A Dangerous Crossing – Anita Louise Jay

1160 word General Fiction

Where is Amila going on this misty, cold evening with a full basket and a heavy load on her back? Why is the crossing so dangerous?

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A freezing wind howls across the track on the steep hillside. Amila slips frequently in the mud as she climbs. She stops, drops the basket she carries to the ground to pull her anorak hood further forward over her headscarf. She then shifts the weight of the bundle on her back until it sits in a relatively more comfortable position. She claps her gloved hands together to warm them before picking up the basket once more. Looking up, she notices that the mountain top which yesterday had been iced with snow, is hidden by the low grey clouds and the misty curtain of drizzle.

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A Victorian Midsummer Melodrama – Anita Louise Jay

1400 words Historical

“Two friends take out a boat onto the river. One of the girls has received bad news in a letter she carries. How will this impact the lives of both girls on this Midsummer day?”

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Ruby and Mathilda met for a Sunday afternoon walk by the riverside, as was their habit during the Spring and Summer months. It was immediately apparent that Matilda had received bad news in the letter she held in her hand. It had been Ruby’s idea to take a skiff onto the river, thinking to brighten her friend’s mood. She was not privy to the entire contents of the letter, but was now better informed of the news it contained. Matilda’s young man, Lionel, had presumably jilted her for another young lady, and the marriage Matilda had been promised would not take place; not now or in the future.

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Ben and the Bronze Spear – Anita Louise Jay

1250 word Mystery

One morning in his run across the Valley of a Thousand Hills, Ben finds an old bronze spear.  Later he has a mysterious meeting with the rightful owner of the spear.

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Ben stood frowning, gazing miserably out of his bedroom window. The rain poured from a leaden sky and ran in silver rivers down the window glass. He turned away, threw himself onto his bed and picked up the book he had been reading. He was feeling frustrated and powerless. The following evening, he set off eagerly on his usual run across the Valley of a Thousand Hills.  The heavy rains that had prevented him from training the previous three days had at last dissipated.

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Bust – Anita Louise Jay

2000 words Crime

A young girl is raped and killed after a night of clubbing and the main suspect is her boyfriend.  But is he really the killer?

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She was found beneath some low bushes on a piece of waste ground not more than a hundred metres from her home. They said she had been raped and strangled. Her long dark hair was tangled and her dress ripped. Her boyfriend, Preston, when interviewed by the police, appeared devastated and swore his innocence, but, of course, he was the prime suspect. He confirmed that the two of them had been fighting, that she had been drinking, and that she had walked out of the club in a temper, leaving him to follow. He insisted he had dropped her at the end of her road to walk the few metres home, because she fought him to get out of the car.

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Cookies for Lilli – Anita Louise Jay

1250 Christmas / Feel Good

Anna, a little wartime orphan holds a secret.  Who is Lilli?  Can Magda solve the mystery?

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Rain poured down from a leaden sky as Magda pushed Karl’s wheelchair up the slope towards the old building. It looked dark and forbidding. Magda shivered as she entered the heavy wooden entrance doors. It certainly did not appear to be a welcoming place for a small child. However, once inside, the warmth of the staff contrasted dramatically with the stark exterior. They were welcomed by a white-coated nurse who appeared efficient and sympathetic. Then they were led to an office, where they were interviewed by a kindly female psychologist.

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Crack in the Desert – Anita Louise Jay

950 words Mystery Story

A huge crack appears in the Mexican desert one morning. Whatever happened to Pablo that same morning? Nobody can discover the answer to the mystery.

 

 

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The crack appeared in the Mexican desert overnight. Nobody could elaborate on the reason for its miraculous manifestation. It measured over two kilometres in length. In places it was as wide as a six-lane highway. Pablo, driving from his home village to Mexico City with a load of chillies, pulled his truck to a swerving halt only a couple of car lengths from the lip of the crack. He had been driving East for almost an hour, and had been lulled into a hypnotic state by the glare of the rising sun through his windshield.

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Emoyeni – Anita Louise Jay

2000 words General / Animal Story

Kurt anticipates an adventurous day of solo mountain climbing, but Emoyeni feels threatened by this approaching stranger.

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Kurt anticipates an adventurous day of solo mountain climbing, but Emoyeni feels threatened by this approaching stranger.

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Fern in the Forest – Anita Louise Jay

1700 words Children 8 – 12 years

“Returning home after visiting her friend, Zoe meets a very strange girl in the forest. What is she doing there?  Why is she so unsuitably dressed for an autumn evening? What is the mystery surrounding the girl?”

 

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Zoe stepped off the road and made her way towards the trees. Her mother would certainly not approve of her decision to take a short-cut through the forest, but she was running late for dinner and did not want to keep her family waiting. Her father, a doctor, was a stickler for punctuality. She wished he was more easy-going like Lindy’s dad. She was returning from the farm where her closest friend lived with her crazy family. There was always something exciting happening there; new furry four-legged arrivals, dogs to play with, horses to ride, Lindy’s brothers inventing adventurous exploits. Today there had been a basket of three week old kittens to cuddle; a new mare to ride, jumping over the temporary fences constructed by the boys; then delicious bread hot from the oven for lunch.

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Lucky for Some – Anita Louise Jay

1700 words Romance

Charlie has a new boyfriend who wants to stay over for the night, but she is not sure if she can trust him. Will he prove to be reliable?  Will the romance blossom or fade?

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The metallic crash from below caused Charlie to sit bolt upright in her bed. She glanced at the digital clock. It was just after two in the morning. Living alone for the first time she was a little nervous. There had been several burglaries in her area during the past few weeks. She should have allowed her latest boyfriend to stay the night. She slipped her feet to the ground and reached for her gown. Her hands were trembling as she tried to tie the belt. That evening they had spent watching a thriller on the television, and she had been quite spooked when she went to bed.

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Mo-Joe – Anita Louise Jay

1100 words Children 7 – 11 years / Animal

Mo-Joe is an adventurous little meerkat, who is always getting into danger, much to the distress of his mother, Minkie .

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Minkie ran from the burrow up onto the little koppie to get a better view of the surrounding bush. Standing up on her hind legs, she searched around the landscape, turning her head this way and that. She was able to see a long distance with her cat-like eyes. She was looking for Mo-Joe. As usual her son was missing; not in the burrow with all the other little meerkat youngsters. She sighed. He was the most active baby she had ever known. It was growing dark, and it was dangerous for him to be out alone in the bush. 04

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Nothing New Beneath the Sun – Anita Louise Jay

1800 word Mystery

One morning when digging in my garden in Mexico my spade hits a hard object. It appears to be an old statue, but it is formed of a strange metal and seems to glow in the light.  What events will the discovery of this object initiate in my life?

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I was digging in the garden when my spade struck something metal. The jolt shot right up my arm into my shoulder blade. I dropped the spade and bent over the large hole that I had been digging to plant a young papaya tree. There at the bottom I could see just a glint of bronze. I climbed into the hole – it was at least half a metre deep and equally wide. I tried to burrow beneath the object, but my arm was sore after the jolt. The instrument of my pain was stuck fast. I would need a trowel or small spade to dislodge it. I hurried into the house to find some ointment to rub onto my aching shoulder, then to the garden shed to locate my trowel.

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Subway to Seventh – Anita Louise Jay

1000 words General Fiction

On riding the subway from my office in Manhattan one evening, a surreal event occurred that subsequently I found difficult to believe.  Was it reality, or was it, due to my stressed state, a figment of my imagination?

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I was seated in the last railcar on the New York subway drowsily glancing out of the window when the train pulled into 2nd Avenue. It was late. The crazy five o’clock Manhattan rush hour was long past. The train was not full and there were few potential passengers waiting on the platform. Possibly that was the reason I noticed the girl, although I was unusually tired and had been sitting in almost a dazed state as the train drew in at the station.

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The Cherry on the Top – Anita Louise Jay

1000 word Crime Story

A famous actress lands the starring role in a London production of the Noel Coward musical “The Girl Who Came to Supper”.  She treats the rest of the cast with disdain and humiliates them at every opportunity, especially a young actress called Irene.

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“Darling, did you hear, I landed the leading role in Coward’s The Girl Who Came to Supper?” Florence advanced, short fringed skirt and pearl necklace swinging seductively. Her announcement was made with just enough ringing clarity for it to be heard by at least half the guests at the party. Irene narrowed her eyes, and managed to fix a set smile on her face, as the actress arrived at her side. Florence continued, still projecting her voice so it would be audible to all in the vicinity.

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The Unexpected – Anita Louise Jay

1360 words Mystery

A young dancer meets a dark, silent stranger in the Club where she works.  He stalks her, appearing each evening. Is he dangerous? What is the mystery that surrounds him?

 

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Stella was of gypsy stock. She had not grown up in a caravan travelling around Europe as her parents and grandparents had before her. Nevertheless she was proud of her heritage. She worked as a dancer in a London club. She had proved popular with the well-heeled clientele due to her exotic appearance and mesmerizing performances. There was an untamed streak in Stella’s nature which held men enthralled.

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Yara – Anita Louise Jay

1100 words General Fiction

When Karam, a Syrian refugee travels across the sea in an overloaded boat to escape the fighting in his country, a tragedy occurs which will change the course of his life.

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“I remember the day that photo was taken…” I looked up at the officer with tears of exhaustion in my eyes. He gave me a puzzled look and I realized that I had spoken in my home language and he did not understand a word I had said. Looking down again at the damp, creased photo in my hand I pointed to the boy seated on the wall, then to myself. “Me, Karam,” I offered in English, for I spoke no Italian or Greek. I wasn’t even sure in which country we had landed.

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