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Tall And True Short Reads

Tall And True Short Reads

Author: Robert Fairhead

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Tall And True Short Reads is an audio fiction podcast featuring original short stories from TallAndTrue.com, written and narrated by your host, Robert Fairhead.

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16 Episodes
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The Choice

The Choice

2021-02-2705:07

We hit the road at sunrise. Anna complained while packing the bikes in the pre-dawn dark. But we had to make up for the kilometres we'd lost yesterday to punctures and her mishap. Our reward was a crimson landscape when the sun breached the horizon. I rode ahead, and Anna fell behind, as usual.The Choice is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides an insight into the story, which he wrote for Furious Fiction in January 2021.The show notes include links to The Choice on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Support the podcast: supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-readsWriter's Insight into The ChoiceThe Choice was my new year entry for the Australian Writers' Centre's monthly short story writing competition, Furious Fiction. The brief for January 2021 was that: • Each story had to BEGIN AT SUNRISE• Use the words SIGNATURE, PATIENT, and BICYCLE• And include a character who has to make a CHOICE.The plot and characters for the story came to me very fast while walking my dog, similar to my December 2020 Furious Fiction entry, The Gift. I decided on a middle-aged couple on a bike tour that goes awry. I wrote it as a two-hander, with Frank and Anna's voices and thoughts revealing a shorthand tale of the ride and their life together.The sunrise start was an easy decision. The choice at the end was more difficult, and I leave it to the reader to imagine what Anna decided to do with Frank’s life support.As for the words in the Furious fiction brief, I like playing with positioning them in my short stories. And this time I held off using the words until the final paragraph - did you hear them?I hope you enjoyed your short ride with The Choice. You can read this and all my short stories and other writing at TallAndTrue.com.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, check your feed for earlier episodes.Don’t forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website. And please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. Read The Choice at tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/the-choice.Podcast Theme and Podcast Sound EffectsRoyalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:Bicycle wheel: https://freesound.org/people/Jagielka/sounds/486428/Acast Podcast Supporter Page See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Classroom Conservation

Classroom Conservation

2021-02-1505:09

My class had a lesson on "conservation" at school today. Miss said it's where people reuse old things or use new things more thoughtfully. Or do stuff differently to stop using up the Earth's resources. She said conservation is important because our planet is sick, and we need to help make it healthy again.Classroom Conservation is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides a writer’s insight into the story, which he wrote in England in 1992.The show notes include links to Classroom Conservation on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Support the podcast: supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-readsWriter's Insight into Classroom ConservationI wrote Classroom Conservation when I was living in England in 1992. Looking back at my 1992 diary, it was a productive year for me writing-wise. In addition to this short story, I wrote many other stories for magazines and writing competitions. One of these was A Moving Sculpture, which I've shared on Tall And True and narrated for the Tall And True Short Reads podcast.I also wrote a radio play and a couple of travel pieces. And I even submitted a job application to be a research writer for the Rough Guide to Singapore and Malaysia!My writer's life during this period was up and down emotionally. I experienced the highs of finishing and submitting a piece of writing and the lows of rejection letters. And at times, it was a lonely existence. I wrote about this in two Tall And True blog posts: Days of Gentle Rejections and Writing Can Be Lonely.Classroom Conservation was written for a BBC Radio 4 environmental program, Costing the Earth, which is still in production. I enjoyed writing the story and exploring a schoolchild's perspective on conservation.But it's a shame that almost 30 years on many do not heed the teacher's message: "Our planet is sick, and we need to help make it healthy again."I hope you enjoyed this story and got some ideas about conservation. You can read Classroom Conservation and all my short stories and other writing at TallAndTrue.com.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, check your feed for earlier episodes.Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don’t forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.Read Classroom Conservation at tallandtrue.com.au/childrens/classroom-conservation.Podcast Theme and Podcast Sound EffectsRoyalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:Classroom: https://freesound.org/people/craigsmith/sounds/480708/Kids laughing: https://freesound.org/people/Ben%20Keaton/sounds/430815/Clock ticking: https://freesound.org/people/gecop/sounds/522119/School bell: https://freesound.org/people/13FPanska_Stranska_Michaela/sounds/378394/Acast Podcast Supporter Page See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Gift

The Gift

2021-02-0405:00

"Happy anniversary, Darl." My blank look doesn't wipe the smile from his face. "It's our double anniversary, remember?" he prompts, presenting me with a single red rose. "Nine months since the party and six months since you moved in." My nan taught me to tell the truth. "Of course I remember," I lie.The Gift is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides an insight into the story, which he wrote for Furious Fiction in December 2020.The show notes include links to The Gift on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Support the podcast: supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-readsWriter's Insight into The GiftThe Gift was my December 2020 entry for the Australian Writers' Centre's monthly short story competition, Furious Fiction. The 500-word story for December the had to: • Include a GIFT of some kind• Open with a first sentence containing only THREE words• And use the words PALM, MATCH and ROSE.The email with the competition brief from the Writers’ Centre arrived on the afternoon of Friday 4th. And I had 55 hours to write my short story before the midnight deadline on Sunday 6th. But as I later tweeted, I “wrote” it while walking my dog that Friday evening. By the time I got home, I had fleshed out the characters and plot and ticked off the criteria. All I had to do was get the words out of my head and into my computer. Yes, there were the usual edits and tweaks. However, The Gift was one of (if not the!) most fully-formed story I’ve ever written in such a short time frame. And I submitted it 12 hours before the deadline.I hope you enjoyed my furiously written short story. Did you hear the words PALM, MATCH and ROSE, and did you guess the GIFT? You can read this and all my short stories and other writing at TallAndTrue.com.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, check your feed for earlier episodes.Don’t forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website. And please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. Read The Gift at tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/the-gift.Podcast Theme and Podcast Sound EffectsRoyalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:Male laughter: https://freesound.org/people/Eneasz/sounds/119459/Female laughter: https://freesound.org/people/sagetyrtle/sounds/33658/Party background voices: https://freesound.org/people/dbspin/sounds/396684/Footsteps on wooden floor: https://freesound.org/people/Anthousai/sounds/398782/News jingle: https://freesound.org/people/Tuben/sounds/272044/Champagne cork: https://freesound.org/people/ultradust/sounds/166923/Clock ticking-alarm: https://freesound.org/people/gecop/sounds/522119/Door closing: https://freesound.org/people/sgcardinal/sounds/395753/Acast Podcast Supporter Page See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Al-Rabie Hotel

The Al-Rabie Hotel

2021-01-2505:23

The photograph is gloomy, and the colours are fading. But it was twenty-five years ago. I'm sitting in the high-ceilinged inner courtyard of the Al-Rabie Hotel in Old Damascus, catching up my travel journal. My wife calls out from the first floor. I stop writing, look up and wave for the camera.The Al-Rabie Hotel is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides an insight into the story, which he wrote for Furious Fiction in November 2020, based on an encounter he had at the Al-Rabie in Damascus in 1995.The show notes include links to The Al-Rabie Hotel on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Support the podcast: supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-readsWriter's Insight into The Al-Rabie HotelThe Al-Rabie Hotel is the short story I wrote in November 2020 for the Australian Writers' Centre's monthly Furious Fiction writing competition. For November, the 500-word story:• Had to take place at a HOTEL• Include a PHOTOGRAPH• And the words: COLLAR, GLOOMY, POLICE, RHYTHM, and SAPPHIRE.I was working on a travel piece when the brief arrived, based on ten days I spent backpacking in Syria in 1995. In addition to my travel journal from that period, I had pulled out photos to use in the piece. And one was of me sitting in the courtyard of the Al-Rabie Hotel in Damascus.My journal had an entry about meeting a well-travelled American in the hotel courtyard, whom I'd described as a "know-all". But I’d also noted we had a good conversation when I steered it towards "subjects on which he had knowledge as opposed to those where he had an opinion".There was also an entry about another traveller who had offered to write a letter for me to give a hotel manager in Amman, Jordan, to claim a book he'd left for safekeeping. I used the photo and journal entries to create a mystery short story set in the Al-Rabie Hotel. As for the words from the brief, did you hear them in the story? Here’s a tip: I used each word once.I'll leave it to your imagination what Klaus's envelope may have contained. However, it’s worth mentioning, the black market and security forces were ever-present during my time in Syria in 1995.I hope you enjoyed your sho rt stay at the Al-Rabie Hotel. You can read the short story and my travel piece on Syria, Syrians Love Peace, at TallAndTrue.com.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, please check your feed to listen to earlier short stories.Don’t forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website. And please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it on your favourite listening app. Read The Al-Rabie Hotel at tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/the-al-rabie-hotel.Also, my travel piece on Syria, Syrians Love Peace: tallandtrue.com.au/travel/syrians-love-peace.Podcast Theme and Podcast Sound EffectsRoyalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:Woman’s voice: https://freesound.org/people/pyro13djt/sounds/365613/Birdsong: https://freesound.org/people/Dre83/sounds/180876/Fountain: https://freesound.org/people/Tritus/sounds/202915/Loud voices: https://freesound.org/people/PhonosUPF/sounds/488163/Acast Podcast Supporter Page See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Her

Her

2021-01-1005:15

It’s a warm, sunny day and I'm strolling along Brighton Promenade during my lunch break. Seagulls are circling and squawking, and sunlight shimmers on the blue-green English Channel. I look away from the bright horizon and see her walking towards me. Twenty metres and twenty years separate us.“Her” is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides an insight into the story, which he wrote in England in 1992.The show notes include links to “Her” on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Support the podcast: supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-readsWriter's Insight into “Her”I was living in England in 1992 when I had a dream that felt so real it reminded me of the 3rd Century BC Chinese philosopher, Chuang Chou.One night, Chou dreamed he was a butterfly, “fluttering hither and thither, enjoying itself to the full of its bent”, unaware he was Chou.When Chou awoke, he was himself again. But after that, he observed, “I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.”I've never dreamed of being a butterfly. But I have had vivid dreams of flying (unaided), sitting on a bus (naked), and standing dumbstruck on a stage (because I didn't learn my lines). And I've also dreamed of visits from departed family and friends, even a dear old dog. The experience always feels real and evokes real emotions.It was the same for my dream 1992. When I woke, I was confused about where I was and whether what I had dreamed had happened. Was it a dream or a memory? At the time, I was experimenting with form in my writing. And I used the dream to write “Her”. It's part reality, I lived and worked in Brighton, and part fiction. I was thirty when I wrote “Her” and any relationship from twenty years ago would have been a school ground romance. But mostly, “Her” is a surreal interpretation of my vivid dream.It's unlikely Chou was a butterfly who dreamed he was a philosopher. And I’ve never followed an old flame into the English Channel. I hope you enjoyed my short dream. Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don’t forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, please check your feed to make sure you haven’t missed any of the earlier short stories.Read “Her” at tallandtrue.com.au/microfiction/her.Podcast Theme and Podcast Sound EffectsRoyalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:Seagulls: https://freesound.org/people/plantmonkey/sounds/377107/Shingles: https://freesound.org/people/dickiedrummer/sounds/368390/Crowded beach: https://freesound.org/people/Sheyvan/sounds/476099/Waves: https://freesound.org/people/amholma/sounds/376802/Underwater: https://freesound.org/people/SRJA_Gaming/sounds/545205/Acast Podcast Supporter Page See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Escape to the Beach

Escape to the Beach

2020-12-2204:47

The golden sand squeaks in protest as Megan presses her body more firmly into the beach towel. A gentle breeze carries a salty scent and chills the sweat glistening on her sun-toasted skin, as gulls crawk and waves break in a relaxing rhythm. Megan licks her lips and sighs. And then a phone rings.Escape to the Beach is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides an insight into the story which he wrote in 1991.The show notes include links to Escape to the Beach on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Support the podcast: supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-readsWriter's Insight into Escape to the BeachI wrote a version of Escape to the Beach in 1991, when I lived in England, as the entry requirement for a local tutor-led writers' circle.The tutor panned my short story as "too vague". And looking back, it was vague and flowery and had an unbelievable premise. In the original version, the forsaken wife, Megan, had remotely dispatched her philandering husband, Edward, by using medieval magic, which she had studied at evening classes! Setting aside the silly storyline, almost thirty years on, I still loved the contrast between Megan's dream and her response to the phone call. And so I re-worked my short story, and with middle-aged insight, added her desire to shut out reality and escape to the beach.I hope you enjoyed Escape to the Beach. Please subscribe to the short story podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, please check your feed to make sure you haven’t missed any of the earlier episodes.Read Escape to the Beach at tallandtrue.com.au/microfiction/escape-to-the-beach.Podcast Theme and Podcast Sound EffectsRoyalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 'Pastorale' – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:Seagulls: https://freesound.org/people/plantmonkey/sounds/377107/Waves: https://freesound.org/people/amholma/sounds/376802/Phone ringing: https://freesound.org/people/robotjay/sounds/275163/Switch: https://freesound.org/people/EricsSoundschmiede/sounds/457410/Phone hung-up:  https://freesound.org/people/DrNI/sounds/164035/Acast Podcast Supporter Page See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Cruise Ship

The Cruise Ship

2020-12-1304:54

Should have done this years ago. But don't tell Pearl I said that because she's been on at me for ages to do a cruise. I kept telling her I didn't want to be stuck on a floating hotel with a bunch of strangers. I'd rather spend our holidays towing a caravan around Australia, where I know the score.The Cruise Ship is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides an insight into the story, which he wrote for Furious Fiction in September 2020.The show notes include links to The Cruise Ship on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Support the podcast: supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-readsWriter's Insight into The Cruise ShipI wrote The Cruise Ship in September 2020 for Furious Fiction, a monthly 500-word short story competition run by the Australian Writers' Centre. September’s brief was:• The story had to be inspired by the photo of a ship deck• Begin with the letters SHO• And include the words SCORE, SLICE, SPRINKLE, STAMP and SWITCH.The ship deck photo had me thinking of cruise ships, and that led me to write another COVID inspired story, based loosely on the Ruby Princess debacle in Sydney, in March 2020. I know someone who travelled on that cruise with his wife. And while thankfully neither of them got sick, his Facebook photos of the Captain’s farewell party made it look like a germ factory, even without coronavirus! The letters SHO gave me the first word SHOULD, as in, “Should have done this years ago.” As for the other words, did you hear them in the story? Each is mentioned once and in the order, SCORE, SLICE, SPRINKLE, STAMP and SWITCH.The 55-hour submission deadline for the #FuriousFiction competition ends at midnight on the first Sunday of the month. Although I had a fair idea of what I wanted to write, thanks to the usual weekend duties and distractions, and inevitable short story edits, I submitted my September entry with only one last furious minute left on the clock!I hope you enjoyed this short journey with The Cruise Ship. Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, please check your feed to make sure you haven’t missed any of the earlier episodes.Read The Cruise Ship at tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/the-cruise-ship.Podcast Theme and Podcast Sound EffectsRoyalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 'Pastorale' – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:Ship horn: https://freesound.org/people/monotraum/sounds/208714/Seagulls: https://freesound.org/people/plantmonkey/sounds/377107/Bar ambience: https://freesound.org/people/lunchmoney/sounds/380200/Bottles chinking: https://freesound.org/people/LampEight/sounds/259671/Slot machine jackpot: https://freesound.org/people/JoannaLuna/sounds/448842/Dance music: https://freesound.org/people/cgoulao/sounds/431538/Waves: https://freesound.org/people/amholma/sounds/376802/Acast Podcast Supporter Page See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Splendid Views

Splendid Views

2020-11-3004:46

The trip app listed the hotel as an "Exotic Getaway" with "Splendid Views". After the year-long anxiety of COVID-19 and lockdowns, it looked perfect. I tapped BOOK on my phone, entered my credit card details, and texted Sally: "Pack the bags. We're off to the mountains for the weekend."Splendid Views is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides an insight into the story, which he wrote for Furious Fiction in August 2020.The show notes include links to Splendid Views on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Support the podcast: supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-readsWriter's Insight into Splendid ViewsI wrote Splendid Views in August 2020 for Furious Fiction, a monthly short story competition run by the Australian Writers' Centre. The brief for August was that the 500-word story had to contain HUMOUR, and include the words DIZZY, EXOTIC, LUMPY, TINY and TWISTED. And a SANDWICH.Much of my writing contains humour, so I thought this would be the easiest part of the brief. However, I soon discovered the difference between doing something naturally, say writing a humorous scene, and being forced to think about a punchline. Also, having written four previous Furious Fiction entries in and around lockdown, I wanted to set this story in a more joyous post-COVID time.Thankfully, the idea of an exotic weekend away in the mountains and "Fawlty Towers" false advertising about splendid views came to my rescue. And offered an alternative use for SANDWICH! As for the other words from the brief, did you hear them in the story?I hope you enjoyed Splendid Views. Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads, The Cruise Ship, will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, check your feed to make sure you haven’t missed any of the earlier episodes.Read Splendid Views at tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/splendid-views.Podcast Theme and Podcast Sound EffectsRoyalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 'Pastorale' – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:Text message notification: https://freesound.org/people/katjajansen1997/sounds/538006/Driving car interior: https://freesound.org/people/devy32/sounds/439252/Keys jangling: https://freesound.org/people/anational/sounds/443956/Female laughter: https://freesound.org/people/sagetyrtle/sounds/33658/Male laughter: https://freesound.org/people/Eneasz/sounds/119459/Opening curtains: https://freesound.org/people/BiancaDrey/sounds/543570/Australian birds: https://freesound.org/people/mooncubedesign/sounds/402690/Restaurant Ambience: https://freesound.org/people/lunchmoney/sounds/380200/Bottles chinking: https://freesound.org/people/jawbutch/sounds/344401/Acast Podcast Supporter Page See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Dark Web

The Dark Web

2020-11-1805:02

Kevin caught the news in a chat room on the Dark Web. NASA had detected an unidentified object on a collision course with Earth. He wasn't surprised NASA had kept the news secret from the public. It was further proof of a plan by scientists and elites, backed by billionaires, to create a new world order.The Dark Web is a short story from TallAndTrue.com, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides a writer’s insight into the story, which he wrote for #FuriousFiction in October 2020.The show notes include links to The Dark Web on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Support the podcast: supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-readsWriter's Insight into The Dark WebThe Dark Web was my October 2020 entry for Furious Fiction, the Australian Writers’ Centre’s monthly short story writing competition. The rules for October were:•  Each 500-word story had to include someone or something being CAUGHT•  It had to include the words: OBJECT, WOUND, BAND, and ELABORATE•  And the final two words had to be THE MOON.The final words, THE MOON, set me thinking of space and NASA and conspiracy theories. And this led me to write a story about a man who spends too much time in the dark alternate universes and truths of the internet and not enough time in the real world with his family. As for the other words, did you *catch* them in the story? If not, listen again and here’s a tip: each is only mentioned once and in the following order: CAUGHT, OBJECT, WOUND, BAND and ELABORATE. I didn't win October's #FuriousFiction. But once again, I enjoyed furiously working my imagination around the criteria and writing the short story in 55 hours, albeit a darker one than my previous entries.I hope you enjoyed The Dark Web. Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True website.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads, Splendid Views, will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, check your feed to make sure you haven’t missed any of the earlier episodes, Five Meet On Zoom, A Moving Sculpture, Too Late Lenny, A Song on the Radio, The Cat in the Trunk, and A Jittery Journey.Read The Dark Web on tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/the-dark-web.Podcast Theme Music and Sound EffectsRoyalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 'Pastorale' – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:Glass bottle chink: https://freesound.org/people/LampEight/sounds/259671/Woman laughing: https://freesound.org/people/sagetyrtle/sounds/33658/Quarrelling voices: https://freesound.org/people/therover/sounds/463804/Pouring liquid: https://freesound.org/people/FillSoko/sounds/257957/Sipping drink: https://freesound.org/people/Sheyvan/sounds/471078/Acast Podcast Supporter Page See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
A Jittery Journey

A Jittery Journey

2020-11-0905:10

JITTERY. 16-down, “Nervous or unable to relax (7 letters)”. Loud voices in the street drown out the TV. I put down my crossword, walk to the front window and part the curtains. They're at it again, the neighbours across the way. I can see them pointing and shouting at each other under the pale street lights.A Jittery Journey is a short story from TallAndTrue.com, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides a writer’s insight into the story, which he wrote for #FuriousFiction in June 2020.The show notes include links to A Jittery Journey on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Support the podcast: supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-readsWriter's Insight into A Song on the RadioI wrote A Jittery Journey for the Australian Writers’ Centre’s monthly 500-word short story competition, #FuriousFiction, in June 2020. The FIRST and LAST WORDS of the story had to begin with a “J”, and it had to include a GAME BEING PLAYED, and the phrase MISSED THE BOAT. A crossword puzzle provided me with the perfect device for my first and last words and the game. And I used our jittery COVID-times to tell the journey of an older person living alone under lockdown, while the neighbours argue. As for missing the boat, who wouldn’t wish they’d missed boarding a “COVID Princess” cruise ship? Once again, I didn't win or make the short or long lists for Furious Fiction. But I enjoyed the challenge of writing my short story in the 55-hour deadline. And I took great comfort in the knowledge June’s winning entry also featured a crossword.I hope you enjoyed A Jittery Journey. Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True website.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads, The Dark Web, will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, check your feed to make sure you haven’t missed any of the earlier episodes, Five Meet On Zoom, A Moving Sculpture, Too Late Lenny, A Song on the Radio and The Cat in the Trunk.Read A Jittery Journey on tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/a-jittery-journey.Podcast Theme Music and Sound EffectsRoyalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 'Pastorale' – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org.Background TV: https://freesound.org/people/o_ciz/sounds/475477/Quarrelling in street and slammed door: https://freesound.org/people/therover/sounds/463804/Angry man: https://freesound.org/people/rachyray/sounds/273710/Glass bottle: https://freesound.org/people/LampEight/sounds/259671/Sips: https://freesound.org/people/Sheyvan/sounds/471078/Acast Podcast Supporter Page See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Cat in the Trunk

The Cat in the Trunk

2020-10-2616:16

Stevie was slumped on the living room sofa when his mum and dad returned home from the shops. Their raised voices drowned out the old gangster movie on the TV. “It’s junk,” Stevie’s mum snapped. “No it’s not,” his dad retorted, “it’s an antique. And a bargain. Only 30 quid!” Stevie slid down the sofa.The Cat in the Trunk is a short story from TallAndTrue.com, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides a writer’s insight into the story, which he wrote for a competition in England in the early 1990s. The show notes include links to The Cat in the Trunk on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Support the podcast: supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-readsWriter’s Insight into The Cat in the TrunkI wrote The Cat in the Trunk for a writing competition in England in the early 1990s. The short story had to be 2000-3000 words long and based on the theme Curiosity Saved the Cat.I was (and remain) fascinated by the possibilities of space-time travel, whether it be real-world, hypothetical or the stuff of dreams. Looking at my original notes, I borrowed the old travel trunk from another plot idea. In that one, the boy was transported to different places by polishing its exotic stickers. He cleaned the dust off a sphinx sticker, hopped in the trunk and ended up in Cairo.For The Cat in the Trunk, I added Stevie’s arguing parents, the gangsters and, of course, the curious cat. And though I left the dusty stickers on the trunk, they no longer set the travel destination.Did Stevie dream about Jerry and Daphne after watching the old movie on TV? Or did he travel inside the trunk to the gangster’s hotel room, in the same way as Tom-Tom had escaped to the shed? I’ll leave that to your imagination.I hope you enjoyed The Cat in the Trunk as much as Stevie enjoyed finding Tom-Tom in it. Please subscribe and rate and review the podcast via your favourite listening app. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True website.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads, A Jittery Journey, will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, check your feed to make sure you haven’t missed any of the earlier episodes, Five Meet On Zoom, A Moving Sculpture, Too Late Lenny and A Song on the Radio.Read The Cat in the Trunk on tallandtrue.com.au/childrens/example-writing-the-cat-in-the-trunk.Podcast Theme Music and Sound EffectsRoyalty-free music from Pixabay.org: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 'Pastorale' – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:TV on in Background: https://freesound.org/people/o_ciz/sounds/475477/Door Slammed: https://freesound.org/people/TiesWijnen/sounds/455540/TV Switch: https://freesound.org/people/EricsSoundschmiede/sounds/457410/Footsteps on Gravel: https://freesound.org/people/jedg/sounds/505831/“Shut-up”: https://freesound.org/people/rachyray/sounds/273710/Clunk/Thrown Tools: https://freesound.org/people/REACTORFACTORY/sounds/531831/Cat Meowing: https://freesound.org/people/UncleSigmund/sounds/246037/Loud Voices: https://freesound.org/people/PhonosUPF/sounds/488163/Trunk Lock: https://freesound.org/people/xyzr_kx/sounds/156649/Trunk Opening: https://freesound.org/people/toefur/sounds/280237/Cat Purring: https://freesound.org/people/tosha73/sounds/512223/Creaky Door: https://freesound.org/people/deleted_user_7146007/sounds/383816/Sneezes: https://freesound.org/people/macohibs/sounds/539224/Car Horns: https://freesound.org/people/craigsmith/sounds/479995/Kick/Drop Trunk: https://freesound.org/people/myluckyfeet/sounds/251648/Lit Match: https://freesound.org/people/magnuswaker/sounds/522166/Open/Close/Lock Door: https://freesound.org/people/sgcardinal/sounds/395753/Footsteps on Wooden Floor: https://freesound.org/people/Anthousai/sounds/398782/Pouring Water Into Glass: https://freesound.org/people/FillSoko/sounds/257957/Gulps of Water: https://freesound.org/people/Wizage/sounds/418853/Sips of Water: https://freesound.org/people/Sheyvan/sounds/471078/Door Knock: https://freesound.org/people/anagar/sounds/267931/Acast Podcast Supporter Page See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
A Song on the Radio

A Song on the Radio

2020-10-1105:37

Elliot parked at the side of the road close to the beach. He grabbed a brown-bagged bottle of tequila and the lemon and salt shaker he'd pinched from the restaurant where he worked as a kitchen-hand. Tie a Yellow Ribbon was on the radio and Elliot turned it up loud to hear it over the breaking waves.A Song on the Radio is a short story from TallAndTrue.com, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides a writer’s insight into the story, which he wrote for #FuriousFiction in April 2020, inspired by the Tie A Yellow Ribbon song. The show notes include links to A Song on the Radio on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Support the podcast: supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-readsCopyright notice: Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree written by Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown, recorded by Tony Orlando and Dawn, released February 1973. Writer's Insight into A Song on the RadioI wrote A Song on the Radio in April 2020 for #FuriousFiction, a monthly 500-word short story competition run by the Australian Writers' Centre. The brief for April’s story was that it had to begin on THE SIDE OF A ROAD, and include a SPLASH and the words APRON, PIGMENT, RIBBON, ICON, and LEMON, the first letters of which spell, April.A Song on the Radio was my first attempt at #FuriousFiction and it was timely because it coincided with the first full weekend of COVID-19 lockdown in Australia. As I later wrote in a Tall And True blog post on the experience, I typed in the brief and stared at it on my otherwise blank computer screen. It felt like a Rorschach test, only with words instead of inkblots. But slowly my writer's eye discerned shapes in the random pattern:A car pulls up and parks on THE SIDE OF A ROAD, near a beach. There is the SPLASH of waves on the shoreline. And a bottle of Tequila, with salt and a LEMON (lick, sip, suck). An APRON is spread on the sand. And, of course, harking back to a song on the radio from my youth, there's a yellow RIBBON, tied around an old oak tree.A pattern was forming, but who could I weave it around? The Tie a Yellow Ribbon song suggested characters and a storyline. A recently released prisoner, Elliot. In my story, Elliot's been in and out of jail and is now working as a kitchen hand (hence the apron). And the Yellow Ribbon love interest? Gail, whom Elliot met in rehab between stretches in jail.As for the remaining words in April's brief, age spots mark the skin PIGMENT of Elliot's hand, above the Tequila salt lick. And he lost contact with Gail during his last long stretch in jail, because as I wrote, "Life stands still on the inside, but not on the outside." Every morning Elliot checks his phone's message app ICON, hoping to see an overnight response to his calls and texts. But he knows life’s not a song on the radio.I hope you enjoyed A Song on the Radio as much as I enjoyed writing it for #FuriousFiction. Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True website.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads, The Cat in the Trunk, will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, check your feed to make sure you haven’t missed any of the earlier episodes.Read A Song on the Radio on tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/a-song-on-the-radio.Podcast Theme Music and Sound EffectsRoyalty free music from Pixabay.org: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 'Pastorale' – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org.Car Parking: https://freesound.org/people/ARCHIVES84/sounds/508891/Car Door: https://freesound.org/people/oscaraudiogeek/sounds/333281/Seagulls: https://freesound.org/people/plantmonkey/sounds/377107/Waves: https://freesound.org/people/amholma/sounds/376802/Gulps: https://freesound.org/people/Wizage/sounds/418853/Splash: https://freesound.org/people/swordofkings128/sounds/398032/Acast Podcast Supporter Page See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Too Late, Lenny

Too Late, Lenny

2020-10-0104:38

Between you and me, Lenny, there are more mourners at your funeral with the COVID restrictions than would have been graveside had you died before the pandemic. Streaming it over Zoom helps boost your numbers. Mind you, most of the faces on my computer screen are strangers, or I haven't seen for ages.Too Late, Lenny is a short story from TallAndTrue.com, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides a writer’s insight into the story, which he wrote for #FuriousFiction in July 2020. The show notes include links to Too Late, Lenny on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Support the podcast: supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-readsWriter's Insight into Too Late, LennyI wrote Too Late, Lenny in July 2020 for #FuriousFiction, a monthly 500-word short story competition run by the Australian Writers' Centre. The brief for July’s Furious Fiction was that the story had to take place at either a WEDDING or a FUNERAL, something had to be CUT, and it had to include the words OVER, BETWEEN, and UNDER. I set Too Late, Lenny at Lenny’s FUNERAL. Due to COVID restrictions, his funeral is streamed OVER Zoom. Our narrator, Bob, tells the tale, “BETWEEN you and me”, of his friendship with Lenny, how it had been CUT and rekindled. And the story ends with Bob watching Lenny’s coffin lowered “six-feet UNDER” via Zoom.I didn't win #FuriousFiction July, but I thoroughly enjoyed writing Too Late, Lenny. However, when I shared it on Tall And True, I changed the narrative slightly. Bob’s still our first-person narrator, but in the original version, he only addresses the reader. Revisiting the story, I thought it sounded better for Bob to speak to his old friend Lenny in the opening and closing paragraphs.I hope you enjoyed Too Late, Lenny. Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True website.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads, A Song on the Radio, will be in your podcast feed shortly.Read Too Late, Lenny at tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/too-late-lenny.Podcast Theme and Podcast Sound EffectsRoyalty free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 'Pastorale' – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org.Clock Ticking: https://freesound.org/people/FlashTrauma/sounds/398275/Cafe/Restaurant Ambience: https://freesound.org/people/lunchmoney/sounds/380200/Comedy Laughter: https://freesound.org/people/Evil_Ear_Recordings/sounds/524775/Hanging Up Phone: https://freesound.org/people/DrNI/sounds/164035/Acast Podcast Supporter Page See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
A Moving Sculpture

A Moving Sculpture

2020-09-2010:40

"And now the piece de resistance," the old Colonel announced, leading his younger guest to a sunlit garden. "What do you think?" he enquired, waving his walking stick at the garden's centrepiece. There stood a life-size marble sculpture of a man and woman, hands caressing each other, lips fused in a kiss.A Moving Sculpture is a short story from TallAndTrue.com, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides a writer’s insight into the story, which he wrote in England in 1992. The show notes include links to A Moving Sculpture on Tall And True and the podcast's theme music and sound effects.Support the podcast: supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-readsWriter's Insight into A Moving SculptureI wrote A Moving Sculpture in 1992 when I lived in England. Looking through my original notes, I can't find the reason why I wrote it. Perhaps I just came up with the idea and explored where it took me?Initially, the young protagonist, Toby Evans, was a journalist for a socialist magazine, researching an undercover story on landed gentry. But around this time in the UK, several stately homes were robbed, having been cased beforehand. And I thought this was a more likely scenario for Evans’s visit to the Old Colonel and the Manor House.The story doesn’t explain the supernatural springing to life of the garden sculpture’s marble figures — I leave that to the reader’s imagination. Though years later, when I saw the Weeping Angels episode on Doctor Who, I did wonder about Eve's intent!I hope you enjoyed A Moving Sculpture. Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True website.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads, Too Late Lenny, will be in your podcast feed shortly.Read A Moving Sculpture at tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/a-moving-sculpture.Podcast Theme Music and Sound EffectsRoyalty-free music from Pixabay.org: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 'Pastorale' – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org.Walking on gravel driveway: https://freesound.org/people/775noise/sounds/494571/Finger Tap: https://freesound.org/people/pikachu09/sounds/204605/Bell: https://freesound.org/people/WebbFilmsUK/sounds/200318/Outgoing call: https://freesound.org/people/aldenb4610/sounds/348584/Phone pickup: https://freesound.org/people/MootMcnoodles/sounds/444399/Pouring water into glass: https://freesound.org/people/FillSoko/sounds/257957/Owl hoot: https://freesound.org/people/Breviceps/sounds/465697/Squeaky hinge: https://freesound.org/people/Breviceps/sounds/515289/Shovel dropped on concrete: https://freesound.org/people/jackofall29/sounds/503756/Acast Podcast Supporter Page See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Five Meet On Zoom

Five Meet On Zoom

2020-09-1005:05

FIVE logged onto their first Zoom meeting. "Right-o, can everyone hear and see me?" asked Julian, who, as the leader, had scheduled the meeting and emailed invites, with help from his clever-clogs cousin, George.Five Meet On Zoom is a short story from TallAndTrue.com, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of the episode, Robert provides a writer’s insight into the story, inspired by Enid Blyton, which he wrote for #FuriousFiction in May 2020. The show notes include links to Five Meet On Zoom on Tall And True and the podcast theme music.Support the podcast: supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-readsWriter's Insight into Five Meet On ZoomI wrote Five Meet On Zoom for #FuriousFiction, a monthly short story writing competition run by the Australian Writers' Centre, in May 2020.Held on the first weekend of the month, writers have 55 hours to write a 500-word story based on a brief set by the Writers’ Centre.For #FuriousFiction May, the first word of the story had to be FIVE, and it had to include something “being replaced” and the phrase “a silver lining”.My boyhood love of Enid Blyton's Famous Five books inspired Five Meet On Zoom. And our socially isolated times, where it seems everyone is meeting via Zoom, even the family dog.Julian, struggling with technology and lockdown, hands his leadership role to his “clever clogs cousin”, George.And on replacing Julian as the leader of future Zoom meetings, George comments to Timmy-the-dog, "Perhaps there is a silver lining to this wretched virus?"I didn't win, nor make the short or long lists for the May competition. But I had fun with Five Meet On Zoom, especially as on the same furious weekend of writing, I wrote a blog post about my first #FuriousFiction in April (Tall And True, May 2020).Perhaps as George observed, there is a silver lining to the coronavirus lockdown? More time to write!I hope you enjoyed Five Meet On Zoom. Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True website.The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads, A Moving Sculpture, will be in your podcast feed shortly.Read Five Meet On Zoom at tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/five-meet-on-zoom.Podcast Theme MusicRoyalty-free music from Pixabay.org: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 'Pastorale' – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.Acast Podcast Supporter Page See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Tall And True Short Reads is an audio fiction podcast featuring original short stories from TallAndTrue.com, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead. At the end of each episode, Robert provides a writer’s insight into the story, why and how he wrote it.Support the podcast: supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-readsWriter's InsightMy name is Robert Fairhead, and I'm your podcast host and narrator. I've always loved reading and writing and wrote and self-published my first book, Sand Island, an Enid Blyton-Famous Five-style adventure story, in 1972, when I was ten-years-old.I’m now a middle-aged writer and editor at the Tall And True website, an online showcase and forum for writers, readers and publishers. In addition to Tall And True, my book reviews and other writing have appeared in various print and online publications. And in 2020, I published a collection of short stories titled, Both Sides of the Story.All of the stories on Tall And True Short Reads were written by me and are shared online at TallAndTrue.com. Some explore recent themes, like lockdown and social isolation. While others from the Tall And True archive, are set in more distant times.At the end of each episode, I give a brief background into the writing of the story, which should be of interest to podcast listeners and fellow-writers.I hope you enjoy Tall And True Short Reads. Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don't forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True website.Thank you for now. The first episode of Tall And True Short Reads, another Enid Blyton inspired short story, Five Meet on Zoom, will be in your podcast feed shortly.Podcast Theme MusicRoyalty free music from Pixabay: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 'Pastorale' – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.Acast Podcast Supporter Page See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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