A Test of Friendship – Rosemary J. Kind
1800 words Humour
Annie’s body clock is ticking and she still wants to have children of her own. Advertising in the paper to find a lifelong partner is all very well, but these things take time and time is the one thing she doesn’t have. Maybe she could skip the lifelong part, but that still leaves her with advertising…
This story is included in the Essence of Humour collection
“Do you have a better suggestion?” Annie poured another glass of chardonnay and sat back on the settee. Her lustrous brown bob framed her grinning face. She angled the fluffy white teddy to wave his paw at her friend. “You’re bonkers. You could adopt.” Karen shook her head in disbelief. “And telling me that Bear needs a pair of little arms to hold him is no justification. You could have left him in the store.” “It’s all right for you. You have men queuing up, with your blonde hair and blue eyes. I’ve tried internet dating and where did that get me? And you know I can’t walk past a Mothercare store without going in.” Annie threw the newspaper down on the table. The page was folded so that the advert was uppermost.
A Thief is Caught – Holly Stevens
2580 words Children 6 – 8 years
Trevor and his friends return to the farm determined to catch the egg thief who is stealing from Mr. Digger.
Some boys hide around the farm watching the various visitors whilst others search for clues.
They soon decide on their suspect, but how do they catch him in the act?
The six boys all huddled together in the barn and listened out for adults. Joshua Drey, who was on lookout, ran over to join them. “It’s all clear. Jack’s just driven into the wheat field. He’ll be at least an hour before he returns.” “Right role call!” said Trevor importantly, as the whole meeting and plan was his idea “There’s me, Trevor Sharp representing the hedgehogs, Billy Digger for the badgers, Batty Hill moles, Freddy Rivet frogs, Tommy Twitcher field mice, and Joshua and Joe Drey squirrels.
A Time for Sharing – Fay Wentworth
1750 words Romance
When two children share a swing, romance follows; and history repeats itself.
“Granddad, it’s my swing!” Luke’s dark eyes flashed up at me and his bottom lip protruded obstinately. Sturdy legs apart, my four year old grandson waited for me to resolve his problem. Glancing over his head I saw the swing swaying to and fro beneath the old apple tree. Hands circling both ropes and feet kicking the ground defiantly, Susie stared at us. “She’s on my swing!” Luke repeated and I sighed, preparing to convince my precious grandchild that sharing was a good thing.
A Toaster or a Kettle – Susan Wright
1200 words Women’s Fiction
Young Emily is not impressed when she puts some Christmas presents under the tree on Christmas Eve. There are already some presents there from her father to her mother and they don’t look very exciting. It looks as if Ian’s been buying household appliances again.
Read reviews HERE
As soon as she’d put Emily’s presents under the tree, Rachel poured herself a sherry and sat down on the sofa, thinking how brilliant it was that everything was ready for Christmas. It was only ten past six on Christmas Eve, but she’d prepared the sprouts, made the mince pies and wrapped all the presents already. When Emily had been young, she’d often been up doing things in the early hours of Christmas Day, but it had been easy to disappear off into her bedroom with the presents and the wrapping paper while Emily had been watching a movie that afternoon, and it hadn’t taken very long at all to wrap everything up.
A Topsy-Turvy Tale – Joan Zambelli
810 words Children 6 – 10 years
Mr Mortimer, the piano-tuner, soon realised that all was not as it should be in Mrs Topsy-Turvy’s cottage. He wondered if he would ever finish tuning her piano, especially when all the notes began to fall off from the rather unusual piano keyboard!
As soon as Mr Mortimer, the piano tuner, stepped into the music room at Mrs Topy-Turvy’s Cottage to tune her piano, he immediately had a strange feeling that all was not as it should be! Not only were all the pictures hanging upside-down on the walls, but the mirrors had been put up back to front so nobody could see themselves. Ornaments had been placed upside-down on the shelves, too.
A True Reflection – Peter Pitt
1400 words Women’s Fiction
Helen was a very attractive young woman, but like so many others, she wished she could change her looks slightly without having to resort to cosmetic surgery. One busy day, she was shocked to find that her wish had been granted
Helen turned off the shower, grabbed the towel from the rack and wrapped it around herself. She now felt fully awake. The large bathroom mirror had steamed over making it difficult for her to see. Taking up the end of the towel she wiped a section clean. What she saw made her gasp, and involuntarily take a step back. There was another woman’s face. She automatically turned her head, but she was alone. She looked back at the mirror, the woman was still there. Helen raised her hand to her face, the reflection did the same. Her fingers examined the contours of her face – but it was not her face.
A Turn for the Better – Linda Caspar
1150 words Feel Good
To be told you have been made redundant is devastating and that’s how we find Ben, who realises that he will have to face up to unwelcome changes in his life.
‘Not at work today?’ came the call from the front garden next door. ‘Taken some time off,’ I replied with a forced smile on my face as I scurried past. ‘I’m glad I’ve caught you,’ continued the woman in the woolly hat and matching fleece jacket, straightening up from her weeding and removing one of her gardening gloves. ‘Actually I’m in rather a hurry,’ I told her pretending to consult my watch while walking away. ‘Won’t keep you then. I’ll call by later, should I? It’s Flat 2 isn’t it?’ she persevered.
A Very Exciting Day at the Dog Show – Vivienne Holmes
1000 words Children 5 – 8 years
Shadow the collie and his friend Millie, a rescue dog, are competing in the children’s dog show. Their owners are mortified when Shadow causes havoc at the show, but happily, Millie learns a valuable lesson about herself.
“Mum, can we enter Shadow and Millie in the Children’s Dog Show?” asked Ella. “Please, please,” begged Jack, her little brother. “I’m not sure about Millie, you know how nervous she is,” said Mum. “What is a dog show?” Millie asked Shadow later. “It’s a big party for dogs. We enter competitions to show how good looking or clever we are.” “Oh, I couldn’t do that,” said Millie alarmed, “I would be too scared.” “You might win a prize,” said Shadow kindly.
A Very Heavy Tray – Dorothy Williams
1770 words General / Women’s Fiction
A Very Heavy Tray helps to bring a grandmother into a new relationship with a good friend. His unaccountable arrival to find her house in embarrassing disarray has them both puzzled, yet they draw closer as he helps her clean, until the arrival home of her youngest son solves their mutual puzzlement and puts forward a new future.
He could not have arrived at a worse time. The painters had just departed, leaving behind them the strong smell of Bone Ivory, the furniture shoved into awkward places, and a clutter of unwashed coffee mugs. All day the phone had been ringing from behind the wall units; unwelcome salesmen bad been turned away from the far end of a hallway booby trapped with stools and coffee tables; and grandchildren had rushed in with cries of glee to be swept out with wails of disappointment.
A Very Pleasant Evening – Cath Delaney
2000 words Women’s Fiction
Fay and Hugh are giving a dinner party and Hugh, as usual, has selected one of the guests for his flirtatious attentions. Throughout the successful evening Fay looks back at how their relationship has developed and ponders on a decision she knows she will have to make sooner or later.
The main course is a success and I relax. I feel a flush of contentment. I’m enjoying myself as the wine flows and the laughter increases. I marvel at the change in me; in the not too distant past the evening would have been an agony of effort to cover my insecurities. But my new found happiness has come at a price, a price that right now I’m willing to pay. The big question, the one I’m avoiding, is for how long? “Lovely salmon, Fay. You can always tell when it’s wild, don’t you think?” Shona winks at me.
A Wet Drought – Gill McKinlay
1000 words Women’s Fiction
Harriet is pleased to be doing her bit by informing everybody about the hosepipe ban, but it would be a lot easier if it would just stop raining…
This story is included in the collection Stuffed Robins Don’t Fly
“I don’t believe it!” Harriet gasped as the news bulletin came to an end. “A hosepipe ban! I wouldn’t mind but it hasn’t stopped raining in weeks.” She’d been watching a programme about a team of volunteers who were restoring a garden to its former glory. Harriet, a keen gardener herself, had found the project fascinating. When the programme ended, she popped into the kitchen to make a cup of tea.
A Wish for Christmas – 20 Stories for the Holiday Season
Enjoy the festive season with a little cheer from Alfie Dog Fiction. Put your feet up and revel in all that is best of Christmas and New Year with 20 stories from authors across the globe. Stories range from the moving to the amusing, the romantic to the tussle of family life.
Add a little sparkle to your Christmas with A Wish for Christmas
Paperback sales UK ONLY – the book will be sent to your Paypal address unless advised otherwise.
For other sales (Ebook and Paperback) please use your local Amazon store HERE.
Read reviews HERE
A Wish For Christmas – Maggie Jones
1400 words Christmas / Women’s Fiction
When Matt is asked if he could have a wish come true, what would it be? He surprises his dad when he asks for that one thing that is going to be extremely hard to get. Will Matt get what he wanted and his wish come true?
This story is included in the collection A Wish for Christmas
I had once asked Matt, if he had a wish for Christmas what would it be? He looked at me and thought hard before answering my question. ‘Do you remember telling me about the time you were eight and woke up on Christmas morning and saw that it had snowed during the night?’ I nodded as I carried on listening intently to him. ‘You described your feelings. The anticipation you felt, the joy and awe of being the first one to walk on that crisp white even snow. But, then you thought of Auntie Pam, she was only five, and you knew that you couldn’t do it without her, so you woke her. Then both of you raced downstairs to go outside to play in it.’
A Word in Your Ear – Sharon McGregor
1400 words Mystery / Humour
Lettie’s bird watching turns up a lot more than sparrows and owls. She discovers a little too late that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
Lettie Moore clung to the cast-iron post at the base of her steps, for a moment, to catch her breath before mounting the five steps leading up to her veranda. It wasn’t a long walk from the store, but her bags were heavy and her arthritis was bothering her today. Then too, she wasn’t getting any younger. She stopped again at the top to set down her packages and grab the contents of the old mailbox, before crossing the veranda to the coolness of her house.
A Worthy Cause – Maggie Jones
2300 words Feel Good Fiction
Oliver’s parents find it hard every year to know what to buy their children for Christmas. Oliver’s not the problem, never wanting for anything; it’s his brother and sister! They always want and expect the most expensive gifts. However, this year, Oliver comes up with a plan, as he suggests a worthy cause benefits instead of them!
Oliver knew just how much his Mum, loved Christmas, because as soon as December 1st arrived, so did her enthusiasm and excitement, even though he knew in some ways she also dreaded it. Every year it was more difficult for his parents to try to find the money for the presents they wanted, especially for Matthew and Charlotte, his older brother and sister. He knew their demands grew worse, as the list of things they wanted seemed to get longer, and they cost the earth. Mum had to keep on thinking of ways to find the extra to be able to get them the presents they demanded.
A-tone-ment – Simon Whaley
3000 words Feel Good
Granddad’s hearing has deteriorated so much his family have had enough. They’re fed up with repeating everything three or four times and even then he doesn’t hear. It’s down to granddaughter Becky to take him for a hearing test. But the results are not what Becky expects to hear.
‘Rampant sex?’ ‘Granddad! That’s not what I said!’ Becky glanced round, worried someone had overheard them. She swept a long strand of brown hair behind her ear, closed her eyes, took a deep breath, then opened them again. Mum had warned her today would be challenging. Becky put an arm around Granddad’s shoulders, and leaned closer to his ear. With her other arm, she pointed to the doors of the audiology unit. ‘Which is better, Granddad?’ she enunciated, ‘Ramp? Or steps?’ ‘Oh! Why didn’t you say? Let’s take the steps, shall we? I’m not decrepit yet.’
Abbey Park – Sarah Bakewell
Paranoia seeps in for Amelia as she assumes her husband’s delay in coming home is signalling an affair, but she bravely tries to hide this from her two young sons. However Luke, her husband, is desperately trying to work out how to save his family from a lifetime of misery.
If you were to look out across Abbey Park tonight, just after all the children had been called in for tea by their parents, you’d see something unexpected. Usually, once the children have collected their footballs and skateboards, the park would be deserted, and it would stay that way until the morning rush of mothers and toddlers. Not tonight. As the moonlight trickled into the darkness that carpeted Abbey Park, a man in a suit could be seen. He was sitting at the swing he’d run to every day after school as a boy, determined that he would be able to soar so high that he would fly over the bar at the top. He’d never managed it. That wasn’t why he was here tonight.
Accessories Not Included – Allyn Keigh
1800 words Sci-fi / Humour
The only accessory a mechanical handyman really needs.
“Hey, Fred, you gotta come over and see this. I finally got an Uncle Homer,” Bart exclaimed, tucking his cellphone under his chin and pausing to swig a beer as he waited for Fred’s response. “Man, it’s about time!” Fred’s voice crackled out of the speaker. “I thought the guys were gonna have to take up a collection for you! Which model didya get?” “Top of the line, my man, top of the line,” Bart bragged. “Complete tool kit, multi-use tool package, the works.”
Accounting for Taste – Gill McKinlay
700 words Women’s Fiction
Recently I realised that despite the many gadgets available to help keep track of the dates, time whizzes by so quickly that I still manage to forget everything…
“Once I’ve saved enough for a scientific calculator, I’m going to take you out,” Tommy said as he jumped up onto his dad’s milk float. With thick dark hair that would probably go grey by the time he was thirty, Tommy wore black-rimmed glasses and stood about four feet two.
Acting Like a Teenager – Theresa Van Meter
800 word Romance
Karen is independent and wants to stay that way. She’s searching for a home that could easily be modified to aging-in-place standards. She finds a house that could meet her needs. She also meets a man that her daughter claims has her, “acting like a teenager.”
I pulled the rental car beside a white utility van with the red letters, J & J Remodeling. I opened the car’s door and I was greeted with the sweet scent of roses from the well-tended landscape. A man wearing brown coveralls walked around the van toward me. He smiled and his eyes crinkled. His smile was contagious and I smiled, too. I held out my hand, “Hi, my name is Karen Davis.”
Acting Out – Cath Delaney
2000 words Women’s Fiction
Annie, a probabtion officer, meets Dean, an actor. She slowly gets to grips with the life of an actor who spends most of his time ‘resting’. But then Dean lands a big part in a soap and life as Annie knew it comes to an end. Action is required.
I spotted two middle-aged women giggling and pointing outside the supermarket and groaned. Dean feigned ignorance, looking round casually, though he’d probably seen the women before I did. His radar was always on high alert in public. “It’s you, Dean Davies, I don’t believe it,” one of the women screamed, as she nearly knocked me over in her haste to get to Dean. She needn’t have rushed. Dean was always available to his fans, even though he moaned incessantly in private about the nuisance of it all.
Ad Lib – Patsy Collins
800 words Romance / Humour
Andy knows life isn’t a rehersal. He wishes the same wasn’t true of his romances with Jemima.
This story is included in the collection By My Side
Jemima ran her manicured hand through her fine, blonde hair and asked, “Will you marry me?” Andy almost dropped his script. He blinked and wondered if he’d heard her correctly. She moved along the sofa so she sat with her thigh touching his, took his hand in hers, looked into his eyes and whispered the words again, “Will you marry me?”
Adam’s First Case – Patsy Collins
Nine year old Adam, police deputy in training, has a very important task. As well as catching the burglar and keeping his parents’ secret he must save the magic of Christmas.
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Adam adjusted the focus of his binoculars. He’d promised community police officer PC Marks that he would carry out observations, because of the recent burglaries in the area. Adam is an unofficial deputy and in training for when he’s old enough to join the force. It was already dark outside, and Adam had been on stake-out since tea time. He could see people in the garden, but they weren’t burglars. It was his mum and dad. He went to see what they were doing.
Adrenalin Rush – Suzie Hindmarsh-Knights
3000 words Adventure / Romance
When Cindy’s husband Mark talks her into a dive holiday in the hope to re-ignite their tired relationship, she never thought she would be instrumental in saving his life.
It was meant to be the holiday of a lifetime, a trip with friends and time together to bring back the old magic we’d once shared, my husband Mark won me over with his words. It wasn’t that we were unhappy, but after twenty years of marriage, we’d lost the old spark, and life had got in the way, as it does in many marriages, with the challenge of bringing up children and balancing a career. And so I said yes to the dive trip. It was our first morning, and I woke to the chorus of birds outside our room. Mark was draped around me and sweet memories of our lovemaking lingered. The holiday looked to be full of the magic he’d promised… that was until I stepped onto the dive boat.
Adumbrant – Henry Mitchell
Adam was a dreamer, until the night all his dreams came true.
Included in the collection Dark on the Mountain
Adam Brandt had dreams. He couldn’t remember being a boy, so he figured he must be an old man, but he wet his sheets at night like a wee child. He would wake screaming and confused and his ancient Mamaw would come and comfort him, hold his head in her lap and worry out loud about the day soon coming when Adam would be in the cruel and greedy world without her to watch over him. Adam knew Mamaw wasn’t really his mama, but she was all he had. Mamaw said his mama had been pretty as a sunrise and too pure to stay in a world in love with darkness. That was all he knew about her.