Today I have added a page to this blog – a story which is too long for a regular post. It takes rather more than 30 seconds to read; printed out in the real world it is a 20 page short story. I thought about posting it in instalments but it seemed likely that if I did no one would ever read the whole thing in the intended order. (I am realising more and more how apt the rhyme of blogroll and bogroll is – bringing to mind an endless spool of ephemeral fragments disappearing as it unwinds into a virtual black hole, never to be seen again.)
As a beginner here, I am not sure how much difference the difference between page and post really is, but we will see.
About the story, ‘Truth and Consequences – a tragedy’: I am still in two (or more) minds about it. Perhaps because it draws more on other things I have read or seen, that is, on other people’s fictions, than on my own experience, I am afraid it is too ‘derivative’, unoriginal, clichéd. On the other hand, there are ideas and images in it that came to me quite unexpectedly and that feel original to me (or at least they took me by surprise, which is one of the reasons for writing in the first place, I think).
It is set in the 1970s (not only to avoid the problem of mobile phones and the contortions writers sometimes go through to explain why their characters can’t just phone for help or to resolve the crucial miscommunication of their plot), because the central issue has moved on since then and so I hope my characters’ ‘tragedy’ might not happen today. But there are parts of the world where it is very much still happening, so perhaps this story is not such a period piece.
Here is an excerpt:
Truth and Consequences – Prologue
A man on a bony bay gelding rides up the forest track, among dark spruce and flaming maple. Above him, the high faint calls of climbing buzzards speak of space and solitude. At a certain spot he slows and stops, as if by habit. He dismounts and unsaddles the horse. ‘You ready for this?’ He gives the horse a slap on its rump, and another, to send it back down the trail. Then, alone in the forest, he gazes around him, breathing in a great lungful of the resiny air. Delicately, he takes off from round his neck a small suede bag. Worn dark and soft with years of wear, it opens easily, tips out into his hand his shining good-luck piece. ‘I hope you’re waiting for me, Carlo,’ he says to the empty air. ‘I didn’t mean to take so long.’
[If you would like to read the rest of this story click on the Short fiction link at the top of the blog.]
Copyright © 2014 Fliss Watts