The Neal James Website

                          Short Stories Volume 2

 Coming in 2018! 

 

 

 

Cover Artwork & Design by Lewis Bates

 

In this, my second anthology, I will take you on another trip into the world of my imagination.

Fans of science fiction will rub shoulders with those of crime, the paranormal, romance, humour and horror.

‘Short Stories Volume Two’ is another book for the coffee break, or simply to while away the time on a warm summer day.

Be prepared to laugh, cry, shrink with fear as you listen for those bumps in the night, and fly away into outer space as you travel through the wormholes of your own mind.

This collection of twenty-six stories is the second rollercoaster ride which I invite to you take with me.

 

A Friend in Need

 

You don’t always realise it at the time, but the actions you took many years ago have a habit of coming back to bite you. Allan Greagsbey found that out to his cost when the tables turned on him in his hour of need. 

 

Blind Faith

Nikki and David Spencer were just an ordinary couple. Ordinary that is, until the night that fate plunged them into a murky, violent world where the gun and the knife ruled supreme. 

 

Clock

 

John Haywood knew that something was amiss. He should have walked away the minute he stepped out of his Dodge into the empty, eerie main street of Stanfield. Lazlo Domarski saw him, and from that moment on his fate was sealed. 

 

Coles to Newcastle

 

Trust, once broken, was not something that Harold Coles would willingly give again. Heather McBain, however, was something else and he broke his golden rule for her. The intervention of fate was to be his undoing, and the loss of his one true love a tragic result. 

 

Cutting the Cloth

 

Would you know the truth from fiction? Could an outrageously improbable set of occurrences really be historical fact? Stranger things have happened, and sometimes you just never know, do you? 

 

Ebony Eyes

 

A chance meeting, a beautiful girl, a melting heart. Haydn Wright was staring at a vision and Chantel Rogers smiled back just for him. So what was is with the spooky song which seemed to follow him around everywhere? 

 

Engine Trouble

 

Reading between the lines had never been one of University Grant’s strong points, but you’ll have to do more than your fair share with this one to see the funny side of the matter. 

 

Grapes and Wrath

 

As unhappy marriages went, Linda Bennett's was certainly up there in the top ten. Getting rid of her idle husband, Steve, was going to be a problem unless something unexpected cropped up. The ‘crop’ of grapes was to be her lifeline to a fresh start.

 

 Engine Trouble

 

 

Reading between the lines had never been one of University Grant’s strong points, but you’ll have to do more than your fair share with this one to see the funny side of the matter.

 

I Am

 

Silence, stealth and senses on high alert. Patience, and just waiting for the perfect opportunity all came as second nature. Now was the time to strike. 

 

In the Nick of Time

Finding the job at the boatyard was a real Godsend for Nick, and the guy there certainly needed someone to show him the error of his ways. Shame he couldn’t stick around to see the final outcome though. 

 

Last Christmas

 

Christmas is never a good time to be moving home, but when the whole family is involved the disruption isn’t so bad. Julie and Ben Brown's leaving present came from an unexpected source, and in the most dramatic fashion,

 

Layers of Innocence

The stalker had Molly Green running around in circles as she struggled to come to terms with the sudden death of her husband, Mark. The tragic circumstances surrounding the evening with her friend, Wendy, sent her reeling into uncertainty once more.

 

Mirror. Mirror

 

The face in the mirror was not her own, and Joyce Gallagher stood transfixed before letting out a scream. Those eyes, they just stared out at her, and the mouth moved with a silent plea from another dimension. 

 

Needle in a Haystack

 

It’s bad enough looking for a needle in haystack, but when it turns up unexpectedly that’s a bonus. The man standing before Amie Napolis was the image of her husband who vanished six years earlier. Had fate returned him to her and their children? 

 

Rose Cottage

One last look at the little place and that would be it. No sense in hanging around any more. So why was the figure in the centre of the room making Keith Goodrum feel as if he’d seen her before? 

 

Sorry

Steve Hackett was about to wipe the slate clean of all his errant behaviour, and go cap in hand to his long-suffering wife. Getting the bullet was not what he had anticipated. 

 

The Damocles Legacy

 

The invaders have come. They’re up there just waiting. Waiting for the first move of a belligerent race which could see the destruction of them all. Tensions run into overdrive, and suddenly they’re gone; but will they return?  

 

The Smell of Fear

 

Mickey was a peaceful kind of individual, and never had much time for bullies. That was before George turned up and started taking a more than passing interest in Molly. This was the catalyst for action, and something which Mickey needed to get his teeth into. 

 

The Spiders and Johnny Bailes

 

“The only thing preventing these buggers from being our size is their respiratory system. This bloody thing has lungs!” Mick Parlour’s eyes were out on stalks, as the first of Johnny’s ‘friends’ to be caught lay on the lab table.

 

A Dish Served Cold

A sudden and unprovoked attack, witnesses nowhere to be seen, and a police force seemingly powerless to act. Ben’s murder could not go unpunished, and Jessie Masoner had all the tools he needed to effect revenge.

 

The News at 1066

 In our age of high-speed satellite communication, news gathering is almost instantaneous, but for those reporting events in earlier times, weeks or even months may have passed before any details emerged. The circumstances surrounding the Norman invasion of England, if related using modern technology, may have sounded something like this.

 

Jumping to Conclusions 

 

One last cigarette and it would all be over. It had been over for a while already, but the conclusion that Gerald Richmond had jumped to was not the correct one for him. 

 

Behind Closed Doors 

 

What was the significance of the doors in Sandra Devine’s dream? She had forgotten all about them until The New York holiday brought the memory flooding back. 

 

The Sins of Emily Watson 

 

She had never considered herself to be a bad person, so what was it that was drawing Emily Watson to Daniel Thorpe when she was a happily married woman? 

 

Wishful Thinking

Dave Barrett had always been one for a good fancy dress party, but his encounter with the beautiful fairy was one which brought him unexpected consequences, and under the spotlight of the Metropolitan Police and DCI Dennis Marks.


A Cut Above the Rest 

An idyllic, peaceful setting in a Derbyshire country park is torn asunder when the bodies begin to appear. Time for the local police, and DS Chris Meade, to get their teeth into the matter.

                                          


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