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The Camden Cad
Aug 24, 2004
North London
Inspired by the truly awesome work of the Shrimperzone Writer's Bureau, I've been clattering away on a full version of this dystopian nightmare, attempting to give it the depth that it deserves. MK Shrimper planted a bug in my head and I really hope that I can do it justice, not least because I'm supposed to be writing a book about rugby.

I've got the whole thing mapped out, several chapters already finished and I've made a few changes that I hope won't offend the original contributors.

I've always thought of Ricey as one of Shrimperzone's most likeable chaps and his too-honest-for-his-own-good persona makes him perfect as a central character. Others have been shifted from one side to the other, or have been isolated, all for good reason, and nothing that happens here is meant to offend. It's just a silly story and a chance for me to practice my writing.

I'm putting it together in a Charles Dickens style with short-ish chapters and transient characters, so there'll be a new installment every few days. Not every day though, I've really got to finish that rugby book at some point.

Anyway, that's enough of that. Here's the first chapter, nice and short like the opening to a James Bond movie....

Chapter One - Awakenings

Ricey dreamed of igloos. Wild storms, zero visibility and a desperate hunt for an igloo. A long, unrewarding trudge through the snow, a growing need for shelter. In his fitful slumber, he shivered and shook, hugging himself for warmth, ever so slowly becoming aware that something wasn't right. He really was cold. Had he left the window on the latch again? He opened his right eye just a fraction, presuming as we all do, that the less retina he displayed to the world, the more chance that he would stay safely ensconsed in his sleep. Through the crack, he saw a rippling puddle and a dark stretch of concrete.

With a start, he flicked himself up off the floor and immediately clutched his head as a searing, stabbing pain screamed for his attention. He wailed in confusion, grabbing at his skull with both hands. Where was he? What on earth had he done to himself? Why was he soaking wet?

The pain slowly eased as his body adjusted to being upright and he lowered his arms, looking around himself. He was in an alleyway. A dark, damp alleyway, barely lit by one dim street-lamp and filled with metal rubbish bins, overflowing with rotting food. He'd been curled up under the sloping roof of a grey, featureless building, attempting with limited success to shelter from the torrents of rain. Staring down in disgust at his dirty jeans, he groaned. This had never happened before. He was usually a happy drunk, a mobile drunk. He'd never failed to get himself home before. He always kept cash in the hidden compartment of his wallet in case he needed a taxi.

His wallet! Ricey patted his jeans urgently, but there was nothing there. Perfect. He'd been robbed as well. Strangely though, he couldn't actually remember going out in the first place. Even on a bad night, an empty-stomached WKD extravaganza, he could usually be relied upon to at least remember leaving the house. But the last thing he remembered was sitting at home with his laptop, checking up on his football team's messageboard.

Stepping out into the middle of the alleyway, Ricey felt deeply uncomfortable and terribly alone. There were flickering lights bouncing off the puddles at one end of the passageway and nothing but murk and darkness at the other. This didn't look like Southend. It was more like...Laindon. He took a step towards the lights.

"Ricey!" boomed a rich Caribbean voice from the gloom.

Ricey jumped at least a foot in the air and span around. He squinted, but he could make out nothing but a dark shape against an even darker background.

"Ah've been waiting for you, Ricey," said the voice. "Your account priviledges 'ave been suspended. You're scheduled for deletion, ma friend. De going got tough, but it's you 'oo 'as to get going."

"They...they sound like...Billy Ocean lyrics. What's going on?"

"Ah'm Billy Ocean, Ricey! And ah'm 'ere for you!"

Terrfied beyond comprehension, Ricey flapped his lips soundlessly as the figure stepped out of the shadows and into the soft pool of light in the alleyway. Tall, dark and capped with a pile of greying dreadlocks, there was no mistaking him. It was Billy Ocean. It was Billy Ocean and he was holding a small handgun.

"Time's up," he smiled and drew the safety **** back.

"Wait!" howled Ricey. "Surely there's something I can- "

A shot rang out across the alleyway and Ricey's bladder went slack. His wet legs wobbled and he fell onto his backside with a thump, eyes as big as plums. Ocean grinned inanely, gurgled and dropped to his knees. He twitched suddenly and tipped over, falling onto his face with a heavy crack.

A leather-gloved hand reached out to Ricey and hauled him to his feet.

"Hi there," said a gruff voice. "I'm Rusty Shackleford." He looked down at Ricey's trousers and jumped backwards in surprise. "Woah!" he exclaimed. "Have you been sitting in puddles or was this a bad week to take the rubber sheets off the bed?"

"I've...erm...it's the puddle...hang on, what did you say your name was?"


I'd love to see it knock Steve Wignall's auto-biog off the top of the New York Times list


Scott Forbes Biggest Fan⭐
Staff member
Dec 21, 2003
Oh my god, I didn't even know this was going on. Good effort Slipperduke, feel free to write whatever I know it is all tounge in cheek.