Category Archives: short story

You most of all…

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The reading of the will gave Julian the final confirmation that his mother had hated him. His sister got the house and his brother inherited the business ‘…and to you, my first-born, I bequeath the shoes I was wearing when I met your father, my favourite tan satchel and two volumes on Mesopotamian art.’

He was incensed.

‘I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, she knew how much I hated that satchel, and what am I supposed to do with high heels?’

His siblings presented an alternative view. ‘Have you any idea how important these items were to her? She cherished them above all other possessions.’

Many embittered years later Julian rediscovered the items in his vast attic whilst searching for something of greater worth. A slip of paper slid from the between the two volumes.

‘My darling. Not everything can be expressed in monetary terms. I poured my love into these trinkets, just like I poured my love into you… ‘

 

Written for: Friday Fictioneers

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Wood I Lie To You?

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Lawrence described teaching as misinforming children for benevolent ends

The truth of the matter was that the cart had been left behind by Amish folk after their crops failed for a third consecutive year, but that seemed overly sad, and certainly not the kind of thing you explained to seven year olds. Alternative elucidations were called for..

‘At the end of an intergalactic war that stretched for aeons across the galaxy the robot warrioress was finally victorious, but her amorous husband wouldn’t let her rest, so she transformed herself into that rusty old thing where she hides to this day, waiting for his libido to subside.’

‘What’s a libido sir?’

‘It’s like an unreliable stick.’

‘What’s an aeon?’

‘It’s like the time it takes for Christmas to arrive.’

On another occasion he described the cart as a De-truancyfier.

‘You feed the naughty kids in at this end, and they come out the other side good.’

‘No way!’

‘Yes way. Just ask Stephen.’

‘Stephen moved to the coast when his folks split up.’

‘No,’ Lawrence shook his head and pointed into the haggard remains, ‘De-truancified.’

After many years of delighting children with his falsehoods one of the parents complained about Lawrence’s tall tales and he was encouraged to seek alternative employment. The cart was bought by a hipster who turned it into a boutique coffee stand.

Lawrence sold everything he owned and smuggled himself onto a slow-boat bound for Hong Kong. There he taught deliberately bad English and married a woman of high social standing…

At least that’s what everyone heard…

He may have made it all up…

 

Written for: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

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Mercy Killing…

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I eavesdrop on the couple sitting next to me. Two things become apparent:

…They are planning the ultimate holiday.

…They hate each other.

It is the hatred of familiarity – barbed leaping impatience that turns what should be joyous into something tense and spiteful.

Their plight is fascinating to me and I begin typing out their story – small and discrete at first, but then, possessed of a curious desire to reveal my voyeurism, I increase the font size so that they cannot fail to see.

‘Why are you always going off on pointless tangents? Don’t close the itinerary! I hadn’t finished…that man’s writing down what we say…Look…I want you to do something about it…Because it’s creepy…God you’re so weak!’

In even larger font I type:

‘…THINK THEY’RE ONTO ME.

THEY SEEM SO SAD.’

My phone rings which has the effect of shielding me from conflict

‘Hey…Nothing much…Sure, I’ll pop around.’

As I chat the couple leave separately.

I have been immeasurably cruel.

Or I have done them a great kindness.

Or both.

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The wheel is turning but the hamster is dead…

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He jumped the security barrier and made it to the chairman’s office before being wrestled to the ground.

‘THEY’RE KEEPING THEM IN PENS,’ he howled, ‘RODENTS PUMPED UP TO THE EYEBALLS ON STEROIDS…’

The chairman came out of his office accompanied by a journalist.

‘…RUNNING ROUND WHEELS, GETTING BIGGER…TILL THEY GRADUATE TO BIKES HOOKED UP TO GIANT TURBINES…’

The man was dragged away, leaving behind a crumpled photo.

‘…RED MEAT…FRENZIED…’

The chairman scoffed.

‘You’ll note that these conspiracists only ever have grainy pictures to substantiate their ludicrous claims…and as for your assertion that we’re in the throes of an energy crisis…’

Behind him the corridor lights flickered…

Written for: Friday Fictioneers

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Twittering Tales: Fish n’ Ships…

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The siren spotted the sailor on the deck of his boat.

‘Look at that rippling torso,’ she sang. ‘It’ll be weeks before I need to eat again!’

(137 characters).

Written for: Twittering Tales

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Everywhere & Nowhere…

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The trees that grow in Perdition have the structure of tortured souls seeking to escape the scorched earth, reaching or hanging ashen like expended husks. They are the product of neglect and malice; of half-remembered dreams – places endured and wandered through in a distressing deja-vu.

I happen upon the clearing again. It is part of my punishment to relive the hollow discovery time and time over. I cannot remember what is it that I did to deserve such terrible retribution, or why the concept of duration should fill me with dread…

I have the suspicion that I have been here forever.

A fire has ravaged my throat and my mind. Blurred corporeal entities vie for attention. Thoughts break apart under scrutiny.

Up ahead – the outline of a figure. How long is it since I conversed with another? Silent words form on my lips and I plunge forward through tearing thorns. Despite my passionate pursuit the figure slips further and further away. I emerge alone in a clearing where hellish limbs claw their way out of the…

Written for: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

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Ninth Life…

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Treacherous little Philip – slipped across the great divide and crowned me ‘Last man standing’. The funeral brought matters into sharp focus. When my time came there’d be no one left to see me off. Jeffrey would’ve marvelled at how fat I’d become, but alas drink took him in the 80s, and Shamus would’ve positively pulsated at the possibility of swearing in church, but a black ball of mutated cells multiplied him out of existence a few seasons back.

My family were in attendance. They’re waiting for funds to be released.

I thought back through my greatest achievements: A bunch of semi-estranged kids, fourteen pairs of bosoms successfully manhandled (if memory serves), a brief stint as a deep-sea diver. Everything else paled…

As they carried out the coffin a leather-clad grandson spoke at me as though I was deaf, dumb and incontinent (Am I the one who failed his driving test four times? Stupid little shit!)

They’re all itching to have me declared insane (which indeed I am for putting up with their sponging ass-clownery for so long).

At the graveside I made a pledge:

I’m getting out of here Philip. I’ve cleaned out the bank accounts – Seventy grand! Should keep me in viagra and hookers for the better part of three years. As for the rest – one call to Montegues (I declare that I am of sound body and mind) and it all gets liquidated.

It’s a Catch-22 that my pursuit of a better life will be seen as dementia. I’ll just have to be a ninja at covering my tracks. I’ve given enough to these terrible people. Time to hit the road Jack. Good luck and God speed. The cash machine is no longer is service.

My eldest, Jacob, owns (or should I say owned) a convertible.

I’ll raise a glass to you Philip when I get where I’m going, but between then and now there’s a pressing need to open up the throttle and blast some air through the ole comb-over…

 

(336 Words)

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