Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Serendipity - The Camel’s Story

Serendipity – A miscellany of short stories | Fiction: Short Stories
by John Butler

Reincarnation! Surely, that was for Buddhists or Sikhs, or stupid women who think they might have been Cleopatra once. Not so, apparently! One minute I had been a man, then the heart-attack and now I was being considered for reincarnation. I was hopeful. Maybe I’d be sent back to earth as someone young, rich and handsome or a pop-star or a footballer. What the heck! I’d even settle for back as me…
“Stttttttttt,” the Thatcher look-alike, hissed out of the screen. She explained the system to me.
“All creatures move up or down in their next life according to how good or bad they have been.”
“Up or down?”
“Well for example, ‘down’ for a man would be a next life as one of the larger quadrupeds, say an antelope, bison, gazelle…that kind of thing.”
“I can see that but surely man is at the very pinnacle of the animal kingdom so I don’t quite see the other alternative. What is up? What could he possibly become that is better than being a man?”
“A WOMAN! you idiot!” She glared then continued … “

Friday, 24 April 2015

Chester to Chepstow - January 2006

Chester to Chepstow | Travel
by John Davies

There was an old man from Glamorgan
Who could not play a tune on the organ
So he got on his bike
And round Wales did hike
Till he returned once again to Glamorgan

Quite unexpectedly on a dreary January day my son, Ian, said to me, “Hey Dad, what about that bike ride you’ve been talking about? When are you going to do that?” Good question, when am I going to do it?
It’s something I’d thought about for many years, but other things kept getting in the way. It lodged in my mind though, so after a few days gestation I decided to start planning for it straight away. After all, at 57 years of age with the old knees playing up, if I left it any longer I’d probably never do it.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Gift Horse - Chapter One

Book Title: Gift Horse
Genre: Fiction / Romance
Author: Polly Morten

‘I don’t believe it.’ Sarah dropped the letter on the breakfast table, and the colour slowly drained from her rosy cheeks, leaving her freckles standing out like a splatter of cold tea across her snub nose.
‘What’s up sunshine?’ Paddy put down her spoon, pushed her fair hair out of her eyes, and looked up from her bowl of cornflakes. The expression on her cousin’s face was so strangely out of character, that, for a moment, she didn’t look like herself at all.
‘My sainted mother.’ Sarah’s voice hardened, and the black Labrador at her side put a sympathetic paw on her knee. Her hand automatically went to his head to knead the comforting silky velvet of his ears.
‘What about her?’

Friday, 17 April 2015

Two Dachshunds at Troy - Chapter One

Two Dachshunds at Troy | PETS
by Jeremy Lousada

This is a dog’s tale, or rather a tale of two dogs, small dogs. Those of you who keep and love pet giraffes, baby crocodiles and cats need read no further. Small dogs they may be, and perhaps like Pooh, of small brain, but few can have had such adventurous lives. They were almost certainly the first dogs ever to cross Europe by water from the North Sea to the Black Sea, they walked on the same stones the Turkish fleet was tied on before Lepanto, they chased baboons in Africa, hunted rabbits in the High Jura and lizards in the ruins of Troy. What they thought of it all we cannot be sure, communications were generally good but not perfect. In some cases, such as Rommel’s perplexity with sea water, the thought processes were obvious, in others the nuances of thought were beyond our communication levels and I have had to use some poetic licence. But let me start at the beginning.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Why I Dumped 2011 By The Side Of The Road

Book Title: A Vaporous Collection of Moments
Genre: FICTION/Short Stories
Author: Dominic Macchiaroli

2011 and I parted ways for the last time on New Year’s Eve. It was our one–year anniversary. I actually kicked her out of the car, left her by the side of the road. That sounds like a petty, petulant, childish act and it was, but I’d finally had enough. She was a tough year to get along with.
We met last January, awash in a swirling tide of fresh hope and new beginnings. At first I was attracted to her because she was an odd number. I saw her in passing a year ago, all young and modestly attractive. 2010 had had enough of me by then, and I was soon available. 2011 had already walked out of her way past my apartment a few times, given me the sultry eye, staring. I was smitten immediately. I loved everything about her initially. She was young, beautiful, funny smart, full of hope and slashing wit. But during the course of the year, those qualities peeled away like the rotting epidermis of an overcooked onion, although her looks never did.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Erections in the Far East: Chapter Five - THAILAND

Book Title: Erections in the Far East
Genre: Travel
Author: David Rowley

…The first job was frustrating in that I’d arrive at site and invariably there were tower parts and bolts
missing, or incorrect member sizes. The towers were supplied by a large Thai steel producer and we were well down the pecking order, merely building the towers for a smaller company. There was no interface with the steel conglomerate and when any problems arose our line of communication was with a middleman, who in turn would report to a larger company above, and so on. It was a long game of cat and mouse by the time we eventually received a complete tower. If we could have directly contacted the fabricator then it might have sped up the whole process, but we were only small fry. The main supplier gave out no contact details whatsoever, they’d probably had enough grief and criticism on previous jobs to know that hiding away was best. I wouldn’t have minded if the deadline hadn’t been so tight but we were supposed to perform miracles by building towers with parts missing. Looking back we should have just roped the whole lot together and inserted bamboo wherever parts were missing, and left them with it.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

The Longdon Murders - Chapter One

The Longdon Murders | Fiction: Crime Detective Mystery
by Julius Falconer

I hardly know where to begin with this story. One would naturally wish to begin at the beginning, but which beginning? Do you mean the very start of the affair, deep in the scheming villain’s heart, or the moment of my first involvement? The different starting-points would give you a different view of the case, and I am naturally anxious to present my best side. Let me, however, plunge medias in res without more ado, and we shall see where that leads us. By the way, my name is Wickfield, Stan Wickfield, of Worcestershire CID, and you may already be wondering why the egregious Mr Falconer is not talking to you as usual in my place.  It is a melancholy fact to which I have become reconciled that Falconer does not trust me to tell a story effectively. His argument is that I am an inspector of police, not a literary sophisticate, and that my stories lack style. However, I am fortunate, because he is laid up with a bad attack of housemaid’s knee or tennis elbow or some such distemper – too much vigorous exercise, but he would not be warned - and you know the adage: While the cat’s away …

Friday, 3 April 2015

Silver Eagle: Chapter Two - Earning Our Wings

Book Title: Silver Eagle - The Official Biography Of “Band Of Brothers” Veteran Clancy Lyall
Genre: Biography / Military history
Author: Ronald Ooms

First of all, I want you guys to understand that this is my recollection of the story. The events which I have seen through my eyes, from my actual position and from right within my squad. Someone else can sit a hundred yards away from where I am standing and he might probably tell you a whole different story. If one of them said he'd shot down an enemy plane with his side-arm for instance... well, he probably could have. I'm not the one who is going to deny it as I actually don't know about it. I wasn't where he was and he wasn't where I was. He could have. Why not? I can only tell you what happened in my squad. There are different sides of stories and this is the one I recall.
Going to the army was a whole new experience for me. I did not know the training was going to be that brutal. But they did that for a reason and one reason only, it was to get rid of those who couldn't take it you see. Once I found out about that I would rather die than drop out! And most of the guys thought the same way as I did! It was a weeding-out process, you know. It was some very hard training. I said it before and say it again, I was a farm boy. I was built as hard as a rock. And I could run for hours and hours. So the hard training didn't bother me so much really. But what really bothered me was doing those twenty-mile hikes with a full field pack and stuff like that on our shoulders. But it was for a good cause because it all paid off in the end. We did exercises like that every day and when we went overseas and into combat we did such things with ease. So that was pretty neat. They really got us ready to go, you know.