Friday, May 27, 2011

Lost on the Rock Contest - Honourable Mention

*Note to all* Blogger appears to have been going through some issues yesterday. I wasn't able to post comments and I received an email from somebody telling me that they couldn't post at this blog. If you tried to post a comment to any of this week's stories or interviews and could not, please go back and try again today as I'm sure the writer's would appreciate the feedback.

We bring the Lost on the Rock week to a close with our honourable mention stories. I am presenting Numbers, by Gerard Smith of London, England. The theme of 'Loss' tended to produce sad, melancholy or even horrific stories. Gerald's serendipitous tale really caught the judge's attention as it offered up a possibility of hope. Check out his blog All kinds a random. It definitely is, as the banner at the top of his blog describes...Observation. Opinion. Experience. Random. Stuff.

Also, please take a moment to drop by Laurita Miller's blog, Calling Shotgun.  She is presenting Simply Lost by (the one and only) John Wiswell.

We now present Numbers, by Gerard Smith...


The girl was frantically shouting out numbers as she chased after the departing tube train. When it was gone she dropped, deflated.

She rose again: hopeful, "Did anyone get the last two numbers?" Silence of course – Londoners.

She was gloriously beautiful, as was the guy on the opposite platform with whom she flirted; the electricity between them as potent as that which flowed through the tracks that separated them. I saw the sparks.

On the train I approached her, "Excuse me."

She looked at me warily, London wary.

"Zero, nine – the lad on the other train, they were the last two numbers, I'm sure." She scribbled them on her hand, thanked me and smiled – wow!

I envied that guy. He had power. Girls never looked at me, let alone run after trains for my number. In the days that followed I looked out for them; had my vigilance united the glorious couple? I saw nothing more of them.

Day in day out I took that tube train: to spend my days balancing books, my evenings watching TV.

For fourteen years Lucy enriched my life. The thought of going home to her buoyed my day. I was bereft when she died, yet her death elicited little sympathy from my colleagues – she was a cat. I mourned her loss alone.

The years, like the tube trains, just trundled away.

The colour gradually drained from my life. Numbers became harder to crunch; a misplaced numeral ensured the loss of my job. I didn't take the tablets the Doctor prescribed; oblivion seemed preferable.

When I felt the familiar rumble of the approaching train, I closed my eyes. I felt serene falling forward, ready.

Someone grabbed me!

"What you doing man, you were gonna frigging jump?"

It was a young man, so full of life, so familiar?

"No!” I lied.

"You freaked me out." He had an American accent.

Our eyes met – did I see them both in him, that glorious couple from years ago?

He put his hand on my shoulder, "Are you OK?"

His empathy soothed me, " Yes, thank you, thank you so much.” When he smiled I was left in no doubt, he had his Mother’s smile – wow!

The blackness lifted and left me.

I wondered if it was serendipity that placed him there to heal me? But no, I believe that someone, somewhere, arranges things: thank goodness, thank God.

Bio: I’m Gerard Smith, a 45 year old Director in a Healthcare Communications Agency. Although Irish, I’ve lived and worked in London for 23 years; I love the city, it’s become home. I’ve only recently started writing, spurred on by the short/micro/flash fiction genre, which really suits my impatient need to know what happens ASAP (without compromising on story.)


Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

Cool story, Gerard! And congrats on the honourable mention! Alan and Laurita, (and Ellen and V), you guys have done a lot of work here and it's very much appreciated! Looking forward to next year's contest!

Kat said...

Nice. It was simple and sweet, yet emotional. I dug it. :)

Sue H said...

Oh boy - absolutely loved this! I like the idea that there is a sense of serendipity about our place in tome and circumstance! This played out like a film - excellent basis for a future screenplay, young man?! Would like to see more of your work, too!

David Barber said...

I wondered where you were taking us with this one, Gerard, and then you tied it all together with a very fine ending. Great writing. Well done!

John Wiswell said...

Did you enter any of these into the #fridayflash collector, Alan?

Grogan said...

Thanks for your comments guys, really appreciated. My internet connection at home is down at the moment, so I've come into work to read all your stories and blogs – I've never been so eager to get to work!

Grogan said...

Does anybody else have trouble with the formatting in blogger? Inconsistent font size, strange disparate spacing – it drives me crazy!