UKArchive



UKArchive ID: 8287Just for one day by thegeeza
Originally published on August 30, 2004 in Fiction    

A chance encounter.
3,658 words.






Frank wheeled his chair over the cracked paving stones, through the fast-moving people and puddles of the grey day. He stopped at the crossing even though the sound was telling him to “walk”. The choking exhaust of the taxi barring his way drifted up his nose and the first drop of the next rain shower landed on his nose.



People swarmed through the traffic, but Frank became aware of a man standing by him.



‘No good waiting here with me, buddy,’ he said.



The smart-dressed man turned, looked down, smiled and turned away.



Frank felt the frustration rise to his throat. ‘I’ve sat here for ten minutes waiting for these bastards to leave a gap for people like me,’ he said.



The man looked down. He watched Frank with an interest that Frank found disturbing. Before Frank could ask him what his problem was, the man had spoken in such a calm way that the words stopped in Frank’s throat and dispersed quietly.



‘I can send you back for one day,’ he said.



The cars moved forward, but the sign told him to stay. Frank shook his head. ‘Back where? What do you mean?’



‘I’m serious,’ the man said. ‘If you want to see who you are, rediscover yourself, I can arrange it.’



Frank felt calm. He fingered the wooden stick that he kept by his side. He would normally have poked the man with it and then shamed him by shouting long before now. People always sided with the disabled – the crippled – the unfortunates. ‘How?’



‘You have to trust me.’



‘In what way?’



‘You have to do something for me.’



‘What?’



‘Tonight, you must start a fire in your house and let it take everything – everything you own. Let it go.’



Frank laughed. ‘I can’t do that, buddy. You’re nuts.’



‘You’ll get everything back on insurance. In fact, you’ll get all new. You won’t be hurt. You can only gain. Find yourself again, Frank.’



‘I can’t do that. It’s ridiculous.’



The man smiled. ‘That’s your end of the bargain. The deal is for tonight only. Leave a cigarette burning on the sofa and go to bed. That’s all you have to do.’



The sound of the crossing made Frank take the brakes off his chair. He rolled forward, but the man remained. Frank turned to him.



‘You have to trust me,’ the man said, and then he turned and walked away. He thought of following, but crowds of people moved around him, shouting at him to move.



‘Okay, okay,’ he said, moving forward. ‘Give a guy a break.’



***


Frank wheeled up the ramp to his bungalow. Joan opened the door as he approached.



‘Hello, darling,’ she said. ‘Nice day at work?’



She said it every day. She waited to open that damn door every day. She made his tea every day. She washed and ironed and cleaned and much more … every day. He wheeled past her every day. He said nothing until after tea … every day.



‘No, it was bloody awful,’ he said, as he went inside. She never answered and went straight to the kitchen, closing the door behind him.



They looked at the dirty plates on the table. Joan had grown old, but he could still see his Joan shining through her weary face. He asked if she had paid the electricity bill. She nodded.



‘Some guy in the street today,’ said Frank, ‘he said I should rediscover myself. What do you think he meant by that?’



‘What guy?’ she said, without looking up.



‘Just a guy in the street.’



‘Where did this guy come from?’ she said.



‘I don’t know. Just a regular guy in a suit. He said he’d help me do it too.’



She laughed. ‘He was just trying to shake some money out of you. A trickster, no doubt.’ She continued looking at her plate, a polite but absent smile on her face.



‘He didn’t ask for money.’



‘Not yet.’



‘You think he’s trying to take advantage of a man in a wheelchair?’ said Frank.



‘I don’t think it’s the wheelchair, Frank. He would probably take money from his own mother. Just forget it. When he talks to you tomorrow, tell him to get lost.’



‘There was something about this man, Joannie. I don’t know what it was, but there was something.’



She looked up and laughed.



‘What?’ said Frank, smiling.



‘You haven’t called me Joannie in a long while.’



‘I won’t be talking to him tomorrow,’ said Frank.



‘Why not?’



‘He said he could only help me today.’



Joan stood up and collected the plates. ‘I dare say he’ll knock our door soon then. He probably followed you home.’



Frank nodded. ‘It’s pretty easy to follow a cripple in a chair, that’s for sure.’



***


‘Well,’ said Joan, standing after the television programme had finished, ‘I’m going to bed.’ She grimaced and made circles with her foot.



‘What’s the matter with your foot?’ said Frank.



‘It’s always a bit stiff after I’ve been sitting down too long. It’s arthritis, I guess.’



‘Why don’t you ask the doctor?’



‘You told me not to bother because they know nothing.’



‘I don’t remember that,’ said Frank.



Joan put her hands under Frank’s arms and helped him into his wheelchair.



‘Don’t stay up too long, Frank,’ she said and went to bed.



Frank turned his wheelchair in circles and scanned the room. Old pictures of him standing on his useless legs looked back, smiling. There were ornaments that seemed new, but had most likely been there for years. The red curtains had replaced the green ones that had been there before the accident that shattered his legs and pelvis. He pressed the button on the remote and the television gave way to silence and the dim lighting from the ornamental light fittings on the wall. He looked at the distorted reflections coming from their gold curvy shape. He waved his hands and saw the gold flicker with their movement.



He wheeled into the kitchen and opened a drawer. His hands shook as felt around for the pack of cigarettes and lighter. The drawer slammed shut and made him jump. He listened for Joan but heard nothing. He moved back to the lounge and took out a cigarette. He only smoked socially, and it had been some time. He put it to his lips and choked on the first draw. He inhaled again and looked at his reflection in the television: a big dark blob of metal and rubber tyres. He smoked it to the end and wedged the smouldering butt down the side of the chair directly opposite the television – his chair.



He moved into the bedroom and lifted himself onto the bed. Joan was facing the window.



‘Have you been smoking?’ she said.



‘Why do you ask?’ he said, pulling his clothes off.



‘I can smell it on you.’



He dressed his broken body faster than ever before and manoeuvred himself under the quilt.



‘Goodnight,’ he said, but there was no answer.



***


‘Frank! Frank!’



Frank shook his head and could see the swirling smoke above his head. He thought he was dreaming and then realised he had fallen asleep. He thought of what he had done and a coldness swept across his face. He coughed. Joan was at the window, wrestling with the handle.



‘There’s a fire!’ she shouted. ‘I can’t open the window!’ She ran around the bed and put her hand on the doorknob.



‘No!’ shouted Frank. ‘Don’t open it! There could be fire outside the room!’



She ran back to the window. ‘My wrists are too weak! I can’t open the window!’ She picked up the phone by Frank’s head and listened. ‘It’s dead!’



‘Let’s not panic.’



‘Oh shut up, Frank!’



‘Put something by the gap under the door to block the smoke.’



She looked at him and stopped. She pulled a towel from the drawer under the bed and laid it across the bottom of the door. She stood up. ‘What are we going to do?’ she screamed. ‘We’ll die!’



‘No we won’t,’ said Frank. ‘Just be calm and we’ll be okay. Get me to the window and I can open it. My wrists are strong from using the wheelchair.’



She moved towards him and stopped. ‘I can’t carry you across to the window.’



Frank pulled the duvet back, swung his legs down and stood up. He walked to the window and pulled at the handle. It was very stiff. He pulled again and it broke free. He slowly opened the window. The smoke moved towards the opening and billowed out. Joan stood and looked at her husband with her mouth wide open.



‘Come on,’ he said, ‘let me help you get out first.’



She said nothing and let him lift her onto the window frame. She jumped down onto the soft bed of flowers outside. She watched as Frank filled the frame of the window and jumped down beside her.



Ignoring the smoke pouring from the window, she looked at Frank’s legs and moved up to his face.



‘It’s just for one day,’ he said.



***


They sat in the hospital. There was no lasting damage.



‘Can you check my husband’s legs please?’



‘What for?’ said the doctor.



‘He lost the use of his legs in a car crash and hasn’t been able to walk again, until just now.’



The doctor frowned. ‘He looks perfectly okay to me, Mrs O’Neill.’



‘But how do you explain it?’



He shrugged, looked at his clipboard and started scratching at it with a pen. ‘I can’t.’



***


The policeman told them their cottage had been completely destroyed by the fire and what was left of the building was unsafe. They could not return. The investigator from the Fire Department asked them what might have happened. Frank told them he had enjoyed a cigarette before he went to bed but could not remember putting it out. He had been very tired and was worried it might have fell out of his hand. They were given a reference to quote to the insurance company and told they could go.



It was early the next morning before they booked into a hotel.



‘We’d better get some rest,’ said Joan.



‘Rest?’ said Frank. ‘I don’t need rest, I need to use these legs while they still work.’



She sat on the bed, looked at him standing before her and cried. He sat and put his arm around her.



‘What is it?’



‘My home and everything is gone and you have … you have legs.’



‘It’s just like when we got married,’ said Frank.



She sobbed into his shoulder. He pulled the hair from her eyes and told her it would be okay.



‘I need to rest, Frank. I need to think about all this.’



‘Do you mind if I go for a walk?’ said Frank.



***


He walked in the cold air of the morning with his jacket open. The hospital had given them clothes from lost property. New clothes, new legs and a new man. He watched the different colours of the morning rise above the buildings, before the Sun peeked above the skyline. He watched and listened to the milk float come up behind him and go past. He ran to keep up with it, and stopped as it stopped. The milkman got out and pulled two bottles from the side of the float. He looked at Frank and shook his head at what he thought was a drunk. Frank laughed and walked off with his hands deep in the pockets of his new trousers.



He put his hand on the railings alongside the park and vaulted onto the grass, damp with dew. He bent down and felt the wet blades between his fingers and watched a droplet run down the side of his thumb. He kissed the moisture and stood up straight.



He held the cold steel of the railings and watched people walking and rushing on their way to work. As time passed, the number of cars and people grew. The crystal clear water of the day had burst the banks of its river and continued, muddied and dirty. The milkman was probably sat in a stuffy café, smoking a cigarette and reading a paper, whilst the bacon and eggs sizzled on a hot plate. A man ran into the road and a car slammed on its brakes. Frank squeezed the railings as the tyres squealed and the car came to a stop. The man held up his hands; the driver wound down his window and called him names.



Frank walked along and slowed to watch two children walk past with their mother. The little girl looked up at him as she walked past and smiled. Her hat and scarf were bright orange and matching. He could not remember seeing such a vivid orange colour in a long time.



He headed back to the hotel room and opened the door. Joan was sitting on the end of the bed. She looked up as Frank came in to the room.



‘How are you?’ said Frank.



‘Why are your legs working? I don’t understand, Frank.’



He sat next to her and took her hand. He turned it over and looked at the worn gold band on her finger. ‘I told you the guy … from yesterday. He said he’d help.’



‘But … how? And why? I don’t get it, Frank. I just don’t get any of it.’



‘He said he could send me back for a day. He said I could find myself there.’



Joan looked down at her hand, enveloped in her husband’s big fingers. She always liked his fingers. ‘But how did he make your legs work?’



‘He did it, that’s all the matters.’



‘But why? Why would he do that? And you said it was only for one day. How can he do that?’



‘I don’t know, Joan, but I want to make the most of it.’



‘He wouldn’t take it away, would he? Now you have your legs back?’ She looked up at him. ‘Would he?’



‘I don’t know. Let’s see tomorrow, shall we? Let’s enjoy them today.’



She put her hand on his leg. She felt him squeeze the muscle. ‘I can’t believe it,’ she said, and she rubbed a tear from her face. He stood up.



‘Let’s pretend it’s the first day we got married. I feel so good, Joan. I feel so alive.’ She spluttered a laugh. ‘Let’s go walking by the river and have lunch. Let’s go to an art gallery – you like art, don’t you, Joannie? Let’s have a meal in a restaurant and take in a show. Let’s go dancing and –’



Joan stood and took his hands. ‘It will take me some time to get used to it.’



‘My legs won’t work tomorrow.’



‘They might. Whatever made them work, might make them work again.’



Frank kissed Joan. It had been a long time, but they stood in the middle of the room and kissed.



***


‘I can’t believe I’ve been such a … a … jerk,’ said Frank.



Joan looked up from her sandwich. ‘What do you mean?’



‘I have punished you every day for my accident. Every single day.’



‘No,’ said Joan, shaking her head. ‘Of course you haven’t.’ She looked at her sandwich and he looked at the sky. ‘You punished yourself, too,’ she said.



Frank looked around the pub, at the office workers, the waitress with a tray looking for a table, the builders sitting with pints of beer. ‘I’m frightened, Joannie.’



‘Of what?’



‘I’m scared to move my legs in case they don’t work. I’m scared I’ll wake up tomorrow and be the Frank O’Neill from yesterday and that I won’t remember this dream of a day.’



‘I’ll tell you.’



‘The Frank O’Neill from yesterday wouldn’t listen, would he?’



Joan bit into the sandwich and watched a dark veil draw cross his face. ‘You’ll have to tell him yourself, then.’



***


Frank looked at the art, read the descriptions and mumbled his appreciation. Joan watched the demons whispering in his ear, poking and pulling him. He fought against it but they were too strong.



‘Do you think it was some sort of coincidence? That bloke from yesterday was some kind of crazy man? Maybe the adrenalin rush from the fire pushed my body to limits I couldn’t reach by myself and … and something snapped into place and that it can’t … undo itself. Do you think that’s it?’ said Frank, in front of a painting of a man that was half white and half black.



‘I don’t know, Frank.’



‘It can’t have been some sort of … magical person … could it? That’s just stupid … bloody stupid. I don’t believe in God or anything like that, do I?’



‘I thought you just wanted to enjoy the day, Frank?’



‘I do … I do. I’m just thinking about tomorrow. I can’t help it. Do you think … the insurance company … do you think they’ll pay out quickly?’



Joan shrugged. ‘I don’t know. We’re alive, Frank. You’re walking. Let’s just let it sort itself out.’



‘They bloody better do,’ he said, looking at the picture. ‘That picture … that’s one weird picture.’



‘It’s two halves of a man.’



‘I can read, and I can see.’



They walked out the gallery, to greet the rush hour workers going home.



‘The sun’s going down,’ said Frank. ‘Look at the black night chasing the Sun across the sky. It never stops. Do you think the Sun ever worries that it might be caught?’ Joan said nothing. ‘It will catch it in the end. Take it over.’



‘Nothing lasts forever, Frank. There’ll be new stars and life will go on.’



‘You’re right, Joannie, you’re always right.’



***


They had a wonderful meal and decided to skip the show to walk by the river.



‘I used to love walking by the river in the evening. The sounds, the smell and the way the light reflects in the water.’



‘You lost your legs, Frank – you didn’t die. You could still hear the sounds, smell the river and see those lights. Nothing stopped you. Only you stopped you.’



He held his arm out and she slipped hers into his and they slowed, watching the full moon twinkling in the black water below. It was cold, but they did not care.



‘I know,’ he said. He kissed her cheek and she giggled.



It turned into laughter. ‘We didn’t even go and buy ourselves some clothes to call our own,’ she said.



He looked down, and could see his socks because the trousers were slightly too short. He laughed and pulled the trousers up even more, so he could see his legs. ‘It didn’t seem important. It still doesn’t.’



‘I can’t believe what a difference a day makes,’ said Joan.



Frank looked up at the stars in the sky. ‘It’s like the day of the accident. In the morning I was … just me. In the space of a couple of minutes, my life … our life … changed forever. If you look at the stars in the sky and think of the sheer time it took to put them there, it took a split second to poison my life. The coincidences: if I had taken more time to finish my coffee, if I had taken the train, woke up late, took the day off, had a different job … anything. The planets lined up and slammed those cars together and spilled my blood all over the road.’



‘You could’ve died.’



‘I did.’ Frank paused. ‘You know, yesterday, a taxi stopped in front of me at a crossing and chance gave me the opportunity to live one more day. I’ve taken it, but … Joannie? … it’s not fair that I have to go back.’



They walked some more. ‘You’re freezing,’ said Frank.



‘I’m fine.’



‘You’re shaking, Joannie.’



‘I’m fine … honestly.’



‘It’s half ten, we better get back to the hotel anyway.’



‘No, Frank … let’s walk some more.’



Frank turned her around with a smile, and they walked back to the hotel and went to their room.



Frank looked at the clouds rolling across the sky, blotting out the stars and Moon. Joan got into bed. He slipped his clothes off and stood in front of the mirror. He could see Joan watching him with the covers around her neck. He moved in front of the mirror and looked at his legs, flexed them, touched them; just feeling the sensations of having a full body again. He walked to the bed and slipped in beside his wife. He jumped when her cold feet touched his leg. She laughed.



‘Ah! Don’t do that – they’re freezing!’



She smiled. ‘I always warm my cold feet on you, and you don’t notice.’



He kissed her and his hand held her at the hip. He moved his hand up and she looked at him. ‘It’s been a long time,’ he said.



She nodded and smiled.



***


Frank opened his eyes and saw his wife at the foot of the bed, standing at the desk, pouring coffee into a cup.



‘Room service, eh?’ he said.



‘Good morning,’ she said.



‘Well –’



She held up her hand and came to sit next to him. ‘I don’t want to know, not just yet.’ He nodded. She kissed him and ran her hand through his hair. ‘Other than … how do you feel this morning?’



‘Fine,’ he said. ‘I feel so good, Joannie, I feel so alive.’



She swallowed hard and walked back to the breakfast tray. She looked down at it and asked whether she should bring the tray to him, or whether he would sit at the desk.



‘I’ll sit at the desk, Joannie,’ he said. She quickly turned. He pulled the quilt from his legs. ‘You’ll have to help me get to the desk, Joannie, but I want to sit there. We can do it together.’




© thegeeza (thegeeza on OLD UKA)
UKArchive ID: 8287
Archived comments for Just for one day
Claire on 2004-08-30 10:04:49
Re: Just for one day
What a sweet ending.

The idea is great, it leaves you thinking whether that man did have anything to do with it or was it just by chance. I do believe in miracles so I'm going with the first one.

Personally I couldn't see anything wrong with this, well done it was a pleasure to read.

Author's Reply:

Penprince on 2004-08-30 11:22:27
Re: Just for one day
I liked the read and particularly your descriptive style...

Author's Reply:

thehaven on 2004-08-30 14:27:02
Re: Just for one day
Although I enjoyed this I felt it could have been sharpened a bit .We egt the picture early on that some sort of "miracle " has taken place .I t just dragged on abit for me. Also it appeared to me to the action was taking place in America then I got the impression it was the Uk ..not thatits that important .

Mike

Author's Reply:

expat on 2004-08-30 15:53:15
Re: Just for one day
Very impressed. Great dialogue; the story flew along, as all good stories do.
:^) Steve.


Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2004-08-30 15:56:21
Re: Just for one day
Thanks, Claire - glad you liked it.
Steve.

Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2004-08-30 16:36:27
Re: Just for one day
Thanks, Penprince.

Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2004-08-30 16:39:29
Re: Just for one day
Thanks, Mike. I had it in my mind it was in the US. You're right, it's not important, but can you point out where it implies UK - just so I can correct it to maintain consistency? Ta.
Thanks for reading and commenting ...
Steve.


Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2004-08-30 16:40:33
Re: Just for one day
Cheers, Steve. Ta for reading and commenting.
Steve #2.

Author's Reply:

flash on 2004-08-30 18:31:55
Re: Just for one day
Not my kind of story really so i perhaps didn't give it the attention it deserved. But a couple of things jarred...i like one other commenter thought the story was set in America because of words and dialogue like 'buddy,' and the use of the word 'guy,' and dialogue around it for instance, there might be other examples perhaps even 'Joannie,' doesn't sound right in an English setting, again 'Fire Department,' to me not sounding right anyway

The bungalow suddenly becomes a cottage also, which caught my attention. These little things took my attention away from the main theme and i spent my time looking for these inconsistencies, at one point i thought they were perhaps a deliberate part of the plot with a clever reason for them.

I also think he is too ready to accept the words of the miracle giver, the initial dialogue between them seem to reach acceptance or conclusion too quickly, i would expect more resistance, more disbelief from Frank.

Although the dialogue is strong between Frank and Joan, and the descriptive parts when he has full mobility are good, i feel slight dissatisfaction about the exchange of his house for this one day of returning to full mobility... although i realise he gains much more than just that in the end.

So my first read of this is telling me this is a good idea, but that it needs a big re-working IMHO.

Sorry i couldn't be more positive with this first read.


Alan



Author's Reply:

Kat on 2004-08-30 20:28:19
Re: Just for one day
Hi

I enjoyed your story...

Regards
Kat

Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2004-08-31 03:37:26
Re: Just for one day
No probs, Alan.
I'll check the changing of building types - it was a cottage, and I changed to bungalow. But missed one obviously! Not sure what the Americans might call a one storey building?
The location is not key to the story - but I had in mind that it was set in the US, so tried to include US words.
I'll ponder the rest.
Thanks for commenting and reading.
Steve.

Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2004-08-31 05:21:22
Re: Just for one day
Thanks, Kat. Glad you liked it.

Author's Reply:

tai on 2004-08-31 19:56:03
Re: Just for one day
Hi steve, I enjoyed this story but was a little dissapointed with the ending. Too predictable for me.

A single storey building ie(bungalow, semi detached) is called a duplex if I remember correctly. I spent 3 months over there in 2001.

Tai

Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2004-09-01 03:36:08
Re: Just for one day
Tai,
Thanks for the feedback.
Duplex? Hmmm ... ok, I will try and work that in.
Thanks.
Steve.

Author's Reply:

Hazy on 2004-09-02 09:48:17
Re: Just for one day
Liked this a lot 🙂

Do think it could do with 'trimming' a bit, just generally, not one specific bit.

To help avoid confusion over country, maybe you could say 'subway' instead of 'train'?

It was predictable, but nicely so. Don't think you should take that as a criticism of this story... I'm glad it went in that direction.

A very nice read. Thanks!

Hazy x

Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2004-09-02 11:34:16
Re: Just for one day
Thanks, Hazy - and thanks for the suggestion.
For predictable - I agree - not all stories need to twist and shock, do they?
I wanted to do something that was a bit uplifting - which I think is harder than grim/cynical.
Thanks for reading.
Steve.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2004-09-04 07:07:23
Re: Just for one day
I liked this a lot, and maybe it's because I have a weakness for old films. This, for me, was real golden-age Hollywood: black and white, full of genuine emotion that connects with the reader/audience, and an ending that sends 'em home sniffing into their hankies. Can't beat it! That's how I pictured it in my mind's eye anyway, and it panned out perfectly. You're right, not everything has to be hard and cynical - there's plenty of scope for variety, if the story's well done. And this one was.

Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2004-09-04 07:38:07
Re: Just for one day
Thanks, Roy. Glad you liked it.

Author's Reply:

Skeeter on 2004-09-04 08:46:21
Re: Just for one day
Its great to see you posting new work again,nd iuts great to read it. I really liked this. (oh by the way, there's a 'he' missing somewhere, but now I can't find it........). I like the originality of this, and the way in which you use the situation to explore responses to disability, which is such a personal thing. How the situation affords hm a chance to come to terms with his situation, reveals things that could not be seen, clouded by the anger and the grief. That's a good idea, and it works, for me.

Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2004-09-04 09:57:59
Re: Just for one day
I'll check for the missing "he"!
Thanks for your commenting and reading, Skeets - glad you liked it.
Steve.

Author's Reply:

spacegirl on 2004-09-04 12:34:08
Re: Just for one day
I just think you've gone soft in your old age. Is is predictable, but sometimes we need to read something gentle. I was worried about what would happen, but it was such a lovely story about a couple rediscovering their love for each other.

You know it's not realistic though. The man would've gone out slept with loads of women while his legs worked then gone back to 'his Joanie' after he'd sowed his oats 🙂

Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2004-09-04 14:00:34
Re: Just for one day
I think predictable is bad when you know who the killer is when you're not supposed to. There was never any intention to "twist" in this one.
As for your second comment - lol -, no one would blame him, would they? 😉
Thanks for reading and commenting, Rose.
Steve.


Author's Reply:

KDR on 2004-09-05 09:16:17
Re: Just for one day
Hi Steve,

I shouldn't like this, but I do. It's not the type of story that usually pulls me in - there's obviously not going to be a twist, you know what's coming - but there was something about Frank that made me want to know more.

There were pieces that jarred a little. They made it feel as though this was still a work in progress, rather than the finished and polished article. Just little things like:
"...the first drop of the next rain shower..." when "...the first drop from the next shower..." would probably be easier on the eye (though, as always, I stand to be corrected! 😉 ).

One thing that did bother me was the logic. I'm don't know, but I would expect problems with the insurance company, given the circumstances.

Little niggles: 'Joannie'. I reckon you need to lose an 'n'. At the moment, it looks like it should be pronounced 'Joanne' with a 'y' sound at the end.
"The red curtains had replaced the green ones that had been there before the accident that shattered his legs and pelvis" - look at ending the sentence after 'accident'. The aftermath of it can be desribed later, in the hospital scene.

Overall, though, it's a nice, gentle story. It makes a pleasant change to read something character - rather than event - driven.

K

Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2004-09-05 13:04:49
Re: Just for one day
Hi Karl,
Thanks for reading and commenting.
I prefer "of" - think they're both ok ... I'll think it over again.
In real life, yeah, the insurance company may well not pay out - but we never get that far, so perhaps they didn't! Maybe they wouldn't care!
I noticed the "Joannie"/"Joanie" thing the other day. Think you might be right there. Saying that - "Joanie" looks odd writing it down.(?)
After the "accident" word - I'm comfortable with that one - we already know he's become disabled - I wanted to say "shattered" in the same sentence as talking about the colour of curtains for contrast.
Ta for reading and detailed comments, as always.
Steve.


Author's Reply: