Thursday, 21 June 2018

A Time to Prey - Chapter 2

A Time to Prey | Crime Detective Mystery
by Julius Falconer

When news of the bishop’s death came through, Sergeant Hewitt and I drove out post haste to Hartlebury Castle to begin our investigation.  It was a cool autumn morning with the promise of some warmth later on as the mists cleared. The ten-mile journey on the A449 was pleasant if unexciting. Bevere Lane, Egg Lane, Lock Lane, Sinton Lane and other country roads tempted us to diverge from our chosen path of official business, but Hewitt drove determinedly on until we drew up at the front of the castle. We had hardly had time to get our bearings and admire the architecture, which I had not seen before, when a tall, lanky clergyman, doleful of countenance, stepped out to meet us.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

The Assembly Room - Chapter One

The Assembly Room | Fiction: Children/YA, Historical, Paranormal
by Bryony Allen

Looking back, Merryn wished she had trusted her instincts when she first saw The Assembly Room. She should have yelled at her father to turn round and take them back to their miserable rented house, in the most miserable estate in town, back to her miserable school. She should have told him that she could cope with her damp, tiny bedroom and the booming of music rattling pictures off her wall. She should have said that she could put up with the rubbish teachers who had given up on the idea of discipline, the gangs of children that had more power than the teachers and the universal mockery of her ambition to be a teacher.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Call Me Valentine

Call Me Valentine | Biography / History
by Derek Rosser

I was nine and a half years old when, on my way home from school, I read the news in large letters on a billboard:
“GERMANS INVADE DANZIG”.
I hurried home to find my parents listening to the radio with worried expressions on their faces. I thought it was all very exciting but, of course, a nine year old could not appreciate what was to come.
We all listened to Mr Chamberlain’s broadcast on September 3rd 1939 telling us that we were now at war with Germany. The papers were full of it. A British Expeditionary Force had been despatched to France and would support the French army in the defence of the Maginot line. The Germans meanwhile were mopping up the Polish cavalry and took about six weeks to reach the North Sea coast and turn their attention onto the French. The construction of the Maginot line proved to be a waste of money and effort since the Germans went around it by way of Belgium and the Netherlands.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Troubled Waters - Chapter One

Troubled Waters | Crime Detective Mystery
by Julius Falconer

‘With fearful steps pursuing
Hopes of high talk with the departed.’
Percy Bysshe SHELLEY
Hymn to Intellectual Beauty lines 51-52

Nothing was established from the early facts, although these were reconstituted in finest detail, except that the discovery made by the owners of the Hounslow Heath was difficult to explain. That Sunday – 2 August 1964 – it had started to rain heavily in the afternoon, and it was still raining. There were a number of boats in the pound above lock 38: two narrow-boats going down-stream, a cruiser and a wooden barge-cum-butty going upstream. A little after nine-thirty, as night was closing in under a leaden sky, a metal barge announced its arrival and entered the pound. The lock-keeper was none too helpful, as he had relatives visiting. With a wagging of his index-finger, he indicated that he would not open the gates. He had hardly gone back indoors when the skipper, whom he knew, knocked on his window.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

IN THE BEGINNING

No Cousin of Mine | Historical / Military
by Derek Smith

The young man sat with his back to the engine of a train heading north from a large midland city. As he had waited on the platform, he had been sure that he would not have been the only one from a city with a population of over a million to be making the same journey that day to the same destination, and confidently expected to see others of about his age waiting for the same train.  Like him, they would have been told that they were to bring only a holdall or a small case containing just a change of underwear and basic toiletries. He had seen no one of this description who appeared to be making the same journey, and so he was now travelling alone in an otherwise empty compartment.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

They’re all foreigners abroad - A

They’re all foreigners abroad | Travel / Humour
by Stuart Wright

A
A bargain holiday
Mr. and Mrs. ‘We got a real bargain holiday’ get right up my nostrils. Within a few hours of arriving at your hotel, I can almost guarantee that a couple will verbally force themselves upon you because they are dying to ask you how much you paid for your holiday. The reason for this is that they waited until the very last minute before booking theirs over the Internet or on Teletext. It’s as if they go out of their way to really naff you off. You paid over a thousand pounds for your two weeks holiday in the four star hotel, but they can’t wait to tell everyone that they only paid three hundred and fifty pounds. When they landed at the airport they didn’t have a clue which hotel they would get, but they struck lucky and got your very nice four star.
Never mind; there’s always next year and let’s hope they get put into a dustbin!

Friday, 24 November 2017

Forbidden - Prologue

Forbidden | Fiction / Historical
by Victoria Hinton


A click! It echoed loudly through the dark corridor of the great house. Her door was locked once again; for how long, no one knew. This time it was worse. Her husband’s rage had terrified every living soul in that house. Their small son sat under his bed, his hands over his ears, but it didn’t block out his father’s shouting or the sound of his fists hitting his mother. To this child, however, what he heard and sometimes saw was normal. His father had told him over and over his mother deserved it; surely what he had done was justified.
This time Mrs Geraldine Lockland had been with child. Six months into her pregnancy. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that the child was now lost. When she had carried her first child, her son, Jonathan, Mr Albert Lockland had not laid a hand upon his wife. Those nine months were the longest Geraldine had ever gone without being beaten. Everyone prayed and hoped it would be the same this time, with her second pregnancy. She had been looking so well, the child was growing strong inside her and Albert had, up until that night, left his wife alone.