Yesterday’s story from Lily took a character from my draft novel, Who Is Eric? She’s a nice person, but she’s a product of her times and her assumptions about race, together with the language she uses, don’t correspond to how most of us feel today.
On this last day of Voice Week, I thought I’d go somewhere different. This character is also called Eric but has nothing to do with the novel. He’s poached from elsewhere. If you don’t recognise him, click here after reading.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the week!
Sometimes, you just want something sweet and tasty and brightly-coloured. It’s not an addiction, barely even a habit. I could stop at any time. How much difference can just one make?
Sometimes only a banana will do and never mind the consequences.
But of course, I do mind the consequences. The cost of replacing clothes I burst out of, for one thing. And lying to my wife. That’s why Clark and Lois never settled down. That, and the question of kids … too many unknowns there. Luckily, Fiona can’t have them. Kids, that is. It’s me who can’t touch bananas.
I hope you felt for Charlotte yesterday. I’ve been in her position many times whilst nursing and rocking Sebastian and my biggest challenge in writing her story was to convey the desperation of just-out-of-reach sustenance in 100 words punctuated with nursery rhymes. There’s an analogy in there somewhere 😉
We’re going somewhere else today, to a character from one of my draft novels, Who Is Eric. I haven’t wheeled Lily out of my mind for a while, but I’d love to know what you think about her. Please note, her story does come with a LANGUAGE WARNING.
Oh lovely, dear. Yes, I would like a banana. Keeps the joints healthy, you know? And very good for weight loss. You should try them. Are you dieting? I suppose you grew up on bananas though, back home.
Oh? Walthamstow, really? I just thought… Mind you, you never can tell these days. Our postman – black as the ace of spades, but when he talks, you’d think he grew up nextdoor. As a matter of fact, he did. We knew him when he was a boy. First gollywog in the school. Can’t call them that either these days, can you?
Friday Fiction will be back next week – in the meantime please enjoy Voice Week – a 100 word story each day this week.
Did you meet Brenda yesterday? Did you find her the same grumbling, middle-aged busybody, who discovered her neighbour in the trash a few weeks ago? Brenda was hard for me because I don’t know anyone quite like her in real life, but also because she is North American and I never manage to catch all the Britishisms in my writing. How did I do yesterday?
Today, it’s Charlotte’s turn and I feel like I’m on safer ground, but do le me know what you think about her.
And she’s gone. If I can just shift her slightly off my… Shit. Shhh, shhh, twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are … That’s it, back to sleep, sweetheart, shh shh.
Ok. Now, what was I was doing? Ah, the banana. I put it within reach, so I can lean over … yes!
Now. To peel it, one-handed, without moving. No, no. Shh. Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree top. Mama put you up there so she could eat a banana. Or have a nap. Or … no, Charlotte, don’t even think about a toilet break or you’re doomed.
Yesterday was the first day of Voice Week and you met Sebastian. If you haven’t read the story already, please feel free to drop by. If you have, I hope you met a lovely but conflicted toddler, whose Mama is genuinely trying to help but runs the risk in turns of going too far and not far enough in helping him eat his banana. Oh yes, and he loves apple pie.
Today is Brenda’s turn. Again, I’d love to know who you think she is and how well you think her voice is shown in this extract.
Oh, Roger. I knew I shouldn’t have asked him to buy groceries. Men can’t do it right. They think “bananas” means, “the first bunch you see”. But it doesn’t. It’s an art, picking bananas. And a science. Too green and they’ll never ripen; too yellow and they’re already past their best. But black? Honestly.
These are going to be vile. Not even suitable for making into banana bread. They’ve clearly been kicking about the store’s floor for a week. Black, bruised and … yes, they taste just as bad. Soft and over-sweet. How can something so good go so wrong?
Welcome! It’s Voice Week and my challenge for the week is to show you five different people, all eating a banana. I’m not sure exactly how that particular subject came about, but perhaps there’s a clue in the slice of life that is Voice 1.
Those of you who know me have a head start with this one, but the challenge for all 5 pieces is the same. How much can you tell about the character from 100 words centred on a banana? Are their voices distinct? I’ve delibately avoided description – do their thoughts alone tell you who they are? Because the characters in my head are pretty fixed, but only you can decide how well I’ve translated them onto the page. Leave me a comment today, or every day if you care to, and let me know. A brief explanation will appear the day after, on the next story.
Bastian banana! Maaamaaaa! Banana!
Climb. Bastian chair. Mama chair. Mama sit.
Noooooo! Bastian banana!
Yum yum. Mama chair. Mama sit.
What colour banana? Red. No. Blue. No. <Giggles> Red. No. Yellow. Banana yellow. Yellow!
Banana. Mama open? Mama open?
Noooo! No open. Mama no open! Bastian do it.
Mama do it.
Noooo! Bastian banana! Nooo! Mama no open!
Banana broken! No banana! All done. Gone.
No wash! Down! Down!
Bastian banana. Yum yum. Mama open. Yum yum yum. Mama eat.
No! Bastian banana!
Bastian banana. Yum yum.
Nice. More banana. More. Yum yum.
Banana all gone. Apple pie?
Some banana-free time!
Another year of Voice Week is over. Everyone’s series(es) can be found at Voiceweek HQ.
You can see my entries throughout last week – it doesn’t matter what order you read them in, so feel free to just click back through. I tried to capture the same situation – a mother’s love for her son going off to war, but from the point of view of five different mothers. I hope the love and the fear came through all of them. Thanks to those who have taken the time to stop by and comment. If you haven’t yet, I’d love to hear what you thought.
Do I have favourites? You bet I do.
For a new take on the view of 5 characters in an old story, LoveTheBadGuy
For five different looks at immigration / emigration (A subject close to my heart), LLDFiction.
For a little mystery, set up, thrown around and knocked down all in 500 words, our leader: BeKindRewrite.
Another great year!
Here’s the final installment of my Voice Week entries. You can see what it’s all about, and read the first installment in Monday’s post, then follow the other voices over the rest of the week. The voices are designed to be read in any order.
Thanks for reading along!
Guns in the Toy Box
So, he’s a Commando now. Off to kill some innocents in another pointless war. I heard through his sister.
I knew he’d turn out that way. Always had guns in the toy box, thanks to my ex. Just like his father: first into the fray, last one to consider anyone else’s point of view. He’d no more be an ordinary soldier than an ordinary son. Why not go blow up some people who never did anything to him?
Mind you, though, he’d better not come back dead. If he does, I don’t know who I’ll kill first – him or his father.
Here’s the fourth installment of my Voice Week entries. You can see what it’s all about, and read the first installment in Monday’s post, then #2 and #3 yesterday and the day before. The voices are designed to be read in any order.
Guns in the Toy Box
I understand he wants to see his heritage. I just never imagined it like this. He says he’s among friends. He calls them his brothers. But you hear stories. How they’re so deeply brainwashed they see the enemy among their comrades. He says he’s careful: prays away from the others, doesn’t rub his faith in their faces, but a Mother worries. Can these boys really tell a radical Muslim from a good follower of the Prophet?
And what about the locals? Will they see him as a hypocrite – an invader who should know better?
In sha’Allah, he will be safe.
Here’s the third installment of my Voice Week entries. You can see what it’s all about, and read the first installment in Monday’s post. #2 was yesterday. The voices are designed to be read in any order.
Guns in the Toy Box
There has been a Blythe in the Royal Marines since before there was a Royal Marines. Teddy knows the risks; his father was wounded out in Kosovo, but there is no way he wouldn’t have joined up. Doesn’t every little boy want to be like his Daddy?
He used to look through the medals and berets in my Pop’s cabinet when he was tiny. He even played with Pop’s old Webley. Safety catch on. Not loaded, of course. Pop gave it to him for his fifth birthday, said a boy needs to grow up knowing the man he will become.
Here’s the second installment of my Voice Week entries. You can see what it’s all about, and read the first installment in yesterday’s post. The voices are designed to be read in any order.
Guns in the Toy Box
Royal Marines Commando. Them’s no ordnary soldiers them. Makes im special. Top one percent thingy. 99.99% Need Not Apply.
Bloody love im. Couldn’t be more proud. Raised him up good, din I? ‘Fe wants to go bring peace to some Godforsaken shithole. Keep them rag’eds in line.
I knew, course. Makin’ guns out of his sister’s doll before e could walk. Bought ‘im a toy pistol when e was five; never looked back.
Just ‘slong as they bring ‘im back in one piece, course. Got ‘is Uncle wot’s a lawyer to write ‘em a letter. You bring my boy back OK.