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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.

Johnny was a wanderer
Johnny was a priest
And on the nights the moon came out
Johnny was a beast

He never told his doting flock
But still they found out
And on that night the Midnight Mass
Became a Midnight Rout

They chased him from his pulpit
In a charging mass of white
Forced into the woodland
Hidden from their sight

His flock returned to grazing
The clover and the grass
And Johnny still a-wanders
Welcome as a broken glass

His sermons go unanswered
No-one listens, no-one can
Johnny always was a wolf
Who dreamed of being a man


The NeuroCinemaDrive, powered by the brainwaves of 100 telekinetics, was a great success, until someone put a copy of Big Brother 57 in a case marked Blackadder Season 1.

What should have been a speed of ‘something more interesting’s happening over there’ became ‘anywhere but here’, and now the starship was off the map.

“So where are we?” the Captain asked.

“I don’t know,” the Navigation Officer said. “The whole point of ‘anywhere but here’ being that ‘here’ is very small and ‘anywhere’ is very large.”

“Fine.” The Captain tapped the console. “Computer, display Netflix. We have work to do.”

[click to continue…]


Victor Frankenstein was unusually distracted at Bridge Night.

“Come on, old chap,” von Stranglehoff said, eventually. “Vhat’s up?”

And so Frankenstein told the whole story. The Creature. How his elation turned to disgust when he saw the yellow eyes, the skin stretched tight over muscle and blood.

Von Stranglehoff paused.

“So… you make life. You reanimate ze dead. You succeed vhere everyone but ze Almighty has failed… and you are complaining because it does not look like Scarlett Johannsen?”

Frankenstein threw down his cards and stormed out. Professor Vortechs looked at the vacant seat. “Do you think it knows ACOL?”

[click to continue…]


I first saw the yacht with red sails heading west, the day my father drowned.

He always was a keen boatman, though he’d been stolen by a riptide while trying to save Jess. The collie had swum too far out.

In his memory, I took up boating, and found why he loved it. Solitude, in a world of seven billion.

But solitude has a price. And now I pay it, dehydrated, sunburnt, my boat impaled on hidden rocks.

Coming from the east, I see the yacht with red sails. And I already know its captain, Jess sitting at his feet.


“You shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.”

“They’ve not complained yet.” Merlyn rapped her staff on a cypress. “Lucius Verus is buried here. Ruled the Old Empire for years, now feeds a tree.”

Arfa shivered. The island was warm, but her bones felt wrapped in fog.

“I don’t like it here.”

“So what’s the lesson?”

Arfa thought. “Kings,” she said. “You’ve shown me kings. Whatever they did, they ended up here.”

“Memento Mori. Well done.”

“Merlyn… are you going to make me come back here?”

Merlyn stopped. “No,” she murmured. “Not for a long time.”


“Nothing. Let’s go home.”

[click to continue…]


It was Alex’s seventeenth visit to the Hall Of Memories, and the ticket-taker nodded a greeting as he went in.

Above each door, he read the lost memory inside. ‘That cute girl who smiled at you on the tube.’ ‘The ‘lion’ joke everyone laughed at.’

Good ones, of course. You remembered embarrassing stuff far longer.

That was why most people came here. To be reminded of things going well.

But not him. He was looking for a door crowned by just one word.

Sarah. When he saw that, he’d know she was finally gone. Then, he could stop coming back.

[click to continue…]


Gabriel gave the box a kick, and spat some words angels probably shouldn’t know.

“So…” Michael said, behind him, “what exactly is a duckbeezle?”

“About two letters different from what I said,” Gabriel snapped. “And seven levels of Gomorrah removed from what this thing deserves.”

“What is it?”

“The universe. And it was fine. The planets spun, light moved, gravity did whatever damn fool thing gravity does. And now it’s just stopped.”

Michael peered into the void. “Yeah, you’ve got entropy. Happens to every universe after a while.”

“How do I fix it?”

“Easy. Turn it off and on again.”


The snow crunched under her boots as she crested the ridge. Up here was what she lived for – a sky clear as meltwater and air that rang like a bell.

She’d always aimed for the sky. When her friends climbed trees, she climbed higher. When others sunbathed, she scaled cliffs. Her workmates holidayed in Majorca, she went to the Alps.

And all her work, all her training, had led her here. The highest person for thousands of miles.

Above her, she saw the speck of an aeroplane, exhaust cutting a gash across the sky.

“Bastards,” she sighed, and climbed down.


For her final wish, Emily switched off irony, and thereby kicked away the social crutches from four million hipsters.

Unable to claim they liked things ironically, they were forced to admit that when they bounced around to Taylor Swift, it was due to a passionate love of girlie pop, not a comment on society’s overt commercialism.

And now they could be honest with each other about their feelings on the zeitgeist, they became happier than any generation has ever been.

Emily was somewhat dismayed, since she’d been hoping to troll an entire subculture.

“The irony,” she growled, “is not lost.”


“This place has always been divided,” my aunt said.

I was in Friedrichstrasse Station, come to help her research the old Stasi archives for a book.

“Not for a while now,” I said.

“You think?” She gestured with her stick. “Look. No cameras. Because we remember who put cameras here.”

“The wall came down years ago.”

“No it didn’t.” She sat down. Seemed older, somehow. “In the archives, I found reports. My handwriting. Information I sent them. I don’t remember that. But they’re there. I collaborated, and I don’t… won’t remember.” She shook her head. “Some walls never come down.”


This story was inspired by Christa Wolf, who really did find out, several years later, that she’d been a Stasi informer.

And you can find out more about that here.