Short Fiction

There’s nothing like a short story to accompany coffee and cake; to lighten a tedious train journey; to fill the space between tasks; to read under the duvet until eyelids droop.

Over years of working with creative writing groups I have come across many examples of outstanding short fiction – from flash fiction under 500 words, to short stories of 10,000 words or more. I confess it’s not my strong point. My inclination is to write longer pieces, but I do admire those writers who excel at the short form.

This section of my website contains examples of short fiction (and non-fiction) from author friends, plus a few of my own. I hope you enjoy some of them.


Mud Slide Slim

Vinyl. At first, I thought it was just a man thing – an extension of engines and steam trains. Why would I bother? I had my iPhone and ear buds: music and podcasts on demand. Revelation for me came during an afternoon early in the first pandemic lockdown when I helped him tidy the loft.…

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The Paper Chase

By Keith Wadsworth The Envelope Jess leaned forward and, with elbows on knees, she rested her chin on her clenched fists. It was her favourite sulking pose. If it was for public consumption she would add a good loud sigh as she did it. Here in the park the sigh would have been wasted so…

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By Joan Whicher It was Paris 1962 and I was visiting my boyfriend who would later become my husband.  He was staying at his aunt’s flat in Boulogne sur Seine, while working as an intern at a French insurance company in the centre of Paris.  The previous year he’d attended a business studies course in…

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By Joan Whicher Orford in Suffolk is where we would spend a long weekend in August for many years. We’d normally arrive by way of Lavenham and Woodbridge. This was something of a ritual and was looked forward to hugely, as it was, during those years the sum total of our annual holiday, short but…

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We’ve been practising our French, so it’s a minor disappointment when the owner of the gîte, Mr Brouillard, speaks perfect English. Our directions have taken us to the ‘manoir’, which turns out to be a castle. This is no ordinary pile of medieval rubble, but an entire fairy castle with slender turrets, topped with pantile…

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I am ushered into the orangery to find Sir George and a man, who I take to be the artist, in deep conversation. I hold back in the doorway, flex my shoulders, bow my legs and circle my ankles to relieve the unfamiliar closeness of the clothes I am made to wear. They chafe and…

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