Category Archives: Short Stories

Short Story – Impact in…

This is going to be interesting and it’s probably going to hurt quite a lot as well.

Those were the first two thoughts to cross my mind when there was a bang from behind, an explosion of air and the oxygen mask dropped down in front of me. I automatically pulled it on, certainly different from my last plane crash, which was ohhh… 1917. A Forker managed to bounce me in my Sopwith Camel and stitched a line of bullet holes across the engine. I was lucky – it didn’t catch fire, otherwise I would have sizzled all the way down. Still I broke both my legs and it totally put me off flying for fifty years. The nice lady beside me who had been bending my ear about her daughter, the one whose PHD graduation she was going to attend, starts screaming. Damn shame about the daughter; she’s going to end up associating her moment of triumph with her mother’s death. Oh well what can you do?

I look over my shoulder and… hey, would you look at that! The plane just sorta ends a couple of rows behind me. We have us some full on structural failure – air crash investigation here we come; bloody modern rubbish, at least my old Camel stayed in one piece. The screams around me are fading now as oxygen deprivation kicks in. I consider pulling on her face mask and decide against it; she might come round again and that would be no kindness. With that decision made, all I can do now is sit back and enjoy the ride, so to speak.

Funny whenever death gets close I can always feel my brain speed up, I’ve tried drugs, sex, even rock and roll, any substance or experience that would give that same rush without the pain of actually dying. Never found one and obviously I haven’t enjoyed every death. My first time in particular sucked. Just before that Roundhead soldier stuck his sword through my throat, I remember dropping my pike, pissing my pants and screaming like a little girl. I guess it’s a bit like sex; the first time is never much good, just most people don’t get to have another go.

I suppose I could go find this daughter, tell her how proud her mother was. But then I get awkward questions like ‘how are you still alive?’ and hell I’ve been asking myself that one for centuries. Still this is one is going to be interesting. I’ve been stabbed, shot, bludgeoned, drowned, burned, overdosed and on one really memorable occasion, got stamped to death by an angry bull elephant but I always come back from it. This time round though I’m going to get smashed to smithereens; I wonder is this the one that finally kills me? Well soon find out.

Wow, this is taking longer than I expected. Come on, come on, I got things to do! I wonder how much longer to impa-

 

 

 

POSTSCRIPT: This one is the result of a writing group I attend, the word limit was 500 with the prompt – An immortal is a passenger on a jet that is going to crash

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Short Story – Lucky Old Us

There was a metallic bang from inside the Mark IV tank Big Bess, followed by a stream of expletives that started in English and switched to Irish as the volume ratcheted up.
“Do you think he’s making progress in there?” Private Frank Plumer asked, rainwater dripped off his forage cap as he peered carefully over the edge of the trench.
“You want to go in there and ask?” Bill Carney replied
“Think I’m safer out here mate.” Just as he spoke a bullet whistled past and pinged off the Big Bess’s left hand sponson. “Although not by a lot,” he added.
Bess, had broken down just as she was crossing Fitz’s support line. The two six pounders were still manned and covering the trench, the rest of them unshipped the Lewis guns and piled out. Their engineer Pat Gleasure had been trying to Bess going. He’d been at it for over two hours already but going but the periodic outburst of swearing, wasn’t making much progress. Another bullet whizzed past and Bill responded with a burst from the Lewis Gun. About twenty five yards behind them, a portion of Fitz’s front line seemed to still have its original occupants; who rather unsportingly didn’t seem to be doing the right a proper thing and retreating.
“You know I thought we have a nice unspoken agreement. We left them alone, they left us alone-”
“At least until we get Beth going again,” Frank interrupted.
“True. But apparently that’s just too damn complicated for Fitz. I mean shouldn’t they be retreating anyway.”
“Why?” asked Frank.
“They’re behind our front line.”
“I thought we were behind theirs.”
“That’s nonsense If we’re here then we’ve pushed back the line,” said Bill. “This bit is ours now.”
Frank peered over the parapet, back over the muddy, cratered wasteland.
“Well lucky old us,” he said.

 

 

Edmond Barrett is a hobby writer, his longer works can be found:

The Nameless War, available on Kindle, Smashwords, Kobo and paperback.

The Landfall Campaign, available on Kindle, Kobo, Smashwords and paperback.

The Job Offer, available on Kindle Kobo and Smashwords

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Short Story – Waiting Room for the Unforgettable

“It won’t kill you, in fact it can’t kill you,” said King Arthur reasonably.

“Yes but it will bloody hurt!” Elrond, Lord of Rivendale, replied heatedly.

“Ah,” said Arthur after a moment of consideration, “this is that elven allergy to iron thing, isn’t it?”

“No, because it’ll squish me like a bug and it will hurt and I’m not doing it,” Elrond said before stomping off in a huff.

“Elves shouldn’t stomp!” Arthur shouted after him before slumping in his throne. Avalon hadn’t always been like this. In fact when he’d first turned up it had been quite pleasant. The funny thing was Arthur could remember being real man. Well not just a man; he’d been a chieftain. Three whole villages and more men than he could count – so over forty – had been his to command. Then he died, choking on a chicken bone and instead going to the halls of his forefathers or even that ‘Heaven’ place the Christians had always banged on about, he arrived here. At first it had been just him, a few of his old pals and a couple of old gods wafting about the place. Not bad really. But then it started to change, the Myths of Arthur really got started and his old pals just sort of faded away. They weren’t part of the story any more and no one remembered them. Instead they were replaced by the people from the tales of ‘King’ Arthur. When he’d been a live he’d had a wife, wide of hip, with a voice that could have stripped paint and the ability to force feed a man his own knee caps if he didn’t respect her. Now that that had been a real woman, not like the simpering Guinevere that myth had lumped on him instead. She spent most of her time was off fooling around with that pillock Lancelot, because that was what the myths said they did. King Arthur could always feel the Myths tell him he should be upset about that but Arthur the man felt the two could have each other.

One of the old gods had explained it to him once, Avalon was the home to that which had been once imagined but not yet unforgotten. The only thing Arthur could ever remember imagining as a man was his enemies’ heads on spikes but the people out there in the real world kept imagining more and more things. By god they came up with some strange fish, a werewolf policeman with an odd sense of humour turned up last week. There were probably thousands of spaceships with strange names like ‘Mississippi’ and one very improbable design that looked to Arthur like just a blue box. Monsters, heroes, robots, aliens even cartoon women who ‘weren’t bad, they were just drawn that way’. People in the real world imagined things and when they turned up here, as King of Avalon, Arthur had to explain it all to them. He tried to fob it off on others occasionally but the myths said he ruled here so it remained his job. It was always a hard sell and some new arrivals didn’t take it well.

The giant robot was the one of those troublesome one, a huge clumsy thing, it had been blundering around treading on people. With a sigh Arthur motioned it forward and hoped he wasn’t going to get stood on again. The robot lumbered to a halt in front of the throne but before Arthur could speak, there was a pop and a cat appeared. It gave the robot a look of searing contempt before walking off.

“Oh no! Not more Grumpy Cat Memes,” Arthur groaned to himself.

 

This is a modified version of a piece I put together for a writing group I am part of. Originally 300 words the count has gone up a bit since then.

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Short Story – Gorilla in the City

For the past few months I’ve been going to a writers group and I have decided to start putting up the results. This one is referring to somethings that are going on in Ireland at the moment.

 

Gorilla in the City

 
Officially it is now autumn. Back when I was a kid and people were still arguing whether global warming was a real thing, that actually used to mean something. The summer holidays were over, the schools had started back and each day, nightfall came a little sooner. Now the months we used to call autumn are really the summer, by which I mean a heat you can actually enjoy. What was the summer, most people now call The Hot. For six months the whole countryside just burns up and you’d be hard pressed to understand how this island was ever called the Emerald Isle.

 
The wife didn’t want to move to Big Smoke, didn’t want it so strongly she became the ex-wife. But I was tired, tired of breaking my back trying to plant and get in crops on either side of The Hot and failing at least one year in three. Thought I’d find opportunities, found politics instead.

 
Saw the party members in their big cars where everyone else walked. Saw their big houses with watered lawns when other struggled to find enough to drink and I wondered how did it go so wrong? How did we hand so much to so few for so little? Some say it started with the abolition of the Seanad. Others that when The Hot began people panicked and looked to those who claimed to have easy answers. Me I think it was an almost inevitable consequence of a culture that saw crooks and chancers as heroes instead of a cancer.

 
Well we’re going to change that. Or least I hope we are; maybe I’m too old and cynical to be a real rebel. It’s going to be bloody work; there are good girls and lads who are going to die because they don’t know they’re on the wrong side or even that there are sides. I’m going help to bring fire and blood to the streets but for a few more days, I’m going to enjoy autumn in the city.

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