Not Always Right

“A dozen eggs, Mr. Sudteen,” said Mrs. Thorndike. She plopped a large basket upon the counter.

“Right away, Mrs. Thorndike,” said Mr. Sudteen. He decided to try charm. “Would that be a baker’s dozen?” Wink.

She bristled. “I have no time for games,” she said, curt tone and furrowed brow. “Mrs. Lutton will be over at three and I need the pie ready. A dozen eggs, right away.”

“Would you like the cheap ones? Only a dozen left.”

“Of course, I always have the cheap ones. Now stop wasting time!” she said.

Mr. Sudteen carefully placed one dozen eggs into her basket. She threw the coins down in front of him and stormed out.

Thorndike harrumphed crossly down the road, lugging the basket along, muttering. She turned the corner and promptly collided with little Jackson from number four, riding too fast on his bicycle. The basket went flying.

“You little ratbag!” she screamed at the hastily fleeing child. “I shall tell your mother!”

Eggs lay all over the road, tiny fragments of shell among yolk that glittered in the sun as it ran between the stones. She grabbed the basket and seethed back to the shop.

Mr. Sudteen!” she yelled. “Another dozen eggs right away!”

“We’ve only got the expensive sort left.”

“Fine!” she spat. “Bring them here!” Many more coins hit the counter.

When she had gone, Sudteen went out the back of his shop. Little Jackson was sitting there on his bicycle. Sudteen tossed him a shilling.

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5 thoughts on “Not Always Right

  1. gabrielablandy

    I enjoyed the pace of this piece, and your playful twist at the end. Seeing as I am a Creative Writing teacher – and you mention in your ‘about’ page that feedback is appreciated, I would make one comment. Think about the point of view that this story is told. At the moment you are switching point of views. For such a short piece – you might want to think about trying to keep with one character. Let me explain…’He decided to try charm’ is Sudteen’s POV. And the story would work in his POV because we need to be with him for the ending. But the middle of the story is Thorndike’s POV as she has turned the corner before her collision, so Sudteen would not have been able to see this. Think how you would have told this moment from his POV – had he been watching. For a twist in the tale it is especially important to keep the story from one character’s viewpoint – otherwise the reader gets a sense of the author jumping from one character to another to suit their design. As I said, you’ve got a lovely little piece here, with an unexpected ending – only a small tweak to align the point of view or ‘camera angle’ would really bring this into line. Great effort. Glad I ‘stumbled’ here! Happy writing 😉

    Reply
    1. Mercilo Daviss Post author

      Hi Gabriela,

      Thanks very much for your comment. I think you’re right about the PoV here. It would have been better if Sudteen had seen the incident through a window of the shop or something like that.

      I think rules like this can be broken but they should be done so intentionally, which was not the case with this story. So tomorrow I’m going to test this by breaking it as much as possible within one piece, and doing a comparison… Let’s see what happens!

      Thanks very much for visiting and I do hope you return and comment again.

      -MD

      Reply
      1. gabrielablandy

        Yes, you are absolutely right about the fact that you can break a rule as many times as you like as long as you’re aware you are doing it. Have fun experimenting!

  2. Nthato Morakabi

    Ha! That was surprising, did not see that coming! Well written indeed and to be honest I did not notice the POV change because I assumed that the tale was written from Thorndike’s perspective as she is the “dominant” character. After reading through it again, however, I see the POV hopping but to me it didn’t confuse or detract me from the story and I think its because the story is so short…and also because I did not notice the POV hopping in the first place.

    I wonder how many of those “mistakes” I make in my writing. My biggest issue is changing tense mid-story haha

    Reply

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