What Was it About Tuesday? – Peter Pitt
900 word Humour
Having a tune on you mind that you can’t get rid of, is bad enough. Even worse, is having a certain date at the forefront of your mind, without knowing why it is there. That was the problem Keith was having.
Keith couldn’t remember what it was about tomorrow – Tuesday the fourteenth of September – Somewhere at the back of his mind, he knew this date meant something to him. Something he had to do – Somewhere he had to be – Someone he had to meet. Yet for the life of him, he couldn’t fathom out what it was.
What’s the Catch? – Linda Lewis
4500 words Women’s Fiction
When Eileen is invited to stay with her son in his hotel in Torquay she can’t help wondering if there’s a catch. She soon finds out that yes, there is. They expect her to lend a hand, running the business. While she’s there, she meets a man but her son and daughter-in-law are sceptical. They think he’s looking for a woman to cook and look after him. Are they right? And exactly why do they need her help with the hotel?
‘Are you doing anything for the next two weeks? If not, why don’t you come and stay with us? We haven’t seen you for ages.’ Eileen could hardly believe what she was reading. For the past three years, every time she’d asked if she could come and stay, the reply had been the same. ‘Sorry, the hotel’s full. The business has to come first.’ On the rare occasions she had managed to get an invite, it was for the odd day in February or October, never August.
What’s the Matter – Susan Wright
1400 words Women’s Fiction
Karen doesn’t know what to do when her six-year old daughter, Emily, bursts into tears in a restaurant. Something has obviously upset Emily, but Karen doesn’t know what, and it takes her quite a while to find out.
Karen didn’t know what to do when her six-year old daughter burst into tears in the restaurant. For a moment, she considered taking Emily’s hand and leading her outside, but after realising that she needed to be as discreet about the problem as she could, she swapped places at the table with her brother, James, and sat down really close to Emily so she could talk to her and nobody else would hear. “What’s the matter, Emily?” Karen asked. “Are you feeling poorly or something?” Emily shook her head.
Wheelies – Peter Lingard
700 words Teen / Animal / General Fiction
A pet sees the world from inside his cage and wonders about it all.
Run, run, bloody run. I’m not sure what the word ‘bloody’ means but I’ve heard people use it with what seems like desperation, especially the middle-aged male who sometimes calls the middle-aged female a ‘bloody nag’. Isn’t a nag a horse? I’ve seen nags running on the television. Everybody cheers and shouts. How come they hardly notice me when I run in my wheel?
When a Triangle is Not a Triangle – Peter Lingard
2500 words Romance
A woman who has loved a man from afar attempts to get closer to him.
Every hunk in school chased vivacious Heather Perkins and she thoroughly enjoyed the attention. She dated the captains of football and cricket teams, as well as some lesser players. Heather would never have known Brian Coulter existed, had he not made himself a pest by constantly and fruitlessly asking her for a date. Quiet Martha Jones loved Brian Coulter, and understood his frustration. She never asked him out but she made sure he was constantly aware of her presence and availability. They were smart students who sometimes collaborated on homework assignments. She listened to his reports of rejection and offered him solace while concealing her own feelings. She occasionally bought him a cold Coke when she found him watching Heather at Saturday games of netball and hockey.
When Trouble Comes – Frances Howard-Snyder
1800 words Women’s Fiction
Emma, a recent widow, is faced with battalions of troubles, including a dead husband, difficult teen children, an obnoxious suitor, and a mother dealing with the first stages of dementia.
Ashland, Oregon, September, 2011 The kitchen sink was clogged again. In the past, Emma had left this sort of thing to Michael. She’d ask for his help and he would tease her gently, but would appear, work some magic and fifteen minutes later, her sink would be clear. She recalled the last time it happened, the night before the fated hike. But he wasn’t here to fix it now. A mess of discolored eggs shells, blackened potato peelings and coffee grounds floated in greasy water that sank an inch every fifteen minutes, leaving a ring. Of a piece with the rest of her kitchen: the dead freesias on the windowsill, the lazy winking curtains, one open, one closed, the gritty, stained floor tiles. The calendar stuck on July.
Whiskey Nancy – Henry Mitchell
When a neighbor’s greed left Nancy Holloway homeless and alone, she didn’t dwell on her losses. She thought of the two men who had loved her. Between them, they had given her a new beginning.
Included in the collection Dark on the Mountain
John Hampton had trouble finding his footing in the dark. He hadn’t wanted to be on the mountain so late, but he’d made a wrong turn after the last creek crossing. By the time he realized his mistake and backtracked to the right trail, the valley was in the mountain’s shadow. As one last smudge of crimson above the mountain’s brow faded into inky night, John still wasn’t certain he’d found the way he’d intended. Through the bare branches webbed and woven overhead, he could see occasional sparks of stars. The moon had not quite risen above the bulk of the far ridge.
Whispers in the Olive Trees – Jan Baynham
3000 words Women’s Fiction
Following in her mother’s footsteps a generation before, Alex travels to the Peloponnese region of Greece searching for answers. What changed Elin’s life forever in the summer of ‘69? Will Alex find out who the mysterious C. is? Why does an old lady verbally attack her on the beach?
I’d never been to Greece before. The heat was a shock as I walked down the lane to the beach where the air shimmered in a haze. Bubbles of tar oozed, forming black sticky streams that flowed to the gutters on either side. I shielded my eyes and squinted into the distance. White-washed buildings appeared out of focus, gleaming like sugar lumps in the sunlight. So this was where she spent the summer that was to change her life for ever.
White Christmas – Brian David
1080 words Humour / Christmas
With just a week to go before Christmas Day, Amy is asked to do her nephew a favour. Her husband thinks she’s got the wrong end of the stick, but Amy is adamant she is right. After all, she did have her hearing aid in when he called round.
“THE TOAST, Amy. Could you pass THE TOAST! Oh, never mind, I’ll help myself.” Amy sat quietly, enjoying her tea. “What did you say? I’d have thought it’s a bit cold to be going to the coast, although I do enjoy my trip to Yarmouth on Boxing Day.” “TOAST! NOT COAST!” “You don’t have to shout, Jack. I can hear perfectly well, and where’re your manners? If you want the toast, you only have to ask. It’s not polite to reach across the table like that.”
Who Believes in Superstition? – Alana Duffy
2100 words Women’s Fiction
The village fete falls on Friday 13th – a day nortorious for bad luck. Lily doesn’t usually believe in supersition, despite her husband and mother’s teasing. However, after experiencing several clumsy accidents while helping her mother on the refreshment stall at the fete, she begins to wonder if there really is any truth to the susperstitious curse. Just when she thinks she is plagued with bad luck, her husband shows her that Friday 13th doesn’t necessarily have to be an unlucky day.
Lily’s breath fogged up the glass, as she gazed longingly through the grimy windows into the old florist shop. To everyone else this once thriving business was nothing more than a dark, desolate shell, but to Lily and her husband, Adam it was the perfect location for a family bakery. She envisaged the counter lined with a wide selection of delicacies, homemade of course, and even half a dozen tables and chairs dotted around the warmly decorated room.
Who or What is Scruffy? – Vivienne Holmes
1000 words Children 5 – 8 years
Following an accident Scruffy has lost his memory and doesn’t know who or what he is. He gets into all kind of misfortune when he tries to find out his identity.
Scruffy was an unusual bird. His feathers were shaggy and untidy. Those on his head stuck up like a crown. He walked with a limp as he had fallen out of a tree when he was young. However, what was most unusual about Scruffy, was that he had lost his memory. He didn’t know who he was, or stranger still, what he was! At first, he thought he was a human like Carol Donovan, the farmer’s wife who had rescued him and still looked after him. Then he realised that was really silly.
Who Was Shakespeare? – Iain Manson
1700 word Science Fiction
The professor has no time for those who try to prove that Shakespeare was anyone other than Shakespeare. But then an unexpected visitor gives him the chance to go back in time and meet his hero. It will be an unsettling experience.
Everyone thought I’d gone mad. How could a genuine scholar take seriously the notion that the works attributed to William Shakespeare might have been written by someone else? But in addressing the manufactured controversy concerning Shakespeare’s identity, my aim was to catch the imagination of the reading public at large – to escape from that incestuous intellectual world in which academics write only for fellow-academics. In demonstrating that Shakespeare could not have been Francis Bacon or Christopher Marlowe (far less Queen Elizabeth), I saw every chance of casting fresh light on the works themselves.
Why Audie Cared – Matthew H. Emma
2800 words General Fiction
“Why Audie Cared” is a cautionary tale. Often, people view the lives of celebrities and the wealthy as perfect and have a tendency to question their motives when they do good things. This story tries to illustrate that no one has it perfect and everyone has problems.
The tragedy of my dad’s death didn’t impact her. I needed to mourn and sought an explanation for her behavior. Audie’s pressuring began with several daily text messages. “Today any easier?” she’d ask at nine in the morning. “Must be tough for you.” “Miss him,” I’d say. “But I’m surviving.” “Just checking in,” I’d get at two in the afternoon. “Still here,” I’d answer. “Anything I can do?” she’d ask at seven at night. “No,” I’d reply. “I’ll let you know if there is.” Emails soon joined her arsenal. At least five or six times per week, I’d receive files containing information on what had to be every Los Angeles-area agency offering psychological counseling. Soon after beginning this new method, she called.
Why Doesn’t It Happen? – Leanne Cooper
2200 words Women’s Fiction
A story about love, longing, and wanting something so badly that you cannot get it out of your head. Follow our protagonist on a trip down memory lane, from teenage years to the present day, as she tells of her seemingly unrequited love for her first crush and the ups and downs of her intense love for him.
Is destiny something that is out of our control or is destiny something that we can create for ourselves? What if we think that we are destined to do something – or be with someone – when, in reality we have created the situation in our own minds purely because we want it to be true so badly that it breaks our hearts and makes our chests feel like they are caving in just at the thought that perhaps it was not meant to be after all? Lately, I have found myself in such a predicament. My head has been so full of jumbled thoughts that I cannot concentrate any more.
Wiggle, Waggle, Woggle – Simon Whaley
2400 words Humour
When the President of the Lower Ticklerton Ladies Golf Society asks Veronica Ventura to organise a fundraising event, things don’t quite go according to plan … as Veronica tries to explain in a letter to the President.
Deirdre Millikan-Palmer President, Lower Ticklerton Ladies Golf Society Lower Ticklerton Westshire Dear Deirdre, I can’t tell you how delighted I was when you asked me to devise a charitable event to raise five hundred pounds to buy a new trophy for the Lower Ticklerton Ladies Golf Society Woman Golfer of the Year Award, especially coming so soon after that unfortunate incident I had with the Golf Club’s Chairman. I do hope his voice recovers when the swelling goes down. After careful consideration I thought a Twilight Matchplay Tournament during our usual Tuesday night get-together at the golf club would be a good fundraising event, although I do accept that playing with dark green golf balls was not one of my best ideas.
Wilderness Way – Henry Mitchell
Nothing lasts forever, although we try to imagine we are permanent. When the end approaches, we ignore the signs, usually never see it coming until we wind up somebody elses history. There were signs enough in Pearis Falls, had anyone noticed.
Included in the collection Dark on the Mountain
Outside the drive-in window at the Hot Pot Coffee Spot, Chuck Bonner shouted thanks over the yammering of his engine as he pulled in two coffees and bacon-egg-and-cheese biscuits and handed them to Jerry, his lugger. Jerry was also a friend of sorts, although Chuck considered him reliable only as a drinking partner. Unappetizing diesel fumes wafted into the cab before Chuck could close the window again. “Careful with that,” Chuck warned as he handed the flimsy, over-burdened cardboard tray to Jerry. “Hot stuff.”
Will You Walk With Me A Way? – Dorothy Davies
700 words Horror / Ghost Story
For some spirits there can be no rest until they have their revenge!
Not far, just to the end of this road. I am…empty inside and need a few moments of interaction with someone. Oh my, that sounds so formal, doesn’t it? In truth, though, to ask you for a few moments of idle chatter, or gossip would be nonsensical. Especially with what I have in mind. You look wet, is it raining?
Window of Opportunity – Tina K Burton
2200 words Humour
When Inspector Chard and his junior Jones are called to deal with a suspected burglary, they also have to deal with a most disagreeable woman.
Inspector Chard stood in the large hallway of Bewley House and tried to control his temper, whilst his junior colleague Jones tried not to laugh. ‘For the third time Mrs Hughes,’ Chard said, ‘I will not arrest Lucy on your say so.’ Henrietta Hughes snorted her disgust and said haughtily, ‘Well then I shall sack her with immediate effect.’ ‘That’s up to you – she’s your maid – but you have no proof that she’s stolen your jewellery.’ Chard was really losing his patience with the abominable woman before him.
Winter Light – Henry Mitchell
Samuel Coggins, author, teacher, widowed. Sam is a lonely man, but he has more friends than he knows. He’s achieved a successful life, which he feels is all behind him. Sam carries his losses with as much grace as he can muster. Tonight, his load is about to lighten considerably.
This story is included in the collection This Land is My Land
Reader Reviews HERE
Vehicles surge along the street below; people throng the sidewalks, but the traffic is barely audible in Sam’s fifth floor apartment. Through the glass doors, he watches the domed summit of the High Balsam purple beyond the high rises. Above the mountain, salmon hued contrails garland across a darkling sky where a single silvered shard, diamond bright, plows the air, hurtling a hundred souls toward nightfall and Atlanta. As day bleeds away, stars begin to blossom faintly, declaring evening even in the glare of the city. The stars will not be noticed in the streets, but here, above the flow of urban nonsense, Sam counts them, and remembers countless more he would see if he were on the distant mountain.
Wise Waters – Fay Wentworth
1700 words Romance
A mother’s love brings happiness and pain, and Pippa finds it difficult to adapt to an event that changes her life.
“Ask the water,” Aunt Merry used to say. “Ask the water, Pippa, and you’ll know your heart.” Aunt Merry; I remember her now with a pang of longing as I stand gazing into the peat-brown ripples of Loch Fyne. I sit on a boulder and stare at the far mountains bathed purple and green in the fiery rays of the setting sun. Boats bob, gulls wheel, mewing, ever hungry; and the raucous call of a heron echoes through my thoughts. I am asking the water. I peer through the clean, clear wavelets hearing the shush of reed grass at the slight eddy and I try to reach my heart, try to ease the ache of loss, to accept my life without him.
Wish You Were Here – Linda Lewis
1150 words Humour
This gently humorous story tells what happens when a woman goes on holiday by herself after a row. Are the happy postcards she sends to her husband telling the WHOLE story?
Monday 10 a.m. I’m having a wonderful time! Blue skies, blue sea. I’m in Room 426, on the fourth floor. There’s a fabulous view. Wish you were here.’ I pushed the postcard with its picture of the Sapphire Seas hotel, into the postbox, with a sigh. At least some of what I’d written was true. I looked up at the unbroken sky. Not a cloud, anywhere. It was already thirty–three degrees. Some like it hot, but not me. If it gets above thirty I’m done for. All I can do is retreat into the shade and wilt.
Witch Magic – Greta Yorke
770 words Children 4 – 7 years
The little witches can’t find things which have strangely gone missing. Is it just because they are untidy or is there another reason?
Red Witch lost her spell book, she searched and searched around, all day long in every place the book could not be found. Now Red Witch was untidy that’s what everybody said so off to visit Blue Witch one little red witch sped.
Wonderfulland – R. F. Marazas
2200 word General Fiction / Fantasy
Harry Lork takes his family on a vacation from hell.
Harry Lork paused to curse his stupidity. Stupid for listening to George, for being here, for being anywhere at all on vacation with these three. These three: wife, son, daughter. They stood away from him down the crunch gravel path, waiting like an impatient firing squad. Harry had hurried ahead of them until he reached the huge boulder, had pretended to empty his shoes of phantom pieces of gravel, had bent to linger over re-tying his shoelaces. The things you do to get away from them for only a short time.
Words are Needed – Theresa Van Meter
1300 words Romance
Katherine and Paul are a couple. Everything changes when he leaves town. They discover that no matter how close two people are, communication is the key to help sustain any relationship. Now he’s back. Is it too late to start over, or has he started over with someone else?
“I can’t believe that Waldo retired. So, where do you think we’ll be able to buy trees, now?” I asked my twin sister, Anna. “Well, rumour has it, that Paul has moved back to town. I heard that he is taking over the business.” She winked. “Maybe he’ll give you a discount.” “Anna, it’s been years since we talked.” “I know,” she said and ran toward the truck. She jumped inside on the passenger side. Anna stuck her head out the open window. “C’mon Katherine, we’ve got to get some trees.”
Working Girls – Kaz Clark
1800 words Women’s Fiction
Eloise Jones always thought herself a cut above the rest. But I know different. She’s nothing but a high priced hooker.
Eloise Jones is a tart. I can hardly believe it. Who’d have thought that skinny girl from Low Park Comprehensive would end up a lady of the night. I expect you’re wondering how I know this, so I’ll tell you. The Palace Hotel is my patch. Not much gets past me. Give credit where it’s due though, she’s not your average tart, Lord no. Miss Jones always considered herself a cut above the rest, even gets dropped off in a Jag. She’s one of those high priced hookers, call themselves escorts. Well, as far as I’m concerned you can call it what you will, still same thing different hat, isn’t it.