The International Writers Magazine: Guy Block's Last Blast
hell," groaned Guy Block as he removed himself post coital
from the young girl he had shared his bed with. Heaving himself
down onto the clammy comfort of the pillows he breathed out deeply
and exhausted and ran a hand over his hot brow. "Im getting
old," he said to no one in particular between panting breaths.
purred Lise, a young Sociology lecturer newly joined to Hopemouth "That
was fantastic," she said pleasing Guy immensely. "Much better
than last time," she added before throwing the duvet off and padding
naked to the en- suite shower as Guy twitched his head back as if hed
been hit. Well his ego had taken a strike definitely.
The water in the shower ran loudly sending steam billowing into the
room. "I have to rush darling, Ive a class at 9," Lise
called out to Guy, who groaned despairingly and stared at the dusty
ceiling above him.
Maybe he was getting old. This was the dark days of Hopemouth University
It was dark indeed, and that wasnt just because most of the light
bulbs in the dorms and corridors were faulty.
The VC, the fat greedy and ignorant old cow that she was has been forcibly
moved in a bloodless coup over failing to put Hopemouth higher in the
educational leader boards and a new regime has taken over led by a Miliband
look-alike, complete with shit eating grin, named somewhat fortuitously
enough in line with new labour, Mr Gordon Blair. If ever there were
a bastard amalgamation it was in the name and the shape of the new VC.
And with him came a new company of security guards who stalk the concrete
corridors, walkways and gantries in big black puffer jackets, ominously
reporting to the VCs office every half hour where no doubt, the
little seen but always felt Mr Blair, resided taking great care and
attention to their walkie-talkied torrents.
Rumour ran through the staff rooms whilst deadline fever ran through
the students and a pantomime horse ran through the quiet corridors of
the Sociology Faculty, as was often its want. Lise smiled wryly and
quickly petted Guy on the cheek before entering her class for the day.
Quite why a pantomime horse appeared once more was anyones guess
but Guy Block, Professor of English Literature, was reassured to see
that in a sea of upheaval, some things never changed. Students still
had an overwhelming capacity to dick about.
He was also relieved an pleased to see as he walked out onto the grounds,
that in this new world order of Hopemouth, the ghostly wasted figure
of Anarchic Anna, once the most beautiful and promising student of late
60's Hopemouth but for some years the resident bag lady of its grounds,
was still in attendance. She caught Guy looking at her as he made his
way to his room, her pinpoint eyes fixing on him causing him some distress,
but even more distress when she asked with a throaty reed that still
hinted at her once posh and enthralling tongue; "Did we ever shag?"
Like a football fan tuning into the news before Match Of The Day, he
did not want to know the answer and looking away, Guy hurried on just
as the black clouds parted sending a shower of fat rain down upon Hopemouth.
It never rains
Guy had had a miserable start to the week, and he feared that today
would not improve matters. There was something in the air at Hopemouth
with this new regime and he didnt like it. Of course what made
matters worse, was the fact that at the start of the week, before the
climactic yet tiring fun of the morning with Lise and after the alleged
disappointing fun previously he had had further disappointment. He had
midweek taken home a very attractive young girl student of his by the
name of Amanda Fox, and fox by name, fox by nature. The crowning glory
for Guy being that she habitually wore pigtails in his class. However
that was the only crowning glory for having got her back to his place
it appeared that hot though she was in the looks department, she was
decidedly cold on pursuing anything extra curricular. Positively frigid,
Guy thought. It appeared that he had made the terrible mistake that
many men are prone to; the failure to read the signs correctly. For
Ms Fox was of the touchy-feely kind of girlies and that was not a sign
inviting you to shag her senseless, more a sign to show how much she
cared about people and wanted to be friends with everyone. So ever the
gallant gentleman, Block accepted his miscalculation and he asked her
to be adult about it, not to let it interfere with the student/lecturer
relationship, explained he would have been mad not to try by complimenting
her on her great looks and thanked her for a good night before letting
her take her leave suitably embarrassed but determined to keep it their
. But it pours.
Guy noticed an envelope on the floor as he opened up his room. With
a creaking back he bent down to pick it up. And tore it open to find,
a summons to the VCs office at 4pm that afternoon.
This did not bode well.
So Guy Block did what any self-respecting man in his mid fifties would
do, he panicked. It just had to be bad news. There had been much talk
of economising and cost cutting the faculties and Guy imagined this
meeting would be his turn to defend the English budget and try to adopt
his square hole to fit the VCs round peg. Oh what fun. To take
his mind of it he embarked on marking dissertations for the rest of
the day. Its remarkable what horrors you would sooner face than
a supposed bigger horror.
At three fifty, a security guard and one of the VCs administrators
entered Guys room. The admin bod, a white haired thin man with
thick black eyebrows reminded Guy of those SS Generals one saw in old
WWII movies, and indeed the way they flocked around Guys desk
did not help diminish this appearance. Finally he spoke, as softly as
all the best cruel enemies do, "Could you come this way Prof Block,
The VC is expecting you." Guy blew out his breath and shoulders
sagging left the dissertations and stepped out into the corridor and
out onto the grounds to face a golf buggy style vehicle.
"If youd care to step in sir?" said the gruff guard
as the administrator took the first seat. Bemused Guy moved into the
back seat. "This is a new idea of the VCs," the administrator
explained. "A great boon for his staff in a campus so large as
"Im surprised the last VC hadnt thought of it,"
Guy replied as the little motor scurried them across the pathways. "After
all she was the largest thing on campus." It was clearly a tough
crowd, as his little jibe was ignored. But then, Guy thought, they could
not see the ridiculousness in driving around in a little contraption
like this so maybe they just had no sense of humour.
Finally, they had arrived at their destination and Guy was led into
the VCs oak panelled and leather chaired boardroom. Blair smiled
wanly as he entered the room and raised a gracious hand at the seat
"Prof Block, welcome. Mr Pascoe here, my senior administrator will
be taking notes today," he said.
Guy didnt like this.
"Whats this about?"
Blair smiled in that way that suggested he knew that was what Guy was
going to say and that it had amused him privately that he had guessed
right. After a sip of Evian, he allowed himself to explain; "Certain
malpractices have come to my attention Prof Block. Malpractices you
"What?" Guy flinched and spread a hand through his fine blonde
"Unethical practices Prof Block with members of the opposite sex,"
Mr Blair explained. Guy could hear the hurried scribbling of Pascoe
of the SS and felt his temperature rise. He had to defend himself.
"Now look, who has made these allegations?"
"Prof Block, with respect
" The VC began
"No! Ah um, lets see
not Amanda Fox? Well the silly
bitch, look nothing actually happened." Guy said and turning to
Pascoe added "You write that down nothing happened, she didnt
fancy it so we parted, it's lies I can assure you"
"Its not Amanda Fox," said the VC.
Guy looked puzzled, he drew a deep breath as he gathered his thoughts
and ploughed on.
"Madeline then? No wait...her boyfriend, hes complained about
me and her"
His guess was met with stony faces
"Tottie Love, then?"
The stone faces started to grow puzzled
"Abbie, the reader? Blonde girl, wonderfully short cropped hair,
The faces turned from puzzlement to alarm
"Millie? Help me out here, student or staff?"
"Prof Block Im afraid youre rather incriminating yourself."
The VC rather sportingly replied
"Am I?" Block said absently
"Its sort of staff." Pascoe mumbled helpfully
"Well its not Lise! The new Sociology lass thats for
sure, Ive just seen to her and well I know she was a bit put out
by one of my performances but I hardly think shed take that up
"Prof Block" Pascoe beseeched hoping to stop this tirade of
lust, but a Guy Block in full flow was a Guy Block hard to stop. As
several ladies will confirm.
"Not that researcher? Look that was just a rumour, all I did was
take her out for a social drink, very informal but above board and then
give her an internal examination
I mean, ah not like
that I mean I examined her work," Guy puffed out a sigh. "Um
He trailed off.
"Perhaps this will help," said Mr Blair, the VC and he motioned
at Pascoe who rose from his seat behind Block to the VCR and TV in the
corner of the room. Placing a VHS in Guy sat confused at a grainy black
and white picture fuzzed itself in and out of focus of two people clearly
"Do you recognise this Prof Block?" the VC asked.
Guy Block shifted in his seat and screwed his eyes up before summarising
"Is it someone vacuuming?"
"No, no it is not, its an act of sexual intercourse,"
said the VC.
"Ah right, its doggie, ah yes I see it now."
"Its you Prof Block, you and the bursars young daughter!"
said the VC, his voice rising a little at the incredulity.
Block was silent for a few moments, his eyes transfixed at the screen.
Finally he spoke "Whose room are we in?"
"Its the bursars reception. Do you mean to say there
was more than one occasion?" Pascoe said shocked
Block ummed a little
"Prof Block!" The VC yelled in both despair and annoyance
"This is hardly Through The Keyhole!"
"I dont know, she wasnt the most accommodating fit
you know, very innocent"
"Prof Block what have you to say for yourself?" the VC demanded
"Ive got good taste?" Block offered
"Prof Block, the bursar has complained, a complaint that I cannot
and will not ignore. Indeed you give me no option after your blatant
confession to more of these improper and illicit affairs going on."
Block ran a hand over his face. "I frankly do not believe this"
he said from under his heavy palm. Spasmodically he jerked his hand
away and with a twitch of his head launched into a measured yet vibrant
speech; "My libido has been known in academic circles for some
time. I have given a lot of my life to Hopemouth and in all those years
my sex life was never a secret. Now you come along and decree it to
be some depraved and disgusting act. Well it may be for you, you moronic
looking cretin, but it isnt for me or the people I call friends
and colleagues. You said it yourself its an act of sexual intercourse.
Its sex, a discharge of fluid, that is all, but more it is an
act of love or randiness that elevates your very essence and girls actually
like it you know? They actually like a good rogering from time to time.
Dont be fooled that she was bent over there and Im rather
forcibly giving it to her," he said pointing an arm at the screen,
"Its consensual, I didnt have to beg for it, unlike you,
and she enjoyed it. She enjoyed me. I have that gift apparently, I have
a natural charisma that is quite attractive Im told and if you
do not believe it ask anyone of those names I have just mentioned that
you have taken upon yourselves to consider as my confession and whilst
youre at it ask
." His hand grew ever
more frantic towards the screen.
"Felicity," Pascoe helpfully mumbled.
"Felicity, thats it, yes, bursars daughter, perky tits,
wonderful vag" Block laughed and snorted and threw his head back,
but found no one joined in. "Christ you poor dolts, dont
you realise its fun. It makes one feel ALIVE! And at my age to
be able to still have the natural gift to attract divine young beautiful
bodies, well frankly, youd have to be mad to miss the opportunity."
"But youre married?" The VC asked incredulously
"Bah, dont hold that against me!" Guy snorted in amusement.
"I still play the field, I love programming the missiles and hitting
send I make no excuses for it"
"Prof Block please, Im trying to be serious."
"As am I! Im talking about my life here and my livelihood
as it appears to be on the line."
"Please Prof Block, listen to me. Hopemouth University cannot tolerate
an unethical approach to the lecturer/student relationship, especially
when one is brought to my attention by way of complaint. Therefore it
is my opinion that
"Opinions are like arseholes," Block interjected testily.
"Everyone has them and yours has more shit than most"
For a moment Block thought old Pascoe was going to faint. The VC did
his sickening smile once more, looked down at his pen and straightened
his tie before continuing; "As I was saying, it is my
an enforced sabbatical may be an ideal solution at this awkward time"
Guy sat up in his seat "A sabbatical? You mean a suspension"
"Well, technically yes. But please remember either term means not
definite. We are not about to let a highly esteemed Professor of your
calibre go just because of a few, ahem, peccadilloes. Therefore, and
with the knowledge that the bursar is set to retire in around a years
time we have decided that a suspension or sabbatical abroad on the lecture
circuits may please all concerned, allowing us to be seen to have done
something, you to have a career at Hopemouth still and you may be able
to get some writing done too, then eventually the dust will settle and
its welcome home." The VC explained.
"Where do you have in mind?" Guy Block asked
"Iceland. Then wherever you fancy taking in next. Im told
you do very well on the circuit." The VC smiled cheesily.
"Why cant we just say sod the old duffer bursar, the fuckers
never liked me. Explain to him that his girl had to be deflowered at
some time or other and just let me get on with it?" Block asked,
throwing the dice one last time.
Mr Blair sucked the air in before speaking as if just about to give
a rather expensive quote on your plumbing system; "We cant
do that, because I am the newly appointed VC, this is my decision, the
decision I made and the decision I am happy with. To let this pass will
show a weakness on my part and make no mistake, I am not weak,"
he followed that with that smile again.
"I cant really say no then can I?" Block asked
"No, you cant," the smile grew cheesier.
Guy Block stood up and with a slight bow said "Thank you, VC"
and left the room.
The following morning, in his room, Guy Block surveyed the years of
stuff he had accumulated. Sod it, he thought, take what really matters,
leave the rest for Blairs security to store, and with that he
grabbed his old Penguin copies of Lady Chatterleys Lover and
Women In Love and opened up his drawer. After a moment or two
rifling through bits and pieces he found what he was looking for and
when he saw it a smile broke broadly out across his face and his eyes
grew misty. There in his hand was an old fraying photo of a stunning
young blonde haired girl, with no imperfections whatsoever, just starting
out in life with innocence in her eyes. Her face was turning side on
to the photographer, chewing the corner of her lip absently, clearly
she had just been told to turn for the camera. It was Wendy; the first
girl student Guy Block ever truly fell for way back in 1974 at the start
of his lecturing career and his love games. Carefully he placed the
picture in the inside pocket of his jacket and after a brief look at
the empty chairs before him, turned on his heel to leave. Only to be
confronted by the bounding tall and elegant shape of his dear friend
and colleague, Emma Latimer.
"Ive just heard," she said stepping her weight onto
"Yes, its true Im off," Guy answered.
"Finally caught you at it then?" she said lustily, but they
both knew she was putting a front on.
"Yes, fair cop. Good shag to go out on though, bursars daughter,"
he snorted and she chuckled throatily in the way that drove her male
students wild with desire. Slowly they both left the room, Guy locked
the door and handed the keys to Emma. " Say goodbye to Lise in
Sociology for me," he said with a conspiring wink.
"You did?" Emma asked and received a nod in reply.
"Ha!" Emma laughed and placed a tenner in his hand, she had
lost the bet. "You dirty old rogue"
"Less of the old" Guy joked back and then his smile left him,
as he knew this was goodbye. "Um Ill be staying with Rhiannon
my daughter for a week or so first, be good to get the chance to build
bridges and then Im off, Reykjavik calling."
Emma stood there without a word just letting the information sink in.
She could hardly believe it. Guy lifted up a remonstrating finger. "Now,
dont be like that, come on girl, things to do, water the plant
for me, keep fighting the VC and bureaucracy, oh and no nicking anything,
Ill be back" he said and hugged her. "The weed is in
the top left hand drawer," he whispered in her ear causing her
to giggle that husky Grigot and Gauloises laugh once more.
They held the embrace for a moment and then Guy made to leave. He walked
a few steps before turning to face her once more. "I will be back,"
he said, and with his characteristic little twitch he moved off, his
thin frame pacing down the corridor and out into the big wide world.
"I hope so," said Emma, a little dumbstruck, a tear formed
in the corner of her eye as she watched him go.
© Mark Cunliffe December 2007
Eddie Cochran once sang of love as being a journey built on Three
Steps To Heaven;
'Step one - you find a girl to love
Step two - she falls in love with you...'
Mark Cunliff's spook story
Harry trudged bitterly up the marble steps of the imposing house and
pressed the buzzer. It was gone eleven at night, he was tired and his
Man in Africa
The jeep bounced along the dirt road sending Harry up from his seat
and back down again with a crash. His stomach was not happy about this.
You can buy the Collected Guy Block stories here
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