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Posts Tagged ‘Short story’

Fragment: The Enthusiast

In Creative Writing Department, Fragment, Short story on September 26, 2009 at 1:32 pm

It breaks my heart, but I’m still writing fragments, getting two thirds or less into any given story before moving on to something else. My head just can’t maintain an interest in any one story for long enough to get through it. Here’s one I was trying to write into a blog that never got off the ground, doing so in the hope that writing it up in this way may mean that people oversaw what I was doing and kept me on track. It didn’t work. I found this in its present state yesterday, a year and a half (and a long, long, year and a half) after making a start on it. The story would have been rich. I would have lived it. I know I did. The characters fully alive. And then, a few cursory notes at the bottom is hardly enough to bring it back. That goes for a fragment a year and a half old, but also, as I have recently discovered, for stories abandoned, stalled, only weeks ago. My mind changes its climate and entire focus so quickly. It breaks my heart. Make of it what you will:

The Enthusiast

– Thanks for sticking it out, I said. It was one of the first things I had said like that and meant it.

– It’s ok, she said.

– I’ll finally be able to lose this gut, I said, grabbing at my stomach and shaking it up and down under my untucked shirt. I had always been a streak of piss, and big into my running, until the restaurant opened, after which, if I wasn’t there, I was necking back a pint or three, often in the casino with the guys and girls. I hadn’t had a decent, unrushed meal in eighteen months.

Karen was my sous chef, a tough girl who had run away from the back of beyond, somewhere in North Wales to be precise, where her Mum and Dad had gone to run a B & B after a hard life in Sheffield. Her Mum had come down with ME when she was thirteen getting shit from the locals at school for being English – the idea of settling down into the towns they had spent most of their lives hating didn’t go down too well – and staying at home to cook and help out had seemed like a much better option than going in to school to have them switch to Welsh when she came near, the bastards. But when her mum and dad started having problems she turned up back in Sheffield to seek out a few old friends. The few who were left, and who didn’t have kids, didn’t want to know, but she found herself a job in the kitchen of a pub ands worked all hours and got herself a place, worked hard and got herself through catering college in the evenings, until she moved down to the midlands with an ex, only to be unceremoniously dumped for some slapper he met at a karaoke bar when she was working one Saturday night.

She’s a grafter. Read the rest of this entry »