#39 – Armenian

Posted on Updated on

Jake Malera

The cherry was as sour as Levon’s mood.  His mouth welled with juice as he leant against the rusted hulk of his car, his breath billowing in frozen clouds.

The sun was just creeping above the frosted horizon, slowly revealing the pitch-black earth of the fields.  Levon remembered days when he would sit with his father and watch the sun rise.  Such innocent days when the cherries were still sweet.  So long ago.

The trunk of the car rattled  and shook.  Levon slashed his foot against the metal, barking at the girl to keep quiet.

(c) Tim Austin. Promo image by Jake Malera via Unsplash.

I’m looking for new one word title suggestions: pop your word in the comments below or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory and you could be the inspiration for a 100 word story!

Please hit the share buttons below and like the OWOS Facebook page by clicking here so you never miss a story.

Tomorrow’s story: Stretched.

#38 -Mortal

Posted on Updated on

Luca Baggio

The priest stood, frozen and immobile, the chalice hanging limp in his fingers as it tipped against the lips of the kneeling penitent.  His gaze trembled, eyes wet with fear.

The man was standing from the bench.  He wasn’t moving.  He wasn’t talking.  He was just there.  As he blinked a tear free he saw the child curled on the bed.

There was a sharp jolt as the penitent coughed, wine spat against the priest’s robe.  The chalice clattered to the floor, the man still watching as the red soaked into white.

Not again.  Never again.

“God forgive me.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Image courtesy of Luca Baggio via Unsplash.

Today’s word was suggested by Horror Author extraordinaire Carrie Green.  Writer of the fantastic New Blood trilogy, you can discover more about her at and tweet her @CarrieGreenBook.

I’m always keen for new one word title suggestions – just pop the word in the comments below or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory 

Please hit the share buttons below and like the OWOS Facebook page by clicking here so you never miss a story.

#37 – Mercy

Posted on Updated on


“Mercy! Mercy!”

Katie was laughing through the pain, bent over the side of the bed, her arm twisted behind her by her brother.

“Who stole the cake?”

Her brother twisted his wrists again, the burning friction raking her skin.  She laughed into the mattress.

“I stole the cake!  I stole it!  Get off!”

“See, that wasn’t so hard.”  The boy released her and bounced onto the bed.  Katie thumped him in the chest.

“Well I couldn’t let the Nanny eat it, could I?  Not after what you did to it.”

Her brother shrugged.

“I was just encouraging her to leave.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Image courtesy of Annie Spratt via Unsplash.

Today’s word was suggested by mother, grandmother, writer, activist @ae_wylie.  You too could have your word made into a story!  Just pop the word in the comments below or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory 

This story is related to my earlier story “Tea”.

Please hit the share buttons below and like the OWOS Facebook page by clicking here so you never miss a story.

A new short story every single day – come back tomorrow for “Mortal”.

#36 – Cat

Posted on Updated on


The cat’s eyes shone in dull dis-interest as it gazed through the window that night.  From street light to street light people strode by: fleeting moments glimpsed in amber.

A young couple walked past, their hands clasped tight, palm to palm.  The cat had seen the girl before: her father didn’t approve of her dating.  Her dress hadn’t been zipped back up properly.

And then there was Mrs. Pearson, still pushing her shopping trolley, the empty bottles rattling within.  She’d made this journey twice every night since that day she wore black.

But the cat didn’t care.

The cat was hungry.

(C) Tim Austin 2016. Image courtesy of Miguel Angel Ruíz Sánchez via Unsplash.

Today’s one word story comes from Kathleen Kelly – a frequent coffee companion of mine and owner of possibly the fluffiest cat alive.  

I’m looking for new one-word titles!  I need more!  Please pop your suggestions in the comments section below or tweet me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

Please continue to share the stories and spread the word!  I’ll see you tomorrow for “Mercy”.

#35 – Illuminated

Posted on Updated on


The archaeologist swept a finger against the lines of the map.  The ink had faded into the parchment, now nothing but the ghost of a message, crumbling at his touch.  The airless vacuum was gone; the seal of the ancient room now crushed at his feet.  The Californian air was racing to meet him.  Time was running out.

It was an island. The Caribbean, yes.  His hands shook as his feverish gaze scanned for the mark.  All those years they’d laughed at him. All those birthdays missed, far from home.

The wind blew and the parchment melted.

All those years,…..

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image courtesy of James McGill via Unsplash.

Today’s one word title was suggested by Collette Knowles, Artistic Director of Rough Magic Theatre.  She is also, frequently, my boss.  And by boss, I mean Wife.  You can reach her on Twitter @collettepuppets.

I’m still in need of words to write stories on – tweet me your own suggestion @timaustin2k and I’ll write you your very own 100 word short story, right here.  Pop it with the hashtag #onewordonestory.

I’ll see you back here tomorrow for “Cat”.  If you’ve like the story, share it using one of the buttons below  🙂

#34 – Beehive

Posted on Updated on

KarstenThe House Mouse paused.  The long grass around him was sighing and rustling as he gazed up through the forest of green leaves.  So close.

The hum of the swarm shook the air: a cloud of insects flitting to and fro, journeying to distant flowers.  They wouldn’t see him, surely?  Not a tiny mouse like him,…

The honey dripped down the white paint: a golden stream overflowing to the soil below.

“Where do you think you’re going?” The Bee was bent double with age, its forelegs crossed over its sting.

The mouse pouted and turned away from the guard.


(c) Tim Austin 2016. Promo image courtesy of Karsten Wurth Via Unsplash.

A big thank you to Aaron Robshaw for today’s word.  Aaron is an expert on armor and leather work.  He combines bespoke crafting of armour for re-enactments and collectors with leather work for motorbikes.  You can discover the latter by clicking here.

Keep reading, sharing, liking and suggesting words.  Follow me on Twitter @timaustin2k and Like the Facebook Page at

See you tomorrow for “Illuminated”! 

#33 – Petrichor

Posted on Updated on


The sky was purple,… no,… not sky,…

Emma sat up a moment, the sleeping bag bunching down around her waist.  She let the ghosts of her dreams dissolve, clearing her mind and letting it drift towards memories of the night before.

She smiled.

She fell back, breathing in the scent of pine needles and dew.  A wind was tapping against the edge of the tent and she drew her breath in time with the swelling  fabric.


Emma laughed, arching her back and screaming into the sky as she lifted her hand, the engagement ring shining.

“Yes! Yes!  YES!!!!”

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image courtesy of Jet van der Wouden via Unsplash.

Today’s Story was inspired by Author, Oregonian and Coffee Addict Erin Ritch.  You can read her marvellous blog at and tweet her @Eritch324.  Thanks Erin!

If you’re enjoying these stories, please share them and tell your friends to visit.  Like the OWOS Facebook page and follow me @timaustin2k.

Keep reading, pop comments in the section below – let me know what you think!

See you tomorrow for “Beehive”!

#32 – Hands

Posted on Updated on


“This,…”  Becky’s Mother stroked a finger over the young girl’s palm.  “Is your life line.”  She smiled, her blue eyes fixing on her Daughter’s.  Becky giggled, pulling her hand away.

“Tickles, Mummy!”

Mother and Daughter laughed together, their summer hats flapping gently in the breeze.  Below them, the surf crashed against the legs of the pier.  Gulls soared above, calling a lament as they swept out to sea.


The girl’s Father was calling her.  She looked towards him.

“Who are you talking to?”

She turned to look at her knelt Mother.  Her smile faded.

“She always loved it here.”

(c) Tim Austin 2016. Promo image courtesy of Wil Stewart via Unsplash.

Today’s one word title was suggested by the lovely Becky Danks – avid bookworm and reviewer.  You can find her on Twitter at @BeckyD123.

Keep your one word titles coming in – I can’t do it without you!  Pop your suggestion in the comments section below or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.  Go on, what’s stopping you?

Remember to like the OWOS Facebook page and join me here tomorrow for “Petrichor”.

#30 – Window

Posted on Updated on


Stephen pressed ten fingers to the glass, his breath frosting a small circle as his face sank ever closer.  Someone was talking to him.  A nurse, he thought.  He didn’t care.

For so much of his life he’d drifted: aimless in his passage from one job to the next.  One failed relationship followed another – a ship without power or purpose, blown on the wind.  Finally life mattered.  Beyond the glass she lay: swaddled in an incubator, tiny and useless.

“She will need constant care for the rest of her life.”

He didn’t know why the nurse  looked so sad.  To Stephen, his daughter was perfect.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image courtesy of Alexander Lam via Unsplash.

Today’s one word title was donated by Sue McCormick: Actress, Playwright and Activist.  She’s also pretty darn awesome in pretty much every way.  She wrote this, among her other works

If you’re enjoying these stories, check out Chapter One of “The Santa Beneath the Ice” FREE by clicking the banner to the side.  

And keep your one word titles coming in!  Pop your suggestion in the comments section below or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

See you tomorrow for “SmegForBrains”,… I’m told, by the person suggesting it, that it’s a real word.  Considering his name is Danny John-Jules, I’m inclined to believe him!

#28 – Monolith

Posted on Updated on


Danny slammed his foot to the wall, the sole  of his shoe scraping the surface into dust as he leapt across the overpass and fell.

His hands struck out, clutching a metal railing: his chest crashed against the concrete wall with a cracking thud.  Breathless, he hung there, his eyes closed as he felt only air beneath his feet.  Behind him he could hear the jeers and laughter of the Hammond boys, watching from the balcony of the tower block.  They wanted him to fall.

They wanted him to fall every time he came home from school.

(c) Tim Austin 2016.  Promo image courtesy of André Sanano via Unsplash.

A big thank you to award winning and best selling author Jonathan Maberry for suggesting the title of today’s story.  Jonathan has done it all: novel writer, editor and comic book writer for both Marvel and Dark Horse,… he’s also a Doctor Who fan, which really puts him in my good books!

You can find out more about him at and catch him on twitter @JonathanMaberry.

If you have a one word title you’d like me to turn into a story, tweet me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.   Don’t forget to follow the blog and like the OWOS Facebook page by clicking here.

Read more stories on the site – there are 27 more! Enjoy and share the stories about and I’ll see you tomorrow for “Violin”.