storyteller

#61 – Prime

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Jorge Illich-Gejo

The Silverback watched from the the undergrowth, his slab-like fists balled into the black earth.  The valley was his.

Around the Silverback, the forest chirped and chittered to the sound of a billion insects.  High in the treetops, Chimps swung to perch, gazing down at the Gorilla with nervous curiosity.  One swipe of his arm would crush them.  One charge of his thundering bulk and they would be no more.

Yet it was not the Silverback they feared.

The upright ape was there.  The clothed beast, sawing at the arms of the Gorilla’s mate.

The Silverback watched from the undergrowth.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image by Jorge Illich-Gejo 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!

Be sure to follow the blog by hitting the button to the lower right or by liking the OWOS Facebook page.

#58 – God

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henry fournier

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.

#57 – Recovery

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Sergey Zolkin

Amber lights flicked, cutting through the darkness and splashing against the grass of the verge.  The tow-truck driver sucked his lip, his hands balled at his waist.

The car was there.  It was running.  There seemed to be nothing wrong with it except the absence of a driver.

“Hello!?”

The driver called into the treeline, his voice struggling over the thundering roar of traffic.

“You called for a tow?”

There was a rustle in the grass.  The driver looked down.

Laying at his feet was a smartphone.  A video was playing on the screen.

“Oh god,…. they’ve come for me again,…..”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image by Sergey Zolkin via Unsplash.

Today’s One Word title was suggested and donated by composer and violinist Adisha Kariyawasam – his second suggestion for the OWOS project (yes, you can suggest more than one word!)

You can read “Violin”, the first story that he suggested, by clicking here.

YOU can suggest your own word: just pop it into the comments or tweet it to me @timaustin2k.

If you’re enjoying the stories, make sure you’re sharing the joy 🙂  I’ll see you tomorrow for “God”. 

#54 – Conceived

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Matthew Skinner

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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Charlie Foster

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

#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?”

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. Photo by Jon Sailer on Unsplash

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.

If you’re enjoying these stories, share them onto your feeds and let your friends know!  Follow the blog and Like the OWOS Facebook Page. 

#45 – Apology

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“I see, Mr. Jones, that is,…”

“And what are you going to do about it!?  Nothing, that’s what!!  All you ever do is pass the buck!”

Alice’s eyes narrowed, her computer screen swimming in and out of focus.  The rattling air conditioning ground her threadbare nerves.  The man on the phone just wouldn’t stop.

“Mr. Jones, do you know what Cymothoa Exigua is?”

“,… What?”

“Cymothoa Exigua, Mr. Jones.  A parasite that eats away at the tongue of it’s victim and attaches to the dead stump.”

“,… Why,….?”

“I’m wondering if you poor wife would like me to buy you one as a pet.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Photo by Hack Capital on Unsplash

An odd one today.  The ending went a few places – one of them tremendously dark.  I decided against it.  If in doubt, aim for comedy.

Today’s word was suggested by Steve Thomas of One Fine Day Artworks – purveyors of absolutely beautiful framed art.  Take a look at their range at www.onefineday.co.uk

If you’d like to suggest a one word title, please do: pop your suggestion in the comments section below or tweet it to me @timaustin2k.

Don’t forget to follow the OWOS project here and on Facebook so you can get a fresh 100 word short story every day!

Tomorrow’s story? Conundrum!

#44 – Diaspora

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Nikita Velikanin

The village was sick.  The sweet, hacking smell of death greased the leather hides of each tent.  The few elders who remained clapped their hands to their arms, beating away the chill west wind.

Cheveyo looked over at the old men as they hunched, skeletal, before the cracking fire.  They didn’t look back.  The sight haunted him from that day to his last: shadows of men, as decayed and thin as the skins clutched tight around them, haunched in the shadows of the old world.

The city beckoned.  The fight was lost.

The white man’s disease had done it’s work.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image by Nikita Velikanin via Unsplash.

Today’s title was suggested by Michele Seminara.  Again, a word I had never heard of before – always a great pleasure!  Michele is both the writer of poetry and the managing editor of the creative arts journal VerityLa.  You can find her on Twitter @SeminaraMichele

I am still in search of one word titles for my stories – please feel free to suggest your own by writing it in the comments section below or tweeting me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory. 

If you’ve enjoyed this or any other story, please do share them on whatever feeds you use.  I’ll see you back here tomorrow for “Face”!

 

 

#42 – Stunning

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Carly hadn’t expected this,…

Flashbulbs were blazing from every side as she stepped from the limousine.  The red carpet was shining bright. She waved, expecting the cry of excitement to drop away as the revellers and paparazzi realised their mistake.

She was a bit-part in the movie: a blink-and-you-miss-me nobody.  She’d cried at her Mother on the day the première ticket landed on the doormat.  And now,.. she was adored.

Carly flashed her brightest smile and twirled.  The press strained to take each shot.  They loved her!

The trail of toilet paper followed her unseen.  She didn’t hear them laughing.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Photo by Zeg Young on Unsplash

Today’s story was inspired by my ol’ uni mukka Rory McNamara – software tester, walking music almanac and producer of the finest Vince McMahon impersonation this side of the Hudson.  You can follow him (if that’s your bag) on twitter @RorsDM

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.

If you’re enjoying the blog, please let others know about it.  Like the OWOS Facebook page so you never miss a story!