Sunday, 17 July 2011

Sample Sunday Once More

Tell Me A Story

Well it's Sunday again, and on Sundays, writers on twitter, hold out a sample of their work for readers to check. Here is mine for this week, a look at stories available in Short Moments - a collection of 10 Heartwarming Short Stories.

Broken Promises

An iron bed in the corner of the upstairs room, food on the table, water drawn from a tap instead of hauled from the well, a window looking towards the sierra. What more could she want.
Sun poured down the barren hills like molten gold. Though early morning, it scorched everything in its path. August was always hot. Delia pulled the lace of her widow’s black around her shoulders as protection from the sun, and went out into the tiny square with its dry fountain, and single gnarled olive. She had sufficient to make life comfortable so what gave her the right to feel like this?

Broken Promises, a heartwarming story of expectation, a chronicle of disappointments and final redemption.

Stronger Than Pride.

A retired Englishman, Juanita from Spain, and teenager Megan; what a tangled web of life. What would his son say? What had that bitch, Juanita, already said? Had he the right to intrude on Megan’s young life?

Set in Spain, this heartwarming story explores the improbable relationship between two strangers who grow inexplicably together.

Colour Her Grey

Gina let herself into her flat. The noise from the flat above made it sound as if the ceiling was coming through, and there was that dreadful stink of curry again. It was becoming more like a Bombay whorehouse every day. A knock on the door startled her and when she opened it, one of the bimbos stood there. The tall one, the one who ought to be locked away, all legs, tits and arse.
There was no way that Gina was going to get involved with the neighbours… and yet… 

Everything is in Hand
The doorbell rang. Francine was in bed. Kevin had left for work, but she was snatching an extra half hour to make up for the previous night. Friends had been over for drinks and nibbles. Evening became night, night became morning, and still it went on.
They’d talked about art. Francine painted; in fact, she actually sold paintings and made a modest income from them. As far as their friends were concerned, she was an expert, and she’d been on a roll. Her soapbox had been well and truly tweaked. Now she wished it hadn’t….

Francine thinks she’s been lumbered with all the problems in the world, until the acid-tongued old lady from up the street refuses to take no for an answer. This heartwarming story will have you smiling.

Out Of The Gloom

As kids, they were afraid of Jenny Wren. She’d shout and wave a stick if they played near her house. Because they were afraid, they played there all the more to show they weren’t.
Jenny was squat, and as far back as Chloe could remember, always wore black, in contrast to the grey hair that was mostly screwed into a bun, but which sometimes hung in thin straggles.

Chloe was perhaps still a little scared of Jenny Wren. She wanted to dispel those childhood dreads, and despite so many easier options, she had intentionally, though foolishly, ended up with Jenny Wren. 

People There Catch Monkeys
“You don’t need a bank balance to give love.” Cathy’s voice was decidedly wobbly. Suddenly she pulled herself away and fled from the house. Why the hell couldn’t she just tell him and be done with.
She ran to the car, reversed it hard from the drive then hit the brakes making the wheels screech. She sat staring at the dark outline of the house for a while. A faint smell of rubber drifted from the tyres and Cathy grimaced. Spitting rain clung to the windscreen making starlets in the glare from the houselights.

Cathy ought to have explained, yet the time never seemed to be right. When would it be right? How much more could she take?

Shelley’s Shock

Shelley found her way back into the house and sank onto the settee. She couldn’t stop shaking.
Eventually the tears came but they did nothing to stop the fury. She felt consumed. Truth can be a terrible thing when you confront it.
That bitch was stealing her man; stealing him from under her nose! How dare she? Yet, how could Shelley compete? She wasn’t glamorous, she didn’t do excitement, and there wasn't an ounce of grandeur in her.
She couldn’t let him see this terrible hurt though. No! She couldn’t let Alex and that woman have one of their long chats about how upset they’d made her. Alex was a daft old fool and deserved to be treated as such

Child's Play

James was in the garden, stooped over a small cutting he'd recently planted, picking at the odd weed or two that had recently appeared, whistling low to himself as he did so.
The mist-softened braes of Balquhidder ran to gold in the early September sun. He looked part of the land and Emily was glad of him for it, there was no denying it, but enough was enough.
James McIntire straightened with a wince and held his hand to his back. Emily clicked her tongue. He seemed to be troubled with it more of late. She was sure gardening wasn't helping. The trouble was he'd spent more time than ever there since he'd retired.

Sometimes a woman has to use guile to get a man to do what’s right….

Great Aunt Elvira’s Last Laugh

I thought it was ugly. The thing is it was huge. I’m no judge but I know what I like and this thing was grotesque. I suppose I was the first to see it because Maria’s taken to confiding in me. I reckon it’s because we’re in a similar boat, what with her husband, Juan, and my wife Celia passing away a couple of years ago, but in any case I’ve known her forever; we’re good friends.
Word spread all over Calpe, and people made excuses to visit Maria so they could see it for themselves. It became the talk of the club. Some thought it was Roman; some that it was Chinese, and that a mandarin had it specially made. A rather important-looking gentleman was sent from the Town Hall to check in case it was a Spanish artefact dredged from the salt lakes, but it wasn’t.

This is a heartwarming story about relationships and trust. When Great Aunt Elvira died, her bequest to her favourite niece, Maria, was a huge vase that turned out to be worthless, whilst Maria’s less-than-caring cousin had a beautiful piece of furniture. It hardly seemed fair…

Red Rose for a Lady

The woman behind the counter in the florist’s was nice. Not stunning, not gorgeous, not a contender for glamorous grandmother, but pleasant on the eye all the same.
Arthur was embarrassed about buying flowers, but her smile made him feel at ease. She tried to make him feel comfortable, and he was grateful for it. He wondered if the smile meant she felt sorry for him, or was it because she was a similar age to him – an affinity of generation if you like.
She probably thought a man of his years ought to be long past embarrassment, but he’d always been the same. If he was honest he’d probably got worse since Liz passed away.
“Would you like a card with the bouquet?” she asked pleasantly.
He must have nodded because she selected one from the pile and handed it to him without further ado.

Arthur’s little trick at the office worked fine until unexpectedly, it twisted out of control. A heartwarming story with an unexpected end.



L.C. Evans said...

Very interesting excerpts from your stories. I like your writing style and your use of action words and the way you get into the characters' heads.

ajbarnett said...

Thank you L.C.
It's kind of you to say so.