Now I Am Ten


(600 words) March 27th It’s my birthday! I am ten. Mummy and daddy say they have a speshal surprise for me. But I have to wait until next week! Today they gave me a Lego set. It is a very big one, so I don’t mind waiting. I will make a model of the Houses of Parliment and a space rocket. March 28th School was boring. Denis Lavin got punched in the mouth by a boy in year six. He lost a tooth and his face was all bloody. The boy who punched him was laughing but he got caned. Then he wasn’t laughing.

Quid Pro Quo


(650 words) John threw a log into the fire pit and I pulled my bare feet up to the edge of my chair, bringing my knees up to my chin and stroking my smooth, bare calves. Yellow and orange flames curled skywards, momentary daggers of light, dancing in the indigo twilight. “I’m not going through with it!” He laughed, not speaking. I heard a clock chime and looked up the lawn to the house. Ten o’clock. A faint light showed through an upstairs window but it otherwise lay in darkness. Beyond, a car door slammed and an engine started up. Our last guests leaving. John got up and walked over to the barbecue, returning with a sausage and a chicken leg. “Haven’t you eaten enough? And did you hear what I said?”

What Am I? – competition


My FIRST is in HARRY but never in POTTER My SECOND’S in HOGWARTS and also in ROTTER My THIRD is in ACE and features in SPADES MY FOURTH is in MACE but never in BLADES My FIFTH is in HORROR but not in SCREAM My SIXTH is in DEMON but never in DREAM My SEVENTH’S … Continue reading What Am I? – competition

Gender Concerns


(1000 words) Feeling a little apprehensive, I went into the hotel, passing a smiling receptionist, then through to the bar and restaurant area. Smartly-dressed family groups ate at tables or sat in a more casual area with sofas, easy chairs, and leafy potted trees, drinking coffee or sipping wine. Quiet jazz music played in the background. For some odd reason I suddenly had an image of a group of skinheads bursting in, all braces, high Dr. Martens and shaven skulls. Up-ending tables and hurling them around, smashing glass and porcelain alike. People screaming as jabbing fists and thudding boots left a trail of broken and bloodied bodies. Fortunately, nothing like that occurred, and the sound of a gentle, tinkling jazz piano solo was all there was to be heard. At one table sat a young woman, conspicuously alone, looking at her phone. That must be my blind date, I thought, Jules. As I grew closer, she looked up, put her phone down and smiled. “Hello, are you Vincent?”

The Butterfly’s Revenge – A Short Horror Story


(400 words)

Leah glances anxiously around the waiting room. Everyone looks so calm. How the hell can that be? The waiting room is dim, perhaps a dozen men and women of all ages sit, staring ahead as though unseeing. The door opens and a bright light behind him silhouettes the towering figure of Dr. Chansette, a giant cockroach, six feet high. His antennae wave. “Miss Leah Hope?”

Knocker Quarry


It was midday, the sun’s yellow disc was high in the clear-blue, summer sky and it was sweltering. The heat burned into every cell of my body and mind. I could feel my back beneath my rucksack wet with sweat, and drops of it ran down my face from time to time. The grass beneath my walking boots was dry and brown, there’d been little rain for weeks. “I think we should take a break, it’s too hot.” My girlfriend, Sara, turned to me. Her eyes were hidden by dark black sunglasses but her face was pink and beads of moisture covered her sunburned forehead. Dark pools stained her T-shirt under the armpits. I looked around at the desolate moorland – parched grass with the odd brown rock, all that was visible to the horizon in every direction. There was no sign of life, no sheep, no birds, nothing. “Look, we can go and rest on those rocks over there,” said Sara, pointing to a jumble of boulders in the far distance, off to one side.

Not to Forget, but to Forgive


To apologise, yearn to repent, To feel sadness in our heart. To now admit we caused your pain, We selfishly did start. And will it make it better? Will you feel good that we feel bad? Or are the words we use what matter? Mea Culpa – Je regrette For actions done and said. That … Continue reading Not to Forget, but to Forgive

Remembrance


(900 words) “Covered in shit, not in glory, that was the reality. The trenches … well, you can’t imagine the stench of them, and wet – water everywhere. They never seemed to dry out, even in summer. Then they’d stink even worse, like a toilet with piss all over the floor. “Our boots would be soaked and the socks our mums had insisted on giving us – in bagfuls – would be wet through, too. We’d laughed at them – ‘why are you giving me all these bloody socks? I do know how to wash socks, you know!’ – but you know what, when push came to shove, dry socks were like bloody gold dust out there. “And then Fritz would start shelling us. We’d be huddled down in the mud whilst the sky lit up, just like fireworks. Every now and then you’d hear a scream and you knew some poor sod had just bought it.

Doing Time


(700 words) “Mr. Donovan Jones, the court has heard how you, as Jaspar Harding-Heath, did on the fourth of November 1833, together with accomplices, Ned Barret and Harold Mutton, ambush the evening coach from Lincoln to Great Wenlock, and in the process of robbing the travellers therein did cause the death of Lady Sylvia Rossington, namely by slitting her throat with a Bowie knife. “You were later recognised by the deceased’s travelling companions and also identified by your accomplices, under interrogation. How do you plead?” “Not guilty, Your Honour.” “Do you have anything to add before I send the jury out?” “Yes, Your Honour. This is the year 2018. The robbery was one hundred and eighty-five years ago.”

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