Stories

I’ve had short stories and flash fiction published in anthologies in the Australia, the US and the UK including:

  •  Maggie’s Rat, in Eighty Nine (eMergent Publishing) (2011)
  • The Colour of Blood, in From Stage Door Shadows (eMergent Publishing) (2012)
  • Poisoned, in A Seers Guide to the Haunted Labyrinth (A Raven Above Press) (2012)
  • A Sticky End, in Eating My Words (National Flash Fiction Day and Gumbo Press) (2014)
  • The Blue House, in Landmarks (National Flash Fiction Day and Gumbo Press) (2015)
  • Roses for Sylvana, in One Hundred Voices, Vol 2, Centum Press (2017)

My short fiction has also been widely selected for publication in print and online in the US and the UK including, during 2017, The Ham, Idler, Story Shack, Paragraph Planet, With Painted Words, Sixteen, Brilliant Flash Fiction and Fictive Dream.

  • New story: The glue between, in the September 2017 issue of Flash Frontier
  • New story: I was wearing a sky blue frock, October 2017 in The Pygmy Giant
  • New story: Bees make honey, October 2017 in Foxglove Journal
  • New story: The Man Who Repaired Umbrellas on the Corner of Rue Briand, 2nd place in Dorset Fiction Award, November 2017
  • New story: Across the field, November 2017 in Ellipsis Zine

 

Here are two of my favourite mini-stories:

Baby

You’ll hurry into the market hall.  Held up by those fat people who waddle, clogging up the entrance, hardly making any forward progress. You’ll probably have to push past them. There’ll be one woman you remember. She’ll be slap bang in front of you with a baby buggy. Just stopped there.  You’ll notice her baby’s cry. Just like a cat. Poor brat, you’ll think.

You’ll buy marmalade oranges. And lemons. Then spend the afternoon boiling up the fruit. Making preserves. The kitchen all warm. Fuggy. You won’t be surprised that your cat’s not there. Your cat Baby. Because you know that cats hate the smell of oranges. And lemons.

Six o’clock is your cat’s supper time. Baby won’t be there. You’ll put dry biscuits in her bowl anyway. There’ll be ten glistening jars of marmalade on the kitchen table. Still warm. Sticky underneath. Maybe you’ll go out for supper.

The phone ringing will wake you in the night. You’ll answer it but there’ll be no-one there. Just a cat miaouing. You’ll go down to the kitchen, wanting a cup of tea.

You’ll find a baby eating cat biscuits in the middle of the kitchen floor. Its fat face will be smeared with sticky orange marmalade.  And you’ll wonder what that woman has done to your cat.

First published in Fractured West, Issue 2,  February 2011

 

Clown

He appears in front of me, between two blinks of an eye. I see his feet first. Clown’s feet in big shoes. They flap as he walks towards me. His white mouth stretches into a grimace and he holds out a hand. He’s shaking and I feel his fear. I take his hand and it’s stone cold. I want to say how cold it is and that I can give him gloves, but he shakes his head and glitter falls from his curly hair, falls onto his feet and onto my feet. And then we’re running together, hand in hand, his shoes slapping on the ground, and we dodge the people who turn and stare and – I’m glad about this – his hand is warming up.

We’ve run into the castle grounds and I know where he’ll be safe. I lead him there, my sad clown. I’m thinking about how I’ll cover him with dry leaves while I go and fetch a blanket. But he’s shaking his head again, he’s reading my thoughts and he waggles a finger back and forth. I want to say he needs a blanket, but he snuggles into the leaves and I can see that he doesn’t. I try to pull the gate closed but it’s so old and rusted it won’t budge. It’s getting dark now and I tell him I have to go home.

People are shouting in the streets but I ignore them. I go to bed but I can’t sleep. I’m thinking about my clown and about how cold his hand had been.

In the morning I go back. There are sticks, broken sticks thrown over the leaves. They look like broken bones. I blink and he’s standing there, just for a moment. Glitter lands on my shoes. I blink. He’s gone.

1st prizewinner in Zeroflash competition, November 2015