Several pieces of work by a single writer, consisting of flash fiction and short stories. By clicking on a collection you can see which genres are covered, as well as the number of stories included and the word count.
The On-and-On Tin
“When she first arrived they said nothing to her, they just looked. An ordinary enough woman, halfway through her life perhaps … modest and respectful, but they were shocked at this female on her own… She said her village had been wiped out in a mudslide, she alone had survived… The gods favoured her, then? No, she said, just lucky.” (from Too Much Too Soon) Across twenty bite-size flash-fiction stories of no more than 500 words each, the reader can travel from Pre-Conquest Latin America to Post-Catastrophe Britain; or see inside the mind of Don Quixote’s horse and the mind of an impatient would-be suicide bomber; or meet the mythological character who delights in other people’s dilemmas and the woman who decided not to tell the world about her supernatural experiences. Perhaps you will find the answer to questions you never thought to ask: What was the real effect of The Great Plague? And how did British cities end up with such woeful transport provision? If you get annoyed when others try to tell you what to feel, you’ll sympathise with Jeffery in “Che Bello!” And if some people just leave you exhausted but you don’t understand why, you’ll sympathise with Eddie in “Is This a Law of Thermodynamics?”
A young couple are taken on a life-changing journey. A story based on real events. "Captain Parker took us aboard his ship in 1847. That winter, the Caribou did not arrive and the seals had come late. Many of our people had eaten their dogs and twenty had died of starvation. When Captain Parker gave up his store of whale fins and flippers there was much fighting, but our elders made sure all had their share. The captain and the ship’s doctor had learned Inuktitut and conversed with the elders of our tribe. When he spoke of taking some of us to show to his people, my father offered me and I was accepted by the captain as I was young and healthy. He promised my father that he would tell his people of the plight of our tribe. He said we would bring back many riches and the goodwill of great people. They would send men to build settlements and we would be helped by them, just as the Inuits of the East were helped by the Danes. The captain wanted to take a female too, and after inspecting some of our younger girls he chose Uckaluk. He said it would be proper for us to be married before the journey. The weather was becoming unfavourable for setting out to sea, he had to hasten the start of the voyage, so we began our life as man and wife without the blessings and customs of our people. Captain Parker performed his own marriage ceremony on board the ship. Home was far away only minutes after the Truelove set sail for the land called England. The sea was wide and long..."
Days to Come
Brindley Hallam Dennis
A collection of 8 short speculative fictions with a Lake District flavour... "Despite the distortion of the fish-eye lens, Terrence could see quite clearly who was standing in the corridor. Maurice looked no older than he had all those years before. He hadn’t even put on weight. His hair was still dark and full, and cut in a classic, almost archaic style. He looked like the 1940’s matinee idol he’d always modelled himself on. Terrence had not lost the plot, he reminded himself, though his hair had thinned, and his figure was wiry rather than slim, worn away rather than honed. Chickens had come to roost, he thought. Maurice was looking directly at the little lens of the spy glass. Could he see Terrence’s own eye looking back? His hand rose and lost focus, and the doorbell rang softly once again. Terrence closed his eyes briefly before opening the door. Terry? Maurice. I expected staff. There is no staff, only me. Hard times. Hard times. Well, aren’t you going to invite me in? Of course, you are. Maurice stepped past him into the hallway. Terrence glanced both ways down the hall, closed the door and followed Maurice. To the right, he said. Into the lounge. Through a picture window a bare and narrow balcony was not softened by a parched palm tree in a plastic pot, the thin browned leaves of which quivered like dark knives. Beyond them the ruins of Tower Bridge could be seen, emerging from dark waters like a piece of last century art. Maurice turned from the view and smiled. Terrence passed behind the counter of an open plan kitchen and drew from a cupboard a bottle of real scotch. Not all bad then..."
Twenty-Five Tenpenny Tales
Brindley Hallam Dennis
A collection of twenty five flash fictions. "It frightened him when she walked out alone like that in the early evenings and in the mornings. Sometimes he watched her from the upstairs windows, a flickering upright between the hedgerow trees beyond fields. She ranged a little further every time, in widening circuits of the empty space between them. Sometimes he tried to follow her, though not to catch her up, and by the time he’d put his coat on and the heavy shoes – the fields and tracks were often wet and muddy after rain – she was too far ahead for him even to be sure that he was following; not merely walking in his own unravelling circles. Sometimes, when walking out like that he knew that she was one side or another of him, perhaps ahead, and felt they were like planets in their orbits, or rather comets. Their orbits were not perfect circles around the house, but stretched, elongated ellipses. Sometimes when he walked, searching for glimpses of her through the trees along the rides and lanes, he would glance back towards the house and see it setting like a sun, glinting in the early morning light or lit with yellow panes at evening in its deep cut windows..."
Home to Roost and Other Stories
JD Mac Namara
A collection of almost true stories concerning the doings, nefarious and otherwise, of the unique people of Erris, where the next parish west is America and where nothing is quite as one might expect... "Erris is a land on the edge of northern Europe and one of its least inhabited regions. It is regarded as a mysterious land alive with legends; legends which have been preserved and embellished through the centuries by its uniquely independent people. In his book ‘A tour in Ireland 1775’ Richard Twiss wrote’ I did not visit Erris since it is inhabited by some form of savage native and there are no roads.’ The people are far from savage and these days Erris has a few roads. Erris has vast stretches of unspoilt bog land, golden beaches and coves, secluded bays, crystal clear streams and lakes magical landscapes and spectacular cliffs. Gaelic dialect is spoken by some as their first language but when strangers are around the craic is in an English which can be pure poetry. Erris is a land of turf smoke, good strong tea, Guinness, Whiskey, both legal and illegal, soda bread, warm hospitality and a great welcome for strangers lucky enough to visit what used to be known as the back of beyond. The back of beyond it is no more, Knock has an international airport and even Belmullet has a death defying airstrip for bold pilots. The main highway has improved thanks to the European Union and there is even a fine golf links and a luxury hotel in Belmullet. But most of all, Erris is the sum of its people. Long may they thrive..."
Brindley Hallam Dennis
Ten flash fictions of last words, last actions, and last loves...... "Wilson didn’t know he had only one week to live, whereas Seymour had been warned that he would die within the year. He was already too ill to drive, so he asked Wilson to take him to see her. Wilson was reluctant, but they had been friends for decades. Take a week’s leave, Seymour said. Wilson’s wife, knew the value of friendship, and she told him to get on with it. You never knew what they meant by ‘within the year’. Why, it might happen the next week, who could tell?"
Kallikids Short Story Competition Winners 2015
March 2015 marked the opening of the first annual KalliKids Short Story Competition. With help from KalliKids' ambassador and best-selling author, Joanna Rees, we set "Shine" as the theme and gave entrants the freedom to adapt "Shine" to whatever it meant to them, with a limit to each story of 500 words. We received over 500 entries from children throughout the UK, and were delighted to read such a creative mix of short stories with themes ranging from singing competitions to doomsday thrillers. We were captivated from start to finish. The 12 stories included in this book are the winners and runners-up from each age category, a real achievement for these truly talented young authors. Thank you and well done to all the children who took part, and the schools that helped to make this competition so special.
Countdown and Other Horror Stories
A date from hell; a camping trip with freshly-caught meat on the menu; a Spanish lesson concerning the futility of life; an alcohol-fuelled dream or was it reality?; a secret assignation at a graveyard; the nosy neighbour who found more than he expected; the hair of the dog that wasn't a cure; the effects of the moon on a near-empty beach; exploring an alien landscape - a new collection of nine stories with a theme of horror running through them.
Inglorious Sunset and Other Stories
A collection of a dozen stories with a romantic theme - although all is not always as it might first seem. The subject matter covers wedding anniversary surprises, prom night, an anticipated proposal, double-crossing and backstabbing, love overcoming time and mortality, mistaken identity, someone who is not as sweet as appears at first glance and a harsh payback for an innocent misdemeanour of youth.
What If and Other Stories
Ten stories rooted in the world of science fiction - What if Hitler had died of a childhood ailment? Can you really change your destiny? The horrors of more than half a century earlier revisited; childhood games across time and space; the girl who wasn't there; an affair that wasn't what it appeared to be; a cinema visit with a difference; strange beasts on an alien world; a cyclical life; the man in the moon bides his time.
Sealed With a Kiss and Other Crime Stories
‘Sealed With a Kiss’ is a collection of ten crime-based short stories covering topics including a social media reunion that doesn’t end as expected; a chance meeting in a bar with tragic consequences; wife-swapping with a difference; a teapot that delivers a cocktail of death; the heightened senses of a young sergeant sniff out the criminal; somebody at the library has something other than reading on their mind; a volcanic eruption scuppers best-laid plans; a gamble to replace misappropriated funds that doesn’t pay off; an old lady who mistakes people and doesn’t appear to know what she’s doing; and a flash of light for an over-bearing partner.
Providence is a collection of three short memoirs. The stories reveal a mother haunted by the loss of her family. Her child becomes a woman, shaped by the loss of her ancestors, deepened by the compassion for the suffering she witnessed and the resilience that grew from it. “The mind is a fickle bedfellow. It will seduce you one moment with the smoothest of concepts and when you are disarmed and wanting, it will deconstruct you. This world offers us the full smorgasbord — the sweetest fruits and the most bitter, the healing balms and the poisons. There are parts of us we can nourish and they will grow stronger. It was the searing pain of my mother’s passing when I was 21 that turned me irrevocably toward the pursuit of an inner richness, something that was constant and secure because it lay within me”.
Stop, Look and Listen
Stop, Look and Listen is a short collection of flash fiction pieces. It features Escape, a story about a son who wants to keep his parents together for the sake of his father, Mannequin, a creepy tale about a husband and his wife's disappearance, as well as the titular story Stop, Look and Listen, an exploration of life through instructions. The collection also includes other pieces by Akeem Balogun that have appeared in various publications throughout his writing career. Stop, Look and Listen is an enjoyable read that will appeal to all fans of the short story form as well as to any reader who is entertained by writing that is precise, fun and thought-provoking.