Saturday, 28 September 2013

A Short Story On Parenting

An excellent fellow I follow on Twitter that goes by the handle of @DustandLove is running a competition. It's not a jumping, running or even cooking comp, no, it's a writing one. Here's a link :

Three hundred words on the lose title of parenting. 

This is me, tossing my hat in the ring....

Cliff needed a pint of milk, a pint of milk and a packet of fags.  He fetched Trevor and headed out of the door, T-shirt, jeans, flip flops and wallet. He checked he had his keys  and as he did he caught himself in the mirror. He wasn’t sure what a forty four year old ‘him’ was meant to look like, but he figured he was keeping the paunch under control and so he couldn’t really complain.

     Walking towards the station he saw a girl, yet to be a woman but taking her steps rapidly there; a girl about his daughters age, and she was clearly in distress, chasing another girl on a bike while screaming, pleading with the cyclist to come back and talk. But she speeds swiftly away obviously  distressed as well. 

     The chasing girl slumps to the concrete floor, right there in the middle of the exit to the car park sobbing and before Cliff even knows what he’s going to say he’s down there at her side, talking to her. Trevor is sniffing around and she’s hugging the big shaggy dog. They really hit it off straight away.

     He knows it’s confusing and life can be hard and he doesn’t offer her solutions, just a shoulder and his time; the most precious thing that he ever gave to his own daughter.

     Cliff, Trevor and Anne sit for a while, the sun is shining and after ten minutes she’s ready to face the rest of her day again. She thanks him and he tells her not to worry, gives her the bus money and heads on his way to the shops. She walks away still sad but now calmer, ready to face the difficult conversation with Susan later.

     He has a smoke and heads back home again.

There ya go @DustandLove, that's my best shot right now. 

Oh, and of course I'd love you to comment right here if you have any thoughts. :-)


  1. Hey man, I like it, I think it has a nice little message in it (if I'm reading it how you intended it to be read).

    I don't know if you were deliberately making your life more difficult, but you've repeated four words in the first line (a pint of milk, a pint of milk...)

  2. I hope so, I think being a parent is a mind set and we carry it on us even when our children aren't with us. :-)

    Just felt right for Cliff to have that repetition there, the milk is almost a necessity but the fags are seen as a luxury, yet when you're out of fags there isn't much that deviates your path. That's how I was before I quit anyway.

    Cheers for the comment.

  3. So real, once you start bring a parent you never really switch off even when the children aren't your own.

    1. Thanks. :-) I must say I really enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone and doing this very short form fiction. The other entrants really are top notch.

  4. I like the way this is written, almost as if you're a bystander watching the situation unfold. A gentle nudge to the soul. Brilliant stuff.

  5. Ta. Really enjoyed the comp and it was good to try something new.