Twelve Days of Fast Fiction, Day 06: EMBARGOED UNTIL MIDNIGHT

Posted: 18 December 2013 in 12DaysFF, fast fiction, fiction, writing
Tags: , , , , ,

Corrie Corfield has one of the hardest jobs on British radio; she’s a Radio 4 continuity announcer and newsreader, and her professionalism shines through every broadcast, every announcement, every time she’s on air.

Although I’d been a fan of her voice and her work for years, it was a particular delight to finally meet her a couple of years ago and discover she’s even more lovely in person. On an entirely personal note, there are times I’ve been very grateful for a calm voice on the radio late at night.

Corrie Corfield is the current world record holder for Radio 4 late shifts.

Title: Embargoed Until Midnight
Word: Lundy
Challenger: Corrie Corfield
Length: 200 words exactly

Ten minutes to go. She knew it, but still her eyes flickered to the brass clock on her mantlepiece for confirmation. Ten minutes.

She walked to the window, pulled the thick green curtain to one side and stared into the darkness, picking up faint lights coming across the Bristol Channel from Lundy, then shivered and let the velvet drop.

The envelope was waiting for her; it was laying there on the table, firm blue writing against a cream background; her name.

She was scared. She admitted that now, minutes before she opened it; frightened of what it might mean. To her, to everything.

A couple of minutes still and then — BONG!

The chiming of the clock surprised her and with sudden movement, before she could change her mind, she opened the envelope.

A card, with a cheerful Robin upon the front; “Merry Christmas, I love you” on the inside in perfect copperplate.

And then the memories hit her: the six decades of devotion, sixty years of happiness.

Ten years he’d been gone. And every year she was sure the feelings would fade. Until she opened his final Christmas Card on the stroke of midnight and surrendered to remembrances of love.

© Lee Barnett, 2013

This story is part of The Twelve Days of Fast Fiction (More information on the Twelve Days here)
Day 01: The Misanthropic Principle – challenger: Jamais Cascio
Day 02: Robot Ghosts of Apocalypse – challenger: Cherie Priest
Day 03: Every Word Is Wrong – challenger: Si Spurrier
Day 04: The Train Didn’t Come – Challenger: Emma Vieceli
Day 05: Living Happily Ever After – Challenger: Neil Gaiman
Day 07: He’s Making A List – Challenger: Mitch Benn
Day 08: Fingers On The Windowpane – Challenger: Leah Moore
Day 09: Santa Abduction Narratives Recalled – Challenger: Paul Cornell
Day 10: Copula Numb – Challenger: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Day 11: It Lived Under Monday – Challenger: Sarah Pinborough
Day 12: Batman Sure Likes Tea – Challenger: Tiernan Douieb

Edit to add: An ebook of all twelve stories is available for $0.99. Click here for details.


“There are two hundred stories collected in this volume. They are funny, they are thoughtful, they are romantic, they are frightening. To me, though, they are more than entertaining. They are inspiring.” – Wil Wheaton, from his introduction to volume 2 of The Fast Fiction Challenge

Two volumes of The Fast Fiction Challenge, containing 180 stories in Volume 1 and a further 200 stories in Volume 2, for £3.00 each, are available in ebook format from the author; email for details.

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