Végétation [fr]

Elle peut à peine ouvrir la porte tellement les plantes ont poussé chez elle depuis la veille. Elle se fraie un chemin à travers la jungle avec le couteau de cuisine qu’elle garde dans son sac.

Elle ne ressortira pas. Les plantes ont décidé de la garder. Elles ont faim.

Ceci est une mini-nouvelle en 50 mots. Lisez-en d’autres de moi sur CTTS ou sur Facebook, par d’autres que moi.

The Hotel by the Sparkling Sea [en]

After a long dusty drive across the desert, we have finally reached the sparkling sea. The coast is bordered by a wall of stone. A real road runs beside it.

It’s beautiful. I take photos, cursing myself for not taking more during our journey.

We hear gunfire. Our party does not seem to mind much. Those responsible for all the racket are small kids, boys mainly, with big machine-guns. Dead earnest, they stand in front of our hotel, spraying the street with bullets. We stay aside, like when strangers nearby have an argument: pretend not to hear, don’t interfere.

I enter the hotel to get some pictures. I almost get a photograph of the big window breaking into one thousand pieces as one of the shooters falls onto it, but I’m a fraction of a second too late.

I suddenly realise being here is dangerous. The kids are done outside. They start coming into the building. I hide in the back rooms. They advance without a sound, from all directions.

I’m really scared, but one room ahead. I walk calmly across a corridor, say hi to the sentinel as if a kid with a gun in a hotel hallway was perfectly normal. It works. He says hi back, almost like a real kid, and I pass my way up the stairs, heart beating.

I end up hiding in a bedroom marked “Private”. I’ve heard some isolated gunshots. I huddle in a corner, near the telephone, concealed under a bed cover. I dial for reception.

Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring.

– Hello?

– …Hello. Er. There are kids with guns in the hotel. Call the police. I’m hiding in a room.

I hang up, trembling. I wonder if my time has come.


The door opens, and a small armed figure steps silently inside.

Lies [en]

She had lied a lot. To everybody who was important to her.

Then she had run away.

She changed her name in shame, tried to start afresh.

She continued lying. Habits die hard. She lied to the man she loved, of course.

He left her. Broke her heart.

She died.

This is a 50-word short story. Read more by me on CTTS or by others too on Facebook.

The Key [en]

She had forgotten what she had come here to forget, whiskey upon whiskey.

The door opened. Three men stormed in.

“You must help us!” they cried.
“Go back home, I can’t even help myself. I’m just a miserable drunk!”

One of them pointed to her silver ring, gift from her dead mother.

“You’re the one we’re looking for. If you do not come willingly, we will take you by force.”

He gripped her arm as she staggered to her feet, cursing and thrashing and telling them to leave her in peace. But his grip was strong, and the two others helped, and soon they had dragged her out to their horses. They threw her over the biggest one and sped off without a word.

Many sick and bumpy hours later, the riders stopped. She fell to the ground in a heap, blinking and bewildered.

“Forgive our manners,” said one of the men. Her head felt of lead. “But our affairs here are of utmost importance, and we could not wait to convince you. My brothers have gone ahead, we must now follow them.”
“Not until you tell me what you want from me.”
“You are the fourth key. But time is running out, we must hurry now!”

As he grabbed her wrist to lead her through the woods, she noticed he was wearing the same silver ring. Still in a half-drunken daze, she stumbled along until they reached a clearing. The two brothers had been busy removing moss and branches from a huge stony door, half-open in the cliff.

He showed her the four pairs of hand-prints in the stone. If the door was not closed by sunset, great evil would come through it.

The four took position, and the door creaked tightly shut. Just in time.

Des histoires [fr]

Ce qu’elle voulait plus que tout, c’était raconter des histoires. Des histoires qui feraient rêver, ou bien qui feraient peur. Des histoires mystérieuses ou intrigantes, qui emporteraient leur lecteur très loin de son monde à lui.

Hélas, nulle histoire ne pointait le bout de son nez. Elle avait beau essayer, rien ne venait: elle ne savait pas comment faire.

Elle décida un jour d’aller consulter un vieux sage.

– J’aimerais tant savoir inventer des histoires, lui dit-elle.

L’ermite la regarda quelques secondes et répondit sèchement:

– Mais tu ne fais que ça! À longueur de journée, tu te racontes des histoires. Sur ce qui va arriver, ce qui pourrait arriver, sur les autres, sur toi-même. Tu sais très bien inventer des histoires. Maintenant, fiche-moi la paix et va écrire!

Un peu heurtée par la rudesse du vieillard, elle prit le chemin du retour. Oui, elle passait son temps à se demander ce qui allait arriver, à échafauder des plans et des scénarios — mais pour elle, c’était bien différent de ce qu’elle voulait faire. Elle ne voulait pas parler de la réalité! Elle voulait inventer des histoires qui n’existaient pas.

Durant les jours qui suivirent, elle repensa aux paroles du sage. Au fond, les histoires qu’elle imaginait pour se protéger contre trop d’inconnu avaient peut-être aussi peu de rapport avec la réalité que celles qu’elle désirait inventer.

Alors elle se mit à écrire. Tous les jours ou presque. Elle inventait des histoires, et tant pis si elles étaient farfelues. Au fil des mois et des années, elle prit de l’assurance. Le vieil ermite avait raison, pensa-t-elle; je sais très bien inventer des histoires, au fond.

Et un beau jour, sans avoir trop compris comment, elle avait imaginé une histoire qui était en train de devenir un livre.

He kept checking his iPhone on the bus [en]

He kept checking his iPhone on the bus. A little compulsive, maybe.

She took out her Poken and dangled it in front of her — an invitation. He looked at her, took his out, and they connected without a word. Just a smile.

She’d check him out in detail this evening.

This is a 50-word short story. Read more by me on CTTS or by others too on Facebook.

John pushed his glasses back up [en]

John pushed his glasses back up his long nose and looked at the obviously fake document.

“Where did you get this?”
“Clearing the attic,” replied Mr. Wilson.

A bullet shattered the window and killed Mr. Wilson.

John ran for his life, but not fast enough: a second bullet found him.

This is a 50-word short story. Read more by me on CTTS or by others too on Facebook.

Chris gently took her hand [en]

Chris gently took her hand, under the table. She caught her breath and a smile flickered upon her lips, as she kept chatting with the others.

They stole a few glances during the evening, shy fingers entwined.

Time to leave. “How about a movie tomorrow?” he asked.

She said yes.

This is a 50-word short story. Read more by me on CTTS or by others too on Facebook.

Her words led him through worlds [en]

Her words led him through worlds beyond his dreams, and then dropped him roughly back onto his bed.

– Ouch! that wasn’t very nice!

He reached for another book — but none of them would open up a door in the solid walls of his world.

He burned the school library down.

This is a 50-word short story. Read more by me on CTTS or by others too on Facebook.

She never thought that changing all the paintings [en]

She never thought that changing all the paintings on the walls would break the house’s heart. For starters, she hadn’t realised the house had a heart, or that it could be broken.

She loved the house, however, so she got all the paintings back. It wasn’t easy, but she managed.

This is a 50-word short story. Read more by me on CTTS or by others too on Facebook.