Saturday, August 24, 2019


imagination is sparked by an Ethrick Brown Novel. Book with images exploding from it

Read Scottish thrillers with great plots and laugh out loud humour


Due to work commitments I had to give up Dunbar writing club but that gave me the opportunity to Join the North Berwick branch of Tyne and Esk. Some one came up with the idea of splattern patterns for the prompt this week and when they heard I was an ex detective, they just assumed I would write about blood. I was trapped which coincidently was last weeks prompt. Maybe to fully appreciate this you would have had to heard all of last weeks prompts but you should get the gist of it. 



A writing club prompt. I haven’t done this for a while. I did like writing for the prompt. A little break from the norm when I would take on the same challenge as a bunch of other writers all looking for a different angle to make their own piece shine or surprise.

I heard Lorna consider paint splatters as an idea, so I can’t really go down that route. I used to run a ceramic pottery studio and I know a wee bit about putting paint splatters into nice shiny patterns, but It looks like I don’t have a free reign on this one now.

Anne Marie, I think her name was, who suggested the prompt, singled me out as a candidate for blood splatter patterns. I now feel as trapped as the lead character, in her last prompt story, who was stuck in a dress with no way out. Just because I was a detective everyone will expect me to write about all that forensic, CSI crap in a Taggart ‘There’s been a murder’ style mystery. I’m trapped into going down the blood splatter route now unless I can come up with something clever. Cheers Anne Marie, all those nice memories of blood and snot are flooding back now.

Murder, I’ve literally dealt with hundreds of them, but splatter patterns or blood pattern analysis, as the forensics call it, is not really the most exciting tool in the detective’s armoury. Sure, a biologist will give you some theory about if you hit X with Y using a force of Z the trajectory and flow of blood will formulate specific splatter patterns, but the biologist hired by the defence would argue why specific conditions, in the case under investigation, would cast doubt on the prosecution’s biologist’s claim, so usually it’s not worth a toss. Only once in 31 years did I put any emphasis on my biologist winning our argument and that was, so I could discount any suggestion of self defence because I believed my victim had been sound asleep in his bed when his skull had been smashed to a pulp by a visiting psychopath with a baseball bat.

Don’t get me wrong I vividly remember lots of blood splatter patterns from my days in the job and not just congealed, spilled blood making interesting patterns on the walls and floor to analyse but living, pumping, spurting, splashing, bubbling warm blood forming not so pretty patterns over my face, hands or uniform. The feel of warm blood is disconcerting, but you really must scrub hard to get dried blood out your hair, skin, eyes, ears and nose. Health and safety? Aye, right! Try dealing with a drunk, hysterical, insane or violent, bleeding panicking subject and see how far a pair of rubber gloves gets you. Then there was the smell, strange considering how most folk reckon blood is odourless. I’ve often read authors describe blood as having a metallic smell which I could sort of agree with if we were taking about the cold, congealed dried aftermath of a tragedy but the warm pumping fluid is always tainted by the smell of fear. No metallic tinge will ever reach your nostrils when the blood is flowing. All you are aware of is the smell of terror. The smell of fear comes in many guises but metallic isn’t one of them. Puke, shit, pish, solvents, chemicals and a host of other stenches can force their way into the carnage but the sheer smell of shock and panic as you try and stop the life draining out of a desperate victim is so strong you can taste it.

Man, this is depressing stuff. It’s almost as bleak as last sessions prompt, ‘trapped’. Then again, it’s not as horrible as the Bambi killer was. She had seemed like such a nice lady too, but that was before she filled our heads with images of Bambi bleeding to death in a bear trap whilst the rest of the herd watched her enduring a slow, agonising death. Maybe if I saved Bambi with an interesting blood splatter story where some heroic vet followed a trail to the scene so that Bambi could live happily ever after, that would lighten things up. Then again that sounds more like a story from the adventures of Roy and Aslan. I wonder what sound effects he would use for that one, but I won’t tamper with the Bambi Killers tale just in case I upset its author. Anyone who can kill off Bambi as callously as she did is not to be messed with.

Looks like I’m trapped in the blood splatter story just like the characters in last week’s prompt. As much chance of wriggling out of this as the girl in the dress, Bambi in a bear trap or the poor asylum seekers, the other lady killed off in her tale. She was a bundle of laughs too, with her towering inferno tragedy. How did it go? Welcome to the UK. Burn them. It was like King James visiting North Berwick in 1590. No blood splatter stories in burnt corpses though. The blood all boils away. All that’s left is black charred, shrivelled flesh and very white teeth, so no inspiration for the prompt there.

Wait a minute! What about some atmospheric lighting splattering patterns on the colourful, sunny Portuguese village Paul depicted so beautifully last week. I could enhance the little hint of love both lost and rekindled. The tourist’s wallet both missing and found, the mischievous little boy both innocent but guilty all overseen by the wily policeman who catches everyone but punishes nobody. In fact, lets wreak havoc in Portugal and have a gory mass murder with bodies galore and blood flowing down the village streets. Then again, maybe not, Portuguese plasma and platelets patterns splattered all over the quaint, sunshine paradise would probably ruin Paul’s plot and spoil the pretty picture he worked so hard to vividly conjure into our imagination. The old widow in the black shawl would need to be depicted as a totally crazy Jekyll and Hyde type character to pull that one off.

Oh, wait a minute! Jekyll and Hyde, wasn’t that Robert Louis Stevenson? Drat, Martin will have thought of that already. He’ll have more blood splatter patterns in his story than Sir Danvers Carew left on the floor of Dr Jekyll’s house after a good trampling and a skelp with a cane. That’s it I give up.

I’m sorry Lorna I couldn’t think of anything at all for the prompt this week. Maybe next time.