Short Stories



Jemima Barton was a lady of seventy-six years and a spinster. She lived alone in a small, terraced house ever since her mother, Alice died.

Jemima had many quaint habits, and one of these was to hang up a stocking every Christmas Eve. She, of course, had no expectations of finding it filled but – to make the occasion more cheerful – she placed a mall gift inside addressed to herself.

On this particular Christmas morning, Miss Barton made herself a breakfast of muesli, toast and coffee, as usual and opened her Christmas cards; placing them around the room, like friends.  She then approached the stocking and stared in amazement at the contents, for not only was there the gift she had bought herself, but also a small box of chocolates and an envelope. With trembling fingers, Jemima opened it and found a note which read,

Dear lady, While shopping in the supermarket earlier this year, as you know…your handbag was stolen. I take full responsibility for its theft and am thoroughly ashamed of the act.  It must have caused you much distress. Soon after my ignoble deed, my mother suddenly collapsed and died. I was heart-broken, and after the tears, did much soul-searching. What sort of a man had I become, I asked myself. My late mother was an honourable woman and certainly didn’t bring me up to be a thief…I even recalled her words: “Remember son, everyone is someone that counts!” Late, I readily admit, but the penny dropped and I am now a better, improved person, and intend staying one.

Hoping you can find it in your heart to forgive me, I look forward to a happier Christmas, and hope the same for you. As you will see, I have returned your keys and enclosed enough money to buy a new handbag. Use it in good health.

Yours sincerely,

Noel Hawkins”

More from Short Stories


THREE WISHES Sarah-Jane Steadman 50 word story “What do you want for the other two wishes?” asked the Witch. “Could I repeat the first one, twice? “No. Not allowed.” “D’you believe that two people can have the same dream?” asked … read more


A BAD NIGHT FOR DRIVING Janette Davies The car swerved and went into a 360 degree spin and crashed head on into the vehicle we had just overtaken. It was eerily quiet and black as pitch, as all the headlights … read more


VIVA the VOTE Janette Davies We all know how much the Spanish like to party and Voting Day is no exception. We knew there would be lots of activity all time the school was open, so we decided to get … read more


OPERATION CATARACT Sarah-Jane Steadman ‘When did you have your pacemaker fitted?’ She asked the man sitting next to her. ‘Eighteen months ago,’ he replied. He frowned and turned to look at her. ‘How did you know I have a pacemaker?’ … read more


Angels ANGELS – by Janette Davis I knew I was dead, but I had not been dead for very long. I was still on the conveyor which was taking me to wherever I would be from now on. It was … read more


A TRAVEL ARTICLE                                        BELLA ITALIA The first introductory ‘Whistle Stop Tour’ of Italy’s most famous cities almost scrambled my brains. Oh the majesty of Venice! To see painter Canaletto’s (little canal) print of the Piazzetta on the wall of … read more


TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE by Ian Turney Tick, tock, Tick, tock…. An echo of the past. Jenny held her paint brush in mid-air lost in thought, caught up with memories of her Grandma. There had always been a clock, … read more


GOLDEN CLOUD Flash story  By: Ali Fathy Unintentionally, quickly and pointlessly he was glancing to the sky. Suddenly he felt a great joy that made him dance with ecstasy like a drunk. He saw her. Yes! It is her: The … read more