The sun is a stanza in the sky – a well written first stanza of a poem, or a song. Perhaps, this is a first stanza that bears the misty wings of a dream. Perhaps, that’s why it rises and gently floats off the page, to settle in the azure folds of the sky . . .
Red lacquer on her toenail, in the exact colour of the Duesy parked outside. One good thing about putting up with Fritz, was the cabbage.
“Money, money” she mouthed mutely; placing the cupid-bow stencil on her lips. Painting them to match the car and the nails.
Another good thing was that a man was never going to replace her in this business; no matter how wonderful the Maybelline; no one will ever want to see scantily clad men in the movies.
Tan Son Nhut Airbase, South Vietnam, 1968: 10° 46’ 5.99” N
Sweat stained the underarms of his short-sleeved khakis and dripped from his upper lip. But after six months in Nam, surviving its hot-and-wet and hot-and-dry seasons, Jeremy didn’t notice. His mind still wandered the jungles of the Central Highlands, in the teak forests, hunting the enemy and sometimes finding them.
This is one of two stories that I’ve been given free gratis with. I really do appreciate that and that is why I wanted to explain why I chose this one.
I was playing around, for so many reasons, with changed perceptions and this is what I came up with.
My fellow editors felt the content was too strong but it had to be for what I was going for. I wanted to see if I could alter a reader’s sympathies and to do that I needed the situation to be so abhorrent that they would need a real change of heart.
I wondered if we always fall down on one side or another with our sympathies or were there situations where, until all was revealed, our initial gut feelings may not be relied on and would be changed not just dramatically but more than once.
Delphine’s teacher cracked a joke. Delphine didn’t smile because she didn’t think it was funny. The teacher said, ‘Oh dear, Delphine. I do feel sorry for you. At the age of seven you ought to know what humour is.’ She brought her out to the front of the class. ‘Now, everyone, let’s show Delphine how we express humour.’
It was the summer that cost us more than we knew. When we atoned for our sins and kept on sinning. When a small part of us died and we fumbled to fill the growing void. When we forgot, in truth, how to ask. The summer Ben slept with Lola, who was loved by Jeremy who slept with Kat who fucked, despite her beauty, like a corpse. And later, when a rash smothered his groin like English Ivy, Jeremy scuttled around the kitchen, poking his member like a cactus.
Foreword: This is a story that I have been given the go ahead with even though it was a split decision and wasn’t accepted as a majority. I am very grateful.
I wanted to explain where this came from. I think this is the best example I have of a state of mind dictating a story. Writing is therapeutic. To go somewhere you would never tread yourself is as liberating as you can get. I’ve always thought when life really gets to you, do something horrific on a sheet of paper. Challenge yourself to write a character that has no redeeming qualities what-so-ever.
You can end up with something dark, ‘passionate’ and an MC that you’ve absolutely no empathy for.
…And its fun to worry those who want to analyse the writer more than the story!
(Last Warning – Very strong language and distasteful adult content / attitude. Do not read if you are liable to be offended.)
In my suitcase there were six pairs of knickers. Six was the number I’d need for a week of work, assuming that one night I’d swim or go to the gym and it wouldn’t be outrageous to wash a couple of pairs in the hotel shower.
I’d packed four tops, all of them black. Jackie in Rentals had told me that if you wear all black nobody notices. Once, she’d worn the same black shirt every day for a month and no one raised an eyebrow. Then she wore a yellow shirt twice in a week and four people said don’t you have another top?
“Tell me a story, stranger.”
The guy on the opposite stool was a typical weekday drunk, full of good humor at the pain of others and caustic remarks at nothing at all. That he was polite to me was an oddity; perhaps he sensed that I was different, that I was less tethered to this place and its vices than those of his usual company.
Tammy had received her call back from NHS24. She went through the formalities and had been put onto the triage nurse.
She felt a tear as the pain got worse. Explaining herself for the third time didn’t help.
“Can’t you send a doctor out to see me. I don’t mind that.”
“Tammy, I’ve been trying to tell you, a doctor can’t help you. You need to be in hospital. You’re blood pressure needs monitored, bloods taken, medication decided on. We need to do something about the infection. You can’t mess about with it. We need to keep an eye on you.”
She thought for a second, but it was a no-brainer.