This time last year, I was just starting my journey with writing. Even with the new jobs, three moves and visiting eleven countries, I did it. I wrote. Now I am a writer.
As a relative beginner, I still feel uneasy saying this, but as sure as eggs is eggs - writers write. Writing remains a hobby for me, but dedicating time and effort to it will help me go as far as I want with it. To date, I've completed ten short stories or so and was fortunate enough to have one published recently in Storgy Magazine.
Between stories, songs, poems and blogs, I keep myself occupied by writing flash fiction. Last year I had a short piece published in Flash Fiction Magazine which was a great way to start my 'portfolio'.
My goals for this year are to keep penning short stories for magazines to get my work out into the wild. Of course I'd love some competition success too.
Holding back my best work for submissions and entry into contests can be a little difficult at times. I would like to share more, but until I achieve more publications, you will have to settle for my 'B' work. However, I couldn't talk about flash fiction so much without giving you an example, so here goes.
I’m lonelier now than when I was dead. At least the boffins in white coats kept me company, now I barely say a word all day. The only communication I have is with the Redbournes, and I do find them rather a pain.
They’re so frightfully hurried with everything, there’s just no time to enjoy a good natter any more. It seems that communication now is just a series of auto-electronic transmissions, PH checks and Pulsar display numbers. What happened to brisk country walks and listening to the Archers? What happened to putting the world to rights in the smoking room? Come to think of it, what in blue blazes happened to smoking?
The Redbournes are my reanimation hosts, my guides to the Twenty Second Century. I would have hoped that with all the money I poured into the damned cryogenic project, they would have put me with someone who understood me a bit more. Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, a pillar of the local community, philanthropist and was 16th in line for the British throne at one point. I haven’t even asked them who sits on it now. It’s been a miserable fortnight for me, and a rather miserable hundred and fifty years for Blighty from what I can gather.
I suppose I’d be lost without my hosts, Henrik and Stephanie - a fifty five year old baby without the slightest idea what to eat or even how to get anywhere. My new ‘parents’ certainly scold me like a child, part of the ‘cultural sensitivity’ training. It seems that you can’t even point out the obvious without doing something wrong. Take yesterday for example, the beast that I touched has the same rights as us thoroughbreds apparently. Stephanie slapped my hand after I touched its downy face and it immediately started clicking away on its communicator. She had to give it two thousand credits to get it to withdraw the injunction. Here I was thinking it was bad enough opening the borders, and now we’re growing lower IQ humanoids to cover the labour shortage.
Stephanie means well, but she is very sensitive, a bit of a prude. Her hair is just the wrong shade of brown and she looks as stiff as a toy soldier in her Kevlar uniform. But what she lacks in beauty, she makes up for in good old fashioned gumption. She goes off every five minutes like a buzzer telling you’ve got the wrong answer. She even got a zapper, to stop me touching, but that’s normal - all of us cryogenic dinosaurs can’t help ourselves. Contact used to be essential, now it can be deadly. I have to settle for imaginary bottom squeezes when she’s not watching.
Her life partner is a plain bore, a robotic drone counting his electronic credits. He has an accountant’s moustache and is so thin it looks like a stiff breeze could knock him over. And he never puts that silly scanner down either. It’s an air quality measurement tool, about the size of a referee’s whistle, that sends data back to the EPO hub.
I used to have a daily stream of visitors at Whiteclyffe Manor, now the blasted Redbournes are the only people I speak to. Speaking is not common here you see, everyone interacts using their communicator. The world outside is both a cacophony of machines and oddly quiet at times.
Suicide is not uncommon among the thawed. This world can be a bit much to get used to. My sterile unit is safer than a padded cell, I probably couldn’t even break a nail in here. They must sense the despair, even though we don’t talk about how I feel. That’s probably why Henrik sits closest when they’re here, a wire barrier with his toy laser pointing around the room. He probably read it in their ‘how to acclimatise a gentleman’ e-manual.
I can hear the ground floor bulkhead opening, they must be back from work. I better get ready for my physical routine and tonight's sensitivity lectures. Blessed contact with my two jailers.
Thanks for reading. Just as a final note, I have entered a weekly 150 word competition and need your vote! My piece is called Silver Lightning and is around the 30th page of the book.