New Short Story: ‘Ashes to Ashes’ by AJ Kirby

Posted: February 10, 2014 in AJ Kirby Short Fiction, Freebies, Other Writing by AJ Kirby

ashes to ashesMy short story ‘Ashes to Ashes’ has been published by the excellent Pen and Plot zine. You can read it online here:!aj-kirby/c66c

The story – which features crystal ball gazers, stuck-in-a-rut northern blokes, and robin redbreasts – concerns everyday miracles (of which I have recently experienced a whopping great one) and is the headline piece in this month’s zine.p and p1

Here’s an excerpt:

“In a gentle, understated manner, Sandra began to read the tea leaves at the bottom of the china cup. She held out the cup for David to inspect, for him to see that this was not some magic trick, that at heart these were simply tea leaves. The Princess Diana commemorative cup held what looked to David like soaked wood chippings, or perhaps the contents of a spice rack. It was a long time since he had actually seen tea leaves loose of their customary bags. But as he looked more acutely, he began to see that the matter distinctly resembled ash, burned wood, or perhaps something else which had been burned: his daughter, Gemma.

     He reeled away from the shock of the image. The abrupt raking-over of a still-throbbing wound. He gulped: there was a knot of grief the size of a root vegetable in his throat that all of a sudden made it hard for him to breathe.

Had he really seen that? The cremation? The ashes?”

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