I was asked to write a 750 word story for a writing fiction class, so here it is. A little different than what you would expect so hope you like it. Feedback and critique is much appreciated as always :) I know that the narrator is under-developed, not sure how to go about this so any advice on that would be great too x
I’m not sure how to tell you this, but I’m a handbag. Yes, you heard me. A Calvin Klein made some twenty years ago in a run-down factory operated by hundreds of exploited Chinese workers. I am not even real, but to give you an idea; I was made of black leather, coloured with bright red paint which crawled away gradually over the years. This is not a story about me however, I am merely a witness. It all began on January 31st 2005. My owner’s son Riley was sitting at the breakfast table across from me, trying to come up with a story to tell his friends about the adventures his father would have (if he were still alive) so that he wouldn’t be teased at school for not having a father or getting nothing but food scraps for Christmas. He always wondered what his father was like, having died during combat in Afghanistan while his mother was only 8 weeks pregnant, Riley never got the chance to meet him. Of course there were photos, but they were mostly thrown away or hidden because his mother believed that it was her husband’s fault that they now have to struggle just to get by each day. She worked at the local pub at night and a local supermarket during the day. Despite having two jobs she only earned $200 a week, which was just enough for the rent and a handful of groceries.
I watched as the young boy would go to work with his mother each day after school and also during the night where he would watch the customers come and go, and he would make up stories in his mind, turning the customers into characters. He would try to play with the kids who came with their parents, but they never wanted to. The other children thought there was something creepy about the little boy who always sat behind the counter. Little did they know that he was only sitting there because his mother couldn’t afford to pay for a babysitter. But that didn’t bother Riley as much as he wanted a friend. He would always beg his mother for a superhero costume to wear while he was with her at work so that the other children would play with him, but her reply was always disappointing. She never had enough money she said. Yet she always managed to afford things like whisky and lingerie, the latter which she never wore. Riley hated her for this.
One day after school he came home with a big smile on his face. He’d finally mustered up the courage to say hi to his crush Erika and give her his number. He waited for hours and hours for her to call. A text message finally came through, he opened the text and I watched as his eyes fill up with tears. It wasn’t her. It was the bullies from school, the text read ‘wanna go on a date skimpy? Lmao’ he couldn’t believe that Erika would do this to him, she was such a sweet girl at school. He felt so betrayed. He told his mother that he no longer wanted to go to school or have a superhero costume but without giving him a chance to explain, she made him go anyway. For the next two weeks the children at school would laugh at poor Riley, who became so depressed that he no longer watched the customers with the curiosity he once did. He became more and more angry at his parents, even though only one was still alive. He blamed them for everything; the bullying, the poverty, and the loneliness which hurt him most. But he didn’t care for that anymore.
There was a little girl who would often come into the supermarket in the mornings before school started and in the afternoon once school had finished. She was about the same age as Riley, and she always bought a packet of M & M’s, sometimes with bread or a book. She was a nice girl, always polite and smiling with her blonde ponytail bouncing up and down as she walked. For some reason Riley never seemed to notice the pretty girl, I suppose he was too depressed and lost in his thoughts. But one day, he looked particularly sad and she came up to him. And when she said hi you could see his face light up as if there was no such thing as darkness.