Stories of the Future
Stories matter to us. They are part of what it is to be human and how we make sense and shape of the world and all around us. A Scottish Wave of Change has undertaken a number of activities to gather a range of stories about how we imagine the future.
First we have commissioned a range of Scottish writers – from some of our most acclaimed writers to new, exciting, emerging voices.
Second, we have engaged in a national story competition – which invited anyone to submit a short story about the future of Scotland.
Here you will find samples of some of those stories.
National Story Competition stories
Leila Doll – Helen Sedgwick I pulled the curtain aside for the third time and looked out. It was quieter than earlier. The window of one of the flats down the street had been smashed, its shattered glass sprayed out like splashes of water in the moonlight. Sitting back down, I held the panda on my knee and inspected the stitching that attached its arms and legs to its torso. The fur covering its body and head was thin from years of stroking, of love.
Brithers…for a’ that – Dorothy Bruce Grandad would tell you it was the bunnet that Jimmy the Joiner wore at the launching of the legendary Queen Mary. Jimmy being one of his famed ancestors he never stops talking about.’
‘And is it? The bunnet that Jimmy the Joiner wore at the launch? I scrutinised the tartan headgear with its perky pompom, stretched over a singed football. Bizarre was the only word I could find to describe it.
Back now, for my future
Moving, but not just for me
Left with some clothes, records, ideas,
Nineteen years later, I return
Kids, wife, many more things, less ideals
No Going Back – Kathleen Gray You can see that they have no guns. At least not around their waists. Maybe they have them hidden somewhere in the room. But it is a hopeful sign, the fact that there are no guns.
You daren’t look them in the eye. Not straight out. You glance up every now and again and through your eyelashes you can make out the face of a woman.
Glen Bueno – Roger Jacobs Rodger slid the biro inside the curly wire at the top of his notebook. Without this precaution Mae would find, use, and lose it. 2 precious blue biros left in the jar in his shed. From 24 he’d bought in May, various colours, but mostly his favourite black.
Dr Dunn & Mr Raeburn – Emma Shea If we allow ourselves to believe in small wonders, we prepare ourselves to imagine greater wonders. So if it is possible for just one man to overcome addiction, reinterpret the psychological issues of his past and take positive control of his future – then it is surely imaginable that a nation could develop a collective consciousness with the power to unleash a new understanding of human potential…
On The Shoulders Of Giants – Ruth Marr Rain slapped the pavements, and the puddles shivered. The big black car rode the cobbles of the Royal Mile, slowing to a gentle stop at the door of the Parliament building. Above, Arthur’s Seat crouched dimly visible against the scratchy night sky.
The Man In The Broch – Tom McCulloch It was the peewits tumbling. Or maybe the unexpected swelling of the sun. In the glance up and the coming back to focus of my dazzled gaze he was there. I had walked these hills since I was a boy. There were more sheep then. Not so many now. Deer too, but even those numbers have long since fallen.
Depth Of Conviction – Hamish MacDonald “Hey girls,” said Ruaridh with a wave to the gutters working along the harbour wall. His stout friend Bill waved as well. One of the women looked up from the huge fish-tail she was cleaning and gave them a slimy V with her rubber-gloved fingers.
Nesting – Lynsey May There’ve been plenty of other, more convenient, moments for this particular memory to reappear. But no, as Declan walks into the lingering smell of his neighbour’s perfume it slithers stone-eyed from its corner.
i The Platform
at the farthest point of the platform a man stands
where only the full moon can see him
with his thoughts in his pockets
and his hands folding them over and over
until they are small enough to pass undetected
Will It Get Me To Work Quicker? – Russell J Willens The end titles rolled across the screen, but only one name leapt out at Stephen Somerville. This was the man who had just brought about the end to existence. No nuclear explosions or manmade viruses. Just a mathematical equation which proved the world and everything on it weren’t real.
The Scottish Dream – K C Murdarasi It was one of those thankless assignments, the ones that make you wish you were freelance again. I had to do an interview-based piece on a topic that was past its sell-by date. Controversial enough to put some people off, not controversial enough to get talked about, it would probably be buried in one of the Sunday supplements without even a link from the front page of the website.
Stories from Glasgow 2020 and Scotland 2020