Derek was, according to one of his final year teachers, a most forgettably unremarkable boy. Neither short nor tall, fat nor skinny, wiry nor stocky. He rarely asked for help and never excelled nor failed. He played cricket and football, but only in the B division. And he was, therefore, in every respect a perfect student and if only every class was composed of boys like him then perhaps teaching wouldn’t drive so many to drink.
His peers found him a little standoffish and quiet. He had a most remarkable ability to be involved in a group discussion at one moment and then someone would turn and say “Where’s Derek gotten to?” and everyone would stop and remark that it had been at least five or perhaps ten minutes since last they remembered seeing him, but they certainly hadn’t seen him leave.
Walter, his father and only living family, would tell any who would listen that Derek bought naught but despair and anguish to all around him. If one were to believe Walter, then Derek had caused him to suffer a most pernicious disease of the liver and had caused his beloved wife, Ada, to slip in front of the three pm train to London. If one were, instead, to believe the local constabulary, then it is probable that Walter’s liver condition was brought on by an excess of drink and that Ada’s accident was caused by a runaway calf and the Ferguson twins.
Ever so slightly over the word count today, but I think I’ll let that pass.
I started reading Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell today and watched a couple of eps of The Paradise this evening and I think it may have affected my voice a tad.
I’m discovering that the trouble with 200 words is that there’s no room for more than one of exposition, dialogue, or action. I wonder if I wouldn’t be better served letting the limit drift up closer to four or five hundred words. Though I’d definitely want a hard cap at a low enough level that people can read what I’ve written in a trivial amount of time. I dunno. I shall think on it and see what others have to say.