Welcome to the one hundred and sixteenth 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 dialogue where one character is helping another. Here is my 264-worder.
Just a couple of initials
“Give us a hand, love.”
“What? I can’t see what you’re doing.”
“Up here in the loft.”
“Yes, Henry, I know you’re in the loft.”
“I’m trying to move something but it’s too heavy.”
“Can’t you leave it ’til later. I’m tired. You know visiting mum takes it out of me.”
“How is the old…?”
“Oh, you know.”
“Yes, only too well.”
“Henry, what have you been doing? You’re covered in…”
“It’s only dust… don’t think anyone’s been up here for years.”
“Mum wouldn’t have been since Dad died. She made some bread for us.”
“Are they allowed to do that?”
“Of course. It’s a care home, not a prison.”
“I know, but I thought the whole point of paying all that money was that they had everything done for them.”
“They do but she feels useless…”
“What is it you’re trying to move?”
“What does it say?”
“What do you mean ‘really’?”
“Just a couple of initials.”
“WR? Who’s WR?”
“I don’t know but it’s pretty old…”
“…How old? Centuries?”
“A couple at least.”
“But that would make it 16…”
“Could it be?”
“I’m coming up!”
“I thought you were too tired.”
“I want to see.”
“Why? It’s just an old chest belonging to someone called…”
“Raleigh. The bicycle guy?”
“No, the tobacco guy.”
“What? You don’t think…?”
“I do. Move over…”
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.