Tall And True Short Reads


Episode 51 (24 April 2022)

Airports are the same the world over. Full of frenetic activity, people coming and going, joyful reunions and teary-eyed farewells. Though not in the middle of the night. And apart from the passengers sprawled across and under the international airport’s departure terminal chairs, it was empty and silent.



Show Notes

Season Two: Episode 51 (24 April 2022)

Departure is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read the story on Tall And True: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/departure

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Story Insight

The Australian Writers’ Centre moved their 500-word short story writing competition, Furious Fiction, from monthly to quarterly in 2022.

As I admitted in the introduction to my second short story collection, Twelve Furious Months, I’m addicted to writing short stories. So to help cope with the loss of my regular hit, I decided to attempt unofficial Furious Fictions on the off-quarterly months. And thankfully, the Writers’ Centre’s website has an archive from which to randomly select briefs.

In January 2022, following the usual Furious Fiction rules and deadline, I wrote my first unofficial short story, The People Were Happy. And for February, I selected an airport brief from September 2018 for my second attempt:

  • The entire story had to take place in an airport
  • Include the word SPRING (or plural)
  • And the phrase: IT WAS EMPTY.

Part of my Furious Fiction writing routine is formulating plots and characters while walking my dog. And this worked well for me on our Friday evening and Saturday morning walks. By the time I sat down to write the first draft, I had Declan and the German couple in the terminal with their fellow delayed passengers. And as the story developed, I added Declan’s absent girlfriend, Molly.

It can be argued part of the story takes place at the coastal resort. But these are only reflections by Declan and the third-person narrator. And both are firmly in the airport for the entire story.

Anyone who’s spent an unscheduled late night in an airport departure terminal will recognise the phrase, “it was empty”. And backpackers and other regular travellers will know the importance of staying hydrated with a bottle of “spring” water.

As for the denouement, I toyed with several endings, but Declan feeling “Britta’s deep voice breathing in his ear” sent a tingle up my spine. And what does she mean by her comment, “Everything has a natural ending”? I’ll leave that to the podcast listener to decide!

I hope you enjoyed my second *departure* from official Furious Fictions. You can read this and all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, please check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from Seasons One and Two.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my writing with other listeners.

You can support this podcast by making a small regular or one-off donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

And finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

Podcast episodes are recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the land of the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation.

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Support this show https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

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