a taste of ‘Based on True Stories’

from the short story collection by Matt Potter, published March 2016

Based on True Stories 5th April50 stories, written from 2010 to 2014 … stories funny and sad and ribald and true, perhaps

ISBN (paperback) 978-1-925101-75-1

ISBN (eBook) 978-1-925101-76-8

to purchase the paperback, click here

to purchase the eBook, click here for:  Amazon Kindle  /  Barnes and Noble Nook  /  Kobobooks  /  iBookstore  /  ePub


All you saw of me was me saying, “It all happened in a split second. She just stood up and poured the tea over his head. I didn’t see any of it.”  from The ‘Never Far From Home Café’, Friday, 1:57pm

The spring flowers will soon be here and it’s a magical time, so the cowherds tell me in their fractured English.  from Schöne Grüße aus Tirol

“Well, no,” I say, digging the straw out with my finger. “But I did get it near the beach. And I bought it, it wasn’t someone else who bought it, it was me, with my money. I picked it up off the shelf and, you know …”  from Morgana Malone and the Riddle of the Sands of Time

So he’s not a street sweeper and if he is, he’s probably studying at night so he can go to university. Looking at his crisp white t-shirt (I can’t see much beyond his moulded chest and flat stomach without craning over the counter), he’s probably off to the gym after this too.  from Espresso

“Marvellous,” she said. “Outer space is wonderful for the skin.”  from Rocket

(But I’ve never been that good at boiling wheat! So I’m going to pay her to boil the wheat instead. Or, give her a big discount on her first month’s rent. Apparently making ‘sochivo’ can take hours.)  from Morgana Malone and the Miracle of Christmas

Some man – prophet, seer, philosopher – develops a system of thinking and wham! they’re building worship centres and theme parks and re-naming interstate highways after him.  from Write

I have lived with this project for three years and the two accents are integral to the book.  from Indignation

And I was hoping my new orange bob made me unrecognisable.  from Morgana Malone and the Case of the Mysterious Flood

“You’d better hand over all the money you owe her,” I say, gravel-voiced, my dead body make-up from that day’s re-enactment cracking in the moonlight streaming through the window.  from I’d go with the shotgun

The postcards stick together with my stamp spit. My fingers prise them apart.  from Liebe Grüße

Then he added the clincher: “Do you want me to get down on my knees?” And wincing in pain, he inched towards the edge of the leatherette chair.  from One More Chance

I am not interested in why my former housemate and fortune teller is trying to be amusing. Nor am I interested in her wheezing or why she smokes celebratory cigars on Christmas Day.  from Morgana Malone and the Promise of 1000 Tomorrows

So my new job as the Tyrolean Fetta Ambassadress starts next week.  from And no one told me!

I didn’t really want to hear the answer. A three-night-stand a year ago and I’m still making goo-goo eyes whenever Tony’s name is mentioned. But I have this need to know …  from Earlier Again

Meanwhile, the fat guy with the puffy clasp stood on the kerb, waiting. For what, I don’t know.  from Licking Around the Rim

Did you get my email with the explicit instructions for extra spacing for note-makers in the ‘academic’ edition?  from The Follow-Up

“So what section’s the gay one?” I ask. (Really, I may as well not be here.)  from Capitalist Bastard

I groaned. And zipped my fly.  from Bag

I have long been fascinated by the works of the absurdist Eugène Ionesco.  from Musical Moments

I’m not the coolest at school. I’m kind of the class queer: all my friends are girls; I like opera; I can answer all the questions about male and female ejaculation – without stammering – in sex ed. classes.  from Better

Some other news: my husband is in the local psychiatric hospital for tax evasion, back in the Tyrol. He’s getting the best care the low Austrian schilling can give him.  from Feliz Navidad

“Do you always do this on a first date?” he said. “Fuck my exhaust pipe,” I answered.  from Regret

Local cheese retailers, once they discovered the truth, dumped their loads outside our Tyrolean hideaway.  from The Great Wall

“I knew you were a virgin when I first met you yesterday,” she said, humming into her drink. “You have that … glow.”  from Squirm

I shifted in my chair. My mother’s favourite child-rearing mantra – I can talk to my children about anything – was swallowing me whole.  from Flush

And that designer dress for the award-bestowing ceremony in Oslo in early December isn’t getting made any quicker while I wait!  from Swapsies

Half an hour later I’m working miracles with battered bodies and there I am in the local newspaper again.  from Good with the Big Picture

“The yarmulke is enough for Rabbi Gutnick,” he says. “I don’t want him to be impressed too much.”  from Morgana Malone and the Riddle of the Wrong Rug

“I’ve seen him around town,” I say. “He looks like a real gusher.”  from Key Meeting

“I coughed because you said go with god, madame,” he answered, standing upright. “Yes,” I replied, and smiled again. “I was bidding you adieu.”  from A Little Squirming

… sø I åm høping thæ Nøßæl thæy givæ in Øslø is thæ ønæ with my nåmæ øn it.  from Nørthærn Lights

He lets out a large whistle. “Whoa! It is you, that racing stripe is so sexy!”  from Morgana Malone and the Mystery of the Manna from Heaven

The Pyrénées are sweet enough but I can’t help thinking that maybe they’re just the wrong mountains for me.  from Playing with the Big Boys

And nobody seemed to notice only the guests did the actual cooking.  from Ethics

I am also munching cheese as I type, so now I have an excuse for all my typos!!  from In the Dark

I can’t imagine why anyone would want tinkling piano music playing as the mourners offer their condolences to the family, but then I’ve never been to a Jewish funeral service before so everything is novel.  from Morgana Malone and the Sign of the Boisterous Horse

I smile. The four-week training course has boosted my self-confidence: no athlete or dancer or ninja is more dedicated.  from True Vocation

I thought it might be one of the goats playing a practical joke, knocking on the door, and then I thought, no, wait a minute, if it was one of the goats I would have heard hooves on the stairs and the bell around its neck, ringing with each step.  from Connections

“Something caught in her throat,” I say, as Mr Rubinstein’s eyebrows and eye patch lower. “A bit of déjà vu, I think.”  from Morgana Malone and the Case of the Blushing Bride

Of course I kept them. They hang above my desk, alphabetised and descending.  from Numberplate

Mum’s grey eyes are revealing … well, not a lot, really. What they are saying, is that she knows nothing of this woman.  from Morgana Malone and the Mystery of the Secret Gift

Early mornings are touch and go: Aileen’s moods depend on the wind and the sun and TV programming and the colour of the bedsheets and the cool of the lino and the smell of the air. And now she’s scowling.  from Lamington Drive

“Like I said,” and fingers drumming on the worn velvet armrest Mary Agnes repeats her pronouncement: “You look like a whore.”  from Morgana Malone and the Mystery of the Opium Den

Many drivers recognise me from Squat and Cough 7, my last big success. And there have been quite a few rear-end collisions too.  from Pitcher

She looked over at the woman behind the counter, the one with cross-eyes, and opened her mouth. But cross-eyes was busy.  from Earlier

Why is it always the ex-wife-bridesmaid who’s the last to hear about it?  from Morgana Malone and the Miracle of St. Francis Xavier

To become a contestant on the show, people you know have to answer a series of questions about you: this includes people you’ve had sex with, people who’ve watched you have sex with others, people from your church, and your parents. (It’s a New Zealand production.)  from Welcome to Our Community

“It’s a nightmare getting stock not made in China,” Jane says, picking up her chai latte. “A nightmare!”  from Morgana Malone and the Mystery of the Family Trust

These men make me think of my son and what he is doing in his life now and I don’t want to think of my son and the path he has chosen away from God.  from Even Earlier Still

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