Tall And True Short Reads

The Magical Lamp

Episode 68 (13 February 2023)

Handcuffed in the police car, I wished the lamp hadn’t been magical. “That, sir, is a genuine antique,” the stallholder had asserted when I’d stopped and inspected it at the secondhand market. The oil lamp looked like a prop from Disney’s Aladdin. But though tarnished, I thought the embossed metal would polish up nice and shiny and earn me a tidy profit.


The Magical Lamp

Show Notes

Season Three: Episode 68 (13 February 2023)

The Magical Lamp is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read the story on Tall And True: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/fiction/short-stories/the-magical-lamp

Podcast website: https://www.tallandtrueshortreads.com

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Story Insight

I wrote The Magical Lamp for the Australian Writer’s Centre’s quarterly Furious Fiction writing competition in December 2022. The brief was:

  • The 500-word short story had to begin with a 12-word sentence.
  • Include the sale of a secondhand item.
  • And contain at least five different words ending in the letters “–ICE”.

The Furious Fiction brief arrives on the first Friday of the quarter at 5 PM, and writers have 55 hours to write and submit their stories before the Sunday midnight deadline.

I like to quarantine the weekend for devising, writing and editing my short stories. However, on this quarterly weekend, I had a lunch date with a friend on Saturday and an all-day family event on Sunday. And the Socceroos played Argentina in a do-or-die World Cup game at 5 AM on Sunday.

Consequently, I wrote my Furious Fiction entry more furiously than usual, with even less time for reflection and proofreading. And the short story I shared on Tall And True is a reworked version of the original.

For instance, the 12-word first sentence in December 2022 was:

“Sitting handcuffed on my sofa, I wish I’d walked past the lamp.”

But I reworded it to introduce the magical element of the lamp and its consequences from the start of the story:

“Handcuffed in the police car, I wished the lamp hadn’t been magical.” 

There are other subtle differences between the versions, but I’ve respected the brief. And I hope you enjoyed this Furious Fiction-inspired short story.

You can read The Magical Lamp and all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be released shortly. In the meantime, check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from Seasons One, Two and Three.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my stories with other listeners.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small one-off or regular donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

Finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

Podcast episodes are recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the traditional lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

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Support this show: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

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