Welcome to the one hundred and thirty-sixth 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 starting ‘Lifting up a flap’. Here is my 332-worder.
Thud on the floor
“So what did you do?”
“I took the middle section out.”
“Of the letterbox?”
“What? No, don’t be silly. The newspaper. Wednesday’s property day. Most people throw that bit away anyway. I was tempted but they pay for the whole thing, don’t they, although it would make my life easier. Monday’s my favourite, thinnest of the week. Not much sport on in the winter, so nothing to report.”
“So you took the paper apart and posted both bits through.”
“I tried but made the mistake of putting the property bit through first and it got stuck. Stupid letter boxes on these new houses, they’re so hard they rip the paper to shreds, so I have to be extra careful. It takes ages round the new estate but Mr Jeffreys swapped my route with Billy-”
“So you’d put the property section through. What happened then?”
“I tried to, like I said, but it got stuck. Wasn’t sure whether to push or pull.”
“I pushed. Didn’t want it back, did I? Went through eventually and didn’t half make a thud on the floor. Most people have mats so you don’t notice but I noticed that thud.”
“And you looked through the letterbox.”
“Yeah. Don’t know why now but something caught my eye, I suppose.”
“Describe what you saw.”
“Yeah, only I didn’t know that’s who she was. I only have numbers on them, not names.”
“And where was she lying?”
“By the foot of the stairs.”
“Away a bit, sort of between the stairs and the radiator. All twisted like, like she’d fallen down the stairs but…”
“But it didn’t look natural. Too much blood. You break things, bones, when you fall down the stairs, you don’t bleed.”
“You know a lot about-”
“CSI. I watch them all, but don’t tell mum will you or she’ll go mental.”
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.