Very short stories #42

“42” may not be the answer to everything, but I’m pretty pleased at this milestone for these tiny story posts. Looking back, I see I set up this blog 5 years ago, though it was over a year later I started playing #vss365 on Twitter. At the start, I used pictures from sites like Pixabay. It’s been more work to put together the newer images myself, but far more satisfying.

Talking of which, with Halloween coming up, it’s time for these guys to have an outing on Daz.

Jack and Frank nearing their destination

They’re pretty old, but still fun. Can’t wait to see what happens when they meet the detective and the rookie 😀

Detective and rookie are confused

Books read (sort of)

I have done a fair amount of reading since my last post, but only reviewed one book. How come? Three books were the Scribophile beta reads I mentioned last time, which are of course not yet published. They were fun, and I’ll be happy to see them in print once they’re spruced up and ready to go.

I also started reading several books and for various reasons gave up partway through (and I only review books I finish). Here are my thoughts on a few of those.

One book should have been up my street (a steampunk cosy mystery 😍), but I couldn’t get past the copious head-hopping. When we reached a completely unrealistic mortuary scene halfway through, I had to bail. (A hazard of being a pathologist—there’s only so much inaccuracy about dead bodies I’m able to overlook. I’m sure it’s the same for people with experience in other fields as well).

One had odd punctuation and was written in third person, present tense. The only book I’ve enjoyed using that PoV was Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, and a few short stories. So it’s not a PoV I’m inclined to keep reading unless it’s a blow-my-socks off story, which this one wasn’t.

Got halfway through a light horror read before deciding I’d had enough of the cheesy made-for-movie dialogue and some really inappropriate for the situation “romance.” I’m not a big romance reader to begin with, and when it’s unrealistic or forced, I roll my eyes and zone out.

Got a third of the way into a Gothic-ish horror. That was as much overblown writing as I could tolerate. Fair enough, we expect that from Gothic, so it’s definitely more a “me” thing than “the book” thing.

Bailed on a YA (or younger?) fantasy 1/3 of the way in. Couldn’t suspend my belief any further at nobody noticing the MC was a child pretending to be an adult.

Got just over halfway through a YA space opera, and then events became plodding. The slowed pacing by itself might not have put me off. However, there were stylistic factors (mainly a copious use of participial phrases, several sentences in a row) that I then found I couldn’t overlook because the story wasn’t moving on.

The takeaway point from all the above is probably that I’m a fussy reader with little stamina and a short attention span 😛 The book I did review was Rim City Blues by Elliott Scott. This book is an entrant in the 2nd Self-Published Science Fiction Contest, and I’ve added a few of the other entries to my TBR pile.

Very short stories


The phone’s shriek yanked him out of his stupor. Clutching his head, he pawed the handset. “Wha—”
“We’ve got a new case!”
He moaned. “But—”
“Don’t dilly-dally, lad!”
“I’m on holi—”
“Around a week, going by the maggots and—”
“I hate you.”


“Move that body! Move that body! Yeah, man!”
“Duncan, there’s such a thing as taking too much pleasure in your job. Now, go wash the hearse.”


There’s something magical about being in a boat, letting your arm trail in the water, crimson swirls drawing the local sharks. My favourite part of the job.

And that’s all from me for now. Stay well, and see you soon!

4 thoughts on “Very short stories #42

  1. Congrats on the milestone! It’s always been fun to see your imaginative, original renders ever since you switched to those. I don’t know who I should be more worried for when they meet: the detective and the rookie, or the pumpkin head and his friend. 🙂

    I think your method of quitting when a book doesn’t click may be wiser than mine of stubbornly sticking though to the end. It is rare that they’ll surprise me in the latter half after an inauspicious beginning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Philip! As a teenager, I never abandoned books, but now I’m too ready to bail out. Part of that will be more choice and less time, and then there’s learning to read with a more critical eye.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.