Descent Toward Sanity (Anthology)

An Anthology of Short Fiction by K. Alan Leitch

Samples of two award-winning stories are here and here: Check this page often for more.

Written by

K. Alan Leitch

Short Stories
A Completed Draft
67943 words


Target Audience
18+ Adult
Lovers of literary fiction that often carries a twist.

Short Fiction from the real to the insane.


From inner worlds to parallel worlds, the inspirations for these award-winning stories traverse readers’ experiences, real or imagined. A young man discovers that he can change his past; another loses by getting a better job. A boy discovers that his butler was more father than he knew, and a young Aboriginal Australian girl realizes that something is wrong with history. Killer bees and frustrated teachers take readers on a journey from the fantastic to the real: on a descent toward sanity.



Ease: (Winner of First Place in the Fall, 2015 Women on Writing competition) After fifteen years with the sanitation department, Stan finds a way to join the white-collar world…and loses more than he could know.

My Father’s Voice: (Recipient of a final reading in the Winter, 2016 Women on Writing Flash Fiction competition) A girl reflects upon her last memories of her father, and the reason that his voice remains to comfort her over his actions.

Enduring Entropy: (Winner of an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Stringybark Award) Eight-year-old Bakana, of the Ngarrindi tribe, knows that something is wrong with Australian history and reality–but can she convince anyone else?

The Hug: (Winner of Second Place in the IEU Literary Award) When an Islamic nation attacks his soldiers, a retired Brigadier General turns to the U.N. Security Council for justice…and unearths a long-forgotten boyhood memory as a result.

What was the Question? A frustrated high-school English teacher uses “Hamlet” to teach his students lessons he never learned himself.

The Departure: After a wealthy boy’s manservant betrays his family, he reflects on misadventures that make him wonder who has committed the biggest crime.

The Colorful Cargo of Captain Jimmy: A longshoreman, exhausted by age, makes a new friend in a cargo-boat captain whose falling crate nearly crushes him with its weight and with its secrets.

Weak Coffee: Chick doesn’t know how miserable he can be, until he steps into a cosmic diner that serves extra-strong coffee: coffee that allows him to step out into alternate versions of his own life.

Sunset: The sun tries, in vain, to please humanity as it travels across a continent for a day.

Labels: A teenaged girl awakens from a coma seeing the sins that others have committed in their eyes. How can she help to solve a murder with no victim and no body?

Mixed Colours: A Vietnamese prisoner of the Viet Cong tries to save his family’s life by hiding his most prized possession: a picture that his son hand-painted.

No Chocolate for Gerald: Choosing between the lives of his obnoxious partner and a rare silverback gorilla proves more difficult than a zookeeper would expect.

Self-Fulfilment: When Amit Basir dies in custody, the arresting officer is unprepared for him to come back to life…again and again. Unaware that the man’s deaths are shifting reality in response to the hatred against him, the officer is even more unprepared to deal with his own changing perceptions.

Custodian: Three schoolboys try to uncover the reason for the school janitor’s mysterious behaviour, only to deepen the mystery by evoking irrational behaviour from their teachers.

To the Chook: A boy grows into manhood when he discovers the reason that his father, a minister, left his parish in Australia to preach in the USA.

The Lane Between: Two university athletes follow different paths to seek their success.

Sunset Haven for the Dangerously Sane: In a tale that parallels Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” the inmate of an insane asylum trusts an orderly with his duplicitous purpose: to protect others from the theft of a top-secret microchip.

The Last Page: A successful actor becomes caught up in a story that has a great deal of personal meaning.

The Winter of Leah’s Summer: A wealthy young man returns to the site of his romance with a poorer girl, only to find that his wealth cannot stop everything from changing.

Infidelity: A bureaucrat seeking a sense of self-importance is tempted to help a government insurgent achieve his goals.

Free from the Shadows: Indebted to the Irish Mafia, a dentist struggles with the decision to protect the mob boss’s daughter.

Corridors: A man tries to solve his problems by acting like a beloved boy, while the boy addresses his the way he thinks the man might.

Blossoms: A young man convinces himself that friendship is enough with his beloved, until a florist changes his mind…with unexpected consequences.

The Last Embrace: An farmer struggles against his bank, his wife and a drought in an attempt to keep his land.

Dark Brother: A privileged son sneaks visits with a beloved brother, whom his mother has forbidden him to see.

Solitude’s Yield: Tired of noise and distractions, a painter resolves to isolate himself from the world while he works.

The Abduction of Sadie: A reporter travels to the Nevada Desert to investigate an addled Australian who claims to have spotted the same aliens that abducted his wife years before.

Fleeting Delights: Seeing his favorite diner out of business, a young man reflects upon its role in creating the man he has become.

Smuggling KyLy; A foreign visitor is baffled by the zealousness of Australian Customs in attempting to seize his wooden boomerang at the border.

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