Friday, 1 June 2012

Friday fiction: Disappointed

"I'm very disappointed. You know that, don't you?" She nodded, but couldn't lift her gaze. In her peripheral vision she could see the tip of the cane and could think of nothing but the ordeal to come.
"Look at me when I'm talking to you, young lady... You've let yourself down, you've let your form down - you've let the whole school down..."

Yes, I've had months to work on my project and what have I produced? Almost nothing. It's a shockingly poor effort and, if things were as they should be, I deserve to suffer a severe punishment. 
Months back I started out on my Beryl novel - set in 1940s Britain - full of enthusiasm, but as time has gone on I have run out of steam. Two chapters in I've hit writer's block and just can't seem to get round it.
By way of an excuse ("...I don't want to hear your excuses, my girl...") I must say I've loads of real life writing and editing to do at the moment, so doing more in my free time seems like a chore rather than fun.
Now I'm torn. I feel like I should leave Beryl and her pals on hold and try something different; I rather like the idea of finding out what happened next for the Week in the Country characters (a week in the city, maybe). Perhaps I could come back to Beryl in the future.
Then again, maybe it just needs immersion in all things 1940s for a time and a bit of a push to get through the block. Am I giving up to readily?
Anyway, I thought I'd share a snippet with you so that at least a bit of Beryl's story sees the light of day. In this bit she has an encounter with an old friend from school:

Mrs Jones had been joined by the others by the door and all looked at Cassie and Bee in confusion. Further away, across the yard, Bran came come out of the barn with a wheelbarrow and he stopped too. “Miss Wordsworth, whatever is the matter?” Mrs J asked.
“I suggested that this girl - this very rude girl - might care to help me start the car. It takes a turn or two with the starting handle. She answered me with very bad word,” she said. “I really am quite shocked.”
“I certainly d…” Bee began, before being cut off by Mrs Jones.
“I’m very disappointed, Beryl. The Assistant District Commissioner is our guest, so please say sorry and help her with her bag – jump to it.”
“No, – that won’t do. Given what the DC has said about discipline Mrs Jones I think Miss Daley needs a little lesson, don’t you? Do you have a slipper?”
“Certainly, I’m sure I can find something…,” said Mrs J. As she went to the door Beryl took her chance to screw up her face and stick her tongue out at Cassie.
Cassie’s grin signalled that she was still at least partly the mischievous Sixth Former of days gone by. “Actually Mrs Jones,” she called in through the open door. “A good, solid hairbrush might be more appropriate, if you’ve something suitable for a minx with a big bottom.”
Seconds later Mrs J reappeared carrying a large ebony brush with an aged, well-used look.
“How about this?” she said to Miss Wordsworth, holding it out to be taken.
“No, no. You keep it. I have to fly – other appointments to keep,” said Cassie, opening her car door and slipping in behind the wheel. The door slammed shut, but she wound down the window.
“Well thank you for splendid tea, Mrs J.”
“My pleasure. Have a safe journey.”
Cassie’s reply was lost as the engine spluttered into life – no need for a starting handle it seemed. Cassie engaged the gears and as she released the clutch the car began to pull away, which meant she had to shout at the top of her voice to make herself heard. “And remember Mrs Jones, that girl – lay it on smartly, won’t you? All part of the war effort…”


  1. Replies
    1. It is, isn't it? That long slow moment of anticipation...

  2. One of the best and most anticipated moments is the lowering of the panty, love it but only after the panty is warmed up.

    Great lines and story, well done.


  3. Lovely extract! Very atmospheric.

    Re writing or the absence of it, one of the motivational/psychological dictums that I try to keep in mind when faced with a task (whether writing or anything else) was taught me by an English teacher at school:

    How do you eat an elephant?
    A bit at a time.

  4. Now you're just being cheeky! That's got to be worth a slippering.

    Penny leafed through her Schoolgirl's Own Book of Metaphors.

    How do you eat a tofu elephant?
    A bit at a time.

  5. Sorry, you're right - the slipper seems appropriate. Cheekiness needs to be curbed. Or do I mean kerbed?
    Anyway, you're right. I need to atop moaning and get back to the (elephant), take up my knife and fork and get eating.