The Fool, The Troll and The Head Sherang Of The Whole Shebang
Bruce, a would-be King, fetid and unlovable, seeks retribution and love from Laura. Desiring world domination, sexual gratification, and enforced adulation, he’s no fool. As part of a barbarian trio, they aim to rule a commonwealth of trolls—an idiot’s realm. Bruce, a man of his time, learns the power of a well-told story.
Below and Beyond the Surface
Aphre, a sea-being, and Kai, a fisherman, protagonists shaping a restorative narrative of contested history. Poetic writing sets the scene, revealing characters’ backgrounds. “Below and Beyond the Surface” is a conversation modeling healing from generational trauma tied to history. Inherited jaded attitudes shape their outlooks. The chapter concludes as Aphre and Kai first lock eyes.
Victoria Ann Stewart
At The Laurels
In the 1950s, Alex’s glamorous Aunt Felicity, a true-crime author, died, leaving behind unfinished papers on a murder at The Laurels during the interwar years. As a teenager, Alex knew little about it and ignored the project. A decade later, a chance conversation rekindles Alex’s interest in her late aunt’s mysterious work.
The Walkie Man
In 1960s Liverpool, Steve Woodson’s life transforms on a seemingly ordinary day. A traumatic encounter with Tom Dixon and his family unravels horrors that will profoundly affect Steve, his love Mary, and their friends. Little does Steve know, this pivotal moment will shape their lives in unexpected and haunting ways.
My Next Life
In court, neurotic dreamer Matt (25) provides a false alibi for friend Bob, who stole an antique trunk. Adopting a rich businessman persona, Matt prioritizes his performance over moral implications. Unaware of the consequences, he leaves court, setting off events that unravel his life, eventually leading to a transformative epiphany.
The Starlight Express
16-year-old Edith May Hedge stays up in her room at the children’s home during a funeral. Though it is over quickly, she feels guilty for missing out. The ex-manager of the building, Miss Stanford, checks up on Edith and invites her to a meeting in the office. Though reluctant at first, she cautiously agrees, and they meet up with the new strict manager, Mr. Beane. There he tells her that her mysterious uncle is coming to sign her adoption papers to take her home.
Before It All Began Again
Eight-year-old Bee anxiously awaits her brother Sidney’s return with medicine, but he brings a stranger, Cleo, revealing a dire outside world. The siblings must leave their home. Bee grapples with the upheaval, reflecting on when her mother and aunt were present. Uprooted and fearing she doesn’t truly know her brother, Bee faces an uncertain future.
The Old Main Drag
James Kinnock wanders the dark streets of 1960s London, looking to free himself of the shackles of a homophobic society and express his sexuality. But when a photograph is delivered, it becomes apparent that someone knows of his secret, and wants something from him.
Haunted by a traumatic past, Liverpool woman Michelle battles daily irritants turned oppressive. Fiercely protective of her 15-year-old son, Darren, she nurtures hopes for a brighter future, showcasing a resilient spirit. Through small rituals, like breakfast preparation, Michelle embodies a mother’s love amid shadows from her haunting past.
The Cascadura Legend
In 1940s Trinidad, Johnny and Leon’s childhood friendship evolves against the backdrop of WWII and the American military presence. As adults, they reunite in Liverpool’s ethnic district during the 1960s/1970s. Leon, a US Air Force member, is introduced to Angela, Johnny’s white co-worker. Drunken episodes lead to Leon and Angela’s affair, culminating in a tragic double homicide. Johnny escapes justice in England, returning to Trinidad to face Divine Justice, a clairvoyant’s prediction, and the folklore-based Curse of the Cascadura. This multicultural and historical fiction is told through a series of memories, exploring the complexities of friendship and fate.
The Last Chippy
In the initial chapter of “The Last Chippy,” the narrator, a domestic cleaner, opens her chip shop, cleaning and selling items left by tourists. Noticing chips are the most common, she opens her chippy. However, the rented place holds secrets. The first chapter hints that customers with suicidal thoughts might enter an office in the back, facing a unique challenge before leaving the chippy.
Henry Oswald, a family man in New Ferry, Wirral, walks his daughter Sadie to the chippy when a nearby gas explosion devastates the street. Both are thrown through a window, sustaining life-threatening injuries. Henry witnesses the destruction, several casualties, and paramedics working on Sadie before losing consciousness from the pain.
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