The Bright Pupil

A longer than usual story, (5,600 words) from 2014. This generated some welcome debate in the comments at the time, so I am interested to discover what new followers might make of it.

beetleypete

This is a fictional story. I haven’t published any for some time, and thought I would try again. It is rather long, and may take some time to get through. For the benefit of readers outside the UK, Reading is a large town, situated 45 miles west of London. It is pronounced Redd-ing, not Reed-ing.

Graham rummaged in his pockets for something to use to scrape the windscreen. He had been surprised by the frost, as it hadn’t seemed that cold last night, and it was not something you expected in April. Even as he showered, then had a hurried breakfast of tea and toast, the thought that it might have been cold out didn’t even enter his head. He found an old library card inside his wallet, a remnant of a former life. The briefcase and pile of workbooks had to be delicately balanced on the roof as he…

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Margot and the Mirror Man

More fiction, from 2015. Most people who were following before then have read this one.

beetleypete

This is a short story of almost 1900 words. It is fictional.

Margot had made it back to her tiny flat with less stress than was usual for her. Walking from home to the shop avoiding every reflective surface was not as easy as you might think. Shop windows, bus and car windscreens, even the polished plastic on some hoardings, any of these could supply a sufficient reflection. She no didn’t hear the sniggering, or see the smirks about her dishevelled appearance. Decades without the use of a mirror meant that any vanity about her looks had ceased to concern her. She placed the ready meal in the microwave, the glass door of which was obscured by the tape she had applied when she first arrived. When the sound of a bell indicated that her dinner was ready, she put the hot container on a tray, picked up a…

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A Sporting Life

Another short story from 2015, reblogged for anyone who hasn’t seen it.

beetleypete

Another fictional post, a short story.

Sunday mornings were always dull, as far as Dennis was concerned. Dad read the paper, mum spent all day in the kitchen, and if the weather was bad, Dennis spent most of the time in his small room, reading books or comics. Today was bright though, and he decided to head over to the park later, and see who was about. His sister walked behind the sofa, playfully slapping the back of his head as she passed. He hated that. She always did it, every time. He had thought about ways to stop her; maybe he could glue drawing pins inside his hair, so that they pierced her hand, or how about razor blades? They could be hidden, and they would slice open her fingers as she made contact. He had to rule out these fanciful ideas though. For one thing, he didn’t know…

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Good company

Another reblog for new followers. This one is from 2016, and almost everyone else has read it, I think.

beetleypete

This is a work of fiction. A short story of less than 1000 words.

Karen walked over to his desk. Waiting for him to log off the terminal, she tried again.
“Some of us are going to the new burger place for a meal and drinks after work. Do you fancy it, Nigel?” He looked up at her, his black hair and unusual green eyes making her feel like they always did. “Sorry, no can do. I have company for dinner this evening. I am cooking a meal for two friends. Maybe some other time.” This was the third time she had suggested he join them. Once for a trip to the cinema, and another time for a riverboat party.

Karen sighed, resigned to never getting any personal time with her handsome colleague. “Never mind. If you need someone to make it four for dinner though, I’m available.” She stepped…

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Devotion

Another reblogged short story, from 2015. Many of you have read this, so it is mainly for followers since that date.

beetleypete

Another short story, all fictional. This is just less than 1700 words.

Rebecca and Gregory had been together since they met at university. There had never been anyone else for either of them, after that first date. It was unusual enough to be studying microbiology with a speciality in bacteriology, and difficult to get to know many others with the same interests. To meet your soul mate on the same course was really beating the odds.

Rebecca could never have been described as attractive, at least during the era that gave us The Beatles, the mini-skirt, and Jean Shrimpton. Gregory was a fan of Trad Jazz, and she liked classical, so neither of them were in the least bothered about the craze for pop music. They were interested in what happened to microbes and bacteria in different situations, and how they caused epidemics, pandemics, infections, and disease. The love for…

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Mishka, Call home

Another fictional reblog, from 2015. Quite a few of you read this at the time, but for anyone who has followed since that date, it should be new to you.

beetleypete

This is another fictional short story, of just over 2000 words.

Oliver had always known that one day he might read the message. He checked the personal column every morning, and it was never there. On the few occasions when he had not been able to get a copy of The Times, or had been unavoidably distracted, there was always that nagging worry in the back of his mind that this might have been the day.

Well today had been the day. He checked it over and over. One line, in bold type, something he had never actually believed would happen, staring back at him from the page crammed with text. It had to be for him, there was no chance that it was a coincidence. It was obvious to anyone who understood the way things like this worked, that was certain. But they wouldn’t know it was him. Not…

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The missing W

For the benefit of the many new followers, I am reblogging this fictional short story from 2016. Everyone else has already seen it.

beetleypete

This is a work of fiction. A short story of 2000 words.

The hood felt like sacking, open weaved but still impossible to see out of. Where it touched his face, it was rough, like coarse rope or string. His mouth was dry, and he felt cold. Even without being able to see, he could tell that he was naked. His rear end hurt, and it felt as if he was sitting on something metal, with sharp edges. He couldn’t move his legs or arms. Something was holding them tight and secure. He looked to his left and right, as if that would make any difference. There was light somewhere, strong light; he could tell that, even though his head was covered.

Javed had been walking to work. Was it yesterday, or just this morning? He couldn’t be sure. The small van stopped just ahead of him, and a man…

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