Stories


Contemporary stories about women and their relationships—young, old, impulsive, regretful, and sometimes outrageous.




Are We Nearly There Yet?, Crysse's new anthology of stories and poems, is available here.

War Baby

My brother was a peace baby. I was a war baby, born in an air raid.

My brother was the first-born, angelic, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, musical, clever.

I was a difficult baby. Well, those were difficult times. Coupons, scarcities, Cow & Gate milk. Which made babies fat.


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Deceiving Mr. Pemberley

Published IPC Magazines and broadcast on BBC radio 4 from 2005 Bath Literature Festival

"And this is Julie" said Miss Frink. She spoke my name in that don't-expect-too-much tone that all my teachers seem to use. I shuffled forward reluctantly. The room smelled of medication and the curtains were drawn.

"Let Mr. Pemberley touch you" said Miss Frink sharply, and then I remembered that Mr. Pemberley was blind.


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Atchoo

The Reader, Issue 13

If Daphne hadn't been suddenly assailed by one of those small wet sneezes which were prone to shake her unexpectedly, they wouldn't have known she was there. She shouldn't have been there, of course. What kind of a woman hides in a bedroom wardrobe while her husband is making love? Ex-husband, admittedly, but by the same token her own ex-bedroom, as Daphne pointed out coldly on emerging. Very coldly, actually, for it was chilly for June, and the new Mrs Wiggins was wise with the heating.


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Leonora's Forte

Writing Women, Issue 13

"She's an absolute workaholic" Denzil said reverently.

"That's as maybe" said Mrs Milsom "but she's using the Home telephone number and it's got to be stopped. Selina on the switchboard is weary of coping."

Perhaps Selina was. On the other hand, it was something else to talk about, instead of Pansy's hankies and Madge's incontinence and whether Veronica Cragg was better on decaff. For Leonora Foster, who had hitherto believed her premier talent to be immaculate crochet, had recently discovered a unexpected flair for smutty phonecalls.


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Sheep Rolling

The PROCESS Art In-Progress

"What on earth has happened to that one?"

We stopped. Level with her now, we could see she was not bleeding or birthing, simply fallen. "They can't get up" Elaine said. "If a sheep falls on its back, it can't roll over. They stay there until someone pushes them back up."

We looked around. Ice gripped the landscape. There was no sign of habitation, only whiteness stretching to the horizon below a pale feverish sky. The lane was thick with drifts and scarred with no other footprints than our own. Hunks of broken ice lay like tumbled sculpture beside a water trough. Everything was drained of colour.


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Raining

One Voice Anthology of Contest Winners

That's Marie for you. Tells you what she'd rather and then asks why you didn't simply suit yourself. Suddenly emboldened by the misery of the rain he shouts out "You've been doing this for forty years!" Habit makes him take her arm momentarily as they cross the puddle-stained road but he releases it on the farther side and plunges on into his anger. "For forty years I let you do what you want, and you sneer at me for it. For forty years," shrieks Marie in the unrelenting rain, "you've never stuck up for what you want. It's all been up to me, the lot of it. And then you like to say you're hen-pecked."


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