EXCLUSIVE STORY FEATURE: Lowest Ebb by Laura Besley

“Lowest Ebb” is one of the short stories featured in 100neHundred, an upcoming collection of micro fiction by Laura Besley (Arachne Press)

I spot the sign in the shop window and tentatively open the door.

‘Yes, my dear?’ asks the old man behind the counter.

‘I… I’d like a new soul, please.’

He sweeps his arm around. ‘What would you like?’

Hundreds of coloured glass jars are lined up on shelves, like in an old-fashioned sweetshop, spoilt for choice.

‘Anything will do,’ I say. ‘Really, anything.’

‘This one, then?’ He reads the label. ‘Walk one mile every day, no caffeine, eat well, go to bed before ten.’ He hands me the purple bottle.

I pull the cork and tilt back my head.

100neHundred is a collection of 100 stories, each of 100 words. Micro fiction that has a macro impact, Laura Besley captures whole universes and relationships, vast emotions and life-defining moments in tiny flashes that stay with you long after the words have run out. 

Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments when her children are asleep. She has been listed by TSS Publishing as one of the top 50 British and Irish Flash Fiction writers. Her work has been nominated for Best Micro Fiction and her story, “To Cut a Long Story Short”, will appear in the Best Small Fiction anthology in 2021. 100neHundred is Laura’s second short fiction collection and is available for pre-order from Arachne Press.

Release date: 27th May 2021

Twitter: @ArachnePress, @laurabesley