Friday, 19 June 2015

The Cottage in Melody Lane

Captain Damnation and other strange Tales | Fiction: Short stories
by Harry Riley

...We scoured the ‘houses for sale’ market, and spotted a glorious bargain in the village of Lower Crutchley, a period cottage, set in an acre of garden with unspoilt views over open countryside, plenty of room for Jimmy to play in safety.

The purchase went through like a dream and I asked the estate agent “how come it is so cheap?” He replied that the previous owner had died; the new owners had no wish to keep it, and wanted a quick sale.
Our new dwelling was really old, having been originally built two centuries earlier.
It was all ancient twisted beams and quaint doorways with an ingle-nook fireplace, the sort of cottage we’d dreamed about, but never expected to own.
After the excitement of moving in, we settled down to explore the house and garden properly and to plan the changes we would make.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

And so it began...

Same same, but different | Travel
by Sally Wootton

‘Mum, can I go to Greenland?’ I was just seventeen years old when I first got the travelling bug. I was at school, in the first year of my A-levels and had no real idea what I wanted to do with my life. I’d toyed with the idea of being a teacher when I was ten and liked to boss my sister around from the front of our pretend classroom and there was a time I thought I’d fancy being an architect, until I realised it required seven years of dedicated study. I’d never been further than the South   of France on holiday with my parents and that was quite exotic considering the years of caravanning on the Isle of Wight and Cornwall.
Then one day as I sat, a newly appointed sixth former looking out onto the rest of the school and listening to another boring assembly, something caught my attention.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Never Mind Where the Ball Went

Never Mind Where the Ball Went and Other Golf Stories | Hobbies / True Short Stories
by Forbes Abercrombie

Lessons are fun. It is always pleasant to enjoy the undivided attention of a professional for half an hour or so and there is the pleasure of doing what one is told and hitting the ball better for it.  But it is an intimidating moment when you go to a new pro for teaching.  You are required to demonstrate for critical review your swing to a person who is by definition much more of an expert at it than yourself.  The pro knows this and seeks to put you at ease.
“Have a practice swing or two and then play a shot with your favourite club, a 4-wood or a 7-iron perhaps.”
Unless he is very careful there is a faintly patronising air. One of two things will happen; infrequently the shot is perfect, rifling down the practice ground and falling lifeless by the target. This rather irritates the pro who cannot think why this super golfer is coming for help he plainly doesn’t need. The pro bustles forward.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

The Wichenford Court Murder - Chapter Two

The Wichenford Court Murder | Fiction: Crime Detective Mystery
by Julius Falconer

...‘This is madness,’ Constance said. ‘You’d never get away with it, for a start. And for another thing, how can you both sit here calmly discussing the murder of your own father and grandfather? It’s grotesque, that’s what it is.’ Ignoring his mother’s outburst, Fletcher continued.
‘I’ve come up with quite a few cases of murders on farms dressed up to look like accidents. Here’s one. In July 1648, at the height of the civil war, Sir Thomas Fairfax came to Ossett, near Wakefield in Yorkshire, to attack Thornhill Hall, which had been occupied and fortified by Royalists under Captain Thomas Paulden. He used the farm buildings adjacent to the hall as cover for his cannon, allowed some of the retainers to leave and then began to bombard the main house. All of a sudden, the Parliamentarian powder-store blew up and took not just the farm-buildings but the hall as well with it. It transpired later that one of his former farm-hands, frightened that Sir Henry Savile, the owner, would surrender and survive, deliberately threw a torch into the powder-store. There was some story of revenge for losing his job.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Boxed In

Short stories Volume 1 | Fiction: Short Stories
by Neal James

…All he had to ‘do’ was sit (or lie) it out in a comatose, death-like state six feet down waiting for his resurrection at the hands of his wife and a few friends with shovels. They would come, he was sure. They would have to fairly soon before he ran out of air in his normal revived state. Mustn’t panic – that would stimulate his respiratory system and use up the available air too quickly. His pulse was racing; he could hear it inside his head. Must slow that down – breathe slowly, calm down, they’ll be here soon.
Mandy, his wife, was the beneficiary named on the insurance policy and the payout was in excess of a million pounds. They had planned out to the last detail what they were going to do once he was free again from his current confined situation. Off would come his beard and moustache, and a radical haircut, together with contact lenses, would fool all but his closest friends and business acquaintances. He would then slip quietly away from the area and await Mandy’s arrival with the proceeds of their scam, together with the funds from the sale of their house, which had always been in her name. The company would fold, unsecured creditors being left to fend for themselves in the feeding frenzy, and the two of them would slip out of the country with the false documents he had been provided with by the friend of a friend of a friend. That was the plan.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Brook Breasting - Chapter Eight

Brook Breasting | FICTION: General
by John White

...David studied the river of juveniles flowing past him. The only time he could remember moving faster than a snail’s pace between lessons was when his next period was PE or football. For the most part, academia had passed him by without a glance. A year after leaving school, realising that all the future held for him was one dead end job after another, he signed on at Night School. It was something he would look back on as a moment of inspiration. Algebra, calculus, punctuation and grammar became subjects he not only began to understand, but looked forward to tackling. After that he changed tack completely and joined the army.

David found himself standing in front of the Headmaster’s door. He knocked, perhaps a little too loudly and was left feeling like a nervous first year sent by his Form Master for some misdemeanour.