Welcome to the seventy-ninth 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 from the prompt word ‘calm’, so here is my 220-worder.
It’ll be over soon
“Keep calm, mummy,” Walter said, hiding under the table. “It’ll be over soon.”
98-year-old Ethel wasn’t so sure. Pacing the room, she kept looking up at the ceiling, then out through the windows. She jumped as a plane flew overhead, holding her handbag closer to her.
“You’d believe anything, Walter!” Ethel snapped, still walking up and down in short, shuffling moments.
“Make her shut up!” a voice from the corner of the room barked. “Get her to sit or something.”
“Sorry Jeff,” Walter mumbled, “you know what she’s like.”
“I do,” Jeff replied then sang ‘I do, do, do, do’ to himself.
“It’s lovely and toasty under here, Mummy, you’d like it if you tried.”
Ethel stopped pacing, walked to the table and leaned over, twisting her head to peer at her eldest son. “Cosy?”
“Very toasty cosy. Come on, give it a try.”
She sighed then crouched down, wincing as she did so. Then on all fours, she padded like a dog until she was sitting on the blanket next to Walter.
“There. Isn’t this nice?” he soothed.
Ethel looked at her watch, shook her head, then reached inside her handbag for her gun.
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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.