I wanted to think up a clever title for this week’s challenge, but couldn’t so The Invitation will have to do.
Fiction Friday: Spend at least 5 minutes composing something original based on the theme or challenge. But, remember, no editing. This is to inspire creativity not stifle it. On Friday, simply post what you wrote to your own blog.
Today’s theme: An unsigned invitation arrives requesting your protagonist’s compulsory attendance at the opening of Electric Lady Land.
‘Electric Lady Land’ Eric stared at the invitation for the longest time, trying to work out who the hell the invitation could be from, and who would be opening a place called Electric Lady Land.
He thought maybe the invitation wasn’t for him, so he turned the envelope over. Yes his name and address. Weirdly it also had his middle name. He never used Alexander. Ever. The only place it was written was on his birth certificate. The only people that knew about it were his close family.
His parents had both recently died, Stephanie was living in Australia with her husband and two kids, which just left… No… It couldn’t be… Not after all this time… He couldn’t believe it. No, he wouldn’t believe it.
Eric looked at the clock on the table by the door and calculated the time it would be at the other side of the world. Really early in the morning. Steph would kill him. He had to know though, and he though she might have the answer.
He ran to the living room for the phone, but it wasn’t on the base next to the sofa. Damn, where had he put it? He vaguely remembered being on the phone last night. Damn, had he called Sophie again? He had to stop drinking and calling her, if he had any hope of getting her back he had to stop sounding desperate.
Forcing Sophie out of his head he turned round to see where he had left it. After 5 minutes of searching under newspapers, magazines and takeaway boxes, Eric came to the conclusion it wasn’t in the lounge so walked through to his bedroom and eventually found it wrapped up in his duvet.
Stephanie answered on the third ring. She sounded, rightly so, asleep.
‘Steph it’s me. I’m sorry…’
‘What? What is it Eric? It’s 3 O’clock in the morning. I’ve only just got Bethanie to sleep. Why have you woken me up?’
‘I’m sorry. I didn’t think.’
‘That’s your problem Eric you don’t think.’
‘Sorry. I won’t keep you long. I just wanted your opinion on something.’
‘And it couldn’t have waited?’
Eric looked at the time on the clock, and the time on the invitation and decided that no, it definitely couldn’t wait.
‘I got an invitation this morning. To a business opening.’
‘Wow Eric. Congratulations. What does this have to do with me?’
‘It was addressed to Eric Alexander Stephens.’ There was silence at the other end of the phone. Eric heard movement so presumed Steph was getting out of bed to go somewhere she could speak to him in private. Obviously she didn’t tell her husband everything.
When the movement stopped, he heard Steph sigh.
‘Do you think it’s him?’ she asked.
‘Other than Mum and Dad, no one knows my middle name. It’s not even on my driving licence or passport. It has to be him.’
‘He wouldn’t have gone back to London though when he got out would he?’
‘London’s a big place. It’s easy to be anonymous in London. The invitation says Honslow – pretty far from Islington. I can’t think of any other reason I’d have something using Alexander in my hand. It has to be Tom.’
Again there was silence down the phone. Eric wondered what his sister was thinking. He knew she what she was thinking. He knew that after what their brother had done she never wanted to see him again. That’s what she’d said 15 years ago, surely now he had turned up she’d think differently? They were family afterall.
‘I don’t care. I don’t want to know. If you go, don’t tell me. I want nothing to do with him. Not now, not ever.’ She ended the call. Eric knew she meant it. At the same time he knew he had to go, to find out, was it their brother?
I spent a lot longer than five minutes on that – once I started I couldn’t stop. It’s funny the plan for what was going to happen changed a couple of times as I was writing it.
I’d really like to spend more time on this, I have so many unanswered questions about it. I’ll add it to the folder of unfinished work and maybe one day fill in the blanks.