Little pieces of Morgen's fiction

Short Story Daily 293: A Bad Feeling

A Bad Feeling

232 bridge 14992He had a bad feeling about this one. ‘Body under bridge’ never brought about a good one but tonight…

Tonight followed afternoon, the afternoon’s argument with his daughter, Charlotte, and a back-and-forth over the length of her skirt. Every parent / daughter does it and neither side wins; resentment, looks of hurt, mistrust, regardless of which side gets their way.

He’d phoned her mobile later, left a message, said he was sorry, that he had to go into work, for her to be careful. He knew she’d shake her head, feel stifled, like a child.

Elizabeth often told him he was too soft, that Charlotte took advantage, that she was a Daddy’s girl, and she was usually right. He’d known Elizabeth half his life and it had taken half of that to have their daughter, their only child, so it was his job, like it was his job to go and see dead bodies under bridges. No other detail than that; no age, no gender, but he didn’t want to know. Know too much and you start thinking, give them a family, a life.

If he was lucky tonight it would still be clothed, intact, simple. A mugging gone wrong, gunshot wound, knife through the heart. He was nearing retirement and that didn’t suit complicated.

Slipping down the wet steps he growled and went to put his hands out but steadied. He hated that; lack of balance, of control.

Those already there, his colleagues, looked particularly grim. “Crap. It’s a bad one,” he said to himself.

No-one spoke as he walked to the bridge, to the body.

He felt the tears come and he didn’t care who saw them, then felt his phone vibrate, looked at the name on the screen. He pressed the green button hesitantly. “Charlotte. Your mother.”

***

Photography courtesy of morguefile.com.

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

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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.

Short Story Daily 292: Half-human

Half-human

231 Paris 191367Winning a luxury weekend for two to Paris, all expenses paid, should have been the thrill of a lifetime for Nicky until she realised she’d have to choose someone to go with her. Boyfriend, girlfriend, or mother.

Mother could be discounted quite easily, she would have assumed she’d be last choice, and wouldn’t even have to know.

Nicky’s girlfriends would be too engrossed in their own love lives to notice that Nicky was away.

So that left boyfriend, but which boyfriend should she take? Graham who she’d known since school and was now more boring than watching a slug climb uphill; Terry, her boss, who would say “yes” but cancel at the last minute because his wife picked that weekend to drag him round Ikea; or Pierre, the sickly-smooth eye candy who came from the city of love and would jump at the chance to show her round his old stomping ground, probably bumping into a few of his amours in the process.

Nicky’s heart told her Pierre – he’d have to ask for time off from the restaurant but she’d met his boss and thought that was feasible, he’d seemed fairly human.

But her head told her Graham – put some romance back into their relationship, see if there were still embers glowing or whether they were as soggy as his fishing gear.

“Graham,” she said when she arrived home from work.

“Yep,” he’d replied, half-listening, hover

ing over a tub of maggots.

“Busy next weekend?”

“Nope.”

“Great,” she said, smiling. “Going away on business, so you’ll look after the house, yes?”

“Er, OK,” he’d said just as the front door slammed.

On the way to Chez Bernard’s, Nicky figured that even if Pierre’s boss was only half-human she could do a lot worse.

***

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.

Short Story Daily 291: Two Rows

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.

Short Story Daily 290: Giving Gene Simmons a run for his money

Giving Gene Simmons a run for his money

“How did you do that?”

“What?”

“Touch your nose with your tongue.”

“I have a long tongue.”

“Stick it out again. Let me see… Wow! You give Gene Simmons a run for his money.”

“Who?”

“Gene Simmons. Rock band. Kiss.”

“Oh yeah. Kiss. What… what are you doing?”

“Kissing you.”

“I guessed… Mmm, that’s nice.”

 

***

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.

Short Story Daily 289: Spice of life

Spice of life

I can do it. I’ve been doing it but my brain hurts. ‘It’ by the way is writing a story a day, for my blog.

Some people think I’m mad, got better things to do, but we should be writing something every day, shouldn’t we? Us writers. 300 words daily is 100,000 words a year, a bit over, but who’s counting?

228 spice of life 196018They say variety is the spice of life. ‘They’ clearly aren’t writers because it’s a cliché and we’re told to avoid them… er, like the plague.

Variety is good though, so I have a different format for each day: sentence start on a Monday, five keywords every Tuesday, and so on. Today’s Wednesday so it’s a monologue.

I’m pretty good at talking to myself but wasn’t sure what to write about today. Not really for any reason than I started treating my writing life like a day job. You know; 9-5, concentrating on things that would make me money, so my head’s full of that.

I just have to avoid the ping of the emails, the numbers indicating updates on Twitter and Facebook until my lunch break. It’s only taken me a year since I quit my job to get my act together, encouraged by a crime writer friend. Second opinions are always invaluable.

So the clock’s ticking (quite literally – there are two in my office alone).

As for the monologue, I’m sure I’ll think of something.

***

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.

Short Story Daily 288: Police escort

Police escort

227 police car 161610Watching the policeman in her rear view mirror, Rosie clicked the button to release the central locking and got out the car.

“Surprised you got here at all,” he said softly, kicking her flat tyre.

Rosie had watched enough TV to know his American accent to be Californian. “Me too,” she said, not meaning the car.

“But we’ll have away in no time.”

“No hurry,” she said and hoped he’d take all day. With the choice of views being him or the sea she could think of nowhere else she’d rather be.

“Do you have a spare?”

“No,” she said, knowing that her model of car didn’t come with one. “I thought they had to, by law, but apparently…”

“No problem,” he said. “You’re travelling a bit back-heavy? Got a body in there?” He laughed, exposing brilliant white teeth.

Rosie had never been good at spontaneous laughter and didn’t think now was the time to try, so just smiled and shook her head. “Moving house.”

“Oh, all your worldly possessions.”

“Yes,” she said quietly, picturing the heavy old chest that took up most of the boot. The man stopped smiling.

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s OK, really it is. New life, new start.”

“New man.”

Rosie didn’t reply.

“I’m sorry,” he repeated, “just here to fix your wheel. I’m new… I’ll shut up now and…”

“It’s OK, really it… I’ve said that already.”

“Don’t be nervous. It’s the uniform, I know, even makes me nervous.”

She laughed then, a natural laugh, and enjoyed it.

“That’s better,” the man said and held out his hand. “Bryan… Josh Bryan.”

As Rosie looked at him, she imagined him not in his uniform but in a dinner suit, sipping a cocktail that had been shaken not stirred, with a gun tucked discreetly under his jacket.

“I have some stuff in my trunk that’ll fix your car… what is it you Brits say? In a jiffy?

Rosie laughed again. “We’ve not said that since Jeeves and Wooster.”

“PG Wodehouse! You read?”

“I do… try to, when I have time.”

“I love the old ones. Really funny. Not as far back as Jane Austen, the romance, but…”

“You don’t like romance?” Rosie surprised them both with that question. “I mean, the classics.”

“20th Century is as old as I get. Still living there so my wife says.”

Rosie’s shoulders slumped.

“Ex wife, I should say. She’s still in the States. Couldn’t see why I would want to live here, but just look… the sea, the beach, the sun…”

“But don’t you have all that in California?”

“How did you know? Oh, the accent. Giveaway isn’t it. We do but it’s a different kind of sun. It’s… anyway, you’ll be wanting to go and we do need to fix your car.”

“We do.”

She watched him go the back of his patrol car, return with a yellow and black can, connect the tube to the air valve then reinflate the tyre. “Is that it?” she asked when he screwed the caps back on both the tyre and can.

“Not permanent. Should get you to the gas station.”

“Oh.”

“Of course, you won’t know one, will you? I’m finishing in a minute anyway, you can follow me.”

“Really?”

“Sure. There’s one just down from the PD… I mean police station, just down the road from the garage not gas station. I said I was new.”

Rosie smiled. “Thank you for everything. You’re very kind.”

Josh nodded and they returned to their cars.

Rosie followed him at just below the speed limit, without the sirens she’d hoped for but knew wouldn’t be warranted. It’s not every day you get a police escort and Rosie hoped it wouldn’t be the last.

***

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.

Short Story Daily mini-vacation

Short Story Daily is having a break for the summer (July / August) to recharge its (Morgen’s!) batteries.

We shall be back on September 1st with new flash fictions and short stories… one per day.

Thank you for your support to-date and we hope you’ve enjoyed reading these pieces thusfar.


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