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  • NOTE TO READERS: I’m on vacation and forgot to bring the sheet with the story’s timeline. I will fix this once I’m back home.

    34_

    XXX Date to be fixed, Morgan’s high school graduation

    Barb slowly opened the d […]

  • 47_
    “Do you know what time it is?”

    Anne was not delighted to be called at 10 p.m. but Lilli had anticipated as much.

    “Sorry, sis, it’s an emergency. We no longer have a dad.”

    “What??? When did this happen?”

    “ […]

  • I’d wanted to be a vet since I was a child. I was well into adulthood when I graduated, just in time for that first pandemic to make me a dog-walker with a medical license. The world subsequently got worse. F […]

    • Hello Seyi. Brilliant imagery (“… twitching mass glistening with flies at the bottom of the crater.’), and you achieve the horrific scene very well with your descriptions. I think there is an error in the last sentence of the first paragraph:

      • “…but when sleep would bring dreams…”, perhaps this should read: “…but [then?] sleep..”? Somehow, I’m stumbling on this sentence.

        Am I right in my understanding that in this world, it’s the “humans” that are now being led by the leash and are at the mercy of the canine world? Correct me if I’m wrong! Your MC has lost his vocal cords and is trapped in the mind and reasoning of a human. Well written!

        PS. Apologies for the split comment… I posted the first comment prematurely…

    • Hi Seyi,
      This was such a fascinating read! I loved the way you kept it a secret that the narrator was actually a canine. You paint very graphic images and it awes me every time. I was however a little confused as to what was ‘hot dog’? Was it the name of some elite dog or some food supply. Maybe it’s just me. The dialogue and setting were done stupendously well and enjoyed the story. Great read! Thank you for sharing!

  • Brigid drops the notebook on the desk as she hears the gunshot. She looks at the clock. It’s a half past eleven. The door flies open and Bridie, the head secretary strides in.

    ‘I wonder where that came from? It’ […]

  • Week 24
    A night out
    Robert pulled up a chair at the small table. His friend Anan was already there and greeted him with joy filled eyes. All the tables were taken, and a few people were dancing in the open space […]

  • Later that day, Fran received a frantic phone call from Bernard in Budapest. The one feature chandelier in the hotel foyer was creating problems and shorting all the ground floor power and the supplier was […]

  • It was a typical boring Saturday night. Translated: I was too exhausted to get off my butt and do something that required any effort on my part.

    So I thought I’d just tool around on my cell phone, and nurse a […]

    • Hi Charles,
      I always look forward to your stories! This was such a fun read and I love the everyday humour you inject in your tales. A puppet can be so important to a child, I would not have believed it unless I read the antics of this boy. I think it’s time you published an anthology with all these funny tales. It will a splendid collection! Wonderful read! Thank you for sharing!

    • Charles – well done once again. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Easy to follow and funny and then it his you with some repercussions and loss of innocence. Always a joy to read! Thanks for sharing! I agree with Amrita – its time for you to get all this stories in one collection! – Matt

  • 24 Roy – Sunday 6:30pm
    “Roy, I’m so glad I reached you!” Helen’s animated voice came over the speaker as Roy drove to the Eastern Pearl. “I just heard from Magera. Shiva Patel is dead. He crashed while chasing the […]

    • Hi Peggy – what time is it in your part of the world when you post?! I’ve been meaning to ask, as we’re always amongst the first!
      Poor Charles, but that’s what getting mixed up in all of this is going to cost you…almost certainly his licence if not his freedom, even if he did think he was helping. I guess he could make a case for that…
      This is much tighter writing than some of the earlier scenes and I have little to offer in terms of pick ups – although I do wonder why there is no other police person to go and bring Minsang in – after all she is a living witness to everything that happened and she is still just languishing in the flat. Asking her father to go there might also be considered a little irregular but as I said last time, though, I could have been watching too many police shows!!! Well done and good riddance to Shiva Patel…

    • Hi Deryn,
      I always stay up late on Tuesday nights and post around 10pm. My Wednesdays are almost always crazy, and I never know when I’ll have the chance to post if I wait. As for Minsang, I’ll have to do some research. I’m just not sure what they would do with her, they wouldn’t take her into police custody, I wouldn’t think, but it seems reasonable that they would post a guard outside for her protection, and reuniting her with her family also seems plausible. I’ll give that some more thought and research. Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate you.

  • Haemon Valeri draped himself in the flowing tunic of a high ranking Solarin and crossed the lavishly furnished bedroom to gaze at his reflection in the mirror. The dark red cloth made his pale skin seem […]

    • Hi Peggy,
      The suspense is great and the story is looking absolutely stunning! I loved how diabolical you have made Haemon. He is the true definition of a narcissist. What happened to Aram is alarming and I hope his plan works out. I wonder how Haemon will get his die. The suspense and pacing of the story is topnotch and you ended on a powerpacked cliffhanger. Awesome writing! Thank you for sharing!

    • Hi Peggy. I love how you bring the simple longing for a domestic pleasure – laundry, into your story. Although the fact that he longs for clean clothes doesn’t detract from the monster Haemon. I’m still sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next instalment. Keep going.

  • “Mom and I thought we could do a vote, about how to proceed with the information we have,” Maisie explained.

    “Ooh, a vote. Like we used to do for family vacations!” said Katherine.

    “What family vacations […]

  • A shoe laid on the side of the pavement, smaller than mine. Dirty white velcro flaps open, pointing to the sky.

    “Look, Mom!” Freddie tugged on my hand as he pointed. “Where’s the other shoe?”

    “I’m not sure, Fre […]

    • Becky, what an intriguing story. I can’t work out if the narrator is conflating something that happened to her with what might have happened to the owner of the shoe, or if she has some kind of sixth sense about events. And I like that ambiguity. I also like the unsettling atmosphere felt by the narrator but not her son. And I especially like the dynamic between mother and son.

  • The short walk to my house from the doctor feels long, but then not long enough. Lost in our thoughts we hold hands the entire way. Sitting on the front porch steps we wait for her grandmother to take her home. I […]

    • Hi Jeff, thanks for sharing this short memoir. I like the characters, especially grandpa Pike. You got the right amount of tension in it and I like the ending. Great response to the prompt. One small thing – check the spelling of demeanour (UK)/demeanor (USA).

    • Hi Jeff,
      Such an interesting story about teenage pregnancy! I liked the light conversational tone you used to convey the emotions of the character. I thought the story will address pertinent issues such as abortion and abortion rights. But it was quite a happy story. Nice happy read! Thank you for sharing!

    • Hi Jeff. At first I thought that your use of ‘carefree’ in your teaser was a bit of sarcasm but towards the end of the story we see that these two teens are quite in fact rather carefree despite all the stresses and strains. Young love <3

    • Nice story, Jeff. It gives a better ending than most in that situation. I liked the love nest they had made. You gave the character a reality that makes me believe that they will be successful in a marriage. Good story.

  • Tomi cleared up the scattering of mugs, teabags and cookies from Kate’s brief visit, walked up to her bedroom and sat down at her vanity.  She took a long look at herself in the mirror.

    Where was that young wo […]

  • She left a pretty thick packet of information for me with a post-it note saying she knew it was a lot to read, but I should pretend it was a mystery novel.  How did the speech therapist know that I enjoy reading […]

    • Marilyn, what a sad story. You showed the disintegration of the husband so well. All the misdiagnoses making things worse. Truly heartbreaking. Well done. Thanks for sharing.

  • # PREFACE

    Dearest child,

    When anyone used to ask you what you wanted to become when you were all grown up, you just stared at them. Blank expression in those steel-blues. 

    “I’m not growing up,” you’d say. 

    A […]

    • Oh man. I felt every word. The charm of it. The perspective. The kindness, generosity, familiarity. Beautiful.

    • I love this advice to a child! Not speaking down to the younger person, more on an adult level. So full of experience, common sense and understanding. Thank you for sharing your story/letter.

  • Alexa Stop!
    “What a stupid Literacy Assignment, I swear Mr. Johns is a moron.”

    Tossing his school bag across the kitchen floor, a huge crash followed as the bar stool it careened into toppled ove […]

    • Hi Jane, Well that was an excellent story, well told, with lots of dialogue and action and sound. I almost wanted to block my ears! I like the different sound descriptions throughout the piece – the sluggish teenage bashing about and the quick change noises from the stereo etc. Well done and thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Jane,
      This was a story filled with humour; from the teenager being like a sloth to the mystery that is Alexa and voice controlled gadgets. It was also very visual. I could easily picture the scene. Interesting that the boy’s assignment was about cliches. I’m talking to my writing group about that tomorrow:-) That”s for such an interesting and funny read.

  • Week 23
    Doctor Vihaan Reddy’s house.
    Grizelda had asked Bessie to drive her to Vihaan’s home, and told her about the message Robert had sent her.

    “It doesn’t make sense.” Bessie had shaken her head in protest, […]

  • CHAPTER 39The entrance to the stables was nearly a mile away. Chandler brought the car to a halt outside a small double-story house. It wasn’t a small house, but after Wedgecombe Manor everything looked small. T […]

  • Recap (hover over the italicised words if you want to be taken back to the previous scenes): Rebecca Bolder, pursuing  a promotion to associate professor, must make a speech in response to the keynote of the D […]

    • Omg what a nail biter. This scene was fabulous. I was racing alongside Kirabo and dreading the future screening of Rebecca’s panic attack collapse. 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽

    • Oh dear.
      First, I wasn’t bothered by the slap…i was afraid from your warning that it was done in viloence, but it seems it is just Kirabo trying to bring Rebecca back. What seemed odd was her telling him to never do it again, especially in the state she was in.

      I sort of expected Rebecca to speak before Ehrlich!

      The disruption group is so well done. You do a great job of teasing it our and letting the tension mount for the reader, and Kirabo’s pov is perfect for this. I’m mad at how few are taking him seriously. What are these troublemakers planning, and will Rebecca expose Ehrlich and the others?
      I feel like there should be a “stay tuned” attached here. Great work.

      G

  • Scene 45Friends and Lovers by SM PrasadFriends and Lovers by SM PrasadBernadine and Wheeler had finished their reports, paperwork, and strategy team meetings with their superiors. It had been an exhausting day. In […]

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    • Hi Hanri,
      Sorry for the late reply. Thanks so much for your observation. I do enjoy writing about the settings, especially NYC. I see it as another character in the story. Also, thanks for teaching me the word “monistic”, learned a new one there. I will look to see if I can enhance the plot driven scenes a bit more.

      I’ve had some trouble getting onto the site until today so I will post comments tomorrow.

    • Hi Sudha,

      Poor Jen – how beautifully you bring her isolation and feeling of desertion across. If anything, the suffering will make her stronger, but we can really see that she is struggling and it’s not easy for her. The social media is a great tool (and so relevant) to really hammer in those nails of despair – when you’re feeling down, seeing pictures of achievements, beautiful destinations and happy couples will bring you down, especially when one of those happy couples is your best friend. So you think, but I should be happy for them, but you just cannot.

      I remember the bar scene from last year and I like how you’ve tigthened it up nicely. That vegetable and meat broth – ça donne envie! – my mouth was watering! And the note from Al, a beautiful finish!

      Well done, beautiful writing!

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Ben Hunt

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@benhunt

Active 1 week, 3 days ago
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