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
                A Dream of Water and Cars
                  The City of Dreams
                    To the Stars
                      The Contract
                        A Game of War
                            The Man Whose Television Wouldn't Work
                                The Package
                                    Comfort Farm
                                      Martin Scorcese's Underpants
                                            The Final Reel
                                              Natural Causes
                                                The Birthday Party
                                                        Sir Gwynfor's Lament
                                                            Unnatural Causes



                                                            The Inspector McLean Mysteries

                                                            Before I embarked upon the magical work that is Natural Causes, I tested my crime/supernatural thriller writing skills with a series of short stories. One of these ended up being the inspiration for Natural Causes, and is confusingly called Natural Causes. It was published by Spinetingler Magazine in 2006.

                                                            Spinetingler published a second McLean short story, Jenny, in late 2011, but the rest of the series have only briefly seen the light of day, for limited periods, on the Sir Benfro blog. They are presented here, now, for your edification.

                                                            A collected edition of these stories will be made available just as soon as I've got the time. Keep your eyes peeled for it in the books section.



                                                            The Final Reel

                                                            No-one mourns the death of the Obituary Man, a burglar who targeted the homes of the recently deceased. But the manner of his death - crushed by a falling cast-iron toilet cistern - is odd enough to attract the attention of DI Tony McLean.




                                                            Natural Causes

                                                            The body of a young woman is found walled up in the basement of an old Edinburgh mansion. A prominent local figure is brutally murdered. An illegal immigrant cuts his throat in a city centre pub. As violence descends upon the city, Detective Inspector McLean must think the unthinkable. An ancient evil has been freed, and only if he accepts that it can exist will he be able to stop it.



                                                            The Birthday Party

                                                            Frankly I'm getting a bit bored of writing these short descriptions. The story itself will only take you fifteen minutes to read, so why not do that instead. You'll enjoy it. Honest.





                                                            Everybody knows Job. The old tramp wanders the streets whatever the weather, and if you ever stop to talk to him, all he asks is 'do you know where it is?' No-one pays him much heed, no-one remembers their meeting a few minutes after it's over.





                                                            A young man dead, discarded with all the other garbage. Just another nameless, faceless rent boy no-one will miss. But the search for clues to his identity leads DI Tony McLean in unexpected directions, new leads on old cases, deals that even the vice squad knew nothing about. It's almost as if the dots had been laid out just ready to be connected. But by whom? And why?




                                                            Sometimes it's best to leave the can unopened. It may be full of worms.