The Room

16 02 2010

My short horror story “The Room” is up now on Tales of the Moonlit Path.

Just thought you might like to know. You know: if you’re interested…

Popping in…

27 11 2009

To point out that David Tallerman lists Crunch amongst his favourites from the recent issue of Ballista.

You can read David’s story, Feeler, and my story, Crunch, in the current and final issue of Ballista.

Story Acceptance

2 10 2009

I am delighted to shamelessly plug myself by letting you know that my story “The Room” will appear in the Valentine’s Day issue of Tales Of the Moonlit Path. This story was written some time ago and given a final tweak at last year’s Arvon course and I am thrilled it’s found a home.

While I’m at it: a quick reminder that my story “Crunch” will be appearing this year in the Autumn (and final) issue of Ballista.

Friday Flash Fiction: Endings

3 07 2009

This post has now moved. You can view it here: The precis follows:

There’s flash this week largely because I wanted to write something new but I wanted a warm up before I started. It is likely that F3 posting will continue to be a bit irregular as I need to start trying to write stuff that I have a chance of getting published elsewhere and so I’m planning to focus F3 more on story forms that only really work on the internet

This will by its nature mean that I have to be more selective about ideas and that will, in turn, take longer.

I’ll experiment to see what a likely frequency is and then let you know. For now here’s this weeks:

By Neil Beynon

I can tell their story just as easy as looking at them. Always can.

There is the woman leaning against the wall as if listening for something, only she isn’t listening. Not any more. Her purse has spilled open on the paving stones, a big chunky black Mercedes key, a mobile phone, and a note – a shopping list – flapping between her fingers in the breeze. A time written in biro on the back of her hand bearing the legend KIDS…

You can read the rest of the post here:

Friday Flash Fiction: Full Meta Jacket

23 01 2009

This post has now moved. You can read the full post here:

This week is themed on idea suggested by Gareth D Jones (altered film titles), please take time to check out excellent pieces from Shaun C Green and Gareth D Jones. No doubt there will be a full round up on Futurismic later. I hope you enjoy:


Full Meta Jacket

By Neil Beynon


I’m sitting in the small airless meeting room we use for interviews. It is stark white with no exterior window and a small pinewood table that almost fills the room. The chairs are stained with the echoes of hundreds of meetings and the blinds looking out at the reception area are closed. I do not want people to look in – it’s lunchtime and I’m writing.


Or at least I am meant to be writing. What I am actually doing is chewing my pen and wondering if this is the day it happens. If this is the day the words dry up. I write a line – “There was a man with only one eye.”

…Read the full post here:


Friday Flash Fiction: Beats

26 12 2008

This post has moved. Read the full story here:

A bit rushed today. I hope you’re all having a good Boxing Day. Here’s this week’s flash:

By Neil Beynon

It was just before dawn when he woke.

The horizon was turning the colour of hot coals as he cast his gaze out of the window at the world beyond. He’d seen sunrises before but this was different somehow, the colours were so bright against the darkness they burned his eyes. Then he remembered. Careful as to not wake the creature still sleeping in the room, its lithe body swaying gently from the ceiling, Frank gathered his few belongings and made his way down the stairs and out of the house.

The town was quiet as Frank made his way down the street to the old stone bridge. He paused, wondering if the water would try to stop him and then chastised himself for listening to old wives’ tales. He was below the view of the horizon now and everything was in shadow. If he looked up he would have seen the tops of the buildings cast in a tawny glow but he did not look up.

This post has moved. Read the full story here:

Friday Flash Fiction: Silverlight

31 10 2008

This post has moved. You can read the full post here:

Well, I promised you flash this week and flash you shall have. I think I mangled this one by drafting too much of it in my head but as ever feedback is welcome.

By Neil Beynon

Awake. Something’s wrong: my tongue feels like worn carpet, head feels like it was used to wear the carpet down. The floor is too close. The bed the wrong shape: too small, contorted and whose voice is that.

I’m in the living room, not a good sign.

I unfold from the couch, the television prattles on at me incoherently, the presenter’s monotone merging with the noise of my headache. What was I drinking last night? Where’s the bloody remote?

Something bites my foot.

I hop clutching my wounded limb, there is a piece of sharp plastic that looks like the corner of my television remote sticking our of it. As I sit down again to remove the splinter I notice the chunk of plaster missing from the wall, I should fix that…later. God damned it hurts pulling out the plastic.

This post has moved. You can read the full post here:

Friday Flash Fiction: Dick and Jane

8 08 2008

This post has now moved. You can read the full story here:

The British Fantasy Society recently sent me a copy of A Dick and Jane Primer For Adults. As the title suggests, the thread that links the stories together is that they all use the style of the American reading primers, Dick and Jane, but with stories designed for adults rather than children.

There were some really good stories in there and I wanted to have a go. The idea seemed custom built for flash.

By which I mean to convince you I haven’t gone mad by posting the story below…here goes:

Dick and Jane go to the woods
By Neil Beynon

See Dick run. See Jane run. See Dick run after Jane. See Jane cry. See Jane run and cry. See Dick chase Jane across the field.

Spot does not run. Spot does not understand. Spot watches them from the long grass. Spot sniffs. See Spot sniff. See Spot drop low in the grass. See Spot’s fur stand on end. Spot can smell something bad. There is someone else coming from the woods. See Spot bare his teeth.

See Dick and Jane run. See Dick run. See Dick’s face. See the past, gone forever and etched in eternity in young Dick’s mind:

See Dick crawling through the forest undergrowth. See Dick behind the tree. Hear the whispering. Hear the strange sounds. Hear the voice you recognise and the words you do not.

This post has now moved. You can read the full story here:

Flash Sunday

13 07 2008

A lot of things can happen in a year: I’ve visited two new countries, been published three times, become an uncle for the first time, attended my first con and made some new friends. Some of that (the writing and friends part) has been because a year ago today I decided to post a piece of Flash Fiction, a story called Shadow.

F3 was, and indeed still is, an internet meme started by the SF writer Gareth L. Powell. The idea is simple: post a piece of flash fiction on your blog, on a Friday, for free and see what happens. Well, I’m not above a good meme and this struck me as one of the most interesting that I’d seen in a long old while – I joined in. In March of this year an anthology of Friday Flash Fiction (Illuminations) was brought out, collecting stories from GLP, Paul Graham Raven, Shaun C. Green, Martin McGrath, Justin Pickard, Dan Pawley, Gareth D Jones and myself.*

Having checked my archive I see that I have actually managed to post 53 pieces of Flash over 52 Fridays only missing one week entirely (although I may have been slightly late on a couple of occasions) and so addiction may be a better way of describing it.

As is customary for marking the one year milestone here are my favourites:

1. Cliché – 3/8/2007
2. Life is a wheel – 14/9/07
3. When I was bad – 28/9/07
4. Because – 30/11/2007
5. Clockwork Songs – 28/12/2007
6. Fragments – 01/02/2008
7. After The Rain – 08/02/2008
8. Faraway – 04/04/2008
9. Pixies – 11/04/2008
10. Descent – 27/06/2008

Of course ask me on another day and you’ll get another answer. Feel free to let me know what your picks are.

* F3 participants now includes more writers including Dr Ian Hocking, Sarah Ellender, Jay Lake, Clive Birnie, Greg O’Bryne, Phred Seranissima

Friday Flash Fiction: The Climb

11 07 2008

This post has moved. The story can be read here:

Here’s this week’s entry:

The Climb
By Neil Beynon

The wall lay at the end of a long, dusty road down which he had been walking for what felt like an eternity. It was large and smooth and black like a sheet of night that had been polished. It stretched as far as the eye could see, his reflection staring back at him in silent question.

The surface was warm to the touch but relatively devoid of defect and so, at first, he tried to walk round it. After three days of walking he realised that the wall went on forever or at least as close to forever as to render this a stupid exercise. Next he tried calling over the wall in an attempt to see if he could obtain help from the other side. There was no answer.

The man did not like heights. Had disliked them since childhood when he had, quite by chance, seen a man leap to his death. The jumper had exploded leaving a crimson smear on the slate grey pavement and a green wobbly bit of indeterminate origin. He’d never forgotten it. The point being he did not undertake the climb lightly, it was not a short wall.

This post has moved. The story can be read here:


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