Fiction on Tall And True

Fiction writers, magicians, politicians and priests are the only people rewarded for entertaining us with their lies. ~ Bangambiki Habyarimana

Tall And True showcases the fiction and other writings of writer and podcaster Robert Fairhead. Guest Writers are also invited to share and showcase their writing on the website.

You Have Been Warned - a pair of slippers watching the universe on a TV.
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You Have Been Warned

Excuse me, humanity, please pay attention. I have an urgent message. "What? Not in the middle of my reality TV show!" I'm sorry. I'll be brief. But first, a little background. My message concerns the fate of a pale blue dot in the inky expanse of the universe. Beyond its fragile borders is vast nothingness.

One of Those Mornings - looking at traffic through a wet windscreen.
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One of Those Mornings

Have you ever had one of those mornings? You know, where everything goes wrong. It's like a farce, a series of mishaps increasing in frequency and intensity that have you howling with side-splitting laughter or shedding tears of frustration. Mine started when I forgot to set the alarm for Amy's swim squad training.

Not Lost Bench

Not Lost by Gabriel Shaw

Years. That’s how long it’s been. Years that have apparently flecked my hair with wispy white fingers and drawn the times of see-saws, slippery dips, and little lolly-smeared faces to a jarring end. Everyone I know is gone.

Different Journeys - Smashed Mobile Phone

Different Journeys

Teresa's first thing in the morning text message was a punch in the guts. "Sorry, Colin. I love you, but we're on different journeys. Let's stay friends." I blinked twice to clear my eyes and was about to respond, "Are you serious?" but threw the phone against the bedroom wall instead.

The light above an empty hospital corridor
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The Light Above

I open my eyes, blink and try to focus on the bright lights set into the white ceiling flying past overhead. I hear beeps and muffled voices. It feels like I'm strapped to a camp stretcher, but it's moving. I'm on a hospital gurney. What happened? I want to ask. But there's a tube down my throat, and I can't talk.

A window table in an empty restaurant

A Window Table

The sign at the front desk of the restaurant was emphatic: "WAIT TO BE SEATED." No "Please" or "Thank you". Bernie and his date, Sally, glanced at each other in awkward silence. "YES," a gruff voice boomed from a speaker on the desk, "DO YOU HAVE A BOOKING?" Bernie stared into the webcam taped to the speaker.

Palm Motel - Snap, Crackle, Pop!

Snap, Crackle, Pop!

The chemical reaction when I pour the jug of milk onto my cereal sparks a memory: "Snap, crackle, pop!" Growing up, Mum bought us bland wheat cereals for breakfast. "You need the fibre," she'd say, cutting short complaints and requests from my sisters and me for more popular brands.

AI Droid - A New Jack

A New Jack

Less than forty-eight hours after receiving her online order, Third Age Cybertronics delivered Jack to Daisy, a sprightly centenarian who purchased the Advanced Companion Droid to help her with household chores and carry her bags when travelling.

Moving On - Train Station Clock

Moving On

Eighteen-year-old Hugo glanced up at the train station clock. It seemed time had stood still, with the minute hand barely moved since he'd last checked. He confirmed the time on his watch and then looked at the departure board, breathing a sigh of relief. His train was running on schedule.

Annabel's Teapot and Cups

Annabel's Teapot by Judd Exley

Annabel loved her crochet samplers, her porcelain miniatures, her creepily-staring dolls, but she worshipped her spoons. She bid them good night, every night, and she stopped and stared at them every single day, sometimes finishing a nice cup of tea whilst standing unsteadily in front of them.

A log cabin surrounded by forest

A Knock at the Door

"In space no one can hear you scream. But what if you're deep in the backwoods, in an isolated cabin on a dead-end trail?" Karen set aside the book. A horror story was not ideal reading for the off-grid log cabin Peter had booked for their thirtieth wedding anniversary weekend, especially as she was alone in bed.

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