Story Index

All at Sea in the Mist [730 words, July 27, 2013]
The mist swirled in off the sea, engulfing the holiday-makers and enveloping the crowded beach in one easy, fluid movement. The sound of the nearby waves breaking on the sand reached them…

The Bacon at the End [543 words, June 9, 2013]
“This is an official announcement,” the voice on the radio said, soft and syrupy, the sort of voice that vaunted the merits of margarine or washing power. The idiots! What were they thinking of?…

Box-window

The Blinkin’ Box [460 words, June 4, 2014]
I peer out, my eyes pressed to the cold metal slit. The brick wall opposite often forms a landscape scarred with shadows, but today it is nothing but a red blur. It stings my eyes as I watch a…

Blink

Blinking Hell! [January 30, 2011]
Next!” he called out. An old woman entered, closed the door and shuffled into his office, unsteady on her feet. Her old-fashioned flower print dress hung loose over her emaciated body…

lighthouse-s

By the Light [September 3, 2009]
The nuts didn’t taste so good, but it was all he had left to eat. He tried to make each one last as long as possible, chewing it till it became a warm liquid that dribbled down his throat…

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The Chapel [893 words, May 17, 2015]
The latch clicks shut as I pull the porch door closed and feel my way in the dark. A faint hint of incense hangs in the air, vying with distant memories of flowers. I catch sight of the stone font in the gloom …

Clueless [August 11, 2009]
To think that this place had once been one of the most sophisticated  venues in town, she thought. It had been a place of joy and happiness. Her father used to bring her there as a child…

bandstand02-s

The Colourful Bandstand [374 words, March 22, 2015]
Sun glints off the varnished roof of the bandstand, sending a rainbow of colours showering over the surrounding tiered steps as they climb row upon row high above…

Splodge

The Commemoration [October 15, 2010]
We drove across the abandoned tarmac of what must once have been a majestic airport. Grass had forced its way through the many cracks that breeched the surface. The car…

Grain01-medium

The Complex Weaver [2’061 words, June 16, 2014]
The blast flung Scott the length of the corridor, through the back door of the pub and all the way into the yard. When its force finally waned, he crumpled to the ground to a round of applause….

mouth

Devouring Folk Tales [355 words, March 23, 2015]
Something went wrong, dreadfully wrong, once upon a time. Von stood alone on a broad open plain, hills of pink dust rolling away in every direction. The sun blazed…

Freud & the Rabbit

Dr. Freud and the Rabbit [681 words, July 26, 2013]
The mist swirled in off the sea, engulfing the holiday-makers and enveloping the crowded beach in one easy, fluid movement. The sound of the nearby waves breaking on the sand reached them…

Empty Box

The Empty Box [1’191 words, November 8, 2015]
“Do you know the one about the man who was balding?” George asked, setting his empty beer glass down on the table. It was early and the pub was still quiet. Apart from the bartender checking racing results …

Empty Promises [135 words, May 26, 2013]
He intensely disliked the way people used words to mislead. Take the enormous picture on the side of that bus depicting a kid leaning against a rain-spattered bus window, …

Encountered

Encountered [498 words, May 7, 2015)
The whir of colour wheels settled and a familiar sinking announced the return to gravity. Ahead the docking station took shape. AT381. Home. He let out a deep shuddery breath. He was almost there…

Buskers-s

The Exchange [August 21, 2009]
In every picture there’s many a story,” he said as he lent forward to look more closely at the picture of the two musicians. “Take these two, for example,” he added, glancing at the young girl…

Mushrooms

Fall [November 3, 2011]
The forest was shroud in mist. Tiny droplets hung in fine lines on the spiders’ webs. The earth, which was dark and dank, reeked of mould and decay. All sound was muffled. The ring…

Flowerpot

Flowerpot scientists [March 31, 2015]
“No. I insist. They hide under flowerpots,” she says, draining most of her cup, turning it upside down and placing it dripping over a solitary sugar lump…

moon-s

The Full Moon [August 26, 2009]
Lie on your back, but keep you eyes open,” the voice said. “Good. Now steady your breathing. No don’t force it. Just relax and let your muscles work on their own.” The voice itself seemed to calm…

Girl

The Girl and the Lost Prince [316 words, February 24, 2015]
Sound the trumpets, ring the bells, cry out from the tower tops.
Oh yeah! Oh yeah! A wonder just walked in the door.
Courtiers jostle, elbowing each other to catch a glimpse….

God be Blown [489 words, February 2, 2015]
The blast flung Scott the length of the corridor, through the back door of the pub and all the way into the yard. When its force finally waned, he crumpled to the ground to a round of applause….

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Her [573 words, October 13, 2015]
Time to crack open my eyes, to yawn and yawn again, to stretch, to scratch, then pounce on the ball of wool sending it shooting under the bed. And I’m off, skidding on the carpet, ….

Chair

Hey, Little Man [January 16, 2012]
He stood in front of the school door wondering how he could possibly open it. The knob was hopelessly out of reach and there was nothing he could use to climb. Life…

Bus stop

Hold that Thought… [December 16, 2010]
Hold that thought…” was all the message said. If it had been scribbled on a piece of paper you’d be tempted to turn it over and look at the other side to see if there was more. But it was an…

Bleak mid Winter

In a Bleak Mid-Winter [December 6, 2011]
Christmas! Mary’s favourite time. Snow had fallen, muffling the world in its embrace. Yet, no wise men laboured knee-deep through the snow. Only Old Ted driving the cows…

art

Inside Out [April 11, 2012]
It seems so strange to our eyes, but at the time they couldn’t see things otherwise, the healer explained, talking mind-to-mind to a handful of apprentice healers around the world. They came

An Interview with Dr. Schwab [417 words, September 12, 2013]
We are lucky to have with us today the renown scientist Dr. Schwab of Frütigen-am-See University. He’s a depth psychologist and an expert on human-bird relations….

Jetty-s

The Jetty [August 29, 2009]
The last boat had left an hour earlier, well before nightfall with its cargo of merrymakers and adventurers and would-be traders. The peals of laughter had died away as had the whispered…

King Canute [February 17, 2013]
Over there,” he said, pointing to a dry patch at the water’s edge. It was one of the few remaining places where the sand seemed flat and solid enough to bear his throne. …

Loooser

Loooser [1’222 words, November 2, 2015]
The jagged edges of the corrugated roof snagged a plastic bag that had blown against the bus shelter. It flapped like an enraged bird. George knew what it meant to be enraged…

The Lift [462 words, May 18, 2014]
Catching sight of her striding after him as he hurried into the lift, he was relieved when the doors started to close and a mechanical voice said: Ground floor. Going up….

Light-2

The Light Knows No Secrets [441 words, September 19, 2015]
“What did you say, Sandy?” “I didn’t speak, my love.” “Then who said that about the light?” “What light?” Please don’t tell me I’m hearing voices…
First published in Off Shoots 13

Magical Words [455 words, August 1, 2013]
Late as usual, I managed to slid into one of the very last remaining places at the back of the lecture hall, at the limit of scrutiny. Opening my notebook and hiding a tiny tape recorder under an array…

Christmas window

Maryse goes to Paradise [December 9, 2011]
Despite her small stature, Maryse had always been full of energy and determination. That was before the fire in which the rest of her family perished. Now she was frail and tired and hungry….

Members-3-s

Members Only [September 7, 2009]
The room was hot and stuffy making him sweat profusely and causing his shirt to cling uncomfortably to his skin. He wiped his forehead and neck with a large white handkerchief…

Wild world

Midsummer [May 31, 2011]
She pushed aside the soaked sacking that hung across the entrance to her rough stone shelter and peered out. She could make no sense of the all-too-familiar mountainside through…

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The Misbegotten Script [395 words, February 2, 2015]
Maxim flung the script across the room where it hit the wall with a satisfying thud and broke apart, showering papers over his desk and onto the floor. The cat, that had been curled up by his desk, took a…

Mr. Hammer

Mr. Hammer’s spell [869 words, November 7, 2015]
Mr. Hammer thumped his fist on the local newspaper sprawled across the kitchen table. The blow made a satisfying thud. If there was one thing he couldn’t stomach it was bad spelling…

Mud Slinging [November 1, 2012]
Jim took a deep shuddering breath. It was a beautiful day to be alive. Sun was streaming over the trees at the end of the park and sparkled off the small pond. Birds were flying…

wreck-s

An Oratorio for a Wreck [September 5, 2009]
It was Sunday. An invited Orthodox choir sang in the cliff top church: an Oratorio in memory of those lost at sea. A breeze blew off the bay bringing with it a strong smell of salt and seaweed….

Painter-s

Painter [August 14, 2009]
He sat on a large, paint-stained cloth on the ground, his brush in one hand, the pot of paint in the other. A spattering of white paint tainted his hair which was already flecked…

The Path [567 words, July 31, 2013]
The young man got to his feet and paced a well worn circle around the wooden foldable chair on which he had been seated. A blackbird circled overhead, then settled on the back of the vacated…

Path-s

The Path [August 14, 2009]
Don’t worry about me,” the old woman wheezed, lowering herself with difficulty onto a fallen tree trunk by the path-side. “Go on on your own. Get away as far as you can.”…

Cathédrale Saint-Sacerdos de Sarlat

Play of Light [July 14, 2009]
From his hiding place behind the curtain of the confessional he had a good view over most of the cathedral. The place was empty, as was normal on an early afternoon. It was harvest…

The Professor [197 words, October 18, 2013]
“…all this nonsense about rules and regulations is so trying…” the professor complained, abruptly raising his voice as he paced the auditorium. Several older ladies in the front row…

flashes-s

A Question of Light [September 15, 2009]
Bright streaks of colour  rained down like so many tiny meteorites leaving their short-lived traces suspended in the air in front of them only to be replaced rapidly by others following…

The Shed [255 words, May 18, 2014]
Lurking in the dank shadows, amid a heavy wreak of creosote, a rake, head held high, leans across a bundle of raffia, the strands of which escape and tumble to the floor…

Rainbow

The Sixth [December 25, 2010]
Her eyes stared off into the distance, blank and unseeing. What a shame, he thought; such an attractive young girl yet afflicted that way. One of her auburn curls repeatedly fell in front of…

Sleepless Knights [August 12, 2016]
A fly settles on the word ‘scar’. I cup my hand. Can’t squash the damn thing. It’s sitting on a book! Look at it! Twitching  its feelers in defiance. I brace myself for action…

Smoke signals from a wordless world  [October 14, 2017]
A short story written with Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump and all the trigger-happy, so-called women-loving cowboys of this world in mind…

Véro Nicolet
Véro Nicolet

Star Map [August 2, 2009]
He turned his back on the paintings which filled the rest of the workshop, letting out a deep sigh, and began to examine the papers on the trestle table that had served as her desk and…

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Traces [November 27, 2016]
On my walk, crossing so many traces of stories yearning to be told. A misplaced golfball close to a golf course, its owner lost in the search. The hoof prints of a small horse escaped or out for a Sunday caper….

Water

Transformations [June 1, 2010]
You don’t have to be down a rabbit hole for things to transform unexpectedly in front of you,” he told those who could be bothered to listen to him as he waved his pint of beer…

tree-s

The Tree [August 25, 2009]
He couldn’t at first pinpoint where the whispered children’s voices where coming from. But as he noiselessly neared the tree he caught sight of the two of them perched on a branch high…

flowers

The Trial [April 19, 2011]
The television cameras whirred into action as the judge stepped into the courtroom and went to sit at his place. “What do you have to say for yourselves?” the judge asked, his voice severe…

The station
The station

Tribute [December 4, 2010]
Celi stood at the foot of the stairs leading up to the platform. She dearly wanted to stay but it was time to go. People milled noisily around her hurrying to catch a last train home…

Umbrellas

Umbrella People [October 17, 2015]
Rain patters on the flagstones that pave the square. Rivulets of water converge forming ever growing puddles, till the place resembles an immense lagoon bordered by a forest of pillars curving upwards, …

sunset-s

The Unanswered Question [August 23, 2009]
She lay back on the warm grass of the high pastures and looked up at the sky afire with the setting sun. It had been a hot day. “don’t know the answer,” she said out loud though nobody…

Unsung Heroes [October 21, 2011]
Tina opened her mouth to speak and closed it again. There was no point. She shut the door gently behind her, embarrassed that it should squeak so noisily in the silent…

Corridor03

Unpleasant shortcuts [305 words, February 24, 2015]
Beware of shortcuts down deserted corridors. There may be a good reason why no one goes that way. You should know.  Did you not stumble on an ex-lover drooling over a…

Storm

A Voice in the Storm [4480 words, May 13, 2015]
The sun’s rays burst through the clouds and skim the ruffled waters of the lake. At the sight of a large villa, they prize their way between the half drawn curtains and splash light across a table set for two….

Voices in the Snow [January 19, 2013]
“Have you ever noticed how snow falls?” he asked, stretching out his hand to catch passing flakes….

Birds

A Walk [October 17, 2010]
Thousands of raucous birds chatter in the branches at the top of the highest trees awaiting the magic moment when they rise as one, circle the village and fly south till spring. It could be days…

Where was I [330 words, July 26, 2017]
Where did I put that paper? It was in here somewhere. What a mess. Always so much stuff in my bag. No idea where it comes from. A packet of cigarettes. Empty, of course. Shame. Could have done with a cig…

The Yellow Man

The Yellow Cloud [October 7, 2010]
I stood in the shadows of a nearby building waiting, watching, wary when a stocky man threw open the folding trap-door across the square. It landed with a thud on the pavement…

 

Young girl

Young Girl [June 14, 2009]
Since her mother died life had been plagued by a series of mishaps and lesser catastrophes. Not that she didn’t enjoy preparing the food for her uncle and cleaning his house, she…

 

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