My ‘Selected Shorts’ Collection is free today!

10 Oct

Selected Shorts, my favourite 25 short stories from my eight short story collections, is free today, Tuesday 10th October. 

These stories are some of my favourites and have been taken from my ‘Fifty 5pm Fictions’ and ‘Story a Day May’ short story collections which are available as eBooks and paperbacks.

The stories are: Too Beautiful for Words, Sometimes I Forget, I Knew a Joyce Once, Stuffed, Waiting for the Number 12, Popped Out For A Pint Of Milk, The Picture On The Mantelpiece, Knew Better, Valentine’s Day, The Accident, And No Lucy Either, A Stranger Would Understand, Elimination, They Try To With The Food, Sentimental Keepsake, Over, Court (A Shaggy Dog Story), An English Summer, I Did My Very Best To Die In The War, The Dancing Stopped In 1983, The Quarrymen, Death and Life.

Click on the following link: (which will take you to the Amazon page in your country).

Below is the first story in this collection:

Too Beautiful for Words

While all around her bustles, Evelyn McHale lies serene. Still clutching the pearls, a recent gift from her fiancé, she is as elegant in death as in life.

A crowd gathers but she’s too beautiful for words. They wait… not for her to move, they know she won’t, can’t, after a fall like that.

A man, unknown to the others, takes a photograph, the click the only noise, sets someone talking, then voices become a low buzz.

The man rushes off to his darkroom, eager to catch the evening news then tomorrow’s first edition.

A siren laments in the distance as if to know its prey.


A woman returns to her car in the busy urban street but struggles to get through the crowd. As she pushes people aside she sees the black sleek metal crumpled, moulded itself around the body of a woman, just a few years younger than herself. She wants to scream but knows it’s the wrong thing to do. No one around her is reacting, just talking in whispers, pointing to her car and the woman it’s cradling.

She looks up to the Empire State Building imagining the woman’s flight. It would have been silent, the scream as missing then as now.

She wonders what had made her so desperate, what had been taken away from her to leave her no choice. Would she have felt free as she fell? A band of quiet between streams of strangers, those she left behind becoming smaller as those approaching grew.

As she fell into the clutches of aluminium, would she have felt safe? Would she have felt at all?

Blue lights flash behind the woman and a policeman talking to her. She just wants to get in her car and drive home, return to her husband, tell him she’s fine, that she wasn’t the woman who threw herself from their local tourist attraction.

And that’s what she’s become. Her, the woman, and their car. Both as attached to it as each other. She knows both will be separated and never see either again, none of them recovering from the impact of such an event.


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Posted by on October 10, 2017 in ebooks, ideas, short stories, writing


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