Short Story: The City That Never Spoke

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About this Short Story

Written by
David Sharp

Narrated by
Ewan Donald


A modern fairytale of a boy who collects shells, a girl with a pet frog and the difficulties of trying to fall in love in a city where nobody ever speaks.


  • 1232 Words
  • 66 Comments
  • 71% Community Rating
  • 17157 Views

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Once upon a time there was a city where no one ever spoke. It wasn’t that these people couldn't speak, or that they weren't allowed to, the activity had merely fallen out of favour. It had been so long since the last words had been uttered, no could remember exactly why. And so the streets echoed only with the patter of footsteps and cartwheels. Offices and public buildings were home to the gentle rustling of papers and the occasional scraping of a chair leg. In cafés, lone gramophones played to mute audiences. It was not a very exciting place to live.

Now in this city there lived a boy, a boy with rusty coloured hair, who collected shells and oddly shaped buttons and dreamed of one day sailing the open sea. And of course since there was a boy, there was also a girl. She worked in the local green-grocer, had a pet frog and always kept a pencil tucked behind…

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Hillary Wickers said "nice feel-good story . I enjoyed it."
2 years ago
Yasin Ileeye said "its a really good story...i like it....."
2 years ago
Keyra Keyra said "simple, nice story and loved it... but i cant fine any moral values of the story except being courage... can anyone tell me the moral values...???"
2 years ago
Mehdi Nezamdoost said "so simple, nice story....thNX david"
2 years ago
Lima Ozukum said "liked it..!"
2 years ago
Keith Snell said "Such a simple story, yet so beautifully written. Loved it"
2 years ago
Toll Adisom said "waaw. that is a nice story, i really enjoyed it."
2 years ago
Kirit Wadia said "Loved it!"
2 years ago
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Cyrilline Goodman said "Great story!"
2 years ago
Saeid Mirzae said "I was listening & enjoying which an interruption disturbed me. It stops while a semicircle passed. The low speed of my network might be the problem. Do mind guiding me?"
2 years ago
Alastair Heathcote said "Ah love!"
3 years ago
Alastair Heathcote said "Ah love!"
3 years ago
Helen Luong said "How can I download the audio, please?"
3 years ago
Wai Yan said "how can i listen? fri"
3 years ago
Giovanna Bertino said "This is a lovely story that starts in silence and ends up in melody. I liked it for the idea, the bell tower (I've submitted a story about a bell and a belltower) and the style. I'm only sorry that I wasn't able to listen to it. I've tried several times but I' ve failed. A world where everyone sang would be lovely! In Italy only opera, please. Best wishes Giovanna"
3 years ago
Srinivas Sabbavarpu said "silence kills people.... so kill the silence.... nice story srinivas..."
3 years ago
Belinda Marden said "Wonderfully written. Though there was a hiccup that I picked up on. You said that there was 5 words on the piece of paper but there were 6."
3 years ago
Belinda Marden replied saying "Haha. Really? I truly loved this story. Everyone is such great writers on here."
3 years ago
David Sharp replied saying "Belinda, you are the first person to have picked up on that! I noticed for the first time, literally right after they'd made the audio version."
3 years ago
Sinet Lay said "I really injoy it and I can learn many things through this short story. Much thanks,"
3 years ago
Nina Jain said "I can't listen to full story on my iPhone can it get some pls?"
3 years ago
Charlotte A Van Staden said "Lovely story, you weave a spell, cartwheels and all; and no dialogue! Loved it. Revelled in the accent of the reader."
4 years ago
Gerges Armia said "I really enjoyed this story, so brilliantly narrated I loved it"
4 years ago
Hana Vũ said "wow ! that's great ! thanks"
4 years ago
Toto Allen said "very nice. i enjoyed listening to it."
4 years ago
Karen Kirkpatrick said "I thoroughly enjoyed your story. The imaginative aspect is very sweet. The accent on the tape adds to the story too!"
4 years ago
John Smith Pool said "What's a nice story."
4 years ago
David Sharp replied saying "So glad you enjoyed it John!"
4 years ago
Julian Fields said "Lovely story, a brilliant fairy tale. Loved the repeated motifs: the "rusty hair", the "smile like gravity". Loved the message from Grandma Faraway. Loved how the city was restored from sadness to joy. Satisfying, comforting and excellent throughout. Well done."
5 years ago
David Sharp replied saying "Thank you kindly Julian - I didn't want to give the characters names (to keep it fairytale-like) so found other ways to identify them!"
4 years ago
Emma Aitken said "Complete magic."
5 years ago
David Sharp replied saying "Cheers Emma - glad you enjoyed it!"
5 years ago
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David Sharp replied saying "Cheers Jay. Children's stories aren't usually my thing but there is a sort of liberating freedom about them - nothing can be too wonderful or too magical. Will have to give it another go soon."
5 years ago
Diane Dickson Guest Editor said "Absolutely adorable, the lovely accent was perfect for this, I wanted to be curled up with a cup of cocoa. Beautifully written and perfectly narrated. - Thanks - Diane"
5 years ago
Diane Dickson Guest Editor replied saying "I'll bet you are and quite right too, these delights are very hard to come by - enjoy it, it was well deserved IMHO. Diane"
5 years ago
David Sharp replied saying "Thank you very much Diane - Ewan's lovely accent really adds an extra something to this tale. I'm not going to lie - I'm listening to this several times a day at the moment!"
5 years ago
Patsy R Liles said "What a perfect combination, author and narrator. This is lovely. I enjoyed very much. Patsy R Liles"
5 years ago
David Sharp replied saying "Thank you kindly Patsy! I'm very proud of this one and Ewan really did a cracking job of bringing it to life."
5 years ago
Steve Douglas said "I really liked this fable, especially the 'lone gramophone', which really takes it away from 'now'. Great simple construction too. Neat and original, though shades of Hans Anderson. If I can be a little picky, I thought 'consumed by this emotional predicament' was language a little at odds with the simplicity of the rest."
6 years ago
David Sharp replied saying "Thanks Steve - really glad you liked this. I definitely set to paint a setting both from another time and place yet also felt familiar. You make a fair point about the "emotional predicament"."
6 years ago
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David Sharp replied saying "Hi John! I don't normally write children's stories either so we're both in the same boat. And thanks for the comment! (;"
6 years ago
Mark Patrick said "Hi David, I couldn't help thinking at the end, how great of a musical this would make. Enjoyed this very much. Thanks -Mark"
6 years ago
David Sharp replied saying "Cheers for that Mark! A big, broadway musical scene was certainly what I had in mind - where everyone in the background stops what they're doing and joins in as well."
6 years ago
Ailsa James Guest Editor said "Hi David - Oh, what a lovely tale and told so well. Charming, delightful and heartwarming. - regards, Ailsa"
6 years ago
David Sharp replied saying "Well thank you Ailsa - I'm thrilled to hear you enjoyed it so much!"
6 years ago
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David Sharp replied saying "Cheers for that Melvin. The idea of the boy buying the apples everyday is slightly inspired by when I used to work in a supermarket and always went to the same checkout girl to buy my lunch. That girl is now my wife - fortunately I didn't have to do any singing though!"
6 years ago
Bill Peters said "David, I really enjoyed this. Captivating!"
6 years ago
David Sharp replied saying "Thanks Bill!"
6 years ago
Connie Mckenzie said "Hi David, I loved your story. It developed beautifully and I loved the characters, they were so sweet. Nice to have a gentle, happy story for a change. Cheers, Connie."
6 years ago
David Sharp replied saying "Hi Connie - thanks for the lovely comments. My stories actually tend to be quite dark so this was a nice change for me!"
6 years ago
Maire Rua said "Really enjoyed this lovely story David. A fun fable , beautifully written and delightfully romantic too. Hurrah for rusty haired boy! Well done."
6 years ago
David Sharp replied saying "Thank you kindly. With this I wanted to create something fresh but old fashioned as well."
6 years ago
Rowena Forbes said "A delightfully quirky and delicate fable. I really loved this - perfect for Valentine's Day."
6 years ago
David Sharp replied saying "Glad you enjoyed it Rowena! I have to be honest, I actually wrote this just before Christmas but it's definitely a good fit for Valentine's, especially as we're still in winter's grip."
6 years ago
Deanna Westwood Guest Editor said "What a wonderful story David. It's strength is in its apparent simplicity, held together by delicate tightly woven threads. A real delight to read."
6 years ago
David Sharp replied saying "Thanks Deanna - I deliberately kept things simple, hence no character or place names."
6 years ago
David Sharp said "Cheers Adam. It is probably worth noting this tale was quite a deviation from my usual work - don't expect the same next time! And thanks for sharing your story - made me giggle!"
6 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor said "Yeah. A lovely story. I haven't read fables/childrens stories since my kids were kids and you forget how charming they can be. I like your style of storytelling David. The daily apple buying dilemma put me in mind of when I was about 25 or so and had fallen for a girl at the Bradford and Bingley and queuing became a bit of nightmare because I never knew if 'she' would serve me. Anyway, eventually I plucked up courage one day when drawing yet another tenner from my account and asked her out. No singing though, and no happy ending either. Great story - many thanks."
6 years ago
Diane Dickson Guest Editor said "What a lovely story - thank you"
6 years ago
David Sharp replied saying "My pleasure Diane, glad to hear you enjoyed it!"
6 years ago
Susan Donim said "Awww! Such a sweet story- beautifully told. I loved the easy going narrative, and overall the story made me smile. Very vivid detail from the "boy with rusty hair". I also think this would do very well as an audio version."
6 years ago
David Sharp replied saying "Thanks Susan - glad you liked it! I thought I'd try to write something that didn't have any character names, hence all the details instead."
6 years ago

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