Introducing Bad Apple Zine Issue One


So, around two years ago I had an idea of starting up my own online magazine to specialize in dark speculative fiction for the upper end of Young Adult readers.  I wanted to publish stories that are raw and dark and that give voice to those that are often silenced or to issues that are thought taboo by society, particularly when these issues play a part in the lives of so many young adults world wide.  It’s frightening when you are not accepted as who you are and worse when you are actively hated for it.

I wanted to have minority writers and characters, I wanted to embrace dark topics and dark feelings, mental health issues, feminism, gender and sexuality. Now I can finally offer up the first issue of this zine which was made possible by the web-tech and creative know how of Matt Sloan and Sami Clara.  Early into the opening for submissions I brought fellow editor Greg Conway on board and we dived into the process of reading through the many many stories that came in week on week.  I have created all the drawings you see in this issue myself, and I am no great artist so apologies for that!  I hope to bring on board the talents of Hannah McMurray, my younger sister who is an excellent artist and is studying Art at University.

So… without further ado, I link you to Bad Apple Zine Summer 2016.  Please like, comment and share on social media to get this party started.




The Life Fragile


In a cocoon the young girl lies dreaming
Deep in her mind Arachne is weaving
Pale silver threads that might become wings
So long as the girl keeps a hold on her dreams

Some girls sleep easy and safe in their mind
They conjure up laughter, gentle and kind
Knowing that soon they will wake and emerge
As beautiful butterflies, queens of the world

This girl she struggles to keep her eyes closed
Knowing she’s fragile, and hanging exposed
Out on a branch, rattled by storms
Flooded with fear that she will not transform

In its cocoon a youngling must dream
When you first learn this, how moving it seems
If she stops dreaming she loses her breath
Her wings do not grow, she gives way to death

But this girl has nightscapes riding the mare
But dark dreams still count, so do not despair
Arachne keeps working, her thread starts to tangle
The wings become twisted, all sharp ends and angles

The queens come on time, emerging with flare
Wings swift and stunning, they take to the air
Long after they’re gone, the darkling starts fighting
To cut through the pupa state turning and writhing

She finally escapes but her wings wont unfold
The wind whispers urgently, go forth, be bold
She unfurls like a night-flower, bathed by the moon
But wishes to curl in a second cocoon

Fragile and terrified, struggling to cope
She flies in mad chaos, a riot of hope
Wings red as blood, dark old and bright new
She settles on roses and drinks up their dew

Dark Places


I have hid in dark places
thrown myself into the night sky
hung still as the moon pretending
I did not see his arrows whistling by

I have slept in high towers
turned and tossed in sweaty sheets
knowing I was trapped for good
and dreaming evil all the while

I have danced in the deep woods
spun myself a hood of web and blood
Lay pale in a glass coffin, half dead
As a wolf tore bites from my body

I have ran the gravel road
fallen bloody kneed and skin torn
heard him coming, pounding after
dragged myself to my feet again