Welcome to the sixty-ninth in this daily series that is ‘5pm Fiction’.
Late April 2011 I discovered
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 containing the following keywords: bench, brown, tail, umbrella, and dark… so here is my 321-worder.
A goatie to go with it
This bench is so cold… come on bus.
How could he change so quickly? How can a heart go from rich to… well, heartless.
“You’ll find someone else,” he said, and I know I will but I want him, despite…
Cute dog, pity about its tail. I thought that was illegal these days. They’re supposed to make you feel better, aren’t they? Dogs. Man’s best friend, and all that.
Simon could do with one. A wagging tail… stump in this case… would melt even his dark heart, wouldn’t it?
“Good boy, Tyson?” Silly name for a dog but then it does look at a bit like a…
Simon’s not a good boy… man. Nothing manly about him, not anymore. I even had to go to his house.
“Told you face-to face, didn’t I?” he said, as if that made it better, but he’s the one with the car.
At least it’s not raining. Didn’t bring an umbrella because Simon usually takes me home. Took. Won’t happen again. Good. His car stank.
Wind’s picking up, rattling the plastic sides of the bus shelter. Someone’s drawn all over the bikini-clad model so she looks like Hitler. Like Simon, except she’s blonde-haired and he’s brown. Should have known but never been out with anyone with a ’tash before. Won’t again, that’s for sure. Wasn’t much of a ’tash either, like a pubescent kid trying to look ‘hard’.
Someone says “hello” so I look up. He’s got a ’tash but it has a goatie to go with it. Cute.
I budge up so he can sit down and he says “thanks”.
I go red. Don’t know why. I never go red.
He laughs which makes me laugh. My dad would have said it was a good sign.
He holds out his hand… the cutie, not my dad, and tells me his name: Simon.
Can’t be unlucky twice, right?
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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.