These pieces have been re-worked from two of my previous longer stories to meet the strictures of the Six Sentence Challenge and the prompt word ‘bookmark’.
Mark Martian and Eddie Earthling discuss novels
Mark Martian said to Eddie Earthling ‘Eddie, what are you doing?’ and Eddie replied ‘I’m writing a book, Mark, or a novel to be precise’ which led to Mark’s query ‘What is a novel?’
Eddie explained that it was a collection of pages with writing on them that contain a long story about characters the author has invented.
Mark looked puzzled and asked ‘What purpose do they serve?’ to which Eddie replied ‘People read them for their amusement.
Mark laughed and said ‘Why have your people never evolved?’ to which Eddie replied tartly ‘We’re working on it. In the meantime, I’m writing a novel.’
Realising that he may have offended Eddie, Mark said ‘So what will your ‘long story’ be about?’ to which Eddie replied ‘It’s about a man who has conversations with a Martian.’
Mark scoffed ‘But that’s not an invention, it’s true’ to which Eddie responded quietly ‘Only if I say so, Mark’ and returned to his keyboard.
Geoffrey imagined a pastoral nirvana when he retired to his ramshackle country cottage.
As he broke up the hardened clay in the ‘garden’ of his new home, he saw a young lad dressed in torn jeans and a brand-name T-shirt, watching his place. In the city, he would have imagined the boy was probably hatching a plan to rob him but not here he smiled to himself and continued his labour.
Later that night, the boy looked into Geoffrey’s front room window and spied the layback chair where Geoffrey was stretched out, accompanied a half-empty whisky bottle, an ashtray full of butts, a tattered paperback with a chocolate wrapper as a bookmark and a thick, battered wallet.
Geoffrey wore a pair of large last century headphones, his eyes closed tightly and his arms gesturing rhythmically as he clutched a wooden spoon baton in his right hand, conducting the Bach concerto blaring from his speakers.
Geoffrey believed the myth that country people don’t lock their doors, so the boy entered easily and silently, grabbed the wallet and padded, in his stolen Nikes, into the welcoming night.
+ Shameless Plug
I am delighted to announce the launch of my collection of short fiction, ‘On the verge of extinction’, now available at Amazon.com in the US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B7L4JYJY and at https://tinyurl.com/mt3f7yp4 in Australia and https://tinyurl.com/3c6bv3rp in the UK. If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, it’s free anywhere!
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