Welcome to the one hundred and third 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 including the keywords balls, distinctly, red, door, unfestive, so here is my 213-worder.
Just like Christmas
Muriel had always thought modern Christmas as unfestive. “Who wants to buy Christmas cards in August?” she’d say to anyone who would listen, which since Ernie had left, was the group of charity workers at the local Red Cross.
She shook her head and put the packs back in the large cardboard box they’d arrived in.
“Distinctly detrimental to the whole meaning of Christmas,” a voice piped up from the corner, alias Sylvia the newest member of the team.
“Couldn’t have put it better myself,” Muriel said, closing the lid.
Wendy opened her mouth but after two years as Muriel’s assistant knew better than to contradict.
Muriel put the box of cards under a rail of donated clothes and moved the hangers across so it obscured the box. “Out of sight…” she started to say when one of their regular customers appeared in the doorway. “Hello, Tom. Any requests today?”
“Balls,” he replied with a cheeky smile, winking at Wendy who blushed and looked down to her feet.
“Tom?” Muriel said, trying to make out that she’d not heard him properly.
“Balls!” he repeated this time louder as Sylvia giggled. “The wife’s making a blanket so is after some wool. Red if you’ve got it… wants it nice and bright… just like Christmas.”
Photography courtesy of morguefile.com.
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As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do, and 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 posting it online in my new Red Pen Critique Sunday night posts, then do email me. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.