Saturday, December 20, 2008

MEG AND THE BLOWFLY (or Don't ask your family for help with fiction)

(As the links to the right of my blog will reveal, I am part of a writers' group. We have monthly assignments that we can contribute and the fiction below is a response to one of the topics. The task involved writing about "diamond, fly and beer". My imagination produced the work below.)

“What noise does a blowfly make when it hits a window?” I asked the family.


“No. No. Not buzzing. I can’t use that. It’s a cliché. I can’t use a cliché.”

Despite my concerns, the family vehemently insisted that buzzing was the only word for a distressed blowfly.

“I can’t use buzzing in my opening sentence.”

“Well don’t make it the opening sentence.” The son said.

“It has to be the opening sentence. The fly being trapped at the window sets up the storyline.”

‘Why?” The son asks.

“Because of my next sentence: “Tell me about it.” Meg scoffed. “I’ve been trapped in this house for 36 years. The last four have been in solitary confinement.”

“Who is Meg? Do I know her?” The son asks mischievously.

“Why is she trapped in the house?” The spouse asks.

“Because her children expect her to maintain the family home even though they never visit and she is left to pay all the ongoing expenses.”

“Why don’t her kids visit?”

“Because Andrew is a solicitor in London and Jody and her family live on the other side of the continent.”

“Why can’t her son be a Formula One driver or a C.I.A. agent?” The son asks.

“And why can’t Jody be a long haul truck driver?” The spouse asks.

“I need one of them to be settled and responsible.” I explain. “Meg has put the house on the market and she is going to travel Australia and New Zealand by house-sitting. So she needs one of them to be responsible for the family heirlooms.”

“What’s house-sitting?” The son asks.

“There are websites where you can contact people who need someone to live in their house, feed their pets, collect mail and look after their indoor plants and gardens while they are away for a period of weeks or months. You don’t get paid but you get free accommodation. I looked up the sites and some of the houses are in really nice places. So that is what Meg is going to do.”

The second half of the football game had resumed on TV and my advisors lost interest in my story.

Meg sorted through her meager collection of jewelry. She decided to keep her diamond engagement ring, her wedding ring, a string of pearls and three pairs of earrings.

She placed the rest into a padded postal bag and addressed it to Andrew.

She had been feeling lighter, happier and free since listing the house and shedding her chattels. Her aim was to fit her belongings into one large suitcase and one large piece of hand luggage.

Soon she would be an itinerant touring the country in her small car stopping off to house-sit now and then but basically she would have ‘no fixed address’.

“Just like Jody.” She smiled.

There was an ad break on the TV and the spouse strolled over with a cold can of beer.

“How is it going?”

“Good. I have decided to take your advice. Jody is going to be a long haul truck driver.”

Michelle © 2008

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