Steel City

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Photo copyright: Ronda Del Boccio:

Hey man you got a light. Bugger off kid. Yer mum would kill me if she saw you smoking. But man there’s nothing else to do in this place since the ship yards shut down. Well ‘get on your bike’ go look for work in one of them plush southern cities. Them’s got enough grass and wealth to feed you for your whole life.
But mam would kill me if I left home. Who would walk the cat? Take it with you kid, you could be like Dick Whittington. Dick Whittington? O hell… you’d better go to the library and learn to read.

Footnote: Get ’Onyerbike’ is a miss quote, from from a speech by Norman Tebbit.

A fine day at Mevagissey

A fine day at Mevagissey

This Post Has 44 Comments

  1. neilmacdon

    Perfect, Michael

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Neil, When I saw the prompt picture my first thought was, burnished steel.

  2. Jennifer Kennedy

    Excellent voices!

    1. Michael Humphris

      I am pleased to read your comment. I set out to write Science Fiction; then dialogue took over. If I had set out to write dialogue I would have failed

  3. lisarey1990

    Great piece.

    1. Michael Humphris

      I set out to write Sci fi, but a piece of dialogue took over. Fortunately later in the day, whilst waiting for an appointment, I did manage to make some progress on a piece of Sci fi, I am attempting to write.

  4. Iain Kelly

    From an industrial northern city built on the shipyards, I can relate to this.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Iain, I set out to write a piece of Sci fi, but then wrote an unrelated diaolouge, strange! Writing dialogue is not really my forte. I am not over happy with what arrived, but waste not is my middle name.

  5. Sandra

    Yes, he could occupy his time more productively at the library. Nice idea.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Sandra, I did set out to write a piece around Sci fi, but unrelated dialogue arrived. I am not really content with the result, but that’s life.

  6. abhiray59

    Good use of the grass.

    1. Michael Humphris

      All I could see was what appeared to me as burnished steel, so I set out to write a piece of Sci fi, but unrelated dialogue arrived.

  7. pennygadd51

    You succinctly sum up one of the effects of poverty. You can’t improve your position in life because you’ve not been properly educated. The system is stacked against the poor, and it’s getting worse. Good for you writing about it.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Penny, I am glad that came over. I was not totally happy with this piece of writing. But I am not one for wasting anything I write. I agree that in education inequality can really disadvantage many who are poor.

  8. gahlearner

    Great voices, great dialogue, wonderful.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much, I feel fortunate to get such a lovely comment.

  9. 4963andypop

    Now youve got Elvis Costello’s “shipbuilding” running through my head! Nice voice in this, and thoughts about the rugged reality of technogy fading into obsolescence.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Sorry about the music worm. It does seem that robots with artificial intelligence will make some of us obsolescent. So I hope that many lost arts and craft will return to replace decaying industries

  10. rochellewisoff

    Dear Michael,

    The voice sets the tone. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Rochelle, I was experimenting, I am glad it worked.

  11. Keith's Ramblings

    Not often Norman Tebbit inspires a piece of fiction! Excellent.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Keith, In the distant past I had to cycle to work, it is not much fun in the depth of an English winter.

  12. Inside the Mind of Isadora

    Love the dailog … it keeps us reading while wondering how it will end.
    Isadora

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Isadora, I am glad to hear that my dialogue story worked.

  13. granonine

    It’s a hard -knock life, isn’t it? Sometimes you just can’t catch a break.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Sadly many children who do not get an adequate education, fail to reach their true potential.

  14. Dale

    This is great, Michael. I just wish you would separate the voices into different lines… It would make it so much easier to understand the change from one to another.

    1. Michael Humphris

      At one piont I did consider doing just that Dale. It is something that I would usually do. However when I started to write this story I had a very difference scenario in mind, which did not include any dialogue. In the end the dialogue won out. At present I am trying to experiment a ‘little’ with the styles and content of what I write and post. I was however really pleased to learn about the way the dialogue read. Mike

  15. Brenda's Thoughts

    Excellent, I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. Great job in creating the characters and the plot through dialogue. I don’t do well with dialogue and am working on it. Took some pointers from this. =)

    1. Michael Humphris

      So pleased to read your comment, I also find writing dialogue difficult. At present I am attempting to challenge my writing style, and try to post something’s that may come across different.

      1. Brenda's Thoughts

        I need to challenge myself as well. Maybe next week I’ll try more dialogue! =)

        1. Michael Humphris

          The method of writing dialogue is something I have not learnt. Which I must make it somewhat difficult for scholars reading my scribblings.

          1. Brenda's Thoughts

            I’m not a scholar but I don’t agree. =) There are times I get lost in who said what with dialogue, but yours was smooth and I knew who was speaking. You don’t even include the “he said,” or anything. Hope that made sense! haha

          2. Michael Humphris

            Thank you Brenda, myself I don’t particularly like controlled dialogue. Some dialogue when written can seem over controlled and clipped

          3. Brenda's Thoughts

            Very true … I went back and looked at my “project.” I have way too many “he said”, “she said.” =0

          4. Michael Humphris

            Getting a flowing dialogue between characters is challenging. I have found studying the way other writers handle dialogue has helped me. They say that one never stops learning, certainly for me that is true.

  16. theministryofshrawleywalks

    Walking the cat! Thats hilarious, his mum’s a loony!

    1. Michael Humphris

      I have know cat’s that walked alongside a member of their extended human family. Indeed one of these cats adopted me, he would just appear at various points as I was walking home with my present dog, then he would trot home alongside us. Passing people found it hilarious. He was however a very special type of cat. Once he chased away three overweight labradors because they were pestering a young dog. He chased them furiously, and for quite a distance.

  17. StuHN

    It’s so easy to get discouraged and give up. Libraries can open paths to information that gives us a new path. Walk the cat made me laugh. I know it happens, but it’s still a weird concept for me.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Libraries should be able to offer wide ranging openings to new concepts. Sadly some libraries are now failing in that concept. … I have know cat’s that walked alongside a member of their extended human family. Indeed one of these cats adopted me, he would just appear at various points as I was walking home with my present dog, then he would trot home alongside us. Passing people found it hilarious. He was however a very special type of cat. Once he chased away three overweight labradors because they were pestering a young dog. He chased them furiously, and for quite a distance.

  18. Dawn M. Miller

    I enjoyed the voice in this.

    1. Michael Humphris

      So pleased to hear that Dawn. Just at the present time, I am trying to write in ways that are foreign to my normal style of writing.

  19. Sarah Ann

    Love the voices in this. Maybe your lad can start out in the audio book section of the library.

    1. Michael Humphris

      I was pleased to hear that the voice came over Ok. Myself I have never got on with audio books, but for some they can be a great introduction to books.

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