Welcome to the one hundred and 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 starting ‘Michael sat down in the middle of the road’, so here is my 284-worder.
He stared at what was left of his car, his 3-week-old Mercedes SLK, the British Racing Green body now battered beyond recognition.
One of the indicators was flashing and as Michael watched his pride and joy sinking into the murky water he yelped, the fading yellow light growing dimmer by the second.
He’d always hated quiet and now he hated it even more. He wasn’t sure where ‘here’ was, what had brought him to that place and, more importantly, what he was going to do next.
Having driven on autopilot, following the bends of the American landscape he couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen life; buildings, cars, people. He had no clue which direction to start walking, if in fact that was he was going to do.
He’d stopped crying by now and started laughing… loud, unnatural, like something out of a Stephen King movie. He kicked the ground with his Gucci-shoed feet as if he were a child demanding a new toy or sickly treat – his toy now lying at the bottom of the lake.
As he walked in the direction he was sure he’d come from, assuming there to have been life there, wherever ‘there’ was but stopped when he heard a noise. The sound, human he thought, came from a few yards ahead so he walked towards it and as he approached it, he made out the noise, a cry, and in the moonlight saw the kick of tiny feet from the side of the road.
Photography courtesy of morguefile.com.
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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.