A Sliver of Silver

(800 words) Donnie Jackson went to bed feeling elated. Tomorrow was his fourteenth birthday and his mother had told him they’d be taking him somewhere for a special surprise. He lay in bed, listening to the traffic on the nearby motorway. Donnie likened it to the relentless waves on the shore at their summer home on Morton Island. He wondered where they would take him? Maybe to the climbing centre? He’d made noises about wanting to learn rock climbing. Or maybe they’d arranged a secret outing with his friends? To the bowling alley, maybe to the skate park? But his best friend Marty Chang had seemed normal at school. Not like he was hiding a big secret. And he knew Marty better than anyone. He hoped it wouldn’t be a trip to a boring museum or art gallery. The thought of that made a funny feeling in his stomach. Like he was going to puke.

Love Sweet Love

(1000 words) He took a knife and slit the tape that had been holding the cardboard box shut for the last twenty-five years. He poured out a glass of red wine, thick as blood and with an odour of marzipan. Taking out an envelope of photographs, he began to look through them, a quarter of a century collapsing like a house of cards. There she was, in various stages of undress, an inverted ‘V’ of dyed auburn hair framing a smiling brown face. As he looked through them, Rohani on the toilet, naked in the shower, laughing in a university class photo, he realised perhaps why he’d loved her so much. That smile, visible in nearly every photograph, exuded laughter and warmth and, yes, joy. Plain simple joie de vivre. Of course, she’d known how to use that slim brown body and those smiling red lips; she was the best lover he’d ever had. Better not go there. But now, perhaps for the first time, he realised it was more than that. It had been about her presence, just having her with him, having fun together, something that had been sorely missing from his life.

Martha Versus the Giant Earwigs

(1150 words) “Look, Mother, the clock is running backwards!” Tom Coggle pointed to the hands on the pilot room dial. Dr Martha Jane Coggle said, “The crash must have reversed it.” “How could it do that?” “I can’t tell you. I don’t know everything, son.” “Oh!” “Well, don’t look at me so disappointedly. I’m a pathologist, not an electronician.” Tom looked at his mother’s wrinkled face, her greasy white hair and tired eyes, “Time can’t run backwards, for Pete’s sake!” Martha reached up to caress her aged skin. “Oh, if only it could, Tom. I’d be young again!”

Hey, Kid. Wanna Write a Story?

(700 words) Astute visitors to my blog will have noticed an invitation, placed on most posts and pages, to join a fortnightly story-writing group. Perhaps you’ve even thought, “I’d like to write stories but I don’t know if I can,” or “I don’t know whether I can be bothered to write a story every fortnight”? Read on!

To Cut a Short Story Short, vol II: 88 Little Stories

In case you haven't visited my blog recently, you may not be aware that I've a new book out! Published on December 8th 2018, it is entitled To Cut a Short Story Short, vol. II: 88 Little Stories, and comprises the 'best of my blog' from July 2017 to December 2018. All the stories were read … Continue reading To Cut a Short Story Short, vol II: 88 Little Stories

All Apologies: A Writer’s A–Z

A – Audiobooks. B – Belief in Yourself. C – Computer Problems. D – Dogs. E – Editing. F – First Draft. G – Grandkids. H – Hiatus. I – Ill Health. J – Judge’s Criticism. K – Kids. L – Love. M – Madness. N – Nowhere to Write. O – Old Habits. P … Continue reading All Apologies: A Writer’s A–Z

Contents – To Cut a Short Story Short – 20th Mar 2017

Here the stories are listed according to the categories in the menu, namely 100 word stories, 200 word stories, 300-600 word stories, longer stories, TASWG, excerpts and blog (links open in new window/tab).lilnks open in nw  100 Word Stories 1 Don’t Mind the Police! 30th Nov 2015 2 Dream of a Stone Horse 30th Apr … Continue reading Contents – To Cut a Short Story Short – 20th Mar 2017