Brand New Short Stories
These are the latest new short stories published by Alfie Dog Fiction. We publish new stories every week, so please come back regularly.
If you enjoy reading these new short stories please browse our genre menus to find other stories you may enjoy.
A Cat May Look at a King – Tracey Walsh
3000 words Historical / Romance
It’s 1617 and Catherine, Thomas and the rest of the household staff at Hoghton Tower are keen to see their royal visitor, King James, but life will never be the same again after his visit.
That day in 1617 started the same way as every other day Catherine had spent as scullery maid at Hoghton Tower in Lancashire. But as she hurried downstairs to begin her early morning chores Catherine remembered that today was different after all. It was her sixteenth birthday and the housekeeper, Mrs Baines, had promised that if Catherine worked hard and behaved herself she would be promoted to the position of housemaid. That would mean no more nights staying awake, ensuring that all the fires in the house stayed lit. It would also mean that instead of just one half-day off a month she would have half a day every fortnight.
Castaway Dreaming – Suzie Hindmarsh-Knights
A lifetime ago Suzanne fell in love with a Fijian man while on holiday at Castaway Island. She accepts his proposal of marriage but on her return to America – to tidy up her affairs – reality hits with a vengeance and she doesn’t return to the man she loves. Years later she finds herself in a position to return to Castaway and while exploring old haunts discovers more than she’d bargained for.
‘The Island is approximately five Ks from end to end. It’s sandy here but is rocky most of the way. Are you sure you’re up to it.’ Suzanne’s companion looked at her with eyebrows raised. ‘Sami, I might be twenty years your senior but I’m not an invalid.’ She got the impression he disliked her. ‘Lead on.’ Sami’s reply was lost as he turned into the wind. His hair whipped back from his handsome Fijian face and Suzanne’s stomach lurched. He looked like someone she once knew. Damn, she hadn’t wanted a guide, but if she had to have one why did he have to look like Michael. She’d told the resort management she’d walked Castaway Island many times in the past. But they deemed it foolish a woman venturing to the furthest side of the island alone and so Samisoni was summoned.
Crying Wolf – Judy Upton
1700 word General Fiction
Trapped after a jeep accident, a property developer is about to have an encounter that will change his attitude towards wildlife.
Once Daniel had recovered from the initial shock of the accident, he was angered rather than frightened by the realization that he was trapped. He cursed his own stupidity and clumsiness. Apart from the dull ache where the Jeep’s axle was resting upon his shoulders, there was no pain. He could not lift his head at all, restricting his view to the underside of the vehicle and a narrow strip of the forest floor beyond. His limbs remained free, yet he dared not attempt to drag himself from under the jeep for fear of bringing its full weight down upon his neck. Only the soft, springy layer of leaf litter and the unevenness of the ground had saved him from serious injury.
Dave’s Christmas – Lynda Franklin
2000 words Christmas story
You think being a guardian angel is easy? Think again! When Dave arrives on Christmas Eve to do his usual stint of helping someone in need, he comes face to face with a Santa impersonator who has just died. Does this man have something to do with Dave’s mission to help someone? Things don’t turn out quite as he expected.
Well, it’s that time of year again. You know the one I mean. The season of goodwill to all men … and women of course. Unfortunately, things can go wrong at Christmas, just as they do any other time of the year. I suppose you might say that’s where I come in. Problems? Believe me, I’ve seen them all! But then I’ve been around a long time. Dave’s the name, and I’ve been a guardian angel for almost one hundred years. And believe me, trying to be in the right place at the right time, doesn’t get any easier. This year I’ve been allocated the early shift.
Essence of Dust – Annette Siketa
6850 words Fantasy / Romance
After rejecting a host of arranged suitors, the wizardene, Sukor, uses her powers to marry the mortal King, Gerrain. But one of the rejected suitors has other ideas, and is determined that if he can't have her, nobody can.
To the south of the city on the edge of the Great Forest, where the roots of the trees are kissed by the waves of the sea, stand the ruins of a once imperial palace. Directly in front and either side of the crumbling entrance gate, are two weatherworn statues. Once bedecked with gold and jewels, the now naked stone is a reminder of the fickleness of fate. Some of the old ones still worship these statues, for in their hearts’, the tragedy of King Gerrain and Queen Sukor still lingers. The young ones however, regard these symbols of the past with undisguised resentment, for it was the strange, untimely, and simultaneous deaths of the royal couple that instigated the war.
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway – Tracey Walsh
2200 word Women's Fiction
Jan’s fear of flying is threatening to cost her a dream job in a travel agency. She’ll try anything to overcome her fear but visiting a hypnotist has unexpected consequences.
Jan gazed at the breathtaking view in front of her. The balcony looked out over the edge of the cliffs and it was impossible to tell where the sea met the sky as the infinite number of shades of blue merged. One day, she thought. One day. “Jan, are you with us?” The voice of her manager, Steve, snapped Jan out of her reverie. She reluctantly tore her eyes away from the poster in front of her desk and followed Steve to the meeting room where the rest of the team were waiting. Monday morning meant staff meeting at the travel agent’s where Jan had worked for the past six months. She’d been elated when she received the call telling her she’d got the job. Jan had been taken on in a trainee position because she had no experience at all, but her languages qualifications had impressed the interviewers.
Green Fingers – Fi Clarkson
1600 words Children 6 - 10 years
There’s something rather special about Nan’s garden. Nan says it’s down to her having “green fingers.” But when Evie discovers the real secret behind Nan’s garden, she realises that she just might have green fingers, too.
Mum was down again. Down. It didn't sound too bad when you called it that, as if she was visiting from up north, or something. Not sleeping all day, and forgetting to do the cooking and the washing and the ironing, so that Evie had to eat cereal for tea and go to school in the same clothes she'd worn for the last week. Which is what down really meant. It also meant that Evie got to go and stay with Nan for a bit, so it wasn't all bad.
Joe’s Marble – Susannah White
650 words Children 7 - 11
Joe’s marble is his most precious possession. It is very beautiful because the glass catches the light in an almost magical way. When Joe shows his marble to his best friend, Amanda, she accidentally drops it and it rolls away. Can he forgive her and will the marble be found?
They were in the garden when Granddad gave Joe the marble. Joe took it with a sense of pure delight. It was a huge marble, the biggest one that he had ever seen and it shone in the sunshine and glittered with glass rainbows. There were yellows, greens and blues blurring and blending in its bright centre. It was amazing and Joe loved it.
Last Respects – Barbara Brockway
2500 words General Fiction
Alice has a specific motive for attending her elderly sister’s wake, although it isn’t to mourn. Saying goodbye to a beloved sibling is never easy, let alone one with whom you’ve had a complicated, strained relationship. Alice’s unique way of sending off her estranged sister is anything but orthodox, but it gives her a peculiar sort of closure.
Alice walked slowly through the funeral home’s hushed lobby, her shuffling footsteps drowned out by soothing music being piped in through unseen speakers. The hem of her dark grey dress hung crookedly below her knees, her panty hose bagged at her thin ankles. She stopped and checked her wristwatch. Her plan had been to get there just as it was starting, there would be fewer people around. She didn’t want to mingle, she wanted to accomplish her task and get out.
Letting Off Steam – Amanda Lunt
1200 words Feel Good story
New mum Jane's hopes of relaxation on a spa day are dashed by her career-driven friend, Martha, embarrassing encounters with strangers' laps, and a swimsuit that doesn't quite fit. But Martha is not quite all she seems and Jane realises that friendships are not made in a steam room.
“Isn’t this fab?” purred Martha, taking a sip of her iced water. “Just the two of us, chilling together?” Jane nodded silently. A bead of sweat trickled down her forehead. ‘Chill’ was not quite the word she would use to describe it. She gave the legs of her black swimming costume a firm tug downwards. Then she noticed with alarm that her cleavage was threatening to erupt from the top and yanked it back up. She had spent the previous weekend trying to find swimwear that concealed and flattened as much flesh as possible.
Partners – Annette Siketa
1500 Ghost Story / Humour
An undiscovered diamond mine turns Melville into a killer. His partner's retribution however, is priceless.
James Melville stood in the centre of the room, feet slightly apart and hands in his trouser pockets. A short, rather plain-looking man, his slender frame and narrow neck belied his strength, the same strength that moments earlier had killed his business partner, Gerald Holt. He looked at the body lying at his feet – the closed eyes, the calm features, the right arm resting peacefully on the carpet, and contemplated why the attitude conveyed sleep rather than death. He had not derived any personal pleasure from committing the murder, though he had been a little surprised that it had been easier and quicker than expected.
The First Time in Manchester – Vesna Main
3200 words General Fiction
An academic, an expert on suffragettes, travels to Manchester for a meeting. On the spur of the moment, he calls a prostitute but immediately regrets it. Thinking it would be unfair to cancel, he decides to pay her when she arrives but tell her that her services were not required. However, the situation does not develop according to plan.
His first prostitute was in Manchester, a couple of months before his wife and her best friend opened their gallery. He travelled by train to attend a late afternoon meeting at the university. During the journey, looking for an escape from the boredom of marking exam scripts, he picked up a copy of a provincial tabloid lying on the seat opposite. The paper was full of the usual parochial news and syndicated material. He didn’t expect to have any free time, but out of curiosity, he searched for the ‘What’s on’ section. Next to the entertainment, there was a whole set of ads under ‘Adult Services’. He amused himself by decoding the language. ‘Curvy’ presumably meant fat, but what was BBW? There was even one from a ‘mature lady’, offering sensual massage.
The Lonely Troll – Rob Clucas-Tomlinson
3600 words Children 6 - 9
Bright-beard the happy troll has only one living relative, his grumpy cousin Long-beard, who wants nothing to do with him. Long-beard eventually learns his lesson - but at what cost?
Long ago in London town, beneath Kew Bridge, there lived a troll. Not an angry troll with a gruffly roar and a smelly coat and an old pair of boots where his toes poked through, but a pleasant troll who combed his hair and tipped his hat at passers by. Beneath the bridge the river ran, the grand old Thames where the herons fished. The herons, still as water fountains, stood all day, waiting for fish to wriggle into their beaks. But as they toiled the old troll slept, waiting for the night air to tickle his senses. Because it was then, when the stars appeared and the moon set forth to keep the city from falling into darkness, that he woke and stretched and smoothed his beard and sat upon the bridge to think.
The Moulting – Nalini Ramesh
1500 word General Fiction
In desperation towards a basic instinct.
Eshwari stood unmoving at the far end of the great marbled Hall. An elaborate casket lay at its centre, under a jasmine-festooned marquee. She envisioned his body, draped in white silk, in a permanent yogic stillness. A paralysis no tantric magic could penetrate. There would be a stiff smirk on his sensual lips. She sighed, taking in the scene and the solemn, sandalwood-scented air.
The Pearl Necklace – Judy Upton
1900 words Children 9+
Mum starts acting strangely after joining a local choir. Is there something fishy going on?
The Super Sporty Sheep – Amanda Lunt
850 words Children 3 - 7 years
A flock of hungry sheep have to jump over the fence to the next field. Steve, the super sporty sheep, jumps too high and lands on the moon. Wise sheep Walter hatches a rescue plan but Teddy, the tubby sheep, is flattened when Steve misses the flock's landing sheet.
The farmer’s sheep were tired of their field. “There’s not enough grass in this field to feed all of us,” complained Teddy, the tubby sheep. “We need a new field where the grass is long and green, not this rotten stubble. See how thick the grass is in the field the other side of that fence? Ooohhh, my mouth’s watering already.”
The White Lady – Tracey Walsh
3200 word Historical / Ghost Story
In the 1850s Sarah is grateful to her Uncle James for employing her after her father’s death, but the ghostly White Lady reveals her uncle’s sinister secret.
Sarah decided to put what she had just seen to the back of her mind until later, when she’d have time to think about it properly. For now she had quite enough to keep her occupied. Two weeks into her job at Samlesbury Hall Boarding School for Girls, Sarah was only just beginning to find her way around. The sound of a dozen chattering young voices told her she had finally managed to track down her English class. “Good morning, girls,” Sarah said as she entered the room. The girls fell silent immediately, shuffled to attention and then chorused, “Good morning, Miss Southworth.”
The Wrong Time – Elizabeth Weiss Vollstadt
3400 words Women's Fiction
When Lauren learns she is pregnant, she is shocked and devastated. So is her boyfriend, Mark. They have so many plans, it is definitely the wrong time. She agrees to an appointment to end the pregnancy—but images of babies still float into her mind.
Lauren took a sip of her ginger ale as she read Mark’s text. Last-minute project. Will be late. That could mean anything from fifteen minutes to two hours. She looked around the noisy midtown bar. It was only six o’clock, but the bar was already filled with young professionals. Lauren willed herself to relax. Maybe wine would help, but no, she had promised herself. No wine until they made a decision. She ordered another soda and looked at her watch. Now it was six-thirty. She hoped Mark hadn’t been asked to chase down an obscure fact or find an elusive person again. That could take hours. Sometimes it did. As the newest associate in his law firm, he never said no. She shared his ambition, but couldn’t he, just once, make up an excuse? He knew how much she hated sitting alone in the bar.
Tomatoes and Their Part in Brexit – Rosemary Johnson
1700 words Women's Fiction
Julie, recently retired, is overwhelmed at finding love ‘at her age’, but being with Vincent is affecting her ability to make decisions, about what sort of tomatoes to buy and how to vote in Brexit.
I'm standing by the tomatoes counter in Waitrose. Cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes, beef tomatoes, organic tomatoes, tomatoes in packets, tomatoes loose, a collage of round lumps, different sizes and every possible shade of red. Which ones did Vincent say he liked? The overhead lights, reflected in their glistening scarlet skins, blink back in derision. Come on, come on. Don’t dither, Julie. Pick me. Me, me, me. A young woman in very tight jeans reaches across to grab a packet of vine tomatoes, muttering “Sorry,” without even looking up. In the old days, I could do my supermarket shop in ten minutes.
Would You, Could You? – Judy Upton
2900 words Women's Fiction
Felice is curious to find out how much a guy would pay to spend the night with her. But it’s just a bit of fun, she would never get tempted, would she… could she…
“Would you pay a million pounds to sleep with Jake Gyllenhaal?” Felice asked as she unwrapped a new ink cartridge. Sarah saved her document before looking up. ‘Indecent Proposal’ was Felice’s favourite film, and Jake G, Sarah’s dream date. Sarah sighed. “Well with our new mortgage and last Christmas still to pay for…” “Okay, okay” Felice interrupted, “Since you or me are never likely to make a million let’s talk a thousand pounds for some serious pash with Jake? Would you?” A thousand pounds was still a lot of money to Sarah.