As my contribution to the Festival of Drabbles in November 2015, I will be using this page for an event on the 14th November.
Here’s my set-up at the event.
I’m having trouble encouraging people to write their own drabbles on the spot, but here’s a little true story I’ve written using one of my own writing prompts!
My first pet
He was a goldfish called Jeremy. He didn’t have a beard, a bicycle or a tendency to rebel against party leaders and then become one, but he was probably a vegetarian. All he had was a bowl to swim around in all day, at first with his room-mate Ginger and then on his own. One morning he was found floating on the surface of the water.
I was inconsolable. My mother made a heroic, but misguided, effort to cheer me up.
‘Fish and chips for tea!’ she announced, and wondered why I ran screaming from the room.
Here’s a link to the Festival site (there is also a Facebook page):
Today I found my first ever drabble, and here it is:
A Thoughtful Gift
I love her so much I’m going to get her a really nice present. Something warm and fluffy and pretty because she’s so sweet.
I’m carrying it into the house now. Will I leave it on her bed? In her slippers? On the stairs?
I’d better hide it under the fridge so that she doesn’t see it too soon and spoil the surprise. Here she comes now.
‘Felix! How could you? It was such a dear little bird.’
She likes it so much she’s waving her paws in the air and miaowing a lot.
I’ll get her another present tomorrow.
Here is a series of 3 drabbles I wrote in 2012, when some people were confidently predicting the Apocalypse.
Apocalypse 1: Critical Mss
The chief scientist spoke to the President.
‘I’m afraid we’re approaching critical mss, sir.’
‘I’m not a scientist, but surely you mean critical mass, don’t you?’
The scientist shook his head. ‘No, it’s definitely critical mss.’
‘What does that mean exactly?’
‘It’s when the amount of electronically published material is so unbearably vast that it causes an imbalance in the physics of the earth’s rotation and we spin off uncontrollably into space. It’s the electrons, you see. There are just too many of them.’
‘Have you written up this important theory somewhere? Published it online?’ The president paused. ‘No, wait…’
Apocalypse 2: The Black Vole
The chief scientist spoke to the President again.
‘I’m afraid we’re under imminent threat from a black vole, sir.’
‘I’m no astrophysicist, but don’t you mean a black hole?’
‘No, definitely a black vole. It’s eight feet high with razor-sharp teeth.’
The President sighed heavily. ‘Is there anything we can do?’
‘We’re developed a prototype. Say hello to Fluffy.’
The door opened, and a ten-foot high robotic cat stalked into the room, seized the President and shook him until he cried out for mercy.
He sent a message later from his hospital bed. ‘Let’s take our chances with the vole.’
Apocalypse 3: Unclear Winter
The chief scientist tried to see the President.
‘Tell him I’ve emigrated.’ The President still had the scars from Robocat.
‘But I think we’re in for an unclear winter.’
‘It’s nuclear winter! I’m not a physicist but I know we can’t have one of those unless we detonate an atom bomb.’
‘No, it’s definitely unclear. I’m disappearing. I was trying to get rid of the critical mss but it got sucked into the black vole and spat out again as negative energy.’
The President opened the door. The scientist flickered like a faulty light-bulb.
‘Look!’ he said. ‘I’ve gone unclear.’
The next little story is my latest attempt at a drabble .
The blankness of November
I start back in horror at the sight that meets my eyes.
It’s a blankness so complete and so pervasive that it seeps into my soul.
A blankness so blank and so grey that even the sun pouring in through the conservatory roof doesn’t make any impact on it.
A blankness that makes all other blanknesses look as if they’re brimming with colour and detail…
For goodness’ sake, it’s only a blank screen! Stop procrastinating and just write the damn novel. And anyway, there’s no such word as blankness, never mind the plural version.
National Novel Writing Month starts here.
And here’s one I made much earlier:
I squinted along the line of my arm at the little group, preparing to take aim at one of them. Not the weakest – where was the fun in that? – but the strongest, the leader.
Everything was still. A droplet of sweat began to form between my eyebrows. I willed it not to trickle down my nose and spoil the drama of the moment.
It was up to me now. The world had paused, waiting for me to make my move.
I raised the baton and pointed it at my chosen target.
And all the violas came in, perfectly in time.