Welcome to the eleventh in the new series: 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 prompt was to write a story starting with the second-person viewpoint ‘As you turn the key’, so here is my 297-worder.
Just that extra
As you turn the key you wait for something. Anything. The ballerina is lopsided so you don’t hold out much hope. You’ve only wound it a little, knowing how old it is, you don’t want to overdo it – that’s you all over. Unstated. Underrated, according to Fred.
He knows how hard you work, sees you slump down on the sofa every evening, too tired to say much, to eat much, to make love. It can’t be legal, he says, below minimum wage, but you know you could earn more, higher commission, so you work harder, show houses that have been on the market for weeks, or in this case months.
You think it’s charming but the look on the faces of the viewers says it all; too dusty, too ruined, too expensive to do up.
They’re late today so you reckon they’re not coming and you’re probably right. But you like to think the best of people, give them ten more minutes, twenty at least.
You wander round the house, figuring the doorbell is loud enough to be heard from anywhere.
You wish you could buy this place, just sell a few more ‘normal’ ones, enough for a deposit. You know Fred would love it – all the space for his collection, he’d have the study he always wanted.
A chime goes and you head downstairs and open the door but the entrance is empty, then you realise the chime is still going. Not a chime, a tune, a ballet. So you slam the door and rush back to the little bedroom, the one with the faded pink wallpaper, for the child you and Fred could never have.
Opening the door slowly you see why it’s playing, who turned the key just that extra notch, and you smile.
Photo courtesy of http://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 weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, 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.