The Edge of the World – Jo Lidbetter

The edge of the world. That’s how she thought of it. She sat in the doorway looking out to a life that wasn’t hers…

…At least in the heat, people would come around more. They couldn’t travel so they came by for a chat and a smoke. The creaking from below was comforting too: a slow rhythmic groan from the wooden struts that kept the house away from the ground and dry when the rains came. Someone was in the hammock below the house, swaying gently, keeping the air moving. She listened for a moment, her head on one side. There was a gentle snoring but that was probably just one of the dogs. She could picture the hammock. When threads snapped it’d be brought up to her and she’d twist some cotton into twine and knot it back into shape. The kids would come and sit at her feet while she did this. Well, not at her feet, obviously, but next to her, teasing each other before leaping back out into the sunshine. Into their world and out of hers.

Her world was now this little house.

 

If you’ve enjoyed this snippet and would like to read the rest of the story, why not purchase a copy of the book? The Stories for Homes anthology, containing 63 stories and poems by both award-winning and yet-to-be-published authors became a bestseller AND all royalties go to the charity Shelter.

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Consequences – Debs Riccio

This is the worst part. Actually, on a scale of one to ten, this is nine. Ten is when I have to bring them back.

The woman who answers the door on the second ring of the bell is, as always, beautifully dressed. A cream outfit, probably designer, I don’t know; I’m not a dedicated follower of fashion, but Fran is. Her hair is smoothed back from her face and her skin is shining with health. She could be a model. And she knows it.

“Harry, Georgia, Daddy’s here!” she announces into the immaculate hallway…

…I take in a deep breath, smile and rock back on my trainers for the wait. They never stampede to the door to greet me. They’re not allowed to run in the house – something about damaging the weft of the pile on the carpets. She never used to worry about the runner in the hallway where we used to live. But that was before.

 

If you’ve enjoyed this snippet and would like to read the rest of the story, why not purchase a copy of the book? The Stories for Homes anthology, containing 63 stories and poems by both award-winning and yet-to-be-published authors became a bestseller AND all royalties go to the charity Shelter.

A Life with Additives – Jackie Buxton

Shelley laid out the ingredients in a strict line on the tatty, wooden work surface as she did every day at 5.15am: 1kg of wholemeal, strong, plain flour, delivered personally from one of the few working mills in the country; 30g of fresh yeast; the same of honey; a flask of water, boiled and cooled just before she fell into bed late last night, and 30g of salt.

She set the yeast and honey with the water to dissolve in the brown, porcelain bowl her mother had left to her for the purpose. She sifted the flour and salt and tossed the sieve into the stained Belfast sink which made her back ache. In the early days, she’d have marvelled at how much quicker she was at carrying out this procedure but, today, Shelly simply added the yeast, pushed and prodded and rolled and folded the dough and hurled it intermittently onto the work top.

She glanced up at the clock. It was 5.30am. Of course it was.

 

If you’ve enjoyed this snippet and would like to read the rest of the story, why not purchase a copy of the book? The Stories for Homes anthology, containing 63 stories and poems by both award-winning and yet-to-be-published authors became a bestseller AND all royalties go to the charity Shelter.

Trust Not Optional – John Taylor

…I’m back in the front room. Waiting. This isn’t where I want to be. I’m not safe here. Waiting for more Audrey nightmare. Why can’t Gill come and sort Audrey out? I hate this room, with the TV in the corner, always on. People on the TV. Little, trapped people in the box. Trapped people who can’t get out. Trapped like me. Can’t get out. Can’t get away from Audrey.

 

If you’ve enjoyed this snippet and would like to read the rest of the story, why not purchase a copyof the book? The Stories for Homes anthology, containing 63 stories and poems by both award-winning and yet-to-be-published authors became a bestseller AND all royalties go to the charity Shelter.

A Ticket Home – Susan Chadwick

Will you come back with me? I’ve bought you a ticket. I’m on my way to meet you and I hope you’ll come home.

I haven’t seen you for half my lifetime, so why search for you now? Well, maybe the aunts were right and you were The One. If you were The One then, could you be The One, now? Have I wasted all this time without you? I missed you. I still miss you. Oh yes.

 

If you’ve enjoyed this snippet and would like to read the rest of the story, why not purchase a copy of the book? The Stories for Homes anthology, containing 63 stories and poems by both award-winning and yet-to-be-published authors became a bestseller AND all royalties go to the charity Shelter.

Fathom – Helen Hardy

They make the perfect cruise image, windswept in the setting sun – my husband against the rail with our daughter Ellie, tall at his side, shielding her wide-eyed baby from the spray. I press the button to preserve them then linger to watch the waves, while they head inside to get ready for dinner.

 

If you’ve enjoyed this snippet and would like to read the rest of the story, why not purchase a copy of the book? The Stories for Homes anthology, containing 63 stories and poems by both award-winning and yet-to-be-published authors became a bestseller AND all royalties go to the charity Shelter.

Half of Everything – Isabel Costello

…I stood in the middle of the road, twice as wide without the cars, and took a good look at 42 Vandemar Court, the family home that no longer was. We’d have had to downsize eventually, with Amy leaving for college next year, the boys long gone.

Twenty-five years we lived here – such a neat, round number. A quarter century. Half my life. The age of our eldest son.

The length of a marriage.

Soon, some other family would greet my neighbours, bake banana bread for new mothers and sit on the stoop, handing out candy on Halloween.

 

If you’ve enjoyed this snippet and would like to read the rest of the story, why not purchase a copy of the book? The Stories for Homes anthology, containing 63 stories and poems by both award-winning and yet-to-be-published authors became a bestseller AND all royalties go to the charity Shelter.