A new site worth getting to know

I’ve just launched a new site focusing in more detail on microfiction. I hope that regular smallstoriesaboutlove readers will take a look. I’ll continue to publish stories here and use this site as the experimental writing space it has become. But I want to delve a little further into the theory and practice of microfiction as well as creating a more engaging on-line presence for my own broader practice, hence the new site.

The new site is called Big Story Small. It can be viewed at bigstorysmall.com.

I’d love to get some feedback and please, if you’re interested in very short fiction, consider following bigstorysmall – I guarantee there’ll be plenty of great posts, news and information for writers and readers alike.

You can also now follow me on Twitter, where I’ll be posting Twitter-sized stories, some new and others rewritten and edited to suit that format. My first Twitter story has just been published at @bigstorysmall.

I hope smallstoriesaboutlove readers enjoy these new sites.

What you wish for

Dad and Liz, which is what I call Mum ‘coz she hates ‘Mum’, like it makes her sound old, as if she isn’t, but that’s her problem, are having another big fight downstairs. Liz is on about money again. About why other women in our street have got this and that and why they go places on holidays. ‘Actual places,’ she says, ‘on planes,’ like that ‘ll hurt him big time which is what she wants. But he just goes, ‘Planes. Really?’ Then there’s a crash and another plate hits the wall. And I sneak into their room which is where I’ve always gone when they’re like this and I start going through their drawers. I don’t know why but it makes me feel better looking at grown up things to remind me they’re more grown up than me and so far they haven’t actually messed me up too bad. And even Mum seems like someone soft you could like when you’re looking at her creams and her frilly things and I can block out the racket they’re making.

After I look through Mum’s stuff for anything new, but it’s just the usual goo for skin and corns, which is hard bits on your feet, and bras and pills to stop babies and stuff like that I go round Dad’s side of the bed and there’s a big envelope on his table and it’s been opened and I think wouldn’t it be good if it said, Dear Mr Harrison, you got that divorce you wanted and you can take Ryan but he’ll have to see his mum on weekends, something like that ‘coz that would be the best thing I reckon. But I know about letters and I know it’s not right so I don’t touch it and I look through his drawers instead and there’s the ciggies he’s not supposed to smoke and a whole lot of loose change and old watches and rubbers to stop babies and downstairs in the kitchen there’s another crash and shouting and my eyes keep going back to the envelope and it gets so as I have to look what’s there ‘coz it might be something like that about starting new just Dad and me so I pull the paper out and it’s addressed to him and it’s from some laboratory and I think maybe he’s sick. Maybe he’s real sick. And it’s hard to read ‘coz I don’t know all the words but half-way I realise it’s about me which it calls ‘the child in question’ and it’s saying something about why he’s not really my dad.

Downstairs goes quiet. There’s footsteps coming up. Usually that’s when I’d run out, fast.

Real cars

There was a time, Don remembered, when V8s ruled the highways. Proper cars. Valiants and Falcons. Chargers. Now the streets were clogged to a standstill with putt-putts. That’s what he called them. And what good had they done. Bugger all for all he could tell. The summers were hotter than Hades. Winter was cold but dry. The whole city drank recycled piss for God’s sake. And if a fella like him wanted to, if he hadn’t had his licence taken from him years ago, he couldn’t drive a decent car.

Lenny arrived. The kid was a disappointment. He worked for the government for a start, some sort of scientist. It was Lenny and that Clara who’d put him in this place.

Against my will, Don grumbled as Lenny straightened the photos on his dresser. What sort of family…

You been taking your pills? said Lenny.

Those pills ‘ll kill me, said Don.

You wanna live like this? said Lenny.

Whadda you think. You tell me.

Take the pills Dad, said Lenny. They’ll either kill you or make you feel better. You can’t lose.

Bugger you, said Don. He knew the score. He’d been at the home longer than anyone. He’d watched the others arrive like him, defeated. He’d seen them come over all smiles for a while. He’d watched them getting taken out.

Happy, happy, happy, die, he said.

You’re making it up, Dad, said Lenny.

Am I? said Don. And you with your government job. Don’t talk to me about making things up.

He closed his eyes. His head filled with the scream of a big donk hauling steel from nought to a hundred in the time it took to smell rubber burning on tarmac. All the good things were gone now. Outside the last of the dying pine trees was being taken out. They’d planted cactuses.