Decaf Kisses on a Costa Coffee Cup
I don’t often write poetry, but I sort of think it’s good for my soul to at least try from time to time. Anyway, this one comes from the very first writing exercise from the very first week of my Creative Writing MA. It wasn’t a poem at the time. The Uni had an on-site Costa and the tutor drained his cup, put it in the middle of the floor and said – there you go guys, write something creative about that. So I did and it turned into this.
This story started as a long-weekend golf trip with the boys and ended up with eight nights in a Spanish hospital complete with bed baths. I must say the Spanish nursing staff and care were wonderful – even the bed baths! Although if you’re going to snap a tendon in your leg best make sure you don’t do it on a Friday afternoon as the Spanish insurance companies won’t talk to you until Monday.
Of Brownian Motion Spotted Woodpeckers and Unicorns
You don’t get out a lot in lockdown. Perhaps that makes you more observational or perhaps makes the observations you make more acute. Certainly, with no noise from people around you, you have a lot more time to think about and question things. Well, that’s what I find anyway – you might never see a Unicorn, but Brownian Motion is alive and well and living in the vegetable aisles of your supermarket.
A story of love and circumcision, this 680 word piece of flash ‘fiction’ is actually based on a combination of real-life university experiences. This piece was unpublished by an online magazine called ‘Great Ape’ who, seemingly thinking this was more ‘flesh fiction’ than flash fiction, at least had the decency to send me the following rejection note:
Thank you for giving us a chance to read “The Drawback”. Unfortunately, we will not be publishing it in our upcoming issue. For flash fiction, we are of the opinion that the story has to be very clear to engage the reader right away. We felt that the story of your piece was not adequately fleshed out, no pun intended. We wish you the best of luck finding a market for your piece and hope that you will keep us in mind for future submissions.
To my mind readers will go the full 680 words – personally I’d rather have a sting in the tail.
There were several things that struck me about Covid and lockdown. One was the fact that whilst lifestyle was put into an induced coma, life still went on happening. Another was how protocols that had existed all of our lives, like going to see the GP if you had a medical problem, were so rapidly abandoned. Today the whole of the National Health Service seems just a telephone call away. Which in the case of this true slice of life proved a positive blessing.