Saturday, 24 April 2010


After a brief hiatus, Cormac Brown has set us another quest, with his opening sentence. Hurrah!

So, rising to the challenge (amazing what a night of insomnia can do for the creative juices!) here's my entry for this week. Those of you who know me may appreciate the hidden joke!


“I said that you don't have to believe me, and I certainly wouldn't...if I were in your shoes."

Now I’m intrigued. Go on.

“But did you actually see them, with your own eyes?”

“Oh yes, they were quite blatant.”

Interesting. What did they do?

“Well, first of all …”

Wait a minute. 623.4, 623.42…..ah, there you go, ‘Infantry Support Weapons : Mortars, missiles and machine guns’. That’s you shelved.

Now, where were we?

“Oh, I suppose he couldn’t be expected to put up with that. I don’t blame him. I would have killed her, myself!”

Darn. What have I missed now? That’s the problem, I just get to the juicy bits and then I have to go back to the trolley for more books.

Funny, the things you hear, lurking between the shelves.

“…he said he was up in Manchester, but I saw him that morning. Parked his car at the top of the multi-storey carpark.”

“No! What, the same place……”

Hmm, good, they’re still talking. I wonder what I’ve missed.

“Shame. Nice girl, Eve.”

Eve? Hah, coincidence or what. Oh, they’re whispering now. I wonder if they know I’m here. Gosh these books are packed tight, right let’s straighten you up, then.

“Not that nice. I think he was forced into it. The way she was carrying on.”

“So you think he did it?”

Eh? Have I missed something?

“After the row they had the night before, I’d swear he would have dropped her where she stood.”


“Did you tell the police?”

“Oh, no! I didn’t want to get involved. It’s too late now anyway. And the way she carried on she probably deserved it.”

The row. Manchester. I have a funny feeling of déjà vu.

“Nasty way to go, though. Six floors up. I feel sorry for the paramedics. They must see some terrible things.”

I feel sick. I remember now. Sitting on the ledge.

“Mind you, if he did do it he’s a bloody good actor. He’s been in a right state. Looks terrible.”

He did look terrible that day. I’ve never seen a man cry so much.

“She used to work here, didn’t she?”

“Yes. Makes me shiver to think of it!”

I can still feel the cold rush of wind. Funny how the drop seemed to take forever.

My own fault. I shouldn’t have turned round to shout at him.

And then it was too late.


“Oh! Did you see those books come flying off the shelf!”

“Yes, someone must have knocked them….no, there’s no-one there. How strange?”

“Ugh! Makes me shudder. Just when we were talking about that girl that committed suicide.”

“Oh, well. I can’t stand here gossiping all day. See you next week, then?”

“Yes. Cherio!”


  1. Nice story Sue...or was it a story? Was that really you I was talking to in Carlisle, or a ghost? Oooohhhhh!!!


  2. Oh, it's the famous double-act again - hi, you two! Thanks for the comments :-)

    I did intend to write something this week that DIDN'T involve death - but.....

    Maybe I'll strive to make that the next FFF's goal.

    Now, if you'll escuse me I have a free afternoon and the remains of Fubar to get stuck into - HURRAH! ;-)

  3. Oh I get it now (at least I think I do). My favourite shelving experience was during a book group meeting in the library and they admitted that not one of them had actually read the book.

  4. Had to read it twice to get the joke! Nicely done, Sue.

  5. (actually, the joke is I work in a library - and it's reputedly haunted!) Mind you I never eavesdrop!

  6. Oh, I thought it was your title "Evesdropping" spelled with "Eve" instead of "Eave" and her dropping off the roof.

    Shoot...I would eavesdrop all the time if I worked in a library. Actually, I eavesdrop on the librarians.

  7. Sue, this is a really well-crafted story. Like Flannery, I read it twice, just to appreciate the "joke". Very well done!

  8. I was just about to ask you what's your secret for scaring away patrons, but after reading this, I believe I'll stay among the living. ;-)

  9. I really enjoyed this one Sue. Took me a moment to get my bearings but then was there, and read it again to make all the connections and I like it even more

  10. Sue:

    A wonderful, wonderful use of dialogue. I am always in awe of writers who can have such a high dialogue to descriptive ratio where the story reads so well.

    Thank you!


  11. Wow! Thankyou everyone for your comments!
    (how I wish some of you were agents/publishers....)