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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Magic Competition – 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 his picture (below).
This week’s somewhat sinister looking object makes me think somewhat sinister thoughts.
So I write a somewhat sinister story.
Or do I?
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

Copyright Al Forbes

Copyright Al Forbes

Click here to hear me read the story aloud:
Magic Competition


I am a magician.
Actually, to be more honest, I am a sorcerer.
So I can do magic, just much, much more effectively than any of these showmen and impostors.
I hear about the Great Magic Competition, sponsored by the royal court.
I decide to win it.
Not, I have to say, for the honour and glory.
I have no need of that.
And not for the Silver Chalice.
No, that reminds me too much of my mother-in-law.
But I will win it for the real prize, one thousand gold pieces.
The judge is to be the Royal Buffoon himself, our crown prince.
Who, I have to tell you, knows nothing about the arts of illusion and deception.
He would not recognise a Magic Dragon if it bit him on the bum.
I watch the other competitors saw women in half, make pretty assistants disappear, levitate.
All the usual tomfoolery.
I step forward.
Will I just take the prize now, I ask, avoid any unpleasantness?
They all start to laugh.
I wave my wand.
They stop abruptly.
I stroll across, lift the prizes.
No one moves.
No one speaks.
I amble off home.
A little Paralysis Spell is just magic.

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Boxcar – 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.
Today’s photo is by C. E. Ayr (hooray for me!), taken at Coal Harbour, Vancouver BC.
And, for the benefit of Dawn, Alastair and some others with deeply suspicious minds, let me assure you that no Canadian Pacific railway employees were killed during the creation of either the picture or the story.
Nearly.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© C.E. Ayr

© C.E. Ayr

Click here to hear me read aloud this 60-second story:
Boxcar

The boxcar catches my eye.
It is just one among hundreds, maybe thousands, at the railhead, but I pause, stare.
I am not good with colours, but this is so vibrant that I see it clearly.
It is purple.
I understand immediately it is from another place, another world, another dimension.
I move to slide open the door, but my nerve-damaged arm finds it too heavy.
A gap appears, widens.
A small woman gazes at me.
She smiles, extends her hand.
She links her fingers through mine, and my hand responds.
Then, in 100 words, she teaches me to write.

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Teddy Bears’ Picnic – 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 his picture (below).
This week’s charming little snap takes me, unsurprisingly, to my happy place, where the sun always shines and the sky is always blue.
It is where I live!
And Happy Birthday to Mr Presley, wherever he is today.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

Copyright Al Forbes

Copyright Al Forbes

Click here to hear this 90-second story read aloud:
Teddy Bears’ Picnic

If you go down to the woods today
It is always fun in the toy department.
Children get so excited, squeal, shriek, throw tantrums.
All the normal emotions of growing up.
I watch the shoppers carefully.
They fall into different categories.
you better not go alone
You see the elderly ladies, sometimes with a reluctant man in tow, obviously looking for a gift for a favoured grandchild.
Then there are young women, who might be mothers buying for their own little darling, but perhaps for a nephew or niece.
And there are families.
These are my favourites, especially if they have more than one child.
The more the merrier, as they say.
It’s lovely down in the woods today
Some, of course, are just browsing, letting the kids amuse themselves for a while.
They are of no interest to me.
But it is of critical importance to see who buys what.
I want to be sure that the best teddy bears go to the most appropriate homes.
For maximum impact when they are activated.
but safer to stay at home

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Things – 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.
Today’s photo is by Sandra Crook, perhaps the most talented writer here on FF, and a lovely lady, generous with her time and expertise.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Sandra Crook

© Sandra Crook

Click here to hear me read this 1-minute story:
Things

I hear them every night.
They scratch and scrape with vicious-sounding claws.
And they gnaw, with what are probably great hooked incisors.
They breathe in eager gasps, as though on the verge of success.
I get the feeling that they are not very large, but there are hordes of them, working in shifts.
Trying to break through to where I lie, awake, terrified, waiting.
I imagine being swamped by them, their ferocious jaws, ruthless talons, tearing at my flesh.
The noise changes.
Their panting is louder, more excited.
I can barely turn my head.
Something is crawling through the floor.

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3 Steps to Heaven – 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 his picture (below).
This week Al resists a topical theme, instead showing us a photo which can be interpreted in a multitude of different ways.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

Copyright Al Forbes

Copyright Al Forbes

Click here to hear me read this 2 minute tale:

Three Steps to Heaven

Step one, you find a girl you love
I was a cynical, callow young man.
I thought I knew how to handle women until I met her.
Love at first sight.
The way she smiled.
The way she smelled.
The way she walked.
I was smitten.
Step two, she falls in love with you
She was out of my class.
I was just not her type.
I decided I’d do anything to win her heart.
I dropped my friends, the ‘bad crowd’ I hung out with.
I went back to my studies, worked towards a good degree.
I changed the way I dressed, tamed my hair.
I even learned how to speak properly, without profanities.
I became accepted in her circles.
I charmed her slowly, surely, over a period of almost three years.
Step three, you kiss and hold her tightly
It worked.
We married, raised two children together.
Spent five happy years in love.
The rest of the time loathing each other.
Fifteen years of arguments, fights, infidelities, betrayals.
Now she says she is leaving me.
I have agreed to move into a little apartment in town.
I will live alone there.
Yeah, that sure seems like heaven to me

———-
Go on, you know you can’t resist Eddie:

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Waiting – 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.
Today’s photo is by Shaktiki Sharma, and leaves me as baffled as ever.
Well, it is at least relaxing, I don’t have to think, just write.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Shaktiki Sharma

© Shaktiki Sharma

Click here to hear me read the story:
Waiting

So tired
It’s probably the excitement.
I have waited since school for this.
Loved you all these years.
While you wasted your life chasing after him.
When you told me he had dumped you for the last time, that you were finally over him, I was so happy.
tired of waiting…
You were already late when I saw his car, about two hours ago.
Couldn’t see the passenger, she was curled under his arrogant arm.
A song keeps playing in my head.
By Ray Davies, The Kinks.
tired of waiting for you…
Her hair was the same colour as yours.

Footnote:
This is the song, by the vastly underrated Ray Davies, one of the great singer/songwriters of the 1960s:

 

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Christmas Morning – 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 his picture (below).
This week Al. perhaps predictably, challenges us with an intriguing photo with a seasonal flavour.
Even this old cynic is moved to follow the theme.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

Copyright Al Forbes

Copyright Al Forbes

Click here to hear me read this 90-second story:
Christmas Morning


It is Christmas morning.
I have just spent an hour strolling on the beaches, standing at the end of the rocky jetties, breathing the essence of the Mediterranean.
Now I am sitting outside the little café in the square, enjoying the air.
The weather is mild, even for this corner of paradise.
I am wearing a jacket, unfastened, and a scarf, hanging loose.
I breakfast on orange juice and croissants.
I am at peace with the world, and with my soul.
Life’s problems seem minor, unimportant.
I have an ongoing concern with my hand, which makes many simple tasks difficult.
And which makes writing a physical hardship.
There are loved ones back in Scotland, and elsewhere, who I miss, not only today, but every day.
Regardless, I am happy with my situation.
I watch the sun emerge from behind the light cloud cover.
It illuminates la gare, Medville’s long-closed railway station, my favourite building in the small town.
I come to a decision, and smile.
I think the time has come to give myself an overdue treat.
It is far too long since I killed someone.

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