Tall And True Short Reads

Moving On

Episode 89 (14 March 2024)

Eighteen-year-old Hugo glanced up at the train station clock. It seemed time had stood still, with the minute hand barely moved since he’d last checked. He confirmed the time on his watch and then looked at the departure board, breathing a sigh of relief. His train was running on schedule.


Moving On

Show Notes

Season Four: Episode 89 (14 March 2024)

Moving On 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/moving-on

Read A Dad and Son Road Trip: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/blog/a-dad-and-son-road-trip

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

Moving On was my December 2023 Furious Fiction entry for the Australian Writers’ Centre‘s monthly 500-word short story writing challenge. The story had to:

  • Take place at either an AIRPORT or TRAIN STATION
  • Feature an awkward hug
  • Include the words EIGHTEEN, EGG and ELEPHANT – longer variations were permissible (did you hear them?).

The Furious Fiction challenge takes place on the first weekend of the month. The Writers’ Centre emails the brief on Friday afternoon, and the deadline is midnight Sunday. That first weekend in December was a disaster for me. 

On our Friday afternoon walk, my over-excited twelve-year-old black lab, Jet, jumped up for a treat, landed poorly, and ruptured his cruciate ligament  one week before I was due to head off a long-planned road trip with my son from Sydney to Perth to spend Xmas/New Year with our WA family.

I knew the farm stay I’d booked to mind Jet while I was away wouldn’t take him with his cruciate injury. So I spent the weekend exploring short-notice alternatives, including abandoning the road trip with my son or taking Jet with us, neither of which was preferable (or sensible!). And my mind was overloaded with what-ifs, like, “Why didn’t I stop Jet from jumping!?”

Consequently, I couldn’t focus on the TV on Friday night, let alone the Furious Fiction brief. Or so I thought because to relieve the stress, I sat at my laptop with a glass (or two!) of wine and wrote Moving On in one sitting. 

Yes, there were a few edits, especially after much-appreciated suggestions by fellow Furious Fiction writers Richard Gibney and Gav Harris, with whom I shared my early drafts. But the story I wrote on that stress-filled Friday evening is essentially the one I submitted on Sunday.  

Perhaps, like my young protagonist, writing the story was like jumping on a train and leaving behind my woes! 

I hope you enjoyed Hugo’s “moving on” tale. You can read this and my selected short stories, blog posts and other writings at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections, including the latest Tall And True Microfiction anthology 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 released 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 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 share this episode with family and friends and tell them about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

PS. I found a dog-loving family to look after Jet while I was away on the road trip with my son. We all had a good time in WA, which helped prepare for the operation and rehab to repair Jet’s knee when I returned home in January. I also wrote a Tall And True blog post about our adventures crossing the continent, A Dad and Son Road Trip.

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.

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

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