Housecarl (short story)

Useless Book Club


Saxon Story #1

Breya let the armful of empty tankards she had been carrying clatter down onto the scuffed oak work surface at the back of the mead hall. With thick, calloused hands she straightened out the creases on her bright woolen skirts.

The housecarl stood in the doorway, letting the brittle wooden boards slam closed behind him. His eyes roamed through the crowd of patrons. Grizzled men old and young bundled beneath hooded cloaks and thick tunics let the clamor of a few moments before lull into silence.

Their harsh, pockmarked faces stared up at the newcomer. They wore expressions which were sufficiently hostile to convey a sense that he was not welcome, without inviting open violence.

This was the crucial moment. If the bearded housecarl with the shield across his back and sword on his hip saw the emblem of a rival house or the face of a…

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Zero Seconds (short story)

Useless Book Club


Lights Out #1

I had been waiting many years for that night. They were not short years either. Each one seemed to be dragging not past me, but over me. Time pinned me beneath the crushing weight of expectation.

I was waiting in my flat. You remember, I am sure, when we used to live in those buildings which reached up and seemed to touch the sky. Each person had their own little shell of brick and mortar to call home. I think you must remember soft mattresses and warm beds. I think you must still dream of them sometimes when you are lying in the dirt with your bones rattling against the cold.

I should not have been frightened that night because I was not alone. None of us were alone because we were all waiting together. Imagine every man, woman and child in the entire world catching their…

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Broken Journey (short story)

Useless Book Club

Pocket watch

Warlock #1

Owen kicked his feet up onto the seat opposite him. He knew it was against the rules but his trainers were clean, so it did not really matter. The businesswoman at the table across the aisle made a sound of disapproval in her throat.

He was on the new high-speed rail link out of London, heading towards his new boarding school, his new life.

Towards the end of the summer holiday, his parents had stopped arguing as much. At first, he thought it was a good sign. Clearly the fact that they shouted less meant that they were happier.

Owen was partly right. They were happier because they had finally found something to agree on. Their divorce would go through during his first term. That was a blessing for them and a curse for him. They had tried persuading Owen that it meant he would have twice as…

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A Writer's Life for Me

No one went outside at night. No one but Vesper. Spectres roamed the streets after sunset, deadly to all who came into contact with them. Vesper liked the night and the ghosts had ruined it for him. Since they had risen from the river, there was nothing to do; no bars opened and people dared not open their doors past dusk.

Vesper stalked the apparitions from the rooftops, following their purposeless tracks around the city. Their outlines were humanoid, but they seemed incapable of communication. Twice, they had followed him up staircases, but ladders were beyond them and when he had leapt from the roof of one building to the next, they had fallen, leaving a shimmering, fibrous mass on the pavement.

By sunrise, most returned to the river, melting into its depths. Some oozed into the storm drains. Vesper set traps, blocking their exits from alleyways and watching them…

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The Fair Folk of Galway

Here is a wonderful tale by Meg Sorick!

Meg Sorick, Author/Artist

Along time ago, before Fergus the giant lived on the West Coast of Ireland, and before there were men in that land, a race of fair folk populated the island. They were tiny folk, about half the size of a man. They had pale eyes, either blue or green, and hair the color of spun gold. They had learned to be quick and clever for at that time, wolves and bears still roamed the land.

The fair folk were good at living off the land. They knew which berries were good for food and which ones were poisonous. The same was true with the mushrooms and tubers that grew in the forest. In fact, the folk were so good at it, they didn’t need to plant crops. They trapped wild fowl and hare and fished in the sea and foraged in the woods and the meadows for the vegetation that…

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Vikingr Prologue

Vikingr Prologue

Useless Book Club

Cover 2

-Vikingr now has a prologue, so here it is!-

Erikr felt his eyes dart to and fro in their desperation to avoid the ghastly sight. He heard the incessant throb of his heart pounding in his ears. He could not understand what he was seeing, unable to make sense of it.

Looking down at his arms, it seemed like they were wrapped in crimson gauntlets. Thick blood clung to his skin, crusting around his arm hair and running down between his fingers.

He tore his gaze away from the mangled thing on the ground and blinked at the sudden, harsh sunlight. Hot tears stung in his eyes, breaking the fierce glare into many blinding rays of light.

Looking away achieved nothing. The image of what lay at his feet remained like a horrific tapestry hanging at the front of his mind. It was a savaged pile of flesh, carved and…

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Death Row Express (short story)

Useless Book Club

Books HD

Here’s a short story by guest writer K. B.

“You’ll be put on death-row express.”

“I’ll be put on what?”

“Death row express, death row but more express. Expressly death row. No need for any extra faffing here!”

“I haven’t been charged with anything, why exactly am I being sent anywhere?”

“Well, we’ve had a look at your total life achievements and find them underwhelming. So we’ve decided this is best for everyone involved.” This came from the somewhat portly gentleman sat next to the man who declared the sentence.

“So, you’re telling me that not only is this meeting not to discuss the photocopy incident, but that I’m to be put to death?”

“Don’t be so melodramatic. No one’s being put to death, there’s far too much paperwork involved in that. Not to mention those pesky human rights activists… You mentioned a photocopy incident. Care to elaborate?”

You can…

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