Believe it or not — and I certainly hope you do — occasionally I’ll hear that someone enjoyed one of my stories. This always leads to a little parade in my heart, with balloons and streamers and stilt-walkers. Herein is a shortlist of a few such parade-inducing briefs so you can avoid the fluff of my entire catalogue.

Flowers For Pepito was inspired by one of Kristian Adam’s beautiful paintings. As soon as I saw it, an entire story poured out of me, and I knew I couldn’t capture it all. Within the story are hints at this bigger story, and I would be delighted if one day I had the time to tell it.

Dolls was for a monthly contest done by Other Voices where they offer a prompt such as, in this case, no man is completely masculine and no woman solely feminine. I imagine the main character in this story as a living embodiment of a Russian doll, but hopefully with more interesting redundancy.

Under The Bed was based on this feeling I had one morning that there was something under my bed. When I lifted up my air mattress, there was nothing there but dust, but it gave me some flashbacks to some of my childhood worries. The same day that I posted this, three of my friends let me know that they enjoyed it. They might have once had similar worries.

Petals In The Fall is a story I read at an open mic, and afterwards a couple people told me it was their favourite of the three stories I’d read. It was written based on my own speculation of a conversation I was eavesdropping on.

Regrowth was read by a friend of mine who subsequently told me she had a nightmare about it. I suppose that’s just about the highest compliment for a story that is intended to conjure these similar fears. Like most of my briefs, it was written impulsively based on an idea I had, this one being about modifying plant genetics.

These last three are speculative fiction about the end of the world. Nobody told me these stories were particularly good so I won’t bother going into detail; all you need to know is that I like them and that’s why they’re here. The first is called Darkness, the second is called While We Were Sleeping, and the third is called Time Running. Who knows, maybe the three scenarios are in fact linked to the same event. Only time will tell…