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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Suspended – 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 prompt was contributed by J Hardy Carroll, and took me back to my school-days, interesting times for all involved.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© J Hardy Carroll

Click here to hear the author read the story:
Suspended

Hi, Mum, it’s me, I’ve been suspended again.
Showing a lack of respect to my teacher and my environment, they say.
My English teacher, we were discussing proverbs, aphorisms and stuff.
It’s kinda like an old saying, good advice but snappy, funny.
Like, um, Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, or Don’t judge a book, blah blah.
Yeah, they’re pretty clichéd, but we had to come up with our own thingy, something that might be useful to know.
Well, I remembered what grandpa used to tell me when I was younger, so I used that.
Don’t eat yellow snow.

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Fairground – 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 Al provides us with an extremely interesting photo. I admit to having no idea what it is, so I just wrote a story.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Al Forbes

Note: This week’s story is outwith the scope of my oratorical skills.

Fairground

Come on, Mum, don’t be scared!
No, I’m sorry, there’s no way I’m going up in that thing.
But, Mum…
Definitely not, it doesn’t look safe to me.
Mum, I’ll get a hard time at school if I don’t go on it, the guys will call me a scaredy-cat, make me fight again.
Well, I don’t know, maybe just you?
Mum, that’s not fair! If Jimmy
can do it, Timmy and me are big enough too! If Dad was still alive he’d let us go on it, definitely. He always said not to be frightened of anything.
Oh that’s not fair either, Tommy, you know I miss your father as much as you do.
Sorry, Mum, but you know he’d want us to.
Yes, okay, but not me, I’ll wait over there where it’s quieter, wave to you.
Thanks, Mum, you’re the best!

* * *

Al Forbes, small-time local criminal, was today found brutally beaten to death at the site of the old Dover Fairground. Forbes spent most of his life in and out of jail after being convicted of fatally stabbing a mother of three during a failed robbery attempt on this same spot almost twenty years ago.

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Home – 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 Al provides us with a
n intriguing photo by Mike Vore which for some reason made me think of Old Dixie. And I haven’t seen him in years!
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Mike Vore

Click here to hear the story real by the author:
Home

I haven’t been back for too long.
I feel bad about it, seeing my mother’s tears.
The old man says nothing, shows nothing, as usual.
He never liked me, the afterthought son, the mistake.
Maybe that is why I turned out the way I did, always in trouble.
Right from my earliest days, all I remember are the fights, the rows, the punishments.
Mum tried to be nice, tried to show me love, to get close.
But I was too tough for that, had no time for softness or sentiment.
I was sent away so often that eventually I just stopped coming back.
I would hear stories from home sometimes.
Sis would write, but I knew she was made to, didn’t really want to.
So I knew how well my brothers were doing, those older strangers who had no time for me.
And I knew she got married again, had three brats of her own.
I don’t know any of my nephews or nieces, don’t want to.
But then I have never been invited to meet any of them.
Anyway, I am back now, for good.
Mum wanted me to be buried here, in the family plot.

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The Unicorn and the Trapeze – SPF

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 Al provides us with a
nother wonderful photo of a scene that is quintessentially English. And for once I am not poking fun at my lovely neighbours, or the Auld Enemy as we Scots affectionately call them!
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Al Forbes

Click here to hear this 90-second story read aloud by the author:
The Unicorn and the Trapeze

Ernie only gets the job because he is a unicorn.
It’s a bit of a novelty, you see, someone like him in a trapeze act.
Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t bad.
But he isn’t what you would call a natural either.
He has no tradition, the circus isn’t in his blood, like some of us.
So I teach him all he knows, and we put on a pretty good show.
He is what we call the flyer, I’m the catcher.
The point is, if you’ll excuse the pun, that I catch his horn.
That can be tricky.
And rough on my hands.
But it all goes pretty well until the inevitable happens.
We both fall for the same girl.
Rosie the Rope, she is called, and she walks the high wire.
I saw her first, I warn Ernie, I only have to miss you once.
He scowls, says nothing.
As it turns out, it would have been better if I’d stayed quiet.
He doesn’t miss me.
I am on my way to hospital, with a spiral-shaped hole in my chest.
And a spiral-shaped horn protruding from it.
And Ernie?
Well, they sack him, of course.
Hornless, he is just another white horse.

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Not Puff – 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 Al provides us with one of his own fascinating photos, sure to inspire lots of intriguing entries.

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

© A Mixed Bag 2011

Click hear to hear the author read the story:
Not Puff

Our brave hunters go deep into the mountains to slay dragons.
They haul back the great carcasses for the women to cut up and cook.
They drink and boast of their mighty exploits.
The survival of our people was once totally dependent on dragon hunting.
Their meat was our staple diet, and we traded goods made from their skin, their teeth and their claws for corn, vegetables and fruit.
It is less important now, we have learned how to farm and to fish, we are quite self-sufficient.
But, since there is no more war, our men have to prove their valour somehow.
They laugh at me, because I follow them to the mountains.
After they return home to their roistering, I search for the eggs, and the babies.
I take them to my little hut, and raise them as my own.
I hand feed them, give them names, Donald, Derek, Dorothy, Deborah.
The women mock me, ask why I never call one Puff, after my favourite song.
Because Puff is my favourite, I say.
The dragons grow up gentle and trusting, incapable of harming humans.
Then I release them.
Our brave hunters go deep into the mountains to slay dragons.

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Walk Away – 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.
And she contributes this week’s intriguing photo which, and I am only guessing, was not taken in Kansas City.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Click here to hear the author read this 1 minute story:
Walk Away

I watch you walk away.
You always walk so beautifully.
Each time you return I ask you to stay.
And you do, until the next time you leave.
You have hurt me so badly, so often.
When I beg you not to do this, you smile.
When I swear to you that I will not take you back again, you laugh.
When I swear that I will not let you go, you wave goodbye.
You know how much I love you, how much I long for your touch.
I watch you walk away.
But, this time, only in my mind.

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The Grass – 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 Al provides us with a superb photo by Eric Wicklund, who bears no responsibility for the tortured convolutions of what passes as my creative process.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.

© Eric Wicklund

Click here to hear the author read aloud this 90-second story:
The Grass

The Mediterranean soothes my soul.
I sit at the end of the jetty in evening sunshine.
Gazing across the port entrance to the little lighthouse perched on the sea wall opposite, I am at peace with the world.
Then my eye is caught by what looks like grass, in the middle of the channel.
I am confused, because it is not floating, just tips protruding above the surface.
I wonder if it might be a submerged log, which could be dangerous to small craft.
As I ponder this, I imagine that the grass is growing longer.
Then I see a leaf, or several, on a twig, rising higher out of the water.
Within minutes I know it is not my imagination, vegetation is sprouting out of the sea.
People on other jetties are pointing, shouting, running.
I turn to head for the shore, then stop in horror.
Between me and safety is a ten foot wide writhing mass of knee-deep thorny scrub.
The plants are taking over.

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