The Feather Dress

FTR_cover_translucentThe latest of my #5MinuteStories is available now in the latest edition of the Fairy Tale Review. It’s called The Feather Dress, and it’s based on an old Chinese tale about a man’s strange obsession and a woman’s transformation.

It’s a strange story of heartbreak, hope, and whether our hopes might grow wings. You can find it in the Translucent issue, along with many other fantastic stories, here.


#5MinuteStories: Rooster

What if the dead could return, for just one night? An old Chinese folktale says this is exactly what happens – but not quite as we might expect.

chinese-17413_1920This week’s #5MinuteStories is about love, loss, and coming home. You can download the podcast or listen below:


Or you can click through the digital story right here:

#5MinuteStories: Butterfly

Have you ever met anyone who has lived two lives?tombstone-660890_1920

Perhaps you’re one of those people, whose life seems split in two. Maybe sometimes you look back and think: I used to be a completely different person.

This week’s #5MinuteStories is about how a single hour can change the course of a life. It’s about human eclosion and transformation, about the people we become, and the myths that undo us.

Listen here, or download the podcast for later.


Enjoy the digital story below:

Please let me know what you think!

#5minutestories: Cranes

Do you ever get the feeling that there is nothing new in the world? Are we all just doing the same things that have been done many times before?


This week’s #5minutestories is about how our lives echo across history. It’s about origami prayers, Hong Kong moviestars, and warring emperors, but most of all it is about the overlap between the past and the future.

You can download the podcast or listen to the audio version here:


Or read the illustrated digital story below:

Is there anything original left – or has everything already been done before?

#5minutestories: Ants

Do you have a head for numbers or do they multiply your problems? This week’s story is about ants, stolen skeletons, the numerical beliefs of Hasidic Jews and the mysterious disappearance of the Neanderthals.


This is a story about how we try to make sense of the world with numbers, but how they only seem to lead us round in circles.

As ever, you can download the podcast or listen here:


And read the illustrated digital version right here:

#5MinuteStories: Dodo

Do you have a self-destruct button? Do you ever find yourself thinking: I’m my own worst enemy?file000492284800


This #5MinuteStories is one for Lent: about the things we know we shouldn’t do, but end up doing all the same. It’s about the bad habits we can’t kick, the reckless impulses we can’t quit.

As ever, listen below or download the podcast.


Or read the digital version right here.


#5MinuteStories: Sheep

We’ve all met people who don’t seem to care about anything else except themselves. But is is possible to care too much?


This week’s #5MinuteStories is about those people who only seem to say what they think you want to hear. We’ve all met one – someone a little too eager to please. And so this story explores whether it’s possible to have too much empathy.

You can listen below or download the podcast here.


Or click-through the illustrated story below.

#5MinuteStories: Raccoons

raccoon-86615_1280Have you ever felt like your passions were controlling you? And do owners really grow to resemble their pets?

The third of my #5MinuteStories gatecrashes a wild party thrown by Marlon Brando in his Sixth Avenue apartment, and follows Dante Gabriel Rossetti into Highgate Cemetry to dig up his dead wife.


Listen to the story below (or click here to download the podcast).


Or click through the illustrated version below (on apple tablets you’ll need this app).


#5MinuteStories: Parrot

clock 1Welcome to the first of my #5MinuteStories. These are the shortest of short stories to experience on a busy commute, or while stuck in a waiting room. They are the perfect length to be enjoyed on a coffee break, or with a cup of tea (biscuits are optional but certainly recommended). They will entertain you, and always leave you with something to ponder.

This first story is called ‘Parrot’, and it asks a question most of us have wondered at one time or another: if someone says “I love you”, do you have to say it back?

There are two ways to experience these stories. You can click below to start the audio version (or download the podcast to listen to later).

| Open Player in New Window

Or you can enjoy the click-through illustrated story in the Prezi below (or you can download this to your phone, tablet or laptop to take with you, though you may need the free Prezi app to help view this on some phones and tablets).

I will post a new story every Tuesday, all available to download for free (for a limited time). Let me know what you think.