I believe passionately in the short story (by that I mean a story which  takes between and 6 and 18 minutes to read, though it should be read slowly!). Such stories should never be written by rote – they should have a deeper meaning, whether they are exploring a philosophical truth, an innate human emotional contour, a dramatic tympany or  simply raising an issue into  the spot-light. They should also have emotional power; the reader should never be in the same emotional state at the end as at the inception of the read. As such, the short story is ideal for situations where the reader is somehow stuck; she needs a quick emotional break from her environment, whether stuck at an airport, in hospital (always waiting for something!), dentist’s waiting room or even just waiting for that phone call which never comes. They should be read slowly and “digested”; I wrote none of these stories lightly, and each of them should have at least one aspect to them which is not superficially apparent. I pray that you will enjoy, at least some of them! Thanks for sharing these experiences,

Bernard Shevlin