Part of Something | Short Story

Three strangers cling together, grubby, weak, and utterly terrified of the knives and guns and nail-ridden planks of wood that surround them.

“You’ll hand over everything you’ve got in exchange for safe passage through the valley.” Cain picks at his fingernails with the tip of his hunting knife. “Two of our own will escort you. They’ll leave you to continue your journey on the other side.”

One of the strangers shakes his head. “You can’t take everything. We need it to survive.” Continue reading “Part of Something | Short Story”

Tiny Explosion. Big Leak | Microfiction

This week’s silly, stupid stories from Instagram and Twitter.

 

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Continue reading “Tiny Explosion. Big Leak | Microfiction”

The Last Cig in the Packet | Short Story

I wrote this story nine months ago and put off publishing it in case it was too morbid or doleful. It’s certainly a lot different to the silly, whimsy fiction I tend to post. I was also scared of sharing too much of myself. This story is fictional, but it is inspired by own experiences with depression, self-harm and suicidal ideation. It’s Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK right now. I figured that sharing fiction like this might help in one way or another.

Ask for help. Lean on your loved ones. Don’t be too proud to admit when things are getting too difficult.


‘What are things like at home?’

I think of the thick layer of dust that sits on every surface in my living room, the unopened mail which carpets my hallway and the stacks of dirty mugs in my kitchen sink.

I shrug. ‘Fine.’

‘Do you live alone?’

I nod.

Dr Taylor looks away from his computer screen. ‘And how do you find that?’

I shrug again. I’ve lost count of how many shrugs I’ve given him over the course of the past five minutes. ‘Fine.’

‘What about when you need support? Who can you turn to?’

Another shrug. ‘My mum, I guess.’

‘Does she live nearby?’

I nod.

‘You see her often?’

I nod.

‘Does she know about the self-harm?’

My hand automatically moves to my forearm so that my fingers can poke at the fresh wound which lives there. It’s just beginning to crust over. The stab of soreness calms me. I’m looking forward to the inevitable sting that will occur later when I peel away the fabric from sticky, angry flesh.

‘Yes,’ I say.

‘So if you were in crisis you could go to your Mum’s house?’

‘I s’pose.’

‘And do you?’

Course not. When I’m in crisis I wallow in it.

‘Sometimes,’ I say.

‘Good. So your mum is an important part of your support network. I’ll make a note of that.’ He turns back to his computer screen and taps away at his keyboard.

I look at the beige walls of the bland office and wonder how Dr Taylor himself isn’t stir fucking crazy.

Continue reading on Medium >

Genre-Busted Fiction | Microfiction

The corpse, stretched out on its back on the kitchen floor, twitched.

“Seeing things,” said the detective, rubbing at weary eyes. She turned away to examine the pattern of blood spatters on the tiled walls.

When she turned back the corpse was sitting upright.

Continue reading at One Minute Wit >

War | Flash Fiction

“Sir? We’ve just received intel that suggests the enemy will be conducting a major strike at any moment.”

“What kind of strike?”

“Like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Sort of a… complete elimination, I suppose. The destruction of everything we’ve ever known.”

“Will you stop blabbering and get to the point. What are they planning?”

“They’re going to remove the carpets, sir.” Continue reading “War | Flash Fiction”

Remorse | Microfiction

The bandage had been wrapped around Catherine’s hand for three weeks.

“Come on, love,” said Mum. “Take it off, eh? You don’t need it anymore.”

“Yes I do.”

“It must be all healed up by now.”

“Maybe. But there’ll be a scar.”

“Is that what you’re worried about? Because everybody has scars, love. Nobody will bat an eye.”

She will.”

Continue reading on Medium >

Sucker! | Short Story

Her chest heaves as she looks at the photograph of days long gone. Her and her big brother, eight and ten years old, throwing sand at each other on Brighton beach. A snapshot of childhood, back when summers seemed to stretch out for years rather than months, giving them hours upon hours of play and playfights to indulge in.

“Alright, love?”

She jumps at the sound of her husband’s voice and the photo frame slips from her hands and lands with a crack on the edge of the hearth.

“Fuck!”

“It’s alright, I’m sure it’s fine.”

She retrieves the frame, leaving chunks of smashed glass behind on the floor. “Fuck, fuck, fuck.” The tears fall fast.

“Hey, it’s okay. We can replace the frame easy enough, can’t we?” He takes the frame from her, swiftly removes the backing and hands her the photograph. “There’s something written on the back of that.”

The world seems to slow down around her. It’s like a spider has wandered across the page, its legs covered in ink. Her brother’s unmistakable scruffy handwriting.

Alright, knobhead! I KNEW you’d drop this frame. You’re so predictable. And stupidly clumsy.

Don’t feel too bad, the glass was already cracked. And it was 99p from Asda — you know me, I love a bargain.

Now, it’s time for a good old-fashioned TREASURE HUNT!

Continue reading on Medium >

Lucky | Microfiction

“What do you want for your birthday, Mum?”

“Oh, nothing! Don’t waste your money on me, pet.”

“I’m a millionaire, Mum. Let me spoil you!”

“I have everything I could ever need.”

“But what about something you want?” Continue reading “Lucky | Microfiction”

Cheesy Git | Flash Fiction

Every single soul who sampled it said that Fool’s Gold Cheddar was the best cheese they’d ever had. And Keith had created it all by himself, at home one rainy Sunday afternoon. He couldn’t be more proud of himself.

Now, it’s set to be stocked in delicatessens, farm shops and supermarkets right across the county. He takes in the audience that stands before him and beams. They’re looking at him like he’s a genius. He’s the hallowed cheese magician, creator of the smoothest, creamiest, tangiest cheddar that has ever passed their lips.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” he begins. “Thank you so much for coming to our launch party this evening. This is a huge deal for me. I went from a bored and boring old banker, stuck in a 9-to-5 job that I despised. And now I’m my own boss doing something I absolutely love. I couldn’t be more grateful for all the support you’ve given me over the past year.

“Now, lots of people ask me, ‘What’s the secret to Fool’s Gold Cheddar? How do you make it so tangy? What is it that gives it that unique, sharp flavour?’ Well, I’m going to reveal my secret to you tonight, ladies and gents.”

Continue reading on Medium >

Pep Talk | Flash Fiction

I look in the mirror and grimace. Deep bags under my eyes. Pimples on my chin. Eyebrows in dire need of a pluck.

“Gross,” I whisper to myself.

“Who the hell are you calling gross?” I say back.

It’s me, talking back to me. My reflection is moving of its own accord and it’s talking to me. Continue reading “Pep Talk | Flash Fiction”