It was love at first sight. The moment I set eyes on Cordelia I wanted her with a passion my wife neither understood nor forgave for years. Cordelia was resting on the mud, her distress obvious to me, yet her lines were classically beautiful. She had aged well, but neglect has taken its toll. She looked like a proud old lady who had fallen on hard times. She was, in fact, stronger than she appeared and cradled gently, she made the journey by road to her new home on the banks of the Thames.
I come downstairs just as the girls are ready to go out – they had spent so much time getting ready and now I can see the end result of their ‘finery’ – their hair, the fake tan, the spiders’ legs coatings of mascara. All that time and money does not disguise their thickened waists. Rowena at 5’11” is taller than me, just, but in her 4” stiletto heels she towers above me, and Angelica is wearing thigh-high black boots and a very short leather skirt, of the type I have heard described as a pussy pelmet. I didn’t understand how Melinda could let them go out like that. Since I only assumed the role of step-father just as they were going into their teens I have never felt I have any authority over these girls and they treat me with disdain.
Melinda arrives in a gush of exuberant compliments. She can’t wait to see her darlings before they go out and I can so clearly see the similarity between her and her daughters: the coarseness and petulance if everything doesn’t go their way. Of course in the early days I couldn’t see that, smitten as I was, still grieving for my first wife.
The girls call me Albert.
“Hey, Albert,” said Rowena, “What d’ew think?” She strikes a pose.
“Will you be warm enough?” I ask her, “without a coat?”
Three pairs of eyes are raised to the ceiling and I shrug as I pick up my newspaper. Continue reading “Short Story – ‘Magical Thinking’ for Bilby”
And now for Something Completely Different!!
Below there is a list of questions for you to answer.
On a scrap of paper jot down a few ideas that spring from the questions and try not to look ahead to the next question until you have written your response to the previous one. Give yourself a couple of minutes at least for each question, if you can .
(I will insert picture spacers to help stop your eye jumping to the next Q)
Use the ideas that come from the questions to help you start a story… you can of course remould your answers as your story dictates.
Think of a person you know by sight but haven’t met properly. Describe that person – What he or she looks like, maybe their character traits, a favourite colour etc…
It took a few moments for her to realise that the man she thought had been waving at her through the window was in fact cleaning it. In readiness for a response she had already subconsciously improved her posture, moved her face into a smile and was just on the point waving back when she simultaneously realised her mistake – it wasn’t Alasdair – and felt a shop assistant observing her with an amused expression.
“In which aisle would I find eggs?” she said turning the ghost of the smile on the girl, determined that she should stay in control and suppress the deep heat of a flush that had already started, “And crystallised ginger?” She turned the trolley in anticipation, “I can’t seem to find anything since you had a change around in here.”
Later, after she had piled all the bags into the car boot she returned to the store’s cafe with The Guardian to have a latte, an almond croissant and two paracetamol. She pulled her glasses and an A5 notepad out of her hand bag and flipped over a few pages of lists to find today’s scrawl and started ticking and adding until she come across something, in her own handwriting that she couldn’t remember adding, and it was completely indecipherable. It seemed to say jumper bernies. She sat and stared at it for some while, but nothing clicked and in the end she put he notepad away and returned to her coffee and croissant. God, she thought, am I going completely mad? She picked up the newspaper and glanced at the front page before opening it at the crossword.
The first clue she glanced at was 1 Down: What can a sticking plaster sing at Yuletide? (2, 4, 4, 3, 9). She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Shut her eyes and leaned back to think.
“Well I never! Hello, Vicky,” said a man’s voice.
She looked up to find a tall, elegant man smiling at her. She frowned lightly,
“I’m sorry?” Continue reading “Window (Short story competition)”
“Embezzlement, Max?” I heard, and my interest, having wandered, was immediately refocused. “A financial fraud accusation is very serious,” said John, speaking in his measured way. By now I had all my attention on Max. What was all this about?
“I don’t use the term lightly,” I heard my husband say, “and it pains me as Andrew is my oldest friend.” I glanced at Andrew, who looked so shocked and uncomfortable. “But the figures just don’t stand up,” said Max. “There is a very big anomaly. And I’m surprised,” he said turning to Jackson, the accountant, “that you hadn’t identified a problem yourself, Ian.”
“I’m sure it’s a mistake,” Andrew said, looking around the room. He wouldn’t look at me. He wouldn’t now,in public. Then turning to Max he said, “You know me, Max, I’d never put the partnership in danger. This can all be sorted out with another look at the figures, I’m sure.”
“Just what I arranged,” said Max, “I have hired an independent firm of auditors. In fact they are looking at the books as we speak.” There was uproar at this. How could he go behind everyone’s back and arrange an independent enquiry? When I looked around the room Andrew and Ian were silent. Ian’s face was like a storm cloud. Continue reading “Partnership (for Creative Writing competition November 2011)”
Just a quick reminder, in case anyone has missed the carefully placed competition links on the right of the page:
the closing date for the short story competition is 31st October, UK midnight.
“The short story should be posted as a separate blog and linked to the one in the link above.
It should be up to 2000 words long on the theme of ‘wedding.’
The first scene will start with two people in a room. There’s a key on the table. During the story you should include the words ‘football’ and ‘armchair’.”
The deadline is Friday November 4th at midnight UK time.
“The photo competition this time is on perspectives… in particular the vanishing point of parallel lines, or the vanishing point of a river or road, or anything where the vanishing point is shown, maybe on a smaller scale …. you get the picture? See what I’m after? Please post your photos in comments on the original post . Thank you!”
Here are the seven entrants in the current, waiting to be judged Creative Writing Competition
A small surprise
It was mid-night. I opened the front door to put out the milk bottle just as the radio sounded the first ‘bong’- even though I knew the milkman would not be calling in the morning. Old habits die hard. Continue reading “Two days slow”
The major turning point in Dennis’s life started with an innocuous enough comment.
“We should get a dog,” said his wife Madeleine one Wednesday morning over breakfast. Continue reading “’Things are seldom what they seem…’, Writing Competition November 2010”
Science News: Pandemic, exclusive interview.
Unlike the 2009/2010 ‘Swine Flu’ epidemic which was long predicted, over-hyped and claimed many months of media attention, the virus that mutated abruptly into a potential worldwide killer in December 2010 was almost completely unpredicted and until now not reported. Experts we consulted with these newly disclosed facts about the ‘Measles Mutation’ estimate that this virus had the potential to wipe out 75 -80% of the population worldwide. Continue reading “October Short Story Competition: Pandemic”