I’m very pleased to host a short piece today from flash fiction/short story writer and blogger Allison Symes.
Time by Allison Symes
‘You won’t know what to do when retired, Judy.’
‘You’ll be back here in no time. You’ll get bored, Judy.’
Harrumph! My colleagues were wrong. I’d planned my retirement. I wanted every day to have something I’d look forward to – and it was going brilliantly.
On Mondays, I had Book Club. On Tuesdays, I went swimming. On Wednesdays, I was at the WI. On Thursdays, I would visit an English Heritage or National Trust property. On Fridays, I went to creative writing classes and later in the day cooking classes. (I can cook all right but you want to improve on what you do and I can now make a mean lamb rogan josh if I say so myself).
I saved weekends for boring things like housework, getting my shopping delivered and so on. The weekends are for families to be out and about. They don’t need me in their way. I refuse to be in theirs.
I lost my Joe years ago, poor love. Cancer is a devil. He was 50. We weren’t blessed with children either. But I’ve always known Joe would want me to live for him so that’s what I did at work and then in retirement.
Then bloody Covid-19 came. To begin with it was okay. I still have milk delivered and I’d used online food shopping for years. But I missed going out. I couldn’t have returned to work even if I wanted to then. Everyone was furloughed. From what I last heard on the community Facebook page, it looks as if my old firm won’t survive at all.
I got used to Zoom so still have my Book Club and WI but no swimming. I soon tired of “visiting” places by online means only though. I love walking for miles around these places and then going to their cafes for lunch and afternoon tea etc. Can’t do that at home!
The positive though has been my creative writing classes. Not only are they continuing on Zoom, I’ve now drafted several stories and I’m submitting a couple to publishers next week. I’ve had good feedback and if I don’t try, I won’t know, will I?
Oh I so want to feel the air again, to be able to walk as far as I want, and not have everyone shy away from me because it’s clear I’m in my sixties and may be vulnerable. I’ve never let my age get in the way and I resent a bloody virus for forcing this on us all. And I worry. Will people resent us older, “vulnerable” ones? I hope not but fear so.
I suppose I could write a story about it and have my heroine find a way of defeating the thing. I wish I could trample the thing to death for inflicting this misery. Trust me, I’d do it in a flash if I could.
Allison Symes is a published flash fiction/short story writer and a blogger. Her fiction has appeared in anthologies from CafeLit and Bridge House Publishing. Allison loves reading and writing quirky fiction. She discovered flash fiction thanks to a CaféLit challenge and has been hooked on the form since.
In her flash stories, Allison will take you back in time, into some truly criminal minds, into fantasy worlds, and show you how motherhood looks from the viewpoint of a dragon amongst other delights.
Allison’s first flash collection, From Light to Dark and Back Again, was published by Chapeltown Books in 2017, with the follow-up, Tripping the Flash Fantastic, released in 2020.
Allison blogs for Chandler’s Ford Today, an online magazine, every Friday and usually writes on topics of interest to writers.
Amazon Author Central: http://author.to/AllisonSymesAuthorCent
Chandler’s Ford Today Blog Page: http://chandlersfordtoday.co.uk/author/allison-symes/