December 26, 2009

The Last Foot

This was probably the strongest of my stories for the now-defunct Fifty Grand project: a collection of fifty stories put together by a great bunch of UK writers in the summer of 2009. Short story publishing has changed a lot in the last twenty years and the stories have now been released back to their original authors for submissions to anthologies, literary magazines and websites, where 99% of short stories get published nowadays.

The Last Foot was written for one of the 1000-word contests I began entering in March, 2009 and the theme for that week was "regret". I got the idea of freezing time, freezing the regret that many would feel caught up in a horrific situation like a plane crash. The story also explored the possibility that the dread felt by the vast majority may not be unanimous:
Sarah Miles, in 34C, is with her boyfriend or rather, her fiancĂ©. His proposal in the fluorescent-lit shame of the hotel restaurant was three dull years too late for her, but she gave him a 'yes' bereft of any hope or desire. Even now, tawdry £155 ring on her finger, she watches the beets rush to greet her and ignores the desperate pawing of now-never-to-be-husband Richard to her left.
I am currently submitting this cheery tale to magazines and will of course update on its progress.

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