Project Fair Isle

An Original Work

By Ruin Dun Burnit as Kevin Burnett

Five years on from the assassination of the most divisive, controversial President of the United States, and it’s almost as though the public has forgotten what made him so terrible in the first place. Dying in office has deified him. An investigative journalist seeks to change all that — he has made contact with the president’s assassin, a young man named Michael Suzuki, who is ready to tell his side of the story. As election year 2024  looms and another celebrity with golden support makes a storm for the Oval Office, neither Kevin nor Michael will let the unraveling of a preposterous yarn get in the way of a long-overdue warning.

Table of Contents

1 — 10.03.23: ‘Ride into the Danger Zone’

2 — 24.03.23: ‘An Evening with Extremists’

3 — Pitch Letters 1

4 — 14.04.23: ‘Blair’s Theodicy’

5 — 28.04.23: ‘How Could He Kill the President?’

6 — Pitch Letters 2

7 — 12.05.23: ‘It’s the Only Choice We Have’

8 — 26.05.23: ‘And United We Stand’

9 — Pitch Letters 3

10 — 09.06.23: ‘The Shot Heard Round the World’


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

© 2017 Kevin Burnett, ‘Burnit Write’


Project Fair Isle 3


Kevin Burnett <> – 20 March 2023

to Maeve Holloway

Dear Maeve Holloway,

Attached is the next article in my series on the Knitwear Society’s role in the George Square attack. To prepare for the next one, Michael has been teaching me about the society’s history.

The Knitwear Society, as he was taught by senior ‘companions’, began in the early days of the university as a club for working class, first generation students who required an enclave to flourish on a campus that didn’t appreciate their background. The knitted jumper, their emblem from the beginning, represented their ‘proletariat’, industrial roots of hard graft and community spirit; emphasising an identity of beaten down workers finally given the means to stand up and take what the world owed them, their focus was fostering the values of their experiences and raising money for community projects.

Like many college clubs of course, they lost sight of their mission statement. Former alums and Knitwear Society members were sending their own children to the university and having them join the society over the years. While this meant that Knitwear Society members were leaving university with connections to a myriad of fields and a step up in their careers, the club had gone from catering to first generation students to housing thoroughly middle class legacies who no longer had ties to the working class identity but were still committed to romanticising their struggles.

By the 1980s, the Knitwear Society had lost momentum. They’d begun to realise that they’d moved from empowering disadvantaged students to feeding entitled ones with an excuse to feel disentitled. That was when the society chair of the time, Michael ‘Jimmy’ Wright, inspired by Prime Minister Thatcher’s war on the lower classes and Jim Channon’s ‘First Earth Battalion’ manual of non-lethal resistance and combat, offered them a new mission statement: use their newfound skills to anonymously redistribute power and rewrite the systems of control for the good of everyone else. He gave them a new motto: ‘positive rebellion, rebellious positivity’, to frame their pre-computer age criminal ‘hacktivism’ as something that only they could do for others. They’ve remained unaccountable for these felonies simply by emphasising on their bond in ‘collective accountability’: if one rats them out, they too will have to admit their part in it all. In utilizing Channon’s ideals to maintain cultic control over the group, Blair Wright’s accomplishment has been in convincing people to commit crimes for her with the efficiency of a despot.

This is all to emphasise the fact that, in over thirty years, the Knitwear Society has proven itself remarkably alike to the Republican party of today, whose framed interest in ‘small government’ is simply a coded interest in restricting the people in control to a small elite class while increasing the actual controls over every citizen – because they too believe that no one knows what the people want like they do.

I await your thoughts in your next correspondence.


Kevin Burnett


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

© 2017 Kevin Burnett, ‘Burnit Write’

Project Fair Isle 2

24 March 2023


By Kevin Burnett

The Mission of the World’s Deadliest After-School Club is Revealed.

David Aaronovitch, author of Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theories have Shaped Modern History, defines a conspiracy as two or more people or agencies getting together to plot an illegal or otherwise immoral action. A conspiracy theory, he explains, is the as-yet unsubstantiated ‘attribution of agency to something that is more likely to be accidental or unintended’, or more specifically, ‘the attribution of secret action to one party that might far more reasonably be explained as the less covert and less complicated action of another’.

Upon learning that the assassination of a president has been committed, the idea that it may have been carried out by a group of any size seems preposterous. While much can be said for strength in numbers, popular conspiracy theories often suggest the involvement of powerful organizations that would require an ironclad cover-up. Consider the 1969 moon landing; its purpose in establishing American power in the space race was undeniable. If it was a hoax however, performed with aluminium suits and stunt wires on a closed set, the time, money, and thousands of people required to fabricate the event, sell it to the public and cover up the ruse would simply outstrip the effort of actually putting men on the moon. Most conspiracy theories can be stripped away by applying Occam’s razor in this way: all else being equal, the most likely conclusion involves fewer new assumptions. That is, a person is more likely to pull off a murder alone than convince ten others to join them successfully.

It is with this in mind that, when Michael tells me that the assassination would not have occurred without the Knitwear Society, a student-led organization affiliated with the University of Sheffield’s Students’ Union, I don’t believe him.

‘I don’t think you understand the situation I was in,’ he says. ‘It was a rough time for me. When I wasn’t depressed, I was paranoid. Everything looked like a threat to me. I was in the second year of my Law degree at the time, so it wasn’t exactly the best position to be in.’

In October 2017, Michael seemed to have life figured out. Although his family lived nearby, he had been sharing a house with his boyfriend for over a year, a tall third year Law student named Nathanael Doane, whom he called Nate. Having passed his first year with flying colours, he had impressed his lecturers, before the pressure got to him. Something had given way in his head; living terrified him, but so had the thought of death. Lost in direction and losing sleep, for three weeks he couldn’t bring himself to leave the house.

Nate was kind and devoted. He had stood by his side until, one Wednesday evening, he decided enough was enough. “I’m going out to the Students’ Union tonight, for a social. You should come with me.” Michael didn’t want to be outside, but it had already been decided for him. Nate only occasionally made clothing suggestions, but the pink post-it note stuck to the front of a blue Winter-themed jumper read ‘wear this’ and left no room for argument. The social demanded a strict knitwear dress code.

“I look like Tom Cruise in a human disguise,” Michael complained as Nate pulled on a black cardigan, but he held back from saying more; he was pulling it back on his wrists often, but Nate had worn it even in the Spring months. He felt a little bribed, but the gesture meant more.

Arriving at the Students’ Union a little after 7pm, Nate had offered few details. “You’ll like the Knitwear Society. Or, if you don’t, we’ll drink enough at the pub that you’ll think you did.”

“Funny. I thought knitting was something you did to stay sober.”

“We’re not going there to knit.”

“That’s good to know,” Michael said, “but that could mean anything. For all I know, your club’s arranging next month’s celebrity mask orgies.” He was being facetious, but this was the first night Nate had ever mentioned a ‘Knitwear Society’. It concerned him that he waited until now to share it.

“Come on, Mikey. If that’s what we were doing, I would’ve brought more than my bus pass.”

The evasion continued until they reached the society’s official meeting room. It changed yearly based on availability and that year, every Wednesday at 7pm, Gallery room 4 was Knitwear Society headquarters. They let themselves in to a gathering of no more than twenty students, stood around or sat in intimate chair circles as they socialised and drank from paper cups in a warm room. Most of the students wore jumpers or cardigans or sweater vests, but for the daring few, only scarves, hats, or fingerless gloves would suffice. One young man in a baseball cap wore a pair of striped, knitted trousers. The effect was unifying, if eclectic. Every person that saw the couple enter gave warm, welcoming smiles; Michael felt like he was surrounded by all his friends at the same moment he forgot their faces.

‘Maybe it was because they already knew Nate,’ he tells me, ‘but as woollen as it was, it felt like I was exactly where I needed to be. That had never happened before.’ Only later would he identify it as the first red flag, but tonight it was a pleasant surprise, even as the boy in the knitted trousers greeted Nate and handed him a paper cup of Dr Pepper, which he took without question. As they talked, a young woman wearing a knitted deerstalker on her blonde head strode out of the woodwork. She was shorter than Nate by a half-foot, but her grin was dazzling as she guided him back to stand by Michael.

“Nathan! You worry me sometimes,” she said. “I thought you’d run out on me, and you go and bring a new recruit!”

“Do you think that little of me?” Nate said. His tone was off, somehow. “You wouldn’t be where you are if I hadn’t broken that tie vote.”

“With a necktie, I remember,” she said. “I haven’t laughed that hard since that imposter claimed we were all being brainwashed by chem-trails.”

“What a rookie mistake – while world leaders breathe the same air? Everyone knows about the excess fluoride in tap water.”

They tapped paper cups. “Preaching to the choir, my friend. Say, who’s this?”

Nate introduced him as ‘the one I was telling you about’. “Michael,” he said, “this is Blair Wright, the society chair.”

The two shook hands for longer than necessary. He felt acutely vulnerable in her presence. “Nice to meet you, Mike, really. Say, if you need anything, just let me know.” She winked and walked away before he could object to the nickname or truly take her all in.

‘She had a strong personality,’ Michael explains. ‘She had this ability to make you feel cared for, but it’s a little invasive at first. At the time, I blamed the heat. I couldn’t say anything, especially since Nate trusted her. When he told me to get a drink and take a look around, I did.’

They only provided tea, coffee, and an assortment of fizzy drinks, so he circulated the room and listened in to the chatter. It was getting stuffy; the jumper seemed like a bad idea when he returned their friendly waves. One person in a beanie and sweater vest listened to their friends’ energetic debate and transcribed it by hand with a clipboard in their lap. “I’m telling you, those papers were an inside job.”

“Right, and someone was willing to incriminate himself.”

“Maybe he was pushed into participating. Maybe ratting them out was the only way to get off their rope—”

“Or maybe they were planted there.”

“Of course you’d think that.”

He turned to a corkboard hung on a wall, covered in pink post-it notes with no order. Handwritten, they held phrases like ‘poisoned milkshake’, ‘planned doc leak’, ‘golfing accident’, ‘ammonia showers’, ‘Amazon drone strike’, ‘Hamilton tickets’. He thought he recognised at least one hand. He smiled, but he was numb, searching for something that made sense. More than numb, he was outside of himself. He felt the urge to laugh, but he bit it down; it seemed rude, even insane. That made him want to laugh harder.

The group eventually pulled together a long conference table, at which Blair took the head seat. By the time Nate motioned him over, holding a cup of Fanta, the seat beside him was left, and he joined them.

“Thank you, thank you!” Blair said. She stood, her hands raised. “I’m so glad to see all of you here tonight. This month has been a huge success, one of the most successful in fact. I don’t think there are any birthdays to announce, and Operation Sandford has gone perfectly to schedule, so I will begin by saying,” she paused, “I am already so proud of you. We’ve accomplished great things together. The world turns because of each and every one of you. Day by day, we inch closer to creating a global community that every good person deserves, but we are not done. Your work is not yet done. It’s time we continued our discussion from last time.”

“What about the plans for welfare?” the boy in the knitted trousers asked.

Blair laughed until her cheeks were deep dimples. “Patrick, please, that can wait. Now, we know it’s been a bad ten months. The investigation into the firing of the FBI director has gone nowhere, the plan to kill affordable healthcare still looms and the Prime Minister refuses to object. Now more than ever is the time for positive rebellion and rebellious positivity. So, companions, how do we propose to assassinate the President of the United States?”

Michael pauses to put on the kettle. I let him make us more tea before we continue. ‘So this girl, Blair, she just said this?’ I expect that most leaders like Blair Wright would build up to violent missions over years of rhetoric promising prosperity and hope before finally setting a condition the community cannot refuse. By that point, the target’s fate is all but sealed.

‘She did,’ Michael says, ‘and everyone accepted it. I waited for Nate to say something; he was such a kind person, such a pacifist, that I thought he would. The thought of hurting anyone made him ill, but he didn’t bat an eyelid.’

He looked up and down the conference table, saw them speak without hearing. His hands shook. He couldn’t breathe. He stood up from the table without a word. Ignoring the eyes on him, he left. The door opened again behind him and Nate dragged him by the wrist into the next empty room. “Honey, where are you going?”

“Didn’t you hear what she said? Assassinate a president! Tell me I imagined it.”

Nate drew him into a close hug. “You didn’t,” he whispered, “But don’t panic.”

“Don’t—” he stuttered, “if something happens, I’m an accessory to murder.”

“Nothing will happen to you. They’re good people in there, Mikey. They’re making a difference, changing the world.”

“Maybe, but this is too far. What happened to protesting, to, to—”

Nate sighed. “Protests don’t work. We didn’t take what was ours. Every bit of progress, every civil right – we only got it because it suited the big wigs to give it to us.”

“But this is plotting murder. And it’s not even for our country.”

“Exactly! If they had a meeting like ours at Columbia Uni, they’d be up to their necks in CIA operatives. They aren’t safe, but we are. That’s why we have to act. And you’re going to help us.”

Michael pushed out of his arms. “No, no. I’m not helping them do jack-s**t. I won’t tell anyone, I’ll drink to forget, but you leave me out of it.”

As Michael explains, he couldn’t. A current member invited him, he attended while adhering to the dress code. That made him a member and he could never leave. As Nate put it, taking his hands in his, his dark brown eyes bright, “You’re one of us now. Once in Knitwear Club, always in Knitwear Club!” Michael had never seen him so passionate. “This is what you’ve needed, isn’t it? Something to give your life meaning? I know, you’re afraid to want this. You’re a cautious guy, and I adore that about you, but you could be a huge asset. I don’t want to lose you because you lost your head. Hundreds of companions pass through without seeing opportunities like this one, and maybe we bend the rules, but we never get caught. We’re going to right so many wrongs.”

Nate kissed him. When they parted, there was something like that room in his eyes. “Michael, how would you like to usher in the forty-sixth President of the United States?”

The next day, laid in Nate’s arms on the sofa, he watched the news with the worst hangover of his life. As Hoope’s supporters vowed to rid the US of immigrants, he was ready to take control of his life again. Death terrified him, but the life Hoope would give his country terrified him more.


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

© 2017 Kevin Burnett, ‘Burnit Write’

(22/10/17) Part 2: Abhinc

Believe it or not, it took me far longer than the end of March for me to finish the first draft of NoHoper 2nd ed. In fact, by the time I reached the end of the last chapter, it was nearing the end of the second week of September and the draft was 159,874 words long.

I think the most important thing I’ve learned over this last year is to not beat myself up over things like this. You want to continue writing a story (maybe even finish it one day), you want to maybe keep up a blog, but life offers you different priorities and it’s up to you to decide whether to take them or not. Maybe it makes this blog seem… incomplete in places, but that’s a price you pay. Thanks to my own priorities, I managed to complete the last of my assignments, including a 12,000 word creative project for my Masters dissertation (you can find the first segment of that here). Since Part 1 of this post, I also wrote the first two chapters for a new Death Note fanfic (no crossover this time), contributed to a new creative writing journal and came up with an idea I plan to turn into a novel one day. I was going to concoct a plan for it over this month for Prep-Tober, but I had yet another priority to come first, so go figure.

But, that isn’t why you’re here. Before I can think to begin writing the second draft for NoHoper, and now that I’ve given the work a month’s rest, the question comes to what I plan to do to make it the best it can be — where do I find the changes I need to make, and how do I make them? What preparations do I need to make, and how do I stop myself from doing too much?

Thinking over my process for planning the 2nd ed. for NoHoper, it was actually rather simple once I got into it. First, I read through each chapter, compiling two-colour notes to consider for the redraft (red for ‘change this’, green for ‘keep this’). Next, I applied these notes to the original chapter plan, which became a new story outline; as this became more complex, I dissected the story into 14 plotlines based on goal and/or character motivation, tracking the expected outcome and its process over each chapter. If you remember, this became that huge colourful table as I tracked their presence in the story and how I expected to round them up in the final chapters.

Yes, the plan changed over the writing process, but it essentially stood.

Now that I have a full draft, while it is tempting to go back to the drawing board and repeat the process to fix my mistakes, we aren’t talking about a half-written, three year old story anymore. Not only do we have a full story, we have a whole memory bank of mistakes to refer back to, places that I already know I fell down at during the writing process. I know I made improptu changes to their goals that may have opened a plothole. I know I didn’t keep track of every character, causing silly mistakes in presence and description. I know that, in mocking the ‘House of Night’s penchant for a ridiculously compressed timeline, I may have left some things unconsidered. I know, in filling in the gaps for the worldbuilding, I may or may not have negated a piece of the inner logic in the process.

So, this is the current list of things I’ve given myself to do.

  1. Having split the story into 5 sections or ‘arcs’, I will summarise the storyline in each arc and chapter to track plot continuity.
  2. Having made a full list of every character mentioned by name in alphabetical order, I will create a full index to ensure continuity in description and characters in general.
  3. Now that the plotlines have changed between planning and drafting, I will go through the story and make new summaries for each plotline as they appear, to make sure they each reach satisfactory, airtight conclusions. (Whether I go so far as to make a new colour chart remains to be seen).
  4. I will make a list of changes and keepsakes for each chapter, and track plotholes as they appear and resolve them.

The great thing with this list is that I cannot fail to cover my bases this way. At the same time, the last thing I want to do is make so much work for myself that I forgo writing the second draft for another year. It’s times like these that I wonder if investing in a writing programme like Celtx, yWriter5 or Scrivener will do the job and ultimately save me the time and all the needless effort.

That is to say, I have a lot of decisions to make before I can move ahead, and the last thing I want to do is drag myself so far down with extraneous detail that the second draft is more confused than the first. I’ve already worked too hard to just lose my nerve now.

Before I sign off, let me at least leave you with one thought. Now that you know the sort of work that goes into crafting your favourite fanfics, which we write and provide to you for free, please do us just a few favours: don’t just leave a like or a kudos and call it lunch. Reblog those chapters for your own followers. Recommend your favourite works to your friends. And please, even if it’s just a ‘thank you’ or a ‘good job’, absolutely leave a comment on a new chapter. Letting the author know what you think and letting them know you care is not a waste of time, nor an intrusion. It’s a blessing. That’s our tip, and we’ll starve without it.

Thank you,

—Ruin Dun Burnit


Project Fair Isle 1

March 28 2023


by Kevin Burnett

As Cruise Announces Presidential Candidacy, Meet the Real Top Gun.

It is a cold winter morning in January when I meet at his home for the first time, in a town whose name I am under no circumstances to divulge. He makes me feel warmed and welcomed while I sit at his kitchen table with a mug of tea, listening to the plinking-plonking atmospheric music on the stereo and looking around at the minimalist bareness of the walls. When he sits down with his own cup of tea and sets an Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee ashtray on the table, he surprises me by broaching the topic of the up-coming American Presidential election first.

Most important figures in the world of politics are open about their achievements, but where he is concerned, I assumed there would be some reluctance. Few members of the public – almost none, in fact – know who Michael Suzuki is or what he has done to influence the current face of American politics.

The campaign for the United States 2024 election commenced last Friday with the official announcement of the presidential candidate short list. Heading on the trail in the first step of the world’s single longest job application process for the Democratic Party are Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Harris, who is already tipped by opinion polls to be the favourite, is running on a ticket of hope and restoration following eight years of a tumultuous Republican leadership. President Leopold Matthews is set to run for re-election against undeniable opposition; his approval rating has been stuck at a 27% trough for the last six months. According to the GOP, his advisers have urged him to use his last year in the oval office towards reassessing the strict gun control laws fearfully rolled out in 2019. Stealing the limelight however was the announcement of President Matthews’ opposition, sixty-year-old actor and entrepreneur Tom Cruise. “I’m excited, totally excited to steer this sinking ship to safe land. I just can’t wait,” the five foot seven inch tall Edge of Tomorrow star declared at his press conference on Saturday.

Considering even for a moment that the rumoured immortal will be given the opportunity to guide America out of the danger zone in over a year’s time, as he already believes, the issue isn’t so much whether he will be qualified for the job should he run a successful campaign (he isn’t), but whether the American people are prepared for the climate that will come of the campaign itself. It’s a sign of the legacy bought by the election in 2016 of a president who fed off press attention like a demon off all things good in the world yet bought the outlets to control its tone that this is a question we must ask. It’s the result of a campaign so dubious yet so scandalously successful that such candidates as Cruise can no longer be written off. Thanks to the forty-fifth president, whose name is cursed and so will only be called ‘David Hoope’, we have to ask the American voting public if they have the fortitude to weather this coming election year.

Like a hazy cough syrup nightmare, we seem to have forgotten the upheaval that has dogged President Matthews every step of the way. Since the 2018 assassination that placed him in the presidency, following the federal investigation that removed every felonious apple from Congress, every move he has made has displayed severe paranoia. His emergency surgery approach promised future security during the legitimising 2020 election and it was his moves to repeal pro-discrimination bills and reinstate and improve Obama’s Affordable Care Act that won him many friends with governors and citizens on the other side of the aisle, but with the blanket ban on guns, Orwellian internet surveillance and draconian immigration laws, the fact is that his every action comes not from duty to his people, but out of fear that one of them, dissatisfied, will unseat him.

It has made his leadership frenetic at best, made worse by the American news networks’ aim to keep the people oblivious. As Internet surveillance was heightened, at one point reaching a degree that people posting their grumbles about the president in one hour were being interrogated over the phone by federal agents in the next, the news was not focused on breaches of civil liberties but on President Matthews’ first state visit with French President Emmanuel Macron. As Matthews left empty details on Twitter about his plans for healthcare reform, Fox News anchors expounded on every character rather than livestreamed instances of British travellers being dragged off US-bound flights, apparently due to ‘overbooking’. Every opportunity that arose for Matthews to correct these disparities through the only outlet which, thanks to the 2017 Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement (COVFEFE) Act, is law-and-duty-bound to remain unfiltered were flatly eschewed. This has drawn a disturbing parallel to his predecessor Hoope; as unprofessional and dangerous as he was, as much as he trained the media to listen to his Twitter feed, his penchant for oversharing at least gave the public something to work with. It’s this cowardice that will condemn his re-election campaign before it begins.

This era of news stories lacking in substance, lacking in facts in favour of ideology and emotive rhetoric in fact, were birthed almost entirely in the crucible of Hoope’s campaign of distraction, information control and empty promises. Just as news of Hoope’s assaults and various lawsuits were waylaid by FBI investigations into Democratic opposition Hillary Clinton’s e-mail correspondence as recently as one week before the vote, reports on the president’s sudden death were overwhelmingly sentimental, full of commemorations lingering on his virtues. It happened during a state visit to Glasgow, the attack itself was caught on film in sickening detail, but five years on, shockingly little else of the assassination has been allowed to reach the public. News reporters who openly asked after the identity of the murderer or their motives were taken aside and told to report on the federal investigations into the foul play in Hoope’s now-gone administration. Investigative journalists who asked to give more than a five-hundred-word review were given profiles to make on the potential replacement. The public, starved for information and seeking retribution for the death of their Commander-in-Chief as well as the integrity of the Oval Office, were assured that the United States would not seek war with the United Kingdom; if the assassinator was sold to the US to make that assurance possible, nothing of it was stated. It was simply out of character. The public went as far as to petition numerous organizations from the CIA to the Secret Service, to accuse them of burying the information, but not one of them would engage.

I sit before Michael Suzuki having learned for myself that, had he not murdered the president, current President Matthews would not be running for a second term. He would not have won a first term on the promise of regaining the security and certainty robbed of the American people by the assassination. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would not be pledging to end the paranoia that has slowly leeched the people of their freedoms in favour of Matthews’ personal safety. Had he not run such a shaky administration, Cruise would not feel as though he had a chance.

Now twenty-five years old, Michael was a few months shy of twenty-one when he pulled the trigger on August 6 2018, often euphemised and commemorated today as ‘8/6 day’. I was surprised myself to learn that he was even alive, but in a neutral country and under an assumed identity, he lives what he believes to be a lifetime exile thousands of miles from his hometown in Sheffield, England. He holds steady employment in an ordinary job with access to wider society. More than many people in fact, he maintains a steady relationship with a partner he refuses to allow me to meet. He doesn’t tell me that this partner doesn’t know who he used to be, but I assume that is the case.

Michael is a secretive, guarded man. His freedom today depends on no one making a connection between his past deeds and his current persona. When we talk, it is always at his home while his partner works. He always takes every photograph off the walls and hides them away where I can’t see them. The odd music he plays on the stereo, he tells me, is weaponised sound; it is designed to disrupt electronic recording devices and wiretaps, ‘just in case’. He lets me write everything down, but I never leave without allowing him to read through my notes. There are still things he refuses to tell me no matter how often I promise to keep it off the record. He knows divulging to the press like this is risky, but I like to think we have an understanding now. Although I found and approached him with this mission, he agrees that the time is past due to give the public the truth. He agrees that this environment of ‘truthiness’ would fit a second campaign like Hoope’s to a T; after all these years, the last thing he wants outside of outright validation is for his crime to mean nothing.

I waste no time in asking, in no uncertain terms, the most important question. ‘Michael, why did you kill the American president?’

‘Why does anyone get involved in other people’s business?’ he asked. ‘The American people were running out of options. They couldn’t think a bad thing about their Commander-in-Chief without facing the consequences. Warning them with facts didn’t work anymore, so someone had to reset the clock.’

To that, I asked him the second most important question. In the aftermath of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, following the capture of Lee Harvey Oswald, many people refused to believe that he was a lone gunman. Conspiracy theories were built on the premise that, while he stood alone on the Grassy Knoll, he was put there by a group or organization. Oswald, however, planned and executed the plot alone.

‘Were you working alone?’ I asked.

Michael shook his head, ‘the situation was very complicated. If I’m honest, the idea to do something about David Hoope wasn’t even my idea to begin with.’

As Michael Suzuki continued to tell me and I will continue to tell you, the story of how he came to stand in George Square began a scant year before as an undergraduate student at the University of Sheffield, on the night he joined an unassuming little club known as the ‘Knitwear Society’.


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

© 2017 Kevin Burnett, ‘Burnit Write’

(09/03/17) Part 1: In Absentia

Maintaining a blog is a difficult thing, especially a blog about writing. Things happen in your writing journey that makes you consider making an update, but the concern that you have nothing worthwhile to say, that you will make promises you cannot keep, causes you to reconsider. The anxiety stays your hand.

In short, I am aware that it’s been seven months since my last word; it’s for this reason that today’s blog will be in two parts.

When I last spoke about NoHoper 2nd ed., I was more than one thousand words into chapter 7 of 21 planned chapters. I am now more than two thousand words into chapter 21 of 23 planned chapters, putting the story at more than 141,000 words long. Since these remaining three chapters are already so precisely planned, I’m actually fairly confident I can have the first draft finished by the end of this month; the only thing that could prevent that is if I choose to pause writing for some reason. Considering that I’ve had assessments to complete over the last semester at the same time (one reason for my absence) and I had surgery on my left wrist on November 21st and wrote chapters 10-16 entirely one handed, my progress has been pretty impressive.

The real issue now, in fact, is planning what happens after finishing the NoHoper 2nd ed. first draft. Go to Part 2: Abhinc for more.

–Ruin Dun Burnit

(31/08/16) A Short Update

It has been a full two months since I officially began the first draft of NoHoper 2nd ed. If you remember, the last time I spoke a month ago I was one sentence into Chapter 2. Now? I’m more than a thousand words into Chapter 7, and the story is more than 32,000 words long. Of course, there’s a few things to keep in mind with this:

Firstly, a lot has changed in the plan between the 1st and 2nd edition. Gaps have been filled in the House of Night canon to apply strictly to the inner workings of the story. By the time I get to writing certain chapters, I’m rarely looking at the original copy; if I keep a line or two from the 1st ed., it’s either because they stood the test of time or because I think you’ll appreciate them.

Secondly, the story itself has been developed far more than it was in the original, partly to make it better and partly to incorporate the very real threat of a sequel. A couple of changes to that effect may be obvious from the first chapter, but some will hit later. Thanks to changes that were made to the plan (thanks in part to accepting that there are pieces of the HON canon that must remain), Chapter 4 in the plan (which was once one of the shortest) became the equally long chapters 4 and 5.

In other words, chapter 7 actually covers from the second scene in Chapter 6 and onward. It’s a little bit of a pain to have to relabel chapters to make the shift work, but I think it will better the story in the end; the last scene in the new Chapter 6, for example, was one I wanted to work on for a while. I doubt it will change much in the edit. The fact is, though, that I’m having to rein in a great temptation to feed you a few choice lines, even knowing full well that they may be suckered out by the next draft.

As a disabled writer, I feel like the burst in productivity I’ve had this Summer will not be around for much longer. I try not to be bitter about it; without my disability, I wouldn’t be me. I wouldn’t be the kind of writer I am now. As a dyspraxic in a creative field, I try to remember that it’s because of my out-of-box thinking that I am so valuable – even if I have become Irony Walking. I’m going to carry on being outspokenly disabled and creative: I knew of actor Daniel Radcliffe’s dyspraxia before I knew my own, but knowing a famous actor had the same disability helped me feel less broken and less alone. If the Boy Who Lived could be hardworking, successful and dyspraxic, why not me?

I hope that, if you’re dyspraxic and reading this, you know you can count on me to help you in the same way.

–Ruin Dun Burnit