Bretton Loney of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is the author of The Beggar’s Shoe Box, the story won second place in Quarter Castle Publishing’s first short story writing contest.
Recently Quarter Castle Publishing interviewed Bretton.
QCP: When did you decide to become a writer?
I decided to become a journalist first. I decided to become a journalist during my first undergraduate degree at the University of Lethbridge and joined the student newspaper. From my late teens on, I thought about becoming a writer but didn’t seriously think about it until my late 20s. I didn’t really act upon it until my early 30s.
Bretton Loney of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is the author of The Beggar’s Show Box, the story won second place in Quarter Castle Publishing’s first short story writing contest.
Here’s a sample from the short story.
Aside from the shoe box, he didn’t stand out from other beggars downtown. He rattled coins around in a Tim Horton’s cup, muttering, “spare some change,” in a scratchy voice as he sat cross-legged on the sidewalk.
I had walked past him and was heading down the street when a friend, Diane, called out my name. I turned and waved. The beggar pulled a shoe box from a gym bag by his side, opened it and took out a slip of paper. He scribbled one word on it with a stubby pencil, put the lid on and slid the box into the bag.
I wouldn’t have given it another thought if not for the way he did it: like a miser stashing his gold.
I started to notice him after that day. He was tall and lanky, and always wore a red Hawaiian shirt and stained ball cap. He sat in the shade of a provincial building in the mornings and on other corners near my office later in the day.
When he thought no one was looking, he would pull out the black shoe box, take out pieces of paper and write frantically for a few seconds. Then he’d put them back in the box and bag in one smooth motion.