Paula Puddephatt writes Realistic Fiction, both Modern Historical and Contemporary.
She is interested in relationships, and doesn't shy away from dark and controversial subjects, but her approach tends to be compassionate.
This is a small selection of short fiction, from Paula's archives. Her story length ranges from Flash Fiction to the shorter end of the short story spectrum.
Excerpt from The Club:
It was all over, in a matter of minutes. That's the ironic part.
There were three of us: my best mates, Catherine and Vanessa, and myself. We'd been going to the local youth club for a couple of years, at the time.
It was okay. I mean, there were trendier places to hang out, on a Friday night. But, when you're thirteen, and have the misfortune to look it...
Remember those Panda drinks? Coke or shandy - take your pick. Both were cheap, and somewhat nasty. That was what they served at what they termed “the bar”, although it wasn't one, as far as I was concerned - not if you couldn't purchase a pint of Stella or a bottle of Bud there.
They did, however, sell barely edible “Pink Shrimps”, which retailed at 2p each. Alternatively, there were “White Mice” - a totally inedible bargain, at 1p per “Mouse”. Ideal for lobbing at the acne-covered twelve- to fifteen-year-old “hunks”, whom my friends and I were far too shy to chat up, as such.
The Club held discos, once a month. The three of us would dutifully, and somewhat unconvincingly, prance around, pretending to be Madonna, whenever the DJ played her latest hits, such as “Like a Virgin”, “Material Girl”, and “Into the Groove”. In retrospect, he didn't play much else.
Well, there were the slow songs, of course. As none of us had boyfriends, we'd sit those ones out. Along with the inevitable “Crazy For You”, there were “Careless Whisper” and “Move Closer”.
I don't think the DJ could have had a particularly large record collection. Probably worked for our local radio station, come to think of it, as the playlist was almost identical.
Cath's elder sister, Tracy, helped out at the club, on a voluntary basis. Vanessa was, of late, incapable of acting like a sane human being, in Tracy's presence. This was on account of her jealousy - of Tracy's, unquestionably gorgeous, fiance, Matt. Catherine fancied him, too. I was the only one who didn't.
I didn't even especially like the guy, although I couldn't have told you why.