3 Short Stories
Created at Femi Martin’s “Writing a Spring Short Story” workshop on 5th April 2016, part of the Creative Writing series at the South Bank Centre, London. The resulting stories are a little dark, this wasn’t intentional but clearly reflected my imagination that evening, they are in the order in which I wrote them.
Escape to Nature
The man sunk his bare feet in to the sand. The little girl watched from behind the wild flowers in the dunes, chewing on her hair. He turned at a sound and found her eyes.
“You don’t belong here,” the little girl said as she stood.
“Leave me alone,” the man replied, suit jacket slung over his shoulder as he started to walk away.
“Why are you here?” the little girl continued, falling in to step alongside him.
“To escape, to be alone,” the man replied, rubbing his eyes..
“Escape from what?” the little girl asked.
“My life,” the man said, looking at the tie in his hand.
“That’s stupid, you can never escape from your own life, apart from when you’re dead,” the little girl said, skipping at his side.
The sound of an approaching train stopped them, they watched until it had passed.
“I’d better be getting home,” the man said.
“Will you come again next week?” asked the little girl.
But the man never answered, he was already disappearing from sight in to the dunes.
The Arian Midwife
She pushed down hard on the peddle, wanting to pick up pace and feel the sixteen hour day blown away far behind her. It was two in the morning, within the ceasefire hours that allowed her bicycle journey to take the quick route home.
“How many babies today miss?” a voice called from behind a barricade.
“Five,” she answered, keeping her eyes straight ahead as whooping noises, cheers, and ‘god bless you’s’ called at her from both sides. She smiled thinly and wondered at the madness of this city that could celebrate birth amidst so much death.
She loved being on her bike, in constant motion but quickly begun to dread getting home. She really needed to kick him out and end it cleanly. She knew she would open the fridge and her tea would be there, plated up with plastic wrap, probably with a romantic note. Women went to the movies to gather material to fantasize about men like him, she couldn’t stomach it. It was too much, too close. She was on her street now, quiet but for a fox inspecting the bins. She would sleep on the sofa tonight and speak to him in the morning she thought as she locked up her bike, patting the seat fondly before turning to the door.
You Remind Me of Spring
You remind me of Spring with your wind weathered cheeks. You hated having your photo taken but here you were caught unaware, your happiness pure against the green backdrop of hills. You died in Spring, just one year after this moment was captured. You chose to die in Spring, battling those last weeks just to see the magnolia tree in bloom one final time. Now it is Spring again, five years since the wind weathered your cheeks. Your photo preserved perfectly, beckoning me to those constant green hills.