Last Day of Summer | A Short Story by Gareth Hill

Last Day of Summer | A Short Story by Gareth Hill

Short Fiction from Gareth Hill

They’d left England at the start of July, new lovers on a whim of post-graduate liberation.

Ten weeks ago, 29 states ago. It felt longer but not long enough.

“Dialogue moves this story, and there is enough mystery to keep you hooked.”

Eugen

“I loved this. It is haunting and evocative, tense because of the inevitability of what is coming, but never resorting to ‘shock horror.’ This is excellent, an author that can really write.”

Debra

An example of simple genius | from Don Delillo

An example of simple genius | from Don Delillo

“It was the rooftop summer, drinks or dinner, a wedged garden with a wrought iron table that’s spored along its curved legs with oxide blight, and maybe those are old French roses climbing the chimney pot, a color called maiden’s blush, or a long terrace with a slate surface and birch trees in copper tubs and the laughter of a dozen people sounding small and precious in the night, floating over the cold soup towards skylights and domes and water tanks, or a hurry-up lunch, an old friend, beach chairs and takeout Chinese and how the snapdragons smell buttery in the sun.

This was Klara Sax’s summer at the roofline.”

Don DeLillo, Underworld,

A deceptively simple passage that offers so much in so few lines. Stripped away of unnecessary ‘fluff’, no room for those adverbs that pave the way to hell, as Stephen King once opined. DeLillo’s blend of simple description with introspection drops the reader into the scene, a silent witness, viewing and feeling the scene as the narrator sees it. Prose that bears the hallmarks of Joyce, Hemingway, and Woolf, with the added eye for detail and economy that comes from a literary apprenticeship served as copywriter among the Mad Men of 50s NYC. A passage of simple brilliance, a ‘show, don’t tell’ masterclass, hidden within the pages of DeLillo’s Pulitzer nominated American opus.

The ‘rooftop summer’, an immeadiate image, outside, on high, warm. ‘Wedged gardens’ precious, small sanctuaries, high within a crowded city landscape; the elegant quality of wrought iron furniture, its character defined by its rust; well-worn, faded from its former glory, but loved and full of story, perhaps. The heavy metals, the iron and copper, softened by the climbing roses, the ‘maiden’s blush’. It’s an idyll, an image that our narrator may be romanticising, looking back through nostalgic eyes at a time made more glorious through the passing years. ‘Maybe they’re French roses’ (maybe, perhaps, not?). It was lunch, it was night, it was drinking soup, eating Chinese food.The cascade of fractured memory, pieced together to create a beautiful bridge between fiction and truth.

Remembering that time, the warmth, a setting sun on an angular skyline, laughter, the smell of buttery snapdragons.

A time that was over too soon, unreliably, romantically recalled: forever ‘precious in the night, floating…’

A deceptively simple passage that offers so much in so few lines. Stripped away of unnecessary ‘fluff’, no room for those adverbs that pave the way to hell, as Stephen King once opined. DeLillo’s blend of simple description with introspection drops the reader into the scene, a silent witness, viewing and feeling the scene as the narrator sees it.

Prose that bears the hallmarks of Joyce, Hemingway, and Woolf, with the added eye for detail and economy that comes from a literary apprenticeship served as copywriter among the Mad Men of 50s NYC. A passage of simple brilliace, a ‘show, don’t tell’ masterclass, hidden within the pages of DeLillo’s Pulitzer nominated American opus.

The ‘rooftop summer’, an immeadiate image, outside, on high, warm. ‘Wedged gardens’ precious, small sanctuaries, high within a crowded city landscape; the elegant quality of wrought iron furniture, its character defined by its rust; well-worn, faded from its former glory, but loved and full of story, perhaps. The heavy metals, the iron and copper, softened by the climbing roses, the ‘maiden’s blush’.

It’s an idyll, an image that our narrator may be romanticising, looking back through nostalgic eyes at a time made more glorious through the passing of time. ‘Maybe they’re French roses’ (maybe, perhaps, not?). It was lunch, it was night, it was drinking soup, eating Chinese food.The cascade of fractured memory, pieced together to create a beautiful bridge between fiction and truth.

Remembering that time, the warmth, a setting sun on an angular skyline, laughter, the smell of buttery snapdragons.

A time that was over too soon, unreliably, romantically recalled: forever ‘precious in the night, floating…’

Pros and Not-so-Pros

Pros and Not-so-Pros

Pro-choice

If you want frosties instead of cornflakes who am I to stop you.

Anti-biotics

Maybe not too pc but I have a real predjudice against biotics. For that matter I hate histamines as well.

Anti-Clockwise

It’s clockwise or nothing as far as I’m concerned

Prologue

I am completely in favour of all types of chopped wood.

Antithesis

I oppose all kinds of dissertations as well.

Promotion

I approve of everything that moves.

Prozac

I just love him in high school musical.

Anti-natal

There are much better parts of South Africa

Prolapse

I love it when time ebbs away

Antiseptic

Vehemently opposed to anything that gets infected.

Prolong

Which by definition makes me anti-short I suppose.

Anti-pasti

And other savoury products for that matter.

Program

Metric measurements rule.

Protein

Although I preferred my twenties.

Anti-matter

I hate stuff.

Why You Should Be Regularly Updating Your Content

Oct 27, 2014 - takenotewriting.com - 20
Content Helps Google Love You

Adding regular, well-written and presented content to your website is an increasingly important and effective method of improving your organic ranking on the major search engines. As people more frequently search for specific things online, any site that demonstrates that it's looking to provide information and help in its respective field or industry can significantly improve its visibility and long-term sustainable ranking prowess.

Oct 27, 2014 - takenotewriting.com - 25
Content Helps You Engage Your Clients on Social Media

Most businesses these days have cottoned onto the idea that social media is a hugely powerful player in the overall marketing of a business. But how do you make this effective? It's all very well building a whole load of followers on Twitter or Likes to your Facebook page but what are you doing to retain their interest? If your strategy is simply to bombard them with new products and offers all the time don't be surprised if they drift away or never actually engage with your services. but if you're providing relevant and interesting content to those who already have some interest in your business or brand then you're much more likely to have increases in clicks through to your site and help create longer-term engagement with potential clients.

3

Be Known As An Authority Figure In Your Industry

Oct 27, 2014
Be Known As An Authority Figure In Your Industry

Regular features, news, information and general content about your business and industry creates the impression that you are on-the-pulse when it comes to your job and can position you as the expert in your field that you undoubtedly are. If people are finding you and your business making regular contributions to the things that are current then you are building trust in yourself, your brand and your business.

Oct 27, 2014 - takenotewriting.com - 18
Content Increases Your Brand Awareness

Building your brand is a requirement of most successful business models and something that you should be doing as part of your online and offline marketing. Creating new content under your brand banner enhances the business' reputation as a market leader and a name that can be trusted. Content that can be used for offline purposes (sales literature, brochures etc) can be reinforced with relevant and related content added to your web pages, blog posts and email campaigns to ever strengthen your brand image.

5

Content Can Be Another Form of Networking

Oct 27, 2014
Content Can Be Another Form of Networking

Creating a blog or news stream on your website and linking it to your social media accounts can be an effective way to network with clients, colleagues and collaborators in conjunction with offline strategies you may have. It's another forum to share ideas, strike up conversations, field queries and comments and to provide solutions to problems which may lead clients towards your products and services. You may be asked to contribute to other sites or even have others contribute to your site if you are seen to be actively staying up to date within your industry.

6

Explain Why Your Clients Need Your Product or Service

Oct 27, 2014
Explain Why Your Clients Need Your Product or Service

Whilst we don't want to bombard our audience with products and services all the time your content does provide a great opportunity to talk through the relative benefits of your products in a constructive way, maybe through a how to guide or explanations on how your service can add value or solve a particular issue that your customers might have in their business. This form of online selling can be far more appealing and informative to your audience and keep them interested in what you have to offer.

Oct 27, 2014 - takenotewriting.com - 19
Bring Out Your Business' Personality in Your Content

We all much prefer a business that has a degree of humanity to it, don't we? Yes we want a business with whom we can trust, who conveys an expertise or takes what they do seriously, but then again, not many want to be dealing with some faceless corporation with no soul either. Use your content to show that you're human, that you can relate to your client's needs because you live in the real world too. Promote the way you work alongside the things you sell and you can further engage your clients interests.

The Boy Without Shoes

The Boy Without Shoes

Tied together they dangle from the phone line which stretches between the rows of terraced houses.

Small shoes, black shoes – scuffed toes and well worn soles.

They sway gently on the breeze, an odd hanging ornament over the quiet road, the parked cars.

Along the street the boy stands alone; crying. The socks on his feet are damp and cold and he can’t feel his toes. He sniffs, wipes the snot and blood from his nostrils and starts for home, wondering, again, why they always go for him.

Gareth J Hill.

Gareth J Hill.

Trying to figure out the world, as he seems to have lost the instructions

All you really need to know for the moment is that the universe is a lot more complicated than you might think, even if you start from a position of thinking it’s pretty damn complicated in the first place.Douglas Adams

These are the facts:

Born, not in a crossfire hurricane, but an operating theatre in the Heath Hospital, Cardiff in 1973, I was a C-Section baby long before it became fashionable. Oh yes, and I share a birthday with Danny DeVito, Martin Scorsese and Peter Cook.

So not much to live up to then.

As a child I wanted to be Indiana Jones when I grew up. It almost happened. Like Indy, I’m terrified of snakes.
I’ve lived in Cardiff, Liverpool and Rhode Island (US of A) where I once met James Woods in a cinema, an episode more memorable to me than to him, I suspect.

Along the way I’ve picked up a BA in American Studies (yes, this is a real degree) and an MA in Creative & Media Writing from Swansea University.

Having worked as, among other things, a sales rep, sandwich maker, sausage batterer, chauffeur and cleaner these days I spend my time and earn my way as a freelance writer, producing copy & content as well as developing WordPress style websites for clients around South Wales and beyond.

And if that’s not enough I’m a husband to a wonderful wife and father to two awesome boys.
For my sins, I write fiction, a bit of poetry and blog posts – one of which almost certainly rants against people using phrases such as ‘for my sins’.

What do I like?

Being a Welshman I’ve fallen into the trap of following rugby. Which is fine if a bit of a stereotype and, to compound things I used to know the words to Max Boyce’s ‘Scottish Trip’ until I was hit on the head by a golf ball, coincidentally by Max Boyce.

I still like rugby and, whisper it – football. But what really does it for me is film, TV, literature and wallowing in the mire of pop culture from my youth. All of which I will tend to write about through misty eyed nostalgia whenever the mood grabs me.

Yes, I love Dangermouse and ‘Allo ‘Allo in completely non-ironic ways and firmly believe that Tiswas marks the high watermark of kids Saturday morning telly.

I love fiction and I love the short story – Raymond Carver, for me, is just about as good as it gets.

What I like I tend to love and what I hate isn’t much and tends to change on a regular basis.

So turn on, tune in and for God’s sake wash your hands when you’re done.

The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk
Home Privacy Policy Terms Of Use Contact Us Affiliate Disclosure