I always feel awkward in social situations with strangers. I guess everybody does. But for some reason when I find myself at that point, my reaction is beyond control: I start lying like a madman.Continue reading “Submarines, Like Ships in the Night by Steve Sibra”
“What’s your name?” James asked the hostess.
She furrowed her brow, “Claire. Do I know you?” She donned a small, professional smile.
“No. Readers like knowing the names of the characters. If I just call you the hostess over and over, they’ll get detached from you; it’ll annoy them.”
“What?” Claire asked.Continue reading “Ellen and Elise by Brent Holmes”
Sure, it was funny to everyone and their brother-in-law, but I had to absorb the humiliation of waking up on the courthouse steps without pants on, surrounded by townspeople. Bill came. I asked if he wanted to lock me up for this, but he ruled it unintentional. He shouted that the looky-loos should go on about their business. Bill is a pretty good guy for a cop.Continue reading “The Assistant Town Drunk: Zero to Hero in Seconds by Todd Mercer”
Orange Girls by Tim Frank
The orange girls hit the tanning salon then went to Lacey’s flat and smeared fake tan lotion on top just to be sure. They crammed into her bathroom, their bodies wrapped around each other like snakes in a cardboard box and then wrestled to gain a glimpse of themselves in the mirror. They slapped on foundation, blusher, eye shadow, eyeliner and fake eyelashes making sure not to swamp the almost bruised orangeness pasted across their thighs, cleavages and a multitude of other unmentionable crevices. They filled their bottles with vodka and orange, taking gulps like thirsty construction workers as they rode the train into town. Lacey lit a fag in the carriage on the way and then the rest followed suit. Soon the windows went foggy. Other passengers fake-coughed in protest and the orange girls turned brown in the dim light.Continue reading “6th Anniversary of Literally Stories – Today is the day. A post will follow on Saturday 28th celebrating all our milestones.”
So, Hugh now joins the teeny tiny group – well I say group – there’s only one other, of writers with 100 posts on the site. CONGRATULATIONS. It is fair to say that it has probably been harder for Hugh. As editors I think we are tougher on ourselves than we are on other authors. We are so keen not to be seen to be showing any sort of positive bias that we are brutal with each other. However, Hugh always accepts rejections and edit suggestions with good humour, humility and professionalism.
He is the backbone of Literally Stories, he has kept on going through his own personal traumas, never letting what is happening in his life get in the way of his work on the site. He has been an incredible rock when the rest of us have had our own dramas, kind, sympathetic and stoic (hahahahaha – his hate word – ha) and he makes the work, which at times can feel overwhelming, worthwhile and rewarding. As well as the reading and emails, Hugh comments on the stories and together with other of us give feedback to authors who have requested such or who we feel deserve an explanation as to our decisions or a suggested edit. He writes almost all the Saturday roundup posts and let’s be honest they are hilarious and a brilliant end to the week, even though the times when he says ‘That’s it there, Diane. Sorry’ I do quake in my boots.
I have never actually met Hugh, or Nik in person, or Adam or Tobias for that matter, but I count them among dear friends, but Hugh, and Nik are the blokes I want to have a drink with, the blokes I can count on to unload to when life throws cabbages at me and I just want to say thanks and, Hugh, my life is richer for knowing you. You are a fearless, uncompromising writer and I admire that more than I can say and many, many Congratulations on reaching this outstanding milestone.
Never Being Confused
It was a typical day in the life of Jim and Debbie, the parents of SeptemberThe28th.
They were on The High Street championing their offspring’s cause as usual. They wore their ‘Asexual Is Not Fluid UCUNT!’ Tshirts, The back of which said ‘LGBTQI+Forever!!‘ And underneath that was ‘I am not a label!’
“Right Israelites…Where are they?”
“Only me boss. Do you like my frock?”
“It’s very fetching. And who are you?”
“I’m Charlton, the rest of them seen the smoke in the distance and thought there was a fire heading this way. I mean they’ve just got dried from the sea thingy, miracle, whatever the fuck.”
“The sea parted, it never touched them.”
“I know but they’d all pissed themselves. They’re not very brave. Anyway they fucked off home, wherever that is.”
“Err…Ladies and Gentlemen…The Groom.”
The wee mousey man backed away out the door. The groom stood up championing Sports Direct and eating a Gregg’s sausage roll.
Miss Shaw, please take a seat. I’m Bill Nixon…So you’ve filled in your new claim and you’ve stated that you walked out of your last employment. Is that correct?”
“You do realise that you may be sanctioned and won’t receive any benefit?”
“Well in your own words, could you tell me what happened.”
“What about you Dave, what’s the worst thing you’ve done?”
Alan joined his sister.
“You OK Trish?”
“I’m getting there. I’m no good with this.”
“I know, you can’t handle a hamster dying never mind anything else.