Tall And True Short Reads

In Her Head

Episode 84 (9 December 2023)

Cassie lay perfectly still in bed, staring at the shadowy shape on the ceiling overhead. A bulky body and eight legs, a spider, but this wasn’t Incy Wincy. It was a huntsman with long hairy legs, needle-sharp fangs, and a jump so powerful that if human, it could win gold at the pole vault without a pole.

In Her Head

Show Notes

Season Four: Episode 84 (9 December 2023)

In Her Head 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/fiction/short-stories/in-her-head

Podcast website: https://www.tallandtrueshortreads.com

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

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Story Insight

I wrote In Her Head for the Not Quite Write Prize for Flash Fiction in July 2023.

The challenge for the competition run by the Not Quite Write podcast was to “create an original piece of fiction based on two typical writing prompts plus one anti-prompt”.

Writers had 60 hours to write and submit 600-word stories, which had to:

  • Feature the word RITE – either in full or within a longer word, providing the original spelling was retained
  • Include the action of “crossing a line”, though it wasn’t necessary to use the exact wording
  • And break the “avoid all adverbs” rule.

I found the prompt to break the rule to “avoid all adverbs” challenging, and I kept confusing adverbs with adjectives.

But the adverbs prompt gave me a huntsman spider with “long hairy legs” and “needle-sharp fangs” for my protagonist, Cassie, to stare at, frozen with fear, on the ceiling over her bed.

Then it occurred to me, what if they had a conversation? Would they speak aloud or in her head? These questions gave me my title, storyline (satisfying the other two criteria), and callback denouement.

And while I may have failed the adverb challenge and my story didn’t win or get longlisted for the prize, I loved writing In Her Head.

I hope you enjoyed my spidery tale. You can read In Her Head 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, Apple Books, and Kobo online bookstores — links are available in the show notes.

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 all four seasons, and follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite podcasting app — doing so helps me share my storytelling.

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

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 traditional lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

Acast Podcast Supporter Page

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

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