Archive for the ‘ Short stories ’ Category

Short Story 5: Flash fiction

[My recent attempt at flash fiction, less than 100 words.]

She took a deep breath and jumped.

Her body hit the hard earth, rolling till it came to a stop a few feet away. She didn’t have time to worry about her throbbing wrists and ankles, not when she couldn’t see anything around her. Her legs propelled her towards the only light in the distance, headlights speeding away on what looked like a motorway.

Silence behind her; civilization drawing closer by the second, sweet freedom looming.

Then she heard it, but not from behind her as she had feared.

“Where do you think you’re going sweetheart?”

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Short Story 4: The Talk

(Two posts in one day – Stop press! I thought I should mention that this story was written a few months ago and very loosely inspired by Damien Rice’s song “Cold Water” which I couldn’t get out of my head for days. Everytime I thought of the lyrics, I pictured a girl standing in a bitterly cold downpour…)

Jess blinked hard as a trail of cold water ran down her forehead and onto her lashes. She didn’t wipe her face when the water dragged black muck from her heavily mascaraed lashes into her eyes, causing them to sting. She just blinked again and shook her head. The pain felt good, felt real; more real than anything else happening in her life at that moment. She stood outside in the rain, staring at the profile of the man sitting by the window in the brightly lit café. The street was bustling with night life but she didn’t notice any of it. She couldn’t take her eyes off him and yet she hated him so much that it made her feel sick. No, she didn’t hate him. She just dreaded the conversation she was going to have with him in a few minutes.

He looked up from his half filled glass as she slid into the seat opposite him. The relief on his face was overwhelming.

“I wasn’t sure you’d show up.”

“I said I would.”

“I know but…” He stopped and looked down at his glass.

“Go on, you can say it.”

“I promised I wouldn’t rub it in.”

“But you have to. Why else are we sitting here if you can’t say it?”

He finally managed to look up at her and the anxiety in his eyes was unsettling. It certainly didn’t look like he was trying to be smug about it. He noticed a waitress approaching their table but he waved her away. Continue reading

Short Story 3: Losing

( More writing group stuff. The theme was “losing” – duh)

The wind tore at her face, filling her nostrils with sharp wisps of air and threatening to flood her lungs at a much too hasty rate. She was falling fast and hard and yet her thoughts did not dwell on the possible catastrophic ending ahead of her. No, her mind was strangely free of any worries. She had never felt this way before, devoid of any concern for what was coming. Her life had always been one of caution as she always felt a need to control the outcome of what was happening to and around her, but now everything was completely out of her hands. Five hundred feet up in the air, she had no choice but to let go.

The overwhelming sense of elation came, not just from the simple action of freefalling, but from the thought that this was entirely different from anything she would have fathomed doing under normal circumstances. Her actions were usually muted, her life sheltered. Ever since she could remember, she had been painfully shy and reserved, always politely refusing any new ventures that had even an inkling of excitement attached to them. She couldn’t think of any reason why she had turned out that way, no childhood traumas or life changing epiphanies to tell of, nothing. She had just been born that way. She finally accepted that most people thought she was boring and strange. And then she met Sam. Continue reading

Short Story 2: The Morning After

(Another one from the writing group but this time not an exercise so doesn’t really have a theme.)

The Morning After

She lay silently on her side of the bed, watching his chest rise and fall as he took long deep breaths in, out, producing a familiar humming sound. He always slept flat on his back even if he started off on his side. At some point in his twenty six years of existence, his body had decided that it gained the most rest if he slept lying upright and as still as a corpse. It freaked most people out but she was used to it by now. In, out, deep breaths, hum.

“I can’t sleep if you’re watching me,” he spoke sharply without opening his eyes. Anyone else would have been startled by the sudden break in the silence but she didn’t seem troubled.

“We need to talk.”

He ignored her and carried on pretending to sleep, it was now obvious that was what he had been doing for a while.

“You have to tell her.”

That did the trick. He opened his eyes and turned to look at her with small piercing eyes still heavy with sleep but trying really hard to intimidate. She stared him down and he turned away.

“If you don’t tell her, I will.”

At this he rose from the bed in one swift movement and went into the connecting bathroom. She waited for the obligatory flush and lay there whilst he brushed his teeth with the spare toothbrush he had kept at her flat for years. She was sick of this. Sick of lying to herself about the situation. Sick of watching him lie to his wife of three years. Claire. Her friend. The mother of his twin sons. How could he live with himself, going home to them with stories spun so well that he probably even believed them a little? She could barely sleep when he spent the night at her tiny one bedroom flat, the guilt tore her apart like nothing else had ever done. Continue reading

Short Story 1: PM flies out for talks with Obama

(I’ve written a few short stories as part of the exercises in the writing group sessions I attend and I know they will die a sad death on my PC if i don’t share them so I’m hoping this is the first of many monthly or bi-monthly stories I will post for you guys. Word count is usually around 500 to 1000 words so never too long. This is the first one we tackled last year – the heading was picked off a daily paper which was lying on a table in the library staff room where we meet. It made for some interesting writing in the group. Hope you enjoy it. PS – This is based on fictional characters and the use of Obama’s name is purely incidental.)

“PM flies out for talks with Obama”

 

“Maybe I should start off with the joke about the American, the Englishman and the Irishman.” The PM stood in front of the full length mirror, adjusting his blue tie. He always thought he looked a little bit like a twit in a tie but the dress code for the job was not very flexible.

His wife looked up at him with some alarm. “The joke your uncle told last Christmas? Are you serious?”

The PM made a face at his wife. He had been serious about it but she was right. There was probably a hidden inappropriate meaning to the joke that Mr Obama would undoubtedly see through with his sharp wit.

“I can’t think of any other joke. Do you know any I can tell to lighten the mood? He’s a funny chap, he’ll probably have plenty to say.”

His wife got up then and went to place a reassuring hand on her husband’s cheek. You don’t need to be funny too love, I’m sure you’ll be fine. He can be funny for the both of you.”

“I doubt it. He wants to talk about BP and the Lockerbie situation. There’s nothing particularly cheery about that.”

“See, you’ll never get the chance to worry about amusing him. Besides you will be in his country so it might be best if you leave the entertainment to him.”

The PM smiled. She always knew how to put him at ease when he got paranoid about things like that.

“I really wish…”

A knock at their bedroom door interrupted him. It was probably his PA waiting to remind him of his tight schedule.

“I really wish you could come with me.” Continue reading