Posts Tagged ‘R J Dent’s short stories’

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed

June 22, 2016

OUT NOW! A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed: National Flash Fiction Day 2016 Anthology.

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A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed is an anthology of flash-fictions, published to celebrate National Flash-Fiction Day (UK), and showcasing the very best talents to have written in this challenging miniature literary form. The stories in A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed are in a variety of genres, styles and forms, ranging from horror to romance, from fantasy to dark reality, from urban terror to comedy. Many of the stories in A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed will resonate with readers long after reading.

 

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed

Contents

Foreword: The Editors

Before the Sun Comes Up: Tim Stevenson

Miss Scarlet in the Shed: Tracy Fells           

Cold Hands: Rhoda Greaves

Ambush: Richard Holt       

Outsider: Laura Huntley     

Theseus in Belleville: Anne Elizabeth Weisgerber

Bocca Baciata: Ruth McKee        

Health and Pleasure, Glorious Sea!: Sharon Telfer      

Gingerbread: Virginia Moffat

A Marionettist’s Musings While on a Park Bench: Charley Karchin

Bubblegum Barbie: Emily Devane      

Lifer: Adam Trodd       

Shirts – A Fable: R J Dent

Sam, 29: Martha Gleeson

Three Kids, Two Balloons: KM Elkes            

Who? What?: Ashley Chantler

Pub Quiz: Alison Wassell

Sushi and Kitty Cats: Kaitlyn Johnson

Desert Blossom: Annie Mitchell

Premiums: Ian Shine             

Misunderstanding: Vivien Jones        

Wakes Week: David Hartley      

Burning Faith: Frankie McMillan

Pigeon English: David Cook         

Kittiwakes: Catherine Edmunds

The Door Closes: Kevlin Henney

Clippers: Debbi Voisey      

I Go on the Morrow to Murder the King: Joy Myserscough

Special Delivery: Calum Kerr         

Grains: Joanna Campbell

Panda: Fat Roland          

Fish Supper: Laura Tickle         

The Vineyard: Catherine McNamara

What We Threw Into the Lake: Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

The Pleasure Principle: Rob Walton         

Onion: Damhnait Monaghan

My Aunt Aggie: Paul McVeigh      

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed: Jon Stubbington

A Collection: Diane Simmons

Kelly Loves Traffic Light Jelly: Jeanette Sheppard

Yellow: Nuala Ní Chonchúir

424 Likes: Jennifer Harvey

Manspreading: Marie Gethins 

Wake Up: Oli Morriss          

When Dreams are Large and Tusked: Ingrid Jendrzejewski

Ten Things that Happened After My Funeral: Santino Prinzi     

What the Therapist Said: Jude Higgins        

Gregor Samsa Quits the Track Team: Beverly C. Lucey

Honesty’s Not the Best Policy: Brendan Way       

Orphans: Chris Stanley       

And the Red Flower: Nina Lindmark Lie

One Last Pickup: Sarah Hilary         

Sunday Morning: John Holland      

About Unemployment and Rats: Bernard O’Rourke

Captain Strix: Zoe Gilbert         

Latchkey: Fiona J. Mackintosh

Lips: Nik Perring         

Map Reading: Jane Roberts        

How to Make Lolo: Michelle Elvy       

Family Values: Jonathan Pinnock

Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night: Claire Fuller         

Hornet’s Nest: Sally Burnette      

The Taste of Sock and Rubber: Cathy Bryant       

In the Café: Sherri Turner       

On the Invisibility of the Deaf: Debbie Young

Flying Ant Day: Judy Darley          

Marzipan Bride and Groom: Sal Page

I Believe in You: Meg Pokrass        

When She Was Good: Safia Moore         

Injuries in Dust: Poppy O’Neill     

We Can Be Asteroids: FJ Morris             

Purple with a Purpose: Amanda Saint      

Little Ghosts: Jan Carson           

The Night Life of Wives: Angela Readman

The Jumper: Anne Patterson

A One-Word Yet…: Ingrid Jendrzejewski

Storm: Gemma Govier

Jessie Learns How to Keep A Secret: Alison Wassell

Illumination: Judi Walsh           

When Words Aren’t Enough: Lucy Welch          

Christmas: James Watkins

Always One: Tracy Fells           

Notes: Elaine Marie McKay

Energy Efficient, Extremely Slim, Easy to Install: Ed Broom

 

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed: National Flash Fiction Day 2016 Anthology is out now!

To purchase the paperback edition of the anthology, please follow this link here: A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed. (paperback)

To purchase the e-book edition of the anthology, please follow this link here: A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed. (e-book)

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

Website: http://www.rjdent.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

Blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/rjdent69

 

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My Father’s Garden: Wasp Nest by R J Dent

May 6, 2016

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1: Location

There was considerable excitement in our family when my father cautiously mentioned that there might be a wasp nest in the garden.

          – Where?

          – I just said: in the garden.

          – Any chance you could be a tiny bit more specific, father? my brother asked. The garden’s ninety feet long and thirty feet wide. There are twenty trees, several unidentifiable objet d’art, three buildings, two tall hedges and a partially cut down pear tree. It’s not going to be possible to pinpoint a carefully disguised wasp nest without a clue as to its location.

          – I’m not telling you where it is, my father said. Wasp nests are dangerous.

          – I thought wasp nests were just harmless wood pulp structures and that it was the wasps themselves that were dangerous, my brother said.

          – There’s no need to try and be clever, my father said. Wasps will attack and sting humans, particularly if they or their nests are threatened, so care should be taken around wasps and their nests.

          – I’ll take the risk, my brother said. I want to see what a wasp nest looks like at close quarters.

          – Well, don’t come crying to me if you get stung, my father said, as my brother dashed out into the garden.

          I followed my brother outside. He was dashing around the garden, peering in every corner, diligently searching for any sign of the new garden interlopers.

          – Where do wasps like to nest? I asked. Read more…

More stories from My Father’s Garden by R J Dent are available at:

https://rjdent.wordpress.com/category/my-fathers-garden/

Information on R J Dent’s books, stories, poems, essays, talks, videos, and latest news is at:

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Echoes by R J Dent

April 11, 2016

echoes r j dent

It made the national news.

          For a year after, the residents of the picturesque seaside town talked of little else. Friends of Robert’s family kept copies of the newspapers his disappearance had provided headlines for. The headlines ranged from shrieking alliterative tabloid sensationalism at its worst, to a slightly calmer, more informative recounting of events. Some included an appeal for information. However, in all reports, the details were the same, for despite their different political biases, newspapers always treated an inexplicably missing child in the same way.

          Such a thing is an outrage and all newspapers sell outrage.

          Robert Taylor, an intelligent and reasonably popular twelve year old, had left his house one sunny Easter holiday morning and met up with four friends at a pre-arranged meeting place. From there they had gone to the beach of Carbis Bay to play amongst the rocks and the rock pools and in and out of the small caves dotted along the cliffs. After a while the five children had decided to play hide and seek. Robert had asked to hide first – in fact, according to the other children, he’d been very insistent about this one particular detail. His fervent insistence had unnerved them and their acquiescence had been nervous and hurried. Robert had promptly run off into the afternoon air to hide as his friends counted to two hundred. Then they searched for him.

          They have not found him yet. Read more…

echoes r j dent

R J Dent says: ‘ I wrote Echoes for a number of reasons. As I walked along a cliff path in Cornwall I saw some children throwing shells at a boy. He was laughing. Later on that same day, someone threw a rock at the cliff and when it hit, it made a very distinctive ‘tok’ sound, which I wanted to incorporate into  a story. I also wanted to name a story Echoes, after my favourite Pink Floyd song. After my walk, I hand-wrote the first draft of Echoes in about three hours. It’s one of my stories I like best.’

Echoes

Copyright © R J Dent (2010 & 2016)

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

 

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An Untitled Piece of Writing by R J Dent

April 4, 2016

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Text:

 

Huh nee… mm mm… ow ryu…hrn ee… yeh… mm hm… mtu… ths gd… wzs tht thn… bh cs… mmm… i fl lk… mm mm… skn… lkn… fkn… yr ck… yd oo dyr… ys iyd oo… wl i fl lk lkn… skn… fkn… yr cn t… du yu rly… yr id oo… mm… ino… hm hm… yu wn tha… ym mm… oh… an tha… mmm… ye ye… oka… thn dw tha… ohh… fme… yeh… mmm… thas fkn byu tfl… oh… oh oh… ye… ye… yeh… jee sus… yr fkn lv lee… ah… nd yr fkn lv lee tu… ah… tk dty tu me… hwd ym een… kmon y no… dty wds… tht srt oth ng… oka… bnd ovr bch… oh… oka… nw gwon… sprd m wd… oh… f me… mm mm… gw on bby… pt yr fce thr… mm mm… thas t… stk yr tng rt upt… ths t… o yh… gwon… lkit… hrd… ye ye… o… ye… dwit fm ee… sy mr dty wds… whl i sk yu… yu va lvl ee cnt… a byu tfl… lv lee… tst ee cnt… o… ar… yss… sy mr… cll m… nms… y slt… ah yss… mr… y byu tfl fkn lvl ee chp sl te hr… o yss… ths it… n ow… rm tn… yra… byu tfl… fkn bch… hhh… ng… gg… cl me a byu tfl hr gn… yu byu tfl fkn hr… lv lee… lv yu… lv yr boh dee… suh byu tfl… hr… oh ye… oh yeh… k moh vrm ee… k minm ee… ths it…. yeh o… ah… oh… ah… oh… yss… ll vu… gv… it… t… me… hrd… slm tn… aa… aa… ys… fk… fk… ah… fk hrd rr… ys… ys… fk m… fk m… ohh hhh… yssss… hg gh… hh hg gh… yaa… yaa… hg… gh… fr… haaa… huhu… hu… yehh… mmm hmm… hmm mmm… yu ka ym… mm… me tu…

 

 

Commentary:

 

And so, if you should happen to find writing of the type that is taking up the space above these expositional lines, examine it carefully for what sort of text it might be – and what it might be doing. Does it have a purpose? A meaning? Are there any messages in it? Is it of any practical use? Do we learn anything from it? Is it English (Standard, I mean)? Does it conform to the grammatical and lexical rules we all know so well? If not, why not? Read more…

An Untitled Piece of Writing

Copyright © R J Dent (2016)

 

 

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My Father’s Garden: Fireworks by R J Dent

January 25, 2016

 

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Bonfire Night was always fun.

Bonfires are great and fireworks are even greater.

My father never bought lots of fireworks on Bonfire Night – there were never more than eight to ten in a box, but there were Catherine Wheels, Roman Candles, Fountains, Jumping Jacks, Bottle Rockets, Fire Crackers – and we always had Sparklers.

I don’t mean to sound churlish, but sparklers are not the most exciting type of firework in existence. You light them, wave them around, they fizz and sparkle for a minute, then they die. They’re the firework world’s equivalent to the mayfly. One great (or in the mayfly’s case, not-so-great) aerial incendiary burst, and then gone, done, nothing left but the inevitable fall… Read more…

 

 

 

Losted by R J Dent

March 4, 2015

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We holidayed in Dorset that year. When I say we, I mean me – Luke; my little sister – Beth; my father – Oliver; and my mother – Katherine. Our parents drove our estate car from our home in Brighton to our rented holiday home in Dorset on an overcast day. It took us nearly three hours to get there. By the time we arrived, Beth and I were very tetchy with each other. We pulled into the driveway of our rented cottage and I was the first out of the car, looking the place over, checking it out for potentially interesting things to do, to see, or places to explore.

          It was a two-storey, three-bedroom stone cottage. There were four such cottages, and the one that was ours for the week was number four – on the far right end, and overlooking meadows and fields. It looked good.

          I was about to go off exploring, when my father called me back and insisted I help unpack the car. I ran back and forth, emptying things out of the car, carrying items into the cottage, putting them in the relevant rooms – making sure I did my bit to help. After being designated a bedroom, I stowed my stuff away in the wardrobe and the drawers, and looked out of the window into a flint-walled garden that looked interestingly overgrown – and which seemed to lead onto a meadow via a metal-banded wooden gate. Across the meadow I could see a stream overhung with willow trees. Beyond the meadow was a field, a small copse, and past that a path that lead towards the beach. About a mile in the distance I could see the sea. It was a slate-grey colour. Read more…

 

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R J Dent says: “I wrote Losted in a white heat. It took me five hours to write it. It’s one of my favourites of my own stories, despite its unpleasantness. One writer, whose criticism and feedback I respect, said  Losted was ‘beautifully written but ultimately so sad and nasty as there is no good left after that ending. Every person in the story is irrevocably damaged by what happens.’ It’s a review I totally agree with.”

Losted

Copyright © R J Dent 2015

 

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May I Please Have My Star Back? by R J Dent

January 20, 2015

An extract from an abandoned science fiction novel.

 
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by R J Dent

 

As I drove past the crashed spaceship, I started thinking about how we (as a race) very soon accept things as they have become – and even start to take certain strange things for granted.

Eleven years ago it had crashed there. Not one single person had actually seen it crash, but everyone for miles around had heard it. It had screamed out of the sky at three in the morning, on the one and only morning in the history of the world when absolutely everyone was asleep. There had been no solitary night prowlers, no 24-hour café or shop workers, no out-with-dog walkers, no tea-breaking shift workers, no shop-doorway sleeping tramps, no passing through long-distance lorry drivers, no anybody at all to witness its Icarus-like descent from the skies, or its mighty crash into and onto the decrepit Odeon cinema. The cinema had been showing the new print of The Day the Earth Stood Still that week, so obviously there were a few news people who had said it was all a publicity stunt that had gone badly wrong. Later, of course, that particular theory was seen to be the first example of the desperate answer-groping that seemed to grip everyone over the next year or so. Read more…

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May I Please Have My Star Back?

Copyright © R J Dent (2009 & 2016)

 

A Secret Home by R J Dent

January 9, 2015

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There was no road.

          I was in my white Ford GT6 with Concetta. Vaughn was in his mustard Lamborghini with Angela. We were brothers. They were sisters. They were our girlfriends. We were racing across the desert, along a canyon, heading for a huge natural wall of rock.

          If anyone had been watching us, it would have looked as though we were going crash into the base of the canyon wall. But no one was watching us. I’d chosen the site of our secret home very carefully.

          With only a few metres to go before impact, I pressed the remote control unit and the solid stone wall began to part. The huge door to our secret home was opening to let us back in. Summer had called us away for three months. Now we were back. Read more…

ash2 rjd

A Secret Home

Copyright © R J Dent (2016)

 

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Grearly’s by R J Dent

January 9, 2015

1

Everyone in town knew that Vic Mottram hated Brian Grearly. Grearly’s death meant that Mottram would probably find a way to take over Grearly’s. He’d always wanted it, ever since it had opened five years ago.

Grearly was the owner and proprietor and designer of Grearly’s. Grearly’s was an experiment in catering and style which had succeeded far beyond Grearly’s wildest expectations.

Brian Grearly was the only child of Richard and Carla Grearly. They were both schoolteachers at the local Junior School. It was where they’d met, it was where they’d had their wedding reception; it was where they had worked all their lives; it was where they still worked – and it was, not surprisingly, where they wanted their son to work too. They probably thought of it as a family tradition or something. Anyway, Brian Grearly had other plans. When he was twenty-one, he left university with a degree in Business Studies and Accountancy and went into business for himself. Read more…

 

Grearly’s

Copyright © R J Dent (2005 & 2016)

 

 

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Some of the Life of Gilbert by R J Dent

January 9, 2015

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Gilbert was very, very fed up.

          He’d been sitting inside a locked vault for several weeks and wanted to be out in the world again – circulating, as he’d been created to do. He thought back to his last week of independence; the way he’d been happily mixing with others, in and out of different environments, aware of movements and touch. He’d made a lot of people happy and had not been bored once.

          Now – a few weeks later – he was feeling a little dull, there being no light, movement or friction in the vault. He’d asked some of the others about possible futures, but they were all – with the exception of Rhonda – too busy crowing about past glories.

          “Once,” Oswald rather pompously stated – for the twentieth time – “I was exchanged – with a few others – for a Rolls Royce.”

          “You said Jaguar before,” Ellen said shrilly.

          “Or was it a Rover?” Jamie asked in his soft voice.

          “The type of car doesn’t matter,” Oswald snapped impatiently. “What is of paramount importance is that my personal value is far higher than yours.”

          “But you’re worth exactly the same as the rest of us,” Gilbert interrupted.

          Oswald sighed in exasperation. “I’m very much aware of my value, thank you, Gilbert. My point is that – unlike many of you – my actual value exceeds my stated value. Read more…

Some of the Life of Gilbert

Copyright (c) R J Dent (2010)

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