I first decided to write some short stories during a time of extreme ill-health in my family primarily as a means of distraction. My first story – In the Beginning – described the creation of mankind.
It proved to be popular with my friends whose approval and pleasure persuaded me to compose another story about the Third Choir Angels of heaven. This, too, proved to be equally popular. A third followed and these were incorporated into an unpublished volume of some twenty miscellaneous stories. My friends liked these stories and persuaded me to consider publication. Daunted by the perceived difficulties of publication I did nothing but continued writing. During this period, I realised that all my angel stories, even though each was complete in itself, formed a whole story which I called “Heavenly Tales.”
The isolation and potential boredom arising from the Covid lockdown of 2020/2021 and further pressure from my friends overcame my reluctance to publish and I decided that my angel stories would be suitable. Finding SPP was a major help: they have removed all my apprehensions and smoothed the way through all the stages of manuscript preparation and have been a real pleasure to work with. This work profitably occupied me throughout that winter and I was delighted with the quality and appearance of my book, Heavenly Tales, when it was published.
The format of all my work has always been short stories – writing a full-length novel has never appealed. The subjects of my stories are varied but all contain some element of bizarre or unusual human activity. Unusual? Certainly. Unique? Perhaps, but always, I hope, entertaining and related to recognisable human activities, as is shown in Heavenly Tales where the justification is that mankind was made in the image of God.
Should Heavenly Tales be successful I have other possible stories which could be considered for publication, all of which contain unusual or bizarre ideas. These include: medical stories, children’s stories and miscellaneous stories.
Two extracts from Heavenly Tales.
One day my telephone rang. The ringtone was “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” from Bach’s famous cantata.
This was not one of my usual ringtones and I had no idea who wanted to talk to me.
‘Hello,’ I said. I never give my name to unknown persons on the phone.
‘Good morning,’ said a very well-spoken voice. ‘My name is Sariel and I’m calling you from heaven.’
Heaven! Clearly this was a madman, a con merchant or a joker.
‘Yes, yes,’ I replied, ‘and I’m the Archbishop of Canterbury. Thank you very much but I have all the blessings I need for today.’
I felt smugly satisfied with this answer and put the phone down.
A moment later I heard the cantata again. Clearly the joker was an obstinate man.
‘Mr Baptiste?’ asked the softly spoken voice. ‘I’m really very sorry for interrupting your day but I would be very grateful for a moment of your time.’
‘OK,’ I said. ‘What was your name again?’
‘Thank you so much, My name is Sariel. My full name is Archangel Sariel. There are many angels in heaven and I’m sure you’ve heard of some of my companions: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel?’
Clearly, I was talking to a very disturbed man…
Saint Peter was at the entrance to heaven interviewing the souls who were waiting to enter heaven.
‘Next please,’ he announced. ‘Number 456,893.’
The soul of a little old lady came forward.
‘Who are you?’ asked the saint. ‘Please give me your name and National Insurance Number.’
‘I’m Rebekah Cornwallis. I’m a poor widow woman whose husband has deserted me.’
‘Do you know your National Insurance Number, Rebekah?’
‘Nah, your Lordship.’
‘It matters little but your number on earth is equally valid in heaven.’
‘Is my bus pass valid as well?’
Saint Peter smiled. ‘There is no need for buses here, Rebekah. Tell where do you think you are?’
‘Dunno, my Lord,’ she answered. ‘It don’t look like heaven but then it don’t look like hell either.’
You are in neither of those places, Rebekah. You are in the Great Hall of Judgement where recent arrivals are interviewed and decisions made about their future.’
Rebekah looked furtive. ‘I ‘ain’t done nuffink wrong,’ she muttered.
‘Tell me what you’ve done with your life,’ asked Saint Peter, reading something on his laptop.
‘I ‘ain’t done nothing wrong,’ she muttered again.
‘tell me more.’
Rebekah stood there with her head hanging down and saying nothing.
‘Heavenly Tales’ can be purchased here.
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