A little while ago I entered a very short story competition.


These were some of the drafts that I played around with but didn’t submit. Three of them are a bit sad, but hopefully the fourth will cheer you. As you’ll see, it was a competition with a very limited word count allowed:


The cloud-lined boulevards, peacefully suspended, gently undulating were ripped apart by tracer. Fiercely hot engine oil spurted over his eyes and flames tore his legs. He hauled back on the already destroyed Spitfire’s controls but enemy shells enveloped him. His youthful vitality disintegrated.

‘Mac’ cried out, “Raise her well sweetheart.”



Michael always knew the girl who gave him up had been a forlorn princess trapped by circumstance. Alas, the truth was closer to home. Working class, sadly predictable. At her grave he wept for the eldest sister he had always loved and now, at last, understood.

In Flanders

At peace

Silence. Intense, immediate. Suppressing the crescendo of violence that held him, terrified him, twisted him, turned him. He saw the tumbling of grey skies and brown mud. He watched, interested as the ground rushed toward him.

“Oh mother, I will lie in Flanders. Remember me, when all is peace.”

Young Love

little hands

I watched as they joined hands at the swing. So small and trusting. So cute.

But I hadn’t known I was watching the start of such a friendship. Love as it is meant to be.

Now I watch as they join hands again. So proud through my tears.


Ian Andrew is the author of the alternative history novel A Time To Every Purposethe detective thrillers Face Value and Flight Path and the Little Book of Silly Rhymes & Odd Verses. All are available in e-book and paperback. Follow him on social media:

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All images courtesy of Dollar Photo Club.