All posts tagged: Short story

This Terrible Thing Called Hope – #ShortStory #FlashFiction

‘There be giants in these parts,’ Gavin muttered, hiking the pack higher onto his shoulder as they trudged through the snow drifts at the bottom of the monument. In front of him Eddie huffed, his breath turning to ice and smoke. As the sun sunk towards the frozen horizon the temperature would continue to fall, and in the fading light Gavin had to squint to see the humped silhouettes of the outpost. There would be traders there they hoped. A chance to refill their supplies before moving deeper into the wastelands. ‘You believe all that, really?’ asked Eddie. ‘Damn Gav, you’re worse than those priests back at the temple, always trying to tell us that we’re only here by the mercy of the gods.’ He scratched his chin and tipped his head back. They were right beneath the right hand of the statue, the lines of its palm a shadowy black web in the dust. In full light it would seem almost human. The same shape to its face, its arms, its legs. The only …

Down In The Dust – #FridayFictioneers

‘There’s never much green out here is there?’ said Bobby, reaching out to pinch the thorn end of a twig. The bush had rooted into one of the fissures running along the face of the valley and Bobby could see its thin, grey roots spidering outwards in tendrils.   He twisted his hand and the twig crumbled. ‘Sorry,’ he muttered and dusted the debris away.   He turned and walked the fifty yards back to his car. The boot was still open, the spade inside. ‘I should have found somewhere nicer,’ he muttered, gripping the handle. ‘You would have preferred somewhere green.’

Long Since Gone – Friday Fictioneers

‘They keep the weeds under control,’ Emile explained when Hannah asked why goats were roaming the graveyard. ‘But don’t they eat the flowers?’ ‘People don’t leave flowers here anymore. No one’s been buried here for a hundred years.’ He stooped to avoid a low branch and waited for Hannah on the other side. ‘People can’t be bother with the long since departed. We only see your kind these days.’ ‘My kind?’ ‘Yeah, history nuts who prefer the dead to the living.’ ‘Oh I don’t-’ ‘Makes a change at least. It’s nice to have a little warmth amongst all this stone.’

Uneasy Footing – #FridayFictioneers

The jetty had rotten clean through in places, creating a hopscotch of holes almost impossible to see in the dark. Gritting her teeth, Emile slid one foot in front of the other and eased her weight onto it. At the end of the jetty a light flickered and went off. She paused and steadied her breath. Patience, she reminded herself. She’d waited fifteen years, she could afford fifteen minutes to get across this dock unscathed. She ran a hand across the outline of the pistol inside her jacket. Fifteen minutes, she promised herself. That’s all she needed.

Rooftops At Sunrise – #FridayFiction

The ladder from the garage wasn’t quite tall enough to reach all the way, but it brought us within touching distance of the guttering. From there you could pull yourself up and afterwards, reach down for my hands, smaller, thinner, not quite as adept at clambering about. I let you lead me to a lot of places I couldn’t reach on my own. Perhaps I should have worried sooner about being left behind but back then all I could think of was how strong you were. Lifting me like a bag of sugar to watch the sun set beside you.

Case One: The Missing Boy

Gates called the flat opened planned, Felhorn called it a dump. It occupied the top floor of a condemned building where demolition had ceased halfway through, leaving only front half standing and the rest as rubble. At night Felhorn would dream of the floor suddenly collapsing beneath her bed, the chipboard walls they’d thrown up as protection from the elements tumbling with her for the sixteen floor drop, before waking soaked in sweat in the very sheets she’d just been clinging to, her throat alight and aching. Gates didn’t help much. After six hundred years of not needing to sleep he’d forgotten what it was like to have nightmares and couldn’t understand why she didn’t just change the story if it wasn’t going the way she wanted. Finding him standing above her with that frown on his face when she woke often ended with her sending him sprawling across the flat, magic burning in her veins as it jumped to the surface before she could quench it. It didn’t teach him, he still came whenever …

North Of Watford Gap

The battered ford focus spluttered to a stop somewhere north of Watford Gap, next to a suspicious looking field of cows along a winding country lane that looked an awful lot like every other country lane. ‘That would be because they’re not cows,’ said Martha, head down beneath the bonnet as she wrenched something one way and then smacked something else another. The little car had stopped spewing up smoke so James counted that as an improvement… maybe. ‘They’re sheep,’ she said, straightening up and wiping her hands off on her jeans. She left two long scores of grease on the denim, one down each leg. James wondered if that would require a special sort of stain remover or if the normal kind would do. He shifted slightly so she could lean against the gate with him. It was one of those old sorts, made of that metal that turned orange and brown after a while and squealed loudly when you tried to get past. She put her foot on the bottom rung near the …

Off The Edge Of The Map

‘Leave me alone ya bastard!’ Henry’s words bounced off the cave walls harmlessly, much like the driftwood had, and the empty whisky bottle had months before. Despite the projectiles, his reflection continued staring up from the shallow pool at his feet. Slightly warped and vaguely true to likeness. ‘You’re the one who wanted to chase after princesses,’ it pointed out. ‘I was quite happy on a street corner with my lute.’ ‘You and your lute were shite,’ Henry spat. ‘We barely made a crown a day.’ ‘Perhaps,’ shrugged the reflection, ‘I wasn’t stuck on an island alone though. I could take a break whenever I wanted, speak to whoever I wanted.’ ‘But you didn’t.’ ‘But I could have.’ ‘But you didn’t.’ ‘I almost did once.’ ‘No you didn’t!’ Henry spat in the pool and sat down beside it. ‘Happy, fucking, ever after,’ he muttered. ‘Still blaming you,’ the reflection replied. Writing Prompt From The Story Shack If you’d like to read something a little longer I’m working on redrafting my Safe Haven series. In the …

The Last Of The Embers

Sunrise was not for another hour but already the sky had taken on the grey haze that suggested morning was just around the corner. Elaine let her rucksack slip from her shoulder and hang in the crook of her arm while she fumbled with the knackered zip. The bottle inside was almost half empty, not enough to see her back down the mountain, but enough to see her to the top. She wrestled it free and used her teeth to pry to cap open. ‘Are you coming?’ Damien watched from where he’d stopped further up on the steps, bare legs and arms, tanned and muscled. He was younger, fitter as well but that had little to do with age, at least that was what Elaine told herself. ‘Just give me a minute,’ she called. The water was lukewarm and sour on her tongue but she swallowed it and snapped the cap shut. Her sweat had her clothes sticking, every crease and fold in the fabric welding itself to her limbs. She could swear the last time she’d …

The Curse Of The Ex-Wife

‘You know something, I think life was better on the other side,’ said the mummy currently unwinding the bandaged around her torso. ‘So there is one?’ Dr Williams asked, cheeks colouring as the creature plucked a bullet from between flesh her ribs. She examined it for a moment and then tossed it aside into the sand beside the yellow placard marking one of the entrances to the burial tomb. ‘I’m dead, a revolver is not going to make me any deader,’ she sighed. ‘No, of course not, I do apologise,’ said Dr Williams. ‘You just, well you know, caught me a little off guard.’ ‘You were preforming an ancient revival ritual in the middle of the desert over a corpse. What did you think was likely happen?’ ‘Well honestly, I thought nothing would happen,’ Dr Williams admitted. ‘Then why bother?’ ‘It seemed harmless enough,’ he shrugged. ‘The rest of the team have taken the day off and I was the only one about so I thought why not give it a crack. The least the …