This started as an idea about carnival/travelling show people, and evolved into a 5000 word short story that I submitted to the Scarlet Stiletto Awards last year. No banana. But it still just didn't feel quite right...
Now I've recreated it as a new story, using the same characters and a smattering of material from the old story. It still needs work, and I'm not sure what to do with it yet, but I thought I'd chuck a bit of it up.
This is the intro. Let me know what you think. If you like it, I'll put a bit more up.
All the little bones
‘Hey birdy babe… You got nice feathers, birdy…’
A warm calloused hand pushes my shoulder and I flinch, snort.
‘Sorsha, wake up. We’re coming into town.’
I come out of the dark dream with a jerk, my head pulls off the window. I’ve been drooling. My cheek feels deformed from where the door edge pressed in. I scrub my face with both hands and push back my hair.
‘There’s coffee in the thermos,’ Colm says.
I can see white-walled houses and open space. Neat weathered gardens and salty red sand on the road shoulder.
‘Coast?’ I say. My throat is still muddy.
Colm nods. Both his hands are back on the wheel.
‘Coast. Okay.’ I fumble the pannikins, get the thermos lid unscrewed. ‘How far have we come?’
Colm waits until we’re past the corner before taking his mug. Steam condenses on his upper lip as he blows on the coffee. It looks just like nervous sweat.
‘Not far enough,’ he says.
*Many thanks to Sandy, Justine and Jill, who all had a look at the whole story and pronounced it good.