Welcome to the one hundred and twenty-second 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 monologue where your character is looking through a curtain, so here is my 465-worder.
Not red like I asked
Norman will be back soon. I know what he’s up to you, you know. Likes to keep me on my toes. I ask for one thing, he gets me another so I started asking for things I don’t want, just to see where his imagination takes him. Only as far as the corner shop usually.
Today though he said he was going to the parade, needed the DIY store. Always building something… to keep himself out my way, I reckon.
The lads are playing on the green again. I know their schooling isn’t up to much but surely they can read the ‘No Ball Games’ sign, it’s large enough. I’d point it out to them, only… well, you know, you hear such awful things on the news. Happened to one of my brother’s neighbours, terrible affair. He was never quite the same after that… the neighbour, not John, although it shook him up something rotten too, as he’d been outside only a few minutes before.
Safest place, your own home, although old Ted Richards had a nasty experience the year before last. ‘Distraction burglary’ the papers called it, but it was more than that, he had a black eye because of them. They got one of them, turned out to be the lad next door to Ted, with one of his mum’s stocking over his head… the pervert. Never did catch the other one, although they knew who he used to hang around with.
So that’s why I keep a vigil, make sure Norman gets home alright. I send him out because he needs the exercise, the allotment’s only a road away and I have to think of something, don’t I. Then I’m so relieved when he comes back, try not to show it but I’m not that good an actress really.
They’ve still not fixed the street lamp outside Mrs Jones’. It’s not got one of those stickers on it so I know it’s supposed to work and when you phone the council you get passed round so many departments that it’s quicker to go to the DIY shop and fix it yourself. Of course they wouldn’t let you if they knew… health and safety and all that.
She’s 93. I keep telling them… the council. Say Mrs Jones will be 94 next month, but they don’t listen. I suppose they would if I could get through all the options; press 1 for this and hash for that. No-one there to tell me what the hash is. Some American thing made with corned beef, I thought. Mrs Jones’ grandson could tell me – he’s good with technology.
Oh look, there’s Norman, carrying the plant I asked him to get. Not red like I said, but then he’s colour blind so not to know, is he?
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.