On Probation.

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This story is now published as part of the anthology ‘Loyal and True’.

George loved Riley and it was the first time in their lives that something, or someone had come between him and Harry.
Riley moved to their town with her parents. Her dad had been transferred because of his job.
Riley’s arrival unsettled every boy in town but George and Harry fell the hardest.
Neither of them had actually spoken to her; they weren’t game.
She wasn’t just beautiful, she was smart as well. How the hell do you speak to a girl who is both of those things?
Being attractive and smart and popular can take it’s toll, for the loneliest place can often be in the middle of a crowd.
Riley knew that George and Harry liked her and she wondered why they never said anything other than the occasional ‘Hello’.
The boys knew that this could not go on; it was damaging their friendship.
Something had to be done.
They hatched a plan.
They would approach her at the upcoming town dance and ask her to choose.
The night of the dance rolled around and the boys were true to their word. They waited until Riley was relatively alone and they popped the question.
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Riley just smiled and stood between them. She put her arms through their arms and whispered in their ears, then walked quietly away to join the others.
George spoke first. “What did she say to you?”
Harry answered, “She said we were on probation and only time would tell.”
“What do you think she meant?”
Their friendship continued unabated but now they had to live with confusion and doubt.
These are states that every man has to learn to live with; but almost every man would agree that it is worth it!
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9 thoughts on “On Probation.

  1. You’re annoying me now 😉 where are you coming up with this great, tight little stories that seem to flow so naturally?? How do you stop yourself wanting to flesh it out? what’s annoying is that they don’t need fleshing out! How do you recognise that? Everything I write goes on and on and on. Like this comment.

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    • Thank you for those kind words…………. and the short answer is, I don’t know.

      Some days these things come at me in groups and then days go by and nothing.

      Also, to be honest, these short pieces are heaps safer than committing to longer stuff….. I’m just not sure that I have what it takes to hold people’s interest for several hundred pages.

      Non fiction is easy….. I just write about the subject as a bunch of chapters until I run out of things to write about.
      I give the finished product to a few friends who are interested in the subject and I say ‘be brutal’ and they give it back with only minor changes and they say that they enjoyed it!……….. see, easy (two years of agony type of easy to write my account of our home schooling adventure!)
      Our state library takes two copies of my book and it has never been on a shelf…. constantly borrowed…….. this is very encouraging but home schooling is a small selective area of interest………. so I start blogging and that goes well, lots of fun, lots of feedback…………. I figure people here will be gentle so I try fiction…… again a good reaction, some more so than others, and that’s ok……. sometimes stuff just comes to me and other times I see a photo and the story is right there….. at least the beginning is and it writes itself as I go along (which is fun, exciting and a little bit spooky).

      And then it just stops.

      As for ‘fleshing it out’.
      When I wrote ‘Out There Waiting For You’ it was meant to stand alone and it came from Christian V’s amazing photo. As soon as I saw the shot the story started to unfold and away we went. It was very short but I was pleased with it and it went up with only a little bit of polishing…………. I started getting comments like ‘we want to know what happens next’……. more than one comment and my missus agrees, she wants to know also…… so now the pressure is on, can I write a second act?
      I think about it for a couple of days and it heads off in a direction I was not expecting but I really liked where it went. Those who had read the first part like the second part but it was not what they expected….. they are kind but now they REALLY want to know how it ends!

      My first instinct is not to come up with a happy ending……. that is not how life is for most people, but my missus threatens me with all sorts of stuff if I don’t find a way to complete this to her satisfaction!

      I write the ending and I’m very pleased with it….. all three characters get a look in and I experiment with telling parallel story lines which I think works quite well.
      I put a lot of myself into this final part….. I press the publish button…. a few people comment but it does not receive the reaction I was expecting……… isn’t that interesting?

      I have always written stuff that I would like to read so I’m constantly amazed by people’s reaction to it. I’m amazed when they like it and I’m amazed when they don’t and I’m confused when they are silent.

      I guess this makes me a writer?

      AND YOU THOUGHT YOUR COMMENT WAS LONG!!!

      I want you to know how much I appreciate your comments. I take great encouragement from them.

      Like everyone with an ego [mine needs it’s own postcode] I play the numbers game.
      I get excited when I get a new follower or I see a name I haven’t seen before in the ‘like’ column of a post, but the reality is that I’m excited that there are people out there who see a post from me and stop what they are doing and sit quietly and read it…………… how cool is that?
      I have a list of people[yourself included] who I do that for. I don’t let these people’s posts go by without me reading them. Sometimes this means that I miss sleep in order to catch up, and the thought that there are people out there who do that for me makes me proud. It makes me want to do better, to learn more about this craft.

      For the time being I’m going to stick to these shorter pieces because I feel as though I have a few more in me yet.

      If you got this far into my reply I thank you for your patience, and I thank you also for making me think about all this stuff.

      Terry

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      • Terry, its obvious how much you appreciate comments from the attention you place on replying to every single one. Not many people do that! Some great insight in here for me to chew over. What does come across is the fact that you are having fun doing this…something I need to go back and reflect on. Some days I feel like I’ve lost the fun in my writing, but I just need to pop over here and get a pick me up.

        “I have always written stuff that I would like to read so I’m constantly amazed by people’s reaction to it. I’m amazed when they like it and I’m amazed when they don’t and I’m confused when they are silent.” – Love this paragraph, brilliant summary of the way I feel as well. And again, what would take me ten times the amount of words, you do in the right amount.

        Right, enough gushing. I’ll leave you to your thinking.

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  2. Pingback: A Spot of Navel Gazing | araneus1

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