[Short Story] Where is my suitcase?

bird s eye view of ocean during daytime

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Terry lives alone. His parents are dead. He does not have many friends. He does not have a girlfriend.

Terry is going on holiday. He saved money all year. He wants to have a wonderful vacation in Bali. He dreams of sun, adventure and romance.

He goes to a big discount store. He buys a suitcase with wheels and a handle. The suitcase is cheap, so the only choice of colour is black.

On Friday, Terry comes home from work. He packs his bag/suitcase. On Saturday, a taxi will come at 5am to take Terry to the airport.

Terry is very excited. He enjoys the flight very much, but when he arrives in Denpasar it is very late, and he is tired.

It is almost midnight, but it is still so hot! he thinks. He goes to the baggage claim area. Where is my bag?

He sees a black suitcase with wheels and a handle. That’s my bag. I can’t wait to get to my hotel. I can have a shower, and a long sleep.

Terry goes through customs and immigration, and finds the bus for his hotel. He checks into his hotel and goes to his room. It is very nice.

He puts his bag on the bed and opens it. Oh no! Terry is looking at a bag full of bikinis and sundresses and sandals! It’s not my bag! He looks at the luggage label. —M. Stanford I took the wrong bag! What can I do?

He closes the bag and hurries to the elevator. I must go downstairs. I must ask the man on the front desk what to do!

The elevator arrives. Terry hurries into the elevator carrying the black bag. There is a woman in the elevator. She looks very worried.

When the elevator stops on the ground floor, Terry and the woman walk to the front desk. Terry sees that the woman has a black suitcase. There are many bags that look like mine, he thinks. I was not careful at the airport. I didn’t check the luggage label.

At the front desk, Terry and the woman from the elevator start talking at the same time.

“I have the wrong bag,” they say.

“I took the wrong bag from the airport,” says Terry. “I am very sorry. What can I do?”

“I must go back to the airport to find my bag!” says the woman. “This is a man’s bag!”

The man on the front desk laughs.

“Two people with the same problem! What is your name, madam?”

“Mandy Stanford,” answers the woman.

Terry is excited. “I can solve your problem,” he says. “Here is your bag.”

“And your name, Sir?” asks the man at the front desk.

“Terry Wiggin.”

The woman starts to laugh. “I don’t believe it! You have my bag, and I have yours!”

Terry looks at the woman. She is about the same age as Terry. She is very attractive.

Suddenly Terry doesn’t feel tired or hot any more.

“It is a strange way to meet. But would you like to have a drink with me to celebrate,” he says to Mandy.

“I think you should!” says the man on the front desk. “I have to work. Otherwise I would join you.”

“OK,” says Mandy. “It seems that we were meant to meet.”

Terry’s holiday of adventure and romance has just begun!

[Short Story]New Year Resolutions

happy new year text

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Andy came with his parents to stay with his grandparents for Christmas.  His father was a doctor and his mother worked in an animal shelter. They had to go back to work at New Year, so Andy was stayed alone with his grandparents for New Year.

On December 31st, his grandmother said. “What is your New Year resolution?”

Andy was seven years old, and he didn’t understand. “New Year what?” he asked his grandmother.

“New Year resolution,” answered his grandmother.

“What is that?” asked Andy.

His grandmother smiled. “Well, you make a promise. You make a promise to yourself, that you will be a better person next year. Maybe you promise you will stop doing something, or maybe you promise you will do something good.”

His grandmother could see that Andy was still puzzled.

“My New Year resolution is that I will walk for an hour every day. I am too lazy. If I walk for an hour every day, my health will be better.”

“And Grandad? What does he plan to do?”

“You must ask him yourself,” said his grandmother.

Andy found his grandfather in the garden. “What is your New Year resolution?” he asked.

“Well,” said his grandfather. “I have two New Year resolutions. I am going to stop buying more roses for the garden because we have too many.  And I am going to get up early every morning, and take your grandmother a cup of tea in bed.”

“Oh,” said Andy. Andy went to his room and thought about New Year resolutions.

I can stop doing something, he thought. Or I can start doing something. What does ‘be a better person’ mean? I think it means to be a happier person.

After breakfast on New Year’s Day, Andy said,” Grandma! Grandad! I thought about New Year resolutions. I have two resolutions. I wrote them down. Here is the paper. You can read it.”

Andy gave the paper to his grandmother and went outside to play.

His grandmother sat down at the table and poured herself another cup of tea.

She read Andy’s New Year resolutions. She laughed a lot. She was laughing so much she couldn’t talk.

“What is it?” asked Andy’s grandfather. “Why are you laughing?”

She gave him the piece of paper, and he laughed too.

“I guess you didn’t explain very well!” he said. “Andy didn’t understand!”

Andy’s New Year resolutions were:

 

Stop cleaning my teeth – cleaning teeth is boring.

              Eat more chocolate – chocolate makes me happy.

 

By I Talk You Talk Press

[Short Story] A wonderful Christmas Eve party

green christmas tree with string lights

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It was Christmas Eve. The small local train was almost empty. It was snowing very hard outside, it was very cold, and it was very dark.

Suddenly the train stopped.  Everyone wondered what was wrong.

Then the train conductor walked through the train.

“I am very sorry,” he said to everyone. “The snow is too bad. We can’t go forward and we can’t go back. We have to stay here until the snow stops.  And then someone will come and move the snow off the train tracks.”

“How long will we be here?” asked Melanie. “We have to get to Leeds by 8:30pm to catch our train to Manchester.”

“I don’t know,” said the conductor. “But it is 7:30pm now. I’m sorry. I don’t think we will get to Leeds in time.”

Melanie wanted to cry.  When she married Craig in July, they moved to a small village in the Yorkshire Dales. She loved Craig very much, but life in the village was very quiet. She had not made any friends and she missed her family. She had not seen them since the wedding. She wanted to be with her family at Christmas.

Craig put his arms around Melanie. “It will be OK,” he said. “You will see your family tomorrow.”

The conductor was talking to a family with two children at the back of the railway carriage. The children were crying loudly. “But we have to be at Grandma and Grandad’s! We wrote letters to Santa. We told him we would be in Leeds on Christmas night! He won’t know where to find us. We won’t get any presents!”

Everyone was very unhappy. Everyone was talking loudly. They were shouting at the train conductor.

Then an old man stood up and said. “Everyone! Please calm down. I used to work on this railway line. I know this kind of weather very well. I think we will be here until tomorrow morning, or maybe longer. So we must make our own Christmas Eve party.

“Is there anyone in the next carriage?” he asked the train conductor.

“Yes, there are four young men,” said the train conductor.

“Please ask them to come here,” said the old man.

Then the old man smiled at everyone. “My name is George. I have a bottle of whisky. I was taking to my brother as a Christmas present. But I think I will share it with you.”

“I have Christmas pies and a bottle of my homemade orange drink,” said the mother of the children. “My name is Lisa. This is my husband David, and my children Angela and Micky. We want to share our food and drink with you.”

Melanie felt better. “We have cheese and crackers. Craig and I will share them with you.”

There were six adults and two children in the train carriage. Most people had special Christmas food and drink in their bags.

Then the four young men came from the next carriage.  One of them had ham. “I promised my mother I would bring her some ham for Christmas tea tomorrow night. But she will have a lot of turkey, so I think we should eat it tonight.”

Everyone felt happier and the children stopped crying. They put all the food and drink out in the carriage. There was whisky and the orange drink, a bottle of champagne, ham, cheese, crackers, nuts, chocolates and Christmas pies. The only person who didn’t have anything was a quiet man in a suit.  He looked sad because he didn’t have anything to add to the party.

“But we have no glasses or plates!” said Melanie.

The quiet man looked pleased. “I can help! My daughter asked me to bring paper cups and plates. I have a lot!”

The conductor went to the front of the train. The train driver came back with him and joined the party.

Everyone had a great time, especially the children.  One of the young men had a guitar. They sang Christmas carols and played games.

Finally the children fell asleep but the adults stayed up until midnight. The snow had stopped falling, but the train couldn’t move.

Everyone said, “It was a wonderful party, but I hope the train can move soon.”

In the morning, when the children woke up, there were presents next to their seats.

“Santa found us!” they shouted. The adults were cold and tired, but everyone smiled.

“Santa is very clever,” smiled the old man. “And I heard the rescue team arriving about an hour ago. Merry Christmas!”

“Merry Christmas!” shouted everyone, as the train started moving

By I Talk You Talk Press

[Short Story] Maisie and the Lifeguard

blue water

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Maisie goes swimming every morning before she goes to work. She leaves home at 5:30am and drives to the swimming pool. She swims for an hour, then hurries home for a shower and breakfast before she leaves for work at 8am.

On Wednesday night, Maisie had a big fight with her boyfriend and they broke up. On Thursday morning, Maisie drove to the swimming pool as usual. She did not feel happy. She was crying. She was thinking about her ex-boyfriend. They worked in the same office and so Maisie did not want to go to work.

I’ll feel better when I am swimming, she thought. She parked the car opposite the sports centre, took her sports bag from the back seat and hurried into the building.

While Maisie was swimming, her car started to move. Very, very, slowly the car moved out of the car park and across the road. It was early morning so the road was empty. There were no people walking and no other cars on the road.

There was an announcement on the loud speaker system in the swimming pool. “Is the owner of a white Honda, number plate XJY436, in the pool?”

XJY436! That’s my car, thought Maisie. She swam to the side of the pool and climbed out. A lifeguard was standing next to the pool. Maisie ran up to him. “That’s my car,” she said. “Did I leave the lights on?”

“No,” said the lifeguard. He was laughing. “Come and see.”

Maisie followed the lifeguard out to the entrance of the sports centre. “Look!” said the lifeguard. He pointed to the big entrance doors.

“Oh, no!” shouted Maisie. Her car was in the doorway. It was half inside the building and half outside. No one could go in or out of the sports centre.

“Do you have your car keys?” asked the lifeguard?

Maisie ran to the changing rooms and came back with her car keys.

“I’ll drive it out for you,” said the lifeguard. “You are too wet.”

He took Maisie’s keys, got into the car and reversed out onto the road. He parked the car and came back in.

“The hand brake was not on,” he said. “The road goes down a little from the car park to the sports centre. The car must have rolled from where you parked it, to here.”

Maisie was very red. “I am an idiot!” she said. “I broke up with my boyfriend. I was thinking about that all the time and I forgot to put the handbrake on.”

The lifeguard gave her the car keys. “I think your boyfriend is the idiot. Who would want to break up with you?”

Maisie looked at the lifeguard. He was very cute. Perhaps I am not so sad. I wonder if this guy works every morning?

[Short Story]The Waiting Dog

photo of siberian husky puppy

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Romero has a café in the park. It is called The Park Café. Romero thinks the name is boring, but he can’t think of a better name. The Park Café is very popular in summer. Many people come to the park to walk their dogs.

Romero likes dogs and he is a smart businessman. Dogs cannot come into the café, but Romero has a special area for dogs outside. Dog walkers can tie their dogs up there. They can see their dogs through the window. Romero has bowls of water and treats for dogs. It is good for business.

One Saturday, the café was very busy. The dog area was full. The café was full. Romero did not notice that one dog had been there for a very long time. The café closes at 4pm. All the customers left. Romero was surprised to see that there was still one dog tied up outside. He looked around his café. It was empty. He went outside to talk to the dog.

“Where is your owner? Did your owner forget you and go home without you?”

The dog wagged its tail and barked.

Romero looked at the dog. It was a nice dog. It was clean and well fed. He looked at the dog’s collar. There was a tag on the collar with the name Lucien, and a telephone number.

He went inside and called the telephone number. There was no answer. Romero did not know what to do.

He went into the kitchen and found some leftover hamburger. He put it in the bowl and took it out to the dog.

I will have to call the people who take dogs that are on the streets, he thought. But first I will clean up. While Romero was cleaning his café and kitchen he watched the dog out the windows. It was a very nice dog.

Finally Romero finished his work. His last job was to take the bags of garbage out. When he went out to the back of the café he got a big shock. There was a man lying on the grass. Romero thought he was dead, but he ran inside and called an ambulance.

The ambulance came. Romero was right. The man was dead. “It looks like a heart attack,” said the ambulance men. “He’s been dead for hours.”

The police came. It was dark and Romero went outside and brought the dog into the café. It’s against the rules, he thought. But I don’t care. That poor dog has been alone for hours waiting for his owner.

Romero sat in the café with the dog. The dog put his head against Romero’s knee and Romero patted him.

Finally the police said. “The dog belonged to the dead man. The man’s name was Raoul Findeas. It seems he had no family. We will take the dog now.”

“No,” said Romero. “I will keep the dog.”

“OK,” said the police and went away.

“Well,” said Romero to the dog. “It has been a hard day for you, but I will take you home. And I think I will change the name of my café. I think I will call it Lucien’s Café. What do you think?”

The dog barked.

[Short Story] Why do you have blue hair?

blue haired woman

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Rei met a nice guy on the train. He was sitting next to her. She thought he was handsome. There was a typhoon and the train was stopped for a long time. He started to talk to her. His name was Ichiro.

They were both university students. They both liked JPop. They both belonged to the kendo club in high school.

“Uh, would you give me your phone number?” asked Ichiro.  “Maybe we could meet again sometime. Go out on a date?”

Rei was very pleased. She didn’t have a boyfriend. She thought Ichiro was very nice. They exchanged phone numbers.

“Can I ask you something?” said Ichiro. “Why do you have blue hair?”

Rei didn’t want to tell him why her hair was blue. But Ichiro smiled at her, and she thought, He is talking to me. He asked for my phone number. Maybe he thinks my blue hair is OK.

“When I left my hometown and went to university, I felt very bad. I was very shy. I didn’t have any friends. I was too frightened to go out of my apartment. I was too frightened to go to classes. I wanted to do something to make me feel strong.

“I have a sister who is much older than me. She had many Sailor Moon manga. When I was young, I read them all the time. My favourite character was Sailor Mercury. She is a very friendly character. She’s smart. I wanted to be like her. She has blue hair. So I changed my hair colour to blue.”

Ichiro laughed. “What do your parents think?”

“They hate it. But I don’t care. But maybe you don’t want to go on a date with someone with blue hair.”

“Oh, I do!” said Ichiro. “I like friendly, smart girls very much. Maybe I should do something about my hair colour.”

[Short Story] Some Mistakes are Lucky

man standing beside train

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Samuel ran towards the train station. He was hot and tired and felt very bad. I don’t want to miss my train. I want to go home and change my clothes and have a beer.

He looked at his watch. Two minutes before the train leaves. Can I make it in time?

He ran into the train station and looked at the departures board. Platform 7. He ran towards the stairs with the sign ‘Platforms 6 and 7’. At the top of the stairs he ran to the left. There was a train with open doors. He ran onto the train and found a seat.

He closed his eyes and thought about his day. Samuel had come into the city for a job interview. The interview had been very bad. He couldn’t answer the questions. He made mistakes. He knew he would not get the job.

I knew all the answers, but I was so nervous. It is six months since my uncle’s restaurant closed. I have almost no money. I must find a job soon.

 Samuel was very worried, but he was also very tired. He fell asleep.

“Ticket please!” The train conductor was shaking him. Samuel found his ticket and gave it to the train conductor. “This is a ticket for Trenton. This train is going to Bywater.”

“Oh, I got on the wrong train. I must get off at the next station.”

“This is an express train. It doesn’t stop until it gets to Bywater. When we get to Bywater, you must go to the ticket office and pay for this train trip. Then you must buy another ticket back to the city.”

The train conductor went away. What can I do? thought Samuel. I don’t have enough money to pay for the extra tickets.

 “Are you in trouble?” said a voice behind Samuel. Samuel turned around. A woman in the row behind him was talking to him.

“Are you in trouble?” the woman asked again.

Samuel was very shy and didn’t talk to people very much, but he was very tired and he felt very bad.

“I went to the city for a job interview today. When I got back to the station I caught the wrong train. Now I have no money to pay for the tickets. I don’t know what to do!”

The woman smiled. She was an older woman. Her clothes were very smart. Her face was kind. Samuel thought she looked like his grandmother. “It is easy to catch the wrong train. Was the job interview good?”

“No. It was very bad. I wanted the job very much. I was too nervous. I couldn’t talk well. I made mistakes.”

“You have to talk well for some jobs. It is very important if you want a job in a shop or at a TV station,” she said. “What kind of job do you want?”

“I am a chef. I trained for many years. My uncle had a restaurant. I worked in my uncle’s restaurant. My uncle said the restaurant would be mine when he retired. But he died and there was no money. The restaurant closed.”

“Where was the restaurant?” asked the woman.

“It was in Trenton. It was a fish restaurant.”

“Was it Seaways?”

“Yes.”

“I knew that restaurant. I knew your uncle. He was very good with food, but maybe he did not know about money.”

The woman asked Samuel many questions about fish and cooking. Samuel could answer all the questions because it was not a job interview, and the woman looked like his grandmother.

Then the woman said, “Do you want to live in the city?”

“No,” said Samuel. “I like small places better, but I must get a job.”

“I will pay for your train ticket,” said the woman.

“No!” said Samuel. “You cannot pay for my mistake!”

“Yes, I can. My husband opened two restaurants in Bywater. He was a very good chef, but a very bad talker. He died. Now I have no chef. I need a chef. I think you will be my new chef. Tonight you will stay at my house in Bywater. Tomorrow we will go to the restaurants. Your mistake is lucky for me.”

My mistake is lucky for me! thought Samuel.