Short Stories

Different Voices, Different Stories
Published by ELM VILLAGE ARTS 

222 pages.  Paperback @ £6.99: Kindle version available from Amazon @ £2.99.
ISBN: 978-1-9160457-2-9

A young girl finds a small Buddha figure and asks her father, ‘Daddy, you know when you and Mummy made me?’… a young man in pursuit of his own ambition is unaware of the the mixed nature of ambition fulfilled… the sister who loses her lover and the younger sister who experiences the tremendum of that wartime loss… an elderly woman celebrating the last meal with her husband as he dies his planned death… a middle-aged man rejoicing in song the one passionate love of his life… the young mother trudging the red sands of a parched land in a trek for survival… a young man who fears his night-time visitors are intent on killing him…the mature woman whose infatuation for acting in amateur theatre is frustrated by behind-the-scenes manipulation… the schoolboy revealing things belonging to the adult world when writing about himself… the man who tells of the pub regulars’ loss of their special barmaid… the man of high honours unknowingly revealing his true character… a woman tourist encountering a disturbing and inexplicable experience of silence…the elderly mother whose memories collide with the daughter now taking charge of her….

These are the stories of Fugitives. They range from the humorous to the tragic, each story told in the teller’s own individual voice. Some tellers of their tales are female, some male, their ages ranging from childhood to old age.

Beneath the surface words of their narrations are the hidden meanings and motivations of the tales they tell – or hints of other stories which remain untold.

“Always compelling – with many wonderful moments… to produce layered pictures within these vivid tales.”

Felix Cross MBE, Composer and Theatre Director.

Free playback or downloads of studio recordings of stories from Fugitives are available here

Question  is one of the stories which was left out of Fugitives. Although some among my critical reader friends argued strongly for its inclusion, in the end I decided to leave it out because I thought there would be readers who might be confused rather than entertained by it (not recognising or not knowing its implied reference). To appease those friends who will not let me forget I turned down their advice, the piece is printed here. The reader can decide which of the parties was the wiser.



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Some reader reviews of Fugitives



A book you will return to. The keyword for this collection of short stories is variety. Fugitives is a collection that you will return to more than once, to meet again characters you are attracted to and to enjoy the author’s sensitive insights. E C Gardiner gains and then keeps our interest with a well told tale. These are stories of ordinary people, at revealing moments in their lives. The author’s greatest gift is in creating characters who stick in the mind — while the stories cover a wide range of places (from Africa desolated by drought to the amateur dramatic society of a small English town, as well as other European countries). The time span of the stories runs from World War II to the present day and the age range of the characters is from childhood to the end of life. As one who does not like authors who preach and lecture, I find Gardiner’s approach especially appealing. He presents a situation for us to observe and draw our own conclusions. The person who lies below the surface emerges from what is said or written. And we, the readers and observers, can enjoy moments of irony, humour and quiet tragedy.

Pamela Andrews

Masterful, original and varied short stories.

Francis Quadling, former publisher

Stories with Soul. Absorbing, amusing, poignant. Each story, so different, has depth of flavour. Entertaining to the last, we are left wanting more. An extraordinary writer — deserves to be read.

Isabella Anders

Hooked from the very first story, which actually made me laugh out loud, and one which (because of personal circumstances) brought me almost to tears. These really are stories with their own and different personalities. Greatly enjoyable.

Jane Summerton

So different. I don’t often read short stories, but tried these on the recommendation of a friend. From the very first story I just had to read on. Each story is so cleverly crafted that you can ‘hear’ the voice of the narrator. And there is everything here from laughter to tears. A collection not to be missed.

Michael Horton

So enjoyable. I did enjoy this collection of short stories…they are amusing, thought provoking and touching. The stories take the reader on an amazing adventure told by an assortment of characters speaking of their individual experiences with humour, frustration, sadness and sheer joy.






Here you will find studio versions of stories from FUGITIVES, recorded by experienced readers with music, soundtrack, and studio production by Edward Lee. These works are the sole property of E. C. Gardiner and are © 2020.  All rights are reserved. These free downloads are for private use only. Permission to use copy or disseminate these materials for public or commercial purposes must be obtained from the author.










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