Short Story Writer

#49 – Indifferent

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Samuel Zeller

It was a shrug that ground the teeth of every person in the boardroom.

6 Months of work had gone into this one, single project.  6 Months of design, testing, focus groups, contracts and branding so that there was something to impress the new Chairman.

The shrug came again.  The Chairman’s gaze was still fixed on his phone: his trainers scuffed the top of the boardroom table.

“It’s okay, I suppose.”

Ten jaws dropped.  The teenager looked confused as he glanced up from the game.

“Isn’t it?”


The face of the boy’s late Father grinned from the painting above him.

One last joke.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo Image by Samuel Zeller via Unsplash.

Nearly 50 short stories into my 365 day storytelling marathon!  I can’t do this without your word suggestions so keep them coming in!  If you’d like me to write you a story based on a word of your choice, pop your word in the comments section below or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hastag #onewordonestory.

If you’re enjoying the stories, please let me know, share them with your friends and follow the blog here and at the OWOS Facebook Page. 

Next story: “Join” 

#40 – Stretched

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Stephanie McCabe

“No! Not that door, Joey!  Sally-Anne, stop pulling Tony’s hair!  Does anyone want to play a game?! Please??”

How did it come to this?  A simple party, she said.  Light refreshments, a dip in the pool, cake and TV.

“It’ll be easy with us both there,” she said.

He surveyed the chaos as he wandered to the bathroom.  He couldn’t be sure what was wall and what was crayon.  Why was there was cake inside the CD player? Nothing made sense any more.

His phone rang.

“Honey?  I’m still at the airport.  How’s the party?”

He locked the door.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image by Stephanie McCabe via Unsplash.

Suggest your one word title and I’ll write a story about it: it’s easy.  Just pop the word in the comments or tweet it to me @timaustin2k with the word and the hashtag #onewordonestory.

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#29 – Violin

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Mr. Funaki pinched his fingers so softly together, his wrist turning, the violin singing a long, fragile note that rang through the auditorium.  His heart soared with every trill.  His breath sighed and twisted at every gleaming, crystal-sharp echo that swept through his chest and swam high against the rafters.  The instrument was perfect: its dance so delicate that the tiniest fracture would form in his mind and shine like the sun.

Tears stung his eyes as they flicked open, gazing at the silent instrument in its case.  He lay his swollen, arthritic hands to his lap,… the memory fading away.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image courtesy of Providence Doucet via Unsplash

Today’s title was suggested by composer and violinist Adisha Kariyawasam.  You can listen to some of his work on Soundcloud here.  You can find him on Twitter at @adisha_kari.

Please explore the blog and read a few more stories.  If you like them, share them.  And if you want to suggest a one word story, tweet me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory now.

Before you do, pop a Like on the OWOS Facebook Page and I’ll see you tomorrow for “Window”!

#11 – Knife

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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

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!