So Many Ways to Die


20 little extracts from the dark side of my blog


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Exiting the lift, his stomach lurched.
Grant appeared. “Hello Jonathan, ready?”
“Hello, no, I need the bathroom.”
“There’s one right here. It’s just been renovated.” Grant gestured to a door, labelled ‘Danger, Keep Out’. – The 100th Story (200 words)

Neither Jan or Jen, my workmates, believed me. “Look you guys, I overheard Ahmed on the phone, talking about dimethyl mercury and something about roses.”
Jan raised her painted eyebrows. “What’s that then?”
“I looked it up, it’s a deadly poison.”
“You must have misheard!” Jen laughed as the phone rang.
“Hello, Indigo Flowers. Yes, we do sunflowers…” – Adrenalin Junkie (200 words)

“King size cappuccino please.” Mr. Hughes chose the same as he always did, sighing at his lack of imagination. He stood at the platform kiosk, tall, thin, in a worn blue suit.
“£2.60.” The cashier, unsmiling, blinked big green eyes beneath a copper fringe. – The Coffee Break (200 words)

The knock comes again, louder and insistent.“It’s OK mum, I’ll get it.” Her youngest, Jamie, just turned twelve, thunders down the stairs, having momentarily disconnected from his x-box.
She hears a man’s voice. Then Jamie appears. He flicks a mop of black hair out of his eyes. “He says he’s selling pumpkins. Do you want any more?” – A Flick of the Knife: A Halloween Story (600 words)

Eighteen hundred hours. OK, go, go, go!
Twenty metres away across the moonless sand, a lone sentry stood. Behind me, black parachutes, like water holes in the desert.
Orders were ‘no shooting’ – ours not to reason why! – Femme Fatal (100 words)

Entering the library, she selected an ancient volume, résumé du diets, showing me illustrations of impossibly thin Elizabethan women. Juxtaposed were strange recipes – samphire stew, starling fricassee, fox meat in aspic, others stranger still. – Fox Meat in Aspic (200 words)

Without speaking, they climbed a wide staircase, their shadows playing against the rough stone walls whilst their breath misted in the cold air. At a landing she hesitated. “Which way?”
The man gestured to the right. Soon another staircase appeared on the left. “This way.”
A figure awaited them at the next landing. His head was that of a falcon and above it was a vertical orange-yellow disc. – Here Comes the Sun (500 words)

Through Lincs’ fair wolds, did roam at large
the evil Sprogge, oh loathsome beast!
Half plant, half man, half monstrous thing
on teeny tods did feast.
Past Tetford Church the Sprogge did lurch,
its eyes did mulder and burn.
It munched upon a teeny tod
then tavern-wards did journ.

Legend of the Sprogge (poem)

Hating the idea, I am nevertheless obliged to cooperate with Mellors’ latest ‘prank’, another outrageous practical joke for his YouTube channel.
I hide behind a tree with my video camera focused on him. He sits, smirking, on a camping stool at the side of a path. In front of him lies Frank, especially selected on account of his prosthetic leg. – Legless in the Park (200 words)

Now silent, the powerful car ploughed on through the night. In all lanes of the motorway, relentless traffic – headlights dazzling, red tail-lights shining, occupants invisible. Huge trucks sporting rows of blazing spotlights on hibars and lobars resembled speeding Christmas lights. Beyond the central barrier the lights of equally unrelenting oncoming traffic… – Lobar Limbo (200 words)

“Let’s stop at Thaxby, I want a wee!” my partner Saffron had giggled.
We’d been out to dinner, where we’d discussed my forthcoming sex change, and taken a backroad home. Normally moths sparkled in the headlights and sometimes hares ran on the road. Tonight, nothing moved save wraiths of hovering grey-white mist. – Mementoes (200 words)

He covered his face. Stop, PLEASE…
Then he was gliding over an alien landscape – dark fathomless canyons, volcanoes hurling spume to enormous heights, gigantic crashing waves in a chemical ocean. – The Real Doctor Lamont (200 words)

He was a large, squat man, bald and heavy-jowled, with a hooked nose and large moist pink lips. He would sit between seven and nine of an evening, nursing a pint of ‘mild’, occasionally exchanging brief pleasantries in a hoarse whisper. – Sheldon’s Secret (200 words)

A young doctor, pimply and onion-breathed, shone an intense white light into my eyes. “No response I’m afraid, amantidine doesn’t seem to have helped.”
Damn you! I can hear you, see you!Speechless (100 words)

Stephen spoke into his helmet. “Approaching the pods.”
His companion Matt steered the rover in the direction of six thimble-shaped buildings. “Look at all that shit on them!” Hard to believe they had once been white. Now they were barely distinguishable from the rolling red Martian hills behind them. – Tiny Demons (700 words)

She awoke, realising she’d drifted off. The room was dark and cold, the fire almost out. The radio was hissing loudly. Against the hiss a voice was speaking, faint, distant in time and space, as though from another planet. – Voices from the Ether (1000 words)

Sitting at the piano was a pretty little girl with blonde hair and a white dress, practising scales. She would play them perfectly going up but stumble on the way down. After a while she looked up at me and smiled. “Hello, are you from the future?”
“I don’t know. Probably,” I said. – Walls Have Mouths (782 words)

It was July 2008 and we were flying into remote Sierra Leone.
“Not long Bwana,” said Emmanuel, my Tanzanian pilot.
“OK Mani. D’you know the area?”
“Yes. It’s dangerous.”
Ten long years of civil war; Everywhere was dangerous. – The War and Starvation Diet (200 words)

Arranging her music, Eloise sat at the piano in her uncle’s empty chateau. Nearby stood an ornate antique desk. On impulse she opened a drawer; beneath photographic magazines, an envelope.
Inquisitively she looked inside it – photographs, and what photographs! – What the Devil? (100 words)

Smeaton pressed a button. A random number appeared behind him, occluded by a metal plate.
“Seven.” Tibby smiled.
The plate slid up, revealing the number seven.
Hmm.. “Another?”
“Alright. Sixteen!”
“I haven’t pressed it yet!”
Doing so, number sixteen showed. – Where is Your Mind? (200 words)

Don’t forget to check out some of the other stories on my blog. There are over 100! 


If you are interested in joining a fortnightly 300 word story group please contact me and I’ll send details.

2 thoughts on “So Many Ways to Die

    1. Hi, could you drop me your e-mail address via my contact page please? Link is above (above recent story list) or click ‘contact me’ above. I’ll be pleased to send you full details.

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