Literally Stories have aired my short story as one of their Sunday re-runs. I must thank them. Their site holds hundreds of worthwhile reads from a variety of writers; you may find yourself engrossed for hours. Every read is free or you may wish to contribute your own story for others to enjoy.
I can’t remember when I first noticed the little bird, a wheatear. When the telephone rang it appeared at the window and when I hung up the handset, I would drop some seeds or crumbs outside.
A bond developed between us and mutual expectation. The bird became my companion, and I was its source of titbits. We were creatures of habit, and the little bird became a great comfort to me in my moments of deep anxiety.
The bird will migrate soon, what will I do?
I wished the calls would stop, or at least whoever it was, would speak.
Where are you 007?
Self-isolated with man flu, Mam.
Don’t be ridiculous Bond. I want you in London tonight.
M, is that an invitation?
Don’t be flippant, this is serious Bond. Miss Corona de Ville needs to be stopped.
The Queen of Oral Pharmacies?
Bond, I want you inside her organisation and get to the bottom of her plans.
Oh, Bond have you seen Miss Moneypenny? She’s missing.
Grandfather died from the RAF bombing in Duisburg.
From his will, we owned the Einfamilienhaus; a ruinous shell in a wild garden.
We were delighted and began the renovation work with enthusiastic zest.
We found a painting in a secret room behind a wall. Imagine our good fortune.
“It’s a masterpiece,” the Kunthaus said. “Priceless and magnificent. Looted!”
And the skeletons?
Their descendants claimed the art and wanted retribution.
Were we to pay the price for our grandfather’s past?
Later, we discovered he had hidden and saved those poor people from transportation.
Why does thirst for revenge percolate through generations?
The appearance of Geillis Duncan as a character in the popular TV series “Outlander” reminded me of a story I wrote some time ago.
The persecution of women throughout history by powerful men without repercussions invokes a sense of injustice. The witch hunts of the 16th century in Scotland were driven by superstition and insecurity. The arrest and trials of of witches and warlocks was supported by King James VI who was convinced that witchcraft was responsible in an attempt to kill him by creating a storm at sea that almost capsized his ship. A teenage maid servant, Geillis Duncan, was one of the first to be accused and subsequently executed.
Anya was naked and walked past.
I stopped reading.
(Mrs Newsome wanted Strether to rescue Chadwick from a wicked woman.)
I was dressed when Anya emerged from the bathroom.
‘Ready?’ She adjusted her blouse.
In East-Berlin, we had met in a provocative gaze across a crowded room.
‘Will he be alone?’
‘No,’ she said. ‘My flight is tonight.’
Col Kryuchkov met us at Marx’s Tomb in Highgate, and I gave him the USB memory.
‘I love you.’ I kissed Anya. ‘Goodbye.’
The encrypted files were bogus lists of double agents.
Another time, they may return to poison me.
A woman in green came to our school; she told us about a wonderful world where dreams came true. She believed how plants could care for us; they were special.
‘Take this moon rock,’ she said. ‘Put it in a jar and keep it in the dark overnight.’
Everyone in our street had one.
It seemed miraculous, the speed it grew, up and over the kitchen walls. No one knew what it was. The cats were first to vanish then, Bertie, our dog.
Then one day!
‘Good morning,’ the plant said, trailing a tentacle around my neck. ‘I’m so hungry.’