Very short stories #31

It seems I spoke too soon in my last post, about not having a heatwave. I feel like I’ve been baking (or maybe stewing, depending on humidity) for the last couple of weeks. The temperature’s been around 27-30 Celsius. It feels worse in central London where I work, where all the concrete buildings radiate heat, even in shady areas.

Maybe you’re chuckling at my lack of heat tolerance, and quite probably you’re right. In years gone by, I have been known to go out in the snow in a T-shirt, to visit the ice cream van 😛 While I don’t relish cold weather, it’s always possible to put more clothes or blankets (assuming you’re not camping etc).

How about you? Do you do better in the heat or cold? How do you cope with temperature ranges you don’t enjoy?

Book reviews

Here are my latest reviews. You’ll probably spot that I’m looking into “golden age” mysteries and speculative fiction. So far, my explorations have introduced me to quite a few authors I hadn’t come across before. Potentially, their other works may be out of print. But on the other hand, some may be public domain and/or re-released in collections and anthologies.

The Modern Myths: Adventures in the Machinery of Popular Imagination by Philip Ball
The Studio Crime by Ianthe Jerrold
The Red Thumb Mark by R. Austin Freeman
The Science-Fantasy Megapack: 25 Classic Tales from Fantasy Adventures edited by Philip Harbottle

Very short stories

Here’s a bunch of Twitter #vss365 from the start of this year. For the images, I tried out a couple of new (to me) techniques. This time last year, I’d never have imagined myself watching instructional videos on graphic design!


“Ugh, I don’t feel so good,” croaked Tad.
Freddie glanced at him sideways. “How come?”
“Butterfly in my stomach.”
“Huh. Didn’t Uncle Kermit tell you to avoid the brightly coloured ones?”


You sip, let the single malt run down your throat. “Ah, such sweet nectar.”
I chuckle. “Such pretentious words.”
Your lip curls. “The exquisite taste deserves them.”
I shrug. “Hey, it masked the poison.”
Whisky sprays the wall.
I smirk. “Fooled ya.”


Panting, he shoved a sofa against the door with his foot. He lumbered to the window and flailed at its latch.
Shrieks outside gave way to cheers. “Elephant gun!”
Oh, crap. Attending the Adventuring Guild’s party in a velociraptor suit had been a really bad idea.


Next, the ogre whipped out a pair of glasses and perched them on his nose.
Sweating in the cauldron, his captive tried to laugh. “What’s that for? To indicate your meek and mild alter ego?”
“No,” grunted the ogre. “It’s to help me read the recipe.”


In his hi-tech lair, he chuckled. “All those dirty little secrets. Such fun to see them squirm. Only The Shadow knows… for now.”
“Plus his cloud-based ultrasecure backup system!” blasted a cheerful voice. “Subscribe now and get a special introductory offer…”

That’s all from me for now. I hope you’re keeping well, wherever you are, and whatever you’re up to. See you again, soon! 🙂

7 thoughts on “Very short stories #31

  1. I’m baking and boiling in my own sweat now, but I really remember the bitter cold -30°C taking photographs of the Aurora Borealis.
    I also remember a hot summer which started when we went to the Cambridge Folk festival.


  2. Over here, the highs have hardly dropped below 32 Celsius all month (if my conversion from Fahrenheit can be trusted). And my car’s air conditioning recently broke! It’s a perfect summer to stay indoors and read. 😛

    Great illustrations again! I’m cracking up at “velociraptor” and “ego”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I see that you have entered The Diamond Device in SPSFC, and I just want to wish you good luck. Hopefully we will be going head to head in some late round of the contest. After much debate I entered A Summer in Amber. I really hate contests to judge any sort of art, but I guess it is worth it for any promotional value it may bring with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Chuck. I enjoyed A Summer in Amber – best of luck with it! I haven’t entered with any expectations of winning, but it’s been fun so far chatting with other entrants and checking out their books. There’s an SPSFC Facebook page now, and a few of us are finding each other on Twitter via the #SPSFC tag, if you’re inclined to use social media.


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