Welcome to Humpbuckle-on-sea! In this small coastal town there are many stories to tell. Humpbuckle Tales will tell them… 50 words at a time.
My name is Bruce, I’m also known as Felt.Buzz. One of my creative passions is writing and I really enjoy writing microfiction: very short stories.
Humpbuckle Tales are tiny stories, comprising only fifty words. They don’t take very long to read (around 10 to 20 seconds!) but they do take quite a long time to write (sometimes several hours).
Each fifty-word story is written to tell a tale independent of the others.
But, as they say, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Each fifty-word story is part of a bigger tale. The characters are linked. The stories are connected.
You’ll find a new fifty-word Humpbuckle Tale every day (Monday to Saturday) on the Hive blog and on Sunday there will be six new fifty word stories.
You will also find the stories here, at humpbuckletales.com, one story per day, 7 days a week.
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Let me know in the comments what you liked and what you didn’t. Can you see how these stories may be linked? Let me know what you think is going on.
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Here are the first 10 tales. Read as by the author, Bruce Arbuckle (@felt.buzz on Hive)
Also available as a Humpbuckle Tales podcast
Humpbuckle Tales 1: Great Support to the Community
The hearse creeps past The Kings Head pub. The Mayor follows, head bowed, a large crowd behind him.
Molly shakes her head.
“They’re all talking about what a great guy you were.”
“Never said nowt when you were still breathing, did they?”
She turns away.
“Goodbye, my friend.”
Humpbuckle Tales 2: Rain Maker
“Rain!” Simmons barks.
“A funeral needs rain! It looks better on the evening news.”
John is the Mayor’s “fixer”.
He feels more like a punchbag: given impossible tasks, slapped down when he inevitably fails.
The sky is stubbornly blue.
Not one cloud.
“Can’t fix the weather,” he whispers.
Humpbuckle Tales 3: Blue Bicycle
Chloe was six when Margot received a shiny blue bicycle for her ninth birthday.
It was beautiful!
Envious, Chloe stole, then abandoned her sister’s present.
Margot was punished for not caring for her missing gift, and for lying (accusing her little sister of the crime).
Chloe had never been forgiven.
Humpbuckle Tales 4: Fatal
“It was just a game. “
Brian is shaking.
Dave coughs. Thick smoke rises from the burning car below.
“We should go.”
Throwing things off the bridge was his idea.
But Brian’s tomato, splattering red on the truck’s windscreen, caused it to swerve.
Watching television, later, Dave learns three people died.
Humpbuckle Tales 5: The Psychiatrist (witchcraft)
The patient first accused his mother of witchcraft when he was sixteen.
At first she thought he was joking.
She ignored the growing signs of psychosis: she wasn’t trained to recognize them.
Until one night she woke to find he had soaked her bed in petrol.
“Time to burn, witch!”
Humpbuckle Tales 6: The Psychiatrist (interactions)
She hated herself for being a stereotype : the nurse sleeping with the doctor.
He was stuck in a loveless marriage (another cliche) but he wouldn’t leave his wife .
It wouldn’t play well with the press.
She should end it.
She should do the right thing.
But she knew she couldn’t.
Humpbuckle Tales 7: The Psychiatrist (great support to the community)
He’d known the patient’s mother since he was five years old.
“Look at you!”
He squirms, uncomfortable in her embrace.
“You haven’t changed!”
“Neither have you,” he lies.
She fingers the scars on her face, subconsciously.
“It comforts me. Knowing you are his doctor.”
If she only knew.
Humpbuckle Tales 8: The Psychiatrist (rain maker)
“I’m a rain maker!” the patient screams.
“I could have used your talents, earlier,” the psychiatrist says.
He smiles, directing the nurse to give the man something to calm him down.
The nurse’s smile is warmer than it should be.
His frown drives her away.
He will punish her later.
Humpbuckle Tales 9: The Psychiatrist (blue bicycle)
His wife calls.
She complains about her sister again.
She wants him to shut her sister’s
new business down.
“Make it happen.”
“My pleasure, dear”
He’d always fancied Chloe, but she rejected him.
Revenge led him into the arms of her sister.
Vengence binds them together.
It’s stronger than love.
Humpbuckle Tales 10: The Psychiatrist (fatal)
The patient enters. He appears calm.
“You look well, dear,” his mother says.
His eyes fixed on the psychiatrist, he doesn’t acknowledge her.
“You!” he shouts. “You killed them!”
A nurse manœuvres him out of the room.
“Still delusional, I’m afraid.”
The psychiatrist’s lie overrules the patient’s truth.