Welcome to the seventy-seventh 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 dialogue between two neighbours, so here is my 280-worder.
“A couple of days, yes.”
“Didn’t you have a nice time?”
“Oh, Tanya. It was fantastic.”
“That’s… good. So why…?”
“Neil had a call from work.”
“Oh dear. Nothing too serious, I hope.”
“They had a burglary. I’m livid. Bit calmer now, what could he do? But you know what he’s like, tied to their apron strings.”
“Couldn’t they have waited ’til he came back?”
“The police wanted to speak to him.”
“They could have rung him, surely.”
“I said that but he didn’t know what happened so was only getting second-hand information from his boss.”
“What a shame. But apart from that, everything was OK.”
“Best holiday we’ve been on. Just like the brochure. Better in fact. Not too hot, loads of new things, local fish, beats out of a packet anyway.”
“It would. So it did you two good? You did say you’d been having a few prob…”
“Better than ever.”
“He was so loving and…”
“And the burglary…”
“Nothing was taken, that’s the strange thing.”
“Well, that’s good.”
“But it was like someone just wanted to…”
“No, it wasn’t messing around.”
“Maybe they got the wrong place.”
“Oh no, it was targeted. That’s what the police said anyway.”
“Like they knew we were away and wanted us to come home early.”
“It was Neil’s desk they went for.”
“Left everything else in the company alone. Minimal damage to the front door. Just enough to get in.”
“So they were quite clever.”
“The police are stumped but it’s early days. They’ve talked about being a revenge for something but who would do that?”
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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.