Writer of words. Builder of worlds.

Category: Short Stories

The Dream Builders

Okay. This is an exercise in imagination. A thought exercise. Just go with me for a minute, and imagine this is all true.

In fact, I want you to imagine that everything is true. Everything you ever thought of, every story you ever read, every lie you ever told. All true, all real. Not here, of course. This world is a very strict, rules based world where not everything is possible. But out there, somewhere, in some other dimension that we can’t quite reach, it all exists. And here’s the thing: it all exists because we believe in it. In fact, we don’t even have to believe in it! Just imagine it. That daydream you had about the perfect life, the perfect job, your dream house, your dream man or woman? All there, somewhere. Just out of reach.

Hell on Earth

Hell was full. It had taken all the souls it could possibly take, filled every space. But every day, every hour, the souls kept on coming in. 

“A place must be found for them,” said the Devil. 

Reality Phase (It’s gonna rain)

Preamble

This is was partly inspired by the Matrix and every Matrix-like story, but mostly it was inspired by Steve Reich’s first experiment with phasing, It’s Gonna Rain. I actually like phasing as a technique and enjoy later works like Piano Phase and Violin Phase. On the other hand, the first part of It’s Gonna Rain (The phrase ‘It’s gonna rain’, on repeat, slightly out of sync, for about eight minutes) is akin to being punched in the head repeatedly for eight minutes. I started out trying to replicate this in prose form but fortunately, I don’t think I succeeded.

Story behind a story: Trial by Fire

Truth time: This is mostly an excuse to link to a story I wrote that was published as part of the Short Fiction Break 2018 Summer Writing Contest, which you can find here. It’s called Trial by Fire and involves a prisoner being offered a chance at freedom … as long as she can pass the trial.

On the other hand, I also have something to say about how I wrote this story, and maybe learnt a lesson from it, although I’m not sure what that lesson was.

The Trickster’s Final Challenge

Harrin and Alys stared up at the gates. They were made of black stone, and intricately carved with designs of flowers and faces and cities and many things they could not quite make out. They were tall gates, heavy gates that towered over them.

They were also closed. Very closed. There was no gap between them, no handle, no opening.

Voices on the Other Side

Oh, it’s you. Hello.

I’m ok. But I can still hear the voices on the other side of the wall.

Not in the wall, the other side. They are on the other side of the wall.

I don’t mean the corridor. I know there’s a corridor if you walk around the wall. The corridor is around the wall. This place is on the other side.

Through it.

Come to Bed, Come to Rest

It was dark. Leaves and twigs rattled over the ground. Elsie shivered. Her feet were bare, and the cold stones beneath were sharp. She should go forward. She didn’t want to.

‘Come on, Elsie,’ said a voice, deep and comforting. Elsie looked round but saw only the elm branches waving in the wind. ‘Come to bed, Elsie. Come to rest.’

‘I don’t want to,’ Elsie whispered. ‘I want to stay.’

The wind blew and the leaves swirled all round her, slapping her face and her hands. She covered her face with her arms and crouched down.

How I Use Music As Inspiration (Story Included!)

I don’t like playing music while I am actually writing. I find that either it distracts me, or I effectively tune it out when I am working. So it doesn’t really add anything to the process. However, for me, music has proved a great source for story ideas.

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