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More material – Writer-insighter

More material

I put Golden Cap in for the Bridport Flash Fiction competition in 2012. It didn’t get anywhere, even though the real Golden Cap, the odd chewed-up hill slowly being eaten by the sea is just a couple of miles from Bridport. I spent a Christmas and New Year near there once. It was cold and snowy and magical. On Christmas Eve what seemed like the whole town streamed out of the pubs, teenagers, old people, the lovers, the estranged, and we all crammed into the stone church overlooking the sea, the same way people had done for hundreds of years there. There seemed to be something in my eye but it was very windy outside, after all.

I got a saxophone that Christmas, a present from a generous girlfriend, in the eighteenth century house we were staying in. One morning we both hunted for the mouthpiece all over the top floor flat we rented, then gave up and went into the town to buy another. We were out of luck; there were no music shops in a town like Bridport, or none selling saxophones. When we got back to the flat the mouthpiece was in the exact centre of the floor of the spare room. It happened in another flat on holiday too, with the car keys.

The rules of the competition were 500 words only; Flash fiction. I’m never sure about that. It’s fun as an exercise, but I don’t buy the line that people haven’t got time for more these days. It’s your job writing it to steal their attention. If you can’t keep it for more than 500 words that’s your fault, not theirs. But anyway.

A decent-ish little short for the forthcoming stand-up set. I need half an hour’s worth of material. And something for the soiree this weekend. What? Want to make something of it?


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