Text 3 (July 18th) – Using the beginning sentence structure, “You said”, write a small piece of flash fiction no more than 250 words, with four/five paragraphs. You will need to think of two characters – the speaker (it might be your monologue character or someone new) and the person they are addressing with the “You”. It could be something they would really say, or something that is internal thought. If you are stuck, use a picture or photograph for inspiration and make a few single word notes to get you started. Have a look at the website for an example and remember, you can’t get this ‘wrong’!
When we were eighty …
You said yes. I said yes. We both said yes to every question the man in the white coat asked, and we were both ready to go.
Five years earlier, sat opposite each other, eating pizza and drinking a particularly good bottle of red wine we’d agreed: When we were 80, we’d do it.
Five years to spend all our money. Five years to make sure everything on the bucket list was ticked off. Five more years to keep our health, so that: When we were 80, we’d do it.
We’d had a fabulous life together, but weren’t quite done yet. Equity release was secured on the house, all our assets were liquidated and our affairs in order. We were ready for our penultimate adventure, and then: When we were 80, we’d do it.
We were 100% sure we didn’t want to end up in an old folks’ home, sat in a Parker Knoll, watching Countdown and peeing ourselves, so: When we were 80, we’d do it.
No kids to leave anything to. No kids to look after us when we couldn’t. It made perfect sense: When we were 80, we’d do it.
Sat opposite each other, eating pizza and drinking a particularly good bottle of red wine we agree: We are 80, let’s do it.
Give the man in the white coat the nod, we’re ready to go.
“She said she preferred to stay home for lockdown”.
Gilly sits in her house. Piles of paper, books and print around, messy piles looping her chair. Sun beam twinkles on swirls of dust to illuminate slippered feet.
Neighbour knock – dinner’s delivered – no need.
“Don’t mind if I do”.
The collective noun for starlings is a Murmuration. Joyful twitterings and flutterings. A glass of wine, a home cooked meal and fresh baked cake.
6 counties away Gilly alone, sightless eyes stare at the window. Family flown. Life gone.
“I said she should have come to us”.
You said “the job was mine. Best applicant ever, ticked every box”. You said. “Assuming references check out, can you start on Monday?” You said. “Yes, yes of course,” I gushed, flashing a gleeful smile as we shook hands.
Bounced out into Oxford Street, punched the air, did a silly Cheesie skip.
The interview went better than I had hoped. Peering through shop windows, at the new Secretary to the Daily Reporter’s editor. Scrunching my blonde mane back into a ponytail.
“This calls for a celebration” I said to the kitchen sink, cracking open the last bottle of Red before starting a long night out on the town. I don’t actually remember getting home, but it would be late. Never heard the phone ringing. Gosh, look at least ten missed calls, I wonder what he wants? Maybe I left something behind at the Agency?
“John, it’s Sarah, so sorry I missed your calls, engrossed in a film” I lied to the voice mail messenger. “See you Monday, oh and thanks again for choosing me.” Instantly, the messenger glowed, words floated towards my eyes. “It’s bad news. Job offer been withdrawn. Wishing you well for the future.” John Senior: Southbank Agency. Curt, cold words that cut deep.
Rage took over. I punched out my reply. “You said it was mine. What’s changed, overnight?” Already guessed the problem, but still it shocked. “References reported issues concerning alcohol and associated unreliability.” was all he said.
You said ‘Nothing will go wrong. It will all be over, as quick as a wink’. That troublesome problem I was facing during the Covid19 pandemic, was easily remedied you told me. ‘No one will ever suspect you, of trying to find a way around the lockdown measures.’
I usually obey the law to the letter but there were restrictions on a person leaving their home and I needed to find a way around it. ‘Everyone is going to be doing it’, you said, ‘it’s no big deal’ on hearing the news, that Boris Johnsons’ political advisor, had made a forbidden trip to his parents’ home.
You said, ‘I can’t understand why you are so worried about it?’ I can hear you saying it now, ‘Just get in your car and go. You’ll be there and back before anyone knows about it’. However, my name is not D.C and neither am I a political advisor to the government. In these sort of cases, it’s one rule for the rich and famous but another for the men and women in the street, when it comes to obeying the lockdown restrictions.
You said, when everything was over, bar the shouting, ‘Why didn’t you stop for the cops?’ I could still hear you, in my head, saying ‘You have as good a chance of success, as anyone.’ I realised that it was my own stupid reaction, that meant I finally was stopped and fined! That irrational fear, that made me press the accelerator, rather than the brake!
You said ‘If you’d stopped as instructed, the your explanation, would not even have been an issue!’
Loads of other people go on 15 minute drives to Tesco’s, for Almond Milk, (Mum can’t drink any other) whilst checking the veracity of their eyesight, on route, don’t they?