“circus performer” a fifty-word story. Humpbuckle Tales 15

Judy wanted to be a trapeze artist or a nurse.

Acrophobia dashed her circus performing dreams.

Nursing, then.

Discovering she was also hemophobic she specialised in psychiatry.

After a patient slashed his wrists, a handsome psychiatrist suggested treating her fear of blood with hypnosis.

Cured, his powerful voice enraptured her.

This is the fifteenth in the series of Humpbuckle Tales. Each story is precisely 50 words long. They are meant to be independent stories, but if you read them all you will find each one adds another piece to the puzzle – there is a bigger story that is being told.

This story was first published on my Hive blog (@felt.buzz) and you can find all the stories on the @humbuckletales Hive account – at the time of posting this I have just published number 26. On Hive I publish 12 stories per week (Monday to Saturday one story per day and then six 50-word stories in one post on a Sunday).

If you prefer the drip drip drip approach keep coming back here for one 50-word tale every day!

You can watch the author read the first 10 Humpbuckle Tales on YouTube or you can listen to it as a podcast. The next author reading is scheduled for 1st November.

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Humpbuckle Tales 1 – 10 (an author reading)

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.

If you are watching this on YouTube and like the video please give it a thumbs up (if you hate it feel free to give it a thumbs down).

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.

Please subscribe to the Humpbuckle Tales youtube channel if you can and hit the notification bell button if you would like to hear more of these tales being read.

Thanks for watching, listening and reading!

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.”

She frowns.

“Never said nowt when you were still breathing, did they?”

She turns away.

“Goodbye, my friend.”

….

Humpbuckle Tales 2: Rain Maker

“Rain!” Simmons barks.

“Sorry sir?”

“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.”

He smiles.

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.

Everyone smiles.

“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.

The Pyschiatrist (6 of 6): a fifty word story (Humpbuckle Tales 10)

The Psychiatrist (6 of 6: fatal)

The patient enters. He appears calm.

Everyone smiles.

“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.

This is the tenth in the series of Humpbuckle Tales. Each story is precisely 50 words long. They are meant to be independent stories, but if you read them all you will find each one adds another piece to the puzzle – there is a bigger story that is being told.

This story was first published on my Hive blog (@felt.buzz) and you can find all the stories on the @humbuckletales Hive account – at the time of posting this I have just published the 16th Humpbuckle Tale there. On Hive I publish 12 stories per week (Monday to Saturday one story per day and then six 50-word stories in one post on a Sunday).

If you prefer the drip drip drip approach keep coming back here for one 50-word tale every day!

On Monday 18th October I will be posting an author reading of the first 10 stories (up to and including this one). It will be available here, on youtube, as a podcast and on Hive. If all goes well I plan to post author readings of 12 episodes at a time every other Monday.

Thanks for reading!

Written by Bruce Arbuckle (@felt.buzz on Hive). Find the latest in the Humpbuckle Tales series on Hive

The Pyschiatrist (5 of 6): a fifty-word story (Humpbuckle Tales 9)

The Psychiatrist (5 of 6 : 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.


This is the ninth in the series of Humpbuckle Tales. Each story is precisely 50 words long. They are meant to be independent stories, but if you read them all you will find each one adds a little bit more colour to the overall picture – there is a bigger story that is being told.

This story was first published on my Hive blog (@felt.buzz) and you can find all the stories on the @humbuckletales Hive account – at the time of posting this I have just published the 15th Humpbuckle Tale there. On Hive I publish 12 stories per week (Monday to Saturday one story per day and then six 50-word stories in one post on a Sunday).

If you prefer the drip drip drip approach keep coming back here for one 50-word tale every day!

I plan to post an author reading of the first 10 stories. It will be available here, on youtube, as a podcast and on Hive. If all goes well I plan to post author readings of 12 episodes at a time every other Monday.

Thanks for reading!

Written by Bruce Arbuckle (@felt.buzz on Hive). Find the latest in the Humpbuckle Tales series on Hive

The Psychiatrist (4 of 6): a fifty word story (Humpbuckle Tales 8)

The Psychiatrist (4 of 6: 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.


This is the eighth in the series of Humpbuckle Tales. Each story is precisely 50 words long. They are meant to be independent stories, but if you read them all you will find each one adds a little bit more colour to the overall picture – there is a bigger story that is being told.

This story was first published on my Hive blog (@felt.buzz) and you can find all the stories on the @humbuckletales Hive account – at the time of posting this I have just published the 14th Humpbuckle Tale there. On Hive I publish 12 stories per week (Monday to Saturday one story per day and then six 50-word stories in one post on a Sunday).

If you prefer the drip drip drip approach keep coming back here for one 50-word tale every day!

I plan to post an author reading of the first 10 stories. It will be available here, on youtube, as a podcast and on Hive. If all goes well I plan to post author readings of 12 episodes at a time every other Monday.

Thanks for reading!

Written by Bruce Arbuckle (@felt.buzz on Hive). Find the latest in the Humpbuckle Tales series on Hive

The Psychiatrist (3 of 6): a fifty word story (Humpbuckle Tales 7)

The Psychiatrist (3 of 6 : 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.”

He smiles.

If she only knew.

This is the seventh in the series of Humpbuckle Tales. Each story is precisely 50 words long. They are meant to be independent stories, but if you read them all you will find each one adds a little bit more colour to the overall picture – there is a bigger story that is being told.

This story was first published on my Hive blog (@felt.buzz) and you can find all the stories on the @humbuckletales Hive account – at the time of posting this I have just published the 13th Humpbuckle Tale there.

Thanks for reading!

Written by Bruce Arbuckle (@felt.buzz on Hive). Find the latest in the Humpbuckle Tales series on Hive

The Psychiatrist (2 of 6): a fifty word story (Humpbuckle Tales 6)

The Psychiatrist (2 of 6: 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.

This is the sixth in the series of Humpbuckle Tales. Each story is precisely 50 words long. They are meant to be independent stories, but if you read them all you will find each one adds a little bit more colour to the overall picture – there is a bigger story that is being told.

This story was first published on my Hive blog (@felt.buzz) and you can find all the stories on the @humbuckletales Hive account – at the time of posting this I have just published the 12th Humpbuckle Tale there.

Thanks for reading!

Written by Bruce Arbuckle (@felt.buzz on Hive). Find the latest in the Humpbuckle Tales series on Hive

The Psychiatrist (1 of 6): a fifty word story (Humpbuckle Tales 5)

The Psychiatrist (1 of 6: 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!”

This is my fifth 50 word story in my series of Humpbuckle Tales, stories set in the fictional town of humpbuckle-on-sea.

I always publish the stories first on my blog on Hive. You can find the most up-to-date Humpbuckle Tales by checking out the HumpbuckleTales blog on Hive