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Portela or Sacavém perhaps (flash fiction)



Portela or Sacavém perhaps

a free 500-word short story

by Morgen Bailey

This story was inspired by prompts* supplied by Amanda Niehaus-Hard,

winner of Morgen’s December 2015 500-word challenge.

*The prompts are listed after the story.

Shakespir Edition

Copyright 2016 Morgen Bailey

Discover other titles by Morgen Bailey at Shakespir.com.

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

Thank you for downloading this free eBook.

Although this is a free book, it remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be reproduced, copied and distributed for commercial or non-commercial purposes.

If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy at Shakespir.com, where they can also discover other works by this author.

Thank you for your support.


Portela or Sacavém perhaps

“You caught something, Bobby?”

Bobby pulled up his fishing rod and shook his head. He then looked at the mini-mountain of fish sitting next to his older brother Alonzo and shrugged, a half-meant smile and nod delivered before looking back at the slightly murky water of the Tagus.

Bobby thought of the fish and sighed for those still moving, one a particularly beautiful shade of sea-foam green. He wished they were fishing off a boat out to sea, nowhere dangerous like the Atlantic, but east, along the coast… Portela or Sacavém perhaps.

But they couldn’t afford a boat, not since…

Alonzo standing distracted Bobby. “Better put all this lot away before it goes off,” the older boy said and returned to his car.

Bobby watched him and wanted to throw back the fish but knew the repercussions if he did. Just returning the wriggling ones would be bad enough but all of them? He shook his head. No, he could never do that. He owed his life to Alonzo and however little love lost there was between them, they were still blood. “Blood brothers,” Bobby said, then squealed as Alonzo pulled him up by his right ear.

“What you saying?”

“Nothing,” Bobby whimpered then rubbed his ear when Alonzo let go.

“Good. Best for everyone if you saying nothing.” Alonzo leaned in closer. “Ever. You hear?”

Bobby nodded and looked down at his feet. A couple of his toes were threatening to burst through the scuffed left shoe, the one he used to kick the ground with when he was waiting for his brother, which was more often than he would have liked.

“Here, give me a hand.” Alonzo pointed towards their mother’s old washing basket.

“Poor little orphans,” their neighbour, Padre Clemente, had said on hearing news of their mother’s death, then the priest had scuttled back inside to his dinner.

Alonzo had also blamed Bobby for their father leaving. Although Bobby had been his favourite son, the easy one, the one named after the Manchester United captain, Senhor D’Souza had still left him on the eve of his seventh birthday to be brought up by their alcoholic mother and the older brother who had always resented him but their mother had loved more. Bobby had been the last one to see her alive and Alonzo had said it was his fault, could only have been his fault.

With the basket full and back in the car, Alonzo got in the driver’s seat and waited for his brother to join him.

Bobby shook his head.

Alonzo muted the already-blaring radio and wound down the passenger-side window. “What? Get in.”

Bobby shook his head again. “I’ll walk.”

Alonzo laughed. “It’s twenty kilometres. Bit more.”

Bobby shrugged. “It’s a nice day.”

Alonzo shook his head, wound up the window, unmuted the radio, and drove off.

Bobby turned his face as the dust blew up from the battered Opel. He had a confession to make and knew just the person to tell.






and the winner of the December 2015 challenge was Amanda Niehaus-Hard with the following suggested components…


p<>{color:#1A1A1A;}. Character name/s: Alonzo, Bobby

p<>{color:#1A1A1A;}. Location: Lisbon

p<>{color:#1A1A1A;}. Object: Fishing pole

p<>{color:#1A1A1A;}. Dilemma: A secret that is known to both parties but must be admitted

p<>{color:#1A1A1A;}. Character trait / emotion / quirk: Shyness

p<>{color:#1A1A1A;}. Colour / shade of colour: Sea foam green

p<>{color:#1A1A1A;}. Other comments: Down ending


Do let me know what you think. We’d love to hear from you. You can leave a review on Shakespir and / or email me at [email protected].


About the Author

Based in Northamptonshire, England, Morgen Bailey is a freelance editor, writing-related blogger, creative writing tutor for her county council, and the author of numerous short stories, novels, articles and some poetry. She is also the annual HE Bates Short Story Competition Head Judge for 2015/6.

When not researching for her teaching or writing, Morgen is a British Red Cross book volunteer and walks her dog (often while reading, writing or editing) and reads, though not as often as she’d like, and mostly to review.

Everything she’s involved is detailed on her blog http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com and she can usually be found chatting away about all things literary on Twitter, Facebook (where she is morgenwriteruk) and LinkedIn, amongst others.

You can discover other titles by Morgen Bailey at Shakespir.com.

Note from the Author

Thank you for downloading ‘Portela or Sacavém perhaps’.

The idea to run a 500-challenge came to me as a way for me to write more than I do (and short stories have always been my first love) and who doesn’t enjoy giving away prizes?

I already give away my online courses on [+ https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/100-word-free-monthly-competition+] and I provide an editing service so I thought what better way to combine writing and editing by creating [+ https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/500-word-flash-fiction-challenge+].

I welcome feedback on any aspect of writing, and you can either find me on the links listed under ‘About the Author’ or via email: [email protected].

Both myself and Amanda would appreciate you leaving a review to encourage other visitors to read this short story. Thank you.


Portela or Sacavém perhaps (flash fiction)

In December 2015, I started a monthly competition challenging my blog visitors to provide me with prompts for me to choose my favourite and write their story in no more than 500 words. The piece published here is exactly 500 words and was inspired by the prompts below provided by Amanda Niehaus-Hard Character name/s: Alonzo, Bobby Location: Lisbon Object: Fishing pole Dilemma: A secret that is known to both parties but must be admitted Character trait / emotion / quirk: Shyness Colour / shade of colour: Sea foam green Other comments: Down ending I loved writing it and Amanda tells me that she thoroughly enjoyed reading it so we hope you do too (and that you take a moment to leave a review to encourage others to read it - thank you!). And maybe it will inspire you to go to my blog and challenge me to write your story! (The challenge is ongoing and has a 15th of the month deadline.) The details are at the end of the eBook together with my email address should you need further information or like to feedback on this challenge.

  • ISBN: 9781311077851
  • Author: Morgen Bailey
  • Published: 2016-01-26 16:40:17
  • Words: 961
Portela or Sacavém perhaps (flash fiction) Portela or Sacavém perhaps (flash fiction)