Short Stories

All the wonders of the novel, only easier on the eyestrain

I'm not sure what compels people to write short stories. Perhaps it's because they don't take as long as novels. That's not to say they're easier to write, though. A well-crafted short story is a very difficult thing indeed to pull off. You can be the judge of whether I've managed it ever. A couple of these have been published by the wonderful Spinteingler magazine, so that must count for something.

Because I have a tidy mind, I've arranged these in something of an order. Well, it made sense to me at the time. Get with the clicky for some short-form goodness.

 


 

    The Tie
      Have a Heart
        The Sorcerer's Apprentice
          I Was Present At The Birth
            The Idiot's Parade
              Lives
                A Dream of Water and Cars
                  The City of Dreams
                    To the Stars
                      The Contract
                        A Game of War
                          Silence
                            The Man Whose Television Wouldn't Work
                              Rabbits
                                The Package
                                  Frustration
                                    Comfort Farm
                                      Martin Scorcese's Underpants
                                        Dragons
                                          Martha
                                            The Final Reel
                                              Natural Causes
                                                The Birthday Party
                                                  Job
                                                    Consequences
                                                      Jenny
                                                        Sir Gwynfor's Lament
                                                          Angel
                                                            Unnatural Causes

                                                             


                                                             

                                                            Stories for Stuart

                                                            What can be said about Stuart MacBride that hasn't already been said?

                                                            Quite a lot actually, but we won't bother you with all that stuff here.

                                                            Suffice it to say that Stuart is a multi-talented fellow who, after years of toiling in the barren wastes of Aberdeenshire has finally received the recognition he deserves in the form of a publishing contract with Harper Collins. His debut novel, Cold Granite, will appear soon on bookshelves across the world. It will give people a new insight into Aberdeen and should rightly be a bestseller.

                                                            So why the series of short stories? Well Stuart and I have known each other for too many years to tell. We have supported each other in our writing when no one else would read our words. And Stuart, being a talented artist amongst all his other annoying competent attributes, has drawn many things for me. Not least of all the various DevilDog logos and the splendid comic script As if by Magic, which can be seen elsewhere on this site.

                                                            Life can be hard as an unrecognised writer and in the dark winter of those loveless times, when novels are too much to contemplate, I write these annoying little short stories. If I didn't send them to Stuart, no one would get to read them.

                                                            The bulk of these were written in the run-up to Christmas 2002, when I had moved to Wales and was at a bit of a low (the two are not related, I hasten to add). I couldn't bring myself to embark on a novel, but needed something to get me out of bed in the mornings. I promised Stuart a short story a week for every week remaining before Christmas day.

                                                            I didn't quite manage one a week, but out of these stories came ideas for two novels, one of which has now morphed into a four part fantasy epic. So good things come from the smallest of starts. Or something.

                                                             


                                                             

                                                            Rabbits

                                                            Cute, aren't they. But if a pair of rabbits could breed unfettered, with enough food for their offspring to all survive and breed themselves, in ten years time there would be a carpet of rabbit covering the whole of the UK. Scary Fluff.

                                                             


                                                             

                                                            The Package

                                                            It's a hard life being a courier. Few can survive subspace travel unshielded for long. They call it the weird for good reason.

                                                             


                                                             

                                                            Frustration

                                                            Energy-mining is dull work. Nannying a behemoth around the dark reaches of the galaxy in search of exotic materials to plunder means hours spent with nothing to do. Just don't tinker with the control mechanisms.

                                                             


                                                             

                                                            Comfort Farm

                                                            They have been coming for us for countless generations. Now they have built their own world where they can breed us how they want us, pliable, emotional, afraid.

                                                             


                                                             

                                                            Martin Scorcese's Underpants

                                                            I've run out of coffee, my laundry's in bad need of attention and no-one wants my blockbuster script. Life can be like that somedays.

                                                             

                                                             


                                                             

                                                            Dragons

                                                            Dragons are not supposed to fly. It displeases their masters, the sheep who rule over all the lands of the Ffrydd. Why then do these pathetic creatures have wings at all?

                                                             


                                                             

                                                            Martha

                                                            She was short, dark and very, very Welsh. Errol could not speak to her, for he was a ram and she a ewe-lamb. Yet she intrigued him in a way that had nothing to do with the rough barn-talk of the elders.