flash fiction, flashfiction, microfiction, short story, Uncategorized

‘Quality Time’

Afewpics 315


My son Josh and I stood in Tesco’s car park, eating our sandwiches, watching a Ford Fiesta repeatedly driving into the Saab parked in front of it.  Bang.   Reverse a few feet.   Bang.  Reverse a few feet.  Bang.  Josh’s sandwich box blew off in the wind and I nearly told him to go chase it, but the Fiesta was gathering quite a crowd, and I’d rather him there by my side.  I put a hand round his shoulder while we ate, chewing in time to the Saab’s alarm.

I asked the trolley guy what was going on.  He was there before us.  Apparently, the Fiesta driver had written a story and shown it to a colleague at work.  The colleague didn’t get it.  Bang.  I don’t know why they put themselves through it.  “Is that the colleague’s car?” I asked.  “Don’t think so,” said the trolley man, before turning to answer someone else.

Sirens wailed in the distance, then got more distant.  Once we’d finished our sandwiches, Josh suggested going back in to buy some eggs to throw at the Fiesta.  It sort of made sense to me, so we did that, along with some soft tomatoes, and a few cans of fruit,  reduced because they looked like they’d been punched in the gut.  We came back and started chucking.  It caught on with the crowd.  Soon several of us were at it.  Bang.  Reverse.  Hurl.  Bang.  Reverse.  Hurl.

Quality time.

flashfiction, short story

‘From A Slip Of A Thing’



Don’t open the door in your slip, Mum, no matter the salesmen smile.  Each tooth bared in their mouths is a dagger in our hearts. You never buy but still they call.  We even hid the bell; they whoop through the letter box.  Their shadows through the window climb the hall.

Don’t baby that joint up your blouse, Mum, a potato’ll do us just fine.  Baked, buttered, salted, we’ll eat well for England.  The butcher looking and a rib pushing out between your buttons. The butcher and his dog have the same narrowed eyes, the same pant.

Don’t get up to take us to school, Mum.  The wind’s blowing freezing, the sky looks like rain.  Let the poor dads stay in their nice dry cars, the mums at the gate keep their furnace faces turned inside.  You tuck yourself properly in, Mum.  Turn the radio up.

flashfiction, microfiction, short story

‘My Wife’s Perfect Pitch’

( My second winner at Ad Hoc Fiction )



My wife has perfect pitch: flush a toilet, she’ll tell you what key it’s in.  So when she of all people said she thinks my voice is breaking again, in the other direction, there wasn’t much point protesting.  Especially in my embarrassing new falsetto.  It’s like one of those snakes in a can, leaps out when you’re least prepared.  Since she spoke up, in her even, adult tone, I can no longer ignore the way my colleagues flinch when I’m on the phone to clients.  I can’t unsee Des, at the next desk, whose right eye violently tics whenever my jaw drops to speak.

My wife runs a hand over me under the duvet.  She tries to make it seem affectionate but I know she’s feeling for smoothness that wasn’t there yesterday.  Cups here, gently brushes her fingertips there.  I moan a little, politely.  The manliest moan I can manage.

flashfiction, microfiction, short story

‘Positive and Negative’

(First story to win at Ad Hoc Fiction )




Suck on a battery (the copper-headed ones last longer. Throw in a Werthers Original at the same time to really get your teeth rattling.) Run a well-licked finger ‘round a plug socket. Feel alive.

I feel like joylessly microwaved death. My husband’s taken the kids with him to Lidl to give me a break, but they’ll be back eventually, they have to come back eventually. Our flat roars with the as-yet-unborne noise of their return, the front door trembling to be burst out of its frame. Potential energy. I wish that I had the potential for energy.

I put my cheek against the TV screen – Judge Rinder’s on – to feel the crackle against my skin. Everything flickers in the corner of my eye. I hear the door, and swallow something. Hope it was the Werther’s.

flashfiction, microfiction, short story

‘Sixty Three Word Story’



Orange lamplight washes across the forecourt, stopping at the shadows. I torch another roll-up from my tin, breathe the sparks deep down inside.

Dead leaves scrape in eddies around my feet while I wait.  I kick one away, shower the rest with bright ash.

Eventually, the library lights flicker, douse. The doors open and, with a huff, I lurch forward to surprise her.