Welcome to the one hundred and forty-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 story with a one-word prompt ‘worry’ and past, present and future tense! So here is my 167-worder.
Do his best
Norman worries that he’s not clever enough to pass the test, that his mind will go blank when he turns over the exam paper, wade through the layers of sheets until he’s finished or the buzzer goes.
Jean will tell him repeatedly until it’s time to go, that he’ll be fine, but until he gets the call or the letter comes he won’t relax. He’ll pace the hall waiting for the phone or the postman, he doesn’t yet know which it’ll be.
The car will wait in the driveway until he knows. If he fails he’ll try again but at 72 he doesn’t want to wait. He wishes he’d taken his test years ago, before the written exam but he’s read all the books, watched Jean do all the manoeuvres, then paid more attention when her eyesight started to fail, before the trouble with her toes, he’d notice her wince when she accelerated. So he’ll smile at the examiner, turn over the page and do his best.
Photography courtesy of morguefile.com.
The 5pm Fiction slot will be taking a break (after no.150) for November and December as I’ll be embarking on my fifth NaNoWriMo. Do join me if you’re taking part too. Then I’ll have December off to upload other stuff and perhaps start editing that novel. No.151 will be back in 1st January (or thereabouts).
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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.