Welcome to the fifty-fifth 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 from the prompt ‘cold snap’, so here is my 286-worder.
It was a cold snap the day that Matthew was born. Fifteen hours I was in labour. Bleedin’ freezin’ I was too, but was he grateful? Never was, never has been, never comes to visit neither. Miserable old… no, Nita, the man doesn’t want to know about that. Come to tell me, haven’t you?
1929. Between the wars, ‘the golden years’, my dad used to say. Said we never had it so good before… now, who was it? Wilson? MacMillan? Churchill? One of those.
I was one of twins. Florrie’s in an old people’s home – not as compos mentis as me, poor thing.
Cold snap back then too… October 1929, one of the coldest on record, of course only up to then, got colder after that, global cooling as they say now. Mum couldn’t have had it as bad as when I had Matthew though… starch and bare; everything about that hospital was starch and bare… grey walls, grey linen, grey matron. I reckon they named a battleship after her… like Hattie Jacques in Carry on Matron, only there weren’t no laughing that day. I was happy of course, despite the cold. Ted wasn’t best pleased; he’d wanted a girl… unusual that for a man, thought they all wanted a football team, but he grew to love him when we were told we weren’t going to have any more. Closer to him than I was in the end… thick as thieves, which is why they ended up inside. Didn’t need to, we weren’t as bad off as some.
So where do you want me? In the lounge? Do you use a crystal ball or is it those tarot cards?
Oh… yes… just through here.
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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.