Welcome to the one hundred and eleventh 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 recent story as a monologue from a different point of view and I chose yesterday’s, re-writing the situation from the husband’s point of view. Again this story contains yesterday’s keywords (France, tune, whistle, repetitive, none) and this one is 396 words.
Chalk and fromage (part 2)
It’s her repetitive moaning I can’t stand so I hum it out with a little tune I know. And it sounds nicer as a whistle… like a bird. That’s what she used to say anyway.
It was her idea to go to France. I don’t even like the French; they’re… well, French. She thinks it’ll be romantic; like our honeymoon… better than our honeymoon, but then you can’t get much worse than Hurricane George on the not-so-tropical island of Mongoose. Mongoon it is of course but it’ll always be Mongoose to me after that; watching those birds from the sanctuary being swept away like that. Holidays weren’t really the same after that. We stayed on dry land. British soil. I’ve always been the traveller but kept my mouth shut for her. Well, I didn’t get a look in, did I?
She was so quiet when we first met; that was… seven years ago now. And this is why we’re here; our fifth anniversary is next week only she couldn’t get the time off work so we’re just away for the weekend. Out of season of course. I said I wouldn’t have minded waiting; the football season is only on from August to May. A saint she is… of course, and she acts like it’s a martyrdom sometimes. But then she likes the sun and June / July is normally pretty nice isn’t it. Yeah, that’s what we thought when we booked it… I got drenched just loading the car. A ‘baby’ she called me… used to call me that in a nice way but then when we were told we couldn’t actually have a real one… you know, a baby baby, she stopped saying it. Topic non grata or whatever the saying is.
Didn’t help that it was my fault. “It’s no-one’s fault,” she’d said but she looked at me funny, and never really looked at me the same way again.
But they got it wrong because now he’s almost due. Tommy I want to call him, after Tait, one of my heroes, but she was having none of it. Kendal she wants. I ask you. Kendal. She’s always had this thing about the Peak District. I’m not having my child named after a slab of mint cake but then she just looks at me funny.
Oh dear, she’s pulling that face – must be wind again.
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.