Waiting in the Wings

Perhaps wings isn’t quite the right word to describe where my earplug actors are waiting to perform for the next Earplug Adventure, which will be entitled The Masters of Scroton by the way…

Perhaps a Waitrose shopping bag might be more accurate. But, wherever they await, you can be sure that they will perform admirably. Look how keen they are. And who is this ‘new’ red character? Only time (and the next adventure) will tell!

Photography: Who Needs Anything More Than a Compact?

Generally speaking a half-way decent compact, or even a camera phone, will (pretty much) take care of your photographic needs. I should know, I shoot all my Earplug Adventures on one. And if any proof is needed, check out the following photos. The first is shot with my trusty Fujifilm compact – yes the culprit responsible for the aforementioned earplug-based travesties; the second with a reasonably priced Nikon bridge camera: and the last with one of those half-way to a DSLR things, made by Sony. I adjusted no settings; merely allowing the cameras to select them automatically…

Not a lot in it, I’d say. But what about light and shade? A mixture of interior and exterior photography?

If anything, I think the Nikon is looking a little shabby here. But maybe these shots aren’t demanding enough. Neither of the others could have captured this…

On Sport mode the Nikon fires off a salvo of snaps, one of which is bound to hit the target. And  only the Sony, with its massive zoom, was capable of snagging a high-altitude Rook giving a bird of prey a hard time…

So, in summation, if you insist on using a compact or camera phone, and wouldn’t be seen dead with anything that needed a strap to hang ’round your neck, stick to shooting Earplug Adventures, like me!


A compact is clever little bugger, and I wouldn’t be without one, or five, or seven, or however many I have.

Resistance is Futile!

Actually the resistance to which I refer is far from futile. It’s this…

It has been simply ‘yonks’ since I last posted an extract from either of my ‘Silent’ novels (and e-books). So I thought I’d better bring you a sample. And here it is…

Tasman was continuing:

“Access to the upper windows is unobtainable without ladders; therefore they’re probably unprotected by semi-automatic devices like the booby trapped entrance.”

“Fine,” I said, “but we have no ladders.”

“We don’t need ladders.” He replied. “In fact we don’t need the windows either.”

He then held out his MP7 so that we could both see it. “We are going to behave as though we really know how to use these.”

I didn’t understand, and said as much.

“How would U.S Navy S.E.A.Ls get in without taking fire?” He asked.

It was a metaphorical question, but I answered it anyway.

“Down ropes – out of helicopters. Big problem: No ropes. No helicopters.”

“Doesn’t matter.” He said as he nodded to a part of the building just beyond the huge observation window, “We have a drain pipe.”

I felt a nervous, girlish giggle coming on. The situation was becoming intolerably silly.

“Don’t be daft.” I said. “We’d have to get past the window – and if it’s booby trapped…”

I left it hanging there.

“What’s that white plastic thing mounted on the wall above the door?” Tasman asked in what appeared to be a complete change of subject.

I peered through the drizzle. “Um, I think it’s one of those motion detector things.”

“It detects motion.” He said. “How interesting. Why is it here?”

“It’s an anti-burglar device. When someone gets detected, a big light comes on, and everyone can see them – usually on CCTV.”

“So where is the light?” He asked.

I looked around. Several lights sat atop tall metal poles around the perimeter wall, but none appeared to point in the direction of the office. Then I noticed an unused wall bracket above the large window.

“It’s been taken down.” I said.

Tasman nodded knowingly. “How quickly do they react?”

I thought back to the security lights that Father had installed in our country home. He’d mounted several in strategic positions around the grounds, and all of them had been fabulous at illuminating various forms of wild-life as they found their way into the garden and out-buildings. I recalled that many were the times that my sister and I had watched in breathless wonder as badgers, foxes, deer, and suchlike took advantage of the food that we had laid out for them.

 “A couple of seconds.” I answered, “That’s assuming that these are anything like the ones my father had fitted at home.”

“Slow.” He observed.

He then indicated the cast-iron drainpipe that he’d referred to earlier. It climbed the full extent of the two storey building, and was attached to an equally sturdy gutter at roof level.

“That is our destination.” He said.

He then turned to wave in the direction of the bus. Dexter’s hand appeared fleetingly at one of the upper windows. Moments later the plastic ‘glass’ was pushed from its rubber recess, and fell with a clatter to the concrete below. Then Shane’s single barrel appeared over the lip of the window frame. But it wasn’t the small girl who held it: It was Karen.

“Covering fire.” He explained. “Doesn’t hit much, but confuses the hell out of the enemy. Now when I say ‘run’ we run towards the drainpipe together. Don’t pull ahead of me, and whatever you do don’t lag behind me. We must be one. Understand?”

‘No – not really.’

“Yes.” I replied. “Together as one: got it.”

“Right then, my beautiful Earth female,” Tasman said, “run!”

Careful to do exactly what Tasman had told me I found it necessary to throttle back a little. I was lean and fit, and could run like the wind when the occasion demanded. But Tasman was slower than I, and I found it difficult not to move ahead of him. He didn’t have time to say anything to me. Just a few seconds into our dash we were passing the observation window, and the drainpipe was almost in reach. As we cleared the window a loud retort assailed our ears, and the window burst outward in a rapidly expanding cascade of glass shards and buckshot. Instinctively we both dived to the hard concrete, and rolled the last metre or two to our destination. A second blast erupted from somewhere inside the office, but we had no idea if it was another booby trap, or if this time someone was physically holding the gun. Karen’s return fire knocked out what few shards of glass remained in the window frame, and a shot gun that had been mounted upon a trestle tumbled out through the aperture in the building.

“Now we climb.” Tasman said as he started up.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

Published by Lulu.com (see sidebar) in paperback and e-book form. Available as an e-book at most e-book retailers.

It’s really rather fun – in a violent sort of way.