Tag Archives: #shortstory

Keeping A Light On. (Revisited).

Keeping A Light On. (Revisited).

Every evening, the little old man climbed to the top of the spiral staircase to light the lamp; staying there, thinking upon life, until the dawn’s early light rose. He slept, during the day, in a cot near the base of the lighthouse; eating the food that the kind folk from the village left him.

For forty years he had tended to the flame that shone out for the mariners’ safety; like his father, and his grandfather, before him.

The mariners, whose sea had receded ten miles beyond the old coast line many, many years ago.

Tipping the Balance

Tipping the Balance

The level playing-field tipped slightly towards one side, then slipped ever so gradually into an abandoned tin mine. All that could be seen, when you dared to look upon the crater, was a hole where a hole never used to be. A deep, dark hole with, not so unusually as it happens, a playing field in it.

The Realm of the WoodWitch.

The Realm of the WoodWitch

I was following a narrow pathway that I had found in the forest – i was of a mind that it may have found me. I had no idea where it was leading to…

… it seemed to be taking me deeper and deeper towards the hinterland, where the WoodWitch was said to preside over her mystical realm. Glancing back, It seemed that the pathway had been swept aside as I travelled it – I could not return by that route.

Scant were the stories known about the WoodWitch or her deeds, as few who ever came within her spell ever returned – of those that did, it was said that a madness was in their minds and a fear was upon their hearts. But rumours grew and tales of unknown veracity were quietly whispered in the dead of the night between the children of the village, especially when the Moon was at its fullest.

I remembered the words of my mother from that very morning:

‘Don’t wander in the forest; straight to the mill for flour and straightaways back!’

She was right to have warned me, I was wrong to have ignored her words – but, that was what children did.

Inevitably the village population was reduced by a few young ‘uns every now and then. Of those that were left it was only a matter of time before the woods called out to them.

The parents of the missing children mourned for a while; the villagers supported them through the process; then the village shrugged its shoulders and carried on. There was a constant understated sadness as the days, weeks and years passed by and the missing children didn’t return.

When a child did reappear – sometimes an adult by then – the loss was tempered by the changes effected upon them – the sadness became one of a different nature.

The Letter – #SoCS – Linda G Hill’s Saturday SoCS

Linda G Hill’s #SoCS: Post

SoCS prompt: ‘Post’ see here for details

“Post haste!” I called. To no one.

No one answered. This did not surprise me; but, what did, was the letter that appeared in front of me without any apparent means of having gotten there.

A plain white envelope, slightly faded to a parchmental alabaster- – as if the years had taunted its purity – with a name, address and stamp. The monarch’s profile was not of our present queen – maybe one of the previous Georges – and I was not expert enough to know roughly when it could have been sent. My best guess was pre-1950s.

Anyway, I was intrigued by the potential treasure inside the letter, and so I decided to open it, then paused. Should I? It wasn’t addressed to me. But, possession is ninety percent of something, so I could do so if I wanted to. Who was there to stop me apart from myself?

I hate it when I start asking myself questions. I have to then hold a discussion over the merits for and against any course of action. Indecisive. Yes, that’s what I am.

The back of the envelope was blank apart from a greasy stain where the flap met the mid-section, or whatever it’s called. Perhaps that was where the writer had sealed it with a kiss? Now I was reluctant to open the letter; a missive to a sweetheart was probably not written with the possibility of another’s eyes being the ones to read it. Perhaps I should try and see if there was anybody still alive of the addressee’s name in the area. It was not a common name. Perhaps they were writing to each other in the war? I could check online to see if any Valerie Sinclairs were to be found.

So, with that decision made, I put off opening the letter.

Maybe, I thought, this was the reason the letter had never been opened before.

Maybe it never would be.

(SoC in 14minutes 15seconds)

A Short Story

Once upon a time…

… there was a short story.

It wasn’t long at all;

and it wasn’t at all tall.

So short it was,

and set out so,

that it thought it was a poem;

but, it wasn’t.

It didn’t have much to say;

but, one day,

under the bluest of skies,

It left it’s home

and went off to seek fame and fortune.

Finding neither,

the short story settled down

with an extract from Coleridge’s Mariner,

and they lived happily ever after.

In Italy (#italiano)

… there was una ragazza, un lupo e una mela rosso. 

A Man Walks Into a Bar


From a prompt by Jane Goldsack

Prompt: Man walks into a bar

Arthur Deco walked into the Nineteen-Twenty bar in downtown Cityville; his need for a strong drink overriding his desire to get home.
Arthur walked up to the bar and ordered a neat double- malt bourbon and a Copycat to follow.

“A ‘Copycat,’ sir? What’s one of those?” asked the slim and anxious-looking bartender.

“A ‘Copycat’ means the same again. You just keep ’em comin’ – when I tell you to stop… ‘then’ you can just close the shop up for me.”

“Does that mean I can ‘stop’ serving you? You sure make it hard for a man to unnerstan’ what you are sayin’ mister!”

“Just you pour the drinks into my glass and I’ll relocate them down my throat. It’s that simple.”

The bartender / customer relationship worked well after this, as all conversation was muted and both sides kept to their tasks.

Eventually, Arthur positioned his hand over his empty glass.

“All done?” asked the bartender, just to confirm Arthur’s signal.

Arthur nodded.

Taking his wallet from inside his jacket, Arthur released two big bills to momentary freedom on the bar. The bartender rounded them up and rehomed them in seconds, and Arthur nodded his thanks before leaving.

Back in his auto, Arthur started the engine and drove off toward his home.

Drink-driving is a bad, bad thing; but, Arthur was as uncaring about that as he was about the parking ticket under his wiper.

Since his wife and daughter had been killed by a drunk-driver two months ago, Arthur had been on a path to disaster with only one outcome.

The man in the boot was the clown that had killed his loved ones; now, ‘he’ was about to meet a grizzly death.

The pounding from behind him was growing in intensity as Arthur coaxed a bit more MPH out of the old gal -they were doing nearly 90 when they didn’t make the turn on I48.

Arthur was soon reunited with his loved ones.

Sometimes Life throws you a handgrenade; sometimes it has a pin in it.

The Returning of Library Books

Mary CelesteThe-Bermuda-TriangleBiggles

Delilah Badger walked into the library.

Excuse me…!”

There was nobody in sight.

Is there anybody there?”

She waited for perhaps ten seconds (actually seven) and repeated her query, but with an emphasis on the word ‘anybody.’

Is there ‘anybody’ there?”


Delilah walked over to the ‘Staff Only’ sign-encumbered door and knocked briskly three times upon its imposing façade.

The door could have been the entrance to an Egyptian tomb; it was as solid as a cliff face – and particularly uninviting.

Delilah tried the door handle. It turned. She pushed. It gave. Then swung open with all the grace and style of a ballerina (supposedly to allow a book-toting librarian easy access). Delilah entered the room beyond.

There was a sturdy Librarian’s mug on the coffee table, with steam curling up decorously from within it; a side-plate, with a partially eaten Rich Tea biscuit upon it, to the side. For a library staff room – it was certainly lacking something – librarians, for a start.

Having ascertained that there were no exits from here, Delilah returned to the main library itself. Still nobody in sight.

Is there ‘ANYBODY’ at all, of any shape or size, in this LIBRARY!” shouted Delilah, flagrantly ignoring the ‘SILENCE’ signs that were dotted every six feet along the walls; being presided over by the master of the ‘SILENCE’ sign, located above the main desk; which had daubed upon the hanging sign, letters twelve inches high ‘quoting the inimitable: ‘SILENCE, Please!’

Delilah sighed; popped her bag open and took out the three books from within. She placed them upon the counter. They sat there, silently – well behaved books, they were.

Delilah wrote a quick note upon an ‘overdue’ slip of paper and popped it into the front of the top book; which, ironically, was ‘The Story of the “Marie Celeste” ‘ (with 35 illustrations) by Charles Edey Fay.

Delilah Badger left the library and was never seen again.