Angel of Grace

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Photo courtesy of J. Hardy Carroll

When they buried old Charlie Grimes from the basement flat, nobody came to pay respects. At the time, Daniel in flat 65 was studying for his Law exam, Alice in number 10 was cooking a huge pot of soup, and Becky in the tiny attic room was staring at the street below, glad that she was warm and safe, in her own place, with only weeks before her baby was due.

Newcomers to the Grace Housing Project quickly learned how packets of money would appear in mailboxes, labelled ‘college’, ‘food’, or ‘rent’, and how it had all just stopped one day.

*****

My story for Friday Fictioneers is very late this week. I’ll blame it on computer issues which have been plaguing me for weeks now and are rapidly driving me crazy.

I’ve also been a little busy enjoying the wonderful Sydney Writers’ Festival. As usual, it was a real treat. My big find was a writer called Anna Smaill, whose debut novel ‘The Chimes’ was longlisted for the Man Booker last year. I’m having trouble putting it down.

Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, who generously hosts this weekly flash fiction event. You can read all the stories here.

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14 thoughts on “Angel of Grace

    • Thank you, Neil. I wanted to say more about the building and the residents’ attitudes to Charlie – sometimes I think these 100 word stories are a kind of torture.

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    • Charlie was probably happy just to help. I think he probably avoided getting to close to the others, and that was the result. They might not have even noticed he was gone. Thanks for commenting, Bjorn.

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  1. Such a sad and moving story. At least some of them should have gone, even without knowing that he was their benefactor, but it looks as if they were all so occupied with their own troubles and needs that there wasn’t enough room for interaction. Or maybe he didn’t want to interact. Or maybe… beauty of the 100 words, the reader can spin the tale in all directions. 🙂

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    • It’s good when readers engage with the story in that way – the 100 words are really good prompts for the imagination. I had a lot of other ideas about these characters. I really wanted to make him a disreputable old man who was always watching the other residents, and the mothers warning their children to keep away from him. It all had to go, and I really felt with this story that all that was left were the bare bones. I’m glad it moved you, anyway, Gabriele. Thank you for responding.

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