Witch- A Flash Fiction

Dad called my mother’s mother a witch. He said she saw a dancing sprite weaving in and out of flames, cast like a shadow on her bedroom wall, the night before a fire stole her middle child. The green curtains that hung on his bedroom wall were deemed to be the cause, she said, everyone knew green curtains were unlucky, and all the drapery was blue thereafter. She routinely cast salt over her left shoulder to blind the devil and interpreted the patterns in tea leaves for all who dared to take a cup with her. She’d brew it in a steel pot atop the stove, boiling until the tea was dark and strong and tasted as though the metal had bled into the liquid, an alchemy of fortune, good or bad. My dad insisted on a strainer and never let her near his cup. During...

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Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend: A Guest Post from Calum Kerr

I am delighted to welcome Calum Kerr to my blog today in the first of what, I hope, will become many posts from guest bloggers. Cal is the director of National Flash Fiction day and has Lost Property, a new collection of some of his fabulous short stories out now from Cinder House and Amazon UK. Let me hand over to the man himself to tell us a little about his love of horror and share one of his acutely observed and dark tales. ***** When I first started writing, or at least writing with an eye to publications, I was writing horror stories. Okay, so I was reading a lot of Stephen King, James Herbert, Shaun Hutson, Richard Laymon, Ramsay Campbell and even (I feel ashamed to admit now) Dean R. Koontz. I may have been influenced, but I did like me a bit of gore and...

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Dipping A Toe in the Self-Published Water

It has taken me a long time of debating with myself whether or not to self publish my short stories. Part of me worries that they’re not good enough; part of me worries that I will be tarred with the same brush as some self-publishers who are happy to put their names to low quality drivel. (Please note I said ‘some’ – I have read just as many good self-pubbed books as bad ones.) But if I don’t have confidence in my own work, how can I expect other publishers to? So, having spent time going over my fiction and selecting those I truly believe to be my best, “And The Angels Cried and other stories” should be available for the Kindle soon. My book will be a collection of short and flash fiction and cover a variety of genre...

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Glasgow Style

  ‘Hello there, doll,’ he says. ‘Hi,’ she says, smiling. ‘Mind if I sit here?’ He points to the barstool beside her. She sighs. ‘If you want to.’ ‘You’re no from around here, are you?’ ‘How observant.’ She attracts the barman’s eye. ‘Ah’ll get that for you, love.’ ‘I can pay for my own drinks.’ ‘Come on, that’s how we treat a lady here, Glasgow style.’ She hesitates. ‘Thank you.’ ‘Cheers, darlin’.’ ‘Chin-chin.’ She sips her drink and places the glass on the bar. ‘What brings a lady like you to Glasgow? Business?’ He leers. ‘Pleasure?’ ‘A bit of both,’ she says, pulling back from him. ‘And which of those are you taking care of tonight?’ He places a hand on her knee. ‘That very much depends on who is asking and how much he is willing to pay.’ He leans in and...

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Kissing Frankenstein & Other Stories

As part of this year’s National Flash Fiction Day celebrations, the lovely and talented Rachel Carter set up a blog to find the best flash fiction written by the people of the West Country. As a result of this brilliant project, Kissing Frankenstein & Other Stories, an anthology of the best stories submitted, was produced. Like most anthologies, not every story is going to appeal to every reader. There were some I didn’t particularly care for, but I have to say that these were in the minority. There is a real skill to writing such short pieces of prose and leaving the reader satisfied and almost every writer here achieved that perfectly. I loved Kissing Frankenstein, a beautiful tale of memory and a scandalous past, and Polishing The Air, a fabulous tale...

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