Little pieces of Morgen's fiction

Category Archives: second person pov

Two Hearts

SONY DSCThe surgeon had told you that you shouldn’t feel any different after the operation. Uncomfortable, yes, but you’re not sure what you are feeling. Elated? Strong. Youthful. Not how you’d expected but then you’d spent years feeling sub-human, on enough pills to be a walking Tic-Tac packet, so anything else would have been better. And this, whatever it is, is beyond that.

Someone remarks on your lack of visitors, of family. Not loudly but just enough for you to catch it.

Norman, next door, has so many relatives that they have your allocation of chairs, and the almost-constant chatter is enough company when you need it. Norman’s had a bypass, just like you, but he’s not taking it so well. Or rather, it:him.

You’re due to be discharged today, soon in fact, you’re dressed, bag packed, just waiting for the all-clear but you’re in no hurry and you listen in on the conversations around you, from both sides; Norman on your right and Elvis on your left. You know that’s not his real name, you’ve not caught that yet as he’s a new recruit to the Thompson Ward but all he hums is The King so you’ve pretended it’s him; with your eyes shut, curtain closed.

As the doctor approaches your bed, you smile, sit up straight and shake his hand when he offers it. He asks you how you’re doing and you say you’ve never felt better. You mean every word and you’re glad you don’t have to lie any more. You want to start over, go back to your bedsit and look forward. Stop dwelling on things you can’t change. So you sign the discharge papers and leave.

It’s a 10-minute walk, past the park and normally that’s all you’d do, go past, but today you want to stop, go in, go to the lake, watch the dogs chasing the geese, the children feeding the ducks. Watch your old life but without regret.

You have pocket change so you head for the café to see it all from behind the warmth of the glass. You’ll buy some chips, hot, salted, unketchuped. They’ll be washed down with a large mug of tea, sweet and strong like Dawn said you were. In the early days.

Today feels like an early day and you don’t mind that it’s cold. Not really. The freshness feels inviting, crisp, but you’ve skipped breakfast so you’d rather eat here than at home.

As you approach the large panoramic window you see that the café’s packed, but figure you can probably squeeze in somewhere. You’re not as big as you used to be.

As you head for the door, you see a young woman struggling with a pushchair. You lunge forward, grabbing the door handle and pull it open, waving her in with a dramatic, sweeping gesture.

“Thanks,” she says in a broad, local accent. “You’re all heart.”

You smile and let the door close after her. You watch her take the last seat and you head for the lake.

***

Photography courtesy of morguefile.com.

** NEW!! You can now subscribe to the mixed blog on your Kindle / Kindle app!

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or http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008E88JN0 for outside the UK **

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 (including my debut novel, which is being serialised on Novel Nights In!) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers. If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating and choose an optional free eBook.

For writers / readers willing to give feedback and / or writers wanting feedback, take a look at this blog’s Feedback page.

As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. If there’s anything you’d like to take part in, take a look at Opportunities on this blog.

I welcome items for critique for the online writing groups listed below:

Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group

We look forward to reading your comments.


Two Rows

230 bus 75588You wonder if she’s married. She talks in first person. Always I, never we. Singular. No ring. Like you. You’ve never spoken to her, of course, just heard snippets of conversation from two rows ahead.

You think you love her – you’ve seen her every morning for the past three years. Evenings too sometimes. Strokes of luck that have you both finishing at the same time. You don’t know where she works as she turns left as she gets off the bus, you right. You’ve thought about turning left, following her, but that would be creepy and you don’t want to do anything that would put her off. Not that you’ve done anything to encourage her.

She knows you exist but not how much of an existence it is: work, sleep, little ‘play’ in between.

She’s always smiling, chatting to fellow passengers… on the phone. Never to you. But then you don’t let her get that close. Closeness is something you struggle with. Have done since…

You don’t like to think of back then. You’d rather it be a blank canvas on which to paint happy thoughts, fondly-remembered places, warm embraces.

She’s late this morning. You only remember her being late twice before – other than being on holiday. But then she didn’t turn up at all. You’d known she was going away – Mrs Davis had told you. Because the two ladies talk. A lot. Just day-to-day stuff, nothing too personal, more mother : daughter conversations.

Then you notice Mrs Davis is crying. You’ve never seen her cry before and you’ve known her longer than Beth. Just the thought of her name makes you smile but then you see Mrs Davis look at you and she bursts into tears.

You leave your seat and sit in the empty one beside her – Beth’s seat. You’ll keep it warm until she arrives. There are still plenty of people getting on so she has time.

You want to put your arm around her. Mrs Davis. Tell her it can’t be that bad and you’re still debating when she takes your hands in hers and starts speaking, between sobs.

“Oh, Tim.”

You wonder if her tears are because of Mr Davis but you don’t think he’s ever done something to warrant something like this. She doesn’t say any more and you wonder if she’s waiting for you to speak but she lets go of your hand and picks up a paper from her lap. She unfolds it, revealing the front page. You recognise the photograph. The smile.

You feel sick as you read the text. ‘Local secretary, Beth Robinson, killed in freak accident.’

The bus lurches and starts its journey. To the town centre. To the bus stop where you’ll be getting off. Turning right, as you make your way to the bank.

You wonder if she’s married.

She’s always smiling, chatting to fellow passengers… like Mrs Davis, two rows ahead.

You don’t know where she, Beth, works as she turns left off the bus.

She’s late.

You notice Mrs Davis crying so you sit in the empty seat beside her – Beth’s – keep it warm until she arrives.

“Oh, Tim,” Mrs Davis sobs and shows you a newspaper. You recognise the smile.

You feel sick. 
The bus lurches and starts its journey. To the town centre. To the bus stop where you’ll be getting off. Turning right, as you head to the bank.

***

Photography courtesy of morguefile.com.

** NEW!! You can now subscribe to the mixed blog on your Kindle / Kindle app!

See http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008E88JN0

or http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008E88JN0 for outside the UK **

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 (including my debut novel, which is being serialised on Novel Nights In!) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers. If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating and choose an optional free eBook.

For writers / readers willing to give feedback and / or writers wanting feedback, take a look at this blog’s Feedback page.

As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. If there’s anything you’d like to take part in, take a look at Opportunities on this blog.

I welcome items for critique for the online writing groups listed below:

Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group

We look forward to reading your comments.


No joke

223 mother in law 140297John pleads with you not to go but you pick up your bag and go into the hall.

Before you reach the front door, he darts in your way.

“I’m sorry,” he says. “I didn’t mean…”

Your eyes bore into his. He’s seen that look before, too many times. He knows what he has to do, that one apology won’t be enough.

“I’m sorry,” he repeats, and offers a hand to take your bag. “Really I am.”

He studies you as if trying to see your brain evaluating the situation. One of many, repeated almost every time you’d come to visit; a throwaway remark, regretted as soon as it had left his mouth.

“I’m sorry,” he says for the final time. “I promise, no more mother-in-law jokes.”

***

Photography courtesy of morguefile.com.

** NEW!! You can now subscribe to the mixed blog on your Kindle / Kindle app!

See http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008E88JN0

or http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008E88JN0 for outside the UK **

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 (including my debut novel, which is being serialised on Novel Nights In!) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers. If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating and choose an optional free eBook.

For writers / readers willing to give feedback and / or writers wanting feedback, take a look at this blog’s Feedback page.

As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. If there’s anything you’d like to take part in, take a look at Opportunities on this blog.

I welcome items for critique for the online writing groups listed below:

Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group

We look forward to reading your comments.


Incessant Vera

216 patio 14828It’s the roadworks that drives you nuts, not helped by Vera’s incessant whistling. You want to turn off the radio but then she’ll only start talking; snippets of conversation cobbled together from the week’s W.I. meetings or yoga sessions that she’s convinced you’d be interested in, except you lost interest 30 years ago.

She’s still not forgiven you for cutting down her favourite rose bush. She’d stood there waiting for an explanation but you knew there wasn’t going to be one. You’d bought her a rose-scented candle then wondered why she’d burst into tears, threw you a look that reminded you of her mother – the mother languishing in her home now far enough away to visit once a month instead of the weekly trips that you’d made before you’d moved.

You’d made Vera think that her been her idea too. Reluctant at first, given the distance, the loss of friends but she’d made new ones, quicker than you, and everything else had slotted into place; warmer summers on the patio of a grander horse, the patio that could do with taking up and relaying – with that in mind you turn to Vera and smile.

***

Picture above courtesy of morguefile.com.

** NEW!! You can now subscribe to the mixed blog on your Kindle / Kindle app!

See http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008E88JN0

or http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008E88JN0 for outside the UK **

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 (including my debut novel, which is being serialised on Novel Nights In!) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers. If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating and choose an optional free eBook.

For writers / readers willing to give feedback and / or writers wanting feedback, take a look at this blog’s Feedback page.

As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. If there’s anything you’d like to take part in, take a look at Opportunities on this blog.

I welcome items for critique for the online writing groups listed below:

Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group

We look forward to reading your comments.


Plenty more fish

31 fish 41027“Plenty more fish in the sea.”

You know you’ll lose your temper if she says that one more time but you nod, not looking up from the magazine you’re reading, and change the subject. Tom’s the reason why you’re back living with your mother, and you don’t want to be reminded of either. “Nancy said there might be a job going at Al Fresco.”

“You’re going to be a waitress?”

“Better than nothing, mum.”

“It’s a start, I suppose.”

You loved being a waitress while you were at university and it doesn’t phase you to do it again – you’ve never been afraid of hard work – but…

“Of course, your father would have wanted better for you.”

He would, and it does make life easier that he’s no longer around, but out of the two of them, you know it’s him you’d rather have standing by the kitchen sink drying the dishes you washed.

“Maybe you’ll meet someone new there.”

Not quite ‘plenty more fish’ but it grates all the same. Everything about her grates but you can’t afford a B&B and don’t want to impose on friends, so you pull your weight and muddle along, spending as much time with Nancy as you can.

Her name flashes up on your phone. “Hiya.”

“Hi. I’ve spoken to Max.”

You wait for her to continue. She doesn’t. “Nance!”

“Sorry. I thought he was… never mind.”

“And?”

“Er, yeah. He said come in at six and he’ll give you a trial run.”

“What?”

“Six. Trial run.”

“What about an interview? Doesn’t he even want to see my CV?”

“Hold on.” Nancy covers the phone for a few seconds. “He says bring it, but it’s only a piece of paper. Said it’s all about ability and personality. Don’t drop anything, impress the customers, impress him and it’s yours.”

“Just like that?”

“Just like that. He’s not a red tape guy. Gotta go. See you at six.”

“See you… and thanks.”

“No problem. Will be great to see more of you.”

You press the red icon, and clutch the phone.

“Good news?” the voice over your shoulder asks.

Without turning round, you reply. “Yes, I have to be there at six.”

“Good,” she says and disappears upstairs.

You stick out your tongue then smile. This is the best news you’ve had in a while. You’ve never met Max but figure that if Nancy can handle him then he can’t be too bad. The only Maxs you know are off the TV; the chauffeur from Hart to Hart, and Bradley’s father on Eastenders. You never knew what Tanya saw in him but then you can say that about you and Tom now. Easy to think in hindsight. A college crush gone serious then gone wrong. The teacher : student relationship that rarely works.

*

Nancy beams. “You look great!”

You look down at your plain white shirt, black skirt and comfy black shoes. You want to say “This old thing?” but you’d cut the labels off less than an hour before. “Thanks, Nance.”

“OK. Come on. Let’s introduce you to the great man.”

You take a deep breath as you follow her through the double-swing kitchen doors. Releasing your breath comes out as a cough as Max holds out his hand. He’s a little older than you, nearer Bradley’s dad than the chauffeur, but much better looking and a confident, rather than sleazy, smile.

“Sorry,” you say, wiping your palm on your skirt and hold out your hand.

He laughs and shakes it. “You’ve seen Gordon Ramsay on TV?”

You nod, slowly lowering your hand as he releases it.

“He’s a pussy cat compared with me.”

You go to say something about how you’ve always thought him not that bad, but Max continues. “Only joking. I do expect you to work hard but we play hard too. Have a laugh and a joke by all means but not out there.” He points towards the restaurant’s seating area. “Six to midnight, Thursday to Saturday and Monday. Tuesday lunchtimes ten ’til four. Wednesday and Sunday off. OK?”

“OK, but…”

“But?”

“You’ve not seen me work yet.”

Max laughs. “Not here, sure, but you worked at Tantés, didn’t you?”

“Yes. Yes, I did. How…” Then it dawns on you that you have seen him before, served him before. You look at Nancy and blush.

***

Picture above courtesy of morguefile.com. 5PM Fiction returns tomorrow.

** NEW!! You can now subscribe to the mixed blog on your Kindle / Kindle app!

See http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008E88JN0

or http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008E88JN0 for outside the UK **

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 (including my debut novel, which is being serialised on Novel Nights In!) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers. If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating and choose an optional free eBook.

For writers / readers willing to give feedback and / or writers wanting feedback, take a look at this blog’s Feedback page.

As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. If there’s anything you’d like to take part in, take a look at Opportunities on this blog.

I welcome items for critique for the online writing groups listed below:

Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group

We look forward to reading your comments.



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