'Barbara's writing is bold, original and enormous fun. In her screenplay 'Cowboy Girls' she cleverly puts the female at the very epi-centre of the traditionally male genre of the Western.'

Anthony Minghella, Oscar winning
Screenwriter/Producer and Director
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Short Stories

Short Stories by Barbara Jane Mackie

Barbara Jane Mackie says: ‘my short stories are all quite different from each other..’

‘Mia and Melinda Mean Murder’ is my attempt at writing Hitchcock – comedy crime!  I have the beginnings of a comic-crime novel here that I intend to develop.  Knowing and having lived in Brighton, I decided to set my very first short story there.

Mia and Melinda mean Murder

Mia and Melinda meant murder.  They had meant murder from the very first moment they met on that midnight train to Hove.  It was meant to be.  A perfect swap: you murder mine and I will murder yours.  They were talking husbands, of course.

The plot thickened at the Hove beach huts, where the two women met for a second time.  As they whispered excitedly over their café lattes, they looked to people walking in the fresh sea air on Hove Esplanade, like two typical housewives.  Mia Wilkes, teetering on the brink of forty, was no stranger to ‘glorious self-preservation’ as she called it.  Teeth whitened, boobs nipped and tucked, she was slim, patrician and loaded with her three blonde children plonked in boarding school and neatly out of the way.  Mia was, quite simply, immaculate but deeply, darkly unhappy.

Melinda McCoy, short, dumpy was a long way from perfection.  Pale and freckled and some ten years younger than Mia, she had a nest of frizzy, ginger hair, unsure of which way to lie, Melinda was in awe of the blonde goddess beside her.  ‘Poor sweet Melinda? Desperately in need of a make-over!’  Mia’s botoxed buddies would shriek at their infamous Girls nights.   Knocking back the Pinot Grigio, collapsing into each others arms and wailing about their lonely lives and worn out, impotent husbands, they gathered around Mia, their undoubted Queen Bee.

Not the kind of milieu that Melinda McCoy, a nervous émigré from Bognor Regis was used to.  Hove seemed dazzling to this lonely mum, still reeling from her husband’s latest love affair.   Barry, an unfaithful builder with rippling muscles and rotting morality, had insisted they moved to Hove.

Download the complete “Mia and Melinda meant murder” short story

 


 

My short story ‘I’m Not Dead!’ is my attempt at Teen fiction. In this short story, I wanted to look at the world through the eyes of a young teenage girl who is dying, surrounded by her family and being fussed over by nurses. Georgy, my central character is very much alive up to the very moment of her death. People have found this story moving so I intend to develop it further.

 

‘I’m not Dead!’

Didn’t some bloke once say ‘Dying ain’t easy?’
Think I heard that.  Possibly off the TV or it might have been some Sad Sicko putting it on Facebook?  Yeah, probably that.   Whatever the case, I ain’t dying, get it?  Not now, not tomorrow, not never.

No way, Jose, as some dude said in some cheesy movie!

My squirt-face of a Sizzy loves cheesy movies.  Suze is a virtual mouse the way she nibbles them up, blubbing into her hot chocolate like the total un-coolster she is!

Look, how can I make this clear, people?  I may be wired up, patched up, plugged up, with spooky tubes coming out of every part of me, but Georgy Lee Jones is not a blimmin’ extra from ‘Shaun of the Dead’ or something.   I’m super-human and no car or drunk driver is going to stop Georgy girl from walking out of this hell-hole!

Nurse Sharpe looks like a movie Extra.  She so does!  Uptight, a total Fugly one! Spooks me out every time she comes close with her needle, breathing her vile breath all over me, blinking back tears, her nose quivering.  Who the hell is she crying for?  Sharpey should look in the mirror at herself.   Wax off the seventies rug on the top lip, and start on the spearmint.  That way she might pull!

Download the complete `I’m not Dead!’ short story