A Move Too Far – Valerie Holmes

1000 word Ghost story

Marie finally has her dream home in sight – a beautiful Georgian terrace house that  as a child she used to admire from the park opposite. After years of working and saving her time to make the move is now – or is it?

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Marie had always dreamed of moving into one of the Georgian terrace houses opposite the park and now the time to realise that life-long ambition had arrived. She climbed the stone steps, noticing a few cracks that would need seeing to, and lifted the heavy old doorknocker in anticipation, admiring it – a direct link to the past. The door slowly opened, snapping her back to reality. A little old lady, no taller than five feet, peeped round the large green door.

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Double Trouble – Valerie Holmes

1000 word Women’s Fiction

Rose is desperate for Sarah, her partner’s daughter, to accept her, but Sarah wants nothing to do with her or her dad. When Sarah is hospitalised after an accident, it is Rose who is at her side, not the mother she really wants. Can Rose bring about a reconciliation between father and daughter?

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Mighty Max – Valerie Holmes

2000 words Children 7 – 11 years

Max’s mother has not fully acknowledged he is growing up, which has caused him some embarrassment amongst his class at school. He wants to make her realise that he is, but inadvertently foils a bag-snatcher mid grab. Max becomes a people’s hero and achieves his dearest wish.

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“Hi, I’m the Mighty Max!” Max looked at the boy with the fiery coloured hair in the mirror. He flexed his muscles, placing his fists purposefully against his hips. For a moment he held the pose. His reflection was blurred, yet in his imagination for a few precious moments Mighty Max’s image seemed real. He reached out for his glasses, placed them on his face and instantly his shoulders slouched forwards, his head lowered and he cringed as he saw his freckled nose and cheeks. “Who am I kidding?” he asked before slipping into his school jumper, picking up his book bag and heading downstairs.

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Paws For Thought – Valerie Holmes

1000 word Romance

Sally and Pete both miss their children. The empty nest has left a void both have tried to fill – but is the void between them too large a gap to bridge?

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Predictions – Valerie Holmes

1000 words Women’s Fiction

Becky is a teenager with a love of life, but not of study.

With her GCSE’s looming, her mother is very troubled by her daughter’s predicted grades. Becky’s predicts a very different outcome, but only time will tell who is right.

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‘Did you know it’s the Chinese year of the horse, Mum?’ ‘Pardon?’ Sarah was distracted. Not many more weeks now and Becky’s uniform will be relegated to the charity shop, she thought, as she carefully placed the crisp white school blouse on the hanger. Sarah remembered how many times she had moaned about ironing and washing her son’s PE kit. Yet now, with Kieran nearly finished college and Becky destined, hopefully, to go there, school days were drawing predictably to a close – an end of an era.

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The Last Train – Valerie Holmes

1600 words Women’s Fiction

Annie returns to a pier where she once found happiness with George. It was only months before the outbreak of WWI, but the most important question on Annie’s mind was, ‘Would he propose to her?’ The fortune-teller confirms he will, but leaves her with more questions than answers.

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Annie couldn’t help but smile. She was so excited. Every year they came back here. The autumn sun shimmered across the gentle tide beyond the shadow of the pier. She paced along the promenade, past the bandstand, full of anticipation, like the innocent young girl she had once been. For a moment she languished in her memories, or should I say they pulled her back to a time of simple innocence and fun. How cruel then nostalgia, the ancient deceiver, can be. Those days, she mused, the biggest adventure a teenage girl would have was to buy fish n’ chips followed by a ‘99’, go on the ghost train if you dared, or Heaven forbid, visit a fortune-teller.

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Three Squashed Pumpkins – Valerie Holmes

2000 word Ghost Story

Harry has been chased for the very last time. Three boys find taunting him amusing – but tonight is Halloween and Harry, with the help of his friends, will show them the error of their ways.

Winner of the 2002 Writing Magazine Ghost Story Competition

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I stop to catch my breath by the cemetery gate. My school bag drops to the ice-cold ground. I slump heavily against the unyielding iron whilst my three tormentors laugh at me from across the road. My breath is shallow now and hurts as it leaves my shaking body. Once I used to live in mortal fear of them, but not anymore. Nathaniel and William have cured me of that. You see, it was my name that caused my bullies to single me out and turn their evil attention to me.

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