Welcome to the twentieth in the series: 5pm Fiction.
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.
I was nearing completion of the 2012 project when I decided that I didn’t want to stop at the end of May so 5PM Fiction was born. I put a load of prompts on the 5PM Fiction page and today’s was to write a monologue where Sophie’s waiting for her little brother to get ready for school, so here is my 300-worder.
Sometimes I could swing for…
What? No, it’s in the wash. Wear the other one. Do you want me to come up… OK but just hurry.
He knows I’ve got a test today – not until second period but…
No! The blue one!
Derr. Mum’s out – had to go into work early and Dad’s never around, he’s got his own business so…
No! Second drawer. Five minutes, Harvey, or we’ll miss the bus!
I keep telling mum we should hire a nanny, we’re rich enough, but she says Harvey’s too old so I have to do it. For free. “That’s what sisters do,” she says, but Emma doesn’t, they’ve got Ingrid. And that’s why mum doesn’t want a nanny – ’cause she thinks Dad will run off with her, but he’s never here; gone before we get up, back after Harvey’s gone to bed and I’m busy doing my homework or at Em’s.
He should cook his own dinners because the ones mum makes are dry and skinny when he gets home… not skinny like thin, like Em’s nanny, but wrinkly like an old woman. Mum’s worried about that too; that’s she’s getting older (I’ve seen the creams) and thinks Dad stays at work because he doesn’t want to be with her, but I’ve seen them when we go on holiday – hands all over each other… and I’m like “get a room!”. Glad I don’t have to share with them anymore. I share with Harvs but he’s alright really. I’d rather have him talking all night than listen to them, which I still have to do if the walls are thin enough.
Harvey Walter Sydney Taylor! If you don’t come down right now… no! Second drawer from the top… What? You said you didn’t need any help…
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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.