Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the forty-sixth piece of flash fiction in this series. This week’s is a 407-worder by comic fantasy (“and a little horror”) author and interviewee Will Macmillan-Jones.
Blank. Screen Blues.
I should be working.
Oh god, we need the money, and I should be working.
What is wrong with me these days?
I don’t seem to work, just stare into this blank screen.
I looked in the fridge this morning, and it’s not as full as I would like. OK, there’s some milk left that the kids didn’t use this morning on their cereals before they went to school. At least they didn’t miss the school bus – that would have been a nightmare, I’m not sure that there’s enough money left in the bank to put the petrol in the car that would drive them all that way.
At least there’s some stuff in the freezer, they won’t starve tonight, although she will say some pretty nasty things to me about their diet. Can’t leave them on frozen chips every night, their brains will implode, or explode, or something.
Oh sweet god, I need to work, to do something that will bring a shekel or two through the door. At least I managed to hide that last letter from the credit card company, and the bank statement. They came when she wasn’t here. Not that she’d gone shopping or anything, there isn’t the money for that, she’d just gone round to her mate’s house, to get warm for a change, have some proper coffee instead of this cheap rubbish we get now.
And complain about how I never seem to do any real work now.
But it’s not easy. Maybe there’s a support group? Could I get some help?
There’s only one sort of help I feel as if I need right now, though.
Actually, there’s two. The second one’s a lottery win, or someone throwing some money at me. Last week I found ten quid in the street, someone had dropped it. It was great for a moment, just to hold some real money again, but it didn’t last long.
It’s not as if there isn’t anything I can do. Over there, the other side of the desk, if I did that for Jim, he’d pay me, I know. Maybe not today though, and today I can’t focus.
God, I need to do that work. We so need the money.
But I’m sat here in front of this blank screen and all I can think of is filling it, with some drivel probably, because it’s the weekly Flash Fiction Competition – again. And I’ve got Writer’s Block.
I asked Will what prompted this piece and he said…
In the summer of 2011 I was lucky enough to join a weekly flash fiction competition on the Authonomy authors’ website. The judging panel was the other writers who entered the competition, and the only prize the experience of writing a completely new short story every week for three months. But what a prize that was… this was one of them. Some of the other writers liked it. I hope that you do.
I did. Thank you, Will.
Will is a fifty-something lover of blues, rock and jazz. He presently lives in South Wales, and has just fulfilled a lifetime ambition by extending his bookcases to fill one entire wall of his home office.
Working as a professional tax consultant, he writes to escape the stultifying boredom of his job.
He has an irregular blog, www.willmacmillanjones.wordpress.com where he “rambles incoherently about writing”.
His publisher’s website is www.safkhetpublishing.com.
You can read my interview with Will here.
If you’d like to submit your 1,000-word max. stories for consideration for Flash Fiction Friday take a look here.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with the four hundred and fifty-first of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
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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 poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.