When I worked on radio in the south of Spain I presented and recorded four series of Authors in the Sun showcasing local writers and their short stories. I ran a series here on the blog in 2017 which was much enjoyed and showed off the skills of some amazing writers.
I would love to share your short stories here too this summer and details of how you can participate is at the end of the post.
Christina rolled out of bed, looked out the window and decided this day would be her last. She saw no point in going on. Her life had become abysmal.
No one called except telemarketers and people taking surveys. As if her opinion counted.
No one ever stopped in for a visit either. Many of her friends were dead; the others had gradually disappeared from her life.
A dish with moldy cat food sat in the corner. How long had the cat been dead? How long had she been so unhappy? She had lost track of time.
Loneliness engulfed her and left a crater in her heart.
She pulled apart the curtains and peered out her kitchen window. The rain continued to pour down like it had for months, or so it seemed. Christina couldn’t remember the sun anymore. The sun had disappeared like her friends.
When did her life change? How did it happen? She recalled that once she laughed, and sang, and danced. The sun used to shine. That was a different person – another life.
It grew darker outside. Christina shivered and let the curtains drop.
Was it after Charlie died? That was a tough time. She felt sad back then and cried a lot.
Her friends rallied around her, took her out, kept her busy. She concentrated on her job as an employment counsellor, helping others find work. She got through it. Life carried on.
She cleared a corner of the dining room table laden with newspapers, dirty dishes and used tissues. After pouring herself a bowl of cereal, she opened the fridge. The smell of rotten vegetables and stale bread wafted out as she searched for the milk carton. The light in the fridge burnt out a while ago. Three drops of milk dribbled from the container. So much for that. She certainly wasn’t going out for more. Why bother eating anyway if she wasn’t going to be around for much longer.
No point in getting dressed either. Nothing fit. She looked down at the stained nightgown she had been wearing for weeks. A threadbare housecoat that refused to close in front, covered her heavy body. Where did this body come from? Clearly it was not hers. She ran her hands through her greasy, grey hair. When did she stop colouring it? What did it matter?
Perhaps it was after she retired. Was that when her life went to shit? When the sun went into hiding? She spent the last few years submerged in a virtual fog.
She lumbered to the mailbox in fuzzy slippers. Nothing of interest ever came but checking the mailbox was a habit. Her spotted hand shook as she inserted the key. The door swung open and a multitude of flyers tumbled out. She left them on the floor of the apartment lobby. Someone else could pick them up and throw them away. Someone who was going to be around tomorrow. She began to close the miniature door.
A flash of colour caught her eye. The blue was so bright it hurt her eyes. Like someone had suddenly turned on the overhead light while she watched TV in the dark. She squeezed her eyes tight and then opened them again. The patch of blue remained and beckoned like a neon light outside a downtown bar.
She reached in and pulled out the small rectangular object. What´s this? A post card? She studied the picture of dazzling-blue water and clear-blue sky. A lone palm tree overlooked the scene and a white sailboat floated in the sun. Sun! She thought she would never see sun again. Her frozen body began to thaw.
Cristina turned the card over.
The unexpected jolt of colour was from her old friend and coworker, Lillian, one of the disappeared who moved to Spain a few years ago. She was inviting Audrey to come to Spain and spend some time with her.
Christina returned to her apartment, blew the dust of the neglected computer and turned it on. She checked her savings account. Charlie left her a decent amount of money that she barely touched. She had almost forgotten about it.
She placed the postcard on the mantle, took a shower, pulled on jogging pants and a sweat shirt, applied some makeup and ventured outside. After calling in at the travel agent where she bought a ticket to Spain, she purchased a new housecoat, some clothes that fit and milk for the next day’s breakfast. She cleaned the apartment and threw out the cat dish, food and all.
The rain stopped and the sun emerged from behind a cloud.
Her last day could wait.
© Darlene Foster 2021
My thanks to Darlene for sharing her story with us and I am sure she would love your feedback.. Sally.
About Darlene Foster
Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining dogs.
A selection of books by Darlene Foster
A recent review for Amanda in Malta
Anyone who knows me knows that my favourite place, in fact the place I would run too, should I ever be expelled from the UK, you never know, it might just happen, would be Malta. Well, Gozo to be precise, but the Maltese islands as a whole. So, imagine my delight at seeing a book for 9-12 year olds featuring adventurous children, which harks back to the theme of all the books I read as a child, that is set in Malta. It certainly ticked all the boxes for me to give it a go.
I loved the opening where Amanda receives a postcard from her best friend, Leah, asking her to come to Malta because she’s there with her aunt and something’s not right. And then the way everything slots into place so she ends up going with her friend, Caleb, and his family.
Soon Amanda and Caleb are embroiled in the mystery of first trying to find Leah and then tracking down the missing statue of The Sleeping Lady, all set against the backdrop of the beautiful Maltese islands.
What I really liked about this book was all the description and information about Malta: its history, people and culture. It’s all in there, but not overdone, and I hoped against hope that there would be a trip across to Gozo and was not disappointed, albeit in a year (the second in a row) when my plans to travel to Gozo have been thwarted. This was lovely as I could imagine exactly where Amanda was and what she was seeing.
This is the eighth book in a series where Amanda, the youthful detective, has an adventure in a different country each time and I would recommend it to all young readers who like to learn a bit about the setting of a story as well as following the action.
If you have a fiction short story to share with us then here is what I will need. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org
- A word document with your edited story. A new story or one you have written and published on your blog.
- 1000 to 1500 words.. but if it is slightly shorter or longer that is no problem. It can be any genre except for erotica as I have younger readers.
- If you are an author or blogger who has featured here before I don’t need anything else.
- If you are new to the blog then I will need an Amazon page link, blog or website links,three main social media links and a profile photograph.
I look forward to hearing from you and sharing your writing here… thanks Sally.