Very short stories #11

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I entered this year’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO) contest with A Quiet Rebellion:Guilt. In the spirit of the contest, I’m reading (some of) the other entries and posting reviews on Goodreads as well as LibraryThing.

Books I’ve reviewed so far are:
Strings of Chance by Jeff Pryor
Taika Town by Drew Montgomery
The Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin-King
The Lord of Stariel by A. J. Lancaster
Magpie’s Song by Allison Pang
Sea of Lost Souls by Emerald Dodge

There were several more entries that I started reading but realised they weren’t for me. Perhaps all this is teaching me is that I’m not as keen as I used to be on epic fantasy, high fantasy, grimdark or fantasy aimed at a younger demographic (coming of age-type stories). And that’s fine. There’s plenty of scope for differing tastes.

And now, another batch of very short stories.


The next viewer seemed rich. Stan dared to hope. With the old house sold, he could finally propose to Dee.
In the lounge, the man’s jaw dropped.
Stan grinned. “Spectacular view, right? Full-height win—”
“Frank?” Her smile grew beatific. “Oh, it’s been so long…”


May 4. New coach – great figure! After warm-up, made us lie supine. Inspected our neck pulses – wtf?
May 11. Today she asked who ate garlic (yuk!) and who drank wine. Pronounced it “vine”, hehe. Lovely eyes.
May 18. Special “blue moon” class tonight. Just me and her. Go me!


“S-stay back!” A syringe wobbled in his hand.
“Ooh, scary little needle!” The mugger brandished a shiv. “C’mon, doc, what ya got?”
“This.” The syringe plunged into the victim’s leg. His face worked. He shook.
A snake’s hiss enhanced lion’s roar as Chimera manifested.

Copyright: Image by StockUnlimited


The crew’s shouts from the lifeboat grew distant. Assaulted by unnatural waves, his ship had turned to flotsam under his feet.
His vision blurred. He thrashed, salt water filling his mouth.
The mermaid figurehead floated past. She gave him a smile. “Now I’m free.”

Copyright: Image by StockUnlimited


Crawling out of the sacred cave, he beamed. Petrichor lay in the air. His week-long ritual had saved the village.
Eyes watering in the sunshine, he looked homewards and gaped.
His village was gone. In the valley lay a lake, its bright surface rippling in the breeze.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay


The perfumier sighed. “Lovely scent, madam, but no sillage.”
“Meaning?” I fingered the charms on my bracelet.
“Once you leave, it dissipates.”
“Ah.” If I visited a client, olfactory evidence wouldn’t linger. “Perfect.”
I paid, charms clinking, each with its own poison.


I studied the exhibit through my broken glasses.
“Prime example”—I raised my voice over the kids’ sniggers—”of gossamer lace.”
“In the 17th century—”
A pink hand blocked my view.
I blinked. “Hey!”
“Just tidying up.” A cleaner waved a cobweb-covered duster.

Image by Monsterkoi from Pixabay


“Dalla sua pace…” The tenor’s magnificent torso expanded further with each breath.

“Ow!” yelped the conductor as a button pinged off and hit his head.

If you’ve read and enjoyed any of this year’s SPFBO entries, I’d love to hear about which ones, and why.

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