The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough | Book Review

My copy of The Thorn Birds used to belong to my grandparents. It’s a hardback and missing its dust jacket, and other than the title and the author’s name printed on the spine, I knew absolutely nothing about it before reading it – not the blurb, not the genre, not a single thing. I’d never heard of it before. It was an unknown adventure in reading.

If I’d have looked the book up on Goodreads before I delved into it, I probably would never have started it. Apparently, The Thorn Birds is a sweeping romance novel that documents the lives of an Australian family over the course of three generations. Meh, boring – that doesn’t sound like my cup of tea at all. But oh, how wrong I was. I loved it!

This book is a soap opera. It’s got family feuds, long-hidden secrets, dreamy romance, saucy sex scenes, gruesome deaths, the horrors of war, natural disasters, handsome priests, beautiful women, and plenty of scandal. Continue reading “The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough | Book Review”

A Character | Microfiction

The Lost Property office was manned by a bloke that some called “a character.” The less polite simply referred to him as “an arsehole.”

‘Not seen any legs round here,’ he said with a shrug to the worried face in front of him. ‘Sorry.’ Continue reading “A Character | Microfiction”

The Nail Reader | Microfiction

“Let’s see them, then,” Simon demanded with a grin as he took up his seat at his desk.

Isla turned to look at him with tears in her eyes.

It was the same old Monday morning ritual, and it was the one thing that made Simon’s Mondays just a little bit more cheerful. Continue reading “The Nail Reader | Microfiction”

Where Monsters Lurk | Short Story

The monster leers at me with dull, sunken eyes, its mouth agape and spittle smeared across its chin.

Its grey skin is plagued with more yellowing warts than unusual. Its long hair is lanker, greasier, and more dishevelled. I’m sure its hooked nose is more crooked than I’ve ever seen it before.

It’s the last thing I want to look at first thing in a morning, but it can’t be avoided. It took up residence in my bedroom years ago; it’s almost part of the furniture.

I turn away, sick to my stomach, and retrieve my day’s outfit from the wardrobe. Black trousers. Loose grey t-shirt. Black, fine-knit cardigan. Black ankle boots. As close as I can get to an invisibility cloak.

I run a brush through my hair and that’s that — I’m ready. I don’t bother with makeup. Couldn’t bear it.

In the bathroom, I brush my teeth while avoiding eye contact with the monster that lurks in there. It’s a little smaller than the one in the bedroom and easier to ignore if I concentrate hard enough.

There have been times when curiosity has got the better of me and I’ve snatched a glance at it. The shortest of glimpses of its repulsive flesh under the harsh bathroom spotlights — its skin pale and thin enough that I can see the blood pulsing through the veins beneath it — is enough to make me retch…

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Bananas | Flash Fiction

Every day at 12.45pm sharp, a middle-aged woman drops into the supermarket to purchase 18 bananas.

She’s done the same for five years. Monday through Sunday, she carefully chooses 18 perfectly ripe bananas, takes them to the checkout, packs them into her reusable carrier bag, pays, and leaves. There’s never anything else on her shopping list, it seems. It’s all about the bananas. Continue reading “Bananas | Flash Fiction”

Is He Dead? | Flash Fiction

Why won’t he text? Is he dead?

No, don’t be so stupid. He’ll have just forgotten.

That’s nice, isn’t it? Forgotten the love of his life. I must mean an awful lot to him if he can’t even be bothered to spend 3 seconds texting me.

Seriously, though, why would he forget me? Shouldn’t I be on his mind every second of every day like he is on mine? Continue reading “Is He Dead? | Flash Fiction”

Concealed: A Compilation of Short Fiction by V.P. Grey | Book Review

If you’ve ever struggled with your mental health, or you’ve known somebody who has, the short stories in Concealed will no doubt resonate with you in an incredibly powerful way. If you haven’t, you can treat Concealed as a window into the minds of those who battle with mental illness. Continue reading “Concealed: A Compilation of Short Fiction by V.P. Grey | Book Review”

A Visit from Self Doubt | Blog

Here I am, living my life, maintaining a routine, going about my day to day as best as I can, when the old bastard turns up and ruins everything.

He doesn’t even knock first. He just walks right into my house, marches up the stairs, wanders into my spare bedroom where my little desk is set up, and glares at me until I cry. Continue reading “A Visit from Self Doubt | Blog”

Sound Investment | Microfiction

“I didn’t know you played piano,” she said, eyeing the ramshackle home music studio.

He shrugged. “I dabble.”

“Play something?” Continue reading “Sound Investment | Microfiction”

The Heat Wave | Microfiction

The heat wave wafted across Great Britain and melted everything in its path.

Buildings sagged. Trees wilted. Cats puddled. Humans grew sticky and stretchy like warm gum. Tarmac and asphalt grew soft enough that cars sank and became stranded in the middle of the motorway. Continue reading “The Heat Wave | Microfiction”