A story for you, written quickly

A fairly unexciting black feathery glove

Today I have accomplished the followingly seemingly impossible tasks

  • Obtaining tickets for Punchdrunk’s new show despite only remembering they were on sale 50 minutes after they started
  • Getting previews tickets for same, saving almost £20 per ticket. It is admittedly very, very late in the evening and I will have to have a sleep.
  • Acquiring the “Yes please!” of my three most theatrical chums, thus ensuring a group outing of great potential larks.

This coincides with my having started to transcribe all the writing in my writing folder, having thought that I’d left it on a bus on Monday, and being very glad that I hadn’t.

A while ago on an Urban Writers day, we had some great exercises in short story writing using props as cues. This is what I wrote about a black feathery evening glove, the sort of cheap velveteen thing I wore to James Bond parties at school.

In the spirit of Punchdrunk, it’s theatrical. Not in the spirit of Punchdrunk, it was written in 10 minutes so don’t come crying to me asking for your £47 back.

A story for you: The Glove

After dinner they got up, stomachs heaving, from the table and went through to the sitting room.

Clara had stoked up the fire while they had been feasting, and a sleepy glow descended upon the room.

“Before you all nod off,” said Papa, helping Aunt Maeve into the good armchair, “our friend Felix would like to tell us a story.”

Much gentle applause and slightly swollen calls of “Well done Felix” and the slim, dapper figure of my brother got to his feet and stood by the fireside. Papa gracefully bowed to him and signalled that the place was his.

Felix in turn smiled at Mrs Corrigan. “May I?” he said, tilting his hand towards her evening glove. She slipped it off and passed it to him.

I’m not sure whether it was the drowsiness after supper, or the reflection of the flames playing tricks on us, but as Felix stood there, still, the black glove resting in his hand, it changed. The feather trim sprang up and quivered – a rat, poised, whiskers trembling.

Felix started a ghost story in a low, soothing voice, but I didn’t hear it. Only the crackling of the logs and the whisper of the ladies’ dresses as that dreadful sight in Felix’s hand changed by turned into a monstrous spider, and then a whirling devil, eyeless but glaring at me, rejoicing in my every sin.

Screams rose in my chest, but my heart beat too hard to allow them out. The flames cracked and skipped. The dresses laughed and snapped. I thought I would pass out from the heat.

Then, “Thank you, Mrs Corrigan.” A flutter of applause. I open my eyes again, and the wretched thing really is a glove, after all.

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