Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

Two for Tuesday Challenge #10 – Midland Memoir

with 10 comments

Here’s another up-to-the-wire entry for Andy Black’s Two for Tuesday Challenge. This week the prompts were:


Standard prompt:
dead drunk

You have lots of creative leeway. The limit is 200 words.

Non-Standard Prompt:
This week for the alternative prompt, write a story that relies on a distinctive dialect as a central part of the tale. As per usual with the Non-standard prompt there is no word limit (to allow for more in depth explorations) but there is a minimum of 200 words.


Midland Memoir (205 words)

It didn’t last long after I’d moved. It couldn’t. You can take the man out of the Black Country, but the Black Country will never leave the man. It resurfaces occasionally, but as a child I couldn’t help it. I was pilloried in the playground, taunted to recite rhymes for the entertainment of my peers. They would clutch their stomachs with laughter, poke to make me flinch, goad the performing monkey.

Children don’t know any better. Bollocks. It was only a minority who participated. Others stood further away, watching, fidgeting in their discomfort and mine, some on the verge of getting a teacher to help.

I was rescued by Mr. Prosser. He was Welsh and had the come-to-bed voice of the valleys; softly spoken like a brook trickling through mountains.

‘Do you poke and laugh at me?’ he asked in assembly. ‘No? Then you don’t do it to Spencer either.’

I learnt to push away my voice, shortened my vowels, moderated my squawk.

It oonly coomes out noaw when ar’ve had a phew. When ar’ve been oout on the towun loik and enjoyed mesel. When arm dead drunk yo can hardly understand a word ar’m saying. Problem am these days, neither can ar.


Click for more on the Black Country and its dialect.


Written by Sarah Ann

June 3, 2013 at 9:07 pm

10 Responses

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  1. This was very nicely done. like this one, ‘softly spoken like a brook trickling through mountains..’ but now that he is an adult, no one would dare make fun of him:)


    June 4, 2013 at 1:25 am

    • I’m very glad you liked it. Hopefully no one would make fun, but the Black Country and other Midlands accents are still not very prominent in the media in the UK. People claim not to like them.

      Sarah Ann

      June 4, 2013 at 8:06 pm

  2. He was Welsh and had the come-to-bed voice of the valleys; softly spoken like a brook trickling through mountains. This story is a stand out! 😀

    Linda Vernon

    June 4, 2013 at 4:23 am

    • Thanks for that great comment, Linda. I liked those lines too. It’s much easier to describe a Welsh accent than a Black Country one!

      Sarah Ann

      June 4, 2013 at 7:57 pm

  3. I haven’t seen this challenge before, you have mastered the prompt Sarah this was a very enjoyable read, I was reading your last few lines exactly how your wrote and how they would have been spoken. Well done.


    June 4, 2013 at 10:10 am

    • I’ve been having lots of fun (and headaches) with Andy’s challenge since I found it. If you’ve got time, then join in.
      I’m glad you got the last few lines. I spent only three years in the Black Country, but once I managed to focus, I was talking away to myself quite happily to write the words phonetically. (Thankfully hubby was out.)

      Sarah Ann

      June 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm

  4. Ar’d ne’r been to th’ Black Country oontil today. A loovely bit o’ prose. Thankee for playing aloong…


    June 4, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    • Well, if you’re ever in the UK, make sure you take a trip to the Black Country. They’re a very warm and generous people.

      Sarah Ann

      June 4, 2013 at 7:56 pm

      • With my surname being Black I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least try to get there someday. It’s a long trip from ‘across the pond’ though.


        June 4, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      • Definitely a long trip.

        Sarah Ann

        June 4, 2013 at 8:54 pm

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