Tall Stories: An Anthology of Short fiction

‘Tall Stories’ is the result of a writing group that came together to share story telling within the same fictional environment. The group was set up to allow its members to tell stories that intertwine; sharing and developing their characters and locations every time a story is told.

In this first anthology of short fiction you will find seven stories about the inhabitants of a residential tower block. Written by Chris Raven, Peter John, Connie Dalhart and Adam Bigden, these stories cover a wide range of genres and styles and will take you on a journey where you will see the same characters through different eyes, each story adding a further layer to life to Musevary Towers.

Contents:
Ernie: an Upstanding Member of Society by Peter John.
The Visitor by Chris Raven.
A Latté to Go by Chris Raven.
The Globe and Compass by Connie Dalhart.
Marley and the Nose Gnome by Chris Raven.
The Case of the Shiny Red Gift Box by Chris Raven.
The Letter by Adam Bigden.7b0e69cd6fe3d76b8cf5adc74e619905c43d65d8

New Release! When Living Is Not Enough By Paul Raven

Maggie Benson thought she had it all. A husband she loved more than anything else in the world and a fairly comfortable life. Then like a bolt out of the blue everything changed. ‘When Living is not Enough’ is a bitter sweet story of a typical housewife in the early 1970s whose life is turned upside-down in the aftermath of a road accident. An accident that leaves her husband profoundly disabled. We follow her story through stages of denial and acceptance, hope and despair. We share her successes and her disappointments as she desperately tries to make sense of her new way of life as a Carer. A task made even more difficult because she had always relied on her husband for guidance, love and companionship.
WLINE

The Inspiration For May Elizabeth Trump

The Inspiration For May Elizabeth Trump

When I first came up with the idea for Dead Medium I was sitting in the living room of a stranger. The television had been switched on just for my own amusement and I had been left to sit there alone. Well not alone exactly, there was an elderly woman sitting in an armchair in the corner knitting. She said not a word to me but looked up at me and smiled on a few occasions before returning her attention to her task at hand.It was the only time I can remember agreeing to take my mother to see a clairvoyant. She was upstairs in an unseen room with a woman in a baggy tracksuit, whom I saw only fleetingly on my arrival. The television had failed to grab my attention so I started to imagine what mystical events were occurring above my head. I could envision my mother sitting at one end of a small table in a dimly lit room. The psychic jogger was sat opposite her surrounded by ghosts all of which were jostling for position around her. Pushing and shoving each other, even overlapping in places as they all tried to grab the attention of the athletic medium.I began to realize that if a living person needed the aid of a clairvoyant to contact the dead then surely it was likewise on the flip side of the coin. If ghosts were freely capable of speaking with the living then we would hear them far more often than we reportedly do. Even if they were merely talking among themselves, wouldn’t we occasionally overhear them as we quietly crept down the stairs in the small hours to fetch a glass of water. A further thought occurred to me: if ghosts also needed the aid of a gifted individual, why did it necessarily mean that they had to still be alive. Was there no such thing as a dead medium? Eventually my mother reappeared from the depths of mystical re-enlightenment with a wide grin, an old cassette tape and an empty purse. I bade farewell to the old woman in the corner who looked up at me and smiled again. The square of wool between her knitting needles seemed no bigger than it had been when I arrived; it was as if she had been merely rubbing two sticks together the whole time I was there. On the journey home I listened to my mother’s rendition of what she referred to as a reading. I couldn’t help analysing her every word and compiling far less fantastical reasons than she, for that which she experienced in the unseen room. It was at that exact moment May Elizabeth Trump appeared in my mind, wagging a bony finger and complaining about how gullible some people could be. I consider myself an open minded cynic. I believe that there is something more beyond the curtain of death but I find it hard to accept the validity of the vague or circumstantial evidence that some people claim to be undeniable proof of life after death. May Elizabeth Trump on the other hand had a firmer view on things; she didn’t believe in anything that she couldn’t poke her umbrella at. She was a hard nosed cynic and the perfect candidate to become the main character in my début novel: Dead Medium. B9raLkKIIAAsvm-

THE BOOKCASE SHOWCASE PRESENTS: A Proper Charlie: For anyone as long as they aren’t ginger By Louise Wise

THE BOOKCASE SHOWCASE PRESENTS:

A Proper Charlie: For anyone as long as they aren’t ginger By Louise Wise.

THE BOOKCASE SHOWCASE PRESENTS: A Proper Charlie: For anyone as long as they aren't ginger By Louise Wise

Seth & The Mockingbirds

The sun was shining brightly and not a cloud hung in the sky. The flowers were in full bloom and the birds sung in the tree tops.

“Bloody birds and their bloody singing.” Seth Johnson stood outside his kitchen door looking out into the garden. His favourite burgundy bathrobe was old and becoming threadbare but, over his eighty-five years on this earth, Seth had learnt not to discard things while they still served their purpose. Even if it did smell stale and look like an old dog’s blanket, he still found comfort and warmth in its embrace.
“Bloody noisy birds.” Seth raised his double barrel shotgun and trained it on the nearest tree top.
“Bloody birds and their bloody chirping.” He gently exhaled and pulled the trigger. There was a single hollow click as the hammer struck, followed by a brief flutter of wings from the surrounding trees. He pulled the second trigger but was awarded the same result.

Seth lowered his gun and snapped open the breach. Pulling out the first cartridge, he examined it closely. Holding it up to his nose, he took a deep sniff, it smelt neither damp nor discharged. He dropped it on the floor by his feet and pulled out the second cartridge. He repeated his inspection before letting it fall next to the first. Shrugging his shoulders, Seth fumbled around in the pockets of his bathrobe, finally pulling out two fresh cartridges. He slotted them into the barrels of his gun before snapping it closed. He lifted it up again and trained it on the treetop. Click… Click.

“Bugger it.” He cracked the shotgun open and flicked the two cartridges out. They fell to the floor, where a small pile was beginning to form. A moment of fumbling within his pockets produced another two fresh cartridges. He hastily slotted then into his gun and slammed the breach shut.

“Bugger it, bugger it. God damn and bugger it!” Seth swore as he heard the two hollow clicks. He snapped his gun open a third time and shook the cartridges from his gun. They fell to the floor, landed amongst the first four and scattered them like bowling balls. With his gun hooked over his arm, he stomped back into his house, slamming the kitchen door closed behind him. The Sun continued to shine and the birds were still singing.

As night fell, the treetop began to rustle. Six sparrows swooped down from the highest branches. Each one took a tight hold of a discarded shotgun cartridge with their tiny claws. One by one the flew through the open kitchen window. Gently gliding through the hallway and up the stairs, the convoy of small birds squeezed through the small gap beneath Seth’s bedroom door. In his bed, Seth slept soundly, his favourite burgundy bathrobe was hooked to the back of his bedroom door. The little sparrows hovered above the bed momentarily, as if mocking the sleeper within, before gliding to the door. One by one, they dropped the cartridges into the deep, gaping pockets of Seth’s bathrobe, before swooping away through the crack beneath the door.

The following morning the sun was shining brightly and not a cloud hung in the sky. The flowers were in full bloom and the birds sung in the tree tops.
“Bloody birds!” Seth grumbled as he raised his shotgun.

©2014 Peter John