All posts by Vivika Widow

Author, playwright and founder of the Ragdolls UK foundation who support children and young adults suffering from genetic disorders. Visit www.vivikawidow.com for more info

Character Profile: Mr Kutz

“I hate to be a fusspot …”

Name: Wolfgang Kutz

Age: late forties

Occupation: Lawmaker (Hell Hound office)

Features in: KNOCK KNOCK ; THE BOSS

He’s Mr Particular of the Office of Lawmakers. His thorough attention to his cases make him a frustrating advesary for those who didn’t follow the rules. He doesn’t like to have anyone escape the grips of the law and he’s willing to go to whatever lengths it takes to uncover the truth.

From the country of Jole, Kutz is a naturally sprightly and bubbly person. This doesn’t make him any more amicable to those who are before his bench. His effervensance just makes it appear he loves his job way too much. He says he hates to a fusspot but some rogues might argue he just loves to make a fuss.


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The most Hellish prison imaginable lies in wait for four unfortunate inmates.

The Deadly Sins

We all have our vices. Some are worse than others but as human beings we are far from perfect. I read an interesting article the other day which questioned why atheists don’t indulge in their darkest desires since they don’t believe in a God to offer them moral teaching. It was concerning to think that the presence of some kind of almighty was all that was keeping people from hurting one another. When you think about it, the presence of deitys has been the reason we’ve been hurting one another throughout our existence. Still to this day, arguments over who’s God is better leads to the deaths of hundreds. It got me thinking, is the fear of an almighty a good enough way to keep people following a code of morals?

Fear is no way to hold anyone in line. There are many people who know it’s wrong to hurt others or treat people a certain way without believing in God. There are many strict believers who are perpetrators of the worst crimes. Take the Magdalene sisters for instance. By definition they were righteous, Holy nuns but the way they treated the girls in their care was in no way moral. I’m not an atheist. I consider myself a spiritual person just not necessarily a religious one. I don’t always make moral decisions because I’m a flawed being the same as everyone else but our morality is something that is deeply rooted in us. We treat each others well because our natural being knows that is how society should work.

Greed, Lust, Gluttony, Pride, Anger, Envy, Sloth are considered the deadly sins. I guess this is because to indulge in these particular attributes makes you a bad person by any moral standards, relgious or otherwise. Show gratitude for what you have and you’ll never be greedy. Explore your urges in a respectful way and you’ll never be cried lustful. Treat your body well with the fuel you give it, never become gluttonous. Know your worth but not at the expense of others. Remember we are all on our own journey and our paths differ so you can’t compare your own to that of someone else. Sloth? Well, that just makes good sense.

All in all, folks, it shouldn’t take fear of the repercussions of a God to form your morality. We should treat each other well because we are all human, we all have our sins but we also have this beautiful capacity to help one another.


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The Boss Part 2 : Servitude (extract)

The Prayer Room is located in the Herod Halls of the castle, just off the overpass. It’s an original part of the building where St Wigan, when he was in residence, would lock himself away seemingly with no food or water for days. He emerged when God had delivered his message. Normally this meant someone was burned, hanged or buried alive in Gregor Court. God could be a nasty bastard if Noah Wigan was to be believed and Francesca Chamberlain made the perfect nasty vessel to operate through. However, that’s another grisly tale for another grisly day. For now, our story focuses on the Prayer Room in more recent times. The room has no plumbing. It doesn’t have a bowl or sink on offer. You eat and drink very little whilst you’re in there so you find yourself with little to excrete anyway.  

As the famed monk said, “God provides the nourishment.”  

He may have been able to get a fat soul with conversations with a figment in sky but for our inmates it drained what little will they had left. There are no windows.  You are completely engulfed in darkness. You are left alone with only time to think and to say your prayers.  

Jake tried to keep himself awake for as long as possible. He didn’t know how long he would be left to rot. He had no means of counting the hours. He could only try and keep himself awake for as long as possible – not that he would find much of a cosy bed. It was a moss covered, granite floor. In fact, the dampness within the Prayer Room really attacked the lungs. It was common in the prison to hear the cough of an inmate that had spent some time in solitary.  

Jake had to keep himself awake. He wanted to stay alert should some of the ghoul guards come for him. That was what the inmates were calling the guards who lost their minds. Jake didn’t pray. He never was the praying sort but the voice inside his head was ringing loud. He tried to keep it ringing as his eyes started to feel heavy. He was slumped on the floor. His issue trousers were damp from the moss. He was in the most discomfort he had ever felt but he couldn’t resist sleep. Those Beta brain waves were crying out to him.  

“Come on, Jakey. Just close your eyes. Sleep it away. Sleep. Sleep …”  

He was jerked awake by a sharp pain. Something had bitten him. He could hear a squeak and a draw of a long, worm-like tail across his hand. He pulled it away and as he did so he caught the feel of matted fur.  

“Fucking rat,” he grumbled to himself.  

There was another sharp bite on his lower leg where the trousers of his kit had slipped up. There was another one there. He could hear the hungry rodents squeak at each other. Then there was another bite at his hand. This one was harder than the others. The broken rat teeth must have pierced skin.  

Jake tried to kick his leg out to make them scurry away but they were brave and they were hungry so they took another bite. One ran across his chest, the worm tail drawing underneath his chin. Jake was on his feet by then trying to shake them off. They finally did scurry away when the doorway was opened.  

“2011?” The voice of the warden came through the dark. “What’s the story?”  

“My daughter,” Jake began. His voice sounded hoarse having not spoken in some time. “My sisters. My cousin.”  

“I’m sorry about your family,” Remar told him sincerely.  

He had put in a call to Fullerton Villa to find out what he could. 

“Lucy’s with her mum, from what I’m told,” Remar said. “She’ll be fine. Lionel received a shot to his shoulder and to chest but from what i hear he’ll be fine.  I’ll let you have a call and catch up a little later but if you get out of here you don’t bring me any trouble are we understood?”  

Jake nodded. He cleared his throat. “Of course.”  

Cerberus held 2011 in his searching gaze. There was something going wrong with the guards and he needed people among the inmates he could rely on should the worst happen. 


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The Prayer Room

It’s damp and it’s cold.

It was a dungeon of old.

Many men have wept on Her floors, even the bold.

When the door closes you are absorbed in the dark.

At least you’ll no longer hear the dog’s bark.

You are all alone with only the company of rats.

Spending your time pondering over this or that.

It’s too late now for any sorrowful regret.

Your time has come. It’s all been set.

What you deserve is what you’ll get.

Just pray it’s not yet.


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Character Profile: Seth Bergman

“A lovely boy is Seth. A lovely boy!”

Name: Seth Bergman

Occupation: Diamond Merchant

Features in: PURPLE RIBBON ; KNOCK KNOCK

As the son and heir of the Bergman Diamond Parade, Seth is known to carry himself with dignity and charm. He is much beloved in the community in which he lives and like his father, Howard, he enjoys a sterling reputation. Once head boy at the notable Kingsgate School where royals are taught, Seth has been preparing for most of his life to take his father’s place at the head of his family business.

Seth is intelligent, kind and has a talent for his work. However, diamonds require the sharpest tools to cut and Seth has a razor wit and a temper that certain things can provoke. Despite his naturally pleasant demeanour he can be temperamental when his family are in danger. His kindness is often mistaken for weakness. Seth may not be the most physically intimidating figure in the Shady City but should circumstances require he can be fearless and dare I say a little ruthless too.

His pacifistic father, Howard, has raised him to stay clear of the corruption and violence that is common in the Shady City but as things close in on them Seth believes they can’t avoid it forever. Being lifelong friends with the infamous Penn triplets, Seth could very easily slip into a way of life he is just not cut out for!


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Character Profile: Queen Francesca Chamberlain

“Bring me this one, and that one. I want their heads for a stew.

That fat one cowering in the corner? I suppose he’ll have to do.”

Name: Francesca Chamberlain The First

Features in: PURPLE RIBBON ; KNOCK KNOCK ; THE BOSS

Occupation: crowned queen five centuries prior to current events.

Painting of Francesca Chamberlain the first.

Despite her not living in current times the presence of Francesca Chamberlain is still felt, most notably in her castle in the northern city of Bournton. The call the castle The Boss because of the way it looms over the town below. It is currently a high security prison for the worst of the worst in the Shady City. It hasn’t changed much in the times since Francesca’s reign in that even then it was a dungeon that many feared to be held behind. Francesca was a bloody and merciless ruler taking great pride in the torture of her prisoners. They called her a witch because of the young maidens she drove to madness.

Francesca’s statue within The Boss

She may have been ruthless but most rulers in those days were. What she did hold dear though were her nephews, princes James and Edward. As sons of Francesca’s brother Henry, James was the rightful heir to Chamberlain dynasty. Having died in battle Francesca brought the princes to the castle for safe keeping. The intention was to rule in James’ stead until he came of age.

Whilst staying in the castle the younger prince, Edward, fell ill. Francesca believed a witch among them had cursed the little boy but luckily the arrival of a Holy man named Noah Wigan brought the boy back to health. From that moment Francesca was dedicated to the church Wigan was building. She heeded his advice above all and she became quite mad with her devotion.

Times have moved along since those days history books refer to as the Ballad of Blood. The modern Chamberlain family have left swords behind but bloodshed remains stained on the golden crown.


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My hero

We all need some inspiration. We all need someone to look up to. What do we seek in our heroes? I guess we look for someone who embodies the best elements we wish to see in ourselves. We look for a hero who can show us what it means to be braver, kinder, stronger or better in some way than we generally consider ourselves to be. You may find this in superheroes. It would be easy to when the media is so saturated with them. We may see it in public figures who have some qualities we look to emulate or are doing work that we find admirable. Heroes of all kinds inspire us to do our best and reach for a goal.

You might think heroes are something for children to look up to. I would argue that it’s not just young people who need the inspiration. Adults would do well to find someone to look up to. It could be someone younger too. Take Malala Yousafzai for instance. She is a truly inspirational girl who fought for the rights of others like her to have an education, something I took for granted to a certain extent. Her fearlessness in pursuit, despite her youth, is to be admired. She is a hero in a lot of respects.

For some a hero is someone who lived a long time ago but their impact is still felt such as Sophie Scholl, another young activist. Along with her brother, Hans, she resisted the Nazi indoctrination that was surrounding her. She boldly took part in distributing anti nazi leaflets. The reason her actions still resonate is because of the danger she knew she was putting herself in but still she continued. Eventually she paid the ultimate price for it but she believed there were more important matters.

We live in an age where it is so easy to be bombarded with the evil that is present in the world. There are so many bad people out there it would seem. I dare say there could be stories told about the people I have mentioned that wouldn’t place them in the best of lights. They are only human after all but if you find something in them or anyone for that matter that inspires you then embrace it. On the days you are finding it difficult to find a hero then take that as a cue that it’s you who is to step up. You can be the hero if you need to be. We all can. We can find inspiration and we can inspire.

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Why do you have to be that way?

I’m going to be blunt here because as you will find from the content of this particular post that’s just how I am. Ever since I was a little girl I have always been made out to be some kind of freak because I tend not to go about things the ’normal’ way. The other kids were, I guess, expected. When you are growing up you don’t know much about the world and you are learning so I can see why I was seen as being somewhat unusual by my peers. That wasn’t just it though. Adults were much of the same opinion.

What made me so freakish? What did I dare to do that was so unconventional? Nothing really. It was a curiosity I had about the world around me that others wanted to curb. They said they were concerned about me. After all, curiosity brought about the demise of the proverbial cat. I wanted to visit museums rather than playing with the other children. I wanted to read books rather than take part in party games. For that I seemed off and weird.

As I grew up I continued on that trajectory, caring not one bit about what others thought. As an adult I was considered strange because I had no interest in having children or getting married. To me marriage is an outdated concept that has no real place in modern society. Sure, there are plenty of people who love being married, are excited to be married or can find happiness in that kind of partnership but it’s just not for me. As a thirty something woman with my own independent life I don’t see any way a marriage could improve my current existence. I’m especially close to my little 11yo niece and my 3yo nephew so they are all the children I need.

I guess the point of this rant is to urge you all to live your life the way you want to. Do the things that make you happy despite what society might think is appropriate. I’ve grown up people thinking I’m a freak. Embrace that freakishness because odd things, atypical hobbies or out of the ordinary life decisions don’t make you any less valid than the most conventional of people. What would the world be without that varied tapestry?


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Dinner for Four

It’s an age old question that seems to be important to a lot of people. You most likely would have been asked it in your life in some shape or form and that question is, ’if you were to invite anyone in the world (living or deceased) to a dinner party who would those guests be?’

I like this question because to me it highlights the human want to connect with others, no matter the barriers. It shows we like to connect in an intellectual way. The purpose of this exercise is to show who you would like have around your table for the purposes of hearing what they have to say. A dinner party, by nature, is a way of sharing discussion and opening up. Those you would chose to sit around your table says a lot about your personality. So for the purposes of this discussion, my pick of dinner party guests would be as follows:

Charles Dickens

Not only is he one of my most favourite authors and a huge inspiration of mine, he was also a critic of the moral evil that was present in Victorian London. He used satirical writing to bring attention to these injustices and he was effective in doing so. This undoubtedly influenced writers who came after him to approach their work with the same boldness. I know that certainly was the case for me. From what is told he was a kind hearted, intelligent man who paid close attention to what was going on around him and for that reason having a chat with him would be an opportunity I would hate to miss.

Harry Houdini

Escape artist, circus performer and spiritualist debunker. Houdini is already an admired figure of mine so he would naturally make for an exciting presence at my table. I would love to ask him all about his escape acts and his performances. His thrill seeking presence would keep things lively and I’m naturally engrossed by people who have a performance flare. He spent a lot of his later career debunking spiritualists. Discussing this could make for a lively debate. Also, after some wine has flowed and bellies were filled he could grace us with a demonstration of one of his tricks.

Anne Frank

If there is ever a girl with a story to share at a dinner table it would be this one. She lived through great adversity and it was of no fault of her own. She was just a young girl who had no control over the devastation that was arising around her. She already had a fascinating story to tell as is evident in her famous diaries. Learning about this young girl’s remarkable experiences from her own mouth would have the discussions going on well into the small hours.

Those are just some examples of the fascinating figures I would invite to my dinner party. Given the opportunity to reach out to anyone, who would you choose? Funny? Inspirational? Intruiging? What would you look for in your dinner party guests.


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