Welcome to the one hundred and twenty-seventh 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 starting ‘Russell stared at the photograph…’, so here is my 240-worder.
Less than green these days
Russell stared at the photograph sitting on the window ledge above the cooker. Sarah would laugh at him if she could see him now, only she couldn’t, wouldn’t. The first Sunday after she’d died, he’d forgiven himself and knew she would have too; a roast for one.
Three months later and he was still serving up double portions – one sat in front of him, the other in front of the empty chair; the chair with the Border Collie cushion. The cushion he’d bought for her last Christmas; the Christmas they’d not expected to see together.
She’d been given six months at best and had seen another four. Christmas, New Year, just short of Easter and now it was summer. The time of year she’d spend her days in the garden. That she wouldn’t be so pleased about; the dying plants, unmowed lawn, less than green these days, bird food containers.
Work had been understanding. “Take all the time you need,” Simon had said. He’d known how Russell had felt then – but not now. Jane had got better, lived, thrived. She’d helped Sara those first few months but when it became clear that there really was no hope the gaps between visits grew wider until she stopped coming – to the house, to work, to the funeral. Russell had considered quitting his job but he’d needed something to focus on – a return date – another set of walls to stare at all day.
Another cheery tale… sorry about that.
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.