Welcome to the forty-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 dialogue-only piece between two siblings, so here is my 347-worder.
Are you going to tell her or shall I?
“It’s at times like this that I was an only child.”
“No, you know what I mean.”
“That I hadn’t been born.”
“No, that’s not…”
“How else do you mean it?”
“That I’d be the only one to have to make this decision.”
“There isn’t really a choice, is there?”
“No, and I’ve found one. The Sycamores. It’s supposed to be very nice. We can take her there tomorrow.”
“You’ve checked already?”
“I knew you couldn’t take her, where would she sleep?”
“I could have the sofa.”
“But you’re at work all day.”
“As are you. The Sycamores it is, I guess.”
“I’ll give them a ring. Said I’d call today anyway to let them know one way or the other.”
“Without seeing it?”
“No, I mean to just go and have a look. If mum’s not happy we’ll have to think of something else.”
“I don’t know but I’m not giving up my job…”
“Maybe carers then… a live-in someone or other.”
“I couldn’t be around her all day, she’d drive me nuts.”
“That’s very insensitive…”
“You could quit your job.”
“It’s only Tesco. You can get another one when… well, she is very ill.”
“She’s not that ill. The Sycamores… it’s OK, is it? Not full of old people staring at the TV.”
“I don’t know. It’s expensive enough.”
“That’s OK, there’s plenty of equity in her house.”
“You’re not selling the house!”
“We’d have to.”
“But I wanted to live… I mean, to live there with you.”
“You’ve planned this all along, haven’t you? Kick her out, move her in with me… for free… so the inheritance stays intact. Half of the house is mine, remember.”
“I sell my flat and move in with her. She stays at home, we get in a carer, paid for by my flat, you contribute of course…”
“Now, are you going to tell her or shall I?”
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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.