Tag Archives: family

140Story – Festive Edition


New year, new short short stories – and this one is definitely not inspired by my Italian grandmother. She hates rhymes.

Make sure to head over to the new 140Story website to find more tiny tales!

So Grangsta, yo.


140story – Star Wars edition


If you’re even slightly into film, media, popular culture and geek culture, you’ll have noticed that there is something stirring in the Star Wars universe right now. With that in mind, I thought I’d drop in to 140story and contribute a themed tiny Twitter tale.

If you’re anywhere around Norwich this Thursday, make sure to drop by The Forum at 7.15 for UEA Live! with Tash Aw, and a host of 140story writers!

101 Fictions – Winter/Undead


More publications! 101 Fiction publishes 100-word stories (plus one for the title), and their theme for issue 2 was Winter and/or Undead. I sent one off – it made the cut. Check it out!

“Welcome to issue two. […] Fifteen hundred well-chosen words inspired by one or both of our two themes: winter and undead. […] We have some Family values and a little black humour from Alex Valente.”

Check out Family over here!

NaPoWriMo Day 30 – Recipes


250 grams of your finest minced beef
Argentine or Scottish, either really is fine.
From the Mediterranean, 600 grams of onions
but yes, we can pretend they’re French.
400 grams of potatoes, brought over by the Spanish.
One single solitary egg, as long as it’s free range.
A pinch of guilt, for not visiting as often.
50 grams of Dutch, Turkish, English
bread left to dry and harden for days.
100 grams of Italian Parmigiano,
only the good stuff, finely grated.
Add a grandmother, telling you the story
of how they all met and mixed.
Boil the onions and potatoes,
drain them, sieve them, smooth and thick.
Soak the bread in clear water, mix it all together,
ask your dad for yesterday’s loaf,
there should be some in the drawer.
Add nutmeg, salt, pepper and oregano
a lot of it, make sure there’s a lot of it.
Knead the mixture of seamstresses and diplomats
migrants, mechanics and an emir’s daughter,
make sure everything blends together.
Now take some each
and roll it into smaller balls,
pass them in flour, turn on the flame,
douse them in virgin olive oil,
into the pan, turn up the heat, fry.
Let her know you’re visiting soon
as you wait for them to cook.



There were so many things
that I was told about,
myths, fantasies of a life after life
that we would never reach.
I saw them as what they were:
stories to scare or appease
and together we mocked them.

I was told of the life in the clouds
picking on strings of harps
that would never untune
bathed in a light far greater
than the one from your earthly home.
But you used to say
that you couldn’t believe
that a man would die
on planks of wood, a sacrifice
for the likes of us.

I was told of the golden fields
where we would ride towards
an ever setting sun, shining heroes
of a now forgotten battle.
But you used to tell me
of the fields you traversed
they were mined, you survived
only to fight on another.
Your personal green of reds versus yellows
and five little soldiers as mutual targets.

I was told of a hall of warriors
from a world where every time
you cut your fingernails
the end of the world is kept at bay
at least for another while.
But you would grunt and scoff
as they drink only mead
not your favourite red wine
and the woman at your side
although without sword
has fought more battles than them.

I was told of the dark underworld
where ghosts and mist are one,
the rivers flow with memories and flames
and oblivion and pain, nothing like yours.
The river in which you would
swim as a lad, before when the water
was clear and school just a pastime.
But you would not know of it
you liked real histories
and memories which can be retold.

Then you told me things, a teacher at times:
You told me that tum-tum-pah is the backbone of music
and we knew it was the rhythm of your life.
You told me that I must consider every single move
of my opponent, before taking a step.
You told me that I stopped talking to you.
You told me that you would always be there
– down the stairs, turn left, through the door and knock
You told me that English was a bad choice
I wouldn’t need it. Engineering, now that’s a career!
I guess we were both right, in the end.

With my words, I tried to build a structure
to bridge the gap between us two
our languages, our generations, our worlds.

With your words, you told me your tale
the story you created to scare or appease
your one-man audience – me.

But the last thing you told me
left us suspended: I’ll see you in August.
August has passed now, September is ending.
And because those were stories, and tales
of a life after life, the stories
and tales of a life become mine,
all those many things
I wanted to tell you about
will have to remain unsaid.