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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I am a Rock – 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
spectacular photo is by Lucy Fridkin, who apparently has been a friend of Lady R for over a century.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Lucy Fridkin

© Lucy Fridkin

Click here to hear me read this one-minute story:

I am a rock

You can’t do this, she says.
Do what, I ask, although I know.
Go through life as though you’re a wretched Paul Simon song, her voice rises.
What do you mean, I ask, enjoying her aggravation.
She is my best friend, but we have very different philosophies of life.
You are not a flipping rock, she snaps, or a flipping island.
She does not say flipping.
I’m whatever I choose to be, I say, I live my life my own way, hurt no one.
She growls, marches off.
And a rock feels no pain.
And an island never cries
.
Yeah, right.

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Snow Fall – 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’s supposedly seasonal shot has me confused.
Good try, buddy, but here on the Côte d’Azur I am basking in brilliant sunshine, with not a hint of frost, far less ice or snow.
How I miss Scotland in December!
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:

Snow Fall

Sometimes I am just stupid.
Skiing alone on a mountain I do not know, I see a group go off piste and follow at a distance.
I soon lose them in the trees, and get hopelessly lost.
Then I crash, painfully twisting a knee.
I find myself on the edge of a crevasse, with darkness falling.
My only direction is up, so I toil along as the cold starts to bite.
Exhausted by the deep wet snow, I collapse under an overhang.
I am not sure I have the strength to continue, but know I will not survive a night out here.
Then I hear voices above me.
I am all but frozen, and my injured joint has locked.
I find I cannot rise, and I cannot call out.
I reach up, shake a branch, causing a small snowfall.
The voices continue, unchanged.
I have one last hope.
I summon all my remaining strength, breathing deeply.
I roll onto my back, throw off my gloves.
With my numb hands I pack snow into a ball.
And hurl it into the night sky.

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The Bear – 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 our mighty leader’s other half, Jan Wayne Fields, who might well be loitering with intent.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Jan Wayne Fields

© Jan Wayne Fields

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

I am a big dude.
Actually I am a 600-pound North American brown bear.
What most folks call a grizzly.
I am pretty laid back, usually, until someone does something stupid.
Like these morons who leave their rubbish behind with no thought for the animals who feed here.
Cans and bottles, aluminium foil, paper, whatever.
Plastic bags, really?
These are lethal for some smaller creatures.
Occasionally I get riled enough to take revenge.
This lot are bad.
I watch them leave their tent.
I act.
I won’t tell you what I did, but I didn’t do it in the woods.

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First Light – 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’s cleverly reflective shot made me think of sunsets, and memories, and memories of sunsets.
So I wrote something quite different.
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 aloud:First Light

I remember the first fire I ever set.
Well, the first illegal one.
It was great.
Just a little garden hut, two doors down from my mum’s house.
I watched it from my bedroom window.
Magic!
I’m telling you, what a buzz you get seeing something like that.
Aye, and knowing it is your own work.
After two or three more small time escapades I got more adventurous.
I went into buildings where the flats had storage cupboards on the stairs or landings.
When a door was unlocked, I made a fire in there.
Then the fire engines came, lights flashing, sirens wailing.
Fabulous.
Then, of course, I had to do the real thing.
I knew this old couple, a pal’s grandparents.
They lived in a top flat, three floors up.
Perfect.
One night I took paraffin and matches and wire.
I poured the paraffin through the letter box, lit it.
Inside was an inferno in minutes.
The wire?
I tied it to their door handle, and to the handle of the flat opposite.
So they can’t open their doors from the inside.
Brilliant!

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The park – 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 yours truly, a little doorway set back from a cobbled lane in Gassin, a small but spectacular hill town a few miles from Medville.
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 this 1-minute story:
The
Park

The children bring back the memories.
I have not visited this park, or indeed this town, since my kids were tots.
That is over twenty years ago.
But I still remember watching them play on the swings, the slide, and the roundabout.
And I still can picture some of their friends.
Like the little curly-haired blonde girl who went missing.
We had left town long before her body was discovered the following spring.
It was in the gardener’s little cubby-hole, among the mowers, the trimmers, the shears, the spades.
Dixie, her name was.
My late wife thought I killed her.

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Fairy Godmother

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’s neatly nephological photo took me to a strange place.
Like most people I love clouds, and see all sorts of dancing elephants and decapitated chickens every time I look up.
But this story came as a bit of a surprise.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.
And, for obvious reasons, no reading this week.

Copyright Al Forbes

Copyright Al Forbes

Fairy Godmother

I am a Fairy Godmother.
And let me tell you right away this is a rotten gig.
Yes, I know, you think it is dead glamorous, don’t you?
Sparkling wings, fancy gown, magic wand with a wee star on top, all that sort of thing?
Only in the movies.
Hollywood movies.
Well my beat is the West of Scotland.
I have about 2 million folk to look after, and my memory is pretty well shot.
And don’t talk to me about transport.
I don’t have a broomstick like the bad guys in black pointy hats, and I certainly can’t just materialise in a cloud of glittering stars.
No, I mainly plod around on trains and buses.
Trying, and often failing, to get there on time.
Even when I make it my powers are limited.
I can give sage advice.
But who wants to listen to a grubby old dame who looks like she got dragged through the Trossachs behind a tractor?
I have only one gift.
So I usually end up taking a more proactive approach to the problem.
In fact, I am probably the main reason Glasgow has just about the highest rate of heart attacks in the western world.

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Tribute to Lenny

A great poet, singer/songwriter, and musician.

Thank you for the memories, Mr Cohen.

anelephantcant

When I was a student at Glasgow University I went to a party at the home  of my friend Big Frank, in Bathgate Street, in Glasgow’s East End.
At some point in the evening I heard a song on a sampler album.
It was Sisters of Mercy, by Leonard Cohen, which contains the lines:
‘If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn
They will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem’.
And I was hooked.
I first saw him perform live in Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall in 1972.
And, for the last time, outdoors on the esplanade at Edinburgh Castle in 2008.

photograph by anelephantcant photograph by anelephantcant

This poem, inspired by The Stranger Song, is a tribute to one of the great poets of the last century, who became an extraordinary singer/songwriter.

But, more importantly, he was a beautiful person.

Click here…

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