Short Stories

A collection of fantasy shorts.

Haunted

It had been 18 months. The world had moved on. Life was engulfed by a pandemic; individual tragedies subsumed by a crisis. The searchlight of...

The Hotel at the Edge of the World

John and Ali were star-crossed. They had met as teenagers at a night club. John had spotted Ali and Tina looking over a balcony at the dance floor...
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Lockdown Walkees

Today was a great day to be alive, it was Tuesday, after all. Not just any Tuesday…well…yes just another Tuesday. Skye woofer was lying in the hall...

Mr Clean

Eddie Sinclair had loved lockdown. He revelled in the lack of contact, the isolation, the chance to be free from other people’s germs. Microbes were...
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Empire State (Part One)

Halloween, Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve is an important date in the Christian calendar. Probably based on Pagan tradition, it a time of remembrance...
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Empire State (Part Two)

Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. Traditionally held on 1st November, celebrations...
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Invisible

At between 50 and 200 nanometres it was easy to miss. In fact, everyone failed to notice as it stalked the pavement at the corner of Isambard and New...
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Empire State (Part Three) - The Devil in Tintagel

Beltane is a Greater Sabbat celebrated on May Eve. It is one of the four Sabbats that are cross-quarter days. These form the Wheel of the Year. Only...
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Empire State (Part Four): The Initiate

Modern day Wiccans eschew the notion of left and right hand paths – left associated with malevolence, right linked with good intentions. Not everyone...

Empire State (Part Five) - The House in the Woods

Wicca celebrations can be based on the cycles of both the moon and the Sun. The former are known as Esbats and associated with the Goddess. Black...
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Story of the week

It's (Still) a Wonderful Life

It had been difficult times for Jerry O’Halloran of late. Friends knew him as Down on his luck Jerry . It hadn’t always been this way. Jerry’s mother...
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The Horses of Wooldale Road (Part 1 of 3)

The Horses of Wooldale Road (Part 1 of 3) In Norse mythology, it is said that the Norns spin the threads of fate at the foot of the tree of the world...
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A Bridge of Lies

It was the year of our Lord 1850 when my first sentence was given. My poor Mina had been transported this twelve months past. It was at the quarter...
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The Dead Cat

Steve “Stevo” Mason never did like school. At 14 years of age, the rest of his life looked a very long way away. Particularly bright at junior level...
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The Haunted Fort of Bhangarh

Audio version at: https://soundcloud.com/user-62051685/the-haunted-fort-of-bhangahr The Haunted Fort of Bhangahr I stare out of the tinted window for...
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The Existential Fate of Original Thought

Every day had been the same for so long now. Epicurus sat in his leather backed chair, cradling a glass of scotch, ruminating about life and the arts...

Happy Valentines

I always did love Sadie. We were your typical childhood sweethearts who grew up and eventually got married. It was aged 12 when we shared a naive...

The Banquet (Competition entry max 1,000 words)

I live in a mansion in the country. This is no ordinary mansion; it’s an M&S mansion. Well, it’s not actually but it does house a library of...
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Most Vial

This is a sequel to “Invisible” at https://www.abctales.com/story/marandina/invisible The walls looked as dull today as they had yesterday. Paint...
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The Star-Crossed Swans of Newport Pagnell

An urban adaptation of the fairy-tale that the ballet “Swan Lake” is based on. The Star-Crossed Swans of Newport Pagnell It is a grey, overcast day...
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The Miracle of Maldon (Part One of Three)

Draft for a 3-part story. The Miracle of Maldon (Part One of Three) The moon hung low in a blue sky, an intruder on a twilight horizon. The day was...
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The Artist of Swanage Downs

Audio version at: https://soundcloud.com/user-62051685/the-artist-of-swanage-downs-audio The Artist of Swanage Downs Torchlight flashes across dark...
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Charmed (Part One of Two)

Audio version at: https://soundcloud.com/user-62051685/charmed-part-one Charmed (Part One of Two) The sun doesn’t shine in the London Underground; a...
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In the Vale of the Shadow King (Part One of Six)

In the Vale of the Shadow King (Part One of Six) Billy Williams had always wondered what is was about his grandparents’ house. He had been visiting...
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The Spirit of Jenny Jones (Part One of Two)

The Spirit of Jenny Jones (Part One of Two) Jenny Jones believed in things. She believed in fairies and legends; she had faith in magic. With a love...
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The Spirit of Jenny Jones (Part Two of Two)

Part One at: https://www.abctales.com/story/marandina/spirit-jenny-jones-part-one-two The Spirit of Jenny Jones (Part Two of Two) “Is that you, Jenny...
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A Tale from Dark Woods

A story for Halloween A Tale from Dark Woods It was on the darkest of nights in October that we got together. We had been gathering like this for...
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The Last Door

“One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly.” Friedrich Nietzsche The Last Door The moon shone in a pitch-black sky, its...
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The Last Wish of Christmas

The Last Wish of Christmas Fate unwinds its own path. The truth is, I haven’t always been a dog. Appearances can be deceptive. The lights from the...
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The Last Christmas (Part One of Two)

The Last Christmas (Part One of Two) Ali sat stoically in his Toyota Prius, the engine ticking over as he waited. He would take a cigarette break at...
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The Last Christmas (Part Two of Two)

Part One at: https://www.abctales.com/story/marandina/last-christmas-part-one-two The Last Christmas - Part Two of Two It had just turned midnight...
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In-between Days

In-between Days Those days between Christmas and New Year are lost somewhere in the mists of time. Endless, with no apparent rhyme or reason, people...
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Why Does It Always Rain In Graveyards?

Some believe that love can transcend time Why does it always rain in graveyards? Why does it always rain in graveyards? Of course, the reality is...
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Eric the Viking

Well here it is, post 150. Never thought I would make it this far. This is a rewritten story. Hopefully, this is tighter. Based on a true story (but...
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Tommyknocker

Trauma can take a mind to the strangest places – real and imaginary Tommyknocker I was eight years old when I last saw Tommy. At first, I never knew...
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Song to the Siren: A Titan Story (Part One of Three)

Song to the Siren: A Titan Story (Part One of Three) Crows perch in a line along a telegraph poll. They seem to be either staring at me or peering...
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Story of the week

A Cat, A Leaf and Fresh Fish

Rewritten story A Cat, A Leaf and Fresh Fish The early hours are invariably punctuated by nocturnal sounds; rodent-like scurrying amongst bins,...
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Ley Lines

The truth is out there Ley Lines “Alfred Watkins was right, you know.” In hindsight, that’s how it started; my neighbour Joshua Smith and his crazy...
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Second Life

Rewritten story Second Life Snow fell like frozen tears from colourless skies; windows frosted over in the cold. A shadow shifted on the kitchen wall...
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Devil's Advocate

Devil's Advocate (Part One of Three) At the top of the world, most things look tiny although a diaphanous moon might look like a large silver coin to...
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Devil's Advocate (Part Two of Three)

Part One at: https://www.abctales.com/story/marandina/devils-advocate Devil’s Advocate (Part Two of Three) It had been a long day and nurse Abbott...
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The Other Side of Paradise

The Other Side of Paradise I can still remember standing at the side of a dirt track, a sodium-coloured sun high in the sky. The heat made the air...
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Diner

Diner Outside the diner at 385 Sixth Avenue, humanity ebbed and flowed. It would often take a brief pause to eat then continue on in its mysterious...
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Those We Leave Behind

Those We Leave Behind It feels like I have been standing in this field all my life. From here I can see the edge of town where trees and rivers...
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'Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the Night before Christmas The last rays of apricot-hued sunshine fade to dusk over Abington Street, an urban thoroughfare where disparate...
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Abyss

Abyss Night wind blows in from the sea covering those out on the Downs in a fine spray. A full moon hangs like a winter lantern lighting a trail...
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Enoshima (Part One of Two)

Enoshima (Part One of Two) Some marriages aren’t meant to last. People meet in circumstances that create a fairy-tale; a confluence of chance...
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Enoshima (Part Two of Two)

Part One at: https://www.abctales.com/story/marandina/enoshima-part-one-two Enoshima (Part Two of Two) On a fateful Friday afternoon, Kai was walking...
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