‘Scorpion’s Tale’ Detective Liv Harris, by Milly Reynolds

In Scorpion’s Tale, former Inspector Liv Harris, after a series of humiliating demotions, has now moved to a small Midlands town to seek not only a new start in life as a Private Investigator, but also a love life.

Unsure of what she wants, Liv meets a potential partner through a dating website, but while this is wholly unfulfilling from the beginning, quite unexpectedly she finds herself emotionally drawn to Karen, her friendly and very athletic neighbour.

Very soon the two women become virtually inseparable, causing Liv to question her own needs and her own sexuality, especially as she then falls into a physical relationship with a male police colleague from the local force, an old friend of the man she never landed, Jack Sallt.

Confused, she throws herself into the work given to her by her new lover, the perplexing cases of several missing persons who all worked for a local council. Alarmingly her investigations propel her into the warped, violent world of an ex-warrior with several bitter scores to settle.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

*With creative writing, sometimes you need all the support you can get…

Poem ‘Another Day in Helmand’

Another Day in Helmand

He joined willingly
and has no complaints.
This is the life he chose.
He signed on the dotted line

knowing the score from day one;
about the low rates of pay
and the invisible enemy
who won’t play by the rules.

And show me where they said
all the equipment would be there,
that it would be all up to date.
There were benefits, too;

he was lauded several times by
flying visits of premiers and ministers,
who stood squinting in the sun
praising his courage, his skill,

in the best army in the world.
Yes, the cause was just,
his presence there directly protected
those he loved back home:

Our freedom, our democracy.
Yes, it was tough but he knew
he would have a trade,
something to contribute,

something solid to show
for his service to a grateful country,
plus a good pension to fall back on.
Now, not everyone has that.

I saw him the other day
admiring poppies in the sun,
to the clatter of pans and plates,
the warming sounds of Sunday lunch.

He’d been reading the paper
and that’s where I saw the
map of Helmand province
thrusting up into that rugged land,

where his life was changed
and such medals were won –
and where his legs were lost.

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012

* first published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, which can be found at amazon.com