Hold on to your Cats MicroFiction fans! It’s the 2nd Humpbuckle Tales 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.
Welcome to the second author reading of Humpbuckle Tales. I will be reading 12 tales today (11-22) find the podcast version here. You can find the first 10 episodes on youtube, or listen to the podcast.
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 (https://peakd.com/@humpbuckletales) and on Sunday there will be six new fifty word stories.
For those of you who don’t know what Hive is: it is like a blogging platform but it is on a blockchain. Posting on the blockchain means you get rewarded in Hive tokens (a cryptocurrency). I use the Peakd front end (unlike other blogging platforms Hive is open sourced so you can access it by using various “front ends” including Hive.blog). You can find humpbuckle tales on peakd.com/@humpbuckletales
You will also find the stories at humpbuckletales.com (one story per day, 7 days a week)
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Thanks for watching, listening and reading!
Humpbuckle Tales are read by the author, Bruce Arbuckle (@felt.buzz on Hive)
Humpbuckle Tales 11: The gods must be crazy
“The gods sure were nuts when they made you,” Chloe laughs.
“Gods?” Molly raises an eyebrow.
“You don’t get that level of kooky from just one unhinged diety.”
“Is that a no?”
“I’m not crazy! Of course, I’ll marry you! Now take off that ridiculous costume and come kiss me.”
Humpbuckle Tales 12: The Dye Pot
“Closed: Order of the Town Council.”
The sign is taped to the door of The Dye Pot.
Molly puts her arm around Chloe.
“And her husband. Their hatred grows stronger every year.”
“We’ll fight this.”
“They have so much money and power.”
“We have something more potent : love.”
Humpbuckle Tales 13: Gopher
At school, before The Incident, he was called The Gopher.
“Need something fetched? Dave’ll go for ya!”
It wasn’t a free service.
Brian befriended him when the enterprise made Dave rich and popular.
After the bridge, everything changed.
Dave lost friends, money and his mind.
Brian made sure of it.
Humpbuckle Tales 14: Knee problems
John’s old knee injury usually doesn’t bother him, but today he can barely walk.
From the window of the osteopath’s waiting room, he spies his boss kissing a woman.
It’s not Mrs Simmons.
John snaps a photo.
He feels guilty, uncomfortable.
But having something on Mayor Simmons might be useful.
Humpbuckle Tales 15: Circus performer
Judy wanted to be a trapeze artist or a nurse.
Acrophobia dashed her circus performing dreams.
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.
Humpbuckle Tales 16: Musk Ox
“Can we throw this away?”
Chloe stands in the doorway holding Gilham’s old coat.
“It smells like rotting flesh.”
“Put it back.”
Gilham loved that old coat.
“My grandmother killed this musk ox with her bare hands,” he’d boast.
Gilham was World Champion of Bullshit.
Molly misses him desperately.
Humpbuckle Tales 17: Gilham’s End 1: the gods must be crazy
According to Gilham, the world was created in an asylum for crazy gods.
“The universe makes sense,” he says. “When you realise it is simply the ravings of insane deities.”
“Drink up, foolish old man,” Molly chuckles. “Go home. Take that smelly coat with you.”
Gilham drains his pint, smiling.
Humpbuckle Tales 18: Gilham’s End 2: dye pot
Chloe is locking The Dye Pot door as Gilham stumbles past.
They chat for a minute before she heads home to Molly.
He meanders on.
The walk along the windswept clifftop path is sobering.
The waves crash against the rocks below.
He wonders what it would feel like to fall.
Humpbuckle Tales 19: Gilham’s End 3: gopher
There is, what at first looks like, a pile of clothes on the clifftop bench overlooking the ocean.
A head pops out, gopher-like, from the bundle.
“Hello Gilham,” it says.
It takes his fuddled brain a moment.
Gilham suddenly wishes he’d taken the long walk home.
Humpbuckle Tales 20: Gilham’s End 4: knee problems
If he wasn’t so old, drunk, and beset with knee problems, Gilham might have considered fleeing.
But he’d never run away from danger before.
Why start now?
Brian was younger, fitter, less intoxicated than he.
But Gilham would fight if he had to.
He steps forward.
“What do you want?”
Humpbuckle Tales 21: Gilham’s End 5: circus performer
In his youth, Gilham could backflip like a circus performer.
These days he might pull a muscle simply getting out of bed.
“What did Dave say?” Brian asks. In his hand, a rock.
“I know what you did,” Gilham says.
Gilham’s reaction is slow. The rock cracks his head.
Humpbuckle Tales 22: Gilham’s End 6: musk ox
Regaining consciousness, Gilham’s besotted brain doesn’t register immediately that he is being dragged to the cliff edge.
He tries to shout but the alcohol and concussion work against him.
He barely whimpers.
The last thing he thinks before his body smashes onto rocks below is:
“The bastard stole my coat!”