Our short story of the week is a story about desire by Alex Pickett.
Alex Pickett was born in South Wales and moved to Dorset during his childhood. He has a lifelong passion for all things creative, including writing, painting and illustration. Alex holds a degree in psychology, specialising in the science of reading, and works as a primary school teacher – a job he adores. His style of adult fiction is contemporary, often focusing on identity, relationships and memories. He has also self-published two collections of stories for younger readers, inspired by nature. Alex lives on a quayside, and the sea is often present in his writing.
He follows a teenage boy who sees an old family friend in a new way.
‘I hear the call. It breaks my focus. I almost had it, I feel sure: the correct proportions were there. I consider the small models lined along the empty bookcase. When I brought this clay with me, I expected shells, and leaves, and flowers, and so they are, content and complete, and I’ve lost interest in them. Every day I sit here and sculpt something small. When I started, months ago, I took to it completely. There are five conch shells and a few flowers without names. I didn’t think to bring any paints or glazes, so they sit there each day, fading as they age. They’re too hard to turn back now. Again, I hear the call, my mother’s voice, and I put down my new, impossible project. I consider it: the torso looks fine but I’m failing to manage a correct head. I don’t have the scope to imagine it and I’m trying to avoid copying one.
Downstairs, in the bright living room, my mother tells me that we are being joined by some friends of the family – yes, I say, I remember them. They wanted a weekend away and my mother suggested joining us on our long summer break. We always rent this house. It’s a short ride to the coast and it’s lonely and beautiful. I always have the same room. She asks me if I remember James, their son – only a few years older than me. Yes, I say, I remember him.‘