Welcome to the thirty-ninth 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 story beginning ‘Susan’s gloves were threadbare…’, so here is my 155-worder.
Susan’s gloves were threadbare, and she knew it was time to buy some more but they were the last birthday present that Geoff had bought her. Not her last birthday together, but the last he’d been able to go out, stand up, speak. Her birthdays after that had been every days, merging in turn like traffic in motorway roadworks.
Then he’d gone. She could breathe again, not hear his rasping and feel guilty that her lungs worked, weren’t full of asbestos.
She stood outside the department store, saw the rainbow of gloves inviting her over the threshold. She knew crossing it would change everything, the end of her old life, the threadbare existence and the start of a new and colourful life.
She clutched the birthday card in her hand, the one she’d found with the note he’d left, with the spider-like writing, telling her to be brave. She inhaled and stepped forward.
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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.