Egg. (A short Story)

Digging around in my archives I have unearthed all my old, strange stories. This one is called Egg. There’s no point leaving it unread in a file on my computer. Instead I will leave it unread on my website. This story was written about nine years ago. Potatoes.


Somewhere in the deep unconscious soul of every man there is a place for dreams to live out their unusual lives. In one of these worlds is a canyon. In this canyon the absent sun shone in every corner, casting shadows on shadows. The deep red sky sat above the large dark orange walls of the canyon. The Egg stood alone on the shimmering purple grass. His imaginary eyes stared fearlessly into the dark endless valley before him. The snapping of a twig made his shadow shudder. The great walls began to rumble and quake. The rocks began to edge towards the safety of the towering orange cliffs.

The Egg remained still as the rumbling grew. With a sonic boom, the air exploded. The purple grass struggled against the force of the wind. The Egg slowly began to lift and hover above the ground. The rocks and soil edged out of the grass and lifted into the air. The walls weaned and the sky got closer as the pressure in the canyon grew stronger. There was another boom and the air exploded in all directions. And then, as if nothing had happened, the canyon fell silent. The grass settled, the rocks fell to the ground, and the walls took a sigh of relief. The Egg was gone.

The Egg sat up and assessed his surroundings. He had heard of this place before but only in fairytales. The air here was cool and clear. The sky was blue and the grass was green. He was sitting on a long thin gravel path with green fields spreading out endlessly on either side of him. At the end of the long gravel path was a small house. The house was paint-less and wooden. It appeared to be held up by determination alone. Behind The Egg, at the end of the long path, was a single gate which seemed to serve no purpose as there was no fence on either side of it.

On the porch of the house was sitting a very confused 15 year-old boy who goes by the name of Adam. The Egg and the boy shared looks and both seemed to arrive at the same conclusion: it was probably best to investigate.  The Egg went from sitting upright to standing. This, in the human world, means it just tilted forward slightly. At the same time, Adam stood up. This was confusing for both The Egg and the Boy as neither had any idea what the other was. They both stopped for a moment until they decided it was probably safe to continue. They edged slowly forwards until they were only a few yards away from one another. A few birds and small mammals had begun to gather in various places to watch.

Although The Egg didn’t have eyes it still seemed to look at you and, somehow, was able to move. These are some of the things Adam had established so far. The Egg was half the size of Adam, which, when it comes to eggs, is very big. Adam began to speculate as to what could be in The Egg. An elephant? A lion? A new type of fire breathing bird perhaps? The Egg began to speculate about Adam. His first thought was, ‘Does he look hungry?’ followed by, ‘Am I edible?’ and finally, ‘Is he edible?’. Both Adam and The Egg decided just to wing it. They would both be kind unless Adam or The Egg tried to kill the other. Adam spoke first.


The Egg tilted in a way that suggested it was saying hi back. Adam smiled and invited The Egg into his home.

It’s not often that dreams and reality collide in this way but it does occasionally happen. The Egg isn’t an elephant, or a fire breathing bird, nor is it a giant wasp, alien, or winged monkey. It is just an egg. A confused but intelligent egg from Adam’s dream. Adam doesn’t remember The Egg, and The Egg doesn’t yet know that it is not real. But can you really blame The Egg? All the evidence would suggest otherwise after all.

Adam and The Egg shared endless days together in Adam’s small wooden home and they soon became good friends. Adam shared stories of his childhood and reminisced about playground victories and teenage friendships. The Egg listened intently and loved hearing tales from Adam’s strange world. The Egg tried to tell of his world but found no way to express his stories clearly. Adam told The Egg about the sun and how the Earth orbited it. The Egg wanted to tell him about his sun, or more specifically, how his world didn’t really have one and that his world was made up of connections of thought and nothing more. The Egg wanted Adam to know that he isn’t always an egg, and that in his world his image was an abstract idea based on loose association and weird meaning. But most of all The Egg wanted to warn Adam that there was a chance that neither of them was in their own world.


Adam hadn’t left the house since The Egg arrived. He had no reason to, everything he needed was in his home, and his home seemed to fit him perfectly. All the food was his favourite food, the washing machine picked up his clothes and loaded itself, the oven prepared his meals unaided, and all of the films in Adams DVD collection featured him as the main character. The Egg suspected that something was amiss.

On one particularly sunny afternoon, and it was always sunny and it was always the afternoon in this unusual place, The Egg decided to see what was on the other side of the gate. The Egg opened the front door and led himself down the two steps and on to the path. The Egg began to move down the path but the gate didn’t get closer. He tried moving faster but the gate remained at its distance. After The Egg had been travelling for a few minutes he turned around. He hadn’t moved at all. It was then that The Egg realised something was wrong. This world of Adams’ wasn’t like his normal dreams. Normally The Egg could move freely and control his surroundings but not here. Here was something rare in The Egg’s world. Here was something different. The Egg went back inside.

Adam was sitting on the couch watching a film in which Adam was heroically saving an attractive young lady from an entire battle fleet of giant aliens. The microwave hopped off the counter in the kitchen and brought Adam a freshly popped bowl of cheese flavoured popcorn. The Egg watched suspiciously and then hopped up onto the couch and joined Adam. Adam smiled at The Egg and proffered him the bowl of popcorn. The Egg looked at the bowl and then back up at Adam suspiciously. Adam turned his attention back to the television. The Egg thought for a moment and then hopped back off the couch and went back out to the porch. The Egg looked up at the sun. The sun hung perfectly in front of the house. Rabbits and mice played together in the fields and the birds chirped and chattered happily. The Egg looked over at the gate, which, now he thought about it, seemed oddly menacing. The gate felt real, like it was watching with curios interest. The Egg turned around and went back into the house. He went over to the couch and looked up at Adam.

“What?” said Adam, with a mouth full of popcorn.

The Egg moved toward the front door and looked back at Adam urging him to follow.

“What is it? Do you want me to follow you?” said Adam.

The Egg nodded.

“But I’m watching television.”

The Egg seemed to sigh.

“Ok,” said Adam, pausing the DVD.

Adam got up and followed The Egg out of the house.

“What do you want to show me?” asked Adam.

The Egg nodded toward the gate and Adam looked at it confusedly.

“What about it?” he said.

The Egg nodded at it again trying to tell Adam to go over to it.

Adam looked at the gate again.

“You want me to leave?”

The Egg huffed silently and hopped on to the gravel path, he looked back at Adam urging him to follow and then set off toward the gate. Adam followed.

“Where are we going?” said Adam.

The Egg turned to look at Adam momentarily but didn’t stop moving. Adam plodded along, slightly unsure what they were doing but happy to find out. After a few long seconds of walking it dawned on Adam that they hadn’t moved. He turned around. He was right. The house was still only a few feet behind them. The Egg realised that Adam had stopped and turned to face him. The Egg looked up at Adam. Adam let his mouth fall open and gawped at the gate for a while. He turned and gawped at the house. He then realised he was gawping and closed his mouth.

“Egg, what’s going on?” said Adam.

The Egg went into the house and stood at the bottom of the stairs and looked up. Adam got the message and picked up The Egg. When they were at the top Adam put The Egg down and The Egg walked up to the bedroom door.

“In there?” asked Adam.

The Egg nodded.


Adam opened the bedroom door and entered. The room was dark and cobwebbed. A thin layer of dust covered everything except for the bed which, for some reason, was missing.

“Oh,” said Adam, slightly surprised, “Where’s my bed?”

In the world The Egg comes from you get from one place to another via connections in thought. So, if you find yourself standing on a pavement in a busy street and a car stops in front of you you are suddenly presented with several options. If, for example, you looked at the window of the car and noticed you could see your own reflection you might suddenly find yourself in a bathroom looking in the mirror. Or, if you get in the car, you might find yourself in a memory, and become a younger version of yourself on your way to a family holiday. Or, you might see the car, ignore it, and continue down the road to any multitude of possibilities.

The world around us is one built from our own perceptions. There are two versions of this world (If you don’t include other dimensions of it). One is the perceived world of the conscious. It has a linear timeline and you have to physically move about it in a slightly more sensible manner than the one in which dreams inhabit. It is made of physical experiences and sensory perceptions. For example, if you are at home and want to go to the shops you have to physically get up and walk there. Whereas in the dream world, firstly you wouldn’t need to go to the shops, and secondly trying to find the right mental connections to get there might become quite confusing: this is the perceived world of the subconscious, the world of dreams. It is as real as the one we see when we are awake, and it is entirely possible to get stuck there.

The reason Adam can’t see a bed in his bedroom is because he is currently lying on top of it. The door of the bedroom suddenly slammed shut and The Egg took on a more sinister air. The Egg realised that he and Adam were the same, they had to be, this is Adam’s dream after all. This thought made The Egg feel considerably uncomfortable. If Adam wakes up then The Egg ceases to be. But The Egg now knows that this is his world, and thoughts were beginning to connect in his mind. One body; two lives. This was a very clear thought considering the thing thinking it was essentially a figment of Adam’s imagination. The Egg could feel that his life was short, and possibly only existed in this particular dream, but somehow, he thought, there was a way for him to be real. Adam stared at The Egg and edged back against the wall.

“Where am I!?” he said, suddenly afraid. He had suspected for a while that something was odd about his home but questions like these soon get shelved when life is so sweet.

The Egg stopped and looked up at Adam. I’m in your body thought The Egg, and in your body we are both essentially fictional. The Egg began to darken. Adam backed harder against the wall.

“Stop!” shouted Adam.

But The Egg wanted to experience reality. The Egg began to bulge and a crack appeared at its tip. The thin crack crept its way down the front of The Egg and forked across its sides. Adam was silent. His heart was on pause. His breathing had halted. The cracks stopped spreading and everything was still. Adam stared at it and swallowed. He swallowed again as if to eat his own fear. Remembering the importance of oxygen he took a gasp of breath. He closed his eyes. Adam calmed his breathing and composed himself as best he could. He opened his eyes. The Egg was still there, cracked and still. Adam inched up to it. The Egg didn’t move. Adam reached his arm out and stretched his hand slowly closer to The Egg’s broken shell. The Egg remained unmoved. Adam’s fingers were now a hair-breadth away. He composed himself and let his fingers brush against the broken Egg and as he did the shell fell and collapsed like a house of cards. Adam jumped back and stumbled. He slammed against the wall and gasped for breath. The pieces of shell covered the entire floor and there, in place of the Egg, was Adam’s bed. It seemed out of place and eerie.

Adam ran for the door and bolted down the staircase to the safety of his lounge. The DVD was still on pause and his bowl of popcorn was sitting comfortably on the couch. Adam paced around his lounge trying to figure out what was happening. He knew he must be dreaming, but how? He remembers living here for years. Now he thinks about it he has always been the same age but has never questioned it before. He sat down and racked his memory. How did he get here? When did he get here? Why is he living alone? He remembers his first day here. He was standing on the gravel path and he had his keys in his hand. The house looked newer then and cleaner. He remembers walking up to the front door and opening it for the first time. He remembers the walls being bare and the TV being an old small one from his childhood. The next few months flash before him and he remembers wanting a big flat-screen TV. The next thing he remembers is watching films on a flat-screen TV, films he had already seen and then new films with him as the main character. He remembers not wanting to cook or clean and suddenly these things tended to themselves. Adam snapped out of it and looked around his lounge. Everything seemed strange now. The TV looked out of sorts. It began to flicker and the image of him on the screen vanished. He went in to the kitchen in time to see the washing machine die. Its mechanical arms lay outstretched and lifeless in front of it.

Panic began to grip him as he tried to remember how he got here in the first place. Dark images began to pounce around his mind; the sound of rain pelting a car windscreen, his dad’s favourite song crackling out of the old car stereo, the stars through the rain on a dark evening. He remembers hearing the screeching of tires and the smell of burning rubber. And then headlights. And then nothing. The next thing he remembers is the gate at the end of a long gravel path to his new home.

Adam ran outside and looked out at the gate. Everything beyond the gate was now dark and the gate itself looked old and decayed. Adam slowly walked backwards into his house. His world was falling apart.

Upstairs in Adam’s bedroom the bed sat quietly waiting for Adam to inevitably return, the consciousness of The Egg hidden within its form. The Egg was now in control. Decaying the walls of the house and destroying the things that Adam had created for himself. Soon Adam would be alone in a charred and baron home, the only comfort being the bed from his childhood.

Adam sat on his sofa. What happened to the egg? Adam had no idea what had happened upstairs. Had The Egg realised it was in a dream and suddenly stopped existing? Had he somehow killed it? Is The Egg now the bed? Adam didn’t know, he and The Egg were friends and that’s all he knew for sure. Maybe The Egg knew it was a dream and somehow gave itself up so he would have a bed to go to. Maybe to wake up from a dream one must go to sleep?

The Egg waited silently in its disguise. One of them would wake up and The Egg knew that if it were to be him it would mean killing Adam’s conscious so the subconscious could take its place. But that’s not real murder, thought The Egg. His body will still be alive and if I have consciousness and individual thought then Adam and I are technically one and the same – only I am the sleeping Adam and he is the conscious Adam. It is my turn to experience experiences! This thought convinced The Egg and its mind was set. Now it waited.

The darkness from outside began to effect the house and the wallpaper peeled from the walls. The lights dimmed and turned off and the furniture began to age and decay. Adam stood up and looked around hoping for a solution to present itself. Nothing did. Adam looked up the stairs. His bed beckoned.

From his bedroom door Adam stared at the bed. The corner of the duvet was turned up, willing Adam to gently slip in and go for a long awaited sleep. Adam turned and looked back down the hall. The darkness and decay was creeping up the stairs and closing in on the bedroom. Soon there will be nowhere left to go, thought Adam, as he approached the bed. Stay here, or go to sleep. He pulled the duvet back and looked at the pillow. It looked so comfortable. Adam’s eyes got heavy. He couldn’t remember the last time he slept. Weeks? Months? Years ago?

The darkness closed in and The Egg prepared itself for real life. He wondered what it would be like. The Egg’s excitement grew. It was inevitable now. Adam had nowhere else to go.

Adam sat on the bed and made up his mind. He tucked his legs under the duvet and lied down. The comfort grabbed him with warmth and he felt the heaviness of sleep that he hadn’t felt in a lifetime. His eyes closed.

Just before Adam fell asleep the mattress collapsed and fell through the base of the bed like prey falling into a pit and Adam was startled awake. The mattress disappeared and Adam fell into an endless tunnel of darkness. Air rushed past him and his clothes bellowed as he fell faster and faster. A deep resonating voice echoed around Adam’s falling body


“What?!” shouted Adam, “What do you mean?”

Before the egg could answer Adam hit a solid floor, with a pelting thump.


Two eyelids blinked open and focused on a rectangular light in a white ceiling. It worked, thought The Egg, I’m real! The Egg tried to move his new arms but couldn’t. He tried to move his legs but they remained still. He tried to talk but there was no sound. He tried to shout but only breathed. The Egg had no choice but to lay there, finally conscious, finally experiencing real life, finally experiencing nothing.

Adam was finally at peace but The Egg was trapped in a broken body. Time began to drift by. Weeks became months. Nurses occasionally checked in on him. Sometimes people he didn’t recognise would come and sit with him. But most of all he just stared at the rectangular light in the white ceiling unable to turn away or go to sleep. He learned, over the years, from people sitting with him and talking to him, that he may never awake from his com, that the accident was too severe. He learned that his parents died in the car accident and that he did not.

Eventually he learned that the decision had been made to turn off the machine that had been sitting next to him for all these years, beeping every three seconds and keeping him alive. The Egg had been living in a comatose body for so long now that this news was something of an excitement. The Egg hadn’t had a visitor for a few weeks and had run out of things to think about. The Egg had just been lying there looking at the ceiling without a single thought passing through his mind. A few days after the decision had been made the machine was turned off. The Egg had no last words or final thoughts, he just looked up at the ceiling and its rectangular light, and let the world go dark. The Egg was gone.


The End



Glass Balloons (short story – SF)

‘Bring it in Stephen,’ the foreman shouted.

It was my first day on Dock One as a fully licensed valet. It’s still called the International Space Station but now it spans half the globe. Like a web of tubes. When the sun comes around this side of the Earth it casts a grid of shadows on the world.

I was in my first customer’s car. My dim reflection looked back at me like a ghost in the convex windscreen. It’s been bugging me for a while but I’ve just realised what my uniform reminds me of. I remember watching a film when I was young with a lift guy in it. In the old days they used to have people who worked in elevators that controlled the buttons. That’s what I look like. I wore a dark burgundy blazer type thing, with gold buttons down the front, and a flat cylindrical hat, black trousers with a severe line ironed down the front, and black shiny shoes. I have a slim shaven face, short hair, eyebrows, nose, mouth; all the usual stuff; ears, etc.

I pulled the microphone down from the rim of my hat.

‘I can’t find the gear stick.’

‘For Christ’s sake.’ I could see my foreman in the control tower pick up a pair of binoculars and look down at me. He picked up the microphone.



‘Look in front of you. Do you see a steering wheel?’

I rolled my eyes, ‘Yes.’

‘Now, look down and to your left, you see that stick with the ball on the end, it’s called a gear stick, now-’

‘No gearstick,’ I repeated.

The foreman picked his binoculars back up and looked at my vehicle again.

Harrison pulled up from below me in a sporty little number with twin engines that cascaded from the roof and ended in two circular giant fans at the back. He performed a reverse U-turn and hooked up at Dock Two about thirty yards in front of me. He switched off the engine, stood up and bowed at me.

I politely showed him my middle finger.

‘Ok, it’s a Chord Galaxy Automatic. There’s a concealed gearstick used for docking, there should be a button by the hazard light button, do you see it?’

I looked across the dashboard and found it.

‘Got it,’ I said, pressing the button.

A square panel sank back into the dashboard and opened sideways. A small gearstick popped out with a button on top with a picture of a hook on it.

‘Yep, definitely got it,’ I said.

‘Bring it in.’

I pressed the button and listened for the hook to mechanically fold out from the side and click into place. A light on the dashboard flashed on to indicate that it had. I put the gear into park and lifted my foot off the clutch. The vehicle moved sideways and hooked on to the dock.

‘Ta Da!’ I said, with jazz hands.

Harrison clapped sarcastically.

I turned off the engine and got out of the vehicle. I closed the door behind me and the automated parking belt wound down another notch making the vehicle disappear below the space station. The belt stopped winding and another dock was left in its place, in position for the next car-hook.

‘Nice work Stephen,’ said the foreman putting his binoculars down.

‘It’s cold,’ I said.

The foreman, and everyone else, could hear me through the communication unit. It’s activated by pulling the mic down though I can hear the foreman at all times through the ear piece.

‘Not for long, we’ve got sun in twenty minutes. Do you think you can do another one in that time?’

I looked up at the tower and shrugged at him.

‘Can you please answer with your voice, Stephen?’

‘Sure, I don’t mind.’

‘Ok, I’m sending him to your platform, make sure it’s clear.’

I saluted up to him.

‘Words, Stephen.’

‘Yes, sir!’ I shouted into the mic.

I saw him pull his headphones off and curse away from the mic, ‘Why do we hire these idiots?’ he muttered.

I wandered over to the platform and looked at it. I surveyed it proudly. ‘The cleanest platform on this side of the station,’ I said.

‘That’s because it’s only been used once you twat,’ said a voice behind me.

‘Hey, Harrison.’

‘Hey, man, good day?’

‘Yeah, it’s easy.’

About three hundred yards out of the Docking Station the first airlock to the parking area opened and a small craft came in and switched from its vacuum engines to its flight engines. The first door closed and the inner door opened letting the hum of its engines din around the dome. I could see the driver squinting over his steering wheel for the right platform and I waved up at him. He gave me the thumbs up and headed over.

The inner airlock closed. It’s normally silent but this time there was a faint bang shortly after it closed. I looked up at the foreman but he seemed unconcerned. I turned my attentions back to the new vehicle.

The hum of the engine turned into a chattering clatter as the vehicle got closer and manoeuvred itself into position. It stopped about a foot above the platform and the driver opened his window.

‘Do you want me to turn the engine off, or are you taking it straight over?’

‘Leave it running.’

The driver turned in his seat to the back.

‘Alright kids, everyone out.’

The back door opened and three excited kids got out. The driver got out and grabbed a suitcase out of the boot.

‘Ok, all done,’ he said, with the awkward smile that comes with handing your pride and joy to a strange teenager. ‘Don’t scratch her.’

‘Not a mark,’ I said.

‘I think the sun is almost around,’ he said nodding toward the Earth.

I looked. A crescent of sunlight was expanding imperceptibly across the Earth. ‘I know, about fifteen minutes I think.’

The man nodded and smiled and ran off to catch up with his kids.

‘Sure you don’t want me to do this?’ said Harrison.

‘No, I’ve got it.’

‘Ok, catch you in a bit.’

Harrison slapped my shoulder and took off towards the staff entrance.


The craft was nothing special. It was a family car that looked like it had been on a lot of holidays. The back seat was littered with empty crisp packets and colouring pencils and puzzle books. An interstellar map was unfolded in the passenger foot-well and a bunch of CDs were strewn, out of boxes, on the passenger seat. Retro. I like it.

I put on the seatbelt and adjusted the rear-view mirror.

‘Ok,’ I said, into the mic.

‘Ok, Dock One is ready, proceed.’

I pulled up and glided forward and positioned myself to the left of the Dock.

‘In position.’

‘Ok, check Dock for obstruction.’

I leaned over to look out of the passenger window. Something wasn’t right. I couldn’t tell what. There was no obstruction, but, something. I lowered the car a few feet to get a better look.

‘Is there a problem?’

I twigged what it was.

‘The space bellow is vacant,” I said.

‘That’s impossible.’

‘I’m not lying, it’s vacant.’

‘Move out of the way,’ said the foreman.

The automated belt that housed the dock moved back a space and I shifted the car out of the way. The previous dock came into view. It was empty.

I saw the foreman pull off his headphones again and pick up the mic.

‘Harrison, get out there!’ he shouted, and then he ran out of the room and disappeared from view.

I changed gear and flew the craft away from the station to get a wider view.

‘Oh, fucking hell. Harry, are you there?’

His voice came through on my earpiece. ‘What’s happening?’

I put my hand to my brow and shook my head. ‘I’m going to get fired Harry.’

‘Just tell me what’s happened.’

Several hundred yards below me, the first car I had ever successfully parked, lay in a crumpled smoking heap at the bottom of the dome.

‘I guess the hook gave out or something.’

‘What are you saying? Did it drop?’



‘Not that I can see from here.’

‘Get back up here and get me!’

I flew the car up to Harry’s platform and he opened the passenger door and got in, absently brushing the CDs on to the floor.

The foreman came running out of the staff entrance and got to us just as Harry closed the passenger door.

‘If that car is on the bottom-’

‘We’re sorting it,’ said Harry.

‘Sun is ten minutes away!’ the foreman shouted.

I came off the platform and dived fast toward the bottom.

‘Oh shit,’ said Harrison, taking in the full scene of the accident.

‘Yep, shit indeed. Get out of the way.’

Harry took hold of the wheel and I climbed over me, while I squeezed under him, and we switched seats.


We slowed when we were twenty or so yards away. The scene seemed to magnify as we got closer. The glass around the wreck was latticed with fine cracks that spread silently and slowly outwards.

‘This is really fucking bad,’ said Harry, pulling his mic down, ‘Permanently seal the outer entrance. The inner balloon is cracked.’

‘How bad is it?’ said the foreman, with a weird sort of calm in his voice.

‘I think you’ll need to evacuate this section. The inner balloon is splitting.’

‘Are you fucking kidding me Harry?’

‘We’re going to grab the wreck and pull it up. If the inner seal bursts and the car falls through we could break the outer shell. It wouldn’t take much with the sudden vacuum.’

‘Evacuating now. Sun is in seven minutes. You need to move it now.’

Harrison had already dropped the hook.

‘What should I do?’ I said.

‘Just fucking pray.’

Harrison was a master. The way he positioned the car was like being inside a humming bird. He pulled the break when the hook was a few inches from the other vehicles docking hook.

Harry stopped for a moment. He closed his eyes and took a breath inwards. He let it out slowly. The cracks seemed to spread around the wreck at the same pace.

‘Hurry up Harry,’ said the foreman.

Harry opened his eyes and held the controls still. He pushed the stick forwards gently and the hook moved toward the other. They touched.

There was a faint sound, like two china cups touching, and then the entire inner balloon shattered at once. It was like a bubble popping. It happened everywhere. A thousand yards above us and a few metres below us. The whole thing became a net of cracks and then disintegrated. I looked up through the sunroof. It took a lifetime for that shattered glass to fall. I saw it begin to shower the roof of the Docking Station just as the wrecked car hit the outer balloon.

There was an enormous sound like a nuclear bomb exploding and then being immediately muted. The car we were in lurched and then floated. The falling glass stopped and then fled in all directions at a serenely measured speed.

The earpiece in the headset turned to a frantic and deafening static. I pulled it out chucked it into the passenger footwell. Harry did the same. Then he looked at me.

‘Sorry Harry,’ I said.

He frowned. ‘Sorry?’

‘It wasn’t my fault.’

Harrison looked out of the window at the wreckage of the fallen car floating away from us. I looked at it too.

‘I think it might be, mate.’

‘What do we do now?’

The sun began to breach the horizon and the car, floating further away, lit up momentarily and then became a silhouette. Harry reached down and pushed a button with a symbol of a sun printed on with a line through it. Visors covered the windscreen and side windows. Harry reached up and pulled the shutter closed on the sun roof.

‘What do you think we should do Stephen?’

‘I feel like I might lose my job over this.’

Harry looked at me. ‘Yeah, I think you might lose your job over this.’

‘I blame inadequate safety measures.’

‘I blame you, you twat.’

‘Can we reasonably get to the pub on Entrance 9 before anyone catches up to us? I think I’m going to need a drink before facing whatever the fuck we’re about to face.’

Harry shrugged.

‘You alright Harry?’ I said.

He looked at me. ‘I’m fine mate.’ He twitched a bit. ‘Let’s go to Entrance 9.’


10 Amazing Coincidences From History


The First World War wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for one fatal coincidence involving a sandwich and a botched assassination. Had a car not stalled in just the right place, at just the right time, maybe the entire 20th century would have been completely different.

Not all coincidences from history carry the same weight but they sure are interesting. Whether it’s a curse bringing forth Hitler’s attack on the USSR, or a crossword accidentally leaking British Secrets, or the many things John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln have in common, there is something fascinating about the symmetry of a good coincidence.

A coincidence is described in the dictionary as, “A remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.” However some people might begin to wonder if fate has something to do with it. After you’ve survived your third ship sinking disaster (each of the three sister ships that the Titanic belonged too) you might start to wonder if a higher power was trying to send you a message.

Fate or not, one thing is for sure, history is riddled with coincidence.

 Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy

Lincoln Kennedy

Abraham Lincoln, and John F. Kennedy, may have lived 100 years apart, but they had a lot in common.

Both presidents were elected in ’60 and were both succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.

Both died after being shot in the head on a Friday, while seated next to their wives.

Both presidents had four children and both lost a son during their presidencies.

Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theatre. Kennedy was shot in a Ford Lincoln.

Lincoln sat in box number seven at Ford’s theatre. Kennedy sat in car number seven in the motorcade.

After Lincoln’s assignation, John Wilkes Booth (the killer), ran from the theatre to a warehouse. After Kennedy was shot his assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, ran from a warehouse to a theatre.

 Titanic Coincidence


The Titanic was one of three sister ships built by Harland and Wolff for the White Star Line. The three ships were, RMS Titanic, RMS Britannic, and RMS Olympic. Violet Jessop was on both the Titanic, and the Britannic when they sank, and was on board the Olympic when it crashed into a warship.

In 1910, Violet Jessop started working as a stewardess on RMS Olympic. On 20 September 1911 the luxury liner left Southampton and collided with the British warship HMS Hawke. NobodViolet_jessop_titanicy died and they managed to get the ship back to port before it sank.

Violet boarded the RMS Titanic on 10 April 1912. She worked as a stewardess for four days and then the Titanic crashed into an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank. As an interesting aside, she was ordered onto lifeboat 16 and handed a baby. When Violet and the rest of the survivors were picked up by the RMS Carpathia a woman grabbed the baby she was holding and ran off without saying a word. She never found out what became of the baby or if the woman was the child’s mother.

The First World War started and Violet served as a stewardess for the British Red Cross on the Britannic, which had been converted into a hospital ship. An unexplained explosion caused the ship to sink in the Aegean Sea. 30 people died. Violet Jessop survived.

Undeterred by these events Violet returned to the White Star Line in 1920.

 Tamerlane’s Curse


Tamerlane was a 14th Century Turko-Mongol military leader. He followed in the footsteps of Ghengis Khan, who reigned a century earlier. Tamerlane idolized Genghis Khan and used similar methods to build his empire. His wife, Saray Mulk Khanum was a Chagatai princes and direct descendant of Genghis.

During his reign, Tamerlane’s armies killed seventeen million people, about 5% of the entire population of the globe.

In 1941, Russian archaeologists escavated Tamerlane’s tomb and found inscribed within were the words, “When I rise from the dead, the world shall tremble.” Another inscription on his coffin read, “Whoever opens my tomb shall unleash an invader more terrible than I.”

Within two days Hitler invaded the USSR.

 King Umberto I Of Italy And His Doppelganger

 King Umberto

On 28 July 1900, King Umberto I of Italy was having dinner in a restaurant. The owner came over to take the King’s order they quickly realised they had a lot in common.

For a start they were both called Umberto and were almost perfect doppelgangers of one another. They got to talking and discovered some more unusual coincidences. They were both born on 14 March 1844 in the same town of Turin, and were both married to women named Margherita, who they married on the same day, and the both had a son named Vittorio.

The restaurant owner opened his restaurant on the same day that King Umberto was crowned King of Italy.

The following day the restaurateur was shot dead. Later that same day, while out in a public street, King Umberto learned his death from his aide. While expressing his regret a rogue anarchist in the crowd pulled out a gun and assassinated him.

 Franz Ferdinand And The Sandwich

 Franz Ferdinand

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the catalyst that kicked off the First World War. But it almost didn’t happen. Ferdinand’s assassin was 19 year-old Gavrilo Princip. He was part of the freedom-fighting Black Hand Gang.

While waiting in the street for the Archduke to pass in his open-top car, so that he could shoot him, another member of the Black Hand Gang, further up the street, threw a bomb at the car. The bomb hit Franz Ferdinand’s car and bounced off. It rolled under the car behind and exploded, injuring an officer and several bystanders.

The car carrying the Archduke sped off towards the town hall to escape. Gavrilo Princip, feeling dejected that the assassination had failed, walked around the corner and entered a delicatessen for a sandwich.

Having calmed down a bit, Franz Ferdinand decided to go to the hospital to visit the victims of the attack. Unfortunately the driver took a wrong turn and while trying to reverse to turn around stalled the car. They had stalled directly outside the delicatessen that Princip was now exiting with his sandwich.

He saw, to his utter astonishment, Franz Ferdinand and his wife, right there in front of him. He pulled out his gun and shot them both dead.

Robert Lincoln, Presidential Angel Of Death

 Robert Todd Lincoln

Robert Todd Lincoln was the son of President Abraham Lincoln. His life was riddled with coincidence. In the history of America there have been four presidential assassinations. Robert was present for three of them.

Robert wasn’t at Ford’s Theatre during his father’s assassination but he was rushed to his bedside and was present when the President succumbed to his injuries.

16 years later, in 1881, Robert was working as Secretary of War for President James Garfield. A few months after he started the job, Robert was accompanying President Garfield to the train station in Washington. A man named Charles Guiteau jumped out with a pistol and shot the president twice.

In 1901 President William McKinley invited Robert Lincoln to join the Presidents entourage at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. An anarchist named Leon Czolgosz ambushed the President. Leon shook President Garfield’s hand, pulled out a gun, and shot him twice.

After this event Robert Lincoln refused any invites to events involving Presidents. After one such invite he said, “No, I’m not going, and they’d better not ask me, because there is a certain fatality about Presidential functions when I am present.”

There is one more coincidence in Robert Lincoln’s life that is worth mentioning. When he was still a student at Harvard he fell onto the tracks at a train station between the carriage and the platform. A man reached down and grabbed him by the collar, pulling him to safety and saving his life. That man was Edwin Booth, one of the most famous actors of the 19th century and the brother of John Wilkes Booth, the man who would one day assassinate Robert’s father.

 Russian Coin

 Russian Coin

During the Cold War soviet spies used to use hollow coins to hide secret messages in. A delivery boy named Jimmy Bozart, who worked for the Brooklyn Eagle, was collecting payments on his round when something odd about one of the coins caught his attention. He examined it briefly and then threw it to the ground where it spit in half and revealed a small piece of paper inside.

Jimmy showed his friend at school who then told his dad, who was an NYPD officer, who passed the coin up the chain of command until it ended up in the hands of the FBI.

The piece of paper found inside the coin turned out to be a tiny photograph that consisted of columns of numbers. It was a code. There was no key for the code and cryptologists and code-cracking machines were unable to decipher it.

Four years later a Russian KGB officer named, Reino Hayhanen, was called back to the USSR. Not wanting to return he stopped on his way from America to the USSR in Paris and gave himself in. From there he called the U.S. embassy and soon found himself back on US soil.

Someone involved remembered the coin from four years previous and asked Reino if he would be able to decode it. He could. It turned out the message was meant for him and was simply welcoming him to Amercia from Moscow.

 Mark Twain and Halley’s Comet

 Mark Twain

Mark Twain, author of Huckleberry Finn, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, was born 30 November 1835. Halley’s Comet, which passes Earth every 75 years, also made an appearance in 1835.

74 years later Mark Twain gave a prediction. He said, “It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together’.”

On 20 April 1910, Halley’s Comet came by again. The following day Mark Twain died of a heart attack.

Crossword Secrets


In 1944, D-Day codenames started to appear as solutions in the Daily Telegraph’s crosswords.

The crosswords were created by Leonard Dawe. When not creating puzzles Dawe was the headmaster at Strand School in Leatherhead. Next to the school was a large camp of US and Canadian troops getting ready for D-Day. The security at the camp was so lax that school boys were able to enter the camp and hang around with the soldiers. The boys overheard codenames for D-Day landing sites and spoke about them at school.

Looking for new words for the crossword, Leonard Dawe, put some of these codenames the boys were unknowingly sharing into the crossword.

For a few months leading up to the D-Day landings the words, Gold, Sword, and Juno, all appeared. Those words were codenames for landing sites. The British Secret Service put these down to coincidence but a full investigation was launched when things got more specific. Overlord, Utah, Neptune, Mulberry, Omaha, and Dieppe, all appeared as solutions in the puzzle, and all were codenames for different aspects of the attack.

The War Office called for an investigation and Leonard Dawe was interrogated by MI5. They concluded that Leonard had no idea he was leaking British secrets and the whole thing was put down to coincidence.

 Hoover Dam

 Hoover Dam

The building of the hoover dam was bookended by two related deaths. On 20 December 1921, John Gregory Tierney died in a flash flood while surveying locations for the dam along the Colorado River.

96 people died during the construction of the dam but John Tierney was the first.

Fourteen years later to the day, on 20 December 1935, the last person to die while working on the dam was Patrick William Tierney; John Tierney’s only son.