This story I originally wrote some years ago, before I wrote my first Dominions novel. I’ve improved a lot since then, so that original 5000 word story was pretty poor—sentences that I probably thought sounded good at the time, lots of superfluous information, and nowhere near as much subtlety as I imagined.
But I liked the general idea, so I reworked it—tightened the writing, made the back-story less obvious, and cut a whole section concerning a dog (an often-repeated piece of writing advice—never have a main character harming a dog. They can to whatever they want to people, but very few readers will forgive violence towards dogs).
I also shortened the title (it was originally To Serve The Community). I’m pleased with this new version.
You can read To Serve by clicking here. I’d love to hear what you think—just add a comment below the story.
I know Halloween’s a couple of weeks away, but I didn’t want to put this story out after the 31st, so look on it as something to help set the mood.
The story’s called How Legends Are Born, and you can read it for free here.
If you wanted a few other creepy five-minute tales, you could always try Escape, Invitation To Dinner, or Nightmare Park.
I’ve been working on a new Dominions novel recently (okay, over most of this year), so my mind’s been back in that world, and it’s come up with Memories, another look at the shady world of Correction.
You can read this story here, and if you want more coffee-break reads, there are seventy-nine more stories here.
Probably should’ve held this one back for a month, but look on it as a pre-Hallowe’en gift.
I’ve always had a soft spot for stories that don’t give all the answers, and as I write these short stories I’m realising how perfect the form is for horror/creepy tales. If we don’t know what happens next, our imaginations kick in, filling the blanks with our own, personal horrors.
Tenancy Agreement is one of those kind of stories. I tried adding some kind of explanation, but that left the story feeling flat. With an ambiguous ending, the reader gets to decide on the main character’s eventual fate.
You can read Tenancy Agreement here, and the complete list of stories (almost 80 of them now!) can be found here.
The idea of starting over always has an appeal—the chance to forget past mistakes, to reinvent ourselves. But is it really possible?
I think that’s what this story’s about. It came pretty quickly—only had the idea last Monday, wrote the first draft in about half an hour, and the structure hardly changed from then, just a few edits to tidy it up.
The story’s called A New Life, and you can read it here.
One thing I love about writing short stories is the challenge of trying new ideas. My latest story came about through such a challenge.
One of the many podcasts I listen to is Writing Excuses, and a recent episode was all about food in stories. It seemed to focus on the way food could be used to highlight culture and character, but it got me thinking. I wondered if I could write a story where food was actually important—vital, even—to the story itself.
The result is Food For Thought, which you can read here. And, as always, I’d love to hear what you think of it.
Something a little more positive this time. Much as I enjoy reading and writing short stories with dark twists at the end, it’s good to have a balance.
So if you want a five-minute read that isn’t depressing, and might even contain a bit of hope, try Worth Fighting For.
And if you’d prefer something darker, try one of my other short stories—the complete list of links can be found here.