A Peach Offering – Tamara Jones
775 words Romance
Violet and Peter are preparing for a summer holiday, but their marriage seems unhappy and close to breaking. How will the enforced intimacy of the holiday affect their relationship?
He was outside again, tending to his precious peach tree. Violet watched him from the upstairs bedroom window, he was oblivious to everything, including her. No, especially her. Absently she continued folding the shirt she held in her arms, and wondered how they were going to get through the two weeks of their approaching summer holiday without the routines and distractions into which he seemed to escape from her every moment he could here at home.
Bellbirds and Magpies – Tamara Jones
2500 words General Fiction
Mrs Williams is in hospital pining for the sound of her beloved wild birds. Occasionally she thinks she hears birdsong and sees that as a sign of her imminent release, but what significance does it have, that she can hear birdsong where her son and the hospital staff cannot?
She missed the birds. And she particularly missed the birdsong. That familiar and taken for granted choir of lilting liquid sound that swelled and rose and glided and poured onto the morning air. Bellbirds maybe? Or blackbirds or song thrushes, both famous songsters? Or perhaps something altogether more exotic and rare and named for its fabulous song? Not nightingales though, for they were not resident in this country. No, it had turned out to be the humble magpie. The mischievous yet maligned member of the crow family, it was the magpie that filled the mornings with his liquid song that she loved so much, that she missed more than she ever imagined she could.
Fruit Scones and Clotted Cream – Tamara Jones
1200 words Feel Good
Olive is fat and unhappy. Spiteful words overheard in a cafe spark feelings of shame and hopelessness in her. Is her obesity really her choice, as the spiteful words imply?
‘My goodness look at the size of her, and still stuffing her face with scones and cream too…’ ‘Disgusting isn’t it, as fat as that you’d think she’d do something about it. Must be costing the health service a fortune. All self-inflicted of course. No restraint, people like that…’ Olive flushed with the heat of shame and quickly put her half eaten scone back on the plate. She couldn’t see the two women sharpening their knives in her back, but she could certainly feel their hostility and contempt.
Mad Pink Lady – Tamara Jones
3000 words General Fiction
Molly loves her job and cannot envisage doing or being anything else, until one day both her job and her identity are threatened. Molly panics and takes drastic measures to keep herself from falling apart.
Molly hurries to cross the road in the rain, her fuchsia pink umbrella barely keeping her dry, the raindrops are pummelling down so heavily that they are bouncing back up from the tarmac. She is unable to see cars approaching until their tyres slosh water in front of her. She hopes her pink umbrella and matching fluorescent pink raincoat are bright enough to alert drivers to her presence, but she’s not about to count on it. She is feeling even more anxious than usual today, Jeremy has announced an extraordinary staff meeting for later in the afternoon but he has not told them what it is about. Her mind has been in overdrive all weekend creating and discarding endless catastrophic scenarios and now she is a big ball of panic.
Renascence – Tamara Jones
3000 words General Fiction / Ghost Story
Leila is weighed down by a heavy depression, especially during the bleak barren late winter months. She sits every day in the park with her thoughts, hoping to find some comfort. Instead a tramp imposes himself on her and intrudes into her depressive reverie. At first she resents him, then comes to rely on his presence. Until something strange happens…
The View – Tamara Jones
1700 words Women’s Fiction
Ted and Iris are on holiday, staying in a hotel with a magnificent view from their window. But Iris is having problems coping and her anxiety is making them both feel tense. Something that Iris sees while looking at the view gives her a sudden understanding that she needs help.
The view from the hotel window was breath-taking. Iris knew this because she’d been told. She sat on the very edge of one of the beds and looked down at her hands. ‘What are you doing sitting in the dark,’ asked Ted, emerging from the bathroom in a halo of steam and blinking. He strode across to the window and opened the slatted blinds. Strong beams of bright yellow sunlight poured into the room, making them both squint. ‘And what have you done to the beds?’ he asked, without looking back from the window.