57 plus 37: Not quite touching

Posted: 23 September 2021 in 57 plus, 57 plus new fiction, fiction, new fiction, writing
Tags: , , , ,

This one surprised me.


Because I’m used to – for these posts at least – the stories that result, while short, being at least longer than the fast fictions.

But, as a friend once advised, a story should be as long as it needs to be. Not one word shorter, but not one word longer either.

And so it proved to be with this one. Entirely to, as I say, my surprise.

OK, the usual preface: Once upon a time, I partook in a project called Elephant Words, where a single image would inspire multiple stories from and by multiple authors.

When I decided to honour a promise to an old friend, and write new fiction once a week for the ’57…’ run, the first week’s was based on an image I’d come across serendipitously. And since then I’ve kept an eye out for images that spark something, that provoke the storytelling parts of my brain.

So that every week, I can write something brand new, a story written for this blog that no-one’s ever seen before, inspired by an image I come across entirely by chance.

I came across this photo by chance;

And this is the… story that it provoked. Exactly as long as I wanted it to be, as long as it needed to be. And not one syllable longer.

Not quite touching

I wanted to reach over, to hold her hand. But I didn’t.

I wanted to take her in my arms and kiss her. But I didn’t.

Instead we uttered trivialities, both of us avoiding what we wanted to say. We spoke… carefully; memories and hopes underscoring every word. The bell rang; we exchanged a long look. Then she left the room, and I went back to my prison cell, both of us heading for home.


© Lee Barnett, 2021



See you tomorrow, with… something else.



Fifty-seven more days. Fifty-seven more posts. One fifty-seventh birthday just had.

Just dropping this in here, as I was asked by message the other day: the best places to contact me outside the blog are via email at budgie@hypotheticals.co.uk and @budgie on Twitter.

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 quid every so often, to keep me in a caffeine-fuelled typing mood, feel free. I’m on https://ko-fi.com/budgiehypoth

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting up from my fifty-seventh birthday on 17th August 2021. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here. (And you can see the posts in the run counting down to the birthday here.)

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