Short Stories

Short Stories #2

Following on from yesterday’s introduce to ‘The Den’ in my collection, When I Am Not Writing Poetry, comes a taster from the second story in the collection, ‘Age’. There are 30 stories in all, so we are still just beginning this marathon: a month of short stories! I began writing short stories during the Covid lockdown as a break from poems… to make a change… and found that I liked the genre.

I suppose it is one of the inevitable consequences of growing old that you dwell, to some extent at least, on age – indeed I have just written a long poem (not yet published anywhere), ‘Reflexions on the Isolation of Age’. So I suppose that it was not really surprising that during the isolation of Covid I wrote a piece about living alone in old age!

The story is about a man who is advancing more or less happily through his later years, with few cares or worries, unconcerned about his life… until one morning when he wakes up with no idea why he isn’t in bed! He struggles to remember, becomes concerned…

 John was worried that he was getting old. And in that thought he knew there was a second, hidden, almost subliminal buried concern. Getting old—yes, he knew: in his early seventies he didn’t feel old, didn’t in fact feel any different to the way he had felt thirty or forty years ago but his hair was white and thinning, he was, he to admit less agile, he took more care up ladders… that sort of thing. But the worry he wouldn’t voice was that he was losing his memory. Or his mind, an unseen evil voice whispered.

This was just a vague, a background notion that surfaced when he couldn’t remember a name or a place. His memory for the past—the more distant past—was invincible… as evidenced he thought with a grin when his sister has emailed yesterday that she had found his school log tables amongst her books and in an instant he recalled the slim grey covered booklet with its black capitalised title, covered in the sticky-backed film he had used on all his school books. He wasn’t really concerned he told himself.

But then dawn had found him sitting naked in his lounge…

‘Age’ can be found in When I Am Not Writing Poetry – available here or on Amazon.

By Chris

Poet and writer: I have travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, worked on the farm where I now live, and re-invented myself as an information scientist. Born in Sussex, I moved to Swansea and have lived in the same farm cottage in mid-Wales for almost 50 years.

I have two collections of poems in print, Mostly Welsh and the recent Book of the Spirit. Although initially entirely focussed on poetry, my writing has branched into short stories and my first full length work of fiction, The Dark Trilogy and the collection of short stories - When I Am Not Writing Poetry - are also available.

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