1.1 Home: "The Red Grouse Tales"

I honestly can't remember when I first came up with idea of a group of friends telling each other tales in a pub, but it was that idea which gave rise to The Red Grouse Tales - The Red Grouse being the name of the pub - and as for the tales; these I wanted to be slightly fantastic whilst at the same time being as real and plausible as possible, modern day fairy stories if you like.  A plausible fairy story? What is this guy talking about, I hear you say? So let me put this another way, namely, a contemporary folk tale, a contemporary fairy story.


Very few of us ever experience high drama in our lives; normal life is just not like that, thank goodness! Normal life is just that, normal, everyday, nothing particularly special. So what if something truly fantastic happened right now in our normal everyday lives? How would it strike us, how would we react?


Just suppose for a minute that we left our house one morning, walked up the road and on the other side of the road sitting on a bench and reading a newspaper was a real life angel. Yes, just suppose a real life angel was sitting there with all its supernatural powers! Or perhaps an actual ghost! Would we recognise either? Hold on! Who says that an angel has to have feathery wings and a halo, or a ghost has to be semi-transparent, have its head under its arm and be covered in a bed sheet? Yes, such beings might look thus if they wanted to bring attention to themselves, but why would an angel - a being as old as creation - or a ghost - a being hopelessly trapped in space and time - and both totally untouchable by mere mortals like us, wish to do that? After all angels don't have human egos and certainly have no need to show off to us, and ghosts are more likely to be ashamed of their status rather than proud of it and so very unlikely to want to draw attention to themselves. So the chances are we wouldn't recognise either and wouldn't be any the wiser. And of course we can also make the same assumptions about devils, demons and other supernatural beings, because if we assume that angels - the good guys - might be amongst us, then we must also assume that the dark side of the spectrum is also right here amongst us, and that is a little more troubling!


So if we are talking of stories which contain angels and demons, then we are also talking of stories which must acknowledge right and wrong, good and evil, and so philosophy and religion also, of necessity, have to be added to the mix. No, we don't have to go off into some make-believe world to find the fantastic, it could be right here, right now and we are just not seeing it!


No, this is not a new idea; far from it! One of the original concepts of The Fairies was that of the dead in human form and size walking amongst the living, the cute little girls with butterfly wings was another less sinster one! And stories of elves, witches, pixies and trolls, together with angels and demons and the concepts of good and evil - are of course as old as the hills. No, there is nothing new in any of this.

What I hope is new in The Red Grouse Tales series is that of a more modern take on these old ideas, mixed with a bit of thought provocation, resulting in, I trust, a good read.