Behind Locked Doors


(750 words) “Look Mr Sissons, I’m sorry, that part of the graveyard’s no longer used, on account of subsidence caused by badgers. Please see Fred, the sexton. He’ll show you where new graves can be dug and sort out the availability, bearing in mind the … ah … timeframe.” The Reverend Samuel Everson got up from the pew, feeling a certain trepidation and hoping the matter was now closed. Edgar Sissons was a big man and leader of the local council. He wore a long black coat of thick woollen material and barred the reverend’s way. “Look, Reverend, my Auntie Nellie’s buried in that far corner, as you know. It’s my desire that my sister Dolly be buried next to her, God rest her soul.” Samuel Everson felt his hands growing sweaty. “Look, Mr. Sissons, we all have the greatest respect for Dolly, but when all’s said and done, she wasn’t a regular churchgoer here, and as I say –” “Listen, Reverend, it’s my wish that Dolly be buried next to her kith and kin and from where I’m standing I see no good reason she can’t be.

TCASSS II on Audio


I'm very pleased to report that To Cut a Short Story Short, vol. II: 88 Little Stories has been produced as an audiobook, expertly narrated by Angus Freathy, the narrator of no fewer than 47 audiobooks featured on Audible! It runs for 9 hours and 32 minutes, and features the 'best of the blog' from July 2017 to December 2018 plus an extended 5000 word story, In Dulci Dubilo, not published on the site, an emotional roller-coaster of a story, stunningly brought to life by the audio rendition!

Stars in Her Eyes


(900 words) She wore khaki shorts and short ankle socks with brown leather boots, the old-fashioned kind. I noticed her breasts were small and hard from the petite lumps they made in the drab grey and olive-green T-shirts she wore. She walked with long strides of her slim, tanned legs, reminding me of a giraffe. There was something mysterious about her. “She has stars in her eyes, Phil,” said Tom, “and she has a sadness about her, I don’t know why, she doesn’t say much.” “Where’s Tom and Sally?” I asked her. Ilka kept her eye on the path, looking straight ahead. “Sally’s got diarrhoea. Tom’s staying with her at the Gite d'Etape. A couple of guys from the mule team will pick them up later.” She spoke softly, with an accent I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Perhaps Swedish or Norwegian? “I’m sorry to hear that. Food hygiene is rubbish here, isn’t it?” Ilka didn’t reply. She just kept walking with those long, tanned strides. I walked alongside, hoping she wouldn’t mind.

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