Experimenting soundscapes

I have just recorded an audio version of my flash fiction, Oratorio for a Wreck. Inspired by the work of Dirk Maggs who directed and crafted the sound of the BBC radio production of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere as well as Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, I tried experimenting with multilevel soundscapes. I have neither his equipment nor his talent or vast experience, but it was fun and I am pleased with the result.

Many thanks to my son, Iannis, for his advice about the sound.

Oratorio for a wreck





New flash: Where was I?

I hadn’t written a piece of flash fiction for a while. An encounter early this morning with an old lady inspired this new short story entitled Where was I? 

Where did I put that paper? It was in here somewhere. What a mess. Always so much stuff in my bag. No idea where it comes from. A packet of cigarettes. Empty, of course. Shame. Could have done with a cig. No such luck. (…) Read more.

Umbrella People


Read my new flash fiction: Umbrella People. Here’s a brief extract:

Rain patters on the flagstones that pave the square. Rivulets of water converge forming ever growing puddles, till the place resembles an immense lagoon bordered by a forest of pillars curving upwards, arching protective over tables huddled like bedraggled lambs. ()

Short Story: Her


Read my latest short story, Her, sparked by an idea during a workshop given by EmJay Holmes. Here’s the beginning of the story:

Time to crack open my eyes, to yawn and yawn again, to stretch, to scratch, then pounce on the ball of wool sending it shooting under the bed. And I’m off, skidding on the carpet, slithering past the ball, almost colliding with the wall. Arching my back, I spring again, digging my claws into the woolly prey. It clings to me and we struggle. I roll on my back, splaying my legs, and wool tumbles over my belly. ()

Flash: The Light Knows No Secrets


Off Shoots 13 was officially launched today at a special event in Geneva organised by the Geneva Writers Group. In this publication you will find one of my short stories entitled The Light Knows No Secrets. Here are the opening lines:

“What did you say, Sandy?”

“I didn’t speak, my love.”

“Then who said that about the light?”

“What light?”

Please don’t tell me I’m hearing voices. ()

You can read the whole flash fiction here.

Ripples of water

Complex Weaver

Read more of Alan McCluskey’s short story, The Complex Weaver.



Branched out into SciFi with this flash fiction entitled, Encountered. Here’s the beginning:

The whir of colour wheels settled and a familiar sinking announced the return to gravity. Ahead the docking station took shape. AT381. Home. He let out a deep shuddery breath. He was almost there. Out of habit, he glanced at the screens. No one was following…. (Read on)

Flowerpot scientists


Read my latest short story called Flowerpot Scientists, inspired by a strange conversation with Ginger. Here’s the first sentence:

“No. I insist. They hide under flowerpots,” she says, draining most of her cup, turning it upside down and placing it dripping over a solitary sugar lump… (Read on)

Devouring Folk Tales


Read Alan McCluskey’s new short story: Devouring Folk Tales. Here’s a short extract:

Something went wrong, dreadfully wrong, once upon a time.

Von stood alone on a broad open plain, hills of pink dust rolling away in every direction. The sun blazed high in the sky causing waves of heat to ripple over the desert making it look as if it throbbed. (Read on)

New short story index


There are now over fifty of Alan McCluskey’s short stories published on Secret Paths. To find your way around, you can use the new Story Index.