Short Story

#67 – Attic

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“Hey, there’s still stuff up here!”

Peter’s head was poking through the loft hatch, his hand tugging at the light chord.

“What was that, honey?”

“There’s stuff!  Boxes.”

Liza watched as her husband lifted himself into the attic.

She sipped her coffee.  “Any antiques?”

Peter laughed.

“For your Pop to sell for beer money?”

“I was thinking of renovations.”

Something fell down and clattered at Liza’s feet – a child’s doll, its face smudged with soot.  Dead glass eyes stared up and she choked at the sudden smell of smoke.

“Honey,…” Liza’s voice was a hoarse whisper.

“We need to go.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image by Rodion Kutsaev via Unsplash.

Today’s word was suggested by Bristolian and avid supporter of the OWOS project “Orignal Tracey”.  You can follow her on Twitter @sunsetbeachbabe.

Tracey suggested her word by sending me a tweet – you can too!  Tweet me @timaustin2k with the hashtag #onewordonestory and I’ll write a 100 word story just for you!

Don’t forget to vote for the story you want to become an Audio Reading. Click Here to cast your vote now.

See you tomorrow for “Principle”.

 

#65 – Threatened

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Spit was raining over the bald man’s chin, his mouth a snarling mask of fury as he waved his banner high.

Katie watched as the man passed, the police cordon holding she and her brother from creeping closer.  Her wide eyes marvelled at the sight, flinching as the mob screamed their hate.

The bald man caught sight of her brother’s uniform and stopped.

“Iraq?”

Katie’s brother nodded.

Though no more than a twisted joke, Katie watched as the two men raised their fists.

When the condolence letter arrived two weeks later, Katie rose her fist too.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo Image by Benjamin Faust via Unsplash.

Continuing the story of Katie, first seen in the tale “Tea” – dedicated to the wonderful Devika Fernando.  Click here for each part of the story so far.

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Suggest your own One Word Story by popping it in the comments or tweeting it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

 

#64 – Poet

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Joel closed his eyes and took a breath, his hands rising and reaching out into the sun-dappled air.  His chin rose as he felt the words spring from his chest and force themselves from his lips.

Worlds swirled in his imagination.  Wild realities and lost loves poured from his soul, forming into crude reality with each flick of his tongue.  His heart ached at each new phrase, tears fell as he knitted verse to verse.

A roll of distant thunder greeted the finale.  It was perfect.

The Eight year old boy watching him coughed.

“Mister,…. why didn’t it Rhyme?”

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Promo image by Curtis Mac Newton via Unsplash.

Suggest your own one word story title – it’s easy! Pop your word in the comments or tweet it to @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory and I’ll write a story just for you!

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#59 – Cheek

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All around the room flames roared and span through the air: blue and red funnels shooting from the base of each hob, the blazing inferno bringing sweat to the skin of the paramedics kneeling at the floor.

The apprentice looked down at the prone form of Chef Tyler, his harsh, furious gaze now dull and powerless.  Spittle still leaked from the corner of his mouth.

“What did you say to him?” one of the Sous Chefs nudged the apprentice, his mouth agape.

“Nothing,…”

The apprentice shrugged.  Chef Tyler twitched.

“Just that his soup could do with a little salt,…”

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Promo image by Michael Browning via Unsplash.

Suggest your one word story title and I’ll write one just for you! Pop your word in the comments or tweet it to @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

#58 – God

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The frog looked through the glass, its spongy foot pressing up to the invisible barrier as a pair of eyes gazed in at it.  Settled in its jar, it marvelled at the bright lights and crashing sounds around it.

The small animal will remember that day always: the day that the hand reached down from above.  The feeling of flying through the air.  The new smells and sights.  It was all so wonderful.

Again the eyes gazed in, the lid of the jar unscrewing, a scalpel held high.

Perhaps now the frog would know the mind of the creator.

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Promo image by Henry Fornier via Unsplash

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

#54 – Conceived

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The blueprint dimpled as Joseph poked his finger against the paper.  That was the point of entry.  That was the place the explosives needed to be set.

The four men looked at each other and nodded in silence before quietly unlatching the van door and filing out into the harsh, cold night.

Beside them, the jewellery repository rose through the street light, its towering brick walls disappearing into the gloom above.  Three of the men were already creeping across to the alleyway behind.  The fourth kept lookout.

He saw a cop watching from the shadows.

He smiled.  He turned away.  He waited.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image by Matthew Skinner via Unsplash.

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

 

#53 – Faith

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Jeanie held her arms out to each side.  The balls of her feet balanced against the edge of the stage: her heels hung in the air.

“That’s it, Jeanie: now fall back and the other girls will catch you,” the teacher cooed.

“Well of course they will,” Jeanie thought.

She knew them.  Jeanie knew they’d do exactly as they were told.  Jeanie had dunked the geeky one’s head in the toilet just last week.  The spotty one still had a bust lip.

She closed her eyes and fell backwards.

There was a giggle.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo Image by Charlie Foster via Unsplash.

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

 

#50 – Join

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The lizard scratched and twitched, trapped in the cardboard box as the boys watched on.

“Look at it’s tongue!  Eww!”

“Does it bite?”

“I heard that they break their tails off if they’re attacked.”

“That’s frogs.”

Matthew wasn’t listening.  His eyes were fixed on the lizard, its gaze flicking from person to person, its tiny chest puffing with short, sharp breaths.

The treehouse fell silent.  The boys were staring at him.  The rock was in his hand.

“What are you waiting for, Matthew?  You want to be in the club, don’t you?”

Matthew was crying.

“…… of course I do,……”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image by Erwen Hesry via Unsplash.

Story 50!  Wow! Just another 315 to go,……

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

#49 – Indifferent

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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?”

Silence.

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”

 

#48 – Jobseeker

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A pencil skimmed against paper, cutting a jagged grove as the point marked a square around the advertisement.

“Pool Cleaner”

Days spent slowly skimming debris from the two-dozen pools of the water park?  All those toned girls in their sodden bikinis, swarming around the water in the sun?  As jobs went, it was a good one.  There was only one problem.

“It’s off season in February.”

He went to cross a line through the ad but a crash from the living room stopped his cigarette-burnt hand.  Trembling, he reached for the phone.

“Dad needs the money.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016

If you too would like to donate a word, pop it in the comments section below or Tweet it to me@timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

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