I don't write short stories much any more; I've focused on novels for a while now. But this week I wrote a short story, just for Black Friday. A murder mystery.
My daughter, Lauren, rang after work last night. She finished around 10pm so the phone rang about 11 - lucky I was still up. We haven't seen each other for a while - nearly two weeks - so there was a lot to catch up on. She told me about work and how busy she's been. I told her about my new short story.
Immediately the response was "read it to me?". I picked up the papers, she crawled into bed with her cat and I read her the story over the phone. It's been a long time since I read her a bedtime story.
It reminded me of when she was little. Most nights she'd already have the book picked out and on the pillow next to her when she got into bed. Some nights she couldn't decide which story she wanted to hear so she asked me to make one up. We had a system where she'd say a sentence to start the story off, then I'd continue with a few sentences. Then it was her turn again. By the end of it we'd created a story that often dealt with all the problems she'd faced during the day or the week and found solutions for all of them - and all in the guise of an adventure story we made up ourselves.
It was fun. Just like last night was. I might not have gone to bed until nearly 1am but the time spent chatting with Lauren was precious. I am so lucky. I think just about anything else in my life could fall apart and, as long as Lauren was still part of my life, I'd feel like the luckiest person in the world.
btw: Lauren loved my murder story. She said it was scary and was so graphic she could imagine it happening in her home. High praise from someone who is usually stoicism personified.