Morning Is Broken

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Gordon took a sip of his lukewarm tea, his fifth cup of the morning, both in terms of volume of tea and indeed receptacles. The previous, now empty, mugs sat on the pine coffee table (bought second-hand from a charity shop and by far the nicest piece of furniture he owned) in front of him, alongside a trio of plates, the first containing the remnants of a bacon sandwich, a breakfast he hadn’t actually been able to stomach, the second a congealed mess that he knew to be the remains of last night’s chicken chow mein (as per his usual pre-pub Friday night ritual) and the less said about the third the better, he’d obviously picked up something on his way back from the bar but he couldn’t honestly identify it now – a vaguely unpleasant taste of garlic sauce at the back of his throat suggested it may have been a kebab. Surrounding the various  unclean ceramics were several empty beer bottles. Continue reading Morning Is Broken

A Shred Of Hope

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Brian had been on ‘shredding’ duties for over a week. It had just been him, the machine in a tiny room on the seventh floor, away from the comforts of his desk, the camaraderie of his colleagues and, more pertinently, a long way from the coffee machine. Continue reading A Shred Of Hope

The Dilemma

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Jeff emptied the contents of his right trouser pocket onto the cheap, faux-pine, laminate and chipboard, coffee table. Spread out before him were a battered  imitation-leather wallet, one he’d had since his late teens, and a handful of coins. There was a barely discernible logo on the front of the wallet, representing a brand that had been very much a-la-mode at the time of purchase, but one that was no longer particularly in vogue. The wallet, he knew, contained a debit card for an overdrawn bank account, a credit card that was alarmingly close to the overly-generous limit his bank had permitted and several supermarket loyalty cards, which demonstrated that Jeff was not, in fact, especially ‘loyal’ to any one particular provider when it came to grocery shopping.

What the wallet did not contain, sadly, was any actual money.

Continue reading The Dilemma

Dinner Time

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Janice cut the chicken into strips and tossed them into the frying pan, along with the onions and peppers she had prepared earlier. Adding a little sauce, she stir- fried her composition for a few minutes, singing along to compilation of late-eighties pop acts that were the mainstay of her decade-old MP3 player. The kitchen was not her most natural environment, but, on reflection, she realised that this cooking malarkey wasn’t all that hard.

The family’s usual chef, Pete, was upstairs repairing the broken drawer, a task he was neither enthusiastic about, nor particularly skilled at, but he was ‘damn well not going to fork out another hundred quid’ for a replacement unit. Continue reading Dinner Time

The Game

 

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Crispin looked at the board despairingly.

There was nothing he could do. He had played into Franklin’s hands, and it was now just a matter of a few moves before inevitable defeat. He could cede the game now, but that was not Crispin’s way. If his late father had taught him anything, it was never to surrender even when all seems to be lost.

Admittedly Crispin Senior had, perhaps, taken the philosophy a little too far, and the moral certitude over who actually had ‘the right of way’ was arguably a little redundant when cycling towards an articulated lorry. Continue reading The Game

Sick Day

The resentful growl of the slow moving traffic indicated that the city had grudgingly woken up to Monday with the same collective reluctance shared by its morning commuters. Eli could hear the revving motors and the occasional plaintive horn from his bedroom as he made the phone call that would spare him from joining the gridlock for today at least. Continue reading Sick Day

The Letter

Day 12 of Writing 101 was to attempt to write a post of a specific length. One suggestion was a 50-word story and I’ve never done one of those before so I thought I’d give it a go.

See below for the astounding results…

The Letter

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The paper glided confidently off her printer juxtaposing her own self-doubt. Was she doing the right thing? She reviewed the arguments again in her mind before concluding that her previous rationale still held true. A lack of alternatives was no reason to continue as before.

She signed the letter.

Keith’s Attic

I’ve fallen behind on Writing 101, but fortunately they give you the weekend off so I can catch up by posting Thursday’s assignment today and doing Friday’s assignment tomorrow.

Thursday’s task was to write a post inspired by a picture. We were given a choice of four and I chose the one below. As I usually write a short story around this time of the week I decided I’d do that for this task.

So it’s all worked out quite well really… Continue reading Keith’s Attic

The Limerick Code

I feel a mild disclaimer is required for this particular piece of fiction. I hope it’s clear that I’m parodying a particular genre and everything below was written with tongue firmly in cheek. Nonetheless I can’t ignore the fact that this particular genre is quite popular commercially so I reserve the right to adopt ‘Professor Peter Turnbottle’, without even a hint irony, as the hero of a novel that I may write in a shameless attempt to secure an agent and book deal in the future.

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Professor Peter Turnbottle examined the letter again. It made no more sense upon the second reading.

“Contained in this note is a warning
That a day full of peril is dawning
I advise you leave now
Or I fail to see how
You won’t draw your last breath this morning.” Continue reading The Limerick Code