Posts from the “Flash Fiction” Category

Last Stop

Posted on February 11, 2012

Joe lay slumped in his chair opposite, his head resting against a pillow, his pyjama top wide open, exposing his sagging belly. His face was bright pink, almost cherubic, and his pupils deep red almost as if they were on fire, demonic even. He was angry and you could see it. Angry about being old and sick. He scowled. Classical music floated from a small, portable radio on a table in front of him and he moved his head in unison, hypnotised by its strains, his only joy in this place of lost souls. Little tufts of white hair clung to the sides of his head and his eyebrows drooped over his face almost blocking his vision. He looked at me almost enviously, wandering…

Lost and Found

Posted on February 3, 2012

I kept staring at the date on the calendar. One year since she vanished. One whole year since my world stood still. I tried to replay those last moments but my mind refused to let them in, shutting them out and protecting me from the horror of it all. Occasionally her face would flicker into view, laughing and smiling then it would be gone in an instant and I would be left with nothing. Just an emptiness that overwhelmed me. I got up and walked to the window. Our window, where we had hugged and dreamt of our future together. Now there was only blackness. I stared out, hoping to see her but all I saw was my own reflection; a gaunt, hunched and…

Empty Words

Posted on February 3, 2012

I heard he had been ill but wasn’t prepared for the figure that opened the door. I should have known something was wrong when I heard the shuffling in the corridor, then the fiddling with the door handle. I waited as the curses grew louder, then it opened. An eye peered at me in the darkness. ‘I didn’t mean to disturb you,’ I muttered, ‘I was looking for Terry.’ The eye focused, the door opened wider and the figure ushered me in. I stepped forward nervously, glanced at him and tried to smile. He pointed at me. ‘In there,’ he barked. I moved forward into a large lounge. It was barren and empty and the dim light cast shadows on the walls. He shuffled…

Diana’s Cafe

Posted on February 2, 2012

He had that look of stoic anger, his lips drawn together tightly and his face contorted and focused. He never spoke, never even looked at you, apart from a cursory glance and nod as he took your order. You could tell he was angry by the way he banged everything loudly. The cups, the spoons, the plates, all thumped down to remind you that he existed and what you saw wasn’t really him. He shouldn’t have been a café owner, serving breakfasts to the itinerant workers and passing office staff. Inside he was an artist, a painter, a writer, perhaps an opera singer. This was all an illusion and he wanted you to know it. He was about fifty with grey, receding hair. He…

The Heron

Posted on February 2, 2012

My wife told me that she had bought a heron the other day. She said that it would stop the seagulls eating the goldfish in the pond. I tried to understand why she had done such a thing but decided not to question her decision. You see she had not been herself for some time and this was just another instance of her increasing eccentricity. It had come on quite suddenly when she had turned fifty and there had been a marked change in her personality. I put it down to the menopause at first but then her mood swings became more extreme. One minute she would be smiling and laughing, the next she would burst into tears and say that she did not…

Pick Up

Posted on February 2, 2012

He knew she was the one the minute he saw her. He had driven past on the opposite side of the road and spotted her standing by the bus stop in the pouring rain. He drove past again, gave her a cursory glance then, turning at the next island, approached her. He stopped alongside, wound down the window and spoke. “Sorry to bother you but I’m a little lost. Do you know the way to the M3?” She hesitated then stepped forward. He could see that she was about 18, frail but pretty all the same. “If you carry on down this road to the next island and then turn left, it’s about 4 miles that way. You can’t miss it. You’ll see the…

The Homecoming

Posted on February 2, 2012

They let her out of the home the other day. Said it would do her good. She was becoming too institutionalised, just sitting there all the time, staring out of the window and talking to it. He had tried to resist, saying he couldn’t cope. Said his heart was playing up. But they were having none of it. Expenditure cuts and all that. Everybody had to tighten their belts. It would only be for a weekend they said. Surely that wouldn’t be too much of a strain. She was his wife after all. He collected her on the Saturday morning. She hadn’t changed. She was still wearing the old striped cardigan with the traces of egg stains engrained across her breasts and her hair…