A Pick Me Up – Paul Warnes
2000 words Humour
A woman joins a gym to lose weight and finds love there. She finds a novel way of coping with eventual rejection.
Derek’s upstairs having a kip bless him. He’s never going to desert me because he needs me as much as I need him. How did we get together? Well, I suppose looking back, it’s Dr. Richards I’ve got to thank. Dr. Richards was a real treasure. I swear he used to look forward to our weekly chats and there was never any fuss about prescribing my pills. “So, Mrs Jones, some more of your little pick-me-ups then?”
Break the Chain – Paul Warnes
1500 words Humour
A woman auditions for a television quiz show. It is a disaster and she thinks she has no chance of passing the audition. Is she right?
‘Question number five, which television presenter uses the catchphrase ‘cheap as chips?’’ Sheila was sure she knew that one. It was Robert Robinson, no that didn’t sound right. Magnus Magnusson? No, he was Mastermind. She looked up to see her fellow hopefuls frantically scribbling their answers and felt even more flustered. She knew she should move on to the next question before the three minutes was up. Dickie Davidson, that was it! She wrote her answer down just as the young, pony-tailed researcher blew her whistle.
Dignity – Paul Warnes
760 words Literary Fiction / General Fiction
Somebody is waiting, putting off the moment when a momentous decision has to be made. Nature itself provides both a countdown and some solace.
I’ve vowed to do it when the last leaf falls. There are still three clinging on – brown, desiccated, wizened things. At night time they take on a different appearance. The cherry tree burns in the orange glow of a streetlight. On the tip of a low branch two leaves overlap, a third hangs below, silhouetted against the sky. A black crow. A black crow waiting for me to act.
Essence of Humour – 17 Short Stories
‘Essence of Humour’ is a collection of short stories which brings together the best of humour writing from 17 authors across the globe.
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Stories included: The Hit Man – Chris Cooke, Dear Mrs. Golding – Lorraine Coverley, The Fitting Room – John Malone, Saving Saturday – Arlene Johnson, Fortune Telling With Love Hearts – Paul Warnes, The Substitute – Sarah England , After a While – Peter Lingard , The Marmalade Cat – Raelke Grimmer, The Most Terrible Beast – Khristo Poshtakov , A Test of Friendship – Rosemary J. Kind , The Call Girl – Jaclin Azoulay , The Real Protester – Mel Fawcett , Twinkle, Twinkle – Tracy Fells, Signs – Clive Gresswell , It’s a Dog’s Life – Jackie Tritt , All Talk – Patsy Collins , Bella’s Sparkling Windows – Gill McKinlay
Fortune Telling with Love Hearts – Paul Warnes
1700 words Humour / Women’s Fiction
A fortune teller finds a novel way of attracting new clients.
This story is included in the Essence of Humour collection
Janice Jones popped the last square of Dairy Milk into her mouth, retrieved the electronic control box from the folds of her smock, pushed down hard on the up button and waited impatiently for the recliner chair to convey her to an upright position. The doorbell chimed again. She waddled across the living room, closed the door and then squeezed herself along the corridor. She cursed her husband’s fishing rod as it clattered to the floor. “Susan my lovely, I wasn’t expecting you until two!”
Jogger – Paul Warnes
2500 words General Fiction / Mystery
She jogs in full make up trailing perfume. A man is captivated but the woman has her own agenda. What is his?
The woman was running towards me. She ran effortlessly with the lightness of an experienced jogger. I veered over to the kerb side of the pavement and carried on walking. She had all the right kit – black lycra bottoms, gloves, beanie hat. It was a cold morning and her breath rose in clouds like steam from a classic locomotive. I glanced at her face as she passed and was surprised to see that she was immaculately made up. There was a gash of red lipstick, a hint of blusher. But the thing that struck me the most was her perfume – they say that smell is the most evocative sense don’t they.