Welcome to the sixty-sixth in this daily series that is ‘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 with the following ‘mixed bag’: repetitive, Eddie, expert, animals, quitting smoking, so here is my 155-worder.
Eddie stared at the leaflet. He’d read it dozens of times… hundreds maybe, almost to the point of reciting it word-for-word, even able to explain the difficult Latin-sounding words.
It was the pictures that scared him. He couldn’t understand why they had to make them so graphic… scare youngsters, he guessed, although everyone knew that smoking was bad – easy to start, nigh on impossible to give up. He’d tried once, a mixture of dread and relief but it hadn’t lasted long. He’d even gone to a group session, taken advice from a long-time ex-smoker but now he sought a different kind of expert; a more expensive one, but he valued his marriage more than the little white sticks that had ruled his life for far too long.
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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 fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, 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.