Posts Categorized: Short Stories

Nine Months

In my previous job I had quite a bit of experience of checkpoints. They are placed at strategic locations along state lines, or main artery roads heading out of populated areas. Some are permanent, but I worked on the temporary ones organized within hours of an emergency. Some are put in place when intel suggested a drug shipment was headed into state, some when a dangerous criminal was on the move; the most exciting of which was a serial killer. Read more »


For the summer of 2009 I worked in a Royal Infirmary, a fancy name for a hospital; there I met Andrew. I temped as a receptionist for the X-Ray department, answering the phone and doing gofer jobs when someone was covering; that someone was Andrew. Read more »

The Black Night Bus

There’s been this rumor in our town of the black night bus, I remember hearing it as a kid, though no one took it seriously. We’d stay up at night, looking out the window, but it never came. One night I woke with my face plastered to the window as the sun began to rise. It was said that the black night bus would pick up the naughty children and take them away, never to be seen again. When my friend Justin did disappear, we all thought he got on the black night bus. That was until his beaten remains were found in his uncle’s basement. Read more »

Patient Survey

Let me say this first, I’ve not been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar, anxiety or any mental health issues, but the automated text messages sent by my doctor’s surgery made me believe otherwise. Read more »

Marybelle’s Confession

Our town is like a bad dream. Awful things happen, more often than you’d believe. In the last ten years alone there have been ten murders. The folk round here are not the welcoming kind you anticipate from tales of small-town America; everyone is suspicious of their neighbor. I guess in this post 9/11 world that can be somewhat expected, but here? Where the crops still grow and there’s not a Starbucks in sight? We don’t even have a traffic light, only a four way stop in the middle of Main Street. It’s just the way of the world I suppose. Read more »

Déjà Vu

I was five coffees down and still shattered as I sat in the diner past midnight off Route 1. The waitress did her best to keep my cup filled. If she knew I wasn’t going to tip, I don’t think she’d have been so attentive. I finished my pastrami on rye and waited patiently for my ice cream; it was my little treat to myself for being on the home stretch. Read more »

People Shouldn’t Take What Doesn’t Belong to Them

He was around six feet tall. He wore a long brown trench coat. A large brimmed hat left his face in almost complete darkness as he entered the bar. I’d been sitting there for a good hour and my buzz was well and truly on. It had been two weeks since my wife had left me. This was my temporary happy place, as I did my best to forget. The man walked towards me, his boots clacking on the floorboards. He took the seat next to me. An aroma of pipe tobacco and gasoline wafted from him. I stared straight ahead. Read more »

The Grief we Stow

I don’t know how to begin this. I don’t know how to express the emotions I feel right now. I’m not sure if it’s hatred, fear or guilt for a time long lost, or only a nothingness – an absence of all feeling, leaving a growing despair. Read more »

I Hate My Father’s Ex-Wife

I hate when mum comes to visit. I never know what to say. My parents got divorced when I was young, only eight. My brother was two at the time, he doesn’t remember her at all. She visits twice a year. Dad says he wishes she could see us more often, for us. I told him I’m happy if I never see her again. I know this hurts him, he wants what’s best for us. Read more »

How to Know When it’s Safe to Fall Asleep

I grew up in a graveyard. Yup, not in a church, but in a small stone building right slap bang in the middle of a graveyard. My grandfather was the caretaker. I lived with him all my life. My parents died when I was very young and I didn’t remember them, though there’s something so eerie about being able to say goodnight to your parents once they are dead. I could see their gravestones from my bedroom window. I’d wave to them as I laid down in bed. I’d hear them say goodnight back. Read more »

Mr Bookbinder

When I was a kid and I did something bad, really bad, my dad used to drag me out of the house and up the hill to a phone box. It was one of those cozy red things you’d see all over England. Now, they usually contain a lending library or defibrillator. He’d make me march the last ten feet or so, on my own. I remember the last time, when the rains lashed down, with thunder and lightning filling the skies. Read more »

My Brother Haunts Houses

I look back at the pranks we played in college and feel utterly ashamed, though being honest, some were the best times of my life. Yeah, we’d go too far, once a dorm room was set alight; not our finest hour. I thought I’d outgrown it. My brother sure hadn’t. Read more »

The Crooked

I was browsing a local secondhand bookshop when I came across something very peculiar. The sleeve was leather, like an expensive diary or something. In gold leaf the title read, The Crooked. Like I usually do, I read the first few paragraphs while standing in front of the shelves. Read more »