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"Let's dance…" put on your red shoes and dance the winter blues away by getting yourself a copy of my book Playing God online from @amazon or #barnesandnoble just in time for the holidays! Playing God is a tribute to the late great David Bowie, as well as a collection of short stories about a hero, a God, who just wants to help people any way that he can, and who looks the spitting-image of David Bowie for reasons you will discover in the stories within! Enjoy reading! 😎 #PlayingGod #MarkHastings #DavidBowie #tribute #LetsDance #books #stories
Seven stories… Seven perspectives… Seven experiences… One Man in Black, one Man in White… Seven morality tales of one immortal… Rebel, Hero, Friend, Fan, Father, Son. Playing God takes you on a journey that connects a hero of myth with a modern day hero of music.
You can get a copy of my new book, Playing God, below:
George was brave…
George was strong…
George was a knight
who was always looking
for someone to save…
George was the one
everybody called out to for help,
and he could do no wrong.
“Scales” was your common mountain dragon,
living in his cavernous cave
underneath the Earth –
when one day, after returning from a bit of fun
that involved flying, fire-breathing,
and accidentally scaring half-to-death
the local town-folk that lived nearby,
Scales was payed a visit by a “knight”
who called himself “George” –
who had the smallest of swords
that Scales had ever seen –
and who was as full of heart
as he was overflowing with words.
It was not any every occurrence
for Scales to be visited by anyone –
not even an another dragon;
it was rare that a human
voluntarily came looking for Scales –
however, even from his first glance
at the young warrior-wannabee,
Scales could tell that George
was not just anyone.
“I am George – knight of the night,
defender of the weak,
the hero of the people of Mountain Shadow –
and I, dragon, am here to slay you!”
Said George while holding his sword
out in front of him
as he walked into Scales’ cave
and came face to face with the dragon.
To which, Scales laughed uncontrollably
and even exhaled a few flames of fire
he was so amused by what he had just heard.
Scales, however, was impressed by George’s
pronunciation and his ability to speak
“dragonese” – a gift that he did not know
that any human could utter,
well no human before George
that he had ever encountered.
“Well, George, hero of Mountain Shadow,
I am Scales – nice to meet you!”
Scales replied with a smile
as he looked into George’s eyes
and hoped to put a smile
on George’s glum-looking face;
however, George looked angry
to Scales for some reason,
and he did not appear to be
taking a breath –
which was probably why his face
looked like it was changing colour
and why he was shaking so intensely.
“Did you not hear me, dragon?
I am here to slay you!”
Shouted George as he could feel
his helmet begin to slip
even further down his face.
“I heard you just fine, George!
Would you care to take off you helmet
and your armour, maybe?
You have come a long way from your town –
you must be tired?” Scales replied –
fearing that George might soon faint.
“I cannot do that! I must slay you
so that you may stop terrorizing my people!
Every time we see you in the sky above
our children scream, our women cry,
and our men drink themselves into a stupor.
And I have been sent here to face you
and to slay you, because among our people
there is no one braver than I!”
Said George as he shook from helmet to his boots.
“Really, dear George?
I mean George, defender of the weak?
I am truly sorry to hear that!
I did not mean to cause so much panic!
Please forgive me?”
Said Scales with a genuine expression of regret –
to Scales he was only just having a bit of fun,
and he honestly did not mean to cause such upset.
“Forgive you? You are asking for my forgiveness?
Do you not want to roar? Or breath flames, maybe?
Also, can you tell me how it is possible
that a dragon such as you are
can speak, and speak the most perfect of English?”
“It is not I who is speaking English, dear George –
you are speaking dragonese!
I had no idea anyone or anything could speak
in the dragon-tongue –
however, I am both surprised and pleased!”
“I am? Since when?
I had no idea there was such a language?”
Said George with a look of astonishment.
“And I had no idea that humans had such
a big heart for such a small body?
Today is truly a day for human-dragon
“You are not a monster at all, are you?
You are not what our children dream of
in their nightmares!
I thought that slaying you would be
the crowning achievement of my life –
but now, I realize that
though we may look different from one-another
there are things that both humans and dragons
have in common and share.”
“Perhaps you could return to your town
and say that you did in fact slay me?
And in return, I promise to never shadow
the town of Mountain Shadow,
nor shake fear into the hearts of its people,
ever again!” Said Scales as he thought out-loud.
“And you would just let me turn around and leave?
You wouldn’t just come up behind me and eat me
so fast that I wouldn’t even hear a sound?’
“George, I promise! Believe me, I had no idea
that I was perceived as such a demon of skies
by your people! I may be a dragon…
I may breath fire from time to time,
but I do not tell lies.
In fact, I have been thinking about
turning vegetarian? Sheep and cows
do not taste that great,
and humans do not do any favours
to my already sensitive-stomach
and my problematic digestion!”
Said Scales with a wry toothy-smile
after he licked his lips jokingly.
“But what if someone from town find out?
If my people ever found out that I lied
they might banish me?’ Said George worriedly.
“No one will find out. Your secret is safe with me.
You go home and receive a heroes-welcome for slaying me.
I will even give you an old tooth of mine as proof!”
“You would do that for me?”
Said George with a lump in his throat
and a tear in his eye.
“Of course I would, George!
That is what friends are for!
And if you ever need my help in any way
then do not hesitate to return her in the future.”
Said Scales with a smile,
before yawning and stretching out his wings.
“Thank you! “Scales” is it? Thank you
for your kindness and your generous offer –
I will not forget!”
“Now head home, young knight –
and tell your fellow towns-folk
how you slayed me easily
and then took a tooth from my mouth
as a souvenir. And, as I said,
if you ever need me I will be right here.”
And so, George turned around with a grin
and left Scales’ cave holding an old tooth of his
that must have been the size of his hand –
leaving Scales to rest in comfort and in silence again,
and thinking about his new-found human friend.
George returned home to his town more of a hero
than he was before he had left –
and telling anybody who might want to listen
how he slayed the dragon of the mountain
(but who to George was secretly his new best-friend).
Both George and Scales knew that their meeting
was just the beginning of a long friendship
that would be a staple of their shared future –
and both Scales and George knew
that it would not be long
before they saw one-another again
and they shared a brand new adventure.
Your guardian angel,
your true soul-mate,
the most beautiful,
the greatest of the great;
your loving, sharing,
caring, best friend,
your inspiration, your hero,
the path with whom that has no end;
the person for whom
your love you can’t ever not show.
You cannot always see them,
but they are always there;
you cannot always hear them,
but it is to your picture
that they always stare;
you cannot always be with them,
but they are always thinking about you;
you cannot always put into words
how much they mean to you –
however, you can always guarantee
that the feeling is beautifully mutual.
The poetry that they write
is the life and soul of their heart;
wherever they are, whatever they are doing,
a part of them and you
are creating invisible
timeless masterpieces of art;
the hopes and dreams that you share
make each of you who you are;
the light that shines
when you both combine
is brighter than any star.
Sometimes the less you say
the more you say;
sometimes the most beautiful flower in the world
grows in the wildest of gardens;
the most priceless jewel in the world
can only be found
and it cannot so easily be given away;
those who save us every day
are the angels that walk the Earth
and are a part of our lives,
and they are our eternal and loving guardians.
The greatest thing about humanity,
the thing that excites me, inspires me,
drives me, thrills me, and always makes me happy,
is the thought of the infinite
and endless potential of everyone on Earth
to do and to be whoever and whatever they want to be;
no matter their background, skin colour, disposition, or sex –
man, woman, black, or white –
you can achieve what no one would expect;
you can work hard, and do what you love,
and be an inspiration to those who will see you
as a shining example to follow,
and who will want to emulate you,
stick a picture of you up on their wall,
and look at you as their hero.
The long-held misogynistic and sexist views,
opinions, and barriers, have for the most part
been replaced by role-models of both sexes to both sexes,
who give samples of wisdom and templates off possibility
that anyone can see and copy, if they want;
however, anyone who is looked upon as a star
in the eyes of someone else will tell
any budding emulator of their craft
that they first and foremost have to take their own path,
and try not to be too much of a carbon-copy of anyone,
because, as an artist will tell you,
the best art is one that is individual
and personal to the artist who creates it,
and if you just replicate a style, a voice,
a way of being, without your own spark of creativity
infused into the mix, whatever you do
will constantly be missing something:
your touch, your taste, your heart, your imagination,
and everything else that is vital,
that no one else could possibly bring.
Both men and women, of all ages,
can be writers, artists, teachers,
musicians, singers, politicians, magicians,
drivers, divers, astronauts, police officers,
entrepreneurs, builders, designers, chefs,
shop owners, hairdressers, presidents, prime ministers,
celebrities in their own right,
because they are capable
and because they have achieved something extraordinary –
because they felt like they could make a difference to the world,
and even the problems that they may envision
coming face to face with don’t feel too complex,
and as they get closer to the goals
that they and everyone sets themselves,
it will be like achieving something amazing in the best way you can:
by taking every opportunity to show the potential they have inside them,
and focusing, and working hard to steadily make the most
and appreciate every step.
The world can change in such a short period of time,
and what will happen next, and what people will achieve,
will have everything to do with what their heart desires,
and have next to nothing to do
with their colour, creed, upbringing, or sex.
We all have our idols;
we all have something or someone
who we will travel miles to see,
and to enjoy their gifts we would do anything for;
we all would jump in an instant,
when hearing the voice of a particular call;
we all would support are favourite artists
and bands if we could, even if it meant
following them, and seeing them sing and perform live,
in hundreds of cities around the planet, on a world tour.
On my bedroom wall, I have a beautiful poster
of my favourite band CHVRCHES hanging from it,
which I look at all the time
while I am listening to their amazing and phenomenal music,
absolutely captivated by it, and in awe;
while in my room, or when I am out and about,
I am always listening to my favourite music,
I am always taken to another place,
I always imagine I am at one of CHVRCHES shows,
hearing them perform live,
and it is my dream one day to go and see them
whenever and wherever I can,
and feel as if I am in ‘electronic synthpop heaven’,
as I listen to the songs that uplift me, and inspire me,
and make me smile, and make me believe
that I am listening to music that is monumentally important,
poetic, and this is how I feel, and that is how I think,
when I am listening to my favourite band.
Like most people, I am a literary fan,
who has favourite authors, and stand out books that I own,
and I have read, that inform my life, enrich my life,
and daily take me on adventures;
like most people, I am a film fan, a television fan,
who loves the experience of cinema
and being guided on a journey by a visionary,
and shown the magic of storytelling,
and the power of the visual, audio, entrancing, medium
of epic entertainment, and also being touched by stories
imagined, as if someone’s imagination had literally
been taken from their mind and put directly on a screen.
Like most fans of a particular art form,
I am left star-struck and overwhelmed
if and when I have ever seen or met
one of my artistic heroes in person and in the flesh –
however, there are so many idols, stars, and icons, to me,
who unfortunately I will never get the chance,
nor will ever be lucky, to meet –
so the possibility and the prospect of being able to
actually and physically see a person, or a group,
that I admire absolutely, is something that I look forward to,
and for which I believe any and every fan should do,
and I would endorse and wholeheartedly implore;
like most people, to me, some things, some songs,
some experiences, some people, defy words,
and the feelings that I have for them cannot be explained,
and we will always be the only one’s who truly know what they mean.
I have met one of my favourite writers and authors,
and I even got a couple of their books signed by them,
and thrillingly for me I even got to shake their hand;
I have spoken to, and I have communicated directly with,
singers, musicians, artists, actors, performers,
who I admire and I will always like everything they do,
even beyond their most well-known channel and medium;
I am a fan of amazing music by bands of every genre,
some who as of yet are not as famous as they one day will be;
so if you ever meet me and see me while I am standing
face to face, or enjoying one of my heroes’
incredible and unbelievable feats of magic,
please excuse the vacant look on my face,
because in my head, at that moment,
I can guarantee you that it will be
complete and utter fandomonium.