[I decided to clear out some old hard copy content this lunch time. I know you shouldn’t, there will be things you may want to use at a later date, alter, rework, inspire yourself with, leave to posterity(?really!). But there are limits and this actually proves the point of not throwing things away (I think!). In the copies of copies of copies of stuff I have multiple electronic versions of, there was this short piece. I can’t remember exactly what it was. It may have been an exercise or a piece I sent or intended to send somewhere when ultra short fiction became a big thing. Whatever it was, it has all dialogue, (one short narrative sentence) and no he said/she saids etc. I think the idea was to differentiate the characters by verbal style alone. Not sur it worked but here it is:

‘It looks like you’re in trouble there. Can I help?’

‘Er, no thanks, I’ll be fine.’

‘Are you sure? Because I don’t want to worry you but there’s a train due in a minute.’

‘A train? Fu…! Sorry. I didn’t think this line was used. Have you got a mobile? Can you ring someone?’

‘I don’t think there’s time. We need to get you off the crossing now. If we both push we should be able to move it’

‘Can’t.  I dropped the keys into the engine compartment and they must have hit the button and locked the doors.’

‘Brakes on?’


‘Can you get the keys?’

‘They’re too far down for me.’

‘Let me try, my hands are smaller.’

‘You can’t. I’ve got my finger stuck down by the wash bottle.’

‘Have you got any spare keys? I tape one under the rear wheel arch.’

‘No. What’s that noise?’

‘Hell! It’s the train.’

‘Oh God what am I going to do? Get me out of here!’

‘Okay, I’m going to pull. It will hurt.’

‘No! Oh, yes go on then. Stop! Stop, you’re tearing my skin off.’

‘It’s jammed tight. Wait there.’

‘Don’t leave me!’

‘Just getting something. It’s okay I’m a doctor. Right. Look down there. Can you see the train?’

‘Where? Hang on what are you doing? No don’t…! Aaaargh! Oh my God! What have you done! Look at the blood. Fucking hell you maniac!’

‘Move. Away from the car. No, you idiot, over here. Get down!’

The freight train smashed into the car sending debris flying down the line.

‘Oh my God! What happened to my car?!’

‘It’s just a car. Press that cloth on the stump while I see if the driver’s okay. This skirt is ruined.’

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