Occasionally I venture into flash fiction and this is the place for my indulgence. Hope you enjoy these bits and bobs.
You can also read extracts of my books accessed from my Fantasy page and my Historical Fiction page. Enjoy those too!


Dragon Gift

Prepared for an event in Ross in 2020 which, well, hasn’t happened yet. However, most excitingly, it’s available on YouTube read by poet Jacqueline Bell. Her voice adds so much to the drama of the piece.

In the icy winter night, the dragon circles high above the sleeping village. Her great leather wings beat the air. Her shiny-scaled body twists, the ridged tail curling and lifting to sweep the stars. Read the full story here.


The Orchard Kingdom

The almond orchard was a real place where I and the neighbourhood kids played as children. No one died though. I wrote this for a Dean Writers event at the end of Jan 2020 – the last event we could have before lockdown. The theme was ‘Place’

Once upon a time a leftover almond orchard lingered in a suburban street. The other inhabitants of the street walked by the orchard every day on their way to the bus or the train or the shops. Mostly they ignored it, although in spring their inward-looking eyes might stray outwards for a moment to graze the pale pink petals fading to their magenta centre. Read the full story here.



Freddy’s night out

Written for an evening at Jolter Press, a local cider pub where we celebrated all things autumnal in the Forest of Dean.

Photograph Cider Making at Aylburton. Glos, 1910 courtesy of Sungreen

Sniff, sniff.
The smell taunted him. It had filled his nostrils with its lush pungency all day long.
He lifted his head, heavy jowls wobbling. Sparse whiskers quivered at the memories.
Here it came again, carried on the crisp air drifting through the doorway. Tempting him.
Read the full story here


Winter feast

A workshop piece based on this photo by Penny Kerr as the prompt

Giants stalk the land. They come in winter, garbed with long coats, hands on shoulders, waiting for prey … Read the full story here




The Stepmother

I have vague ideas of doing a collection of fairy-tale and/or myth-themed short stories. Here’s Snow White – or a version thereof….

‘Snezhinka, my darling Snowflake, come and meet Valeriya.’
Papa summoned his daughter with a beam which stretched from his full lips to his black, heavy-browed eyes.
Read the full story here




Five days, five nights

I’m helping to organise a children’s History of the Forest of Dean book which will be written by best selling children’s author Andy Seed. We spent time recently visiting Hopewell Colliery to talk to Freeminer Rich Daniels about life as a freeminer over the 800 years the rights given by King Edward have been exercised, and also Clearwell Caves where ochre and iron ore have been mined for thousands of years. In between we wandered up an old dram road to a monument to a 1904 mining disaster, which inspired me to post this piece of flash. I wrote it a while ago for a water-themed comp I didn’t in the end enter.

How high did the water rise? Did it lap at the toes of those who had found life-saving height on handy rocky shelves? Did it embrace waists, the cold fingers of a no-longer-desired lover tugging at drenched trousers? Or did it soak through heavy flannelled shirts to turn arms and shoulders into numbed sponges? Read the full story here

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