A Short Story A Day For A Month: Short Story: Dental Appointment



It was a nasty bugger. Right at the corner of Linda’s mouth. A horrible sharp little tooth. Broken, cutting into the side of her jaw where a canker sore was also. But all would be put right today as she sat in the waiting-room of the dentist’s. They had been there for two weeks and now would be no more. Time was weird.

Linda was never scared of the dentist’s. In fact she took after her father that way. Her mum and her sister were. Unlike her mum and her sister who were happy when the job was done, Linda was like her late father. She more dreaded the horrible pain after. In fact she hadn’t bad teeth. She had reached 30 and this sucker was only the second tooth she was due to get out. The first had been the tooth’s twin on the other side. Side teeth at the bottom were clearly not Linda’s best pals.

She heard the drill from inside where the patient in front of her was having some work done. She didn’t actually mind the drill but there was a little spiky instrument which could be sore. She actually quite liked the little cleaning agent thingy. That was soothing. She remembered been worried about the canker sore but her sister who previously had two canker sores assured her it was nothing dangerous, that it wasn’t cancer. She worried because she smoked far more than she should.

I should really give them suckers up. They aren’t worth it.

Her sister Carrie was here with her today in the waiting-room.

“You’ll be fine now Linda when all this is done.”, Carrie smiled.

“Yeah.”, Linda grinned.

“Remember to tell him about the canker sore before he starts.”

“Yeah, I will.”

Soon the doors opened and a man in his forties or fifties emerged with cotton wool in his mouth. He was followed out by a man in his forties who was the dentist.

“Just keep that on it for a bit and you should be ok Mick.”, the dentist said before going back inside for a few moments to get organised.

He soon came back out and smiled to Linda.

“Linda, are you ready?”

Short Story: Love In An Inner City Bar




It was 9pm. Sheena was in a bar in the inner city of Dublin. She had just got talking to a pretty fit guy called Rob. He had seemed to seek her out quite quickly into the night which was a nice boost for anyone’s self-esteem. She was flattered even though it had initially been his mate Liam she had been attracted to. In any case it wasn’t all about looks and she and Rob were currently getting on swimmingly talking about shared interests in music and sport. They both liked rock music and supported Liverpool F.C. They ordered in another drink and settled down to chat more.

Sheena knew that been open was the best policy. She knew and had reluctantly accepted that she would need to ‘come out’ on every occasion that she met someone. It seemed all manner of stupid seeing as within a short meeting no one should assume she wasn’t pansexual. But the reality was that they did.

“Rob, just a small thing I need to tell you. Well, I’m pansexual.”

His face told instantly that he didn’t see it as a small thing. His face told instantly that he’d forgotten she was a human being straightaway.

“Well I’m not into pansexual girls. I’m monogamous.”

“Well so am I.”

But I’m not into dickheads.

“I wouldn’t like to get anything.”

“Neither would I. So I best be safe and leave.”

His face grew angry.

“I’m fucking normal! I don’t sleep around like weirdos like you!”

Oh spare me, thought Sheena. Going out for a night out always allowed for the chance I might meet someone with the brain size of a peanut, she thought.

She got up and began to walk away bringing her drink with her. He got up.

“That’s rude! I’m talking to you! It’s the least you can do to listen having tried to trick me!”

God, he’s a fruitloop!

“How the fuck did I try to trick you? Sure I told you! And rude, now that’s ironic!”

“We don’t all buy into this politically correct shit you all try to shove down our throats! All you are is a slut with a posh name for it!”

“Aren’t you not the one trying to shove straightness down everyone’s throats going on about how ‘normal’ you are in comparison to everyone else? Fuck off!”

He kept yapping on with shit as she went up to the bar. Liam soon joined her.

“What do you want?”, she asked, fearing the worse.

“He can be a dick sometimes. I apologise on his behalf.

Oh, that was unexpected. But rather nice.

“It’s not your fault.”, she smiled.

“But still … so you’re Sheena. I’m Liam.”

“Nice to meet you Liam.”

“You too … you know I noticed you when you came in.”


You didn’t seem to but ok.

“I’m not too good at all this stuff with, um, with the ladies. That sounds bad, doesn’t it?”, he grins.

“No, not at all.”

It’s ok to be introverted. I’m introverted myself.

“Can I buy you a drink?”

“How about you buy me one and I buy you one?”

“Modern. That’s pretty cool. Ok.”

As they drank the night away, they found they had nothing in common. But a connection that went beyond that.


Six months later he took her virginity.


Two years later they got married and ten years down the line had three children together.


The End.



Short Story: The Mystery At Hammond Mansion Part 4 (Of 5)



Emment and Janet sat around the table for dinner at the Hammond household with the family. Gregory stared across at Emment with a mixture of awkwardness and glaring fury.

“So Emment, how is things going with the case?”, Marcus asked.

Greg reached across and took a long gulp of his wine.

“Things are slightly piecing together …”

“Care to enlighten us …”

“At this stage in enquires nothing is definite so maybe I shouldn’t, um, get your hopes up just yet.”

Emment made a sideways glance at Gregory across the table. He looked uncomfortable.

Good, thought Emment.

“Keeping your cards close to your chest.”, Charlotte smiled.

“Indeed.”, Emment smiled.



After dinner, Emment and Janet made their ways to their car.

“Emment, can we talk?”

Emment turned around to see Alexander.


“I’ll be in the car.”, Janet said.

“So, what is this? Defending the brother? I take it he’s told you.”

“You have it all wrong.”

“He’s admitted to an affair.”

“I know he has. But it’s not true.”

“Oh yeah …”

“No, it’s true. He never cheated on Emilia.”

“So he paid her ten grand for nothing, did he? Is that what you expect me to believe?”

He sighs deeply.

“No, of course not. Listen, this whole situation has nothing to do with Marie’s death.”

“How do you know that? An affair behind his wife’s back? Scared of the big reveal? Men have killed for less …”

“Jesus man, we’re not a pack of murdering animals. We don’t just go around murdering people to shut people up.”

“Should I take your word for it?”

“Is that sarcasm? Look, does anything I’m about to say have to go any further?”

“Depends …”

“So it could?”

“I can’t make any promises. This is a murder case Alexander.”

He hesitates.

“Well I haven’t got all night mate so …”

“It wasn’t Gregory.”

“Wasn’t Gregory what? Mitchell?”

“No …”

“Your father?!”

“No Emment … me.”

“Ha?! But you’re gay Alexander! Aren’t you?”

“Yes … it does happen though. Gregory was only looking out for me. He’s always did that since we were kids. It was a mistake. I love Josh and I don’t want to ruin our family.”

“That’s quite a motive …”

“Think what you like. I didn’t kill her. And neither did Gregory.”, Alexander replies, beginning to leave.

“Are you sure Josh had no idea? He and Marie didn’t get on very well …”

Alexander turns back around.

“What are you alluding to? My husband wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

“Under the right circumstances, people are capable of doing things they normally mightn’t be.”

“Under any circumstances, he wouldn’t.”



“What did he want?”, Janet asked as she started the car.

“He was having an affair with Marie.”

“But isn’t he gay? Well I suppose it can happen.”

“What if Josh knew? He couldn’t have been that blind to it, could he?”

“People in love can be.”

“Maybe … oh I don’t know. Josh doesn’t seem the type but in them circumstances … jesus that Alexander is a twat.”


Two days later, there was a knock at the door. Emment answered. It was Samantha.

“There was something I didn’t tell you before …”

“Come in, take a seat. Would you like some te- …”

“I can’t stay long.”

“Ok …”

She stays standing so Emment remains standing too.

“The night Marie was killed she called me to tell me that she was meeting a man … I think they were going to run away together.”

“Did she say that?”

“Not in so many words. But she said he was the one and that her life was going to begin … it sounded like she was saying goodbye to me. She told me to look after the family.”

“Do you know who this man was?”

“No but I knew there was a new man in her life. She had a glow about her. She was … she was close to Alexander but he’s gay so … but there was a closeness there. She spoke about him all the time.”















Short Story: The Mystery At Hammond Mansion Part 3 (Of 5)



Emment lay in bed. He looked over at Janet sleeping peacefully beside him. He wished he could sleep with that ease. She looked so cute when she was asleep that he couldn’t envy her though. The case rattled in his head. His mind oscillated to and fro, and his sense of worry deepened. He tired to circumvent all the snags, went through all the possible suspects.

Soon he was awake and had a light breakfast. A knock came on the door. He went to answer and was surprised to see Josh standing there. He didn’t bother saying that it was a bit unconventional to come to a cop’s house as opposed to the station but he thought better of it. By now he realised that Josh didn’t really do conventional.

“I was thinking about what you said …”

“Well I’m on my way out the door to work so if you’d like to accompany me …”

“Oh yeah, sure. Do you think …”

They walked to Emment’s police car and Josh got in the passenger seat before continuing.

“Do you think it’s Matthew? She recently broke up with him.”

“At the moment, we haven’t really made any definite links.”

“So he is a huge possibility.”, Josh grinned.

“As I said …”

“I know, I know.”

“I wonder if her family could shed some light on Matthew. Although they seemed to love him so it might be difficult to gain any information.”

Josh looked surprised by Emment’s openness.

“Look, I know you didn’t do it. I haven’t been a cop this long and not be able to spot when someone definitely isn’t a killer.”

“Alexander isn’t either.”

Emment smiled. This whole defending the husband thing was sweet but Emment didn’t really know enough to rule him out or into his investigations. So he said nothing.

“Matthew came by the house one time. He has a fierce temper. Lost his head with her. Still I fight with Al all the time – well not all the time – so it’s probably nothing Emment.”

But your husband’s not just been murdered Josh, thought Emment. Everything could mean something under these circumstances.

“Did you hear what it was over?”

“A bit of it. He just basically thought she was growing away from him.”

“He told me as much himself.”

“As I said probably nothing.”

“How did she get on in her interactions with the Hammond family?”

“Just ‘Can I get you anything else?’ It was all work-related really.”

“So you just wanted to tell me it was Matthew then?”

“Advise. I’m a helpful citizen.”, Josh smiled.

That night Emment buried himself in the news reports on the internet about the Hammond family. And there was a wealth of material available. Mostly posh gala functions with the family in fine attire and pictured with people Emment had never heard of but seemed to be influential in whatever fields they were in or were socialites or possibly hangers-on. It looked all very grand.

Janet came over, placed her hand gently on his shoulder and peered at the screen from behind him.

“So who’s who?”, she asked.

Emment enlarged a group photograph.

“Going from left to right that’s Mitchell beside Charlotte …”

“I love her dress. Mind you, I’d say it cost a fair bit. It looks like a Ralph Lauren.”


“Yeah, that very classical, timeless style.”

“And next to her is her husband Mitchell …”

“He’s the doctor?”

“No. That’s the eldest son Gregory that’s the doctor. They own a restaurant together.”

“Oh yes, the restaurateurs. Seafood, is it?”

“Tapas. And next to them is the daddy Marcus with mama bear Mary-Anne. Then we have the doctor Gregory …”

“In Agatha Christie it’s mostly the doctor.”

Emment raised his eyebrow and smiled.

“Jan, it’s not Agatha bloody Christie!”, he laughed.

“Next to him is his wife Emilia, she’s a professor …”

“Of what?”


“Brains as well as beauty I see.”

“And next to her is Alexander …”

“The other man?”


“The other man in yours and Josh’s bromance?”, Janet grinned.

“Shut-up!”, Emment laughed.

“And he’s a judge?”

“Not quite. He’s a lawyer. And then that’s obviously Josh beside him.”

“Can you spot the killer amongst them?”

“There mightn’t be a killer amongst them.”

“That’s true I suppose. But you think there is. Otherwise you wouldn’t be spending half the night poring over all this stuff.”


Emment’s eyes were getting more and more blurry as the night went on. He’d seen enough glasses of champagne to last him a lifetime. He was becoming so tired that he almost thought he was seeing things in the background of one of the photographs of Charlotte and Mitchell. He rubbed sleep from his eyes and looked again. It was unmistakable.

There was Marie Shepherd in an expensive-looking ballgown talking angrily to Gregory Hammond. Jeez Jan, maybe it is the doctor after all, thought Emment.

He enlarged the picture and noted the worried face of Gregory. Things were certainly beginning to get more and more interesting.

Well, well, well Gregory. Were you playing away from home with Miss. Shepherd?

The next day there was only one stop. Gregory’s and Emilia’s house. A large remote house with a large garden. Emilia was away teaching in the college so it was the perfect time to catch Gregory on his own.

“Would you like some tea? This visit is rather unexpected. How’s the case going?”, Gregory asked as he let Emment in.

“I think I best just get down to what I came here to talk to you about.”

Gregory looked puzzled.

“Well ok, take a seat.”

They sat on the sofa.

“I’m going to cut to the chase. I noticed in the background of one of the photographs from the Cancer Awareness Ball a curious scene. You and Marie Shepherd. And it appeared like you two weren’t on good terms.”

His face falls.

“So what if she was there? Means nothing.”

“What were you arguing over? You looked somewhat worried.”

“I don’t need to answer these questions.”

“Was your marriage going well at the time?”

“How dare you?! I want you to leave this house immediately!”

“Gregory, right now you are making yourself look very guilty indeed …”

“So what if I was having an affair with her?! It doesn’t mean I killed her!”

“So you admit to having an affair with her?”


“And that night …”

“She was blackmailing me. Told me she’d tell … told me she’d tell Emilia.”

“And did you pay her?”


“How much?”

“Ten grand. And she promised me the problem would go away.”

“Just like that.”

“She kept to her word.”

“Likely …”

“It’s the truth. Now, if we’re done here …”

“We’re done for now.”, Emment replied and saw himself out.

Short Story: Ruby Shines

In celebration of Animal Day today, here is a short story I wrote called Ruby Shines. Hope you all like it. 🙂



The sun shone brightly down on Ruby’s fur. The Toy Fox Terrier rolled over in the grass as her owner Laura and Laura’s girlfriend Kelly appeared in the garden to join her. Laura was holding a packet of ham in her hand.
“Ruby can dance. I’m telling you Kelly she can.”
“This I’ve got to see!”, Kelly replied, playful sarcasm in her voice.
Laura rolled her eyes and took some ham from the packet. She handed the packet to Kelly and walked over to Ruby.
“Should I get some Popcorn?”
“You’ll be laughing the other side of your face! This little baby is the next Anna Pavlova! She’ll walk competitions!”
“Right.”, Kelly said, raising an eyebrow.
“We’re practicing the spin at the moment.”, Laura explained.
She showed Ruby the piece of ham and moved it around in a circle which Ruby followed.
“Laura babe, you can’t bring a packet of ham on the stage at competitions.”
“I know that! But this is how it’s done at the beginning. She’ll get used to the idea and she’ll spin when she sees the hand movement without the treat.”
“Are you sure?”
“That’s how Susan from the up the road’s Chihuahua done it. She makes a heap of money with that dog dancing school of hers. And anything Susan’s little Perry can do, this little one can do better!”
“Nothing like a bit of friendly community competition.”
“Who said it was friendly?”, Laura smiled.
“Why do you want to train her to dance? Is now the idea of a pet old-fashioned?”
“Because I need money for … well for something. Rubsy is my only option. I can’t sing, I can’t dance but because the dog can I’ll go a long way. Besides look at her, she’s cute when she spins. The winner of the dog dance competition each year wins 2,000.”
“Can she do anything else?”
“How did I know the mention of money would make you interested?! I’m working on getting her up on her hind legs to dance.”
Laura lifted another piece of ham over Ruby’s head. Ruby looked up at it. Kelly struggled to keep in laughter. Life with Laura was never dull at least, she thought.
“That trick might take slightly longer.”, Laura sighed.

The competition was drawing nearer. Laura, Kelly and Ruby went out to the park to see Ruby’s progress.
“She no longer needs the ham or the clicker to stand on her hind legs. She just follows the motion of my hand now. Watch.”
Laura raised her hands high over Ruby’s head. Ruby stood up on her hind legs and began to move around.
“She’s dancing.”
“It’s two weeks to the competition. I should hope she is.”
Laura and Ruby did their routine consisting of Ruby dancing on her hind legs, pushing her legs off Laura, spinning, jumping through Laura’s arms while she was on her hunkers and going around Laura’s legs.
“We’re dancing to Under The Sea from The Little Mermaid. I’m going to have her come out of a plastic shell at the beginning. Saved up for that. Ariel, eat your heart out, eh Rubsy?”

The day of the local dog dancing competition arrived. The judges were in place. Animated chatter rang around the venue. Kelly took her seat in the crowd. It was worse she thought to be the girlfriend of the performer than to be the performer. Laura had worked so hard with Ruby. She couldn’t bear for it to go wrong.
Soon it was time for Laura and Ruby to take to the stage. Kelly smiled down a comforting smile to Laura before she began. Once they got over the first tentative steps, everything else flowed together brilliantly. There was a standing ovation, thoughts of winning. That was before Susan and Perry came on to perform and when Perry jumped over Susan the dream was over. Still second was a good result.
“1,000 I never had.”, Laura smiled,
“At least now I can get an engagement ring.”
“A what?”, Kelly replied, in shock.
“You heard me. Will you marry me?”
“Yes. Of course I will.”
As they kissed, Ruby jumped up on their legs.
“I think in her own way she’s excited by the news.”, Kelly smiled.
“Something tells me when we become parents she won’t be! She’ll miss been spoiled by her Mammies!”
Kelly picked Ruby up.
“Well you’re our only little child for now petal.”, Kelly said, kissing her head as they walked from the venue.

Short Story: The Pen

Shit, I thought. I really should have got one of those cheap set of earphones from the Euro shop instead of trying to save the two Euros. Well now I’ll just have to stand and stare awkwardly at people while I stand at the bus stop.
Two old women shuffle into the enclosure. They look like they are in their eighties and one lady has a trolley which her friend is helping her pull.
“Oh her grandson said he was some poly-something or other. Honestly these new things the young come up with. Ridiculous, isn’t it Maeve?”
“Oh indeed Maureen. You wouldn’t get any of that nonsense in our day.”
Double shit, two bigots at the bus shelter. Now I really wish I’d purchased those earphones. I have a screaming desire to say the word you are looking for is polysexual but I don’t.
“I mean what would God say? It’s in the Bible Maeve. Someone needs to teach the young the right way.”
“Adam didn’t go with Steve after all.”
Animated chuckles follow.
True Adam didn’t go with Steve but maybe he’d have enjoyed it, I think.
The bus looms in the distance and I feel a gentle sigh of relief exit from my mouth. I decide to go upstairs as the two old women take a seat downstairs. Next they’ll be onto pansexuality and as a pansexual man I ain’t interested in their negativity.

When my stop came I made my way downstairs. I could hear the two women had continued their sexuality-based chat.
“Really Maeve all these new ridiculous terms are just a posh, fashionable way of sleeping around. I mean they couldn’t get married. They wouldn’t be committed to anyone. You couldn’t trust them.”
“Oh god no Maureen. How could you? They’d be picking up all sorts anywhere. They’d sleep with anyone!”
I roll my eyes and step off the bus thinking I’m a pansexual man going to meet his bisexual best friend and we sure as hell are not planning on sleeping with each other!

When I arrive at Matt’s flat I am ready to have a rant about M & M but I soon realise that’s not to happen. He is super excited about something and doesn’t even offer me a beer.
“Sit down Jay. I’ll be back soon.”
Confused I slump myself down on the sofa. I hear him shuffling around in his bedroom.
“Man, are you … ok?”
What I really mean is: is he feeling alright? Has something strange come over him?
“Matt, you haven’t started believing in aliens again, have you?”
He laughs.
“Dude, that was two weeks in secondary school! I was going through a phase! In any case Dylan was into that shit …”
Dylan’s his ex boyfriend. Emo teenager turned banker adult. The world is full of surprises.
“Oh yeah Dylan, how is he these days?”
“Who cares?! Boring! Strait-laced! Up his fucking arse!”
Dylan dumped Matt.
“Yeah, here it is. Got to be careful with this or someone will snatch it. If they knew I had this they’d beat me up for it.”
My alien theory is coming back into my head.
He comes out holding a pen and wearing a cheesy grin on his face.
“Who’s they?”, I ask, trying to hold in the concern for him in my voice.
“Oh everyone mate. This here is gold. It’s the bridging of worlds.”
“Matt, it’s a pen!”
“Oh this ain’t no ordinary pen.”
“It looks pretty ordinary to me.”
“Well it isn’t. This pen can transport someone back in time. To the 1920s.”
“Seriously man you’re pulling my leg …”
“No, I was there last night.”
“What?! You don’t seriously believe that.”
“I know it! I experienced it with my own two eyes! I was just innocently sitting having my coffee while watching Game of Thrones and I was clicking the pen and suddenly I was there!”
Now I’m worried what was in his coffee.
“Man, it was fantastic. The consumerism, the fashion, the jazz. I meant this fantastic-looking chick Dorothy in one of the jazz clubs. She was there with her friend Joseph. You’d like him. He’s proper your type. You know the quiet, gentle, deep type. Dorothy on the other hand she is wild, proper party girl. Does the Charlston into the early hours.”
“Matt, you’ve been lonely lately I get that. Since you and Dylan broke up …”
“Oh I’m long over him! Look I know this sounds mad but it’s true. Come on, let’s go for a trip buddy.”
I decide that I better humour him. Maybe when it doesn’t work we can talk sensibly. So we end up both holding the pen and clicking down on it together.

Soon I find myself in the middle of a street. Two girls are flying by me in flapper dresses and there’s an advertisement at a cinema for The Thief of Bagdad. As a film buff who constantly watches old movies on YouTube I’m now freaking out. I turn around to find a wide-eyed Matt. He smiles at the surprise on my face.
“Told you.”, he simply says.
Either we are both off our rockers or this is actually 1924.
“Come on, let’s go find Dor. She said she’d meet us at The Velvet Cat.”
“She knows I’m coming?”
“Oh yeah, just one thing. I never said how I got here. Just pretend you are from this time. Saves a lot of explanations.”
“Matt, how the hell are you taking this in your stride? We’ve just time-travelled!”
“It’s a little unusual I admit …”
“A little unusual. Who gave you that pen?!”
“The old man with glasses in the bookies …”
“What old man with glasses in the bookies?!”
“Dicer … well Phillip Dice but we call him Dicer. Picks a good few winners …”
“I don’t care about his gambling expertise!”
“I was doing a bet, the pen wouldn’t write. He gave me a lend but when I turned around he wasn’t there. Hasn’t been since. Anyway who cares? This is amazing. We are living. Loosen up. You are never going to get Joseph’s trousers off if you are going to be this uptight.”
“I’m not trying to get his trousers off! We need to get back to 2016 and find this Dicer fella …”
“You’re forgetting one thing.”, Matt says, starting to move away from me a bit.
“Oh and what’s that?”
“I have the pen.”, he stays and starts to run off.
“Dude, this is childish! Get back here!”, I shout, rushing after him with visions of been stuck in the 1920s in my head.

I follow him into The Velvet Cat. He joins a woman and a man who I presume are the wild Dorothy and the quiet Joseph whose trousers I’m supposed to be trying to get off. Matt is kissing Dorothy and Joseph is sitting across from them with his back to me. I reluctantly approach the table with one focus in mind: getting that pen.
“Jayden mate, pull up a chair.”, Matt calls out and I involuntarily roll my eyes.
Joseph gets up to let me get past to the free chair and that’s when I almost choke.
Oh my god, he’s beautiful. Maybe I would like to sleep with him.
And then he smiles. You know that incredibly endearing warm smile that introverts do when even hello is hard to get out of their mouth. I’m swept away with dizziness and before I know it I’m sitting down. Joseph offers me a cigarette and I forget and ask him where the smoking area is. He looks puzzled.
“The smoking area?”
Matt intervenes.
“Jay’s got this mad idea that there should be smoking areas in bars and clubs. Health of non-smokers and all that.”
“You don’t believe that surely darling? That’d take away all the fun!”, Dorothy purrs.
“Well …”, I begin.
“He believes what he believes.”, Joseph smiles.
“Surely Joseph sweetie you don’t think that we should be forced out to another area with our fags like some sort of bar outcasts?”
“I didn’t say I did Dor. But it’s an interesting take on it.”, he says beginning to light up his cigarette.
He stops and turns to me.
“This doesn’t offend you, does it? Because I don’t want to.”
“No, no, of course not.”
He lights his cigarette.
“It’s just I have this friend Sue and she’s a vegetarian. It upsets her when someone eats meat in front of her.”
“Sue’s a drama queen! She saves insects from been stood on!”, Dorothy whined, wrapping herself around Matt.
“She likes animals Dor.”
“Well I’ll agree on that Joesph. After all she was with Wilson and he was a beast. I should know! But that was before I met my little Matty boy!”
They begin a full on kissing session while I think this is the 1920s! I’m not the most traditional or a prude but weren’t things took a little slower back then? Back now? Oh I’m confused.
“So Joseph, what do you do?”
“I’m a railroad worker. Oh and I write poetry on the side.”
“Anything published?”
“Not as of yet. What about you?”
“I’m a barman.”
“A long way from here.”
“Must be. I haven’t seen you around before. And I’d remember if I did.”
Our eyes meet. It’s a few seconds. It feels like an eternity. A wonderful eternity. His hand is holding his drink. I reach across to place my hand on top of his and he pulls it away instantly. There is terror on his face and he gets up.
“I have to go Dor. Splendid night.”
He rushes out and I rush after him. When I catch up with him I begin talking very fast.
“I was told you were into guys. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.”
“Will you keep your voice down?! What are you trying to do?! Get us killed?!”
“I’m sorry. I forgot.”
“Yeah, well you wouldn’t want to forget too often, would you?!”
“No, I guess not.”
His voice softens.
“I’m sorry. It’s just … it isn’t right, is it? But it’s the way it is. And it’s never gong to change. So I suppose you just got to get on with things. I’m gay and I’m completely happy been but other people will never come around to just seeing people as human beings and not putting people in boxes in a quest for power.”
“Things will change. There’ll come a time when people will say they are gay and people will say so what? Well the majority will anyway.”
“You’re very positive for a gay man in the 1920s.”
“Well technically I’m not gay but I know what you mean.”
“You’re not? I’m confused.”
“I’m pansexual. I can fall for men, women or non-binary people.”
“Someone who is both genders or neither.”
“I have a friend Charlie who feels like that. But I’ve never heard the word.”
“Well you know, as time moves on people, if they feel they want to, do find words to describe what they feel.”
“It’s like you know all this stuff I don’t.”
“Likewise. Like don’t put your hand on a guy’s hand when homosexuality isn’t legal. I forget sometimes.”
Joseph took Jayden’s hand and brought him behind the wall. He cupped Jayden’s face in his hand and began to kiss him.
“Isn’t this dangerous?”
“Sometimes it’s good to have a bit of danger. Besides we’re hidden. I don’t usually kiss someone this quick.”
“Neither do I.”
They began kissing again.

After the night, Jayden and Matt returned to their time.
“He’s a great kisser.”
“Now, you’re happy you made the trip.”, Matt smiled.
“It’s such a pity it can’t last.”
“Why not? We can go back as much as we like.”
“There’s a reason why that guy gave you that pen though.”
“I know but who cares?”
“Joseph’s life was back then. Mine’s now.”
“Would you stay in the 1920s for him?”
“Ah would you? How fucking soppy! It’s like the real life gay version of Romeo & Juliet.”
“You’ve never even read Romeo & Juliet … look think, when this guy gave you the pen did he say anything?”
“He just gave me a docket with the words The Velvet Cat on it. And tomorrow’s date only in the 1920s. 8pm.”
“Why didn’t you tell me that before?”
“Because you’d get all serious and then it would have been no fun. Besides it’s tomorrow or tonight now but it wasn’t last night’s date.”
Jayden sighed.
“Ok, tonight we go back.”

The Velvet Cat was quiet when Jayden and Matt entered. Two men and a woman sat at the bar. The barman was an older man with glasses. A violent dispute broke out between the two men for the woman’s affections. One man suddenly took out a knife and stabbed the other man. The woman rushed out. A newspaper cutting fell in front of Jayden and Matt. It read:

Man Killed In Bar. No Reliable Witnesses

Robert Mitchell (28) was killed in a stabbing incident in a bar. However his death has been deemed unsolved at an inquest today. Mr. Mitchell was having a drink in The Velvet Cat Bar at 8pm last Saturday with the only witness present been the barman Jimmy Dice (72). Mr. Dice identified a young man in his 30s as been the person who stabbed Mr. Mitchell. The man can not be named for legal reasons. At the inquest it was deemed that Mr. Dice could not be certain of his identification due to poor eyesight. According to police the case is now closed.

“This is ridiculous. They’ll think it’s us Jay!”
“What have we got to lose? We just click the pen if things go wrong.”
When the police arrived, Jayden and Matt backed up Jimmy’s story. And Jimmy said they had been sitting over the other side of the bar. They agreed to make it to the inquest.

After the inquest, a trial followed where William Nolan was found guilty of murder. Matt went to say his goodbyes to Dorothy and Jayden went over to Joseph.
“Now we can live happily ever after.”, Joseph beamed.
“I really wish you didn’t say that. Look this is going to sound nuts but I should have told you this from the start. I’m from the year 2016 …”
“Just hear me out. Matt and me came to right a wrong. Well at first we weren’t sure why we were here. But it became apparent. The pen time travels.”
“Look if you want to break up with me you don’t have to make up some stupid elaborate story. Just be a man about it.”
“I love you. But you have your life. I have mine. This is coincidence. This isn’t what’s meant to be.”
Jayden kissed Joseph passionately.
“The world’s really in 2016 …”
“Yeah and I hope I meet someone as wonderful as you in the present day.”
“So I’ve already died?”
“I don’t want to think of that but I’d imagine so.”
“Well I hope I met someone as wonderful as you before I popped off.”
Jayden kissed Joseph again before walking over to Matt. They clicked the pen one last time and returned to the present day.

Back in 2016, Jayden felt something in his pocket. He took it out. It was a rolled-up piece of paper.
“What’s that?”, Matt asked.
“A poem.”
“From Joseph?”, Matt smiled,
“I’ll go get us two beers in the kitchen. Give you some privacy to read it.”
Jayden began to read the poem:

There is something about you,
I can’t put my finger on it.
You are caring,
Before I met you love was fiction,
It was in books,
It was what I wrote
But never felt.
You are filled with strength Jay,
Filled with love,
Bursting with it.
That’s what makes you everything,
Everything to me.
Don’t ever lose that,
Don’t lose that beauty inside.

Short Story: Waves

Watch the waves gush over and over. Life in slow motion. Isn’t it strange how they never stop going back and forth, back and forth? It would be safe to just look at them and stay out of the danger of ruin. Breathe in the final moments. Watch the air exhale and make a mist. That’s life. It’s so beautiful even in it’s ugliness that tears form in my eyes. The future has transformed from wonderful to bleak like a sunny day when the sky starts to get dark. The onslaught of gloomy weather and rain. If only we could erase one day from our lives? If I could then maybe the waves wouldn’t mean much to me on this calm evening that feels dark in my eye line.

Of course they wouldn’t matter. Like six weeks ago as he held me in his arms and tickled me in my sides gently because I had stupidly let him in on the fact that it was my ticklish spot. I laughed carefreely as the wind swept through my hair. It was just another day. Just another trip to the beach with ’99s and sun tan lotion. But then in the blink of an eye, in the blink of five tides of waves, everything changed.

It was like any other day. My best friend from childhood Rick came along to join us on the beach. We were having our weekly drinking session on the beach. Yes, I knew Carl was jealous of Rick but I couldn’t just cut Rick callously out of my life. He had been in it long before I had met Carl. In a way I thought the situation was awkward but harmless. But as the drink flowed things got dangerous. Angry words were exchanged between the two men in my life. Forgive me for I thought in an naive fashion that it would not go beyond mere words. Instead it escalated. Punches were thrown and it was only then that I realised the seriousness of the situation I was in. Before I knew it Carl picked up a bottle and hit Rick over the head. When I knelt down to feel his pulse he was gone.

Before the night was out we had buried Rick in a nearby forest. My insides ached with guilt as I thought of the day I was an introvert young girl in playschool and this larger than life young boy had made me feel less lonely. But since then I had grown up and met the man I loved. And when push came to shove I chose to save him instead of allow justice for Rick and his family. And although I felt guilt it was nothing compared to the fear which I felt for us. I was prepared to let it lie until Rick’s body was found.

That was when I slipped the poison into Carl’s coffee to save him this morning. Then I came back to this beach where this hell all began. Watched the waves one last time. Told myself that this was the last few seconds, the last few waves, of my life. Victoria Morgan would be no more. I stand up, take a few steps towards the ocean towards my destiny.