Welcome to the two hundred and twentieth 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 including the following keywords: cherry, patient, turbulence, doctor, business. Here is my 670-worder, inspired by Roald Dahl’s Fat Chance (and I’ve given my characters the actors’ names).
They try to with the food
“Thank you, John.”
“Oh yes… it’s still warm. Well done you.”
“Shall I put the kettle on?”
“That would be lovely.”
“Right you are.”
Miriam knew the pie would taste even better with the tea but didn’t want it to get cold so took a bite and savoured it until she heard the kettle boil.
“Are you not having any tea, John?”
“I have to go back to work.”
“We’re a doctor down so I’ve been seeing more patients, more paperwork. Don’t wait up.”
Had Miriam looked out the window or waved her husband goodbye from the front door, she would have seen him turn left instead of right as he should have done to go to the surgery. Of course John knew she’d still be sitting on the sofa as she did every Monday and Thursday evening when he brought her cherry pie.
“That was wonderful.”
“When are you going to leave Miriam?”
“Soon, my darling.
“You know I have a business trip next week.”
“I do and I shall miss you dreadfully.”
“Of course. You know I only want to be with you.”
“Then leave her.”
“While I’m away. If you’ve not left her when I come back then we’re over.”
“I mean it.”
“Yes, my darling.”
“While I’m away.”
“Hello, Doctor Castle.”
“Do you have…”
“I do, sir. You did want this strength, didn’t you?”
“They’re quite lethal in the wrong hands.”
“Just as well they’re in mine.”
“Fair point. There we are then.”
“Thank you, McNeill.”
“Good day, sir.”
“Goodie. Do you have it?”
“I have, Miriam, still warm.”
“Thank you, dear.”
“Work again, tonight?”
“Not tonight, no. I thought I might go to the club though.”
“You do work so hard.”
“You don’t mind?”
“Not at all. There’s a really good program about dung beetles just about to start.”
“That’s nice dear. I’ll make you a cup of tea first though, yes?”
“Not tonight, John, not thirsty.”
“…Not hungry either,” she said when she heard the front door slam.
The program it turns out was less interesting than Miriam had hoped and she’d swiftly fallen asleep only to be disturbed by a visitor who hadn’t stayed long.
“It’s last orders, Doctor Castle, would you like another?”
“Better not, Derek.”
“Will we be seeing you tomorrow for the bridge match?”
“I’m not sure. I’ll know better when I get home.”
“Not a problem, Doctor Castle. Have a good night, sir.”
“Thank you, Derek.”
John Castle quietly let himself into his house and crept into the lounge. He smiled when he saw his wife sprawled across the sofa, eyes firmly shut. He looked at the coffee table and saw no pie.
He was leaning over her when her eyes sprang open and she screamed. He backed away just as violently.
“John! What were you doing?”
“Oh God! Er… sorry Miriam. I thought I saw…”
“I don’t know, something moving, I’m not sure.”
“I think it’s gone.”
“Was your pie, nice?”
“I don’t know.”
“Oh? You’ve not eaten it yet?”
“I wasn’t hungry.”
“Never mind. You could have it now. I’ll put the kettle on.”
“For lunch tomorrow then.”
“If you buy me another.”
“I wasn’t hungry so I gave it away.”
“Gave it away? There was someone here?”
“Only for a few minutes. Was in a hurry. Had to catch a plane.”
“A business trip, she said.”
John swallowed hard. “She?”
“Oh, yes. Sheila, one of your receptionists. Said she wanted an update on something…”
“And you gave her the pie?”
“I didn’t think you’d mind. I wasn’t hungry and you know what aeroplane food is like. If they don’t kill you with the turbulence, they try to with the food.”
Photography courtesy of morguefile.com.
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