Clarence the Cricket – Pat St Pierrre

Clarence700 words Children 5 - 7 years

Freddie was a very young boy who had a serious illness. He had to spend many days by himself. His former friends, who were also his age, lost contact with Freddie because of his sickness. When Freddie started to get better he became very sad because he had no one to play with. Hence, Clarence the Cricket appeared. Although Freddie actually found a real cricket he used his imagination to mold imaginary Clarence into his best playmate. They talked together, played games, and took walks. And Clarence became very real.

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Freddie sat outside on a sunny summer afternoon and watched butterflies dancing around his mother's flower garden. He had been sick with leukemia for a long time, but now he was getting better. Today was the first time his mom had allowed him outside. He sat in a chair with a book on his lap. The sun felt warm on his face, yet Freddie felt sad.

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Restless Spirits – Caroline Scott Collins

4000 word Ghost Story

Charlotte and Matt move into their new home – a pretty little cottage by a river. They find some rather unusual neighbours who need their help.

Included in the Collection 'The Day Death wore Boots'

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Matt slumped down onto the sofa. ‘I’m shattered!’ ‘It’s no good sitting there looking at the boxes, they won’t unpack themselves!’ Charlotte replied. ‘I know that, love, but take a break; we’ve worked hard today. Let’s just decide where we want to put things.’ Charlotte sighed. ‘I know, you’re right, but if I stop now we won’t have a bed made to sleep in tonight. Why don’t you get some fish and chips while I organise the bedroom. Brandy and Snap need walking anyway.’ The dogs looked up, tails wagging, from their retreat in the alcove across the room. ‘Okay and a bottle of wine,’ said Matt. ‘Come on lads!’ The dogs rushed over and he attached their leads, opened the door and stepped out onto the pavement. ‘Back soon,’ he said and closed the door.

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The Puppet and the Seer – Elke Nagy

5000 words Crime

A mysterious older woman forms an attachment to an ambitious younger man with fatal results.

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Sydney A ferry chugs by a sandstone house perched on the edge of the sea. From an open window comes the sound of emphatic typing. Sultry blues is playing on the radio when a news bulletin cuts in, “…author of the highly successful novel, ‘One Day,’ has just been found dead. At this stage, the cause of death is unknown. The Los Angeles police are investigating…” The typing falters and stops. Starts. Stops again. Three months earlier Isabelle lies naked in a ray of gold sunshine amidst a heap of sheets. It’s a balmy day, the air scented with jasmine. A couple of magpies flutter to the potted fig tree on the verandah, and squabble over a grasshopper with a crack of sharp beaks. The front door opens and closes, footsteps pace down the hall and move onto ceramic tiles, chinks of crockery. The footsteps approach the bedroom, a discreet tap on the door.

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The Truth of the Matter – Linda Casper

1250 words General Fiction

Tracey thought she was doing the right thing, but in whose interest was she acting.  A tale of family loyalty.

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Tracey felt sick to her stomach. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t expected it, but after all these years she had almost succeeded in putting it out of her mind. “Gymnastics after school, Mum,” Leah reminded her, bringing her back to the present. At ten years old Tracey sometimes thought that Leah was more sensible than she was. She managed to hold it together on the walk to school, even replying to parents at the school gates as best she could.

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Window of Opportunity – Tina K Burton

2200 words Humour

When Inspector Chard and his junior Jones are called to deal with a suspected burglary, they also have to deal with a most disagreeable woman.

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Inspector Chard stood in the large hallway of Bewley House and tried to control his temper, whilst his junior colleague Jones tried not to laugh. ‘For the third time Mrs Hughes,’ Chard said, ‘I will not arrest Lucy on your say so.’ Henrietta Hughes snorted her disgust and said haughtily, ‘Well then I shall sack her with immediate effect.’ ‘That’s up to you - she’s your maid - but you have no proof that she’s stolen your jewellery.’ Chard was really losing his patience with the abominable woman before him.

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Winter Light – Henry Mitchell

Winter Light3680 words General Fiction / Literary / Fantasy

Samuel Coggins, author, teacher, widowed. Sam is a lonely man, but he has more friends than he knows. He's achieved a successful life, which he feels is all behind him. Sam carries his losses with as much grace as he can muster. Tonight, his load is about to lighten considerably.

This story is included in the collection This Land is My Land

Reader Reviews HERE

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Vehicles surge along the street below; people throng the sidewalks, but the traffic is barely audible in Sam’s fifth floor apartment. Through the glass doors, he watches the domed summit of the High Balsam purple beyond the high rises. Above the mountain, salmon hued contrails garland across a darkling sky where a single silvered shard, diamond bright, plows the air, hurtling a hundred souls toward nightfall and Atlanta. As day bleeds away, stars begin to blossom faintly, declaring evening even in the glare of the city. The stars will not be noticed in the streets, but here, above the flow of urban nonsense, Sam counts them, and remembers countless more he would see if he were on the distant mountain.

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