(1000 words) 9.00 So it’s nine in the morning and I’m on my first call, a pickup from The Admiral Derek in Castlehorn, driving to Lincoln. I pull up outside. No sign of anyone. I get out of the taxi and enter the hallowed doors of the hotel. Claude, the doorman greets me. “Good morning, … Continue reading Return of the Gnome
(1000 words) Old Man He looked across the village green to a small huddle of folks, dressed in T-shirts and shorts, mostly. They surrounded a boy, tall and skinny, his long brown hair flopping over his face. The boy, holding a long bow, reminded him of a lamppost gone wrong. Seemingly without effort, the boy … Continue reading Souls and Arrows
(1000 words) Head Cook and Bottle Washer was the name of the quaint little cafe I’d discovered. It looked empty, but I’d fancied a change from the noisy, greasy clientele, and the even greasier sausage rolls of Kell’s. “Here you are, sir.” A girl placed a silver tray onto the blue chequered tablecloth in front … Continue reading Golden Tips
(1000 words) “Servant?, well it’s, er, someone who performs duties for someone else, like someone who used to work in a big house in the old days, like a butler or a maid.” “Did they get paid?” asked Elsa, my eight year old granddaughter, a pretty little thing with blonde hair. I laughed. “Yes! … Continue reading Just the Ticket
(1000 words) Monastic-style beers were her favourite. Heavy, sweet, and above all, high alcohol! She peered through the small opaque panes of Oliver’s Beer and Books. No sign of anyone in the small cafe behind the faded yellow door. She pushed it open and a bell rang. Inside was a counter, and behind, shelves upon … Continue reading Monasticity
(1000 words) Melt the ice, that was the name of the game. I’d done it myself in guitar classes. Go round the circle, getting everyone in turn to say why they wanted to learn the guitar and what they hoped to achieve. This was a bit different though. We had to say why we wanted … Continue reading Is There Anybody There?
(1100 words) Waves in Plasmas. I flicked through pages of mind-boggling equations in the heavy hardback book. The Susceptibility and Dielectric Tensors. How the hell could I have understood this stuff? Thirty years later it might as well have been in Chinese! At the sound of muffled hammering I threw the book back into a … Continue reading What’s in Store?
(1000 words) I It was a dull claustrophobic December day and flakes of grey-white snow were settling on the terrace behind King’s Antiquarian Booksellers. Maggie Swann, matriarch of Swann’s Rare Books, crossed it to enter an annex. Inside, in eerie silence, anonymous leather-bound volumes filled dusty bookcases. At the back was a steel cabinet, housing … Continue reading A Merry Dance
(1000 words) December 22nd 10.37 a.m. Jenny opened the trapdoor and climbed into a forgotten world. The attic was eerily dark, lit only by the occasional shaft of sunlight penetrating through the roof, in which sparkling dust particles gyrated. Draped furniture in the gloom seemed ominous and ghoul-like. The air smelt both musty and mouldy, … Continue reading Voices from the Ether