Deniz Besim

 The author is a thirty-two year old lady who lives in London and enjoys writing, swimming, walking and playing tennis.  She has written a series of short stories and is also currently working on her third poetry book.  Deniz Besim likes reading fiction and includes an element of story-telling in the poems she writes.  Below is a taster of some of Deniz Besim's short-stories that she includes in this page. 
  The Paper

"And what is your name, madam?"

The girl sits on the wooden stool - the only seat available - within the small, mystical room.  Incense sticks burn as the girl turns her nose up at the exotic-smelling aroma, finding it a tad too strong for her liking.  The psychic gypsy across her has her head tilted up expectantly; her wild, black hair cascading around her shoulders as her striking deep blue eyes stare back at the girl, still awaiting the reply.

'Liz,' replies the girl.

'Ah...' the psychic breathes.  'Wait a minute.'  She stares at the crystal ball in front of her, waving her arms around it and her glare penetrates into it.  'I do see something... yes...'

Liz licks her lips, 'What's that?'

'Terrible!  Something truly terrible.'  Liz raises an eyebrow in bemusement, half believing the vision the psychic has just seen.  'What is it?'

'Give me your palms too, my dear,' she says.  'We must be sure.'  Liz thrusts forward her hands, her eyes darting back and forth between her palms and the psychic concentrating.  'Terrible!  Just terrible'  Cries the gypsy.  She shakes her head, making her hooped earrings dart back and forth.  'However,' she says.  She stares into Liz's slightly frightened eyes.  'Something can be done about this.  Don't worry too much, I will do my best to protect you from this happening.' 

'What's happening?'  asks Liz.

The gypsy taps her nose, 'I'm sorry,' she says, 'I cannot tell you but you must have faith in my vision.  This is what you must do..'  She waves her palm over the crystal ball which suddenly opens up from the top and a gust of fresh smoke rises out of it.  The gypsy puts her hand into it and takes out a scrap of paper.  'This..' she says, 'This is what will protect you!'

'How?'

'Listen dear, heed carefully these instructions.  It is your only chance to safety.  Now I give you this scrap of paper and you keep it somewhere safe.  Never lose it.  But you must not open and read the paper until 4pm tomorrow afternoon.  Do you understand?  4pm tomorrow afternoon.'

'Sure,' Liz says.  'I'll try not to.'  She takes the paper from the gypsy's hand.

Until 4pm tomorrow afternoon.

'Ok, thank you.... for.... um... whatever this is.'

The psychic waves her hand. 'Sure, no problem - Next please!'

Liz leaves the room as another two girls enter the psychic's abode.

'Hello, my dears.  We only have one stool so the one who wants their reading done may take a seat.'  A girl with chestnut coloured hair sits down and rolls her eyes at her friend.

'And your name is, madam?'

'Beth,' says the girl.

'And that is short for Elizabeth?'  'Yes.'  The gypsy gasps, 'Oh no...'  She says.  'Is there a problem?'  Asks Beth.  The room is silent.  Beth's friend rolls her eyes.  'Listen carefully,' says the gypsy.  'Something awful will happen to you today.  You must follow these instructions in order to be safe.'  The gypsy's crystal ball opens up letting out a puff of fresh smoke.  She takes a paper out of it and gives it to Beth.  'You must not read the contents of this paper until precisely 4pm tomorrow afternoon, understand?  Keep the paper safe until then.  Now I'm done - '  With a commanding hand, she waves off the two girls, and they realise they are being instructed out of the room.
'Is that it?'  Asks Beth, putting the paper into her handbag.  The gypsy responds with silence and the girls both reluctantly leave the woman and her strange little room.


Liz strolls out into the city roads taking gulping breaths of air, glad to be rid of the aromatic incense smells that confined her to the psychic's room, very conscious of the crumpled piece of paper in her trouser pocket and curious of its contents, she taps her pocket.  Gazing at the dresses by  the window of the shops on the high street, she thinks about the psychic's instructions, battling her curiosity to stop her from opening the piece of paper before tomorrow at 4pm.  She wants so much to pick out the piece of paper, forget about the orders and read it.  Yet the psychic said it's supposed to protect her.  Everything about it just didn't make sense.  Was it something to do with her palms?  The crystal ball?  Or a reading of her name?  Liz taps the paper in her pocket.


As Beth and her friend come out of the psychic's room, Mel rolls her eyes about the hundredth time.

'You don't seriously believe what she said, do you?'

'She said something awful's gonna happen.  This scrap of paper's supposed to protect me.'

'She probably sells that sh*t to everyone.'

'There's something about it.'

'Bullsh*t!'

The girls come across the kerb and wait for the oncoming cars to pass the street so that they can cross the road.  The lights take a while to turn.

'Oh, come on, don't you want to know what the paper says?'  There's a challenging twinkle in Mel's eyes.  Beth digs into her bag and pulls out the paper.  The traffic lights turn colour.  She unfolds the paper and reads:

Careful. Pay
Attention.  Be
Responsible.

As she reads the paper she notices the traffic lights change colour and she subconsciously steps onto the road, failing to hear Mel call, 'Car!'  Beth is still too distracted to hear the loud hooting of the car speeding at 70mph, which drives into her very suddenly and kills her instantly.

Liz makes her way out of the city park, her curiosity still getting the better of her as she feels the crumpled paper that resides in her pocket. 

Until 4pm tomorrow.

Liz waits at a kerb to cross the road.  The lights turn colour and Liz thinks it's her queue to cross.  However, someone from behind shouts, 'Car!'  And only then does Liz notice the obstacle that has just crossed the light at red.  Liz turns around hoping to thank the person behind her.

'Don't worry about it,' he says.  'Keep safe.'

Liz takes a leisurely stroll toward home and forgets about it all.  It's been a long day.  She makes herself a cup of coffee and opens the television.  There's been a road accident not far from where she lives.  Oh, how awful!  She thinks about the crash she could have been a victim of and sighs.  Phew.

Liz gets ready for a shower and a good long soak in the tub.  She lights the scented candles around the bath and inhales.  After a satisfying soak she gets ready for bed.  She awakens late in the afternoon the next day.  She wears a new sweater and the same trousers she wore the day before, forgetting about the crumpled paper until after 4pm.  She takes it out carefully.  'This was supposed to protect me,' she thinks, and reads:

Careful. Pay
Attention.  Be
Responsible.

'What a lot of b*llshit!'  She throws the useless scrap of paper into the trash.

Caroline's Witness

I lay across my master's feet with my head over my paws and sigh.  It's moments like this that makes the whole day worthwhile.  Just enjoying a quiet moment of solitude with my master, the Old Farmer.  The clock ticks away from across us and is the only sound that breaks the silence.  Below the clock there is a fireplace and on the mantelpiece stands a blue urn.  With her ashes.

'I still miss her, old boy,' says the farmer.  I look up at him and walk over to the fireplace.  I face the urn, paw at the mantelpiece and whine.  I know he's talking about her.

'You understand everything, don't you?  Clever boy.'  I continue whining.  I know my master is sad.

 He gets up and goes to the kitchen.  I perk up right away and follow him, with my tail wagging.  'Here boy,' he says and throws me a fine chunk of meat with a bone too!  I see him making a sandwich as he butters the bread and lays very fine slices of cucumber over it.  He also takes a tin of sardines from the larder and a jar of pickles.  He puts the snacks on the table and begins eating.  I continue munching on my bone as he also pours himself a glass of lemonade.  The lady who lives in the next nearest cottage from here gives the Old Farmer lots of food to make sure he is not hungry.  Ever since the death of Caroline the Old Farmer does not have a lady at home to cook his breakfast, lunch, tea or dinner for him.  He is a big, tall man and he needs his meals.  Jan, the nearest neighbour, takes pleasure to make sure that the Old Farmer is fed now.


'I've still got a great big pie in the fridge to have for lunch tomorrow.  Good old Jan,' says the farmer. 'Woof!' I reply.

Suddenly I hear sounds of the key in the lock and I start growling.  I've already smelt who it is.  It's Rob, the Old Farmer's son.  As he comes in he says, 'You said you'd do something about that damned dog of yours, I can't come anywhere near you without him going off on me.'  If only the Old Farmer would give me the chance to nip this idiot really good!

'Well he's got pretty good intuition.  You come to try to take the urn from me again?' says the Old Farmer.

'She's damn well family to me too!' He says raising his voice.  I notice a maddening look on his face.  The farmer says nothing but he gives his sandwich a very hard stare before he picks it up and munches.  'I need that urn!' Shouts Rob.  The Old Farmer shakes his head.

'Not in a million years will I give you that urn.  You don't deserve the dirt she walked on.  You treated her like sh*t when she was alive. What makes you want her ashes now?'  I growl at Rob even more fiercely and start barking.

'You better get that dog away from me.  Right away, I say!'  says Rob.  Seeing he's losing the argument, Rob leaves, slamming the door behind him.  I make my way to the farmer and consolingly put my paws on his knee.

'Here boy,' he says. 'Good boy.'  He goes into the cupboard, takes out some biscuits and throws me over one.  I munch it happily.


I'm in the kitchen.  Caroline is making a very big dinner and she's very busy.  I follow her everywhere she goes with my tongue hanging out and my tail wagging.  She brushes my head with her hand and smiles at me.

I notice she's made a great deal of food and she's still cooking!  She's made a wonderful leg of ham, a fine chocolate cake, a whole lot of vegetables including carrots, broccoli and sprouts and is currently making pastries.  She also has an orange juice on the table which she slowly sips as she cooks.

Suddenly Rob comes in and his demeanour is menacing.  Although I don't like this man I know he's related to the family so I neither greet him nor hate on him.  He gets into an argument with his mum.  As I stare at him, I'm used to seeing him treat her with disrespect.  I hear her say,'You've gotten into some bad company the past few years.  I don't even recognise my own Rob anymore.'

'What's it to you and what do you know about them anyway?'  They argue and I begin to whine.

'I know more than you think, son!'  She says, then she puts a hand over her mouth.  'I know enough to realise you've lost the plot.'

'Lost the plot?'  he says disgustedly.

Caroline sits on a chair near the table.  She puts her arms on the table, rests her head on them and sobs.
'You're not my son anymore.  You're not my son anymore...'

Then Rob takes a bottle out of his pocket and pours out a liquid into the Farmer's Wife orange juice.  He says, 'Ma, have this, it'll refresh you.'  She takes her head off from her arms and gladly accepts the orange juice as she tries to console her sobbing.  She drinks it.  Rob looks around with a smirk on his face and then he sees me.

'Woof!' I bark.

'Oh, what would a dog know anyway?' He says.  He takes a can of food and puts it on a plate.  He then puts some of that stuff he put into the Farmer's Wife juice into the plate.  He hands me the plate with the food in it and he leaves the cottage.  I approach the plate cautiously and sniff it well.  I instantly recognise the smell of poison!  I retreat from the plate and run to the Farmer's Wife who I notice consumed the drink with the poison in it.  I find her unconscious.  I wince, trying to wake her up and then I begin to bark as loud as I can so that I can call some attention.  I don't stop barking.

The Old Farmer hears me some time later.  He runs into the cottage and sees his unconscious wife.  Unfortunately it's too late for she's dead.



I growl while I watch Rob's figure from the window as he walks away from the cottage, getting smaller and smaller, disappearing into the distance.

I know Caroline is now the urn over the fireplace and that the Old Farmer loves her.  I know who killed her.  This is the hundredth time he walks away and he wants the urn.  There are still traces of the poison on her ashes that I can smell through it.
The Old Farmer walks out of the cottage and although it is wet and raining outside, I follow him.  I have a bone in my mouth and contently chew at the little pieces of meat stuck on in.  He picks up the mud and lets it slip through his fingers.

From ashes to  ashes
Dust to dust

'Carrrrooollllllllllllliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnne!'  He screams his distress so loud it can be heard for miles away over the hills.


I know what's happened to her.  I am the only one who knows.