Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the one hundred and thirty-third piece in this series and the 2,738th post on this blog! (since 30th March 2011) This week’s is a 302-worded two-part viewpoint piece by yours truly, Morgen Bailey. This story will be podcasted in episode 40 (with two other stories and some 6-worders) on Sunday 25th May.
Both Sides (© Morgen Bailey)
“Why are there two lorries in our street?”
“Two recycling lorries. They’re like buses; nothing for ages, then two come along together.”
“I don’t know. Maybe they’re going in opposite directions and this is where they meet up.”
“On a one-way street?”
“I don’t know, Vera. Come away from the window – the neighbours will think you’re spying on them.”
“I’m not spying on anyone.”
“I know that, Vera, although you are staring at the binmen.”
“One lorry’s collecting one side of the road and the other lorry behind it is doing the other side.”
“There we go, Mrs Marple, mystery solved.”
“She wasn’t married, was she?”
“No, but… never mind. What’s for lunch?”
Stan ‘the binman’ Lee shook his head as he put on the handbrake. He watched his colleagues in front collecting the bins from the left side of the street and another lorry load of council-contracted workers collecting from the other side. This was their first week on the new rota and it’s one most disagreed with.
Stan had told his wife, Ava, the suits didn’t know their arses from their elbows. Ava, being an English teacher, had tutted and walked back into the kitchen.
Stan knew there’d be complaints when not all the rubbish was collected so the suits would have to go back to the old plan.
He saw no.72’s curtains move. He smiled at the face he imagined to be behind it. An old dear, probably, with nothing better to do because her husband’s had the sense to run off with his bridge partner. There’d be another version of her at the end of their route, lifting up the phone at a minute past six because her rubbish was still outside.
A slap on the passenger door made Stan jump. He nodded and released the handbrake.
Here I usually ask my guest what prompted this piece, so this is what prompted me…
This was homework for last night’s Northampton Writers Group. We had to write a story firstly as dialogue only (no ‘he said’ / ‘she said’) and then the same story re-written in description only, no dialogue. It was an interesting exercise.
Based in Northamptonshire, England, Morgen Bailey (“Morgen with an E”) is a prolific blogger, podcaster, editor / critiquer, Chair of NWG (which runs the annual H.E. Bates Short Story Competition), Head Judge for the NLG Flash Fiction Competition. She is also a freelance author of numerous ‘dark and light’ short stories, novels, articles, and very occasional dabbler of poetry. Like her, her blog, http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, is consumed by all things literary. She also recently created five online writing groups and an interview-only blog. Her debut novel is the chick lit eBook The Serial Dater’s Shopping List.
If you’d like to submit your 6-word or 500-word max. stories for consideration for Flash Fiction Friday take a look here, or up to 1,000 words for critique on my Online Short Story Writing Group (links below).
- and guest blogs about short stories on this blog: Alberta Ross, Jane Hertenstein, Helen M Hunt, Morgen Bailey, Sarah Grace Logan, Warren Bull.
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