand, inviting the old man to sit by him. "Tell
me," he said. "From the beginning."
not how people think, you know," said the old man, groaning as he lowered
himself onto the grass. "I was one of many, once. Just ordinary,
questioning how things were, drawing up schemes in my head about how things
could be, everyone does that, don't they? Then one day, I realised...Know what I
mean?" His watery eyes searched for, and found, understanding in the young
man's attentive face.
on," said the prince.
old man nodded. "Darkness was on the face of the...you know, I forget which
book you read round here. Anyway, I put my best scheme into action then and
From The Eye of the Beholder
foot back, right foot forward, she stood, with ice burning in her bones. The
creeping cold seemed to have nailed her feet to the floor. Her left hand was
wedged into the small of her back, and her right hand thrust behind her head,
supporting the wilting cloud of her hair. Ironic really. She was supposed to be
stretching – glorying in the life of her limbs. As it was, even the roots of
her hair felt cold and stiff, like splinters in her scalp. Her long-muscles were
beginning to tremble. The candy-twist of her pale, naked torso thrust her
breasts forward, so they caught the light just so, and offered teasing contours
to the watchers…
At last the sodium-dark slab that was her house came into view. Unlike the
useless others it glowed with the assurance of a known interior. She got the key
in the lock at the second attempt, lunged against the reluctant door, and
stumbled inside. Something papery tumbled near her feet. She kicked it aside,
and took a quick glance out into the street. Hadn't someone just slipped into
that gateway over the road? Well, so what if they had? It's a free country…
almost ran at Fiona as he left, and pushed the card into her hand. An
little bug, she thought. She looked down at his calling-card. It
was, in fact, his student card. But it had his address on it. But he needed it.
But she didn't want to call him. She squinted at the card. His name was Louis
Renier. And her hand felt hot where their fingers had almost touched. Why hadn't
she asked him?
hour later she was ringing his doorbell.
you follow me home?" she demanded, as the door began to open…
From Internal Combustion
life, another world! These were ideas we students found it so easy to discuss,
to make wild guesses about. Many began their training with their heads full of
childish things. Their quarters would be decorated with whimsical holograms
depicting aliens who were like us, except for one or two entertaining
differences – two eyes perhaps, or luminous antennae.
own mentor soon put paid to any such dreams. Time and again he impressed on me
the importance of holding no expectations – of being ready for anything. Even
the most clear-headed scouts, he said, were at risk of sending back
sense-impressions hopelessly clouded by emotions and assumptions.
shall not let that happen to me. I am determined that this, my first report, be
compiled honestly and accurately, and logged before my unaccustomed brain blurs
the astounding details of my first alien encounter.
shouldn't have let these few hours slip away before I reported in, but when I
found myself planted here, on alien soil, learning to breathe the strange air
– but wait, even that is not the beginning. I had no body when I first came to
From Butterfly Wings
inmates filed in and sat at their tables. A flurry of greetings, displaying of
gifts, arranging of chairs, and then Bekir and Nicky sat hand-in-hand once more.
know," he said, "this reminds me of when we first met, that day in The
laughed shakily. "Idealists ever," she said. "I think you had the
air of a hero about you even then. I wonder what we did wrong?"
says anything went wrong? Would the campaign have reached the news if I hadn't
put a policeman in hospital?"
suppose that makes you a hero in here, does it?"
winced. You get very paranoid, being locked up. "We did try to make it a
peaceful protest," he said.
know," she replied. "There's a lot of us who do know what you went
thing is, we didn't stop the detentions, or the war. We spent most of our energy
fighting the British fascists, and fighting the police."
know," said Nicky, "and we can't win unless we stop fighting."
not so sure about that, now," said Bekir. He glanced over Nicky's shoulder
to where Yusuf sat, deep in conversation with his brother. "It's amazing
what you learn, in here."
stop talking in riddles."
what I mean is, I may not come straight home when I get out. I've got a...an
Bekir climbed out of the make-believe jet, and joined his glowing wife on the
sofa. While they hugged and congratulated themselves, the TV panned the gritty
devastation of an Afghan town. The camera paused controversially on the body of
a fighter who lay face down in a pool of blood. His trousers, bunched at his
hips, ominously suggested that his death had been some unspeakable atrocity…
From Circaidy Gregory
The television showed men firing guns and missiles. The resulting blasts of smoke and debris appearing in the distance implied men, women and children collapsing into a rag-tag of dust and blood in the rubble. Black oil-smoke poisoned the air of the desert. The scene changed to a press-conference, with backdrop stills of tanks and skylines. Politicians' words of pride and power spilled from the television into the living room, leapt through the windows, and danced their death-jangle with the sound of electric mowers and the haze of car-exhaust in this English street. The woman who had been gravely watching the television got up, switched off, and looked through her windows. Last week she had cried shame on soldiers showing off a tank in the town centre. The intractable weight and horror of the war machine on the light paving of the pedestrianised town square had been bad enough, but the black smoke suddenly issuing from the monster's exhaust, and the reptile malevolence of its progress when its hidden driver bid it advance had been too much to bear in silence.
she had cried. "A horrible thing to see on our streets, especially when
there are people in our town who have fled here to escape the horrors of
The stripling soldiers had responded to her challenge with impotent, forced laughter. She was faced with the inability of adolescent man to answer any direct form of passion…
“Mokey” copyright Kay Green © 2003. Originally published in Here & Now. “Time To Learn” copyright Kay Green © 1994. Originally published in Fiction Furnace, also runner-up for the David Gemmell Cup 1990. “Love Hurts” copyright Kay Green © 2001. “Facing The Dark” copyright Kay Green © 2003.“Good Mother Gosse” copyright Kay Green © 2002. Adapted from a story of the same title published in Legend. “Glorious Peace” copyright Kay Green © 2002. Previously unpublished. “Jacob’s Ladder, Lilith’s Pool” copyright Kay Green © 1997. Previously unpublished. “Old Magic In A New Age” copyright Kay Green © 2002. Previously published in Legend. “Newman’s Bible” copyright Kay Green © 2001. “Dispensers” copyright © Kay Green 1995. “Challenging Myth” copyright Kay Green © 2002. “The Eye of the Beholder” copyright Kay Green © 2003. “Internal Combustion” copyright Kay Green © 1995. First published in Rattler’s Tale as “First Impressions”. “Butterfly Wings” copyright Kay Green © 2003. “Circaidy Gregory” copyright Kay Green © 2003.