Number Forty, Bramble Street

Your mother and father had been out at the pub. We were playing cards and talking about girls when they came home. “If you spent as much time doing homework as you do sitting on that sofa.” Your father’s voice was slurred. I started counting – reaching thirty before he said “I’m going to bed.” He collided with the table as he headed for the place the door used to be. No one spoke. I could hear him in the room above, crashing into the bed. It took ten minutes for the room to settle; for the cold to be swallowed by the fire. The cats curled back into position and tucked up their tails. When your father’s snores could be heard down the stairwell your mother said, “I don’t love him you know.” “How can you say that?” You punched the arm of the sofa. The cats’ ears swivelled like radar. “There’s nothing between us.” There was a tear on your cheek. You scraped it away with the sleeve of your shirt. “I’m going to bed,” you said. Your face was red; I couldn’t tell if it was anger or embarrassment. The room settled again. Your mother pulled a bottle of whisky from behind the shelf and sat on the sofa. Two glasses. Kicking off her shoes she draped her legs over mine. The intimacy was both exciting and frightening. My hands were shaking as I lifted the glass to my lips – the whisky like a brand in my throat. She pushed my hands down onto her legs. “Relax… I won’t bite.”

–Benjamin F Jones 
This was written in response to Deep Cove Writing Group’s exercise ‘Your mother’. Thanks to ALAISFAIRLIGHT for letting met take part.

About Graphite Bunny

I am a writer working in South Wales (UK). I love pizza, photography and moist clay. When it rains I catch drops in my open mouth. I create poetry, flash, absurdist snapshots and humorous fiction.
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15 Responses to Number Forty, Bramble Street

  1. IsobelandCat says:

    Any pix of Poolaloo? Or a description?

  2. IsobelandCat says:

    I like this. Short and strong.

  3. I really like that. Beautiful turns of phrase. I love the ‘cats’ ears curling like radar’. You’ve integrated the second person POV in a most masterful and seamless way.

    One of your best xxxx 🙂

  4. Thank you for mentioning me! Yay!:) As I said before, great story. Makes me want to write some micro fiction of my own….are you going to try the obituary? I’m not happy with what I came up with, going to try again. Sigh!

  5. Keith Parker says:

    I like this story. It’s very tough to pull off any story where you use second person a lot (as it were). I also happen to love flash fiction, but beyond that, this was a “page-turner” because I really did want to see how it ended. And it ends with a very unique twist.

    • Thank you very much for your comment. I did find it hard to address the reader as ‘you’ – it is author intrusion at its least subtle. A good exercise though – something that I wouldn’t have normally done. I enjoyed it.

      • Keith Parker says:

        Curious: My next blog post was going to be about author intrusion. It’s a difficult thing to pull off, but it’s cool when it works, and it worked with your story.

      • I look forward to reading your article on author intrusion. Will it include a section on characters doing data dumps onto the reader?

      • Keith Parker says:

        Yes, I hope so. I’ve attempted two drafts, and both have been too long. I try to keep my posts <500 words, but authorial intrusion is a tricky subject. So, stay tuned. Hopefully I can crank out something in the next few days.

        And thanks for continuing to read! I really appreciate it!

      • I enjoy you posts. Perhaps the fact that you try to keep them <500 words is part of the reason (not the only one). I have the attention span of a woodlouse.

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