Little pieces of Morgen's fiction

Monthly Archives: October 2012

Just desserts

Lemon curd tart had always been Ernie’s favourite. “Can’t beat a tart,” he’d say whenever Nora made it – which, over the years, was less and less thanks to his incessant remarks.

A hundred times she’d had to listen to that, chapter and verse, said as if new, lemons grown in the garden of their retirement villa.

As he opened his mouth to say it for the 101st time, Nora crept up behind him and squeezed the dog’s toy cockerel at full volume.

Ernie clutched his chest, gasped for breath and slumped to the floor.

He’s now buried in the garden, right by the lemon tree, and my, they’ve never tasted so sour.

***

Photography courtesy of morguefile.com. You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books and I also have a 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 fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, 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.

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Not even as affection

Bun? Elle thought, who calls someone ‘bun’ as an endearment? She had thought it quite sweet, especially so early on in their courtship. ‘Courtship’, she laughed at the word. Then he looked at her and she stopped laughing.

“Hun,” he repeated and for a moment she was disappointed, ‘hun’ now too ordinary, almost something a cashier at Asda would say, although Elle usually got ‘pet’ or ‘me duck’.

She wondered why he was holding his hand out but then realised he was glaring at the jar in front of her.

“Sorry,” she said and handed it to him, just a grunt in thanks.

So it wasn’t ‘hun’ either, but honey, and that not even as affection.

She watched him eat… heavy, like a rugby player, although she thought they’d be more gentlemanly.

The sex was good… with him, not the rugby player, although given the chance…

Now he was holding out his mug, perfectly capable, she knew, of pouring a second cup of tea, but his feet were clearly under her table in more ways than one.

“No!” she said, the richness of her voice taking them both by surprise. “I’m not your wife… not your mother and certainly not your slave.” She put down her tea, stood up, and pointed towards the door.

He grunted again, put on his jacket and got back on his milk float.

***

Photography courtesy of morguefile.com. You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books and I also have a 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 fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, 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.


Her eyes have never been bluer

You saw her smile, right before your foot pressed down on the accelerator. That soon changed her expression, didn’t it? Didn’t think you had it in you, did she?

You’d tried before, different method; wrapped her favourite scarf round your wrists like you’d seen in the movies, only it was too big, too awkward, and she’d grunted and turned over, burying her neck in the pillow, leaving no clear skin exposed.

You’d stood there for ages, staring at her, looming over her skeletal frame, wasting away from the disease eating her inside out.

You’d finally had enough when she’d started refusing to eat, neither of you having the strength to argue. You loved her with all your heart, so you’d taken her to Devon, as you had every summer, to that little out-the-way place with the crumbling cliffs.

Any doubt you had disappears as the car gathers pace. She takes your left hand and squeezes it, and you look at her face. It’s no longer pale, no longer sallow and her eyes have never been bluer.

***

Photography courtesy of morguefile.com. You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books and I also have a 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 fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, 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.


Bath for two

“Twist it.”

“It won’t turn.”

“Here, let me have a go.”

“No point. I’ve tried.”

“Try a different angle then, or something.”

“Tried every angle.”

“Tried to warn you.”

“It’s been alright before.”

“Before me?”

“Just one… I told you about Sam.”

“Thought you were just friends.”

“To start with.”

“Like us.”

“Not like us, we’re better.”

“You got them undone before.”

“Always.”

“Happened often then?”

“A few times.”

“Didn’t realise you were so…”

“It’s OK. It’s not a competition. Wasn’t serious like we are.”

“Just fun then.”

“Yes.”

“More fun?”

“Different fun.”

“Turn the key again. The lock might have loosened.”

“No good. Have you got any WD40?”

“In the shed.”

“Would you mind?”

“But I’ll have to put some clothes on.”

“It’s dark, no-one will see you.”

“Next door have a security light… I don’t think WD40 will work.”

“Soap then.”

“Bath for two?”

“OK.”

***

Photography courtesy of morguefile.com. You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books and I also have a 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 fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, 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.


My One Regret

It wasn’t falling through the air that I regretted. I knew I had no choice.

It wasn’t standing on the edge – that had given me clarity. My heart was thumping, to be expected really. I could hear it above the chaos, the screams, the sirens of this city, new to me.

Being outside was colder than I’d expected; a real contrast to the building behind me. Not much wind, autumn hadn’t had a chance to set in. That’s how I felt; more life ahead of me than behind, or at least there should have been.

I was glad I was wearing trousers. It’s funny thinking about dignity at a time like that, but if I’d been wearing a skirt and had spun, done a cartwheel, then my knickers would have shown. Like a 5-year old’s, except they don’t care, it’s only their mothers that care about a thing like that.

I knew I’d be one of many. I wasn’t the only one to take that way out. The rest stayed. Burned. I couldn’t do that.

I wish I’d been able to say “Goodbye”, kicked myself for forgetting my mobile, leaving it on charge when I should have switched it off, put it in my handbag as I always did. Kicked myself for not knowing your number off by heart so when a colleague had said “Goodbye” to his loved ones then offered me the chance to do the same to mine… to you, I could have taken it, thanked him with all my heart, for one last opportunity; to say sorry… for arguing, for not making up before I went to the meeting. The one time I’d left like that. I could hear others leaving frantic messages on answerphones, their regret that they couldn’t speak person-to-person, that there’d never be another face-to-face.

And as I fell through the air, dropped those hundred-plus storeys of that stark, glass building, I was at peace… with myself, but not with you. That is my one regret.

***

Photography courtesy of morguefile.com. You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books and I also have a 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 fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, 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.


Weapon of choice

The red scarf, he’d decided would be his weapon of choice. Ironic, given that it was her favourite.

He’d plotted this moment all day; romantic dinner, superb wine, get her in the ‘mood’ then he’d do it.

She loved him saying what he was going to do to her – gave her something to look forward to – only there were some things she didn’t need to know. Telling her he’d kiss her neck was fine, but saying he was going to wrap it in red silk and squeeze it until she stopped breathing would only spoil the moment for them both.

He’d kiss then caress her neck, let her feel the scarf soft against her skin, stand behind her, a position of strength. She’d struggle of course, try and scratch his hands but she bit her nails so they’d have little effect. Besides, he was a foot taller, heavier.

As he walked up the path to the cottage, a bottle of Mas de Daumas Gassac in one hand, the other inside his right jacket pocket, she opened the door and smiled. He followed her inside, right hand feeling the soft material that had lain there all day, since he’d removed it from her dressing table that morning.

They went into the kitchen where she’d already started cooking, the smell of his favourite meal, beef goulash, permeating the air.

“I’ve got something to tell you,” she said but he knew what she was going to say; that she’d found someone else, that she didn’t want to be with him anymore, that this was the last meal they’d share together. He’d known for weeks, could tell she was ‘acting’, that something wasn’t right.

Placing the wine bottle on the kitchen table, he went over to the stove and stood behind her as she stirred the goulash, then watched her lean over to smell the sauce. Although he was hungry, he’d hardly touched breakfast, skipped lunch, the thought of sharing a meal with her now made him feel sick.

There’d be no last meal, no small talk, no “I’m sorry” conversation.

Pulling out the scarf he wrapped each end round his wrists and pulled it tight, then brought it over her head and in front of her neck. He saw her head lower, her gaze following the scarf.

“Oh, that’s where it went,” she said and laughed, a laugh he used to find endearing but had more recently found annoying, like a schoolgirl’s, immature, almost babyish. She stopped laughing as he brought the two ends behind her neck and crossed them tightly. “Ow,” she said, putting her free hand up to her neck, “lighten up a little, will you darling.”

But he didn’t lighten up, he squeezed, his biceps pressing against his pale blue work shirt.

He heard the clank of the spoon as she dropped it into the saucepan and starting pulling at the scarf, her fingers clawing at his, her voice no longer understandable but a rasp that eventually faded as she slumped to the floor.

That’s when he saw the envelope, on the work surface, her name in writing he didn’t recognise and he knew he’d done the right thing. He stepped over her body, lunged at the envelope and tugged out the single sheet of paper. As the photograph revealed itself he saw the scan, the human peanut surrounded by a black and white blur, and screamed as he dropped to the ground.

***

Photography courtesy of morguefile.com. You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books and I also have a 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 fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, 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.


Every days

Susan’s gloves were threadbare, and she knew it was time to buy some more but they were the last birthday present that Geoff had bought her. Not her last birthday together, but the last he’d been able to go out, stand up, speak. Her birthdays after that had been every days, merging in turn like traffic in motorway roadworks.

Then he’d gone. She could breathe again, not hear his rasping and feel guilty that her lungs worked, weren’t full of asbestos.

She stood outside the department store, saw the rainbow of gloves inviting her over the threshold. She knew crossing it would change everything, the end of her old life, the threadbare existence and the start of a new and colourful life.

She clutched the birthday card in her hand, the one she’d found with the note he’d left, with the spider-like writing, telling her to be brave. She inhaled and stepped forward.

***

Photography courtesy of morguefile.com. You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books and I also have a 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 fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, 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.



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