Justice? (250-word fiction)

Goldilocks was our favourite bedtime story when we were kids. In that age of schoolyard bullies, I guess we liked the idea that thieves would ultimately get their comeuppance – that you couldn’t just walk into someone’s home and break their favourite chair and eat all of their porridge without consequences. No: you would be caught out. You would have to answer for your actions. Papa Bear would be stern and enraged, Mama Bear would shout, “for shame!”, Baby Bear would cry his eyes out, and you would be struck by the deepest remorse.

You certainly wouldn’t smirk and whisper some disparaging remark to your lawyer when the victim impact statement was read out, that’s for sure.

She’ll be out of here as soon as possible (fiction)

Ellen knew that today’s biology class would be a nightmare. She skimmed through the textbook at the end of summer – just to familiarise herself with the syllabus before the term started – and as soon as she saw the chapter about the human reproductive system, her heart sank, because she knew what to expect. There would be audible snorts and giggles and furtively whispered remarks around the room, especially at the back of the class.

Grace (a short story)

Grace remembers it well. It’s one of the few things she remembers. Her mother used to put a drop of brandy in her sister’s bottle to help her sleep. She no doubt did the same thing for Grace, and why wouldn’t she? In that dusty room, in that falling-down old house, the walls covered in grime and soot from the Franklins’ fire downstairs. Her mother had tried to give them both the best life she could, Grace can see that now.

A Lower Station (430-word fiction)

A story about a woman who expected to lead a luxurious life and has now fallen on hard times, as her husband’s company has foundered.

Sweet Comfort (250-word romantic fiction)

When the man of your dreams asks if you want to catch a movie on Friday, be cool. Don’t yell, “oh wow, sure, yeah, thanks Jeff, that would be great” at a million decibels. Don’t get so embarrassed that you whip back round at breakneck speed, forgetting the fresh bread rolls balanced precariously on the…

2070: The Evacuation

In the chaos of the evacuation, Michael’s father cuts a reassuring figure. He is not physically imposing: a man of moderate stature, with a faltering gait, he nevertheless carries himself with a reassuring presence as he calls out words of encouragement to those nearby. ‘The unit isn’t too far away now – just another few…