[Short Story] The Sunhat


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Fiona is going to a wedding. Her friend Carol is getting married. Carol’s boyfriend’s family is rich. They live in a big house with a beautiful garden. The wedding will be in the garden.

Fiona doesn’t have a job so she doesn’t have a lot of money. She loves fashion and wants to wear something beautiful to the wedding. Fiona’s mother gives her one of her old dresses. Fiona cuts it up and makes a new dress for herself. It is pink. It is very short and has thin straps over the shoulders. Fiona thinks she will look good in it.

Then she thinks, the wedding will be outside. It will be hot and sunny. I don’t want to get sun burnt. I need a hat. She goes to the $2 shop and buys a sun hat. Then she uses the material left over from her dress to make flowers.

She puts the flowers on the hat. Oh, it doesn’t look good. I need some flowers in different colours, she thinks. She finds some blue, and some white material in her mother’s sewing basket. She makes some more flowers. She adds them to the pink flowers on the hat. The hat looks wonderful!

Fiona is very excited on the day of the wedding. She knows she looks good.

It is a very beautiful day. It is hot and sunny, but it is also very windy.

After the ceremony, everyone is standing in the garden drinking champagne and eating snacks. Fiona has a glass of champagne in one hand and a sandwich in the other. She cannot hold on to her hat.

Suddenly the wind blows hard. It picks up Fiona’s hat and takes it high into the air.

“Oh no! My hat” shouts Fiona. Everyone laughs as they see her hat fly away.

Fiona is sad because she has lost her hat, but she cannot do anything about it.

The next weekend, Fiona and her mother go on a garden tour. They visit many gardens. Garden tours are popular and there are many people. Suddenly Fiona’s mother says, “Fiona! Is that your hat?”

There is a very smart woman looking at some rose bushes. She is wearing Fiona’s hat. Fiona runs up to her. “Excuse me, but that is my hat!”

The woman looks surprised. “Are you sure?” she says.

“Yes. I don’t know how you found it. I went to a wedding in Grampstead Road. The wind was strong and my hat flew away.”

“Oh,” says the woman. “I live in Grampstead Road. I found it in my garden. I will give it back to you.”

She takes the hat off and gives it to Fiona.

“Thank you,” says Fiona.

Then the woman says, “I really like it. Where did you buy it?”

“I made it,” says Fiona. She explains about the $2 shop sunhat, and making flowers to put on the hat.

“Really?” says the woman. “You are very clever.”

Fiona gives the hat back to the woman. “Please keep this one. I can easily make another one for myself.”

The woman smiles. “I have an idea. My name is Valerie Osten. I have some fashion shops. I sell clothes for weddings and other special occasions. Will you make some hats for me? I think they will sell very well. Here is my business card. Please call me.”

“Oh, yes!” says Fiona. “I will do that.”

As Fiona runs back to her mother she thinks, I was so lucky that I lost my hat. Now I have a job!

[Short Story] The Present


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Cora has been married for six months. She lives with her husband in a small town outside the city. Houses in the city are very expensive, so they bought a house with a big garden about an hour by train from the city. Brian, her husband, takes the train to work every day. He works in a bank. Cora doesn’t have a job. Sometimes she gets bored. Brian bought her a dog for Christmas. The dog is very naughty but he is good company during the day.

Today is Cora’s birthday. I wonder what Brian has bought me? she thinks. I hope it’s something very pretty.

Brian gets up very early in the morning. He has to take a train at 7:00am. He always brings Cora a cup of tea in bed before he leaves for work. Today he brings Cora’s tea and a parcel wrapped in beautiful paper with a big ribbon tied around it.

“Happy birthday!” he says. “I hope you like your present!”

Cora puts her teacup on the table next to the bed. She unwraps the present.

“Oh,” she says.

“Aren’t they great?” says Brian. He is very pleased. “They will be perfect for working in the garden!”

Cora looks at her present. It is a pair of black rubber boots. Cora is very unhappy, but she doesn’t say so. She knows that Brian thinks it is a very good present.

“Oh, thank you!” she says. “They look very useful!”

“I have to go,” says Brian. “I’ll see you tonight. I have made a reservation at the local hotel for dinner.” He kisses Cora and leaves the house.

Cora is very sad. Then after she gets out of bed, she starts to feel angry.

What a terrible present! I hate these boots. I wanted a romantic present!

She throws the boots into the garbage bin and goes into the living room to watch TV.

A little later she hears the mailman. The mailman rides a motor scooter. It stops outside their house.

Maybe my mother has sent me a present, thinks Cora. She knows I like pretty things.

Cora goes to the door. She wants to go to the mailbox, but it is raining heavily.

I didn’t hear the rain because I had the TV on very loud. Where are my outdoor shoes? Did the dog take my shoes? Where did he hide them?

Cora looks everywhere, but she can’t find her shoes.

The dog is out in the garden. Cora opens the kitchen door and shouts, “Bad dog!”

The dog runs to her. He is wagging his tail. He is a very friendly dog. Then Cora sees the garbage bin. I could wear those ugly black rubber boots, she thinks.

Cora goes to the garbage bin and takes the boots. She takes off her slippers and puts on the boots.

Oh no! They are ugly and they don’t fit! They are too small and very uncomfortable. Why did Brian buy these?

She feels very angry. She takes the boots off, and throws them into the garden. One of the boots lands upside down. Cora can see something on the ground. It is a small box. She runs into the garden in her bare feet. She picks up the box. She takes the other boot and shakes it. Another box falls on the ground.

Cora takes the small boxes back into the kitchen. She sits down at the table and opens them.

There is a beautiful pair of earrings in one box and a matching necklace in the other box.

 I am very lucky. The garbage man will come soon and he will empty the garbage bin. Brian is a wonderful husband but sometimes he has very crazy ideas!




[Short Story] Socks


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Pedro works as a waiter in a big hotel. He starts work at 6:00am because the hotel serves breakfast from 6:30am to 9:00am. One night Pedro takes his laundry to the laundromat. He washes and dries his clothes. He carries the basket of clean clothes back to his small apartment. He is very tired.

I won’t put my clothes away tonight, he thinks. I will do it tomorrow.

He puts his smartphone to on charge and goes to bed.

During the night there is a big storm. The wind damages the power lines. Pedro doesn’t hear anything. He is sleeping. In the morning he wakes up. The room is very dark.

What time is it? he thinks.

He looks for his clock alarm but he can’t see it. The display has disappeared.

Oh, there is no electricity! What time is it? My alarm didn’t go off. I might be late!

He jumps out of bed and finds his way to his table. He can’t see in the dark so he uses his hands to find his phone.

I can get the time from my phone, he thinks. But his phone has no charge. Oh no! There has been no electricity for hours. I must go to work! I must hurry!

Pedro falls over the basket in the corner of his room. He finds socks and underwear and his waiter’s uniform. There is no hot water so he can’t have a shower. But there is some charge in his shaver so he can shave and wash in cold water. He still doesn’t know what the time is so he hurries to get dressed. He puts his wallet and keys in his pocket and runs to the bus stop. At the bus stop he speaks to another man waiting for the bus.

“Excuse me, Sir. What time is it?”

The man looks at his smartphone. “It’s 5:30am,” he says.

“Thank you,” says Pedro.

I’m lucky, he thinks. I have enough time to get to work. I will not be late.

When Pedro is sitting on the bus he remembers he didn’t shine his shoes. He looks down at his feet. His shoes are OK but Pedro sees his socks!

I am wearing one black sock and one red sock! I couldn’t see in the dark. Everyone will think I am crazy. Or maybe no one will notice.

At first there are no lights in any of the buildings or apartment blocks, but as the bus gets closer to the hotel everything looks normal.

It is only in my area that there is no electricity, thinks Pedro. I hope they have fixed the problem before I go home. I didn’t even have a cup of coffee this morning.

Pedro gets off the bus near the hotel.  He waits to cross the busy road. There is an older woman standing next to him. She is very smartly dressed. She looks at him and smiles.

I wonder why she is out so early? She doesn’t look like a worker, thinks Pedro. I think she smiled because she saw my socks!

Suddenly the woman falls down. Pedro tries to help her. She seems very ill. She cannot speak. He calls out.

“Please someone, call an ambulance! She is ill!”

Many people come to help, but Pedro stays next to her. He is worried someone might take the woman’s bag.  He picks it up and holds it. He waits until the ambulance comes. He gives her bag to the ambulance driver.

“This belongs to her. Please make sure it is safe and she gets it when she wakes up,” he says.

Then he hurries to work.

The other waiters see Pedro’s sock. They laugh at him. They make many jokes. Pedro feels bad, but he can’t say anything because it is true. He is wearing one black sock and one red sock. The restaurant manager is angry. “You look very strange. Don’t make such a mistake again.”

Two weeks later Pedro is busy serving customers. The restaurant manager comes up to him. “Come with me now.”

Pedro is worried. Am I going to lose my job?

The manager takes Pedro to the guest lounge. “You have a visitor,” he says. There is a woman sitting in the guest lounge. It is the woman who fell down in the street.

“This is Mrs Van Velden,” says the manager. “Her son owns this hotel. She wants to talk you.” The manager goes away.

“Please sit down,” says Mrs Van Velden.

Pedro sits down. Mrs Van Velden smiles at him.

“Two weeks ago, there was a bad storm,” she says. “I couldn’t sleep. And then there was no electricity in my part of town. I was cold and hungry. So I decided to come here to my son’s hotel to have breakfast. But you know I felt very ill and fell down in the street. You were very kind to me. You looked after my bag. You are a very kind young man.”

“No! No!” says Pedro. “I didn’t do anything special. You don’t need to thank me.”

“I want to thank you,” says Mrs Van Veden. “I want to give you a little present.”

She takes an envelope out of her bag and gives it to Pedro. Pedro doesn’t want to take it, but Mrs Van Velden says, “Take it! Open it.”

Pedro takes the envelope and opens it. There is a lot of money inside.

Oh, I can send this to my mother, thinks Pedro.

Thank you very much!” he says. “But how did you find me?”

Mrs Van Velden laughs. “That was very easy. I saw your uniform so I knew you worked in this hotel. So I just asked who was wearing one red sock and one black sock that day!”




[Short Story] Scare the Children

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Here is a short story for Halloween!

Wallace lives alone. He doesn’t like children.

He hates Halloween. He doesn’t want any children coming to his door for Trick or Treat. He doesn’t want to give them candy.

When the children ring his doorbell, Wallis gets very angry.  He doesn’t open the door. He stays inside and shouts “Go away!”

One Halloween, Wallace has an idea. I will scare the children. They will be too frightened to come to my door.

Wallace is very smart. He knows a lot about electronics. He goes to the electrical shop and buys everything he needs to scare the children. He buys a sensor, a mini sound player, speakers, batteries and switches.

He finds audio files of screams and groans on the Internet. He makes a recording.

Then he sets up his system in his mailbox.  He tests it. It works very well.

If anyone walks towards his gate, the recording will start playing. There will be very loud screams and groans. Walter thinks the sounds will frighten the children and they will run away.

This year, Wallace is looking forward to Halloween.

He waits until it is dark. Then he goes to his mailbox and turns the sensor on. He turns the volume on the recorder up to maximum. He goes back into his house and waits by the window.

I will see the children in their costumes, he thinks. I will see them come to my house. I will see them run away because they are so scared.

About 30 minutes later a group of children walks down the street. They are dressed as ghosts, princesses, and super heroes. Their parents are with them. The parents are dressed up too. They walk to Wallace’s gate. The sensor works. The sounds of moans and screams are very, very loud. Wallace can hear them easily inside his house.

The children shout. They jump up and down. Wallace cannot believe it. The children laugh. They do not run away. They run towards Wallace’s door. They ring the bell.

“Go away!” shouts Wallace. The children are still laughing and talking outside his door. He waits for a long time.  Finally, it is quiet. The children have gone.

Wallace does not understand. I thought my plan was very clever. Why didn’t my plan work?

The next morning, Wallace goes out to his mailbox. He takes everything out of the mailbox.

Lucy Parks, who lives next door, comes into the street. “Wallace!” she shouts. “Thank you so much! The children loved your surprise!”

Wallace shakes his head and walks back inside.

It’s not surprising I don’t like children, he thinks. I don’t understand them at all!

[Short Story]Footprints

It is nearly Halloween, so here is a strange story. We hope you enjoy it!

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Malcolm has a new job in Bayerville. He will work as a mechanic in the gas station. It is a very small town. He has to find somewhere to live. It is very difficult, but he finds a small house about 2km outside Bayerville. The rent is very low. Malcolm is pleased.

I can save money and buy myself a new motorbike, he thinks. The house is old and dirty, but I can clean it up. And it’s next to the river. I like that. I am very lucky.

Malcolm works hard to clean the little house. After two days, he can move his furniture into the house. He rides his motorbike into Bayerville and buys food from the supermarket. He is pleased and excited.

He goes back to the house and cooks himself a meal. He drinks some beer. Then he feels very tired. He goes to bed.

Very early the next morning, Malcolm wakes up. There is someone in his bedroom!

He is very shocked. Then he sees that it is a small child. A little girl in a nightdress.

“What are you doing here?” he asks. “Where did you come from?”

The child doesn’t answer. She turns and walks out of the room. Malcolm jumps out of bed.

She is too young to be out alone at night. I must find out where her parents are. I must take her home, he thinks.

He sees the child’s footprints on the floor. The footprints are wet.

Has she been in the water? This is very strange. Malcolm follows the footprints. The child has walked out of the house.

It is still dark outside. Malcolm takes a flashlight from the kitchen. He hurries out the door.

He can see the little girl walking towards the river.

“Stop! Come back!” shouts Malcolm, but she keeps walking.

She moves very quickly and Malcolm has to run.

At edge of the river, the little girl disappears.

Oh, no! She has fallen in the river! I have to save her! he thinks.

A little later, the man who delivers the newspaper comes to Malcolm’s house.  He sees the door of the house is open. He is a very friendly man.

I will say ‘Hi’ to the new customer. I will welcome him to Bayerville, he thinks.

He goes to the open door. Then he stops. He can see very small wet footprints on the floor.

Oh, no! Not again!

He takes out his smartphone and calls the police. “Mary Lou is back!” he says. “Yes. I’m sure. There are footprints on the floor. This is the first time in ten years. Yes. I’ll wait here for you to come. I will help you search the river.”

He goes back to his truck and waits for the police.

Ever since Mary Lou drowned in the river, some people who live in this house disappear, he thinks. We always find their dead bodies in the river. The only clue is the wet footprints on the floor. I think she gets lonely.

[Short Story] Saori makes her own luck

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It’s Monday morning. Saori has no classes today, so she decides to clean her apartment. It takes a long time and it is almost 11:30am when she is finished. Next to the door are bags of bottles and jars and a pile of old magazines.

I take those to the recycling station, she thinks.

Saori ties some string around the magazines.

She puts on her jacket, and puts her keys and smartphone in her pocket.

She picks up the bags and the bundle of magazines and leaves her apartment.

The recycling station is at the local community centre.

It is a cold windy day, and Saori hurries along the road to keep warm.

Even thought the weather is not good, there is a group of older people outside the community centre. They are practising Tai Chi.

Saori puts the magazines in the paper recycling crate, and walks along to the bins of different coloured glass. There is a cage for clear glass, a cage for green glass and a cage for brown glass.

She is careful to put the glass bottles into the correct cage, but she makes a mistake.

Oh no! I have put a wine bottle into the clear glass cage. I must take it out.

Saori is not very tall, and it is difficult to reach the wine bottle. She leans over the edge of the cage. I’ve got it! Now I’ll just put it in the green bottle cage and I can go home, she thinks.

Saori doesn’t notice, but her smartphone has fallen out of her pocket. It is in the cage full of clear glass.

When Saori gets back to her apartment she thinks, I’ll call Michiko. She doesn’t have classes today. Maybe we can meet for coffee.

She puts her hand in her pocket. Where is my phone! It’s not here. I have lost it! Where did I lose it?

Saori remembers leaning over the recycle cage. Did it fall out of my pocket?

She runs out of her apartment. She runs to the recycling station. Oh no! The bins are empty! Someone has come and taken all the bottles and glass away!

Saori wants to cry. My phone! It has all my contacts! No one can call me. No one can text me! And it was so pretty!

 “Excuse me.”

Saori is surprised. There is an old woman standing next to her. “Are you looking for something?”

“Yes,” says Saori. “I have lost my smartphone. I think I dropped it in the recycling cage. And now they are empty! My phone has gone!”

The old woman smiles. “Today is your lucky day,” she says.  “When I finished my Tai Chi class, I walked past the recycling station. I saw something pink in the cage for clear glass. I thought ‘that’s not good. I must take it out’. It was too difficult for me. So I called our Tai Chi instructor. He is taller and fitter than me. He rescued your smartphone.”

The old woman puts her hand in the pocket of her track suit. She takes out Saori’s smartphone and gives it to her.

“Oh, thank you!” says Saori. “I am so lucky.”

“You’re welcome,” says the old woman. “But maybe you made your own luck. Your phone is pink. That’s why I saw it. Maybe if it was silver or black I could not see it. I think pink is a good colour for a smartphone. Maybe I will get a new one.”

[Short Story] Salt and sugar

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Wanda graduated from cooking school and got a job in the kitchen of a new café in her town. She was very happy. She has been working in the café for 6 weeks. She likes her job. The café is new and very small. The café belongs to Gregor. He makes coffee and looks after the customers. Wanda does all the cooking.

Wanda thinks Gregor is very nice, but he is also a tough boss. He wants everything to be perfect.

Today Wanda is having a very bad day. She has been in the kitchen since 6am. Last night, she broke up with her boyfriend. She was very sad so she went to visit her friend Janet. They drank a lot of wine.

Today she feels very ill. Why did I drink so much? I feel terrible, my head hurts and I went to bed so late! I am so tired!

Today Gregor is very excited. “Wanda, we must try very hard today. Look at the man sitting by the window. Do you know who that is?”

Wanda looks at the man. “No. I don’t know him. Who is he?”

“His name is Anton Wesley-Brown. He writes about food and restaurants for the newspaper! If he likes the food here, he will write a good report about this café!”

Wanda understands. Gregor wants the café to be a success.

But why today? Why did this restaurant critic come today?

Gregor goes out of the kitchen to talk to the customers. It is only 11:15 so there are not many people in the café. Most people are drinking coffee and eating muffins and cakes.

Wanda is busy making salads. Today’s special is very simple – a grilled pork chop, with cream and mustard sauce and salad.

I could have cooked something wonderful if I had known that man was coming. No, maybe not. Not today. I am too ill to cook.

Gregor comes back into the kitchen. “Mr Wesley-Brown wants the pork chop!”

“OK,” says Wanda. She takes a pork chop from the refrigerator. She reaches up to the shelf and takes down the seasonings. She sprinkles salt and pepper on the chop and puts it under the grill. She makes the sauce and puts salad on the plate.

When the meal is ready she puts it out near the door of the kitchen. Gregor hurries over and takes the meal to Mr Wesley-Brown.

Wanda turns back to the kitchen. She stares at the counter. Why is there brown sugar on the counter? I used salt, pepper, mustard. I didn’t use brown sugar. There is the pepper and the mustard. Where is the salt? Oh, no! I put brown sugar on the pork chop! Mr Wesley-Brown will hate it! Gregor will be very angry! I will lose my job!

Wanda doesn’t know what to do, so she keeps on working. She finishes all the food preparation. It is almost noon and many customers are coming in for lunch. It will be a busy day.

Gregor comes into the kitchen. “Wanda! Mr Wesley-Brown wants to talk to you.”

The restaurant critic comes into the kitchen. “This is Wanda. She does all the cooking,” says Gregor.

“I know you are very busy,” says Mr Wesley-Brown. “But I just have one question. Did you put brown sugar on my chop?”

Wanda looks at the floor. This is it, she thinks. I am going to lose my job. Gregor will fire me.

“Ur, yes,” she says.

I will have to explain, she thinks. But Mr Wesley-Brown is speaking.

It is a very good idea. The chop was very tasty. I like the way the sugar turned to caramel under the grill. Keep up the good cooking.”

He smiles and goes out. Gregor looks very happy.

Wanda smiles too and goes back to work.

I will have to have a hangover more often, she thinks.