[Short Story] The Mirror

woman holding mirror against her head in the middle of forest

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Sally wants to buy a house.  She saves very hard and after 3 years, she has enough money to buy a very small house.  She is very excited.

But now Sally has a big problem. She has a house but it is empty. She needs furniture but she has very little money.

Her mother gives her a bed, a table and a chair.  Her grandmother gives her some plates and pots and glasses.

Sally can live in her house but she wants many more things. On weekends she drives around all the towns near her house. She looks in secondhand shops.  One Saturday afternoon, she finds a secondhand shop in a small village. She looks in the window.

Everything in the shop is very dusty and dirty. But Sally thinks she will go inside.  There is no one in the shop. She looks around. She sees a mirror in a corner of the shop. It is big and old. I need a mirror, thinks Sally.  I will look at it.

She walks over to the mirror.  It is so dirty she can’t see the glass.  Sally takes some tissues from her bag. She starts to clean the glass.

“I’ll clean it for you.” Sally jumps. She turns around. There is a man standing behind her. He is very small. He is very old. He is wearing a black suit.

“Thank you,” says Sally. “Are you the owner of this shop? ”

The man doesn’t answer. He goes away and comes back with a cloth and some water. He cleans the glass.

“Now you can look at yourself in the mirror,” says the old man.

Sally stands next to the old man. She looks at the mirror. She looks at the old man standing next to her.

Sally is very shocked. She can see herself in the mirror, but she can’t see the old man.

“But! But!” says Sally.

The old man smiles. “It is a very special mirror,” he says. “And it is cheap.”

“It is very nice, but I have changed my mind. I don’t want to buy it.”

Sally runs from the shop. She runs to her car and gets in. She drives away very fast.

It is a very nice mirror, thinks Sally. But either the old man is very strange or the mirror is very strange.  Maybe I will save some more money and go to a department store and buy a nice new mirror!

[Short Story]A Bad Mistake

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Lonnie steals bags. It is very easy.

He travels on trains when people are going to work, or going home.  The trains are very crowded. He always wears a big coat so he can hide the bags inside his coat. He always wears a hat and sunglasses.

He looks for someone who has put their bag on the floor, or on a seat. He waits until the train stops at a station and many people are trying to get on the train or off the train. He quickly takes a bag and disappears in the crowds of people.

One Friday evening, Lonnie is on the train. He sees a woman in a red coat. She has many shopping bags. She doesn’t have a seat and it is hard for her to hold her shopping bags and her handbag. She is standing near the door of the train.

She looks rich, thinks Lonnie. He looks at the shopping bags. She went to some very expensive stores. I will take her handbag and maybe I can get some shopping bags as well.

 He stands next to the woman. The train stops. There are many people trying to get off the train. Everyone is pushing. Lonnie pushes the woman in the red coat very hard. She almost falls over. Lonnie quickly pulls her handbag and two shopping bags from the woman’s hand.

He hurries off the train and puts the handbag and shopping bags under his coat.

He hears the woman shouting. “Stop! Stop! Stop that man! He has taken my bag and my shopping!”

Lonnie laughs. They won’t catch me!

 Outside the railway station Lonnie hides behind a tall building. He looks in the handbag. He takes a mobile phone and a wallet from the bag – the wallet has a little money. Lonnie counts it. $90. He puts the money in his pocket and puts the handbag and wallet in a garbage can.

He looks in the shopping bags. One bag has some towels. He puts it in the garbage can. But in the other bag he finds a beautiful necklace. It is pink and green and gold. Wow, thinks Lonnie. My girlfriend’s birthday is tomorrow. I will give her this necklace. She will like it very much.

 On Saturday night, Lonnie takes his girlfriend to a pub. She is wearing the necklace. She is very happy. She likes her birthday present very much.

Lonnie and his girlfriend are sitting at a table in the bar. They are drinking beer. A woman comes to their table. She is wearing a red coat. She says, “Where did you get that necklace?”

“My boyfriend bought it for me,” says Lonnie’s girlfriend. “It is a birthday present.”

“Oh no!” says the woman.  “He didn’t buy that necklace for you! It is unique. My husband ordered it for me. Your boyfriend took my bags on the train last night!”

Oh no! thinks Lonnie. I must run away.

He tries to run out of the bar. A very big man runs after him. He throws Lonnie on the ground. “I am a policeman,” says the man. “You took my wife’s necklace and now I am taking you to the police station.”

[Short Story] Hilda’s Roof

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Hilda’s house is very old. She does not have much money. When it rains, water comes into her house.

I must stop the water coming into my house, thinks Hilda.

She calls a local man who repairs houses. His name is Rory.

“Rory,” says Hilda. “The roof of my house is very bad. When it rains, water comes into my house. Can you help me?”

“OK, Hilda,” says Rory. “I will come and look at your house. I will come tomorrow. My daughter is home because it is university holidays.  Maybe she will come and help me.”

Rory comes the next day. His daughter Wanda, comes with him.

Rory looks inside the house. Then he goes outside. Wanda holds the ladder for her father. Rory climbs onto the roof.

After a while, Rory comes into the house.

“Hilda,” he says. “You need a new roof.”

“Oh, no!” says Hilda. “I do not have enough money for a new roof!”

“I understand,” says Rory. “Maybe I can fix the holes in your roof. I will do my best, but more holes will come.”

Hilda is worried and unhappy. “Please do the best you can,” she says. “Maybe I will win a lottery or something. Maybe I can find enough money for a new roof before next winter.”

“OK,” says Rory. “I will go onto the roof and try to fix the holes.”

Hilda goes into her kitchen.  Rory is a very kind man, she thinks. When Rory and Wanda take a break, I will give them a snack.  I will make some cookies.

Hilda is taking her cookies out of the oven when she hears a loud noise. There is a crash and a bang. Then she hears loud voices.

Oh no! That’s Rory’s voice, thinks Hilda.

Hilda runs through the house. She gets a big shock. Rory is sitting on her living room floor. Hilda looks up. There is a big hole in the roof – Hilda can see the sky.

Wanda runs into the house.  “Dad! Dad! Are you OK?”

“I’m fine,” says Rory. “Hilda I am so sorry about your roof. It was so old and weak. I fell through it.”

“Don’t worry about my roof,” says Hilda. “I am happy you are not hurt. Sit down in that armchair and I will bring you a cup of tea.”

Hilda brings tea and cookies for Rory and Wanda. She sits down with Rory and Wanda. They drink tea and eat cookies. They look at the sky.

Suddenly they hear strange noises. “Get out!” shouts Rory. “The roof is falling!”

They run to the kitchen. There is a lot of noise and dust.

After a while, the noise stops. “Stay here,” says Rory. “I will go and look.”

Hilda and Wanda wait for a long time. Finally, Rory comes back to the kitchen. He is hiding something behind his back.

“Hilda,” says Rory. “Who lived in this house before you?”

“My parents,” says Hilda. “And before them, my grandparents lived here.”

Rory smiles. “Well someone who lived here didn’t like banks! Look what I found in all the rubbish on the floor.” He takes a box from behind his back and gives it to Hilda.

Hilda opens the box. It is filled with old gold coins.

“Someone hid this box in the roof of your house.”

“I can pay for a new roof!” shouts Hilda. “It is wonderful!”

Rory laughs. “Hilda you can pay for a new house!”

[Short Story] Andy’s glasses

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Andy wears glasses. He doesn’t wear them all the time. He wears them when he drives his car. He wears them to read, and when he works on his computer.

Andy gets an email from the eye doctor’s office. The email says— We have not checked your eyes for one year. You should make an appointment. We will check your eyes.—-

Andy goes to the eye doctor’s office. He does an eye test.

The eye doctor says, “Your eyes are OK, but maybe you need new glasses. You need glasses that are a little stronger.”

Andy says, “OK.”

The eye doctor says she will order new glasses for Andy. She says, “Maybe your new glasses will feel a little bit strange. Maybe you will get a headache for a little a few days. Maybe you will feel little ill for a little while.”

After one week, the eye doctor’s office calls Andy. The receptionist says, “Your new glasses are ready. Please come and get your new glasses.”

Andy goes to get his new glasses. His eye doctor is not there. She is on vacation.

Andy pays for his new glasses and takes them away. He is very pleased. His new glasses do not feel strange. He does not have a headache. He does not feel ill.

A few weeks later, Andy gets a call from his eye doctor. “Please come and see me,” she says.

Andy goes to see his eye doctor, she is very unhappy. She says, “I ordered your new glasses, but I made a big mistake. I asked the company to make your new glasses but the order was the same as your old glasses. So , there was no change. I am very sorry. I have ordered new glasses for you and of course, you will not pay anything.”

Andy is a very calm person. He says, “It’s OK. Don’t worry.”

The eye doctor says, “Didn’t you think it was strange when your ‘new’ glasses were the same as the old ones?”

Andy laughs. “I didn’t feel sick! I didn’t feel strange! I didn’t have a headache!. I thought ‘my eye doctor did a very good job!'”

[Short Story] Where is my suitcase?

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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

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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

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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

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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.”