Why I decided to write this book

Available here:

Ok, first off. Is this a shameless plug for my book?

Yes of course it is. But also I would like to explain my reasons for writing the book in the first place. Now I am aware that most of you are writers and creators so I’ll spare the “it was yearning inside me” tropes for another time. But the reason I wrote this is purely to see if I could.

To see if I could take an idea inside me, not the story mind you. But the idea of being a writer, and putting it into the world. Showing people, some close to me and others that are not, that I can be more that what is always on display in front of them

To show others your writing is to let people inside your head, even if your writing fiction and a character in no way embodies any of your own characteristics, those thoughts and words came from somewhere in you. And when you show others this, I have have found it to be more anxiety inducing then public speaking. Thankfully when people read my book (which is about a very violent and otherworldly cult) they didn’t change their opinion about me too much.

So this experiment was a success, the data was recorded and now I am halfway through my next book. Thank you for reading and supporting me.

The Empty City, Part Two

The Hidden

Dr Carrington tried to place the strange hieroglyphs to anything he had seen before. From any other culture but so far he was at a loss. The strange swirling patterns showed some sort of intelligence and the fact that some symbols repeated themselves showed that this was indeed some sort of language. He shook his head in frustration and looked further down the path. The giant walls of the mesa blocked out the already dwindling sunlight and he could feel the air cooling rapidly, he would need to find shelter quick. He shambled forward along the path and quickly came across more of the strange tombstones, as if they were some sort of mile markers that one would find on the outskirts of a city, He had hoped this was the case as the pain in his foot was reaching a screaming pitch and if it weren’t for his curiosity he would be completely awash in pain.

The Path began to get narrower and soon the walls were rubbing up agains the good doctors shoulders giving him nasty scrapes when he became to carless with his meandering. he now had to turn side on and shimmy through the crack which seemed to be getting thiner and thiner. He could see markings on the wall directly in front of his face telling him that indeed something was this way. The doctors mind began reeling at what possiblilities waited further down, would there be anything at all?. Finally it seemed that the crack had stopped, above him the two walls of the crack had joined and become soild mesa wall, only a small child sized hole was remaining at the bottom. he could feel air blowing from the otherside telling him that whatever soace was in there was large enough to generate a strong breeze. here he faced a dilema. the Plane radioed its last position before going down and burning, should he stay just in the mesa’s crack if the Royal airforce sends its pilots from Cairo to look form him or should he indulge his curiosity. It kgnawed at him, the idea of something unseen on the otherside of this limestone wall, would this lead him some sort of unexplained tomb? This could be his legacy, this could be his new tale of daring adventure. He took a deep breath in and struggled down to a crouching poisition. his bundled up frame struggling to compress itself to a size small enough for the hole. he sent his legs out in front of him and let them pass through the hole. he was kicking his legs to find some sort of footing, a ledge to stabilisr himself perhaps but he found nothing but air. he slid his back along the ground forcing his torso through the hole until only his head reamind. still tring to find a footing, something on the other side to hold. thenhis weight made the decision for him and he fell through the hole into the other side.

The air was russing past him and for a brief moment he was in free fall when he crashed into what felt like hay and loose sticks. laying there for a few moments trying to collect his thoughts as the wind had been knocked out of him. he glaced up and could see the hole, it was perhaps ten meters above him on the wall, but where was he?. The doctor sat up, he appeared to been in some sort of room, the walls seemed to be made of compreesed and dried mud like one would find in the older parts of Cairo and there was a few pots and wooden debrie scattered around. he figure he had crash landed in someones house!. The doctor got to his feet in case the occupants or some other witness to the fall came running and he tried to make hiself look as presentable as possible, but curiously noone came. He slowly walked to what looked like a door, it was made of planks of wood lashed together with no door handle, he stood at the door and listend for a moment. All he could hear was a low howling of the wind, peaking through the planks of the door he could make out a roough street and what apeared to be another house on the other side. taking in a deep breath he placed his hand on the door and pushed it open into the street. He was standing in a narrow lane, four meters wide with bulidings on both sides, looking down the lane he could see that buildings went further into a great mass of them, towerering ever higher, some higher then what he had seen in london, all apearing to be made out of the same compressed dried mud as the building he had exited. He had to collect his thoughts, for when he faced the way he came, he could see the hole he fell through, the walls of the masa stretching out in both directions until they disapered from veiw. but oposite the wall, the city towered ahead, possibly hundreds of kilometers ahead. it made no sense, they would of seen this large habitation from the sky, and surely a city this large would of had some sort of radio and heard their distress calls. He couldnt belive it, the city ahead of him rivaled New York in size, yet there was one, glaring, strage, and imideate diffrence. The city was completely silent. the whole area infact, you could hear a pin drop and indeed the most notable sound that the doctor could hear was the sound of his heart beating. He called out into the distance, a long bellowing hello followed by a request for help. nothing, and even more eriely, his voice made no echo in the massive space. The light here was dwindleing, the sun going just over the horrizon now bathing the world in a dark almost blue hue. he would have to find someone, his foot was screaming in pain still and he was starving and thirsty. a battle of curiosity, fear and survival insticts where raging inside him, he glanced back to the hole he fell through, the house, if it were a house, that he crashed into, and the street that stretchout toward the large and towering city. Deducing that he would have a better chance in a large urban area he lumbered off toward the city.

The going was getting slower and the light fading. on the walls of the buildings lay dry torches so he grabbed one and using his lighter created both a source of warmth and light. Moving down the lane in the near dark with the light flickering off the surroundings, the cold and silent surroundings made him feel the sort of fear one has as a child, the light playing tricks on him as the dancing flame of the torch cast up almost moving shadows around him. Looking around he still could see no sign of human habitation, other than the buildings around him, no signs, no street litter, nothing. as if some great culture had built a city with the intention of filling it with people later and just not getting around to it. he stopped for a moment, he had reached a intersection, his light not strong enough to make out anything in any direction. He slowed his breathing, forcing himself back into the scientific mindset. Maybe its inhabitants left following a plague, maybe they were conquered, maybe the city used up its resources and its people had to flee taking all their possessions with them. All the deductions and calculations running through his mind, when suddenly, a sound that evokes the primal sense of unease was conjured up from the shadows to his left. a low grating noise that could be misconstrued as breath. His attention immediately drawn to it, he whipped his head in the direction of the sound and he thought for a moment his eyes played tricks on him. For a brief flash he saw what he thought was a tall figure, around ten meters from him, and standing at three meters tall wearing a long cloak. the image was there for a second before it seemed to melt away into the blackness. His hear racing he called out into the dark, once , twice, several times. but nothing replied to him. thoroughly shaken he quickly turned and headed in the other direction, unsure if he was still heading to the centre of the city. He was trying to piece together the apparition in his head but each time he tried it seemed to melt away, as if even in his mind it was ethereal. slowly his scientific mind came to its senses, a trick of the light mixed with a tired and dehydrated brain, he thought as he confidently trudged on, then the low scraping breathing noise came again, from behind him, closer, and seemingly gaining on him…….

To be continued

The Empty City

A tale of a lost traveller

Dr Carrington limped ungracefully as he moved through the valley. Not four hours ago he had gained conciousness after his plane, an old british dual prop airframe usuallly reserved for mai service, came in low as it tried to glide into the valley on no power. They had been traveling from Dar es Salaam to Jordan when the had lost engine power somwhere over Egypt and as they decended they found themselves over a vast dry and flat valley amoungst the sands, Tall buttes and flat toped sand stone monoliths shooting up from the valley floor. the ground seemed flat so the pilot attempted to come in and land but the left wing clipped a butte and the steel bird slammed hard into the floor. the two pilots sucumbing to their injuries shortly after and the wreckage cathing fire, The good doctor had no choice but to set out in search of help.

Miraculously he only sustained a few broken bones in his foot which whilst causing him pain, didn’t prohibit his locomotion to much and for this he was thankful, for as he moved slowly through the valley he soon became to realise that if he did not find help soon he would be forced to take shelter in the small cracks in some of the large limestone buttes. He was aware of Bedouin herders that travelled in valleys like this and set up camps due to the flat ground here so his chances of survival, whilst slim, were better then nothing. The sun was setting behind him drawing long shadows in front of him. night was coming and he would have to find shelter soon. a large mesa towered out of the ground in front of him that had a vertical crack in it, at least there he could make a fire and be safe from the night winds. he approached quickly as he estimated he only had a few more hours of day light left. The crack was about ten meters high and two wide and seemed to snake its way into the mesa. The doctor couldn’t help himself, the curiosity of what lay further down the crack enthralled him and after all there may be a spring or the something that he could use to make his situation a little brighter. He ignored the pain from his foot and followed the snaking path. It twisted wildly and at some points perplexingly it seemed like it should of twisted back onto itself but he never found himself in a part of the trail he had previously walked. He braced himself against the wall to take the weight off his foot for a moment when a curious sight caught his eye. On the trail ahead of him appeared to be a sort of stone tablet, jutting out of the ground. He limped over to investigate. It was perhaps as large as a tombstone and covered in markings he had never seen before. certain that this was evidence of human habitation further ahead he pushed the pain out of his mind and marched on, curious at what lay ahead

Continued in part two…


A free first look at my new book. If you enjoy, let me know

Group of five scary figures in hooded cloaks in the dark


The tires of the sedan hummed against the rough back country roads that lead away from the highway. A choke point somewhere far ahead had brought traffic to a standstill and the occupant of this car, Thomas, grew quickly impatient and found an alternate, side access road that split off and re-joined the highway a few hundred miles ahead. The only downside to this shortcut that could be seen was it ran straight through a thick swamp that had no information available on the GPS, to make it worse there’s almost no reception out here. Thomas kept scanning through channels on his cars radio to try and find any voices to break the silence. His phone had only enough battery to keep the navigation app working so he dared not drain it by connecting his Bluetooth and as always, he had forgotten his charging cable. He was driving north to see his family as it had been now a solid six months since his 25th birthday and he was far too busy back then to make the trip. He was now in hour five of an eight-hour drive and he realised he should have broken it into two days but he always settled into long drives quiet well. Now he was passing through the thick swamps that stretched seemingly out into infinity. The temperature was still high as he was constantly having to take his glasses off and wipe the sweat from his forehead and with each wipe, he caught a solid whiff of stagnant body odour seeping through his plaid shirt. The sun was beginning to set and the thick swamps seemed more and more menacing as the sun fell below the horizon. The trees crept their way right up to the road and in some spots their thick dark green roots breaking through the asfualt on the road as if nature was beginning its war on human civilization right here ever so slowly. He began wondering if anyone lived out here, if there were any strange swamp dwelling people that lived in the clearings, if there were any. When Thomas looked out into the swamp, he could only see maybe ten meters from the tree line, tree coverage so thick that the canopy of leaves blocked out the sun’s rays. The base of the trees and much of the ground was almost all murky brown water, lapping against the slightly raised road like a gentle swell on a beach, the water colour reminded Thomas of rust. The sun was almost fully set now and stars where beginning to light up the sky, the warm comforting glow of the lifegiving sun finally extinguishing in those last moments of afternoon darkness before the world would be graced by the calming glow of the stars and the moon. The radio crackled and hissed and faint voices were slipping in and out of the fuzz as Thomas furiously searched for another human voice, he hated being out here in the silence, he needed something to distract him from the feeling of apprehension that was growing inside him. Places like this freaked him out, so remote from anything without any real sign of human presence, as if he was the last man on earth and the world was simply waiting for him to leave Aswell. Finally, he turned the radio off, he wasn’t having any luck so he probably should stay focused on the road, he hadn’t stopped in a while and he could feel his eyes becoming heavy and he knew out here it would be easy to have a fatal micro sleep, he shuddered at the thought, a split second of lost control becoming fatal. Slowly the road became brighter as the moon was rising behind him, it seemed extra bright now but with no light pollution from the city it made the world seem ethereal and it was hard for him to imagine this brightness as natural. The night was now silent. He had the windows all the way up and the only sound now was the low hum from the engine and sound of the tires on the road. Outside the swamps became impenetrably black and now the shadows cast by his headlights and the moon seemed like menacing tendrils from some deep-sea leviathan reaching out to ensnare and pull him under surging waves. The atmosphere in the car was becoming increasingly tense. His eyes were now fixed ahead in the blackness and his shoulders were slowly tightening up. “To hell with it” he said to no one and he reached into the front pocket of his denim shorts and awkwardly pulled his phone out, 23% Battey remained, he turned on the Bluetooth function on his car radio and swiped his lock screen open on his phone. Looking down and up quickly to keep driving whilst trying to find a song to play. He only slightly caught a glimpse of the brown flash out of the corner of his eye when a sharp thumping noise broke the silence. Thomas struggled with the steering wheel as the car started to slide wildly across the road, he steered right as the car slides to the left and the back quarter panel collided with a low branch from an overhanging tree, spinning the car wildly. Thomas let go of the wheel as the car was now completely out of his control and he braced with one hand on the roof and the other holding the dashboard. The car made two full spins, the headlights flashing over the trees and beaming into the black night and for a second out his half-closed eye, Thomas thought he saw a human figure deep in the swamp. Finally, mercifully, the spinning stopped and the car had spun to a stop in the middle of the road. He sat motionless and was trying to focus his eyes as his glasses had come off of his head during the excitement and his breath was short and fast. Slowly he began to calm down and gain his bearings and take in the surrounding scenery. The car was tilted slightly towards the back left and instantly Thomas thought of a blown tire. He remained in the seat but mentally searched the trunk for a spare tire as it had been months since he really looked back there, he usually rode his pushbike everywhere. He took a deep breath in and unbuckled his seat belt, “that tire won’t change itself” he thought. He shut off the engine and opened the car door and stepped out into the humid summer night. The air was thick and stunk like rotting meat, undoubtably from the swamps that flanked him on each side of the road. He felt so small and exposed out hear by himself but strangely he also felt as if the treeline was closing in on him from both sides, as like a Venus fly trap that had been waiting for him to stop so it could spring its jaws around him. He reached his hands to the sky and stretched, at six feet tall his body had locked up during the drive and it was just his sheer determination to get through the drive that made him power on. Putting his glasses back on the world came into focus, the moon and stars were bright, even for this time of year and the moon had a strange light blue glow to it that bathed the road and made the surrounding trees cast eerie shadows over it. Looking into the blackness of the thick jungle like swamp reminded him of Nietzsche and his talk of abyssal spaces, indeed Thomas felt as if the blackness of those swamps were staring right back into him. He shuddered then made a quick mental note to not look at the swamps again and he turned his attention to the car. A deep gash had been gouged about 10 inches from in front of the back wheel, which was completely shredded and was hanging limply from the hub. He sighed and walked to the trunk when a shape down the road caught his eye. A small circular object was lying about 10 meters from his car and was completely shadowed in the pale blue moonlight, he didn’t remember seeing it when he was driving and his gaze was never really off the road even when he was fumbling with his phone. He walked slowly toward the shape, with each step, new dimensions to the shape made themselves known to him, he began to make out large stick objects, maybe an ear, then the information that Thomas’s eyes were seeing was now fully interpreted in his brain. At his feet lay the head of a large deer, one of its antlers missing, the other one had its ends filed sharp. It appeared to be fresh as there was no sign of decomposition on it and the fur looked quite healthy. Thomas had been a police officer for 3 years before failing a drug test, he was never a model officer but he was never corrupt, he saw his use of narcotics as a way to escape the degradation he was around most days. The skills he acquired in those years allowed him to see the two things that were starting to worry him, the first was that the head was cleanly severed as if done by a tool for a purpose, the second thing was that a little way behind the head he could make out blood droplets that led from where he presumed the head struck his car, then leading toward the side of the road, someone had hurled the head at his car. Thomas turned and briskly walked back to the car and opened the trunk trying to put the thought of a random attacker in the back of his mind, he riffled through the seemingly endless amounts of clothes and random equipment in the trunk and finally found the spare tire kit. Taking the tire iron out, then pulling the spare out of the well in the bottom of the trunk and sliding it over the rim to let it settle on the road leaning against the car, pulling his gaze from the trunk to ahead of the car is when he saw them. Four human shapes, about twenty meters in front of the car now stood in the middle of the road, they seemed to be wearing long cloaks that started in a high pointed hood and finished on the ground obscuring their feet with their hands were folded in front of them. “Are you guys the ones the threw that gross head at my car?” shouted Thomas. The figures just stood in silence. “Hey! I’m talking to you! Or are you guys some sort of inbred bumkins!?” he shouted again, unsure if insulting these obviously disturbed people on a random backwoods’ road in the middle of a swamp was a good choice. Again, the figures just stood silently. “Ok, be weird then, don’t help or anything its fine I’ll go fuck myself.” he shouted as he hurriedly started to unscrew the nuts on the shredded wheel. As he changed the tire he kept looking up at the figures, they didn’t move or make a noise, the air was full of crickets chirping and cicadas, yet nothing came from the direction of the figures. Finally, he got the spare tire on, threw the tire iron in the back seat and climbed back in the car not bothering to put the shredded tire in the trunk. He locked the doors and started the car, “if this where a horror movie, my car won’t start now” he though as the engine of the small sedan rumbled into life, a wave of relief crashing over him as he buckled his seatbelt. The figures ahead of him did not move as he slowly put his foot on the accelerator and let the car creep toward them. He flashed his high beams on them and could now make out the deep red of the robes they wore, their hands hidden as the robes trailed over them, a rope tied around their waists, but more disturbingly their faces hidden behind masks that looked like wood. He beeped the horn and the figures still did not move, the car was now five meters from them and creeping at a snail’s pace, Thomas made sure the doors were locked and the windows tightly wound up. Just as the bumper was about to make contact with the figures they spit and let the car pass between them. Thomas’s car was now flanked by two pairs of these mysterious figures and as he drove past them, he could make out the masks more clearly. The mask was a depiction of a man’s face contorted in agony, and as it had been carved out of wood, it seemed all the more disturbing, the blue moonlight showing every notch in the wood and every colour shift between the fibres. As soon as he was past them, he took the car up to speed and gave a deep sigh of relief. He looked in the rear-view mirror and watched as the figures split apart and walked quickly to the treeline and disappeared. “Who were these freaks” he thought, “were they kids playing a prank? Some weird druggies out for a stroll or am I having acid flash backs again? “. The more distance he put between himself and them the better he felt. Then his driver side window shattered and something pierced his arm, he had no time to make thoughts as he looked down and saw a dart protruding from his arm just above his elbow, then he felt a sharp pain in his head and the world went black.

Fighting Uphill

“I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one’s burden again. But
Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too
concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither
sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain,
in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s
heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy”

– Albert Camus

we have so many reasons to stop. modern life allows us endless comforts and distractions. the mind numbing insanity of tiktok, the dopamine dumpster fire that is Instagram, and all the really petty and inane things that we say prevent us from doing any real self work. we try to hide away from that image in the mirror and no I’m not just talking about physical appearance. our mental health and clarity, our social health and our spiritual health. we tell ourselves that these little distractions are fine because the everybody else is doing it and worse we can find subgroups in these places, most notably that trash heap Tiktok, that re-enforce our little comfort bubble and stop us from achieving any meaningful change. here’s a little true tale. I recently broke my foot, it has come at a time though when I needed to take a break, from work and everything else, yet my mind and body is restless, I need that exertion that comes from discomfort that I cant seek now cause I need to heal (although I’m still getting my ass into the gym, I still got one working foot and an upper body) anyway at dinner I over hear two young people, a girl and a boy, both early twenties. the girl is drawing some impressive anomie style faces on a piece of paper, the boy says to her “wow you are really great at that” to which the girl replies “yeah, i wanted to do it for a job or something but I never took the time to get better at drawing the bodies, and I would get disheartened when I messed it up so I didn’t practice” the boy says “yeah sometimes its better to not try” then the girl smiles and laughs a shy little laugh “yeah I agree, its easier not to”. I nearly fell of my chair and broke my other foot. imagine living life in the margin, no reaching up into anything to try and make yourself better, to walk into the same job day in and day out, eat the same food, talk to the same people, your not living, you are in fucking jail. now people will tell me “I have commitments, I need the money, I need the security” I’m wont be gentle here, YOU WILL DIE DISAPOINTED. burn your bridges and learn to swim, learn a new skill and push against the odds. hard times make strong people that learn the ability to overcome and adapt, adopt the warriors attitude regardless of your situation and fight on. you will attract some like minded people trust me, they will help you.

we are living in the generation of the apathetic, climate change and global instability is hurting everyone, but if we strive harder and search for a deeper meaning we can astound ourselves. together we can find a way to the light but first you need to look up from the mess you have allowed to build around you, thrash, rage against your circumstances and be the person you want to be. you don’t need god, or a self help book, you need to get off your ass and fight uphill.

this list will get you started

everyday do

50 push ups.

50 squats

pick up something heavy and go for a 20 minuet walk

learn something new, about anything

meet someone new, just introduce yourself to them on the street.

its that easy, don’t complain just do it. you will thank me later.

What you can do when you can do nothing

So. You are injured. Or you have no time. Or you are somewhere that stops you from training physically in some way.

What do you do?

Get mad, frustrated, these are the things I used to do when I couldn’t get my physical training sessions in. It took me a long time to realise that what I was doing was hiding behind the physical distraction of training to make somthing better in my life (relationships, work stress, mental health issues) this isn’t to say that I didn’t love training because it’s one of the pillars that hold my life up. But it was the only pillar back then.

This is when I found I could plumb the depths of my mind, I started small by asking myself why I missed training so much, why did it mean so much, what would I do if I could never train again.

This not only got my mind working but also introduced me to my first concepts of philosophy. I was having a Socratic dialogue with myself. I didn’t appreciate this moment for a long while but it laid the path for me to philosophy which in turn laid the way to art and creation and building multipul pillars to hold my life up.

So what can you do?

Start a Socratic dialogue yourself, with yourself. Be terrifying with it. Don’t hide from questions, ask deeply and truly even when it hurts. Pull back what feels safe and what you know people see you as, why are you doing xyz? Our old friend Socrates didn’t do these things to others (most notably his friends in Plato’s discourses) to hurt or humiliate or seem like he knew better because he didn’t, he just wanted to get to the raw truth that he knew would help. He saw on the battlefield (not many know but he was a extremely competent warrior) that truth in one’s morals and ability will always bring saftey. It’s why he questiond the state that lauded praise on him initially then sentenced him to death by suicide which he gladly did to prove that he would never give in to another’s false ethics.

So start questioning.

Start today

Right now

See where it gets you.

Less is more

How much time do you have in your day? With work, school, family and everything else maybe we don’t have time to make every gym session and when we do maybe not have the time to hit everything in our program.

So let’s think critically about our excersise selection. If we are doing a split type program that means we have shoulders seperate from chest in the week when both those muscle groups compliment eachother extremely well. Maybe we merge them?. A push day can encompass both chest and shoulders with a major movment for both groups (military press/bench press) and some secondary movments to hit the muscles on a difrent plane, think flies and such. Add in some accessory work with triceps and then burn out with some dips or push ups and you have hit two muscle groups in one session with probably 4-5 excersises and you can get it done in an hour. Remember time spent in the gym dosnt always equal results but solid recover time after a solid session always will.

Our lives are quick, fleeting. We want to spend them having fun, being in love amd experiencing other people in a positive way, so get in the gym, be quick but purposeful and get the fuck out. Enjoy your life


A great evil lurked deep within fenrir that was yet to manifest itself to the Asiŕ. The gods were largely ignorant, all except Odin, the all father knew that in time this great beast would destroy the world and through a vain attempt at subverting prophecy he had the world eater bound 3 times in great chains under the pretence of a game, knowing full well the wolf would break free. On the fourth time odin had the dwarves work their magic on golden chains and he and the other gods all presented them to Fenrir.

“Oh great Fenrir, how strong you have become, how large you are now that your den is too small” – jested odin – ” I have one more test for you, if you are game, let me bind you in my personal chains, that is if you are not afraid “

Fenrir eyed the chains suspiciously before agreeing on the stipulation that one of the Gods place their sword hand in his mouth as insurance that they would let him out. The gods became nervous, they all knew that fenrir would be held captive by these magic chains. It was though , with a great sigh, that Tyr , the God of war and honour and the one who raised Fenrir placed his hand in the beasts mouth. Fenrir struggled and strained yet the chains would not budge, finally he gave in, realising the gods plan and that he had been tricked. Tyr looked to the great wolf that gave him a flash of betrayal, and with a nod of acknowledgement Fenrir tore the hand from Tyrs wrist.

We all have duties that manifest in different ways, some small others enormous. We should strive like Tyr, even though the outcome will perhaps be unpleasant. We have a duty to our allies, our friends, ourselves…. and we cannot fail