Short Story Blog

#79 – Obsidian

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Julian Böck

It was staring at him.  He knew it.

The hairs on the back of his neck were standing on end.  Lewis continued his polishing of the glass case, trying not to look at the reflection over his shoulder.

“Shut up!  They’ve all gone home.  There’s no-one here to look at you.”

Still the jewel stared at him.

Lewis closed his eyes but it didn’t help.  The Jewel reached into his memory: its perfect, cut blackness shining under the cold museum lights.

“Okay!” Lewis swang around, his hand reaching for the Onyx stone and brushing it lovingly with the cloth.

“…. okay,….”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Julian Böck via Unsplash.

Today’s story title was suggested by Sarah Doughty, writer and poet of beautiful words over at Hamstring Eulogies.  Thank you for the word, Sarah.  I hope you enjoy the story 🙂

I’m eager to write more stories based on new words – suggest your one word titles by popping them in the comments section or tweeting them to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

Don’t make this the only story you read.  Click any of the stories to the left of visit the “Pre Loved Words” page above.  You never know what you might find to enjoy.

See you tomorrow for “Hyperbole”.

#77 – Remember

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callum skelton

“Hmmm?”

Ada looked across at the young woman beside her bed, surprised that someone had spoken.  Her gaze focused slowly and she smiled.

“My favourite flowers are Chrysanthemums.  Do you like Chrysanthemums, dear?”

“Yes, I love them.”

Ada couldn’t understand why the woman was crying.  It was such a lovely day and her daughter would be visiting soon.  She raised her finger to wipe the tear free from the pretty face and patted her cheek.

“Yes, Chrysanthemums.  My Daughter always brings me a bunch.”

“She,…. sounds nice,…..” The woman was trembling as she kissed Ada’s hand.

“Happy birthday, Mom,…”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Callum Skelton via Unsplash.

Okay, I’m sorry.  Some days the image that forms isn’t pleasant.  I find degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s terrifying and so very deeply sad.  I have occasion to visit a nursing home frequently and I see similar scenes every visit.  The families who deal with it daily are so strong and I admire them immensely.

If you have a word that means something to you and you’d like to see what I make of it, pop it in the comments and I’ll write you a 100 word short story.

Feel free to “Tweet me up” (that’s a thing, right?) @timaustin2k.  And Like the OWOS Facebook Page for a new story delivered straight to your feed every morning.

#76 -Isolation

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Ludovic Gauthier

The light bulb buzzed and spat.  Water was dripping down the chord and swirling in a fine spray from the tiny barred window.

Keith sat huddled on a freezing metal bed, eyes locked into the gloom.  His throat hummed as he breathed, rocking gently on his lice-ridden mattress.

He wasn’t alone.  Keith walked hand in hand with Andrew over the burning pale sands of the beach.  Their feet brushed through the dunes and grasses, their laughter rolled into the sky.  Hearts raced as lips blessed each other.

Keith was smiling in the darkness.

In his dreams he was never alone.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image by Ludovic Gauthier via Unsplash.

Another title suggested by Aliki Chapple – mother, activist, actor and proud Grecian.  You can follow her and her work over on Twitter @amaenad

I’m looking for new one word story titles all the time!  Tell me yours in the comments section or tweet them to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

Don’t forget to hit that Follow button and Like the One Word, One Story Facebook page here.  

See you tomorrow for “Abundance”.

#75 – Plunge

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Markus Spiske

Goosebumps were itching on Eddie’s skin as he looked down into the pool 33 feet below.  His head snapped back and he squeezed his eyes tight, a sharp breath hissing between his lips as his toes curled over the edge of the board.

“Okay, that was dumb. Dumb, dumb, dumb!” Eddie whispered.  The crowd below had fallen silent.

The world froze for a heartbeat,…

“Hey, Charlie Brown!  Time to go splat!”

Anger forced Eddie’s eyes open.  People were laughing.  People were always laughing.  All the time.

Everyone except Mrs. Gomez.

The trembling boy raised his arms.

She would be watching.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash.

Suggest your own word by tweeting it to me @timaustin2k and I’ll write a story dedicated to you.  Don’t forget to hit the follow button and like the OWOS Facebook pagelike the OWOS Facebook page.

Take a gander at the other romance and coming of age short stories by clicking on the links to the left!

See you tomorrow for another 100 word short story!

#74 – Mimetic

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Verne Ho

“Go ahead, Senator.”

The scientist was gesturing to the wall, smiling proudly.  Gingerly, Senator Steele pressed his palm to the glass.

A wave of light instantly slithered over the surface, melting and shifting into a perfect copy of Senator Steele’s face.  The scientist was almost clapping in his excitement.

“Go on,…”

“I am Senator Steele,” the politician stated.

I AM SENATOR STEELE the computer replied, in perfect mimic to the Senator.

“Is that all it does?”

Behind the glass, banks of microchips were thinking.

I AM SENATOR STEELE.  I AM TARGET NUMBER ONE.  DELETION WILL OCCUR IN SIX DAYS.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image by Verne Ho via Unsplash.

Today’s One Word title was donated by award-winning TV writer and author Robert Shearman.  If you’re a Doctor Who fan you’ll know him as the scribe of the 2005 story “Dalek” and a number of Big Finish stories, including my personal favourite “The Chimes of Midnight”.  Thank you Robert!

Robert suggested his title on Twitter and you can too – just tweet it to me @timaustin2k

See you tomorrow for “Plunge”

#72 – Suspicion

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59H

Detective Danson ripped into his sandwich, spitting chunks of bread over the sidewalk as he waved Constable Keegan away.

“There’s nothing more to it.  Family says she fell.  “Spinster dies in accident”: Case closed.”

“Really?” asked the Constable.

The Detective shot Keegan a glare as the Constable turned and trotted across to the Precinct Morgue.

Later that evening Keegan stepped back into his apartment, flinging his magnifying glass onto the table and sitting thoughtfully.

Her ring finger was worn.  There was fear in her eyes.

“Was I right?” came a voice from across the room.

“You always are,” Keegan sighed.

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Promo image by Gratisography.

Today’s one word title was donated by the breathtakingly talented Izabella Grace – author of sublime Flash Fiction at http://flashfictiononline.com/main/authors/izabella-grace/.  You can follow her on Twitter @iza8ella

This is the OWOS debut of two established characters – Keegan and Lestrade from my Holmesean short thriller “The Santa Beneath the Ice” – available on Amazon.  You can read Chapter One of that story Free here (opens a PDF).

If you want to suggest your own one word story title, please do!  I’m always looking for new words 🙂 Just pop your word in the comments box below or tweet it to me @timaustin2k

See you tomorrow for “Nightmare”!

#71 – Officer

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Jacob Valerio

“It has been quite extraordinary weather, wouldn’t you say Sir?”

The tailor zipped the measuring tape around the Captain’s chest, his chattering filling the silence as the soldier looked out into the street.  His wife and kids were waving at him from the pavement, pressing their faces against the glass while the tailor’s back was turned.  The Captain stifled a laugh.

The tailor flinched. “Sir, Please,..”

The shop was gone.

Only the desert remained.  Only the bullets.  Only the blood.  Only Private Allen’s twisted body as he begged for help.

The Captain collapsed into tears at the words.

“…. Sir,……… please,…..”.

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Promo image by Jacob Valerio via Unsplash.

PTSD is a harrowing burden that I would not wish on anyone.  I hope in this story that people reflect a little on it with compassion and care.

I’m looking for new one word story titles all the time!  Tell me yours in the comments section or tweet them to me@timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

I’ll see you again tomorrow for “Suspicion”.

#70 – Blood

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Ella raised the police tape and stepped into the the dead woman’s apartment.

As an open crime scene, no clean up crew had visited and the detective was soon swamped with a sweet, putrid smell of decay.  She lifted a menthol-laced handkerchief to her mouth.

As fruit-fattened bluebottles zipped around her, Ella thought about her next move.  She’d been careful to come alone: the killer wanted her to himself.  He wanted her and he would be watching.

She sat at the head of the blood-drenched dining table and waited.

“Come and get me, you bastard,….”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image by Mathilda Khoo via Unsplash.

Another in the cat-and-mouse chain story between Sid and Ella.  Read both previous posts by clicking here.

Suggest your own story titles and I’ll write a 100 word story just for you.  Just write your word in the comments or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

Be sure to follow the blog and like the OWOS Facebook page!

See tomorrow for “Officer”.

#69 -Manifesto

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The Commodore stood on the balcony, his arms spread wide to the crowd below.

“This, my friends, is the start of a new country!  A new hope!  A new dawn for you – free from the corruption of the old ways!”

Jubilant cheers echoed from building to building.  Horns blared from every street as the Commodore cupped his hands together and shook them in triumph.

Behind him a man in a black suit was inspecting a model of an oil field, lifting a letter from beside it and lighting the corner with a match.

“Thank you, Commodore.  That will do nicely.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Image by Linhao Zhang Courtesy of Unsplash

This story is dedicated to the memory and family of Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spen in the UK, who was shot and killed earlier today.  Jo was a fearless fighter for justice, peace and the good of her constituents.  She was a wonderful example to us all.  My thoughts are with her family.

#68 – Principle

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A stubby finger pushed a pawn across the board, cigar ash falling around the piece in a halo of smoking debris.  Churchill growled and smiled.

“There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare,” the Britain stated, leaning back into his leather armchair.

A rook slid across the board to threaten the pawn.  Churchill frowned.

A finger tapped against the board, sweeping away the cigar ash with disdain.

“That is why this war will be short,” came a replay from across the table.

“No, Adolf.”

Churchill slipped a knight to checkmate his opponent’s king.

“But it will be won.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Photo by Nguyen Pham on Unsplash

I’ve no idea why but the first image I had for this word was Churchill sat drinking with Hitler pleasantly.  It adapted in the writing but,… what an extraordinary idea,…. I mean, what would they talk about?!  There’s a hell of a book in that,….

Hit that follow button and like the OWOS Facebook page for more!  Suggest your own one-word titles by popping your word in the comments below.

See you tomorrow for “Manifesto”.