Overture

C.E. Ayr_22-04-2015 (bc)
C.E. Ayr – Creator of a new genre

C.E. Ayr is a pioneer of a new genre of short story writing.
He has his own name for it – Sound Bite Fiction.

This is an emerging style aimed at the fast-moving time-restricted 21st Century reader.
The descriptive text is pared to the bone, events move at lightning speed.
The intelligent reader visualises an entire scenario in glorious Technicolour.
The tales are short, sparse and to the point, many of them less than one page in length.
His writing takes the reader to the core of the action, the characters, or the moment of crisis.
Like the sculptor who said that the statue exists in the stone and all he has to do is remove what is not needed, this writer prunes everything until he gets to the heart of what is.

This collection of stories by C.E. Ayr, has  been written in his current home on the Cote d’Azur.
Many of the tales are based in and around the place he calls Medville.
Mysterious and enigmatic, served with a splash of humour, nothing here is ever quite what it seems.

Expect the unexpected.
There is always a twist in the tail.
Nearly.

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Market Day – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
This week
our intrepid leader presents a striking image by Sally-Ann Hodgekiss.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Sally-An Hodgekiss

Click here to hear the story read by the author:
Market Day

It is market day in the small town.
Women go about their shopping in bright afternoon sunshine.
Children play in the quiet streets.
At first the drone from the sky raises no more than mild curiosity.
Aircraft flying overhead is not a new sight in this increasingly troubled region.
Then there is an increasing awareness that something is different.
The planes are circling, coming back lower.
The first bombs fall.
People stare at the sky, transfixed by terror, as buildings are shattered around them.
Wave after wave of concentrated bombing reduces homes, shops and churches to rubble.
As mothers run searching for their children, and shocked men emerge from workplaces, they believe that they are in the midst of a nightmare.
But now it gets worse.
Incendiary bombs tumble from the heavens, and fires break out everywhere.
Then the strafing begins.
Low-flying aircraft use machine guns to butcher the panic-stricken hordes fleeing the mayhem.
The blitzkrieg is born.

Pablo Picasso screamed his outrage at this atrocity in one of the Twentieth Century’s iconic masterpieces.
Guernica.

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Gotcha – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
This week’s photo, again by the man himself, has only two elements, a phone and a carpet. I decided to be less obvious, and write about the carpet.
Pass the hoover, Al.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Al Forbes

Click here to hear the story read aloud by the author:
Gotcha!

My eyes are fixed on the small boat.
It is anchored in a secluded cove, lying in the shadow of the ancient citadel, just a couple of kilometres west of St Tropez.
The sun is shining on the Mediterranean Sea, and on my hopes.
I study the boat for some time, struggling to suppress the smile playing around my lips.
I need definite confirmation.
There is no one on deck, and I cannot tell who is inside, but I am optimistic.
But never over-confident.
I see movement.
And there he is.
Gotcha!
My grin is wide now.
I lay down the binoculars, reach for my phone.
One quick call.
One hundred thousand dollars.
Then I feel a distinctive pressure in the small of my back.

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The Sound – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
This week’s
somewhat creepy photo is by the man himself.
Pass the bug spray, Al.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Al Forbes

Click here to hear the author read this story:
The Sound

I awaken with a start.
Normally my dreams are benign, but this one, I know, was not.
I can practically feel it slithering away to some dark corner of my mind, waiting for an opportunity to come back and haunt me.
I sip water from the glass at my bedside, and breathe.
As my body relaxes I realise what wakened me.
There is a sound.
It comes from outside the bedroom
In fact, from my computer.
Someone is tapping on the keys.
I arise swiftly, lifting my gun as I go.
I reach the door of my little study.
It lies open, I look in.
And I am filled with horror.
The person at the keyboard is literally the last person in the world I expect to see there.
I rap the gun against my knuckles to prove I am not dreaming.
And I stare at me.

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The Wall – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
This week’s
lovely photo of what I think is apple blossom and a wheelbarrow, is provided by John Brand.
Good choice, Al.

Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© John Brand

Click here to listen to this 90-second tale read by the author:
The Wall

It is high, too high to jump.
It is well constructed, with no place for fingers or toes to grip, too smooth to climb.
It is too solid to knock through, at least with the equipment I can muster.
It is, in fact, a wall built for a purpose, which it achieves.
At first glance, anyway.
It is guarded, of course.
Well, not the wall itself, obviously, no one guards a wall, but it is under continual surveillance to ensure it is not breached.
I am unusually creative.
That is one of the reasons I am here, that and my well-documented disregard for society’s accepted standards.
I know what is on the other side.
I know its value, to myself and to many others.
That is why I have to do this.
I am resourceful.
And I have a plan.
I know how to overcome the seemingly insurmountable.
And what to do when I succeed.
I take a deep breath.
I am nervous, naturally.
But I am not afraid.
I move forward.

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Chemin des Dames (2nd Battle of the Aisne)

Some things need to be shared. This is one of them.

unbuttoned or undone

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Le_fanion_du_43e_bataillon_de_tirailleurs.jpg

April 16th, 1917

Abdoulaye N’Diaye is dying, tucked between the bodies of two other soldiers of the 43rd Battalion. He thinks he recognizes Moustapha on his left. The infantryman is missing the top of his face, his guts spilled in muck. Frozen blood partially hides some tribal scars.
But it is Moustapha’s grin.

In a lull between shells, he hears Germans soldiers approaching. Face down, unmoving, Abdoulaye is terrified, frostbitten fingers clenched around his useless gun.
Through the panic, he concentrates on his chest, where the amulet his mother gave him to keep him safe rests. Freezing rain pelts again as he mercifully loses consciousness and stops shaking. His fear and shock ooze into the mud.

Death creeps in slowly with nightfall. Rats gnawing at his legs, scurry across his body to the blinding throbs in his skull and wake him. The dirty mist is full of ghosts and wandering…

View original post 404 more words

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New Boy – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
This week’s
intriguing photo is provided by Jade M Wong, with enough elements to inspire and confuse a million tales.
This is what emerged from my tortured brain.

Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Jade M Wong

Click here to hear me read aloud this 90-second story:
New Boy

Looking forward to tomorrow, my father asks.
I stare at him in disbelief.
Is he serious?
I am thirteen years old.
This is the sixth school I have attended.
I am the new boy again.
I have the strange accent and the suntan.
I come from the other side of the planet.
I am different.
That is the single biggest crime in my world.
Tomorrow there will be new examinations to be faced.
New conflicts to overcome.
New fights to be fought.
Battles to be won or lost.
I have learnt that it doesn’t really matter if I win or lose, so long as I damage my opponent.
No one likes to be hurt, even the fighters, and there are always a few.
So I have to gouge an eye, or bite an ear, inflict severe pain.
Then there will be time to make alliances, become accepted.
Fortunately it is the rugby season, so I will fit in there.
I’ll be okay, I tell my father.
I know, he says, you are tough.
I shrug, head to my room to prepare myself.
Tomorrow there will be monsters lurking.

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Murder – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
This week’s photo by Ms Dalectable herself is unsurprising in its content, she being an acknowledged cibophile and oenophile, but it is delightfully open to a multitude of interpretations.
I thought I’d kill someone, just for a change.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Dale Rogerson

Click here to hear this 1 minute story read by the author:
Murder

In flagrante delicto.
I love that expression, it is so elegant for something that can be quite sordid.
And this was sordid.
My wife and my oldest friend.
Both of whom I trusted implicitly.
So yes, I killed them.
I was angry.
No, enraged is a better word.
Not because they succumbed to temptations of the flesh.
These things happen.
They were both young, attractive and energetic.
So it is understandable, perhaps even forgiveable.
But there needs to be some sort of decorum, surely, some self-control, to show we are civilised.
I mean, they didn’t even finish the pizza first.

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