Armed with online writing group Tuesday Tales’ seventeenth prompt ‘chest’, my eleventh short story for them, I got writing and below is the result.
Tuesday Tales provides a new prompt each week, the members write a story inspired by it and post it on our blogs / websites. Then we email the link and first two or three sentences to Jean Joachim. She then posts them on the Tuesday Tales blog (on a Tuesday ), gives us the link, then we go out and shout about it. So, without further ado, here is my 316-word second-person story.
You can’t help staring at his chest. Only a mammoth has more hair than Eddie. It’s the only thing you dislike about his body so you close your eyes and think of proverbial England… the country of your birth… the country you miss, despite everything you have here.
Eddie mistakes your closed eyes for ecstasy and gives one last thrust, groaning as he does so, then flops back to his side of the bed and promptly falls asleep, the effort clearly too much. He puts his constant lethargy down to advancing years but you tell him that fifty is the new thirty so he’s thirty-two. You put it down to his sedentary lifestyle, easily done where you are, except you go out and find things to do. Solo but not solo, enjoying other people’s company but wishing it was Eddie’s.
You look at the expanse of hair – more of it, it seems, due to his expanding girth – and you watch it rise and fall. The mouth above it whimpers and you catch your name. Soft, romantic, like you know Eddie to be… under all that hair. He’s grown his head hair long, dark like his chest, looks like a rock star only he doesn’t play the guitar so well.
Leaning in, you smell the still-evident aftershave, the last of the Duty Free. You rub his chest, determined to make friends with the mammoth, remind yourself that Eddie can be an animal in bed when he’s not so tired, then your hand stops… replays, just to be sure, and it is sure. You’re sure. You’ve felt this before… with Frank. Images flood your brain: beeping machines, shaking heads, forms to sign.
You feel a sensation in your nose, you always do before you cry, but you sniff away the tears as Eddie opens his eyes.
You smile, kiss his chest, then go downstairs to make the dinner.
This story is one of twelve to be found here.
So, not only can you read these stories but you could also write your own using the prompts given each week. There’s no word count limit. Single-word prompts are something I regularly give my Monday night workshop and it’s amazing how different our stories can be.
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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called Short Story Saturdays where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.