After the Fact – Perry McDaid
1540 words General Fiction
In a near future alternate reality an Irish man is sitting quietly reading in a library when the silence suddenly becomes alarming. The entire library has been taken over by police. One approaches and tells him that a condemned man wants his company.
I had been in some sort of daze, oblivious to everything but the end goal of escape from reality on the work of a favoured author. Even the news that an old classmate had been arrested for subversion barely impinged on my consciousness. The Christmas melancholy with all the memories of past missed opportunities overwhelmed me. Depression had eclipsed my senses. I had no idea how I’d got in. The Derry Central library had been closed to the public for this hour. Perhaps it was the haircut, I told myself, recently trimmed as a concession to my lazy approach to hair care.
All Change – Perry McDaid
730 words General / Literary Fiction
An annoying little man strikes up an unwanted conversation on a bus. He seems to enjoy the attention. His needs are complicated and urgent.
‘Used to subscribe meself,’ the little man shared conspiratorially as I half-heartedly turn a page, bored with the formulaic plot and unimaginative use of language. ‘Mmm?’ I replied. It was ill-considered for a closed response. He judiciously leaned into an acute bend in the road without grasping either support rail or seat grip.
Bach to the Grind – Perry McDaid
1700 words General Fiction
An industrious worker is driven to jealousy, distraction and pettiness by his lazy (just returned from holiday in the sun) desk-mate at work.
The unhappy purchase of a Champions League Winning Liverpool supporter, it sat there on the opposite desk: the antithesis to taste in woven straw, with a wide faux-silk ribbon maniacally flaunting the less than cerebral legend “I scored in Milan.” Two uncomfortably attractive female staff perched on either side of him and eighteen inches in front of my face, smelling and fresh and exotic and wriggling like excited puppies: simultaneously adorning the worktop like bookends made from mixed-metaphor safari trophies while they animatedly pumped the boozy-lunched braggart for information.
Beeched – Perry McDaid
1250 words Romance
Following doctor’s orders a shy guy meets an intriguing woman sitting on a high wall. She has to leave before he can say anything meaningful and he’s left kicking himself. He goes home to take it out on a tree. Chance decides otherwise.
This story is included in the collection By My Side
“Take some gentle exercise”, the doctor had recommended earnestly, “short walks.” To match his short sentences and sessions no doubt. Martin looked down on the valley and took a deep, refreshing lungful of air. “Lush,” he sighed, appreciating the sheer virginal energy of new-grown grass. “I beg your pardon?” He’d thought himself alone in the country park, and had been merrily chattering to various birds identified, complimenting them on their song, plumage and coquettish antics. He blushed like a robin in autumn at the thought of what the owner of the sensually throaty voice might have overheard.
By My Side – Romance Collection
Two 5* reviews on Amazon
By My Side brings you 20 of the best romantic stories from writers around the world.
Be transported to the past in the war-torn Three Months of Summer and back to the present in the gentle modern everyday situation of The Pool Doctor. Feel your heart racing through the ethical dilemmas in Would you Shoot Me? and the danger and drama of Run From the Sun.
These stories will transport you to a world of love and romance and leave you breathless. In far-away locations or in everyday situations there really is someone for everyone.
Paperback sales UK ONLY – the book will be sent to your Paypal address unless advised otherwise.
For overseas sales please use your local Amazon store HERE.
Cora in Glowland – Perry McDaid
1700 words Humour
Spoof of Alice in Wonderland in Carrol’s style, a young girl is transported into a modern glow party. Her Victorian perspective clashes with modern idiom and a jealous girl. She’s saved by a drug dealer she mistakes for a healer.
‘Curiouser and curiouser,’ thought Cora, as she entered the darkened hall where beams of multicoloured light flashed at her from the shadows and an awful thrumming, throbbing noise assaulted her finely-tuned hearing. She was too confused to react when a strangely clad fellow with emerald hair and gleaming eyes floated out of the melee which surrounded her, embracing her quite forwardly before once more disappearing into the throng of wildly gyrating savages her adapting sight could now distinguish. ‘Gracious,’ exclaimed Cora, alarmed by the situation in which she now found herself, ‘why, some of these unfortunates are almost without clothing altogether.’
Dry Wells – Perry McDaid
2000 words Horror
Two old friends – a writer and an Irish policeman/farmer are having a quiet weekend to de-stress after a rotten year. The TV shows that the former’s work has been plagiarised. The shared outrage is such that suddenly all the misery of the last year hits them. Enough is enough. Revenge brews.
The ‘Arts & Farts’ weekend was a title insisted on by Phil, which stuck because it was invariably held at his farm, a shrinking retreat in the hills of Ballyargus inland of Drung chapel, besieged by 21st century forces of property development. We’d settle down like proper critics to a selection of films by local and county talent and beers from ‘Special Offers’ shelves, to mull over their quality before exchanging views, compliments, good-humoured slagging, and serious advice on our own exploits. These sporadic meets had been founded on impassioned discussions over Leon Uris’s Trinity during their college years. It was on one of these pleasurable weekends that the fury struck.
Felicia: In a Pig’s Eye – Perry McDaid
1650 words Humour / Children
Cornball fantasy about a cat in animal-school and a supposed kidnapping.
Felicia Katt, who lived in Oxidend, did not believe in daemons, fairies, monsters, or angels – so it was no surprise that her only reaction to the warnings about the dangers of Folly Wood was a superior snort and an exaggerated rolling of the eyes. Being a tidy child, she was always careful to pick these up again in case anyone slipped on them. After that she just popped them in her mouth, sucked them clean and spat any fluff and dirt before swallowing; burping of course at the same time so that her eyes were sure to shoot back up into her sockets again.
Leather Apron at the Olympics 2012 – Perry McDaid
800 words Fantasy
The digging has disturbed the slumber of the fell spirit which charged Jack The Ripper. Jack was only a body which limited it. It has grown stronger in its slumber and the multitude it can now sense excites. To possess so many. It waits for the optimum time to strike.
The demon which made Jack The Ripper is roused from its enforced dormancy. Something disturbed the spirit which had burrowed deep into the bedrock beneath the Old Ford Lock after The Vessel had been dumped off Lea Bridge. It knew it had been dormant for a time. It had just forgotten how humans measured that most nebulous of concepts. Separation from the host did that. The ruckus continued.
Preferably Rare – Perry McDaid
540 words Horror
The tour guide to Grianan was prattling on about legendary monsters. Some listened, some half-listened and eyed up the opposite sex. One was just ravenously hungry and needed to get home to feed the family.
The tour-guide was prattling on about some demon which prowled the area in and around the old fort, milking each coincidental disappearance for all it was worth. Marta had heard all these stories before and did not believe a word of them.
Sistine and Sin – Perry McDaid
700 word Literary Fiction
Retired on ill-health, Ethna is contracted in to co-preside over an interviewing panel. She suffers from Tourettes but has still managed to improve herself. She reflects over her own career and past struggles, while she gauges the applicant. Her internal commentary involuntarily spills into the tangible.
Her tablet computer sat on the conference table, behind which the interview panel sat, awaiting the next applicant. Ethna had her own C.V. file open, and sat silently: looking at images of her degree certificates. She used these to centre herself, to connect with the tangible world. She couldn’t quite accept them as real yet; but the evidence was irrefutable.
The Brat – Perry McDaid
1000 words General Fiction
A modern semi-romantic but cynical take on a Christian parable with loads of dry humour.
Steph muttered ill-temperedly as she prepared her Veal Supreme. It was uncomfortable enough being a vegetarian and having to prepare meat without the additional grief of the identity of the guest of honour. ‘Lord,’ she mumbled, ‘what a leech.’ She recalled, before his ‘sabbatical’ how his hands seemed to take on lives of their own each time he visited the estate’s kitchen; as if he had some sort of mauling rights with female employees. A brief smile temporarily erased her scowl.
The Infiltrators – Perry McDaid
700 words Science Fiction / Fantasy
‘The Infiltrators’ Nebulous beings seek to influence the world and find themselves frustrated at certain junctures. They need to know how and who.
Man was evolved. Gone were the slow-thinking bestial hominids which painted caves with such eloquence, yet lingered still with crude stone tools. Nature had, through some undetectable cross-breeding, produced the forerunner of modern man.