Thursday, 18 November 2021

Issue 48 - Have Yourself a Spooky Little Christmas!


Now available in print and in ezine formats! I thought I would offer a little taster from the stories, so buckle up and here we go.

Rain filled Sandgill’s high street like low cloud. Roadside grates gurgled as they drank it in. Gulls cried and Sean could smell the sea. With the red-brick slab of the library in sight, he dodged around pavement dawdlers, finally dashing to the back door. Inside, he shook droplets off his blue kagoul, hung it on one of the hooks then went through to Lending.

Christopher Harman - 'The Abbey Hoard'

“It’s a bunker we’d be breaking into."

There was a barely discernible change. A heartbeat’s pause, a flicker of captured attention. Billie signalled to the woman behind the counter—same again, please, for all of them—then looked at the two, to her, remarkably young men whose interest she had piqued. The third one was older, although still considerably younger than her own 72 years. 

Sam Dawon - 'The Minds Within'

The last tale of the year must be, of course, my own. I had avoided telling it for a long while as I still found the memory of it so disturbing. However, there could be no escape from my obligation to tell a story to the company at Russell’s Gentlemen’s Club in the small Yorkshire town of Plumston. We had begun last August with the story Mr Orford the retired gardener had told of his experiences regarding the Plumston Hall Maze. It was now July and as the idea of a story each month had partly been mine, there was no escape.

Victoria Day - 'Mr Winter’s Tale: Or, Mr Nobody'

The late shift was nearly over. The last students were straggling towards the doors, faces blanched and expressionless in the light of their phones. Security had arrived and were shouting across the gates to the library assistants, making the same jokes they did every night. David lifted his glasses, cradled his eyes. Soon they would all be gone at last.

Timothy Granville - 'A Silent Dictation'

Claire wrapped her arms around herself, shivering inside her inadequate coat, as she went unsteadily up Laburnum Crescent, tottering slightly from side to side. She shouldn’t have had the wine, never mind the shandies afterwards. She wasn’t much of a drinker. Her dad would be proud of her. She giggled. She glanced at the houses opposite the block of flats, but the window where the young man lived was dark. What was the number he had told her? As she fumbled the key into the lock she cast her mind back, saw him pause at the door to regard her with his calm eyes. Seven B, that was it. Seven B.

Stephen Cashmore - Extract from Ghosts, a novel 

“Why do you think she might turn you down?”

Liam O’Donnell glanced at Joe Boothroyd, then looked back at his computer screen. His fingers tapped on the keyboard as he replied.

“We’ve been mates for so long, she feels almost like one of the lads. I’m not sure if she’ll go for me, you know, romantically.”

“You won’t know if you don’t try,” said Joe.

Katherine Haynes - 'Aunt Hilda's Villa'

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TREATISES ON DUST by Timothy J. Jarvis (Swan River Press 2023)

 I received a review copy of this book.  And a rather lovely book it is, too. As expected with Swan River, the cover is a true work of art. ...