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Literally Stories – Week 64 – Underwhelmed


Hi folks, a load of nonsense before I get to a tip that I think most of us need reminding of (and I REALLY have to include myself in this!)

I was just thinking on some of the comments that I have read from my fellow Editors over the last week and one was the word ‘Underwhelmed’… Don’t panic.. .It wasn’t about a submission, honestly, it wasn’t. I don’t lie. I haven’t got the memory, intelligence or energy but I thought on this word. I am underwhelmed by so many things. Space travel, I don’t give a monkeys! Confirming that time ripples; well whatever a monkey doesn’t give, that’s my thoughts on that! An up-to-date phone… Ditto… In fact any phone! I haven’t got one. I hate them. Gwen once asked me if I wouldn’t feel guilty if someone had died and I hadn’t a phone? My answer was quite simple; ‘Answering the phone wouldn’t have helped.’ I am underwhelmed about the attributes (another word I read this week) of a phone! Argue all you want! Do we really need a camera, the ability to turn on the heating or being able to go online to order a curry with a thing that we could have used to call and ordered a curry with? I am forty nine in a few months and I have gotten here without a phone so as far as I am concerned, Nokia, Samsung, IPhone and Sony are about as useful to me as male make-up. I wonder about that also! It is beyond me. Live and let live is what I say, as long as I don’t have to moisturise before I do it. That brings me to another word I heard this week and that was ‘Dinosaur.’ And again before anyone starts to think back to what they have called me, it was me who called myself that! You’ll all probably agree, especially after reading these first few paragraphs that my self-analysis is pretty close.

Now back to ‘underwhelmed’ – (My links are getting worse! I think I will try to get a job as a local DJ) George Martin, who we were all sad to learn of his passing, took on a group that underwhelmed every other producer and they were ‘The Beatles’… I felt I had to explain that ‘just in case’ we have any Justin Bieber fans as readers. I don’t think so, as much as my understanding is, they will all be on their phones and putting on their make-up. Don’t know what the girls will be doing! (I know – You saw that coming a mile away!) Anyway, he saw something and heard something that he knew was special and that is a huge talent in itself. Marilyn Monroe was getting nowhere until a photographer suggested that she change her hair colour. Now the point of all this is that it is other people who see beyond our own ideas. Sometimes we go down the wrong road. We are so blinkered by our understanding of a story that we don’t consider how it comes across to the reader. Everyone who has picked up a pen will have had this problem at one time.

So – tip for today – try to separate your knowledge of your story when reading it back. Look at it and question if it is the finished article. If not, mould like Martin or at the very least, change your hair colour!

Now to this weeks stories! We had a strangeness about them all. So all good then!!!

On Monday we had Jonathan Payne with his story Surrounded. This was a strange tale that makes you think about the self.

Our fellow editor Nik had his story published on Tuesday. The Water’s Edge is an atmospheric, unsettling and beautiful piece of writing.

Wednesday had us publishing another multi-contributer. The talented Mr Fred Foote gave us a story that had his Author truly living his plot.

Another old friend and supporter of the site is James McEwan. On Thursday he showed how good weird can be with his tale Table By The Window.

And Friday, a story that touches on a horror that many live with, Bruce Costello’s thought provoking One Dick, Two Sheryls.

There is so much emotion and question throughout all these superb stories. They have been a joy to read. And unlike all you poor souls who are reading this, we have not been ‘underwhelmed’ by any of them! (Ayr’s West Sound Radio Station is getting ma CV!!)



All Stories, General Fiction

Beach House by Diane M Dickson


I glanced up from the screen, resting my eyes and easing stiffened shoulder muscles.  This job, editing copy for a company based in London is easy but tedious.  It fits in though with the other things I like to do, the beach walks and gardening and most importantly going down to the nursing home.  I am not keen on the job but I enjoy being in my office.

I love my home actually, I am very lucky.  It has been in my family for four generations now and after the horrible time over the last few years it has taken me back, wrapped its solid stone bulk around me and held me safe.

Continue reading “Beach House by Diane M Dickson”

All Stories, General Fiction

Aunt Miranda by Diane M Dickson


When the blow first fell it was devastating.  Grandfather roared and blustered around the rooms.  He used words such as wanton and strumpet.  Strumpet, it’s a ridiculous word, it doesn’t fit, sounds silly and theatrical.  There was nothing silly about the situation and if it was theatrical it was a Tragedy.

Mummy and Nana sat in purse lipped silence.  Their hands wrung and squeezed, white knuckles straining against aging, tightened skin. Aunt Miranda was “In Trouble, Disgraced, a Ruined Woman.”

Continue reading “Aunt Miranda by Diane M Dickson”

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Literally Stories Week 12


I seldom get invited to poker games as I never carry cards but always sad short stories. Read ’em and weep. Now that we got that awkward first sentence out of the way I can begin summarising the past week.

Sweet Surrender by our Diane focuses on a poor woman with an addiction.

Last Tuesday featured a dystopian story about something which kills off most of humanity. Speaking of a thing which kills, Kill Switch is the name of Nik Eveleigh’s story. It’s bold. Not just because I wrote in bold but the story is also bold.

Following those two stories was a comedy called A Captivating Meeting by crazily Swedish tough guy Tobias. One of those three is not true.

The Thursday story came from Vic Smith. Its speculative theme resonates in modern technology and it’s called The Conscious Coward.

Finishing the week is usually Sunday, but not here at LS. It’s the Friday story (Well technically it’s this news update, but no one reads this). Des Kelly, who will become our most prominent external author, gave us Snow On The Ground.  About the complexity of love between two even complexier persons.

The Story of the Week from 9th to 13th February 2015 has been decided. It was close. How close? Like a near-sighted dyslectic would spell clothes. Because he would write very close and also spell it close. The very definition of exciting couldn’t even begin to describe how inspiring and exhilarating this Story of the Week competition was. I guess that is the definition of exciting, so yes the very definition could describe it. It was very dramatic. It started from the stomach and ran all the way up to the throat. It’s a tie. But enough about my attire. The competition was a draw.

The winners are Talk To Me by June Griffin and  Thinking In Nature by Tobias Haglund

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Vote for your favourites and stop voting for Tobias. It’s the equivalent of voting for the Beer Party in elections. Go ahead and click on your favourite story.

All Stories, General Fiction

Suicide – My Note, My Plan by Hugh Cron Adult Content



I would like to get a few things off my chest. I have been asked so many times why I do this. Most of the twats have some knowledge and will always use the healing argument. Well, I am about to explain. No-one else, only me. If you want to know about anyone else, ask them. I would say that your training days have put you close but not quite right. I hurt myself to experience controlled pain. Have you ever hit a wall after you have stubbed your toe? It is something like that. I can’t suffer the pain that is in my head but I can handle the cuts and blood from my arm. Maybe you are right, it does give me release from the problem for a few minutes or hours depending on how ragged the cut is. But please don’t insult me by saying if I watch the wound heal, I am envisaging myself healing, that is a pile of crap. My pain doesn’t go! So no amount of crusty scabs are going to make me feel any better.

Continue reading “Suicide – My Note, My Plan by Hugh Cron Adult Content”

All Stories, General Fiction

Seven Days … A Bag Week by Hugh Cron – Adult Content


Monday – Shopping.

Tom knew Steve and Carol well.  They were residents where he worked. They both relied on certain chemicals to function. In fact they relied on any chemicals to function. They were rattling big time. He gave them a nod as he headed into the pound shop. They called him back. There was no way that he was going to give them any money. They surprised him by not chancing it. They shot the breeze for a few minutes and then asked what Tom was buying. He  told them he was looking for note-pads. Carol whispered in his ear that if he wanted, they would lift them and only charge him half-price.

Continue reading “Seven Days … A Bag Week by Hugh Cron – Adult Content”

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Literally Stories Week 8


This past week has been a smörgåsbord of thought-provoking pieces.  Yes we are very international and know words like smörgåsbord and… international.

The stories have given us moments of fear followed by moments of deliberation. And speaking of moments, we started the week off with Lissa’s. Lissa’s Moment that is. For a moment it lasted pretty long, in fact by the time the sequel came out it could no longer be called a moment, it had to be called: Lissa’s Flight.

That can’t be true, you say. Yes it is. It’s the way Diane chooses titles and speaking of titles and things that are true. Desmond Kelly’s True was our Wednesday story.

How could you possibly do a segment to the Thursday story? It will not be easy, in fact I have already lost my train of thoughts. Where was I? Oh yes, The Whereabouts of Mrs. Trisha by W D Frank is a dark and twisted tale, recommended for readers wanting a frightful experience or for people named Mrs. Trisha who are currently lost.

“Lost” you say? A bit like Elsa, the Friday story, about a young woman making a life changing decision.

Lastly but least leastly the story of the week for 12th to 16th January. Without fixing the numbers or allowing the lobbyist too much say. The last week winner is: Literally Stories Week 7. What? That has to be the rigged results. No the real winner is: The Front Page by David Louden. Congratulations to David Louden!

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Don’t forget you can vote for your choice of Story of the Week for the week ending 23rd January either here – right now – right on this page OR by clicking the link on the Header Menu or the cute little letter box in the side bar

Three Choices – No excuse – Come on support your favourite – please 🙂

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Any Crow In A Storm by Nik Eveleigh


At the top of the eastern tower hunched against the wind, the man in black gazed out across the grey, winter waste of his homeland. His strong hands gripped the cold stone of the battlement as further assurance against the restless elements and neither his stance nor his stare wavered.

He was a man of many names. In the hushed, excited tones of children telling ghost stories he was The Darkman. To the men who had battled at his side throughout the surrounding lands he was Nightstrike. His dear, departed mother had referred to him as Wherizzeethistimethelittleshi…

Everyone else called him Stormcrow. Continue reading “Any Crow In A Storm by Nik Eveleigh”