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#17 – Expectation

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Benjamin peered through the window, wide eyes looking out into a star-specked sky.  The boy smiled as he carefully scanned the horizon: tonight he would see Father Christmas.  Outside his door, two figures were kissing in the dark, their giggles muted by the touch of their lips.  They made no sound as they printed a soot-covered shoe to the floor.  They were careful to make no sound as they crept away, hand in hand.  Still Benjamin waited.  And, as his eyelids fluttered closed, he knew,… he just knew,… that tonight he would be the boy who saw Father Christmas.

(c) Tim Austin 2016

Today’s word was suggested by Jemma Cross – Acting Coach, Director and proud Mum-to-be.  You can find her over on Twitter at @JemmaGross.  If you want to donate a word, please pop it in the comments below or tweet it to @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory. 

This project now has a Facebook Page!  Like it and you’ll get a new story showing on your feed every morning.  And if you’re on WordPress, hit up that follow button, below and never miss a post.

Come back tomorrow for “Ooze”!

#16 – Lost

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The teddy bear gazed up, a drip of water splashing against its matted face.  Far above, the world passed by: hundreds of shoes clattering an endless thrum, their shadows flickering through hesitant light as it sank through a metal grating.  Voices echoed from a world of sun, raised in laughter and joyful whispers.  Below, the bear bobbed and twisted in the grey water of the sewer.  The arms that once held it were gone.  The lips that once kissed it were gone.  Only the eyes that beheld it remained, gazing down, tears falling – her last warmth striking against the bear’s fur.

(c) Tim Austin 2016

A bit of a sad ‘un.  Something similar once happened to me.  Still miss that Panda.  Still, if you’ve liked it, please let people know and link it on your social media using the buttons below.

Today’s word was donated by prep school teacher and blogger TinyGrayCells, who’s blog of Classroom Reflections can be found by clicking here.  If you’re a teacher or a parent, I thoroughly recommend it!

Please be sure to follow the blog, my Twitter and the dedicated OneWordOneStory Facebook Page so you never miss a story.  Read more stories by clicking links to the left and keep those words coming in!  Join me tomorrow for “Expectation” 🙂

#15 – Llanfair PG

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[Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch]

The two men had been arguing for 20 minutes, their sweaty brows gleaming in the mid-summer sun.

“No, I’m telling you it’s pronounced “Clan Vire”!”

The older man was jabbing his finger at the new sign with flailing exasperation.

“Then why is it spelt “Fair?!” The younger man moaned, scratching his head.

With a sigh, the first man called to a passenger, nearby. “Excuse me, love.  How do you pronounce the name of this railway station?”

“Bodorgan.”

The two men looked at each other.  Then at the sign.  Then at the tools they’d used to erect it, 20 minutes before.

“Bollocks.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016

Today’s word was suggested by Liverpool songsmiths the Speakeasy Bootleg Band – purveyors of the “Finest Quality Bootleg Music Since Records Began…..”. You can find them on Twitter at @Speakeasybootle.  

For those not in the know, this is a real train station in Wales.  Yes, that really is the full name.  And no, most people can’t pronounce it.

If you’ve a word you’d like me to turn into a story, tweet me at @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory or pop a note in the comments, below.  Oh, and share the blog with your friends using the button down there, too!

 

Vote for Your Favourite of the Last Week

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As promised, I’ll be doing an audio reading of the most popular short story of this last week,… so, what is it to be?  Read them again – from “Ache” to “Burden”.  Let me know which one appealed to you the most and I’ll put it to words.

Here they all are: AcheOrbTermiteRainbowKnifeSehnsuchtBurden

#14 – Archive

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Shadows smothered the vaulted halls of the General Register Office, a handful of grimy lamps spewing dim light into the stuffy air.  Sam Desmond was at home here.  In the darkness, he would wander the metal maze of filing cabinets, reading and enjoying each document before slipping them into their allotted draw.  In those files whole lives were condensed to dry descriptions: “Rhonda Jones: Died age 38, Teacher”.  “Charles West: Died age 73, Retired”.  Here they slept in ink and paper, neglected by all but him.  Smiling, Sam opened the newest file.  “Sam Desmond: Died age 60, Filing Clerk”.

(c) Tim Austin 2016

Enjoyed this and/or another story?  Why not pop a link to Twitter, Facebook or wherever else you roam and let other people know  🙂

The word for this story was suggested by Dr. Abby Astle: A wonderful person, a trusted friend and a very good GP.  

If you’d like to suggest a word for me to write a story on, pop it as a comment below or tweet it to @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

Don’t forget to follow the blog by hitting the button at the lower right.  See you tomorrow for *Breathes* “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch”

#13 – Burden

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“No! ” James was angry now. Why did she keep saying that? Why did she keep insisting?  Frail fingers reached for his, grasping: weak like a child.  Her pale grey eyes were begging. “Stop it, Mother.  Please,… just stop.”  A machine whirred and hissed as the old woman struggled to speak.  James closed his eyes, a tear spilling against his cheek.  The forms he clutched crumpled in his fist.  “I never loved you.” Her thin voice was desperate.  James turned and arranged the flowers in the vase.  Without another word, he dropped the ruined forms into the trash.

(c) Tim Austin, 2016.

Enjoy this story?  Please share, re-tweet and pop it on your Social Media.

This story is powerful to me personally for many reasons.  I apologise if it causes any upset in the reading – this is the kind of thing that occasionally swims in my head.  

A massive thank you to Emma Wallace – a kind and very beautiful soul – for suggesting this word.  If you’ve a word that you’d like me to turn into a story, pop it in the comments or tweet it to @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

Come back tomorrow for “Archive”.

#12 – Sehnsucht/Dor

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His fingers caressed the silver pendant, slipping the dust free and letting it gleam in the dim light.  He hadn’t stepped into the room in over 2 years yet the ache that stole his breath returned, just as it always had.  “Move on” they’d urged him. “Find a new life.” And he had.  But here he stood and there it lay, and never had he wished for more.  He felt a hand on his shoulder: a kiss at his ear.  “I can’t help it,” he whispered, as he turned to leave.  His wife smiled gently.  “I know.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016

 With thanks to Maria C from rclexa.co.uk for the word suggestion!  A quite extraordinary word!  I loved it!  If you’ve got a word you’d like me to write a story on, tweet it to me at @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory or pop it in the comments.

Don’t forget to share the blog with your friends and hit that follow button for tomorrow’s story: Burden.

#11 – Knife

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1H

Grinding the blade against the table reminded Sid of school: scratching words into the underside of his desk as his history teacher droned on about the French revolution.  The messages he left for her got him expelled.  This message would be much worse.

Sid chuckled, sneering as he plunged a ragged full stop into the wood.  The breath he used to scatter the splinters was almost tender; a love letter to the detective chasing him.  

He laid two severed fingers on the desk and sheathed the knife, three words cut in stark, bloody capitals: “See you Soon.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016

Today’s word, “Knife”, was kindly donated by the wonderful Mike Wells, thriller writer extraordinaire and author of the best-selling Lust, Money and Murder books.  Thanks for the inspiration, Mike!  You can find him on Twitter @MikeWellsAuthor and at mikewellsbooks.com.

Keep those words coming in – tweet them to #onewordonestory and I’ll join you tomorrow for “Sehnsucht”.  Follow the blog for a new story every day!

 

Listen to “Fighting”

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I’ll be doing occasional audio readings of my personal favourite stories – or stories that you vote for as your favourites – every week.  I’ll pop a poll on here on Monday, please do contribute 🙂

Until then, please enjoy my reading of “Fighting”.  Share, like, subscribe and, most importantly, enjoy!

#10 – Rainbow

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The rain melted with Helen’s tears as she looked up into a yawning maw of scorched grey clouds, wheeling and turning in a tempest far above.  Were she able, she would have joined the thronging mass of blackening mists and lost herself to their fury. The green of the grass stretched bright as a challenge to the clouds above and she lay back, torn between worlds.  She waited, water soaking through clothes and shivering her pin-pricked flesh.  And there it was: the sunlight against the clouds – freedom in a prism of colour, her troubles tumbling free in laughter.

(c) Tim Austin 2016

Thanks to the tenacious Emma Rucastle for suggesting the word “Rainbow”.  Emma is a theatre producer and director based up in the North West of England – you can reach her at @elaru on Twitter and at http://www.elartproductions.co.uk/ 

Got a word?  Get in touch!  Pop it in the comments or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.  Follow, share and get involved!  I can’t do this without you! 

Don’t forget to hit that follow button for tomorrow’s story: Knife!