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I tell stories

100 words, or sometimes more

Free book!

There’s 3 books of these stories available on Amazon. Put your e-mail address in the box below and I’ll send you the first one for free, as a PDF.

Not only that, you’ll get new stories as I write them. That’s about one a week, at the moment.

And they’re more fun to find in your in-box than more ‘BUY MORE STUFF!’ messages too.


So I accidentally a story over the weekend. Didn’t entirely mean to, but did.

I’ve been working on another Arfa story. It started out as a story for St. Piran’s Day, which was back on March 5th AS YOU ALL KNOW. Also International Women’s Day, which was March 8th, because all the main characters turned out to be women. But what I thought was going to be another 500-750 word flash thing hit 3000 and kept going, so it’s not done yet.

Main takeaway so far: I am SO BAD at long-form writing now. I mean sweet holy Jesus. If ‘bad’ was measured in rocks I’d have at least half an Alp. Also kinda depressing that what I now consider ‘long-form’ most people would still think of as flash. What I need to do is keep writing despite the crapness, and then fix it later. But it will be fixed, and you will get it. Hopefully before St. Piran’s Day next year.

And then I thought up the first line of the story below, so I wrote that. It also turned out a bit longer than I thought it would. It’s about 1400 words, so I’d guess a 5-10 minute read. I’ve got my own thoughts on it, but I’d rather not prejudice you. Because now, DEAR READER, is where you come in :)

All thoughts appreciated. Especially ones that make it into the comment box below.

[click to continue…]

1 comment

Man Of Letters

So, been quiet for a while.

It’s not that I haven’t been writing – I’ve been writing a lot – the problem is that none of it’s been fiction.

Still, I was asked to do a story about the other saint associated with February 14th, and I’ve just about got it done in time. It’s a bit more than 100 words.

[click to continue…]


Holly and Ivy

Of all the trees in the forest, only these stayed green in the darkest days of winter. The sharp, stately holly. The ivy, curled around its trunk.

She took this walk every Christmas morning. This time, she startled a deer, and it bounded away in a burst of snow.

She wondered, what do you want for Christmas?

Then: what do I want, come to that. I never really know.

She snipped some holly twigs. Spiky leaves, rosy berries. Wrapped the bouquet with ivy.

Still green. In these darkest days, she could find Spring.

She thought: you know what? That’ll do.


Christmas Bells

Jacob Marley watched Scrooge’s chains melt away as the old man put right his years of misery.

But his own were still there, putting his old friend on the right path only good deed enough to remove a few of the clanking links.

This night, two minutes to Christmas, was when he felt most alone. With Scrooge no longer fated to join him, only the youngest of children would ever see him pass.

The bells began to strike for Christmas Day, and Jacob’s chains chimed through the streets. Maybe somewhere, he thought, one of those children thinks I’m Santa Claus.

[click to continue…]


She asked, what is it with you and 100 words?

The challenge, really. Most stories are about the words you use. These are about the ones you don’t.

And NaNoWriMo? 50,000 words in a month? That’s hardly not using words.

Still a challenge. People do it for the same reason.

What’s that?

Force themselves to actually write. The story in your head is never the one that appears on paper. Writing means making imperfect copies, taking your golden idea and turning it into lead. It’s hard.

So why do it?

I shrug. This isn’t about writing. It’s about having written.

[click to continue…]


These days, no-one bought the puppet-maker’s toys. But still his shelves were lined with wooden marionettes.

“Why do you do it?” I asked.

“Because once upon a time, an old man made a wish,” he said. “Y’know, when you’re young, you don’t understand age. You think it’s as tough as varnished wood. But flesh decays.”

He sighed.

“So many things I still want to do. But, old men have had wishes granted before.”

I looked at the marionettes, with their smooth, oiled joints. “You’d wish for a son?”

“Hah, no! I’d wish I’d never wanted to be a real boy.”


Nothing kills people like a war, and the war with the Irish had been long.

But now, it was almost done.

“It feels dirty,” Arfa said, leaning on the Tintagel battlements.

Merlyn nodded. “But you did well.”

“So many people dead. And suddenly it all stops because of a stupid marriage. At least it’ll be over once Tristan gets back.”

Merlyn arched an eyebrow. “You sent Tristan?”

“Yeah. Problem?”

“You sent a compulsive womaniser to spend weeks travelling with the renowned beauty who’s meant to marry his uncle.” Merlyn sighed. “No, can’t see anything going wrong with that at all.”

[click to continue…]


They called it the Money Pit, and there was rumour of great treasure at the bottom.

All other excavations ended in tragedy. The locals muttered that money was the root of all evil.

Whoever built it didn’t want us getting in, but we had better technology.

Explosives dealt with the giant granite plug. We found and sealed the flood tunnels before the water could reach our machines.

Finally, we broke into a great chamber. Around us, the air filled with sulphur. The walls began to echo with demonic laughter.

I’m starting to think us getting in wasn’t really their concern.


He switched off the hyperluminal drive and powered up the EarthScope.

“OK,” he said. “This is it.”

She looked out at the flat, endless nothing. They’d been travelling for days, left behind the whole galaxy, the whole cluster… for this.

“Daaaaaaad,” she said. “What are we doing here?”

“We’re 85 million light years from Earth,” he said. “And there’s some things you can only see when you’re this far away.”

“Emily’s dad took her to Saturn,” she grumbled.

He finished tweaking the dials, and beckoned her over. She looked through the EarthScope, and gasped. “Is that…?”

“Yep,” he said. “Dinosaurs.”


Searching for food, Magpie saw the fisherman pulling his haul onto Mousehole beach.

“Nice catch!” Magpie said. “How many you leaving for Bucca?”

“What you talking about, bird?”

“Bucca. God of storms. Got to leave him some fish, or he gets upset.”

At this, the fisherman got quite upset. “But… I’ve never left anything for Bucca!”


The fisherman shook his head.

“OK. How about, this time leave two fish.”

“Will that be enough?”

“Sure. Bucca can’t eat that much.”

“Should I do anything else?”

“Nah, just leave them there. And don’t turn around. Bucca don’t like to be watched.”