Welcome to the one hundred and tenth 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 words: France, tune, whistle, repetitive, none. Here is my 251-worder…
Chalk and fromage
It was during the day trip to France that had started the divorce, or at least Claire’s thinking of it. It was his whistling that she thought sounded like a Eurovision tune; one that had scored ‘nul points’… or worse. She knew that wasn’t possible but this was a song she’d heard a dozen times that morning, as he was packing the car, and the repetitive melody grated. The image of French cheese being slid monotonously down a grater, started making her feel hungry and knowing they’d arrive in Paris around lunchtime, she was looking forward to a large bottle of rosé with Brie and French bread, the rosé being hers as he’d insist on driving.
Paris was one of the most romantic cities in the world but another ‘city’ had crushed what little they’d had in their marriage: Manchester City – every home and away game in the seven years they’d been together. They’d even timed their wedding around the football season two years later. Saturdays between August and May had become her clothes shopping or spa days; also making sure she was busy when he checked the results on the TV despite having seen the game live. “The cameras spot me sometimes,” he’d say, justifying his second-by-by second analysis of the late-night highlights.
Chalk and cheese she thought as he drove the car on to the ferry and handed the tickets back to her for safekeeping.
She smiled at him hoping for a flash of affection but none was forthcoming.
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.