Short Story: Do Not Read This Story

ShortbreadGordon DarrochShort Stories › Do Not Read This Story

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About this Short Story

Written by
Gordon Darroch

Narrated by
Toby Hadoke


Two shady figures arrive unannounced on a writer's doorstep. What's their hidden agenda?


  • 1647 Words
  • 35 Comments
  • 79% Community Rating
  • 12887 Views

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The two men stood in my front doorway, grey-faced and sombre.

"First of all we wish to assure you that you have done nothing wrong."

"Thank you, I was already aware of that."

"You are not accused or suspected of anything. You have nothing to fear."

"Of course not."

"Good. In that case, we trust you will have no objection in coming with us."

"Not at all. May I ask why?"

"We need you to answer a few questions."

"About what?"

"I'm afraid we can't tell you that at this time. Rest assured you are not accused of anything."

"So you say."

"You have absolutely nothing to be concerned about."

"Of course not. I have been a law-abiding citizen all my life."

"That is not in question."

"I have always voted, turned up for work and paid my taxes."

"That is commendable. Nevertheless, we must ask you to come with us."

"You still haven't told me why."

"We cannot. It…

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Kirsty Riddiford Guest Editor said "Very, very clever! The penny dropped about half-way through, which drew me even deeper into the story. The ending was unpredictable (all my guesses were proved wrong) and the dialogue was brilliant, although I thought the agent's speech at the end was too long and a little out of character (a bit too flowery). Apart from this tiny flaw, I thought the story and plot perfectly constructed."
7 years ago

Karla Denisse Favela Colin said "Really clever!!"
3 years ago
Kevin Barrett said "This was original and intriguing.Concept triggered something deep inside me but maybe some of the dialogue at the end is out of character with the agents. Overall very good indeed."
4 years ago
Sandy Wardrope said "Hi Gordon, Just found this. a very clever well thought out piece which abounds with superbly written conflict ridden dialogue, I love it, show not tell at its best. A jab at oneself and all us would be writers maybe? Well done, great stuff. Yours, Sandy W."
4 years ago
Ameen Adabo76 said "It was a brilliant concept and very clever i would rate it a 5. I think you should post a real story that is a mystery because your are really talented at this."
4 years ago
Emma Aitken said "This is such a brilliant concept. I was captured from start to finish."
5 years ago
Meg Malpass said "Like a short mystery them towards the end I started to empathise. Well written, always enjoy the choppy stories full of dialogue for a short read."
6 years ago
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David Sharp said "What a wonderfully clever and original concept - I swear I almost caught my own reflection at some point. I'd give you a rating of 5/5 but it might feel like another stab in your chest!"
6 years ago
Diane Dickson Guest Editor said "Well it is true listening is even better than reading it. I thought that the narration was exceptionally well done but of course they need good work to start with don't they."
7 years ago
Gordon Darroch replied saying "Thanks Diane. I'm delighted this story's still getting responses two years after posting. Shortbread really is a great showcase for your fiction."
7 years ago
Diane Dickson Guest Editor said "I have been meaning to read this for a while and I am so glad I got to it today. As has already been stated it really only works somewhere like this stie but on here it works really well indeed in my opinion I was really hooked . I am going to go now and listen as Benvenuto said that it was a better experience. Thanks for this - Diane"
7 years ago
David Green said "good idea yet it didnt really lend itself to going anywhere except an ending only suited to this forum. nevertheless it kept my attention, and somewhat amused."
7 years ago
Gordon Darroch replied saying "Thanks for listening David. I never knew there was a place called Butternuts before. So we've both been enriched."
7 years ago
Benvenuto Tempagnano said "I didn't like reading this but with the great voices employed to narrate, it was great to listen to. Sort of comforting 'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' type of feel/sound! Good."
7 years ago
Caroline Goldsworthy said "Brilliant! Loved it. I listened to the story and thoroughly enjoyed the 'show' of the dialogue"
7 years ago
Terry Collett said "Kafka came to mind t first but you have ypur own line of thought and storyline. Excellent."
7 years ago
Cathie Devitt said "Very different. I wasn't sure at first as it is all dialogue, but I got the jist and really enjoyed it."
7 years ago
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Gordon Darroch replied saying "Thank you, Melvin. Funny how the truth is often scary, even when we expect it to be comforting. Take care now :)"
7 years ago
Jonathan Pinnock said "Excellent stuff, Gordon. Really enjoyed that."
7 years ago
Gary Duncan Admin replied saying "another test comment, please ignore"
7 years ago
Gary Duncan Admin replied saying "test comment, please ignore"
7 years ago
Gordon Darroch replied saying "Thank you, Jon"
7 years ago
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Gordon Darroch replied saying "Thank you, doctor. I've read some unlikely stories in my time and your description of your journey to this page is up there with the best of them."
7 years ago
Sarah Hinkle said "Clever. I enjoyed the repartee immensely."
7 years ago
Gordon Darroch replied saying "Thank you, Sarah"
7 years ago
Lucy Douglas said "Original - A real pleasure to read such an original story - made me laugh (also gave me a fleeting memory of a Stephen King short story which had some character called the Library Policeman in ...)"
8 years ago
Susan Brown said "Enjoyed! - 'echoes of hitch-hikers' guide to the galaxy' meets 'yes minister'. "
8 years ago
Bill Kirton Guest Editor said "Excellent - I enjoyed this very much. Technically clever, beautifully sustained, it moved along its various narrative pathways in intriguing ways. Your control of the material was immaculate and you weren't afraid to stretch the reader/listener. Many thanks."
8 years ago
Xander Cooper said "Great Audio - Listened to this on the bus to work this morning, and it made the journey much more bearable. Very tightly written, with great dialogue every line delivered with the timing and accuracy of a silver bullet. The character of the author reminded me of Ian Hislop, but perhaps this is due to Tony Hadoke's narration, which is excellent. A funny and unusual tale, which takes the reader to quite an unexpected place."
8 years ago
Ingeborg Alde said "Scary but great - You don't really worry about negative comments, do you? I loved it!"
8 years ago
Oscar Windsor-Smith said "Orwellian opus - An intriguing satirical post-modern piece that lends itself well to audio. An excellent performance does it justice. Congratulations, Gordon. Oscar ;)"
8 years ago
Mags Campbell said "Spot on - Are you suggesting writers have delicate egos? I gave you 4 stars, does that make you feel better?!"
8 years ago

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