Little pieces of Morgen's fiction

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Curved into a smile

Tommy-Lee Forté shook his head as the screen announced the next caller: Nigel Allibone. Dull. 40-watt bulbs were brighter.

A consumer slot was not what Tommy had envisaged for his career in radio but it paid the bills, handsomely in fact. Consumer issues encouraged dull, and Tommy knew all about that, having been born Albert Egglington, Albert after his paternal grandfather. Tommy’s younger brother, Simon, a Mötley Crüe fan, had got off lightly.

Tommy looked up at the Perspex separating him and his producer, Sandy, but she looked down at her desk, jotting something in a message book.

Tommy flicked a switch and announced, “You’re back with T-Lee’s Consumer Hour, and next we have one of our regular callers, Nigel from Kindlingbury-on-Sea. Good afternoon, Nigel, and how are you today?” Tommy winced as Nigel sneezed into his earpiece. “Bless you.”

A cold-ridden Nigel mumbled a “thank you”.

“What would you like to talk about today?”

“Erm… well, I don’t really know how to begin.”

“Come now, Nigel. You know me. Nothing is taboo, or too much trouble, on my show.” Tommy flicked back a dark strand of gelled hair. “We’re all family, here at Furze FM.”

“I know but…”

“Go on, anything you like. You have a problem, we’ll sort it out. Not failed you yet, have we, Nigel?”

“No… you haven’t. Alright then,” Nigel blurted, before blowing his nose. “Ann Summers! I bought… er, bought something from them and it broke, and they won’t give me a refund or exchange like they should. They said I broke it, that I was too… er, forceful with it.”

Tommy looked up at Sandy. Unlike him, she couldn’t see the funny side. She made no attempt though to stop Nigel talking, to cut him off, but sat impassively on the other side of the screen, waiting to see what Tommy and his caller were going to say next.

“Hello?” Nigel asked the silent studio.

“Sorry, Nigel,” Tommy said. “I’m just lining up the next song. I daren’t ask what you bought but it doesn’t really matter because if an item’s not fit for purpose then the shop should-”

“I bought a butt-”

“OK. Well, as I… er, as I said, the item is irrelevant but I’m sure we can contact the store for you and get this sorted. Thank you, Nigel, as always, for calling in. We have your number and will get back to you. And now we have Beyoncé and… er, ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)’.”

Tommy flicked two switches on the panel in front of him, cutting off Nigel and starting the music. Then he looked up at impassive-Sandy. “What an asshole, no pun intended. Actually, pun very much intended.” He waited for her to say something but she didn’t move, so he continued. “Anyone sad enough to get one of those things, or even go to Ann Summers in the first place, must be pretty desperate, or lonely, or both…”

He waited for a nod, shake of the head, a shrug, but again nothing. Her reactions were rarely positive where he was concerned, so he should have known better.

“I mean…” He was going to continue but knew it was pointless so sat in silence waiting for Sandy to connect the next call.

As Beyoncé belted out her final chorus, Sandy pointed to her mid-air microphone then towards him.

Tommy looked at his microphone but saw nothing untoward, then looked at the button connecting it, and the callers, to the rest of the world.

239 red lips 38139“Oh God,” he whispered and went pale. The button he tapped to disconnect Nigel hadn’t been to the mic but an obsolete button which had done nothing since they’d stopped using vinyl.

Sandy smiled as a little voice squeaked, “I’m still here, you know.” Sandy held her manicured right index finger up to the left side of her neck.

Tommy gulped as she drew an invisible line, and her red-lipsticked mouth curved into a smile.

***

Photography courtesy of morguefile.com.

** NEW!! You can now subscribe to the mixed blog on your Kindle / Kindle app via Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.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 (including my debut novel The Serial Dater’s Shopping List) 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.


Through

238 through 108853Throughout my adult life I’ve known I should think things through more, before I say something I shouldn’t. But I’m a waffler through and through – open my mouth and out it comes, out through my cake-hole.

Actually I don’t remember the last time it saw any cake. I even resisted a whole stall of it at a literature festival last weekend. And I’m through with diets – none of this high protein, no carb or salad fads. I see right through them.

I’m off to Tesco as I’ve worked my way through my Weight Watchers ready meals and flavoured water.

So I’ll end this piece here before you see right through me.

***

Photography courtesy of morguefile.com.

** NEW!! You can now subscribe to my main blog on your Kindle / Kindle app via Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.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 (including my debut novel The Serial Dater’s Shopping List) 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 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!

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.


How hard can that b-

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“What you doing?”

“Writing flash fiction. Micro fiction, actually. Maximum 55 words. Look.”

“How hard can that b… Oh. Ouch. Painful.”

“It is. I think Austin’s grinning right now, knowing how tough this month’s is.”

“Good luck. I’m making hot milk. Want any?”

“Fab. Thanks.”

“Good for your brain.”

“Mmm, right.”

“Big mug coming up.”

***

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.


Write what you know

235 police car 839062I’m not in the mood to write today. Not sure why, it’s a mild day, albeit a bit damp, and my feet are soggy but it’s not raining so I should take advantage. Can’t write if the paper gets wet and then I’d wish I could.

And I have deadline. What was it Douglas Adams said? Oh yes, he loved the sound as they wooshed by, or something like that, but I stick to mine.

So, 3000 words by midnight. Yep, I can do that. I’ve done it every NaNoWriMo for the past five years, but any topic? That’s hard. I prefer being given a theme, or a prompt at least.

Oh look, boy, there’s a blue flashing light… and another… three? Come on, Toby, pick up speed.

I’m not one to rubber-neck but they say to write what you know.

***

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.


Hot Air

234 balloon 686770A box thumps down on a chair, narrowly missing a woman. “Ow!”

Harry grins. “Look.”

Sarah pulls all four flaps, looks in, laughs and sits back as a hot air balloon, with ‘Happy Birthday’ on its front, lifts.

Harry holds a gun in his hand, and shoots.

***

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.


Off By Heart

233 poppies 769444Jake snapped the broken lid shut, then stood up, wincing as his 72-year-old knees complained. He looked around. He could hear Betsy singing in the kitchen but she wasn’t anywhere near the window, anywhere near him.

The words ‘a shock a day is good for the heart’ came to him. He put his free hand on his and felt it racing. “Calm down, Jake,” he whispered to himself. “It’s just a…” He then realised that Betsy had stopped singing.

He stuffed the small wooden box into his pocket and pushed earth into the hole in the ground, stamping it down with his foot as Betsy appeared on the veranda, wearing her favourite dress; white with red embroidered poppies.

She held out a tray containing a tall glass of her homemade cloudy lemonade and a plate. He couldn’t see what was on it but it was always the same; three chocolate chip cookies, still warm. “You need a break, honey.” She put the tray down on the table between the two old rocking chairs that had come with the farmhouse.

One glass, so she wasn’t going to join him. He smiled and nodded, watched her return inside, then put his hand in his pocket and clasped the box. His heart started thumping again. He looked at the farmhouse door, knowing that his wife could re-appear at any time, then he looked at the old barn a few feet away. The cold lemonade, warm cookies and snatched look at the box versus a proper look, alone in the secluded barn.

Betsy started singing again; Beethoven’s Für Elise. A favourite of hers, of theirs. Like most people he knew only the first few bars off by heart, but she knew it all and he loved to listen, so the veranda won.

What would be so bad if she knew about the box? he asked himself as he walked towards the house.

She wouldn’t understand. He didn’t understand. He’d never seen the box before yet… someone was playing a trick on him. Betsy? He shook his head. The earth hadn’t been disturbed for years. He’d only come across the box by accident, the coins falling out of his pocket at that exact spot. The hole in his trousers he’d been meaning to tell Betsy about.

It was only when he’d gone to pick up the last coin that he realised it wasn’t a coin but the corner, brass edging, and he’d dug, kicked at it, worked it loose. He was going to call Betsy, see if one of her hairpins would unlock it but curiosity got the better of him and he’d wedged it open with one of the coins. Part-rusted, it hadn’t been that difficult to do.

It was then he’d seen the folded piece of paper, a treasure map he’d hoped, boyhood dreams becoming reality, but as he held the box in one hand and opened the paper with the other, he soon saw it was a picture, not of a map but a photograph. A colour photograph, of a man, smiling, an old man, late seventies at least, but Jake knew him in an instant. And that’s what had started his heart racing. To be expected when presented with a photograph of yourself, a few years from now.

As Jake reached the veranda, he took out the box, sat down on the chair and stopped its gentle movement with his feet. He eased open the lid, and took out the photograph, opening it with his fingertips as if it was going to burn them. He studied the picture more closely. He was dressed in dungarees, the ones he wore now, but they were older, more worn at the knees, his face looked more worn too, not just old age. In his left hand was a bunch of flowers, red roses, and in his right was…

Jake swallowed. In his right hand was a gun, a gun pointing at the ground. Jake followed its aim and there, almost out of the picture was something else he recognised; someone, wearing a white dress with red embroidered poppies.

***

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.



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