Tag Archives: Short Story

Lady in the Bauble – Literally Stories Re-runs

Literally Stories select a piece from their enormous archive and show case it on their Sunday “Literally Reruns”.

I was surprised this afternoon to find the team had published my story today. Thank you guys and a great thank you to Sharon Frame Gay for selecting it. Have a look at Sharon’s work, click on her name.

Find the story on the link below.

Literally Stories – Lady in the Bauble.

 

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A scene from Sainsbury’s slick Christmas advert recreating the truce

 

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Inheritance

Friday Fictioneers – Rochelle Wisoff -Fields

PHOTO PROMPT © Jean L. Hays

Inheritance

The corporation said out. They said no.
An accident? Their charred bodies lay for weeks.
It’s not much. There never was gold in the mine.
It was everything, a chance, just their dream.
What now? It’s impossible to sell.
Then, I’ll evoke their spirits and seek revenge.
I see a lake, hotels, casinos, dance halls, I see roads and an airstrip.
People will come for entertainment and play the games of chance.
I’ll sell them opportunity and aspirations of wealth.
They will come to chase the glitter of fool’s gold.
I will reap the goldmine of hopes and dreams.

On the Run – Scarface Mahoney

Friday Fictioneers

ronda-del-boccio

PHOTO PROMPT © Ronda Del Boccio

On the Run

Scarface Mahoney packed an overnight bag and checked his passport.

No use; the airports will be under surveillance, they’ll be watching the bus station and they know where his Daimler is parked.

He searched the loft and found his old army rucksack. There was nothing for it, he would have to trek across the Rockies and escape into Canada. At least Mugs O’Reilly was still living in that old miner’s shack, he’ll hide out there and somehow; yea, somehow get to Cuba where his retirement $10 million was stashed.

He had to respect the code, he got the message – ‘grass’.

 

 

A Cabin in The Woods

A Cabin in the Woods. 100 Words Week 7

 

 

Adam and Eve ran away from disapproval and family shame
Where people pointed since their unmarried love was a sin
They disappeared into the woods to start their life again
Where they built a cabin and a home for future children.

They built it far away from the well-trodden paths
By a lake with bulrush reeds and darting dragon flies
that hovered in the air with warm dog-rose scented wafts
drifting in the idyllic afternoons under the cloudless skies

Where behind the purple rosebay ran the bubbling brooks
They washed and bathed naked in the clear shallow pools
Guarded and watched over by a parliament of silent rooks
As they dried themselves slowly with white woollen towels

Alas with naivety of nature’s fruits, a mistaken death cap
was added for nourishment into a warm mushroom soup
As they peacefully slept, in their veins ran the poisonous sap
And in drifting dreams their souls followed a heavenly route

After fifty years, there were no records of the cabin in the woods
Or of the skeleton lovers huddled beneath a blanket of dust
The mystery became a myth full of folk songs with solemn moods
of young couples entranced by forbidden love and mistaken trust.

Three Line Tales – Mojito Sting

Three Line Tales

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Photo by Wolf Schram

Mojito Sting.

‘Oye que bola,’ she sipped mojito in the Bertolt Brecht bar, hustling canasta. I had a sure winner and dropped in my Chevrolet keys. She turned a full house. ‘Want to come for a ride?’ She laughed. At the beach in the back seat, was I lucky or being screwed for my car?

***

I have added a short story from my collection The Listener.

Ellen

A Girl on the Train. Short Story by James McEwan

On my journey by train into Glasgow yesterday I was reminded how anonymous we are to other passengers and seemingly invisible -unless they try and sit on your lap. We become strangers thrown together for a short period – and we sit in silence. Or do we?

I tried to capture this in a short story I wrote sometime ago where the interaction of sounds, furtive glances and seemingly disinterest is a cover for our instinctive curiosity.

Tell me what you think, can you envisage this situation?

On Camera Nov 2014 128

A Girl on the Train.

(She Blew Me A Kiss.)

 

The girl rushed into the train compartment and she dropped into the seat diagonally opposite me, to my right by the window. Seemingly agitated, she looked out and down the platform as if searching for a friend or relative, who perhaps might wave. But no one was there. Rapid beeps preceded the closing of the doors and the train smoothly moved off.

Her red hair was tied in a ponytail. Freckles dotted around her nose, her cheeks were clear and soft. She wore a white blouse underneath a tight tweed jacket, a short skirt and her faint green tights stretched down her legs into the ankle boots that matched the light tan of her satchel. Early twenties.

A woman directly opposite from me shook her Hello magazine and we exchanged glances.

I returned my attention to the crossword. Four down, the colour of jealousy, five letters. Green and isn’t that also the colour of envy?

An increasing volume of a ring tone from a mobile telephone had the girl rummaging in her satchel. I looked up. The woman opposite lowered her magazine, tightened her lips and shook her head at me as she glared over her glasses. I tried to ignore her and returned to the crossword.

Six across, slight discomfort in the organs. Ten letters, try irritation.

The girl placed a notebook on the seat, before retrieving her telephone from the bag.

‘Where are you?’ She spoke into her mobile.

The woman opposite rustled her magazine to a new page and turned sideways.

‘Well get the next one.’

I stared at my crossword. What kind of boyfriend misses meeting this girl, with bright blue eyes? Seven down, an inferior assistant, three letters. Slave, no that’s five, try cad.

‘Carol, you always say that.’

Not a boyfriend then, perhaps it was just a friend with a lame excuse, and who had probably slept in.

‘No its Ok, I can wait in Starbucks, you owe me.’

The woman opposite stared through her glasses at me. Well don’t listen I telepathically glared back and clearly you should avoid Starbucks.

‘He did what?’ The girl stamped a foot on the floor. ‘Oh Carol he didn’t. … He did.’

The woman took a deep breath and lifted her hand to cover an ear. Perhaps she doesn’t want to know what he did. I do.

Three down, something rare or unusual, nine letters. A curiosity. What was it he did?

‘But, is he coming with us? … He is.’ The girl stamped her foot again.

The woman folded her magazine and shifted in her seat, she crossed over a leg and accidentally kicked me. Ouch that hurt, I telepathically smiled at her and rubbed my shin.

‘I’m going to ask Mark along, if that’s Ok?’ The girl continued on her mobile and looked at me.

The woman opposite mouthed sorry.

‘No harm done.’ I said and return to my crossword.

‘What do you mean?’ The girl continued her conversation. She glanced at the woman and then stared across at me. She shifted the mobile to her other ear and turned to look out of the train window. ‘But Carol he’s good looking and …’

Eight down, having no choice eleven letters. Involuntary, now that’s an interesting word.

I watched the girl’s reflection flicker in the window where her face appeared contorted by the diffractions of light and passing background.

‘No no Carol … Mark said what?’ The girl stomped both feet.

Oh dear, what did he say? Perhaps Mark is too good looking or perhaps he is a two timing selfish sort. The woman turned a page in her magazine and a picture, of George Clooney with a beautiful woman in an evening dress, smiled at me. Oh how the celebrities live their lives.

‘I never want to speak to him again.’ The girl hugged the satchel resting on her knees.

So many times I’ve heard that before. Nine across intended to mislead, six letters. Deceit, yes we all fall for the same old excuses.

She started to laugh. ‘I know … you should have seen him.’

So clearly he made a fool of himself, somewhere.

‘I know what an idiot.’

So you’re better off without him, he can’t be trusted and you’ll find someone else. Twenty-four down, influenced by proximity, ten letters. Attraction, what does she find attractive?

The girl looked at me. ‘Who should I invite?’ She said into the mobile.

Why not me? I smiled.

Next clue: four across, an impractical person, and eight letters. Idealist.

‘No Carol, he’s too old for me.’ She looked out of the window.

She’s noticed me, but surely we could try. The woman turned over another page of her magazine and I saw Michael Douglas with Catherine Zeta-Jones holding hands. It works for some.

‘I don’t care, I am not going to ask him.’

She has no sense of adventure, I am sure if she got to know me, we’d be a perfect match.

‘That’s what you think.’ She spoke into her mobile and looked at me. ‘I’ll tell you later … later I said.’

The train announcement called out, ‘the next station is Central Low Level.’

In a connecting glance with the girl I instinctively felt a mutual desire and a perception of more to come.

‘No way,’ she said. ‘I’ll meet you in Starbucks, bye … bye.’ She returned her mobile telephone into her satchel.

Sixteen down inspired with foolish passion, ten letters. It can only be infatuated.

The girl shouldered her satchel and left the train. Rapid beeps preceded the closing of the doors and the train started to move off.

Someone knocked on the window from the outside. It was the girl. She frantically pointed at the seat where she had left her notebook. I grabbed hold of it. The top window was jammed and I rushed to the next compartment. The girl was running along side the train and I threw the book out to her. She picked it up, smiled, waved and then she blew me a kiss.

‘Oh really,’ the woman said as I returned to my seat. She shook her magazine to a new page. Renée Zellweger was smiling at me from a picture, as if she knew why the girl blew me a kiss.

Fire in Glasgow -West End.

The picture below reminded me of Daphne du Maurier’s novel “Rebecca” and its ending few words.

“… but the sky on the horizon was not black at all. It was shot with crimson, like a splash of blood. And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea.’

The implication was that Mrs Danvers discovered the truth about her beloved Rebecca, and in revenge she torched the large country house, ‘Manderley’.

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Disused building West Glasgow opposite my daughter’s flat. (Live Friday 20 May 2016)

Fire is fascinating; it is like a cleansing of the past, as the flames leap and twitch. There is finality in the burning where all the elements disintegrate in smoke and leave behind a powdered residue, and is a very practical solution to get rid of the unwanted items in our lives. (I don’t mean people like witches and Guy Fawkes).

In my household it is impossible to be rid of such items, to me they are unnecessary clutter. The ‘others’ with their emotional claptrap always resist trying to make space and taking ‘their stuff’ to charity shops, and so the ‘big clear out’ becomes a day wasted by reminiscing about the good times and the sad times and those bloody times that drive me mad times. Everything is boxed up again and put back into the shed or else up into the attic to be forgotten. Perhaps it is the excitement of rediscovering items from your past, and the past of deceased relatives that sub-consciously makes us hold on to the most ridiculous of items.

Remember this scarf; Granny knitted it for my first day at school, shame about the mice gnawing the wool, and on it goes. Mementos slowly deteriorating and their only function are to reflect on our lives, perhaps we need to hold on to them. Since, once they are gone we’ll miss those ‘big clear out’ days.

No wonder fire is associated with insanity.

Six Word Story. Dog Walker.

Hiring-a-dog-walker

Dog walker’s body found; no leads.

Our world – The Physics of Life.

The Physics of life.

I can see I am not the only nerd who is bored, the air is stuffy and people are shielding their iphones under their desks. Their vacant looks are directed at the front in a posture of disinterest, as their fingers collaborate in their cyber conversations. Others are blatantly asleep, and yet this all seems immaterial to the lecturer. “Jason” as we have to address him although he is at least 15 years older than any of us, but he considers “familiarity inspires creativity”. This is one of his big ideas he brought back from America from his time in NASA doing academic research. Put it in your CV, Jason; we get it! Yes, I was impressed at first but repetitive repetition of his self-importance is as interesting as cold tomato soup.

He drones on in a monotonous voice with his explanation of wave-particle duality, and I know he has got it wrong. Why doesn’t he use notes? I am the only one to notice, he is slurring and stuttering his speech and has a hangover. I don’t drink alcohol, but do I find it humorous the way people use this as an excuse; I think they’ve already planned their mischievous notions deep in their subconscious mind and after a few drinks play them out, then feel ill and foolish afterwards. Still it never seems to deter them, and it’s always the same response, it was the drink.

Jason is off at a tangent, me, me, when I was in America, how dull, blah!

I once interrupted him a few weeks ago when he clearly missed the importance of the integral spin of mesons. What a mistake. He didn’t accept my obvious correction but instead rebuked me for the interruption and then made a personal attack on my appearance. He told me I was a Gothic Satanic Vampire with no future in the world of quantum physics. The narrow-minded self-egotistic fn twat, and what an hypocritical view considering his cult following of Scientology, another of his big ideas from America. At least my blood is clean and untainted from the poisonous fluid that is pumped around his body and through his obnoxious brain full of dribble.

I don’t consider myself a Goth, my long black leather coat and boots with their stainless steel buckles is from my admiration of the “Matrix”, a film I felt appealed to my open-minded view of our world’s future. Cutting my hair short and dyeing it blond was great, what a conversation stopper as I walked into the lecture that day. I think I felt a cosmic pulse rush through my body in response to their momentary silence. But not a Goth, after all I wasn’t dressed or covered in make up as characters in the film, “The Crow”.

Image -Welt.de

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I am afraid of Jenny, she is a real Goth with a few meaningful tattoos on her left arm, black and white make up on her face and hair of fluorescent pink stripes with lines of purple. Surreal, dressed as a Halloween doll. She describes herself as a walking canvas reflecting her artistic interpretation of her period in time. I have no idea what she means but I suspect she is suited to her description as a modern artist waiting for her special moment. Normally, I feel uncomfortable near groups of girls and have no idea what to talk about beyond scientific notation. I always felt they were internally laughing at me, but probably not. My new image caused a kind of magnetic solar pulse of attention from them about my appearance.

Jenny spoke to me first, I am sure she had never noticed me before. That is until I started wearing my matrix look. It was exciting and she was an easy talker and the way she looked at me made my adrenaline burst through my veins causing my heart to race. Or was it the grip of testosterone that flared my cheeks?   However, I still felt awkward and flushed aghast when she described her body piercing, and how liberating it felt. I formed an erotic image that remains engrained in my mind and keeps me awake at night.

She insisted that I come with her in June to the Gothic Wave Festival in Leipzig. The photo’s, she showed me from last year were fantastic, all the costumes were amazing. I am drawn to her ideas of Gothic inhibitions and being part of something across Europe, but am still not sure. She wants to share a tent and I keep getting that image in my head of her secret steel pins locking and sealing her virginity until she was ready for her special moment.

The lecture is over and Jason has destroyed wave particle duality. Jenny will be in the café, waiting for my answer. Should I decide to go with her to Leipzig, I wonder if I will discover the meaning of her special moment?

Leipzig 2015 costumes.

If I won the Lottery.

A whimsical piece of writing, for your entertainment.

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What to do If you win.

Mary was sitting on a picnic blanket in the garden arranging her doll’s hair. She held the doll up to her ear.

‘Jessica says she likes the sunshine,’ Mary said and pulled a ribbon from the doll’s ponytail. ‘She wants to go to the beach.’ She looked up at her father who was reading.

‘Quiet lass, I’m busy,’ John, her father, said with a grunt and shook the Herald onto a new page.

‘We could build sand castles and Jessica says she wants a go on a donkey.’ Mary continued to brush the doll’s hair.

John stroked the wisps of grey over his baldness and dropped the newspaper onto his lap. ‘Well you can tell Jessica, if she doesn’t eat her sandwiches she’s not going anywhere.’ He stretched out his legs, lifted the paper and thumbed it open.

‘Oh dad! I don’t like tomatoes, they’re yucky.’

The garden gate squeaked open and a man walked in towards them. He had a cigarette hanging from his mouth and wore a paint stained Arran sweater that had tattered woollen threads hanging from the sleeves.

‘Uncle Bob.’ Mary jumped to her feet and ran to him. ‘Can you take me and Jessica to the beach?’ She grabbed hold of his hand. ‘You can watch the seagulls and Jessica wants to go for a swim.’

‘Aye,’ he said and sat down on a wooden bench. ‘Hi John, there’s still no sign of my pigeons, you know, Pearl and Oyster Blue.’

‘Uncle Bob, you can watch them fly over the sea at the beach,’ Mary tugged at his hand.

‘Aye,’ John said and shook the Herald up in front of his face.

‘Come on Uncle Bob, we can have ice cream.’

‘I put new rings on them last week, bloody regulations. They all require an international number.’

‘Aye’ John said and turned the paper over.

‘Cost a fortune, anybody would think you’d have to win the lottery to keep racing pigeons these days.’

‘If I won the lottery I’d buy a beach.’ Mary said and chuckled. ‘What would you do Uncle Bob?’

‘If I won the lottery, lass, I would build posh pigeon coops along the cliff tops and have a big house with a glass balcony where I could sit and watch Pearl and Oyster Blue fly about.’

‘I would travel the world.’ Mary giggled.

‘Daft lassie.’ John snapped the paper over to a new page.

‘Where would you go, lass?’ Bob said and lit another cigarette.

‘I would go to Manchester to visit Gran.’ Mary held Jessica to her ear. ‘Jessica wants me to take her to China, that’s where she’s from.’

‘Travelling, aye I might do that.’ Bob blew a cloud of smoke into the air. ‘Hoy John, what would you do if you won the lottery?’

‘Me.’ He drop the paper onto his lap. ‘If I won the lottery, I’d disappear and you wouldn’t see hide nor hair of me.’

Uncle Bob winked at Mary who held Jessica to her ear.

‘Dad,’ she said and smiled, ‘Jessica says that she really hopes you win.’