Welcome to the one hundred and twenty-first 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: paper, red, nut, loyal and staple… so here is my 214-worder.
Others would knock
Barney shook the newspaper, folding the right half behind the left. Looking out into the office he tutted at the almost-empty scene ahead of him. Fair enough. It was lunchtime but he’d expected loyalty – eat a sandwich at their desks and work through.
Some of the red ink from a large advert for half-priced staple guns had bled through on to his blotting-paper desk mat. Pulling at one corner of the sheet, he yanked it out of the black leather, screwed it into a stiff cream ball and launched it at the stainless steel bin, laughing at the metal echo reverberating around his large air-conditioned room.
Swivelling his black leather executive chair towards the window, Barney growled as he watched all the people scurrying through the snow, some he knew, but others meaning even less to him. Outside the building’s main gate he spotted an old-fashioned hot chestnut cart patroned by many of his staff. He wanted to lift up his window, shout at them to get back to work but his office door opening distracted him.
Barney swung round expecting to see Joyce, his secretary, others would knock, but saw another familiar face, carrying a dish of chestnuts. Except it couldn’t have been who he’d thought, as he’d been dead for two centuries.
Photography courtesy of morguefile.com. You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at Smashwords, Sony Reader Store, Barnes & Noble, iTunes Bookstore, Kobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.
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.