Tall And True Short Reads
The Lost Hour
Episode 56 (26 July 2022)
You know what it’s like when you lose something. It’s always in the last place you look. So I write down all the possible places the lost thing could be and work through the list in reverse order. But how do you find a lost hour? It’s not like it can slip down the back of a sofa like coins or keys!
The Lost Hour
Episode 56 (26 July 2022)
Read the story on Tall And True: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/the-lost-hour
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Buy Robert’s short story collections online:
- Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Fairhead/e/B086HZ36NM
- Rakuten Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/author/robert-fairhead
In April 2022, I learned the Australian Writer’s Centre had longlisted my short story, Stuck in Time, for Furious Fiction March. And I celebrated the following weekend by writing my third unofficial, off-quarterly month Furious Fiction.
I followed the usual competition rules and gave myself 55 hours to write a 500-word short story based on a randomly selected brief from the Writers’ Centre’s archive. And for this month, I drew the October 2018 brief from my hat:
- The story’s title had to be “The Lost Hour”.
- Include a sentence with three colours in it.
- And the sentence or phrase, “it was lighter”.
After drawing the brief, I went for a long walk with my dog and thought about different interpretations for “the lost hour”. And before we got home, I had my story’s draft opening lines:
“You know what it’s like when you lose something. It’s always in the last place you look. But how do you find a lost hour?”
Along with the absurdist observation:
“It’s not like it can slip down the back of a sofa.”
Other parts of the story came together when I started writing. For example, if we “lost” an hour overnight, it would be lighter in the morning than expected, and only atomic clocks could confirm the discrepancy. World leaders would make speeches, and conspiracy theories would run rampant. And NASA would be involved, of course.
Neil Gaiman says short stories are “tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams”. And I wanted The Lost Hour to tick the Furious Fiction brief and tell an odd and unlikely story about the world losing an hour. But I also wanted it to offer a tiny window into the mind of a man who’s lost more and seeks redemption.
Did I achieve my goal? That’s for you, the listener, to decide.
I hope you enjoyed losing a few minutes listening to The Lost Hour. 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.
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