The Fifth Beatle is a short sci-fi story about the Beatles in the style of Philip K Dick’s paranoid novels. It’s about two minutes long.
This came about from me messing around, writing pulp scenes about the Beatles, imagining a whole movement of Beatlepunk. There were stories about the band as mecha defending Liverpool from Kaiju; about Ringo becoming a werewolf; and about Paul McCartney buying a copy of the Necronomicon.
As the 1960s get further away, the Beatles come to seem more mythic than ever. They slip into these stories easily.
This is a short story that I wrote for my writing group last week. It’s about 200 words, and the recording is just over a minute long. It’s about digital seances and the coronavirus pandemic.
I wrote this as a horror story, but when I read it aloud, the group found it funny and laughed. I think this is an interesting reaction – horror and comedy are closely linked. I find the grotesque images in the story horrifying, but I can see how they are also amusing.
It’s obvious now it was a scam, but it had sounded like a good idea. I mean, we were getting married in Brighton, and he told us how Mariah Carey had celebrated her wedding by releasing live butterflies – for just a couple of hundred quid, we could have seagulls released at our wedding. It was carnage. Seagulls are thugs at the best of times but being caged brings out the worst in them. A group them attacked the bride’s mother’s hat, and the others fought to see how edible the corsages were. By the time calm had been restored, most of the time allotted for the ceremony was used so they went through it pretty fast – bride, groom: kiss. Never again.