(800 words) Word had it that Douglas Whiting wanted to kill someone. Someone, anyone, just to see what it was like. And it got back to him that, yes, a man named Norman Oliver was happy to be the victim. Well, perhaps not happy exactly, more resigned, his cancer untreatable. So, early one evening Whiting knocked on Oliver’s door. A shabby door in a shabby house in a shabby street in a shabby town. Oliver answered the door and Whiting saw the man matched his surroundings, unshaven, a green cardigan with holes in it, old chequered trousers and worn-out slippers. “Hello, you must be the man who’s come to kill me,” Oliver said. Whiting looked Oliver in the eyes. “That’s right. You haven’t changed your mind?” “Oh no, no, not at all. Come in, please come in.”
(750 words) Debonair, that was how Susan, my friend from Pilates, had always described my husband, Peter – before his accident. Now his blue eyes, roman nose, square chin and neatly cut jet-black hair – dyed, of course – stared back from the life-size photograph propped on the windowsill by the television. How I longed to smash it.
(1500 words) I poured boiling water onto fresh ground coffee, inhaling the feisty aroma. 11.30 p.m. Joanne should be here any minute. What the hell did she want? I couldn’t get my head around it. Unless someone had tried it on with her inappropriately. Molested her. That was the last thing I needed. “Darling, are you coming to bed?” It was Becky, my wife. Her blonde hair was ruffled and her heavy breasts pressed through her thin nightie. I felt my body stir. “No, someone from work called. They’re calling round any time now. … they want to talk. It’s urgent. I don’t know what it’s about. Some neurotic woman. I’ll get rid of her as soon as I can.” I kissed Becky’s warm nose. “Love you.” But Joanne didn’t call round and she wasn’t at work the next day. In fact, she wasn’t at work ever again.
Myrtle Shaw Investigates
(1300 words) Myrtle Shaw sat on a well-cushioned, folding chair, sipping champagne. It was six o’clock in the evening but the sun was still quite high, casting a comforting summer warmth over the thin crowd of spectators. To her back was a wall of the ancient stone church, St. Mary’s, and in front of her, white-costumed figures stood, ran, and enacted their roles on the smooth grass. “Ooh, this champagne’s going to my head.” “That’s the idea!” laughed Major D’Arcy-Smith, her erstwhile companion and ever-hopeful suitor. “Would you like some more?” He took a heavy green bottle, glistening with water droplets, from an ice-bucket. Myrtle was in her seventies, but sprightly, her skin well-toned, and her brown hair still its original colour, untinged by chemical potions. Her eyes were green and she only wore glasses for reading, and, of course, for examining clues. “Just a drop, Tom.”
So Many Ways to Die
- 20 little extracts from the dark side of my blog - (links open in new window/tab) 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) … Continue reading So Many Ways to Die