Well, here's three short stories I've written with varying themes and twists.
This story was written to test out some ideas of mine & to take my stories away from the usual War theme, although still action based.
Tick, tock. Tick. Tock.
Edward Spencer was an ordinary man, with a fairly ordinary job. By ordinary I mean it was boring, repetitive, and the only highlight of his boring, repetitive, day was at half four, when he went home. He was a bank clerk. He sat behind the piece of glass protecting him from the outside world, and dealt with the old ladies, the youngsters starting their first account, and the people who spent their lives working hard, struggling to meet the payments on their loan.
This wasn’t an ordinary day for Edward Spencer.
It started off like usual. He left his flat, rented in a high rise apartment building, at eight in the morning, and walked the two miles or so to the city-centre bank. He got there at half past, smiled at Kate, the other clerk, and hung his coat on the back of his chair. He cleaned his desk, sharpened his pencil, and, for reasons known only to him, arranged his biros in order of how much ink they had left. While he did this, he flirted with Kate, and chatted with Michael, the manager. At exactly nine o’clock, the metal shutters in front of the door clattered into life, and the bank was open.
This is a story about time. Edward’s time. The time of his life. Or, to be precise, the time at which Edward’s dull, repetitive life ends. But it isn’t time for that now, we’ve got a good few hours to get through until then.
Edward’s first customer of the day was a young woman. She looked about nineteen, twenty. She was small, and, if you were being kind, you’d call her well built. If you’re not kind, like me, you’ll call her fat. She shyly slid a cheque over the counter, and, once they’d finished, she walked off, shyly. Well, waddled off shyly.
After that great excitement, nothing happened. Nine o’clock slid into ten o’clock, which dragged on into 11 o’clock. At twelve, Edward went to the shop across the road to get his lunch. He had a packet of crisps, a bottle of Pepsi, and a sausage roll.
When he’d finished, he flirted with Kate a bit more, and then when she went to get her lunch, he passed the time by spinning on his chair, and listening to the clock.
Tick, tock. Tick. Tock.
Kate came back. She smiled at Edward, and sat down to eat her own lunch, a salad. Another customer came in, this time an old man, who smiled at Kate and asked Edward if he could withdraw some money. Edward smiled, and reached for a slip.
Then Edward’s life was changed.
He didn’t really have time to notice, as it wasn’t going to last much longer.
Three men, two in motorcycle helmets, and one in a balaclava burst through the door. The man in the balaclava raised a short sawn off shot gun. The others took pistols from their belts, and one of them took a spray paint can and sprayed over the CCTV cameras. Edward’s hand reached under his desk, and pressed the silent hold up alarm button.
“Hands in the air, all of you. Now.” The gruff man in the balaclava barked.
Time passed. Not much had happened. Edward, Kate, Michael, and the old man, were sat in one of the upstairs rooms, with the three other members of staff, Tommy, Pete, and Sarah. Edward had his arm around Kate, who was crying. It was one o’clock. They’d heard lots of sirens, police sirens, outside. The bank robbers were getting angry. Things weren’t going to plan. One of them, one of the ones in the motorcycle helmet, though he was bare headed now, wanted to kill all of the hostages one by one until the Police let them pass free. The man in the balaclava, the leader of the group, told him to stop being so bloody stupid, and rang the police negotiator.
“You’ve got until three o’clock. Three o’clock to get us out of here, and on an untracked helicopter, we can fly one, so don’t supply a pilot. At three o’clock? People die. Three o’clock.”
The phone clicked down. One of the criminals prowled in front of the hostages. His hostile eyes flicked from face to face, before landing on Kate. She was a pretty girl, that Kate. Blonde hair tied back in a pony tail, a slim body and her face was gentle and calm, her eyes a bright crystal blue.
The armed robber walked on, his pistol held casually by his side. Kate cried harder, and Edward gently squeezed her until she stopped. The time trickled by. More sirens were heard, along with the repeating thud of helicopters piercing the silence every few minutes. All of the hostages had heard the robber’s threat, and all kept glancing nervously at the clock, but the more they looked the slower it went.
Tick, tock. Tick. Tock.
Half one came and went. Two o’clock was appearing on the horizon. The ominous 3 o’clock drew closer, and closer, and closer. The sirens stopped, and an uneasy silence drifted over the group. Kate had stopped crying, but she now clung to Edward like she was drowning. He soothed her, stroked her blonde hair and pretty face, and whispered to her. He told her that everything will be ok, that he’d look after her. She believed him, trusted him, even if Edward himself doubted that he could do much. He was terrified. You could see it in his eyes, even if he tried to keep a straight face. He was terrified of the robbers, and also terrified that he might be a coward, that he would not be able to look after pretty Kate.
Kate and Edward had a strange relationship. It was plain as day to their work mates, to the regular customers, and, I’m willing to bet, clear to you that they were interested in one another. Yet they weren’t together. Neither was quite sure why, but it was probably because neither was brave enough to admit it, for fear that everyone was wrong about how they felt. So they’d carried on, pretending to be just friends, for month after month, and the months faded into a year, one year into two. And every day, Edward thought, this’ll be the day I’ll tell her. And every day, Kate thought, this’ll be the day I’ll tell him. But they never did.
Now, it seemed to both of them, that it was too late. It was almost half two. In half an hour one of the hostages would be dead, perhaps all of them would be dead. Five more minutes trickled past. Kate sniffed and rested her head on Edward’s shoulder.
Tick, tock. Tick. Tock.
The explosion downstairs caused the ground to shake. One of the robbers ran to the stairs. There was another explosion from the roof. The man with the shotgun shouted at the robber at the stairs to find out what the **** was happening. Instead, someone else answered. The voice bounced off the walls, it was loud, clear, and aggressive.
“Drop you weapons! Armed Police!”
The man at the stairs swore, and fired his gun. One of the policemen fired back, and the robber ran back down a corridor towards where the hostages were held. The other man who had been wearing a motorcycle helmet grabbed Kate and shoved her outside, ordering the rest of the hostages to follow him. An armed policeman got to the top of the stairs. The man in the balaclava fired.
“Man down! Man down!”
The robbers were using the hostages as shields, as they herded them towards the staircase. Stumbling and shoving, the gunmen forced them up, and into another room. There was a desk in the room, which the man with the shotgun turned over and crouched behind. At the rear of the room was another door, which led into an office. It had no more exits. A shadow moved in the doorway leading to the stairs. One of the gunmen fired his pistol. Another, also armed with a pistol, moved slowly towards the door. A gun flashed and banged from the doorway, the bullets striking the bank robber in the chest and head. His blood whipped onto the wall and ceiling. The shotgun roared, its pellets ripping the paint and wood from the door frame.
The surviving man with pistol grabbed Kate and dragged her into the small office, Edward followed, but the man hit him with the pistol, and Edward dropped to the floor, blood dripping from his temple. The man had his hand on Kate’s mouth, forcing her jaws closed so she’d stop screaming. He aimed the pistol at the doorway. The trio heard the shotgun fire again, then heard a policeman fire, follow by a grunt of pain. They heard movement in the other room, heard the police confirming that they’d captured one of the robbers, and that another was dead.
The door was closed. The robber was backed up against the desk. The computer on it had been knocked onto the floor, dragging the telephone into the bin. Edward was crouched in the corner, blinking his eyes, trying to make sense of what was happening after the heavy blow to his head.
The door moved.
The robber fired his pistol several times into the wooden portal, and then Kate struck. She managed to pull his hand down. And bit. Hard. The man screamed, and pushed her away, swinging his pistol to aim at her head. Then it was Edward’s time. Edward’s time to keep his promise. He leapt.
Edward grabbed the pistol, and the man’s arm. But Edward was still just a bank clerk; he was slim, but not very strong. The robber easily over powered him, fired again at the door, then put his pistol to Edward’s head. An armed policemen kicked the door open and burst into the room. He saw the robber holding Edward, his gun to the poor clerk’s head, standing underneath a clock.
Tick, tock. Tick. Tock.
And I ground the pistol against poor Edward’s head, and pulled the trigger.
Thought up most of this while actually on sentry during my Basic Training, in a huge thunderstorm, then wrote it when I got home.
They say patience is a virtue. But patience isn’t want was needed here. It was two o’Clock in the morning. It was dark, it was raining. It was Aldershot. Patience wasn’t needed here. It needed far more than patience for this.
I’d only been up for ten minutes, and already I was soaking wet. The lightning crashed overhead, illuminating the surrounding woods for a split second. Then the thunder; then back to the rain again. I could hear it drumming off my helmet, trickling down my waterproof jacket’s collar, which was turned up to protect me from the howling weather. My hands clasped the cold, harsh metal of my rifle, as me and the other soldier with me peered out into the abyss. I could smell the rain; almost overwhelming the tangy, metallic smell of cordite, the residue left when a weapon was fired. The adrenaline that had flooded my body during the fire fight of the day slowly drained away, washed out by the rain.
I knew that my comrade was barely a metre to my right, lying as I was in the soft, wet undergrowth, but I couldn’t see him. I could hardly see anything, just a few trees, but nothing more than a few metres away. I checked my watch. Still an hour and a half left. Patience wasn’t needed.
I was on sentry, which was called throughout the British Army as “stag”. You were out there, while the rest of your platoon, except for the other poor sods on stag, slept soundly underneath their shelters, simple affairs, just a sheet of plastic tied to two trees. You’re job was to stop anyone coming into the position who isn’t meant to be there. Most of the time, nothing happened. Most of the time.
It happened more than anything else, sentry duty, and so every soldier going through basic training learnt the skill. Switching off, without switching off. If you switched off fully, you wouldn’t notice the enemy creeping up on you, intent on sending you to the great parade in hell; or worse, you’d fall asleep, and the corporals could catch you. We were far more afraid of the corporals than the enemy. But even though you couldn’t switch off, you still had to be there for two hours or more. And that took something more than mere patience. Thirty minutes left.
When you were patient, you are waiting for something, feeling the excitement welling up inside you, but pushing it down. There was nothing to wait for here, except possibly sleeping amongst the bugs that crawled around the forest floor. There’s probably no name for what is needed, but whatever it is – you have to have it. Once you’d got it right, slowed your thoughts down almost to a stop, while other parts of your brain constantly scanned for any sign of the enemy, or worse, a corporal, the time would fly by. The rain hardened.
Time to wake up the next poor sod.
My first attempt at a Horror story, although its got a 500 word limit so most is left to the imagination.
Drip. Drip. The damp rope stretched slightly as he lowered himself into the cave. Drip. Drip. He could hear water in the distance, not the tinkle of solitary droplets falling from frozen rock stalactites, but the rushing roar of an underground river. Drip. Drip. One of his feet touched the solid rock of the cave floor. Drip. Drip.
“What do you see down there?” One of the explorer’s companions shouted from above, the voice echoing around the stone walls,
“Nothing yet!” He replied. More echoes. He turned on his head torch and saw that he was in a large cavern, perhaps a hundred feet wide. Drip. Drip. There was a tunnel leading off to one side. The man moved towards it. Drip. Drip.
“There’s a tunnel! Send the next man down I’m going to have a look!”
That was strange. Drip. Drip. He couldn’t see where the incessant dripping noise was coming from. But then again, with the massive echoes in the cave system meant that the source could be miles away. Drip. Drip. He set off down the tunnel, his head bowed low as he squeezed between the jagged rocks. Behind him he could hear another cave explorer easing himself carefully down the sheer drop into the cavern. The tunnel seemed to go on forever, so the man turned back, and saw that the next man wasn’t easing himself down the rope. More, she, was easing herself, down the sheer drop into the cavern. Drip. Drip.
The girl was pretty, blonde hair, green eyes, and a slim body. She was called Ellie, and was definitely the prettiest girl on the expedition. Drip. Drip. As she lightly jumped off the rope, a leathery noise was heard from above. Then a shout, and a scream. A long, piercing scream of basic, human terror. It lasted for a few seconds, before being sickeningly cut off by a loud crack that rattled around the caves. Drip. Drip. Silence. The man and Ellie called back up. No reply. They called again. No reply. Drip. Drip. Something fell down the hole, towards Ellie and the man. It was one of the head torches they wore. Drip. Drip. A shadow moved far above them. The rope slithered down to coil beside them like a snake. The shadow moved again. Drip. Drip.
They ran. They sprinted down the tunnel, not caring where it went, just so long as it went far away from the shadow. Drip. Drip. They darted through the small gaps, swerved round innumerable corners, the sounds of their footsteps drowning out the dripping noise which grew in intensity with every step they took. They came into another cavern, and stopped. Drip. Drip. The light from their torches was engulfed by the thick darkness. Drip. Drip. Something small dropped onto Ellie’s head. Drip. Drip. She looked up. Drip. Drip. And screamed. Drip. Drip. Crack. Silence.
A shadow moved, and the bodies of Ellie and the Man were dragged away.