Creative Minds interview – Abigail Burdess

My latest ‘Creative Minds’ interview is with the super-talented comedian, writer, actor, playwright, etc, etc, Abigail Burdess!

You can read it here!

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My standup gig on YouTube

So, I used to do stand-up quite a lot, but in recent years got a bit sidetracked by novel and short story writing, blogging, Creative Minds interviews, non-comedy talks and, well, life.

Long-story-short, I’ve started gigging again, and the video below is from a stand-up competition* I did last week at the Cavendish Arms in South London.

Feel free to share the video/let me know what you think in the comments…

And be nice, innit.

 

*I won the competition, by the way.  Yay, me!

New Year Fireworks – 3 Flash Fiction Stories

 

fireworks-3598_640

Right, thought I’d start the new year with some more flash fiction.

Similar drill to the Christmas Flash Fiction – three stories, 200 words each – although not interlinked this time.

Enjoy!

 

(Not A) New Year 

The year had officially been ‘new’ for three days now, and it was already business as usual.

Karen sat at her desk and stared at the pitiful garland of tinsel around her monitor.

The corporate Christmas card with the boss’ signature – printed, not handwritten – stood stoically by her phone, surrounded by shreds of wrapping paper from her Secret Santa present.

She’d got chocolates. As always.

She looked across the floor at Mandy, who’d worked in the office for so long she was practically a chair.

Kevin wasn’t in yet, but then he never deigned anybody with his presence until quarter past anyway.

He’d swagger over to his desk, loudly complaining about the traffic, then spend ten minutes flirting with Monica the temp before finally logging onto his computer.

Same old, same old.

A voice suddenly – defiantly – exploded into Karen’s head like a new year firework.

No!

This year will be different, Karen.

Things are going to happen. You’re going to make them happen.

She straightened up, emboldened for mere seconds before a memory crashed into her with depressing clarity.

She let out a long, tired sigh and slumped back down.

The voice had said the same thing last year.

 

New Beginnings?

The fireworks had exploded over London, the bright colours bursting over the city before raining down like fragments of a million rainbows.

Big Ben had got in on the act too, noisily announcing the start of a new year. Crowds had cheered, and people had sang.

And, in the midst of all this, Jerome and Natasha had kissed each other.

Had finally kissed each other.

The next morning – well, afternoon – he sat on the bus, turning his mobile phone over and over while trying to conjure the requisite confidence to call.

But should he phone her?

What if she wasn’t awake yet?  He wouldn’t want to disturb her. After all, it had been a late night for everyone.

And what if she was awake, and they spoke, but she didn’t even remember kissing him?

Everyone kisses everyone at midnight, don’t they? That’s how films make it look anyway.

The real question, he knew, was this; would she act like nothing had happened between them, or would this be the start of something great?

His phone suddenly trilled in his hand, almost causing him to drop it in excitement. He looked at the screen.

Natasha L calling…

He answered.

“Hello?”

 

New Year, New Style

Steve walked up to the customer service woman with the angry face.

“Hello, and happy new year,” he said cheerfully.

She raised an eyebrow.

“Um,” he continued, fumbling a shirt out of his bag, “this was a gift, but I don’t like it so could I have a refund please?”

“What’s wrong with it?” she barked.

“No, nothing,” he said. “I just don’t like it.”

She stared at him suspiciously.

“And what don’t you like about it?”

He suddenly knew this would be hard work.

“Other than the fact that it’s a bright green shirt with an exploding firework shooting up from the crotch?”

“You don’t like green?”

“The green isn’t the problem,” he said slowly, “it’s just that I don’t like walking around looking like my groin has exploded.”

“Please don’t swear, sir,” she said indifferently.

“But I di-”

“I think it’s nice,” she said with a shrug. “Colourful.”

“And that’s… great, but I’m the one who’d have to wear it, so…”

She rolled her eyes and held out her hand.

“Receipt!”

Two minutes later the refund was done. Steve walked away shaking his head.

The woman gave her colleague a bemused look.

“We’re getting some real oddballs today…”

 

Blue

Click here for more flash fiction!

Christmas Flash Fiction (x3!)

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I thought I’d do some Christmas-themed flash fiction.

Because it’s, well, Christmas.

(ahem)

This is a bit different to the other flash fiction I’ve posted – so here are three, interlinked, 200 word stories.

Enjoy!

 

The Bet

Officer Amhurst turned to the passenger side, seeking verification from his colleague that she was seeing what he was seeing through the windscreen.

Racing toward their parked vehicle was a man dressed as an Elf, emitting a high pitched squeal. As he got closer the vague sound of bells jingling got louder and louder.

“Yup, I see him,” Officer Jones confirmed, folding her arms. “You have this one, Pete. I dealt with five drunks on our last shift. Why does everyone go crazy at Christmas?”

“It’s 2pm. Maybe he’s not drunk.”

“Bet you a fiver he is,” Jones said.

“Done.”

The Elf continued his journey over, every so often glancing behind as though scared that some invisible monster was catching up. He reached the car and knocked on the side.

Amhurst, who had been secretly hoping he’d run past, rolled down the window.

“You okay there, sir?”

“I’m being chased!” the Elf shouted.

“Alright,” Amhurst said calmly, looking at the vast emptiness behind the man. “And who exactly is chasing you?”

“Santa! I touched his beard!”

Amhurst shook his head as Jones stifled a laugh and held out her hand for her winnings.

The first round was on her tonight.

 

The Grotto

“And how old are you, little man?” Alan asked the boy, who quickly dashed behind his mother’s legs.

“He’s three,” the mother said, glancing at her watch. “How long until we get into the Grotto?”

“Oh, not long now.”

He was trying to sound cheerful in spite of the burning sensation at the back of his neck. The Grotto was in a ridiculous location – a park in December – but the low temperature hadn’t managed to cool the chafing of the stupid Elf outfit.

“And who is this?” Alan asked, crouching down to the boy’s dog.

“That’s Santa,” the boy said proudly, stepping out from behind his mother.

“Great name!”

“We call him that because he’s got a white beard!”

Alan looked closer and saw what the boy meant; around the dog’s mouth was an odd goatee of white. He reached out to trace the outline with his finger.

The mother suddenly tensed.

“No! He doesn’t like-”

The dog reared up and lurched at Alan, who watched in horror as the leash slipped out of the woman’s hand.

Pushing the dog away, he turned and made a run for it across the park.

Why did everyone go crazy at Christmas?

 

The Change

“Are you going to be long?” Susie called. “I have to leave soon too, you know!”

“Yes, I know,” said the unamused voice behind the bathroom door.

She rolled her eyes. At nine o’clock she was scheduled to meet a client promising thousands to her firm. On the other hand, her boyfriend – the perpetually unemployed actor – was getting ready for the first day of yet another temp job.

In short, he could be late, she couldn’t.

“Are you coming out?!”

The bathroom door opened. Her annoyance immediately disappeared as she took in the sight of her boyfriend in his green leggings, red tunic, and pointy hat. With jingling bells around the rim.

Why did everyone go crazy at Christmas?

“How do I look?” he asked rhetorically.

“Wow.”

“Good ‘wow’ or bad ‘wow’?”

“Um… Put it this way, I think we’ve finally found something worse than that hamburger costume…”

“Right, I’m not doing it,” he said, unbuttoning the tunic.

“You have to do it, Alan, we need the money. How else are we going to afford more bells for you?”

He grunted and slammed the door.

“Oh come on,” she said, “it was a joke! Keep your leggings on…”

 

 

Blue

Click here for more flash fiction!