Stingy jack

Stingy Jack, was a drunken trickster who invited the Devil for a drink. True to his name, when the time came for the bill to be settled, Jack didn’t want to pay.
Instead, he offered the Devil his soul in exchange for paying the bill. The Devil agreed and turned himself into a coin that could be used to pay the bill.

Jack snatched up the coin and pocketed it with his crucifix, keeping the Devil from returning to his true form.

He made the Devil agree that he would not take his soul for the next 10 years, and upon agreement, Jack released the Devil.

10 years later, the Devil arrived to collect Jack’s soul. Jack made one last request – an apple from a nearby tree. The Devil agreed and went off to climb the tree. Meanwhile Jack placed crucifix’s all around the tree, preventing the Devil from climbing back down.

Jack made the Devil agree to never take his soul to Hell, and upon agreement released the Devil.

Eventually Jacks drinking took its toll and he found himself at Heavens gates. But God would not allow entry for Jack, due to his life of deceitfullness.

So Jack wondered off to Hell, where the Devil refuses to take him in, due to their prior agreement and the Devil still being upset with Jack for the tricks he had played. Instead, he sends him off into the night with nothing but a hollowed out turnip with a hot, glowing coal to light the way.

Jack’s lantern is sometimes seen, as he roams the earth, looking for a place to rest his soul.

Dave

It was a grey and dreary day when I first saw Dave. I’ll be honest now and tell you that his name probably isn’t Dave, but that’s what I call him. You see, I’ve never actually spoken to him.

Dave was an alien, still getting to grips with being stranded on earth. I have no idea how he got here, but I imagine he doesn’t either. He probably just woke up, naked, in a field one morning.


There was no way that a normal human being could ride a bike the way he was. It was like he’d never seen one before and was using it for the first time, trying desperately to fit in.


The bike itself was too small for his long, thin frame. He wouldn’t have looked out of place on a basketball court.


And that was what humoured me. The sight of this being, from another planet, trying to act normal. Riding an under-sized bike, knees stuck out to the sides, head tucked in low to the handlebars, tongue sticking out in concentration, wobbling down the busy street, trying to avoid pot-holes whilst being soaked to the core from the rain.


I shouldn’t have laughed. It was, after all, a valiant effort, for an alien named Dave.

The second time I saw Dave, was in the same place, not 24 hours later. He had mastered the art of cycling and you could almost be forgiven for thinking him a human. But I knew better.

I started to wonder what he might do next, if he could learn to ride a bike so quickly, so confidently.

I couldn’t stop thinking about him for the rest of that day. That night, I hardly slept at all. What was Dave up to? Was he really here by accident? If not, what was his plan? Aliens feed on human flesh, right? How many people had he already consumed? I had to do something, for the good of mankind.

I’m not much of a fighter, on the best of days, and against a flesh eating alien I’d stand no chance. But I had one advantage – he didn’t know I was on to him.

The next morning, bleery eyed from lack of sleep I drove to work. Sure enough, there he was, confidently, no, cockily riding his bike, with no handlebars, down the road with a big grin on his face.

He never saw me coming, as I swerved my van into his path sending him flying over the top of my van, like a less graceful Eliott, with ET in his basket, only ET was riding the bike and not so much flying, more falling.

I barely looked back in my mirror, as I sped away.

I never saw Dave again after that.

Linkin Park

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I’m sat here, in my conservatory, with the sound of the rain hitting the roof, listening to Linkin Park. I have been trying to work out why the death of a celebrity would hit me so hard. I’m not really a fan, but I was, a long time ago.

Generally when a celebrity dies its just a ‘oh no!’ type reaction, but this one feels different. Its thrown a whole range of memories and emotions back at me, all at once.

Linkin park had a huge part in my development into adulthood and my current life. At the time that the first song appeared on Radio 1 – One step closer, I was big into hip hop, but the mix of rock and rap drew me in. I was soon a big fan, eventually more so for the rock than the rap.

Around the same time, my mother died, I think not knowing what to do with me, my long time friend Dan invited me to the pub with all his college mates. They were definitely not hip hop fans, and I remember worrying that I wouldn’t fit in. Long story short – I met some great people and eventually my wife, Emma.

I think it’s pretty clear that the main reason Chester’s death threw me, is all the past memories it has thrown back at me, add to which, the start of this ‘period’ of life was the suicide of my Uncle. Yeah, its all too similar.

So I guess this is like the end of an era, and a weird kind of closure to a period in my life. I sit here watching old Linkin Park videos on YouTube, while our daughter attempts to stand for the first time in the other room and I wonder what the next period of my life will have in stall for me, for us.