The smell of garlic and oil filled the gaps between my fork and her brown eyes, one darker than the other. Her eyes followed my fork down to my plate where it picked up one of the eighteen left over ziti noodles.
So, Hugh now joins the teeny tiny group – well I say group – there’s only one other, of writers with 100 posts on the site. CONGRATULATIONS. It is fair to say that it has probably been harder for Hugh. As editors I think we are tougher on ourselves than we are on other authors. We are so keen not to be seen to be showing any sort of positive bias that we are brutal with each other. However, Hugh always accepts rejections and edit suggestions with good humour, humility and professionalism.
He is the backbone of Literally Stories, he has kept on going through his own personal traumas, never letting what is happening in his life get in the way of his work on the site. He has been an incredible rock when the rest of us have had our own dramas, kind, sympathetic and stoic (hahahahaha – his hate word – ha) and he makes the work, which at times can feel overwhelming, worthwhile and rewarding. As well as the reading and emails, Hugh comments on the stories and together with other of us give feedback to authors who have requested such or who we feel deserve an explanation as to our decisions or a suggested edit. He writes almost all the Saturday roundup posts and let’s be honest they are hilarious and a brilliant end to the week, even though the times when he says ‘That’s it there, Diane. Sorry’ I do quake in my boots.
I have never actually met Hugh, or Nik in person, or Adam or Tobias for that matter, but I count them among dear friends, but Hugh, and Nik are the blokes I want to have a drink with, the blokes I can count on to unload to when life throws cabbages at me and I just want to say thanks and, Hugh, my life is richer for knowing you. You are a fearless, uncompromising writer and I admire that more than I can say and many, many Congratulations on reaching this outstanding milestone.
Never Being Confused
It was a typical day in the life of Jim and Debbie, the parents of SeptemberThe28th.
They were on The High Street championing their offspring’s cause as usual. They wore their ‘Asexual Is Not Fluid UCUNT!’ Tshirts, The back of which said ‘LGBTQI+Forever!!‘ And underneath that was ‘I am not a label!’
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.
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.
I can’t think about my brother William without cringing from guilt. What a terrible childhood he had. None of us loved him or tried to make him part of the family. He was just someone who shared space with us. Which was a tragedy. For him.
June 1st 1990
Sharon walked into the office. She saw her workmate Jim staring into a half empty coffee cup. He looked up. His face was flush, his eyes tired and she could have sworn that there was another line on his forehead.
“Do you know what I caught that kid doing?”
She began to chuckle. Jim had been trying to keep his cool since wee David and his mother had moved in.
“We know that it is the spawn of Satan, but go on…Surprise me.”
In her mind she kept repeating, ‘It’s something to share, it’s something to share…’
Gina didn’t let the whisper of guilt niggle at her. She’d been thinking on this for a few years but her conscience screamed, not any more.
Emma was pissed off. She hadn’t seen him since he got out of jail after doing a weekender. He’d been huckled for theft and fighting with the security guard who caught him. She knew Sean’s logic only too well. Getting done for the theft was fair enough but the fighting was the guards fault for catching him.
Daniel planed the final piece of timber. A few more shavings and he knew that it would fit. He wasn’t happy with one section so he spent another minute sanding it.
He admired his work.
The other two stood on plinths. He never considered himself arrogant. They were beautiful and in perfect proportion.
“Err…Ladies and Gentlemen…The Groom.”
The wee mousey man backed away out the door. The groom stood up championing Sports Direct and eating a Gregg’s sausage roll.