Very short stories #15

A Happy New Year to everyone! I don’t make resolutions (I’m more of the philosophy that if something’s worth doing, just do it), but I hope to post here at least once a month. However, I’m not organised to keep a particular schedule.

What does 2020 hold for my writing? I’m awaiting a response to an academic book proposal. If that’s accepted, fiction will need to take a back seat. Hopefully I’ll have enough time for both. Fiction-wise, my current project is a light-hearted steampunk adventure featuring a thieving noble, an unemployed labourer and a kidnapped inventor.

Book reviews since my last post are:
Fogbound: Empire in Flames by Gareth Clegg
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear
The Silver Locomotive Mystery by Edward Marston

Here’s a selection of very short stories I posted on Twitter back in September last year (Yes! The first time I get to say “last year” this year!)


The train pulls out from the station. A 4-hour journey ahead. Bliss.
“Hey, whatcha reading?”
Sigh. “A book.”
“What’s it about?”
“It’s a mystery.”
“Ooh, who did it?”
Do books make good murder weapons? “I don’t know yet.” I search the pages for clues.


Nearly daybreak. Why did I stay out so late? I rush into an all-night pharmacy. “You got sun cream?”
“Sure, what strength?”
“Wow, nobody’s asked for that new stuff before. Skin cancer campaign got to you, huh?”
“That’s right,” I lisp around my fangs.


While the owner led him round the isolated property, he impatiently fingered the knife in his pocket.
She ushered him into a shed. “And here’s where we smoke our meat.”
Perfect. Smirking, he raised his knife.
The door slammed shut. A scent of herbs flavoured the air.


It’s that nightmare again. I’m in a cavernous hall, thousands of expectant eyes upon me. Someone says my name. I freeze. My mind’s gone blank.
The person beside me discreetly points to a prompt card hidden in my bouquet.
I lick my lips and speak. “I do.”


Ed crept up to the vegetable bed. Old Mr Grimes and his stupid marrow. He went to insane lengths for the yearly contest.
On reaching the plant, Ed got ready to stomp. A twig snapped under his foot.
Not a twig, a bone.
A shape loomed.
“About time,” said Mr Grimes.

Image by Emphyrio from Pixabay


Wine cellar? Tastefully stocked. Bedroom? A seducer’s dream. Garden? Carefully tended. Please refrain from digging in the flower beds. A discreet disposal service can be provided, for an extra charge.


The dragon squinted at the tiny writing on the charred helmet. “Oh, there’s a caution.”
“What’s it say?” asked her friend.
“Consume in moderation, as part of a healthy, balanced diet.”


“Nice kitchen.” She stirs her tea. “I found the sugar.”
“Don’t!” He grabs the mug, hurls it into the sink.
Her face falls. “Hey, I know I’m fat. No need for a song and dance about it!”
He breathes hard. “Sorry, it’s just…” But he can’t admit it’s not sugar.

And that’s all from me for now. Do you make New Year resolutions? Any you want to share?

4 thoughts on “Very short stories #15

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