Short Story Blog

#100 – Saint

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nacho-arteaga

The old man watched each face as his motorcade weaved through the cheering crowd.  Some hadn’t eaten for days, their hollow eyes begging his blessing.

Through the car’s speakers, a voice was listing the itinerary of the day.

“At 8 you have the talk in the main square.  We’ve already prepared it – the usual concern for the poor, a wish to heal old wounds and reach across divides.”

The old man smiled to the crowd.

 “Later, we need to discuss the portfolio. $30bn is still tied up in Switzerland.”

“Leave it there,” the old man growled.  “All of it.”

(c) Tim Austin, 2016.  Image by Nacho Arteaga via Unsplash.

“Saint” was suggested by bestselling author Sue London, whose various (superb!) works can be found on Amazon, here, alongside other outlets.  If following people on Twitter is your bag, you can find Sue @cmdrsue.

Hit that “Follow” button, below and to the right, and don’t forget to visit the OWOS Facebook Page for more content!

See you tomorrow for “Endangered”!

#88 – Torn

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Todd Deimer

Eddie’s mouth was hanging open.  He wasn’t entirely sure what had happened.

Around him people were staring, forks held comically close to mouths, awkward coughs and murmurs circling the room like sharks.  Behind him a door slammed closed.

“Can I get you a towel, sir?”

The Maître D remained professionally aloof but Eddie could see sympathy in his eyes.

“I,…. think I’ll have the bill, please.”

Eddie picked up the two halves of paper, her telephone number shredded.  They’d been talking about their blind date.  She’d asked what he enjoyed.

Somehow “Chilling to Netflix” was the wrong answer.

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Image by Todd Deimer via Unsplash.

Today’s story title was suggested by songwriter and author Vicky Jones.  You can find out more about Vicky at vickyjones.uk.  You can also follow her on twitter @VickyJones7

You too can suggest a One Word title – just pop your word in the comments or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory 

Follow the site for more stories!  Tomorrow:  “Euphoria”.  See you then 🙂

 

#87 – Fragile

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Jake Campbell

Ben needed the woman beside him to shut up.

“Jimmy is such a good kid!  He was first in his class at math for the whole of last year.”

A picture of a teenage boy dropped onto his lap.

“I don’t think,…”

His words dried in his mouth.  The boy in the picture looked so happy.  The Boy looked so peaceful.

“Ben Sharpe?”

The secretary was calling for him.

“Doctor Simpson will see you now.”

Ben looked at Jimmy’s Mother.  She hadn’t stopped crying for 20 minutes.  Ben passed the tattered photograph back to her and retrieved his antidepressants.

“Good luck”.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Jake Campbell via Unsplash.

I’m on the search for new words!  If you’re reading this and you want to suggest one, please do!  Just pop it in the comments or Tweet it to @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

First visit?  Not been here for a while?  Check out more stories by clicking the links to the left and above!

See you tomorrow for “Torn”

#86 – Burning

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thomas shellberg

The flames lapped at the wood and circled in the thinning air.  A large crowd was watching as the fire danced and swelled, entranced by the hypnotic sweep of the blaze.

Music was playing loud and children were dancing.  Cold boxes filled with beer gleamed in the firelight.  The field was full of people talking and laughing together as the last rays of the day sank below the horizon.

The sheriff stepped forward, his hand lifting a microphone to continue his speech.

“Black Lives Matter, they say,…..”  The crowd was laughing.

The children played and watched the white crosses burn.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Thomas Shellberg via Unsplash.

The first image that came to mind with this word was the KKK.  It is a stain on humanity that this group still exists and that any group like this still exists.  But it does and it’s worth remembering that, in these dark times.  Humanity still has a long way to go,….

I’m still on the search for new words!  If you’re reading this and you want to suggest one, please do!  Just pop it in the comments or Tweet it to @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

Check out more stories by clicking the links to the left and above and be sure to like the OWOS Facebook page. Share your favourites and let more people know about One Word, One Story!

See you tomorrow for “Fragile”.

#85 – Loyal

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Robert Larsson

Time to play!  Time to play!!

Jesse barked loudly at her owner and ran off through the house in a frantic search.

Where did she leave it?!  Ooo!  Ooo!  I know,……

The Jack Russel dipped her nose to the floor, letting the scent tease and guide her as she snuffled her way to the sofa and reached beneath.  Her jaws snapped closed against plastic.

Found it!!  Mistress will be happy!!

The dog bounded back to her owner, dropping the phone by her hand and licking the woman’s face.  A voice crackled from the handset.

“911, which service please?”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Robert Larsson via Unsplash.

I’m on the search for new words!  If you’re reading this and you want to suggest one, please do!  Just pop it in the comments or Tweet it to @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

First visit?  Not been here for a while?  Check out more stories by clicking the links to the left and above!

See you tomorrow for “Burning”.

#84 – Disfigurement

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Dawn Armfield

“Oi! Freddy Krueger!”

The teenage boy sneered as the rock left his hand and span against the armrest of the man’s wheelchair.

“I said oi!”

The man didn’t move.

The gang could see his reflection in the store window.  His face was white and smooth: burned flesh twisted, his eyes milky. The boy threw another stone, laughing as it whistled past the man’s ear.

The store owner ran out and the gang scattered, their sneering cries echoing down the street.

“Hey man, why didn’t you say something?”

“Because” the burned man replied, “he wasn’t like that before the fire,…”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Dawn Armfield via Unsplash.

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See you tomorrow for “Loyal”.

 

 

#83 – Suave

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Ross Parmly

The gentleman brushed his finger over the rim of his glass, a low growl shucked carelessly from his throat.

“Thank you.”

His voice was smooth beneath the gravel of age.  His smile was bright.

The stewardess smiled back, bowing her head a little as she poured another splash of red wine into his glass.  With another quick glance, she stood straight and walked back up the isle.

“Old man in 26 D seems nice,” she chirped, stepping through the crew curtain.

“Oh, he’s a regular,” her friend replied.  “Check your pocket.”

The old man’s smile widened when he heard her scream.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Ross Parmly via Unsplash.

Keep your title suggestions coming (drop yours in the comments) and please do share stories you enjoy.  You’ll find a list of genres to the left!  Enjoy 🙂

Come back tomorrow for another 100 word short story.  Remember: it’s one a day for 365 days!  Keep following the blog for more.

That Was The Week That OWOS

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Welcome to the first of a weekly roundup of each week’s stories, plus a few random thoughts and impressions on the world around me.

Well, the EU referendum was,… well, it’s all gone a bit Fawlty Towers in the ol’ U of K.  Politicians gave the public a vote – sure in their minds that the general public would vote to keep us in the Union – and, true to form, the British voting public did something utterly mad.  And now the people who gave us the vote have imploded.  Spectacularly.

If it had happened in an episode of Yes, Minister or House of Cards I might have thought it a little far fetched.  That it has happened for real is actually pretty depressing.  Which is why its been nice to get away from it all and write 7 more 100 word short stories.

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Spurred on by the vote, Aliki Chapple, a Greek friend of mine, suggested the word “Isolation”.  In my mind I saw someone sat in a prison cell and decided, in view of both the London and New York City LGBT Pride events, to take it topical.  The result reflected my sadness that not all lands were as tolerant as ours.  You can read it here.

Not exactly continuing on a cheerful note, Sunday’s short story was “Remember“.  It had a wonderful reaction from many people, as sad as the subject was.

Monday saw a return to some Science Fiction, with a word suggested by Theatre impresario Jemma Gross!  Her word, “Abundance“, made me think of The Eden Project.  I took it and twisted it – never go for the obvious!

Obsidian” was suggested by Sarah Doughty of Hamstring Eulogies – one of my favourite blogs.  Sarah has been a great supporter of the OWOS project and it was wonderful to be able to write her something 🙂

Yet another Doctor Who alumnus sent in a suggestion on Wednesday.  This time it was writer, actor and professional Dalek Barnaby Edwards who suggested “Hyperbole” – again inspired by the nonsense surrounding the EU.  I seem to be collecting Doctor Who writers and directors – I’ve even got a tag for them now, lol.  My hope is that some day soon I might actually have a Doctor suggesting a word.  Anyone got Peter Davison’s number?

Yesterday’s word came from an actor friend of mine down in Manchester – Barry Evans.  I see him all-too-infrequently, mainly at Equity meetups.  We must get better at aligning our schedules!  His word was “Insights“.

And today’s story was “Intense”.  I wanted to finish the week with a bit of humour.  God knows we need it!  Thanks for Angelica Kidd for today’s title.

That just leaves me to point you towards the newly-begun One Word One Story Patreon Campaign.  You can visit and become a patron by clicking here – It’s not mandatory but it’ll help me to keep writing more stories like the ones above for many months more!  You can see the video for the Pareon Campaign below.

See you tomorrow for more One Word One Stories!

#82 – Intense

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Mason Jones

“It’s,……. lovely.”

“Really?!  Do you think so?”

Jemima’s mother was clapping her hands wildly and bouncing on her toes.

On the driveway before them sat a car.  The metal and glass shone proud in the early morning sun.  The fresh-from-the-factory tires lay scuff free on the brick floor.

“A BMW, Mum,…. wow,…”

“It’s all yours!”  Jemima’s mother ran forward and took the teenager’s hand, guiding her towards car.  The goth girl blinked.

“Soooooooo?” God, why was her mother smiling?

“So,….” Jemima saw her black skirt reflected in the paint.

“I didn’t know they made BMWs in Bubble Gum Pink,…”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Picture by Mason Jones via Unsplash.

Today’s One Word Title was suggested by Angelica Kidd, writer of the “Life of an Aspiring Writer” blog.  On reading the word, a hot pink colour sped into my mind.  That probably says a lot about me but I’ll leave that to my therapist 😉

I’m on the search for new words!  If you’re reading this and you want to suggest one, please do!  Just pop it in the comments or Tweet it to @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

First visit?  Not been here for a while?  Check out more stories by clicking the links to the left and above!

See you tomorrow for “Suave”

#81 – Insights

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Dariusz Sankowski

Allen swallowed a mouthful of coffee and rubbed his temple.  It was going to be a long, night.

He ran a finger down the list of phone numbers, looking for something – anything – to give him an edge in court.

Danny Banner loved his kids.  He wouldn’t hurt a fly.

Allen repeated the thought. He believed every word.  The phone was ringing.

“Hi Danny.  Ready for the morning?”

“Nervous.”

“Don’t be.  It’ll be fi,…….”  Allen stopped.

The number beneath his finger made his blood run cold.

“You said you never called her.”

“What?”

“Danny!!”

The silence betrayed them both.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Dariusz Sankowski via Unsplash.

Today’s title was suggested by actor and Manchester-based Equity stalwart Barry Evans.  You can find him on twitter @THEbazzaevans.  Thanks, Barry.

Take a look at more stories by clicking here and choosing one of the links at random  🙂  And if you like any of the stories, pop a link onto your social media feed.

For more thriller-related stories, click here.

See you tomorrow for another 100 word short story!  “Like” the OWOS Facebook page so you never miss a new story.