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Today Is Going To Be A Great Day

“Today is going to be a great day,” said the little boy Whose mother unexpectedly opened her eyes Today is going to be a great day, smiled the old man As the pain in his hands stopped for a time Today is going to be a great day, laughed the young mum As she picked up the money from the street Today is going to … Continue reading Today Is Going To Be A Great Day

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I Am So Proud Of You

  I am so proud of you, In so many ways, Proud of every sinew in your strained body, Proud, that even with a fractured heart, You can still stand and smile, Still look the world Straight in the face. I am so proud of you, For although you ached for love yourself, You gave yours away to those who needed it, Proud that when … Continue reading I Am So Proud Of You

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My Favourite Thought

You are my favourite thought, favourite smile, favourite life, You’re my first thing in the morning and my last thing at night, When I speak to other souls, it is you in my head, I long for you beside me, I dream of you in bed.   You are my favourite thought, favourite day, favourite night, When I stumble through darkness, you carry the light … Continue reading My Favourite Thought

How Could You Be Anything Other Than Beautiful?

So you’re not as thin, nor as fat as you wanted to be, Or as tall, or as short, or with a little more hair, You’re not as clever or wise as they said that you were, Or have looks that have people chasing you there. And you’re not that great person with so many friends, Or as famous or rich as you dreamed life … Continue reading How Could You Be Anything Other Than Beautiful?

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Painted Love

When the flowers had all but disappeared from Clare’s garden, she had replaced them by painting roses and daffodils on a brick wall at the rear of her flower bed. There would be no beautiful smells welcoming a visitor as they walked up her path, but then there hadn’t been any visitors in such a long time – at least not since that peculiar day. … Continue reading Painted Love

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Just ‘Cause You’re Breathing Doesn’t Mean You’re Alive

Just ‘cause you’re breathing, Doesn’t mean you’re alive, Just ‘cause you’re clever, Doesn’t mean that you’re wise, Just ‘cause you’ve faith, Doesn’t mean that you’re kind, Because you can see, Doesn’t mean you’re not blind. Just ‘cause you’re loving, Doesn’t mean you know love, And by sitting in church, You don’t speak for Above, Just ‘cause you’re hurting, Doesn’t make you unique, And because you … Continue reading Just ‘Cause You’re Breathing Doesn’t Mean You’re Alive

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A Brilliant Life

(I am happy to inform you that your piece, ‘A Brilliant Life’, has been selected for a community reading group project at the University of Northampton. ‘A Brilliant Life’ will not be sold and will be used for educational purposes only, but — as you hold the copyright to your stories — it is up to you to give permission for its use. If you … Continue reading A Brilliant Life

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Ronnie (Feb 12th)

I guess you never really know when your own will start but in hindsight I know his began on February the 11th at 10.23pm. 86,400 Ronnie was 19 and clever. He had worked hard to get to college and study a subject he loved – chemistry. Now I know what some of you may be thinking but that was what set Ronnie’s pulse racing. It was … Continue reading Ronnie (Feb 12th)

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Peter Rabbit

He remembers one night – when Peter was about twelve summers old – that he and his best friend were sitting in the light of the dusk, puffing a found cigarette butt and talking about love. Peter’s pal was excited about the prospect of kissing a girl – a human girl – and although Peter went along with the conversation, he couldn’t stop himself feeling … Continue reading Peter Rabbit

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The Ice Ghosts

  based on a true story  She could taste the sea on her lips as she drove her Hudson Super Six towards Summertown, Nova Scotia on a day that only God could have made. Amy and Ben, her grandchildren, whooped and hollered as they stood on the automobile’s back seat, arms flapping wildly in the wind. “We’re eagles, Grandma, look we’re flying” “No, we ain’t” … Continue reading The Ice Ghosts

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Amy and Hector

There are two people in this story – as well as Hector. Hector’s the elephant. The little girl is Amy, and her granddad is the other fellow. From the moment she could walk Amy took Hector everywhere – after all he was a real elephant and wasn’t he Amy’s best friend in the whole wide world? So why wouldn’t you? Amy loved Hector and Hector … Continue reading Amy and Hector

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Enough Sunshine For Everyone

That summer, that sultry humid one, in ’46 was the hottest on record. She still remembers it. How could she ever forget? From her apartment window on the first floor she could view most of the comings and goings for a block. And she never got bored. Never.  There was always the odd soldier returning home from the war overseas. Those kids in khaki would … Continue reading Enough Sunshine For Everyone

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Be Different

Story written for a charity. Every one of us is made just that little bit different to the next person. It’s what makes us all special. Sometimes we are happy with our little special differences and sometimes it can make someone unhappy. And so it was with Tommy. Since the day he was born he had what the doctor called, a cleft lip. When he … Continue reading Be Different

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Grandpa is An Alien

If you asked the Melt family in public where they came from, then they’d always answer with: ‘Why, Churchill Avenue of course, next to the school.’ But in private, the Melt family knew that they were from another place – 52,000 light years away to be exact. At least that is what Grandpa Melt had told them before he got arrested. The truth of the … Continue reading Grandpa is An Alien

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1966 – A Summer Breeze

Tommy was tired of waiting for his life to start. He had given it more than enough chances in his nineteen short years, thank you very much, and still there was nothing to get excited about. So Tommy thought he might as well begin his life without any help from anyone. His current dream was to watch the World Cup football final at Wembley and … Continue reading 1966 – A Summer Breeze

The Disappearance of Esther

The wind couldn’t decide which way it was going that day, neither could she. Esther had only just got herself the way she liked (the way the boys liked) when she stepped out through the door, and a gust of Sheeba desert sand blew in her eyes. “Ma eyes, Mama, they’re stinging. They’re hurtin’ so bad.” And then she flapped her hands like she was … Continue reading The Disappearance of Esther

Zoot & Sandy and the Birds

  As always, Sandy the elephant and Zoot the dog were the best of pals in the whole wide world and were sitting by the river. “Them things in the sky,” said Zoot. “The birds?” Asked Sandy. “Yup, the birds, do you think they are happy?” “I guess so,” said Sandy. “Why wouldn’t they be?” “I wish I could fly,” said Zoot. Sandy smiled to … Continue reading Zoot & Sandy and the Birds

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Dirty River Mansions: Jeremiah’s Story

His house was the furthest from the river and it did Jeremiah good to know it was so. “I hate the water, hate the water, hate, hate, hate, the water,” was his little song that no one ever paid any attention to. It was also obvious was that when you brushed close to Jeremiah that he also did not like soap. But he had the … Continue reading Dirty River Mansions: Jeremiah’s Story

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The Man From Montana

It was on a mild Spring Thursday morning when it happened. No church bells, or fireworks, or even a spontaneous applause marked the occasion; for on that Thursday, at 9.24am, the last book that had been read was closed for the very last time. It’s not as if anyone could have failed to see it coming. For years people had read their stories on little … Continue reading The Man From Montana

The Girl In The Corner

Once upon a time she had been called Chiquitta, and once upon a time there had been a family in the house. But they had gone now, and she had felt a little comforted knowing that she wasn’t the only one in her position. It wasn’t that she was unloved, if something like her had ever been loved, it was just that it had come … Continue reading The Girl In The Corner

A True Story That Hasn’t Happened Yet

  Friday 10th July Maybe I should start at the very beginning then perhaps if someone finds this, it will all make more sense. That is, if what has just happened can make sense – to anyone.  I live (lived) in a beautiful village in the south-east of England. I don’t want to be any more exact than that, just in case they find this. … Continue reading A True Story That Hasn’t Happened Yet

Sara: The Woman Who Told Stories

She felt that she had never set the world on fire; unlike the politicians who had managed just that. No, what she had achieved, what Sara had achieved, was to light little fires in the eyes and souls of the people she would meet. The world had gone from blues and greens and whites and yellows, to the darkest black. Darker than the hearts of … Continue reading Sara: The Woman Who Told Stories

The Proof of God

He could do nothing but stare at the paper. Then he re-checked it and checked it again. He was trembling. I mean really shaking. The way you dreamed of something really good happening and then it does, and it never feels real. He had woken with the numbers in his head – not that he remembered going to sleep with a problem that needed solving. … Continue reading The Proof of God

The Titanic in New York City – Julia’s Story

Wednesday April 17th, 1912 Pier 60. NY,NY. Her name was simply, Julia Edinburgh – not doctor and not professor; she was a woman after all in 1912. She was probably the cleverest of all people working on the causes and treatment of cancers. Her husband was a doctor, but he had grown to admire and love his wife and her ability to see patterns and … Continue reading The Titanic in New York City – Julia’s Story

Coldharbour: The Big Gallhoolie

It was an ancient village that was for sure, and on some days Jake found it to be the middle of his universe and on others – well, he could take or leave it. He wasn’t that bothered. His family had all been born, lived and died in Coldharbour, as far back as anyone could remember. His father had been the black sheep of the … Continue reading Coldharbour: The Big Gallhoolie

Dancing With Mister D. (3 stories)

Charles the Boy   (The blacking factory on the left at Hungerford stairs – near present day Charing Cross station) It was a blue-cold winter’s day and another poor soul was lying dead at the bottom of the Hungerford Stairs. The boy was just standing there staring at the corpse. That was the first time I ever clapped eyes on the little urchin. He was … Continue reading Dancing With Mister D. (3 stories)

The Music of the Spheres

for David Bowie – the man who let me hear the Universe – thank you. It had always troubled the boy why he liked some music and not others. Why, songs which hit him around the face, making him want to scream out in happiness, didn’t even cause a flicker in some eyes. That was a mystery all right, and it had bothered him all … Continue reading The Music of the Spheres

The Polka Dot Comet Kid

The night that Sally was born, the comet, Hale-Bopp lit the skies above the hospital as she lay, crying. She was the most beautiful of children and her parents called her Halley after the light in the heavens. She had a wonderful early life and then one day she cut her finger which started to bleed. That wasn’t unusual for a child or for any … Continue reading The Polka Dot Comet Kid

ALICE – 1. Weird Wednesday

  You go to sleep at night and who’s to say that everything will be just the same the next day? During the War, folks would go to sleep in their shelter and awaken to a street flattened by bombs – but that’s not what I’m talking about, here. I’m referring to a night where you really do fall down the rabbit hole. That’s what … Continue reading ALICE – 1. Weird Wednesday

EASY

You see the lovers, sitting, Holding hands outside the café, Perfect you would think to yourself, Just perfect, Yet for a fleeting moment there is a look in one of their eyes Which screams, that the end has arrived. The woman walks the long street, watching and smiling at The babies in their prams, and the mothers and fathers, Smile back wondering what the woman … Continue reading EASY

Never Ever Let Them Get You Down

1.Just ‘Cause You’re Breathing Just ‘cause you’re breathing, Doesn’t mean you’re alive, Just ‘cause you’re clever, Doesn’t mean that you’re wise, Just ‘cause you’ve faith, Doesn’t mean that you’re kind, Because you can see, Doesn’t mean you’re not blind. Just ‘cause you’re loving, Doesn’t mean you know love, And by sitting in church, You don’t speak for Above, Just ‘cause you’re hurting, Doesn’t make you … Continue reading Never Ever Let Them Get You Down

Me and Buzz and the Hospital

This is just one of those quick stories I gotta tell you ‘fore Buzz finds out. Some of the sharper of you out there might remember the time that Buzz broke his leg in two places – the yard and the driveway – yeah, I know, it’s still not funny. But it did mean that my best bud in the whole world had to spend … Continue reading Me and Buzz and the Hospital

Thing and His Birthday

The only time that Thing would ever make it down to the town was on the day of his birthday. His mother had marked this special day on the calendar and so every year he would tick the days off until his birthday came around again. However, if truth was told, it was the same old calendar he used year in, year out and so … Continue reading Thing and His Birthday

The Day That Love Was Invented

The midday sun warmed his metal quicker than it warmed his skin parts. In this field, like every other field in the quadrant, everyone was equal. No one got more than any other cyborg, and, equally, no one would expect any less. It was the way it had been since memories began. That was the way with memories – you only remembered the last time … Continue reading The Day That Love Was Invented

To Catch A Warm Wind

So you’re asking me what’s the story of this photograph, and I’m saying to you, just rest your bones a while and I’ll tell you. ______________________________ In the old days, and by that she meant the old Savannah days, her Grandma would sit Alice on her knee and sing her a song that came from long, long before her Grandma Catherine was born. The family … Continue reading To Catch A Warm Wind

2018 – Next Year’s Love

Next year some people will leave your life And new ones will enter Next year some dreams will vanish And others, not thought of, will come out of the sun Next year you’ll make mistakes And you’ll survive them all Next year you’ll win some things and you’ll lose some things Next year some friends will fail to understand And some will grow to love … Continue reading 2018 – Next Year’s Love

Me and Buzz and Lyin’

There was a time back then, a long time after Buzz’s pappy had left for somewhere down south, that Buzz took to lyin’ to make himself feel better. Well maybe not lyin’ exactly, more exaggeratin’ usin’ stories that weren’t the whole truth and nothin’ but the truth. I mean I knew his pappy was long gone but I heard Buzz tellin’ the new teacher – … Continue reading Me and Buzz and Lyin’

Santa is a Weirdo

Sometimes you just do and sometimes it ain’t happening; and that pretty much explains my life and everyone I know. I honest to goodness don’t remember what started it all off – I honestly don’t, I swear on the biggest stack of comics – I just remember my ma telling me I wasn’t getting a bicycle for Christmas, ‘cause Santa couldn’t get it down the … Continue reading Santa is a Weirdo

Me and Buzz and Grooviness

When me and Buzz were about 15 years old, Buzz turned to me one day and told me, straight in the eye like, that he had ‘an itchen’ for a hitchen’. “Let’s hitch right across the country to… well, the end,” said Buzz not sure where the end of the country was. “Then what?” I asked just to see what he’d say. “Why then we’ll … Continue reading Me and Buzz and Grooviness

Santa and the Battle of Hastings

He chose the highest room in town. Which, I suppose, is fair enough. What it doesn’t explain is why he chose Hastings, a seaside town on the south coast of England. His wife explained it by telling everyone that he was obsessed by history, and more specifically by the Battle of Hastings. Okay, to be totally accurate, the battle wasn’t exactly at Hastings but then … Continue reading Santa and the Battle of Hastings

Can’t Stop This Gun From Crying (a Black Mirror type written before Black Mirror)

It had been welcomed by the scientific community as a life saver, as the next step in metal technology and a new generation of those shining babies was about to be unleashed on the world. The team that had developed the idea at Los Alma had received the Nobel Prize that year and were ready to be courted by every large manufacturing company. They had no … Continue reading Can’t Stop This Gun From Crying (a Black Mirror type written before Black Mirror)

Nelle and Tru (For Harper Lee)

  “I hate going outside, I absolutely hate it, hate it, hate it,” said Nelle to the sad-looking boy standing at the porch door. “You’ve gotta come, ya just gotta,” said the boy. “P…l….e…a….s…e!” He said in one of those elongated ways, that folks from town always used. This was Alabama and the way people talked could be used as a weapon, as well as … Continue reading Nelle and Tru (For Harper Lee)

The Inscription

No one, and I mean no one, had ever seen the likes of the inscription before. It had lain undiscovered in a small cave on the north shore until Roman times. There were those who thought that it was written by the ancients – whoever they were meant to be. The curious and the deluded, would beat paths to the cave to declare it a … Continue reading The Inscription

The Titanic In New York City – 3 stories

  Wednesday April 17th, 1912 Pier 60. NY,NY. After a successful maiden voyage across the North Atlantic, the Titanic berths in New York. Annie’s Story She was born with the name, Annie Constantine and from the age of nine, she had worked tirelessly as a kitchen maid in a large house on the south coast of England. Annie could not settle for a life in … Continue reading The Titanic In New York City – 3 stories

Coldharbour: Passing Wonderful

If Alexandra McMillan had been born in any era other than her own, she would have most certainly been burned as a witch. Luckily for her, she popped into the world the same year as Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone; inspiring her father, Robert, to name his new daughter after the Scottish inventor. Robert McMillan came down from the Isle of Skye in 1870 with the … Continue reading Coldharbour: Passing Wonderful

A Hollow Moon

Even although I’m writing this on my deathbed, you’re probably still not going to believe me but I have to tell someone. It’s about what we discovered back then. Long before Neil Armstrong and all the rest of those suckers stepped on the Moon. It must have started around the time I heard my first Elvis’ record. The world was changing, what we knew was … Continue reading A Hollow Moon

The House on Finnart Street

photo: Greenock, west coast of Scotland. What follows is a true tale – kind of.  The house had belonged to a brewing family who had commissioned it to be built when Victoria was still on the throne. However, by the 1930s they had all scattered far and wide in the world and the house lay empty for several years. It began to gain a reputation … Continue reading The House on Finnart Street

Do Not Feed The Trolls

He remembered back to when he was, perhaps 13 years of age. He was sitting on a train with his uncle. They were going into the city to celebrate the boy becoming a teenager. As he looked around the train, it struck him that no one was talking. Conversations had been replaced by each individual watching, laughing at, writing to, their little machines. The individual … Continue reading Do Not Feed The Trolls

The Beautiful Game

I guess there are two parts to this story. The first half, is how we met, and how we became the best of friends. The second part is where, and when, it all fell apart. I’d like to start with the happier story first. When Cy first turned up, I had no idea. No idea what, or who, he was. All I’d ever wanted to … Continue reading The Beautiful Game

Time Flies and Hope Floats

Time Flies One morning when Olivia was still half asleep, she heard her Grandma talking to her Grandpa all about things that fly. At least she thought that was what they were talking about because the last thing she heard her Grandpa say was… “…It’s funny how time flies.” Then Grandpa headed out the door hollerin’ and laughin’ to himself, so hard that he was … Continue reading Time Flies and Hope Floats

If All Of This Were Up To Me

If all of this were up to me, My gifts would be of other things, The son to spend an afternoon With a father long since gone, The granddad seeing his offspring grow, As his life goes on and on, The children gone before their time, Would come back home and ring the chime, And chances lost would be our choice, To try just one … Continue reading If All Of This Were Up To Me

The Man Who Came Out Of The Sea

It was a Saturday and it was so easy to remember because it looked and felt like a Saturday. It was just one of those days that you’d pass through on the way to somewhere else. The café had stood on the edge of the sands since 1927 when old Sonny Mist built it with his father using wood from the wrecks of two barges … Continue reading The Man Who Came Out Of The Sea

The Man Who Never Was

Perhaps I brought all this on myself by staying away from the others, by hiding in my room and dealing with my own struggles rather than being a part of everyone and everything else. Maybe this is a punishment or perhaps it is justified karma? The process started just like it did when I began to lose my hair. I had looked in the mirror … Continue reading The Man Who Never Was

Richard Hannay and The Greenock Boy

  He turned for one last time to look at the farmhouse. This little beauty was nestled at the bottom of Corlic Hill: always welcoming and always the happiest place in the world for a boy to grow up. Anyone who had made their way this far out into the country could find a cup of tea and something to eat in this little haven, … Continue reading Richard Hannay and The Greenock Boy

Coldharbour (3 miles beyond Loch Awe)

Agnes Agnes could smell the winter fires as she stepped across Princes Street for the umpteenth time that day. Somewhere high above the whispering smoke the sky was an azure blue. Agnes knew that for a fact even although she might not always see it; just like she knew that things were about to change and no one had bothered to tell her. She had … Continue reading Coldharbour (3 miles beyond Loch Awe)

The Letter

You know. I know you know. It’s just whether you remember the facts or not. The thing is, I must have learned to write and then I learned to live. We kind of knew it was always going to be that way – didn’t we? Am I getting ahead of myself? Probably. I was always getting ahead. So I’ll just start at the beginning like … Continue reading The Letter

The Curious Case At Victory Mansions

From the top of Victory Mansions, it was said that you could see the whole of the world and a few miles beyond that. Mr Edward Shrew was the owner of the highest room in the building and would sometimes charge a penny to any passer-by who wanted to see the ends of the Earth. On a clear evening it was also the place to … Continue reading The Curious Case At Victory Mansions

Broken Pieces

Jake remembered what his Grandmother used to call it: ‘your grandad is away down the doctors’. That’s what she called it – the pub at the end of the street. “If life wasn’t so shit, there would be no need for pubs”, was her usual follow-up. “Don’t matter what it was; just back from the war, or the birth of his first-born, the night his … Continue reading Broken Pieces

Me and Buzz and the Madman

That day started like any other Saturday. My Grandma was washin’ the back of my neck with all my family lookin’ on. When she got into rubbin’ real hard I would turn my neck a little so that I could see out the window. That morning was just like any other, Jake Van De Bergh was getting chased up Main Street by another angry husband. … Continue reading Me and Buzz and the Madman

On The Street Where You Live

It’s one of those games we still played even after all this time; where did we think Eastman was born? There was a day when every city west of Berlin claimed him as their own but in the end it was probably London or across the water in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. You wouldn’t have picked him out at the start as being the type of creature … Continue reading On The Street Where You Live

The Legend of Jacob Chaplin

Okay, so his name wasn’t Chaplin, it was Horowitz, but ever since he’d attended the moving picture show and seen the great, perhaps marvellous, Charles Chaplin, he had modelled his dancing on that particular master. It was just that one dance, the one he had seen as he sat with his folks in the Vaudeville and Burlesque Movie Palace, that had made him almost wet … Continue reading The Legend of Jacob Chaplin