A collection of short stories written by Gareth Davies author of novels Maggie’s Milkman and Extraordinary Rendition. Over 800 free short stories and 100 poems. Please note all works are first drafts. Enjoy, leave comments, share on social media and be inspired.
Check out the details of my novels here
Thursday, 5 May 2016
I need your help! I am trying to select four or five of my best stories to rework and send to literary magazines to try to get published. Can you let me know what stories you think would stand the best chance of getting published. Thank you. Now on with today's story. Decision Time For audio click here
The studio lights burned brightly. Craig
searched for Mandy, his wife, in the audience, but he couldn’t pick out faces,
just silhouettes. It didn’t matter, just knowing she was there, crossing her
fingers and smiling at him was enough to make him feel a little calmer. He was
sure he looked calm; he had one of those faces that never gave much away. But
beneath his jacket, his shirt was sticking to his back, his heart beating just
a little too fast. He smiled at where he thought Mandy was, and then faced the
The woman from the telly smiled her smile.
She was confident, composed completely in control, not a hint of sweat on her
brow. She picked up the question card and turned to the camera.
“Welcome back to One Question. The quiz
show where one question can win you the jackpot. Craig Melwood from Merthyr has
beaten off all the competition and is just one
right answer away from the jackpot, which is currently standing at a record
twelve thousand pounds.” She paused for the mandatory applause, “Craig what
would you do with the money if you won it?”
“Well, my daughter, Daisy, has a peanut
allergy, this money would help us to pay for a revolutionary new treatment,
that could save her life.” The studio audience gasped, they were used to
hearing that contestants would blow the money on holidays and shoes. Even Jenny
the host was taken aback, was there a genuine tear in her eye?
“Well, let’s hope this question is lucky
for you,” Jenny said. “Are you ready?”
Craig took a deep breath. “Yes.” Another
forced round of applause filled the studio.
“Here’s your one question,” she paused as she had done seven hundred times
before. The silence was filled with the
sound of a heartbeat; Craig knew it was too slow to be his own.
“Which twentieth century Prime Minister,”
Jenny read the words with careful consideration. “often thought of as the
greatest ever Prime Minister, represented the constituency of Finchley?”
The colour drained out of Craig’s face. He
felt sick. All or nothing on that stupid question. He scratched his chin and
then scratched his head. The thumping heart beat sound affect was getting
louder and louder.
“So we’re looking for the greatest ever
Prime Minister who represented Finchley.” Jenny repeated. But she could repeat
it all she wanted, it wouldn’t help Craig.
He took a deep breath and searched the
audience again, but still he couldn’t pick out Mandy. He looked up to the
ceiling searching for his dad.
“Why?” he mouthed.
“I need to push you for the answer.” Jenny
said, her voice full of sympathy. But she’d misunderstood. She thought Craig
didn’t know the answer but she was wrong. He knew the answer. Of course he knew the
answer. But could he say it? He hadn’t said that bitch’s name for over thirty
years, could he say it now? Greatest ever prime minister my arse, he thought to
himself. She’d ruined his life, killed his father, destroyed his community. She
was a thug, not a hero. She was the most divisive Prime Minister, not the best.
If he uttered her name now, he’d unwittingly validating the praise. But if he
didn’t, if he said Winston Churchill, or Clement Attlee, he’d hear that awful
noise and lose the money. He thought of his dad, thought of his daughter. But
would the money mean anything? It would always be tainted with her name. Dirty
money. It was that’ bitch’s fucking fault that they needed private health care
in the first place. No, couldn’t do it. He’d rather slave and save and scrimp
and skimp than say that woman’s name and have that tarnished twelve grand.
“I need an answer,” Jenny said.
“Sorry,” a tear ran down Craig’s face. “Sorry
Dad!” he mumbled, and then looked at Jenny. “Margaret Thatcher.” Remember, if you live in Wales go out and use your vote wisely.