Stories


Stories on the Go aims to encourage and engage the community in reading. We bring all sorts of literature into daily life and public spaces, offering short reads to those who don’t have much time and may not read often. If you are a published or unpublished author and would like to contribute with a short story we will share it via our platforms and initiatives. Submit any time your flash fiction or short story (up to 2500 words):

      

Includes a Q&A. Any other questions please email us stories@thecommutingbook.org

Stories for Fiction

It’s morning. I know this because the clock says 7.23 and a finger of light is trying to pull back the curtains. My room faces east. So that makes it morn ...More

Fiction
Rachael King | The commuting Book
Rachael King

August 1   ●  22 min read

To read previous chapters go to Stories Chapter Two Emmy flew through the school gate ahead of Ari, disappearing in the direction of her classroom. ...More

Fiction
Sarina Dickson | The commuting Book
Sarina Dickson

September 12   ●  13 min read

Mo

When Mo was born her mother fractured into tiny pieces, her father disintegrated and her family broke up completely. Mo was left in the care of a vari ...More

Fiction
Bill Nagelkerke | The commuting Book
Bill Nagelkerke

September 8   ●  18 min read

The photo shows two dozen red and yellow beetles inside a dog’s mouth. A trail of ladybug-like insects thumbtacked to the roof and wedged behind the ...More

Fiction
Jenna Heller | The commuting Book
Jenna Heller

August 12   ●  2 min read

I am lost in countless dizzying turns and endless corridors. A bare light bulb flickers as I pass beneath it. I flinch involuntarily. Ping! The familiar wei ...More

Fiction, Mystery, Young Writer
Tallulah Raumati Costa | The commuting Book
Tallulah Raumati Costa

September 22   ●  4 min read

“And the prize for the bravest pirate goes to …” Greybeard, the oldest of all the pirates, held up a piece of paper and waved it around dramatically. “ ...More

Fiction
Michele Clark McConnochie | The commuting Book
Michele Clark McConnochie

September 22   ●  5 min read

To read previous chapters go to Stories Chapter Five Back at home, Ari’s dad came thumping up the steps and burst through their front door. Woohoo! ...More

Fiction
Sarina Dickson | The commuting Book
Sarina Dickson

February 24   ●  3 min read

It was a glimpse into Paradise. The sun caught the old town first, its jumble of faded pastels glowing like the gilded ceilings of the Vatican – yellow, pink ...More

Fiction
Mandy Hager | The commuting Book
Mandy Hager

August 1   ●  22 min read

To read previous chapters go to Stories Chapter Six In his dream, Ari covered his head with his hands and crouched down, hiding. He could hear people calling ...More

Fiction
Sarina Dickson | The commuting Book
Sarina Dickson

February 24   ●  14 min read

When I pick her up she feels warm and frail. She’s like a giraffe sticking her neck high above the canopy searching for a decent snack. When she fl ...More

Fiction, Young Writer
Blake Lucas | The commuting Book
Blake Lucas

December 19   ●  1 min read

‘How’s Alex?’ Hope said. She and Molly were sitting in a café by the river in early spring drinking tea from the same pot. Molly sighed, looke ...More

Fiction
Pip Adam | The commuting Book
Pip Adam

August 1   ●  19 min read

Sitting on the small brick fence outside the night shelter, watching the early morning commuters. Thinking about the dream he had last night. He was in the ...More

Fiction
Karen Clarke | The commuting Book
Karen Clarke

August 12   ●  4 min read

She is heavy on my bedroom wall. I reconstructed her, slapping mortar between each brick, but my room is not big enough so she is reduced to eyes, nose, and ...More

Fiction
Heather McQuillan | The commuting Book
Heather McQuillan

September 9   ●  3 min read

First, find a location. Find a shabby farm that keeps its neighbours at arm’s length. Find a house with a rusted roof, with guttering that dribbles down the ...More

Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fiction
Zoë Meager | The commuting Book
Zoë Meager

September 22   ●  5 min read

Grayce huddled in the dark of her bedroom. The slithering sound came again, something scraping, knocking. Scrape-knock-knock-slide-slither. Somewhe ...More

Action & Adventure, Drama, Fiction, Mystery, Young Writer
Sarah-Kate Simons | The commuting Book
Sarah-Kate Simons

September 16   ●  3 min read

To read previous chapters go to Stories Chapter Eight Ari slid his feet under the sheets and the warm covers. He pulled the duvet up to his chin and le ...More

Fiction
Sarina Dickson | The commuting Book
Sarina Dickson

February 24   ●  5 min read

To read previous chapters go to Stories Chapter Seven “Ari,” his father said. “You and I know this water, mate. When I say ‘Jump!’ I want you to go o ...More

Fiction
Sarina Dickson | The commuting Book
Sarina Dickson

February 24   ●  7 min read

She chewed her biro, and read the evaluation form. “On a scale of one to five, five being highest, how much did you enjoy this activity?” One. “On ...More

Fiction
Michele Clark McConnochie | The commuting Book
Michele Clark McConnochie

September 22   ●  3 min read

The dragonfly’s eyes are made up of multiple hexagons. Inside each hexagon is a black and white picture of my face. I’ve printed the photos f ...More

Fiction
Gail Ingram | The commuting Book
Gail Ingram

August 31   ●  2 min read

Feijoas roll down the roof to be pecked by the birds startling the rats which scurry above. A grimy workbench dusty with tools next to a soggy, wet lead chewe ...More

Fiction, Young Writer
Georgia Daniell | The commuting Book
Georgia Daniell

December 19   ●  1 min read

Abstract An eighteen-year-old alien moves to Dunedin to study. There she eats minerals, deconstructs, ingests poison, disintegrates, and ultimately, reassembles ...More

Fiction
Eileen Merriman | The commuting Book
Eileen Merriman

September 8   ●  16 min read

So, there are two people walking up View Street after the five o’clock session. He is walking ahead. She is walking behind. View Street is steep ...More

Fiction
Fiona Farrell | The commuting Book
Fiona Farrell

September 9   ●  31 min read

tally stick historical a piece of wood scored across with notches for the items of an account and then split into halves, each party keeping one family ...More

Fiction
Carl Nixon | The commuting Book
Carl Nixon

September 8   ●  32 min read

We rode with the wind at our backs. Cut across Mr Sandbird’s yard even as he yelled at us to get off his property. Gave him the finger and laugh ...More

Action & Adventure, Drama, Fiction
Jenna Heller | The commuting Book
Jenna Heller

August 12   ●  2 min read

On the first night, Grace dreamed of country music. Traditional troubadours like Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson. She woke up with the twang an ...More

Drama, Fiction, Travel & Environment
Jenna Heller | The commuting Book
Jenna Heller

August 12   ●  20 min read

Leila stood in the doorway, her little legs shaking in her blueberry pjs. “I don’t want to, Daddy,” she whispered. “Come on, sweetheart,” Michael said ...More

Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fiction, Humor & Comedy
Sarah Pratt | The commuting Book
Sarah Pratt

July 20   ●  4 min read

The time had come. In the warm darkness of his egg, the flamingo chick moved. Crack! His mother stood up. She fussed about, touching the egg gently ...More

Action & Adventure, Fiction, Travel & Environment
Andrew M. Bell | The commuting Book
Andrew M. Bell

September 21   ●  14 min read

Large brown seals dot the craggy flat like giant cigars spilled from a box. They roll and scratch against the rough rock, big blobs blending in wi ...More

Drama, Fiction, Maori & Pasifika
Jenna Heller | The commuting Book
Jenna Heller

August 12   ●  4 min read

I ate my brother. I was always fond of him, looked up to him. He was older than me. I measured myself against him. We stood back to back. At first I only ca ...More

Fiction
Helen Heath | The commuting Book
Helen Heath

September 20   ●  2 min read

At my father’s funeral an old man in a crumpled black suit gets up to speak. He rises slowly on old man’s legs from among the dark suits and neatly c ...More

Fiction
Carl Nixon | The commuting Book
Carl Nixon

September 22   ●  18 min read

It’s what I could do to help Fleur out. Family is family. The last Friday each month, we’d drive into the city from opposite directions, and in ...More

Fiction
Heather McQuillan | The commuting Book
Heather McQuillan

September 22   ●  2 min read

To read previous chapters go to Stories Chapter Four Ari watched the hands on the clock move towards three o’clock. He knew he had to get away from schoo ...More

Fiction
Sarina Dickson | The commuting Book
Sarina Dickson

December 19   ●  14 min read

Nobody knew who he was. Or where he came from. Only that he lived on the traffic island in the middle of the intersection and had one arm. When ...More

Fiction, Mystery, Young Writer
Lilah Hughes | The commuting Book
Lilah Hughes

September 22   ●  4 min read

To read previous chapters go to Stories Chapter Three Ari was really relieved to see his mum waiting in the emergency room when they got there. Ko ...More

Fiction
Sarina Dickson | The commuting Book
Sarina Dickson

November 17   ●  13 min read

It’s been nearly 70 years since my children left home. That sounds ridiculous but I am 120 years old. When they left, my house felt empty. I be ...More

Fiction, Travel & Environment
Kat Miller | The commuting Book
Kat Miller

August 1   ●  12 min read

Today, my feelings are too big for my body They catch and hold fast in my throat They stream down my face And burn on my skin May they emerge as kindne ...More

Fiction
Sarina Dickson | The commuting Book
Sarina Dickson

May 11   ●  1 min read

Right in the middle of trying to keep the schnitzel from burning and the broccoli from becoming a waterlogged mess and while Lucy fed the goldfish and t ...More

Drama, Fiction
Jenna Heller | The commuting Book
Jenna Heller

August 12   ●  6 min read

“What do you intend to do about this disgraceful situation?” Alison Carrington seethed. Mayor Harper stared at the outraged, elderly woman, like a m ...More

Drama, Fiction
Andrew M. Bell | The commuting Book
Andrew M. Bell

February 24   ●  22 min read

Meet her in the forest You’ll find her fascinating She may not welcome you but she has no choice in this The tree which she is forever linked to ...More

Drama, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fiction, Young Writer
Sophia Williamson | The commuting Book
Sophia Williamson

September 22   ●  1 min read

I remember the clock He liked to count down Whether we liked it or not, Whether we smiled or frowned He hung in my house On the nursery wall We saw him ...More

Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fiction, Young Writer
Hannah Burns | The commuting Book
Hannah Burns

September 22   ●  min read

Eve is busy setting the long thin tables – fork knife fork knife fork knife – and doesn’t see him approach. “Do you want some help?” She thinks i ...More

Fiction
Rachael King | The commuting Book
Rachael King

September 21   ●  12 min read

Once I was riding on a weekend group ride. We were strung out along a straight, flat stretch of road. It occurred to me that the cyclists ahead of me woul ...More

Drama, Fiction, Travel & Environment
Matt Melchert | The commuting Book
Matt Melchert

November 17   ●  1 min read

You can do it for fitness You can do it for play You can ride your bike All of the day When you drive in a car It creates pollution Join with me Start the bi ...More

Fiction, Young Writer
Cooper Harris | The commuting Book
Cooper Harris

December 19   ●  1 min read

Jerry and his friend, Ross, were playing in Jerry’s sandpit. Charlie appeared. “What are you playing?” Charlie asked Jerry. “Planes.” Jerry h ...More

Action & Adventure, Fiction
Andrew M. Bell | The commuting Book
Andrew M. Bell

September 21   ●  5 min read

To read previous chapters go to Stories Chapter One Ari lay on his bed, balancing his sneaker on the tip of his big toe, counting how many seconds he ...More

Fiction
Sarina Dickson | The commuting Book
Sarina Dickson

August 1   ●  10 min read

John paused and turned away from his screen to glance at the steaming cup of coffee. Something felt a little off but he couldn’t place his finger on i ...More

Action & Adventure, Drama, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fiction
Steven Moe | The commuting Book
Steven Moe

September 22   ●  18 min read

Extract from Mazarine (Chapter Twelve) Twelve I hadn’t expected Sophie Greenaway to be at work in the middle of the summer break and so soon after her ...More

Action & Adventure, Fiction, Psychological Thriller
Charlotte Grimshaw | The commuting Book
Charlotte Grimshaw

August 1   ●  22 min read