Happy Halloween 👻 🎃 everyone – here’s a nice creepy piece of short fiction I wrote a while back. Hope you enjoy!!!
That’s what he saw first on his early morning jog over the dunes. Their feet.
At first he thought he might have interrupted something private, something that is usually and more comfortably best achieved indoors. Their feet were intertwined, touching toe to toe. On hers were two silver toe rings in twisted metal. He apologised then to their twisted faces. Eyes open they looked into each other’s eyes and saw forever and nowhere all at once.
He was not ashamed to scream as the crab scuttled over her hand. His dog lurched forward to lap at the dried blood that had once been dripping down from the gunshot between her eyes. The man was worse, his shot was through the mouth up into his brain. The congealed mess and sound of the dog’s lapping made him feel sick and he vomited.
Turned away from the scene he knelt in the sand no longer able to stand. He dialled 999 all the while trying to think of his response to ‘What’s your emergency?’ When the question came, he vomited again and spat out, ‘They’re both dead. Beach. Come quick.’
He spotted the gun then, in the man’s hand, and wondered if the girl had had a choice in this or if she had just been on her dream date watching a beautiful sunset with her lover.
When he heard the siren’s wail he wept and his dog, inquisitive and drawn to his sobs came close, nuzzled up and licked his tears.
This second anthology of short stories, flash fiction and poetry on the theme home is published in support of Shelter. This edition is dedicated to those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire and the foreword talks about the impact of Brexit on feelings of home especially for migrants.
Personally I feel, having talked to friends who feel similarly, that even British natives have had their sense of home pulled away by the animosity over Brexit. That feeling of safety, of thinking you know what people around you are like, has been undermined.
With that being said the stories contained within the book offer snapshots into sense of home and belonging. For me I find it difficult to read a whole book of short pieces in one sitting and so this will be a book for me to dip into in waiting rooms and spare 5 minutes.
The first entries out of 55 range from a brief snapshot of a moment of routine which captures the sense of being at home with another person (TED BONHAM – The Life This Is) to fighting systems that can prevent you finding a, or feeling at, home (MICHELE SHELDON Monsters) and the whimsical tale of, I assume a homeless woman, who shares the little she has and lets a seagull take up residence on her head ( SHARON BENNETT – Seagull).
The voice and palpable sense of longing drew me into the story of a woman returning home after a jail sentence by LEIGH FORBES (Coming Home). And I also picked out the following story, from later on in the book, to read based on its title. ISABEL COSTELLO’s A Place to Paint Yellow explores whether home is a person, a place or a feeling and what happens when those things change or are lost. Its protagonist being an obese woman also examines feeling at home in your own skin.
Shelter, the charity which Stories for Homes supports, cites three main criteria for housing: safety, stability, affordability. The UK is currently failing its citizens on every point. Volume one raised over £3,000. Buy this book to help them help others. It’s available as an e-book with bonus online content here – http://storiesforhomes.wordpress.com/.
Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat, said: “Stories give our imaginations a home. It’s good to see them helping to give people shelter in the real world, too…” reflecting the connection between the immediacy of housing crisis and the stories people tell about their lives around and within it.
Here’s a 6 word story I wrote as part of a challenge last September.
Slingink and Writing Submissions
ulpG or even Gulp
I have just submitted 5 poems and 2 short short stories to 3 different publishers (no duplicate submissions though – that’s just the total).
Will let you know about acceptances or rejections. And I may send out some more.
Decided to end 2010 as I want to go into 2011. Productive.
Have signed up to THE STIRRED POeT 2011 starting Jan on The Write Idea to help with this – a six round poetry competition.
– a six round poetry and/or fiction compeition that I ran over on Slingink with masses of help, for which I am very grateful, from the two judges, for poetry Mandy Pannett and for fiction Nik Perring. Obviously I didn’t officially enter but I submited my poems (I managed 6 new ones) and stories (I managed 4 new ones and submitted 2 I’d previously written) anonymously for comments. I was so chuffed that I would have won one poetry round and come second in one fiction round so those are a couple of the pieces I have sent out today.
I’m sorry to say that due to a manic end of work (which I am now not at for two weeks over Christmas) I’m behind with editing the second edition of Slingink All Shorts though I am determined to get it finished (ideally before Christmas, definitely before the end of December).
Who else is on a mad submission rush at the end of 2010?
In January I am going to look at my NaNoWriMo novel again. I’m already thinking of writing a sequel for NaNoWriMo 2011.
I don’t think I mentioned that I have submitted a few stories to a charity anthology (Write to Fight) to support a fellow writer’s karate club. This should be out shortly so I’ll add a link to it when its available.