Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the one hundred and thirteenth piece in this series. This week’s is a 493-worder by Christopher Farley. This story will be podcasted in episode 35 (with three other stories / with two other stories and some 6-worders) on Sunday 29th December.
The Third Rail
It isn’t just cold, it’s damned freezing. I haven’t my coat with me.
I was still breathing deeply and out of breath as the train left Milan and entered the countryside. My heart was beating like a hammer on an anvil. Did I really just witness someone killed? Did I really see those men take a life? Did those men see me as I ran for the safety of people and the station? I was too far away to do something and hopefully to far away to be considered a witness, at least by those men.
Yes, November around the corner. Get Hallowe’en, or possibly the Hallpwe’en party out of your system and the very next day… NaNoWriMo starts again. After last year’s first and (to some extent) failed attempt, in addition to current commitments, I’ve been intent on ignoring it this year. In fact until last weekend I was convinced I’d pay it no attention; but…
But I have a story which I’ve been working on and it looks destined for the trash bin – it’s going nowhere and when it starts becoming a stone around your neck you have to think twice about investing time and effort into it. However, thanks to some positive input from a friend, I’ve decided that the idea itself isn’t a bad one – I just cocked-up on how it was presented. It needs a back-to-the-bare-bones rewrite, a complete rewrite, which after 12,000 words doesn’t make me the happiest bunny in the warren but still… Anyway, NaNoWriMo could be a darned good excuse to do such a rewrite, because it will be a new novel – the only thing I’d have kept is the idea behind it. Characters, settings etc. will all be new – they HAVE to be new, as it is not working in its current form.
So; stuck for ideas for the first of November? Dig out your skeletons on Hallowe’en and try to put some meat on those bones.
In certain aspects during these last 12 years I’ve become ‘Italianised’ living here so close to the border. When I’m back in the UK I dread hotel sachets of instant coffee and certain coffee-house chains, famous apparently for their ‘Italian’ coffees, serve me an espresso the size of a large glass of wine. “No!” I want to shout. I don’t however, I just sit there sipping and dreaming of my trusty Moka at home. I like coffee, very much in fact but as I already have a sleep disorder I was advised not to drink it after 2pm. However, when I wake up the first thing after splashing my face is the preparation of the Moka. Then I can work. Like, about now…
Once I was a fruit on a tree
Then they dried me, fried me
Made a coffee bean of me
I wrote to a fellow blogger today with the following gripe. Thinking about it further I thought I’d put it on here and see if anyone had anything to add, apart from “tough titty l’il kitty” maybe.
The pitfalls of blogging: You can’t use the blog as a ‘published’ credit on your writing resume but you can’t submit work to competitions that has been ‘published’ on your blog. I’m sure there’s logic in there somewhere but…
My reasoning is that a blog, irrespective of whether it has 5 followers or 5000, makes available for public viewing a piece of work. More so if that blog post then receives feedback – proof in black and white that someone has read it. However the reasoning against is that editors/agents are usually looking for evidence that other editors/agents have rated your writing highly enough to publish it.
So, where does that leave your blog post? Unless you are lucky enough to have had an editor or agent knocking on your door to use it why can it not then be used as a submission to a competition. Maybe the Swiss sunshine has gone to my head but I’m darned if I can figure it out.
My room is cramped
No furniture anywhere
The walls are soft
My cold tea in a plastic cup
My jacket fits
White, if a little tight
My pills are good
I feel no pain
In my private Bedlam
My madness is mine
And mine alone
Are you jealous of me
and my freedom?
You think I should be hidden…