Welcome to the seventy-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 where one of the characters isn’t a fan of Christmas, so here is my 263-worder.
Just a shame they have to die
Watching him as if he has a spring in his step makes me laugh every time. He bounces like… well, like Tigger out of Winnie the Pooh. He gets… that’s my Nick, not Tigger, he gets like this when winter’s gone, or more specifically Christmas. I’m not really a fan either but I don’t like to tell him or we’d sit around moping. As it is, his eyes almost sparkle when I open my presents and he always puts so much effort into them. A ruby ring last time, just because I’d spotted one in a film and said I liked it. The box was from a jeweller miles away so I know he must have spent ages… and he wouldn’t have sent his secretary, Sarah, he’s not one of those bosses. Fitted my finger a treat, snug against my wedding band.
We joke a lot, Nick and I. Makes me laugh just getting milk out the fridge. Gasps when he opens the door as if there’s something shocking inside. I don’t think he’ll ever grow up. But then he’s got something to be happy about. They say my tumour’s shrinking, receding. They said that the last time but it feels different this time.
Everyone’s been so kind, bringing me so many flowers. Just a shame they have to die. Nick never forgets my favourites; gerberas. Different colour every day. I keep saying it’s too much, just a new bunch when the old bunch… but he says it brightens the place up. It does that.
Oh, hello Sarah. How lovely to see you.
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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.