Dreamers – Linda Daunter

1000 words Women’s Fiction

They saw each other every day, but would the woman on the beach ever meet the man who watched her from the cliff?

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He saw the woman every morning as she walked along the beach below his house. The first time had been by chance. He’d been opening the curtains, letting in what promised to be another ordinary and uneventful day, when something about the solitary figure made him pause, and watch. She wasn’t completely alone. She had a dog with her, a shaggy, golden creature that barked with excitement and plunged into the water when the woman threw a pebble into the sea.

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Forever – Linda Daunter

1750 words General Fiction – Winner of 2015 Alfie Dog Fiction Short Story CompetitiForever (small)on

When retired schoolteacher, Arthur, witnesses an act of vandalism it seems to be just one more sign that his world is falling apart. However the incident sparks a long forgotten memory and shows him that some things never change.

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Somebody is sitting on my bench. As soon as the words formed in Arthur’s mind he corrected them. The bench was not his. It belonged to the council or some such faceless body. It was just one of a number of identical wooden benches spaced alongside the path that meandered round the edge of the park. Sheltered by rhododendrons, and away from the children’s playground and the open area where people exercised their dogs, it had become a stable landmark in an uncertain world. However, the fact that Arthur liked to sit on that particular bench for ten minutes a day didn’t give him ownership rights.

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Kerb Drill – Linda Daunter

Kerb Drill1500 words Women’s Fiction

Robert is growing up fast, but his mum has been slow to notice. How can she give him the independence he wants yet still keep him safe?

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“Mum, this shirt’s too tight.” I looked up from my breakfast and saw Robert standing in the kitchen doorway with his arms held out stiffly from his sides. “Look, I can hardly move.” “You must have picked up one of your old shirts by mistake,” I said. But no, it was one of his newest and stretched so tightly across his chest that the buttons threatened to pop off at the first deep breath. “You’ve only had it since September,” I groaned.

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One Small Tree – Linda Daunter

One small tree2300 words Christmas / Feel Good Story

I only wanted one thing for Christmas – a happy Christmas. But with my parents arguing, Grandad feeling sad, and houseproud Auntie Celia pouncing on every speck of dust, I didn’t see how my wish could come true.

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“Christmas again? It comes round quicker each year!” Dad leaned over the kitchen table to sniff the warm scents of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger rising from Mum’s biggest mixing bowl. She playfully pushed him out of her way. “I’m late this year. I usually make the Christmas puddings in September, but what with looking after Father on top of everything else, I clean forgot about them.” She held out the wooden spoon to me. “Come on, Jenny. Your turn. Make a wish.” I shut my eyes tight and stirred the mixture three times. I wish … I wish we could have a real Christmas like the ones we used to have.

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Please Don’t Tell – Linda Daunter

Please Dont Tell1400 word Mystery / Humour

If your spouse suddenly disappeared would you want the town gossip to know the truth about what had happened to him or her? That’s the dilemma faced by the narrator of this intriguing tale.

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“Yoo-hoo! It’s only me!” I winced at Elsie’s strident voice and sat quite still. Elsie was my next-door neighbour. She reminded me of an inquisitive little terrier the way she trotted about sniffing, looking, listening; determined not to miss a single hint of gossip. “Yoo-hoo! Anyone at home?” She was trying to peer through the frosted glass of the back door. Reluctantly, I got up and opened it. “Sorry to bother you so early, only I wondered if I could borrow …?” Elsie stopped and stared. “Whatever’s the matter, dear? You look dreadful!”

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The Dancer – Linda Daunter

The Dancer by Linda Daunter1400 words Feel Good

A little girl’s dream is shattered by a cruel remark. Will she ever be able to reclaim it?

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Stephanie could dance before she walked. When she was just a few months old she lay in her pram kicking her legs in perfect time to tunes on the radio and whenever she was fretful, her mother had only to waltz her round the room for the tears to change into smiles and chuckles of delight. When she was old enough, she went to Saturday morning dance classes. Here she found everything she needed: a vast, wooden floor and a lady with silver hair who played a piano and said, “Let’s all be bunny rabbits!” And as she hopped and skipped and flew Stephanie really was a rabbit, a butterfly, a spirited pony or a fairy princess. She always felt sad when the music stopped and she found she was just an ordinary girl again.

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Tricks of the Trade – Linda Daunter

Tricks of the Trade1840 words Humour

Uncle George was the most honest person I knew, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t spot someone who was trying to con him.

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Uncle George was in the back room when the shop bell jangled to signal my arrival. ‘Be with you in a moment,’ he called. ‘It’s only me,’ I answered, as I squeezed through the maze of wardrobes, sideboards and sofas. Most people would have called it junk, but Uncle George insisted every item was a genuine antique, or it would be – one day. ‘How’s business?’ Uncle George shrugged. ‘Terrible. The Internet’s killed this trade. I’ve only had about a dozen customers all week. And none of them were big spenders.’

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