Unexpected especially

Tom’s late. He’s always late, but two hours? He’ll have forgotten and think it’s just an ordinary day. Forgotten that it would have been his dad’s 80th. Out with friends probably but he must know it’s Sunday. School day tomorrow. Not that he’s at school but, you know. Work and all that. In the city… finance something or other, one of those men who look like greengrocers but buy and sell companies not apples or bananas. That would scare me – being responsible for so much money… other people’s at that.

Should be going to bed soon but don’t want to ’til I’ve spoken to him. Linda was the reliable one – phoned me every Wednesday night – interspersed with Tom so I’d not be too lonely but the days go so slowly now Alfred’s not here.

Tom and Linda were twins but you’d never guess. Different colour hair… Tom skinny, Linda… well, more like me. Tom and Alfred were inseparable, that’s why he never usually forgets, more reliable since Linda died. She and Alfred will be the inseparable ones now… making up for lost time.

She and I were never really close, which I guess is why I rely on Tom so much… well, he’s all I’ve got left.

He looked really happy the last time I saw him. Think he has a new girlfriend but when I asked he just shook his head. Blushed though… takes after Alfred in that respect too.

I remember when I first saw Alfred… cheeks red like Father Christmas, although it was summer so I guess he was warm but they always flushed when I kissed him, unexpected especially.

I hope she’s nice. He’s been through a lot. Tom, not Alfred. ’bout time he settled down. He wants children, I know, but men are lucky like that, aren’t they? Find a young girl… not too young though and have a couple of…

The doorbell? At this time of night?


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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.