Archive for the ‘Free Short Stories’ Category

The Life She Wanted

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

I wrote this short story quite a few years ago in between edits of Conduct in Question. Sometimes I think that for a novelist, writing short stories can be similar to a painter making sketches for a large canvas. Have a look around the site. Enjoy.

The Life She Wanted

Martha Myles dusted the flour from her hands and wiped them on her apron. She found the beaters at the back of the kitchen drawer and pressed them into the electric mixer. Her new cookbook was propped open on the counter. With reading glasses perched on her nose, she stared at the recipe. Endless fine print ran across the page, obscuring what ought to be a simple task. (more…)

An An Act of Kindness

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

This short story is the debut of Harry Jenkins, Toronto lawyer, hero of The Osgoode Trilogy. If you like Harry, try Conduct in Question, Final Paradox and A Trial of One. Harry came into being after my practising law for thirty years in Toronto.

In his law practice, Harry Jenkins frequently visited the elderly and infirm in their homes. Occasionally, he attended upon the wealthy in their mansions. Today, he was visiting Miss Alicia Markley and her friend of many years, Sarah Carmichael. Affluence and infirmity were married in one appointment.

The Rosedale Valley road was an isolated stretch winding through a deep ravine in the centre of Toronto. Dirty slush spattered his windshield, forcing him to slow down until the wipers had cleared his view. Opening his window to clear the mist, he heard the hollow boom of traffic on the span of concrete bridge above. Forests of branches, waving against the bleak winter sky, reminded him of wild spirits fleeing the night. He checked his watch. He was already late.

The two women shared a stone house wedged between the mansions of Binscarth Road in Rosedale. Alicia had called to say they wanted to some sort of open a business. Harry thought the inquiry unusual, since both of them were well in their sixties and financially well off. Known for their charm and devotion to charity, the ladies were paragons of social propriety. Harry smiled as he tried to visualize them, sleeves rolled up and embroiled in the daily mess of business affairs. But he knew torrents, raging beneath a calm exterior, could silently foment major upheavals. Solicitors usually touched only the surface of life and remained unaware of dark currents which often guided events.

He frowned in recollection. Last year, Sarah had suddenly taken to her bed after a funeral to remain there ever since. Perhaps she had miraculously recovered. Otherwise, a business venture did seem strange. Such enquiries were often idle notions created by bored minds. Harry sighed and struggled to maintain his optimism.

He slowed down to catch the turn into Rosedale. His bleak thoughts were mirrored by the dismal February afternoon. He had seen the ladies last year at the funeral of Ronald Hobbs, city councillor. His funeral was a side-show, partially paid from the public purse. (more…)

Chapter 1 of the award winning novel, A Trial of One

Friday, July 18th, 2008

a-trial-of-one.jpgI’d like to introduce you to Norma Dinnick, an elderly client of Harry Jenkins, protagonist of The Osgoode Trilogy. Is she a sweet, vulnerable old lady in need of his protection or a criminal fraud? A Trial of One is the winner of the Literary Novel Award at Reader Views and one of six finalists in Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award to be announced at Book Expo America.

I’m going to post a number of chapters from A Trial of One, just to give you a taste of what it’s like. If you enjoy it, and I think you will, you can purchase it at just about any online bookstore.

CHAPTER ONE

Officially, Harry Jenkins’ elderly client, Norma Dinnick, had committed no crime. While she embroidered tales of murderous revenge in a singsong voice, her doctors rubbed their jaws to hide their smirks. Such a sweetly smiling woman could not have committed the cruel and devious acts she so vividly described. Their diagnosis was psychotic dementia with a touch of Alzheimer’s thrown in. Court documents, stamped with a gold seal, declared her mentally incompetent. After all, psychiatrists were not so easily fooled.Once appointed as her legal guardian, Harry found her accommodations in the most luxurious mental hospital possible. Their deal was unspoken—a nice, permanent home with refined residents, not a jail. For him, Norma remained a fascinating conundrum, and after all, lawyers only wanted to know so much. (more…)

A Trial of One wins the Readers Views literary award for best fiction

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

  So, now that you have met Harry Jenkins and his elderly client Norma Dinnick, I am going to introduce you to Dr. Robert Hawke, Harry’s adversary. This charming, but sinister madman claims to have a cure for Alzheimer’s. Where do we meet him? In his bathtub at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto.

I’ll be posting various chapters, so please read on and come back for more. Hopefully, you’ll be so intrigued that you will have to buy A Trial of One.  CHAPTER 2 (more…)

Award winning novel, A Trial of One, Chapter One

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

I’m going to post a number of Chapters from A Trial of One, the third in The Osgoode Trilogy, just to give you a taste. If you like it, and I think you will, you can purchase it at just about any online bookstore.

You are about to meet Norma Dinnick one of Harry Jenkins elderly clients. Is she a vulnerable old lady in need of his protection or the mastermind of a criminal fraud? As you may already know, Harry is the protagonist lawyer of The Osgoode Trilogy. I’ll see how many chapters I can post without giving too much away! So, come back soon for more.

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Nineteen Seventeen

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

My father told this story about his own father. Naturally, it improved with the telling over the years. We so often forget what life was like when such sacrifices were demanded.

We buried Uncle Henry at the little cemetery at Roslin. My father, dressed in his black suit, starched collar and bowler hat, made a stark figure against the brilliant June sky. I looked up at the family gravestone, tall as a church spire. Father stared down at the open grave. Cows grazed in the field beyond the fence, the wind sang through the grasses and flocks of birds swarmed up against the sky. They lowered the coffin into the ground. (more…)