In memory of Jilly’s- All Stood Still 1

Note My only piece of Rockworld fiction, this was part of a parallel worlds story which never got very far. If pale blue aliens were going to materialise anywhere, the middle of Jilly’s dancefloor would be the sort of place they’d choose. Can anyone remind me which song I lifted the title from? There’s another line about “Still stood still”.

The only tan man in a world of black and denim, Sam surveyed Rockworld. There was a statuesque lady in a basque over by the pool tables, lots of large hairy rockers and more than a few of the short cute indie chicks he lusted after. One day, he really had to talk to one of them.

The beer had taken him away from the dislocated feeling that had lingered from Market Street. Now he needed to dance. Where was everyone else?

Out on the dancefloor, hiding behind one of the pillars, the gang were safe from extreme mosh. They were collecting discarded bottles, though. Another lee. Sam tapped one bottle aside, just to see where it rolled. He guessed the rhythm, matching the beat through trial and error. At this time of night everyone was too drunk to mock his geek level lack of coordination.

The playlist boiled down to six or seven songs he recognised, three he didn’t then back to familiar territory. An acceptable ratio. The DJ launched straight into Teen Spirit. Everyone on the dance floor puffed up. Lots of people off were drawn in.

Sam had once had the hair for this song. Now it was too short. It didn’t flap, let alone fly, around his head as he banged. He imagined it growing out on the down swing, swirling round and obscuring his vision on the up.

Everything slowed down, went blurry. The song was driven by a slow strong heartbeat rather than charging anger. The other dancers were dark blurs, black on black on black. All merging together, lost in the trance. Sam was moving as slow, but he could look all around, his eyes spinning in their sockets.

There. In the middle of the dancefloor, a fine, slim shape, the faintest hint of blue. Appearing from nowhere, with a residual glow from the journey. She looked around then walked off, the crowd parting before her. Normal speed rather than the treacle slow of the dancers.

For a moment Sam was distracted. Across the dancefloor, the only other person in focus. Short, dark hair, pale face, an indie chick from his sweetest fantasy. She was staring at him, briefly distracted from the new arrival.

And the music was back, proper speed. Sam staggered, off balanced by the shift. He considered running across the dancefloor, after the blue glowing woman. Or the dark, staring girl. It wasn’t going to work. He could skirt the dancefloor, intercept them at the door.

What he might say didn’t occur to him. He just had to catch up with either of them. The gang were staring as he took off, he didn’t have to look around to know that.

The blue woman was through the door, the people she passed oblivious to her, and turned toward the Rock room. The girl was a few steps ahead of Sam. She had a fitted top and snug jeans. Sam had just seen someone materialise on a crowded dancefloor and he was thinking of cupping a hand and feeling those arse cheeks. His priorities were still in the right place.

Through the Rock room and they still couldn’t catch their vision. Into the PVC room. It was a dead end, maybe now they could get some answers.

Except she wasn’t there. There was a woman in an all white outfit, hot pants, bustier and fishnets, dancing with herself, but no mysterious glowing lady.

The indie chick turned to Sam. She had big brown eyes, pale skin and fine features. If she talked to him he was going to fall in love.

“That’s the second time that’s happened to me today.”

Smitten, Sam could just nod. “Me too.”

RIP Jilly’s Rockworld

Jillys Rockworld This is the worse news I have will ever have to impart here. It is with the heaviest of heart that I must tell you all that Jilly’s Rockworld has finally closed its doors for the last time. As of now we are no longer. The recession has another victim. A great club and an institution in Manchester for many many years is now only history.

More here and here. Manchester Confidential has more on the story.

Bugger. I know I only went there two or three times a year and it wasn’t as good as it used to be, but it was an institution and I shall miss it.

You’ve got to roll with the punches just to get to what’s real

Into the classic rock room and magically we can recognise what they’re playing.

Fiction- Ron

Notes I’m working my way through the archives looking for stuff to collate into a book of short, and very short, fiction. It’s inspired in part by some of Warren Ellis’s musings on the papernet. I’ve been sticking little chunks of fiction on here for a while. Some have been set ups for longer stories that never happened, others were self contained. This piece followed Tribes and All Stood Still but, as far as I can tell, has never appeared on the blog before. It’s an experiment in layout and dialogue which may be a bit of a mess. I fully expect to go back in and tweak the html.


I’m Ron. It’s short for Saffron.

Oh. Right. I’m Sam.



Did you just see…..?

Yeah. On the dancefloor?




I saw someone do that in TK Maxx this morning.

I saw it on Market Street.

This is fucked up.

Yeah. Er, wanna drink?




So what?

So, who you buying a drink for?




Damn, that’s one short transvestite.

Short for Saffron.

I’m not sure that’s any better.


Two bottles of Brown, please.


Who’s your friend?


Some sort of karmic G love thing?


I don’t know. It just…. Sort of…… Sounded right.

He saw it too.

The… It, the…. thing? In TK Maxx?

Here. There was one on the dancefloor.

There are a lot of freaks on the dancefloor, Ron.

That appear from thin air?


No. I guess not.


Brown. This is Dave.








Oh. I love this song. Seeyas.





I should take the hint, shouldn’t I?

See you later.




I told Sarah.

About the… people appearing from nowhere.


She thinks I’m crazy, I think.

I think I’m crazy.

But I wouldn’t dare assess your sanity.

Crap to this. You dancing?



Sam. Could you be any more beige?

It’s what I wear, alright.

I don’t like jeans.

Do you own any black?

Some. No trousers.

Why do you come here?

Dave’s got a bad goth habit.

Hey, so I do goths from time to time. I can handle it.

See? My jacket’s black.

Flasher mac.

Where are you heading?

I’m in Rusholme. He’s in Longsight.

We’re in Chorlton, or we’d offer to share a cab.

There are normally a few outside the hotel, up there.

Bus stop’s just down here.


I thought you were catching the bus?

Oh I am. I just thought….

Can I have your number? So we can talk about…. y’know.




That’s work on the front, but the number on the back’s my mobile.

Okay. See you.