Colin Alcock

It's not just the books.

SHORT STORIES • POETRY & RHYME • FLASH FICTION • PHOTOS • VIDEOS • LINKS TO NOVELS

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JUST ME

Jack of all trades, master of some. That's my own assessment of a life where I've tried many things, done well in a few, failed in a few, but generally kept my head above water in this fast flowing river of life.

Now, I'm in calmer waters, having joined that band of retirees who can choose when to get up in the morning. Most days, anyway.

This website showcases some of my writing and some of my images and is a fluid selection, changed at the occasional whim to provide new works or older, but previously unseen material.

So, more may be added, a few items may disappear and maybe the style will change as it grows organically; for that's the serendipitous way I tend to do things.

I hope you enjoy what you find.

As for my background, click the button below for a brief resumé.

The Schooling Chair Anthology
The Schooling Chair is the place where dreams are made, futures born and the world opens up its treasures. This compilation of short stories and flash fiction does much the same, reaching to every corner of emotion, spanning time and place; even taking you to the far reaches of the universe; and beyond earthly knowledge.

Whatever genre you favour, you will most likely find a story in here to swell your soul, but read on beyond that and you will find that there is so much more to discover, conveyed to your imagination through brief encounters with other lives, other views; some to make you smile, some a little sad, some to make you think awhile.



Selected stories by
the author of the novels
Tuna on Tuesdays
A Darkness of Voices
The Spider Man

and the miscellany
Dandelion Days.


All at
Amazon

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Click image for more information
 about my latest book.

What's new this month?

Two 100-word flashes
"Conversation"
"
Blind Love"
and the longer
"I just have to know what’s behind it"
all below
•••
 
Plus a couple of new
additions to

'The short bits'

Boatbouse on Upper Pond, Petworth.
Upper Pond
& Boathouse

Petworth House, in West Sussex, overlooks glorious and extensive parkland with two lakes. This is Upper Pond, the larger one, and features a boathouse (to the right of the image). Perfect for a leisurely walk.
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Petworth House, viewed from the park.
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Packwood House from park.
Viewed from the footpath.

There is a public footpath that crosses the parkland surrounding Packwood House, Warwickshire, and several other paths lead in and out of the estate. So, as well as admiring the beauty of the gardens, you can step through a circular walk of Warwickshire countryside, including Packwood's church – St Giles.
St Giles Church, Packwood, Warwickshire
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Miles apart but both perfect for walks
One in West Sussex and one in Warwickshire.
Both National Trust. Both offer more than mansions.

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Paul Hewitt believed he had found the perfect partner in Giules Franciotti, unaware of the missions that she and her feisty sister, Maria, kept secret from him - until he, too, was drawn into one, with a disastrous result.

As a consequence, all three lives are threatened before a disastrous finale exposes the truth.

A dark plot, but a light read.
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When Anne Grant invited her son to a Christmas Lunch at Arden Ash, without telling Edna Gray, all she had intended was to show an independence of spirit and less need for the constant guidance offered by her self-appointed mentor.
She didn’t expect the kind of interest his introduction would arouse – or that a train of events among her new acquaintances would lead to such tragic consequences.
A book for those who like a good page-turner.

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Some see the dandelion as an evil weed, others recall the beauty of a wildflower spread across a sunlit field.
Whichever your point of view, this compilation provides a varied collection of prose, poetry and rhyme to match many a mood.
A book that you can dip into at random.

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The thought of killing his own mother abhorred him.
The desire to overwhelmed him.
How was he to exorcise his demons?

A novel that explores
the dilemma of a driven man,
a missing teenager
and the frustrated attempts
of a detective trying to find her.

The Schooling Chair

Now Available
as Paperback
and Kindle eBook

The Schooling Chair is the place where dreams are made, futures born and the world opens up its treasures. This compilation of short stories and flash fiction does much the same, reaching to every corner of emotion, spanning time and place; even taking you to the far reaches of the universe; and beyond earthly knowledge.

Conversation

They call it a conversation, but every syllable is typed out on a keyboard. Where’s the warmth in that? Pause. Wait for response. Still waiting. She has very slow fingers. At last. Yes, we can meet. The bistro. Where voices bubble more lively than champagne. And we’ve the spontaneity of words, facial expressions and even touching hands across the table as we sip nectar from a bottle of white wine. And our phones remain silent, as our soft voices intertwine with a background of many others. Ping. Blast! WhatsApp. Message from wife. Where am I? I type back a lie.

~~~

Blind Love


Love isn’t blind. It chooses not to see. Lucy didn’t see the bruises on his sister’s wrist, before she married him. Or the slap he gave her when she wore the wrong dress. She didn’t see the bruise on her arm, when she didn’t go to his gig. Or the livid wheals and cigarette burns, in places other people can’t see. She didn’t see his drunken temper. Or the fingers tight on her throat. She loved him. And she didn’t see him sentenced to life. She was not there. She’s no longer anywhere. But then, she died loving him still.

~~~

I just have to know what’s behind it

I just can’t help it. I’ve seen doctors, medical and psychiatric, counsellors, even tried hypnotism and acupuncture. I’ve been arrested five times, accused of voyeurism, sexual harassment, breaking and entering and breaching the peace, many times. But I just have to know. Ever since my late teens.

I can’t say exactly when it started, it sort of crept up on me; but if I see a green door, I have to know what’s behind it. Peering in windows beside it is not enough, nor through the letter box. I have to ring the bell, slap the knocker, rattle the letterbox or bang hard on the door, until someone answers. And if there’s no one at home, I wait for hours until they return, or a neighbour threatens to call the police. But I’d go back that evening or the next day, whenever I could.

I have an excuse. I’m a locations manager for a film and TV production company, so I travel all over. At least, that’s what it says on my business card. I’m looking for a suitable house, or offices, or a factory site, for a new TV series. But the truth is I’m jobless. Again. I didn’t even finish the first day of my last one. The ladies’ toilet had a green door. The cubicles inside had green doors. And one was engaged. I waited for the flush and she screamed when she came out and saw me. I tried to explain I meant no harm, but I was sacked on the spot.

Don’t ask me why I have this obsession. I do remember a song in my childhood, about a green door. I was too young to really take in the words, though. Just something about a secret it’s keeping. Mind you, I’ve been through a good few doors since then. Some folk, with eyes greedy for money and their name in film credits have given me a guided tour, garden and all. Most shut the door in my face. A few have physically ejected me into the middle of the road, but the bane of my life has been the little old ladies with chains that wisely peer, one eyed, through a tiny slit of open door, so that I can’t see through to what’s inside.

But all that’s changed now. Thanks to Greta. She listened to me. She let me in. She even offered me coffee, but I suspected she would call someone if I accepted. Then, as I was leaving, she asked for my address. I was caught off guard and gave it her before realising I would be getting a visit. No doubt chastisement, maybe a trip to the police station.

To my surprise, the visitor was Greta. With half-a-tin of green paint. And she painted my front door. Now I’ll always know what’s behind it, she said. And it worked. Except, I daren’t leave home, now, in case I’m burgled and something changes.

EXPLORE AND ENJOY
 For flash fiction, short stories, poetry and more, click or tap your way through the website.
Or explore my latest book:
The Schooling Chair – a medley of short stories and flash fiction available from Amazon as Paperback & Kindle eBook.