Tagged Short Story

Restoring Order

From the first to the last each generation passes in a single heartbeat. The earliest glimmer of life-like new-born stars that quickly reach their end. A million stories come and go in seconds. Now nothing except endless leaves drifting silently in the wind names, dates, achievements soon to be just echoes reaching far into the past.  Another night’s sleep ends abruptly. The room is still dark, a  grey half-light seeping from outside in. The distant moon weak, losing its battle with darkness. The darkness that fills our lives. A darkness so alien yet part of what we are. Tension lifts and…

The Air Raid

The building shook harder than before. This was the fourth night in a week that Germany’s bombs had been dropped on Leeds. Jenny was terrified, she couldn’t show it. As always she had her children to think of. The first explosion seemed to be a few streets away but the second was much closer. The whole house shook and plaster fell from the wall. She expected there little terraced house to collapse at any minute. Jenny was huddled in the hastily built shelter in the cellar of their small home with her three children held close to her. Some of the…

Restricted Zone

The fencing had gone up overnight a whole building surrounded by the high steel  that surrounds construction sites. It annoyed me only because it barred my usual path to work. I was late and making a detour around the perimeter was going to make me late. I enjoyed working at the university on a weekend. The campus was often quieter than normal and I could catch up on all the things I hadn’t done through the week. It looked like  they were relaying the lawns and pavement outside the physics laboratories. The  building was big lump of  cement. Seven storeys high made of…

Outdoor Chess

There is a special time in the forest, a vague time. You might miss it, closing the gate as you leave the wood. Rushing to find your way home as darkness falls. You really need to stop, sit down. Relax and wait for the players to return.   In this place, it is chess in the forest. The game as always delayed till nightfall. In other places, there will be different forms of fun a swing, a stream a tree to climb. The players will return as they do each night. Unseen as they gather and play their ghostly game…

Move Silent and Swift

The world had been dark for just one year. Morgan thought he was managing alright. He had though seen the population of his once busy home city dwindle to a fraction of its size. People just didn’t take enough care. Move silent and swift, that was now the key to survival. At first when the darkness came life had carried on pretty much as normal. Scientists were working hard convinced there was a rational explanation. The religious were praying convinced their sins had caused it. Morgan wasn’t sure what to think, his main aim was now to get by. As each day passed things were getting more…

The Mystery of North Cote Mine

“It’s about time you changed this car Dan” said Amy as she clambered into the back seat of his pale blue 1962 Mk 1 Ford Cortina, “it’s a wreck, my feet were soaked when we got here yesterday. There’s a hole under the carpet that I can see the road through”. It was 7.30am and the rain that had poured continuously the previous day had stopped during the night and it looked like it would be a lovely August day. “Sorry Amy”, said Jack trying to start the car for the fourth time, “I can’t afford anything else just yet…

The MV Lyubov Orlava

A rotten rusting hulk losing its balky battle twixt water, air and iron plate drawn day by day ever closer toward the briny deep. The string quartet plays a mournful tune echoing around the listing listless ship, broken furniture and shards of glass litter the wretched cabaret lounge. The swimming pool rocks and rolls with stinking green Adams ale, cabins are cold dark desolate rat holes. The cruise to nowhere never ending drifting, lost forever to the eyes of man. From the maelstrom of Antarctica to peace in a Newfoundland harbour tethered to a quiet dock awaiting annihilation at the hands…

Don’s Story

“Mum there’s a bloke outside rolling about on the floor I think he’s drunk” “It’s that bloody pub again three fights this week, Bill call the police. “We’re off to the rent office tomorrow. I want a transfer. We are off up Swarcliffe near our Pam,” said Mum She hated it here I knew she did. I suppose only now about to enter my teens did I begin to realise how much. Her large brood of brothers and sisters were always striving to better themselves. Each trying to be better than the rest. Business people, successful people. Where was my…

One Day Soon I’m Going to Cas Vegas

The coach and four bound for Hull winds its way along a ribbon of stone and dirt. Not long departed from The Bull and Mouth in the fledgling city, a hard day of toil ahead. Tolls paid at Halton Dial the traveller’s carriage labours up the leafy tree-lined hill. The new turnpike unfolds through fields and English countryside. A rural idyll. A double-decker 401 to distant Goole, grumbling hot and sweaty out-of-town. Diesel fumes spewing into the wet, grey, winter evening. ‘Home is where the heart is’ and mine is by this noisy tarmac world. A fast-flowing river of cars, trucks, buses, and helicopters chasing sirens. The traffic is fast talking,…

Listen To Your Wife

I hated those dolls, hundreds of them all over the house. Some small, others as big as a child. We’d been married for ten years my wife loved them, she had collected them all of her life. They were everywhere. On chairs, shelves, even the bed. Quaintly dressed china dolls. I found it hard to even set foot in my home. I had enough one day and just put them all into boxes. She went ballistic. “Where are my babies what have you done with them”? Her babies! We argued for hours, the dolls came back out. Their mean little…