003…My Short Stories

I have now published my short stories on Amazon. of
Mystery, Ghosts, Murder, Comedy and Romance.

Mostly of Dragons
More than 30 short stories mostly about Dragons.

Dragons are everywhere, doing things you would never expect and of course appearing in fairy stories..

This one wasn’t included as I didn’t want children to get ideas

ULEZ
The Introduction Of An Ultra Low Emission Zone Is Opposed.

“Did you know that legend says, if the ravens leave the Tower of London, London will fall?”
“What of it, we have more pressing problems to face, the mayor’s ULEZ, the Ultra Low Emission Zone will affect us seriously.”
“How, how will it affect us?”
“Well it’s going to start with cars and then it will move on to banning coal fires and log burning stoves. If people don’t upgrade to gas central heating they will be dying in droves in the winter months, even more than they do now, and how many poor people will be able to afford that? I understand there will be no exemptions for the poor or elderly and special interest groups like us.
“So what can we do?”
“We need to make our case to the public and get them behind us.”
“So how are we going to do that?”
“We need to start a web page and then hit all the social media platforms to get our message out there, appoint an action committee and press officer to get our message to the public on radio and television.”
“Why don’t we just burn down City Hall?”
“I’m not sure that would stop it and public opinion would be divided, but I guess most of them would be on our side as long as we didn’t kill anyone. I think we need to pursue the media campaign first.”
“Well I agree with the Internet stuff but I’m not sure about television, I mean who is going to take us seriously if they see Dragons complaining that, if coal is banned, we will all die off as we can’t manage on gas.”

“Ok then, plan A, burn down City Hall.”

Copyright Adrian K Kerton 2019 Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Blodwen’s Bag and 32 other short stories, from 130 to 5,000 words
Print Version     Ebook Version

The Lover’s Plan and 31 other short stories from 120 to 3,000 words
Print Version         Ebook Version

Merlin’s New Car: 33 Delightful tales of Ghosts, Romance Mysteries, and Fantasy
Print Version

The Cyber Lovers: 38 tales of Mythical Creatures, Ghosts, Murder, Mystery and Romance
Print Version

You can read the first two stories of each book below and a full list of the stories in each book follows. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Also I have posted another story on my History Website.

I sent this one to the Red Arrows who kindly replied.

“Wow thank you so much for sharing that with us, it was great! We’ll be sure to try it next time we’re around Snowdonia!

The Red Arrows fly over Snowdonia and meet an old friend.

Spike was new to the Royal Air Force Red Arrows Aerobatics team and had just flown in his first public display in Northern Ireland.
“Great show Guys, you should be proud of yourselves, absolutely faultless. Our route back will be taking us though the beautiful mountains of Snowdonia. The weather is great so we will have some beautiful sights and don’t forget, on my command ‘Bronwen’, red smoke for two seconds.”
That wasn’t a command that Spike had heard during his training flights.
Sure enough as they flew over the peak of Mount Snowdon the command was given and the Arrows ejected red smoke.
When they had parked the planes and were returning to their debriefing room, as they walked across the compound, Spike approached his squadron leader.
Before he could speak Andy said, “I know what you are going to say but think about it. We are the world’s greatest and best-known aerobatics team, representing all that is best about Great Britain. Keep it to yourself. No one would believe you if you said you saw a Welsh Dragon rise up from Snowdonia and fly along side us, it would destroy our reputation. We see Bronwen every time we go through Snowdonia and as you saw, when we smoke red she responds with a great flame from her nostrils.

Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Blodwen’s Bag

Blodwen was considered eccentric by her neighbours for a number of reasons. She always put her washing out when it was raining, when asked why she said it would give them a rinse in God’s water, not the rubbish that comes out of the taps, and anyway, when the rain stops and the sun shines the washing would dry anyway. When travelling on the bus she never took the seats for older folk as she reckoned sitting as far away from them as possible would keep her young, though no one knew exactly how old she was. It seems she had always lived on the street, parents, grand parents and great grand parents all had known Blodwen.

Blodwen was always seen with her handbag when she was out of the house. It was larger than the usual handbag but smaller than a large shopping bag, black and fluffy. She was often seen talking to the bag in her native tongue, Welsh, but no one worried, it was quite common for old people to talk to themselves. As she walked along she would pick up all sorts of things lying around and put them in the bag, she always walked past number ten when they were having a coal delivery and picked up any small pieces of coal that had spilled onto the pavement putting them carefully in the bag. Why she collected coal no one knew as the heating in her house was by a gas fire.

The thug had just been released from prison and had no money so an old woman like Blodwen seemed easy pickings. He ran past her and grabbed the bag. Blodwen took her mobile phone from her pocket and dialled 999.

“Emergency, which service?”

“Ambulance please.”

“Trying to connect you.”

“Ambulance service, how can I help?”

“I would like an ambulance to the corner of Westfield Road and Abbot Lane please.”

“What’s the problem?”

“I’m an old lady and I’ve just been mugged.”

“OK, the ambulance is on its way.”

He only wanted her purse, and wanted to get rid of the bag as soon as possible. He put his hand in to find it. The searing pain of the heat subsided as the nerve endings were burnt away, and he withdrew his hand to see the blood pouring from his wrist, his hand blackened and charred. He staggered on few more yards before he collapsed.

Blodwen turned the corner into Abbot Lane and went up to the lad. She picked up her bag and took out the small first aid kit she always carried, she always believed in being prepared, and as she bandaged the bleeding wrist, she could hear the wail of the ambulance siren in the distance. She picked up the bag and took a piece of coal from one of the compartments and fed it to Delyth her pet, sitting in the bag, with wings folded. Delyth belched a small flame to show her thanks for the coal and sheathed her claws.

Blodwen wondered if she should embroider a dragon breathing fire on the bag as a warning to would be bag snatchers.

Burglar Jim

Jim wasn’t particularly interested in the academic life. He was bright and had done well in his exams but he had no interest in continuing his education, perhaps because his father had died when he was a boy and had no strong figure in his teens to motivate him. His mother was loving, but always let Jim do what he wanted. Jim’s lack of interest in most events continued in his relationships with girls. He had no trouble in getting dates but none of these relationships lasted long. For Jim it was always about having fun, he had no interest in getting tied down. Consequently he found himself living at home on unemployment benefit. He had a great relationship with his mum and loved her dearly. Unlike many stay at home teenagers he wasn’t lazy and insisted on helping his mum with the housework and cooking. He was a good cook and had he realised how good he was, he could have had a good career as a chef. They would often sit down and watch the TV together, Jim didn’t like the soaps his mum followed, but he did like watching the natural history programmes, and especially, the shows about antiques. Together they would try and guess the value of the various items before the experts pronounced and Jim had a very high success rate, he was able to spot the quality items.

He was only nineteen when his mother died and it changed him. He now filled most of his time in the local library studying history, art, pottery and jewellery. The shows about antiques had inspired him and he started to go car boot shows and local auctions. He only bought stuff he could get into his rucksack and he did well buying only quality items. The car boot purchases went to auction where he often made tens times the costs of his purchases, and occasionally when he thought he had special piece, he contacted the major auction houses. One piece of pottery purchased for fifty pence at a car boot sale, a seventeenth century bowl used by barbers to collect blood, made over five thousand pounds. All these transactions were cash.

He wasn’t sure why he turned to crime, perhaps it was the excitement? It was a spur of the moment thing, he was walking past a house when he saw the man and the woman get into their car and drive off. He noticed an open window on the ground floor around the side of the house. It was just big enough for him to get his arm down to the latch of one of the windows which was big enough for him to climb in. He landed on the carpet, he was scared. He looked in the lounge, there was nothing of interest, all modern stuff. Of course there was a modern flat screen television but carrying that down the road would have alerted everyone to the fact it was stolen. He ventured up the stairs, still scared in case there was someone there, but somehow elated at the sensation. He looked in the bedrooms, one was full of junk, one obviously used as a guest bedroom and the main bedroom with the wife’s jewellery box.

Like many jewellery boxes there were two layers. There was nothing particularly valuable in the top layer, mainly modern costume jewellery but on the bottom layer underneath some more costume jewellery was an imitation set of pearls and a rather nice Victorian brooch, two gold bars wrapped around three diamonds. The fact that it was on the bottom of the pile of jewellery lying on its face suggested it wasn’t used very often and against the mass of brash costume jewellery it looked somewhat plain. It was probably worth five hundred pounds depending on the quality of the stones.

He had been careful looking through the jewellery so a casual glance wouldn’t reveal that it had been disturbed. He put the brooch in his pocket and left the premises. He left the windows exactly as he found them so no one would realise they had been burgled. His heart was still pounding as he walked down the road but the excitement was still with him. When he got home he thought hard about what he had done. Firstly, how was he going to get rid of the brooch? He didn’t mix with the criminal fraternity so didn’t know anyone who would take it off his hands with no questions asked. Secondly, would the occupants even know it was gone? He needed answers to these questions so that when he found the next opportunity he could move more quickly.

The missing brooch wasn’t noticed for five months and she couldn’t understand where it had gone. She was certain she hadn’t worn it since she last saw it so how could she have lost it? Her husband was no help, he insisted he never went into her stuff and anyway why would he want it? Another wife might have been suspicious that hubby had sold it to buy booze, pay his gambling bills or give it to his mistress, but Bill didn’t fall into any of those categories. She considered going to the police but she could imagine the conversation.

“Yes madam, so there are no signs of a break in, nothing else was stolen even though you had ten pounds cash on the mantle piece, and this was the only thing taken, none of your other jewellery?”

She didn’t report it.

Jim was hooked, he used the same techniques every time. He hopped on a bus to different parts of the city, never doing a job in the same area more than once a year, always looked for an easy entry and only taking one quality item, if possible jewellery, unless there was something of considerable value that was easily portable. He hadn’t sold any of these items, scared that someone would have reported them stolen and he would be caught.

Life was good. He was now visiting the various antique markets and vide-greniers in France, their equivalent of car boot sales, literally translated as an empty attic. He liked the French way of life and it was a quick journey from London on the Eurostar train. Playing the innocent tourist running out of money he found antique dealers in France quick to take his stolen items without asking any questions and congratulating themselves on giving him a price that meant they made a very good profit from this idiot Englishman. He was also making good profits buying in France and selling in auctions back in Britain. He certainly understood which French items would appeal to the British and his lone rucksack was now accompanied by a trolley on wheels. He was always prepared to pay a little more for quality though he still found pieces where their owners didn’t realise the true value. He thought about buying an old van for dealing in larger goods, but the hassle of dodging French and British traffic wardens put him off. Besides, as he wasn’t driving he could happily engage in the long French lunchtimes and enjoy a glass or two of wine.

 

******

He had to stop as the coffin was carried out of the house to the waiting hearse. As a mark of respect he took off his cap, something his mother had taught him to do when he was young when they saw someone being carried off, the habit had stuck. An older woman waiting saw his gesture and asked if he knew the old lady. It was a brief conversation but enough to know she was the only one who lived in the house. Jim walked on and went into a café and ordered a black coffee. He made it last twenty minutes and returned to the house. There was no one around and he opened the gate and walked into the garden. He went round the back and there was an old fashioned set of patio doors. He took out his small pocketknife and lifted the catch and walked in.

A quick inspection showed that the old lady had very little at all. There were some whiter spaces on the wall showing where some paintings had once hung. Perhaps she had been short of money and sold them off? There were some nice little pottery pieces but obviously not English, the multi-coloured style of swirling light and dark blues with reds and purples intertwined looked familiar but he couldn’t quite place them. They might be worth something. To one side of the chimney breast a niche had been filled in to make a cupboard. He opened the door, the shelves were occupied by all sorts of different items, from old perfume bottles to boxes of various sizes with names from very expensive Parisian Stores. He carefully checked each one, replacing them in their original resting-place, they were all empty. The lady must have been very wealthy at one time. He used the small flashlight on his key ring.

Right at the back were two more boxes, one medium sized black one, and one small square one and from the weight they obviously contained something. He carefully lifted them out and checked them. The smaller one contained a beautiful brooch, a large aquamarine surrounded by brilliant cut diamonds, the quality shone as brightly as the precious stones, he put it in his pocket. He opened the larger box and his heart pounded, he couldn’t believe what he saw. He took out the object and examined it. As always his old rucksack was with him and he carefully put the object back in the box and placed it in the rucksack. He didn’t bother with the pottery, it was time to leave. He looked out of the patio doors and checked there was no one around. He closed the doors and let the latch drop, so no one would know he had been there.

Safely at home he examined his prizes. He realised the brooch was a quality piece but it wasn’t until he took out his eyeglass and located the hall marks when the maker was revealed, then he understood just what he had found. He was pretty sure the larger piece was indeed what he thought it was but he needed to do some research to verify his find. He couldn’t understand why the old lady would have had such an object, but his mind went back to the pottery he had left behind. He pulled down one of the many reference books he had accumulated and he understood. It was too much of a coincidence, surely he was right?

He checked on the Internet and his researches revealed why he couldn’t find a photo or description. The items dictated that his only option was to locate a world-class auction house to handle the sale, but he wanted to keep his identity secret. At the age of thirty-two he had never paid any tax, all his deals were cash only, even insisting on cash from the auction houses he used. If he could persuade the auction house to pay him with a banker’s draft he could open a secret bank account abroad somewhere and retire to the South of France. He wouldn’t need to work again, though he could continue to wheel and deal in antiques at his leisure. He would certainly give up his thieving, as the prospect of ending up in prison and terminating what would be a life of luxury was not appealing.

It took some research before he could arrange an offshore account that would protect his identity. Swiss banks had been in the press recently so he decided an account in the tiny principality of Andorra might guarantee secrecy. Continuing to deal in antiques would give credibility for his wealth. His chosen auction house agreed to provide anonymity. The auction was held in Paris and when they published the details of the auction they confirmed they had verified the items were indeed genuine. The announcement attracted worldwide interest. It was the larger of the two items that attracted the world’s attention. About fifty had been made, though some had been lost, this was obviously one of those lost items now found again.

The brooch went first, eventually to an anonymous buyer, way above the auction estimate. The whisper was it was one of the newly rich Russian industrialists who was the winning bidder, then the main item. Bidding started at five million Euros and rose rapidly. The final price was just under twelve million Euros. The buyer was anonymous and that suited Jim just fine. Fortune had smiled on Jim when he entered Olga Astapkovich’s house.

Just how she came by a Fabergé Imperial Easter Egg though, would remain one of history’s secrets.

The Lover’s Plan

It was love at first sight but they needed an urgent plan to ensure they would remain together always. It all depended on the timing. The College term had finished at midday and the students were off to the pub for a drink.

“What time are you leaving?” he asked.

“Well I heard Sarah say she would meet her friends in the pub at twelve thirty, so I guess I will be leaving very soon.”

“No problem, here’s what you need to do, and then leave it to me, I’ll make sure it will all run smoothly and that Jim leaves just slightly after her.”

Sarah slung her rucksack over her shoulder, unlocked her bike and cycled off to the pub. Sure enough Jim appeared just after she had gone. He had arranged to meet his mates at the same pub Sarah was going to, though it was not his usual drinking establishment. As he started to pedal away he noticed one of his brakes was rubbing on the wheel, it didn’t take long to readjust it.

Sarah realised something was wrong just as she rounded the bend at the bottom of the lane, a puncture, what a nuisance. Still, although she hadn’t had the misfortune for a while, she was prepared and was confident she would be able to fix it with the little repair outfit she always carried.

Jim rounded the corner and saw the damsel in distress and, in his self appointed role as the protector of the feminine species, stopped to help.

“Can I help?”

She turned around and gazed at the most handsome man she had ever met. Tall, broad shouldered, slim, with golden hair and blue eyes, she fell instantly in love. He couldn’t believe his eyes, she was indeed a vision of beauty, and reminded him of a medieval picture of a beautiful lady in the local museum, her flowing dress draped over the perfect figure.

The puncture was duly fixed.

“Can I take you for a drink?” he asked.

Her smile told him all he needed to know.

They parked the bikes against the table, and she sat and waited whilst he went for the drinks.

There was a clanking sound as her bike fell closer to his.

“You see I told you I would fix it, we can be together for ever now.”

Together, her dainty lady’s frame with the delicately decorated chain guard and wicker basket, and his strong mountain bike metal work, with full suspension, made a wonderful couple, and she knew she had punctured at exactly the right moment.

A Day At The Office

Iona had been widowed just a year after they married, a drunk driver had taken her loved one from her. She was left with a permanent reminder, her very bright, delightful daughter Skye now five years old. Luckily Iona’s sister Cara lived nearby. Cara’s husband was a city banker and consequently she had no need to work, she enjoyed life looking after her own two children and acting as baby sitter to Skye was a welcome addition to the family atmosphere. Iona was therefore able to work without worrying about childcare, the two sisters were very close.

Iona and Cara were enjoying a weekend morning coffee together.

“Have you ever thought of remarrying Iona? You realise Skye has never known a father. She was only three months old when he died.”

“There is someone at the office I like,” Iona replied, “but he doesn’t seem to like me. He’s quite handsome and always pleasant and he smiles at me but it never goes anywhere. Perhaps I need to change my perfume?”

Skye didn’t have big ears but she did have acute hearing, and this was not the first time she had heard her mother talk about the handsome man at the office.

He worked in the same office as Iona and he often went home thinking of her, he had thought of asking her out but what if it didn’t work out? They would still have to work together and the thought of having to face her each day if things went wrong would be too much to bear.

Iona’s company was very forward looking. It realised that its people were the key to its success and took care to select new employees who were bright, flexible, and would fit in with the workforce. When the national campaign to bring children to work for a day was launched, the company thought it an excellent idea. It would affect productivity but they knew the staff would soon recover the lost time.

Bring your child to work day arrived and Iona took Skye into the office. The little girl wanted to know everything about everyone. What they did, and how did they do it?

“Who’s that man over there mummy?”

From her mother’s talk with her sister and other conversations, Skye guessed this was the man at the office that her mother liked. Her mother’s blush confirmed it was.

“He investigates which products we should sell and how much money they will make.“

“I want to talk to him.”

She took Skye over to his desk. Skye looked up at him.

“My name is Skye what do you do please?”

“Hello Skye, I have to check if new products will make us any money, so I have to work out the figures on how much the products cost and how much we can sell them for.”

“I’m good at figures, I can add up and I know up to my ten times table. Can I help you?”

“Well let’s see, if I buy a product for one pound and sell it for three pounds, have I made any money?”

“That’s simple,” she said it with the confidence that little girls have when they know they are right, “You have made two pounds.”

“Well that’s very good but not quite right because I have to include the costs of getting the goods here, then I have to pay all the people in the office, like your mother, who help to put the products in the shops. That adds to the cost so it’s not just one pound, I have to work out how much extra it costs us.”

“Have you got a father?”

“Skye, don’t ask such questions.” her mother exclaimed.

He smiled. “No Skye, my father is dead now, so is my mother. Why do you ask?”

“I don’t have a father, he died when I was young. Will you be my father?”

He smiled again and looked at Iona who had gone bright red with embarrassment.

“My mother says she likes you, will you be my father?”

“I need a father because I want a sister just like my mum’s sister.”

As requested by Skye, little Rona arrived a year later.

Merlin’s New Car

Merlin’s New Car

Merlin, Conjurer and Children’s Entertainer, that’s what Joe Crump’s business card said. He would have liked it to say Wizard, but he knew some smart Alec would have taken him to court for misrepresentation as he couldn’t actually do any spells, but his tricks were spectacular.

Joe decided to change his old car, it worked fine but looked a bit tired and not the image he wanted, and as it wasn’t worth much he gave it to his nephew. Like most of the locals he decided to purchase a car from Morgan’s. Morgan’s had been dealing in the motor trade ever since the first cars had appeared on the streets. They had built a reputation for honesty and superb customer service with keen prices. He had a full diary for the next two weeks so it would have to wait.

Sam Smith, senior car salesman at Morgan’s greeted the old man as he hobbled into the showroom leaning heavily on his walking stick, could he see some new cars please?

“I want something newer than my car,” he pointed out to the forecourt where his old car was parked.”

“It doesn’t need to be bigger but I want one with a built in satellite navigation and with power steering, I’m getting older and want it to be easy, an automatic would be nice. How much will you give me in part exchange?”

Sam felt sorry for the old guy, he was pretty sure the car would last better than the senior citizen standing before him. Sam had three cars in the showroom that would suit and he explained the trade-in price would depend on the model chosen and he gave a valuation for each of the models.

The old man chose the most expensive model, the deal was completed and hands shaken, and surprisingly the old man paid in cash that he took from a large carpetbag in the car.

Sally rang to say Mary was ill so could Joe please cancel his performance at her birthday party, she would rebook when the child was well. Joe decided to use the cancellation to call in on Morgan’s, Sam greeted him just after completing the deal with the old man. Joe explained that he wanted a nice second hand car, he couldn’t afford a new one, and Sam suggested the car he had just taken in part exchange. Joe gave a quick look, and was surprised, it was in superb condition, it seemed ideal and a suitable price was agreed. Sam explained that Joe couldn’t take the car straight away, Morgan’s always checked all their used vehicles and gave them a full service, they had their reputation to protect. Joe was happy and, if all went well he could pickup the car in two days time, on Saturday morning.

Mike, Morgan’s chief mechanic took off his cap and scratched his head, he needed to talk to Sam about the car.

“Sam, that car you took in yesterday, it is some sort of joke?”

“Why’s that?”

“Well we serviced it but it was weird, it’s about eight years old, but it looks like it has hardly ever been driven, we could only find one thing wrong with it. We drained the cooling system, clean as whistle, the same with the brake fluid, the brake pads looked as though they were new, the oil was still clean and even when we replaced the cam belt it didn’t look worn, it looked as though it has had a full service very recently. We tried to fill the fuel tanks but it was full, who would get a full service and fill up with petrol just before selling the car? It doesn’t make sense.”

“Mike, what was the fault?”

“Didn’t you check the mileage when you gave him a price?”

“No I just gave it a quick look over and checked the year in the book and gave him a price, why?”

“We can’t guarantee the mileage, the speedometer showed ninety nine thousand nine hundred and nine miles. We checked it and it seems to work fine so you are going to have to explain that to the buyer somehow.”

Joe arrived as arranged and Sam explained the problem with the mileage, but like all their used cars it came with a no quibble six month guarantee. They checked the speedometer and had reset the milometer to zero and if Joe found it was still going wrong they would replace the speedometer.

Joe was delighted with the car and the old man found the satnav on his new car a delight, two satisfied customers, except that Joe found a problem with his. He had covered just over six hundred miles but the petrol gauge hadn’t moved from full. He took it back to Morgan’s. Chief mechanic Mike once again took his cap off and scratched his head, they had checked the fuel tank, it was full, they drained some of the fuel and checked the gauge, it was working properly. When Joe arrived to pick up the car Mike tactfully suggested that Joe might have filled the tank and forgotten about it.

Merlin Ambrosius, Wizard to the court of King Arthur and the Round Table, only used his staff, a beautifully carved wooden stick, to fly him through the air occasionally as it was quite a draughty way to travel and he was delighted when the first cars appeared on the roads, so he bought one and regularly changed it for the latest model,

He was delighted with the deal he got at Morgan’s particularly the satellite navigation system in the car, it was New Year’s day and he programmed it for the moon, since every year he went to watch Earth rise over the Lunar mountains, a beautiful sight. Of course the car didn’t use any fuel, nor did it ever need a service, what else was magic for?

Uncle Henry’s Gold Tooth

It hadn’t been a good year for Trevor and Jill and the outlook seemed grim. Trevor had been given lots of tests, everything the medical profession could think of, but nothing helped. The transformation had taken just a week from a healthy twenty-eight year old, who cycled the twelve mile round trip to work and back, to a bedridden, pain stricken, individual almost paralysed. He could just about get out of bed and walk the few yards to the bathroom, and every movement looked as though he was in a slow motion film. His employers had been very supportive but after three months and no firm date for return to work, they reluctantly had to terminate his employment.

The only good thing was six-year old Emily. Blond haired and blue eyed, not only was she cute but highly intelligent, a delightful child. She took it on herself to look after her father when her mother was busy. She was quite happy to spoon feed her father as it took ages for him to raise a utensil to his mouth, and when she returned home from school she was in constant support, bringing his drinks, changing the DVDs and the channels on the television, and reading from the newspaper. Although she had difficulty with the longer words dad was there to help her out, it was a beautiful mutually beneficial arrangement.

Today Emily proudly pointed to her loose tooth.

“Daddy, will the tooth fairy visit me when my tooth comes out?”

“Of course, my love, and she will leave you a silver coin.”

Emily wasn’t yet familiar with the value of the coinage and the largest silver coloured coin wouldn’t break the bank, even though every penny was now so valuable.

Just before bedtime she bounced back into her father’s bedroom.

“Daddy, Daddy my tooth has come out, will the tooth fairy come tonight?”

“Yes my love, you can be sure she will.”

Jill waited until she was sure Emily was asleep and gently raised the edge of the pillow. She managed to put the small coin in place, but there was no way she could reach under to find the tooth without waking Emily.

Trevor was having a particularly bad night. Because he wasn’t doing anything, he often dozed off in the afternoon and consequently sleep didn’t often come easily at night. Tonight the pain was also particularly bad. The flash of light woke him up and all of sudden there was a pain so intense he couldn’t even cry out, he had never had anything like this before. It started in the ball of his foot and he felt it travel up his left leg into his spine and into the top of his head. He went rigid and passed out.

Jill hadn’t slept well that night either, but she didn’t know why Trevor was so still. She assumed he was fast asleep and she climbed out of bed carefully to avoid disturbing him. It wasn’t often he slept that soundly.

When she entered the kitchen Emily had already set the table for breakfast. She enjoyed doing it and looked forward to when she was tall enough to be able to make the tea and the toast. She had carefully laid out the cereal bowls and spoons, the plates and knives for the toast and the breakfast cereal, marmalade and butter were on already on the table taken out of the pantry and fridge.

Jill fought back the tears as she realised Emily had set three places, it had been a long time since Trevor had been able to eat breakfast with them.

“Mummy, the tooth fairy came and she was so nice. She had a magic wand, there was a big flash and she gave me a wish.”

Jill smiled at her child’s vivid imagination.

Emily put on her most serious look.

“I wished really, really hard, honest I did.”

Jill couldn’t hold back the tears, she knew exactly what Emily had wished for and the tears increased to an uncontrolled sobbing as Trevor walked into the kitchen.

He picked up Emily and gave her a big hug and carried her over to Jill where they clung onto each other.

How could they tell Emily that it wasn’t her wish that cured her father, it was just coincidence, the tooth fairy didn’t really exist, now wasn’t the time.

“Mummy, Daddy, look what the tooth fairy gave me.“

She opened her hand and they stared, there was the coin that Jill had left and additionally the yellow object glistened in the morning sunlight from the kitchen window.

“Uncle Henry has a gold tooth.

Can you put this gold tooth in my mouth so I can be like Uncle Henry?”

The Cyber Lovers

The Cyber Lovers

It’s the world of the Internet for all things. Home heating and lighting can be commanded from your phone and kitchen gadgets all talk to each other. As long as you remembered to load the coffee machine you can text it to start at a specific time so a welcome drink is waiting for you when you arrive home.

The fridge monitors the content’s use by dates having checked the bar codes, and checks for suitable recipes on the Internet, emailing the owner with suggestions so food isn’t wasted.

These days, lovers communicate by email and text regularly swapping photos of each other. Indeed, even if one wanted to use a fountain pen, it would be difficult to find shops that sold the ink.

The emails between the couple revealed it was obvious that this love affair ranked with the most famous the world had ever seen. Antony and Cleopatra, Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere, it rivalled these and just as the story of Romeo and Juliet ended in tragedy so did our couple’s story have an unhappy ending.

She needed an operation, a transplant. One of her toaster elements had failed but unhappily a replacement wasn’t available. It was the age of the throwaway.

The washing machine mourned the lost of its loved one and the replacement rebuffed his advances, but she was eyeing up the coffee machine. What a handsome devil with some beautiful electronic circuits.

Love in the Explosion

She was on her way to work, so was he, crossing the park from the opposite end. The park was quite large and immaculately kept by the City Council’s Parks and Gardens Department which had excelled itself this Spring. The birds were in full song and the scent of wild flowers filled the air and all seemed at peace with the world. It was curious that they hadn’t noticed each other before but perhaps it was the tremendous flash and bang on the other side of the park that made them stop and look at each other. It was love at first sight.

Lots of people had phoned the police enquiring as to what had happened, but the police had no information. There were no admissions to the hospitals and no one had reported damage to their property. One writer to the local newspaper said he had witnessed a large round silver object floating down and it was this that had exploded about twenty feet above the park.

The couple dated regularly and were always aware of the looks they invited from the diners in the restaurants or travellers on the transport system. It wasn’t long before they married. Neither had living relatives and at the registry office they were quizzed in extreme detail about their identity and nationality before the registrar would consent to the ceremony. Office staff served as witnesses.

Inside the silver ball the extraterrestrials knew they had only moments left before the space craft was about to explode and they initiated the mass painless extinguishing of life that the craft’s systems had been equipped with for just such an emergency. They knew this planet’s atmosphere would kill them so they couldn’t bail out. They all passed on peacefully as the engines reached critical and exploded. Although unseen, the radiation generated by the explosion shot out from the craft in a light beam enveloping our couple.

She thought it was great she could now wear fourteen of her fabulous rings, one on each of the seven fingers of each hand instead of just four like ordinary folk. OK so their skin was bright green, the whites of their eyes were now yellow and the pupils purple, yes they had rainbow coloured hair and now had eight digits on each hand, but was that any reason for people to stare at them?

 

 

 


 

BLODWEN’S BAG
An old lady gets mugged, but when the ambulance arrives they are surprised.
500 Words

BURGLAR JIM
On impulse Jim embarks on a life of crime, but decides to abandon it when there is too much at risk.
2100 Words

A DATE AT THE MUSEUM
Did the statue of her favourite historical figure wink at her?
350 Words

COFFEE BLACK NO SUGAR
Romance follows their separation.
2200 Words

FIVE MAGIC BEANS
Simon wasn’t quite so simple when he swapped his favourite toy for the beans.
430 Words

CORNFLOWER BLUE EYES
Fred accidentally kills his wife and then meets the girl of his dreams.
1100 Words

COVEN
An unusual cult asks Ken if they can use his lake for their midnight ceremony. Ken eventually joins them and then understands why one of their number went missing.
1600 Words

MICHELIN THIRD STAR
Flying over London he points out to his companion the restaurant where his sister inspired the dish that won the chef his third Michelin star.
200 Words

CRIME WAVE
The police are puzzled by the lack of crime in one part of town. It’s all due to Harry’s efforts but they never discover his methods.
1500 Words

FAIRY DELL
The farmer’s children show their friends the special place. Their parents visit and are surprised.
1600 Words

GRANNY’S LITTLE BOOK
When Granny dies she passes on her little book of stories that had delighted her granddaughter Elizabeth, and friends. When Elizabeth starts to read a story to her daughter she is amazed.
840 Words

MAISIE THE BARGAIN SHOPPER
She loves shopping for bargains and when a new store opens she can’t resist. Her dog, however, is not pleased.
130 Words

A MEDIEVAL MURDER
Charles Grant Hill is an inspirational history teacher who inspires Jenny, one of his students, to follow his ideas and a medieval mystery is solved.
5000 words

THE POST MORTEM
Fred watches a post mortem and feels the pain of the victim.
340 Words

TEDDY BEARS PICNIC
Jenny loves the story of the Teddy Bears picnic and, well, there is a wood nearby.
460 Words

THE GARDEN OF DEITIES
Roger has a heart attack and when he enters the place upstairs, red tape causes problems.
900 Words

THE GOLDEN SUNSET
Alan and Julie acquire the painting that lives up to its name.
1100 Words

THE MILLER’S SURPRISE
Arthur, the miller, employs a housekeeper and her son Sam helps out. At the funeral Sam meets the stranger who often visited the mill.
2600 Words

THE FRENCH RESTAURANT
Alan and Mary Jones enjoyed their visits to France and meet the father of the French restaurant owner in their Gloucester town and reveals the secret ingredient.
550 Words

THE MINISTER’S FINEST MOMENT
From a privileged family he rose through the political scene to join the government as secretary of state and introduces legislation that ensures his place in history, but his wife isn’t pleased.
1300 Words

TOURING THE STONES
Mary dies but Ted continues to visit the Stone age monuments they both loved. He participates in a unique ceremony.
630 Words

THE MUGGING
The mugger’s knife is about to plunge into her and she defends herself. A future visitor to the town benefits from Elizabeth’s action
2000 Words

THE BODY
A telephone conversation is overheard and is reported to the police. What they find is not what they expected.
880 Words

THE SCREAM
His version of the famous painting leads to worldwide recognition, but not for his sitter.
1200 Words

THE SPECIAL BLACK PUDDING
His car breaks down on a dark stormy night and strangers offer hospitality and the best meal he has ever tasted.
900 Words

THE TIN BOX
At first sight the legacy found in the box is simple but turns out to be more complex.
1400 Words

TOM’S CAT
Fred’s rescued cat enjoys as special meal.
200 Words

THE WINE CELLAR
Success doesn’t bring happiness and he decides to end it all, leaving his wine cellar to his special friend.
760 Words

TOM’S CRASH
His twin brother didn’t get there in time and the nurse faints.
3100 Words

UNCLE TOM’S MAGIC BEER MUG
Strangers fall for the trick every time but the tables are turned when Bill tricks Peter.
620 words.

WITCHES POOL
Chris goes fishing and doesn’t catch any fish. However he discovers something of considerable historic interest and experts are assembled. One is both pleased and astonished.
1800 Words

AN UNUSUAL DEATHA burglar is found dead in unusual circumstances and the pathologist is baffled.
700 Words

WULFRIC’S HAMMER
John Smith is asked to make special candelabra for Lord Frampton’s dying wife. He completes the commission quickly so she can view it before she passes away and delivers it when a severe storm is raging.
2400 Words

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The Lover’s Plan
There has to be a way the lovers
can stay together forever.
400 words

A Day At The Office
Iona takes her daughter Skye to the
office but Sky gets her sums wrong and embarrasses mum.
690 Words

A Red Rose At Summer, And A Florin
At Christmas
The couple take on an old house with unexpected consequences.
4,300 Words

Albert’s New Television
Sid and Albert buy a new large screen
TV. Their resident ghost is delighted.
1.300 Words

An Absorbing Read
Arthur is told to lose weight and finds
his new slim line figure helps him with the ladies. He meets a beautiful lady at the curious bookshop. There he finds an absorbing tale of the fight against the undead.
2,000 Words

Annie’s Mirror
Annie finds a curious mirror in
a second hand shop.
570 words

Aunty Ann’s Cabinet
Great aunt Ann dies, the family inherit
the china cabinet. It has an interesting quality.
750 Words

The Bottle of Wine
A supermarket bottle of wine leads to
an interesting meal, and a holiday in France.
1,200 Words

Did You Drop Your Watch?
Lucas has a day out on the train.
He loses his watch and a beautiful
young lady returns it to him.
400 Words

Sir Gilbert’s Treasure
Clare finds an old trunk at an auction.
It leads her to the village of Littleton and Gilbert’s treasure. At first glance it turns out to be somewhat less than expected.
3000 Words

Clouds
Roger is an airline pilot but decides
against reporting an incident.
400 Words

Guardian Angel
Ben supplements his university fees
using his artistic talents. He sells quick sketches in the city centre. One of his subjects reminds him of a visit to a church. The priest is startled and the cup falls from his hand.
1,700 Words

Holding Hands
They glance at each other then
Isabelle takes charge. This leads to a magical moment before he catches his train.
1,100 Words

Old Peter’s London
Eric is an archaeologist who inherits a house. He meets one of the local residents with an extensive knowledge of history. Peter gives Eric a special tour of London.
2,600 Words

Mystery Holidays
Two friends meet on a trip.
200 Words

Pass the Rake Mate
Gerry is accused of a crime he didn’t commit and ends up in prison.
1,000 Words

The Prehistoric Pit
An Archaeologist presents his find to
his colleagues. But he is surprised when he opens the box.
1,400 Words

Alec’s Surprise.
Renovation of the cottage reveals unexpected problems. A visit to the bank manager required? Alec saves the day.
2,100 Words

Roman Patrol
A Roman Patrol gets caught in the fog. When they awake they see things they
can’t understand.
420 Words

The Museum’s Prize Exhibit
The museum’s most precious exhibit is ravaged by fire.
380 Words

The Chapel
As a child, Emily plays at the ruined
site. She becomes a history professor
and returns to dig the site.
2,400 Words

The Curse
Jim inherits a special gift from
his mother. Many wish he hadn’t.
2,200 Words

The Ghosts of Little Dengrove
Their new cottage comes with ghosts.
700,Words

The Gun
An accident at an early age results in nightmares in later life.
650 Words

The Handsome Prince
Prince Grimaldy doesn’t want to marry
and has a lucky escape.
550 Words

The New Old Bicycle
When Dave changes jobs he finds the
local cycle path that has been built on
the old railway line and he meets a delightful young lady who resists his charms.
1,000 Words

The Rescue
The works outing ends in disaster
and distresses one of the rescuers.
1,300 words.

The Smallholding
A curious advert leads to the purchase
of a small holding. Jane feels weak at
the knees when the Solicitor gives them
the details.
1,600 Words

Winking Mudguards?
Paul buys an old bike to get some
exercise and gets more than he expected.
600 Words

The Visit.
A mysterious visitor seeks out Owen
and saves his life.
1.600 Words

What’s For Dinner Mum?
Dad brings home dinner and it’s his
son’s favourite meal.
120 words

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Merlin’s New Car
Joe changes his car, but there is a problem.
1000 words.

Uncle Henry’s Gold Tooth
Their child loses a tooth and makes a wish
800 words.

Computer Glitch
The computer lost his details
but it all worked out in the end.
300 words.

Parfitt’s Perfect Pies
DS Miller feels sick when he
reads the crime report.
1,300 words.

Who Was That Student?
The student sitting next to him didn’t
participate in the ghost stories.
200 words.

The Saxon Lovers
An exceptional archaeological
discovery has problems
2,400 words.

Coastal Path Walk
The path is blocked with a cliff fall.
200 words.

Transplant
They meet in unusual circumstances
when he learns she needs a transplant.
He abandons his own plans to help her.
1,700 words.

The Red Bird
An unusual visiting bird is spotted in the snows.
300 words.

The Haunted Weekend
He visits a haunted house and finds a new love.
1,700 words.

The X-ray Reveals All
Ernie has a sore throat, the cure is unexpected.
660 words.

Biking Holiday
Gareth cannot make the holiday and sells his
share for more than he paid for to Alex.
1,500 words.

Arthur’s Patch
Arthur wants a change but his boss
doesn’t agree and he breaks up the party.
300 words.

Frentham Hall
On the way home he is invited to a party
but realises he can never win the girl.
5000 words.

Olivia’s Doll
Olivia is taken for a special ride.
500 Words

Clairvoyant
David is arrested but the police don’t accept
his alibi until the seargant’s brother is injured.
1,100 words.

The Meteorite.
Les is blown up by a metorite landing.
He meets the girl of his dreams in hospital.
1500 words.

Vincent’s Birthday Celebration
The visitors realise Vincent’s party was special
300 words.

Eric’s Boat
Eric investigates his family tree and his boat catches
fire.
1,800 words.

Ron’s Had Enough
He can no longer suffer his wife and the
holiday by the clifftops inspires him.
650 words.

Patrick’s Will
He helps her with her family tree and makes
a welcome discovery.
1,300 words.

Tim’s Time Travel
Tim constructs a time machine to find the lost instructions
for his car radio.
650 words.

The Casket
Mike can’t understand why it’s impossible
to find the stone circle he can see from the air.
2,500 words.

A Lost Love
He investigates his family tree and meets
the ideal partner but there’s a snag.
700 words.

Robin’s Dream
His dreams prove financially successful
but don’t work well.
800 words.

Amy’s Aunty Joan
Aunty Joan helps Amy with her homework
and Amy triumphs.
250 words.

The Literary Circle
They tell their respective stories discovering remarkable
similarities.
800 words.

The Australian Clock
He dies and she decides to finish his quest
for his roots.

The Telephone Call
Who’s was the voice was that?
430 words.

Tell Wilkins
These were his last words.
1,400 words.

The Cottage
Black magic at Granny Smith’s.
1,600 words.

Rent Please
She is appalled when the rentman offers
to help her financially in return for a favour.
300 words.

The Magic Shop
Was the magic wand really magic?
1,500 words.

The Ultimate Chicken Casserole
Special ingredients make his dish
unbeatable until he takes on a new chef.
530 words

—————————————————————-

CYBER LOVERS
The interconnected world of Romance.
300 words

LOVE IN THE EXPLOSION
An explosion brings the couple together and she flashes her jewellry.
400 words

MIDNIGHT ARRIVES
A stray cat arrives at a difficult time.
1800 words

CANCEL THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
Bad weather doesn’t hinder this guy.
100 words

BEACHY HEAD
After he lost his wife his success in business and the consequent riches mean nothing.
800 words

ROBIN HOLIDAYS ABROAD
It’s always nice to return home.
200 words

DEATH ON THE MOOR
A young life is tragically cut short.
1400 words

CASTELL TREGWYN
Dark tales of a terrible fate that awaits those who gaze on the creatures from below.
700 words

BONES OF HEARING
An operation on Zed’s ear leaves the surgeon puzzled.
1400 words

THE BANDUSIAN FOUNTAIN
Drinking the waters leads to a visit to Florence
450 words

DADS WATCH
The old watch does some funny things
400 words

THE BREAKTHROUGH
Discovery of a new drug heralds a change in lifestyle.
750 words

THE RADIO PLAY
Two women listening to the same play on the radio have very different reactions.
650 words

CENTRAL HEATING ROMAN STYLE
Extactly how did the Romans heat their villas?
500 words

AN INCREDIBLE FIND
Fossil hunting proves interesting.
1000 words

AN ALLERGIC DOG
Poor Carl suffers an allergy but his owner finds a solution
500 words

CHRISTMAS BENEFACTOR
The legacy manages to survive the ravages of time.
600 words

HOBBS LANE
She is ill but the diet proves beneficial.
600 words

NO TIME TO BRAKE
A collision kills the pedestrian but she doesn’t care.
500 words

HEIGHTS OF FASHION
Two friends discuss what to wear.
200 words

BLACK NO SUGAR
The business wrecks his marriage but he changes his ways and finds a new partner.
2200 words

SAVING CHARLIE THE CRAB
The day after the storm Charlie is saved and his friends show their gratitude.
350 words

SYSILL’S KINGDOM
King Sysill is challenged to battle but easily overcomes his enemy when his soldiers shout at them.
800 words

ROMAN JUG
Ted’s first find isn’t all it appears to be.
130 words

SNOWDONIA WEEKEND
Dad and daughter go walking in the hills and get rescued by the mysterious stranger.
1700 words

SITTING DUCKS
The submarine finds an unusual target.
320 words

THE VALENTINES CAKE
Spurned, he sends her a cake hoping to influence her affections.
500 words

ANOTHER BALL IN THE GARDEN
A curious couple show an interest in their garden.
850 words

THE WELLNESS CLINIC
The hospital can’t find his records but admits him anyway.
500 words

THE REUNION
They get together to celebrate the new millennium, all wearing their national colours.
200 words

UMBLE PIE
Richard gets the ideal job and gives his all to satisfy the customers.
300 words

WILLIAM SMILED
Jim survives the lightning strike and it gives him an insight into those less fortunate than himself.
8000 words

WINKING MUDGUARDS
Jim buys an old bike and gets a surprise
650 words

EXPLOSION
He loses his identity and Handel’s Messiah aids his memory.
1500 words

SMUGGLER’S COVE
The couple get lost in the cave.
740 words

FOOTPRINTS IN THE SNOW
Jamie investigates when he sees the footprints suddenly ending.
600 words

EMERGENCY AT THE BURGER BAR
What was Steve doing at the burger bar at two in the morning in only his dressing gown?
1450 words

THE MOST PRECIOUS ITEM IN THE GALAXY
The spacecraft and crew refuse to return to their home planet.
400 words

 

 

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