Welcome to the fifty-seventh 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 second person viewpoint story in future tense where the character is waiting for an important delivery, so here is my 318-worder.
Whatever Aunt Agatha has in store for you
It’ll come and you’ll either be happy about it or how you are now. It can’t get any worse, can it.
Before it arrives though you’ll have to find a space for it. Of course not knowing what you’re going to get doesn’t help but you’ll deal with it. You’re used to dealing with crises and this, you’ve convinced yourself, will not be as bad as losing Brian, or the day the dog… no, you’ll be positive, thank the van driver and wish him a nice day, shut the door, take the parcel into the dining room, unwrap it and deal with it.
Of course you may not want to keep it. You know what strange taste Aunt Agatha had, but to leave you anything had been a shock, but you know her sense of humour too and that it’s not going to be something ordinary… something that’ll just blend into a corner with the rest of the ornaments.
You’ve convinced yourself it’ll be huge. You have visions of the delivery driver having to take the door off its hinges… a life-size wooden elephant, you know Agatha lived overseas for a while but as long as it’s dead you’ll cope.
So you go to the window, pull open the curtains a little to watch the traffic, but not to appear nosy, and you’ll wait… wait for the brown van, the man in the brown uniform to carry, push or wheel whatever’s in store for you and you’ll accept it over the threshold with a smile and thank him for his trouble whether there’s been any or not.
You could do with a new fridge freezer, no more newspaper on the floor to mop up the leaks because the freezer door doesn’t shut. A piece of jewellery would be a treat.
And then you see him, not in a brown van but in a lorry and your heart sinks.
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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.