Short Fiction

I love writing fiction, mostly fragments, sometimes complete short stories. I’ve started a couple of novels, but I tend to run out of steam, and they end up as shorts. I’m happy with them as they are.

I’ve had stories published in collections. This section has some snippets from my stories to give you a taster, and links to the collections where you can find the full stories.

I have a new one coming out in February 2022, which is available for pre-order.

My own collection of stories “A Pocketful of Change” is underway. I’m weaving a series of my modern folktales around conversations with some of the people who’ve inspire me most. I’ve been working on this for ages, and I hope that this year will see it finished!

Apart from that I am planning to put up a series of fragments and micro-fiction pieces. Some of these might become stories. But equally they might get picked up by others and turned into their stories – go for it

Contagious Tales

I’m delighted to have a new story in the forthcoming collection Contagious Tales – due to launch at a London Book Event on 1st February 2022. This story is The Prime Minister knitted me a jumper. Here’s a short extract.

On the day I turned eighty-five, the Prime Minister knocked at my door. The Cabinet had made me some soup and the Prime Minister had knitted me a jumper.

I know, this sounds far-fetched to you. You remember how it used to be. When Prime Ministers didn’t come round with soup. It isn’t like that now.

“Your neighbours were worried” she said, “you’re looking thin”. So, I invited her in.

Not available for order yet, but we will update you when there is more information.

Knock Three Times

Knock Three Times included two of mine …. The fish tank and the great glass stopper, and Songbird and the bwlch. Here are extracts from these.

The fish tank and the great glass stopper

“The great glass stopper took one more turn. All around, fish of every colour looked on. What would the next moment bring?

The tank was old and wonderful. The carving, the glazing, the setting on the rich wood of the gold inlayed shelf: each part in its own way magnificent.  The tank was home to a large tribe of fish from all corners of the world: some plain, some beautiful, some gentle, some frankly sharp finned and poisonous. They lived side by side in the tank and somehow it seemed to work.

All seemed to work until one day, with a splish and a splosh, a new fish appeared in their mix: a rare and exotic phillibut, of a kind never before seen in the antique tank.”

Songbird and the bwlch

“I was born just after the separations.

Maybe you remember stories of that time, of when the Council put patrols on the boundary in the Marches? It’s an ancient border, they say. That makes sense; I have seen glimpses of an earth wall behind the towers. I’ve heard the wall is fearsome in some places, machine guarded, with searching lights.

But it’s not that way here. This is a gateway province: bwlch, in our tongue. For me this wall has been my lifetime companion, a place of foraging and sometimes of rewards, and once a place of meeting. Yes, once a place of place of sacred meeting. But that was long ago.”

Knock Twice

Knock Twice included my story The flower that made monkeys screech at night …. Here’s an extract.

“The three-quarters full moon flooded the rock with light as the old woman settled herself for her night’s work. She looked from the high rock down onto her sleeping village. All was quiet, for now. She began to beat a gentle rapid rhythm on the drum she held, her head slightly raised as if looking at the moon, but her eyes were closed. She enjoyed looking out over the gentleness of the sleeping valley. But tonight, she had work to do. There were questions to be answered….”

Say hello

I am always up for conversations about creative work. You can contact me using the below methods.