All of my stories, below, were written for competitions averaging 42 authors. We then voted amongst ourselves to pick a winner. I wasn’t allowed to vote for myself.
None of these tales have been altered. They appear as originally written.
(100 Word Anonymous COMPETITION WINNER, written in 2015)
Ian the iPhone
Ian was the best iPhone ever.
Mum shouted down him sometimes. When she tossed him onto the sofa, he pulled faces, making me giggle.
He’d float by my bed and tell stories of princesses, goblins and heroic robots.
One day, Mum chucked him away. I told her he was alive; she said “Don’t talk stupid. If you go in that bin, woe betide.”
I knew I’d get in trouble, but I rescued him.
I took him to a charity shop and posted him through the letterbox.
He’s still out there, making other children laugh.
“Miss you forever, Ian.”
(Personal Favourite, written in 2018)
THE TASTE OF DEATH
Gary never felt satiated. They had to feed him milk formula 2 days after his birth; he’d sucked his momma dry.
At a month old, his parents needed a hydraulic lift just to carry him up and down stairs. They couldn’t get nappies that fit, so decided to let him do his business on the floor, then shovel it into the toilet.
Then he got his teeth.
Eggs, chocolate, drywall, biscuits, chips, worms, cakes, bees, televisions, pastries, ovens, mattresses, doors, pigs and chickens (dead or alive), you name it, he’d eat it.
Age 5, he was the size of 20 blue whales. That’s when he ate his parents.
Being an orphan never bothered him. He’d roll around the street, eating houses, unaffected by the screams coming from his throat.
The queen sent an army to stop him. He swallowed the missiles, bullets bouncing from his many chins. Thousands of tanks, helicopters and military ships disappeared down his gullet, the remains of which were found in his feces. Millions of brave soldiers lost their lives.
No one can stop him. England, France, Sweden, Germany and many other countries are being digested as we speak.
His jaw’s stretched passed the equator. The only thing left to do is enjoy each other’s company, because sooner or later, we’ll see his teeth on the horizon and we’ll join our fellow humans, burning to death in his stomach acid.
(75 Word COMPETITION WINNER, written in 2014)
Daddy built me to fulfil his desires. He named me after the razors on my lips.
He sang to me when I smothered him with kisses. He liked it when the red oil dribbled down him. “It warms my skin” he said.
Now, no matter how much I kiss him, he just lays there.
I tried to recharge him; his skin turned to leather and started peeling, smelling like beef and sulphur.
“Wake up, Daddy!”
(Personal Favourite, written in 2017)
She often said, “That garden’s my life’s work.” And there I knelt in her most prized possession, staring at lips as blue as the coat of the lady who used to kiss me with them. Grandmother.
For days, I didn’t tell anyone, hoping it wasn’t real, waiting tables and joking with customers like nothing’d happened.
My uncle hammered on the front door, shouting, “Call an ambulance.”
When they came to remove Grandmother from her garden, I clung to her. She was like a mother and father rolled into one.“You can’t take her away from me.”
At her funeral, I dived into her open grave, slapping my palms on her coffin, tears soaking my hands. “Please, Grandmother, you’ve got to wake up.”
It took months of counselling until I was able to return home.
I walked around her garden for the first time in half a year, the flowers blossoming bright colours, vegetables ripe, the lawn evenly trimmed. A blue coat flapped in the edge of my eye.
I got married in Grandmother’s garden. I could almost see her sitting in the front row, hear her cheering as I kissed my new husband.
After I had my first child, I spent my time tending to Grandmother’s garden. Not that it needed tending to; it was always perfect. Working on that garden made me feel like I was helping her, like she was still with me.
I lost my husband when I was ninety. And now, I’m about to follow him into the afterlife. I lie near the rose bed, clutching my heart as it thumps its final beats. A hand clasps mine. “Grandmother? You’ve been here all this time?”
“Shouldn’t you be in heaven?”
She laughs. “Heaven wouldn’t be heaven if you weren’t there with me, darling.”
(100 Word Anonymous COMPETITION WINNER, written in 2017)
Greater Good Ghosts
Old Sheriff’s hand shakes, rippling the whiskey in his glass.
Sure, he’s drunk, but he’s also concentrating. Listening. Listening for that first gunshot to drag him into action. He knows it’s coming. The fellers that rode into town earlier… Old Sheriff’s met so many bad ones to know that those fellers aren’t good.
Old Sheriff sighs and picks up his gun. No, he isn’t afraid of dying. He’s just terrified of having to add new faces to the ones who haunt him. He never forgets the faces of the men he’s killed to protect his town.
(Personal Favourite, written in 2016)
BEAUTIFUL AND FACELESS
I call her Raspberry.
The way she bites my finger… feels like it’s bruising. It seems she’s holding back. She could bite the flesh right off. Cute as a bunny in a bow tie.
Bonnie Tyler blasts through my stereo: “And I need you now tonight. And I need you more than ever.”
Slice. Squawk squawk.
Her claws dig into my wrist, sending red teardrops down my arms.
I tried to stop myself, succeeded for years, but I had to catch the birdy, had to. I cast the seeds and she came to me.
That’s how much I respected her.
Her breaths become weak and wheezy . She flutters half her eyelashes at me…
slice. My hair tickles my ear and falls into her eyes. She tries to blink it out. Her eye whites turn raspberry red.
Slice. Crunch: she bites my knuckle. The throbbing sting sets my pulse racing, my stomach swarming, and me? I can’t stop smiling. And the blood… how it stains her teeth…
Raspberry, like the dress I first saw her in.
slice. Gush. My hands are getting slippy.
I’ve got Raspberry’s number on my phone, called her, said her mother had collapsed outside my house. “She can stay on my sofa until the ambulance arrives. Can you come quick? I’m worried.”
She came running, and I began slicing, just like I’d pictured it always.
That cute button nose…
slice, slice, slice. “I’ve watched you for so long, dear.” Slice. “Years and years.” Slice. “I was there,” slice, “to drive you and my daughter to your prom.” Slice. “I cried when you got your first boyfriend.” Slice. “And when I found out you was gonna get married?..” Slice. “I fell apart; I love you to pieces.”
“Tiny, little, pieces.”
(Personal Favourite, written in 2016)
Such a sharp jaw. I trace her fingers along his stubble, her other hand pushed against his six pack.
I feel the crowd gyrating to the bass.
I run her tongue across her lips, and he kisses us. I slither out from her throat and bite onto his tonsils. No one bats an eye.
She furrows her brow, not remembering our union. She’ll be dead by morning. His body’ll last me at least a month.
(Personal Favourite, written in 2016, apparently a very dark year for me)
He said I was beautiful, and that he loved me. He said it whilst holding my severed head, my neck stump throbbing. I screamed and tried to kick with legs that weren’t there.
I try to convince myself it’s just a nightmare, and every morning I wake, look down at him from my shelf, and the tears trickle. Why won’t I die? Why’s he forcing me to live like this?
I’ve stopped counting the days. I can’t help but scream when I catch my reflection. I’ve stopped biting when he kisses me; it only makes him more ravenous.
Snowflakes fill my heart.
Frostiness consumes my brain.
My summer has gone.
( 75 Word COMPETITION WINNER, written in 2018)
WHAT WAS I THINKING?
From the doorway, Trace watches herself sleep. Andrew smothers her with a pillow.
She runs to the kitchen and there’s Andrew, slitting her throat.
Clutching her stomache, she stumbles to the toilet. Andrew’s flushing bones.
“Let me out!”
The hospital room floats back. Andrew lies comatose.
The doctor asks, “Did the mindwalker work? Did you speak to your son?”
Trace rakes nails down her sore, tear-soaked cheeks. “He… wants us to pull the plug.”
(Personal Favourite, written in 2018)
Hayley giggles, dancing around the room with her teddy, Fluffy. “I’m so excited. Months of planning…”
Chardonney struggles against her bindings. “Please. I won’t tell anyone. It’s not too late.”
Hayley looks Fluffy square in the eyes. “It’s gonna hurt, but you’ll comfort me, won’t you, Fluffy?”
“Why do you hate me?”
Hayley turns to glare at Chardonney’s chest. “I don’t. I admire you. I want what you have.”
“Obviously. A few years in prison… it’s worth it.”
“I’ll sell my car; I’ll buy you some implants. Please-“
“Implants are fake.” She plunges the scalpel. “I want yours.”
(Personal Favourite, written in 2015)
STAY OUT OF THE KITCHEN AT NIGHTTIME
I open the fridge door; light spreads into the kitchen. I grab a can of pop. Mum’ll shout at me in the morning for coming downstairs at night, but I can’t sleep and I’m thirsty.
I push the fridge closed; then I leave the kitchen.
I look and there’s a man standing on the stairs. I scream and my tonsils scratch. I’ve dropped my can onto my foot. “Ow, ow ow ow.” Tears blur my vision. The smell of freshly-cut wood creeps up my nose, to the back of my throat.
The light switches on and I shield my eyes. I peek upstairs and the man’s gone. I gasp when I see my mum’s head.., poking round the corner. She rubs her eyes and speaks in a voice too tired to be angry: “Mimi, put that back and go to bed.”
“Do you know what time it is? Put it back, now!”
With my sourest pout I wrench the can up. Humph. I stomp.., then hop back into the kitchen; my foot feels bruised. I put the can back in the fridge. As I turn to leave, the man glides towards me, wriggling tree branches binding him from head to toe. My stomach swirls as a branch grabs my arm.
I’m hoisted at the wall; I pass through like it’s a ghost.
My legs shake. I feel like I’m gonna be sick. My arm’s thrashing: twigs are digging into me. The man’s walking through a tree and the branches are pulling me in with him. I snap branches, scream-
I can’t move. It feels like I’ve been dragged from my body. I th.., I think I’m trapped in a tree.
I hear my mum in the kitchen: “Mimi..!? MIMI!”
I can’t answer. I can’t even cry.
Thank you for reading my tales. I do apologise if one or two of them keep you up at night. Should you be interested in reading one of my longer stories, my first book, A Separation of Worlds, is available on Kindle and in paperback. Click this link for more, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07S9LTR8M