Late April 2011 I discovered http://StoryADay.org and the project that is to write 31 stories in 31 days. Anyone who knows me or follows this blog, knows how passionate I am about short stories so my clichéd eyes lit up at this new marvel. And just a few days later there I was, breathing life into new characters. This went on to become (with some editing of course) my 31-story collection eBook Story A Day May 2011. And here we are a year later doing it all over again.
Today’s prompt was to give our hero a want or need, then move them away or towards it. In this 187-worder, we catch up again with Rosie, her mother and brother from May 11th’s story Just a figure of speech. If you’ve not read that you might like to before reading this as they run parallel to each other chronologically (and today’s ending has borrowed yesterday’s).
Would Chuck chuck?
“Mr Francome, you can’t sack Mrs Norman.”
“No, you’re… ‘letting her go’.”
“We have to.”
“But you’re replacing her.”
“We need a good music teacher.”
“You already have one.”
“It’s complicated, Chuck.”
“You don’t like her.”
“It’s not that.”
“I’ve seen the way you look at her.”
“That’s not true. I like her very much.”
“Anyway, you can’t get rid of her – she’s having a baby.”
“I know… but how…”
“It’s the law. Discrimination.”
“I’ve told you, it’s not like that.”
“Then I’ll say it is.”
“Listen, Chuck, it’s done. The other teacher, who is a very fine music teacher, will be here next Monday. Mrs Norman has another placement and is very happy…”
“Then why did I see her crying?”
“You did? How unprof…”
“Mr Francome! You can’t let her go. She’s the best teacher we’ve had.”
“As I said, it’s too late and it’s…”
“Complicated. You said that too.”
“If you like her and she’s a good teacher then why… oh, I see. You LIKE her…”
“Chuck? What are you doing here? No, Chuck, put that down!”
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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.