It occurs to me that:
People who have failed in a job should be seriously considered for reappointment because they are likely to have learnt from their mistakes and will be eager to restore their reputation.
In The Pantiles a young man, almost certainly a music student, is performing on a violin. I am no expert but he seems to be doing so with skill. The music, Bach I think, drifts through the crowd drawing you to it. It is an adornment to a summer afternoon. It fits. I reach in my pocket for all the change I have. Above all he has no amplifier and there is no need of one.
A couple dining at a restaurant table beside a lake under a starlit sky are in the midst of an intense row. My latest short story in One Fine Day reveals its resolution. See http://www.hnjh.blogspot.com
Joe, as usual I have trouble commenting at One Find Day, so I wish to place it here:
"Counting to ten in many languages - what a clever idea for diffusing a lovers' quarrel! If you know enough languages.... Great little tale, Joe."
Oops, it spoils the answer for other readers, sorry! You may do as you wish with it.
Joe; People who have failed in their jobs should be made to put things right, instead of being allowed to resign and get away with it. On a more positive note [ :) ], you're obviously a supreme optimist. That can't be bad, can it?
M - L. I meant the laughter to be involantry and on the edge of hysteria, Though once lovers I don't think they are any more. I have accordingly modified the last lines. Thank you.
Tom It is one of those way out lateral thinking ideas of mine, intended to be practical. But unlikely to succeed.
I confess I haven't followed your short stories. Not through laziness or disagreement but because I doubted I had anything to contribute. I hardly ever voluntarily read short stories (though I do have a Penguin of Elizabeth's Taylor's stories on your recommendation and I do intend to read them) and although I've written perhaps a dozen and a half only one met my vaguely conceived idea of what a short story consists of. And the reasons why this happened remain a mystery.
However - and for reasons which also are a mystery - this one works. The trick seems to be a process of paring down but not to the point where nothing else may happen, or has happened. Although the timing may not be right there is a link - in my mind if in no one else's - between this story and the quotation from Elmore Leonard's "rules" you included several days ago. I suspect that you, like me, have been been dwelling on these in odd moments recently. Anyway I detect a certain amount of ruthlessness in the way you put this story together.
What is a short story? Here's one idea. Perhaps it's a written version of a painting where the central feature is well-lit and clearly defined set against a much less certain background that has required equally profound painterly skills and may or may not flirt with ambiguity but - in visual terms - is absolutely vital to an appreciation of what is going on in the foreground. In fact, tension between form and content with neither able to exist without the other in this particular instance.
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