[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.”

[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] 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 – Lemons

A short story for learners of English.

two lemon fruits

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Rowan is cooking dinner. It is a very special dinner because her new boyfriend is coming to her house. She has oysters for the first course and steak for the second course. She bought an expensive chocolate cake from the bakery on the way home.

She is making salad to eat with the steak. When she finishes the salad, she cleans up the kitchen and goes to her bedroom to change.

She wants to look good, so she chooses a very short dress from her closet. She puts on silver sandals and does her hair and makeup very carefully.

She goes back to the kitchen. The table looks beautiful. She has candles and flowers.  The wine glasses are ready.

He will be here in twenty minutes, she thinks. All I have to do is put the oysters out on their plates. Oh no! Lemons. I forgot to buy lemons! I have to serve lemons with the oysters. Do I have enough time to go to the store and buy some? No, I don’t! Those oysters were very expensive, but they won’t be any good without lemons.

Rowan is very upset. Her new boyfriend is older than her. He is a successful businessman. He eats out in good restaurants all the time. He takes her to very nice places. She looks out the window. Her next-door neighbour has a big lemon tree.

All those lemons! she thinks. I only need one or two! I could go and ask Mrs Atkins for some lemons, but she is in hospital. There is no one there.

Then Rowan has an idea. I could go into Mrs Atkins garden and take some lemons. No one will know. The gate to her garden is locked but I could climb over the fence.

Rowan takes a chair from the kitchen and runs out into her garden. She puts the chair next to the fence. She climbs onto the chair. She can reach the top of the fence. She climbs over. It is very difficult in her short tight dress and high-heeled sandals, but she can do it. She jumps from the top of the fence onto the grass. She goes to the lemon tree and takes two lemons. Then she goes back to the fence.

Rowan looks at the fence. Oh no! I don’t have anything to stand on! What can I do? The fence is too high!

Rowan puts the lemons on the ground. She looks around her neighbour’s garden. She sees a small garbage can near the back of the house. She runs over and carries the garbage can back to the fence. She climbs onto the garbage can and reaches for the top of the fence. Suddenly a light comes on in her neighbour’s house.

Rowan looks towards the house and sees a man standing at a window. Oh! No!

Rowan throws herself over the fence. She lands hard. Her legs are bleeding, her dress is torn. One of her shoes is broken.

She walks back towards the house carrying the chair. When she enters the kitchen she realizes she doesn’t have the lemons. She put them on the ground when she went to get the garbage can. This is terrible! she thinks.

Her smartphone is on the kitchen counter. It makes a ringing sound. She has a new message. She picks it up and reads the message. It is from her new boyfriend

— Sorry I can’t come to your house tonight. I didn’t tell you, but I’m married. My wife just came back from her cruise. I had fun with you, but now it has finished. —

Rowan feels very angry. I was such an idiot! She kicks off her sandals and walks towards her bedroom. Just then, her doorbell rings.

She goes to the door and looks through the hole in the door. There is a very attractive man standing there.

“Who is it?” she asks.

“I’m Phil Atkins. Your neighbour’s nephew.”

Oh, no. He was in the house! He saw me! Has he called the police? she thinks.

Rowan opens the door. The man sees she is wearing no shoes, her legs have blood on them and her dress is dirty and torn.

He smiles. “You forgot your lemons,” he says.

He has a wonderful smile. He is very handsome and he is holding out two lemons.

“Do you like oysters?” asks Rowan.

 

[Fast 500] Where are my shoes?

A 500-word story for learners of English.

Ann loves shoes. Today she is wearing a pair of beautiful red high-heels that she bought in Paris. It is the first time she has worn them. At lunchtime Ann is walking to a café when she sees a sign outside the shoe shop.

 

MOVING SALE.

We are moving to a new shop in the Mall.

We are selling all our old stock at low prices.

Come in and look!

 

Of course Ann goes into the shoe shop. The shop is full of people. There is big box in the middle of the shop. There is a sign on the box.

 

OLD STOCK

MIXED STYLES AND SIZES

$25 a pair

 

Ann hurries to the box. Many people are taking pairs of shoes out of the box and trying them on. She sees a pair of green sandals.

They would be great for the beach, she thinks.

She takes the sandals and checks the size. They will fit. I’ll just try them on.

Ann finds an empty seat and sits down. She takes of her red high heels and tries on the sandals. They fit well. She walks over to a mirror to see how they look. They are perfect. She looks at the shoes on the shelves but there is nothing else she likes.

Ann goes back to the seat and takes the sandals off. I’ll buy these, she thinks.

She looks for her red high heels. They are not on the floor where she left them.

Where are my shoes? My beautiful red shoes!

She hurries to the counter carrying the green sandals.

“Excuse me”, she says to the salesperson. “My shoes have disappeared.”

“What shoes?” asks the salesperson.

“I came into this shop wearing a pair of high-heeled shoes. I took them off to try on these sandals. They have disappeared.”

“Oh,” said the salesperson. “Are they red?”

“Yes, they are red. I just bought them in Paris.”

“Oh, no!” said the salesperson. “I thought they came out of that box of $25 shoes. I just sold them. I am so sorry.”

“Who did you sell them to?” Ann is very unhappy.

“A young woman in a black business suit. She is not in the shop now. I guess she has gone.”

Ann and the salesperson run out of the shop and onto the street.

“There she is!” shouts the salesperson. She points to a woman in a black suit, carrying a shoe shop bag. Ann and the salesperson run after the young woman. They get close to her. Ann is shouting “Stop! Stop!”

The young woman stops and turns around.

“Are you shouting at me?”

“Yes, I’m sorry. I made a bad mistake.” The salesperson explains that the shoes belong to Ann.

The three women walk back to the shoe shop. The salesperson gives the woman in the suit her money back. She takes the red shoes out of the bag and Ann puts them on. Ann is still holding the green sandals.

“You can keep them,” says the salesperson. “I caused you trouble. So those sandals are a gift.”

Then she turns to the woman in the business suit. “If you can find something you like in the $25 box, you can have them for free.”

Everyone is happy, but Ann thinks she will be more careful in the future. She thinks, Always carry the shoes you wore into the shop when you are walking around. Especially if there is a sale.

 

Another Halloween Story from Old Jack

A short story for learners of English. We hope you enjoy it!

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Hello everyone! I’m Old Jack. I travel around the world searching for interesting ghost stories. It is almost Halloween, so I have decided to share a special story with you. I hope you enjoy it.

Around fifty years ago, when I was about twenty years old, I visited London. I stayed with my friend, Richard, for a weekend. We had a great time. I lived in the north of England, so I couldn’t go to London often. I was very excited. We went sightseeing, and drank beer every night.

On my last night in London, Richard said, “I’ll take you to an interesting pub. It has a ghost. You like ghosts, don’t you?”

“Oh yes!” I said. “I have been interested in ghosts since  I was a young boy. Let’s go!”

falcon-pub-london-uk

 

We walked to the pub from Richard’s house. It was a cold night in late October, just before Halloween. We were very glad when we arrived at the pub and saw a nice warm fire, and a friendly landlord waiting to serve us beer.

We sat at the bar and talked to the landlord, the owner of the pub.

“Richard tells me you have a ghost,” I said.

“Oh, yes. We do,” said the landlord. “I’ll tell you about it.”

“Please do! I said.

“Well, we have to go back a hundred years,” said the landlord. “This pub was a very popular pub then. It had many customers. But one day, something terrible happened. It was late at night, and the pub was closing. The last customers left the pub. They were drunk and happy. The landlord locked the door and started to count the money.

“Then he heard a noise. Knock knock. Someone was knocking on the door.

“‘We are closed!’ he shouted. But the knocking sound did not stop. Knock knock. Knock knock.

“‘Who is it?’ shouted the landlord.

“‘It’s John! I think I left my coat!’ said a voice.

“The landlord went to the door and unlocked it. But it wasn’t John. It was a different man. The man pushed the landlord into the pub and closed the door. ‘The money!’ he shouted. ‘Give me the money!’

“The landlord tried to fight him, but the man was very strong. He pulled the mirror from the wall above the fire, and smashed it over the landlord’s head. The broken glass from the mirror cut the landlord’s face and neck, and he died. The robber took the landlord’s body to the cellar under the pub, and locked the cellar door. Then, he took all the money and some bottles of whisky, and ran away.

“The next day, many people came to the pub, but they couldn’t find the landlord. The police came, and finally they found the landlord’s body in the cellar.”

“Did they catch the robber?” I asked.

“Yes, they did,” said the landlord. “He was a man from the other side of London. He had robbed many other pubs and shops. The police had been looking for him for a long time. When the police caught him, he cried and said, ‘I didn’t want to kill him! I just wanted the money! I’m sorry!’ A few weeks later, he was hanged.”

“So who is the ghost in here? Is it the landlord, or the robber? Or both?” I asked.

“I think both the men are here. I haven’t seen them, but I hear strange things,” said the landlord. “When I go to the cellar to get more beer, I sometimes hear a strange sound. It sounds like someone is pulling something heavy across the floor. But there is no one there! I live upstairs. Sometimes, late at night when I am in bed, I hear men’s voices. They are fighting. And I hear the sound of breaking glass. But when I come down here, no one is there.”

“That sounds scary,” I said.

“That sounds stupid!”

I turned around and saw a man with a glass of whisky in his hand. His face was very red. He looked quite drunk.

“I don’t believe any of that!” he said. “I don’t believe in ghosts! What a stupid story!”

 

 

Just then, the lights went out! The pub became very dark! We couldn’t see anything!

Everyone started talking. “What is it?” “Is it a power cut?” “It’s dark! I can’t see anything!”

Then, we heard a very loud CRASH!!!

Some people started shouting. Some were screaming.

Then, suddenly, the lights came on. The mirror from the wall was now on the floor. It was broken into many small pieces around the man with the red face. Everyone was quiet. We all looked at the man. We couldn’t believe it.

Then the landlord asked the man, “Are you OK? Are you cut?”

The man shook his head. “No, but my neck hurts.”

We looked at his neck. There were rope marks around his neck. He was too shocked to talk. He picked up his coat and walked out of the pub.

 

 

We all helped to clean up the glass on the floor. The landlord gave us all free whisky.

We all talked about the mirror and the lights, but no one could understand it. In that pub, there were people who believed in ghosts and people who didn’t believe in ghosts. But by the end of the night, I think everyone believed.

 

——

Old Jack has written five books of ghost stories. You can find more information about his books here. Old Jack’s Ghost Stories

Happy Halloween!

 

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