Welcome to the eighty-eighth 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 sentence start ‘It wasn’t as if she’d done anything wrong…’, so here is my 263-worder.
They never do
It wasn’t as if she’d done anything wrong. She’d followed the recipe word-for-word but her effort looked nothing like Pauletta’s.
“They never do, Merys,” Tom said as he walked past, as if reading her mind.
She stared at him as he disappeared into the lounge, then heard the click of the standby and the football burst into life.
“They never do,” she repeated inside her head, unsure whether to take it as a compliment.
Having tipped the contents of the dish into the composting bin, she measured out the ingredients and started again from the top of the page.
Whisking to the second, beating in the correct directions: left twenty times, the right for the same number. She’d thought Pauletta was supposed to make it simple but try as she might, version number two turned out just as badly.
Grabbing the dish in both hands she tapped the bin’s pedal with her slippered right foot and was about to tip the ingredients in after its predecessor when she stopped, and let go of the pedal which made the lid drop with a resounding clunk.
“Shh,” Tom yelled from the other room but Merys was on a mission.
Putting the dish back on the counter, she picked up ‘Pauletta’s Parisian Puddings’ and, foot back on pedal, grinned as the book tipped into the bin, sending up a cloud of flour from the cavernous gloom.
Letting go the pedal with a secondary thud, which produced loud tutting from the lounge, Merys walked to her bookshelf, removed another book and said, “Welcome home, Jamie, welcome home.”
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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.