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#37 – Mercy

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“Mercy! Mercy!”

Katie was laughing through the pain, bent over the side of the bed, her arm twisted behind her by her brother.

“Who stole the cake?”

Her brother twisted his wrists again, the burning friction raking her skin.  She laughed into the mattress.

“I stole the cake!  I stole it!  Get off!”

“See, that wasn’t so hard.”  The boy released her and bounced onto the bed.  Katie thumped him in the chest.

“Well I couldn’t let the Nanny eat it, could I?  Not after what you did to it.”

Her brother shrugged.

“I was just encouraging her to leave.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Image courtesy of Annie Spratt via Unsplash.

Today’s word was suggested by mother, grandmother, writer, activist @ae_wylie.  You too could have your word made into a story!  Just pop the word in the comments below or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory 

This story is related to my earlier story “Tea”.

Please hit the share buttons below and like the OWOS Facebook page by clicking here so you never miss a story.

A new short story every single day – come back tomorrow for “Mortal”.



#36 – Cat

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The cat’s eyes shone in dull dis-interest as it gazed through the window that night.  From street light to street light people strode by: fleeting moments glimpsed in amber.

A young couple walked past, their hands clasped tight, palm to palm.  The cat had seen the girl before: her father didn’t approve of her dating.  Her dress hadn’t been zipped back up properly.

And then there was Mrs. Pearson, still pushing her shopping trolley, the empty bottles rattling within.  She’d made this journey twice every night since that day she wore black.

But the cat didn’t care.

The cat was hungry.

(C) Tim Austin 2016. Image courtesy of Miguel Angel Ruíz Sánchez via Unsplash.

Today’s one word story comes from Kathleen Kelly – a frequent coffee companion of mine and owner of possibly the fluffiest cat alive.  

I’m looking for new one-word titles!  I need more!  Please pop your suggestions in the comments section below or tweet me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

Please continue to share the stories and spread the word!  I’ll see you tomorrow for “Mercy”.

#35 – Illuminated

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The archaeologist swept a finger against the lines of the map.  The ink had faded into the parchment, now nothing but the ghost of a message, crumbling at his touch.  The airless vacuum was gone; the seal of the ancient room now crushed at his feet.  The Californian air was racing to meet him.  Time was running out.

It was an island. The Caribbean, yes.  His hands shook as his feverish gaze scanned for the mark.  All those years they’d laughed at him. All those birthdays missed, far from home.

The wind blew and the parchment melted.

All those years,…..

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image courtesy of James McGill via Unsplash.

Today’s one word title was suggested by Collette Knowles, Artistic Director of Rough Magic Theatre.  She is also, frequently, my boss.  And by boss, I mean Wife.  You can reach her on Twitter @collettepuppets.

I’m still in need of words to write stories on – tweet me your own suggestion @timaustin2k and I’ll write you your very own 100 word short story, right here.  Pop it with the hashtag #onewordonestory.

I’ll see you back here tomorrow for “Cat”.  If you’ve like the story, share it using one of the buttons below  🙂

#34 – Beehive

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The House Mouse paused.  The long grass around him was sighing and rustling as he gazed up through the forest of green leaves.  So close.

The hum of the swarm shook the air: a cloud of insects flitting to and fro, journeying to distant flowers.  They wouldn’t see him, surely?  Not a tiny mouse like him,…

The honey dripped down the white paint: a golden stream overflowing to the soil below.

“Where do you think you’re going?” The Bee was bent double with age, its forelegs crossed over its sting.

The mouse pouted and turned away from the guard.


(c) Tim Austin 2016. Promo image courtesy of Karsten Wurth Via Unsplash.

A big thank you to Aaron Robshaw for today’s word.  Aaron is an expert on armor and leather work.  He combines bespoke crafting of armour for re-enactments and collectors with leather work for motorbikes.  You can discover the latter by clicking here.

Keep reading, sharing, liking and suggesting words.  Follow me on Twitter @timaustin2k and Like the Facebook Page at

See you tomorrow for “Illuminated”!


#33 – Petrichor

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The sky was purple,… no,… not sky,…

Emma sat up a moment, the sleeping bag bunching down around her waist.  She let the ghosts of her dreams dissolve, clearing her mind and letting it drift towards memories of the night before.

She smiled.

She fell back, breathing in the scent of pine needles and dew.  A wind was tapping against the edge of the tent and she drew her breath in time with the swelling  fabric.


Emma laughed, arching her back and screaming into the sky as she lifted her hand, the engagement ring shining.

“Yes! Yes!  YES!!!!”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image courtesy of Jet van der Wouden via Unsplash.

Today’s Story was inspired by Author, Oregonian and Coffee Addict Erin Ritch.  You can read her marvellous blog at and tweet her @Eritch324.  Thanks Erin!

If you’re enjoying these stories, please share them and tell your friends to visit.  Like the OWOS Facebook page and follow me @timaustin2k.

Keep reading, pop comments in the section below – let me know what you think!

See you tomorrow for “Beehive”!

Storytelling, Upcoming Gigs, Beowulf and “The World’s Most Insane Writing Project”

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News on other storytelling projects!

Didn’t I say something about making this blog a daily thing?  Yeaaaaaah,…..


A lot is happening at the moment so there’s a lot to say.


First up, I’ve been contracted to be the official Bentham Storyteller at the “Bentham Carnival” for the second year in a row!  I had tremendous fun at the last Carnival (read about it here) and am expecting to enjoy this year’s just as much!

The title for the storytelling is “Rain or Shine – Umbrella Tales”.  I’ll be performing 4 stories through the day.  Just like last year, I’ll be writing them in advance.  Come along to High Bentham on Saturday the 4th of June and enjoy!

There’s a good chance that I’ll be returning to my role as DCI Clueless in “Clueless and Wuffles: The Case of the Missing Jewels” a little later in the year.  Situation still developing on that…

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#32 – Hands

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“This,…”  Becky’s Mother stroked a finger over the young girl’s palm.  “Is your life line.”  She smiled, her blue eyes fixing on her Daughter’s.  Becky giggled, pulling her hand away.

“Tickles, Mummy!”

Mother and Daughter laughed together, their summer hats flapping gently in the breeze.  Below them, the surf crashed against the legs of the pier.  Gulls soared above, calling a lament as they swept out to sea.


The girl’s Father was calling her.  She looked towards him.

“Who are you talking to?”

She turned to look at her knelt Mother.  Her smile faded.

“She always loved it here.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Promo image courtesy of Wil Stewart via Unsplash.

Today’s one word title was suggested by the lovely Becky Danks – avid bookworm and reviewer.  You can find her on Twitter at @BeckyD123.

Keep your one word titles coming in – I can’t do it without you!  Pop your suggestion in the comments section below or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.  Go on, what’s stopping you?

Remember to like the OWOS Facebook page and join me here tomorrow for “Petrichor”.