short stories

This category contains 21 posts

Long Hot Summer

Mum and dad had gone away for one of their caravanning weekends, remember? And—god—remember how we used to take the piss out of them, knowing what being holed up in that rattly, plasticcy old box on wheels was actually like from having been forced into it every year throughout our childhood? I think we missed … Continue reading


Colette raised her eyes to the mid-morning sun as she sat on her back doorstep, the second cigarette in a row clamped between the fingers on her right hand.  She refused to feel guilty about promising Emmy she wouldn’t smoke anymore and thanked the lord that she wasn’t religious; she’d never get into heaven lying … Continue reading

Opening Night

Nobody knows where he came from and he’s been part of the company for so long now it would feel impolite to ask. He inches his way across from the curtained wings when it’s his cue and everything stills.  The scratch of ancient brogues which, like their owner, have likely seen worse rather than better … Continue reading

Book Review: ‘Home’ by Amanda Berriman

In 2013 I had a short story published  in an anthology called ‘Stories for Homes’; the brainchild of Debi Alper and Sally Swingewood, and Mandy Berriman’s story  A Home Without Moles was the first one in the book.  It  showed the world through the eyes of four-and-a-half (the ‘half’ of the utmost importance, as we well remember) Jesika Petrowski … Continue reading

Mr Samuel’s Gift

Around the corner from Mirabelle’s school there’s a path which leads away from the playing field and then goes all the way up the small rise of tarmac to the rear of the garages belonging to the residents of the flats in Albone Place.   Mr Samuel lives in one of these flats.  Number sixteen.  The … Continue reading


‘Here is where I feel most at peace’ he’d said. She’d rolled her body over to stare down at his beautiful face, bleached into purity by the early afternoon sun.  His white-blond hair had fallen into a halo around his head and, against the parched grass he was lying on, she knew she’d forever carry … Continue reading

Sophie’s Exit

This hadn’t exactly been how she’d wanted it to happen but she’d been planning it for so long that it was too late to change anything now. She’d followed her own self-imposed rules.  Made sure she carried on as if nothing were about to happen; nothing different; nothing strange, unusual, unprecedented, and yet—and yet she … Continue reading

Frying Pans and Fire

She wasn’t going to need it where she was going.  They’d said the place was furnished like a palace; room after room of cosy, calm, uplifting colours—every hue of the rainbow and more—and she couldn’t bloody wait.  Nobody in the world wanted a poxy pale green velour armchair.  And nobody since the middle-ages had owned … Continue reading


He can’t find the colour photographs; the ones with the vibrant fields of tulips from their trips to Holland, or the ones with seas of golden sunflowers on the Tuscan hills.  They must be somewhere.  Perhaps Helen’s moved them.  Maybe she’s arranged them inside one of those gilded albums she likes to keep within arms’ … Continue reading

The Monsters Aren’t Under The Bed

He’s gone now.  But he’ll be back. There’s an odour under here which reminds me of something; of somewhere I’ve been, but I can’t recall precisely.  It’s a holiday smell – like a floral scent in a cleaning solution or sun-cream – something like that anyway.  And I can’t make sure by breathing in more … Continue reading


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