The Ploughman

It is said that the Grim Reaper comes to pluck the souls of the living; to harvest them with his scythe and to carry them to the afterlife in sheaves of shining gold. And indeed, I know that to be true. But what of the others? What of the failed crops, the poisoned fruit, theContinue reading “The Ploughman”

Happy new year

Dear Readers, 2021 was my year of writing a story a week. It was a great experience and I couldn’t have done in without you. This year will bring different resolutions so for now, farewell, and thank you for reading. I hope 2022 treats you with kindness. Lizzie Barratt

The End

I had an inkling that this would be the last thing I ever wrote, which is what made it the hardest. Be casual, I told myself. Pick up the pen like it’s a spoon to eat porridge. Open the laptop like you are just checking its hinges. Don’t make such a big deal of it.Continue reading “The End”

O magnum mysterium

‘O magnum mysterium. Oh great mystery.’ Mrs Davies paused for effect. ‘God came to earth and was born of a virgin.’ There were titters from Emily and Madison. Stacey glanced over to where they sat at the back of the class and gave them a quick, secret, smile. They weren’t her friends, but they amusedContinue reading “O magnum mysterium”


It is always this way. You fit a year into December. There’s work and housework and meals and deadlines and now the extras; parcels, decorations, find a tree and prevent it from dying, see your neighbours, all of them, and then see everyone else you’ve ever spoken to, extra weight, extra bulk, extra cheer, Cesar’sContinue reading “December”


The sea dragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus, lay on the sand, his little head resting gently, and his frills and fronds lifting and falling as the edge of the tide stroked him. His magnificent belly was plump and spotted and his long snout pointed proudly towards the rising sun. He had washed up onto the beach duringContinue reading “Dragon”


In 1956, a solid decade into the Cold War, and 45 long years since Hiram Bingham first emerged from the jungle to gaze at Machu Picchu, two oceanographers working off the coast of Mexico discovered the lost city of Atlantis. It was not where anyone expected it to be, obviously, but then again, lost thingsContinue reading “Atlantis”


The web was tiny and delicately made, so small and thin she almost missed it. The finest of silver ropes stretched across a space the size of her thumbnail, modestly hung with three or four more. Poverty, or minimalism? It had caught a single elderflower, blown in on the spring breeze. The spider must beContinue reading “Web”

Picture perfect

In truth, the photo was there simply because nobody had got around to it – the story of their lives. The McArthur family was large and therefore poor and therefore thrifty. Heather, the mother, bought a lovely frame at the local op shop, to house a lovely family photo. It already had a photo inContinue reading “Picture perfect”


Alan was a tabby of modest looks. His fur was well groomed and he smelled of dusty soil and warm rocks. Did he dream of the desert? Perhaps. He could not abide the cold. He was a pest for food and a lover of company, never happier than when draped over a human. Most ofContinue reading “Alan”


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