57 minus/plus 00: 20,819 days

Posted: 17 August 2021 in 57 minus, 57 plus, birthday, fast fiction, fiction
Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s my fifty-seventh birthday today. Which, if it comes as news to you, means you really haven’t been paying much attention at all.

As on previous birthdays, I’ve absolutely no intention of blogging about anything serious, nor about anything on subjects profound.

I’ll merely commend to you the worls of astronaut and Senator John Glenn:

“For all the advances in medicine, there is still no cure for the common birthday.” ‪

But since I don’t want to leave you with that alone, and as it is Tuesday, here are a couple of the creepier fast fictions I’ve written, both dealing with birthdays… of one sort or another.


Title: A Birthday Treat
Word: hazel
Challenger: [Livejournal: mrs_karen_bear]
Length: 200 words exactly

On the eve of her second ninetieth birthday, she realised once again that she found old age a great comfort; it allowed her to express herself so bluntly without others criticising that she often wondered at the correlation between age and misanthropy.

The Procedure.

It was always capitalised in her mind, much as her first boyfriend was forever The Boyfriend. The Procedure would return her body to the condition it was when she’d been 29, the deep lines on her face gone, and the vision from her once soft hazel eyes restored. She blinked, twice, and then swallowed.

When she’d had The Procedure the first time, six decades previously, she hadn’t understood everything, but she’d been so hungry to live, so consumed with the urge not to die, that she’d agreed within minutes of it being offered.

Over sixty years of extra life, sixty years of thinking, sixty years of watching the world change. They couldn’t promise any additional changes, of course.

She leaned forward in the chair and sipped the liquid slowly, wondering about another sixty years in the chair she’d been confined to since a teenager.

Quadriplegia. Another sixty birthdays of people waiting on her.

She couldn’t wait.

© Lee Barnett, 2009

Title: Birthday Promises
Word: western
Challenger: [Livejournal: rachieb1807]
Length: 200 words exactly

He shouldn’t have had the file; police records shouldn’t be removed, but he wasn’t the only retired detective to take home copies of unsolved cases, to look at in the empty days after leaving a lifetime’s work.

He opened the file and read her name, studied the picture, noted the date of birth, and did a quick mental calculation.

You’d have been 32 today, hunny.

The press had called him The Birthday Killer, because the girl had been killed on her twenty-first birthday. Well, it was assumed she’d been killed – they’d never found most of her body. Small parts of her body, yes, but not the torso, nor the head, nor all of her limbs.

Just like the others. Three hundred and sixty-six in all over a seventeen year period.

He’d sworn when he’d retired never to forget them. His squad’s biggest failure.

He returned the file to the cabinet, putting it in its correct place, among the almost four hundred similar files.

They’d never found her body. He knew that because he’d visited her grave in the western pasture that afternoon.

Tomorrow it would be another grave and another file.

He’d sworn when he’d retired never to forget them.

© Lee Barnett, 2010


See you tomorrow, with… something new.


Not really part of the series of blog entries, counting down to my fifty-seventh birthday today, but if you want to read the series, you can see the posts in the run by clicking here.

I’m trying something new with this run. I’ve signed up to ko-fi.com, so if you fancy throwing me a couple of dollars every so often, to keep me in a caffeine-fuelled typing mood, feel free. I’m on https://ko-fi.com/budgiehypoth

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