Once living and pink

Sophie grabbed the dog lead and whistled… then whistled again. She went to the old chair in the lounge – Bertie’s favourite – but it was empty.

Going to the bottom of the stairs she shouted his name but there was no scamper of feet, no clink of his collar tag.

“Bertie!” she called again, clicking the end of his lead hoping the noise would entice him, but there was still no sign.

Remembering she’d left the back door open, she headed out to the garden.

Looking around there was no sign of him until she noticed a small shower of earth in the far corner by her vegetable patch.

“Bertie!” she yelled as a mud-caked dog muzzle appeared from behind a tree. “What are you doing?”

He plodded towards her, holding something in his mouth, then stopped a couple of feet away.  Dropping his prize on the ground he wagged his tail madly and barked, waiting for gratitude.

Sophie looked down at the ground then screamed as she realised that the object had once been a living, and probably very pink, human hand.


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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.