Colin Will

Short Stories

Wanting a break from writing poetry, in 2015 I began writing short stories, and discovered
just how much I enjoyed that. Of course, the writing didn't come out of nowhere; I had always
enjoyed reading short stories, by Alice Munro, Raymond Carver, Ernest Hemingway, de Maupassant,
Chekhov and others. And while I don't claim to be influenced by anyone else, I have learned a lot
about writing my own stories by reading the work of others.

My first short story collection, a short pamphlet, was published by Postbox Press, the literary fiction
imprint of Red Squirrel Press, in 2016. It's available from me directly - please email me.
book cover

After the success of this collection, my first full-length collection of short stories, Word Play, was published in 2018,
and it's available from Red Squirrel Press.

book cover

Short story (samples)

Opening lines

Here are the opening paragraphs of some of the stories in Word Play.

Word Play

The first six months were the worst. After that, the second six months were the worst. What I’m trying to say is that there was no single moment in that first year when I thought, I’m beginning to get over it. Because I don’t really think I will ever get over it. But there are moments, minutes, hours maybe, when I don’t think about Sandra.

Also available in grey

What’s wrong with pink trousers? Why didn’t she like me wearing pink trousers? Of course I could be pedantic and say the shade is actually ‘crushed raspberry’, but I won’t deny their fundamental pinkitude.


It was the heavy breathing that aroused her. He was spinning as fast as he could, and his breathing was rapid, shallow and open-mouthed, with rhythmic gasping. It reminded Carol of sex with Mike before they were married, and she could feel her face getting hotter and hotter.


Soft, wet sand squished up between Vickie’s toes. She smiled. It was good to give in to pure sensation, to let go of her thoughts, to just live in the moment. It brought back memories of growing up in the little seaside town, and most of the memories were happy ones. Her rebellious teenage memories weren’t quite so happy, but she put them aside.

The Sting

It was still too shallow to swim. Normally David would have waited until the shock of cold water suddenly coming in contact with his genitals told him it was time to strike out, in that laboured breast stroke of his. Here, in the little bay in Brittany, the beach shelved away so gradually that he and Hugh had to wade out a couple of hundred metres. He watched a baby flounder, disturbed by his footfall, skitter away over the sand, in the sun-warmed water. He did not see the sharp point sticking out of the sand, but he felt an excruciating pain in the pad of his big toe, so bad he almost passed out. He called out, and Hugh turned towards him.


It was dark when Nudge woke up. It was always dark when he woke up. He swung his legs out and down, using their weight to bring his head and body up. He didn’t look at the empty space in the bed to his left – training himself not to be aware of the absence. He opened the bedroom curtains just a crack to check the weather. Dry, cold, not windy. Enough information for this time of the morning. He let the curtain fall back, then pulled it tightly closed so there was no gap. That way, there was no chance of anybody outside looking in.

Copyright © Colin Will 2018