• Short Stories

    Wibbly Wobbly Oak Tree

    Wibbly Wobbly Oak Tree


    © Peter L. Barnes 12th June 2019


    Victoria sat under the ancient oak, enjoying the warmth of the summer sunrise, marvelling at the twisted, turning boughs above her head. A gentle breeze rustled the bright green leaves, swinging the outstretched boughs about, like an upside-down octopus.

    Something dropped into her lap, and opening her eyes, expecting to find a fallen twig, she marvelled at the exquisite flower laying there. A pale pink flower lay on her dress, dotted with a pink pattern, drawing her eyes to the long bright stamen topped with a purple head.

    “Oh, how lovely.”

    A shadow loomed over her.

    “Morning princess,” said an instantly familiar voice.

    Looking up, she recognised the expected figure of Thomas, son of the head gardener, the sun forming a halo around his head and twinkling in his unruly mop of golden hair.

    “Step away from the sun or I shall freeze.”

    Thomas stood to the side.

    “Thank you for my morning flower, Thomas,” she said. “You know I love the rhododendrons.”

    “They are particularly beautiful this year,” said Thomas. “Sadly, it will be the last I’ll bring you.”

    “Why, has the tree died?”

    “No, my father has been transferred to your father’s estate in Scotland.”

    “That’s terrible,” said Victoria. “Who will I talk to each morning?”

    “I think our little talks are part of the reason.”

    “I don’t understand.”

    “Lord Stanstead feels that we have become too close over the years.”

    “But there’s no-one else to talk to here,” said Victoria. “We are so far away from everything.”

    “And everyone,” said Thomas.

    “I will be bereft without you,” said Victoria, trying not to cry. “I have learnt so much from you about the plants and animals.”

    “But I do think it’s for the best,” said Thomas.

    “No, it’s not,” said Victoria, standing up and brushing the grass off her dress. “I’m going to talk to father right now.”

    “Pleased don’t do that Victoria,” said Thomas. “Otherwise he might fire my father and then we’ll become destitute.”

    “Oh, I hadn’t thought of that,” said Victoria. “But we’ll still keep in touch, yes?”

    “Of course, I’ll send you letters when I can,” said Thomas. “You’re reading and writing lessons won’t be wasted.”

    “Are you leaving today?”

    “I’m afraid so. Bye.”

    “No hugs then?”

    Thomas looked up at the window of the mansion on the hill to see two faces watching them closely. “I don’t think that’s wise.”

    Victoria gazed after his disappearing form, as he slowly made his way down to the farmhouse and out of her life. If he did write then they were intercepted by her parents and she was worried that if she did bring the subject up, it would have repercussions for Thomas.

    You will have to wait for the short story book to read the rest, sorry but copywrite doesn’t seem to be honoured these days


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  • Short Stories

    The Smart Dragon

    The Smart Dragon

    Copywrite Peter L. Barnes

    A slightly Corny story, but then do Dragons get corns?

    Trying to keep up with her classmates.

    Thank goodness she had been allowed to join the class, although the teasing that she was a ‘bit of a dragon’ in on-line posts, was a bit hard to take. She wasn’t a bit of a dragon; she was a full-blown dragon.

    The main reason that Georgiana had been accepted into the school in the first place was because she had been orphaned at an early age, too many Georges and ‘Game of Thrones’ fans having taken their toll.

    Seating arrangements had been a bit of a problem, but fortunately as a ‘special needs child’ they had been given a grant for a metal desk, instead of the usual wooden units. Typing wasn’t a problem as she had her own computer and clawboard. The screen saver was just that, a steel shutter that dropped like a guillotine in front of the screen, if there was any hint of a fire.

    She used the Dragonet for all her homework, and Tinder to try and connect to other dragons. Who on earth thought that Tinder was a good name for lonely dragons? And anyway, swiping left and right across her smart phone had ruined many a screen, she was thinking of going to court to force manufactures to improve them. Surely, it was against her dragon rights to have to spend so much money on new phones.

    The school was having their annual Christmas play this year and the teacher, Mr Johnston, who acted as the producer, had tried to find a part for her, but this was proving very difficult despite Georgiana’s obvious acting skills. Apparently, there wasn’t a dragon in the bible and Mr Johnson really didn’t think her donkey impression was going down well, something about straw being a fire hazard.

    “Life isn’t fair,” she said to Mr Johnson.

    “Well I’m sorry but I didn’t write the story,” he said. “Maybe next year we’ll do George and the drag… What??” as Georgiana growled at him.

    “And there’s no need to do dog impressions either, this is not a ‘dog in the manger’ story.”

    “Sorry but I’m a bit frustrated at the moment.”

    You’ll have to buy the book once published to read more


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  • Short Stories

    Chorizo, the Chocolate Dragon

    Chorizo, the Chocolate Dragon

    © Peter G Barnett (aka Peter L. Barnes)


    I met my Dragon on the way grandma’s house, well not my Dragon as such. It was flitting between the trees trying to look frightening, without much success. Chameleons are great at blending into the background but this Dragon had it all wrong. Red where there should be green and green where red leaves should hide her.

    “Come here you silly Dragon, you can’t hide from me.”

    “But I’m good at changing colour.”

    “Yes, but only changing to the wrong ones.”


    “Here, look at this,” said Melissa, pulling out some Ishihara charts, which she always took in her handbag. “What number do you see?”


    “Wrong,” said Melissa. “And this one?”


    “I thought so, you’re colour blind,” she said. “I suppose we should introduce ourselves, I’m Melissa.


    “Bless you.”

    “No Chorizo, the chocolate dragon.”

    “Chorizo isn’t a chocolate.”

    “Tell my dad that,” said Chorizo. “I had all the Italian lads chasing me with knives and forks.”

    “How horrid.”

    “I got my own back as I let off a few fire bursts.”

    “So why are you skulking around the woods?”

    “The other dragons mock me because of my short nose. So, don’t you rub my nose in it as well.”

    “What, your short nose,” said Melissa, ducking, as a puff of fire squirted from Chorizo’s nostrils.

    “Now, now, just a tease,” apologised Melissa. “Is there a reason for it being so short?”

    “You don’t know much about Dragon Law, do you?”

    “Well I do actually, it goes back to Baden Powell days, something about doing a good deed makes your nose grow.”

    “Yes, Pinocchio had it all wrong. Anyway, I’m waiting for a good deed to come along.”

    “I think you’ll find that good deeds hardly present themselves,” said Melissa. “You probably have to go out and find them.”

    “Would you help me?”

    “I’ll do what I can.”

    “Why are you off to see your grandmother?”

    “She’s got some baskets for me for the grand Easter Egg hunt.”

    “Can I help?”

    “I don’t see why not but don’t scare Gran with your big teeth.”

    Melissa knocked on Gran’s thick oak door, freshly polished and smelling of Lavender. “Friends here Gran.”

    “Melissa do come in but leave that sneaky Dragon outside.”

    “He’s fine, only a little misunderstood.”

    “Your baskets are in the corner,” said Gran. “What have you brought me today?”

    “I’ve picked some lovely berries and some chestnuts.”


    “Not yet, do you want Chorizo to roast them for you?”

    “Yes please, but put them in the grate first, I don’t want a fire.”

    You’ll have to buy the book once published to read more


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  • Short Stories

    Unicorn in the Attic

    Unicorn in the Attic (A Christmas story)

    © Peter l. Barnes and Peter Barnett


    A Unicorny story.


    “Can you get the tree down, please,” called Jamie’s wife, Susan.

    Another trip up into the dusty attic, he thought. He never remembered where he had put the tree or all the lights and decorations. Christmases never lived up to their expectations since the family split up across the globe.

    He dropped the attic hatch, pulled down the ladder and climbed up. He switched on the light, which created a series of bright spots and many dark shadows. He had never explored some of the shadowy areas, not that he was worried about what he might find, in fact he imagined hidden treasures, tucked in ancient trunks. But there was still enough space in the lit areas, for some suitcases, toy boxes and old soft furnishings that they stored up here.

    Climbing up and stooping low to avoid the low beams, he began his search, sweeping the tiny torch across the humps and lumps of cloth covered boxes and small furniture discards.


    “What,” exclaimed Jamie, spinning around and hitting his head on the rafters, expecting to see her pretty head over the top of the hatch.

    “Did you say something Susan,” he called down.

    Not a peep from below.

    “That’s strange, I’m sure she called. It must be my imagination.”



    “Am I a figment of your imagination,” said the voice, from the black depths of the attic.

    “Who are you?” Jamie asked, swinging the beam of his small torch around the dark recesses.

    “Me,” said a creature, appearing out of the shadows.

    A beautiful Unicorn with a glistening golden horn in the middle of its forehead appeared from the gloom. The  exquisite Unicorn, only two foot tall, was adorned by red and blue ribbons in its perfect white mane, stood in front of Jamie, swishing its feathery tail, stirring up dust and sweeping it from the rafters.

    “Careful,” said Jamie, hiding his eyes from the perilous dust. “How did you get up here.”

    Because of copywrite in fringements, you’ll have to buy the book once published to read more.


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  • Short Stories

    The Eruption Acrylics. Short play on words

    The Eruption Acrylics.

    All that is noun of the Eruption land gauge has been found from a Ceres of marks and punt uration on a Rose Petal Stone, found by a conqueror called Napoli Man as his troops searched for ancient replicas.

    This was a long time Before Calendars (BC) but the Stone was found 1800 years after decimalization (AD). Jean-François Champollion was a great puzzler and pretended he could read it, but he was mocked by many of his pears, so he created the Cross Word to put them in their place.

    Apparently, names were put into baffoons, which is where we get comics from, and they were called carte blanches. They had no skools and were very bad at their ABC, so they drew pictures instead.

    These people were called the Walking Dead, as they were never seen alive and many movies have been made of them. They were frightened of the dark, living in their Tomes, wrapped in sheets to prevent being swept away in the floods of the river Nail.

    Tutti Carmen was a great leader who to help them escape from their underground Tomes by building huge Pyrites, towering into the sky, with tiny shafts, to get them used to the light.

    It is no wonder that these night people were afraid of humans as they often had heads of birds or dogs and were ridiculed by the river Nail Krockodile people, who lived under psalms.

    Many mysts surround the Euruptions, especially that they were sun gods which were only misspelled when I Car Us flew too close and was frazzled, unlike the rock which survived.

    Which is why I have a fairy on top of my Christmas Tree.

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