Questions for Kids | Flash Fiction

“…so the pig offered a piece of his meat for the bloke to use as a muscle in his leg. That’s why they call it a hamstring.”

“Cool! Thanks, Dad.”

Kids are inquisitive. Too inquisitive, for Jez’s liking. They ask a lot of questions to which nobody really knows the answers, but if you try to fob them off with an “I don’t know, pet,” they’ll witter on and on and on until you’re about ready to lose your mind.

Jez came up with a solution to this problem. Just make shit up. Easy…

CONTINUE READING ON MEDIUM >

Apples and Oranges | Flash Fiction

“Ally is quieter than Annie, wouldn’t you say? Annie’s got a touch more confidence. She’s a smidge taller, too. Other than that, they’re exactly the same.”

Ally and Annie’s mother glowered at her friend. “They’re completely different. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. They’re each totally unique.”

Her friend laughed. “They’re identical twins.”

“And they have some similarities, of course. But they’re each unique in their own ways. I don’t want my daughters’ identities to be dismissed as one and the same.”

“Fair enough. Sorry I spoke.”

Ally and Annie pulled their ears away from the wall of the next room.

“That bitch,” Annie said.

Ally nodded. “Yeah. Absolute bitch.”

“We’re identical twins. Of course we’re identical in every way. How could she say we’re not?”

Ally’s eyebrows twitched. “Yeah. How could she?”

“And I’m not taller than you. We’re exactly the same height. You just have a habit of slouching. Stand up straight, raise your shoulders.”

Ally obeyed.

“I’m sick of that old cow always insisting we’re different. Being twins is our thing. It’s our novelty factor. It’s our… our…”

“Hook.”

“Right, exactly. But we’ll put a stop to it. Won’t we?”

Ally mimicked her sister’s vicious smile and crossed her fingers behind her back .“We’ll put a stop to it…”

CONTINUE READING ON MEDIUM >

Future Fitness | Flash Fiction

“Ten quid’s a real bargain for a treadmill. There something wrong with it?”

“We just want rid of it really — not bothered about the money. I mean, it’s a bit temperamental, but it works on the whole.”

“What do you mean?”

“Sometimes the speed setting gets stuck. You have to have someone switch it off at the plug, or just jump off it. No big deal. You could probably get someone to have a look at it, get it fixed.”

“Right. I dunno, mate.”

“Go on. You drove all this way to look at it. Tell you what, I’ll let it go for a fiver. How about it?”

At home he donned his tracksuit bottoms and his trainers and he psyched himself up for his January journey to fitness.

He began with a stroll, speed set to minimum, and it wasn’t long until his heart was pounding and sweat was beading on his forehead.

“Power through,” he told himself, and he mashed at the control pad to increase the speed.

He made it up to a jog. His throat grew dry and his legs burned. He thought about the ice cold beers in his fridge and the pizza place menu on the kitchen counter.

“Power through,” he told himself, and he hiked up the speed once more, just to prove to himself that he could do it.

He hadn’t run anywhere in years. He couldn’t even remember the last time his legs had moved so fast. His heart hammered and his lungs wheezed and the sweat began to pour from every inch of his skin.

“Can’t power through. Don’t want a heart attack,” he told himself, as his tacky fingers pressed desperately at the control pad.

Nothing happened. The speed wouldn’t drop…

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2019 Will Be My Year | Microfiction

31st December, 2018

Dear Diary,

2019 will be my year.

I’m keeping myself accountable. I’m making every single day count. Every resolution will be achieved this year. It has to. I need to move on.

1. Lose 10 lbs. I need to be healthier and there’s no harm in looking hotter. That’ll show him.

2. Eat right. Plenty of protein. Healthy fats. Limited sugar. More water, less coffee. I need this body in good nick if I’m gonna do this right.

3. Exercise, exercise, exercise. EVERY DAY. Cardio. Kick-boxing classes. Weight-lifting. I have to be able to lift 200 lbs. Nothing less. If I can’t do that, the whole plan is fucked…

CONTINUE READING ON MEDIUM >

A Swim in the Nuddy | Flash Fiction

“Come on, pal — get your kit off.”

Dale shivered and looked up at the night sky from which the first flakes of snow were beginning to fall. “I can’t believe you’re serious about this.”

Ryan clapped him on the back. “A swim in the sea in the nuddy — it’s a tradition. You’ve had ten pints, you shouldn’t be able to feel the cold.”

“You really do it every year?”

Gareth laughed. “Every year, just past midnight on Christmas Eve. So get your bloody kit off.”

Dale eyed the black waves. It wasn’t a choppy night out at sea, but it wasn’t as calm as he’d like. He wasn’t the strongest of swimmers, and he wondered if the ten pints would improve on his doggy-paddling or make it worse. “Why do I have to go first?”

“New guy always goes first,” Ryan said. “Them’s the rules.”

CONTINUE READING ON MEDIUM >

Day 358 | Flash Fiction

By day 358 on the island I was shitting through the eye of a needle.

I didn’t know if the coconuts were rancid or I’d simply eaten so many that my body was finally starting to reject them. But what choice did I have? I could shit myself silly or I could starve to death. I was seriously considering the latter.

And then I saw the boat on the horizon. I thought it was coconut-induced delirium at first, but I blinked and I blinked and it wouldn’t go away. I stoked the fire and piled it high with every flammable thing I could find until thick plumes of grey smoke rose high up into the azure sky.

CONTINUE READING ON MEDIUM >

Cockerels Are From The Fiery Pits of Hell | Short Story

It’s a sure sign that your owner is having problems when they bring home a cockerel.

“Look at this handsome guy, Bruno,” he said to me, all smiles and with just a flicker of madness behind his eyes as he stroked at the cockerel’s rubbery head. “He’s gonna get me up. He’s gonna change my life.”

I wagged my tail at him because that’s my job, but I wanted to do was give him a slap round the back of the head and tell him to pull himself together.

He already has three alarm clocks, all of them set at staggered times in an attempt to rouse him from sleep. But they don’t do the job. They go off, alright. They sure as hell wake me up from my beauty sleep. They just don’t manage to sift through into the murky, sleeping subconscious of my incompetent owner.

It’s not like I let him sleep, either. I’m desperate for him to wake up so that he can take me out for my morning ablutions and give me the almighty meal known as Breakfast. I nuzzle him. I lick his face. I paw at his head. I scrabble at his chest. Once I trampled all over the area he’s most precious about, and even that didn’t wake him. When that man falls asleep, he’s dead to the world. Only his own body clock can wake him, and that seems to be set to permanent snooze mode.

His life is falling apart. He’s had a million warnings from work about his tardiness. He lost his girlfriend when she got sick of waiting for him to wake every day. His family think he’s a lazy oaf and will have nothing to do with him. And even though I’m obligated to provide him with unconditional love, he’s really starting to go down in my estimation. The only reason he’s remained in my good books for so long is because he buys the fancy treats with the bacon wrapped around them.

So he brought in this cockerel and I’m all freaked out because, let’s be real, those things look like something out of the Jurassic Park animatronic reject bin. Its face was too small for its body, its feet were too big for its legs, and it had what looked to be the off-cuts of a ballsack attached to its head.

But I’m a dog. So I played nice…

CONTINUE READING ON MEDIUM >

The Authentic London Experience | Flash Fiction

“Before we go to Buckingham Palace, we have to get some of those mince pies.”

“Ugh, do we have to?”

“Yes! We’re in London at Christmas. It’s, like, compulsory to try traditional British mince pies when you’re in London at this time of year.”

“Fine. But they sound gross. Who puts meat in sweet pies? Only the Brits.”

“They don’t have meat in them. The mincemeat is just fruit and stuff.”

“Really? So why do they call it mincemeat?”

“Beats me. They’re kind of weird over here. Look at that — ‘Freshly Baked Mince Pies’ — it’s, literally, a sign! I guess we’ll head into that café to try some.”

The café is dim and grimy and void of customers, but that doesn’t stop the American tourists. It’s all part of the authentic London experience, or so they think.

CONTINUE READING ON MEDIUM >

Down the Hatch | Flash Fiction

“Take a seat, Miles. Drink?”

“No, no thank you. Better not.”

“Oh, go on. It’s Friday, after all.”

Miles wipes his brow and sits down at his boss’s desk, while Mr Cooke pours two generous tots of whiskey.

“It’s been a tough week, Miles.”

Miles nods.

“Have you not found it a tough week?”

“Oh, yes sir. Very tough week. Yes. I nodded.”

“You what?”

“No, I… I agreed. Tough week.”

“Let’s talk about it.” Mr Cooke pushes a glass towards Miles. “Tell me about your week.”

“Well. I had… a few problems.”

“Oh, I know, I know. Exactly how much money did you lose the company, Miles?”

Miles swallows hard. “It was, um, a little over… seven, I think. Yes, seven million.”

CONTINUE READING ON MEDIUM >

Green Pen | Short Story

It was the same grizzly scene he’d seen eight times before. A pale corpse, its face stricken with fear and its neck punctured with a green ballpoint pen. Blood sprayed about the room and pooled around the body. And a note, written in green ink on yellow paper, which read:

You won’t catch me. If you do, you’ll come to regret it.

Never any prints. Never any clues. Never a single thing to go on.

Investigations on the pen and paper had drawn a blank. Both were popular brands which had been sold in supermarkets and stationary stores up and down the country for years. Tracing potential suspects was impossible; too many people bought the damn things to isolate any decent leads.

There were never any witnesses. Neighbours never heard signs of break-in or struggle or even the murders themselves. There was never any nearby CCTV to hint as to who had been in the area before and after the crime took place.

The victims weren’t linked. They didn’t know each other or share mutual friends or acquaintances. There was no evidence of them having enemies. They weren’t even alike in appearance or nature. All of them were from completely different walks of life, killed for the sake of killing, it seemed.

And it all left the detective completely and utterly stumped. Victim number nine gave him no more clues as to the murderer than victim number one.

He nurses a glass of brandy while staring at the four walls of his living room.

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