Posts Tagged ‘ story ’

Starting the New Year Off…

A belated Happy New Year to everyone! Where has the time gone? I’m still slightly shocked that it’s already mid Jan…at this rate we’ll be singing carols again in no time! Anyway, at the start of each new year I promise myself I will write more short stories for fun but life tends to get in the way (as always) and all my random story ideas get shelved for another year. So when I came across a flash fiction competition last week with a four day deadline (I work best under pressure), I decided to give it a go just to prove to myself that I can still conjure a complete tale in a few words. Suffice to say, I didn’t win (maybe I should have spent more than a couple of hours on it) but I kinda like the story I came up with so I thought I’d post it here. There was no theme (I actually wish there was!) but the word limit was 400 – 500. Hope you like it.

Refund – A Short Story 

“You can’t make me leave,” Jane bellowed at no one in particular. With her long dark fringe hanging over her eyes and her arms waving frantically in the air, it didn’t look like anyone would actually have the courage to try to move her.

When she was sure she had the full attention of her little audience, she pointed at the bag of chewy sweets she had dumped on the counter. “I was promised five hundred grams and this weighs four hundred and ninety-three.”

“But ma’am, it’s only a rough estimation. You can’t expect them to get it down to the last gram for every bag.”

“I don’t see any statement on the pack about estimations so I’d like my three and a half pence back or a full refund. I know my consumer rights.”

The rather young looking manager’s eyes darted around the store, making it quite obvious he wasn’t sure what her consumer rights were. He was probably wondering how long he could entertain her hysteria without scaring off other customers. She had been there less than five minutes and pretty much everyone had stopped what they were doing to focus on the unfolding debacle. Her glare wore him out in the end and he sighed, nodding at the checkout lady who handed Jane four one penny coins.

“I don’t have half a penny…” Continue reading

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Short Story 18: Home

‘It’s freezing. Don’t the heaters work?’

‘I don’t like the heat.’

Darren shuddered and heaved a sigh. ‘It must get really lonely here.’

Peggy coughed into her white lace hanky and leaned forward to pick up the bowl of soup Darren’s wife had packaged. She hated tomato soup but Annette was such a nice girl.

‘Great soup, right?’

Peggy forced a smile and nodded as she slurped it up.

‘It would be nicer if you had someone to cook hot meals everyday and even nicer if you had people to share them with.’

‘You and Annette are moving in? That would be nice.’

Darren was caught off guard. ‘No Mother, we’re not moving in.’ Yet, he would have added but went on. ‘Have you given my little suggestion any thought since last time.’

‘What suggestion? My memory isn’t what it used to be.’ Continue reading

Short Story 17: Beginnings

[One from the archives a.k.a. my old USB sticks. Finding a host of short stories which I forgot all about, so I will be sharing them here over the next few months – after some much needed editing, of course. Most of them were written as part of a writing course I signed up to years ago so they were based on themes which I can’t remember at the moment. Hope you enjoy them.]

‘Are you alright?’

Angie looked up from her recently organised desk and into a freckled smiling face. She couldn’t remember the girl’s name but she smiled back. ‘I’m just a bit tired,’ she answered slowly.

‘You know you don’t have to do so much work today since it’s your first day,’ the nameless girl carried on in a chitchat tone. ‘No one will notice anything you do for about a week or if you’re lucky even longer than that.’

For the second time, Angie smiled politely. She wasn’t sure how to deal with the friendly girl who didn’t seem to be going anywhere. In fact, the girl had positioned herself firmly at the edge of her desk, nearly knocking over the jar of pencils close by. Nameless girl grinned and shook her head.

‘You don’t remember my name, do you? Darren over there introduced us about an hour ago.’ She made a gesture towards the only other person in the room, a short balding man with crooked teeth who had given Angie the grand tour of her new office building.

Now Angie had to make an effort to remember her name. She already felt slightly embarrassed that she had been caught out and didn’t want to give the impression that she didn’t care enough to remember names. She ran her stubby fingers through her thick greying locks in an attempt to recall the long list of names that had been thrown at her earlier on.

‘Rachel?’ she blurted out more as a question than a certainty.

Nameless girl smiled. ‘So you remember. For a minute there I thought you hadn’t the faintest clue who I was.’ Continue reading

Short Story 12: Every Day

Today was going to be like any other day; he was going to make sure everything remained the same. As usual he stared morosely at his reflection in the bathroom mirror for a little too long before blinking rapidly to snap himself back to reality. The front door shut behind him with the same loud bang he had still not become accustomed to. He made a mental note to ask his landlady to do something about the defective door hinges but the thought left his mind the second he noticed his bus making its way down the street towards the empty bus stop he was supposed to be at. Six months on and he had almost perfected the unnecessary mad dash to catch the double-decker metal contraption that took him to his week day destination. Another mental note to try to get up early the next day was shoved to the back of his mind as he smiled at the stone faced driver who only worked the morning shift from Tuesdays to Thursdays. Some days she smiled back, but not today. That didn’t change anything. Today was still pretty much the same as any other day and it would remain so.

The bus ride took just over half an hour. He split the time between leafing through an abandoned daily paper and trying to read the tiny print of a nondescript thriller he had stashed away in his brown leather satchel.  The main feat here was trying not to catch the eye of any other passenger as he swapped from broadsheet to paperback. He didn’t take any notice of the passing scenery outside, there was really no point staring at the same buildings, trees and street signs he had quickly mastered on his first week travelling down this route. He kept track of where he was by the number of turn the bus made; left, left, right and one more left. Destination: Morris and Morris offices.

The temp at reception greeted him with a toothy smile which he acknowledged with his usual silent nod. She was chatty with some of the girls on his floor but had only ever spoken to him when she rang his extension to connect a call. No, that wasn’t entirely true. There had been that one day when he had walked in on her in the kitchen as she struggled to reach the plates which were always mischievously placed on a high shelf by the cleaners. He was at least a foot taller than she was and it would have been incredibly roguish to watch her carry on her pathetic attempt at stretching as far as her five foot two inches frame would let her reach, so he had reached over her and handed her a plate.  Her appreciation had been expressed with an embarrassed thank you which made him think that perhaps he should not have attempted to help her as he had only emphasised her disadvantaged height. Not that he thought that there was anything wrong with her height. She was a perfect portable size. Still, he felt that perhaps he should have asked her if she wanted help first before acting. Since then it had been the more comfortable exchange of a smile and a nod. He revelled in the comfort of that base level of communication. Continue reading