Short Story: Love Hurts

ShortbreadBill KirtonShort Stories › Love Hurts

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About this Short Story

Written by
Bill Kirton

Narrated by
Delia Corrie


A protective and loving mother over steps her boundaries in this poignant tale.


  • 3644 Words
  • 46 Comments
  • 79% Community Rating
  • 14675 Views

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Helen dips the spoon into the jar, twists it to collect the honey and lets a long, golden teardrop fall onto the bread. She slides the knife across the glistening surface. The small Sabatier has a wide blade, perfect for the fat smooth flow of the spread. Honey has always been Ben’s favourite. It was one of the first things she’d tried him on when she began to wean him off the breast.

Eighteen and a bit years ago.

She smiles as her eyes lift to look through into the dining room with its big bay window. A November afternoon. The walls glowing with the warmth of the terra-cotta colour she’d chosen for them, the greens and golds of her paintings like splashes of summer. Outside, the sky hanging between pale blue and the peach wash of the sunset’s beginning. And, in his usual place on the window seat, Ben in silhouette. Six feet two of him, folded into a corner of…

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Kris Wallace Guest Editor said "Editor's Pick - I was almost put off by the title but I’m so glad I gave it a go! From beginning to end the telling of this story is king. The details, the voice, the genuine sense of a mother's love. The sinister tale is a journey, almost like a rollercoaster of horrors. We can see the route clearly but we are powerless to change the inevitable. The story is long but at no point do you want to put it down and it ends exactly as it should. Masterful storytelling. The audio is brilliantly read and character wonderfully captured by Delia Corrie."
8 years ago

Keith Snell said "A beautiful portrait of the growing turmoil in Helen, slowly adding questions in the reader's mind as we wonder about her inquisitors and the question of who died and at who's hand."
2 years ago
Bill Kirton Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks, Keith. I've written lots of short stories but this is still one of my favourites."
2 years ago
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Bill Kirton Guest Editor replied saying "Hi Jeff. Many thanks for taking the trouble to leave such a nice comment. I'm glad you liked the story. I wrote it quite a while ago and it's great to know that readers are still liking it."
4 years ago
Sanaz Bhzd said "Hello. I want to translate your short story to persian (my language) and publish it in my weblog. what do u think?"
4 years ago
Sanaz Bhzd replied saying "So I'm glad U accepted... I'll surely do that. Thank U my friend."
4 years ago
Bill Kirton Guest Editor replied saying "Hi Sanaz, I'm flattered that you want to translate the story and I'd be happy for you to do so. When you've posted it, please let me know. Good luck."
4 years ago
Stan-collins Ubaka said "From the opening words of this story, my attention was captured. There is a literary 'sweetness' that is spread through the entire work, that made the long story seem so short. This is a beautifully crafted story I cannot afford to read only once....Great work, Bill! - Stan-Collins U."
4 years ago
Bill Kirton Guest Editor replied saying "What kind words, Stan. Thank you so much. Nothing beats hearing that someone has enjoyed a piece of your work. Thanks for taking the trouble to make a comment."
4 years ago
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Bill Kirton Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks so much for such kind words, David. In fact, if I remember correctly, the original draft for the story was a response to a competition in which colour featured as one of the themes. I generally try to avoid what Elmore Leonard calls 'writing' but sometimes the words insist."
5 years ago
Patsy R Liles said "What a compelling story. Thank you Bill Kirton. As the mother of a fine man who has given me two grandsons and a great grandson, and a wonderful wife who is a daughter to me, I could only feel sorrow for her, that she had such a sick outlook and missed the greatest relationship in her life. Actually love never 'hurts', mental illness does. Well done. I perhaps will listen now when I have a little more time. Thanks for sharing. Patsy R liles"
5 years ago
Bill Kirton Guest Editor replied saying "Don't worry, Patsy, I didn't take it as a criticism. It was my feeble attempt at humour. And it produced yet more generous comments from you. Thanks."
5 years ago
Patsy R Liles replied saying "Bill, I certainly was not implying your title was off. It was great, got the reader to look in and see why! Tough love hurts with our kids, but the pain of love is joy, I believe. So forgive if it seemed a criticism. It was not meant to be. I look forward to others of your work, you plot well and fulfill your aim very professionally. Thanks, Patsy"
5 years ago
Bill Kirton Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks for such generous remarks, Patsy. I agree entirely that love doesn't hurt - quite the contrary. But, as a title, 'Mental illness hurts' isn't exactly catchy, is it?"
5 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor said "Forgot to comment again Bill to say, yes, I finally got round to listening to Love Hurts and thought what a wonderful audio by Delia Corrie - many thanks, Adam"
6 years ago
Bill Kirton Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks for listening, Adam. When I first heard it, I had to email her to tell her how much I enjoyed it."
6 years ago
Sherry Whisenhunt said "Intriguing---You want it to end right, whatever that is, but you realize it can't. Good, thoughtful work."
6 years ago
Bill Kirton Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks Sherry. Paradoxically, it does 'end right' but I know what you mean. With her intensity, happiness was never an option."
6 years ago
Christine Human said "I was gripped from the first sentence, and in between reading your words I was trying to guess which way the story was going. I knew it was bad, but wanted to know the truth. Excellent, thought provoking and I now need to read another to stop myself from being haunted."
6 years ago
Bill Kirton Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks Christine. I hope you found what you needed - I wouldn't like to be sued."
6 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor said "I read Love Hurts - I rarely listen to stories but I will make an exception here - wonderful story-telling, Bill, many thanks - I know the ratings for stories are really not that important, but I do from time to time rate a story when I notice it has a ludicrously low score - maybe others could do the same?"
6 years ago
Bill Kirton Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks, Adam. For me, hearing the story was interesting. It's a beautiful read and it gave me a different perspective on the narrator. I don't take much notice of ratings, but feedback such as yours is very nice to receive."
6 years ago
Kirsty Pilcher said "I like this story v much. I have listened to the ex audio and found the reading of it equally gripping....its a haunting, disturbing and clever short story...thank you..."
6 years ago
Kirsty Pilcher replied saying "...& that is because the story is such a good one!!"
6 years ago
Bill Kirton Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks, Kirsty. I agree about the read - it's beautifully done."
6 years ago
Jonathan Lacy said "HI DEAF TO JONATHAN PAUL LACY I LOVE YOU WOMAN"
6 years ago
Jonathan Lacy said "HI DEAF TO JONATHAN PAUL LACY I LOVE YOU WOMAN"
6 years ago
Julie-ann Corrigan said "I like this. Well done."
6 years ago
Bill Kirton Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks Julie-ann. Glad you liked it."
6 years ago
Valerie Ball said "Hi Bill, Once I started reading Love Hurts, I had to stay with it until the end. You took a powerful emotion - a mother's obsessive love for her son - and sensitively crafted it into a most entertaining story that will stay in my mind for some time. Thank you!"
6 years ago
Bill Kirton Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks, Valerie. Hearing that sort of response really gives the day a lift. Riches would be nice but reader satisfaction is better."
6 years ago
Peter Parkin said "How unusual! I loved the structure and the journey and the joy and pathos. It has the inherent clues early on as to where it is going but that in no way diminishes the pleasure gleaned from the story telling. Beautifully crafted and concluded; a lesson in life-watching."
6 years ago
Bill Kirton Guest Editor replied saying "What can I say but thanks, Peter. We don't often get feedback from readers but when we do it's so gratifying to know they enjoyed the story. As for your final phrase, hmmm, wonder of there are any spare guru posts going."
6 years ago
Bill Haddow-allen said "Beautiful story. Beautifully written. So very well observed. I was holding my breath. You reached into my soul with this. A satisfying read. An observation: ‘…how much she was hurting him.’ ‘Is that what you told her?’…Fraser…He’d seen the photographs; the blood, the young body spread-eagled, the cuts and slashes in the chest and shoulders, the deep wounds in hands and arms that had been raised to stop the assault…’ The position in the text made me assume that the photographs were of Alice. Now I’m not sure. Did she kill Alice AND Ben?"
6 years ago
Bill Kirton Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks for such kind words, Bill. I'm sorry about the confusion, though. In fact, I deliberately wanted the reader to think that she'd killed Alice because that might have been ... well, sort of understandable (although still insane). The idea was to make the eventual crime even more horrific."
6 years ago
Anne Stenhouse Graham said "Hi Bill, Just read this on the Friday e-mail. It's so sad and sadly so true to life - though not everyone ends things in quite this way. Anne Stenhouse Graham"
6 years ago
Bill Kirton Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks, Anne. And thank goodness most people don't 'end up this way'."
6 years ago
Bill Kirton Guest Editor said "thanks to all - I should have responded long ago to your kind comments. Thanks so much. I'm glad you enjoyed it. In fact it's going to be published in an anthology this year. Fiona will give out the details in due course."
8 years ago
Vikki Gemmell said "Creepy - Very well drawn sinister character! "
8 years ago
Kate Smart Guest Editor said "love hurts - Thank you for a really terrific story which was right up my street - I listened to the audio version, which I thought excellent. Very creepy and suspenseful, really well-written, full of detail and a highly satisfactory ending. Only sorry I didn't read it sooner."
8 years ago
Gordon Forrest said "Love Hurts - Glad all mothers aren't as possessive as this. A good read. Well done Bill. "
8 years ago
Lesley Taylor said "Love hurts - Very sinister but excellent - really enjoyed it."
8 years ago
Karen Skinner said "Scary - delightfully sinister"
9 years ago
Mary Smith said "Love Hurts - Brilliant, build up of suspense kept me gripped to the very end."
9 years ago

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