Ten Stories About Something – ‘Ether’ by Sally-Anne Wilkinson

New on Storgy. I’d love to hear your thoughts.



Sally-Anne Wilkinson

typewriter love

The days and nights, I drift, like flotsam on the tide.

Soon I’ll wash away entirely.

Of course, there are moments when I grasp on, when I hear the stampede of life, and remember what I was; when all this started.

I’ll tell you about it, while I’ve got time.


Physically, I felt odd for a while, with lack of sleep getting the blame. I was recently a new partner at Fassett, Masters & Jones, and found it difficult at times, though nothing I couldn’t handle. Yet each day, I became increasingly off-kilter – a strange sensation, like losing myself.

Oscar laughed. ‘What? Don’t be daft. You’re just tired, that’s all.’

‘It’s more than that.’

‘You need a change… A weekend away. Me. You. No kids…’

That’s the trouble with Oscar. Things need to fall down around him before he takes them seriously – but I knew it…

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Filed under Fiction, Short fiction, Storgy

4 responses to “Ten Stories About Something – ‘Ether’ by Sally-Anne Wilkinson

  1. hey, i think this was my fav of your stories so far…i guess for obv reasons as i really like strange metaphysical elements. but i think there were interpretive possibilities here too. it built up really well. i was reading this book recently that i saw described as a mood piece and the idea interested me and kinda saw elements of it here. the recurring skin references…related sleeplessness at the start really well&the disturbed,strange mood leaked over the rest of the story,building up. some really cool writing moments too,like the spewed sunlight&rippling under the skin. yeah,really like this one,cheers!

    • Stephen, hello! Thanks for the lovely comments. I can see you’d ‘get’ this – as you say, there’s always a thread of something strange and phantasmagorical about your stories. I got the idea after reading Ian McEwan’s ‘Solid Geometry’ and and seeing the word ‘ether’ in a piece of writing. It’s not always been a popular story of mine though. Some people know exactly what it’s trying to relate (though I’m not sure even I know that), and others are waiting for something more. I actually wrote it a few years back at the start of my writing ‘career’ (for want of a better word), so I feel my writing has matured a bit since then, but I am still very fond of it, because it’s unusual, and I’ve never written anything like it since.

      • You should be fond of it! I like stories that are open to individual interpretation, that can mean different things to different people. I think that it can be something new and confusing for some people (and magazine editors) when a story isn’t beginning, middle&ending, with everything wrapped up neatly in a bow and all the characters go home at the end having learnt something. I understand that too, because it is how we are commonly told stories, hollywood etc. But I enjoy and find it more challenging when I am encouraged to participate and come to my own conclusions, think about what a story means to me. You might even not be totally aware & 100 per cent certain what you are conveying but your subconscious is leaking into your work, it is wholly your own. This is part of writing, I think, to understand yourself. I don’t agree that everything has to be spelled out or neatly wrapped up: once a story is out there it’s open to interpretation, it’s as much anyone else’s as it is your own – mood, feeling, and the experience of reading a piece are as important a part as beginning. middle, ending. Anyway, that’s what I think. Quite a long comment, there, sorry! 🙂

  2. Sorry that it’s taken so long to respond. And there’s no need to apologise for the length of your comment – as always it was an extremely interesting one. I love your impressions of my stories, and your knowledge about fiction writing and writing theory. Like you, I too enjoy it when I’m challenged. Also, I tend to think, if people have a strong reaction to a story – whether they love it or hate it – it’s far better than the indifference that a lot of writing is met with. I want to write stories that people think about, not forget about once it’s been read.

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