Snippet #2

I'm off on holiday on Wednesday, so may not be posting anything for a week or two.  No doubt I will return to mild nags from Facebook, telling me that it's missed me, and so have the 102 (102!) people who "like" my page.  I expect they could all do with a break from the E.E. Cummings quotes, to be honest.

Anyway, I shall leave you with scrapings together of my last BBC Radio 4 pitch.  It was kindly rejected on the grounds that someone else had already had a similar idea and the commissioning editor hadn't liked that either.  I wrote this whilst slightly wobbly on pink wine and trying to hide my screen from the man sitting next to me on the train.  I have deleted all of the "STOP READING THIS!", "I KNOW YOU'RE WATCHING ME TYPE!" style abuse I had added for his benefit.*

* * *
After her sister's death Caitlin has to take care of all of the necessary and miserable details.  Clearing out her flat.  Closing down her social media channels, and notifying anyone out of the loop that Claire has passed away.
Her first port of call is Claire's flat.  She notices the flashing answer machine, but cannot bear to hit play, so gathers up the post and leaves. 
Caitlin takes Claire's mobile phone to a store to try and get it unlocked.  There are text messages and voicemail to respond to.  There are several unplayed messages on the phone.  Caitlin hits play.  A voice tells her that her dry-cleaning is ready to be collected.  Caitlin sighs and makes a note.  The next message is Claire's boyfriend, Ian, sighing, briefly moaning that Claire isn't there, and then hanging up.  Then there's a hissing noise and Claire's voice says "Hello?  Hello?" and then clicks and stops.
Caitlin's Mum is there to lend a shoulder.  It was bound to happen.  Caitlin was bound to replay an old message or come across Claire's voice somewhere along the way.  Just cry it out.

Playing the voicemail steels Caitlin to clear the rest of Claire's messages from the home answer machine.  There's a recorded message informing her that she's not yet taken the opportunity for new loft insulation.  Another message from Ian, sighing, moaning, hanging up.  And then a message from Claire.  Left on Monday at 2:00am.  "Hello?  Hello?" and then clicking into absence.
Caitlin wipes the messages.  This is closure of a sort.  She won't have to run this particular audio gauntlet again.

Caitlin is sent a friend request from Glenn, an old school friend of Claire's. "Noticed you were in Claire's friend's list.  Remember me?"
Caitlin groans.  Yet another person she is going to have to tell.  You'd think she'd have honed how to deliver this news by now, but every time she thinks it's become easier it actually turns out to be harder.  It still slices through her like fresh information whenever she says the words.  My sister is dead.  Sorry.  Claire's no longer with us.  And some people are so dense.  How many ways can you coat this pill?  She's dead.  She's gone.  She's turning into an extended Monty Python sketch.  Go and watch it, and substitute the word "Parrot" for the word "Claire".  Leave me alone.  I'm grieving.

Glenn turns out to be a particularly obtuse online messenger.  "OMG!" he says.  "That's so sad, I'm so sorry.  She accepted my friend request only two days ago, I can't believe this has happened."  Neither can Caitlin, since Claire died over a week ago.  She's angry.  What's this guy playing at? Is this some sort of sick joke?  But then her friend checks her Facebook account and there's a status update from Claire.  Hello? Hello?
The phone rings.
* * *

And yes.  This is the thing I was working on that I had a small moan about in the blog called "Naming".  It's lovely that you've been paying attention.

*I didn't really.